Posts Tagged ‘arms’

Hello everyone!

I am now into my 2nd week of Spring training and I am finally starting to add some cardio back into my routine.

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I like running towards the end of winter because it sets me up for a good spring.

If you wait until March or April to start running, sometimes you will get a late start for Summer.

By April I want to be running fast already, so for me, that means I need to slowly start revving up the engine.

I am also taking in less calories.  I lost 3.5 lbs the first week and I would like to reach 5 total lbs by week 2.

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I always lose weight really easy in the beginning.  It’s when I start to get very low in body fat that it gets harder and harder.

I also believe you NEED to add some cardio workouts into your routine for your health.

I ran outside for the first time in several months on Saturday and I felt like I was going to DIE.

That can’t be healthy.

When you are in your 20’s or 30’s you “feel” like you are going to die.  When you get past age 40, you might actually die.

Heart disease, diabetes, stroke, heart attacks, etc. They are all major illness related to obesity that too many people suffer from in the United States from basic neglect.

I use cardio to remove body fat and stay in good cardiovascular shape, and I firmly believe that some type of cardio needs to be in your exercise routine.

With that being said, too much cardio can also kill you.

I am working on my 3rd book and I did some research on the famous 1970’s marathon runners.  You will be amazed by how many famous long-distance runners have come down with serious health problems.

Marathon running is not healthy.

If you want to train for just a couple marathons in your lifetime, there is no harm.

But training for long-distance is not healthy over the long term.

Focus on improving your SPEED.

As you age, your endurance does not decrease as much as your speed.

Anyone up to age 90 can run a slow 5-mile race, but not too many people can still sprint, jump and leap.

Speed over endurance any day of the week.

-John

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I am going to warn you right now; do not get TOO FAT!

Although I believe the winter bulk up is very important and I personally have gained almost 35 lbs this year, body fat can be very stubborn and difficult to burn off.

If you are gaining weight, please make sure you are lifting heavier and gaining some muscle.  If you are lifting light weights even though you gained weight, then you are wasting your time.

You should be putting on a combination of both muscle and some fat.

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One important part of bodybuilding that isn’t talked about a lot is timing.  When do we END our winter bulk up?

I like to plan out a predetermined weight gain and then I also choose several strength goals.  Once I get near or surpass my strength and weight goals, I know it’s time to shut it down and start getting ripped.

Although:

A) DO NOT stop going heavy until you are sure you will not break a record.  For example, I still need to max out on my bench press.  If I go up every week for the next 3 weeks, I will not stop.  I will keep maxing out until I cannot go any heavier.

B) If I reach my goals too early, then I will increase them.  If you reach your strength gains by halloween, you probably didn’t push yourself enough.

It appears that I only have 2 weeks left of my winter bulk up.  I am going for a bench press max on Monday, a squat max on Tuesday and I doubled my deadlift goal of 500 for 2 reps on last Friday.

If I don’t go up in these lifts, I will shut my bulk up season down in the next 2 weeks.  If I keep setting records, then I will continue to lift heavy until I cannot go up anymore.

Overall, its been a great winter bulk up and I am looking forward to getting ripped again.  I had to buy new work pants today because my waist grew to 32 inches, but that is a good sign.

Good luck to everyone except my friends Kook, Fred and Joe that I plan on beating in our annual “friends summer bodybuilding” competition.

-John

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Bodybuilding is a funny sport.

You can read all of the articles written in Flex magazine by the “so-called” experts or you can follow workout routines you find in the online forums, but unfortunately, most of it is bullshit.

I am not saying that some of it isn’t solid advice, but you have no idea how your body is going to react.

For myself, nothing ever goes to plan. Never.

For example, I have always been a great deadlifter.  In College I got up to 500lbs really fast and was almost lifting in the mid-500’s as a teenager.

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Eventually my progress started to slow down and I made a fatal mistake.  I started to add extra sets.

Not only did I get weaker, but I ended up pulling my back out and It took over a year to heal.

I see people making the same mistake with the bench press all the time.  They start to add sets on the bench press, then they go over to the incline and then they move on to the decline.

End result? They never progress.

I just turned 38 years old and I might be able to break my bench press record this year.  In 4 or 5 weeks I am going to try to get 365lb’s at around 181lb’s of bodyweight.

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Don’t get me wrong, that’s not any type of record breaking lifting, but it’s pretty strong for a regular gym lifter.

When I try to get stronger, it usually comes down to 3 things:

  • Speed.  I do my reps really fast, including my warm up.
  • Less Sets.  Sometimes I will only do one set after warming up
  • Eat more.  If you don’t eat, where is the magical muscle going to come from?

Also, you might find an exercise that works great for you.  If you do, don’t change anything up!!!

This year, I was doing bench press on Monday’s and I was doing shoulders on Friday’s.  I wanted to focus more on bench press, so eventually I substituted shoulder Friday’s for dumbbell chest.

From adding a second chest day, I started going up like crazy.  I shot my bench press up over 315 lb’s almost immediately.

Last week I decided to go back to shoulders and I started to add shoulder Friday’s back.

Result?  I started to feel some injuries come back and my bench press started regressing.

If something is working, DON’T STOP.  Even if it doesn’t make sense.

If pretty girls always compliment your favorite blue shirt, then wear that shirt!

Don’t try to overthink things.

Right now I have about 6 weeks of my bulk up left before I get into Spring Training.  Although I enjoy being strong, I have to admit, I am starting to feel overweight.

Good luck!

John

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Merry Christmas everyone! I have about 7-8 weeks left in my Winter bulk up and I now am officially fat.

Don’t get me wrong.  I have been lifting heavy weights and have been going to the gym 4x a week consistently all year, but I have also gained at least 30 lbs since the Summer.  Some of that weight is muscle but a lot of it is also fat.

I cannot tell a lie, it feels good to be big and strong.  My shirts fit really tight and last week I benched 315 lbs like it was nothing, but there are also some major negatives.

First of all, I noticed that I can’t breathe as well.  Easy tasks such as walking to the bus station for work or lifting furniture, starts to feel so much harder since my breathing is labored.  Obviously, this can’t be too healthy.

The other negative I noticed about being heavy, is that I am starting to snore.  There has to be some connection between being overweight and snoring.  I never snore until I hit my 3rd month of my winter bulk up.  Once again, this also can’t be too healthy.

Overall, my bulk up is going great this year.  I don’t want to fool people into thinking that I am just becoming an overweight lifter, but there are some obvious side affects of gaining weight.

I turned 38 years old today and I also have to think about high blood pressure and the heart attack risk.

As I get older, I will obviously have to bulk up a lot cleaner and maybe not bulk up as much.  But as long as I am in my late 30’s and early 40’s, I feel safe bulking up in the winter, just as long as I come down in the Summer.

I am off from work this week and only plan on going to the gym twice, but starting next week, it is game on until the end of my winter bulk up.  I am going to try a traditional powerlifting routine for the last several weeks.  So far, I have reached my deadlift and bench press goals, the only one’s left are squats and shoulders.

I will keep everyone updated.

-John

 

I am only 5 or 6 weeks into my bulk up and so far my plan is going great.  I am already maxing out the same as I did last year in the leg press and I am rapidly gaining strength in the bench press and shoulder dumbbells.

If I keep up the pace I am on, I should destroy last years bulk up numbers.  But experience has taught me that A) my pace will slow down B) Injuries will happen.

This week I am going to attempt 75’s for 10.  Once I can hit 80’s for 10 I am right back into the heavy stuff.

The body definitely has muscle memory.  I haven’t gone this heavy in a while and the strength is coming back almost immediately.  I am surprised by how strong I am getting after just several weeks of extra calories.

It is fine to gain weight in the winter, but I want to make sure that I don’t put on too much body fat.  Lean muscle is the goal this winter.

I am also really enjoying the fact that I haven’t been doing any cardio.  The cardio workouts were really starting to wear me out.

Originally I had planned to reintroduce the cardio in December, but now I am thinking I might take a complete break until Jan 1.

Winter is right around the corner! I can’t wait for some heavy lifting…

-John