Posts Tagged ‘weightlifting’

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

 

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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

Bodybuilding is a very interesting sport, especially for natural lifters like myself.

The sport is basically a combination of weights, cardio and a proper diet.  Until you can find the proper routine that works for you, you will never build muscle or remove any significant body fat.

I have experimented with all different types of routines over the years and I have become really good at removing my body fat.  But, there is always room for improvement.

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Several years ago I went to a wine making event with some relatives in New Jersey.

My uncle paid for several barrels of wine for the entire year that he was going to make and then bottle himself in a large factory.

One of the key factors in making your own wine or beer, is that you have to be sanitary.  If the batch gets contaminated you are going to end up with a large barrel of smelly vinegar instead of wine.

I also learned that you can actually make adjustments mid way into the fermentation.

The owner of the wine factory explained to me that by checking the p.h. balance during the fermentation ,they could actually do small adjustments to “fix” or correct the wine.

It’s the same way with bodybuilding.

Whether you are planting a tree, making wine or building a muscle; it is all very similar.

This year I already lost over 25 lbs of body weight since the winter and I running 3-miles in around 21 minutes.

Since my running time is right around where I need it to be, now I am going to refocus on heavy weight lifting.

I’ve noticed that in the past several years, I felt like I went overboard with the cardio and ended up losing too much muscle.

This year it is different.

I plan on cutting back on the amount of cardio sessions, but increase the intensity, while attempting to go heavier with the weights.

The weights are really the key.

With cardio and my diet I can remove the bodyfat, but I need continue heavy lifting to build any muscle.

That means heavy bench press, squats and dead lifts, along with shoulder dumbbells, bicep curls and other power-related lifting.

Don’t be afraid to change your routine.

If you still are carrying too much bodyfat, increase the cardio and improve your diet.

If your bodyfat percentage is low and your muscle mass is lacking; hit the heavy weights.

-John Andre

Lift Heavy/Run Fast

Spring training is over.

Since the end of the winter I have lost over 20 lbs and I got my 3-mile run down to 21:10.

Now that I am in decent cardio vascular shape and I have lost the body weight, the only thing left for me is hard-core bodybuilding.

I want to look good by July 4th, by the middle of August, I want to look like the best in the world.

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So, how can I obtain these goals?

A) Need to focus more on the weights:  I have been running a lot recently and I feel that it is starting to affect my gym workouts.  Starting this week, my emphasis will be more on the weight training and less on the cardio.

B) Less cardio but more intensity.  I am in decent running shape, so I just need to work on my speed.  Less workouts, but more intensity in my training.

C) Stricter diet.  I lost over 20 lbs already, but I need to cut another 10 to start looking ripped.  The last ten are always the hardest.

Overall, bodybuilding season is officially here!

If you haven’t starting training yet, you can still look “ok” by July 4th if you start now, but you can’t wait much longer.

Almost every summer the gym gets packed in late June before most people quit again.

Start now.

Add some cardio, cut body weight and lift heavy to moderate weights.

More to come!

-John Andre

Lift Heavy/Run Fast

Let’s face it, mostly everyone does the same workout.

Marathon runners use a ton of cardio.  Weight lifters mostly use weights.

And the smart people use a combination of both, along with a low-calorie diet.

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When it comes to bodybuilding and your appearance in general; you are going to look the way that you train.

Just as an iron worker or a heavy smoker is going to have a certain look to them, it is the same with bodybuilding.

Someone that is outside in the 90 degree heat every summer and doing wind sprints, is going to have a look that is different from someone that just takes leisurely walks.

I’m sorry to say this, but if you want to look like a freak, you need to train like a freak.

When I am in my best shape and looking ripped, I really don’t know anyone that is training like I am.

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I use very low calorie diets with high protein, cardio, including sprinting in the sun, and moderate to heavy weight lifting.

Normal people basically use the same routines.  They never, ever, diet.

They do a little bit of cardio. A little bit of weight lifting.

Some of them show up to the gym every single day and still look the same.

That is fine if you are just working out for your health.

But if you want to stand out in the crowd, you need to get a little crazy.

Summer is coming, time to get crazy.

-John

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Lift Heavy/Fun Fast on Amazon.com!

 

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

Lift Heavy/Fun Fast on Amazon.com!

 

Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not comparing my entire physique to the king, Arnold Schwarzenegger.

I am just saying that my abs are better.

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Even without steroids, supplements or a strong tan, I still beat Arnold on abs.  Take a look at the belly buttons, it’s not even close.

Everyone has certain body parts that are genetically better than others.  Some people have biceps that peak into mountains, while others like myself, have long biceps that grow out.

Genetics plays a large role in how your body develops, and luckily for me, when I am in good shape I develop really good-looking abs.

Since I have always been natural, I also have to be ultra strict with my diet, cardio and I need to be consistent in the gym.

You can’t fake good-looking abs.  Even if you take steroids, if you aren’t training hard or dieting correctly, your abs aren’t going to look right.  Most of the top athletes that you will see competing in the Mr. Olympia won’t have good abs and in my opinion, it’s hurting the sport.

So Arnold might beat me in calves, arms, chest and back.  But, I take him out in the abdominal department.

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For this picture above, I cut down from 180 lbs in the winter to 150 lbs by the middle of August.  My routine was 4 days a week with weights and another 3 days of outside cardio.

Want to build natural looking abs? Check out my two books on amazon.com for more details!!

Lift Heavy/Fun Fast on Amazon.com!

 

Today officially ended my bulk up for the season.  I went from a summer low of 149 lbs in the winter to up to 178 lbs in early February.

Recently, I have been eating like crazy so I am actually surprised that I didn’t get up to the mid 180’s.  Either way, I am satisfied with a 28 lb weight gain this winter.

With the end of my bulk up season, I have slowly cut down on the calories and started to reintroduce my cardio workouts.

Today I went for a hard one-mile run to see how fast I am after missing 5 months in a row.

Results: I ran a mile in 7 minutes flat and felt like I was going to die.

Let’s put that into perspective for one minute.

Several months ago I could run 5 miles at a 6:50 per mile pace and only 5 and half months later, I almost died running a 7 minute mile.

Now, of course you can say that I gained some weight.  But even with the weight gain, that is still a ridiculous decrease in cardiovascular endurance.

Running DOES NOT PRODUCE MUSCLE MEMORY.

If you can bench press 315 lbs for 4 reps and then you take off 5 months of weight lifting,  you will still probably be pretty strong.  You could also probably get strong again pretty fast.

Not so for running.  Weight training memory carries on way longer than any type of cardio.  Some heavy weight lifting muscle may even carry on for the rest of your life, such is the case with many retired football players.

Cardio workouts are only beneficial when you use them and for that moment only.

Even taking off 10 days in a row can kill your cardiovascular conditioning.  In July I bruised my head and ended up in the hospital, missing 2 full weeks of workouts.

When I started training again, I couldn’t believe how slow I got.

Overall, there are 3 lessons to be learned by this.

A) You need to always lift weights and weight lifting is the primary way to stay in shape

B) You need to continue some form of cardio, even if light cardio, for the rest of your life.

C) What you did in the past regarding your cardiovascular workouts has no baring on your condition today.

My goal for the end of winter and beginning of Spring is to slowly start losing some body weight, continue lifting heavy weights and begin to add my cardio back in.

Good luck!

-John

I was watching an interview last night with Mike Love, one of the founders/singers of the Beach Boys.  Mike is in his mid 70’s and said he did over 170 shows in 2016.

And he looks like he is in decent shape.

Growing up in Brooklyn, the town that I grew up had a large number of civil service employees, including many of my good friends and most of my family.

Working for the civil service, one of the most common themes you hear people talking about is “retirement.”

  • How many more years you have?
  • I can’t wait to retire.
  • 5 more years and I am done

But I am here to tell you that retirement is very overrated.

If you want to live a long and meaningful life, you need to stay active.

Now, I am not saying you need to teach until you are 85-years old.  But what you should focus on is finding  an activity that you enjoy and something that keeps you motivated.

Humans need a reason to live.  I have relatives that retired in their early 50’s and without a lack of activity, they all have aged very prematurely.

70 years old is not considered old anymore.  I lose to 70-year old men in races all the time and there is no excuse to be walking about like a bag of bones.

Find something meaningful in life to keep you busy.  Whether it is a second job, sales career, marathon running, bodybuilding, religion or volunteerism.  You need something to keep you motivated and alive, otherwise you will experience a premature demise.

Never stop grinding….

-John