Archive for March, 2018

35 is a weird age.

I feel like it’s the point in life where you either decide to live healthy or you don’t.

Don’t get me wrong, people start making lifestyle changes later in life all the time.  My parent’s are starting to eat healthier in their early 70’s due to high blood pressure/cholesterol.

But most people do not make the change.

The worst part about not making the change and I see it all the time, is that you start to age rapidly after 35 if you don’t make the lifestyle changes.

Men start to go gray, they lose muscle mass and their energy levels drop due to low T.

For women, it’s a lot of the same, including a decrease in fertility.

There is no answer to father time, but you can slow it down.

_O5C0056

(Age 36)

I had the opposite reaction at age 35, instead of slowing down, I work out angry and motivated.

It’s hard to explain, but my motivation to become a champion has gone up substantially.

If you think about it, my entire day is disappointing.  9 hours of work, long commute, daily shower, shave, and little time off for vacation.

I have been blessed to grow up in a generation where I do not have to do manual labor to survive, I don’t need to hunt game to eat, I wasn’t drafted into war and my country has never been invaded.

But there is a downside.

For centuries, young men were born to be warriors.  We fought, we farmed, we conquered, we were invaded.

We lifted heavy stones and built homes with our bare hands.

We didn’t sit in front of a computer.

Sometimes I catch myself daydreaming at work and I imagine that I was a Viking.

viking

Running full speed into a village with just an axe and some body armor.

Or I am a warrior in the crusades, traveling through Europe and engaging in epic battles.

I imagine myself traveling in a stagecoach across America, building a log cabin with my own tools and hunting for game.

That was the reality for centuries, until the last 50 years.

That energy has to go somewhere, otherwise you are going to fade away and die.

Starting April 1st, I plan on killing it.

I want to train harder than any man or women in the United States.

Heavy weights, hard cardio and strict diet.

I’ve always said, you will always look the way that you train.

Train like a freak, look like a freak.

Train like a high school cheerleader, look like a cheerleader.

Don’t train at all?

Die.

-John

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The training used for running is very different from bodybuilding.

With bodybuilding and especially weight lifting, you definitely need more rest.

If you are going to lift heavy weights, and in my opinion only heavy weights work, then you are going to need to rest or you will get injured or weaker.

If you are going to dead lift 550 lb’s on Monday, you better believe that you are going to need some rest before you deadlift again.  I ONLY deadlift once a week and I usually only complete one heavy set.

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Running is different.

If you want to become a fast runner, especially in distances between 1 to 5 miles, you will need to run all the time.

3 days a week may be fine, but to be honest, 4 or 5 will make you even faster and 6 is probably optimal.

The only problem with running 6x a week, is that it will probably hurt your physique.

It’s going to be hard to hold on to any muscle if you are running that often.

It’s for that reason that I try to run as hard as I can, with less training sessions.

sprinting

INTENSITY OVER ENDURANCE

2 years ago I lived near an Army base in Staten Island, NY.

After work I would run through the base at least 4 or 5x a week and the course was HARD.

The Army base was designed over 200 years ago and the way it was designed, it had at least 3 very serious hills.

After several work outs a week, I was total spent.

I did get pretty fast, but sometimes I question if I would have become faster by running on a track instead.

So the question is, does running hills in every workout help?

Personally, I think you need a mix of both.

Sometimes you can do hills several days in a row but other times you just need a flat course to work on your speed

Today I did just bench press and I plan on running the next 3 days in a row before my vacation next week.

Next week I am taking a vacation down to Hilton Head, SC and Savannah Georgia, so I will have to miss a week of my normal routine.

I will try to get 3 or 4 sessions in the hotel gyms if I can but after Easter, it is game on until Memorial Day weekend.

This is the time to start killing it.

-John

For the people that are going to take it serious, this is the time of year that you need to start killing it.

Heavy lifting, cardio and a strict diet.

This morning I weighed in at 170.5 lbs and I am down 14 lbs from February 1st.

I am doing a spring break trip next week down to Hilton Head, SC, so my plan is to go down under 170 this week.

For my cardio, I have been running 2 miles in 14 minutes and 3 miles in around 21:30.  Although those are decent times, I am not going to lie, I am still out of shape.

I have a big race coming up on May 17th and I plan on showing up in shape.

On problem with my training right now, is the crappy weather.

At least in NYC, the weather is either rain, snow, wind and barely any sun.

The treamile is OK, but for me to get fast, I need to get outside more.  I might need to go for some runs in the rain if need be.

March and April are working months.  Whether you are training to get ripped for the summer or studying hard for school, this is the time of year that you need to KILL it.

Too many people wait until late May to get in shape, but by then it is too late.

Get busy…

-John

I am having a really good training season so far.  During my winter bulk up I benched pressed over 315 lbs and my dead lift went up to 525.

Now that I am 5 weeks into my Spring Training, my priorities have started to change.  Not only have I lost 14 lbs already, but I am running 3 miles outside in under 22 minutes.

If everything keeps going fine and I don’t incur any injuries, I might have one of my best summers in a long time.

My goal this summer is to weigh between 145-152 lbs and run 3 miles in under 21 minutes.

With those numeric goals, along with my weight training, I should have an insane 6-pack this summer.

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I have been bodybuilding now for the last 9 seasons and I am proud to say, that I have stopped my aging process in its tracks.

At my wedding last year, I was 37-years old.

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At the end of this year I will turn 39 and it is amazing how young I still look.

With my diet, work out routine and advances in modern science; why wouldn’t I live to 120?

All of my grandparents lived past age 80, plus they were overweight and hadn’t exercised since High School in the 1930’s.

Personally, I think all bodybuilders are going to live to at least 100.

The proof is out there.

Unlike many of the famous marathon runners that have died prematurely, there are tons of old-school bodybuilders that are still alive today and are very active at an advanced age.

Just as long as you stay off steroids and recreational drugs, you can live a long quality of life if you continue to focus on your health across your entire lifespan

But yet, some people STILL do not exercise.

Out of my 20 good friends from High School, only 4- or 5 still work out.

The rest?

Not only do they look substantially older but they have noticeably low energy.

Once you turn 35, your energy and testosterone levels are going to start dropping like a rock if you don’t work on it.

And over 40 or 50? You will start to become completely sedentary.

I don’t know about you, but I am still improving.

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For years, 40 was becoming the new 30, and now 40 is becoming the new 25.

Don’t get me wrong, you still can die from car crashes, shootings, bad luck diseases and shark attacks.

But those are outliers and not the norm.

See you in 2100!

-John

Lift Heavy/Fun Fast on Amazon.com!

 

Today is daylight savings time in NYC?

So what does that mean for bodybuilding? Its time to turn it on.  Time to start losing weight and increasing the cardio.

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Unfortunately, it is still pretty cold outside.  But at this time of the year, you need to just suck it up.

Yesterday when I woke up if was around 30 degrees out and windy.  I really was not in the mood to go outside and run, especially since I live near the water.

But this is the time of year when you need to toughen up.

Don’t skip those 5-10 early workouts in March, by the end of March it will start to get nice out and you need to be already in decent shape.

So far I have lost around 12 lbs since my winter bulk up.  I am going on a Spring break during the last week of March, so I am hoping to lose another 5 before I leave.

After Spring Break, I will be fully into my pre-summer routine.  Heavy lifting, increased cardio and a strict diet.

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Like I have stated many times on my blog, you need to lose weight if you are going to get cut.

Even in a worse case scenario, you should at least lose 10 lbs for the summer.  Personally, I am going to lose 35, but I keep going until I have a 6-pack.

Take my advice, get moving now.

Early Spring training will really pay off once the weather starts to improve.

-John

Lift Heavy/Fun Fast on Amazon.com!

 

Spring is here!

Although we might be getting a foot of snow tonight in NYC, daylight savings time is this coming Sunday and the warm weather is right around that corner.

I have started losing weight quickly and I have been adding cardio to my routine at least 4x a week.

One major mistake that I have made in the past, is to forget that I am a lifter first and not a runner.

Yes, you do need to run to get cut.

And yes, running is healthy when done in moderation.

But DO NOT start increasing your mileage in an attempt to get cut.

You need to focus on your weigh lifting first and then your cardio.

You will definitely start to get weaker as you lose weight, but the name of the game is to hold on as much muscle as possible while you burn off your body fat.

In my gym, I see guys running on the treadmile all the time and barely lifting weights.

The end result? They look horrible.  And they also look unhealthy.

If you can bench press 350 lbs or squat 600 and THEN start to hit the treadmile, you will look like a champion.

But it doesn’t work in the opposite direction.

If you can run a 5 minute mile and then bench press 165, you will look horrible.

Muscle is the name of the game.  You can burn off the fat by dieting and using your cardio.

But don’t forget, muscle is more important.

-John

Lift Heavy/Fun Fast on Amazon.com!

 

I am going to state this bluntly: I am a HUGE fan of fasting and I have been using it for many years.

In my opinion, if you are going to get ripped naturally, you will need to add fasting to your routine.

I actually discovered fasting by accident.

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In High School, I was starting to get stomach problems every day from eating the school lunch.  I think it was a combination of the bad food and studying for my advanced placement classes.

To fix my situation, I started to eat a large breakfast in the morning before school and then I wouldn’t eat again until I got home at 2 p.m.

In between, I would lift weights, run track, play basketball during gym and also go to my classes.

After several months of my new diet routine, I noticed something interesting; I was starting to get ripped abs.

By the time my senior year rolled around, I had a complete 6-pack.  Probably one of the best 6-packs in my entire school.

I didn’t realize it at the time, but I had discovered my secret formula to getting ripped.

Fast forward to 10 years later.  I was 190 lbs and in the strongest shape of my entire life.

JASUMMERPICTURE-MIX

I was competing in power lifting competitions, with a bench press near 350 lbs and a dead lift near 600.

That summer I decided I wanted to try bodybuilding and I cut down to 155 lbs using a combination of cardio and fasting.

The end result was that I got into the best shape of my life.

jabeer

 

Fasting works.

Almost every major religion has some type of fasting ceremony included. The practice of “fasting” has been around for thousands of years before Christ.

The key is to use it wisely.  Obviously you can’t fast every day and you also can’t fast for 48 hours straight.

Today I ate a medium-sized meal at around 10 a.m and then I went to gym at 1 p.m. for squats and a 2-mile run.

My second meal of the day was dinner at 7:30 p.m.

The result of my new diet and workout routine, is that I have lost 11 lbs in about a month.

Don’t be afraid to try fasting.  When done in moderation, it is a lot healthier than over eating and the majority of the United States has an obesity problem.

The pain is temporary, just like anything else in life, you will get used to using less calories.

And if you aren’t willing to accept the pain, you will never look like a champion.

-John

 

 

It is almost that time again!

Spring Break!

spring break

I’ve been on Spring Break at least 10 times, including Cancun, South Padre Island, The Bahamas, Lake Havasu and others.

I also went to St. Patrick’s Day in Dublin Ireland, Boston, Key West, Philadelphia, NYC and Phoenix.

If there is one consistent theme for myself in the Spring, it is to get into good shape for Spring Break.

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I don’t need to be in my absolute best shape for Spring Break, but I just need to look decent.

I plan to be several weeks into my summer diet, so at least a large part of my body fat is already removed.

The only problem is that, I don’t have a lot of time.

Between peaking in mid to late February and trying to look good by late March/early April, it takes a lot of work.

Not only do I need to cut a ton of weight, but I need to hit the cardio as well.

This year, I am heading to Savannah and Hilton Head, SC for the last week in March.

Although I have already started cutting down, I am hoping to lose another 7-10 lbs within 3 weeks.

I am going to have to work hard.

In the next 3 weeks I want to do 18 workouts.  That is Monday to Friday during the work week and at least one day on the weekends.

So far, I have cut down about 10 lbs since my winter peak of 184.  I have also been running pretty consistently.

Today I ran outside and I hit 2.5 miles at a 7:08 per mile pace.  I am still far off from where I need to be, but I am heading in the right direction.

When I am in decent shape, I should be able to run 3 miles in 21 minutes pretty easily.  By the end of summer, I would like to be able to run 3 miles in under 19.

It is a lot of work, but if I run hard and lose some more weight, I should be able to do it.

When it comes to Spring Break, the name of the game, is losing weight.

Considering you are going somewhere warm; you don’t want to be out in your bathing suit looking overweight.

You need to start cutting weight immediately, using your diet and by also adding cardio to your routine.

By the time I touch the beach at Hilton Head this year I plan on being almost 20 lbs lighter than my Winter peak and that is after only 7 weeks of dieting.

Use Spring Break to your advantage.

By getting yourself into good shape for Spring Break, you are setting yourself up to have a good summer.

You just need to lose more weight, keep lifting weights, continue running, and eventually your body will look like this.

jabeer

Summer cuts

Lift Heavy/Fun Fast on Amazon.com!