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 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 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.

lisa jumping onto a box

JKC was recommended to me by a fellow runner. I was experiencing injuries, and feeling weak and fragile. When I started with JKC, Jon asked me about my goals and my focus. I wanted to concentrate specifically on running, and preventing injury. Jon developed a program for me that has enabled me to focus on my form and strength and has been flexible enough to enable me to train for many different races. I have been training with JKC for six years, and during that time I have enjoyed Jon and Thomas’s expertise in a very warm and supportive atmosphere.

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 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.

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