Posts Tagged ‘Abs’

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.

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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

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

 

It is officially GAME ON.

If you haven’t started training hard yet, I am sorry to tell you this, but it is probably over.

You will not look good this summer.

At best, you can lose 10 lbs between now and Labor Day weekend.

But my blog isn’t for chumps, I want to meet champions!

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My goal for July 4th was 155 lbs.  I “should” hit that pretty easy if I start kicking butt.

But goals aren’t made to just reached, they are made to be blown up and surpassed.

My lowest body weight this season has been 156.6 lbs, I would love to break 155 lbs this week.

It is going to take a very strict diet and I need to push my cardio hard this week.

Weights every single day, Monday to Friday and cardio on Tues, Wends, Thurs, Sat and Sunday.

Next week I will do weights on Monday and Tuesday and then it’s July 4th.

I always look ripped on July 4th, although I usually don’t peak until the middle of August.

JASUMMERPICTURE-MIX

The summer diet is always tough, but it’s all worth it when you look like a champion.

God bless America!

-John Andre

Lift Heavy/Run Fast

It is finally starting to get hot in NYC and summer is right around the corner.

My training has been going good.  I went from a peak of 185 lbs around Feb 1st, all the way down to 156.5 this week.

I am also running 3 miles in around 20 minutes and I just started adding some sprinting.

So what is left at this point?

Not much.

I definitely need a tan.  I just started training with my shirt off, so I am slowly starting to build a base tan.  Skin cancer aside, it is almost impossible to get ripped without some type of dark tan.

I also need to sprint more.  I have only sprinted 2 or 3x and it is going to take about 30 sprint workouts before I am in really good shape.  I am still running pretty slow but I should start to quickly improve in that category.

I can also lose some more weight.  I want to cut about another 7lbs, which doesn’t seem like a lot, but it is when you weigh 156.

When you weight 240 lbs, 7 lbs is nothing. But for myself, that is another 5% of my body weight.

Overall, I am looking good but I am not in freak shape yet.  It is going to take some more hard training and dieting to get to the level where I feel like a monster.

Tomorrow is just deadlift and upper back, but the weekend is going to be all cardio including some sprinting.

Almost there! Summer is right around the corner!

-John Andre

Lift Heavy/Run Fast

This has been a solid year so far.

My winter bulk up went smoothly; I hit 315 lbs in the bench press and 535 for the deadlift.

And I also went up to 185 lbs in body weight.

Now I am down to 156.5 in body weight and I am finally starting to look good.  My plan is to go down to 150lbs at my summer peak which is typically in Mid-August.

The only problem I have noticed, is that it is taking my a lot longer to get back into running shape.

I wouldn’t say that I am running bad; I am running under 21 minutes for 3-miles.  But I am not progressing as fast as I would like.

I was hoping to run 3-miles in at least 19 or maybe even 18 minutes this summer.

One permanet change that I need to impliment, is that I need to have a “cleaner” bulk up.

My goal in the winter was to hit 185 lbs of bodyweight and I did reach it, but I also ate a lot of “unhealthy” food.

It’s hard to gain 30 lbs by just eating clean, but since I am not going any younger, I think I need to suck it up and eat better next year.

Whether is is 8-hard boiled eggs, or 5 gains of tuna fish per day, I need to eat cleanly.

No more bagels, no more muffins (my weakness), less pizza, less beer and less ice cream.

I still eat pretty healthy during the winter, but I definetly let myself cheat to gain weight.

The other problem I have, is that I didn’t do any cardio at all for 6 months.

My main focus this year was just to gain strength, but I believe going foward, I need to start adding some form of cardio all year-round.

It doesn’t have to be hard core sprinting and interval running, but I need some type of consistent cardio all-year round.

Overall, my Spring training has been going pretty good.  I am starting to get pretty cut and I should be looking good on July 4th.

All I have left is to lose 5 extra lbs, add some more sprints and continue to lift hard.

Good luck!

-John Andre.

Lift Heavy/Run Fast

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.

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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?

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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

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.

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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