As a coach, it is good to get away from your gym and gain new perspective, reenergize, see other people coaching from a 3rd person perspective and gain new insights in how to train and serve your members that come to your gym.
This was a working holiday I spent the week training with Bobby Maximus and took some time out to Bryce Canyon to completely switch off, reflect on how far I have come so far and how far I still had to go. At the end of the week was the Gym Jones Intermediate Seminar.
Unfortunately, about 3 weeks before heading out I hurt my back, so I had been rehabbing it and working on my back health all the way up and the week before the seminar and after and beyond but that is another story.
The Gym Jones gym is a different gym not really like any other, it works off an online paid website, people pay to be members and follow programs from it. The gym serves as a beacon for people to come learn their approach to fitness and if they so choose to become a gym jones Certified instructor or Master Certified Instructor.
Gym Jones has got some misconceptions that the door is closed, that it’s all a suffer fest, and that it’s all about taking photos of your ‘performance art’ for Instagram you know that photo of you sprawled on the floor after that savage workout you just crushed.
I think that the best way to describe their approach to Fitness and strength is the considered approach. It looks at the whole 360 of fitness and tries to create an athlete or member who has a good foundation and good all round General Physical Preparedness.
The emphasis is on you as an individual, ‘find a problem, fix the problem’ whatever is specific to you, you do or whatever does not fit your goals and aspirations and what you’re working towards you don’t do.
The philosophy of Gym Jones is the mindset, start with the mind and the body shall follow, create a deep chemical change in the body that changes your mindset and view on life, no longer view hard work, and challenges or problems as a negative but as a chance to learn, change and develop your character and what makes you as a person in short it is that the Mind is Primary.
You are surrounded by a group of people who are focused and determined and serious about pushing themselves, meeting the Gym Jones Instructor standards, getting the most out of their training and learning and it is inspiring and the atmosphere is electric. There is a briefing before and after training talking about what the objective is and the results of the session and feedback. There is a strong emphasis on training hard, but also on shoulder health and recovery, they don’t go hard every day and nor should you. They also encourage you to train twice a day when you are there if you come the week before in the morning at 9am and in the evening at 4pm. The morning is usually strength/power endurance/ power or endurance work with some supplemental work and evening is a structural session.
Thoughtful and well thought out training it truly is, a good example of this is what happened on Friday as Friday is usually referred to as Fuck You Friday a whole hour of Power endurance, a whole hour of conditioning of going hard, recovering and then going hard again for 45mins to an hour or so. But because all the people who were in were attending the Intermediate seminar the next day we were not crushed but given a moderate conditioning session to get us moving and get us breathing but not kill us.
The seminar begins with a 2k row or ski, it is a litmus test to see where your fitness level is at as for men you need to achieve a 6.50 row or 7.00 ski. So, everyone is pretty on edge to perform their best and perform well. As it happens I got 7.14 hurting the back and not doing any intense rowing conditioning the last 4 weeks meant it is what it is and I was just delighted to be able to do it as the last attempt back in August 2016 I hit 6.46 I thought I could just push through the pain on the day lol and hit 7mins maybe.
There are other Fitness standards that need to be met for men and the women I will just list the Men’s. One standard from the Strength list 2.25 BW deadlift or 50 pushups or 1.25BW OHS. Power Endurance 2k row 6.50, or 2k ski 7mins or 1.5mile run sub 9mins. Endurance 60min ski getting 15,500m, or 60min row getting 15,500m or 10k run sub 50mins. Onto of this you must complete the all three seminars, have 1000 hour of documented coaching, complete the physical tests, programming tests and written/online tests.
Your Pyramid is only as big as its base. That is probably the best way to sum up the Gym Jones programming philosophy. You cannot spend too long building a firm and large foundation, the simple stuff works and it is only with greater insight and coming and experiencing it and listening to the actual person who write the words you read that you develop an understanding of what it means. There are 4 levels to the training methodology. The first is Foundation 1 which can last from 6-18 months depending how hard you work, effort you put in and consistency etc., then Foundation 2 lasting from 6months to 3years, foundation 3 lasts from 2years to 5years and finally foundation 4. Foundation 1 is about volume, 2 is about intensity and 3 is about ‘intensified volume’
The weekend was eye opening and gave great insight into training and the hard work you need to do to get fit. Which is 130hrs to be exact. There was the programming insights and knowledge which was gone over and reinforced but also the misconceptions I had got as I had jumped straight into a foundation 2 program when what I needed was 6-18months of foundation 1 training much like most of the people I train.
I want to talk about Rob McDonald now not Bobby Maximus, a lot of misconceptions about him, scary dude who was a high level MMA fighter but actually he is an incredibly welcoming and dedicated man, heads up a gym revolution or way of life or ideal whatever you want to call it, he pushes himself to high levels of strength and fitness and holds himself to a high standard, he has a young family with two kids and an awesome wife Lisa maintaining that and managing it all and doing the best at all these things is not easy and I don’t know how he does it but he does and he is an inspiration so if you get the chance go to Gym Jones and train with him and listen to what he has to say and I guarantee you will not be let down.
I mentioned Lisa as she is a very strong woman, having had her baby and managing the whole training: looking after a young family and work she is head of the women’s side of training and is very knowledgeable on women’s specific training. The two of them together make a formidable team and it has been great to meet them both again and learn from them again.
There is another aspect to this weekend that I have yet to touch on and it’s the development of your actual self into the Gym Jones community, by coming back again after the Foundations seminar you have shown dedication and commitment and you are already known to the seminar staff, by your training building up to the seminar and the seminar itself you build a strong bond with your intermediate seminar colleagues and from that moment on you are now on a journey together you have created a new group of friends a new support network who understand the dedication and devotion to the ideal and the ethos that is Gym Jones. Our instructor who carefully watched over was our Gym Jones Instructor Nathan Tieppo. I like to call him our Gym Jones Mentorship instructor and look forward to showing him how I progress in my understanding of and application of Gym Jones methodologies and my progress as a Gym Jones Athlete in the coming months and years beyond.
Trips like this are quite a big leap, a leap into the unknown, a leap of faith, I took it as just a chance to have a holiday, seemed like it would suit me perfectly just go away and get beasted by Bobby Maximus twice a day for a week and then do the intermediate seminar, had no intention of becoming a Gym Jones Instructor or doing the Advanced seminar, I just was going for a change of perspective and perception and re charge. It was so much more than that, I am glad I took the trip too Bryce Canyon, I am also glad I met Dan John and looking forward to hooking up with him in Edinburgh, I am glad I got the chance to learn from all at Gym Jones, meet a new group of people and make new friends who will keep me company in my journey forward and I am excited for the future and beyond.