Archive for May, 2018

I have always had really good abs.

Part of it is genetic of course and the other part is hard training.

When I am in good shape, I can beat Arnold.

Screenshot_20170809-203858 (1)

Getting ripped abs is not easy.  It takes months of dedicated weight lifting, cardio and of course, a strict diet.

The only time of year that I get ripped abs is in the summer and that is after I lose a ton of weight.

I have also experimented from all different types of ab exercises; including sit ups, crunches, leg lifts, side twists, etc.

All of those exercises work to some extent.  But there are actually two main exercises that really build your abs.

Squats and dead lifts.

Have you ever seen a powerlifter take his shirt off and you noticed that he has a huge stomach?

20180107_195126.jpg

It’s not a 6-pack but it looks like a giant blob of muscle and fat?

Believe it or not, that is actually how to build insane looking abs.

I discovered this by accident.

I noticed during the summer when I cut down on the squats and the dead lifts, my abs were starting to lose some size.

I still had a decent 6-pack because I was dieting and training hard, but my actual ab muscles didn’t look as good.

It wasn’t until I started squatting and deadlifting again that I realized what was missing.

Squats and deadlifts are insane ab builders.  Just as long as you lose the body fat, your abs will look a million times better than if you haven’t.

This summer, I plan on dead lifting and squatting the entire season.

I have a good feeling that my abs should start to look great.

Right now I am down to 159 1/2 lbs and I just starting adding sprint training.

By July 4th I should be ripped and hopefully post some pictures.

-John Andre

Lift Heavy/Run Fast

Advertisements

As some of you might have heard, my wife and I gave birth to a baby boy last year.

Having a child is definitely life changing.

I think I was only out past midnight once in the last year and I am happy to say I have seen him every day that he has been alive.

Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with dropping junior off with the grandparents for a weekend while my wife and I go for a short vacation, but I haven’t felt the strong urge.

I wanted until age 38 until have a child, I am in no rush to go back out drinking and traveling.

But how does it affect my training?

At least 10 of my chump friends and acquaintances told me my working out days would be in trouble.

I am happy to say that they are 100% wrong.

My training has changed, it is still hardcore.

What are some of the changes?

  1. I can’t goof around as much.  Before the child I could spend the entire day at the park or the beach and take my time.  Now as soon as I get to my training spot, I run, then back home.
  2. Less sleep.  I try to sleep when my son sleeps, but he is definitely tiring.  You kind of get used to it after a couple of months, but there are some days where I am going into work exhausted.
  3. Harder to get a sun tan.  I look really cut when I get a solid tan, but now I don’t have the time to spend outside with my shirt off for 4 hours a day.
  4. Weights are exactly the same.  Maybe even better.  I work out every day at lunch, so my weight training was not effected.  If I couldn’t go at lunch I would go before work or right after.
  5. Diet is the same.  Unlike financialsamurai who likes to complain about his child making him gain weight, I don’t see any difference in my diet.

Overall, there really isn’t any excuses for not working out because you have kids, it’s even sometimes beneficial.  Less late nights and distractions.

Once your kids can walk, go out to the park.  I was chasing my son around for about an hour in the sun the other day, between lifting him up 100x and playing, it’s a good workout.

I  also drink 95% less than I used to.

And most importantly, my son needs me to stay alive.  If you weren’t working out before child, you better start working out post-child.

Don’t make excuses.

-John Andre.

Lift Heavy/Run Fast

 

I have been working out now for over 20 years.

If I would have to describe the biggest difference between a beginner and a moderate bodybuilder, it would be with the diet.

Most people do not diet.

If you do not work on your diet and at a minimum lose weight for the summer, you will never get cut.

I know people who have been lifting weights for years that always look the same because they never change their diet.

This year, I am down 25 lbs since February.  That is from a peak of 185 lbs down to 160, and I also planning on losing some more.

I basically keep going down until the cuts start to show.

JASUMMERPICTURE-MIX

The hard part  is trying to retain the muscle after you lose the weight.  But if you never lose any weight, you will never even get to that point.

Cardio, especially sprinting, mixed with heavy to moderate weight lifting and a strict diet will do the trick.

Also, there really aren’t any benefits to being overweight.  Unless you work in construction or compete in powerlifting, it’s always healthier to keep your body weight lower.

Remember, you might have ton of solid muscle, but it will never show if it is covered up by fat.

-John Andre

Lift Heavy/Run Fast

 

Bodybuilding is a very interesting sport, especially for natural lifters like myself.

The sport is basically a combination of weights, cardio and a proper diet.  Until you can find the proper routine that works for you, you will never build muscle or remove any significant body fat.

I have experimented with all different types of routines over the years and I have become really good at removing my body fat.  But, there is always room for improvement.

20160715_065110

Several years ago I went to a wine making event with some relatives in New Jersey.

My uncle paid for several barrels of wine for the entire year that he was going to make and then bottle himself in a large factory.

One of the key factors in making your own wine or beer, is that you have to be sanitary.  If the batch gets contaminated you are going to end up with a large barrel of smelly vinegar instead of wine.

I also learned that you can actually make adjustments mid way into the fermentation.

The owner of the wine factory explained to me that by checking the p.h. balance during the fermentation ,they could actually do small adjustments to “fix” or correct the wine.

It’s the same way with bodybuilding.

Whether you are planting a tree, making wine or building a muscle; it is all very similar.

This year I already lost over 25 lbs of body weight since the winter and I running 3-miles in around 21 minutes.

Since my running time is right around where I need it to be, now I am going to refocus on heavy weight lifting.

I’ve noticed that in the past several years, I felt like I went overboard with the cardio and ended up losing too much muscle.

This year it is different.

I plan on cutting back on the amount of cardio sessions, but increase the intensity, while attempting to go heavier with the weights.

The weights are really the key.

With cardio and my diet I can remove the bodyfat, but I need continue heavy lifting to build any muscle.

That means heavy bench press, squats and dead lifts, along with shoulder dumbbells, bicep curls and other power-related lifting.

Don’t be afraid to change your routine.

If you still are carrying too much bodyfat, increase the cardio and improve your diet.

If your bodyfat percentage is low and your muscle mass is lacking; hit the heavy weights.

-John Andre

Lift Heavy/Run Fast

Spring training is over.

Since the end of the winter I have lost over 20 lbs and I got my 3-mile run down to 21:10.

Now that I am in decent cardio vascular shape and I have lost the body weight, the only thing left for me is hard-core bodybuilding.

I want to look good by July 4th, by the middle of August, I want to look like the best in the world.

20170901_061455

So, how can I obtain these goals?

A) Need to focus more on the weights:  I have been running a lot recently and I feel that it is starting to affect my gym workouts.  Starting this week, my emphasis will be more on the weight training and less on the cardio.

B) Less cardio but more intensity.  I am in decent running shape, so I just need to work on my speed.  Less workouts, but more intensity in my training.

C) Stricter diet.  I lost over 20 lbs already, but I need to cut another 10 to start looking ripped.  The last ten are always the hardest.

Overall, bodybuilding season is officially here!

If you haven’t starting training yet, you can still look “ok” by July 4th if you start now, but you can’t wait much longer.

Almost every summer the gym gets packed in late June before most people quit again.

Start now.

Add some cardio, cut body weight and lift heavy to moderate weights.

More to come!

-John Andre

Lift Heavy/Run Fast

Hello everyone.

I am proud to announce that I ran my first race of the year on Thursday night and I finished a 3-mile race in 21:10.

Am I satisfied with that time?

It’s OK.  I was hoping to run about 30 seconds faster, but, it is still a good start for my running reason.

I took a long time off this year.  I basically didn’t run at all from Oct 1 to Feb 1 and I am still a little rusty.

My stamina is pretty good, I think it is my speed that is lacking.

I also noticed that when I was finished with the race, I wasn’t really that tired.  That is a sign that I am in pretty good shape.

But, I need to get faster.  I need to work on my one-mile time and start to add some sprinting into my routine.

I also need to race more often.

If you want to get faster, you need to push yourself often. Practice will only take you so far.

There is a big 4-mile race next weekend near my apartment that I might sign up for just to practice and then there is a father’s day 5K run that I plan on signing up for.

When it comes to running, I typically peak in the Fall.

It is nice to run outside in the summer and work on my tan at the same time, but to be honest, I am not a big fan of the heat.  Especially the heat in July.

But by the time mid August comes around, I am usually at my lightest body weight and since I have a couple of months of training behind me, I can usually run a fast race in September and October.

Overall, my first race was good but not great. I rate it a “B-“.

-John Andre

Check out my books on amazon.com! My first book on running will be available this summer!

Lift Heavy/Run Fast

I am happy to announce that my first race of the season is this Thursday.

One of the good things about this race, is that I have run it almost 7 years in a row.

Since the course hasn’t changed, I should be able to judge what type of shape I am in.

So far, I think I am in pretty good shape.  Definitely not my fastest shape for Mid-May, but I am setting myself up for a good summer.  I think it will be one of my top running times, just not my best of all time.

The only problem I see so far, is that it might rain.  Rain is not necessarily a problem if it is light.

But if it is raining hard your clothes get wet, your sneakers get heavy and then it is game over if you consider running a fast time.

My 2nd race of the year will most likely be on Father’s Day.  I ran this race last year right after my son was born and I ran like a snail.

It was easily the worst race that I had run in about 10 years. This year, I plan on destroying that time.

It should be pretty easy, but we will see.

I hope everyone’s training is going well.  I am about to kick the bodybuilding into high gear soon and start putting up some progress pics.

The abs are starting to show now, but its still too early to start taking pictures.

I need some more sprint work outs, heavy lifting and a sun tan, before I start showing off the goods.

More to come soon!

-John Andre

Check out my book on amazon.com!

Lift Heavy/Run Fast

Let’s face it, mostly everyone does the same workout.

Marathon runners use a ton of cardio.  Weight lifters mostly use weights.

And the smart people use a combination of both, along with a low-calorie diet.

20170903_085651

When it comes to bodybuilding and your appearance in general; you are going to look the way that you train.

Just as an iron worker or a heavy smoker is going to have a certain look to them, it is the same with bodybuilding.

Someone that is outside in the 90 degree heat every summer and doing wind sprints, is going to have a look that is different from someone that just takes leisurely walks.

I’m sorry to say this, but if you want to look like a freak, you need to train like a freak.

When I am in my best shape and looking ripped, I really don’t know anyone that is training like I am.

20170901_061455

I use very low calorie diets with high protein, cardio, including sprinting in the sun, and moderate to heavy weight lifting.

Normal people basically use the same routines.  They never, ever, diet.

They do a little bit of cardio. A little bit of weight lifting.

Some of them show up to the gym every single day and still look the same.

That is fine if you are just working out for your health.

But if you want to stand out in the crowd, you need to get a little crazy.

Summer is coming, time to get crazy.

-John

20160715_065110

Lift Heavy/Fun Fast on Amazon.com!

 

I know this would seem to be a very obvious statement, but there is actually more to this story.

What I really mean, is that when you are good in shape, you can handle more strenuous exercise.

For example, when I officially ended up winter bulk up and started running again, I was only able to run 3 miles in 23 1/2 minutes.

Also, it was very difficult for me to even reach that distance.

Now?

I have been consistently running 3 miles in under 21 minutes and I should be able to go under 20 this summer.

End result? The fat is really starting to fly off.

If you have never worked out before and just started a new routine, you will lose some weight right off the bat.

But after you become experienced, you really need to focus on improving your performance.

If you are lifting the same weights, running at the same speed and weighing the same; you won’t look any better.

This last week, I ran 3 miles in under 21 minutes 4x, I benched pressed 255 for several reps and I deadlifted 405 for 6.

Although I am starting to lose my strength in the gym, that is still a pretty difficult routine for someone to try to match.

When I am in tip top shape, I will be running 3 miles in 19 minutes, 1 mile in 5 minutes, bench pressing 300 and deadlifting 500.

All at the same time.

20160715_065110

Lift Heavy/Fun Fast on Amazon.com!

I have to admit, I have been killing it recently.

My weekly routine has been 4 days a week in the gym, followed by 5 days a week of cardio.

The only difference is that since the weather improved, I have been able to run outside almost all of the time, instead of on the treadmile.

Right now, I believe I can run 3 miles in around 20:30. I am hoping to get it under 20 minutes before the middle of the month, but that is going to be difficult.

But who knows.

Like I said before, I have been in “the zone”.

I have been lifting relatively heavy in the gym, I am running outside 5x a week (and getting a sun tan) and I lost almost 25 lbs since the end of the winter.

Regarding my diet, I actually have been taking in a little bit extra calories.  I have been working out so hard that I am scared I will start losing too much muscle.

I figure by memorial day weekend I can get myself down to 160 lbs and by mid to late June I should be way into the 150’s.

I’ve said it before and I will say it again.  You should be killing it in your training by this time of year.

Summer is right around the corner, get on it!

-John Andre

Lift Heavy/Fun Fast on Amazon.com!