A Day in the Life CrossFit Trainer Jair Lyons
Jair Lyons, physiotherapist, CrossFit Level 1 trainer, and Team MDUSA Weightlifting Level 1 and Level 2 Athlete, has always been into fitness. In September 2016, he opened 876CrossFit to bring the functional fitness phenomenon, CrossFit, to Jamaica.
How did you get into the fitness industry?
I used exercise initially as rehabilitation for my physiotherapy clients. I’d use physical therapy in a gym to train them. After a while, I got people asking me to train them because they liked the way I trained my clients. From there it became more skewed towards fitness and personal training. After a few years I found CrossFit. CrossFit is constantly varied functional movements performed at high intensity. It encompassed all things fitness versus just strength training and bodybuilding. I did Level 1 training and at the time I was the only Level 1 trainer in Jamaica.
CrossFit isn’t one thing or the other as it relates to fitness. It encompasses everything that is fitness, first and foremost making sure that all techniques are safe and done correctly no matter what weight you’re using or movement you’re doing. It’s strength, endurance, agility, speed, power, balance, and stamina. Because it’s constantly varied, your body is always guessing and adapting to what is being thrown at it. The variety makes it a general preparedness programme. I tried to go back to a regular gym and do regular routines and I didn’t enjoy it anymore. CrossFit brings community because its classes, everyone is working towards different goals but in the same space at the same time. You have a community vibe versus in a regular gym where you put your headphones on, do your workout and leave. There’s always a coach making sure you’re doing the proper technique.
What motivated you to start your own gym?
I’ve always wanted my own gym. After finding CrossFit and realising that there was nothing like this here I realised it was a chance for me to introduce people to something new.
Have you always been into the fitness lifestyle?
For as long as I can remember. I swam, played tennis, and then later on I started running distance: 5Ks and half marathons.
What’s a typical day for you?
I open at 4.30am and then I see my first personal training clients for an hour. Sometimes I coach classes from 5:30am. Then, from 7.30 to 10am I might have personal training sessions. After that, I take a break or move on to my physical therapy practice until about 3pm. Then I get back to the gym for 3.30pm and I have personal training clients until 5.30pm. One hour classes are held from 5.30pm until 8.30pm, and I lock up at 9.30pm.
What advice would you give to people looking to get in shape?
My top two pieces of advice would be:
- If you’re starting any fitness programme ensure that your instructors are properly trained and that the techniques are done properly to avoid injury.
- With any proper fitness training regime comes a proper diet. I would always say start training first; get into the training, be consistent with it for about two to three months before you start seriously looking at your diet. You don’t want to overwhelm yourself by jumping into a new training routine and new diet plan at the same time. Fine tune one first. One cannot work without the other but it’s important to have a strong hold on one first.