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 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 am the oldest client at JKC at 79 years, soon to be 80. I started training at JKC July 2021. I started at JKC because two of my three sons Justin and Michael and their partners Andrea and Keir and one of my doctors recommended JKC. They all train at JKC Now my wife Linda trains at JKC too. My third son Jonathan lives in Kingston. There is a congenial community atmosphere at JKC. People are introduced to each other. There is effective personal training at JKC.

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 had virtually no real experience using weights and felt intimidated going gyms. I avoided gym-goers using free weights, especially when hearing that loud crash, as they would drop weights to the floor. I thought this was to show everyone around them that they owned that area and that I shouldn’t go anywhere near! So I guess I just wanted to learn how to lift weights safely in a gym environment.

I spent over 18 years in the British Military, so I got to use some nice gyms. 99% of my time and experiences in those gyms was spent doing cardiovascular workouts, because I could just jump on a treadmill, plug in my head phones and do my own thing! JKC is different, because they have given me the confidence to use free weights and equipment that I had feared for years. Their demonstrations and knowledge is impeccable and I thank them for their continuous belief and support they show me at every session.

I came to JKC through recommendations from my peers from lululemon. As a current ambassador, I’ve been introduced to legacy ambassadors, like Jon, and I knew a bunch of other people from the store were working out here so I wanted to give it a go. I often dread lower body workouts so I started coming here to do legs. I’ve had such great progress that I now come twice a week— and, I no longer hate leg day!

I’ve never experienced this sort of hybrid between group workouts and personalized service. Many group strength training services offer a sort of one-size-fits-all workout for the general population, which has never been of interest to me, because I want my workout tailored to my needs! I LOVE that you can be in a group setting while doing your own personal program; I love the camaraderie and community at JKC, and, I’ve seen incredible results thus far! Jon is always so attuned to what I need.

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