Before Jason Kalambay decided to dedicate himself to helping others become the best version of themselves through reaching their fitness goals, he was a former professional kickboxer.
He began combat sports at the age of 17 and from the moment he started, his focus was on becoming the best fighter in his weight division. In between training for fights, he moonlighted as a personal trainer to make some additional income. Due to his intimidatingly strong-looking physique, there was never a shortage of clients who wanted to train with him. He enjoyed connecting with people and seeing how their attitudes changed when they began to see results.
One client’s transformation, however, would alter the course of what Jason Kalambay envisioned for his future. Kalambay remembers the 21-year-old man just searching for some direction in how to feel better about himself. Through three months of training, the lost client nearly 60 pounds.
“It completely changed his life,” Kalambay says. “He later told me he had wanted to commit suicide because his depression had gotten that bad and how that changed when we begin working together.”
After this, the feeling of winning a fight didn’t mean as much as knowing he could make a difference in countless of people’s lives by scaling his efforts to reach more.
“It’s so powerful when you see your actions, words or program having an impact on someone’s life,” he says. “It’s really the best feeling. Now, I’m doing VIP training, so my clients get to meet me, receive tips on programming and I can help them with some of the roadblocks they’re facing. I love it.”
To a non-athlete, Kalambay’s workouts seem impossible, but it’s similar to how he trained as a fighter and putting together the exercises was how he kept his clients entertained and coming back for more.
He gave us some insight on how he prepares for one of his workouts and what you should be mindful of before trying any of the motions.
Before training, two things that I like to do is some stretching or some type of mobility exercises. It’s something that gets your body ready to train and go through a certain level of intensity. It also helps prevent injury. When I was younger, I didn’t think I needed it but now I take about 10 minutes to do some mobility and dynamic stretching. It helps my body get ready for the workout and it feels better after working out. It also helps your performance during the workout.
- BREATHING AND UNDERSTANDING YOUR LIMITATIONS
In fights, there’s one-minute breaks in between the rounds. The first 30 seconds, most of the coaches are making sure your focus is on your breathing. They’re going to remind the fighter to breathe in and breathe out because it’s something everyone tends to forget. You want to understand your breathing but also your limits as well. One of the most common things I see when I train a beginner is the person overestimates their capacity for certain exercises. They think they can sustain the intensity for x-amount of time, but they haven’t built up the wind to do so. You want to understand where you’re at and what you’re capable of doing. You want to be able to give the same intensity throughout the workout.
Everyone is different but you don’t want your core to not be tight. You don’t want to swing the dumbbells too much. What’s important is to take your time, don’t grab the heaviest weights you can find. For these exercises, we’re not just trying to burn muscle but it’s also about burning calories. That’s why it’s not about how heavy the weight is, it’s about the repetition.
Jason Kalambay Kickboxing-inspired Workout
- 4 Rounds: 30 sec. work/ 15 sec. rest per exercise
- 1 min. rest in between rounds
Alternating Dumbbell Swings with Squats
- Muscles trained: Quads, hamstrings, glutes, chest, shoulders, trapezius, abdominal
Squat with bicep curl
- Muscles trained: Biceps, quads, glutes, forearm flexors, hamstrings and abs
Back Lunge with a Lateral Shoulder Raise
- Muscles trained: Glutes, quads, core, hamstrings, shoulders
One Knee Dumbbell Shoulder Press
- Muscles trained: Deltoids, triceps core