Posts Tagged ‘crossfit’

If you follow my blog ,you know that I have been a runner for YEARS.

I love running and I have probably competed in over 200 races. But recently, the running has been really burning me out, both physically and mentally.

Most importantly, I’m not 100% convinced that it is really healthy for you.  I rarely get sick, but when I am running hard, I seem to start coming down with nagging colds.

I am also not sure If I need it to get cut, especially the long distance running, which might do the opposite.

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Recently I have been trying to add more sprinting and interval training, along with actually playing sports.

This year I have been playing a lot of basketball and I find it to be a great substitute for running.  It might actually even work a lot better.

There are a couple of noticeable differences:

  • It works the muscles more. When I play basketball I  use a ton of sprinting, jumping, fighting for rebounds, etc.
  • I can work out longer.  I can play basketball for an hour easy, but when I am running, I go for 20 minutes and then I am spent.
  • Since I am outside longer I also get a lot more tan.

 

And finally, it’s not BORING.

 

Last week, I played my first full court basketball game in almost 20 years and I couldn’t believe how hard of a workout it is.

In my teenage years I would play for 5-6 hours a day.  My body misses those long days of exercise.

My plan now is to stick with a mix of running and basketball and I  also might start playing tennis with my wife.

My advice, don’t forget about sports! Running can get boring.  Try to mix in some tennis, soccer, basketball or any other sport that forces you to run.

-John

 

I love running.  I have been running on and off for over 20 years and I love the sport.

But it wears me out.

For some reason, no matter how hard I try, I cannot run for an entire year straight.  I can run hard for 4-6 months tops and then my body and central nervous system needs a break.

Many runners never take off,  I don’t know how they do it.

Weight training is different.  I have been weight lifting for 20 years straight and I never take off.  I won’t always set records and sometimes I have nagging injuries, but I never feel burnt out from weight lifting.

This summer I am slowly getting back into running, but to be honest, I’m not really feeling it.  As an alternative, I have been trying to get back into basic sports.

Basketball and tennis.

What’s wrong with using sports instead of running? Cardio is cardio.

I played an hour of 3 on 3 basketball last week in 90 degree heat and it felt harder than a 8-mile run.

But more importantly, it’s fun.  Running can get really boring after a while.

So, what it is my advice? Don’t forget about sports.  There is nothing wrong with playing tennis 3x a week or going swimming.  You might even burn off more fat than any type of running.

-John

P.S. I have my 2nd book coming out on amazon in two weeks!

I firmly believe that if you are a natural lifter, you need to lose weight.  There is just no other way to burn the fat off.

The best part about losing weight is that it is very easy in the beginning.

If you have never been on a bodybuilding diet, the first couple weeks of dieting are a piece of cake.

From just adding some basic cardio routines and changing your diet, you should be able to cut some easy weight.

The real challenge is several weeks later when your body fat percentage is low.

When you start going from slightly ripped to very ripped, it gets really hard to burn off any body fat.

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I am already working out in the gym 4 days a week and running for 4-5.  Even with all of that hard training, I am going to have to start upping my effort if I want to get ripped.

I have gotten my bodyfat percentage to an insanely low-level several times in my life and each time there was a familiar pattern.

I was training like a lunatic.

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This year has been a little bit hard.  I been working two jobs, which isn’t too bad, but then my first son was born in April.

I am still making it to the workouts, but I don’t have the time to put in the crazy insane effort like I used to.

The good news is that he is starting to finally sleep better and I am increasing my efforts.

Today I weighed in at 157 lbs and I am in decent shape, but I still want to cut down to 150.  I think because I got a late start this year, I should peak around mid August.

For July 4th, I want to at least touch the 155’s.  Tomorrow I am going to work out legs at lunch and then I am going to try to kill it with some cardio after work.

A double session tomorrow and I should have a solid chance of getting into the 155lb range.

After July 4th, it is just super hard training up until October.

How is everyone else’s training going?

-John

As most of you already know, this week was the summer solstice and now we are officially into summer.

As I have stated before, if you haven’t started losing weight yet, you probably aren’t going to look good this summer.

I have cut down from 176 lbs in the winter down to 156!  I plan on losing another 6 lbs and maxing out at 150 lb’s.

Right now I am focusing hard on diet and cardio.  I am trying my best to get at least 3-4 hard cardio sessions in a week and I am also trying my best not to cheat on my diet.

This year I am peaking slightly later in the Summer than the last several years and I should look my best in the middle of August.

I know I have posted an pictures in a long time, but I should have some new one’s after July 4th weekend.

The only thing I am really missing now is a solid tan.

Skin cancer aside, a good tan is very important and unfortunately, nothing is better than the actual sun.

When I get really tan, my skin starts to shrink around my muscles like plastic wrap.

This year I might get a solid base tan from the sun, then I will finish it off with a spray tan.

It’s been hard to get outside this year.  Besides working two jobs and an infant at home, I just don’t have time in my day to sit outside and work on my tan.

Hopefully I can get outside more in the next couple weeks.

Although, I don’t except to make any strength gains at my light body weight, I do expect to improve in my cardio times.

For example, today I ran 1 1/2 miles in 9:45 (6:33 per mile pace)

I would love to get that under 9 minutes and get my mile under 6.

How is everyone else doing?

P.S. I have my 2nd book coming out within the next 2 weeks!

-John

This has been a tough running year for me.  Actually, the entire last 9 months has been tough.

About 2 years ago I was in really good running shape and I was getting close to reaching my College times. But recently I have regressed.

One of the problems is that I have been running on the treadmill more.

My son was born in April and since then, I have been doing only treadmill during the week.  On the weekends, I have been trying to get outside but sometimes the weather in the Spring is just horrible.

I’ve noticed that my treadmill time is usually about 10-20 seconds faster per mile than when I run outside.

For example, if you can run 3 miles in 21:00 minutes on a treadmill, then you should run around 21:30-22:00 minutes outside.

But although the treadmill helps for running outside, the muscles used are completely different.

Today I did a Father’s Day race in NYC just to see what type of shape I am in and I ran horrible.  Probably my worst time in 5 years.

The first mile felt okay, but then after that I died out.

Using the treadmill just doesn’t use the muscles as much.  If I want to get back into outdoor running shape, I am going to need to run outside more.

But, there is a weird flip side to this argument.

I think the treadmill might be better for bodybuilding.

A) The treadmill is less impact, by a lot.  I can run hard on the treadmill all the time without getting super sore.

B) If might be better for bodybuilding.  This year I have been sprinting and jumping pretty good (basketball) and I think it might be because I’m not running outside so much.

So who knows? Is the treadmill the cardio of the future?  I still like going outside to run.  It’s better for a tan, sprinting and also it’s nice to be outside.

I think from this point forward I am going to force myself to get outside more.  There are several good races in the Fall that I would love to run.

How is everyone else doing?

-John

Check out my new book on amazon.com!

The diet is very important, especially to natural athletes like myself.  If you don’t take your diet serious, you can forget about building a 6-pack and you will never burn off your extra body fat.

But, is it worth living if you never get to eat?

Overall, I am pretty strict with my diet but recently I have learned to loosen up a little.  I don’t mind dying 2 years early to enjoy a juicy steak or a bowl of ice cream when it is 96 degrees out in NYC.

I am also going to eat when I am on vacation.  When I am in New Orleans, I want some gumbo, jumbalaya and I am probably going to drink more than I usually do.

But, I don’t think the answer is moderation.  Moderation is a cop out.

I think the key is to just choose your battles.

I had a really hard week of training last week.  I hit the gym 4x and I also did 4 days of cardio, beating my 21 minute 3-mile goal for the summer.

Yesterday I woke up for work and I was barely able to move.  In the same week I did 495 lb shrugs, 17 chinups, 245 bench press for 8 reps and I ran hard including playing basketball on Sunday.

My workout in the gym on Monday was lackluster, I just wasn’t feeling it.

On Tuesday, I wasn’t feeling great either.  I did some legs at lunch and some easy cardio after work.

When I got home Tuesday night, I decided to eat a little.  I finished my dinner in 2 seconds and told my wife that I was still hungry.

I couldn’t hold back and I tore into a bag of hummus and chips.

Sometimes you just need some extra calories and some extra rest.  Especially if the extra calories are going to help you train harder.

Tomorrow I am back to my super strict diet and I plan on hitting the gym twice for weights and cardio.

Next week for Father’s day, I want some beers and hamburgers.

I don’t believe in moderation, just choosing my battles.

-John

Check out my book on amazon.com!

Today was a great workout!

Yesterday, I  was supposed to work out but I actually skipped the gym because I was exhausted.  Since I was off on work Monday for Memorial Day I ended up working out 3 days in a row and on Friday morning I was barely able to walk.

I also decided to increase my calories yesterday.  I was really feeling run down, so yesterday I ended up having an extra snack at work and I had a bunch of mexican food for dinner.

It helped.

Today I went for some empty stomach cardio as soon as I woke up and I ran like a champ.

After the first mile, I KNEW I was going to have a good time today.

I passed the first mile in around 6:55 and I was barely sweating.

For the 2nd mile, I decided to increase the pace and I passed two miles in around 13:45.

At this point, I knew for sure that I was going to hit my summer goal of 21 minutes.  The only question was by how much.

By the 2.5 mile mark I was hurting pretty bad.  I decided to increase the pace for the last .25 and I was able to finish in 20:24!

I can officially say that I am finally back into decent shape.  That is a fast time for early June and I would love to go under 20 minutes this year.

Last year I felt like I was training 10x harder and I was only able to go under 20 minutes once.

My game plan from now on?

I just need to keep it up.  Add more speed training to my routine and eventually I will bust out some fast times this summer.

How is everyone else doing?

-John

My son is a month and half old now and he is finally starting to sleep better overnight (thank god). But this also means that it gives daddy a chance to step up his training.

In the last 2 weeks I have thrown in 8 really HARD cardio sessions.  I felt like I was 2 weeks behind in my summer training and I wan’t to make sure I got back on track.

Today I weighed in for the first time in a while, and I am down to 159!

That is a 19 lb weight loss since St. Patrick’s day and I am also starting to run some fast times.

It’s funny, but I haven’t weighed in a while and I think that helped.  This whole week I was paranoid that I wasn’t cutting enough weight and it made me stick to my diet.

Overall, my body is finally starting to look better.  The abs are starting to come in and my one-mile time is probably under 6 minutes.

My goal for June is just to train hard.  I want to keep improving on my running times, preserve as much strength as I can and cut another 5 or 6 lbs.

I would love to be under 155lbs for July 4th and maybe I will start to post some pictures.  The only thing I need is a dark tan and I will be ready to show off the goods.

How is my competition doing?

-John

Check out my new book on amazon.com!

Recently, it has been hard to get my workouts in.  I haven’t really missed any days, but I’ve been very overtired between working two jobs and having an infant at home.

But, no excuses.

My routine this Spring has been weights 4x a week at lunch, with cardio 2x after work and one extra cardio day on the weekend.

Because I do not have a ton of time to train, especially after work, I have been using the time I do have to train INTENSELY.

For my 2 cardio sessions during the week, I only train for 30 minutes each.

Basically, I have been running straight to the gym as soon as I get out of work, strip down in 3 minutes and then run as hard as I can for 20 minutes.  Afterwards,  I throw my clothes back on, grab my work bag and run straight to my ferry.

The results have been great so far!  Since I don’t have a lot of time, I don’t screw around.

Yesterday I ran a half mile at a 6:22 pace, followed by another half mile at a 7:15 pace,  and kept going using faster and slower intervals until I reached 3 miles.  By the end of the workout I was drenched with sweat.

I’m really amazed that some people still don’t work out.  I have a wife and a one-month old son and the last thing I need is to die early because I am too lazy to exercise.

Only 30 minutes a day can make a ton of difference.

Even if you don’t want to run, add 30 minutes of weight lifting

30 minutes of walking

30 minutes of biking

Skip dinner once in a while and cut some pounds.

There are no excuses…

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-John

Check out my new book on amazon.com!

Do ab workouts help you build a 6-pack? This is a dilemma that has perplexed bodybuilders for generations.

So what is the answer?

I’ve you listen to most of the bodybuilding forums online, almost everyone will tell you not to train your abs individually.

Well, guess what? Arnold Schwarzenegger trained his abs individually.  Was he wrong?

Are you more cut than Arnold Schwarzenegger?

Personally, I have tried working out my abs every single day and I have also tried not training them at all.

I find that it helps to train them.

Don’t get me wrong, heavy squats, leg press, deadlifts and overhead lifts will train your abs better than any crunch or sit up, but I feel that it still helps to train them individually.

The real main key in building a 6-pack is to get your body fat percentage low.

I see guys in the gym all the time spending time training their abs, when in reality, they will never get a 6-pack at their current body fat.

Without getting lean, your abs will never show.

You need to lift weights

You need to do cardio

And you need to diet

Overall, when you train your abs correctly and you diet down your body fat, if should look something like this.

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