A Brand New Offering from Coach Joey!

Conjugate: combining two or more parts to form a single bigger piece.

When it comes to lifting, I’m always striving to find new ways to combine different techniques (or conjugate them) to make unique, fun and of course most effective workouts for my clients.

I am offering a variation of the conjugate method to my clients already doing 2+ days a week. The complete program is 4 days per week. For those unable to commit to that, I have a 3 day version condensed as well.

Spring is here, Summer is coming, and I want to offer a different approach in getting strong and lean with more days/week. It’s time to up the anti and fast track your results. For those wanting to try it, you have to be able to commit at least 3 days a week and optimally 4 - and the program runs mid April through Mid July, perfect for getting you summer ready.

What is the conjugate program exactly? It is a Strength and Hypertrophy Program with dedicated days for each “function”. There are 4 days, alternating upper and lower body (2 lower, 2 upper per week or 1 upper, 1 lower and 1 longer full body day). Each day has a specific focus, which makes the conjugate different than other programs. One lower body day is all about hitting a 5 or 3 rep max of the squat or deadlift for that day (max effort lower), one upper body day tries to find your 5 or 3 rep max for the bench press (max effort upper body), etc. The other day(s) are rep(hypertrophy) work or dynamic effort days. On the other 2 days there is a dedicated day for high rep lower body work and a day dedicated to high rep upper body work. In layman’s terms, you alternate between days where you max out heavy lifting, and days with lighter way and higher reps.

Not only is this aimed towards getting you summer ready quickly, but I am offering this at a MASSIVE discount. Please reach out to me for more information on pricing, but let’s just say you’ll be getting even more workouts, for less money. It’s a win/win for all!

A couple of disclaimers: This is not for beginner (and tif that is you and you’re not ready yet for a more advanced program and that is totally fine). You also have to have an idea of basic movements in order to switch out different exercises weekly or monthly. Remember this is a huge discount for more days so there will be some more autonomy on your part if you (chose) to do it.

For the right people it will create a great growth and strength stimulus and also added bonus of burning lots of calories from added lifting days (and intensity).

Who’s ready to start cranking up the intensity at Jtab? Whoever wants to give it a go and can COMMIT to at least 3 days(better with 4), then let me know!  Stop by and see me at the gym, send me a DM on Facebook, or email jtabtraining@gmail.com for more information, pricing and to sign up!


Hip Mobility

Today I’ve got a few different exercises and stretches for you to do to increase your hip mobility, loosen your hips, and set your self up for better squats in the future. Increasing your hip mobility can also help protect your lower back and relieve back pain, as well as increase athletic performance. Check them out below!


Band Zercher Good Mornings

We’re back with another at home exercise this week. These Band Zercher Good Mornings are easy to do at home with minimal equipment (all you need is a band). Not only does the “zercher” part strengthen your core, but this movement also promotes lower back health and strength, glute and hamstring development, and upper back strength. Check it out!


Glute March

Ready to really rock those glutes? Today we're bringing you the advanced Glute March. It's excellent for when you're ready to move past the standard glute exercises and on to something more challenging.

A few things to note, make sure to keep your hips high and your core tight to avoid using your lower back (not only will this cause stress on the area but you'll be working an area you don't want to!

Also, before lifting your leg up, makes sure you drive your other foot into the ground to really make sure you activate your backside.


Can You?

Bodyweight… the near mention of it sends shivers down your spine for some (most) people. Many people aren’t happy with their body weight, or feel that it’s higher than it should be. Yet we carry our own bodyweight around all the time.  

In the strength and conditioning world there is an unofficial “goal” of being able to deadlift and carry your own bodyweight. Being able to do so, generally says good things about your health, strength and body. I have been training people for over 15 years and often work with clients to get them to a point where they can comfortably deadlift and carry (hold and walk with) their own bodyweight.  I have seen aches and pains go away, body composition improve, and confidence go up.

So, the question remains, can you lift and carry your own body weight? If the mere thought of having to pick up something up equal to your body weight seems impossible, it’s time to surprise yourself a little. Give me a call at 401.529.5089 or shoot an email to jtabtraining@gmail.com and let me help you build up your strength.


Single Leg Squat AKA Skater Squat

Today on the blog we're featuring an amazing workout that is especially geared towards runners and athletes. The Single Leg Squat, also known as the Skater Squat, is an amazing exercise to work your hips, glutes, quads and ankles. Not only does it focus on stability and balance, but strength as well.

Stack pads on the ground and increase or decrease pads as needed to progress. You can also add weight by holding it out in front of you (like you were holding a steering wheel), just make sure your back foot stays elevated and doesn't touch the ground!


Runner's Drill: Single Leg Balance

You all know that at Jtab we are all about strength training. Not only does building muscle burn more calories and fat over time, but it can also work as a great cardio that's less destructive on your knees, hips and ankles. However, for those that do enjoy running, it's important to include strength training to stay strong and reduce the risk of injury. Today on the blog, we have an exercise that is especially important to all you runners out there.

This single leg balance strengthening drill is an all in one workout that works ankle stability, as well as strength in your feet, glutes, abductors, quads and core. So all you runners out there, check out this video and get strong (er)!


My Last Fat Loss Nutrition Blog EVER!

This is it, the last one…  why you might ask?  Cause I can’t make it any more simple than I’m going to make it right now. A simple plan to simply lose fat.  Because we all know the goal is to lose fat, not just “weight” (big difference here).

Are you ready for the secret? You have to have less calories going in calories out.  


Does it get more simple than that?  For pure weight loss (not caring if it’s muscle mass or fat) it’s as simple as calories in and calories out. You have to expend energy or calories while daily living and working out.  Now here’s where the hard part comes in; You have to count EVERY single little morsel of “food” that you take in, even those “few” M&M’s you ate from your kid’s snack.  So, as you can see, what starts as a simple answer can get a little bit more complicated.

The real answer actually lies somewhere in the middle of having to have a PhD in advanced biology and mathematics, and the calories in vs calories out simplicity.  The real answer lies with making sure your macronutrients are taken care of (protein for muscle recovery and gain, carbs for energy and micronutrients, and fats for hormonal/skin/brain help).  You have to ensure that you’re not only limiting your calories, but managing the TYPE of calories your intaking.

You CAN go workout for 4 hours twice a day if you want, to eat whatever is in front of you.  However, because most of us don’t have more than an hour tops a few days a week to workout, we need to come up with a better, more manageable option.  This means we need to have a general idea of the calories we are eating, to adjust the exercise we should be getting in each day.  In order to truly lose weight, you should limit the days your calorie intake is higher than you expenditure to a maximum of 1 per week.

Exercise recommendations typically favor “cardio” for the sure amount of calories burned DURING exercise. This is why weight training will never be the go to for health care recommendations although it should be. But, with cardio you’re only counting calories burned while exercising, and it doesn’t take into account what is burned for the hours after.   With weight training, there is something called EPOC or afterburn.  I won’t bore you with the numbers but let’s just say over 24 hours lifting weights vs running for one hour, the weight training will eventually burn more calories.  

Hormones: little “things” inside our body that regulates how well we burn fat, keep muscle, lose fat, digest nutrients, build muscle, sleep quality, “hunger” and many other things.  Hormones rarely get the love they deserve when it comes to a fitness plan, and they are just starting to be recognized in their importance.  Many things affect our hormones like like lack of sleep, STRESS, etc.  It’s a constant battle to keep hormones in check and regulate the hormones that work for us.  There’s a hormone, Leptin, that if not regulated won’t trigger that “I’m full” feeling.  And of course, you can imagine, that not feeling full, will just lead you to overeat and gain weight.

It may seem confusing, especially with all sorts of “different” types of diets out there. So, in effort to clarify, I’ll be giving even more tips in my next blog - I lied about it being my last one :) - that will take this whole calorie in vs. calorie out thing to the next level.


High Step Ups

While I was injured I had to get creative with exercises.  I couldn't do heavy traditional lifts so I increased intensity with range of motion with a high step up. This is a great exercise to stretch out the hips, increase range of motion and work your quads, glutes, hamstrings and calves. Make sure your knee starts above hips to create that deep squat feel.  You don't need heavy weights with this particular exercise, as the intensity is the range of motion.   


Flashback Friday: Back Sequence

Today we're bringing back an oldie but a goodie - a full back sequence designed to work your shoulders and back for posture, toning and tightening. While it may be rainy and cold today, don't let this weather fool you. Tank top season is around the corner and there's no better way to take advantage of that than by working your upper back.

In addition, these back exercises will help strengthen your posture which may have taken a hit from a long winter of sitting at a desk or huddled on the couch. Enjoy!

Today's move of the week is all about bringing sexy back. It's tank top season and it's all about making sure your back and shoulders look strong and sexy in them. The three moves in today's sequence work your upper back, focusing your posture by toning and tightening.

Tips to Keep in Mind:

- Lay flat on your stomach
- Squeeze between your shoulder blades
- Keep your core tight


Volleyball and Lifting = Pair made for the stars

I’m a volleyball player. I’m also a Certified Strength Coach(CSCS) and I like to lift heavy weights.  There is still a stigma in the volleyball community that these two activities don't normally go together.  I’m here today to talk about how they can co-exist and help volleyball players get to the next level in their play. 

I started lifting weights seriously in college, while playing for a top level College Club Team (Volleyball is still growing in the NCAA space).  Proper weight lifting helped me be able to compete with the taller, stronger players around the country I had to go up against.  

The game of volleyball is an explosive game.  It requires big jumps to block, an aggressive approach to attack and quick reactions in the back court on defense.  Strength training happens to train your body and muscles in the same manner.  Strength is defined by “the maximal force that a muscle or muscle group can generate at a specified velocity”* .  Power is defined as “time rate of doing work”*.  By this conclusion, explosive movements on the volleyball court are generated by increasing power.  Power comes from strength and the stronger you are the more powerful you are.  By strength training, this translates to a higher blocking jump, higher approach and an even quicker “push-off” to go get a ball on defense.  The ability to generate power in a fast motion is what people refer to as “quickness”.  

Now, how does strength training really transfer to the court?  Let’s take a squat - one of the first exercise people think of when they think of training for volleyball (I’d argue it’s the deadlift that gets you higher off the ground but that’s another article topic).  Getting stronger through a Goblet Dumbbell Squat (see the video below) will teach your body to transform power to be used on the court. 


The heavier the dumbbell, the more your body has to create drive downward into the ground to finish the squat motion.  The stronger you get, the more “power” you can push down into the ground to lift your body (plus the dumbbell) up to the end position.  This new “power” drive can now translate into a higher vertical jump and, even more importantly, a more efficient jump.  You will be able to jump more times without tiring due to your increase in strength.  Strength is what makes you able to last and keep jumping as high during the 3rd, 4th, 5th sets, not “cardio” or conditioning.  

The next volleyball and strength blog will focus on the best bang for your buck exercises to increase your vertical.           

* Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning


Jtab Tip: Stop the Pain From Shoveling

Shoveled lots this weekend? Well, we're guessing you used the same side and hand to do it, right?  And now you're feeling the effects today? Well that oblique is overworked and need to re-fire the other side oblique. Hold a heavy Dumbbell, Kettlebell , or whatever you have in the house house on same side that you shoveled with to get the other side firing up. Check out the video below to learn more!


Jtab December Challenge - Glutes and Core

Just because it's the holiday season, doesn't mean you should let yourself go. In between the holiday eating and parties, jump on into our December challenge to keep your muscles firing and burning calories all month long. First, check out the video below to learn the proper form, then be sure to visit our Facebook page each day for a new challenge. Everybody get out there and get going!


Move of The Week: Deadlift Warmup

Whether you've been working out for years, or are just starting, today's move is a great refresher for technique. It utilizes a foam roller, which can be found at almost every gym or gym store. It's inexpensive and has a million uses so it may even be worth grabbing one for yourself at home. This warmup move helps you focus in your glutes, lats and core to ensure you're body is working how it needs to for deadlifts. Deadlifts, or single leg deadlifts, are often a move that is performed wrong which can lead to injuries. However, when performed right, deadlifts are an excellent exercise as they work more muscles than any other exercise in one shot, including upper back, lats, and legs. 

Check out video below to help get your body in proper form the next time you lift!


No Equipment Warm Up and Full Body Exercise

We're back this week and we have a series of exercises that yet again don't involve any equipment. All you need is a bench, or chair or other flat surface off the ground. 

We begin with a warm up designed to stretch out your hips and upper body all while getting them ready to work. Following the warm up is a series of pushups (a classic but always good), regular squats (again sometimes the traditional moves are the best), scalp pushups (to really work those shoulders), and split squat (get ready for screaming quads). 

Between our blog last week and this week you should now have a set of exercises to get your heartrate up and your muscles pumping all without using any gym equipment. Now, there really is no excuse to get up and get going!


No Equipment Leg Circuit

One of those people that simply loves fall? Getting outdoors as often as you can to enjoy the last legs of the beautiful weather? Today we've got a leg circuit that you can do in the backyard, park, open field or wherever you have a little bit of room.  It starts with a few good stretches to get you loose and ready to go. Then that's followed up with a circuit of squat jumps, reverse lunges, squats, side lunges and the finished with glute bridges. 

Not only will you be working your glutes, inner and outer thighs and quads for some great legs, but you'll be jacking up your heart rate for fat burn and cardio.


Move of the Week: Bi's and Tri's with Only 5lb Weights

Almost everyone has a set of light weights at home (and if you don't you can get them super cheap at a variety of places like Marshall's of 5 Below). We often think of those super light weights as great for working our shoulders with something like a fly or an overhead press. As you build up those muscles pushing large weights over your head may not be accessible so you start with the lower weight. However, when it comes to doing classic moves like Bicep or Tricep curls we immediately think that 5lb weights aren't going to do us any good unless we stand there and do 30 or 40 reps (and ain't nobody got time for that). 

Well, we're here to show you that you can get a super burn by making just a few small adjustments. Now you can work those bi's and tri's without going out to buy a whole new set of weights.


Move of the Week: Full Body Exercise Ball Workout

Even though it's after Labor Day, summer is not over! With temperatures in the 80's this week, chances are you're still going to be wearing those shorts, tank tops and dresses, which means you have to keep all those parts looking good! Today we're featuring 2 exercises you can do on a ball that will work your entire body.

The first is called a Reverse Hyper and focuses on your glutes and hamstrings. Remember to keep your core tight and squeeze your glutes at the top for maximum impact.

The second is called "Stir The Pot" and is not only excellent for your entire core but will get your shoulders firing and looking great in those tank tops.


Jtab Programming Part 2(Day 2)

Last blog post we discussed Day 1 (Sheet 1) of how Jtab formats a program for one of Joey's clients.  This week we will break down Day 2 (Sheet 2). 


Day 2 is a Full Body workout with Lower Body Pull and Upper Body Push emphasis. Day 2 normally starts with an upper body power drill and immediately goes into a drill that either helps hip mobility, hinge work for the deadlifts that are coming, or an upper back activation drill to make the rest of your workout better. 

Section 1- Power Exercise -  3-5 reps for 2-3 sets

1a) Explosive Face Pulls.  Why?  This drill helps wake up the upper body and create a power output on the upper body as well.  This will help set up the rest of the workout as we need the upper back muscles to be firing on all cylinders for heavy deadlifts, etc. 

1b) Lower Trap Activation.  Why?  This piggy backs on the last exercise as it helps fire up the correct upper back muscles so we can use them when we deadlift and press. 

Section 2- Strength Exercises for the day. These are opposite movements from Day 1's exercises.  These also include a third exercise for hip mobility or core activation.  Just like Day 1 strength section we try to stay low reps (about 3-4) so we can go heavier on these.

2a) Trap Bar Deads.  Why?  Trap bar deads are one of the better hinge assisted drills to create strong hips, glutes and hamstrings and upper backs.  It also teaches clients how to correctly pick things up off the floor, something that happens all the time at home and at work. 

2b) Push Press.  Why?  We need to work on our pushing muscles and with this exercise you lift overhead, creating strong pushing muscles.  This offers a good opposite movement to the trap bar deadlift which is why we do them back to back. 

2c) Lateral Lunge Stretch.  Why?  Deadlifts tend to make your adductors tight and many just have tight adductors in general so this drill will help stretch them out. 

Section 3- This is the higher rep range (about 12-15 reps) group of 5 exercises done back to back. This will create further hypertrophy and crank fat loss as a result. 

3a) Band Pulldowns. Why?  This is a great exercise to keep tension on the lats in a vertical pulling fashion, like a pull-up.  Bands allow you to do high reps without breaking form.  This spot is reserved for all different kinds of pulling exercises since we just did heavy pressing in the strength section.  We all need to pull more than push and this helps keep it a pull heavy program.

3b) Quadruped Leg Raises.  Why?  This exercise will get those glutes cranking and sore without any loading on the spine since we already did heavy deadlifts before.  Most people can stand to do high rep direct glute work towards the end of their program.  This spot is reserved for lower body exercises that either compliment or work as an antagonist to the heavy strength exercise.   

3c) 1/2 Kneeling LM Press.  Why?  This is a great overhead shoulder pressing variation that doesn't put as much stress on shoulders but you still helps you really work them.  This spot is reserved for all upper body pushing exercises while working on shoulder stability.  

3d) SLDL's. Single Leg Deadlifts.  Why?  This is a great core balancing and hamstring/glute exercise that again deloads your spine but still gives you a great hamstring/glute workout.  This spot is reserved for single leg work, either pushing or pulling.  I try to figure which the client needs to work on.   

3e) Farmer's Walks(1,2).  Why?  This is a great exercise for either fat burning/conditioning and posture and grip work.  Loading bilaterally (one arm) while walking and loaded 1 forces those abs to work to keep yourself walking straight and not tilting to one side.  This spot is usually reserved for core exercises or hitting some triceps in the back of your arms. 


The Jtab Programming

Here at Jtab Training we believe that everyone deserves their own, individualized program. While the trainers here have access to all sorts of fancy, state of the art, professionally built programs,  sometimes it’s the simple ones that are the most impactful for beginners.  I would say beginners are first stepping into the gym to the 5 years of strength training seriously. Let me break down why I believe in these programs and how I came to create them.

Just about 2 years ago I decided to move into a bigger gym (Happy 2 Year Anniversary to Me!) and with that I knew I needed a better “plan” for my clients.  The space would be bigger, there would be more people training at once (also called semi-private training which is a blog for another day), and more clients overall.  It was then that I started to put my brain on creative mode and made the 2 Day template I use for most of my clients (Whether they do both days in one week or rotate week-to-week).  Each day is both a full body strength and hypertrophy/conditioning workout.  Broken down below is a sample of a Day 1 from a female that is about 2 years into serious strength training.  I wanted to take the time to explain the WHY’s, WHAT’s and WHEN’s of the program template I decided to create for my clients.  Any questions on the program please feel free to contact me about it.  

Day 1 Full Body with Lower Push and Upper Pull Strength Focus

Section 1 - Power exercise in the 3-5 rep range for 2-3 sets

1a) Banded KB Swings.  Why?  A few reasons…  As we get older we lose power output and one of the only ways to get it back is to work on explosive exercises.  Day 1 is usually a lower body power exercise while Day 2 tends to be an upper body power exercise to get one of each in each program.  It also strikes the central nervous system to get ready for the rest of the workout.  Here we have KB Swings with a band under feet attached to the bell.  This creates a crazy explosive hip hinge, relaxes the hip flexors and fires up the glutes and hamstrings (which most people, especially females, need help with). 

1b) Hip In/External.  This spot is usually reserved for some hip mobility or stability and/or some core activation.  This exercise will help mobilize internal and external range of motion through hip capsule.

Section 2 - The almighty strength portion of the day, where the reps are under 5 and we are trying to get as strong as possible. 

2a) Zercher Squats.  This is a little known squat variation that really gets that core firing like crazy while still getting in a squat pattern.  It also doesn’t load the spine as much making it a bit safer than most squat variations.  We vary the sets and reps each week slightly to get even heavier or more volume week by week.

2b) 1 Arm Dumb Bell Rows.  This is a great upper back/lat exercise that can be used in any section of a template.  Here it is in the strength section so the goal for her this month is to go as heavy as she can for those low reps to really build up that pulling power.  Unilateral work also builds up contralateral abdominal strength which is great for minimizing lower back pain from life. 

2c) Anti-Rotary Stab.  No we are not stabbing anyone here.  This is an anti-rotation stability core exercise to further assist with both of those other lifts and to get some more “core” work in. 

Section 3 and 4 - The next 2 sections (broken up into groups of 3 exercises each) are for more mid level strength work and also for some hypertrophy and conditioning work in the 8-10 rep range (try doing a challenging exercise for 10 hard and heavy reps and see how hard you are breathing afterwards!). 

3a) Incline Bench.  We are hitting some pushing (upper push section) muscles this time after pulling for heavy strength earlier (1 Arm DB Rows). 

3b) Frog Pump w/Dumb Bell.  This is a new exercise to me made popular by the Glute Guy, Dr. Bret Contreras.  It is another version of a loaded glute bridge to hit glute meds.  This spot is reserved to hit the glutes and legs again in an opposing fashion as the heavy strength lift (Zercher Squat) for the day.  We all need more glute work!

3c) L-Sit Holds(leg lift/abs).  This section is for more core work and/or more scapular work, both things needed in our society of bad posture and lower back problems. 

4a) Meadows Rows.  This spot is reserved for more upper pulling work to again work on a stronger more muscular upper back and back shoulders.  We all want a stronger upper back for many reasons (another blog post for another time).  This also gets us doing uni-lateral (one arm at a time) work to fight any imbalances we might have. 

4b) Kettle Bell Rope Curls.  This spot is reserved for many different ab exercises or the ever popular bicep muscles, ‘cause who doesn’t want better biceps?  This is a fun variation of the classic cable bicep curl since we don’t have a cable machine here.

4c) SB Rollouts.  This spot is reserved for again more core work if not done in 4b or some great functional farmer carry variations.  Farmer carries can be done for a warmup at beginning of a program or at the end for conditioning/core/grip work.  These rollouts work the anti-extension function of your abs (they are for more than crunching!). 

Day 1 ends up being a full body with every major body motion being challenged in one way or another.  Next week I will write up Day 2 using this same person’s sheet so you can see the flow of a well thought out program.