Posts Tagged ‘fitness’

I love St. Patrick’s Day.

Although I am not Irish (my son is), I love St. Patrick’s Day so much that I have traveled to Boston, NYC (hometown), Key West, Scottsdale and Dublin for St. Patrick’s Day.

What do I love about St. Patrick’s Day?

You get to go out and eat good food, drink beer and it’s also my official start of Spring.

lep

When It comes to the Spring, I like to be in some type of decent shape as soon as it starts.  That means I am lifting heavy and consistent in the gym, starting to get fast in my cardio workouts and I am also losing some weight.

Right now I have just started my cardio and diet, although I have only lost about 2 lbs.  But starting next week, I believe it is time to turn up the dial and start running and dieting hard.

For St. Patrick’s Day, I want to start looking leaner.

I would love to get my 3 mile time under 22 minutes and also cut over 10 lbs from my winter peak of (180).  Losing 10 lbs is easy, but I want to do it the correct way and not burn off too much muscle.

Anyone can stop eating and lose 10 lbs, the trick is to cut down without burning muscle.

If everything goes well, I should start looking decent on St. Patrick’s Day.

After the holiday, I will be in full Spring training mode.  Sprinting outside, cutting more and more weight and lifting in the gym consistently.

And most importantly, I will officially launch my 3rd book!

It is on amazon now, but as of now I am not heavily advertising.

Good luck!

-John Andre

Check out my 3 books on amazon.com!

Running 2.0 The End Of Long-Distance Running: Including The Top Ten Spint Workouts To Remove Bodyfat

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Over the winter break I actually had time to read some books and one of them was Phil Knight’s book “Shoe Dog” about how he started Nike.

Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike

Overall, this was a damn good book.  “A+”.  One of the best books on business I have ever read.

Maybe it was because I ran track and field for so many years, but I couldn’t put this book down.

Just to give some background information, Phil Knight ran track at Oregon under the world-famous Bill Bowerman.  He was only a marginal runner during College, but after graduation he tried to jump into the shoe business by importing cheaper Japanese running shoes.

This was only 20 years after WWII and Japan was emerging as a cheap manufacturing base, similar to China today.

Phil had a couple of things going for him.

A) His family was moderately wealthy. He tries to downplay it, but after College he had a couple years without any real employment and he also spent time traveling around the world

B) He was close with coach Bowerman.  This is big. This would be like starting your own football sneaker and your best friend is Belichick.  It is serious name recognition and Bowerman also assisted in designing the shoes.

Eventually Phil started working some financial jobs during the day and then working on his sneaker side-business at night.  He would hire some sales reps and they would import sneakers from Japan and sell them at track meets and sneaker stores.

Sales would start to grow and after some disagreements and backstabbing from their production team in Japan, Phil decided to start his own brand and formed “Nike”.

What’s amazing is how close Phil came to going bankrupt.  There was numerous lawsuits, employees quitting, production problems in Japan etc.  It really took over a decade to finally have a good production team in place before sales started to roll in.

Nike was not an overnight success by any means.

When he really started to hit his stride is when they started sponsoring athletes.  First it was Nastase the tennis player and then they picked up Steve Prefontaine.

If you aren’t familiar with Prefontaine, he is probably the most famous American distance runner in history.  He had a rock star quality about him and set many American records before he died in a car crash prematurely.

At this point, Nike was doing millions of dollars in sales and they eventually went public, making Phil worth over $100 million almost immediately.

Overall, this is a really good book.  Phil describes in detail the difficulty in taking a small company, increasing sales and then going public.

I also like how Phil bended the rules.  Whether it was stealing secret plans from a Japanese business man’s brief case or lying to the banks about having an east coast production team.

Business is war and Phil proves it.

This book is an A+

-John Andre

 

I have to be honest, the last several months I haven’t had my usual “killer instinct”.

2018 was a bad year.  I guess it wasn’t necessarily horrible, but I really didn’t make any progress.

Besides saving a decent amount of money, nothing else went great.

I didn’t find a new job, I only added several new clients to my side-business and my third book wasn’t published.

I went to too many funerals, my vacations were not fun and my wife didn’t get pregnant with baby #2.

Thankfully, 2019 has been off to a good start.

In the last several weeks, it seems like my luck is starting to change.

I hit some heavy numbers in my last weeks of winter bulkup, I started my early Spring training cardio and I am also feeling motivated again.

It’s hard to stay motivated all the time.

When it comes to the gym, I honestly like going.  There will be weeks where I might be more motivated than others, but I am consistent in showing up.

For running, it takes a little more internal motivation to get it going.  Some years I will really be in the mood and run some fast times, other years, I will just go through the motions and just use some cardio to get cut.

When it comes to my career and starting businesses, I am really hit or miss.

Sometimes I will get super motivated, work on my side business and/or go on interviews, other times I will not be into it mentally and I do almost nothing.

Recently I feel like I have been in a “rut”, but I am slowly starting to come out.

Time to work out hard in the gym, fast running outside and side-businesses to start.

Any month where I am not making progress is wasted time.

I have wasted enough.

-John

Check out my books on amazon.com!

Lift Heavy/Run Fast

I am a firm believer that you need some type of cardio in your system.

I don’t care if it is running, tennis, basketball or skiing; just as long as it can improve your cardiovascular system, it is important to add it your routine.

Many bodybuilders don’t do any type of cardio and I think they are insane.

They always say the same response “my workout is my cardio’ but of course we all know that is nonsense, they just stick a needle in their backside.

It’s strange, but I have gotten pretty damn strong while doing cardio and powerlifting at the same time.  You would think it would be a major hinderance, but for me, it’s quite the opposite.

For example, this bulk up season I basically did two 10-minute elliptical sessions a week, that’s it.  And I always did them immediately after squats and deads, just to loosen up my legs.

From that small amount of cardio, not only did I stay injury free, but I squatted and deadlifted heavier than last year.  But more importantly, I lifted heavier at a lighter bodyweight.

I just started slowly getting back into cardio and I am in complete shock by how fast I am already.  Those 2 sessions a week of light cardio preserved a lot of my endurance from last season.

Just this Saturday I almost ran 2 miles in 14 minutes.  That is a time that took me months to accomplish last year.  Usually my spring goal is 3-miles in 21 minutes, and I should reach that really early If I keep at it.

Going forward, next year I might keep the same routine and maybe throw in a 3rd day of light cardio.  Only change is that I am not running during my bulk up, only doing bike, stairs or elliptical.

For some reason running hurts my knees too much and kills my squats, but If I want to get really ripped, I need to add some running to my routine.  And for that, I only run in the Spring, Summer and very early Fall.

Good luck!

Check out my books on amazon.com!

Lift Heavy/Run Fast

 

I am proud to announce that my bulk up season is officially over.

Although I still plan on pigging out slightly in the next couple weeks, especially during the Super Bowl, I am going to start adding more cardio to my routine and eating cleaner.

So how did my bulk up go this year?  GREAT.

Basically, I was squatting and deadlifting about 30 lbs heavier than last season and I also weighed 6 lbs lighter.

Last season I went up to 186 lb’s in body weight, this year I maxed out at 180.

One of the main issues I had this year, is that I don’t have a spotter.  I refuse to max out in squats and especially the bench press, without a spotter.  And it also helps to use the same person week after week.

Unfortunately, almost all of my training partners have dropped out over the years.

I have also decided to start my cardio earlier this year.  In the past, I have let my bulk up extend to either late February or even St. Patrick’s Day, but now I feel that it is too late in the season.

The last two years I was starting to peak in early September, instead of the middle of the summer.  By starting a lot earlier, I think I should be able to get cut earlier in the year and look great for Memorial Day weekend and July 4th.

I also don’t feel very healthy when I go over 180 lbs.  I am only 5’7-5’8 and in the last couple weeks I noticed that I was running out of breath from just climbing up stairs.

It can’t be too healthy to stay overweight for a long period of time and that is another reason why I wan’t to cut down on my bulk time.

With that being said, if your bulk time is short, you need to kill it.

Heavy lifting with no excuses.

Going to do my first run in 4 and 1/2 months today, wish me luck.

-John Andre

Check out my books on amazon.com!

Lift Heavy/Run Fast

Yes, it is official. Spring Break is on.

Well, not really spring break but I am taking my family to Disney World in April.

duck

My son will just be turning 2 and he will probably have “some” fun, but I don’t care if he doesn’t remember shit, mommy and daddy need a warm vacation.

I love spring break.

Living in NYC my entire life, there is nothing like getting on a plane and taking a break from the cold weather.

And most importantly, it gets me motivated to get into decent shape.

You can’t show up fat and out of shape on spring break and I’ll be damned if I am going to be the fat-looking father in the Disney pool.

So, it is time to get ripped.

JASUMMERPICTURE-MIX

This is my plan going forward.  Continue to bulk up until the Superbowl (First week in February)

Then I will start my “spring training”.

My focus this year is on upper back.  I am FINALLY starting to see some decent progress in my upper back, that has always been one of my weak spots.

Monday Chest/Biceps/Back

Tuesday: Squats/Calves/Cardio

Wednesday: Cardio

Thursday: Chest#2

Friday: Heavy Back

Weekend: Some cardio, including sprints.

So for this spring training, I will be hitting my chest and back twice a week, but that would only include one session of deadlifts.  I can do rows twice a week, but not deads.

Cardio will be some 2-3 mile tempo runs and sprints.

And most importantly, I need to start dieting down.  I probably weigh about 175 now, for Disney I would need to cut down at least 10.

This would give me about 7 weeks to get into decent Spring shape.

I don’t expect to get super ripped, but I just want to look in decent shape and have a good head start on the summer.

-John Andre

Check out my books on amazon.com!

Lift Heavy/Run Fast

I have to be honest with you.  If you become a parent, it will be close to impossible to become a champion athlete.

Don’t get me wrong; you can get in great shape.  This is my shape from this past summer:

You can still get in good shape, but you definitely cannot train and diet at 110%.

Some examples?

I used to run 3-miles on a summer morning in Coney Island, starve myself for about 12-14 hours, eat a can of tuna fish, then go drinking all night with my friends.

Those days are OVER.

10 years ago I would sleep till 12 noon, then go for a 6-mile run with my Russian friend in 15-degree weather.

Now? I am up at 7:30.

Diet? Forget it.  My son typically eats about half his dinner. Guess who is finishing it? Daddy.

Half a waffle, half a cookie, half a slice of pizza, etc. It starts to add up.

But there are ways to work around it.

Weights are ALWAYS done at lunch.  I lift 4 or 5x a week at lunch during my work week.

Cardio? This is the hard one.

I take my son to the park almost everyday in nice weather, and it is a decent workout. But when you try to run 3-miles hard or do sprints Before/After the park, its tiring.

Same with trying to run during his nap.  When you come back from your workout, expect to get no rest at all because he will be waking up.

Overall, there is no major excuse to not workout when you have kids.  Just don’t except to beat someone who has unlimited free time and a similar work ethic.

-John Andre

Check out my books on amazon.com!

Lift Heavy/Run Fast

Getting lean is the name of the game.

Let’s face it, you can bulk up all that you want.  Unless you are powerlifting or playing football, nobody is going to care how much you lift when you step on to the beach. (Although it does help to build muscle)

And it’s also not healthy to be overweight, regardless of muscle size.  And steroids are generally bad for you.

I can get myself very lean every summer.  After years of experience, I have gotten that down to a science.

20180824_173005

But one thing that I cannot do, is I cannot stay super lean all year long.

I can stay relatively lean, but, I don’t know anyone can stay at the same body fat percentage for 365 days a year.

First of all, you should be peaking in your cardio at some point.  Meaning, you should be running your hardest and fastest at some point in the year.

If you aren’t, then you haven’t peaked yet.

You also can’t do sprints for 365 days in a row.  Every major sport; football, soccer, basketball, etc, has an “off-season.”  You need a period to recover both mentally and physically.

The only way to stay lean all year, would to lift, run and eat the exact same amount.

Not only does that sound impossible, but with that method, I can’t see you ever improving.

How will you add muscle?

Unless you can miraculously improve your intensity, you aren’t going to add any muscle without some extra calories.

We will see how lean I get this summer, but for now, back to my bulk up season.

-John Andre

Check out my books on amazon.com!

Lift Heavy/Run Fast

For some reason, I get the most traffic to my blog when I talk about training for the 35+ crowd.

But let’s be honest, 35-50 it not old anymore.

If you train hard and consistently, you should be able to stay rock solid all the way until your 60’s.

That’s not to say there aren’t any differences between working out at age 21 and working out at 47.

Obviously as you get older you need to deal with injuries, shorter recovery time, etc.  But there are actually some training benefits of being age 35+.

First of all, at age 38 I am still pretty strong.   My all-time deadlift record is 585 lbs when I was 27 years old and I weighed around 205 lbs.

Now that I am about to turn 39, I am deadlifting in the low 500’s at only 170 lbs.

My diet is also a lot better.  In my 20’s I would basically just eat and keep eating.  It wasn’t until I was in my late 20’s and early 30’s, that I actually started to diet, add intermittent fasting and proper cardio.

I also just started competing in track and field again after a 20 year layoff.  I only did the long jump so far, and I am curious to see how fast I can run in 2019 compared to when I was in High School/College.

To be honest with you, sometimes I have a strong week of working out and I feel like I shouldn’t even care how old I am.

There isn’t really that much of a difference.

Just train smarter, eat cleaner and you can stay pretty jacked.

Statistically, I know I am already better than last year.  In 2017 I deadlifted 515lb’s at 185lbs in bodyweight,.  This year I think I will probably go over 545 lbs at 175.

Basically, I am lifting heavier weights at a lighter bodyweight.

That is progress.

This year has been going very solid for me.  My bulk up is going to end on February 1st and already I am about to beat last season’s deadlift and squat records.

Bench press I am slightly behind last year, but that is because my training partner quit (again).  It’s hard to bench heavy when you don’t have a steady spotter.

So overall, don’t worry about your age.

Lift heavy, train smart, eat healthy and add some fast cardio.

50 will become the new 30 and 60 will become the new 40.

-John Andre

Check out my books on amazon.com!

Lift Heavy/Run Fast

Life is short.

Or maybe it isn’t.  I feel like the first 20 years of my life took forever, my 20’s were pretty long and now my 30’s feel like they only lasted 3-4 years.

Time is starting to speed up.  Is that because I am so busy? Possibly.

I figure at age 40 I am halfway to death, although, all of my grandparents made into their 80’s.

If there is one thing I have learned over my “soon to be 39 years” on this planet, is that if something is not working, quit.

If you gave it a legitimate effort and it’s not working out, stop jerking yourself around and wasting your time.

  • If you job doesn’t fulfill you, start looking for something else.
  • If your girlfriend isn’t treating you right, dump her.
  • Do you hate your commute? Move.
  • Are your friends idiots? Find a new crew.

It would seem like these are such obvious answers, but then you meet people who are dating the same guy for 8 years in a row.

Or someone who has a 2 hour commute and continues to complain year after year.

The same goes for business and bodybuilding.

If the flat bench is not making your chest explode, switch it up.  Try inclines, add a second day of dumbbells, try some fly’s or pec decks.

There are so many different options, that something has to work.

So what does this have to do with Mick Jagger?

Mick Jagger has been best friends with Keith Richards for about 65 years.  I was watching a video of Mick from last week and although he can play guitar “OK”, he still isn’t great.

mick

Think about it, your BEST FRIEND is possibly one of the top ten guitar players of all time history and you still stink.

65 years of FREE lessons with a top ten guitar player and you are still just “OK”.

But in all reality, the lessons don’t matter.

You can either play or you can’t.

You can grow up living next to Lebron James and you still can’t shoot a foul shot.

It really doesn’t matter.

Mick is a better singer obviously and thank god he figured that out early and kept Keith Richards on the guitars.

Use that as a lesson in life.

What are you good at? And what comes to you NATURALLY?

Maybe you can’t teach, but you can become a lawyer.

Maybe you can’t dead lift, but you can squat.

Maybe Irish girls tend to like you and Italian girls don’t.

Peanut butter makes you ripped but creatine makes you look bloated.

Don’t fight nature.  Figure out what you are good at and what you are bad at.

Here ends the Sunday sermon.

-John Andre

Check out my books on amazon.com!

Lift Heavy/Run Fast