Posts Tagged ‘squats’

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!

 

 

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Merry Christmas everyone! I have about 7-8 weeks left in my Winter bulk up and I now am officially fat.

Don’t get me wrong.  I have been lifting heavy weights and have been going to the gym 4x a week consistently all year, but I have also gained at least 30 lbs since the Summer.  Some of that weight is muscle but a lot of it is also fat.

I cannot tell a lie, it feels good to be big and strong.  My shirts fit really tight and last week I benched 315 lbs like it was nothing, but there are also some major negatives.

First of all, I noticed that I can’t breathe as well.  Easy tasks such as walking to the bus station for work or lifting furniture, starts to feel so much harder since my breathing is labored.  Obviously, this can’t be too healthy.

The other negative I noticed about being heavy, is that I am starting to snore.  There has to be some connection between being overweight and snoring.  I never snore until I hit my 3rd month of my winter bulk up.  Once again, this also can’t be too healthy.

Overall, my bulk up is going great this year.  I don’t want to fool people into thinking that I am just becoming an overweight lifter, but there are some obvious side affects of gaining weight.

I turned 38 years old today and I also have to think about high blood pressure and the heart attack risk.

As I get older, I will obviously have to bulk up a lot cleaner and maybe not bulk up as much.  But as long as I am in my late 30’s and early 40’s, I feel safe bulking up in the winter, just as long as I come down in the Summer.

I am off from work this week and only plan on going to the gym twice, but starting next week, it is game on until the end of my winter bulk up.  I am going to try a traditional powerlifting routine for the last several weeks.  So far, I have reached my deadlift and bench press goals, the only one’s left are squats and shoulders.

I will keep everyone updated.

-John

 

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

Check out my books on amazon.com!

!Lift Heavy/Fun Fast on Amazon.com! 

 

I have been training really good recently.  I finally have a new training partner to spot me in bench press (It’s been 2 years) and I am hitting some strong summer numbers.

I lost almost 25 lbs this year since the winter and this “should” be the time of the year that I am weakest.  Surprisingly, I have had a strength surge recently.

The only idea I can think of that led to my recent strength surge, is that I cut down on any long-distance running.  I was feeling burnt out again, so I decided to switch to sprinting and basketball only.

Just to give you an example, I almost benched 295 at 152lbs of bodyweight today.  I am really close to doubling my body weight in bench press.

Since I have been lifting so good, I am actually considering competing in powerlifting again.

Powerlifting is the best type of training.  Even if you aren’t going to compete, the powerlifting lifts are the best way to maintain strength.

Bodybuilding is an obscure sport.  The majority of people going to the gym are never going to be bodybuilders nor will they ever have a 6-pack.  Those people should be training for strength only, along with a little bit of cardio.

Being strong has a practical purpose.  Whether it’s picking up your child, carrying groceries or climbing stairs when you are 60.  Staying strong is very important and the best way to stay strong, is to incorporate power training.

Do you need bodybuilding in your life? Not really.

The dieting and training is healthy, but it’s not a very practical lifestyle.

Marathon running is even worse, it not, the worst.

Try incorporating some power training into your routine.  It is the best way to build any mass and the training is the most practical when it comes to using weights.

Hope everyone is enjoying the end of the summer.  Please check out my new book on amazon.com!

Lift Heavy/Fun Fast on Amazon.com!

 

I know this article is going to cause a decent amount of “hate”, but I DO NOT recommend using squats unless you are one of the following people:

  • Under 30 years old
  • Training for competitive sports, ex Football, track and field, skiing, etc.

For everyone else, you should probably just skip it.

So, why do I recommend that people avoid squatting?

Because 90% of people are using the wrong form.  When you use the wrong form during squatting you are either going to A) Get hurt or B) Not grow

Now don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that squats don’t work.  They are probably one of the top 3 most effective exercises for putting on overall mass, but they are also the most dangerous.

Even squatting with only ONE spotter is dangerous.  I have competed in around 10-15 power lifting competitions in my life and when I start going heavy in squats I prefer to have 3 spotters instead of 1.

But if you aren’t an athlete and  you just want to add some size to your legs, I wouldn’t even waste my time with squats.  Squatting is too technical; from the placement of the bar, the leg width and most importantly, the execution.

Instead of squatting, you should focus on heavy leg presses.

With the leg press you can load the machine as heavy as you want and more importantly, you don’t really need a spotter.

Is the leg press as good as squats? No.  But since you are most likely not squatting correctly anyway, it might be better for you.

The form in the leg press is easy to learn, just go all the way down and all the way up, without bouncing off the bottom.  Surprisingly, I even see a lot of people using the leg press incorrectly and not going down low enough.

For myself personally, I gave up on squatting.  Every time I would start working up to a heavy weight I would either lose some of my training spotters or I would hurt my back and knees.  It’s a great exercise for adding mass and strength, but now that I am not competing, I just stick to the leg press.

My current routine for legs is 5 sets of leg press, 2 sets of leg extensions and 6 set of calves (twice a week).

That’s all I need to add size in my legs.  I’ve been taking my legs really serious this year, especially the calves, and I want to put on some serious size for next summer.

Remember, when you wear shorts the calves are usually the only part of your legs that are visible, so you really need to destroy them.

Check out my latest book on amazon.com!

-John

26 years old, in my power lifting prime : )  182 lbs….