Posts Tagged ‘soccer’

I have to be honest, I don’t know if bodybuilding is really a healthy sport.

The dieting and low body fat percentage is probably healthy, but when you take it to the extremely low body fat percentages, it can’t be too good for you.

For myself, I know that when I am looking like a freak, I am also dieting and training like a freak.

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Often when I am training hard and dieting strictly, I don’t feel so well.  It’s not a natural lifestyle.

For health reasons, it’s probably best to have a little bit of body fat.

If you were to look at most of the top athletes, they usually aren’t going to look like a bodybuilder.

They may be very lean; but Lionel Messi or one of the top powerlifters, are not going to have a 3% body fat.

You need some leverage.

I am amazed by how much strength I lose when I cut weight.

This winter I was deadlifting 500 lbs’ relatively easy and now I can barely deadlift 415.

I don’t think that I lost that much muscle, but I lost some leverage.

Same thing with my squat and deadlift.

This past weekend I was in Lancaster, PA on a family vacation and my diet went to shit.

Over 4 days I had pizza, muffins, moon pies, Amish ice cream, car snacks, etc.

I think I peaked on the low-end for my body weight in the middle of August and now I am starting to slowly creep up.

The result?

Not only am I starting to lift a lot heavier, but I have been running like a champ.

Sunday I ran 3 miles outside in 20:10 and today I ran 3 miles on the treadmill in 20:07!

I am finally running some fast times and the only thing I changed, was that I increased my calories.

So what is my recommendation?

Sometimes you need to eat.

If a piece of cake or an ice cream cone on Sunday is going to make you feel that much better when you train, then maybe you need it.

Because working out on 800 calories a day really gets old after a while.

-John Andre

Lift Heavy/Run Fast

As a natural lifter, I need some type of cardio to get cut.  I don’t know how natural lifters are able to get ripped without any cardio and I don’t believe its healthy to remove it from your workout routine.

In my opinion, everyone needs some form of cardio.

The question is what type of cardio and how long.  Also, what type of cardio will remove the most body fat.

Luckily, I have experimented for over 20 years with all different types of cardio.  My personal favorites?

It’s a combination.  Below, I will list the benefits and negatives of different forms of cardio that I have used.

Running (Long distance): I consider over 5 miles long-distance.  I rarely run longer than 3 miles in my training and I only go up to 5 miles for races.  Whenever I have tried adding long distance running, I ended up skinny fat.  Skinny fat is where you are slender but you still carry a large percentage of body fat.

tempo

Sprinting: Sprinting is a really good fat burner, possibly the best in short doses.  Although there are some problems:

sprinting

A) You can only do it for so long.  You can’t sprint every  single day for a year.  You can only do it several months in a year and its typically seasonal.

B) Most people don’t use enough reps.  You can’t just run 100 meters 3 or 4x a week and expect to get ripped, you really need a hard session.

Overall, there are some negatives with sprinting, but when used correctly, it is still one of the best methods to remove body fat.

Tempo runs: This unfortunately has worked the best for me, but, I have found that it is starting to wear my body down.  Tempo runs would be 2-3 mile runs at a fast pace, 3 or 4x a week minimum.  When I am in good shape, I can run these at around a 6:30 per mile pace.

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Racing

The negatives are that it kills my joints, especially my knee’s, and after a while I will start to get skinny fat if my weight lifting goes down.  If you start getting weak in the gym, you need to cut back.

Sports: This can also potentially be the best.  If your diet and weight lifting is on point, there is nothing wrong with playing tennis, basketball or soccer.  Hitting a ball around is good, but a competitive game is better.  You just have to make sure you play 3 or 4x a week otherwise you have to fill in those gaps in with other forms of cardio.

tennis

Bike riding: Zero.  This actually makes me look worse.  It makes my arms tired from holding my body up and then I can’t lift.

bike

Swimming: So/So.  I hate to say this, but swimming doesn’t do it for me.  Top level swimmers get lean but you can’t hold on to any solid muscle mass.

swimming

Kickboxing. Pretty good.  I would just make sure that you take a class AFTER weight lifting so it doesn’t kill your heavy lifting.  My wife is taking kickboxing and she lost 35 lbs in 4 months since my son has been born.

kick

Elliptical. Pretty good.  I’ve been using this as a really good “fill in” cardio workout.  If my legs and joints are hurting, I will do a hard 30 minute elliptical session instead of running.  Its easy on the joints, but doesn’t use the muscles are much as some of the other exercises.  I like that you can basically go non-stop without burning down and it also doesn’t affect my weight training.

elliptical

So, what is the overall winner?

If you NEED to burn body fat, no questions asked, you should start using tempo runs 3 to 4x a week and then start throwing in some sprints immediately after.

If its your offseason, or you don’t want to break your body down, I would recommend a mix of sports, running and elliptical.

Recently, I have been completely mixing it up and I was able to go from 180 lbs down to 150 while also lifting pretty heavy.

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Good luck! And don’t forget, you need to lift heavy.  If your first priority isn’t lifting heavy weights, you wont have anything to cut up after burning off the fat.

-John

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I love running. I have been running races since I was 6-years old and I do not plan on ever stopping.

But do I think its good for children?

Yes and No.

I was discussing this topic the other day with some friends and it turned into a large argument.

What Sports Produce The Best Athletes?

The first sport that comes to my mind is Soccer.  Soccer players do at least an hour of cardio, and probably even more when you consider the warm ups. Soccer includes both sprinting, jumping, jogging and also kicking.  Soccer players are some of the best athletes in the world and they are generally very lean.

Another sport that came to mind was rugby.  Although rugby is not very popular in the United States, I started watching it during a trip to Ireland and I was impressed by how jacked the athletes are.  Rugby players appear to be in the middle between American football players and soccer players when it comes to weight lifting and cardio.

Tennis players are also generally in shape.  They don’t need to use heavy weights in their training, but they do use a ton of sprinting and quick movements.

Swimming is a great heart-healthy cardio, but it doesn’t do much for body building.  My abs are better than Michael Phelps and he has over 20 gold medals.

Baseball: No way

American Football:  The best sport for weight lifting and speed, but the overemphasis on adding size causes many athletes to be overweight.  Certain positions generally have leaner athletes such as wide receivers, corner backs, defensive backs, running backs and some tight ends/defensive ends.

Basketball:  Also really good.  I use basketball as a cardio alternative to running and it is a great sport for staying lean.

Cross country skiing:  Similar to swimming. Heart-healthy, but not ideal for bodybuilding.

Biking:  Heart-healthy, minimal benefit for bodybuilding

So, who are the best athletes in the world?

I am going to go with three choices:

A) Soccer players. Nonstop (Good) cardio, strong core strength.

B) Sprinters: Super lean. Combination of weights, fast cardio and diet.

C) Natural bodybuilders: Great combination of weights, cardio and most importantly, DIET.

What do you think?

-John

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