Posts Tagged ‘technology’

I am a firm believer that you need some type of cardio in your system.

I don’t care if it is running, tennis, basketball or skiing; just as long as it can improve your cardiovascular system, it is important to add it your routine.

Many bodybuilders don’t do any type of cardio and I think they are insane.

They always say the same response “my workout is my cardio’ but of course we all know that is nonsense, they just stick a needle in their backside.

It’s strange, but I have gotten pretty damn strong while doing cardio and powerlifting at the same time.  You would think it would be a major hinderance, but for me, it’s quite the opposite.

For example, this bulk up season I basically did two 10-minute elliptical sessions a week, that’s it.  And I always did them immediately after squats and deads, just to loosen up my legs.

From that small amount of cardio, not only did I stay injury free, but I squatted and deadlifted heavier than last year.  But more importantly, I lifted heavier at a lighter bodyweight.

I just started slowly getting back into cardio and I am in complete shock by how fast I am already.  Those 2 sessions a week of light cardio preserved a lot of my endurance from last season.

Just this Saturday I almost ran 2 miles in 14 minutes.  That is a time that took me months to accomplish last year.  Usually my spring goal is 3-miles in 21 minutes, and I should reach that really early If I keep at it.

Going forward, next year I might keep the same routine and maybe throw in a 3rd day of light cardio.  Only change is that I am not running during my bulk up, only doing bike, stairs or elliptical.

For some reason running hurts my knees too much and kills my squats, but If I want to get really ripped, I need to add some running to my routine.  And for that, I only run in the Spring, Summer and very early Fall.

Good luck!

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Lift Heavy/Run Fast

 

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Summer is almost over!

Another couple of weeks and school will be back in session, the weather will start to cool down and football will start again.

So, what does it mean for my training?

It is RACING season!

The Fall is my favorite time of year and also the best time of the year to run a fast race.

My goal at the beginning of the year was to break 20 minutes in a 5k, but that might have been a little bit too optimistic.

Realistically, I am looking at going under 21 minutes.  Right now I am about 30 seconds away from that goal.

I am going to sign up for a flat race on Sept 16th.  Although the race is a flat as a pancake, the course if occasionally windy.  If the wind is not acting up, I have a solid chance of running a good race.

I have been running “ok” this year, but I haven’t really ran a super fast race.

When I am stuck in a running slump, there are usually only 2 ways to get faster.

The first is to add “Speed Work”.  Speed work is where I would add shorter distance training to try to speed up my pace.  That is repeat mile, 2-mile, 3-mile runs.  200, 400 and 800 intervals and even some sprinting.

The second method is to basically increase my distance.  Instead of running the fast 2 to 2.5 miles that I have been doing in my training, I am going to increase it to 4-5.

I usually don’t like increasing my distance because it starts to wear down my muscle, but since I am only running for another 45 days tops, its “ok” for me to gamble a little.

So, right now I am doing one big race on Sept 16th.  If I feel like I still have some gas in the tank, I might train for one more big race in October.

After that, it is over.

November until March will be hard-core powerlifting.

-John Andre

Lift Heavy/Run Fast

I am not a millennial.

I was born late in 1979.  I did not have the internet until junior high school and I didn’t have a cell phone until College.

When I first start working out, I didn’t have the opportunity to review routines online or watch video’s on YouTube.

Basically, we would follow the bigger guys in the gym.  Since they were almost always lifting heavier weights, we tried to lift heavy as well.

The rest that we learned was basically from reading magazines, like Flex, and also from just basic experimentation in the gym.

Now because of family obligations and my career, I lift weights at lunch and try to do my cardio after work and on the weekends.

In my small group at work I have my manager that is 55 years old, myself, and 5 millennials.

Who works out in that entire group?

Just myself and my 55-year old manager.

For some reason the millennials refuse to work out and it shows.

I look about the same age as them,  which is very sad.

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They also don’t have a lot of energy.  They drag themselves into work, they leave as quick as they come in and their enthusiasm is very low.

Could it be their lack of exercise and proper diet?

Maybe not at age 21, but at age 30 and over, that will start to catch up with you.

The millennial generation are now entering their 30’s and it’s not looking good for a lot of you.

Today my group went to Chipolte together at lunch while I went to the gym.

Immediately after my work out I texted all of them the same message.

“Where are all you millenials at?” and I attached today’s workout video.

At some point in your life you need to decide.

Are you a lion or a lamb?

Do you want to conquer to world?

Or are satisfied with being a Chipolte-eating chump….

P.S. It’s June 1st, no more time for nonsense.  Hard training only until July 4th.

-John Andre

Lift Heavy/Run Fast

I have always had really good abs.

Part of it is genetic of course and the other part is hard training.

When I am in good shape, I can beat Arnold.

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Getting ripped abs is not easy.  It takes months of dedicated weight lifting, cardio and of course, a strict diet.

The only time of year that I get ripped abs is in the summer and that is after I lose a ton of weight.

I have also experimented from all different types of ab exercises; including sit ups, crunches, leg lifts, side twists, etc.

All of those exercises work to some extent.  But there are actually two main exercises that really build your abs.

Squats and dead lifts.

Have you ever seen a powerlifter take his shirt off and you noticed that he has a huge stomach?

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It’s not a 6-pack but it looks like a giant blob of muscle and fat?

Believe it or not, that is actually how to build insane looking abs.

I discovered this by accident.

I noticed during the summer when I cut down on the squats and the dead lifts, my abs were starting to lose some size.

I still had a decent 6-pack because I was dieting and training hard, but my actual ab muscles didn’t look as good.

It wasn’t until I started squatting and deadlifting again that I realized what was missing.

Squats and deadlifts are insane ab builders.  Just as long as you lose the body fat, your abs will look a million times better than if you haven’t.

This summer, I plan on dead lifting and squatting the entire season.

I have a good feeling that my abs should start to look great.

Right now I am down to 159 1/2 lbs and I just starting adding sprint training.

By July 4th I should be ripped and hopefully post some pictures.

-John Andre

Lift Heavy/Run Fast

Weight training and running are very different.  When I get cut for the summer, I use a combination of running, weight training and a proper diet.

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This year, I skipped running almost completely for about 4 months so that I can bulk up.  Occasionally,  I will run the entire year. But this year, I wanted to make sure that I put on enough size.

Around February 14th I decided that I would stop bulking up and start to slowly cut down for the summer. Although I am not dieting super hard yet, I am slowly cutting down on my calories and I also started running 3x a week.

One thing that I have noticed right away, is that the training used for running is very different for than it is for weight training.

With weight training, you definitely need extra rest.

When I deadlift or squat, I need an entire week of rest and for chest, I can do it twice per week at most.

You also need more calories when you weight train.  If you do not consume enough calories or rest enough between heavy workouts, you will never grow any muscle.

Running is a different story.  I can get in pretty good shape by just running hard 3 or 4x a week, but If you really want to get fast, rest is your enemy.

When I am running fast, it means I am training all the time.

You also lose your running stamina quickly.

I can skip 3 months of weight training and still be pretty strong.  With running, if I skip 3 month of training, I will lose it completely.  It’s almost like I never ran before.

In the Spring is when it gets weird.

I am going to have to lift heavy weights, which requires rest, while running several times a month that requires no rest.

I also need more calories for building muscle, but less calories for getting cut.

So, how do I lift heavy weights for muscle and run for cuts at the same time?

It’s not easy.

That is why you need to start off with some solid muscle before you starting cutting up, because you will lose some of it.

The key is to try to hold on to as much muscle as possible, while still removing all of my body fat.

It is tricky.

I compare it to a chef.  If you take 100 chef’s and ask them to bake the same cake, there will always be several cakes that stand out.

Why?

Everyone has the same recipe, the same ingrediants.  So why doesn’t every cake taste the same?

It’s tricky.

-John

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Winter is almost over! Hallelujah!

We are now in the middle of February, the weather is warming up slightly (in NYC) and the sun is setting later.

Although every month is important, I see March as a month of transition.

“March comes in like lion and goes out like a lamb”

In March you get the last several days of Winter in the beginning of the month and then by the end you start to see the beginning of Spring.

If you want to get cut for the Summer, you need to train hard in the month of March, including outside cardio.

Although there are days in March when its freezing cold and the weather is horrible, you need to force yourself to get outside and get moving.

sprinting

If you skip hard training in March, you are going to be very disappointed in April when you get that first 70 degree day.

All of a sudden you will realize that it is bathing suit season, but you are still overweight.

You need to survive March if you want your cuts to blossom in April, before getting ripped for May, June and July.

But the month of March doesn’t just apply to bodybuilding.  It is also a time of transition in work, school, and life.

In March you can:

  • Start good study habits for finals
  • Find a new job or start a business
  • Lose weight
  • Start dating someone new
  • Plant a tree

Maybe I am generalizing here, because you can do this any month of the year.  But March is the only month (NYC) where you get to experience two distinct seasons.

There is just something about the transition from Winter to Spring, especially when you live somewhere cold like NYC or Chicago.

Spring represents new life.

New opportunities

Optimism

And most importantly,

St’ Patrick’s Day.

st pats

 

Sports and life in general are competitive.  I can never understand people who are not competitive at every age.

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Don’t get me wrong; there are bloggers that I follow that live in R.V.’s or travel the world for a living and sometimes that sounds like a great idea.

But I am too competitive.

And I get bored very easily.

I worked from home at one of my prior occupations and surprisingly I didn’t really enjoy it.

Unless I was working from home in the summer, there was usually nobody around from Monday to Friday.  Basically, instead of being locked in the office, I would be stuck at home.

I like to be competitive.  It keeps you young.

Today I was at the gym and I started to size up some of my competition.

Usually there is only one or two decent bodybuilders in a gym and rest are just there for maintenance.

The best way to tell if someone is training correctly, is that you should be able to see major changes in their body.

If they look the same across the whole year, basically, they are just maintaining.  Maintaining is fine, but you will never really improve, nor will you ever get ripped.

At my gym, there are several guys that look decent.

So for this coming summer, I need to design a workout plan to defeat my competition.

  • What are my weaknesses and what are my strengths?

My weaknesses are definitely my upper back and legs.

My strengths would be my mass, chest and abs.

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Since I am slowly starting to lose weight, my goal this year is to continue to train heavy.  I have a strong advantage in strength and mass, so I think that is where I should focus.

Like I’ve stated in other posts; I believe it is important to show off your best body parts.  So for myself, I need to continue to train chest and shoulders heavy, while I get my body fat percentage low enough so that my abs are ripped.

Another week or two and I will reveal my Spring training guide, but right now, it is looking something like this:

Monday: Chest

Tuesday: Legs/cardio

Wednesday: Cardio

Thursday: Shoulders

Friday: Back

Saturday: Cardio

Sunday: Rest

I want to slowly get back into my cardio workouts for several weeks, before I start to really get cut for the summer in May and June.

So far, I am one week into my cutting phase and I already lost 3.5 lbs.  I usually cut 10 lbs pretty quickly, then it starts to slow down after that.

Good luck everyone!

Lift Heavy/Fun Fast on Amazon.com!

 

 

I am proud to announce that today was my official last day of Winter bulk up 2017-2018.

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Overall, I give this season an “A”.  Before the start of the season I set several concrete goals:

  1. Bench 315: Got it! Almost benched 325 as well.
  2. 500lb dead lift: Did 500 for 2 reps and 525 for 1
  3. Shoulder dumbbells 100’s: Big failure.  Got up to 85’s, shoulder injury is not healing.
  4. Squat 315: I don’t have a spotter for this exercise but 315 is in my range. Probably closer to 345-365.
  5. Gain 30 lbs: I gained 35!

Besides not reaching my shoulder dumbbell goal, this year was a total success!  This was the heaviest I have lifted in several years.

I also kept up a small cardio routine, but nothing significant.

Now, I need to make the transaction from bulking into my cutting phase.

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So, how do we accomplish this?

The goal is to keep as much muscle mass as possible, while also removing all of my body fat.  I know that I won’t be able to lift as heavy in June as I did in January, but I still should be lifting heavy.

What are some mistakes I have made in the past?

A) Cutting calories too fast.  I need to lose 20 lbs, but I should do it slowly.  If I start starving myself I will get “skinny fat”, like marathon runners.   That is where you are skinny with a high body fat percentage

B) I start slacking with the heavy weights.  Although I will lose the leverage provided from being fat, I NEED to keep pushing myself in the gym.  Heavy compound exercises; squats, deadlifts, bench, etc.

It is also time to add some cardio.  I am going to start going hard with the cardio tomorrow.  3x a week until the weather improves, and then I might increase to 4x depending on how my body is holding up.

Spring goals?

I am still working on this, but I want to focus on a few key area’s.

A) Keep squatting.  This year I started squatting after taking several years off and I feel a big difference.  Not only is my body a lot thicker, but my abs are going to look good when I lose weight.

B) Heavy bicep and calve workouts: These are really secondary exercises, but when you wear a tee-shirt, what muscles are visible? Answer: calves and biceps.

For my cardio goals, I still haven’t locked any plan down yet.  I always try to hit 3 miles in 21 minutes and also add in some sprinting.

I would love to compete in a sprinting competition.  It was been 20 years since I have last competed in track and field, and I am getting a little bored of the 3 and 5 mile races.

This morning I weighed in at 185 lbs.  It is going to take me a couple weeks to get the boiler heated, but once I do, this engine is going to be revved up and ready to kick ass.

JASUMMERPICTURE-MIX

-John

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Most people in the gym train by themselves.  Sometimes you will see two people who go together consistently and it is the same for running.

You don’t need a partner to train, which is good.  I can do almost all of my exercises except max bench press, without a partner.

But, it does help to have one.

Unfortunately, in the last several years I have been going through training partners like underwear.

When I was younger everyone wanted to lift with me, now, not so much.

When I have a good training partner, I try to lift as heavy as possible.  I need to take advantage of a good spot on my exercises while I can.

More importantly, it helps with motivation.

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Yesterday, I went to the gym aiming to break my winter bulk up deadlift max of 525 lbs.

Once again, I was there by myself warming up, when I ran into a guy that I know.  Turns out that he is a powerlifter.

I told him I was going for my max today and he immediately replied “oh, I need to see this”.

For some reason, that was all the motivation I needed.  He started cheering me on as I worked up to my final set and by the time I put 525 lbs on the bar, I had 3 or 4 guys watching me.

Motivation helps.  It’s hard to voluntarily go to the gym at lunch and lift 525 lbs off the floor.  But when I have people yelling and encouraging me, it went right up.

It’s the same for running.  Nobody wants to go outside and jog 5-miles on a 23 degree morning, but when you running partner shows up, you are going outside.

You also push yourself.  Some days you don’t feel like running fast and your partner does and vice versa.

I also used to make up imaginary friends.  Sometimes when I am training alone, I start to think about my competitors being there.

I start trash talking to myself.

I think about my old coaches.

I think about old enemies.

I recite my favorite scenes from Rocky.

Whatever it takes to become a champion.

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-John

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