Below is a guest post from Lift Weights Faster author Jen Sinkler. Also, always consult with your physician or fitness professional before attempting high intensity workouts or unfamiliar exercises. Enjoy!

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All variations of the clean and the snatch are a blast to coach. The moment of dawning realization in someone’s eyes when you explain you get to forcefully jump the weight up into the end position. Of course, there are plenty of nuances that vary depending on what sort of implement you’re using, but the aggressive hip extension remains the same, whether you’re using a barbell, kettlebell or dumbbell.

That realization is that this lift is fun.

So often, as adults, we tamp down or lose touch with our desire to truly unleash the beast, if you will, opting instead for moderate movements. The clean and the snatch give you an opportunity to rectify the situation.

Below, I’ve laid out a quick and effective total-body circuit that will develop speed and power, bust up fat, and add to the total work you do. Even though it’s an AMRAP, keep your reps fresh, and rest as needed. Use a heavy enough weight that it matters.

Name: Power Play
Tagline: Go big and ballistic
Time Allotted: 10 minutes
Suggested Equipment: A dumbbell and the ability to get up and get down!
Instructions: Do as many rounds as possible (AMRAP) of this circuit in 5 to 10 minutes. Take breaks as needed (but try to take them at the bottom of the round).

jon-erik kawamoto personal trainer

Dumbbell Snatch

 
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  • Stand tall and place a dumbbell between your feet in front of you so the handle is perpendicular to your feet.
  • Keeping your back flat, hinge at the hips and bend your knees until you can reach the dumbbell handle.
  • Gripping the dumbbell, explosively extend your hips. Use the power generated by your hip drive to lift the dumbbell. Keep the dumbbell close to your body as it rises, and pull only slightly with your arm.
  • As the dumbbell passes your face level, extend and “punch” your arm upward to lock the weight out overhead. The weight should feel weightless for a moment at the top of the movement. If you are pressing out to complete the movement, use a lighter weight or explode more powerfully from the hips.
  • Lower the dumbbell with control to the floor, and repeat for the desired number of repetitions before switching sides.

One Arm Dumbbell Clean

 
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  • Standing with your feet hip-width apart, grasp one dumbbell so it hangs straight down in front of you.
  • Bend your knees slightly into a partial squat, then explosively extend your hips. Use the power generated by your hips, hamstrings, and glutes to “float” the dumbbell up. (You should pull up only slightly with your arms.)
  • As the dumbbell becomes “weightless” in the air, quickly rotate the elbows underneath so you “catch” the dumbbell in the front rack position at shoulder height.
  • Lower the dumbbell back down under control and repeat.

Knee-to-Elbow Plank

 
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  • Start in a straight-arm plank position with your body elevated between your hands and toes.
  • While holding this position, lift one leg and draw the knee up and around toward the elbow on the same side.
  • Lower your leg and return to the starting plank position. Repeat on the opposite side, bringing the opposite knee to elbow. Alternate legs to complete the set.

Superpeople

 
personal training st. john's

  • Lie on your stomach with arms stretched overhead.
  • Arch your back and lift your chest off the floor, simultaneously squeezing your glutes so that your feet and lower legs lift off the ground at the same time. Lower your arms and legs back to the floor and repeat.
  • Don’t overreach or look up to avoid straining your neck.

Get Better Faster

 
If you’re looking to amp up your conditioning in other creative but productive ways, I’ve put together a mammoth 130-workout pick-and-choose library called Lift Weights Faster. Complete with a full exercise glossary that includes written descriptions and photographic demonstrations of over 225 exercises (from classic moves to more unusual ones — the Jefferson deadlift, anyone?), a limited video library that includes coaching on 14 of the more technical lifts, five challenge-workout videos, plus a dynamic warm-up routine, I leveraged my background in magazine publishing to create a clear-cut, easy-to-use resource that you’ll want to turn to all the time.

Every workout is organized by the equipment you have available and how much time you’ve got, with options that last anywhere from five up to 30 minutes.

Lastly, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention I teamed up with two-time New York Times bestselling author Diane Sanfilippo to create a wonderful companion resource called Eat Better Faster on eating healthy, whole foods, even when you’re pinched for time.

For more info, click here: www.jkconditioning.com/liftweightsfaster
 
st. john's personal trainingJen Sinkler (www.jensinkler.com), RKC, PCC, PM, USAW, is a longtime fitness journalist who writes for national magazines such as Women’s Health and Men’s Health. A former member of the U.S. national women’s rugby team, she currently trains clients at The Movement Minneapolis.

I chose JKC originally to help prevent rowing injuries. I’m a rower and we won the St. John’s Regatta in 2019 but I rowed through a rib stress fracture and missed significant time in the boat during the racing season. Training at JKC consistently since the pandemic helped me stay injury free this year and made me the strongest I’ve ever felt, which helped me help my team win the 2021 St. John’s Regatta! Jon adds variety and mixes the exercises up well so that the workout goes by quickly and strength is gained. The gym is very personable and I like the eclectic mix of people that are there. JKC is much more intimate and personal than other gyms.

I heard really good things about it from my sister, and I could see the positive results she was getting.  I needed to do something.  I was overweight, depressed, and recovering from a back injury.  I had reached a point where simply getting up out of a chair was becoming difficult.  I knew that if I didn’t do something about it my senior years would be very burdensome to the people close to me.  I’m so glad I did!  After just a few weeks my day-to-day pain was drastically reduced, and my mobility increased. I had the confidence to try sea kayaking, and I now play ice hockey twice a week!

The key difference is the expertise.  The trainers know the gym equipment and the exercises, but they also have degrees in kinesiology, and can apply what they know to your workout.  As someone who was in poor physical condition starting out, I was worried about hurting myself.  Previously I tried an outdoor weekly bootcamp and injured my knee by pushing too hard.  The trainers at JKC constructed a program that started at the right level for me, evolving it as I grew stronger and more fit.  I feel well looked after.

cas dyke

I started training at JKC in 2016 because I had built up a number of muscle imbalances from old injuries and activities like rock climbing which had led to some really bad posture and mobility issues. On top of that some friends had convinced me to sign up for a half-ironman. Working with Jon and Thomas was a way to pull my body back into alignment and make sure it wouldn’t fall apart during my race. The staff at JKC pride themselves on continuously advancing their knowledge, which leads to new and inventive way to address problems, old and new. I got my Dad to start training here and recommended JKC to all looking to improve their strength and fitness.

I am turning 67 next month and I started my journey with JKC in 2018. Seven years ago I experienced significant foot pain which had a negative impact on my day to day activities. I learned that issues in other parts of the body need to be addressed to achieve a positive result. My doctor (Dr. Jessica Wade) suggested, along with some other therapies, that I could  benefit from the conditioning JKC had to offer. I previously had not trained in any gym. I observed how many gyms operated and had a sense that JKC would be more my style: training in a small group setting, having such personal attention, and a program meeting my specific needs is fantastic! I love the atmosphere at the gym. Everyone is accepted and you feel supported and comfortable.

trap bar deadlift

A few of my wonderful friends and colleagues recommended JKC. I was told by one colleague that “It’ll be the best thing you ever do for yourself” and she was right! To be honest, I didn’t have much experience in any gym setting. And NO prior weight training experience. It was always so overwhelming! But from the first day, nothing was intimidating about JKC. Each workout is set up just for me, and with my specific skills and goals in mind. There are no stupid questions, you learn as you go, and what I really love, I always feel included and important, regardless of my skills/experience.

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