Archive for October, 2016

You need to EAT.  EAT, EAT and more EATING.

If you want to just put on lean muscle, that could be a problem.  But if you are looking to just lift some heavy-ass weights, you need to eat or you aren’t going to make any process.

I can’t BELIEVE how strong I am getting this year.  I cut off my cardio workouts about a month and half ago and I am already lifting near my  winter goals in some exercises.

So what have I been doing differently?

First of all, I stopped all of the high rep, multiple set nonsense.  Maybe that works for you, but for me it does just the opposite.  I lose muscle mass and my body starts to look very stringy.

But most importantly, I am taking in a TON of protein.  I don’t count my calories, but I am consuming a large amount of fish, chicken, peanuts and steak on a weekly basis.

Today I lifted 80’s for 7 reps in shoulder dumbbells.  That is not my best, but I am not far off from my peak.  At my best ever, I was up to 80’s for 10 and 105’s for 1.  I should be able to reach that pretty easily.

I am also surprised by how strong my muscle memory is this year.  I have been lifting heavy for the last 15 years and my body is responding so fast, it is almost unbelievable.

The late 30’s and early 40’s are very strong years for powerlifting and bodybuilding.  It’s hard for a young person to compete with someone who has years of 600 lb deadlifts and 400 lb bench press under their belt.   Building up mass takes time.

My basic goals this winter was to hit 315ish in the bench and over 100’s in the shoulder dumbbells.  It’s still not even November yet, but I think I might break that pretty soon.

I also planned to reintroduce my cardio workouts in December.  But with the success I’ve been having in the gym recently, I might even postpone that until February.

Why stop when something is working?

Pictures and more videos coming soon..

-John

I have been working really hard recently.  Between my regular job, the gym and my side-business, I have been putting in 70-80 hour weeks.

Last week I was speaking to a potential client that retired after owning a pizzeria for over 30 years.  The client told me stories about how he would wake up at 5 am for work and not return until midnight, 7 days a week, including Christmas and New Years Eve.

It was sad, but after all those years of hard work, not only did he have meager savings but he also had a massive heart attack towards the end of his career.

There is no doubt that this person worked HARD, but did he work smart?

Yes and No.  He owns a home in a decent neighborhood.  There is food on the table.

But I almost felt bad for him.   Working 100 hours a week for your entire life with not much to show for it is tough.

If you put that much work into real estate, law, accounting, engineering, or any other high paying profession, you SHOULD be at least relatively middle class.

But who am I to kid? That’s what I have been doing recently.

Between the pains in my chest and the sleepless nights, I have been working too hard.

This weekend I decided to take a mini-break.  I’ve only been married for 2 months and I am barely spending time with my wife.

Not only am I resting this weekend but I want to focus on working smarter instead of hard.  Don’t get me wrong, hard work is important, but just because you put in a lot of time doesn’t mean you are doing it right.

It’s the same with bodybuilding.  Intensity is a lot more important than volume.   I actually see volume as the enemy and not beneficial.

This “bulk up” season I have been trying to focus more on putting up the heavy numbers and less on adding worthless sets.

This week I bench pressed 245 pretty easily for a couple reps, I did 75’s for 8 in shoulders dumbbells and I leg pressed over 550.  The numbers I am reaching in the middle of October are a strong indicator that I should be pretty strong this winter.

I’m not sure If I will break my bench press record of 345, but I am 100% going to break my leg press record and I have a decent shot of breaking my dumbbell shoulder record of 105’s.

In conclusion: my goal now is to work smarter and not harder.  The goes for both my career and in the gym.

-John

I am only 5 or 6 weeks into my bulk up and so far my plan is going great.  I am already maxing out the same as I did last year in the leg press and I am rapidly gaining strength in the bench press and shoulder dumbbells.

If I keep up the pace I am on, I should destroy last years bulk up numbers.  But experience has taught me that A) my pace will slow down B) Injuries will happen.

This week I am going to attempt 75’s for 10.  Once I can hit 80’s for 10 I am right back into the heavy stuff.

The body definitely has muscle memory.  I haven’t gone this heavy in a while and the strength is coming back almost immediately.  I am surprised by how strong I am getting after just several weeks of extra calories.

It is fine to gain weight in the winter, but I want to make sure that I don’t put on too much body fat.  Lean muscle is the goal this winter.

I am also really enjoying the fact that I haven’t been doing any cardio.  The cardio workouts were really starting to wear me out.

Originally I had planned to reintroduce the cardio in December, but now I am thinking I might take a complete break until Jan 1.

Winter is right around the corner! I can’t wait for some heavy lifting…

-John

I’m officially into my winter bulk up and I am rapidly increasing the calories.

This year I plan on going from a low of 149 lb’s this summer to possibly over 180.  Around 180-185 lbs is basically the heaviest I ever want to weigh again.  I don’t believe it is healthy to stay overweight for an extended period of time and I only plan on staying heavy for several weeks at most.

It’s interesting but I actually look really good during the first month that I start bulking up.  A little bit of extra calories makes a difference for me.  After only several weeks of increased calories I am already up to 70’s for 10 in shoulder dumbbells and 245 for 7 in the bench press.  My goals this year is to go up to 110’s for shoulder dumbbells and 335 for bench press.

Although I am consuming a large amount of calories, it is still important that you eat clean throughout the year.  I want to make sure that I put on the least amount of body fat while attempting to only add lean muscle mass.

My favorite part about bulking up is that I haven’t used a scale in a long time.  I am basically just eating a ton of food and not worrying about how much I weigh.  Around November 1st I will step back on the scale just to make sure that I am not gaining weight too fast.  If I am too heavy I will have to cut down slightly on the calories.

Overall, I feel that bulking up is important, just as long as you only stay heavy for a short time period.  It’s perfectly fine to increase the calories, but still make sure that you continue to eat cleanly.

I like to embrace winter.  Its starting to get colder outside, the sun is starting to set earlier and the holidays are right around the corner.

Couldn’t ask for a better time to bulk up.

So enjoy your extra eating, your extra sleeping and most importantly, your heavier lifting.

-John

If there something we don’t have enough of, it is time.

We will all most likely die.  And there are also years where we can be very productive (ages 16-70) and years that we aren’t (ages 0-16 and 70-death)

Our time is limited.

And when you finally come to the conclusion that our time is limited, you will start to learn how to stop wasting time.

  • If you have an exercise routine that doesn’t work: Stop it
  • If you have a job that isn’t promoting you: Work on finding somewhere else to work
  • If you are in a relationship that isn’t going anywhere: Leave immediately.

I sincerely believe that everyone should have a side-business.  Today’s economy is becoming a gig economy and life-long jobs like my parents had are slowly starting to become extinct.

I have tried multiple side businesses and multiple different exercise routines in my life and now I can finally say that I have found a routine that works for me.

Through trial and error, I have been able to cut out the waste.

My body responds to heavy weight lifting and fast running.  Long, slow, long-distance does not work for me and the same can be said for high repetition weight lifting.

When it comes to side jobs/businesses there are an UNLIMITED number of opportunities:

  • Sales
  • Personal training
  • Book Writing
  • Real estate
  • Bartending

There are plenty of ways to make a decent living today and the only way for you to find out what works is to TRY.

  • Work on your gym routine
  • Work on your career

And most importantly, work on yourself.

-John

Happy Hump Day!

I read an interesting interview the other day by the famous bodybuilder Lee Priest.  Basically, Lee stated that if your genetics don’t allow you to grow almost immediately, then you should probably give up on ever becoming a professional bodybuilder.

I agree.

If you don’t have the perfect set of genetics, you will never become a champion bodybuilder.  And that doesn’t go for just bodybuilding; that also pertains to basketball, track and field, swimming,tennis and many other sports.  Let’s face it, if you are only 5’2 with short arms, you probably will never be able to out swim Michael Phelps.

But even if you don’t have superstar genetics, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t compete or quit working out, you just need be honest with yourself.  If you weren’t born with the right genetics, any amount of training won’t make a difference.  You will never become Arnold Schwarzenegger just by training exactly the same way he did.

So forget about being Arnold and focus on becoming the best that you can be.

Anyone can gain muscle, remove body fat and build a nice, cut, 6-pack.  All it takes is hard work, dedication and consistency.

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The key is to find the right combination of training that works for YOU.

Arnold was famous for using tons of sets in his training, that routine doesn’t work me.

My body needs heavy weights, small sets and a moderate amount of cardio.  I have been training for over 20 years now and I can tell with almost certainty the routines that work for my body and the ones that don’t.

Something has to change. You need to look different week after week.

And if you are not seeing any results, change your routine up IMMEDIATELY.  Don’t stick with a program that isn’t working.

Change your diet

Change your cardio

Change your rep and weight scheme

As I stated above, only a small percentage of the population can professional bodybuilders. But if you find the routine that works the best for you, I can almost guarantee that you can make impressive gains.

You used to bench press 225, now you can bench press 275: GAINS

You used to run the mile in 8 minutes, now you can run it in 6:36:  GAINS

You used to weigh 225, now you are stronger at 190: GAINS

-John

Need some help with  your routine? Check out my latest book on Amazon.com

If there is one major thing they don’t teach you in business school, it is networking.  Working in a University is very different from working in the real world and there are certain personality skills that cannot necessarily be taught.

One rule of thumb is: It really helps to be liked.

No matter what you are doing in life; sales, marketing, civil service, personal training, etc.  You will be surprised by how much MORE you can accomplish if you are a likable person.

People want to work around people that they like.  And unless your work is really exceptional, it’s hard to make it anywhere if you are not liked or respected.

And that brings me to NETWORKING.  Networking is so important that it can’t be understated.  Strong networking can open doors and keep you employed for years on end.

In business you need to know people.  In the last several years I have picked up several important mentors that without them, I would never have made a dime or learned the business.

Knowing someone can get you to the front of the interview line, or even better, a guaranteed position.

It can also get you invited to an afternoon yacht ride, skiing in Aspen or happy hour in Central Park.

It can even find you a spouse.

At this stage in my life, I try to force myself to meet new people.  Whether is signing up for a class or selling a new product, I try to meet and gain connections with as many people as I can.  Some end up being useless or time wasting but others become home-run connections or life-long friends.  But overall, it is important to meet new people.

Do you want to be my friend?

-John

I love running. I have been running races since I was 6-years old and I do not plan on ever stopping.

But do I think its good for children?

Yes and No.