Tell us a little bit about yourself!

My name is Javier Schwersensky, I am a proud 46 years old Canadian-Argentinean. My day job is to be the CEO of the University of Winnipeg Foundation in Winnipeg, Canada. My real job is to be the best partner and dad I can be. I am married to a beautiful lady, and have two boys, one is 15 and the other is 9. We have two dogs -Floyd and Lucy- and Spencer the cat. Spencer likes to hang out with me when I work out. In terms of hobbies the biggest one is probably reading, mostly current affairs and non-fiction books. I am very much a bookworm and also like listening to podcasts.

Tell us about your athletic history before finding Gym Jones.

In High School I was always close to flunking phys ed, so my parents got me a membership for a very small gym back in Buenos Aires. The owner was Antonio Iñón, who was a past national body building champion. He was the first athlete to teach me about strength training and the importance of form and consistency. Workouts for each person were pinned to a wall, and you had to show up 3 times a week, minimum, or you would be out. Then university really made me stop any meaningful physical activity and right after graduating made the move to Canada so the priority was to find work and settle. I went to a few big-box gyms but I was not able to find the right motivation. Fast forward to 2015, when I joined another small gym that was all about circuit training and endurance, and I loved it! However the gym moved to a different location and I could not easily get there anymore so I went back to big box gyms but this time I knew how to train. And then… the pandemic hit. Everything shut down. So I had to figure out what to do at home. Enter Gym Jones!!

Where do you do your Gym Jones Cult Classic Workouts? 

Winnipeg winters are tough, and we do not have a fancy heated garage (or a large garage), so we turned a section of the basement into a workout space. We have a nice treadmill, a stability ball, two sets of adjustable dumbbells, resistance bands, a mat and a pull-up bar. The rest is creativity and movement.

I aim to work out 5 days a week plus a family fun activity (walking in the frozen river or going to a park or riding a bike). I like to workout early, so I usually start around 5:30am, put some music on without waking up the family, and get to it. What joining Gym Jones taught me even with the constraints of the basement is that intent is what matters most. You need to show up not just physically but mentally. You need to seek purpose through movement and strength. It is a very humbling experience.

What’s your favorite exercise?

Tough question. I find beauty in calisthenics: Burpees, push-ups, chin-ups, pull-ups, dips… those sorts of moves.

…and your least favorite exercise?

I am not the biggest fan of Turkish Get Ups. They are excellent as an exercise, but oh so challenging.

What is your proudest accomplishment since joining Gym Jones Cult Classic?

When the pandemic hit and I had to stop going to the gym, given how important exercise is to keep my mental sanity, I was truly worried. Thanks to Coach Cate and Gym Jones Cult Classic I not only was able to continue to train, but I improved on endurance, strength and stamina. My resting heart rate is fantastic. And all of that done from my basement, with very little equipment, which shows you that if you have the right mentor and the right attitude you can conquer anything. I am grateful to be part of such an awesome team. I am proud of the group and delighted to be part of it.

What do you love about the Cult Classic Team?

The true sense of community. We are there for each other, we share not only our personal records but also our “blah” days, and we keep everyone up and motivated to continue on this journey. I’ve met people from around the world and we all share the same ethos. We may be apart, but we are in it together. It is so cool!

Do you have any words of advice to others training with an online team?

One thing that comes to mind is to use the team’s collective wisdom: ask questions, ask about substitutions, share your PRs and get a virtual hand up when your day did not go as planned. The other advice I would dare to give applies online and offline: consistency is key. If you did your homework and you think the program you are joining will be challenging but also fun for you -and it is important that you enjoy it- then sign up and commit to the program for at least 3 months. Do things at your own pace, as long as you see progress and you are having a good time while at it.

A note from Javier’s coach: 

“Javier was a very natural choice for our very first athlete-of-the-month. He is truly the backbone of our Cult Classic team. He joined the day we launched our online teams and has been inspiring us all to do our best ever since! He’s often the first one to complete the workout and always leaves notes giving other team members advice, encouragement, and often a good pun. I’m always impressed with his creativity in making things work even without access to a full gym, and he always gives each session his full effort. He’s made incredible progress and he truly embodies the spirit of everything we preach at Gym Jones. I’m honored to have him on my team and am grateful for the opportunity to coach him!” – Coach Cate Williams