Posts Tagged ‘protein’

Although California may have better weather, NYC is still a good place to bodybuild.

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Seasons are not a problem.  In the Winter we can bulk up and lift heavy, cut down slightly in the Spring and then get ripped in the Summer.

The 4 distinct seasons work great for me.

I couldn’t imagine living somewhere where I need to take my shirt off all year round.  You need some time to gain weight otherwise you will keep cutting down to a bag of bones.

If you live in a cold region, the Spring is very important.

If you jerk around in the Spring, you will never get cut for the summer.

Losing body fat is hard.  If you think you can wait until June and then start getting ripped, you are in trouble.

You won’t even be in good enough shape to burn the fat off.

There are two ways that I try to stay motivated in the Spring.  The first is to choose a race.

2-years ago I choose a 5k race to train for in New Jersey.  It wasn’t anything crazy, just a small community race in park that I wanted to run.

I used that race for my motivation, I trained hard, lost weight and I actually ended up winning the race.

That was the first time I ever won a 5k.

The second best way to stay motivated, is to plan a vacation.

SPRING BREAK.

spring break

I went on a Spring Break trip almost every year until I turned 30.  There was just no way that I would allow myself to fly someplace warm and show up overweight.

For my spring break trips I would still carry a small amount of bulk, but I would cut down enough so I didn’t look fat.

Motivation is important.

Whether it is training for a race, training for a vacation or trying to get back at your ex-boyfriend/girlfriend; you need some motivation.

Something has to light a fire under your ass.

Find it grasshopper.

-John

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Hello everyone.

I am now about 3-4 weeks past my winter bulk up and I am slowly starting to hit my cardio workouts hard.

It’s amazing how fast your lose your stamina and endurance.

I can skip weight lifting for 6 months (although I never have) and still walk into the gym and lift some decent weights.

But running is completely different.

Even if you miss as little as 2 weeks in a row, you really lose a lot.

Since I feel that I’ve lost so much, I am trying to run a lot to get back in shape quickly.  Last week I ran hard 4x and this week I plan on running at least 4 or 5 times.

I am still slow and out of shape, but I am definitely improving already.  I think another month of hard training and I might run some half way decent times.

I am also trying to cut weight.

The first 3 weeks I cut about 7 lbs, but a lot of that is garbage weight.  In the beginning of  starting a new diet, mostly everyone will lose a couple lb’s quickly.

It’s after you lose the first 10 lb’s, that it starts to get more difficult.

Usually if I run hard 3 or 4x a week I will keep cutting weight.  But, its hard to run when you are in crappy shape.

If I can only run 2 miles in 15 minutes, it’s harder to lose weight compared to when I can run 3 miles in 19:30.

When I finally get back into good shape, I can start killing my workouts.

Better shape=more intensity=more body fat loss.

In late March I am going to a spring break trip (Hilton Head/Savannah), so it is keeping me motivated to work out hard.

Although it was 40 degrees in NYC today, I know it will be around 75-80 by the time I head down South.

-John

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Now that my winter bulk up is over, I am starting to add some cardio back into my routine.

This week I ran 4 times.  I ran Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday.

I was considering running on Sunday, but I decided not to.  When I use my running for cardio, I like to run HARD.  Easy running is for marathon runners and it doesn’t burn off a lot of body fat.

If anything, most marathon runners are skinny fat.  Skinny fat is where you have a low body weight but still a high body fat percentage.

The key to cardio is intensity.  Run hard, run fast and push it.

This year, my goal is to run 3 miles under 21 minutes without running for than 3 or 4x a week.  I also never run more than 3-4 miles in my training, when I run, it is short and fast.

I meet runners all the time that utilize a ton of mileage in their routine, but their running times never go anywhere.

It’s truly a waste of time to go outside or on a treadmill and start plodding along.

The key to cardio is to work on your SPEED.

You don’t really lose a lot of endurance as you get older, but you definitely lose a lot of speed.

Speed is the key to life and vitality, not endurance.

Sprints, tempo runs and even sports are the cardio routines that you can use to get into great shape and remove body fat.

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Last summer I was running outdoors and when I would start to feel burnt out, I would switch to basketball.

But overall, I would never run more than 12-15 miles a week, max.

Today I ran 2 miles in 15:00 minutes (7:30 per mile pace).  I’m only into my second week of running, but I am quickly starting to feel pretty good.

Running is a weird sport, it usually takes me around 15-20 runs before I start to get into the “groove”.

But once my legs and my breathing starts to make the adjustment to the training, I can really start to push it hard.

Remember, start training outside now so when the weather changes, you will be ready.

By the time Spring rolls around you want to be in the middle of a hard training routine, not at the beginning.

-John

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Hello everyone!

I am now into my 2nd week of Spring training and I am finally starting to add some cardio back into my routine.

sprinting

I like running towards the end of winter because it sets me up for a good spring.

If you wait until March or April to start running, sometimes you will get a late start for Summer.

By April I want to be running fast already, so for me, that means I need to slowly start revving up the engine.

I am also taking in less calories.  I lost 3.5 lbs the first week and I would like to reach 5 total lbs by week 2.

JASUMMERPICTURE-MIX

I always lose weight really easy in the beginning.  It’s when I start to get very low in body fat that it gets harder and harder.

I also believe you NEED to add some cardio workouts into your routine for your health.

I ran outside for the first time in several months on Saturday and I felt like I was going to DIE.

That can’t be healthy.

When you are in your 20’s or 30’s you “feel” like you are going to die.  When you get past age 40, you might actually die.

Heart disease, diabetes, stroke, heart attacks, etc. They are all major illness related to obesity that too many people suffer from in the United States from basic neglect.

I use cardio to remove body fat and stay in good cardiovascular shape, and I firmly believe that some type of cardio needs to be in your exercise routine.

With that being said, too much cardio can also kill you.

I am working on my 3rd book and I did some research on the famous 1970’s marathon runners.  You will be amazed by how many famous long-distance runners have come down with serious health problems.

Marathon running is not healthy.

If you want to train for just a couple marathons in your lifetime, there is no harm.

But training for long-distance is not healthy over the long term.

Focus on improving your SPEED.

As you age, your endurance does not decrease as much as your speed.

Anyone up to age 90 can run a slow 5-mile race, but not too many people can still sprint, jump and leap.

Speed over endurance any day of the week.

-John

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Sports and life in general are competitive.  I can never understand people who are not competitive at every age.

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Don’t get me wrong; there are bloggers that I follow that live in R.V.’s or travel the world for a living and sometimes that sounds like a great idea.

But I am too competitive.

And I get bored very easily.

I worked from home at one of my prior occupations and surprisingly I didn’t really enjoy it.

Unless I was working from home in the summer, there was usually nobody around from Monday to Friday.  Basically, instead of being locked in the office, I would be stuck at home.

I like to be competitive.  It keeps you young.

Today I was at the gym and I started to size up some of my competition.

Usually there is only one or two decent bodybuilders in a gym and rest are just there for maintenance.

The best way to tell if someone is training correctly, is that you should be able to see major changes in their body.

If they look the same across the whole year, basically, they are just maintaining.  Maintaining is fine, but you will never really improve, nor will you ever get ripped.

At my gym, there are several guys that look decent.

So for this coming summer, I need to design a workout plan to defeat my competition.

  • What are my weaknesses and what are my strengths?

My weaknesses are definitely my upper back and legs.

My strengths would be my mass, chest and abs.

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Since I am slowly starting to lose weight, my goal this year is to continue to train heavy.  I have a strong advantage in strength and mass, so I think that is where I should focus.

Like I’ve stated in other posts; I believe it is important to show off your best body parts.  So for myself, I need to continue to train chest and shoulders heavy, while I get my body fat percentage low enough so that my abs are ripped.

Another week or two and I will reveal my Spring training guide, but right now, it is looking something like this:

Monday: Chest

Tuesday: Legs/cardio

Wednesday: Cardio

Thursday: Shoulders

Friday: Back

Saturday: Cardio

Sunday: Rest

I want to slowly get back into my cardio workouts for several weeks, before I start to really get cut for the summer in May and June.

So far, I am one week into my cutting phase and I already lost 3.5 lbs.  I usually cut 10 lbs pretty quickly, then it starts to slow down after that.

Good luck everyone!

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It’s really not that hard to get ripped, yet most people in the gym look the same day in and day out.

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It’s not that they are training wrong per se, but more that they are either not training hard enough or not dieting correctly.

The first step in getting ripped is to be consistent.  If you aren’t going to show up for your workouts, then you are wasting your time.

I never miss a day.  I think I missed only 2 days in all of 2017.You need to commit to make any progress.

The second part is the weight training. You NEED to gain strength if you expect your muscles to grow.

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This is where almost everyone gets stuck.  It gets harder and harder to continue getting stronger and most people give up and go into maintenance mode.

If you are going to lift weights, take it serious and increase the intensity.  Focus on gaining strength and your physique will change.  If you are lifting the same amount of weights, your body will look the same.

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And finally, you need to be strict with your diet and cardio.  Some professional bodybuilders get extremely ripped without using any cardio at all, they just use a proper diet and steroids.

Although this might seem like a ton of work, if you are already working out consistently, then you are probably closer than you think.  Sometimes it is that extra 10 to 15% extra effort that helps you beat your competition.

It is the same theory with working a 9 to 5 job.  For example; I take a ferry to Manhattan for work every day and the ferry that I take runs every 15 minutes in the morning.

I set my alarm for 5:45 am, and I usually try to make the 7:30-7:45 ferry instead of the 8 or 8:30.  But more importantly, I’ve noticed that there is a big  difference between the people going to work at 8am and the people crawling in for a 9 to 5.

The 7:30am boat is always a lot quieter, with people mostly reading newspapers or checking information on their phones, while the 8 and 8:30am boats are a madhouse.  Most of the people are loud, they are socializing or playing music and the lack of motivation is noticeable.

Just by waking up 30 minutes earlier can be the difference between becoming a millionaire and being stuck as a regular Joe.

It is the small efforts that add up.

Don’t be the person walking into work late and take your workouts serious in the gym if you want to improve.

P.S. 3 more weeks of my winter bulk up left and then I need to get ripped.

-John

Check out my books on amazon.com!

Lift Heavy/Fun Fast on Amazon.com!

 

 

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!

 

 

Ok, I admit it.  This title is slightly click bait, but I will explain.

This year I am backtracking on one of my old theories called “weak point training”.  From now on, I am focusing even MORE on my good body parts and even less on my weak points.

Why?

There really is no point in focusing on your weak points.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s still important to have a balanced physique.  But if you want to stand out, you might need to spend more time on what works for you.

What are my strong points? Chest and Abs.

As you see in the picture above, when I am in good shape my abs are better than Arnold Schwarzenegger’s.

And my chest? It has always been on of my strong points.  I just touch the bench press and my chest explodes.

With that being said, I am going to continue to focus most of my attention on my chest and abs.  Those are the money makers.

So, what does this have to do with Kim Kardashian?

Well, she is known for one famous bodypart.  Would it make sense for her to lose a ton of weight and focus more on her weaker bodyparts?

Of course not.  Like I said before, she has one VERY famous bodypart.  Nobody talks about Kim Kardashian’s calves, forearms or back.

It wouldn’t make any sense for her to change her physique.

My body is not balanced.

Although I have been able to improve my calves into making them one of my better bodyparts, my upper back will never look great.

I have tried heavy rows, weighted dips, 500lbs deadlifts, etc.  I just don’t have the genetics to build a championship looking back.

With the summer coming up in 6 months, I am going to focus on my strengths.

Being balanced is not always ideal.

-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

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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!