Archive for July, 2018

I love peanut butter.  I also like peanuts.

But, I don’t have it too often.

I probably buy peanut butter once or twice a year at most and I occasionally have a bag of whole peanuts, but only during my bulk up season.

Peanuts are a good protein source.

When I eat peanuts I usually gain a little bit of weight, so it’s not a real good food for cutting up, but I do feel strong when I use it.

JASUMMERPICTURE-MIX

One of the big “issues” with kids today is peanut allergies.

All you read about is how deadly they can be if a child is allergic and accidentally ingests it.

It’s weird, because when I was growing up I never even heard of it.  And everyone lived.

But now, peanut butter allergies are the big thing.

Since I have a one-year old son, we are supposed to test out peanut butter and see how he reacts.

We tried a little bit on him several times already and he seemed ok, and last week peanut butter was on sale, so I decided to give him a big chunk.

Result? He was fine, but woke up with horrible stomach pains.

Myself? I also had stomach gains.  And I also gained some weight.

I wasn’t going to throw the jar out, so I ate some slowly  each day during the week.

I am not going to lie.  I worked out pretty good, but I have been feeling like crap.

My stomach has been hurting, I’ve been getting cramps and the only thing I have changed in my diet is the peanut butter.

“There Is Something Wrong With Peanut Butter”

And don’t tell me to eat the natural stuff, it tastes like crap.

-John Andre

Book 3 coming out this summer!

Lift Heavy/Run Fast

 

I can’t sugarcoat this statement, Americans are too fat.

Not only are we too fat, but we are in denial of being too fat.

Our life expectancy is slowing to a crawl, possibly even going lower, and more and more people are coming down with preventable illnesses such as heart disease and diabetes.

And they are also getting those illnesses at lower ages.

This year I went from 185 lbs in the peak of winter, down to 152 lbs today.  That is a huge loss of 32 lbs in about 4 months.

One thing that I have realized this summer, is how fat I was during my winter bulk up.

Although I was lifting heavy with 315+ bench press and 535 lb deadlifts, I was still holding a large amount of body fat.

And that can’t be healthy.

I have people come up to me every day in the gym and ask me what I do to get cut and the first thing I recommend, is to lose weight.

If you are weighing over 200 lbs and not lifting really heavy weights, you are going to be overweight.

Even when people weigh 175 lbs, I tell them to lose weight.

That is too heavy.

If you look at the height and weight charts from the 1950’s and 60’s, it is crazy how light the ideal body weight was.

Did that really change? People are slightly taller, but why would it be all of a sudden healthy to gain 30-40 lbs in 40 years.

“But muscle weighs more than fat”

Yes, it does. But do you have any muscle?

Are you bench pressing 350-500 lbs?

Are you dead lifting 600-800?

Can you run a mile in 5 minutes?

Yes, muscle weights more than fat.

But you are just fat.

Where is the muscle?

20170903_085651

-John Andre

Book 3 coming out this summer!

Lift Heavy/Run Fast

I disagree with the great Mike Francesa on this one.

The Yankees need to trade Gary Sanchez for decent pitching.

gary_sanchez4

Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that he isn’t a great catcher.  He is probably one of the greatest hitting catchers of all time and if he keeps this pace up, maybe the greatest hitting catcher of all-time.

But he also has some major negatives:

A) He can’t catch.  Not only can’t he catch, but he is getting worse.  His catching has been horrible this year, with way too many passed balls.

B) He isn’t hustling.  He had a real bone-head play tonight against Tampa Bay where the runner basically stole home on him since he was lolligaging.  That is a big “no-no”.

C) Often injured.  He seems to be injured every year now.  We need an everyday catcher behind the plate and it also confuses the pitchers who have to adjust to different catchers.

D) His value is high.  The Yankees “should” be able to receive some great value for him.  I wouldn’t accept anything less than a number two starter.

E) The playoffs are about pitching.  In a short series, the Yankees are going to need two stud pitchers. Severino is a stud, but after that, it’s mostly some number 3’s (Tanaka) and some “4” and “5” starters.  C.C. Sabathia is in his final years, Sonny Gray is getting rocked every other start and everyone else is either injured or inexperienced.

Tough pitching can knock you out of the postseason in a hurry.

With that being said, Gary Sanchez does have a great arm.  A super strong-arm, he hits for power (although his average is down a ton) and he is young.

But one hitter does not win you a world series.  The Yankees are stacked with great hitters and I would trade Sanchez in a heart beat for a Degrom, Happ, or any other decent starter.

-John Andre.

 

Today was a tough workout.

It wasn’t that I pushed myself real hard, it was just long.

I ran 2.5 miles in the morning, first mile in (6:35), second mile in (6:45) and I slowly jogged after that.

Then I met up with some friends and rode my bike 10+ miles to Coney Island in Brooklyn.

20180721_135604

About half way into the ride, I started to remember all of the bike rides I took to Coney Island in my younger years and I started to realize something.

“My old man stamina is insane”.

I slept about 5 hours because my son woke up early and wouldn’t go back to sleep, ran 2 miles at a 6:40 pace in the hot sun and then I rode my bicycle for 10+ miles to Coney Island and back.

And I also did it on a half day fast diet.  I didn’t eat my first meal until around 5pm.

As a young man, that bike ride to Coney Island and back used to tire me out, now I can do it after a night of  bad sleep and immediately after a run.

Yet, I am still running slower than I did when I was 17 years old.

That is the thing about aging, you really don’t lose any stamina and endurance. If anything, you become a superman.

But what you do lose, is speed.

Speed is an indicator of youthfulness.

You need to sprint, jump, swim and worry less about the long-distance training.

Speed will keep you young.

More to come in my 3rd book coming out next month!

-John Andre

Book 3 coming out this summer!

Lift Heavy/Run Fast

 

I have been following bodybuilding for a long time.

I don’t consider myself a huge fan because of the steroid aspect involved, but after going to the gym for so long, I have no choice but to passively follow the sport.

When I first started bodybuilding, the great Lee Haney was retiring and Dorian Yates was just taking over.

dorian

I was never a big fan of Dorian’s.  His physique looked unattainable to me and as you can see today, he is in horrible shape after retiring.

dorian today

But I don’t want to hate.  He was the best in the world for several consecutive years at one point and I haven’t won shit.

It’s funny, but almost every year for the last 25 years+, there is always one bodybuilder who says he is going to “take a year off” then come back stronger.

It happens in a lot of sports.

Guys retire, then try to come back.

Or at least in bodybuilding, they think they are going to “bulk up” harder with a year off and then come back and beat everyone.

It always causes excitement.

But sorry to break it to you, it never works.

Competition is important.  If you want to improve as an athlete, you need to step up to the plate and compete against other humans.

The year off bullshit never works.

I don’t care if its running, powerlifting, bodybuilding or boxing.

It NEVER WORKS.

This year I took a 7 month break from cardio and I let my diet slip a little.  I am in shock by how hard it is to remove the body fat I put on.

My new rule for life: Do not take breaks!

I don’t care if you are studying for exams, working on a promotion or trying to get married.

Keep pushing until you reach your goal.

-John Andre.

Book 3 coming out this summer!

Lift Heavy/Run Fast

This year I took a chance.

From Oct 1st to the middle of February I did almost close to zero cardio.

ZERO.

But I did lift heavy.  I got my deadlift up to around 535 and my bench press up to 325. Those are decent numbers for me and I was very satisfied with my winter bulk up.

But I did notice a negative affect of skipping cardio for so long, my body accumulated too much fat.

Fat is tough to remove.

The process of removing bodyfat is slow and grinding and in all reality, you are better off never adding it on to begin with.

This year I am finally starting to look pretty good.  I was hoping to peak around August 1st, but I think since I went so long in my bulk up, that I will probably peak around Labor Day.

20160715_065110

But overall, one thing is for certain.

“I need to do cardio all year round”

Next winter as I gain weight and start to powerlift heavy again, I need to continue adding some cardio into my routine.

Although cardio does affect my power to some extent, the amount of bodyfat that it prevents from building up is worth it.

-John Andre

Book 3 coming out this summer!

Lift Heavy/Run Fast

One thing I have noticed in bodybuilding and in other area’s of life, is that when I am ready to give up, I am usually close to a goal.

I don’t know if it’s a mental block, but it took me a long time to work out around it.

Now when I start to feel run down and discouraged, I will start to push it a little harder.

20160715_065110

Last summer I was into the middle of July and I still didn’t look super cut.

Don’t get me wrong, I always have a 6-pack, but I didn’t feel like I was in my best condition.

At that point I decided to increase the cardio, straighten up my diet and I cut another 5 lbs.

By the time August rolled around I was finally looking like a champion.

JASUMMERPICTURE-MIX

One area I need to change for next year, Is that I need my diet to become more strict during my bulk up.

I don’t care if I need to eat 5 cans of tuna fish like a whale, I need to cut out the crap food and also do a little bit of cardio year round.

This year, I am feeling a lot like I did last year.   I look good, but I still have a little bit to go before I consider myself a super stud.

I need to cut another 5 or 6 lbs, add some more sprinting and tighten up the diet.

It is going to be tough.  But whenever I start to push for that last 5-10% is when I really start to look like professional.

-John Andre

Lift Heavy/Run Fast

It is time to go nuts.

Summer is in full swing.  It is supposed to be 92 degrees in NYC tomorrow and I don’t care.  I am going to do a leg workout, followed by 3 miles outside around 1:30 pm.

92 degrees is nothing.  I don’t care it reaches 127.

I am training hard tomorrow and I don’t care if I pass out in the middle of the street.

I am also really itching for a race.

For the last couple years, I have been searching and planning on training for a sprint race.

What is a sprint race? I would consider it any distance from one mile and under.

I have run several one mile “road” race in the last several years, but I haven’t done a track race in almost 20 years.

My last track race was actually during my freshman year in College.

I was looking on the internet today and I actually found a race in two weeks that not only has 100 and 200 meter sprints, but it also has a LONG JUMP!

People don’t know this, but I actually won the City University Of New York long jump championship in 1998.

To make a long story short, 2 guys that had qualified for the olympics were out due to injury and I had my best jump ever.

Either way, it counts and I was the champion.

sprinting

Not only am I considering signing up for this competition, but I want to do the long jump.

The long jump is going to be really, really hard for me.  It’s a technical event and basically I am going to have to “wing it”.

Overall, I am looking forward to running the 200 meters and the long jump if possible.  If I feel “Ok” I might also do a 100 meter.

Basically, I am either going to have a great time or end up in the hospital.

Videos should be coming!

-John Andre

Lift Heavy/Run Fast

 

This was a great week!

I took off from work on Thurs and Friday and since Wednesday was a federal holiday, I had a 5-day weekend.

bike

When it comes to my training, I diet all the time.  But when I am on vacation, I want to eat.

Whether it is ice cream, drinks, lobster rolls, pancakes, etc.  I am going to cheat on my diet on vacation and not feel guilty about it.

But I do workout.

If my hotel has a gym I try to workout at least every other day and if there is a decent place to run, I also try to run outside at least once or twice.

I don’t go crazy and I also don’t expect to set any records, but I at least try to get the blood flowing.  It makes me feel better.

On this most recent vacation I killed it.

Fortunately I had my son’s grandparents there as babysitters, so I was able to go hard almost every day.

I went running  outside on Wednesday and Thursday, weights on Friday at a local gym and more running outside on Saturday and Sunday.

Also, my running times were pretty fast.  All of my miles were between 6:20 and 6:50 per mile.

So although I ate like crap and I look bloated, I still worked out 5-days in a row while on vacation.

My plan now is to start killing it tomorrow for the rest of July.  Hopefully it isn’t too hot outside, but I have a few races I would like to run in August and a ton of good races in September and October.

Physique-wise, I am looking good but I think I have another 5 lbs to go.

5 lbs extra, some hard cardio including sprints and I should peak in the middle of August.

-John Andre

Lift Heavy/Run Fast

 

I like the summer, but I don’t enjoy the oppressive heat.

sprinting

I am more of an early Fall, late Spring type of guy.

When it is too Hot (July) or too cold (January), sometimes I just don’t feel like doing anything.

Today I woke up planning on running outside at 9 am.  It is supposed to reach 98 degrees today in NYC, so I figured I would get ahead of the curve and go for a nice morning run.

Of course my son decides to sleep in late and then he wanted two hours straight of play time.

After play time we realized that he was out of food, so then we had to drive up to the supermarket and back.

By the time I made it outside it was 12:30 pm and around 98 degrees out.

I actually felt “OK”.  The first mile went by quickly in 6:15 but after I started the 2nd mile (which is on a hill) I had to stop.

It was just too hot out.  About 3/4 into a large hill I was starting to get dizzy and that’s when I decided to pull the plug and start walking.

When I was 21-years old, I would just plow right through a workout like this and complete it a near death.

Not that I am in my late 30’s, I would rather live to fight another day.  I can just run a hard one tomorrow and not sweat as much.

Overall, I don’t love running outside in July.  Even though it is the warmest month of the year and the least amount of rain, it just isn’t fun for me.

August gets a “little bit” better, especially late August around Labor Day.  And then of course my favorite time of year to run, The Fall.

Sept, Oct and November are the absolute best times of year to run outside.  I usually finish my season with a big race in the Fall before I start bulking up and power lifting for the Winter.

One big change I want to make this year, is that I want to “force” myself to get out more in July,  Although I am not enjoying myself as much and it can be very uncomfortable, if I can survive 30 days of training, it should help me run a fast race in the Fall.

I am going away on vacation next week, and I think I may try to run 4 or 5 times outside.

It’s going to be tough, but it helps to keep my lean, I get a suntan and I should be able to bust out a fast time in the next couple month

-John Andre.

Lift Heavy/Run Fast