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

 
personal training st. john's

  • 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

 
personal trainer st. john's

  • 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

 
st. john's personal trainer

  • 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 saw an article in Men’s Journal that quoted Jon in about 2018 while traveling and was impressed that someone in St. John’s made that international magazine.  Jon spoke about an exercise called the Farmer’s Walk and I started working that into my routine at the YMCA. I tore that article out of the magazine and kept it, meaning to make contact, but got busy. Then I had lunch with an old friend Bruce Dyke. I hadn’t seen Bruce for a while and I remarked that he looked super healthy and fit. He told me about his, and his son Cas’, experience at JKC and then I remembered the Men’s Journal article! No coincidences!

The experience is unique on many levels – great people, camaraderie, passion, purpose, and dedication. Jon and Thomas are attentive, precise and understanding.  Their teaching has unlocked a new perspective for me with what our bodies are capable of. I still appreciate the YMCA, wonderful place, but I can’t imagine working out without Jon and Thomas now.

I had been struggling with work-life balance resulting in not exercising or playing hockey as much as I had been doing in the past. In addition to being out of shape, I was starting to experience some back/shoulder issues and realized I needed to make some changes. Around this time, a friend (who was also a client) recommended JKC and that’s when I started!

You really feel part of a community where everyone is welcoming and supportive. You get a program that is designed specifically to achieve your goals, with the ongoing coaching, progress tracking and support required to achieve them. The JKC team are very knowledgeable about fitness and conditioning, and very engaging with everyone to answer questions or discuss anything and everything training related. I also like the flexible scheduling and gym times that work for my schedule (I like early mornings and evenings).

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.

log overhead press

I had tried JKC based on the recommendation of a parent of one of my students. I originally started by attending Saturday drop in classes. I was hooked. I decided to join full time when I I had taken a year off from teaching and it was the best thing I have done for myself.

First and foremost the trainers at JKC are extremely knowledgeable. I feel like they are as dedicated to my success as I am. The workouts are tailored to me, my skills and my goals. This is important. Jon and Thomas truly want the best for their clients no matter what level of fitness they are starting from. I also like being able to book a session at a time that suits my schedule. This also helps keep me accountable. Once the session is booked I am not likely to cancel!

I’m 43 and started at JKC just over a year ago. I started at JKC because of multiple recommendations from existing clients. There are 2 main elements that distinguish JKC for me. Firstly the sense of community. I’ve been to multiple gyms in multiple cities/countries, you just  can not manufacture the sense of community and support you get from other gym goers and the team. It’s very motivating and happy to say I’ve made some friends at JKC.

The other major distinguishing factor for JKC is the expertise and passion of the team. Jon, Thomas and Craig craft highly personalized programs based on my fitness goals and know how to push me best without being pushy. They pay close attention to ensuring my form is solid before encouraging me to take on more weight for the exercise. Plain and simple they love what they do and it shows.

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