Posts Tagged ‘powerlifting’

After a long winter with some heavy powerlifting, I am really turning the corner and starting to look “a little bit” cut.

April is a month of hard work.  My plan for the next 6 to 8 weeks is just to start killing it in the gym and keep my diet strict.

This will include at least 2 days a week where I work out twice.  That doesn’t mean two long sessions, it means I do weights at lunch and then go back after work to hit the cardio hard.

Sometimes I can do weights and cardio in one session, but I found that taking 3 or 4 hours in between makes a big difference.  I can hit it really hard again after sitting in front of a computer for a while and that hard training will really start to pay off.

This past Thursday I run 3 miles in 20:45 seconds.  That is finally a fast time for me and my only good run of the year so far.  I am hoping that is that start of some fast times and will propel myself into good shape for the summer.

Overall, my training is coming along good, I just need to seriously cut some weight.  I would love to cut as much as 10 lbs before Memorial Day weekend.

Losing weight is the name of the game.  There are millions of people out there training consistently, but their physiques will never improve because they don’t cut any weight.

Heavy lifting, fast cardio, fresh air and strict diet.

That is the name of the game.

-John Andre

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Running 2.0 The End Of Long-Distance Running: Including The Top Ten Spint Workouts To Remove Bodyfat

Finally, Some Good News

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The Fall is here, the weather is cooling down, the sun is setting earlier and I have already started slowly bulking up.

This was a very good year, but not “great”.  Although I was better than  last year in all categories, I didn’t get close to setting any records.

When it came to weight lifting, I was an “A”.

I dead lifted over 500 lb’s by Thanksgiving and eventually I maxed out around 535.

For the bench press, I hit 315 (3 plates) several times, but I was unable to go into the mid 300’s.

Running has a tough one, although I was a lot faster than last year.

I got my 3-mile time down to around 20 minutes flat and I completed several 5k races in around the low 21’s.

Overall, I was hoping to go into the 19’s for a 5k, but I was unable to reach it.  I also competed in my first track and field competition in 20 years and jumped around 15 feet in the long jump.

For bodybuilding, I looked “good” but not “great’.  There was never a moment where I looked into the mirror and said “oh shit”.

What worked against me?

It’s really hard to eat a super strict diet when you have a wife and small baby at home.

I can’t eat a can of tuna for dinner like I used to, I cant go to the beach all day and tan and I also lost out on a ton of sleep.

Not to make excuses, but I was probably in my 5th or 6th best shape ever.  Very good on the weights, pretty good running times, and my physique looked decent.  Just not record breaking.

For next year, just some small adjustments.

A) Eat cleaner during my bulk up

B) Lift heavier weights during my bulk up

C) More sprinting and less long-distance during the Spring and Summer.

Here are some pics from my summer shape.

 

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Lift Heavy/Run Fast

I am having a surprisingly good bulk up this year.

Although I am only several weeks in, I have already deadlifted 405 for 6 easy reps and I am on pace to hit 500 in October.

I almost always reach 500 lb’s in the deadlift, but to reach it in October is VERY early for me.

Usually I will reach 500 around Christmas and then I will max out in late January/Early February.

Dead lifting is a great exercise and it is also one of the most basic.  You just bend down and pick up a weight.

You don’t need a spot. You don’t need any friends.

It’s just you and the bar.

Like I stated in the title, it is almost impossible to put on any solid muscle if you aren’t lifting heavy weights, especially powerlifting.

Many of the famous bodybuilders started off  using powerlifting, such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sergio Oliva and Ronnie Coleman.

There just isn’t any substitute for heavy lifting.

I have always been a pretty good deadlifter and my record was 585 lb’s in my late 20’s.

I “think” I have a serious chance of beating that this year.

The last several years I have been maxing in the low 500 lb’s and this year I am almost there in October.

If I can get into the mid 500’s pretty fast, I am going to give it shot.

I plan on bulking up until Valentine’s day, so I would like to attempt it before then.

Good luck!

-John Andre

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Lift Heavy/Run Fast

 

 

Controversial title? Well, I include myself as an old man.  Or at least I am an old man compared to some of the other guys in the gym.

But I will turn 39 at the end of this year.

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Most people are shocked when I tell them that I will turn 39, they think I am around 30.

But I have been working out and dieting for about a decade straight.

I always lifted weights, but I didn’t start a bodybuilding diet until 10 years ago.

So why am I starting trouble with older athletes?

It’s because older people are fustrating.

They either do not work out at all, which is insane.  Especially considering that you are closer to death and if you have a wife/child like I do, it’s even more important that you exercise and stay alive.

And then there is the 2nd group that doesn’t eat correctly.  I feel like my generation eats slightly better than the baby boomers, but let’s me honest, probably 95% of the population is over weight.

Studies show it was 50 to 75%, but lets cut the bullshit, it’s probably 95%+

Our life expectancy is the United States is slowing down, possibly even going slower.

And people aren’t training correctly.

Screenshot_20171010-190334

First of all, when you get older, you lose SPEED.

You might be able to run 5 miles or 10 miles just as fast, or even faster than you did in College.  But you can’t sprint, jump or dance like you used to.

As such, how many people in their late 30’s, 40’s and 50’s are outside sprinting?

1% at most?

But yet, 50,000 people will sign up for the NYC marathon and plod along for 26 miles.

When you age, you need to focus more on speed and less on endurance.

Weight lifting should never change.

There are some exercises that I can’t use anymore due to injuries, but I still try to bench press, squat and deadlift just as heavy.

Actually when it comes to powerlifting, most people peak in their late 30’s and early 40’s.

So how is your training going?

Are you lifting heavy, working on your speed and dieting cleanly?

Or did you already give up and surrender?

I am working out till the grave.

-John Andre.

Lift Heavy/Run Fast

 

This winter I set 4 strength goals:

  • 315 lb Bench (Achieved)
  • 500 lb Deadlift (Achieved)
  • 315 Squat (Almost, looks good)
  • 100 lb shoulder dumbbell (Going to attempt soon)

So far, I have reached 2 of my 4 goals and the best part is, I still have 9 weeks to go!

This has been one of my greatest off-season’s in a long time.

So, what have I done differently?

A) I cut down on the sets.  I am just focusing on heavy powerlifting.  Lots of singles, doubles and triples.

B) I gained close to 30 lbs.  If you want to get strong, you need to eat, there is no way around it.  This year I have “allowed” myself to get a little bit fat, but it is paying off in the gym in a big way.

I am still doing very light cardio twice a week, but not enough that it is slowing my strength down.

After New Years, I am going to follow a hardcore powerlifting routine and I might try to put on another 10 lbs of body weight.

Since I have another 8-9 weeks left, I am going to have to increase some of my winter strength goals.  I am going to increase the following:

  • 355 lb bench (My all-time record)
  • 525 Deadlift (Should be pretty easy, 545 may also be achievable)

Although, I am really enjoying being big and powerful, all good things will have to come to an end.  It’s not healthy to be overweight for an extended time period and I am not getting any younger.

Valentines day will be my final powerlifting week and then I will start cutting up for summer.  I plan on using the same methodology for my bodybuilding.  I am going to set solid running and lifting goals, and I won’t stop until I reach them.

Hope everyone is having a good year.  Some big updates coming in 2018!

-John

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!Lift Heavy/Fun Fast on Amazon.com! 

 

The easy answer is that it depends on the person. But more importantly, you need to find out which routine works the best for your body.

20170903_085651

After years of working out, I can say with 100% certainty that my body responds to low reps.  Not only does my body prefer low reps, but it also prefers heavy weights.

Some people are different.  Arnold Schwarzenegger was famous for doing multiple sets over several hours a day.

Ronnie Coleman was known for lifting super heavy with powerlifting style exercises.

Personally, I prefer the heavy powerlifting style for several reasons:

  • The muscle lasts longer.  When you are lifting heavy weights, the mass stays on for a long time
  • It’s practical. even if you aren’t a bodybuilder, it helps in everyday life to be a stronger person.
  • I always get injured with high reps.

This Fall season, I have been getting back into the old school powerlifting routines.  Heavy weights, low reps and a ton of extra calories.

The same can also pertain to running.   I believe that everyone needs some form of cardio; whether it is running, biking, basketball, etc.

But I definitely do not believe in long distance running.  Training for 1 or 2 marathons in your life isn’t going to kill you, but I don’t recommend it as a long-term training routine.

I actually gain body fat when I run long-distance.   I become “skinny fat”, which is very skinny with a high level of body fat.

When it comes to cardio, I prefer to train the same way as I do with weights.  Quick and fast.  Sprinting, tempo runs, hill repeats and nothing over 5-miles.

By just running 2-4 miles 3x a week, I am able to get my 3 mile time to under 20 minutes.

So overall, do high reps work?

It depends on the person.  Try it out on yourself and track your progress.

Be honest with yourself. If you aren’t making progress then it may not be working for you.

-John

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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, 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.

screenshot_20170809-203858-1.png

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.

JASUMMERPICTURE-MIX

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.

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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

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