Posts Tagged ‘Labor day’

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!


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