Posts Tagged ‘weightlifting’

This is a tricky question, but the answer for me is surprisingly yes. (With some disclaimers)

If I am going for an all-time record, especially with squats, then it helps to avoid any cardio.

But if I am just powerlifting and trying for records, I will eventually start to look fat.

And that is not healthy.

When it comes to bench press, sometimes a little cardio actually helps.

For years I have been having shoulder issues and it’s only in the last 2 years that I have been able to overcome it.

Part of my new shoulder routine is to add just a “little” bit of cardio after bench pressing. The repetitive movements in my arms actually help to loosen me up.

When it comes to the deadlift, I can go either way. The cardio helps with completing more reps and as a result harder training sessions, but may hurt me just a little bit with my one-rep max.

Overall, even though it may hurt you slightly with your heavy lifting, I highly recommend that you add just a little bit of cardio to your routine, even during your bulkup.

Unless you are competing in powerlifting competitions, the loss of power should be neglibible. When I am increasing the calories, I will start to get stronger every week regardless of the cardio I do.

Just don’t go too crazy. Right now I am doing 15 minutes, twice a week, on the stairmaster.

That’s it.

Especially for guys like me that are in their late 30’s, nobody needs an early heart attack and cardio is important.

And if you aren’t working out in your late 30’s, good luck, but things are about to go downhill quickly for you. Get smart.

-John Andre

Check out my books on amazon.com…

Lift Heavy/Run Fast

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I am having a surprisingly good bulk up this year.

Although I am only several weeks in, I have already deadlifted 405 for 6 easy reps and I am on pace to hit 500 in October.

I almost always reach 500 lb’s in the deadlift, but to reach it in October is VERY early for me.

Usually I will reach 500 around Christmas and then I will max out in late January/Early February.

Dead lifting is a great exercise and it is also one of the most basic.  You just bend down and pick up a weight.

You don’t need a spot. You don’t need any friends.

It’s just you and the bar.

Like I stated in the title, it is almost impossible to put on any solid muscle if you aren’t lifting heavy weights, especially powerlifting.

Many of the famous bodybuilders started off  using powerlifting, such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sergio Oliva and Ronnie Coleman.

There just isn’t any substitute for heavy lifting.

I have always been a pretty good deadlifter and my record was 585 lb’s in my late 20’s.

I “think” I have a serious chance of beating that this year.

The last several years I have been maxing in the low 500 lb’s and this year I am almost there in October.

If I can get into the mid 500’s pretty fast, I am going to give it shot.

I plan on bulking up until Valentine’s day, so I would like to attempt it before then.

Good luck!

-John Andre

Check out my book on amazon.com! Book 3 is coming out soon!

Lift Heavy/Run Fast

 

 

It’s official. My season is over.

Overall, I had a pretty good year, but not outstanding.  In a couple days I will publish my annual review, along with some pictures.

My theme for next year is “Back to basics”.  And what I mean by that is, I want to cut out the bullshit.

Clean eating, with a lot of eggs, water and tuna fish.

Super heavy lifting, with deadlifts over 500 at a minimum and hopefully bench press in the mid 300’s.

And I need to continue my progress in squatting.  I “should” be able to beat last year’s squats pretty easily.

Regarding cardio, I am going to do a minimal amount until New Year’s Eve.  I feel that my body needs a serious rest from the cardio, but not for too long.

Last year I took off a solid 6 months and I think in the long run it hurt me.

You don’t need to do cardio 100% all year long, but you need to do something.

My preliminary workout is going to looks something like this:

Monday: Chest/bicep

Tuesday: Legs/cardio/abs

Wends: Rest

Thurs: Chest#2/Shoulders

Friday: Deadlift/Back/Abs/Cardio

Sat/Sun: rest/light cardio

My goal is to avoid looking in the mirror for a while but focus on hitting big numbers.  I want to eat a lot cleaner than last year and hopefully only put on “lean muscle”.

Overall, I had an injury-free year, so I “should” be able to hit some decent numbers this Fall.

Wish me luck.

-John Andre

Check out my book on amazon.com! Book 3 is coming out soon!

Lift Heavy/Run Fast

I have been working now for 17 years straight and basically every year since College except for maybe 6-7 months.

I have seen coworkers come and go, some retire voluntarily, some leave to work elsewhere and some unfortunately pass away.

The other sad part, is that many people “hobble” out to retirement.

Meaning, they aren’t really going to enjoy their retirement, since they can barely walk.

*But it doesn’t need to be like that.

I cannot for the life of me understand why more people do not make their health a large priority of their retirement.

Who cares about your 401k if you are dead?

What is a pension worth is you can’t walk and bend down?

Everyone know’s that health care in retirement is expensive, shouldn’t you try to stay in proper shape?

Yet, 90% of the population just sloth’s their way towards social security.

I also have friends at work that plan on retiring at a young age of 62.

62?

That is nothing.  Why not 75?

70 is the new 60 and eventually 80 will be the next 60.

My father is 72 and still playing tennis 4x a week.

Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t expect everyone to slave away at the job that you do not enjoy for 60 hours a week at age 65, but there are always other jobs you can do, including part-time jobs.

Keep busy.

Lift moderately heavy.

Include Cardio.

Work on your diet.

Travel

And enjoy your 100th birthday!

-John Andre

Lift Heavy/Run Fast

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

 

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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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!