arnold bench press

Some people focus on getting lean in the new year while others try to put on size.

Let’s chat a bit about putting on slabs of chiselled muscle shall we 🙂

The only way you’re gonna put on size, is to train hard, smart, and consistently in the gym. You gotta train like a bodybuilder, but you don’t need to spend hours a day in the gym.

Focus on compound (multi-joint exercises) lifts and supplement with isolation exercises. Don’t believe it when internet sites say you’ll build big biceps by just doing pull-ups or chin-ups. You gotta attack the muscles you want to grow from various angles and various rep ranges (and most times, you’ll have to resort to isolation-type exercises).  Focus on free weight exercises and feel free to supplement with machine-based exercises and even the Smith Machine. Pay attention to your body mechanics and don’t do an exercise if it causes pain (duh!).

In regards to nutrition, I’m a big believer in eating clean, even if the the focus is hypertrophy. I’m not a huge fan of eating shit just for the sake of getting in more calories. Eat clean real whole foods and make sure to eat starches post workout. You’ll find it harder to build size on a low-carb diet, so make sure to eat 2 servings of yams, sweet potatoes or rice post workout. Also, try to get 15-20 grams of protein at each meal. Eat unlimited veggies and moderate amounts of healthy fats as well.

Next, you have to get motivated to pump the iron. Make sure to watch these two documentaries (you might recognize the main dude in each film) before going to the gym (I recommend Sunday night to fire you up for the week!).

First film: Pumping Iron (I wasn’t able to embed this video, so you gotta watch it on Youtube).

Second film: The Making of Pumping Iron (below).

Next, ed-ju-ma-cate yourself by reading these articles (you’re welcome):

1) 10 Reasons You’re Not Building Muscle

2) 5 Ways to Amp Up Muscle Growth

3) 5 Bodybuilding Rules You Have to Break to Build Size

Next, make sure your form is picture perfect. Read this 4 Weightlifting Techniques to Master.

Lastly, find a good hypertrophy focused program. Here’s a free workout you can do. I wrote this program with Toronto trainer and fitness writer Lee Boyce. It’s called the Hybrid Size Workout. You can find the link HERE.

Give it a go and let me know what you think. Be patient. Building muscle takes time and persistence. As the great trainer Bill Starr once wrote: Patience + Persistence = Progress.

Now, go and get it! No one else is gonna do it for you. Light weight baby!

-JK

Astrid Billfalk-Kelly

Personal Strength Training by Thomas King

I wanted to add strength training to my cardio, but have always felt gyms to be a bit intimidating, and was worried I would hurt myself without some supervision and help. JKC was highly recommended by several work colleagues. Thomas and Jon are both fantastic, making sure that everyone gets a highly personalized work out in a very supportive environment. The attention to detail and professionalism are second to none. The groups are very small, but very supportive and make the workouts even more fun. Since getting pregnant (36 weeks as I write this) I’m so happy that they continue to help me get stronger while always being safe.

I am 62 years young and I started training with Jon in 2013. I originally came to join JKC as a recommendation from other family members that were onboard with Jon. Their enthusiasm for the gym experience was quite evident.  I was not to be outdone, so I decided to join as well. JKC, in my mind, certainly stands out from the crowd. I feel it’s a combination of the skill and passion the coaches have for their job and their clients. Each client is treated with the upmost respect and given time to explore their fitness journey without any pressure. JKC is certainly not a cookie cutter gym.The coaches customize your fitness program to suit your needs and your fitness level. This certainly makes sense because no two clients are alike.  This is where JKC excels! Jon, Thomas, and Craig keep the atmosphere at the gym light, but productive. A great combination that obviously works and makes the clients want to come back. Lastly, the camaraderie at the gym is everything. Meeting likeminded people who make you feel you are not alone in your fitness journey is everything.

I had spent a fair bit of time in gyms in my teens and twenties but I turned away from the gym to focus on activities that I enjoyed more. What keeps me at JKC is that I do really enjoy it. I always feel that I’ve accomplished something when I leave at the end of my workout. The environment is really positive and focused on challenging yourself whatever your level of comfort and fitness. I’ve also seen results that I’m really happy with; having someone who really knows what they’re talking about to guide your workouts makes them way more effective and focused than just “going to the gym”.

Shortly after I started at JKC, I sustained a fairly major injury that took me off my feet for several months. When I started to get back to activity, it was very difficult. Jon and Thomas worked hard to tailor my workouts to my goals and what I could do. With their help, I’ve been steadily building back strength and function.

I heard somewhere that achieving your health goals is determined largely by what you do in the kitchen. I am grateful to have found Julia who brought direction and accountability to this most important piece for me. Having Julia in my corner has brought me confidence and certainty that I am on my way to achieving my goals. I highly recommend her if you are serious about making a change and feeling better about your health.

I was looking for something to augment my 20+ year yoga practice with a focus on strength conditioning. I am friend’s with Jon’s sister in-law and over the years always heard great things about JKC, especially with respect to the top quality trainers they have and programs they run. After talking to Jon about my goals, and hearing his thoughts on a training plan, I knew that this was going to be an awesome experience … and it sure has been. JKC stands out from other gyms because of the attention to detail, the high quality of the staff and the facilities. Also, the amazing people that train there. And no one posing and taking selfies. I’m 41 years old and I started in Dec 2021.

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