Archive for October, 2017

The easy answer is that it depends on the person. But more importantly, you need to find out which routine works the best for your body.

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After years of working out, I can say with 100% certainty that my body responds to low reps.  Not only does my body prefer low reps, but it also prefers heavy weights.

Some people are different.  Arnold Schwarzenegger was famous for doing multiple sets over several hours a day.

Ronnie Coleman was known for lifting super heavy with powerlifting style exercises.

Personally, I prefer the heavy powerlifting style for several reasons:

  • The muscle lasts longer.  When you are lifting heavy weights, the mass stays on for a long time
  • It’s practical. even if you aren’t a bodybuilder, it helps in everyday life to be a stronger person.
  • I always get injured with high reps.

This Fall season, I have been getting back into the old school powerlifting routines.  Heavy weights, low reps and a ton of extra calories.

The same can also pertain to running.   I believe that everyone needs some form of cardio; whether it is running, biking, basketball, etc.

But I definitely do not believe in long distance running.  Training for 1 or 2 marathons in your life isn’t going to kill you, but I don’t recommend it as a long-term training routine.

I actually gain body fat when I run long-distance.   I become “skinny fat”, which is very skinny with a high level of body fat.

When it comes to cardio, I prefer to train the same way as I do with weights.  Quick and fast.  Sprinting, tempo runs, hill repeats and nothing over 5-miles.

By just running 2-4 miles 3x a week, I am able to get my 3 mile time to under 20 minutes.

So overall, do high reps work?

It depends on the person.  Try it out on yourself and track your progress.

Be honest with yourself. If you aren’t making progress then it may not be working for you.

-John

Check out my 2 books on amazon.com or support me on patreon!

Lift Heavy/Fun Fast on Amazon.com!

 

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I’ve said it before and I will say it again; powerlifting is the best way to add-on any mass.  Not only will you add solid muscle, but if you want to use a high rep routine in the future, it will help you to lift heavier weights.

This year I am 2 weeks into my bulk up routine and I am quickly starting to get into heavy weights.

My deadlift goal for the winter was 500 lbs and this Friday I lifted 435 pretty easily.  I would love to hit 500lbs before New Years.

Most people don’t realize it, but you can get really strong by only training 3x a week and even twice a week.  When I was in my heavy powerlifting days, I was only training 3x a week and I was getting super strong.

If you want to stay lean, then I would recommend that you workout 4-6 days a week, but when it comes to building mass, 3 or even 2 workouts a week are just fine.

The key is to make sure that you use the heavy compound lifts.  One of my basic routines was as following:

Monday: Bench/Bicep

Tuesday: Squat/Shoulder

Friday: Deadlift/Back

The reason that I would do squats on Tuesday, is that I want to give myself a several day rest until deadlifts.  If you are deadlifting and squatting over 400 lbs’s in the same week, it really starts to wear down on your body.

From only 3x a week, I was able to get super strong.  At my best, I was deadlifting 585 lbs and I was benching almost 350.

Recently, I have been lifting pretty good and I am starting to get the powerlifting bug back.  If I can deadlift 500lbs and bench over 275 by Christmas, I might train for a Spring competition.

I am not going to set any records, but it gives me the motivation to get into good shape.

-John

Check out my 2 books on amazon.com or support me on patreon!

Lift Heavy/Fun Fast on Amazon.com!

 

 

Out of all the exercise routines known to mankind; crossfit, running, pilates, bodybuilding, yoga, etc.  The most practical exercise is actually a very basic routine; powerlifting.

This nothing more practical than lifting heavy weights.  When you build up your core strength, it affects almost every part of your every day life.  Whether it is picking up groceries, painting a room, loading firewood or taking an air conditioner out of a window; it helps to be stronger.

Even if you don’t care how you look, you should at a minimum add some moderate powerlifing and light cardio to your daily routine.  The combination of powerlifting and light cardio, along with a clean diet, is really hard to beat.

Just recently, I have gotten back in to the heavy powerlifting and I reminded everyday by how important it is to lift heavy.

Besides feeling very energized (in comparison to running which makes me tired) Deadlifting 500 lbs solves a lot of problems:

  • It puts on size (mass)
  • It builds your calves, back, arms and thighs
  • It builds confidence
  • It helps in the other lifts, shoulders, squats, etc.
  • It helps in everyday activities.

Sometimes when you are stuck in a rut with your routine, there is an easy answer to accelerate your progress, start going heavy.

This week I am getting back into the mid 200’s for squats and I am hoping to be in the mid 400’s in my deadlift on Friday.

This will be my 3rd week into my winter bulkup and I need to add as much mass as possible.  Heavy bench press, heavy squats, heavy shoulders and heavy deadlifts.

Going heavy is practical and it is the best way to build mass if you want to start bodybuilding.

You want to build a solid 6-pack? Start squatting and deadlifting.  Once you start dieting and adding cardio, that solid stomach muscle will be the only thing left over.

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This year, I plan on going up to 180 lbs before I cut back down again to 150 for the summer.  Heavy lifting and light cardio all the way up until Mid-March

Good luck!

-John

Check out my 2 books on amazon.com or support me on patreon!

Lift Heavy/Fun Fast on Amazon.com!

 

This is an easy one.

There is no better feeling than putting 500 lbs on a bar, warming up and lifting it off the floor like it is nothing.

After you are finished lifting, you go out to a steak house and order a porterhouse, mashed potatoes and 4 beers.

Trust me on this, nothing feels better than bulking up and heavy weight lifting.

Not only do I feel strong and powerful, but I sleep better and I rarely get sick.

When I am cutting up, it is just the opposite.

I am tired. I am grouchy.  I can barely sleep and I get sick all the time.

Although being lighter in body weight is healthier than being over weight, when I get down to an extremely low body fat percentage, my body doesn’t feel healthy at all.

Between the cardio and dieting, I almost feel like I am near death every summer.

So far, I am 2 weeks into my bulk up and I am feeling supercharged.

It is amazing how much better you can feel with some extra calories and less cardio.

Good luck!

-John

Check out my 2 books on amazon.com or support me on patreon!

Lift Heavy/Fun Fast on Amazon.com!

 

I am two weeks into my winter bulk up and I am already starting to go heavy.

I have already benched 275 lbs and today I deadlifted 405 for 2.

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Of course I plan on lifting much heavier, but it’s still a pretty good start for me.

I’ve noticed that in the last several years, I have been taking my time working up to the heavy weights.  I will start light in the Fall and then slowly progress to heavy weights in the Winter and Spring.

This year I have decided to jump right in.

Considering that I have over 20 years of lifting experience, I trust that my body can make the quick adjustment to heavy power lifting.  To be honest, I need to stop babying myself.

Being comfortable or going with the flow, doesn’t work for me.

If I stick with a job, relationship or work out routine that isn’t showing results; I need to make a quick change immediately.

Several years ago, I stayed in a job for way too long.  I was underpaid, under worked, and underappreciated. When I finally got the nerve to leave, I ended up jumping 2 jobs in 3 years and I increased my salary by almost 50%.

As I look back on the several years that I wasn’t really pushing myself, I realized that it’s a waste of time.

And I don’t have years to waste.

Whether its having children, deadlifting 600 or starting a business.

If you are going to do it, then do it.

You might not realize it, but if you are doing any type of “maintenance’ you are actually slowly going backwards.

Take the words maintenance out of your mouth, that is for losers.

It is time to turn up the heat and I am feeling motivated.

-John

Check out my 2 books on amazon.com or support me on patreon!

Lift Heavy/Fun Fast on Amazon.com!

 

“Old man”strength exists.  I have been working out now for over 20 years and there is a certain level of strength that I have in my 30’s, that I didn’t have in my teens.

As a young man, I had tons of energy and speed. But, now that I am into my 30’s I’ve noticed that although I have lost some speed, I have gained strength and endurance.

I remember when I first started working 40 hours a week.  I thought I was going to die.  Now, after years of working, I can do repeat 60 hour work-weeks without batting an eye.

I can also go to work with barely any sleep and I only get sick just once a year if even that.

Unfortunately, I also have some nagging injuries.

My left rotator cuff has been hurting on and off for a decade now.  Sometimes it hurts just a little and other times it hurts so bad that I can barely lift.

Recently, I am trying a new method.

IGNORING IT.

Rest doesn’t help and if I go to a doctor he is going to tell me to get surgery.  So basically I am adding 30 minutes of stretching a day and just ignoring it.

Life is about pain. Whether it is working 90 hours a week, training for a marathon, or going to work with no sleep because my son was sick; I need to ignore the pain.

You can’t always live a life of comfort and I have decided that if I plan on lifting forever, I just need to just suck it up and accept the pain.

Today I did some squats at lunch on 4 hours of sleep.  Between an infant, a job and working out, it’s not easy; but no time for excuses.

-John

Check out my 2 books on amazon.com or support me on patreon!

Lift Heavy/Fun Fast on Amazon.com!

 

October is here and tomorrow I start my first official workout for bulk up season.

My goal this year is to go up near 180 lbs, along with hitting certain strength and cardio goals.  This year I would like to hit the following;

325 bench press

315 squat

475 deadlift

95’s shoulder dumbbells

3 miles in 22 minutes outside and treadmile

1 mile under 6 minutes

You would think that my cardio workouts would make me weak, but its actually quite the opposite.  Just as long as I am increasing my calories, the cardio workouts actually help to keep me lean while I gain weight.

I also noticed that the cardio workouts help to stretch out my muscles.  For last 10 years I have had nagging rotator cuff injuries, but I have learned that cardio helps to stretch it out.

I also want to get started quickly.  I feel like I took too long to get into the real heavy lifting last year because I was scared of injuries, but I don’t know if that is necessary.

I have over 20 years of lifting experience now, there is no reason why I cant start attacking right away.

Hopefully, I will have some heavy numbers up by Thanksgiving.

-John

Check out my 2 books on amazon.com or support me on patreon!

Lift Heavy/Fun Fast on Amazon.com!