Posts Tagged ‘summer’

Recently, it has been hard to get my workouts in.  I haven’t really missed any days, but I’ve been very overtired between working two jobs and having an infant at home.

But, no excuses.

My routine this Spring has been weights 4x a week at lunch, with cardio 2x after work and one extra cardio day on the weekend.

Because I do not have a ton of time to train, especially after work, I have been using the time I do have to train INTENSELY.

For my 2 cardio sessions during the week, I only train for 30 minutes each.

Basically, I have been running straight to the gym as soon as I get out of work, strip down in 3 minutes and then run as hard as I can for 20 minutes.  Afterwards,  I throw my clothes back on, grab my work bag and run straight to my ferry.

The results have been great so far!  Since I don’t have a lot of time, I don’t screw around.

Yesterday I ran a half mile at a 6:22 pace, followed by another half mile at a 7:15 pace,  and kept going using faster and slower intervals until I reached 3 miles.  By the end of the workout I was drenched with sweat.

I’m really amazed that some people still don’t work out.  I have a wife and a one-month old son and the last thing I need is to die early because I am too lazy to exercise.

Only 30 minutes a day can make a ton of difference.

Even if you don’t want to run, add 30 minutes of weight lifting

30 minutes of walking

30 minutes of biking

Skip dinner once in a while and cut some pounds.

There are no excuses…

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-John

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Do ab workouts help you build a 6-pack? This is a dilemma that has perplexed bodybuilders for generations.

So what is the answer?

I’ve you listen to most of the bodybuilding forums online, almost everyone will tell you not to train your abs individually.

Well, guess what? Arnold Schwarzenegger trained his abs individually.  Was he wrong?

Are you more cut than Arnold Schwarzenegger?

Personally, I have tried working out my abs every single day and I have also tried not training them at all.

I find that it helps to train them.

Don’t get me wrong, heavy squats, leg press, deadlifts and overhead lifts will train your abs better than any crunch or sit up, but I feel that it still helps to train them individually.

The real main key in building a 6-pack is to get your body fat percentage low.

I see guys in the gym all the time spending time training their abs, when in reality, they will never get a 6-pack at their current body fat.

Without getting lean, your abs will never show.

You need to lift weights

You need to do cardio

And you need to diet

Overall, when you train your abs correctly and you diet down your body fat, if should look something like this.

JASUMMERPICTURE-MIX

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May is officially here!  It has been a crazy couple months for me but now the Summer is right around the corner.

I have spent the last several months studying (and passing) for a licensing test at work and then several weeks later my son was born!

Typically, I start my summer diet around St. Patrick’s Day, +/- a week or two depending on my body weight.

This year I am already down 14 lbs from my peak weight of 178 and I have been adding cardio to my workouts 3-4x a week.

Although my training has been going good, I am still 2-3 weeks behind from the shape that I would like to be in.  Traditionally, I always try to be in “beach ready” shape by Memorial Day weekend.

Living in the North East (NYC), Memorial Day weekend was always considered the first party weekend of the summer.

By the end of May I should be able to reach the proper body weight that I want, but I am still slightly behind on the shape I want to be in.

At this time of year I would like my mile to be under 6 minutes, my 3 mile time to be around 21 and I also want to be sprinting consistently.

May is the time of year to TAKE CARE OF BUSINESS.

No more screwing around, I want to kill my body this month.

I still remember my senior year of High School when I was running track and field.  I had a disappointing winter season and I was depressed that my last season was coming to an end and I didn’t win any races.

We had a week and half off from school for Easter break and I decided to go nuts.

Over a 10-day break I went to the gym and track for 9 days in a row and just killed myself with some brutal workouts.

When I came back from vacation I was in the best shape of my life.

I won 3 of my first 4 races and I took 5-6 seconds off my 400 meter time.

It’s very easy to get complacent in your training.  Plenty of people show up to the gym consistently for years, but barely make any process.  They are just maintaining.

Not this year.

And not under my watch.

I have no excuses.  My son is born and god-willing seems to be a healthy boy so far.

The weather is getting nice out.

Time to reclaim my throne as the KING!

JASUMMERPICTURE-MIX

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I finally broke the 170 lb mark this week and I am officially down 10 lb’s since my summer bulk up.

If you are a natural lifter, like I am, then you NEED to lose weight to get cut.  I just don’t see any other way to remove body fat unless you lose weight.

This year I am trying to “work” the weight off instead of just starving myself.

In previous years, I would cut my calories down drastically and lose the 20-25 lbs that I need to get cut, but I also noticed something weird.

When I lose the weight from hard training, if makes a big difference in my physique, compared to just starving it off.

Don’t get me wrong, I always train hard with weights when I am cutting weight. But this year I want to lose weight from harder cardio work outs, more intense weight lifting, strict dieting and becoming an overall better athlete.

I always said that your body will look the way you train.  Just as a chain smoker or an iron worker is going to have a certain look to them, so will someone that is training hard.

And when you get it all right, it should look something like this.

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I am only several weeks into my Spring Training work out and I am already starting to get fast.

My goal this year was to run 3 miles in under 21 minutes and I want to run 400 meters (One lap around a track) in under 1 minute.

Last week I ran 3 miles in 21:07, but unfortunately I haven’t been able to train on an outdoor track since the last snow storm in NYC.

I am also starting to lose weight.

This year I bulked up to 178 lbs and tonight I weighed in at 171 after work.  My goal is to start April 1st at 170 lbs and then keep cutting down until I am under 155.

April and May are when I lose the majority of my body fat and I have slowly started to tighten up my diet.

If you haven’t started your cardio or cutting down on your calories you better start NOW, if you want to get ripped this (more…)

Spring is finally here!  The sun is out longer, the birds are chirping and the snow is finally start to melt in beautiful Staten Island.  So what does it mean for most bodybuilders?

Its time for Spring Training.

Time to increase the cardio, decrease the calories and remove all of the body fat.

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Since January 1st I have been INSANELY busy. Between getting slammed at work, I also studied and finally passed a licensing exam at work and my wife is also 8 and 1/2 months pregnant.

Fortunately, none of this had any affect on my training, but it did affect my blogging.  Now that some of my schedule has cleared up, it’s time to kick it into another gear and start getting serious.

This year I want to focus on retaining my mass.  I feel like the last several years I have been cutting my calories too low and losing too much mass when I get cut up.  I never have a problem getting a 6-pack, but I want to also keep some solid muscle after I cut down.

My motto this year is “burn off the bodyfat, don’t starve it off” And by that, I mean that my workouts need to be harder and more consistent, so that I cut my body fat more from the gym and less from the kitchen.

Don’t get me wrong; I understand the importance of dieting, especially when it comes to getting cut.  But, I feel like I have more potential in becoming a better athlete through my training, than I do from just dieting down every summer.

This is my premliminary training  program for this season:

Monday: Chest/foremars

Tuesday: Legs, calves, cardio

Wendsday: Back

Thursday: Cardio

Friday: Shoulders, calves

Saturday: Cardio

One of my goals are to run 3 miles in at under 21 minutes and I also want to start doing more sprinting on the track.  When you get older (37) you don’t lose as much stamina as you do speed.

Rarely, do you see someone in their 30’s or 40’s working on their speed.  All across N.Y.C I see ton’s of people my age outside using long and slow distance running, but the truth is when you get older, stamina and endurance aren’t the problem.

You need to work on your speed.

Another area I want to work on hard are my back and calves.

For my back; I am going to focus on shrugs, bent over rows and weighted chins.   My shrugs need to be over 450lb’s and on occasion, I can do chinups with over 70 lbs hanging off me.

For the other bodyparts, I just want to maintain as much strength and mass as possible.  Right now I am around 172 lbs and I plan on losing at least 20.  With that amount of body weight loss, it’s inevitable that I am going to experience some strength losses, but I still want to be able to throw up some decent numbers at a low bodyweight.

And finally, I have a second book coming out soon that goes into my philopophy of heavy lifting and fast running.

My 3rd book is going to be about using sprint workouts to remove bodyfat.  Sprinting is the holy grail of cardio for body fat loss and it is very underutilized in this country.

Good luck.

-John

I know that my blog is called “Workout and Travel”, but all that I have been writing about recently is working out.

In my defense; it’s freezing cold out in NYC and my wife is 5 months pregnant.

We can do some traveling of course, but to be honest, we have started making the slow transition to becoming parents and we don’t plan on traveling much until after child-birth.  We are also in the process of moving to larger apartment and purchasing a new car soon.

Getting ready for a child is a lot of work and we don’t plan on going anywhere major next year until the summer.

My life was very different before I got married.  Before I got married I was traveling almost once a month and I was starting to visit Europe on a regular basis.  To my surprise, some of the places that I visited were actually very “kid friendly”.

Here is my list of vacations that are surprisingly appropriate for children:

  1. Kentucky Derby:  I told my wife I want to take our future kids to the Kentucky Derby and dress them up.  The infield isn’t great for kids, but the grandstand is fine.  Kids like watching the horses.
  2. Oktoberfest, Germany:  I actually have no idea what I am talking about because I have never been, but two of my friends swear to me that it is surprisingly kid-friendly.
  3. Mardi Gras: People think that I am crazy when I say this, but if you stay away from Bourbon Street, the Mardi Gras parades are actually really cool.  I plan on taking my kids there eventually.

Places that are not kid friendly:

  1. St Patrick’s Day Everywhere.  Dublin, Philadelphia, NYC, Boston. etc. I would not recommend bringing your children to any of them.  Too crowded, too much drinking and too much fighting.
  2. Key West, Florida: One of my favorite cities, but not much going on for kids.
  3. Preakness Stakes: Preakness is more of a drinking party than the Kentucky Derby.  I don’t believe I would take them there.
  4. Las Vegas:  Leave the kids at home for this one.

Any suggestions?

If you read my latest post, you would know that my running and summer cut up season is officially over.  It is now time to put on some SIZE and STRENGTH.

Today I had my first workout since  I stopped running and I actually felt pretty strong.  Although I’m recovering from a nagging shoulder injury, I  was still able to put up 225 lb’s for an easy 10 reps.

If I can get back to bench pressing 275 for 10 reps, I will be JACKED.

There are 2 keys to bulking up:

A)  Add strength: I need to put on some serious size and strength this year and the only way to do it is by lifting heavy.  For this winter, I am going to set definite strength goals that I need to reach.  I would like to get my bench press over 315, shoulder dumbbells over 95’s, leg press over 600 lbs and deadlifts over 500.

B) I need to bulk up cleanly.  It’s not healthy to add-on a sloppy 25 lb’s of  body fat and start lifting heavier weights.  I want to make sure that I only add on lean muscle.  A small amount of extra body weight is acceptable, but not so much that I am overweight.

Overall, I think bulking up is very effective when done right.  Just make sure that you don’t put on too much extra body fat and you should be ready to cut up when the summer arrives.

jaweightsathome

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I’m sad to admit it, but my season is over.  My legs are killing me, I’m burnt out from all of the cardio and I am starting to loosen up on my diet.

Tomorrow I am reluctantly doing a 5-mile race in Brooklyn and then its over.

This summer was really good for me, probably my 2nd or 3rd best shape ever, but I still  could have been a little bit better.

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2 things stood in my way:

A) I had an accident in late July and ended up in the hospital with stitches.  This completely killed my training right at the peak time.  I missed about 10 days of diet, cardio and heavy lifting.

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B) I got married in early August:  Of course I am glad that I got married, but it killed about 2 weeks of hard training.

Overall, a really good year, but It still could have been a little bit better.

There are a couple of things I need to change for 2017:

A) I need to get back into serious heavy lifting.  My body just doesn’t respond as well without the heavy-duty lifting.  I miss the solid dense muscle that I have built up in the past.

B) Less long-distance running, more sprinting.   I ran pretty hard for 8 months straight and now I am so burnt out that it hurts to walk.  I want to train for a sprinting race next year.  I haven’t run a sprinting race since I was 18-years old.

C) Less Pizza:  My diet is usually pretty good, but when I moved from Queens to Staten Island I started eating a ton of pizza.

Tomorrow I am going to run one of my favorite 5-mile races.  I am not expecting any type of good time since my training has been going horrible.  After the race, I am ready to shut down my season and slowly start my winter bulk up.

Full review of the race coming soon!

-John

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Hello everyone!

I just returned from my 7-day honeymoon/summer vacation and I want to publish my reviews while the vacation is still fresh in my mind.  Our original plan was to fly to Hawaii, but 2 days before the wedding (Aug 6th) my wife discovered that she was pregnant and decided that she didn’t want to take a long flight

So instead of a week in Hawaii, we decided to drive upstate with a stop in Lake George, Montreal, Quebec City and then Maine.

So what is my official review of Lake George? Surprisingly good!

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I have been meaning to visit Lake George for a long time but I just never found time to made the trip.  I went to College in Albany, NY for a while and its at least a 45 minute drive PAST Albany. So figure at LEAST 4 hours from NYC, but probably even closer to 5 hours depending on traffic and what borough you live in.

The first thing you notice about Lake George is the outstanding air quality.  The air in the Adirondack’s is INSANELY clean.  Before Penicillin, people with respiratory illnesses would spend time in the Adirondacks as part of their recovery and now I understand why.  As soon as you step out of the car you notice a tremendous difference between the clean mountain air and the dirty air I have been breathing in NYC.

Lake George has a small center of town with various bars, restaurants and stores, along with several nice resorts and campgrounds across the sides of the HUGE lake.   I obviously wasn’t partying with my pregnant wife, but the bars also looked pretty good.

lake-george-bars

We stayed at the Fort Henry hotel.   Most of the hotels in town seemed pretty nice but definitely not very modern.  Think more like the Jersey Shore rather than Paris, France.

Bascically, Lake George is an outdoors town.  If you are into running, biking, canoeing, hiking or swimming, you won’t have a bad time in Lake George.  I went for a 3-mile run on my last day there and I found out they were holding a triathlon at the same time.

Lake George is an outdoor paradise.

I told my wife several times that Lake George reminded me of the town from the movie “Dirty Dancing”.    It has that 1950’s, “Americana” vibe which I really enjoyed.

Overall, if you are looking for a luxury vacation, I wouldn’t recommend Lake George.  But if you are looking for a kid-friendly town with a lively scene and beautiful nature, then Lake George is a great vacation.

I would recommend visiting Lake George in the Summer and Lake Placid for a Winter trip.  Choose any hotel in downtown and you can’t go wrong.  Once you park your car you can walk through most of the town pretty easily.

Lake George belongs in my category of NY vacation spots that have pleasantly surprised me, along with Niagara Falls and Lake Placid.

Next reviews will be Montreal, Quebec City and then Maine.

-John

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