Archive for November, 2016

I am getting HUGE this year.  Since August I have gained almost 20 lbs and I am finally starting to lift some heavy weights.

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If you have read my prior posts, my goal this winter was to get my bench press over 315 lbs and to reach 100 lb dumbbells for shoulders.  This week I am going to attempt a 305 lb bench press and also 95 lbs dumbbells for shoulders.  It’s not even December yet and I am already getting really close to my strength goals.

So, what have I done differently this year from other years?

Basically, I am cutting out all of the nonsense and only focusing on the weight lifting.  I am doing ZERO cardio and I cut out all of the extra sets that don’t add any benefit to my strength training.

But what is the problem with my current routine? I am definitely putting on some body fat.

If you are going to bulk up, you are going to add some body fat.  It is really difficult to only add on lean muscle and unfortunately there is only a small amount of bodyfat I am willing to tolerate each year.

I use the mirror as my guide.  If I start seeing any type of rolls, I will start to cut down slightly on the calories and possibly add some cardio.  Rolls are never allowed.

There are also some other ways you can check.  One would be the tightness in your clothes and another would be taking a close look at your face.

If I start to go up fast in waist-size, then I know I need to slow down.  One or two extra sizes is ok, but anything past that and I need to slow down.

The other way to check is by looking at my face.  I’ve always noticed that In the summer my face will start to get very lean and chiseled,  but during my bulk up, it is quite the opposite.  Not only will I start to look aged but my face will start to look bloated and fuller.

Overall, bulking up is not necessarily a problem if you don’t go overboard.  It is one of the best ways to add on solid mass and it is also the best time of year to build up size and strength.

This year I plan on peaking at 180 lbs before I go right back down to 150 in the middle of the summer.

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Good luck!

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I spend a lot of time thinking about the future:

  • What industries will be in heavy demand?
  • What industries will become obsolete?
  • What will bodybuilding training look like in 20 years?
  • What will cardio workouts look like in 20 years?
  • What will the typical family life look like in 20 years?

It is definitely an interesting time to be alive.  The life that I am experiencing today is completely different from the world that my parents and grandparents experienced.

What are some of the major changes?

  • Technology.  Night and day from what my parents and grandparent’s experienced.  I didn’t even have a cell-phone until my junior year of College.
  • Workplace:  Many, many, jobs are becoming location independent.  Unless you need access to raw materials or face-time with clients, many jobs are going to be available wherever there is internet access

Traditionally, when you started a family you would buy a house and that would be the neighborhood that you would raise your family in.  My parents are in the same house since 1979 and so are most of my friend’s parents.

I think that is going to change.

Real estate does have the benefit of a growing population.  There will always be more people in this country (outside of another major war) and there isn’t enough space to fill for everyone.  They don’t have a lot of extra space in cities like New York or San Francisco.

But people are also becoming more mobile.

Could I live in Europe for 6 months, 3 months in my hometown of NYC and 3 months in Florida?

It wouldn’t be very easy, but I could.

I don’t need to be stuck in the same place for 40 consecutive years.

What about training?

I like it when I cook all of my food for the week at the same time.

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(Turkey muscle balls)

I am also a big fan of intermittent fasting and have been very successful using it that last several years.

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Nobody can completely predict the future, but with just a little big of foresight, you can at least set yourself up in a good situation.

Which careers are going to be “hot”? At least in my opinion:

  • Anything health care related.  Many, many, senior citizens.
  • Natural and organic food.
  • Estate planning.  Many, many, senior citizens.

 

And for training/bodybuilding:

 

  • Less long distance-running.  I have stated many times that I do not think long-distance running is healthy.
  • Less sets.  I like to hit it and quit it.  Heavy weights, less bullsh%t sets.
  • Short, fast, cardio.  More sprinting for people ages 40+
  • Pre-planned meals.  More preparation in advance for the general population.

 

So what do you think the future will be like?

-John

Check out my new book on amazon.com!

If you want to get wealthy, you need to work hard and you need to be willing to work long hours.  I don’t believe in short cuts nor do I believe in the Tim Ferris “4 hour work week”.


The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich
Tim tried to apply his “4 hour work out” to bodybuilding and he didn’t make any progress.

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I recently took a break from any type of cardio and I am amazed by how quickly my energy levels are decreasing.  Although I have been bulking up and gaining strength, I can feel a noticeable decrease in energy from when I was still doing cardio workouts.

The same theory goes for working and building wealth.

Recently I have been working a lot of late nights.  Typically, this is my busiest time of year up until the middle of December and it is not uncommon for me to work until 1o or 11 at night.  It’s interesting, but I am starting to see a lot of similarities between the stamina I had built up from running and the stamina I am building up from working.

From working a bunch of late nights, a 9 to 5 work day now feels like a half day for me.  My stamina is so strong now that I can basically work all day and night and still wake up the next day feeling fresh.

In business you need stamina.  If your coworkers are working from 9 to 5 and you can work from 8 to 6, you should be able to surpass their performance.  The same goes for sales jobs, studying for licensing exams or starting a side business.

Some of my friends laugh when they see me working side businesses, but an extra $10K a year can make a huge difference.  $10K a year over a 30 year career is $300K before interest, that is a TON of money.

So take my advice on this.  Running, graduate school, 2nd job, etc.  You will be surprised by how much you can increase your wealth and improve your career when you work on improving your stamina.

-John

Check out my book on amazon.com!

26 years old, in my power lifting prime : )  182 lbs….

 

If is officially 2 months since I’ve done any cardio at all and I’m not going to lie, I feel horribly out of shape.

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I am breathing heavy after simple tasks, my energy level has gone down and I generally feel lazy.

Cardio is IMPORTANT.

I need to add cardio back into my routine soon.  Of course, I am not advocating long-distance running by any measure, but I do believe everyone needs some amount of cardio.

This year I am going to hold out until at least Jan 1st.  I was originally going to try to make it until Valentines Day, but to be honest, I don’t know if it is healthy for me to wait that long.

It’s amazing how much less energy I have since I stopped doing cardio and my breathing is becoming very labored.

The only problem when I start adding cardio workouts is that It makes me slightly weaker in the gym.  For me to bulk up this year, the next several weeks are crucial.  I need to lift as heavy as possible before I get back into the cardio workouts.

It’s also important that I keep my calorie intake high.  If I keep my calorie intake up while doing cardio I can still bulk up, but it does make it slightly more difficult.  The key with the cardio is quality over quantity.  Sprinting, basketball, tennis, etc.  I want to avoid any type of long distance cardio and focus on my speed and quickness.

I did a solid year of cardio without missing more than a week and now only 2 months after taking a break, I can notice the difference.  And it is staggering.

Cardio is very important for overall health, just as long as you don’t over do it.

This is an eye opener for me.  For the next several weeks, I need to really start going heavier in the gym.  My 37th birthday is coming up next month, I have a child on the way and I definitely don’t need an early heart attack.

Clean diet, heavy lifting and then I will slowly add some cardio to my routine around New Years.

-John

At least for my body, the “high rep”, multiple set workouts, do absolutely nothing for me.

I prefer to hit my muscles hard and end it quick.

I know that Schwarzenegger claims to have worked out for multiple hours at a time, but I’m not sure If I really believe it.  Even some of his old trainers have claimed that he didn’t work out that long.

I also don’t believe anything that I read.

I have tried using “high rep” workout routines numerous times and in almost every situation I ended up weaker and often injured.

This Fall I have been trying to get back to the basics and build up my strength.  I am focusing on 4-8 repetitions for most of the major body parts and I am also keeping my set counts as low as possible.

Is it working? Heck yeah.

It feels like only several weeks ago I was 149 lbs and running 4x  a week.  Now it is the middle of November and I am already up to 167 lbs and starting to lift heavy weights.

My lifts so far have been impressive:

  • 90lb shoulder dumbbells
  • 285 lb bench press
  • 500lb leg press

It is only November and I am starting to quickly approach my winter goals.  My bench press should be over 300 lb’s any day now and 100 lb dumbbells for shoulders are also in reach.

At some point I am going to have to slow down and reintroduce my cardio.  At first I was considering adding cardio workouts back into my routine by early December but now I am considering waiting until Valentines Day.

Personally, I don’t like having too much time pass without any cardio and I don’t think it is very healthy, but I feel like I needed more muscle mass this past summer.  I want to make sure that I retain some solid muscle next year, so I am going to try to stick it out a little bit longer.

Overall, if the high rep, multiple set workouts work for you, then by all means go for it.  But if you aren’t seeing gains right away, I recommend that you drop it immediately.

Bodybuilding is about making progress.  Your body has to make changes or you are wasting your time.

-John

For the life of me, I can not figure out why anyone does not workout.

On my blog I have spoken numerous times about the benefits of exercise and a proper diet and the fact that most Americans still don’t exercise is unbelievable.

Do you want to stay alive?

We are blessed living  in a relatively safe time period in U.S History.  Most of our basic human needs of food, water and shelter are met and our country hasn’t had a major war in over 30 years.

Once all your needs are met, you need to focus on being HEALTHY.

I am going to become a first time parent in several months and my wife and I are already planning out our workout routines.  For me, nothing much is going to change.  I work out Monday to Friday during my lunch and when I am cutting up, I will do my cardio workouts after work including the weekends.

My wife is either going to drop the baby off at her mother’s during the day for an hour or we will take our child to the gym with us at night (gym has babysitting).

I’m not worth much to my children If I die young and that’s why it is important for me to stay in shape.

That includes both cardio, diet and weight lifting for the rest of my life.

Enjoy your Sunday!

-John

I learned my lesson the hard way.  By living and surviving through major recessions in 2001 and in 2008/2009, I cannot overstate how important it is to have a plan B.

What happens if your job is eliminated and eliminated quickly?

Can you afford your rent, cell phone, car insurance, food, and gym membership for one year?

Most people can’t.

The first time I worked two jobs was right after I graduated from College.  At that point I wasn’t necessarily worried about losing my job since I lived with my parents, but more importantly, I wanted to save some quick money.

And it worked great.

Almost 15 months after graduating from College, I had saved over $20k.

But more importantly, I learned how a second job gave me some flexibility.  If I wanted to leave my first job, or if I got laid off, the second job was there for me.

I have met so many older Americans that have only worked and committed to one place of business and unfortunately had their rug ripped out from under them.

2001 was bad.  2008/2009 was really bad.

I don’t want to get into the importance of having a nest egg since that is obvious, but not enough people have a plan B.

A great example would be the auto workers in Detroit.  For years, the jobs were slowly starting to leave before they almost became non-existent.  If you find yourself in the same situation, you need to start a 2nd job before your position is eliminated.

Healthcare. Education. Retail. Restaurant/Tourism, etc.  There are a lot of fields where people can possibly work part time and have the opportunity to switch to full time if necessary.

Another idea is a side business.

If you can start up a successful side business, you can save a TON of money.

I have been working in sales part time for the last 3 years, and so far, it was been very profitable.  Profitable enough that I don’t think I could have afforded to get married and support my pregnant wife like I am now.

But that best part is that if I lose my 9-5 job, I can jump into my sales job full time on day ONE.  I won’t earn the same that I was, but I have a solid chance to break even with my bills and support my family.

So take my advice, take on a 2nd career.  You will be surprised by how much you can earn.

-John

I have been working out for over 20 years straight.  That includes competing in both High School and Collegiate track and field, over 20 powerlifting competitions and at least 100 road races (1 mile up to the Half Marathon)

And after all of these years, I can honestly say that have a training partner helps.  It is not 100% necessary, but overall it definitely helps.

In running, a training partner is really useful in breaking up the monotony.  Going for a 5-mile run on a Sunday morning becomes a lot easier when you have a training partner. For long-distance running, having multiple partners are even better.

If you watch the famous Kenyans or the Ethiopian marathoners train, they almost always run in large groups.

For powerlifting  and bodybuilding you don’t necessarily need a partner to train, but it really helps with both the bench press and squatting.

Personally, I don’t like to bench press over 275 lb’s without a spot.  Occasionally if I am going for a single and I am feeling strong, I will lift 275-300 lb’s  without a spot. But benching with a spot is not ideal and it could become dangerous.

Last week I bench pressed 265 for 5 reps and I just asked a random stranger for a spot.  It’s annoying to bother strangers, but If I want to go heavy, I am going to have to ask for a spotter.  I can’t risk my life every time I train my chest.

Every other exercise I can basically do by myself.  Deadlifts, shoulder dumbbells, biceps, chins, bent over rows, triceps, all of these exercises can all be done solo.

But I not going to lie, I miss having a training partner.

It’s a shame but I have lost all of my old training partners from either people moving to different cities, changing jobs or some people just becoming lazy and giving up.

A good training partner can keep you on track, motivate you and make you a better athlete.

This year my bulk up has been coming really good, but I have a feeling that I am going to at least need a consistent spotter soon.

There is no way I am going to start attempting 315-355lb bench presses while only weighing 165.

Fun week coming up! Day light savings time is this Sunday, including the NYC Marathon!

Happy Halloween…