Posts Tagged ‘weight lifting’

I am now about half way into my winter bulk up and my progress is going great.  Last week I bench pressed 295, and on Friday, I hit my winter dead lift goal of 495.

Although there are only 12 weeks left in my season, I feel pretty confident that I should reach and possibly surpass my goals for the year.

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One thing that I am trying this year, in comparison to other years, is that I am increasing the weights quickly. For example, on Friday I was scheduled to deadlift 455 lbs for 4 or 5 reps, and then the following week, I would attempt my winter goal of 495.

During the warm ups I started to feel really good.  The weights were coming off the floor really fast, so I decided to go off schedule and straight to 495.  Working out is not an exact science, if you are feeling good,, go for the heavy weights.

Whether is is a 400 lb bench press, 315 lb squat for 10 reps or a 500 lb deadlift.  If its in the range of a weights that you should be able to handle, go for it.

Usually, lifting heavy weights is all mental.  When I started powerlifting in my teens and early 20’s, I used to obsess over heavy weights, and oftentimes it would cause me to screw up my attempt.

Now, after years of training, I have conditioned my mind to attempt each weight exactly the same.

Don’t get me wrong, having 500 lbs on my back and trying to go for a deep squat will still scare the crap out of me, but when it comes to a heavy bench or deadlift, I will go for it without hesitation.

Although I wasn’t scheduled to deadlift 495 this week, in my mind, I knew I can do it.

Next week, I might jump all the way to 550 lbs.

Why not?

Even if I don’t get it, your body and especially your mind will get a lot stronger just by attempting it.

Remember, heavy weights=big muscle.

Here is a picture of my from my powerlifting days.

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-John

Check out my 2 books on amazon.com or support me on patreon!

Lift Heavy/Fun Fast on Amazon.com!

 

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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 spend a lot of time thinking about the future:

  • What industries will be in heavy demand?
  • What industries will become obsolete?
  • What will bodybuilding training look like in 20 years?
  • What will cardio workouts look like in 20 years?
  • What will the typical family life look like in 20 years?

It is definitely an interesting time to be alive.  The life that I am experiencing today is completely different from the world that my parents and grandparents experienced.

What are some of the major changes?

  • Technology.  Night and day from what my parents and grandparent’s experienced.  I didn’t even have a cell-phone until my junior year of College.
  • Workplace:  Many, many, jobs are becoming location independent.  Unless you need access to raw materials or face-time with clients, many jobs are going to be available wherever there is internet access

Traditionally, when you started a family you would buy a house and that would be the neighborhood that you would raise your family in.  My parents are in the same house since 1979 and so are most of my friend’s parents.

I think that is going to change.

Real estate does have the benefit of a growing population.  There will always be more people in this country (outside of another major war) and there isn’t enough space to fill for everyone.  They don’t have a lot of extra space in cities like New York or San Francisco.

But people are also becoming more mobile.

Could I live in Europe for 6 months, 3 months in my hometown of NYC and 3 months in Florida?

It wouldn’t be very easy, but I could.

I don’t need to be stuck in the same place for 40 consecutive years.

What about training?

I like it when I cook all of my food for the week at the same time.

muscleballs

(Turkey muscle balls)

I am also a big fan of intermittent fasting and have been very successful using it that last several years.

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Nobody can completely predict the future, but with just a little big of foresight, you can at least set yourself up in a good situation.

Which careers are going to be “hot”? At least in my opinion:

  • Anything health care related.  Many, many, senior citizens.
  • Natural and organic food.
  • Estate planning.  Many, many, senior citizens.

 

And for training/bodybuilding:

 

  • Less long distance-running.  I have stated many times that I do not think long-distance running is healthy.
  • Less sets.  I like to hit it and quit it.  Heavy weights, less bullsh%t sets.
  • Short, fast, cardio.  More sprinting for people ages 40+
  • Pre-planned meals.  More preparation in advance for the general population.

 

So what do you think the future will be like?

-John

Check out my new book on amazon.com!

At least for my body, the “high rep”, multiple set workouts, do absolutely nothing for me.

I prefer to hit my muscles hard and end it quick.

I know that Schwarzenegger claims to have worked out for multiple hours at a time, but I’m not sure If I really believe it.  Even some of his old trainers have claimed that he didn’t work out that long.

I also don’t believe anything that I read.

I have tried using “high rep” workout routines numerous times and in almost every situation I ended up weaker and often injured.

This Fall I have been trying to get back to the basics and build up my strength.  I am focusing on 4-8 repetitions for most of the major body parts and I am also keeping my set counts as low as possible.

Is it working? Heck yeah.

It feels like only several weeks ago I was 149 lbs and running 4x  a week.  Now it is the middle of November and I am already up to 167 lbs and starting to lift heavy weights.

My lifts so far have been impressive:

  • 90lb shoulder dumbbells
  • 285 lb bench press
  • 500lb leg press

It is only November and I am starting to quickly approach my winter goals.  My bench press should be over 300 lb’s any day now and 100 lb dumbbells for shoulders are also in reach.

At some point I am going to have to slow down and reintroduce my cardio.  At first I was considering adding cardio workouts back into my routine by early December but now I am considering waiting until Valentines Day.

Personally, I don’t like having too much time pass without any cardio and I don’t think it is very healthy, but I feel like I needed more muscle mass this past summer.  I want to make sure that I retain some solid muscle next year, so I am going to try to stick it out a little bit longer.

Overall, if the high rep, multiple set workouts work for you, then by all means go for it.  But if you aren’t seeing gains right away, I recommend that you drop it immediately.

Bodybuilding is about making progress.  Your body has to make changes or you are wasting your time.

-John

For the life of me, I can not figure out why anyone does not workout.

On my blog I have spoken numerous times about the benefits of exercise and a proper diet and the fact that most Americans still don’t exercise is unbelievable.

Do you want to stay alive?

We are blessed living  in a relatively safe time period in U.S History.  Most of our basic human needs of food, water and shelter are met and our country hasn’t had a major war in over 30 years.

Once all your needs are met, you need to focus on being HEALTHY.

I am going to become a first time parent in several months and my wife and I are already planning out our workout routines.  For me, nothing much is going to change.  I work out Monday to Friday during my lunch and when I am cutting up, I will do my cardio workouts after work including the weekends.

My wife is either going to drop the baby off at her mother’s during the day for an hour or we will take our child to the gym with us at night (gym has babysitting).

I’m not worth much to my children If I die young and that’s why it is important for me to stay in shape.

That includes both cardio, diet and weight lifting for the rest of my life.

Enjoy your Sunday!

-John

If there something we don’t have enough of, it is time.

We will all most likely die.  And there are also years where we can be very productive (ages 16-70) and years that we aren’t (ages 0-16 and 70-death)

Our time is limited.

And when you finally come to the conclusion that our time is limited, you will start to learn how to stop wasting time.

  • If you have an exercise routine that doesn’t work: Stop it
  • If you have a job that isn’t promoting you: Work on finding somewhere else to work
  • If you are in a relationship that isn’t going anywhere: Leave immediately.

I sincerely believe that everyone should have a side-business.  Today’s economy is becoming a gig economy and life-long jobs like my parents had are slowly starting to become extinct.

I have tried multiple side businesses and multiple different exercise routines in my life and now I can finally say that I have found a routine that works for me.

Through trial and error, I have been able to cut out the waste.

My body responds to heavy weight lifting and fast running.  Long, slow, long-distance does not work for me and the same can be said for high repetition weight lifting.

When it comes to side jobs/businesses there are an UNLIMITED number of opportunities:

  • Sales
  • Personal training
  • Book Writing
  • Real estate
  • Bartending

There are plenty of ways to make a decent living today and the only way for you to find out what works is to TRY.

  • Work on your gym routine
  • Work on your career

And most importantly, work on yourself.

-John