Posts Tagged ‘powerlifting’

I have been working out for almost 25 years now!

JASUMMERPICTURE-MIX

Besides lifting weights in the gym, I have also done various powerlifting competitions, running races and during the summer, I do some friendly bodybuilding competition’s among friends.

One issue I have always had a problem with, is trying to peak at the right time.

When it comes to running, I always tend to get burnt out too early. I just dont know how to train moderately. I’m always in a rush to run 3 miles in 18 minutes and I end up training too hard and frequent.

For powerlifting, I either go too hard early and get injured or I dont peak in all 3 lifts for the competition.  I am having that problem this year, it looks like my deadlift is stalling, while my bench press and squats are continuing to climb.

In bodybuilding, it is the opposite. I typically peak too late (labor day), instead of July 4th.  I have been trying to start my diet earlier in the year but I just dont get cut enough in the Spring.

This year I have been training for my first 3 lift (squat, bench, deadlift) competition in over 10 years.

My original goal was to beat my best total from College, around 1,000, and to maybe go over 1,100.

I am also competing raw: no belt, no knee wraps or squat suit and no silly bench shirt.

Where that will affect me the most is in my squat, those knee wraps can assist by 50-100 lbs easy, but I dont care about a medal.  I just want to put on some legitimate size and strength.

The only issue I am having this year, is that I hope I didnt peak too early.

3 weeks ago I I deadlifted 495 lbs and the weights somehow slipped off the bar.

Two week ago I slaughtered 455 x 5 reps and felt like a beast.

Last weak I was so sore in the warmups I could hardly lift 400.

So my plan now, is to unfortunately cut back on the volume in squats and deadlifts.

I’m gonna try to preserve what I have and then run back up to another peak for the Feb 15th competition.

Will it work, I cant say for sure.  I am praying that the hard work I put in will let me peak on contest day.

Wish me luck…

Updates to come soon!

-John Andre

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Yes they can!

And if you are into natural bodybuilding, I would even say they thrive together.

Over the years I have experimented with many different routines including: powerlifting-only workouts in the winter, long-slow cardio outside, moderate bike riding, elliptical/etc.

After years of trial and error, I can say with 100% certainty, that I always looked a lot more cut when I kept up some form of moderate cardio throughout the winter.

This season, I have been running up to 2 miles  after each squat and deadlift workout at a 7 minute mile pace. That is just the right amount of cardio where I can still lift heavy weights but also prevent myself from adding on too much extra bodyfat.

I’ve discovered that by using cardio in moderation, I can still lift heavy weights and even add on muscle size over the winter.

Some people swear by not using any cardio, but I dont think that is healthy at all.

You need “some” form of moderate cardio into your routine. If it is not running or elliptical, you can always play a sport like basketball or tennis.

For myself, the best way to remove body fat has always been heavy weight lifting, along with moderate cardio and intermittent fasting.

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Another important benefit from my moderate cardio routines, is that it prevents stiffness.

When I first started powerlifting in college, I used to get stiff for 5 days after my squat workouts.  Now by running even as little as a mile after my leg workouts, I almost feel like normal the following day.

So overall, dont be afraid to add some cardio into your routine, even if you are bulking up.

If used correctly you will continue to add solid lean muscle and may even prevent soreness from heavy workouts.

-John Andre

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Its official, I am 40 years old! Time flies…

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Actually, the first 30 years felt like eternity, the last 10 felt pretty fast (and fun).

So, how will my training change now that I am 40?

Answer: it wont.

I am training harder than ever, it’s just a little bit more difficult since I have two kids under age 3.

You need to make adjustments.

There are also certain exercises I cannot perform anymore and its difficult for me to go insane with my cardio since I never get to rest.

With that being said, I have been lifting pretty well in the gym and I am considering signing up for my first powerlifting competition in about 5 years.

Although i dont expect to set any records, especially now that I dont have anyone to spot me, I think I should be stronger than I was in College.

When it comes to weight lifting, you can stay pretty strong until your 60s.

Running is a different story.  I haven’t been able to get even close to my college running times, although, I plan on making a serious stab at it this summer.

I have to be honest about being 40, I miss having zero responsibilities.  This holiday season has been tough between parties, work and watching my kids.

I was having second thoughts about doing this powerlifting meet but then it came to me: if I dont compete, age is winning the battle.

A 21-year old me would compete all the time.  If I dont sign up, I am doing what most other 40 years olds do; nothing.

So, i plan on competing in February. It’s fun and a good way to bulk up and then I will slowly transition to running/bodybuilding.

Videos will be coming!

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I’m pleased to announce that I plan on doing a powerlifting competition for the first time in about 5 years.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: powerlifting is the best off season workout for bodybuilding.  If you can combine some heavy squats, bench press and deadlifts along with some bodybuilding exercises and moderate cardio; you will have a solid winter.

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I’ve noticed that the summers where I have looked my best I was always lifting heavy, combined with moderate cardio throught the entire winter.

Although I dont expect to set any personal bests this year, I think I can still compete.

For the record, I am competing raw. No belt, no knee wraps and no squat suit.

Powerlifting is sorta a bullshit sport. Everyone cheats in the squats. With a squat suit, belt and knee wraps, I used to rep 400+ like it was nothing.

Now? I want to be in the mid 300s. That’s ass to the ground, no belt or wraps.  So I will definitely lose in the squats, but I am there only to compete with myself.

In the bench, I am looking to hopefully get into the 275 to 315 range.  That is also raw without those cheating bench shirts.

Deadlift (the only lift where you cant cheat) I am trying to reach between 500 to 545. I usually do pretty well in the deadlift and it’s my best lift.

Overall, unlike in the past when I was obsessed with powerlifting,  I am going to use this meet just as motivation to get strong over the winter.

I am still going to use bodybuilding lifts in my weekly routine and I’m even going to continue with the cardio workouts until the 2-3 weeks prior to competition.

So that is my plan this winter. One powerlifting competition in February, then I will slowly start cutting down in the Spring, adding more cardio and getting ripped for the summer.

Updates and training videos coming soon!

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-John Andre

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I am planning a very ambitious year for 2020.

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Not only am I looking to purchase my first home in the Spring, but I want to add a 3rd income (side business) and I want to compete athletically.

Now that my 2nd child is almost 3 months old and we are sorta getting some type of normal sleep at night, I want to get back into hard training.

After New Years, I plan on signing up for 2 events immediately:

A) Powerlifting Meet. They actually have a meet coming up in February that I would like to attend. It’s been probably 5 years since my last one and I am overdue.

I don’t plan on setting any personal records, but it at least gives me some winter motivation to train hard.

B) Signing up for a big 5k race on March 1st.  That’s right, I am going do to a powerlifting meet and then 2 weeks later a 5k race.

Again, I am not expecting any type of fast times but I want to get an early start on the cutting season. Running outside in the cold is the best way to do it.

After March, there are a couple of races I will sign up for and then I might do some sprinting competitions over the summer.

But right now, my focus is on powerlifting.

I feel pretty good, the only thing killing me is a lack of a spotter. It is impossible to bench or squat heavy by yourself, so I am kind of “winging it”.

I also plan on competing “raw”, that means no belt, no wraps, no anything.

Some powerlifters consider using just a belt as still raw, but belts are for snowflakes.

I rarely even see belts in the gym anymore, when I first started lifting, everyone had one.

Overall, I would love to go over a 1,100 total.

350 Squat

275 Bench

525 Deadlift.

Those “used” to be really easy numbers for me, but I havent competed in a long time.

I will post some of my training videos as I start getting stronger.

-John Andre

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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

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.

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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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