Posts Tagged ‘Running’

A lot of people call bodybuilders obsessed and I have often been called that myself.

But, I don’t think that’s fair.

Don’t get me wrong, if you won’t touch a piece of cake at your own wedding, then yes, you might need to loosen up.

But make no doubt about it, working out and dieting are the most important aspects of your life and you need to take it serious.

You aren’t worth much dead and nothing will stop your aging in your tracks like exercise and a proper diet.

This is a picture from my wedding last year at age 37.  Since I started dieting around age 28, my aging has been minimal.

_O5C0056

I am only 2 years away from my 40th birthday and I am amazed by how I was able to stop my aging.

40 is definitely the new 30, but I want to make it the new 25.

20160715_065110

Although I look young for my age, just because you look a certain way, doesn’t mean you are necessarily healthy.

In your teens and 20’s you can get away with almost anything, but that becomes a whole new ballgame when you get older, especially if you have an unhealthy diet.

Since I reached my mid-30’s, I have numerous friends that have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, cholesterol, and I also know two coworkers that have had mini strokes.

The economic aspect of your health is also significant.

I don’t know about your insurance, but my son cost me $6,500 for his delivery this year and if I end up sick, my bill is going to hit our family max of $10K out of pocket.

These costs also may include missed days of work, loss of promotions and opportunities,  and the high costs of prescription drugs, etc.

Trust me on this, being unhealthy can hurt your career.

It’s unfortunate, but “ageism” does exist in this country.  When interviewing between a healthy looking 42-year old person and someone at the same age who appears in bad shape, it helps to look healthy.  People notice, as unfair as that may sound.

Being in good help also helps with fertility, and trust me, once you get married this is a big one.  I feel “blessed” that my wife was able to have her first child at 36.  For our 2nd child, my wife will be between 38-40, god willing.

Time is not on our side, but keeping a healthy lifestyle does help.

And finally, probably the most important part about working out and dieting, is the quality of life.

Sure, you can possibly sit on the couch and life to 95-years old, but what kind of retirement is that?

Wouldn’t you rather be able to dead lift 400 lb’s at age 70?

Or run a half marathon at age 75?

Play 2 hours of tennis in the middle of the summer at age 80?

Get on a plane to see the running of the bulls in Spain as an 82-year old?

Take your grand kids to the park and play basketball at 79?

There are a ton of people who can’t even do that at age 40 and its sad.

Now remember, you don’t need to become obsessed, but you need to take it serious.

Diet, weights, cardio.  The trifecta of healthy lifting.

95% of the time, the trifecta should work.

Otherwise, we leave it all up to a higher power.

Jesus-w-guy

-John

Check out my book on amazon.com!

I love running.  I have been running on and off for over 20 years and I love the sport.

But it wears me out.

For some reason, no matter how hard I try, I cannot run for an entire year straight.  I can run hard for 4-6 months tops and then my body and central nervous system needs a break.

Many runners never take off,  I don’t know how they do it.

Weight training is different.  I have been weight lifting for 20 years straight and I never take off.  I won’t always set records and sometimes I have nagging injuries, but I never feel burnt out from weight lifting.

This summer I am slowly getting back into running, but to be honest, I’m not really feeling it.  As an alternative, I have been trying to get back into basic sports.

Basketball and tennis.

What’s wrong with using sports instead of running? Cardio is cardio.

I played an hour of 3 on 3 basketball last week in 90 degree heat and it felt harder than a 8-mile run.

But more importantly, it’s fun.  Running can get really boring after a while.

So, what it is my advice? Don’t forget about sports.  There is nothing wrong with playing tennis 3x a week or going swimming.  You might even burn off more fat than any type of running.

-John

P.S. I have my 2nd book coming out on amazon in two weeks!

This was a good weekend for working out.  I FINALLY was able to sneak onto a track in Staten Island and run some sprints.

For some reason Staten Island locks down all of the public High School tracks so that nobody can use them.  (I’m from Brooklyn)

And I was able to run (6) 200 meter runs in the blazing heat.

After only several intervals, I remembered why I love sprinting for burning off the fat.

After the run my body was in complete pain!

I also like running tempo runs, but after you get into good shape, I can run 3 miles in 21 minutes without breaking a sweat.

With sprinting, it never really gets easy. And if it does get easy, you aren’t running hard enough,

After I got home from the track I felt like playing basketball, so I went down to the courts near my house.  I planned on taking it easy and shooting around for an hour until some kids asked me to join a 3 on 3 game.

I haven’t played in a game in over 5 years and again I was hurting.

Playing basketball outside in the July heat is no joke.

Saturday’s complete workout: 6 X 200 meter sprints on the track followed by 3 on 3 basketball.

My plan for this upcoming week is to stay on my diet.  I want to hit 155 lbs’ this week and cut another 5 before the end of the summer.  My abs are starting to pop and I think another couple lbs and I should start looking pretty ripped.

-John

My training has been weird this year.  My son was born in mid-April and that killed part of my spring training momentum, but besides that, I have been almost injury free and reaching good numbers.

I have been working out for almost 20 years now and I’ve noticed something important; I need heavy weight lifting.  Without lifting heavy weights my body doesn’t grow and I notice it even more when I cut up for the summer.

It’s hard to cut up when you don’t have any muscle.

The last couple years I have been able to get really cut, but I feel like I have been missing out on the thick mass that I used to have.

20161113_211403

10 years ago I was benching 345 and deadlifting 580.  Now I am barely hitting 300 lb bench press’s in the winter.

Part of my decrease in strength has been from nagging injuries and the other part has been from the fact that I don’t bulk up as much.

But, If I had to choose the two most important area’s in bodybuilding, it is heavy weight lifting and dieting.

If you can lift heavy and diet down correctly, you should be able to get ripped.

I am not saying that cardio isn’t that important, it is, but for myself the cardio is just the last 10%,

The cardio removes the final body fat for me and also tightens up the skin.

But in reality, the heavy weight lifting and diet is more important.

Case in point, if you only did cardio, you would probably look horrible.  You can get away with only sprinting, but long-distance running without weight lifting will build the worst looking physique you can have.

I should have some summer pics up soon.  I am trying to cut another 5-8 lbs and then peak in August.

New book coming out in a couple of weeks!

-John

I firmly believe that if you are a natural lifter, you need to lose weight.  There is just no other way to burn the fat off.

The best part about losing weight is that it is very easy in the beginning.

If you have never been on a bodybuilding diet, the first couple weeks of dieting are a piece of cake.

From just adding some basic cardio routines and changing your diet, you should be able to cut some easy weight.

The real challenge is several weeks later when your body fat percentage is low.

When you start going from slightly ripped to very ripped, it gets really hard to burn off any body fat.

JASUMMERPICTURE-MIX

I am already working out in the gym 4 days a week and running for 4-5.  Even with all of that hard training, I am going to have to start upping my effort if I want to get ripped.

I have gotten my bodyfat percentage to an insanely low-level several times in my life and each time there was a familiar pattern.

I was training like a lunatic.

20160715_065110

This year has been a little bit hard.  I been working two jobs, which isn’t too bad, but then my first son was born in April.

I am still making it to the workouts, but I don’t have the time to put in the crazy insane effort like I used to.

The good news is that he is starting to finally sleep better and I am increasing my efforts.

Today I weighed in at 157 lbs and I am in decent shape, but I still want to cut down to 150.  I think because I got a late start this year, I should peak around mid August.

For July 4th, I want to at least touch the 155’s.  Tomorrow I am going to work out legs at lunch and then I am going to try to kill it with some cardio after work.

A double session tomorrow and I should have a solid chance of getting into the 155lb range.

After July 4th, it is just super hard training up until October.

How is everyone else’s training going?

-John

As most of you already know, this week was the summer solstice and now we are officially into summer.

As I have stated before, if you haven’t started losing weight yet, you probably aren’t going to look good this summer.

I have cut down from 176 lbs in the winter down to 156!  I plan on losing another 6 lbs and maxing out at 150 lb’s.

Right now I am focusing hard on diet and cardio.  I am trying my best to get at least 3-4 hard cardio sessions in a week and I am also trying my best not to cheat on my diet.

This year I am peaking slightly later in the Summer than the last several years and I should look my best in the middle of August.

I know I have posted an pictures in a long time, but I should have some new one’s after July 4th weekend.

The only thing I am really missing now is a solid tan.

Skin cancer aside, a good tan is very important and unfortunately, nothing is better than the actual sun.

When I get really tan, my skin starts to shrink around my muscles like plastic wrap.

This year I might get a solid base tan from the sun, then I will finish it off with a spray tan.

It’s been hard to get outside this year.  Besides working two jobs and an infant at home, I just don’t have time in my day to sit outside and work on my tan.

Hopefully I can get outside more in the next couple weeks.

Although, I don’t except to make any strength gains at my light body weight, I do expect to improve in my cardio times.

For example, today I ran 1 1/2 miles in 9:45 (6:33 per mile pace)

I would love to get that under 9 minutes and get my mile under 6.

How is everyone else doing?

P.S. I have my 2nd book coming out within the next 2 weeks!

-John

This has been a tough running year for me.  Actually, the entire last 9 months has been tough.

About 2 years ago I was in really good running shape and I was getting close to reaching my College times. But recently I have regressed.

One of the problems is that I have been running on the treadmill more.

My son was born in April and since then, I have been doing only treadmill during the week.  On the weekends, I have been trying to get outside but sometimes the weather in the Spring is just horrible.

I’ve noticed that my treadmill time is usually about 10-20 seconds faster per mile than when I run outside.

For example, if you can run 3 miles in 21:00 minutes on a treadmill, then you should run around 21:30-22:00 minutes outside.

But although the treadmill helps for running outside, the muscles used are completely different.

Today I did a Father’s Day race in NYC just to see what type of shape I am in and I ran horrible.  Probably my worst time in 5 years.

The first mile felt okay, but then after that I died out.

Using the treadmill just doesn’t use the muscles as much.  If I want to get back into outdoor running shape, I am going to need to run outside more.

But, there is a weird flip side to this argument.

I think the treadmill might be better for bodybuilding.

A) The treadmill is less impact, by a lot.  I can run hard on the treadmill all the time without getting super sore.

B) If might be better for bodybuilding.  This year I have been sprinting and jumping pretty good (basketball) and I think it might be because I’m not running outside so much.

So who knows? Is the treadmill the cardio of the future?  I still like going outside to run.  It’s better for a tan, sprinting and also it’s nice to be outside.

I think from this point forward I am going to force myself to get outside more.  There are several good races in the Fall that I would love to run.

How is everyone else doing?

-John

Check out my new book on amazon.com!

I am assuming that most people know that June 21st is the first “official” day of summer.

For myself, I have always tried to get my body fat down for Memorial Day weekend.  When I was in College, Memorial Day weekend was always the first good weekend after the Spring semester was over.

Now that I am years out of College, I am starting to change my goal “in shape” date to July 4th.

When I get really cut for Memorial Day weekend, it always feels a little premature.  Going forward I am going to try to look good for July 4th and then peak in the middle of August.

Also, a large part of bodybuilding is having a good tan and until I make it out to the beach a couple of times, I will not get tan enough.

I also need to cut the weight.  This week I weighed in at 158lbs.  That is almost a 20lb loss since St Patrick’s day, but I still need to lose some more.

This year I would like to just dip under 150.  That should coincide with my peak cardio conditioning in Mid to Late August.

Overall, if you haven’t cut any weight, you NEED to start asap. There is really no other way to get cut and burn off fat, if you aren’t willing to lose weight.

Cardio.

Diet.

Hard Training.

-John

My “problem”  that I have with modern bodybuilding is that many athletes are not really “in shape”.

So what does “in shape” mean?

At a minimum, you should be able to play a full court basketball game or at least a full game of singles tennis.

You should also be able to run without having to catch your breath.

And your vitals should be good.  That means regular blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose.

I “allow” myself to get a little bit overweight in the winter, but that is ONLY for 2-3 months and never for an extended amount of time.

Most of the time, I will also continue doing cardio throughout the entire winter.

Lifting heavy weights doesn’t get you in shape.  Lifting weights is the easy part and unless you are powerlifting, you probably aren’t even going very heavy.

Don’t forget to stay in shape.  Bulking up forever can get you in big trouble going forward.

Too many heavy weight lifters in the gym, not enough guys in shape.

Don’t forget your cardio

Don’t forget your diet

-John

Check out my book on amazon.com!

People, especially women, ask me all the time if I have more energy when I am in good shape.

My first response is usually “no, I’m exhausted”.  When I am training hard, I am tired all the time and I get sick the most often.

But, now that I am finally starting to get into pretty good shape, I realized that I do have a ton of energy.

I’m just cranky.

When I am at work and the day is dragging, I get into the worst moods.  I feel lethargic, I don’t want to speak to anyone and I generally feel moody.

But as soon as I get out of the office, I feel supercharged.

After tomorrow, I would have completed 8 training sessions this week already.  That’s back to back sessions, 4x during the workweek.

I am also going to workout on Saturday and Sunday, for 10 sessions in one full week.

I also started taking the train for extra cardio, instead of the bus, and I noticed on my walking app, that I am up to 4.5 miles a day of just walking.

So, maybe I do have a ton of energy.

I have been training more.  I have been blogging more.

It’s a good time of year to be in shape!

-John

Check out my book on amazon.com!