10 Things I Learned from Jon Chaimberg

10 Things I Learned from Jon Chaimberg

This weekend I was very happy to attend a one day seminar with Jon Chaimberg at his Adrenaline Performance Center in Montreal.

Jon Chaimberg is one of the top strength & conditioning coaches in Canada, if not the world.  He has coached some of the top UFC fighters such as UFC Champion George St. Pierre, Rashad Evans and many others.

On Saturday night we took in UFC 156: George St. Pierre vs. Nick Diaz and had an amazing time.  The fights were awesome, and the bell center was electric.

The next day, we got up early and went to Adrenaline Performance for Jon’s seminar on Power, Strength & Conditioning.

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Rob King & Jon Chaimberg


Before we started the seminar, Jon put us though a metabolic circuit which was insane.  The metabolic circuit workout consisted of 16 exercises.  Each exercise was 22 seconds work, followed by 7 seconds of rest.  Done twice.

A few times during this workout I was thinking I was going to be praying to the porcelain gods.

Then AFTER the insane metabolic circuit, we had to finish with Sled Suicides… Not once…not twice.. but THREE TIMES.

I wanted to DIE.


10 Things I Learned From Jon Chaimberg


1. The difference in Rocks, Pebbles & Sand

Look at your life and your training and realizethe important things.  Jon told the story of having a glass jar, rocks, pebbles, and sand.  If you fill the jar with sand first, it’s hard to fit in the bigger rocks.  So you always start with the rocks first, then the pebbles, and then, finally, the sand.

Always focus first on the important things.  Look to the bigger things in life and training.  In life, the rocks are family, health, happiness.  In training it’s basics like sled work, lifting weights, jumps, and basic training that you know works.

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There are lots of small things that can make things better, but always focus first on your “rocks”.


2. Sled Work is a Rock

Sled work is a backbone of Jon’s training at Adrenaline Performance.  Jon showed us a bunch of training drills with the sled.  I was very happy to know we were doing most if not all of these at Heavyweights Training Center with our programs.


3. You Can’t Manage What You Can’t Measure

Something that we learned from Martin Rooney that Jon Chaimberg is very big on that you have to measure performance to improve it.  Jumping, sprinting, work capacity…everything can be measured and monitored.


4. Lunges Rule

One of the best go-to exercises is lunges and lunge variations.  Forward lunge, reverse lunge, side lunge.  Lunges rule.

If you’re a girl looking for a more appealing lower body, do more lunges.  It will also carry over well to many sports performance wise.


5. Foam Roll, Activate, Power, Strength, Conditioning

Always start your workout with foam rolling.

Then lead into activation.

Once you are ready to train start your workout with your power exercises (most demanding on co-ordination and CNS-your Central Nervous System).

After power, focus on strength.  Do your squats, deadlifts, pull-ups, etc.

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Last comes conditioning.

Don’t do conditioning before your strength & power work.


6. If You Want To Be Fast, Train Fast

No one got fast by training slowly.  If you want to be fast or perform in a sport that involves speed, you have to train fast.


7. No Bodypart Split Training

Push/Pull or Hip Dominant/Knee Dominant or Vertical/Horizontal.

He doesn’t do traditional “chest & biceps” workouts.  He breaks his workouts for his athletes and clients into groups:

-Push day or pull day

-Hip Dominant or knee dominant

-Vertical or Horizontal exercises

It’s ok to add in exercises like Bicep Curls, but they are not “rocks” in your training program.


8.  Risk /Reward on exercises

It’s important to know the risk/reward ratio of all your exercises.  For example, Olympic lifts might be a great exercise but, they’re very complex.  Most people don’t have the ability to do them right.  So if you don’t move well enough to do Olympic lifts, you have a much higher chance of injury with them.

The same can be said for plyometric jumps and depth jump variations.

Always know the risk/reward of the exercises for your training and your clients’ results.


9. Afterburn & EPOC

Burning calories and getting lean steady state cardio is NOT Effecient.  Once you stop your steady state exercise, your calorie expenditure stops.  If you are doing one hour of cardio on a treadmill, once you stop, the calorie burning stops.  There is NO EPOC (Excessive Post Oxygen Consumption).

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The higher the EPOC (after burn), the more calories you burn for hours after the workout.

(Note I have been promoting this for a long time now, which is why I do not recommend steady state cardio very often).


10. Never Stop Learning

Don’t be a DINOSAUR.

He talked about looking back at his old programs and training. He said it’s best to always be learning from smart coaches like Alwyn Cosgrove, Mike Boyle, Gray Cook were a few names he mentioned.

Don’t be a dinosaur.  Keep doing the same training.  Always keep an open mind and learn from the people in the industry.


The seminar was amazing overall, and it was great to learn from one of the best guys in fitness.

Here are some other videos from the seminar:

For more pics and videos from the seminar be sure to check my Facebook Page.

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