Posts Tagged ‘diet’

A lot of people call bodybuilders obsessed and I have often been called that myself.

But, I don’t think that’s fair.

Don’t get me wrong, if you won’t touch a piece of cake at your own wedding, then yes, you might need to loosen up.

But make no doubt about it, working out and dieting are the most important aspects of your life and you need to take it serious.

You aren’t worth much dead and nothing will stop your aging in your tracks like exercise and a proper diet.

This is a picture from my wedding last year at age 37.  Since I started dieting around age 28, my aging has been minimal.

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I am only 2 years away from my 40th birthday and I am amazed by how I was able to stop my aging.

40 is definitely the new 30, but I want to make it the new 25.

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Although I look young for my age, just because you look a certain way, doesn’t mean you are necessarily healthy.

In your teens and 20’s you can get away with almost anything, but that becomes a whole new ballgame when you get older, especially if you have an unhealthy diet.

Since I reached my mid-30’s, I have numerous friends that have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, cholesterol, and I also know two coworkers that have had mini strokes.

The economic aspect of your health is also significant.

I don’t know about your insurance, but my son cost me $6,500 for his delivery this year and if I end up sick, my bill is going to hit our family max of $10K out of pocket.

These costs also may include missed days of work, loss of promotions and opportunities,  and the high costs of prescription drugs, etc.

Trust me on this, being unhealthy can hurt your career.

It’s unfortunate, but “ageism” does exist in this country.  When interviewing between a healthy looking 42-year old person and someone at the same age who appears in bad shape, it helps to look healthy.  People notice, as unfair as that may sound.

Being in good help also helps with fertility, and trust me, once you get married this is a big one.  I feel “blessed” that my wife was able to have her first child at 36.  For our 2nd child, my wife will be between 38-40, god willing.

Time is not on our side, but keeping a healthy lifestyle does help.

And finally, probably the most important part about working out and dieting, is the quality of life.

Sure, you can possibly sit on the couch and life to 95-years old, but what kind of retirement is that?

Wouldn’t you rather be able to dead lift 400 lb’s at age 70?

Or run a half marathon at age 75?

Play 2 hours of tennis in the middle of the summer at age 80?

Get on a plane to see the running of the bulls in Spain as an 82-year old?

Take your grand kids to the park and play basketball at 79?

There are a ton of people who can’t even do that at age 40 and its sad.

Now remember, you don’t need to become obsessed, but you need to take it serious.

Diet, weights, cardio.  The trifecta of healthy lifting.

95% of the time, the trifecta should work.

Otherwise, we leave it all up to a higher power.

Jesus-w-guy

-John

Check out my book on amazon.com!

This was a good weekend for working out.  I FINALLY was able to sneak onto a track in Staten Island and run some sprints.

For some reason Staten Island locks down all of the public High School tracks so that nobody can use them.  (I’m from Brooklyn)

And I was able to run (6) 200 meter runs in the blazing heat.

After only several intervals, I remembered why I love sprinting for burning off the fat.

After the run my body was in complete pain!

I also like running tempo runs, but after you get into good shape, I can run 3 miles in 21 minutes without breaking a sweat.

With sprinting, it never really gets easy. And if it does get easy, you aren’t running hard enough,

After I got home from the track I felt like playing basketball, so I went down to the courts near my house.  I planned on taking it easy and shooting around for an hour until some kids asked me to join a 3 on 3 game.

I haven’t played in a game in over 5 years and again I was hurting.

Playing basketball outside in the July heat is no joke.

Saturday’s complete workout: 6 X 200 meter sprints on the track followed by 3 on 3 basketball.

My plan for this upcoming week is to stay on my diet.  I want to hit 155 lbs’ this week and cut another 5 before the end of the summer.  My abs are starting to pop and I think another couple lbs and I should start looking pretty ripped.

-John

My training has been weird this year.  My son was born in mid-April and that killed part of my spring training momentum, but besides that, I have been almost injury free and reaching good numbers.

I have been working out for almost 20 years now and I’ve noticed something important; I need heavy weight lifting.  Without lifting heavy weights my body doesn’t grow and I notice it even more when I cut up for the summer.

It’s hard to cut up when you don’t have any muscle.

The last couple years I have been able to get really cut, but I feel like I have been missing out on the thick mass that I used to have.

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10 years ago I was benching 345 and deadlifting 580.  Now I am barely hitting 300 lb bench press’s in the winter.

Part of my decrease in strength has been from nagging injuries and the other part has been from the fact that I don’t bulk up as much.

But, If I had to choose the two most important area’s in bodybuilding, it is heavy weight lifting and dieting.

If you can lift heavy and diet down correctly, you should be able to get ripped.

I am not saying that cardio isn’t that important, it is, but for myself the cardio is just the last 10%,

The cardio removes the final body fat for me and also tightens up the skin.

But in reality, the heavy weight lifting and diet is more important.

Case in point, if you only did cardio, you would probably look horrible.  You can get away with only sprinting, but long-distance running without weight lifting will build the worst looking physique you can have.

I should have some summer pics up soon.  I am trying to cut another 5-8 lbs and then peak in August.

New book coming out in a couple of weeks!

-John

My “problem”  that I have with modern bodybuilding is that many athletes are not really “in shape”.

So what does “in shape” mean?

At a minimum, you should be able to play a full court basketball game or at least a full game of singles tennis.

You should also be able to run without having to catch your breath.

And your vitals should be good.  That means regular blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose.

I “allow” myself to get a little bit overweight in the winter, but that is ONLY for 2-3 months and never for an extended amount of time.

Most of the time, I will also continue doing cardio throughout the entire winter.

Lifting heavy weights doesn’t get you in shape.  Lifting weights is the easy part and unless you are powerlifting, you probably aren’t even going very heavy.

Don’t forget to stay in shape.  Bulking up forever can get you in big trouble going forward.

Too many heavy weight lifters in the gym, not enough guys in shape.

Don’t forget your cardio

Don’t forget your diet

-John

Check out my book on amazon.com!

People, especially women, ask me all the time if I have more energy when I am in good shape.

My first response is usually “no, I’m exhausted”.  When I am training hard, I am tired all the time and I get sick the most often.

But, now that I am finally starting to get into pretty good shape, I realized that I do have a ton of energy.

I’m just cranky.

When I am at work and the day is dragging, I get into the worst moods.  I feel lethargic, I don’t want to speak to anyone and I generally feel moody.

But as soon as I get out of the office, I feel supercharged.

After tomorrow, I would have completed 8 training sessions this week already.  That’s back to back sessions, 4x during the workweek.

I am also going to workout on Saturday and Sunday, for 10 sessions in one full week.

I also started taking the train for extra cardio, instead of the bus, and I noticed on my walking app, that I am up to 4.5 miles a day of just walking.

So, maybe I do have a ton of energy.

I have been training more.  I have been blogging more.

It’s a good time of year to be in shape!

-John

Check out my 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

During the last couple years I have noticed an interesting pattern.  When I start cutting up for the year, it generally takes me 2 and 1/2 months to get cut.

This year, I am about 2 weeks behind schedule.  My son was born in mid April and I ended up missing about 10 days of hard lifting and dieting.

Just recently have I finally started to see my abs pop out. I think another week or two of hard training and I should start looking pretty good.

The other problem is that I am missing a sun tan.  This year I am whiter than a glass of skim milk.

No matter what anyone tells you, a good sun tan is really important for bodybuilding.  Not only does it shrink the skin, making you appear more cut, but it also brings out the veins.

Now that I am getting older (37), I am slightly concerned about skin cancer.  I might try a spray tan and see how it looks.  It’s probably not the same, but I’m not a professional bodybuilder and I don’t need the health risks.

How is everyone else doing?

-John

No, I am not talking about speeding up your metabolism.  I think that is some b.s. science make up from supplement companies.

Eat every two hours, get fatter every two hours.

I guess I shouldn’t say it doesn’t work because everyone is different, but for me, that doesn’t work at all.

I NEED to lose weight, or I don’t get cut.  There is no other way around it. And the only way I lose weight is by cutting the calories or upping the intensity of my cardio.

In the last couple years, I have had a problem where I lose weight too quick.  It’s important to lose weight but when I lose weigh too fast I end up burning off too much muscle.

This year I have been losing it slow by accident.  My first son was born last month and it killed my diet and training for 2 weeks.  I am staying patient but I’m probably 2 weeks behind where I want to be this spring.

But instead of cutting 10 lb’s in one month, I am trying to “TIME” the way I eat.

Instead of eating too early or late at night, I am trying a new method this year.  I am eating RIGHT before I go the gym.

I am also trying to eat more when I KNOW that I am going to work out hard.

I’ve had several days where I planned on training super hard and I just felt too worn down from the lack of sleep and calories.

Now, I am trying to eat more on days that I am know I am going to work out hard.  I am allowing myself to have some extra calories, just to make sure that I KILL it in the gym.

Diet is very important, but it isn’t everything.  After you have been lifting and training for a long time, the big difference is really in the intensity.

My diet is always going to be good, I know what to eat by now.  I just need to pick up the intensity.

If you can train harder while slightly increasing the calories, you may be able to burn off even more bodyfat because you are training harder.

-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!