What are Jungle Gym’s workouts like?
We have four weeks that we cycle through. In order for us to be a results-based program, we modify weeks to cater to different training types. The first two weeks are geared towards strength training and being a badass with weights. One week is focused on Muscle Building, while the other focuses on pure Strength. Both help each other out on their respective weeks.
The next two weeks are conditioning and endurance-based. We have a week called “Yard Work Week”, which is many clients’ favorite. Everyone works with a team, and I give each team “chores” they try to complete in a certain amount of time. Recovery Week is the fourth week and is geared totally towards bodyweight exercises, which takes the compression of additional weight off our spine. This may be the hardest week physically.
Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday workouts are geared toward skill sets. I wake up and ask myself, “What do we need to work on today?” It may be speed, agility, strength, barbell complexing, pull-ups, yoga, etc.
That’s the program, and I’m sticking to it.
Is Jungle Gym anything like CrossFit?
Meh. Yes and no. If you mean, do we do burpees, deadlifts, and the row machine? Then yes.
However, there are many differences. We don’t do any Olympic lifting. We also don’t have a “beat the clock” method. We don’t modify exercises to make you finish them quicker. We rarely ever spend one day focusing on a certain lift.
However, we do have an extreme enthusiasm for fitness. We work in groups. We try our hardest. We sometimes have calluses.
Other than that, I’d say Jungle Gym is pretty original and not comparable to CrossFit.
Should I do anything outside of Jungle Gym’s program?
We have programs within the programs to fit your needs. I recommend Cardio Challenges and Burnout Weeks to fill our calorie-burn needs. For those looking to muscle-build, I write specific body part workouts to excel on during off hours.
The main thing that people need to focus on outside of Jungle Gym is the opposite of lifting more. It’s actually recovering more quickly. Therefore, I am pounding the practice of mobility, foam rolling, stretching, hot/cold therapy, and recovery during off time. Muscles can’t grow unless they are recovered.
Do you provide nutrition?
Most definitely. Any program that involves a cookie-cutter diet plan or no diet plan at all is a bad program to me. Nutrition must fit your build and your activity levels.
Jungle Gym has four nutrition programs called “Transformations” that we select for our clients. Muscle Building, Muscle Maintenance, Weight Loss, and Extreme Weight Loss. Each client is given a menu and a certain amount of macros depending on the Transformation they choose. We do four blasts a year of Transformations for accountability reasons. There is just something so motivating and supportive about doing a diet with 40 other people rather than by yourself.
I always tell people, “Your cooking game has to be stronger than your lifting game.”
What are four things about Jungle Gym that are overlooked?
Ok, I’ve honestly never been asked this question, but I think it’s crazy important.
1.) We are results-based. If you aren’t getting results, we examine what’s going on. Each and every workout we are trying to improve, and Jungle Gym thrives off of improvement.
2.) Community is strength. If drinking Kool-Aid and joining a family atmosphere is wrong, then just call me the Kool-Aid Man. We love each other and working out with the crew is something we all look forward to, especially when Drew and I are having temper-tantrums.
3.) You meet people. We aren’t a dating site, but you literally will make best friends. The amount of time I spend with people inside the gym correlates to outside of the gym too. It’s a great bond we all share, even if we sit around a bonfire one night talking about how awful the Finisher was that day.
4.) We are risk-takers. We promote healthy, quality lifting and we firmly believe that with risks, there are huge rewards. If we ask you to make the lift more intense, it’s because we care about your rewards, not because we want to hurt you. The other factors in the program such as our warm-ups, stretching, showcases, and form demonstrations are what keep us from turning a risk into a disaster. In any program, the less injuries the better, and Jungle Gym has excelled each year in improving that number. A healthy person is a happy person.
What are your certifications?
I may not have the entire alphabet behind my name, but I have held three certifications in fitness before. ACE, NESTA, and ISSA.
I do not have a degree; therefore I cannot get my CSCS, unfortunately.
My best certification though, is 12 years of experience in training. I have been training people for twelve years and have accumulated all of my research, studying, and progress into a program that works the best. I hated college. It just wasn’t for me, but I’ll be damned if I let a degree hold me back from doing what I love.
Currently, I am really focusing on specific certifications like Kettlebells, Speed and Agility, Functional Movements, Supplementation, and Nutrition. These are generally known by the average trainer, but you learn so much more during these certifications it’s ridiculous. You know why? Because the people who teach these certifications have put in 25 years of experience in their fields. They may or may not have degrees, but they are the best at what they do. In March, I will be Kettlebell, Mace, Sandbag, Speed and Agility, Nutrition, Supplementation, and TRX Certified and will be looking to add on a mobility certification once I find the right one.
I can think back to all of the certifications I had in the past years (and spent thousands of dollars on) and I don’t remember one thing. Specialty ones are so much more appropriate for my field because these people care and teach it directly to you instead of making you read a 400-page book on your own.
Can beginners take the class?
Sure can. We have a nine-exercise beginner prerequisite that we put people through. You have to master the squat, lift, push, pull, power generation, crawl, jump, Bruce Lee, and get-up.
I’ll let my rookies know; “If you perform a year’s worth of bad bodyweight squats, then hurt yourself on one heavy squat, you can’t blame that one heavy squat. You have to blame the year’s worth of crappy squatting.”
Our goal is to nip that in the butt before injury occurs. We send you on a two-week beginner course, and then we put you through a one-month “boot camp” phase where we test your limits. After that, we should know your strengths and weaknesses enough to involve you in the rest of the program.
What if I am out of shape?
Simple. Jungle Gym is a program to GET YOU in shape. Therefore, if you’re out of shape, it’s perfect for you.
“I want to get in shape before I take your class.”
That’s not how it works.
I’m too old for the class.
Nonsense, poopy-pants! The age range of Jungle Gym is 18 to 75. Yes, I train a 75-year-old woman. Needless to say, she doesn’t do the heavy lifting and impact exercises like the 20-year-olds do, but she is in there for her benefits. I currently have two clients over 60 and 25 clients over 50. Age should not be an issue to stick your head in the door and give us a try.
I have a bum shoulder.
I will never diagnose you. I would be an awful trainer if I did. However, once diagnosed, I am very aware of ranges of motion to avoid or to strengthen. Shoulders are often injured in all types of fitness, not just Jungle Gym. They are the foundation of the upper body and over-trained. We promote a healthy shoulder program in Jungle Gym. We use mobility exercises to keep shoulders healthy, and if needed, avoid the overtraining lifts like presses, pull-ups, and handstand positions.
It’s not just shoulders either. If your hip bothers you, I’ll send you to my recommended orthopedic guy. He will send you back with a diagnosis, and we will go over your therapy or recovery schedule. It’s simple. However I will never, EVER diagnose your problems.
If a trainer ever tells you what’s wrong with you, run away.
Will Jungle Gym help me with my running program?
Most definitely. Many marathon runners take Jungle Gym. It’s some of the best lung capacity training you will ever get. If people have a running goal like a marathon, we keep them in full participation of the program and add a long distance running day and a short run during the week. The week prior to the event, we back off of training and work on getting their legs accumulated to the actual distance they are taking on.
What is Jungle Gym’s history?
Jungle Gym will be 5 years old on April 1st and it’s at its peak. I remember being told at a conference I attended in Denver that a workout program won’t be at its strongest until it hits 5 years. That being said, Jungle Gym is the strongest, most effective, and injury-free it’s ever been.
Thank you everyone who has stuck with me for 5 years, and for those of you who are about to jump on board . . . get ready for one hell of a ride!
What is your favorite style of training?
Me, personally? I’m a power lifter at heart (squat, dead, and bench). However, when I practiced that the most, I was also left beat up the most. So now I love mobility and stretching, conditioning workouts that make me feel like I’m in a pool of tears, and lifting as heavy as possible.
What supplements do you recommend?
One of the best partnerships I have come across is my collaboration with Core Nutritionals. My representative, Carl, is the most knowledgeable man I’ve ever met when it comes to supplementation.
The great thing about Carl is that he is a pure bodybuilder and understands Jungle Gym’s program. He has set a supplement program with us that covers all of our basic needs. It just so happens that his brand is Core Nutritionals, and they are one of the fastest growing supplement companies on the East Coast. They are scientifically ahead of the game. They use natural ingredients with no artificial sweeteners or colors. They promote healthy living, rather than just being as big as possible.
Currently I am on their Joint Care called Flex, their natural testosterone booster and cortisol depressant, their BCAA, and their meal replacement powders for when I travel. They are incredible.
What is the difference between a Hex Bar Deadlift and a Conventional Deadlift?
A hex bar is a side-loaded deadlift that we use for beginners, elderly, and those who need to work on form. It’s not flawless, but the position you are put in makes for an almost perfect attempt at deadlifting.
Once we translate that form to a barbell, it becomes easier to understand form. That’s why everyone can hex bar dead more than they can barbell dead.
Hex bars teach you the straight line you need to lift the bar upwards and the leg drive that is needed. It’s a no-brainer in anyone’s program.
We also use hex bars to strengthen deadlifts. No matter if you’ve been deadlifting for 10 years or one year, adding a hex bar into your training will help strengthen all the necessary muscles that you may be neglecting on the straight bar.
What is Quicksand?
Keep in mind I have been working in a big gym for a little over 11 years. I’m used to ellipticals, stairclimbers, and recumbent bikes. Not rowers and Air Dynes. Since those came on to the CrossFit scene, they have taken cardio by storm. I completely agree with those facets, but who’s to say an elliptical can’t kick your ass?
It can. And it’s called Quicksand. Maybe one of the hardest cardiovascular machines I’ve stepped foot in. There is an elliptical machine called the Octane that Jungle Gym thrives on. If you bump the resistance up to 15, it feels like your drudging through quicksand. It’ll make a grown man cry.
Do you do Spartan training?
Hell yeah! Have you ever dragged a fire hose? That’s some of the best Spartan training available. Whether you are training for a mud run, to be a firefighter, or just to get dirty all the time, you should check out our junkyard. It’s full of hoses, tires that we name after Disney characters, sleds, and a slope to run up and down.
What is your schedule?
Monday: 5AM, 6AM, 7AM, 9AM, 12PM, 430PM, 530PM, 630PM
Tuesday: 5AM, 6AM, 7AM, 9AM
Wednesday: 5AM, 6AM, 7AM, 9AM, 12PM, 430PM, 530PM, 630PM
Thursday: 5AM, 6AM, 7AM, 530PM-Kettlebells
Friday: 5AM, 6AM, 7AM, 9AM, 12PM, 430PM, 530PM
Saturday: Open Gym – 8AM to 1030AM
How much do you cost?
$120 a month, plain and simple. However, if you sign a 4-month commitment with me, your first three months are only $80.
What is Open Gym?
Open Gym is probably the most undervalued part of Jungle Gym.
I am in the Jungle from 8AM to 1030AM with a workout on the board. You can show up whenever you want and I’ll explain the workout to you, or we can work on something specific that you want to focus on (like speed, strength, or even pull-ups).
This is a big opportunity to go over stretching and diet plans also.
Every other Saturday we have a Showcase. Those Showcases involve deadlifting, mobility, squats, cleans, and self-defense (coming in February).
What kind of coffee do you like just in case I want to bring you one everyday?
Why thank you! I like hot black coffee in the morning, and cold black coffee around 3PM. The bigger the better.
Contact myself at firstname.lastname@example.org or on the Facebook page. I’d love to answer all of your questions and coffee orders.
This is where your body changes,