Archive for July, 2016

It’s hard to believe, but tomorrow will be August 1st.

For me this is good news, because July is my least favorite month of the year.    July is just too hot in NYC and getting up and going to work everyday becomes such a chore.  There is nothing worse than sweating in your work shirt as you wait on a crowded 7:30am train platform.

But, summer is almost over and August is here already!  August is also really hot, but usually a tad bit cooler than July and late August can get really nice.

August is also a great time to run outside.  Although I ran outside for most of July, it was just too hot for me to really go crazy.  After just a mile or two, I sweat more than I would by running 5 miles in the Fall or the Winter.

I am also peaking for low body weight and body fat percentage.  I plan on staying on my diet all the way up to Labor Day but most of the heavy weight loss has already been done.  This year I went from a peak of 170 lbs in the winter, down to 151lbs last week.  My summer goal was to see 149 lbs for the first time since High School and I should have a good chance of hitting it next week.

My weight lifting routine in August is basically the same.  I don’t expect to see any real strength gains in August, if anything, I am probably at my weakest.  But I don’t worry too much about my strength, because I know I will start going heavier in the Fall while I slowly gain weight.

But when it comes to cardio, August is the best time to get ready for some Fall running.  The fall has most of my favorite races and if you plan on running fast in the Fall you will need to have a strong August.

Starting in August I am going to try to run at least 5x a week and towards the end of the month I might go up to 6x a week.

My plan is to run 3 or 4 races between now and Nov 1st and then I am done racing for the year.  After the Fall, I will get into a heavy power lifting routine and start to gain weight.

So enjoy your August and make sure you get your cardio in.  Another 4 or 5 weeks and the weather will start to cool down!

-John

This year, I give myself an 8.5.

My weight training and running routine has gone well and my diet has been on point.  Until last week, when I unfortunately ended up in the hospital, I haven’t missed a day of training this entire year.

For my weight training this year, I give myself a “8”.  In the beginning of the year I was training for the Arnold Classic Pump and Run, so I was working on a high-rep scheme, but since St Patrick’s Day I have been going heavy.

My goal this year was to hit a 300 lb bench and 90’s for shoulders dumbbells.  Although I was slowed down by some injuries, I still got pretty close to my goals.

At only 152 lbs in body weight, I was able to work up to 285 lbs on the bench press and I finally got up to 85 lb dumbbells for shoulders.   Overall, I wish I was a little bit stronger, but I still able to lift decent weights.

With the running, I rate myself an “9”.

I ran a 5:35 mile in April without really training for it and my 5K has been in the 20:30 range.  I am really close to hitting my goal of under 20 minutes in the 5k.  I would love to hit it by the end of this summer or at least in the Fall.

Diet: My diet has been close to a “9”.   Besides eating some chips or a couple beers on the weekend, my diet was super tight this year.  I went from 170 lbs during my bulk up, down to a super lean 151 lbs last week.

Overall: My training went really well in the Spring and Summer.  I was consistent with my weight training, cardio and diet, and I was able to get my body fat to a super low level.

I am going to try to stay pretty lean until my honeymoon in September, after that, I will slowly begin my Fall and Winter bulk up.

-JA

 

 

 

Injuries suck.  There is no other way to say it.

It’s interesting, but I’ve actually had way more injuries from running than I have from weight lifting.

Long-distance running will break your body down, there is no way around it.  Colds, shin splints, bone fractures, etc.

Running is a high-impact sport and whoever says otherwise is lying to you.

With weight lifting I’ve had more nagging injuries.  As of today, I need to warm up my rotator cuff’s for 20 minutes just to bench press or do any shoulder exercises, and I can’t even bend down without my knee’s cracking in pain.

Rest does help some injuries, but for nagging injuries, it sometimes makes it worse.

Trust me on this, sometimes taking time off makes my injuries hurt 10x more, depending on the body part.

When my lower back hurts, I need rest.

When my shoulders hurt, I need to make sure I don’t rest.

When my hamstrings hurt, I need rest.

But overall, if you are seriously injured and not just overworked, you should take some time off.

The key when taking off from the gym or running, is to stay on your diet.  Don’t use a week or two off from the gym as an excuse to gain 10 lbs.  If you stay on your diet, you should be able to minimize the losses.

So, what was my major sports-related injury?

NOTHING.

I tripped during my bachelor party, hit my head, and ended up in the hospital.

 

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JA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In my latest you tube video I discuss the 2 best ways, in my experience, to defeat depression.

The 2 Best Ways To End Depression

Running is running. If you can break a 5-minute mile after work or in an official race, it is all the same.

Running is Running. Time is Time.

But for some reason, it never happens that way.

Almost all running records are set in major competitions. Competition is very important and I discuss it at length in my next book that is coming out in the Fall.

Competition can help you push past your plateu’s and keep yourself motivated.

When I ran track and field in College, having teammates really helped a lot with my training. In powerlifting I was able to train by myself, but the training involved in running or bike riding, is a lot different. It helps to have someone to break up the monotony involved in distance training.

But scientifically, there is no reason why someone can’t step up to the track on a random day and break their own 3-mile running record.

It is all mental.

This year my goal was to finally break the 20-minute barrier in a 5K. This is a time I haven’t reached in almost 17 years.

I am getting close and I have been able to hold the 6:27 pace for the first two miles before I have been losing it on the 3rd mile.

I am TRYING to prevent increasing my mileage and adding more running days to my schedule, because I don’t find that type of training to be healthy. When I add more distance to my routine,  I usually end up burning off too much muscle mass.  Hopefully I won’t gain too much body fat, but I think I am going to have to add an extra cardio day or slightly increase the mileage.

There are one or two races coming up in July and then I am getting married on August 6th. I would LOVE to hit the goal before I get married, but if not, I will rather drop dead if I don’t reach it in the Fall.

Good luck!

Check out my new book for my running routines!

Let’s face it, dieting and getting ripped can be difficult when you start a new relationship.

As a bodybuilder, you spend months powerlifting and doing cardio, only to take your date out for a romantic 4-thousand calorie, Italian, dinner.

Yes, you can try to order healthy options.  But, there is nothing attractive about a guy ordering water and broiled salmon for dinner.

You need to eat.

Eating is a big part of being in a relationship.  Whether you are 15 or 85, couples spend a lot of time eating and sleeping together. It is important.

But let’s be honest, most couples are way TOO overweight.

Americans in general are overweight.

I am not going to lie; the best shape I have ever been in was when I was single.  But at this point in my life, I can still get pretty ripped, even though I am about to get married.

This year I got ENGAGED and I am still in the top 3 best shape of my life.  I cut over 20 lbs from my winter bulk up and my fiance also has lost over 15 lbs.

YOU NEED TO STAY IN SHAPE TOGETHER.

My future wife is a great cook, thank god.  And we cook together 6 days a week and usually eat healthy.

We still like to go out to eat, but even when we go out to eat together, we still like to order something healthy.

This past weekend we stayed at my parents house in Cape May, New Jersey. We both LOVE going out for breakfast in Cape May, but it is not necessarily the healthiest meals.

To minimize the amount of damage to our diets, we came to a healthy compromise.

We RAN to breakfast.

Well actually I ran and she rode the bike, but nonetheless, we did a cardio session straight to breakfast.

A 3-mile run in the heat, followed by an omelette with toast and potato’s. Perfect compromise!

As a couple, you owe it to each other to stay healthy.

If one of you ends up with early heart disease or diabetes, you did to yourself.

Either you did not exercise enough together as a family or you were too LAZY to take the time to cook healthy meals.

No excuses!

But most importantly, you owe it to your children to stay alive.

Some diseases you catch from just bad luck, but I’ll be damned if I put my kids future in jeopardy by dying early because of my dietary habits.

Work out, eat right, enjoy your life together.

Good luck!

Check out my new workout guide! It contains my diet plan, cardio and also weight lifting routines.

I’m sorry to disappoint anyone, but if you don’t have a 6-pack this summer, you aren’t working out correctly.

A 6-pack is a basic mandatory pose for any bodybuilder.  I have a 6-pack every summer and so does my old training partner Joe, from http://fitnessfromgroundzero.blogspot.com

Getting a 6-pack takes a lot of work, but you once you know what you are doing, it becomes almost routine.

There are two basic rules to building a 6-pack:

A) You need to lift heavy weights: During most of the year, you need to lift heavy weights.  Stick with the compound lifts, including bench press, shoulder dumbbells, barbell curls, squats, deadlifts, leg press, etc.

The only way to put on mass and muscle size to to lift heavy weights.  If your max bench press is under 250lbs, you probably wont have a large chest.  You need to lift heavy weights and the stronger, the better.

B)  You need to diet down:  I lose at least 15 lbs between the winter and summer.  Along with a strict diet and cardio, I try to maintain as much muscle mass as possible while I start to lose weight.

If you follow those 2 basic rules, you should be able to CUT down to a 6-pack.

The reason that MOST people don’t reach a 6-pack, is that they DONT lose enough weight. You NEED to lose weight or you will not have a 6-pack.

Where I workout in NYC, at least 90% or more of the people in the gym are overweight.

When you continue to lose the weight, you will slowly start to see the cuts coming in.  Eventually it should look like this:

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It’s unfortunate, but there are a ton of bodybuilders giving advice that really have no idea what they are talking about.

One of them is Tim Ferriss.  Tim wrote a best selling workout guide but has a physique with a really high body fat.

timmm

The best part is that I believe he admitted to taking steroids.  He seems like a nice guy, but he doesn’t really have a clue about bodybuilding.

jabeer

If you want specifics, check out my bodybuilding guide.  I tell you exactly how and when to cut the weight, including my weight lifting routine.

Good luck!