Posts Tagged ‘sports’

I have been following bodybuilding for a long time.

I don’t consider myself a huge fan because of the steroid aspect involved, but after going to the gym for so long, I have no choice but to passively follow the sport.

When I first started bodybuilding, the great Lee Haney was retiring and Dorian Yates was just taking over.

dorian

I was never a big fan of Dorian’s.  His physique looked unattainable to me and as you can see today, he is in horrible shape after retiring.

dorian today

But I don’t want to hate.  He was the best in the world for several consecutive years at one point and I haven’t won shit.

It’s funny, but almost every year for the last 25 years+, there is always one bodybuilder who says he is going to “take a year off” then come back stronger.

It happens in a lot of sports.

Guys retire, then try to come back.

Or at least in bodybuilding, they think they are going to “bulk up” harder with a year off and then come back and beat everyone.

It always causes excitement.

But sorry to break it to you, it never works.

Competition is important.  If you want to improve as an athlete, you need to step up to the plate and compete against other humans.

The year off bullshit never works.

I don’t care if its running, powerlifting, bodybuilding or boxing.

It NEVER WORKS.

This year I took a 7 month break from cardio and I let my diet slip a little.  I am in shock by how hard it is to remove the body fat I put on.

My new rule for life: Do not take breaks!

I don’t care if you are studying for exams, working on a promotion or trying to get married.

Keep pushing until you reach your goal.

-John Andre.

Book 3 coming out this summer!

Lift Heavy/Run Fast

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This year I took a chance.

From Oct 1st to the middle of February I did almost close to zero cardio.

ZERO.

But I did lift heavy.  I got my deadlift up to around 535 and my bench press up to 325. Those are decent numbers for me and I was very satisfied with my winter bulk up.

But I did notice a negative affect of skipping cardio for so long, my body accumulated too much fat.

Fat is tough to remove.

The process of removing bodyfat is slow and grinding and in all reality, you are better off never adding it on to begin with.

This year I am finally starting to look pretty good.  I was hoping to peak around August 1st, but I think since I went so long in my bulk up, that I will probably peak around Labor Day.

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But overall, one thing is for certain.

“I need to do cardio all year round”

Next winter as I gain weight and start to powerlift heavy again, I need to continue adding some cardio into my routine.

Although cardio does affect my power to some extent, the amount of bodyfat that it prevents from building up is worth it.

-John Andre

Book 3 coming out this summer!

Lift Heavy/Run Fast

One thing I have noticed in bodybuilding and in other area’s of life, is that when I am ready to give up, I am usually close to a goal.

I don’t know if it’s a mental block, but it took me a long time to work out around it.

Now when I start to feel run down and discouraged, I will start to push it a little harder.

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Last summer I was into the middle of July and I still didn’t look super cut.

Don’t get me wrong, I always have a 6-pack, but I didn’t feel like I was in my best condition.

At that point I decided to increase the cardio, straighten up my diet and I cut another 5 lbs.

By the time August rolled around I was finally looking like a champion.

JASUMMERPICTURE-MIX

One area I need to change for next year, Is that I need my diet to become more strict during my bulk up.

I don’t care if I need to eat 5 cans of tuna fish like a whale, I need to cut out the crap food and also do a little bit of cardio year round.

This year, I am feeling a lot like I did last year.   I look good, but I still have a little bit to go before I consider myself a super stud.

I need to cut another 5 or 6 lbs, add some more sprinting and tighten up the diet.

It is going to be tough.  But whenever I start to push for that last 5-10% is when I really start to look like professional.

-John Andre

Lift Heavy/Run Fast

I like the summer, but I don’t enjoy the oppressive heat.

sprinting

I am more of an early Fall, late Spring type of guy.

When it is too Hot (July) or too cold (January), sometimes I just don’t feel like doing anything.

Today I woke up planning on running outside at 9 am.  It is supposed to reach 98 degrees today in NYC, so I figured I would get ahead of the curve and go for a nice morning run.

Of course my son decides to sleep in late and then he wanted two hours straight of play time.

After play time we realized that he was out of food, so then we had to drive up to the supermarket and back.

By the time I made it outside it was 12:30 pm and around 98 degrees out.

I actually felt “OK”.  The first mile went by quickly in 6:15 but after I started the 2nd mile (which is on a hill) I had to stop.

It was just too hot out.  About 3/4 into a large hill I was starting to get dizzy and that’s when I decided to pull the plug and start walking.

When I was 21-years old, I would just plow right through a workout like this and complete it a near death.

Not that I am in my late 30’s, I would rather live to fight another day.  I can just run a hard one tomorrow and not sweat as much.

Overall, I don’t love running outside in July.  Even though it is the warmest month of the year and the least amount of rain, it just isn’t fun for me.

August gets a “little bit” better, especially late August around Labor Day.  And then of course my favorite time of year to run, The Fall.

Sept, Oct and November are the absolute best times of year to run outside.  I usually finish my season with a big race in the Fall before I start bulking up and power lifting for the Winter.

One big change I want to make this year, is that I want to “force” myself to get out more in July,  Although I am not enjoying myself as much and it can be very uncomfortable, if I can survive 30 days of training, it should help me run a fast race in the Fall.

I am going away on vacation next week, and I think I may try to run 4 or 5 times outside.

It’s going to be tough, but it helps to keep my lean, I get a suntan and I should be able to bust out a fast time in the next couple month

-John Andre.

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

 

It is officially GAME ON.

If you haven’t started training hard yet, I am sorry to tell you this, but it is probably over.

You will not look good this summer.

At best, you can lose 10 lbs between now and Labor Day weekend.

But my blog isn’t for chumps, I want to meet champions!

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My goal for July 4th was 155 lbs.  I “should” hit that pretty easy if I start kicking butt.

But goals aren’t made to just reached, they are made to be blown up and surpassed.

My lowest body weight this season has been 156.6 lbs, I would love to break 155 lbs this week.

It is going to take a very strict diet and I need to push my cardio hard this week.

Weights every single day, Monday to Friday and cardio on Tues, Wends, Thurs, Sat and Sunday.

Next week I will do weights on Monday and Tuesday and then it’s July 4th.

I always look ripped on July 4th, although I usually don’t peak until the middle of August.

JASUMMERPICTURE-MIX

The summer diet is always tough, but it’s all worth it when you look like a champion.

God bless America!

-John Andre

Lift Heavy/Run Fast

I am a big fan of the show “Pawn Stars”.

Pawn_Stars_cast

If you have never seen it, it’s about a family that owns a pawn store on the Vegas Strip where people bring all types of crazy historical items to sell.

What I like about the show, is that they really get into the history of the items being sold.  They discuss who made it, the year, the popularity, etc.

And when they occasionally make an offer to buy an item, they always question the conditioning.

Is it in mint condition or is it torn up and aged?

The conditioning is what really determines the value.

I was watching the show the other day and a guy brought in an antique toy from the 1950’s.

Old-fashioned toys are very popular, but then again, it depends on the conditioning.

If you are missing the box or if some of the components are rusted; then you will never get top value for it.

It’s also the same with baseball cards.  Someone also brought in a rare baseball card and it reminded me of when I started collecting cards in the late 80’s.

When I was in elementary school in the 1980’s, I used to go to card shows and buy and trade from my collection.  As of today, I still have two sets of the full 1988 Topps season and I realized that I started my baseball card collection exactly 30 years ago.

Wow, am I getting old.

Yet, I still have the same legs, arms, veins, heart and every other major organ since 1988.

Similar to my baseball cards, are they still in mint condition?

Can I still run at a fast speed? Can I throw a baseball, jump and swim?

Are my arteries unclogged and my cholesterol still low? Or am I close to a major heart attack.

What type of value am I really worth?

I am really any different from an antique that they sell on pawn stars?

Let’s face it.   If you don’t keep yourself in mint condition, then you ain’t worth sh&t.

Eat healthy.

Lift weights

Cardio.

Until you die.

-John Andre

Lift Heavy/Run Fast

It is finally starting to get hot in NYC and summer is right around the corner.

My training has been going good.  I went from a peak of 185 lbs around Feb 1st, all the way down to 156.5 this week.

I am also running 3 miles in around 20 minutes and I just started adding some sprinting.

So what is left at this point?

Not much.

I definitely need a tan.  I just started training with my shirt off, so I am slowly starting to build a base tan.  Skin cancer aside, it is almost impossible to get ripped without some type of dark tan.

I also need to sprint more.  I have only sprinted 2 or 3x and it is going to take about 30 sprint workouts before I am in really good shape.  I am still running pretty slow but I should start to quickly improve in that category.

I can also lose some more weight.  I want to cut about another 7lbs, which doesn’t seem like a lot, but it is when you weigh 156.

When you weight 240 lbs, 7 lbs is nothing. But for myself, that is another 5% of my body weight.

Overall, I am looking good but I am not in freak shape yet.  It is going to take some more hard training and dieting to get to the level where I feel like a monster.

Tomorrow is just deadlift and upper back, but the weekend is going to be all cardio including some sprinting.

Almost there! Summer is right around the corner!

-John Andre

Lift Heavy/Run Fast

This has been a solid year so far.

My winter bulk up went smoothly; I hit 315 lbs in the bench press and 535 for the deadlift.

And I also went up to 185 lbs in body weight.

Now I am down to 156.5 in body weight and I am finally starting to look good.  My plan is to go down to 150lbs at my summer peak which is typically in Mid-August.

The only problem I have noticed, is that it is taking my a lot longer to get back into running shape.

I wouldn’t say that I am running bad; I am running under 21 minutes for 3-miles.  But I am not progressing as fast as I would like.

I was hoping to run 3-miles in at least 19 or maybe even 18 minutes this summer.

One permanet change that I need to impliment, is that I need to have a “cleaner” bulk up.

My goal in the winter was to hit 185 lbs of bodyweight and I did reach it, but I also ate a lot of “unhealthy” food.

It’s hard to gain 30 lbs by just eating clean, but since I am not going any younger, I think I need to suck it up and eat better next year.

Whether is is 8-hard boiled eggs, or 5 gains of tuna fish per day, I need to eat cleanly.

No more bagels, no more muffins (my weakness), less pizza, less beer and less ice cream.

I still eat pretty healthy during the winter, but I definetly let myself cheat to gain weight.

The other problem I have, is that I didn’t do any cardio at all for 6 months.

My main focus this year was just to gain strength, but I believe going foward, I need to start adding some form of cardio all year-round.

It doesn’t have to be hard core sprinting and interval running, but I need some type of consistent cardio all-year round.

Overall, my Spring training has been going pretty good.  I am starting to get pretty cut and I should be looking good on July 4th.

All I have left is to lose 5 extra lbs, add some more sprints and continue to lift hard.

Good luck!

-John Andre.

Lift Heavy/Run Fast

July 4th is a great holiday.

Not only is it the biggest American holiday over the summer, but it is also a patriotic and symbolic occasion.

As we honor those that have served and sacrified, I am also reminded of American exceptionalism.

Although the world is becoming smaller than ever, there are still certain American characteristics that make this country unique.

One the biggest difference that I find between Americans and the rest of the world, is our proud tradition of “individualism“.

We are not scared to be individuals.

Although soccer may never become a very popular sport in the United States, a sport like bodybuilding has always been popular and the U.S. has traditionally been a world leader.

One of the greatest examples of American invividualism and exceptionalism would be with Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Although I have better abs than him, Arnold’s life truly embodies the American dream.

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He emigrated to the United States as a young man, at one point became the highest paid movie star in the world, and he is generally considered the greatest bodybuilder of all time.

When I think of the 4th of July, I think of people like Arnold Schwarzenegger.

I don’t know what it is, but I love getting ripped for the 4th of July.

jabeer

Ripped abs

There is just something about drinking a Budweiser, eating a Nathan’s hot dog and ripping my shirt off on the beach and showing what can be achieved with hard work.

God bless the United States!

-John Andre

Lift Heavy/Run Fast