Episode #16: 30 Years of Knowledge: An Interview with Jon Hinds, Founder of the Monkey Bar Gym

Episode #16: 30 Years of Knowledge: An Interview with Jon Hinds, Founder of the Monkey Bar Gym

November 30, 2014

Episode #16: 30 Years of Knowledge: An Interview with Jon Hinds, Founder of the Monkey Bar Gym

November 30, 2014

Jon Grew up in an active family and was obsessed with performance and athletics.

His curiosity led him to developing some of the most effective systems for creating fast, strong explosive athletes.

These systems landed him a job with the LA Clippers and eventually led him to opening the Monkey Bar Gymnasiums.

*He’s also got some killer stories about training with Erik Paulson and Rickson Gracie…listen up!


Jon HindsIn this discussion, we talk about:

  • Jon’s story as an athlete and trainer
  • Landing a job with the LA Clippers
  • Training with Erik Paulson and Rickson Gracie
  • Winning Pan Am Tournament for BJJ
  • His systems for developing explosive, strong and healthy athletes
  • Jon’s secret for healing the body
  • The four pillars of Jon’s program
  • Aging as an athlete
  • and more…

Jon’s system for developing the body and mind has influenced athletes and trainers around the globe.  If you are interested in learning more, visit Jon’s blog or


Full Transcription of Our Podcast with Jon Hinds, from Monkey Bar Gym


COREY:         Hey guys, this is Corey Beasley from Fight Camp Conditioning and I’m on the phone here with Johnny Hinds. Johnny, how’re you doing?

JON:               I’m good. How are you doing Corey?

COREY:         Good, man. Thanks so much for taking the time to talk with us. I know you’re a busy man out there in Wisconsin.

JON:               Yeah, no problem. It’s my pleasure.

COREY:         Jon, just for everybody that’s listening, give everybody kind of a two cents on who you are and what you do and then we’ll kind of get back into some background stuff here in a second.

JON:               Sure. I’m Jon Hinds. I’m owner of a gym called the Monkey Bar Gymnasium, opened it about over 14 years ago; and first, no machines, no mirrors, no shoes gym in the country. And I’ve always been about training people as natural as possible, as close to how animals trained my entire life and doing things as instinctively as possible. And in doing so, I have gotten incredible results performance wise, health wise and just spiritually as well as far as connecting to what is natural and instinctive. And that’s what my belief is, is that we need to get back to the basics of movement and balance and nutrition to make people on planet healthier.


COREY:         Yeah absolutely. And Jon, how long have you been — I guess we could probably start with kind of how you got started in strength and conditioning. You’ve been doing it for how long?

JON:               I’ve been strength and conditioning coach for about 34 years. I started actually when I was 16 years old, I’m 51 now. Guys, anybody that’s listening probably have seen stuff my dad invented like the beaded jump rope in 1973; he invented using Resistance tubing for working out in 1976. So with that, a lot of professional athletes, Olympic athletes, they either use his jump rope or they use his resistance cable in many different ways to enhance their sports performance. I’ve always been obsessed with sports, basketball, jumping, sprinting, and dunking and stuff. And so whenever I could watch a pro athlete using my dad stuff to enhance their performance, I was on it. And that really intrigued me when I was little boy, how do people jump higher and run faster?

And so by the time I was 16, I had been around a bunch of pro and Olympic level athletes, enough so that I could actually help the University of Wisconsin’s women’s basketball team and their sport specific training. And they had me come in. It’s so funny. As a 16 year old, I was coaching them on how to run faster and jump higher. And thinking back when I was 16, I was little I was like 110, 120 pounds. But I knew my — it’s funny when I think that, because I was so little but I knew my movement and I knew how to resist movement just enough so that it would increase your performance. And it worked way back then and the same thing still works now.


So because of that, when I was 16, I started getting excited about training other people and myself to perform at really high levels. And somebody told me there was such a thing as personal training then. So right after that I started training people. I think I was getting paid like $10 or $12 an hour to train people when I first started. I did that and I moved out to LA after college and I got fortunate I got in front of some NBA players and I did really well with them and became the strength coach for the LA Clippers. And one thing led to another and I literally would have a lineup of either six to seven Major League Baseball All Stars at one time of the year or about six to seven NBA All Stars or a bunch of NFL All Pros and stuff.

So I trained a lot of athletes when I was out in LA. I was out there for about 10 years and then I started to develop stuff like the power wheel and other training tools that I used and I started to invent a lot to help the training. And that’s when I moved back here to Madison to develop them with my dad’s lifeline USA business. And soon after that, I started getting the urge to train again and that’s why I opened up my Monkey Bar Gymnasium.

Yeah, and that’s how basically the training aspect came about. But a big part of the training has always been I don’t like using machines and isolated anything and I always looked at nature for movement skill. But at one point, I took my vertical from about 25 to 47 inches, and I could hit my head on the rim. But in doing so I blew my left knee and I didn’t know how to heal it. My back got really bad and got there about the same time that I moved back to Madison, because I was sort of sick of the whole facade of the fitness industry being about appearance and a six pack and looking good, but not performing good and I thought it was all bull.


And so the way that I trained, I felt was truly functional. But yet here I was, I couldn’t fix my own back pain and neither could doctors in LA and I was really jacked up. And soon after I got injured, I started Brazilian jiu-jitsu because I couldn’t run or jump anymore. And that’s one of the things that when I moved back to Madison I continued with and that was a big part of me opening the first Monkey Bar Gym.

But having messed my back and knee up really bad, I learned from this one guy here how to heal the body with what he called ice and yoga. And it hands down is the best way to rebound the body and strengthen those areas of the body that are weak that in my whole life I’ve ever been around. I’ve seen everything, I’ve tried everything, and ice and yoga blew my mind. Within two minutes I knew this was completely different than anything I had ever seen. And for an athlete, for a jiu-jitsu guy, both worlds people get injured a lot, jujitsu; the neck and back and the knee pains all the time. And I’ve been able to keep myself pain free since I’ve started jujitsu because of learning how to do ice and yoga and rebalance the body.

So a lot of things over my time as a trainer and strength coach, it’s funny how certain things come into your life and how they make such a huge impact; like an injury is a blessing now that I look back at it because it taught me how to heal the body through the yoga that I do. And that’s the same thing that happened I got arthritis before I turned 40, I was 38 years old and I got arthritis in my hands and a change in my diet, going from traditional bodybuilder type diet to plant based and I went to 100% plant based, got rid of the arthritis in less than a month and I never had any hand pain since.


COREY:         Wow, it’s amazing.

JON:               So simple things like — one thing I’ve been fortunate I’ve had these bad things happen because I looked into them and learnt how the body can naturally heal itself, and how nature can, I fixed them both fast and they’ve never come back, which is impressive.

COREY:         Yeah absolutely. Well, because I mean, how many guys get injured and then spend the next 10 years of their life just thinking they have to live with it.

JON:               Exactly. And like my back pain, I thought I’m going to be one of those guys with a bad back the rest of my life; like low 30s or 20 something years old is when I blew my knee out. And I literally thought okay, I’m in my 30s now and my back’s done; just like you just said. And it’s not about the case, all these guys in the NBA, Larry Bird, all those guys, that is completely preventable; 110%, but very few people know how to do it.

COREY:         Yeah absolutely. So Jon, I just want to clarify for everybody that’s listening that you went from a vertical of what?

JON:               25 inches to 47.

COREY:         To 47 inch vertical.

JON:               Yes.

COREY:         That’s insane.

JON:               Yeah, it is.

COREY:         And you’re a white boy from Wisconsin.

JON:               Yeah, six, one and a half and I get hit my head on the rim. And I could do almost any dunk you could think of.


COREY:         It’s amazing. So Jon, with your training, the foundation, you’re talking a lot about natural movements, you’re talking about moving and using no machines and all this type of stuff. Can you give people some examples of what are some of the foundational things that when somebody comes and visits you and they want to get started with your program, how are you getting them started?

JON:               Well, the first thing that I look at is the alignment; static and then through movement; baseline things; walking, being in push up position, squatting, bending over. All of those things are baseline and if they don’t do those right, then they got to get realigned to do them right or more efficient. Depends on obviously when the athlete or when the person needs to be performing. Like an athlete has deadlines or football season, off-season training conditioning starts on a certain day; doesn’t make a difference if they [inaudible] alignment, they got to start at some point. So there’s only so much that you can do with [inaudible] and you got to get doing some speed based stuff and power based stuff.

So it’s dependent on the person but generally I always look at the alignment first and then off of what their goals and what I see that they really need. Then we lay out some goals for them and I always do this with all my athletes. Number one is, I got to balance the body as best as possible; number two thing is to strive for most athletes to increase their speed and power and depends on the sport like BJJ guys or MMA guys, they got to have good strength and power endurance.

So I do a lot of pre-test to see where they’re at and then I lay out a plan of action of where I expect them to be in a certain amount of time and then I work backwards and I lay out a map, a massive action plan to achieve their goals and I’m pretty good about that. I’ve been doing it so long that I can do it in my sleep about laying out plans that are rep, pro-rep for the entire 12 weeks. I mean in offseason for example where they will be at for vertical jump, speed, power strength, everything. So that’s what I do.


COREY:         Right on. I mean Monkey Bar Gyms are from what I’ve seen pretty much just big open spaces and the equipment that you guys use is — like what are some staples that you guys are using quite a bit.

JON:               Well, the body weight is number one, we always have bar systems up or traveling rings. Then we use almost all my inventions, we use power jumper, C-Bands, power pushup, power wheel we use like crazy, jump ropes, we use kettlebells and D-balls a lot, medicine balls, then we use another invention of mine called the BXT which helps people in doing pushups and handstand pushups, and all types of rotational type movements as well. And then we use the floor just to — all types of padded areas to learn how to do dive rolls, forward/backwards rolls, cartwheels, walking on our hand, rope climbs and things like that. We use everything and anything that is a good tool that helps people move better.

COREY:         Right on. And just interacting with the environment around them, right? I mean, from stability staff to crawling to pulling to climbing to doing all these different natural things that people would typically do outdoors, right?

JON:               Yeah, that’s been my thing since day one. I’ve always focused on running, jumping, crawling and climbing. Improve all those four and you will be a better predator or prey.


COREY:         But yeah, you’re talking about the things to be focusing on for improving and you’re talking about running, jumping.

JON:              Crawling, climbing.

COREY:         Crawling and climbing. So pretty basic stuff but I mean, for the average Joe, I’ve seen some of the videos and some of the challenges that you guys are doing in your gyms. And guys this isn’t just running, jumping, crawling and climbing and making it easy stuff. I mean, it’s some gnarly workouts that are tough to get through and challenge you mentally and physically.

JON:               Yeah, exactly. Well, the thing is, they’re all made so that anybody can do any of the workouts. My mom can do the workouts that I do. It’s just that we have three levels of training: Stability level, which is older people, overweight people, people that are injured, or people that have been maybe training hard, they’re just, man I want to chill out, I want to go easy. That’s what they would do. Strength level is people that want to challenge themselves to have a moderate degree of experience and knowledge of the movements. Power level is athletes, people who want to really go beast mode on the workouts.

So within the same workout, all three of those levels can challenge themselves accordingly so that they’re safe and smart, and yet they get good results. And we would have done that since day one. I’ve always done that with everybody.


COREY:         Now as an example, when you talk about stability, strength and power, can you give everybody example of one movement pattern or exercise and give them a stability, a strength and a power version of that exercise?

JON:               Sure. Handstand walking; we do this a lot at the Monkey Bar Gym. First, my mom because I always think is stability level, and I think okay, my mom, she’s 84 years old. She can get in a push up position and walk laterally. That’s a lateral to me — for her, handstand walk.

And then I got Joe Smith, is a strength level guy. So he’s going to put his toes on the wall and handstand laterally, a speed he’s going to walk them up the wall and then handstand walk laterally. And at each of those levels when one of the students can walk 30 yards, so 15 yards out and 15 yards back on a wall or on the floor, they should move up to the next level of training.

So when Joe Smith can do 30 yards on one side easy, then he goes to either kicking up to the wall, where his heels are against the wall, and he tries to strive to get to 30 yards in a set or once a guy can do that, then they do the free handstand walk. And you go for 30 yards and more in a set and those are our goals and then you can always add a weight to that to make that harder. We add speed to make the power level harder. We add obstacles to make it harder. There’s a whole bunch of things that you can do for power level that enhance it. And speed is the number one thing.

So once you can do that level, free handstand walking, then how fast can you handstand walk 30 yards. And you’re always trying to cut the time down and that makes you really good at handstand walking when you start this speed version. But that’s a good example of stability, strength and power of the exact same exercise.


So one of our favorite workouts is the hundred yard workout. So Corey, if you and I were to do that together, I’m guessing your power level but just for simplicity sake, I’ll say I’m strength level and you’ll be power level. So I would go toes to the wall and I would try to walk as far as I can each set and try to get to my hundred yards, a handstand walk in less than four sets. So that means I’d have to do about 25 to 30 yards each set. And I’ll alternate that and you’re going to do heels to the wall, free hands and you’re going to do the same thing. But then we’re going to do either a rope climb or a Pole Course and you’re going to try and do the same thing, try and get 25 to 30 yards of climbing. And then we alternate back and forth between those until we’re done with the hundred yards of each exercise. And that is a killer workout.

COREY:         Yeah, it sounds pretty awesome.

JON:               It is awesome. It’s fun, it’s hell, walking on your hands, climbing ropes or poles and stuff like that, totally feels like natural.


COREY:         Yeah absolutely. I’ve always struggled a little bit between the scientific world that seems to be — where they need case studies. They need studies to show them exact results. And I think a lot of that tends to bend towards the traditional lifts of squats and dead lifts and bench press and measurable feats of strength, I guess one way to say it, versus we’ve all rolled or wrestled or fought around some guys that didn’t look like much at all. And you just get manhandled by somebody. And it’s like, dude didn’t look like anything, you take them to the weight room, and they’re worthless in the weight room measuring stuff but man, they put your hands on you or try to do certain things and they just bull through people.

JON:               Yeah like a farm boy.

COREY:         Like that farm boy strength, exactly. There are some guys that — as an iron worker, I remember I rolled with a guy that was an iron worker in Chicago and damn, it sucked. Because his grip and just his strength was through the roof but he couldn’t lift weights for anything. So I mean, when you’re doing that type of stuff and you’re trying to explain some of the things that you’re doing, a lot of the unconventional world I guess is a one way to say it, or the natural movement patterns or calisthenics or yoga or different things like that that are building people up. How do you kind of explain that? I mean if you work with the Clippers and the strength and these NBA guys and NFL guys, that world is committed to traditional weightlifting, right?


JON:               No, not necessarily. Most of the guys don’t train I would guess so. But there are guys nowadays like Blake Griffin and other guys like that that obviously workout. But most of those guys are genetic freaks that work out at all, they’re going to look like beast. So what a lot of those players do is, they’re such freaks in [inaudible] as it is, they do very minimal training honestly. I rarely saw a guy who is like, I want to go mental, I want to crush it? Those are the guys that are generally on the bubble.

So it’s an interesting thing if you talk about scientifically, we should do always going heavier, do cleans, do dead, and do jerks and stuff like that, we should always do just that. And then you have an opportunity for maybe greater injury or not a lot of complaints because like, for example, basketball players are horrible because their lever arms are so long, they’re horrible to do Olympic lifting, as an example.

COREY:         Right.

JON:               So hardly those guys do that type of dynamic lifting. Kettlebells are nice for them, but it’s a tool. So what I always do and like I said earlier, the tools are nice, whatever the tool is. The thing is, if your baseline movement doesn’t right, I don’t care what tool you’re using, you’re not going to improve performance if you’re doing it with poor form.

COREY:         Right.


JON:               Remember Bruce Lee used to talk a lot — well, you’re probably a little younger. I know you’ve read those since you’re in martial arts, but he always talked about refining your movement skills, refining your punch, just getting like an infrared laser focus on it. My main objective is and why I could jump so high, when traditionally I shouldn’t be able to jump as high as I did you would think, is because I learned how to jump perfect. I learned how to run perfect. I asked people all the time, I always sought out who is the best at this, who is the best at this. And I’d watch their technique. I’d watch animals running and see how fluid they move. I’d watch the fastest sprinters in the world at that time. And I’d see who is the best in the world and then I’d ask them, how did you get faster? And it was the same thing.


So what I did was I thought, well if it’s true for jump training, because what I did is I perfected my form. And once I did that, then I tied my dad’s tubing to my hips, and I continued jumping and then I figured it out how I tie that tubing really heavy and then I go a little lighter, and then I go to no tubing, I felt like I was getting shot out of a cannon. Then I applied it in all these different angles, but the common thread was I never let my forearm be dictated by the resistance. I would only use a little bit of resistance so that my form was the exact same.

So I got such amazing results on my vertical jump and my broad jump and my speed. Then I thought, well, if I’m getting these results and obviously pro athletes would get these results and then if it works this simplistically, because I only did about 45 jumps a week, which flies and a lot of guys are like: What? You only did 45 jumps a week total? I was like: Yeah, that’s it. That blows people’s mind. And I’ve never ever seen another strength coach match my numbers for vertical jump improving in the summer year after year. I mean, I average eight to nine inches with all my athletes, ever since I’ve been strength coach over a 10 to 12 weeks sessions.

It works because you refine it and then you slightly resist it. And if you apply the same rule to running, it works, your speed massively improves. If you apply the same rule to everything else, it works. And yes, with certain movements, like a deadlift is a good example, the movement is very pure and you can go extremely heavy on it and not change the movement. It can be the exact same. So that’s cool and you can go super heavy on it. And all cleans and stuff like that, that’s all good stuff. But if you’re talking about a really specific movement, then you don’t want to mess with the technique. And I’m talking pure sports specific, like jumping, like running, like throwing something. All of those movements, if you do that right, you develop massive power in the body and for athletes, almost all athletes want power.


COREY:         Yeah absolutely.

JON:               That equation has worked so well for me. It’s a joke.

COREY:         Now Jon, you’ve been rolling jiu-jitsu for how long?

JON:               20 years.

COREY:         20 years. And when we were talking about here, did you start when you were in LA?

JON:               Yeah, I first started — I didn’t know about jiu-jitsu till ’93, I had been training at Inosanto’s Academywith Erik Paulson. I met Eric in 1990 and he was showing me what Shoot fighting was. He was also teaching me kickboxing, Muay Thai. And he became really one of my best friends and he taught me a lot, actually I took privates from him. I would take three privates a week for 50 bucks a month, which is ridiculous. And in his garage, and he started teaching me grappling and stand up and self defense and everything. He’s one of the best guys I’ve ever met in my life. Erik is just an awesome dude. He’s such an amazing Ambassador of martial arts it’s a [incomprehensible] walking dictionary on martial arts.


COREY:         Yeah absolutely. He has trained everybody from — these days, he’s working with Josh Barnett and a ton of guys out here in our area. But back then, you were telling me when you guys were rolling and learning stuff, you got to work with Rickson Gracie, is that right?

JON:   Yeah, when I was training with Erik, when Erik was the World Champion in Shoot Fighting, I loved training with him stand up and ground fighting. But it was really frustrating because Eric would just kick my ass all the time with submissions. And with that one, he would always sort of hold back and telling me or giving me the answers like how to defend triangles and stuff. And then finally one day I was like, Eric, come on man, either tell me where I can go learn this stuff, or you got to start, and he started laughing. And he goes well, if you really want to get really good at grappling you got to go train with Rickson Gracie.

So he told me where to go and he was actually training with Rickson at the time there over on West Pico Boulevard and if anybody out there is listening to this, this is old school Rickson Gracie in West Pico Boulevard behind the truck garage there. It was like one of the most dirty, nastiest, it was disgusting. It was horribly dirty but it was the most awesome training place I’ve almost ever been in my life because the energy there — I mean it was filthy like the bathroom and locker room was, straight up nasty. But once you got out on, the mat was about an eighth of an inch thick on a wooden floor. It was so thin it was a joke. But everybody there was there to train very hard core jiu-jitsu and it was freaking awesome. And then to have Rickson teach classes once in a while was amazing. I mean rolling with Erik was awesome, rolling with Rickson was at a completely another level it was like water, just like what Bruce Lee said: If you push against them he would pull if you pull them he would he would push. And it literally felt like when you rolled with him like he wasn’t there and it was so frustrating that eventually you’re just like just, please tap me to get this over with because it’s driving me crazy. He was like that a lot of time.


COREY:         Yeah. Now in those types of scenarios with wrestling and jiu-jitsu and boxing and MMA and all these different skill sets, the strength and conditioning side of this has kind of become a new aspect and not always accepted part of the piece of the puzzle, right?

JON:               Yeah right, for sure.

COREY:         And from your experience, I mean you competed at a high level as well, correct?

JON:               Right. Right. I won a World Championships [incomprehensible]. So I competed at a pretty high level.

COREY:         And with your experience doing that stuff, I mean, strength and conditioning side of it. How important is that?

JON:               It was huge. Well, I took control of everybody at Rickson that wanted to compete. We had this group of warriors that competed; it was about seven or eight of us. They would train with me. We were trained like two to three times a week for about three months before a competition. And it was very, very intensive training and we did a lot of hit workouts or metabolic workouts, and then we would mix that with our jiu-jitsu training. And every single tournament that we went to we did pretty darn well and the conditioning was never a problem. I mean seven matches, I remember one day at this International World Championships, I had seven matches and I wasn’t very good at submissions, but they all went full length of the time each of them and my conditioning was never in question. I felt totally strong every single match, [inaudible] other guys.


COREY:         Now when you guys are doing that, I know there’s a lot of question these days between how you should use stability work, strength work, power work, bio metrics versus a lot of the conditioning style of workouts that have become real popular. I mean, a lot of people these days are just kind of lining up ten exercises, doing as hard as you can for a minute and vomit in the parking lot and laugh about it with your buddies later and post it on Facebook. But when you guys are doing that, there’s got to be some kind of rhyme or reason to what you guys are doing and how you guys were fed in that in with your training. Right?

JON:               Right, for sure. I was wanting to [incomprehensible] I’m glad you brought that up. Although I said we did a lot of stuff like that it wasn’t definitely the entire training regime. What I’ve always done is what’s called undulating periodization, which some days are pure strange, some days are pure power, some days we do a metabolic workout. And I’ve been doing that for 30 some years.

The body, you want it to be adaptable to all types of things that are thrown at it. And what I see a lot of MMA guys do today is they only do metabolic conditioning. And when you train jiu-jitsu, if you got a full time job which most of the guys do, if you train you got to pay a good couple hundred bucks a month to train at a nice Academy, you got to work full time. And therefore if you train jiu-jitsu hard you do the technical stuff then you guys roll for an hour or an hour and a half afterwards. And then you also maybe earlier in the day or the next day, you go do a metabolic workout, your nervous system is going to be fried. You have to walk in balance.

So if you do a really hard training one day then maybe you should do a more simple, balanced type workout the next day and then you maybe you do a more technical jiu-jitsu or MMA type workout the next day and then if you want to go a little more intense of strength and conditioning workout, but you got to — the most important thing is to plan out your path ahead of time so that you get adapted to all those things without killing yourself before a tournament or fight comes up. Because I just see too many guys think, oh, well my match is eight minutes long so I should kill myself in workouts for eight minutes. [Inaudible] I had time to workout and then I’ll do rounds of eight minutes, maybe four or five groups of them every workout that I do and that might work if you’re like 22; you don’t work a lot, you can sleep in the afternoon, you’re eating good and your life is a lot more open to recovering.

But if you’re working a 9 to 5 job, it’s way different. And you need to pay attention to your body and really listen to it so that you don’t implode before your fight or tournament. It takes a lot of balance and it takes — what I would suggest for people out there is find a trainer that’s done it successfully before and work with somebody like that or get advice from somebody like that because just to shoot from the hip on your own or follow some Men’s Fitness workout plan for getting six pack abs or something, and you’re doing that on top of your jujitsu training, just you’re going to burn out I think, you got to balance it all.


COREY:         Yeah absolutely. I think that anybody that truly trains and is working out four or five days a week, much less twice a day, they’re going to figure that out really, really quick.

JON:               Really quick.

COREY:         And I think the sad part that I see quite a bit is a lot of the young guys or the less experienced guys, they’re going in there and maybe they’re at Paulson’s Gym in there and they’re banging with somebody who’s been doing this for 15 years. They’re getting their butt handed to them. And without thinking and realizing and giving respect to the guy that’s been there for 10, 15 years doing this, that his skill level is so high that he’s just tuning you up. They just feel like oh, I got to do more and they have this like nervous energy that kind of feeds that drive to do more and harder and I’m not quite sure how to set that in and get people to realize that.

JON:               The hard sell today is people want a quick fix and they don’t have the patience for the long run. And the quick fix type of stuff might look good in the short run, they might get quick results and stuff like that but it’s very hard to maintain that for a long time. So I always look for quality over quantity. I don’t care — and this is a hard selling though just to do pure strength stuff one day, just to do pure power stuff another day. And then maybe on Friday, you do a metabolic type workout. That’s generally how I like to do it with a lot of my athletes. And then I make sure that I’m monitoring their sport training the other days. And then we always got to pay attention to how their body is reacting and we’re just on the fly, it might not sleep well and it might travel or something like that that might mess them up.

But the funny thing is, the older that I’ve gotten, the more that I’m saying is to do less is more and to do more is, it just crushes you. So I’ve tried to personally become more efficient in my workouts and keep them extremely simple. And a big thing for me is to never ever go to failure. Never. That’s the one thing the old time strong men used to stress. Listen to your body big time. Don’t push yourself, redline yourself so much. That’s one big thing a lot of guys do when they’re in their 20s and stuff is they try to just push the envelope all the time. And I’ve learned lesson just like listening to my body, just because my guilt said, you got to go all out, but my mind is saying, okay, you’re three [inaudible] serious workout and you’re seriously crashing and burning right now. You know I’m talking about right?

COREY:         Yeah, hell yeah.

JON:               And you come to that point, and when I was in my 30s I used to just drive through it. And sometimes I would make it, sometimes I would crash and burn and I’d be messed up for a week. Now I almost — if you start to really pay attention to your body, then you just get smart about it. And just realize, okay, that’s just my head guilt plaguing me saying that you got to finish you, got to finish. But it’s only some number that you made up that you said you had to finish to and it’s your ego getting in the way.

But if you really listen to it — if I said Corey, if your maximum punch let’s say was 90. Let’s say if it was a score of punch and it was 90, okay? And you were punching, and you said you were going to punch at 90 for 15 minutes a day. Okay, but at minute 10 you’re already at 89, then you’re at 85, and then at minute 12 you’re at 80. Have you lost your power output? Yes. So now you’re training purely endurance and maybe now your form is starting to deteriorate. Now your ego is — there’s so many things about it that beat an athlete down, that they’ll break themselves down because their mind will play a trick on them.


Now, I’m not saying that for sure sometimes pushing through that is mentally empowering. I’m not denying that. It definitely is. But when you truly — like with my all my athletes, they know so well that I do not allow anything less than a full pop on their jump. If they’re not jumping the same height, they’re done. So if they jumped at 10 foot one for five jumps and then their sixth jump, they jumped a nine foot eight, they’re done. I don’t even have to say anything. They stop. Because that’s pure power. So they know I don’t want them training routes in a fatigue state, I want pure power, if that is the focus of that workout.

And so what we’re talking about here is that a lot of athletes, they push the boundaries so much sometimes, it’s sometimes good, but you really got to listen to your body when you feel like your body is literally breaking down. And when you’re in your 20s and 30s you’re not as apt to but when you get older, you start to listen to it hopefully. So you don’t get as injured as much and that’s why you can train better for longer and then your performance is higher and you don’t got to train as much either, just smart enough. And that’s what all the old time guys did that, all of them.


COREY:         Yeah. Well, and it’s important, I think, I mean, that’s honestly we talked about this earlier, it’s one of the biggest reasons why I wanted to talk with guys like you because I think there is a — it’s kind of lost in translation or people that are training right now, they just either don’t fully understand stuff from the past that their interpretation of like, this what Dan Gable did, it was hard all the time and it was hard 24 hours a day and he just kept going and he just never broke and he was a badass dude. And I don’t truly think that’s the case. I think there’s a lot more that’s lost there were — like you said it is a big ego game, and people aren’t so open to this stuff.

JON:               Right, but Dan Gable, as your example, he busted his ass. He did literally try to out-condition everybody. But he did it at an expense.

COREY:         Right.

JON:               He’s hurting; physically, he’s hurting now. And a lot of guys, if you pay the price, if you beat yourself up like that, and you got to pay attention to it, if you want longevity, you can look at there are so many other wrestlers that have done similar levels like Dan Gable that didn’t beat themselves up as much, but Dan Gable, he was amazing. I really think he’s amazing. But guys, really trying to think that everybody has to bust their ass like that and run after practice six miles, he had a determination and a warrior spirit unlike anybody.

COREY:         Right.


JON:               And in that time, I feel like that’s totally fine, and that’s totally awesome. And there are very few guys that could have matched him and that’s why he did so amazing. I just think when you’re out of college and you’re in your 20s or 30s, and you’re doing fight sport like that, that’s a long time in a sport or any anything fitness or anything like that, you got to start really paying attention to your body. In the old time dudes who I’m referring to, the old physical culture guys from 1800s 1900s, who were the strongest men in the world, and their numbers, nobody still touches those numbers today. Eugen Sandow, and Hackenschmidt and stuff like that, those guys were so quick and strong, it’s a joke. And they kept it so simple. They never went in a fatigue state, never unless they’re maxing out for a test.


COREY:         Well, I’d love to talk with you more about that for sure, the history of strength and going through that stuff because I really do believe that the more we dig into this and the more we can kind of learn from the past and learn from a lot of different things. Because in my opinion, everybody’s got something that they’re great at and they got something that we can all add to our tool belt and learn from and I think if we can do that, and then we can help these kids and competitors and athletes and stuff like that train more efficiently with their skill training, as well as with their strength and conditioning stuff, I know that these guys will be able to extend their careers, they’ll have less injuries, they’ll have a higher level of performance. To me, loving those sports, I think that’s a gift that we can give to them. I think it will be a pretty awesome game.

JON:               Yeah, I agree.

COREY:         But Jon, we got literally like an hour worth of killer stuff man.

JON:               Oh my God, it’s been an hour. No way. Okay.

COREY:         So as much as I’d love to sit here talking to you for the rest of the afternoon, I think we’ll cut at this and thank you so much for your time. It’s a wealth of information man.

JON:               Cool, it’s my pleasure to talk with you Corey. I think twhat you’re doing is awesome. Keep up the good work.

COREY:         Thanks bud, I appreciate it. Guys I’m going to put — and Jon if you could hang out for two minutes after I stop the recording but guys I’m going to put links to where you guys can connect with Jon or how and give you guys links to a lot of his resources and stuff like that so you guys can seek those out and learn from them. So Jon, Thanks again so much bud and guys, have an awesome day. We’ll talk to you guys soon.

JON:   All right guys. Take care.