weight lifting


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.


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)!


What Kind of Exercise REALLY Changes the Body?

Sometimes you have to do things that are not in your wheelhouse to get the results you want. With summer right around the corner, results are something all of us are focused on. Well, maybe not all of us.  Don’t care about body composition results and looking good for the Summer?  Then stop reading now and carry on......                          

OK, if you’re still reading you want to change. The time has passed where you say you're going to do it and nothing happens. You REALLY WANT TO THIS TIME.  Well, you are at the right place.  Today I'm breaking down the best approach to get this done. Take note, this is not the list of what you “like” to do, but what actually works - there is probably a BIG difference.  This list would normally start off with the first 3 things being NUTRITION, NUTRITION, NUTRITION. You can't change your body without changing your nutrition. However, today we are going to bypass that, as we dove deeper into that last week. So take a few minutes and check out that blog. Go ahead, I'll wait....

OK, you're back! So, after a solid lower calorie/higher nutrient diet, the list looks like this:

  1. Heavy resistance training.  High weight for lower reps (in the 1-5 range).  I can not express this ENOUGH.  When you cut calories to lose fat, your body will start losing muscle mass.  That is a critical error in most people’s approach to fat loss.  As we age, we are already losing muscle at an alarming rate, UNLESS you train to keep muscle.  My friend Tony Gentilcore says “what makes muscle, keeps muscle”.  He means that lifting to always try to “gain” muscle, especially while on a reduced calorie diet,  will help you keep the muscle you have and possibly even gain some new muscle.  That is a good thing for body composition (remember, this list is not what you “think” you should be doing, but what you SHOULD be doing for proper recomposition.)  Heavy resistance training also encourages bones to strengthen and possibly even add some bone mass over time.  
  2. Hypertrophy training.  Lower weight for higher reps (in the 5-12 range).  OK, now that you got a heavy lift in to encourage bone health and muscle strength, now is the time to tap into that strength and use it for slightly higher reps and higher sets.  This will do two-fold. A) It will add some nice mass to the muscles that you just worked. This will, in turn, make you look leaner and thinner, yet have some muscle on your frame. B) Burn those calories by doing the reps in a circuit fashion.  Done correctly (Jtab training will show you how to) this leads to enough cardio conditioning while still building or keeping muscle that you will see fat loss changes even after only a few sessions.  
  3. Sprint/ropes/sled/bike sprint work.  This could be timed work or rep work (do six 5-10 second sprints, etc).  1 or 2 days a week should be plenty, unless your nutrition is AWFUL (which it should be if you did the nutrition work we mentioned at the top of this blog first).  Rope work usually is timed for 10-40 seconds of work with a minute break and repeat.  Usually 5-30 minutes is all you need for this “all out” work. Or do what you can handle before you get sloppy and start working less intensely.  
  4. General movement “work”.  Yes, just be more “active”.  Go walk around stores, light hikes, park further away from the entrance of stores/grocery stores, clean house, walk around the neighborhood.  Do light activities that you ENJOY!  As long as the other 3 (again the amount of time you should devote to each is dependent on diet and nutrition) are done intensely, you can just do what you enjoy doing. 

There you go, and easy recipe to follow that may hard to execute week in, week out.  Maybe people find that having accountability helps them keep to this schedule so they don't fall off the wagon and start seeing results before the warm weather hits. If this sounds like, reach out to Jtab Training today to set up your first appointment and see how we can help you change your body correctly!


Move of the Week: Squat to Push Press

At Jtab Training we're all about moves that work multiple areas of the body at once. This all-in-one powerhouse will help get your heart pumping, blood flowing and fat burning. In addition to building all over muscle, by working some of the largest muscles in your body, it becomes a great cardio workout as well. So grab some light, to medium, dumbbells and get going!

Move of the Week: Leg Circuit

It's so beautiful out today that we decided to get outside and enjoy the sunshine! Since the weather is FINALLY warming up, today's move actually consists of 3 different exercises put together into a circuit. (Hey, short season will be here quicker than you think, so you'll be thanking me later). In this "Move of the Week" we're combining squats, lunges and jumping to get your heart racing, fat melting and your butt high and tight!

Tips to Keep In Mind:

  • Keep your knees pointed out
  • Keep your abs and core tight and engaged
  • Keep your chest tall
  • Stay back on your heels
  • When jumping, land softly
  • If jumping is too hard on your knees you can sub out for mini step-up (on a box or ledge) or more lunges
  • Attempt 8-10 of each exercise per circuit


Move Monday: Rotational Core Exercise

It's all about the abs again for this move monday. However, today we're bringing you an ab exercise that not only works your core, but your glutes, hips and shoulder. Have we mentioned we love multi-tasking here?

Tips to Keep in Mind:

- You can use anything in your house that weight about 5-10 pounds for this exercise
- Rotate from your hips to focus on your glutes
- Keep your core tight and engaged throughout the entire movement
- Attempt 3 sets of 10 reps per side


Move Monday: Stir the Pot

It's beautiful here in Rhode Island today and the nice weather has us thinking about spring and summer. So what do we need to do to get ready? Abs of course. This move utilizes a ball that you may already have in your house or can easily find in all gyms. 

This multi-tasking move works your entire core (not just the front) as well as helps you with the stability and strength of your shoulder.

Tips to Keep in Mind

  • Keep your hips up
  • Keep your core tight and engaged 
  • Move your legs wide if a beginning or closer together if you want more of a challenge
  • Move in small motions to ensure balance before trying to go larger
  • Go in both clockwise and counterclockwise direction
  • Try to perform 3 sets of 10 in each direction


Move Monday: Yoga Plex

Many of us on the East Coast got pummeled with snow this weekend. After shoveling out for 2 days, many of you are probably nursing sore a tight muscles this Monday morning. Because of that, today we're not focusing on a muscle building move, but on more of a stretch. This Yoga Plex stretch is great for releasing tight muscles in your hip flexors and your upper back. 

There you have it! Hopefully this has helped ease some of your discomfort today. See you back next week for another Move Monday by J-Tab Training.


Move Monday: Goblet Squat

It's MLK Day and at J-Tab Training we don't take a day off! The gym is rocking today and we're back with a brand new move for you. Goblet Squats are an awesome way to work your glutes and tighten and tone your legs all while using your abs to brace yourself. By holding a weight in front of you it forces your abs tight throughout the entire exercise. You can use a dumbbell, kettlebell or anything you have at home that can add some weight. If you need a little more of a gauge of how to far squat, put a low box behind you.

Things To Remember:

- Keep your abs tight and locked to work them, as well as protect your lower back
- Keep you spine straight and shoulders down and back
- Knees follow your toes and point slightly out
- Squeeze your glutes at the top. 


Move Monday: Half Kneel One Arm Pull Down

The Half Kneel One Arm Pull Down is one of those multi dimensional moves that is designed not only to work your body but to assist you throughout the rest of your workout. By working your lats and back, this pull down is the perfect way to strengthen if you struggle with doing the more traditional pull up. On top of that, this move is designed to assist you in other workouts, like deadlifts, so you can continue to increase your lifts safely and effectively.

Check out the video below to see how to perform this move as well my tips and tricks to get the most out of this workout:

Things to remember about your form:

- On the kneeling leg, keep your glutes tight and engaged
- Use your opposite hand to hold down your rib cage
- Make sure your elbow move straight down your side
- Feel your lats squeezing (think about crushing someone's fingers in your armpits)

Check back next Monday for another exercise to add to your workout routine. Now get out there and get stronger! 


Old vs New

What a difference a year makes!

As JTab Training celebrated one year at our new location in East Greenwich, I have to look back at how far we’ve come and how much we’ve grown over the past year. Moving from a cramped 450 square feet to over 1,600 has completely transformed how our clients work out. For those who were with JTab at the old gym, you may remember strict work out schedules, less equipment and a much more crowded space. Now, at our new location we are able to fit over 10 clients at a time (with room to still move around), more equipment, and multiple trainers. Because of this, we can be much more flexible with the time people can show up to work out, as well as offer multiple options for trainers (although lets be honest, we all know who the best is….)



Another big change is that our clients all receive personalized sheets with a workout each visit. These sheets break down the days workout, as well as reminds everyone what they should be doing, how many reps they need to do and how much weight to add. This allows more people through while still getting my personalized attention. Some people like more direction during their workout, while others prefer just an intermittent check-in. With the sheets and the new space, I am able to effectively split my time between helping those that need it more and those who dont need as much attention.

With more people in the gym at one time, the open layout still allows me to see everyone working out at once. Even with multiple people working out at once, I can watch everyones form, help set up exercises and make sure everyone is working out safely and effectively.

While I will always be grateful for the business’ roots and where it started, I must say (and I hope my client’s agree!) that our new location has allowed for some awesome changes. While we may be here for the next few years, keep an eye out for even more changes in the future. Like our clients strength training, we are a work in progress, and will continue to grow bigger and stronger.

Things I've Been Digging, Part 2 - Kneeling Dumbbell 1 Arm Renegade Rows

To quote a famous strength coach, "The cool thing about stealing is that most of the good coaches encourage it."  With that in mind, I was browsing through Men's Health Thrive video series and an exercise "tweak" caught my eye.  When I watched the video I really started digging it and began using it for many different client progressions.  

What it is? 1 Arm DB Row on all 4's (quadruped).

Why I like it?  It "corrects" many clients' rows and also teaches good contralateral "bracing".  Also can be used for hypertrophy or high rep due to it's safeness.

And now for a video, from yours truly, on how to properly perform one of my new favorites.