Posts Tagged ‘fitness’

Bodybuilding is a funny sport.  Everyone claims that they are working out for looks, but they end up looking the same every single year.

I have been going to the gym for over 20 years now and probably 5% of people working out look any different.

The problem that most people have, is that they don’t take their diet serious.  If you weigh the same in the summer as you did in the winter, you aren’t going to burn any fat off.

This year I went from 180 lbs and now I am down to 150.

JASUMMERPICTURE-MIX

But what if you don’t want to bodybuild? And is bodybuilding even healthy?

To some extent it is.

But how should you work out if you don’t care what you look like?

I would narrow it down to 2 categories:

A) Moderate to heavy weights:  Heavy weight lifting has a practical purpose.  Whether it’s for everyday activities or just keeping your aging in check, moderate to heavy weight lifting is important and should be done by everyone

B) Moderate cardio 2 to 3x a week:  Many bodybuilders don’t believe in cardio, but I tend to disagree.  Moderate cardio is extremely important and as of today, heart disease is the number one killer for men in the United States.

I wouldn’t necessarily get into running, but possibly play some sports or even some hiking.  You can get in pretty good cardiovascular shape from just 30 minutes of cardio 2 to 3x a week.

Overall, even if you aren’t going to bodybuild, you should always exercise with weights and cardio throughout your entire life.

For your diet, i would “allow” yourself to gain a little bit of extra weight in the winter but then cut 10-15 lb’s every summer.  I would also moderate my alcohol intake and try to focus on eating healthier options.

-John

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

Lift Heavy/Fun Fast on Amazon.com!

 

 

Advertisements

Weight training and running are very different.  When I get cut for the summer, I use a combination of running, weight training and a proper diet.

20160715_065110

This year, I skipped running almost completely for about 4 months so that I can bulk up.  Occasionally,  I will run the entire year. But this year, I wanted to make sure that I put on enough size.

Around February 14th I decided that I would stop bulking up and start to slowly cut down for the summer. Although I am not dieting super hard yet, I am slowly cutting down on my calories and I also started running 3x a week.

One thing that I have noticed right away, is that the training used for running is very different for than it is for weight training.

With weight training, you definitely need extra rest.

When I deadlift or squat, I need an entire week of rest and for chest, I can do it twice per week at most.

You also need more calories when you weight train.  If you do not consume enough calories or rest enough between heavy workouts, you will never grow any muscle.

Running is a different story.  I can get in pretty good shape by just running hard 3 or 4x a week, but If you really want to get fast, rest is your enemy.

When I am running fast, it means I am training all the time.

You also lose your running stamina quickly.

I can skip 3 months of weight training and still be pretty strong.  With running, if I skip 3 month of training, I will lose it completely.  It’s almost like I never ran before.

In the Spring is when it gets weird.

I am going to have to lift heavy weights, which requires rest, while running several times a month that requires no rest.

I also need more calories for building muscle, but less calories for getting cut.

So, how do I lift heavy weights for muscle and run for cuts at the same time?

It’s not easy.

That is why you need to start off with some solid muscle before you starting cutting up, because you will lose some of it.

The key is to try to hold on to as much muscle as possible, while still removing all of my body fat.

It is tricky.

I compare it to a chef.  If you take 100 chef’s and ask them to bake the same cake, there will always be several cakes that stand out.

Why?

Everyone has the same recipe, the same ingrediants.  So why doesn’t every cake taste the same?

It’s tricky.

-John

Lift Heavy/Fun Fast on Amazon.com!

 

I think it took to about age 25 that I realized that I will never become a professional athlete.

By age 16 I realized I would never become a professional basketball player. By age 21 I realized I would never become a professional runner.

And by age 26, I realized that I would never become a professional powerlifter

But at age 30, I realized something else.  By using my stubborn gym work ethic, I was able to get pretty ripped. More ripped more than anyone else in the neighborhood.

jabeer

And better abs than Arnold.

Screenshot_20170809-203858 (1)

But who am I kidding, I will most likely never compete on a body building stage.  I will also never make it into a magazine.

So what?

Bodybuilding and running are the same for everyone.  You might be taller, have better muscle structure or have insane genetics.

But, on game day, all is equal.

Why can’t I win a race?

Why can’t I have the best 6-pack in history this summer?

Why can’t I sell a 5-million dollar condo?

Why can’t I sell 200,000 copies of my next book?

Who says I can’t?

-John

Lift Heavy/Fun Fast on Amazon.com!

 

Running is a fun sport and it is very addictive.

When you are in great shape, nothing feels better than a fast 3-mile training run.

But running is strange; I will typically feel good immediately after a hard run but then the rest of the day I feel like crap.

I get tired.

I get insomnia.

I feel irritable.

I never get sick, unless I have been running a lot.  Which also makes me think that running is not very good for your immune system.

Yet, I am still addicted to running.

I woke up today exhausted.  I ran a hard 4 mile run in the morning yesterday, went to a BBQ for several hours in the sun and then my son kept me up all night so I didn’t sleep well.

Besides all of that, I still cant wait to run today.

I feel horrible and I know I am going to feel worse, but I still need to run.

Weight lifting is different.  With weight lifting I feel energized, I sleep great and mentally I feel focused.

So, why don’t I just weight train?

The answer is that you probably need a little bit of cardio, especially low impact cardio, but not necessarily running.

Running is not low impact at all.

There is nothing worse than the 10,000 steps my knee’s have to absorb every time I go for a jog and I am almost certain I will need some type of surgery when I get older.

But running is a sport.

I like to compete; both against myself and against other people.

And it helps to get me cut.

This year, I am running to early October the latest and then I am taking a long break.

The Fall and Winter are going to be powerlifting only before I start running again.

Wish me luck.

-John Andre.

Check out my books on amazon.com! Book number 3 coming soon!

Lift Heavy/Run Fast

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

These last couple weeks, I really missed being 18 years old.

I especially miss the Summer of 1998.

I was working for $5 per hour at the Century 21 Department Store in Manhattan and after work I would go to the gym for an hour, followed by another hour or two on the track.

And my training was HARD.

Basically, I would do every lift in the gym like my life depended on it. And then I would I would go straight to the track and run all out.

When I was done going to work, lifting weights and running; then I would go out to bars with my friends every Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.

On the weekends, I would sign up for races all the time.

And I was fast.

At 18 years old I was running 5k’s routinely in the low 19 minute range.

Basically that the age, I felt indestructible.

Now at age 38, I am strong as a bull, but damn tired.

This past Sunday, I ran a 5k race out in Long Island in 21:30.

On Monday, I went to work and did heavy weights at lunch.

Tuesday I went to work and I did weights and a 3-mile run.

Today I ran 4 miles and did abs.

Result?

I am only half way through the week and I already feel like death.

I wouldn’t consider myself “old” yet, but my body definitely doesn’t recover like it did when I was 18 years old.

Now my training is all based on timing.

When my son goes to bed, I go to bed.  I don’t stay up late.

When my legs feel good, I try to run hard.

When my body feels shot, I will take an easy day.

Less sets, heavier lifting.

My diet needs to also be stricter.  Fat seems to accumulate in 10 seconds.

At age 18, I couldn’t put on body fat if I tried.

Overall, there really aren’t any excuses to be slacking in your training if you are 35+. You just need to choose your battles.

If you feeling close to death, like I have several times in the heat recently, you need to back off slightly.

If you feel good, you need to push it.

You can still make a ton of gains at this age, but don’t think you can go hard all the time like you did when you were younger.

Keep your diet strict.

And get ripped.

JASUMMERPICTURE-MIX

-John Andre

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

Lift Heavy/Run Fast

This summer has gone by really fast and I am ready to see what type of shape I am in.

Like I stated in some of my other posts; I find the summer to be a hard time to run outside.   Its hot, humid and I generally don’t feel like running.

But the Fall is different.

The Fall is the absolute best time of year to run.  The weather starts to cool off, the leaves change colors and the cross country season starts for High School and College teams.

In the beginning of the Fall I am usually very light in body weight, so I tend to run my fastest times of the year in September and October.

After Halloween, I will start to cut back on the running and begin my heavy lifting for my winter bulk up.

This year my goal was to run a 5k in under 20 minutes. That is a time that I have not reached since I was 18 years old (20 years ago).

This year, I believe I have a “chance”.

Tomorrow I am running a 5k race out in Long Island.  This race is pretty flat and fast, so it should be a gauge of what type of shape I am in.

After this race, I have between 30-40 days to reach my goal.

How to I plan on reaching it?

HARD training.

I need to run at least 5x a week, preferably even 6 days, along with 5 days a week of weight training.

Then I need to pick 3 or 4 races to give myself a chance.

If I can reach the time in September, and it won’t be easy, I will consider shutting the season down.

If I get close, I will continue to run hard into October and pick 2 or 3 more races.

If I don’t reach it by then, then it’s not going to happen.

To be fair, that is a difficult goal for me.  The best that I have run in the last several years has been 20:50, so for me to break 20 minutes, I really need to kill it my training.

Updates coming.

John Andre.

Lift Heavy/Run Fast

I have been working now for 17 years straight and basically every year since College except for maybe 6-7 months.

I have seen coworkers come and go, some retire voluntarily, some leave to work elsewhere and some unfortunately pass away.

The other sad part, is that many people “hobble” out to retirement.

Meaning, they aren’t really going to enjoy their retirement, since they can barely walk.

*But it doesn’t need to be like that.

I cannot for the life of me understand why more people do not make their health a large priority of their retirement.

Who cares about your 401k if you are dead?

What is a pension worth is you can’t walk and bend down?

Everyone know’s that health care in retirement is expensive, shouldn’t you try to stay in proper shape?

Yet, 90% of the population just sloth’s their way towards social security.

I also have friends at work that plan on retiring at a young age of 62.

62?

That is nothing.  Why not 75?

70 is the new 60 and eventually 80 will be the next 60.

My father is 72 and still playing tennis 4x a week.

Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t expect everyone to slave away at the job that you do not enjoy for 60 hours a week at age 65, but there are always other jobs you can do, including part-time jobs.

Keep busy.

Lift moderately heavy.

Include Cardio.

Work on your diet.

Travel

And enjoy your 100th birthday!

-John Andre

Lift Heavy/Run Fast

I was listening to one of these Joe Rogan podcasts recently and he was talking about how great Mick Jagger still looks.

Mick Jagger is way into his 70’s and still dances on stage for over 2 hours at each of his shows.

jagger

And the person he was interviewing, Jeff Garlin, was talking about how he plans on working until the end.

Basically, it was agreed that if you stop working and pursuing your goals, you are gonna die. And die early.

Or if you don’t die early, you are going to spend the last decade or two of your life just waiting to die.

And that is unnecessary.

80 is the new 70 and eventually, 90 should be the new 70.

This past week I did my first track and field race in over 20 years.

I am going to post about it in a week or two with some videos, but basically, I realized that this is the way I need to train for the rest of my life.

Heavy lifting, fast running and challenging myself.

I need to compete, I need to push myself and I need to work hard.

If you have 2 more years of life left, you still should have a decent amount of energy.

Why retire?

Why do you watch so much TV?

Go out there and live.

I also need to travel more.  I just “started” to travel a lot for the last several years, but now that I have a one-year old son, that has slowed down temporarily.

I’ve also decided how I want to die.

Either after a hard 18 hour work-day where I attend 3 meetings, sign up some new clients and hit the gym at lunch.

Or, I want to drop dead at the Daytona 500.

daytona

The Daytona 500 has always been on my bucket list, so why not die there at age 80?

Rip my shirt off in the stands, down a giant beer and have a violent heart attack in front of 125,000 people.

Sure beats a nursing home.

Book 3 coming out this summer!

-John Andre

Lift Heavy/Run Fast