Posts Tagged ‘Fall’

I have to be honest with myself. I am a 38-year old man, and there is a good chance that I will never become a billionaire.

I SHOULD become a millionaire. Not necessarily a million dollars in salary, but I should eventually hit one million dollars in liquid assets at some point in my life.

Not rich, but solid all-American middle class.

But why should I give up? I am a super competitive guy, but I am also realistic.

How can I possibly compete with a BILLIONAIRE?

Two words: BODYBUILDING and VACATIONS

VACATION:

Vacation is very important to me and I would like to travel as much as possible while I am alive on this earth. Some of the places I attended in the last 4-5 years:

St Patrick’s Day Boston
St Patrick’s Day Key West
St Patrick’s Day NYC
St Patrick’s Day Philadelphia
St Patrick’s Day Ireland (Dublin)
St Patrick’s Day Arizona (Scottsdale)

Kentucky Derby
Preakness Stakes
Belmont Stakes

Mardi Gras (New Orleans)

Spring Break South Padre

Seattle/Vancouver
Charleston, SC
Savannah, GA
Magog, Canada
Lake Willoughby, Vermont
Ottawa, Canada
Dewey Beach, Delaware
Atlantic City
Las Vegas
Myrtle Beach
Gettysburg, PA
Hilton Head, SC
Raleigh, NC
Kennebunkport, MA
Lake George, NY
Lake Placid, NY
Portland, MA
Birmingham Alabama
Lancaster, PA

Sweden/Estonia

BODYBUILDING:

I work out either 6 or 7 days a week and I also eat a healthy diet. I haven’t met too many people in this world who can beat my 6-pack every summer.

“BODYBUILDING IS ONE OF THE MOST FAIR SPORTS IN THE WORLD”.

Of course genetics play a large role in bodybuilding, but overall, you get back what you put in.

You can have the most expensive personal trainer and the most expensive steroids available, and you probably still won’t beat me.

Rich or poor, bodybuilding brings people together.

Conclusion: So what can a billionaire do that I can’t?

I am unable to fly on a private plane, I don’t even fly first class.
I am unable to afford very expensive hotels or 5-star restaurants
I don’t have access to world leaders

The only way I can compete with a billionaire is by doing more life EVENTS.

When I am dying in the hospital and the priest comes in the room, I want him to slap me five and say “You Lived a Good Life!”

-John Andre

Lift Heavy/Run Fast

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I am having a surprisingly good bulk up this year.

Although I am only several weeks in, I have already deadlifted 405 for 6 easy reps and I am on pace to hit 500 in October.

I almost always reach 500 lb’s in the deadlift, but to reach it in October is VERY early for me.

Usually I will reach 500 around Christmas and then I will max out in late January/Early February.

Dead lifting is a great exercise and it is also one of the most basic.  You just bend down and pick up a weight.

You don’t need a spot. You don’t need any friends.

It’s just you and the bar.

Like I stated in the title, it is almost impossible to put on any solid muscle if you aren’t lifting heavy weights, especially powerlifting.

Many of the famous bodybuilders started off  using powerlifting, such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sergio Oliva and Ronnie Coleman.

There just isn’t any substitute for heavy lifting.

I have always been a pretty good deadlifter and my record was 585 lb’s in my late 20’s.

I “think” I have a serious chance of beating that this year.

The last several years I have been maxing in the low 500 lb’s and this year I am almost there in October.

If I can get into the mid 500’s pretty fast, I am going to give it shot.

I plan on bulking up until Valentine’s day, so I would like to attempt it before then.

Good luck!

-John Andre

Check out my book on amazon.com! Book 3 is coming out soon!

Lift Heavy/Run Fast

 

 

It’s official. My season is over.

Overall, I had a pretty good year, but not outstanding.  In a couple days I will publish my annual review, along with some pictures.

My theme for next year is “Back to basics”.  And what I mean by that is, I want to cut out the bullshit.

Clean eating, with a lot of eggs, water and tuna fish.

Super heavy lifting, with deadlifts over 500 at a minimum and hopefully bench press in the mid 300’s.

And I need to continue my progress in squatting.  I “should” be able to beat last year’s squats pretty easily.

Regarding cardio, I am going to do a minimal amount until New Year’s Eve.  I feel that my body needs a serious rest from the cardio, but not for too long.

Last year I took off a solid 6 months and I think in the long run it hurt me.

You don’t need to do cardio 100% all year long, but you need to do something.

My preliminary workout is going to looks something like this:

Monday: Chest/bicep

Tuesday: Legs/cardio/abs

Wends: Rest

Thurs: Chest#2/Shoulders

Friday: Deadlift/Back/Abs/Cardio

Sat/Sun: rest/light cardio

My goal is to avoid looking in the mirror for a while but focus on hitting big numbers.  I want to eat a lot cleaner than last year and hopefully only put on “lean muscle”.

Overall, I had an injury-free year, so I “should” be able to hit some decent numbers this Fall.

Wish me luck.

-John Andre

Check out my book on amazon.com! Book 3 is coming out soon!

Lift Heavy/Run Fast

Men generally do not live as long as women.  That not only goes for just humans, but for animals as well.

I’m not sure if it is from the testosterone or possibly the positive benefits of child-birth, but women live several years later than men on average.

life-expectancy-birth

Men also traditionally marry younger.  Whether this is because of the earning power discrepancy or the length of a women’s fertility, men typically marry someone younger than themselves.

The combination of living longer and marrying an older man,  often means that daddy passes away a lot earlier than mommy.

Usually.

I am statistically in that same boat.

I am about a year and a half older than my wife and although I work out and eat cleaner than she does, her vital signs are always better than mine are.

Her blood pressure is always lower, her cholesterol and blood sugar have always been in check.

It’s just one of those things,

Like I stated in my last post, it’s really hard to eat super clean when you have a family.

I can’t stay out dancing in the 90 degree heat until 4 a.m and then eat a can of tuna for breakfast like I used to.

Obligations change.

With that being said, more families should try to eat healthier together.

Usually when you see an obese family, you can tell that they are all eating the same crap and keeping the same bad habits.

Children follow the routines of their parents and parents usually copy off each other.

In my family, I want daddy to eat healthier.  To the point where I may need to eat a separate meal.

Does it sound selfish?

I think its common math.  I am already supposed to die earlier, shouldn’t I try to extend my life past my life expectancy?

If I can push out another 2-5 years, then maybe my wife and I can live until our 90’s and beyond.

Let’s face it.  You aren’t worth much to your family dead.

Eat healthy guys!

-John Andre

Check out my book on amazon.com! Book 3 is coming out soon!

I looked pretty good this summer (Pics coming soon).

Probably my 4th or 5th best.  But I can’t lie, I didn’t reach my best ever, even though I trained pretty hard.

When I do my end of year review, I like to ask myself some questions and self-reflect on what I can change for next year.

Also, what changed in my life?

First of all, I got married two years ago.  That hurts, but not an absolute killer.

Second problem, I have a child now.  This hurt some more as well, but its not really an excuse.

And finally, I don’t go out drinking any more.

Let’s face it.  When I was in my best shape of my life, I was single, no kids and I went out drinking every Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Now, I am not saying that drinking helps you to get cut.  But you know what does? Dancing, sweating and walking around all night until 4 in the morning.

Now I go to bed at 10:30.

That extra cardio is key.

jabeer

Ripped abs premarriage

The other issue with being married now, is that I can’t keep the insane diet.

There were times that I would eat a can of tuna for dinner, 3 or 4 days in a row.

As a married man, that is a tough diet to sell to your wife.

When you have kids, that training is the same, diet is a little worse because you start eating some of their good.

But the rest is horrible.

Running a quick 4-mile tempo run, followed by 10 sprints in 95 degree heat is tough.

I used to do that workout routinely, then chill out in the air conditioning, drink a beer, put my feet up and take a nice nap on the couch.

Now?

The minute I am done with the workout, I am on full baby duty.

No rest. No naps.

So overall, there is still no excuse not to be in good shape if you are married.

It is just the small things that block you from being the total champion that you were as a single guy.

Hopefully, once my son is a little older I think it will free me up somewhat to get back in the crazy training.

And hopefully he starts eating tuna fish.

-John Andre

Check out my book on amazon.com! Book 3 is coming out soon!

Lift Heavy/Run Fast

One thing that I like about lifting heavy weights, compared to running, is that your gains last for a long-time.

Even after 30 years of relative inactivity, you can just look a person sometimes and tell that they have played College football.

Heavy lifting can make permanent changes to your body composition and you lose a ton of weight or take up long-distance running, a lot of that muscle will stay around for years.

Running is different.  If you miss just one month of running, almost all of your stamina goes away and after several months, you are basically starting from scratch.

That is another reason why you need to be careful as you get older.  Skipping out on cardio as a young man is not very dangerous, but if you were to skip it for 6-9 months in your 60’s or 70’s, it can kill you.

You need to lift and do cardio across your entire life.

One muscle that I have found to stick around forever, is the calf muscle.

Its funny, but my calves used to be one of my major weak points. Especially in my teen’s and early 20’s.

Only after training them heavy, twice a week, for 2 years straight, did they finally start to explode.

And now I can say that they are one of my strong points.

The key to building a nice pair of calves is actually pretty easy.

A) You need to lift heavy.   Your calves are walked on all day long. To make them grow, you need to blast them with heavy weights are they are going to ignore you.

B) Stay consistent.  You need to blast them once or twice a week for at least a year straight.

Once you build them up, they are pretty easy to maintain.

My other weak spot is my upper back.

If you can find a secret for that one, please let me know.

-John Andre

Check out my book on amazon.com! Book 3 is coming out soon!

Lift Heavy/Run Fast

35 is a weird age.

I feel like it’s the point in life where you either decide to live healthy or you don’t.

Don’t get me wrong, people start making lifestyle changes later in life all the time.  My parent’s are starting to eat healthier in their early 70’s due to high blood pressure/cholesterol.

But most people do not make the change.

The worst part about not making the change and I see it all the time, is that you start to age rapidly after 35 if you don’t make the lifestyle changes.

Men start to go gray, they lose muscle mass and their energy levels drop due to low T.

For women, it’s a lot of the same, including a decrease in fertility.

There is no answer to father time, but you can slow it down.

_O5C0056

(Age 36)

I had the opposite reaction at age 35, instead of slowing down, I work out angry and motivated.

It’s hard to explain, but my motivation to become a champion has gone up substantially.

If you think about it, my entire day is disappointing.  9 hours of work, long commute, daily shower, shave, and little time off for vacation.

I have been blessed to grow up in a generation where I do not have to do manual labor to survive, I don’t need to hunt game to eat, I wasn’t drafted into war and my country has never been invaded.

But there is a downside.

For centuries, young men were born to be warriors.  We fought, we farmed, we conquered, we were invaded.

We lifted heavy stones and built homes with our bare hands.

We didn’t sit in front of a computer.

Sometimes I catch myself daydreaming at work and I imagine that I was a Viking.

viking

Running full speed into a village with just an axe and some body armor.

Or I am a warrior in the crusades, traveling through Europe and engaging in epic battles.

I imagine myself traveling in a stagecoach across America, building a log cabin with my own tools and hunting for game.

That was the reality for centuries, until the last 50 years.

That energy has to go somewhere, otherwise you are going to fade away and die.

From now on, I plan on killing it.

I want to train harder than any man or women in the United States.

Heavy weights, hard cardio and strict diet.

I’ve always said, you will always look the way that you train.

Train like a freak, look like a freak.

Train like a high school cheerleader, look like a cheerleader.

Don’t train at all?

Die.

-John

I have to admit it, I hate summer.

And it’s funny, because as a child and also as a college student, the summer was always my favorite time of year.

Now that I am older and I have to commute to work every day, along with taking care of a 1-year old, the summer isn’t as fun.

I really don’t like the heat.

But late August I do like.

The weather starts to improve, there are less annoying tourists running around Manhattan and it’s also a good time to travel.

For working out, it is a great time to run outside.

It’s weird, but as soon as the temperature drops below 80 degrees, I start running like a champion.

My body does not respond well to the heat.

As the weather cools off, I also start to get very hungry.

I usually peak in bodybuilding shape around Labor Day and even  into the first couple weeks of September, even though I slowly start ingesting more calories.

Part of the reason I believe, is that I can work out a lot harder when it’s not as hot out.

This year I plan on running a fast 5k race on September 16th and then I will take it from there.

If I run fast and I feel good, I might try to run one or 2 more races in Late September/Early October.

After that, I am 100% taking a several week break from running.

This year I have been looking pretty good, but probably not my best of all time.  I will post some pictures soon.

I’m in very good shape, but not all-time shape.  I have a good chance in these last 4-5 weeks to upgrade to “very” good shape, depending on how my diet and training are going.

Overall, we are entering my favorite time of year and I can’t wait for the Fall.

-John Andre

Check out my 2 books on amazon.com or support me on patreon!

Lift Heavy/Fun Fast on Amazon.com!

 

 

Summer is almost over!

Another couple of weeks and school will be back in session, the weather will start to cool down and football will start again.

So, what does it mean for my training?

It is RACING season!

The Fall is my favorite time of year and also the best time of the year to run a fast race.

My goal at the beginning of the year was to break 20 minutes in a 5k, but that might have been a little bit too optimistic.

Realistically, I am looking at going under 21 minutes.  Right now I am about 30 seconds away from that goal.

I am going to sign up for a flat race on Sept 16th.  Although the race is a flat as a pancake, the course if occasionally windy.  If the wind is not acting up, I have a solid chance of running a good race.

I have been running “ok” this year, but I haven’t really ran a super fast race.

When I am stuck in a running slump, there are usually only 2 ways to get faster.

The first is to add “Speed Work”.  Speed work is where I would add shorter distance training to try to speed up my pace.  That is repeat mile, 2-mile, 3-mile runs.  200, 400 and 800 intervals and even some sprinting.

The second method is to basically increase my distance.  Instead of running the fast 2 to 2.5 miles that I have been doing in my training, I am going to increase it to 4-5.

I usually don’t like increasing my distance because it starts to wear down my muscle, but since I am only running for another 45 days tops, its “ok” for me to gamble a little.

So, right now I am doing one big race on Sept 16th.  If I feel like I still have some gas in the tank, I might train for one more big race in October.

After that, it is over.

November until March will be hard-core powerlifting.

-John Andre

Lift Heavy/Run Fast

This might be surprising to some, but I actually hate the Summer.

One of the things that I love about living in N.Y.C, is that we have 4 distinct seasons.

First we have a long, cold, winter.  Then a Spring that feels like it only last 3 weeks due to the rain. Long summers that are hot and humid and a long, beautiful, Fall season.

You would think that I would like the summer since it is the only time of year that I take my shirt off, but actually I hate it.

As a child, I loved it.  Now, I can’t wait for it to end.

Why?

A) I have to work.  Unfortunately, I work all year round.  I also commute to Manhattan, which is nice on certain days, but otherwise, it is typically hot and humid.  I hate sweating through work clothes.

B) Too many tourists.  It’s hard to walk around the city sometimes with the amount of tourists.

C) Number of amateurs.  There are a ton of people who you will only see for 2 months of the year.  I have no idea where they are the other 10 months of the year.

D) New members crowd the gym for 2 months and then quit again until New Years.

E) Traffic.  It took me 4 hours of driving just to run a race in Long Island last weekend.  Everywhere that you go near a beach is an impossible drive.

F) The Heat.  I do most of my cardio in the Summer and Fall.  On a hot day, like it was today, running is just not fun.  When it’s over 90 degrees out with 75% percent humidity and poor air quality, who wants to run?

But there are some benefits.

I like that I can wear shorts.

I like that I can occasionally go into the water.

I also like that the sun sets later in the day, which is my main complaint about the winter.  I need some sun light no matter what the temperature outside is.

I have the same complaints about New Years.

Too many tourists.

The gym is packed.

The traffic is bad.

The amateurs are out.

Another couple of weeks of Summer and I am ready to embrace the Fall.  My favorite weather, my favorite running races and my favorite beer.

Football starts.

Less tourists.

And I slowly start my heavy lifting for the Winter bulk up.

Live couldn’t be better.

-John Andre

Check out my books on Amazon.com! Book#3 Coming Out Soon!

Lift Heavy/Run Fast