personal training st. john's

By Thomas King, CSCS, MSc

I get it. For many people, time is a resource more precious than gold. Between full-time jobs, kids’ activities, and chores around the home, time is at a premium. With all these things going on, many people struggle to find the extra time to maintain an exercise regime.

And, who could blame them? Take a look at any of the popular websites for exercise programs or in the latest fitness magazines and you will likely see one type of workout: the bodybuilder’s trusty body part split.

You know the type of workouts I’m talking about, the ones that have you do chest on Monday, back on Tuesday, legs on Wednesday and, so on, for 5 days per week. In our time deprived society, who really has 1 and a half hours to spare five days out of the week?

So, let’s just say you decide to try this workout. You make it to the gym as planned Monday and Tuesday, but bam! Wednesday comes and your kid is sick and home from school meaning no gym time for you and no legs day this week. “I’ll get to it next week”, you say to yourself. But, by the time next week rolls around it’s been 2 weeks since your last leg workout and you can’t possibly progress at this pace. “There has to be a better way,” you think to yourself, and luckily, there is!

Enter Full-Body Training

Full-body Training is a workout split that has you work your whole body in each workout 3 times per week. So now, when the kid is home from school or the boss needs you to work some overtime, you still have the opportunity to train each body part 2 times that week and keep progressing.

So, how would this almost magical workout scheme look?

Luckily for you, I have included a sample program below. These workouts are the bare bones essentials of what you need to keep progressing in the gym. There are no vanity exercises like bicep curls and crunches in them. The idea with these is to hit the whole body as hard and efficiently as possible and get out of the gym. These workouts should take no longer than 40 minutes to complete. If they do, have a hard look at how you spend your gym time. You may realize that: sending that text, talking in the change room, or spending 15 minutes in the sauna is seriously eating up your gym time!

Jon Kawamoto at JKConditioning demonstrates full body training in this video, “Workouts for Busy People”. For more training videos, check out the JKConditioning Youtube Channel.

The Busy Person’s Workout Plan

Workout 1

A1) Deadlift (Can be Conventional, Sumo or Trap Bar): 5 Sets of 5 Reps

A2) Barbell Bench Press: 5 Sets of 5 Reps

B) Single Arm Dumbbell Row 4 Sets of 16-20 Reps

Notes:

  1. Do not rest between A1 and A2. Take 2-3 minutes rest after A2.
  2. For the Single Arm Row, alternate arms without resting. Using the opposite arm is rest enough.

Workout 2

A1) Front Squat or Safety Squat Bar Squat: 5 Sets of 5 Reps

A2) Barbell Overhead Press: 5 Sets of 5 Reps

B) Chin-up or Assisted Chin-up: 4 Sets of max reps

Notes:

  1. Same as above, no rest between A1 and A2, but rest 2-3 Minutes after A2
  2. Why not back squats? This workout is all about bang for your buck and the front squat (or Safety bar squat) requires much more core and upper back activation than the back squat
  3. Log your total number of reps each week for the chin-ups. Aim to beat it the next week. When you break 40 reps, add weight and start again. Rest about 2 minutes between each set.

Workout 3

A1) Rear Foot Elevated Split Squat (RFESS): 5 Sets of 5 Reps

A2) Incline Barbell Bench Press: 5 Sets of 5 Reps

B) Barbell Pendlay Row: 4 Sets of 8 Reps

Notes:

  1. You get the idea now, no rest between A1 and A2, rest 2-3 minutes after A2
  2. The RFESS is a JKC favourite. As a glute, hamstring, and quad developer, it easily ranks with any bilateral squat.
  3. The Pendlay row is a bent over barbell row that has the barbell start and stop on the floor between each rep. Great for building whole body tension and taking some stress off the low back. Rest 2 minutes between each set.

There you have it. Everything you need to have a great workout even when you are short on time. If you find 3 workouts per week a struggle to fit in, it is fine to just do two per week, just alternate the workouts such that you have completed each workout twice in a 3-week cycle.

Thanks for reading!

~Thomas

Need help getting started? Get in touch!

I started at JKC in January of 2014 and I’m 67 years old. When I had my Initial Assessment, I knew – almost immediately – that Jon knew what he was doing and what he was talking about. I was overweight, out of shape, and in serious need of someone, like Jon, who could get me back on a fitness/conditioning routine that suited me, my age, my less than acceptable physical condition, my sometimes intermittent RA, and my need for a structured, consistent and yet flexible training and conditioning program that would work for me.

Fundamentally, if I made a choice at all with respect to JKC – it was to continue to come back each week. I have not been in a lot of gyms. To be honest, they used to intimidate me. What makes JKC different is their approach to each and every one of their clients. Jon and Thomas – and now Craig – tailor each training regime to the particular needs of each client. That ensures that the training regime will suit each client upon the start of training and changes as the client improves. It adjusts for any physical setbacks such as injuries and it adjusts for success. It is just that simple.

It is also the consistent encouragement that comes from Jon, Thomas and Craig. That voice that comes to you while you are in the middle of a particularly difficult set – rear-foot elevated split squats comes to mind immediately – that says “good job” or “keep it up” or “just a couple more reps.” To know, in that moment, that you are not alone and the trainer is paying attention to what you are doing. That is priceless for me.

I had signed up for other gyms in the past and never went or rarely went. Something always got in the way or I was just too tired and lacked motivation to go. This way I’ve made a commitment to Jon or Thomas and I try very hard to keep my sessions once I’ve booked in. JKC is different from other gyms that I’ve tried in the past because no one is there to be “seen”. We are all there to get a good workout in and go on with our lives. And it’s a small gym so you get to know everyone and it’s like a big family. When I joined JKC, I couldn’t do a chin up with an elastic band, but I’ve slowly worked up to 10 free hanging chin ups. That was big because I hate chin ups.

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 joined JKC because I wanted to better care for my physical health, but didn’t really know how, or where, to begin.  Seeking help from a trainer seemed like a wise choice, and I had heard great things about the staff at JKC. Anyone who knows me knows that I hate exercising.  So, I’ve only ever tried sticking with a gym routine twice in my life.  Each experience consisted of me wandering around, not knowing what to do, and settling for an elliptical machine or something else that seemed comfortable and non-threatening.  Each session was the same, and I felt like I was wasting my time.

Each session at JKC, however, is specifically crafted for me.  I don’t have to think about what to do, because I’m told what to do.  I don’t have to worry about how to do things properly, because I’m shown (sometimes multiple times!) how to accomplish each task.  I don’t have to be concerned about slipping into a comfortable routine, because Jon and Thomas won’t let that happen.

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