Posts Tagged ‘food’

I have to be honest, I don’t know if bodybuilding is really a healthy sport.

The dieting and low body fat percentage is probably healthy, but when you take it to the extremely low body fat percentages, it can’t be too good for you.

For myself, I know that when I am looking like a freak, I am also dieting and training like a freak.


Often when I am training hard and dieting strictly, I don’t feel so well.  It’s not a natural lifestyle.

For health reasons, it’s probably best to have a little bit of body fat.

If you were to look at most of the top athletes, they usually aren’t going to look like a bodybuilder.

They may be very lean; but Lionel Messi or one of the top powerlifters, are not going to have a 3% body fat.

You need some leverage.

I am amazed by how much strength I lose when I cut weight.

This winter I was deadlifting 500 lbs’ relatively easy and now I can barely deadlift 415.

I don’t think that I lost that much muscle, but I lost some leverage.

Same thing with my squat and deadlift.

This past weekend I was in Lancaster, PA on a family vacation and my diet went to shit.

Over 4 days I had pizza, muffins, moon pies, Amish ice cream, car snacks, etc.

I think I peaked on the low-end for my body weight in the middle of August and now I am starting to slowly creep up.

The result?

Not only am I starting to lift a lot heavier, but I have been running like a champ.

Sunday I ran 3 miles outside in 20:10 and today I ran 3 miles on the treadmill in 20:07!

I am finally running some fast times and the only thing I changed, was that I increased my calories.

So what is my recommendation?

Sometimes you need to eat.

If a piece of cake or an ice cream cone on Sunday is going to make you feel that much better when you train, then maybe you need it.

Because working out on 800 calories a day really gets old after a while.

-John Andre

Lift Heavy/Run Fast

This has been a decent training year for me.

During the winter season, my bulk up went great.  I went up to around 185 lbs in body weight, my bench press reached 325 lb’s and my dead lift went up to 525.

But more importantly, I finally started squatting good again.  After two years of wasting my time with the leg press, I started squatting again and worked my way up to around 300 lb’s.

Running has been a different story.  I don’t know what my problem is but my running has been underwhelming.  So far, I have been running 3 miles in around 20:45.

That is decent time, but not great.

I was looking to get my time down to the low 19’s.  Although I still have a month left in my running season, I haven’t uncorked a super fast run yet.

Running is a weird sport.  Sometimes it takes just a little bit extra in your training to bust out a super fast run and you may be closer than you think.

When the training is going hard and feel down and out, sometimes you just need to push it a little bit more.

And that goes for everything.

Studying for exams, trying to reach a sales goal, trying to get a new girlfriend, etc.

Sometimes you are JUST about to reach your goal and you don’t even realize it.

This season reminds me of my senior year of High School.

I had a sort of disappointing junior year on the track team and I remember training hard over the summer to get ready for my final season.

My cross country season in the Fall went well, my indoor season was so-so and then my first race in the Spring was a bust.

At this point, my head was in a fog.

I was ready to quit running.

I had 10 days off for Easter break that year and I remember going to my parents summer house in Cape May, NJ.

There was a old-fashioned dirt track not too far from my parents house, so I decided to run super hard for 10 days in a row.

When I came back from Easter break, I felt super charged.

On my first race back, I signed up for a 400 meter race (one lap around a normal track).

I decided I needed to be more aggressive in my races.  I figured I would try to follow whoever was in first place and then try to take them out near the end.

No matter how fast they ran, and these were potential College scholarship athletes, I was going to follow the leader closely.

The race started and I followed the guy in first for almost the entire race and tried to take him out in the last 20 meters.

Unfortunately, I came in a close second place, but my time was insane!  I took 5 seconds off my best 400 meter time and I had almost qualified for the city finals.

The following week I signed up for a 200 meter race (half a lap around a normal sized track) and I came in first.

From then on, my results were improving.  I had several 1st’s, lots of 2nd’s and some really fast times.

I ran so well, that I decided to run for one year in College and by the end of the season I was named the M.V.P of the outdoor track team.

Lesson learned? Sometimes you might be really close to a break through.

Just like the first time you ever rode a bike, it will happen.

Will it happen for this year?

Only you can decide.

-John Andre

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Lift Heavy/Fun Fast on!


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.


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.


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

It’s tricky.


Lift Heavy/Fun Fast on!


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! 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

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.


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.


-John Andre

Check out my books on! 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.


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.


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.


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.


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


I love peanut butter.  I also like peanuts.

But, I don’t have it too often.

I probably buy peanut butter once or twice a year at most and I occasionally have a bag of whole peanuts, but only during my bulk up season.

Peanuts are a good protein source.

When I eat peanuts I usually gain a little bit of weight, so it’s not a real good food for cutting up, but I do feel strong when I use it.


One of the big “issues” with kids today is peanut allergies.

All you read about is how deadly they can be if a child is allergic and accidentally ingests it.

It’s weird, because when I was growing up I never even heard of it.  And everyone lived.

But now, peanut butter allergies are the big thing.

Since I have a one-year old son, we are supposed to test out peanut butter and see how he reacts.

We tried a little bit on him several times already and he seemed ok, and last week peanut butter was on sale, so I decided to give him a big chunk.

Result? He was fine, but woke up with horrible stomach pains.

Myself? I also had stomach gains.  And I also gained some weight.

I wasn’t going to throw the jar out, so I ate some slowly  each day during the week.

I am not going to lie.  I worked out pretty good, but I have been feeling like crap.

My stomach has been hurting, I’ve been getting cramps and the only thing I have changed in my diet is the peanut butter.

“There Is Something Wrong With Peanut Butter”

And don’t tell me to eat the natural stuff, it tastes like crap.

-John Andre

Book 3 coming out this summer!

Lift Heavy/Run Fast