Posts Tagged ‘power’

I am going to state this bluntly: I am a HUGE fan of fasting and I have been using it for many years.

In my opinion, if you are going to get ripped naturally, you will need to add fasting to your routine.

I actually discovered fasting by accident.

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In High School, I was starting to get stomach problems every day from eating the school lunch.  I think it was a combination of the bad food and studying for my advanced placement classes.

To fix my situation, I started to eat a large breakfast in the morning before school and then I wouldn’t eat again until I got home at 2 p.m.

In between, I would lift weights, run track, play basketball during gym and also go to my classes.

After several months of my new diet routine, I noticed something interesting; I was starting to get ripped abs.

By the time my senior year rolled around, I had a complete 6-pack.  Probably one of the best 6-packs in my entire school.

I didn’t realize it at the time, but I had discovered my secret formula to getting ripped.

Fast forward to 10 years later.  I was 190 lbs and in the strongest shape of my entire life.

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I was competing in power lifting competitions, with a bench press near 350 lbs and a dead lift near 600.

That summer I decided I wanted to try bodybuilding and I cut down to 155 lbs using a combination of cardio and fasting.

The end result was that I got into the best shape of my life.

jabeer

 

Fasting works.

Almost every major religion has some type of fasting ceremony included. The practice of “fasting” has been around for thousands of years before Christ.

The key is to use it wisely.  Obviously you can’t fast every day and you also can’t fast for 48 hours straight.

Today I ate a medium-sized meal at around 10 a.m and then I went to gym at 1 p.m. for squats and a 2-mile run.

My second meal of the day was dinner at 7:30 p.m.

The result of my new diet and workout routine, is that I have lost 11 lbs in about a month.

Don’t be afraid to try fasting.  When done in moderation, it is a lot healthier than over eating and the majority of the United States has an obesity problem.

The pain is temporary, just like anything else in life, you will get used to using less calories.

And if you aren’t willing to accept the pain, you will never look like a champion.

-John

 

 

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This past Friday I went to the gym with a clear objective, to deadlift 365lb’s for 10 reps.

I still have 4 weeks left in my winter bulk up, so I was planning on working my way up to the mid 500’s by the last week of the season.

I purposely went to the gym later than usually to avoid the crowds, but there was still 2 other guys using the deadlift platform.

One guy I have seen before; he usually does a bunch of sets in the 300’s and never goes up.

He is not a real competition for me, he is too scared to push it.

The 2nd guy I have seen before and he is pretty strong.  He is the only other guy in the gym that I have seen deadlift over 500 lbs.

I started warming up with the two guys and I immediately noticed that I felt strong and more importantly, I felt very fast.

For my last warm up, I went up to 315 lb’s and it felt like a paper weight.  At the moment I decided to call an audible and I increased the weight from 365 to 405.

Why should I lift lighter if I feel good?

Don’t overthink lifting weights.

Forget about writing down your sets with a pen and a pad or planning all of your training out meticulously, if you feel good, lift that damn weight.

People tend to forget, but, “IT IS JUST WEIGHT LIFTING”.

Turn your brain off, get angry and lift those weights.  The heavier the better.

Long story short, I figured I could get 405 for an easy 4 or 5, but I ended up getting 9 reps.

There was just no way that I could take it easy with these two chumps watching me.

A little motivation goes a long way, especially with an exercise like dead lifting.

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Right now I have 3 or 4 weeks left and my season is over!  This has been the best bulk up season for me in about 10 years.

But overall, I am starting to feel really overweight and unhealthy and I am looking forward to cutting down again.

Let’s see if I can improve on last season.

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Good luck! You are gonna need it…

-John

Check out my books on amazon.com!

Lift Heavy/Fun Fast on Amazon.com!

 

 

Happy New Years everyone!  I wish I could say I was out late partying, but my son went to bed at 9 am and woke me up at 3am.  So, it was not a great night of sleep.

Today, I officially weighted in at 183.  This is the heaviest I have been in a long time, although, I feel confident that I can cut back down in the low 150’s for the summer.

If you have been following my blog, you would know that I had 4 goals this year:

  • 315 bench Completed
  • 500 Deadlift Completed
  • 100 lb shoulder dumbbells (I don’t think I will make it, shoulder is hurting again)
  • 315 Squat Should be easy, but I have not attempted it yet.  Going to focus on this more than deadlift in the last 7 weeks and hopefully bury it soon.

I am missing the cardio, but fortunately it’s been super cold out in NYC and as soon as I go outside I forget about running.

Winter training is tough.  But it is the best time to put on some solid muscle.

13 degrees outside? Forget running around the treadmile like a hamster, eat a streak, drink some eggnog and lift some heavy weights.

I should look pretty good this summer.  I have added on some solid mass, the only thing left is the diet and cardio.

If you didn’t add any muscle mass, how are you going to get cut?  There is plenty of time left to bulk up this winter.  Between today and St. Patrick’s day, you can easily put on 10-15 lbs of bodyweight and make some serious strength goals.

A couple more weeks and we will be into Spring, happy training!

-John

Check out my books on amazon.com!

patreon!

Lift Heavy/Fun Fast on Amazon.com!

 

 

I am now about half way into my winter bulk up and my progress is going great.  Last week I bench pressed 295, and on Friday, I hit my winter dead lift goal of 495.

Although there are only 12 weeks left in my season, I feel pretty confident that I should reach and possibly surpass my goals for the year.

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One thing that I am trying this year, in comparison to other years, is that I am increasing the weights quickly. For example, on Friday I was scheduled to deadlift 455 lbs for 4 or 5 reps, and then the following week, I would attempt my winter goal of 495.

During the warm ups I started to feel really good.  The weights were coming off the floor really fast, so I decided to go off schedule and straight to 495.  Working out is not an exact science, if you are feeling good,, go for the heavy weights.

Whether is is a 400 lb bench press, 315 lb squat for 10 reps or a 500 lb deadlift.  If its in the range of a weights that you should be able to handle, go for it.

Usually, lifting heavy weights is all mental.  When I started powerlifting in my teens and early 20’s, I used to obsess over heavy weights, and oftentimes it would cause me to screw up my attempt.

Now, after years of training, I have conditioned my mind to attempt each weight exactly the same.

Don’t get me wrong, having 500 lbs on my back and trying to go for a deep squat will still scare the crap out of me, but when it comes to a heavy bench or deadlift, I will go for it without hesitation.

Although I wasn’t scheduled to deadlift 495 this week, in my mind, I knew I can do it.

Next week, I might jump all the way to 550 lbs.

Why not?

Even if I don’t get it, your body and especially your mind will get a lot stronger just by attempting it.

Remember, heavy weights=big muscle.

Here is a picture of my from my powerlifting days.

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-John

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

Lift Heavy/Fun Fast on Amazon.com!

 

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How long does it take to get big and strong? If you do it correctly, it should only take 8-12 weeks.

With an 8-12 week heavy “powerlifting style” training routine, along with extra calories, you should see immediate progress.

This year I started by winter bulk up in Late September and I am already starting to look pretty thick.

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I m going to weigh in on December 1st, but I am sure that I have gained at least 15 lbs since Labor Day. Of course some of it is fat, but is also a lot of it is solid muscle. So far I have hit the following lifts:

  • 295 bench
  • 70 lb dumbbell curls
  • 85 lb dumbbell shoulders
  • 475 lb deadlift
  • 255 lb squats

Although these numbers aren’t great, I still have at least 12-16 weeks left in my winter training and I plan on getting a lot stronger.

So how to we guarantee that you are going to get big and strong? It depends on two key elements:

  1. You need to lift heavy weights.  None of that high rep nonsense, low, heavy-ass weights with a lot of rest
  2. You need to gain weight.  Try not to look in a mirror as much but focus instead on gaining weight week after week until you  have enough mass.

If you are lifting heavy weights and eating extra calories, it is impossible to not gain solid muscle.

Once the end of winter rolls around I will start to cut down in calories and increase my cardio workouts to get ripped for summer.

The name of the game is to keep as much mass on as possible while burning off all the body fat.

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-John

P.S. I should have a new website coming out in early 2018!

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

Lift Heavy/Fun Fast on Amazon.com!

 

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Muscle confusion is a common term used today by many bodybuilders and it does have some merit when done correctly.

The basic premise behind muscle confusion, is that your body will start to get used to the same exercises and you will need to change your routine to stimulate any further growth.

Do I use muscle confusion? Sort of.

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But to be honest with you, the best exercises are the heavy powerlifting basics; bench press, squats and deadlifts.

Arnold Schwarzenegger was deadlifting over 700lbs in his prime and Ronnie Coleman was deadlifting over 800.  If you can’t deadlift over 400lbs then I have news for you, you need to get stronger.

The same goes for bench press and squats.  If you can’t bench press over 300lbs, your chest will never grow large enough.

So in reality, I find that most bodybuilders need more muscle consistently, rather than muscle confusion.

But, I do use muscle confusion with my secondary exercises.  For example, after bench press I will usually add a secondary exercise.  Typically, it will be either dumbbell inclines, fly’s or sometimes pause reps.

This winter I am also starting to rotate my shoulder routine.  Last week I was able to work up to 85’s for 3 reps.  This week instead of going for a 90lb single, I decided to switch to dumbbells for chest on a flat bench. Although it’s not directly shoulder related, I decided to switch to a similar exercise for several weeks, until I switch back to shoulders.

The best part about starting a new exercise, is that you should go up every week for the first several weeks.  So in effect, you are guaranteeing strength gains.

For running, again I believe in consistency over confusion, but I will try to vary the speed.  By adding sprints, tempo runs and hill repeats, you can burn off a ton of extra fat.

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So overall, do I believe in muscle confusion? Yes and No.  Just as long as you recognize that there is no substitute for the heavy compound exercises like bench press, deadlift, squats, shoulder, incline and barbell press.

-John

P.S. I should have a new website coming out in early 2018!

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

Lift Heavy/Fun Fast on Amazon.com!

 

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There are only two options in life; either you are religious and believe in some type spiritual power or you believe that when you die, you die.

If you go the religious route, then you will focus solely on your spiritual side and make it your number one focus in life.

If you find yourself in the latter category, then you will live like there is no tomorrow.  Not that you want to die, but you don’t need to “hold back” on anything in life.

I personally feel that 98% of the population fits within the middle of each.

Nobody is 100% dedicated to anything, but the few people that can come close, can be extremely successful.

The Pope was most likely very dedicated.  The same can be said for Arnold Schwarzenegger or Bill Gates.

When it comes to the gym; unfortunately most people are also in the 98% middle ground.  In other words, they don’t really make any progress.

For this winter bulk up, I have come to the conclusion that life is too short to mess around.

I am either lifting weights, or I am not.  I am either getting strong or I am not.

You are either running faster or you are not.

You are either burning off body fat or you are not.

When you start viewing life in absolutes, you can remove the emotional bullshit and stigma’s attached and accelerate to your goals.

So far this year I am already close to a 500lb deadlift and a 300lb bench press.  Since I have decided to stop messing around, I am almost at my St Patrick’s day goals months ahead of schedule.

Next year, I also plan on adding the same focus on other area’s of life.  Whether it is getting stronger, saving $20K, starting a new business or finding a new job.

Stop bullshitting and get it done.

There is no time to mess around.

-John

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

Lift Heavy/Fun Fast on Amazon.com!

 

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This is an easy one.

There is no better feeling than putting 500 lbs on a bar, warming up and lifting it off the floor like it is nothing.

After you are finished lifting, you go out to a steak house and order a porterhouse, mashed potatoes and 4 beers.

Trust me on this, nothing feels better than bulking up and heavy weight lifting.

Not only do I feel strong and powerful, but I sleep better and I rarely get sick.

When I am cutting up, it is just the opposite.

I am tired. I am grouchy.  I can barely sleep and I get sick all the time.

Although being lighter in body weight is healthier than being over weight, when I get down to an extremely low body fat percentage, my body doesn’t feel healthy at all.

Between the cardio and dieting, I almost feel like I am near death every summer.

So far, I am 2 weeks into my bulk up and I am feeling supercharged.

It is amazing how much better you can feel with some extra calories and less cardio.

Good luck!

-John

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

Lift Heavy/Fun Fast on Amazon.com!

 

Now that the week is over, I am ready to officially start my winter bulk up routine on Monday.

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In the last 3-4 weeks I stopped my bodybuilding diet and I am also curious to see how much weight I gained.  I am estimating that it was at least 6 to 7 lbs.

Staying super lean is difficult.  I can only stay super cut for 2 to 3 months and then I need to eat.  I am usually really cut from mid July to Early September and then I start to slowly bulk up.

So now that summer is over, it is time to lift heavy!

Although I went heavy in the gym this past winter, I feel like I was missing some of the heavy powerlifting routines that I had used in my 20’s.

Powerlifting is probably the best way to add any muscle and also it has a practical use; you stay strong.

In the last several years I have noticed that I have been skimping out on two of three powerlifting exercises; deadlift and squats.

How can I consider myself bulking up if I am skipping 2 of the 3 powerlifts?

This year, I have decided to reintroduce them.  My squat is already back over 225 lbs and today I deadlifted 315 for several reps.

I used to be a great deadlifter.  My best deadlift was over 575 lbs and 425 for 10 reps.

 I would love to get back over 500 this winter.

I’ve also noticed that my muscles feel different, especially my abs.  I have a soreness that feels different from the other lifting I was doing.

Overall, in only 2 weeks of powerlifting, I can feel a major difference from now and last winter.

Squats, deadlifts and bench press, when done correctly, will reach almost every muscle in your body.

With the increase in calories and the heavy lifting, I feel confident that I should be able to add some solid mass this year.

Updates coming soon!

-John

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

Lift Heavy/Fun Fast on Amazon.com!

 

I have been training really good recently.  I finally have a new training partner to spot me in bench press (It’s been 2 years) and I am hitting some strong summer numbers.

I lost almost 25 lbs this year since the winter and this “should” be the time of the year that I am weakest.  Surprisingly, I have had a strength surge recently.

The only idea I can think of that led to my recent strength surge, is that I cut down on any long-distance running.  I was feeling burnt out again, so I decided to switch to sprinting and basketball only.

Just to give you an example, I almost benched 295 at 152lbs of bodyweight today.  I am really close to doubling my body weight in bench press.

Since I have been lifting so good, I am actually considering competing in powerlifting again.

Powerlifting is the best type of training.  Even if you aren’t going to compete, the powerlifting lifts are the best way to maintain strength.

Bodybuilding is an obscure sport.  The majority of people going to the gym are never going to be bodybuilders nor will they ever have a 6-pack.  Those people should be training for strength only, along with a little bit of cardio.

Being strong has a practical purpose.  Whether it’s picking up your child, carrying groceries or climbing stairs when you are 60.  Staying strong is very important and the best way to stay strong, is to incorporate power training.

Do you need bodybuilding in your life? Not really.

The dieting and training is healthy, but it’s not a very practical lifestyle.

Marathon running is even worse, it not, the worst.

Try incorporating some power training into your routine.  It is the best way to build any mass and the training is the most practical when it comes to using weights.

Hope everyone is enjoying the end of the summer.  Please check out my new book on amazon.com!

Lift Heavy/Fun Fast on Amazon.com!