Posts Tagged ‘fitness’

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.

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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

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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

I cant believe it, but I am actually going to turn 39-years old next month.

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Its funny, but I remember my father turning 40 years old and thinking that he was ancient.

Now, I am almost there.

Physically, there hasn’t been that many major changes since I was 18.  I am definitely slower and my joints hurt more, but I am probably stronger and my stamina is greater.

I also don’t get to sleep past 7 a.m with an infant at home and my hangovers last for 2 days instead of 1.

Since I have never stopped working out, I have been able to maintain a strong physique.  I am still benching over 300 lb’s and deadlifting over 500, and I can also run 3 miles in 21 minutes.

But if I didn’t work out, I would be in big trouble.

During last years bulk up, I noticed that I got way too fat.  In just 5 months of skipping out on cardio, I started to feel morbidly obese.  I started to find it difficult to complete basic day to day tasks like taking out the garbage and even walking up stairs.

Let’s face it, that is how most people live in this country.

If you cant see your abs, run a mile under 8 minutes, or climb stairs going to work; you are slowly dying.

If you don’t have any energy because you have the testosterone level of a teenage girl, you are in trouble.

If you hairline is receding, your back is getting hairy and your teeth are starting to rot.

You are on the fast track to death.

You won’t even make it to your life expectancy of 78.

You are not the only one, a lot of people in our generation won’t.

Wake up.

-John Andre

Check out my books on amazon.com!

Lift Heavy/Run Fast

This is a tricky question, but the answer for me is surprisingly yes. (With some disclaimers)

If I am going for an all-time record, especially with squats, then it helps to avoid any cardio.

But if I am just powerlifting and trying for records, I will eventually start to look fat.

And that is not healthy.

When it comes to bench press, sometimes a little cardio actually helps.

For years I have been having shoulder issues and it’s only in the last 2 years that I have been able to overcome it.

Part of my new shoulder routine is to add just a “little” bit of cardio after bench pressing. The repetitive movements in my arms actually help to loosen me up.

When it comes to the deadlift, I can go either way. The cardio helps with completing more reps and as a result harder training sessions, but may hurt me just a little bit with my one-rep max.

Overall, even though it may hurt you slightly with your heavy lifting, I highly recommend that you add just a little bit of cardio to your routine, even during your bulkup.

Unless you are competing in powerlifting competitions, the loss of power should be neglibible. When I am increasing the calories, I will start to get stronger every week regardless of the cardio I do.

Just don’t go too crazy. Right now I am doing 15 minutes, twice a week, on the stairmaster.

That’s it.

Especially for guys like me that are in their late 30’s, nobody needs an early heart attack and cardio is important.

And if you aren’t working out in your late 30’s, good luck, but things are about to go downhill quickly for you. Get smart.

-John Andre

Check out my books on amazon.com…

Lift Heavy/Run Fast

Imagine that your doctor told you that you had 20 years left to live?

Would you quit your job?

Would you travel more?

Would you get married or divorced?

I think I know what I would do.  I would buy an R.V. and travel throughout the United States for several years.

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In my R.V. I would pack a squat rack, bench press and up to 600 lb’s in weights.  Although it’s going to kill my gas mileage, I would be able to set up a base at different sites and powerlift.

For my cardio, well that’s easy.  I can run anywhere in the great outdoors, or alongside the truck as my wife drives.

After several years traveling throughout the United States, I would like to do the same in Europe.  Travel throughout the different counties with my 600 lb’s of weights and maybe take one or two side-excursions to Asia, most likely Japan and one other country.

Along with stopping at various churches and praying for my afterlife, I will publish two books about my travels and then I am ready to die.

So what would you plan on doing?

Or more importantly, what are you doing now?

  • Do you workout 5-6X a week?
  • Do you lift heavy to moderate weights?
  • Do you add cardio to your routine including sprint training?

Also, how is your diet?

  • Do you eat clean?
  • Do you have a visible 6-pack for part of the year?
  • Do you take any recreationale drugs?
  • Do you drink more than 20 beers a week?
  • Do you have high blood pressure or cholesterol and need medication to lower it?

WAKE UP STUPID!

Your life expectancy is probably only 20 years right now.

Travel…

Exercise…

Run…

Eat right..

Pray…

And enjoy your life…

-John Andre

Check out my books on amazon.com…

Lift Heavy/Run Fast

 

As I sit here typing this as a 38-year old man, I firmly believe that every man under 50 years of age should go to Spring Break.

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Spring Break is healthy.  Spring Break is motivational.

And it’s a damn good time.

For some of my European and Asian readers that are not familiar with Spring Break, it is an American tradition where many young people travel to a warm area during the months of March and April.  It’s very popular for College students and usually coincides with their school schedule.

Some of the hot spots include Florida, Jamaica, Texas, Cancun and others.

In my lifetime, I have been to 4:

  • Cancun
  • Lake Havasu, Arizona
  • Bahamas
  • South Padre, Texas

The last one that I have been to was in South Padre, Texas when I was 30 years old.

So, what do I love about Spring Break besides the warm weather and the debauchery?

First of all, it is IDEAL for bodybuilding.

There is nothing that gets me more motivated in the Winter than training for Spring Break.

When it is 20 degrees out and snowing, I can’t stop thinking about the warm beaches and palm trees.

It is also seasonally perfect.  Typically I would bulk up from October to February, then I would start to diet and add cardio to my routine.

The result would be that I would start to look really good in Late March and Early April.

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I wouldn’t be super cut and skinny like I get in the summer, but I would still have some solid bulk that would look really good.

Spring break is the ultimate motivation.

If walking around in a bathing suit in front of thousands of people doesn’t get you motivated to train, what else will?

Now that I am older, married, and I have a child. Should anything change?

Why should I stop going to Spring Break?

This year, it is officially back on.

Although I won’t be doing keg stands on Daytona Beach, I sure as heck will be somewhere warm, diving into a swimming pool.

And I refuse to be the overweight and out of shape father on vacation, I am showing up ripped this year.

Now I have something to live for as winter starts to slowly creep into NYC.

Extra motivation.

-John Andre

Check out my books on amazon.com!

Lift Heavy/Run Fast

The Fall is here, the weather is cooling down, the sun is setting earlier and I have already started slowly bulking up.

This was a very good year, but not “great”.  Although I was better than  last year in all categories, I didn’t get close to setting any records.

When it came to weight lifting, I was an “A”.

I dead lifted over 500 lb’s by Thanksgiving and eventually I maxed out around 535.

For the bench press, I hit 315 (3 plates) several times, but I was unable to go into the mid 300’s.

Running has a tough one, although I was a lot faster than last year.

I got my 3-mile time down to around 20 minutes flat and I completed several 5k races in around the low 21’s.

Overall, I was hoping to go into the 19’s for a 5k, but I was unable to reach it.  I also competed in my first track and field competition in 20 years and jumped around 15 feet in the long jump.

For bodybuilding, I looked “good” but not “great’.  There was never a moment where I looked into the mirror and said “oh shit”.

What worked against me?

It’s really hard to eat a super strict diet when you have a wife and small baby at home.

I can’t eat a can of tuna for dinner like I used to, I cant go to the beach all day and tan and I also lost out on a ton of sleep.

Not to make excuses, but I was probably in my 5th or 6th best shape ever.  Very good on the weights, pretty good running times, and my physique looked decent.  Just not record breaking.

For next year, just some small adjustments.

A) Eat cleaner during my bulk up

B) Lift heavier weights during my bulk up

C) More sprinting and less long-distance during the Spring and Summer.

Here are some pics from my summer shape.

 

Want to get ripped for next summer?

Check out one of my books on amazon.com!

Lift Heavy/Run Fast

There are two goals I would LOVE to reach in 2019.

One would be to make a million dollars (very hard) and another would be to dead lift 600 lbs (very possible).

Most middle class and lower people complain about not being rich, including myself, but often you are not even in a position to get rich.

Are you offering a million dollars in products?

Does your career offer the opportunity to become a millionaire?

If not, why are you still there?

I feel like it is the same situation with powerlifting.

I have never deadlifted 600 but I have also never tried.  I was able to do 585.

Maybe I just need to try.

It might not happen the first time, or the 2nd or 3rd.

But it could happen.  It should happen.

Why can’t I bench press 365?

I have done 315 x 4.

Why can’t you have a date with the pretty girl behind the desk?

Did you ever ask?

Sometimes you need to take an honest reflection of yourself and recognize that you aren’t making an honest effort.

It’s time for me to make that effort.

-John Andre

Lift Heavy/Run Fast

I can’t believe that I am going to turn 39 years old in December.

Growing up, I always considered “40” to be old age.  My father, who is still an athlete at 72, looked old at age 40.

Almost all of my aunt’s and uncles also looked pretty old at 40.

40 is the age where if you haven’t taken your health serious, you are going to start the rapid decline towards death.

Am I being too serious? Take a look at the direction of this country.  We are fat, drunk, high on pills and dying younger.

We are also not training correctly.

There are two major problems I see with how people train as they age.

A) Weight training.  You need to keep lifting heavy.  Light weights is for babies.  There are “some” exercises that I can’t do anymore, but the majority I still can use.

I dead lifted 455 lb’s last Friday and I am gonna try for 600 this winter.

B) Our cardio is TOO slow.  Think about how you ran around as a child.

As a 3rd grader; did you go for a slow jog around the neighborhood?  Of course not.  Kids only run as fast as they can.

I NEVER ran slow.  Everything was climbing, sprinting, jumping and bouncing.

But adults mostly do their cardio SLOW.  Slow, boring jogging, mindless bike riding, slow swimming. etc.

You need SPEED.  As you grow older, you get slower.  If anything, your stamina increases.

This past summer, I decided to do my first track and field competition in 20 years.

Believe it or not, I actually entered the long jump.

In High School, I was not a great long jumper.  My technique was horrible and I only jumped around 15 feet.

In College, I decided to work on my long jump a little bit more and I actually got up to around 20 feet.

20 feet is basically where you divide the men from the boys.  If you can jump into the mid-20’s, you will be on a College scholarship.

I trained for several weeks during the summer, mostly on cement (!) and in August I did my first long jump competition since 1998.

Overall, my form was horrible and I hit around 15 feet, which was my High School best.  Next Spring and Summer I should be able to destroy that.

I would also like to run the 100 and the 200 meter sprint next year.  I was thinking about running it this summer, but I didn’t really have enough time to train.

My plan for the next several months is heavy powerlifting, followed by several track and field races during the Spring and Summer.

This should get be in great shape for next year.

-John

Lift Heavy/Run Fast