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Top Strength Coach Jon Hinds Discusses Incredible Training System!

Recently I did an interview with Jon to learn more about his incredible training system and how he has produced such incredible results with his clients. Find out more.

Article Summary:
  • Jon Hinds's Monkey Bar Gym uses the basics of movement to increase overall strength.
  • Jon uses a variety of equipment, from bodyweight to cables and kettlesbells to sandbags.
  • Jon suggests getting your nutrition from plants and using portions the size of your hand.
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    Strength Coach Jon Hinds

    Jon Hinds is a former NBA strength and conditioning coach and is a training consultant for the NFL and NBA. He has trained over one hundred pro athletes and has also worked with renowned motivational speaker Tony Robbins (Please don't hold this one against him; LOL!). In addition to being an incredibly successful trainer, Jon is an outstanding athlete and some of his personal accomplishments include:

    • Gold Medallist in the 2000 Pan American Games - Brazilian Jiu-jitsu
    • Gold Medallist in the 2001 Rickson Gracie World Championships - Brazilian Jiu-jitsu
    • At 6'1" and 215 lbs. could do every dunk imaginable and took his vertical from a modest 25" to 42" in a span of months, hitting his elbow easily on the rim (Still dunking at age 45!)
    • Did 1,000 pushups in 40 minutes at age 40
    • Did 500 pushups in 12 minutes at age 43

    Recently I did an interview with Jon to learn more about his incredible training system and how he has produced such incredible results with his clients.

    [ Mike Mahler ] What motivated you to become a trainer?

      [ Jon Hinds ] What motivated me to become a trainer, was having a burning desire to be an athlete myself, having the desire to help others become athletes and my dad, Bobby Hinds who invented excellent products to help me achieve my athletic goals.

    I Had A Burning Desire To Be An Athlete And Help Others Become Athletes.
    + Click To Enlarge.
    I Had A Burning Desire To Be An Athlete
    And Help Others Become Athletes.

    [ MM ] Can you describe briefly what the Monkey Bar Gym philosophy is all about?

      [ JH ] Oh sure. We are all about getting back to the basics of movement (running, jumping, pushing, pulling, reacting, etc) and then progressing them to each persons highest ability.

      Today I would say 100% of the population has body mis-alignment & pain and about 75% or more of all people lack competence in basic movement skills.

      So we teach them how to free their body from pain with Eischens Yoga and how to do basics movement skills properly. From there we continually challenge them through the 3 progressions (stability, strength and power) we have to help them to higher and higher levels of performance. Mastering basic movement skills without pain is the goal first and foremost.

    [ MM ] What are some of the common mistakes that trainees make with regards to working out?

      [ JH ] The main mistakes are going too fast, too furious, too soon. The ego gets in the way of learning or relearning the basic movement skills and the impatience leads to lack of control.

      Another common mistake is not listening to the body in regards to how it feels during and after workouts and before and after eating. The body tells us all the time what we need in order to feel optimal but we don't always listen to the signs.

      Are your muscles sore or tight? Do you need to rest or restore? Do you have an upset stomach, or are you fatigued? Did you overeat or are you satisfied? These are all choices we make daily that the body tells us the answers to. If a person checks in to how workouts and eating make them feel they would progress faster in training.

    [ MM ] I know that you have helped a lot of people lose a great deal of fat. What is your approach to fat loss training and nutrition?

      [ JH ] My approach is simple for both training and nutrition. For training, it's about progressing skills in stability, endurance, strength and power movements on a continual basis. This challenges trainees to continually adapt which is great for the body and mind.

      Mondays might be a bodyweight strength/endurance workout; Wednesdays a power workout using kettlebells or heavy cables and Fridays might be a full metabolic workout with a good mix of bodyweight, kettlebells or sandbags.

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    X Games Workout!

    Here is an INTENSIVE workout designed for X-Games competitor Carl Schubitzke! Jon Hinds - owner of the Monkey Bar Gymnasium - got together with a few trainers to put this workout to the test!

      To counter this, on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays we do Functional Interval Training (FIT) in varying intensities. FIT classes/workouts train movement skills in a fashion similar to real life sports, competitions or activities like running sprints, jumping rope, crawling, rolling, again all the basics in movement.

      We always train to increase the speed and efficiency of movement; there's no 'plodding' at the Monkey Bar Gymnasium. I would rather have a person stop and recover than ever 'plod' through a workout: The faster pace training (with control) always leads to stronger muscle contractions which leads to fat loss. You don't see too many sprinters with bellies, but you often see long distance 'plodders' with them.

      For nutrition, I use a simple plan called the "Hand Plan". The "Hand Plan" follows simple portion control with a plant based diet. Most people love to eat meat, or believe that you need to eat meat to keep or gain muscle, but I am trying to do and teach what is most healthy for the body and the environment and eating animal products is not the way.

      We suggest people eat 90% or more plant based foods. This has proven extremely effective for burning fat as we average 17 pounds of fat loss and 5 pounds of muscle gain in the first 60 days of Monkey Bar Gymnasium training and nutrition.

      The "Hand Plan" is simple: eat portion sizes that are as big as your open hand, keeping the majority of the plate or bowl green foods. Keep plenty of nuts, seeds and legumes in your intake as well.

    RELATED VIDEO: Jon Hinds
    Jon Hinds - Plant-Based Personal Trainer at the Monkey Bar Gym!

    Jon Hinds speaks about his transition from the typical athlete's diet of protein shakes to a totally plant-based diet, and his recent success in breaking his own lifetime records after stopping all protein powder supplementation.

    [ MM ] Not too long ago you decided to adopt a vegan diet. What were your reasons and how is it working for you?

      [ JH ] I have always felt it's wrong to kill animals to eat or wear for profit but the evidence is so strong against an animal based diet for optimal health it's amazing. After years of training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, I developed intense hand pain. I went to doctors in my area who all said that I had a certain condition and the only way to get rid of the pain was to have surgery. This was just not an option!

      I talked with a good friend of mine, John Allen Mollenhauer about the pain. He asked me what my diet consisted of and when he found out that I ate animal products, he told me to take them out of my diet, suggested I read a book called the "China Study" with regards to hand pain.

      I was astounded to realize that my diet was the cause of my hand pain. So I stayed on the 'no animal product' path, but 8 months later I felt very weak.

      I took my body fat and found out that I actually gained fat and lost an amazing 12 pounds of muscle! That is when another good friend of mine (you), Mike Mahler reminded me that I still need to eat a specific amount of protein. Somehow I had forgotten this rule that I had followed most of my life and I'm guessing that a lot of people moving to a more vegan diet might do the same.

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    Jon Hinds On Tips For Handstand Training !

    Strength coach Jon Hinds demonstrates and provides some tips on handstand training.

      Once I began making sure I was getting enough plant protein in the form of lentils, legumes, nuts, seeds and plant supplements for my smoothies like pea, raw hemp and rice, is when I began to feel amazing.

      My strength not only recovered but reached all time highs. Americans are sick because of our diets and the manner in which we kill... it is so un-healthy. I am a vegan, and am here to show people how healthy and vibrant you can be without eating an animal based diet.

    [ MM ] Do you feel that rubber resistance training is superior to weight training for athletes or should a combination approach utilized?

      [ JH ] Rubber resistance training is an excellent tool, but it is a tool, just as weights are. It is all in how you use the resistance. I've used our Lifeline (rubber) Cables and have helped myself and my clients attain some amazing feats of human performance in running, jumping and pushing and pulling. Feats of which I doubt I could have attained using weights.

      Without question adapting to different types of training that apply all types of resistance (like horizontal, vertical, dead weight and progressive variable resistance like cables) have tremendous benefit which is why we began using kettlebells at my MBG.

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    Mike Mahler & John Hinds are snatching 56kg Kettlebell!

    Mike Mahler and John Hinds are snatching 56kg monster bell at the Collision Course in Las Vegas.

    [ MM ] What does your own workout look like right now?

      [ JH ] For my own workouts I usually follow our daily workouts for my strength training and that works great! For sure I like to mix in more handstand walking, pole climbs than we might have in class, but in general I follow them exactly.

      In a nutshell it means some kettlebells 1-2 times a week, some pure power training which I am shooting for double snatch with the 44s, some metabolic training which I am always shooting for improving in my 15/15 workouts (which are an amazing strength/power and endurance workout), and lastly I make sure to do some jump training 1-2 x a week. Mix that in with my sprints on the off days and that is it.

      I always keep an online journal (on my website) of my workouts to make sure I am constantly improving in all phases of my training.

    [ MM ] Is your training system for serious athletes only or can the everyday person benefit as well?

      [ JH ] That is the beauty of it, all people from all levels of training can take our classes / workouts and be properly challenged by them. I have pro athletes and grandmas follow very similar workouts, it goes back to what I said earlier, we train movements, which everyone needs, and then we progress those movements from whatever level you are at to higher levels of performance. So it makes no difference if you're a grandma or pro athlete who follows our workouts, they both have a place to start and a higher place to shoot for.

    [ Q ] Lets talk about your new DVD series. What inspired you to put it out and how is it different than what is already on the marketplace?

      What inspired me was the fact that no one has done it, all people need movement skills to live and survive in our world today but no one has shown people in a step-by-step manner how to progress in running (and jumping rope); jumping - basic squatting to high box jumps; pushing - crawling to handstands; pulling - climbing, rope climbs and more.

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    Tour Of The Monkey Bar Gymnasium!

    Gym owner and strength coach Jon Hinds give us a look at what working out as his gym entails.

      The DVD's show people how to simply progress all movement skills from very basic levels (think grandma) to highest levels you can think of (pro athlete). The alignment of each movement skill is shown first and then the 3 progressions of stability, strength and power follow.

      These DVDs are completely different from any others due to the fact that human performance skills have not been put in a DVD form ever for people to follow and progress to their highest levels of movement skill.

    [ MM ] Do you have any tips for people that travel a lot that are having a hard time staying in shape?

      [ JH ] Yes, get the Portable Monkey Bar Gym and follow our free online daily workouts. It's that simple!

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    About The Author:

    Mike Mahler is a strength coach and fitness information provider. Sign up for his free fitness magazine at

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