workout tips


Diet and Training or is it Training and Diet?

Which one is more important?

Age old question asked and answered by many different fitness and nutrition professionals. So, I figured I would take a crack at it. There are a few different people:

Some tend to want to “just” go go go and not focus on diet or use food as a reward for all the hard work they’ve put in. Sometimes they feel that working out gives them a license to eat whatever they want. However, chances are you won’t find them on the cover of a fitness magazine anytime soon. As the great Strength Coach Mike Boyle says “You can’t out train a bad diet”.  

Some “diet” yet don’t want to “sweat” or lift any weights or only see exercise needed for athletes. These people will probably lose muscle mass (and trust me you want to keep and make as much of it as you humanely can!) by not taxing the muscles to at least stay strong and big. As we all know, “Muscle burns more than fat!”

Coach Joey has a pecking order for overall health. It is as follows:

1)     Strength Train 2-4 times a week. This will tell your body that you “need” the muscle you already have and encourage some new muscle hypertrophy (growth) to be able to keep moving the way you want and stay active for years to come

2)     Keep your protein high for 2 main reasons…. Higher protein will help you keep muscle and aid muscle hypertrophy. It also serves as a satiety trigger which is super important because if you don’t feel full or satisfied you WILL overeat and probably gain lots of fat. Having trouble getting in the right amount of protein? Consider an Amino drink or chewable pills. It provides you with all the amino acids. You can find my favorite, and the best cleanest ones are here: Amino Pills + Amino Powder

3)     Get your phytos in! Vitamins and Minerals from food first then supplement when needed. Fruits, veggies make up your phyto nutrients. For now don’t worry about how much (although 5 servings of fruit at a time might be a little too much for most). Veggies as much as possible as long as each vegetable isn’t covered in cheese sauce (toppings add lots of unnecessary calories). This will help ensure your body functions properly and overall health is optimized. Not getting all your phytos in? Consider an organic greens powder to drink to fill in gaps.

4)     Make sure you move each and every day (and no getting in and out of the car doesn’t count as movement haha). Should be Yoga, walking, light stretching, basketball game or similar, cardio strength circuit, etc) This will not only burn a few extra calories but will also keep you mobile and encourage your body to keep joints mobile and strong.

5)     Calories NEED to match your activity level and your level of fitness. It also has to match your body composition currently. Example a super muscular person probably needs more calories than the person with the same height and weight that thinks playing video games is a strenuous form of activity.

To answer the question, like most things in life is a good balance of exercise and “diet”. Just don’t be all one sided if you want a balanced healthy body.


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!


Don't Got Glutes? Glute Camp Will Help!

Struggling to get a set of glutes or wish to naturally “enhance” what you have already? Enter
Jtab’s Glute Camp! 3 Days a week on top of your normal workouts will get your glutes to
where you want them! Best part of it is they can all can be done at home with just a few simple
pieces of equipment!

After purchasing this program everything will be laid out for you and includes:

  • Complete weekly workouts included a different one for each day of the week,
  • An online tracking sheet to keep track of your progress and what day you're on,
  • Videos showing proper form so you can maximize your workouts, 
  • And a private FB group with Joey answering any questions glute related.

3 extra days a week of dedicated glutes will really help focus on developing the glutes to not only look great but perform more optimally. This will make your squats, deadlifts and lunges better and you they will look better in jeans, bathing suites, dresses, khakis, yoga pants, and sweatpants even! Done right, training your glutes more often will ALSO ease or prevent back pain, knee pain and keep your hips more healthy. It is a WIN/WIN situation. Look better, perform better and feel better! Let’s do this glute thing!

The cost of the program is $25 per month. There is no long term commitment and each month a new workout will be created! Those that are local can save their spot by bringing payment direct to Joey at the gym. To register via PayPal Click Here!


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!


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.   


Mini Band Upper Body Workout pt. 2 of 2

The mini band is back and welcome to pt. 2, upper body. Today we're using the mini band to work not only your arms, but your core and midsection as well. 

All 3 of these exercises can be done at home, without the use of extra weights, while still getting an excellent strength workout. These exercises will help you strengthen your shoulders,back and arms, tighten your core and burn calories. Combine these with the lower body workout in pt. 1 and you'll have a great, full body workout.




At Home Strength and Fat Burning Exercises

Today we're all about bringing it back to the basics. We're talking squats and pushups. You may be thinking to yourself, "I already know how to do those, why are you bringing them up?" Because they work! There's a reason they've been and stayed popular for so long and that is because they are easy, effective and almost everyone has the ability to do them without any extra equipment. 

If you're looking for something to start getting you back in summer shape, that's what we're bringing to you today. We're breaking down these 2 basic exercises and showing you how you can increase their difficulty as well as turn them into fat burning workouts.


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!


Jtab’s Best Exercises for Volleyball Players

Last week we went over why volleyball players should not only be lifting, but be lifting some heavy weights (progressively).  Today we want to cover some of the more beneficial lifts to increase your vertical (‘cause what volleyball player doesn’t want to jump higher?) and get a stronger swing.  I am going to give you my top 5 weight exercises for volleyball.  

1. Trap Bar Deadlifts- probably the best overall bang for your buck this lift is perfect increasing your vertical.  It teaches you that great starting position to “create” your blocking vertical.  It also decreases lower back strain by utilizing the higher handles and neutral handle position.  This is your main lift for strength, so it makes sense to do these with heavy weights for low reps most of the time. Once in awhile pepper (see what I did there?) in some lighter weight for high reps to get that crazy hamstring/glute pump!  


2. Bulgarian or Rear Foot Elevated Split Squats - This is the best quad builder for increasing your vertical, plus it’s really safe for those that want to avoid spinal loading (by not having a bar on your shoulders).  It also incorporates a single leg training which will help strengthen each leg individually, leading to less imbalance.  We know as volleyball players your dominant leg (the one opposite your hitting arm) gets taxed more from the approach take-off.  Strengthening your legs individually will lessen your chance of injuries that occur from a one-sided dominant sport.  Since this is your main “quad” exercise it should be done with medium weight for lower reps.  On occasion you can switch it up and do high rep sets to really burn those quads and glutes!  


3. One arm Push Press- Keeping with the single side work from #2, this is an upper body focused single arm overhead press.  Again, most volleyball players are one side dominant, leading to imbalances and injuries.  Work each arm individually so you can’t cheat with your dominant arm (like you may do using a barbell).  These can be done with high/medium weight and low/medium reps.  


4. Face Pulls- Volleyball players are front side dominant and need to build lots of strength posteriorly to stay balanced.  Face pulls are one of the best for strengthening the back of the shoulders and upper back.  These can be done using a pulley/cable machine, TRX suspension straps, or with bands.  High reps work great for this exercise.  Done religiously they will keep those shoulders healthy for years of great swinging!  


5. One Arm DB Rows- The old/new adage of strength coaches is “more pulling than pushing” so we are including another “pull”, the One Arm Row.  This is one of the most classic exercises and is also great for volleyball players to strengthen that posterior.  Coupled with face pulls you hit all the angles needed for strengthening the back of your shoulders.  These can be done for heavy/low reps or light/high reps but make sure only one of pulling exercise is used for heavy/low reps to build a good base of strength.  When wanting to switch it it up, it's best to use these for heavy/low reps and face pulls after for light/high reps.  



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!


New Year Fat Loss Workout

Welcome back and Happy New Year! Right now we know everybody is focused on getting back in shape after the holiday season. If you did overindulge a little don't worry! Today we've got an at home, full body, fat burning workout designed to help you get your metabolism going. These moves can be done at home, without any weights, so no excuses! Get up and get moving, to start rocking your body in 2017.

Do this entire circut 3 times with 10 reps for each move.


Move of the Week: Plank Variations

Anyone that has ever exercised, or knows anyone that exercises, knows that planks are one of the best all over body workouts. They rock your core, arms and legs in one fell swoop. However, holding a plank for 60 seconds or more can get really boring, and instead of feeling like a good all over workout, they can start to feel like a chore.

Today we've got the cure for plank ADD. The multiple variations in this video will help you maximize your plank workout while combating the boredom that comes with holding a plank for a long time. So, get out there and get planking.


Move of the Week: Thanksgiving Day Stretches

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and while we are all excited for that delicious dinner, we all know how we're going to feel afterwards. Our stomachs are full, and our backs and hips ache from sitting in chairs all day. Today, our Move of the Week features a series of stretches that you can do right in your chair (or on the couch before your tryptophan coma) that will help open up your hips, stretch out your back and get your glutes firing. So, enjoy your Thanksgiving dinner, but get at least a little movement in your day to help prevent those post dinner pains.


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.


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.         


Move of the Week: Renegade Rows into Shoulder Press

Today's move is a killer... a total body killer that is. These 2 exercises are a great combination that can be done at home with some light dumbbells. By combining the two exercises you're going to get a great shoulder, back, core AND glute exercise to leave your entire body feeling tight and toned.

The first is a Renegade Row that is perfect for your core and upper back. Remember to keep your abs tight and your back flat as you pull the weights up and back. Squeeze your shoulder blades together as you pull the weight back to really work your upper back.

The second workout is a Kneeling Press. Keep your glutes and core engaged as you push the weights up over your head to really work the top of your shoulders. If you're feeling strain you can put your hands in a more neutral grip to take pressure off your shoulders.