Posts Tagged ‘Running’

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!

Check out my training books on amazon.com!

-John Andre

Check out my books on amazon.com!

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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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Fall Training Update

Posted: November 4, 2019 in Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

I apologize for not blogging as much recently, but my wife and I just had our second child and life has been crazy.

Unlike my first child, this time around I actually recieved 6 weeks of paid paternity leave, so I have been working out pretty good.

I have been on a 6-day a week schedule:

  • Sunday Squats, calves, cardio
  • Monday Chest, Back
  • Tuesday Squats, calves cardio (2)
  • Wendsday Cardio
  • Thursday Chest (2)
  • Friday Heavy Back with deadlifts

Unfortunately, although I have been working out consistantly, my diet has been horrible.

I dont care what you say, when you are on 2 hours of sleep with two kids screaming, you aren’t worried about avoiding carbs.

My “go to” meal at 3 in the morning had been peanut butter sandwiches. Better than nothing.

Weight lifting-wise, I am almost getting there.

My bench press is near 275, squats are around 255 and my deadlifts are near 455.

This winter I want to get my bench over 315, squats over 335 and deadlifts over 525 lbs.

For my cardio, I have decided that I am going to run the entire winter for maintenance, I just wont go crazy.

By the end of the winter I want to be running 3 miles in around 21 minutes.

Right now I am doing 2 miles in 14.

So overall, everything is slowly on pace. I am inching towards my winter strength goals and I am still running strong.

-John Andre

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If you have followed my blog for the last couple years, you would know that I pick a different “weak point” to work on every off-season.

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For example: several years ago I focused mainly on my calves, and now they are one of my best body parts. This past year I actually worked out my back twice a week and unfortunately it still needs some extra work.

This coming winter I plan on killing my legs, specifically, I plan on squatting twice a week.

I tried experimenting with using the leg press for several years and I have discovered that it cannot compare to good old-fashioned squats when it comes to leg development.

Not only have my legs grown tremendously since I started squatting again, but it also adds to my overall body mass.

It’s funny, but when I first started working out I focused mostly on my chest because it was a major weak point. Now as a 39 year old man, my chest has become my best feature.

Bodybuilding is a funny sport, sometimes you can grow in one area very easily and other areas can take you years of experimentation.

Wish me luck.

-John Andre.

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I am not gonna lie, my life is not very exciting right now.

Besides going to work and running a small side business; my life is pretty uneventful.

As of last week, I now have 2 kids under 3 years and now my priorities have changed.

My 30’s started off with a bang; I went to Dublin for St. Patrick’s Day, Spring Break in South Padre, Texas, the Kentucky Derby, Preakness, Sweden, Estonia, etc.

But now my life is pretty limited: I work, work out and take care of my kids.

But that will change.  I still have a bucket list of trips that I want to accomplish, such as Oktoberfest in Germany, but unfortunately they are on a temporary hold.

If I had to predict, I am around 45% done with my life.

All my grandparents lived to 80 years old and my parents are still alive in their early 70s.

I would “think” I should cruise to at least 80 years old, but nothing is guaranteed in life.

Let’s assume that I am 50% done with my life, how do I want to spend the next 25%?

A)  Accumulate assets rapidly. Right now I am on pace to retire, but I would like to accelerate that. The key for me here would be to be more entrepreneurial.

For starters, we are looking to purchase our first home in the Spring.

B) Eat cleaner. If you eat bad food over an extended number of years, you will get heart disease. I already feel like my workouts are on point, so the only thing left is to eat cleaner.

C) Travel more. Traveling is the key to life and there are so many places I would like to see that I cant even count.

So, what about the final 25% of my life? Age 65+?

A) Be able to do whatever I like without regard to my financials. Definitely considering traveling in an RV.

B) Spend time with my children.

C) Continue with my hobbies and do only what I enjoy.

-John Andre

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Well, its looks like my season is over, at least for competitive running.

How did I do this year? Not great, not bad.I achieved most of my winter lifting goals.

I deadlifted over 500lbs pretty easily and I was squatting near 315, ass to the ground of course!

Bench press was slightly more difficult since I dont have a spotter,but even without a workout partner, I was lifting near 300 lbs  With a steady spotter I like to go up to 315 every winter but this year it was just impossible.

For my running, this year had been off and on for me.  I definitely need to change something up in my training for next season, because my times are not improving.

This year I did a 3 mile race in Mid May and ran around 21 minutes flat, and then I did a sprint race in the summer which included the 100 and 200 meters.

I did “ok” considering that I havent sprinted in over 20 years, but my times were not great.

Then this past weekend I did a 5k race that I run every year and I finished it in around 21:55; 20 seconds slower than last year.

I dont expect to get faster every year as I age (39) but I hope with improved training I can lower my times.

One area that I definitely need to improve on, is my diet.  I’ve learned that I cant put on 30lbs during the winter like I used to.  This year, I plan on only adding 10 lbs of extra bodyweight, to a max of 166.

Most likely I will never weigh over 180 lbs again in my life, it’s not healthy and its becoming harder and harder to remove bodyweight as I get older.

Overall, I have a second child coming in 2 weeks, so I will probably start my winter bulk up in a month.

I need to focus on my diet super hard this coming year and include cardio during my bulk up.

I dont know why, but even when I bulk up and gain weight, the cardio workouts help to keep me lean.

I will be posting my bulk up routine soon.

Good luck!

Want to train like I do? Check out one of my 3 training guides on amazon.com.

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I have to admit it, I have been running great recently.

Over Labor Day Weekend I ran outside 3 days in a row and today I burned through a 5k in 19:30 on the treadmile.

To be clear, I havent gone under 20 minutes since I was 18 years old, now I am 39.

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I dont think I am that close to running those times outside, but I am pretty close to busting out some fast ones. Last year my peak was around 21:30 in the 5k and I “should” destroy that.

My plan going forward is to do the treadmile tomorrow, then run outside hard on Saturday and Sunday.

The following wknd I will run one of my favorite 5k races of the year. The course is as flat as a pancake, so just as long as it isnt windy out, I should be able to bust out a fast one.

After that, I basically have 2 more weekends to run a fast race.

My wife is due with our 2nd, and last child on October 2nd, so that will probably end my season.

Overall, I definitely run a lot more than most natural bodybuilders, but I do love it.

There is no better feeling in the world than running a good time and even improving on prior years.

4 or 5 more training sessions and I will see what type of shape I am really in.

John Andre

Want to train like I do? Check out one of my 3 training guides on amazon.com.

It’s hard to believe, but I am going to turn 40 in a couple months.

I was trying to stop obsessing it, but after going to about 4 or 5 different 40th bday parties for my friends in the last several weeks, it’s hard to avoid.

But now with a 2nd child due in October, I recognize more and more the importance that I need to stay alive. And when it comes to staying alive, your diet will always beat out a good workout.

I have also decided that I am not going to bulk up as much in the winter. The years of adding and then taking off 25 lbs of bodyweight are over. Starting at age 40, I only plan on bulking up 10-12 lbs during the winter, and after age 50, I will cut that down to only 5-7 lbs.

As you get older, it gets harder and harder to take off the bodyweight, and to be honest, I dont believe its healthy to be heavy for an extended amount of time.

Overall, my training is going good.  I have some 5k races coming up in the Fall and I have lifting relatively heavy in the gym.

Wish we luck!

-John Andre