Archive for July, 2017

Years ago when I was back in College, I started a daily training log where I wrote down my weight lifting and running numbers and I kept it up until I was in my early 20’s.

I saved all of the books and sometimes I will look through it just to see what type of training I was using.

Today I don’t keep a log, but generally, I will run several races every year and in the summer I will take some bodybuilding pics. I know my limitations in the gym and with running, so I don’t need to write it down anymore.

One thing I have noticed after all these years, is that I need to stay “aggressive”.

This goes not only for my training; but also for earning money and living my life.

I will give some examples.  If there is a course or certification that you need to take for work, get it done.  Don’t procrastinate, don’t hesitate, do it.

If you aren’t earning enough in your current job but feel comfortable, get “uncomfortable”

If you want to train for a half-marathon, sign up for the race immediately and start training.

If I review the last 10 years of my life, probably 6 or 7 of them were aggressive and several of them were passive.

I need to stop having passive years.

I am going to turn 38 this year and I have a 3-month old child.  It’s either going to happen or it isn’t.

Some examples include:

  • Start law school
  • Write a book
  • Go back to school for a 2nd career
  • Get a second job
  • Lose 20 lbs

There is never a good reason to “cruise” through life until the very end.

You need to work hard and keep pushing!

Good luck!

-John

Lift Heavy/Fun Fast on Amazon.com!

 

I’m going to give you a clue, it’s not from working out less.

It’s also not from eating more.

Last week I went out to an Iron Maiden concert in Brooklyn and I ended up missing my weight goal.  I was planning on weighing under 155 lbs by Sunday, but unfortunately I ended up at 156.

Of course you can say it’s only one lb, but at this time in the summer, I want to go down to 150.  One or two bad weekends can ruin your entire summer physique.

Since I had a bad weigh-in, I decided I need to train harder this week and cut down the calories.

First thing I did, was I added an extra cardio day.  My usual cardio days are Tuesday’s, Thursday’s and Saturday’s.  Today I did a 2nd session on the treadmill after work. so this week I will do cardio Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

I also need to get super strict on my diet.  I’m not going to lie, it was over 90 degrees out for several days in a row in NYC and I ended up having some ice cream.   When it’s that hot out, I need to relax.  It’s the same as having a nice bowl of chili when it is 10 degrees out and snowing; comfort food.

So overall, last week was a disaster but there no excuses for me not to get back on the train.

Super strict diet, an extra day of cardio and I “should” be able to get my weight down to 154-153.

I plan on weighing myself Thursday night after my third cardio session and depending on where I am, that will decide how hard I need to train on Saturday.

-John

 

If you follow my blog ,you know that I have been a runner for YEARS.

I love running and I have probably competed in over 200 races. But recently, the running has been really burning me out, both physically and mentally.

Most importantly, I’m not 100% convinced that it is really healthy for you.  I rarely get sick, but when I am running hard, I seem to start coming down with nagging colds.

I am also not sure If I need it to get cut, especially the long distance running, which might do the opposite.

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Recently I have been trying to add more sprinting and interval training, along with actually playing sports.

This year I have been playing a lot of basketball and I find it to be a great substitute for running.  It might actually even work a lot better.

There are a couple of noticeable differences:

  • It works the muscles more. When I play basketball I  use a ton of sprinting, jumping, fighting for rebounds, etc.
  • I can work out longer.  I can play basketball for an hour easy, but when I am running, I go for 20 minutes and then I am spent.
  • Since I am outside longer I also get a lot more tan.

 

And finally, it’s not BORING.

 

Last week, I played my first full court basketball game in almost 20 years and I couldn’t believe how hard of a workout it is.

In my teenage years I would play for 5-6 hours a day.  My body misses those long days of exercise.

My plan now is to stick with a mix of running and basketball and I  also might start playing tennis with my wife.

My advice, don’t forget about sports! Running can get boring.  Try to mix in some tennis, soccer, basketball or any other sport that forces you to run.

-John

 

A lot of people call bodybuilders obsessed and I have often been called that myself.

But, I don’t think that’s fair.

Don’t get me wrong, if you won’t touch a piece of cake at your own wedding, then yes, you might need to loosen up.

But make no doubt about it, working out and dieting are the most important aspects of your life and you need to take it serious.

You aren’t worth much dead and nothing will stop your aging in your tracks like exercise and a proper diet.

This is a picture from my wedding last year at age 37.  Since I started dieting around age 28, my aging has been minimal.

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I am only 2 years away from my 40th birthday and I am amazed by how I was able to stop my aging.

40 is definitely the new 30, but I want to make it the new 25.

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Although I look young for my age, just because you look a certain way, doesn’t mean you are necessarily healthy.

In your teens and 20’s you can get away with almost anything, but that becomes a whole new ballgame when you get older, especially if you have an unhealthy diet.

Since I reached my mid-30’s, I have numerous friends that have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, cholesterol, and I also know two coworkers that have had mini strokes.

The economic aspect of your health is also significant.

I don’t know about your insurance, but my son cost me $6,500 for his delivery this year and if I end up sick, my bill is going to hit our family max of $10K out of pocket.

These costs also may include missed days of work, loss of promotions and opportunities,  and the high costs of prescription drugs, etc.

Trust me on this, being unhealthy can hurt your career.

It’s unfortunate, but “ageism” does exist in this country.  When interviewing between a healthy looking 42-year old person and someone at the same age who appears in bad shape, it helps to look healthy.  People notice, as unfair as that may sound.

Being in good help also helps with fertility, and trust me, once you get married this is a big one.  I feel “blessed” that my wife was able to have her first child at 36.  For our 2nd child, my wife will be between 38-40, god willing.

Time is not on our side, but keeping a healthy lifestyle does help.

And finally, probably the most important part about working out and dieting, is the quality of life.

Sure, you can possibly sit on the couch and life to 95-years old, but what kind of retirement is that?

Wouldn’t you rather be able to dead lift 400 lb’s at age 70?

Or run a half marathon at age 75?

Play 2 hours of tennis in the middle of the summer at age 80?

Get on a plane to see the running of the bulls in Spain as an 82-year old?

Take your grand kids to the park and play basketball at 79?

There are a ton of people who can’t even do that at age 40 and its sad.

Now remember, you don’t need to become obsessed, but you need to take it serious.

Diet, weights, cardio.  The trifecta of healthy lifting.

95% of the time, the trifecta should work.

Otherwise, we leave it all up to a higher power.

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-John

Check out my book on amazon.com!

I love running.  I have been running on and off for over 20 years and I love the sport.

But it wears me out.

For some reason, no matter how hard I try, I cannot run for an entire year straight.  I can run hard for 4-6 months tops and then my body and central nervous system needs a break.

Many runners never take off,  I don’t know how they do it.

Weight training is different.  I have been weight lifting for 20 years straight and I never take off.  I won’t always set records and sometimes I have nagging injuries, but I never feel burnt out from weight lifting.

This summer I am slowly getting back into running, but to be honest, I’m not really feeling it.  As an alternative, I have been trying to get back into basic sports.

Basketball and tennis.

What’s wrong with using sports instead of running? Cardio is cardio.

I played an hour of 3 on 3 basketball last week in 90 degree heat and it felt harder than a 8-mile run.

But more importantly, it’s fun.  Running can get really boring after a while.

So, what it is my advice? Don’t forget about sports.  There is nothing wrong with playing tennis 3x a week or going swimming.  You might even burn off more fat than any type of running.

-John

P.S. I have my 2nd book coming out on amazon in two weeks!

This was a good weekend for working out.  I FINALLY was able to sneak onto a track in Staten Island and run some sprints.

For some reason Staten Island locks down all of the public High School tracks so that nobody can use them.  (I’m from Brooklyn)

And I was able to run (6) 200 meter runs in the blazing heat.

After only several intervals, I remembered why I love sprinting for burning off the fat.

After the run my body was in complete pain!

I also like running tempo runs, but after you get into good shape, I can run 3 miles in 21 minutes without breaking a sweat.

With sprinting, it never really gets easy. And if it does get easy, you aren’t running hard enough,

After I got home from the track I felt like playing basketball, so I went down to the courts near my house.  I planned on taking it easy and shooting around for an hour until some kids asked me to join a 3 on 3 game.

I haven’t played in a game in over 5 years and again I was hurting.

Playing basketball outside in the July heat is no joke.

Saturday’s complete workout: 6 X 200 meter sprints on the track followed by 3 on 3 basketball.

My plan for this upcoming week is to stay on my diet.  I want to hit 155 lbs’ this week and cut another 5 before the end of the summer.  My abs are starting to pop and I think another couple lbs and I should start looking pretty ripped.

-John

My training has been weird this year.  My son was born in mid-April and that killed part of my spring training momentum, but besides that, I have been almost injury free and reaching good numbers.

I have been working out for almost 20 years now and I’ve noticed something important; I need heavy weight lifting.  Without lifting heavy weights my body doesn’t grow and I notice it even more when I cut up for the summer.

It’s hard to cut up when you don’t have any muscle.

The last couple years I have been able to get really cut, but I feel like I have been missing out on the thick mass that I used to have.

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10 years ago I was benching 345 and deadlifting 580.  Now I am barely hitting 300 lb bench press’s in the winter.

Part of my decrease in strength has been from nagging injuries and the other part has been from the fact that I don’t bulk up as much.

But, If I had to choose the two most important area’s in bodybuilding, it is heavy weight lifting and dieting.

If you can lift heavy and diet down correctly, you should be able to get ripped.

I am not saying that cardio isn’t that important, it is, but for myself the cardio is just the last 10%,

The cardio removes the final body fat for me and also tightens up the skin.

But in reality, the heavy weight lifting and diet is more important.

Case in point, if you only did cardio, you would probably look horrible.  You can get away with only sprinting, but long-distance running without weight lifting will build the worst looking physique you can have.

I should have some summer pics up soon.  I am trying to cut another 5-8 lbs and then peak in August.

New book coming out in a couple of weeks!

-John