Fitness Inspiration with Isaiah Kirnon

Isaiah Kirnon
Photo Credit: Kaitlin Toal
Designer Sunglasses by LeGrand Leseur

The art of physical fitness has taken over the world especially with the help of social media and internet. People from all walks of life now have access to workouts that before only the social elites and wealthy could afford. Now you can jump on Instagram and see thousands of personal trainers, real and fake. Some are actually legit while others use gimmicks and try and sell “special shakes” or other products in hopes to con people out of their hard earned money. With a plethora of “inspiration” trainers on the web it is sometimes hard to see the forest from the trees. Luckily there are some great trainers that exist that aren’t so distant and hard to find. One of these local legends is Isaiah Kirnon.

Isaiah Kirnon was born and raised in Boston, MA by his parents and grandparents. Having a Caribbean background (Montserrat), discipline was a big thing in his household which definitely carried over into his style of training. Isaiah started his training career at the start of 2012. He was lucky enough to find a studio gym owner, Stefan Matte, who wanted to mentor new trainers planning on getting certified and starting their careers in the fitness industry. Stefan’s focus was injury prevention/recovery, mobility, and the basic movement patterns people use everyday. Isaiah Kirnon studied under Stefan for 2 years which gave him an excellent base for his training. One of the lessons learned was the importance of healing someone’s pain and increasing their quality of life through weight lifting and stretching. Isaiah still uses these techniques to this day. 

In 2018 Isaiah competed in his first bodybuilding competition and that was one hell of an experience. Not only did he learn how much it takes to actually prepare for such a competition, but he also learned various techniques in regards to stepping up his own training. This is where Isaiah learned his new philosophy; no limits. Now in 2020, Isaiah’s goals are not only to compete in power-lifting himself, but also to create a Boston team for power-lifting and bodybuilding.

I realized most people compete on their own so I want to develop a team in Boston who not only train together but go out to these competitions and shows to support one another. Eventually I would like to own my own facility dedicated to weightlifting, bodybuilding, and power-lifting as well. This wouldn’t be a typical gym. Members here would want to push and motivate each other to being the absolutely best they can be.

Isaiah Kirnon
Photo Credit: Kaitlin Toal
Designer Sunglasses by LeGrand Leseur

We sat down with Isaiah and asked him what he really thought about how he trains, the fitness world  and community at large.

CE Mag: What are some of the biggest mistakes you see in people when first starting off? How does that affect their training going forward?

Isaiah Kirnon: Some of the biggest mistakes I see are people only doing cardio because they think “cardio burns fat”, people taking it easy/light because they’re new, people avoiding the nutrition side of training and, people wanted to reach their goals in 3 months/ 90 days.

All of these affect the progress of individuals and can set their journey back by YEARS. People fail to understand that not only does the process take years (meaning you should plan for 3-10 years  vs 3-10 months) but also that you can make the most progress within the first 2 years of training. so the longer you delay pushing yourself as hard as you can, the longer you delay finding that true starting point or baseline.

CE Mag: How do you break down your training and the training of others? Is it always the same routine or are you always trying new things?

IK: I break down training into 6-12 week phases. I find there is no need to “try new things” until my clients have mastered the basics. Everything is variation of the basics (which people fail to master). When it comes to training, repetition and consistency are key.

There is absolutely no need to change a training program if it is working.

Isaiah Kirnon

CE Mag: Nutrition is important to any workout program. How do you make nutrition plans for yourself and clients? 

IK: I base nutrition plans and guidelines off of individual client goals on top of any dietary restrictions they may have. I’ve  found that a combination of macro and calorie counting, although tedious at first, teaches people how to eat properly for the goals they have set for themselves.

CE Mag: One of the biggest complaints from people who don’t start is people making fun of them. What advice do you have for someone who is self conscious about working out?

IK: Honestly, working out is a confidence booster. people are self conscious because they don’t know what they’re doing, and they’re afraid people are watching them. What I tell people to do is ask a professional for help, learn the movements and then watch everyone else in the gym. You’ll realize that  90% of people don’t actually know what they’re doing. Understand that if you LOOK confident in whatever you’re doing, the majority of people won’t just leave you alone, but they actually look to you as an example. People aren’t watching you to make fun of you. They’re watching you because they are either curious about what you’re doing or find you attractive.

CE Mag: You have won some awards in the physical fitness category. Can you talk about that process of competition? How is competition training and normal fitness training different?

IK: The process of competing is actually pretty simple; not easy but simple. It usually consists of hard training and dieting from 12-20 weeks leading up until the competition of one’s choosing. It differs from “normal fitness” training in the sense that it’s an accelerated process focused on whatever competition one is training for, and the people doing it are, generally, more serious about reaching their goals. It takes a lot mentally, physically, and psychologically to push yourself to the absolute limit for 12+ weeks.

CE Mag: What are some of your fitness goals for the upcoming year?

IK: my fitness goals for 2020 are to reach a body weight of 220 lbs while keeping my body fat around 15%. I also want to bench 350 lbs, squat 500 lbs for 3 reps, and dead-lift 650 lbs. before this pandemic. I wanted to compete in my first power-lifting meet, but I’m not focused on that now due to everything that is going on with the pandemic.

Photograph: Kaitlin Toal
Designer Sunglasses: LeGrand Leseur

CE Mag: Since the pandemic that is going on has shut everything down, what have you been doing to keep not only your body strong but your mind healthy while staying inside?

IK: Honestly, I was lucky enough to find a place where I could continue my own training so that has satisfied my anxiety when it comes to my own progress. I’ve also been reading more about nutrition and feeding your immune system to stay healthy. I’ve been passing along as much information as I can as well as creating home workout programs for the clients I had already and the new clients who now have time to start their fitness journey.

Abs are made in the kitchen, not the gym.

Isaiah Kirnon

CE Mag: Thanks for chatting with us. Any other advice that you would like to give people as some final parting words?

IK: the biggest piece of advice I could give is make sure the people you follow or look up to are truthful about their own journey and experience. A lot of these fitness influencers are either on something, were already genetically built that way, or have had surgeries to get the bodies they have. And if any of those are true, then the methods they’re selling wont work for the majority of people. Also, you can not spot train for fat loss. People often say, I want to lose my stomach but don’t want to lose fat anywhere else. This is impossible. The body loses fat everywhere. It doesn’t say “Oh you only want to lose fat here? Ok let’s do that.” That’s not how it works. Your body will drop fat from everywhere and then usually the stomach last, and doing more abs workouts won’t help you lose more stubborn belly fat. Abs are made in the kitchen, not the gym.

Contact Isaiah for personal training at:

Isaiah Kirnon

Certified Personal Trainer

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