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I’ve always liked training hard throughout the winter, especially in the gym.

The winter is by far the best time of the year to gain some body weight and lift heavy weights.

And to be honest with you, I actually miss running outside in the winter.

It has been probably 10 years since I have run outside throughout the entire winter and that year was most likely my best physique ever.

jabeer

RIpped abs

Right now my training is going full steam.  My bench press is in the 275 range, I deadlifted 455 x 2 last Friday and my squats are nearing the 315.

This year, I also decided to keep up with my cardio. Although I am only doing the treadmile, I am still getting close to 2 miles in 14 minutes and under.

Winter is a time to work.  Time to stop looking into the mirror and to just put in the work.

My plan going forward is to keep lifting heavier in the gym, continue with my cardio and when I start cutting down in the Spring, I should be looking jacked.

P.S. I am strongly considering a powerlifting competition in early 2020, it has been about 4 or 4 years and I am overdue.

-John Andre

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It’s kind of sad, but I think at my age (almost 40) there are just certain records that I will never beat.

I will never beat my long jump record from college.  That just isn’t happening, I tried it last year and I was about 4 feet off.

I can still grab the rim and jump pretty high but I will never jump as long as I used to.

My bench press record is also going to be tough.

Although i can still muscle my way up to 315 lbs almost every day, it’s going to be tough for me to get past 355.

First of all, I am not willing to gain as much weight. 10 years ago when I bulked up to 205 lbs, I would bench press 315 for an easy 4 reps.

Now at 170 lbs tops and without a steady spotter, it is going to be close to impossible to beat.

For the deadlift and squat, I believe I could beat it.

Yesterday I deadlifted 375 for 10 reps and it felt like a feather.  For me to get back near my record of 585, I will need to start lifting in the mid 400’s for 10 reps, to be honest, it doesnt seem that far off.

I am still able to get my deadlift over 500 almost every year without even training.

For the squats, I feel like I break my “non-equiped” record if I had a consistent spotter.

Running is a mixed bag.

I am definitely slower in the 100, 200 and 400 meters, but I feel stronger in long distance.

I think I could still beat my 5-mile and half-marathon record and maybe have a slight chance to break my 5k record.

But that big question is, am I pushing myself enough?

I have been pretty much injury free for the last several years, so should I start pushing it a little more?

Unfortunately,  I think the answer is “Yes”.

I want to hit some strong numbers in the gym this winter and I want to run faster in the Spring and Summer.

If I dont have any injuries, why not?

It’s time to start going harder…

-John Andre

 

Fall Training Update

Posted: November 4, 2019 in Uncategorized
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I apologize for not blogging as much recently, but my wife and I just had our second child and life has been crazy.

Unlike my first child, this time around I actually recieved 6 weeks of paid paternity leave, so I have been working out pretty good.

I have been on a 6-day a week schedule:

  • Sunday Squats, calves, cardio
  • Monday Chest, Back
  • Tuesday Squats, calves cardio (2)
  • Wendsday Cardio
  • Thursday Chest (2)
  • Friday Heavy Back with deadlifts

Unfortunately, although I have been working out consistantly, my diet has been horrible.

I dont care what you say, when you are on 2 hours of sleep with two kids screaming, you aren’t worried about avoiding carbs.

My “go to” meal at 3 in the morning had been peanut butter sandwiches. Better than nothing.

Weight lifting-wise, I am almost getting there.

My bench press is near 275, squats are around 255 and my deadlifts are near 455.

This winter I want to get my bench over 315, squats over 335 and deadlifts over 525 lbs.

For my cardio, I have decided that I am going to run the entire winter for maintenance, I just wont go crazy.

By the end of the winter I want to be running 3 miles in around 21 minutes.

Right now I am doing 2 miles in 14.

So overall, everything is slowly on pace. I am inching towards my winter strength goals and I am still running strong.

-John Andre

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I have to be honest, I think that Arnold is slightly full of shit when he talks about his workouts.

Arnold trained in the “high volume” era of the 1970s and to be honest, that era had most of the most popular physiques in bodybuilding history.

But is not fair to say it’s just from the training, alot of it is from the steroids available at that time.

Whatever they were injecting in the 1970s, seemed to work.

I have read all of Arnold’s training guides and his legendary “several hours a day” workouts.

I tried to follow his workouts in the past and they did not work for me at all. If anything, I started to look worse by copying his routine.

The workouts that worked the best for me have always been heavy powerlifting training along with cardio and intermittent fasting.

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But part of Arnold’s training philosophy does makes sense. If he is training chest twice a week while receiving enough rest and recovery, he will develop faster than someone only working out their chest just once a week.

For myself, I can only work out body parts twice a week if I limit the sets.

The first exercise that I started training twice a week was my chest. I found that if I cut the sets, I would be able to hit it hard twice a week.

My workout now is bench press on Mondays and then I will mix flat and dumbbell press on Thursdays. By only doing one or two heavy sets after warming up, I found that I can train heavy twice a week without getting injured.

The second bodypart I started working out twice is my back.  I add some light high-rep work on Mondays and then I add heavy duty back training on Fridays.

The 3rd and probably the final body part I started working out twice a week is my legs. I am attempting to squat on both Sunday and Wendsday.  Squatting takes a lot out of me, so I am going to see how long I can keep it going.

Overall, although I believe that Arnold was slightly embellishing his true workouts, but there is some validity to his methods.  If you can handle working a bodypart twice a week, then feel free to go for it. You’ll will get in shape much faster if done correctly.

-John Andre

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If you have followed my blog for the last couple years, you would know that I pick a different “weak point” to work on every off-season.

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For example: several years ago I focused mainly on my calves, and now they are one of my best body parts. This past year I actually worked out my back twice a week and unfortunately it still needs some extra work.

This coming winter I plan on killing my legs, specifically, I plan on squatting twice a week.

I tried experimenting with using the leg press for several years and I have discovered that it cannot compare to good old-fashioned squats when it comes to leg development.

Not only have my legs grown tremendously since I started squatting again, but it also adds to my overall body mass.

It’s funny, but when I first started working out I focused mostly on my chest because it was a major weak point. Now as a 39 year old man, my chest has become my best feature.

Bodybuilding is a funny sport, sometimes you can grow in one area very easily and other areas can take you years of experimentation.

Wish me luck.

-John Andre.

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I am not gonna lie, my life is not very exciting right now.

Besides going to work and running a small side business; my life is pretty uneventful.

As of last week, I now have 2 kids under 3 years and now my priorities have changed.

My 30’s started off with a bang; I went to Dublin for St. Patrick’s Day, Spring Break in South Padre, Texas, the Kentucky Derby, Preakness, Sweden, Estonia, etc.

But now my life is pretty limited: I work, work out and take care of my kids.

But that will change.  I still have a bucket list of trips that I want to accomplish, such as Oktoberfest in Germany, but unfortunately they are on a temporary hold.

If I had to predict, I am around 45% done with my life.

All my grandparents lived to 80 years old and my parents are still alive in their early 70s.

I would “think” I should cruise to at least 80 years old, but nothing is guaranteed in life.

Let’s assume that I am 50% done with my life, how do I want to spend the next 25%?

A)  Accumulate assets rapidly. Right now I am on pace to retire, but I would like to accelerate that. The key for me here would be to be more entrepreneurial.

For starters, we are looking to purchase our first home in the Spring.

B) Eat cleaner. If you eat bad food over an extended number of years, you will get heart disease. I already feel like my workouts are on point, so the only thing left is to eat cleaner.

C) Travel more. Traveling is the key to life and there are so many places I would like to see that I cant even count.

So, what about the final 25% of my life? Age 65+?

A) Be able to do whatever I like without regard to my financials. Definitely considering traveling in an RV.

B) Spend time with my children.

C) Continue with my hobbies and do only what I enjoy.

-John Andre

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Well, I am happy to announce that my wife and I just had our second child; a beautiful girl named Olivia.

Right now we have a 2-year old boy, a newborn girl and my wife just made it medically impossible for her to have a 3rd.

Although I still look pretty young, I am 39 years old and I will be 58 by the time my daughter graduates high school.

So far I am 2 days in and writing this during my “shift” of baby watching at 1am.

2 major differences between baby 1 and 2.

A) I’m way less anxious this time. First time around my son would sneeze and wake us up in a panic.

Now? Its gotta really be code red to freak me out. Also, I know this lack of sleep will end.

Its basically a month of hell before you finally get some normalcy and a routine going. My son now sleeps like a teenager from 9 to 730am, just have to make it there.

B) It’s tricky because my first child is still young. Let’s face it, I have two babies at home, just one is an infant. My son is also high energy, if I dont take him to the park, hiking, or some serious rough housing at home; he wont sleep.

I been trying to get him to sleep first then deal with the infant crap. If he is awake, he will annoy me, so gettting him to bed is first priority.

C) Two totally different personalities. My daughter eats and sleeps like a pro, my son probably cried 10x more and was much more needy.

Overall, although I am only 2 days in, I am feeling pretty confident I will survive this 2nd child.  I’m a lot more confident, enough to the point where my wife and I started shift work to guarantee we get some sleep.

Until one, or both kids gets sick; we should be in the clear for a while.

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Although it was 90 degrees in NYC on Wednesday, the Fall is officially here and it is time to change up my training.

Overall, I had a solid year of training. I got my bench press over 300, my deadlift over 500 and I was running 3 miles in slightly under 21 minutes.

For this coming year, I want to make two necessary adjustments:

A) I need to do cardio all year round. I dont need to go crazy in the winter,  but I would like to keep my 3 mile treadmile time around 21 minutes.

After 20 years+ of working out; I have noticed that the years that I looked my best, I typically kept up a cardio routine during the winter.

B) I am only allowing myself to bulk up 10 lbs over my peak.  That means I am only allowing myself to go up to 166 lbs. I am finding it more and more difficult to lose body fat as I get older (39)

Goals:

Bench press 315+. I usually reach this, but it’s going to be difficult without a regular spotter.

Squat 315+ ass to the ground. This should be easy. I have really worked on my squats the last couple years and I should be able to go over 315 pretty easily. I also may start squatting twice a week.

3 miles in 21 minutes treadmile. This is easy, I should be able to reach this with only 2 or 3 cardio sessions a week and that would allow me to run a fast session next summer.

Overall, my routines dont change that much.  I am basically just starting to eat cleaner and add some extra cardio during the winter, and my weight training is basically power based.

Good luck!

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Well, its looks like my season is over, at least for competitive running.

How did I do this year? Not great, not bad.I achieved most of my winter lifting goals.

I deadlifted over 500lbs pretty easily and I was squatting near 315, ass to the ground of course!

Bench press was slightly more difficult since I dont have a spotter,but even without a workout partner, I was lifting near 300 lbs  With a steady spotter I like to go up to 315 every winter but this year it was just impossible.

For my running, this year had been off and on for me.  I definitely need to change something up in my training for next season, because my times are not improving.

This year I did a 3 mile race in Mid May and ran around 21 minutes flat, and then I did a sprint race in the summer which included the 100 and 200 meters.

I did “ok” considering that I havent sprinted in over 20 years, but my times were not great.

Then this past weekend I did a 5k race that I run every year and I finished it in around 21:55; 20 seconds slower than last year.

I dont expect to get faster every year as I age (39) but I hope with improved training I can lower my times.

One area that I definitely need to improve on, is my diet.  I’ve learned that I cant put on 30lbs during the winter like I used to.  This year, I plan on only adding 10 lbs of extra bodyweight, to a max of 166.

Most likely I will never weigh over 180 lbs again in my life, it’s not healthy and its becoming harder and harder to remove bodyweight as I get older.

Overall, I have a second child coming in 2 weeks, so I will probably start my winter bulk up in a month.

I need to focus on my diet super hard this coming year and include cardio during my bulk up.

I dont know why, but even when I bulk up and gain weight, the cardio workouts help to keep me lean.

I will be posting my bulk up routine soon.

Good luck!

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I have to admit it, I have been running great recently.

Over Labor Day Weekend I ran outside 3 days in a row and today I burned through a 5k in 19:30 on the treadmile.

To be clear, I havent gone under 20 minutes since I was 18 years old, now I am 39.

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I dont think I am that close to running those times outside, but I am pretty close to busting out some fast ones. Last year my peak was around 21:30 in the 5k and I “should” destroy that.

My plan going forward is to do the treadmile tomorrow, then run outside hard on Saturday and Sunday.

The following wknd I will run one of my favorite 5k races of the year. The course is as flat as a pancake, so just as long as it isnt windy out, I should be able to bust out a fast one.

After that, I basically have 2 more weekends to run a fast race.

My wife is due with our 2nd, and last child on October 2nd, so that will probably end my season.

Overall, I definitely run a lot more than most natural bodybuilders, but I do love it.

There is no better feeling in the world than running a good time and even improving on prior years.

4 or 5 more training sessions and I will see what type of shape I am really in.

John Andre

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