4 Areas of Excellence: CrossFit Jungle Gym

The CFJG Difference…

We started Jungle Gym Fitness in 2011 with a couple bucks and early morning training sessions in the park… our own personal stories started even more humble than that. What our gym looks like today is much different than it was then but we’ve continued everyday refining our approach down to 4 Areas of Excellence. Specifically by improving the lives of our community through training and nutrition. CFJG has and will continue to train the using the best possible methods to achieve our clients goals… we will not sacrifice our values in the pursuit of changing the world.

At CFJG we genuinely believe that making a meaningful impact in a few is more valuable, more critical and certainly more rewarding than making a minor impact on many. We’ve doubled down on this approach many times over the years and we continue today to push forward in providing a superior service by focusing in on our 4 Areas of Excellence. We’ve never felt we had “competitors” so to say because what we do is different than what any gym in a 30 mile radius of us is doing. We believe that these Areas of Excellence make our training experience superior… it doesn’t make us the right gym for everyone but it does make us the BEST gym in the world for some.

At Jungle Gym we aim to provide an ever increasing value of service to the Hamilton area by providing solutions to all of the major hurdles in accomplishing fitness goals. There may be other gyms that are better at different things but none stands next to us in more than one of our Areas of Excellence… these are the parts of our service that are uniquely CFJG and are different from our “competitors”. For some, these 4 traits of our service are 100% necessary for fitness success. Some may be less important to you or not important at all. If none of them are important to you, you’d probably prefer a service somewhere else.

CFJG 4 Areas of Excellence

1. We provide step by step guidance

2. Our Coaches provide individualized training prescriptions

3. We make training enjoyable

4. CFJG uses objective measurements to track your progress

We Provide Step by step guidance

  • If you’ve ever been overwhelmed by the thought of “what to do at the gym”. We solved it by programming every workout for you.
  • If you’ve ever been worried about not knowing how to do an exercises. We solved it by teaching you.
  • If you’ve ever thought… I don’t want to be injured from doing something incorrectly. We solved it by coaching you.
  • If you’ve ever thought… Am I doing what is most effective for my goals? We solved it by prescribing you the best program to follow.

Programs: The way our programs are put together… is a step by step progression: No Sweat Intro, First 60 Days program, Next 90 Days programs. Each stage is there to make sure you only need to focus on one thing.

Coaching progressions are designed to keep you from doing no more than one thing at a time. When we teach you to squat… hips back, practice 5 reps. After you send your hips back, sink down as low as you can, practice 5 reps and so on. Our sessions are broken into step by step progress to ensure your long term success… the greeting, the warm up, teaching new skills, the workout of the day and finally the debrief.

Step by step planning. We have quarterly Goal Setting Sessions (included with membership) in which we work with you, your budget, your schedule, your obstacles, stresses and any other contributing factors you have, to ensure YOU have the BEST POSSIBLE plan to achieve YOUR goals.

Step by step guidance is by it’s very nature what COACHING is all about and that is the essence of what we do.

We Provide Individualized Training Prescription

  • Why do you need a Goal Setting Session or a No Sweat Intro? We want to know what you want to accomplish… why? BECAUSE WITHOUT KNOWING THAT HOW COULD ANYONE POSSIBLY HELP YOU SUCCEED!? Take for example… try a free class, “jump in and see if you like it”… your weight loss goals don’t care if you “like” it. They care whether you’ve done the work you need to accomplish the goal. We hope you do like the training you have to do… but you have to do the training you need. We’ll make the program enjoyable (see below)! We listen to what you want, create realistic goals based on thousands of previous experiences, then build you a plan specific to your needs.
  • Group classes… We utilize the Level Method, which helps us take an objective measure of your fitness level and tailor EVERY group session to YOUR exact skill level. This ensures YOU are getting the most out of each group session.
  • 1-on-1 attention… in every service you’ll receive this attention, not just personal training sessions (though you get 60 mins per session of 100% dedication to you and your needs). We believe that coaching is the greatest possible value you receive with your membership. Our average class size is 6.5 athletes per class. That means 9 full minutes of coaching per athlete. Compare that with a class of 20 = 3 mins (even 3 mins is a stretch though… really managing that many people is more like herding hamsters just to finish a class on time). The coaching is happening at 3x the rate of most other facilities!
  • Specialty services: we offer specialty services to meet your individual goals. We do them in a variety of service levels to meet budget and scheduling needs. PT, skill sessions, clinics and programs.

Do you need individualized prescription? if you’ve ever felt like the program you were doing wasn’t working for you… YES. Which also makes us the top choice. If the program you’re doing is working for you… keep on it! If you’re getting the results you want, that means: you either have enough knowledge to decide which program is right for you, go through the process of elimination or be happy without ever getting results (it’s totally up to you!).

We make training enjoyable

Every gym I’ve ever been to has laid claim to fun or community. Every gym has it’s right to claim it too. We understand that not everyone will fit in with us and we’re OK with that. I can say with certainty, there are people out there who may enjoy another gym more. The difference is we know and rely on specific traits to make sure our gym is an amazing environment, consistently. If there’s an outlier we are sure to let them know and point them in the right direction. Here are the specific actions we take to make training enjoyable.

  • Creating an Environment:
    • Belonging, positive, best hour of your day. Read about our #1 value belonging… if someone can’t positively contribute to the environment, they don’t train with us, it’s pretty simple.
    • We coach in the positive, we say things like “you’re doing this well, now let’s do this” NOT “You’re doing that wrong, fix that now!”. It seems subtle but we don’t get called great coaches or get you the results you want by being jerks.
    • The best hour of your day, your consistent attendance is more important to improving your quality of life than adding 10lbs to a lift that will injure you… your coaches don’t forget that. You need to show up, you need to enjoy showing up… it’s our priority to make sure that happens.
  • We get results:
    • Part of enjoying working out is actually getting results. Our coaches track which of our clients are getting results because we measure progress and we set goals (and we make sure you accomplish them!).
    • Goal setting sessions are where coaches prescribe the best actions steps for you to take and then we remeasure the metrics that matter to you. When you hit your goals… you love training. When you love training… you hit your goals. That is a positive cycle to get into! Without measurement, results don’t exist, love for training dwindles, results actually don’t happen. What is your gym’s strategy?
  • Make friends:
    • Globo gyms… obviously, we are winners over them because everyone at Planet Fitness just plugs in the ear buds and does their own thing there. Not here.
    • Other small gyms… here’s the deal, we specifically want to make people feel comfortable with their coach first (Hello! That’s one of the many reasons we do PT to start). Then we do a ghost session… that’s where your coach takes you to your first group session, hangs out with you and introduces you to all your classmates… BECAUSE WE WANT YOU TO LOVE WHO YOU’RE TRAINING WITH! IT MAKES IT 100000X MORE FUN! Does your gym have a system to do this for you? No… they don’t.

Do you need training to be enjoyable? If yes… you’ll fit in an environment that suits YOU, that may not be with us and that’s ok. But does any other gym take specific steps to make sure you’ve had every chance? (I’ll wait while you ask… the answer is no).

We Use Objective Measurements

If you care about making fitness gains at all… I mean AT ALL, you have to start with an quality objective measurement. We have the tools to measure the specific goals you have… BF%, skeletal muscle mass, weight, girth, over 15 categories of general performance metrics (with 32 sub levels for EACH of those 15 categories), infinite # of specialized metrics… AND WE ARE GOING TO MEASURE YOUR METRICS AT GOAL SETTING SESSIONS EVERY 3 MONTHS. You’ll never be on the wrong training plan again (unless you don’t do your goal setting sessions, lie to us about your goals… but why would you ever do that?). If your goals change… we change your plan. Which means you’re never wasting time or energy doing the wrong things. All you have to do is tell us what you want to accomplish.

  • Level Method MAP (all your physical performance metrics)
  • InBody Scanner (all your biometrics)
  • Tape Measure (all your body measurements)
  • Benchmark workouts (to measure specific physical skills and conditioning (ps. a better functional comparison to conditioning than VO2 max, for you training nerds)

The Real Deal…

  • If you NEED any ONE of these Areas of Excellence. You need us to be your gym, to be successful.
  • If you WANT and/or NEED any TWO of these areas of excellence. You need us to be your gym, to be successful.
  • If you WANT any ONE or more of these areas of excellence. We are going to help you succeed more than any other gym can.
  • If you WANT a gym that can provide workouts cheaper and you don’t care about getting coached or making progress on your results. I will personally recommend you to another gym that you’ll fit in better with.
  • If you don’t need or want any of these things from your gym… stop reading and unsubscribe!

Getting Fit with Limited Equipment

Prefer to listen to this article instead? Just hit play!

The best way to get fit on limited equipment

Whether your budget doesn’t allow for adding a bunch of fitness equipment at home or for getting a gym membership or if the the current state of buying at home fitness equipment has you um unable to get anything within the next month um here’s your here’s your short answer number one is

Get good at… The Basics

You know everybody needs to be good at doing some basic body weight movements before they move on to more advanced programming styles or more advanced movements. Let’s just start with the movements you’ve got to be good at:

  • Air squats
  • Push-ups
  • Sit-ups
  • Pull-ups
  • Lunges

Those are the top five. in terms of building strength, overall conditioning and there’s definitely other ones that are valuable to us. Some of them are just a little bit less valuable when building your fitness base.

Set your standards

You should be able to do (without a shadow of a doubt) a minute straight of any of these exercises. You should be able to feel “free” to move in any of the positions of those movements. For example, in the air squat, you may feel free to move while standing at the top but when you get to the bottom of a squat you feel like you’re stuck there. That is not mastery, that is the beginning. No matter what stage you’re in, it doesn’t really matter… Our goal doesn’t change. We’re trying to move forward, feeling free at any position is a flexibility standard. It’s also a control standard, it just says “Hey, I’m able to control my body” that’s a representation of the function of the joint in your body. You should also be able to test each movement at speed, with load, with volume and still be able to do quality reps! Often times we’re teaching beginners, during conditioning workouts we ask for B+ quality to A- minus quality movement. You know that it’s a little subjective because we’re not sitting there grading every rep but it’s the perceived quality. In order to have the greatest success we need to be able to give up a little bit of perfect technique to move faster or to move with load or to get more reps in but when we’re actually drilling the reps we should be shooting for A+ quality! The difference between the two is super important because there’s times to do each and the the value of training without ever doing less than perfect reps, is likely to be low.

Best practices for mastery

Quality of movement

We get more out of quality movement than we get out of poor quality movement. We should always be striving for quality (not necessarily perfect) movement but we do need to set some sort of benchmark for how how fit are in our current movement quality, so next up…


We need to take objective measures before and after our program in order to know if we’re getting better or not. Example do air squats for two minutes and see how many we can get done. We have to have some minimum depth set so if you need a depth check or something squat to a box or to a ball or to a low chair um but get as many as you can in two minutes. Now, push-ups do as many as you can… without having to stop. You need to again you have to have a standard depth and lockout so like taking your chest all the way to the ground without your knees touching and then all the way backup to the top plank. How many can you do unbroken? How many can you do in two minutes? Those are benchmarks, set them for yourself. This will help you know when you’re moving toward mastery of some of these basic movements!

Expansion of possible

We benchmark to have a starting point. I talk to my Post Physical Therapy Rehab clients all the time about this is… well really, all clients. In the world of progression we just have to figure out where you’re starting. Then we chart the course for progress. We start on the conservative side as opposed to the aggressive side most times. If you’ve never had success with a fitness program before we’re going to imagine your possible as a tiny little ball… representing your current experience and capabilities. Then we start to expand outward so we talk about it as like this little tiny ball you imagine like “I can do one push-up” or maybe it’s “I can’t do one push-up” but what ends up happening is we learn. If I can do one then maybe tomorrow I’ll be able to do two and then after progressing more… maybe i’ll be able to do 10 in a row right!? We’re always dialing up the intensity by: volume (the total amount of reps in a set or workout), by speed (of a set or entire workout) and load (in bodyweight movements it’s the ability to control position at the most difficult positions). To keep it really simple is there’s only three three factors: total number of reps completed in a workout, the speed at which any of the reps are completed and the ability to control the movement. The ability to control and manipulate those variables is.

Why interval training works well

Let’s say I ask you to do 100 push-ups and it takes you 20 minutes. The rate is five push-ups a minute or one every 12 seconds. If you do a set of max push-ups in a minute… you’re likely to be able to do 20+ in the first minute. That one minute of push-ups was more intense than any one of the minutes during the 20 minutes that it took you to do the 100. What’s important about that? It’s more relative intensity and that’s where the results come from! You know in all sorts of training you have to push the envelope somewhere, that can be done on a micro or macro level in a minute, 30 seconds or you can do it across the entire an entire week of training. Tabata is a great way to implement intervals with intensity and is very simple! When just getting started it’s really like let’s just expand this little circle just a little bit today (with relative intensity) and a little bit tomorrow and a little bit the next day. When you’re trying to master basics on limited equipment interval training is very important.

Final Recommendations

If you’re at home and you don’t have any equipment and you’re not already training with a coach… get your benchmarks done!

  • two minutes of squat
  • max push-ups –
  • 2 minutes of sit-ups
  • max pull-ups –
  • 2 minutes of lunges

Write those numbers down and then you’re going to mix and match those movements together over the course of the next month. Then do those benchmarks again and see how you improve it’s just really important and actually most important that you stay consistent! Strive for mastery of those movements and have a start and an end. The best way to get fit on limited equipment: master the basics, do some benchmarking and make sure you’re increasing the intensity each day!


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“Just work at it and take your time. Anybody can do it!” Kelly KP

Kelly came in to accomplish to get stronger and has had great success! By taking advantage of awesome coaching, she was able succeed!

Here at CFJG we exist to help our community improve their lives through training and nutrition. Part of what made Kelly’s experience here special was the supportive environment.

If you’re ready to get stronger, book your No Sweat Intro today to meet with a coach!