Posts Tagged ‘powerlifting’

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

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Lift Heavy/Fun Fast on Amazon.com!

 

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Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not comparing my entire physique to the king, Arnold Schwarzenegger.

I am just saying that my abs are better.

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Even without steroids, supplements or a strong tan, I still beat Arnold on abs.  Take a look at the belly buttons, it’s not even close.

Everyone has certain body parts that are genetically better than others.  Some people have biceps that peak into mountains, while others like myself, have long biceps that grow out.

Genetics plays a large role in how your body develops, and luckily for me, when I am in good shape I develop really good-looking abs.

Since I have always been natural, I also have to be ultra strict with my diet, cardio and I need to be consistent in the gym.

You can’t fake good-looking abs.  Even if you take steroids, if you aren’t training hard or dieting correctly, your abs aren’t going to look right.  Most of the top athletes that you will see competing in the Mr. Olympia won’t have good abs and in my opinion, it’s hurting the sport.

So Arnold might beat me in calves, arms, chest and back.  But, I take him out in the abdominal department.

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For this picture above, I cut down from 180 lbs in the winter to 150 lbs by the middle of August.  My routine was 4 days a week with weights and another 3 days of outside cardio.

Want to build natural looking abs? Check out my two books on amazon.com for more details!!

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!

 

Years ago when I was back in College, I started a daily training log where I wrote down my weight lifting and running numbers and I kept it up until I was in my early 20’s.

I saved all of the books and sometimes I will look through it just to see what type of training I was using.

Today I don’t keep a log, but generally, I will run several races every year and in the summer I will take some bodybuilding pics. I know my limitations in the gym and with running, so I don’t need to write it down anymore.

One thing I have noticed after all these years, is that I need to stay “aggressive”.

This goes not only for my training; but also for earning money and living my life.

I will give some examples.  If there is a course or certification that you need to take for work, get it done.  Don’t procrastinate, don’t hesitate, do it.

If you aren’t earning enough in your current job but feel comfortable, get “uncomfortable”

If you want to train for a half-marathon, sign up for the race immediately and start training.

If I review the last 10 years of my life, probably 6 or 7 of them were aggressive and several of them were passive.

I need to stop having passive years.

I am going to turn 38 this year and I have a 3-month old child.  It’s either going to happen or it isn’t.

Some examples include:

  • Start law school
  • Write a book
  • Go back to school for a 2nd career
  • Get a second job
  • Lose 20 lbs

There is never a good reason to “cruise” through life until the very end.

You need to work hard and keep pushing!

Good luck!

-John

Lift Heavy/Fun Fast on Amazon.com!

 

This year I am down to the last several weeks of my bulk up and I am generally lifting the heaviest weights that I will all year.

Although I will still be pretty strong when I add the cardio back into my routine next month, I usually set my records for the year in January and February.

One of the problems with bulking up, is that I gained a ton of weight really fast this year.  In only 4-5 months I added over 30 lbs of bodyweight and that is a lot for my small 5’8 frame.

When you add that amount of bodyweight, it takes a while for your muscles and joints to get used to the heavier poundages, including stretch marks.

Recently, I have been feeling really strong but I noticed that my triceps are sore.  Usually, you can get away with having a sore muscle or two, but for some reason, when your triceps are hurting it can kill your workouts.

The triceps are so important, that I don’t even work them out separately.  Between heavy bench press and shoulders workouts, my triceps have been taking a beating every week.

Yesterday I worked up to 80 lb dumbbells for shoulders and something didn’t feel right.  Even when I was warming up with lighter weights I would lift the weights off my shoulders easily, but my arms were locking out super slow.  I realized that my shoulders were feeling really strong, but my triceps were in really bad shape.

The triceps are often neglected, but they can affect most of your major upper body workouts.  Bench press, shoulder press, incline press, push presses, etc, all incorporate the triceps.

So be careful.  If you are going heavy in your compound lifts, you might not need a lot of extra tricep work.  Be especially careful if you notice that you aren’t locking out your lifts.

A lot of times it might not necessarily be a weakness in your back, chest or shoulders that is slowing you down, but just weakness in your triceps.

Good luck!

-John

I have been lifting weights for 21 years straight and I don’t plan on ever stopping.   After all of these years of training, I can officially tell what works for my body and what doesn’t.

I have competed in over 10 powerlifting competitions and my top lifts were a 345lb bench press, 585 lb dead lift and a 245lb military press.

A couple of years ago I tried to experiment with my routine and I switched to higher rep sets with more cardio.  The end result was that I looked a look worse.

There is a certain look that a powerlifter has that regular people in the gym will never achieve and the only way to replicate that look is by using heavy weights.

The heavier the weights, the better.

People like to claim that Arnold Schwarzenegger didn’t use heavy weights, but the truth is that he still went pretty heavy.

His bench press was over 400lbs and both him and Franco Columbu had deadlifted over 700.

Although you won’t win a powerlifting competition with those lifts, that is still pretty damn strong.

This winter I am trying to get back to the basics and start lifting heavy weights again.  As usual I have a bunch of nagging injuries, but so far, I have been lifting pretty heavy.

So far this winter, my bench press is over 305, I have reached 95’s for dumbbells shoulders and I have leg pressed over 600.

This year I want to focus on building up a solid physique that will really look good when I start to cut up for the summer..

Recently I was looking at some pictures of my physique and in every single one of my best years, I was lifting heavy weights.

Heavy weights work.  There is no short cut or alternative to heavy weights, so if you want to have a solid physique, you better start lifting heavy.

-John

If is officially 2 months since I’ve done any cardio at all and I’m not going to lie, I feel horribly out of shape.

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I am breathing heavy after simple tasks, my energy level has gone down and I generally feel lazy.

Cardio is IMPORTANT.

I need to add cardio back into my routine soon.  Of course, I am not advocating long-distance running by any measure, but I do believe everyone needs some amount of cardio.

This year I am going to hold out until at least Jan 1st.  I was originally going to try to make it until Valentines Day, but to be honest, I don’t know if it is healthy for me to wait that long.

It’s amazing how much less energy I have since I stopped doing cardio and my breathing is becoming very labored.

The only problem when I start adding cardio workouts is that It makes me slightly weaker in the gym.  For me to bulk up this year, the next several weeks are crucial.  I need to lift as heavy as possible before I get back into the cardio workouts.

It’s also important that I keep my calorie intake high.  If I keep my calorie intake up while doing cardio I can still bulk up, but it does make it slightly more difficult.  The key with the cardio is quality over quantity.  Sprinting, basketball, tennis, etc.  I want to avoid any type of long distance cardio and focus on my speed and quickness.

I did a solid year of cardio without missing more than a week and now only 2 months after taking a break, I can notice the difference.  And it is staggering.

Cardio is very important for overall health, just as long as you don’t over do it.

This is an eye opener for me.  For the next several weeks, I need to really start going heavier in the gym.  My 37th birthday is coming up next month, I have a child on the way and I definitely don’t need an early heart attack.

Clean diet, heavy lifting and then I will slowly add some cardio to my routine around New Years.

-John