Posts Tagged ‘weights’

If you follow my blog ,you know that I have been a runner for YEARS.

I love running and I have probably competed in over 200 races. But recently, the running has been really burning me out, both physically and mentally.

Most importantly, I’m not 100% convinced that it is really healthy for you.  I rarely get sick, but when I am running hard, I seem to start coming down with nagging colds.

I am also not sure If I need it to get cut, especially the long distance running, which might do the opposite.

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Recently I have been trying to add more sprinting and interval training, along with actually playing sports.

This year I have been playing a lot of basketball and I find it to be a great substitute for running.  It might actually even work a lot better.

There are a couple of noticeable differences:

  • It works the muscles more. When I play basketball I  use a ton of sprinting, jumping, fighting for rebounds, etc.
  • I can work out longer.  I can play basketball for an hour easy, but when I am running, I go for 20 minutes and then I am spent.
  • Since I am outside longer I also get a lot more tan.

 

And finally, it’s not BORING.

 

Last week, I played my first full court basketball game in almost 20 years and I couldn’t believe how hard of a workout it is.

In my teenage years I would play for 5-6 hours a day.  My body misses those long days of exercise.

My plan now is to stick with a mix of running and basketball and I  also might start playing tennis with my wife.

My advice, don’t forget about sports! Running can get boring.  Try to mix in some tennis, soccer, basketball or any other sport that forces you to run.

-John

 

No, I am not talking about speeding up your metabolism.  I think that is some b.s. science make up from supplement companies.

Eat every two hours, get fatter every two hours.

I guess I shouldn’t say it doesn’t work because everyone is different, but for me, that doesn’t work at all.

I NEED to lose weight, or I don’t get cut.  There is no other way around it. And the only way I lose weight is by cutting the calories or upping the intensity of my cardio.

In the last couple years, I have had a problem where I lose weight too quick.  It’s important to lose weight but when I lose weigh too fast I end up burning off too much muscle.

This year I have been losing it slow by accident.  My first son was born last month and it killed my diet and training for 2 weeks.  I am staying patient but I’m probably 2 weeks behind where I want to be this spring.

But instead of cutting 10 lb’s in one month, I am trying to “TIME” the way I eat.

Instead of eating too early or late at night, I am trying a new method this year.  I am eating RIGHT before I go the gym.

I am also trying to eat more when I KNOW that I am going to work out hard.

I’ve had several days where I planned on training super hard and I just felt too worn down from the lack of sleep and calories.

Now, I am trying to eat more on days that I am know I am going to work out hard.  I am allowing myself to have some extra calories, just to make sure that I KILL it in the gym.

Diet is very important, but it isn’t everything.  After you have been lifting and training for a long time, the big difference is really in the intensity.

My diet is always going to be good, I know what to eat by now.  I just need to pick up the intensity.

If you can train harder while slightly increasing the calories, you may be able to burn off even more bodyfat because you are training harder.

-John

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There is a famous saying that goes “the harder you start working, the luckier you start to become”.  And I believe that’s true.

When you start working harder you will notice that things start falling into place.  You start doing better in school, you start saving more money, you get promoted and you start training better.

Yesterday I had planned on getting up at 730 a.m on Saturday and hitting the gym for a hard hour and half workout.  Unfortunately, my newborn son had me up to about 6 a.m in the morning.

Wasn’t planning on it, but he was up screaming all night and I couldn’t make it.

Later in the day, my wife and I stopped by my mother in law’s and thankfully she agreed to babysit for us for a couple of hours.

I did some grocery shopping and ran some quick errands before we drove home and took a nap for about 2 hours.  I shouldn’t even call it a nap, it was more like dead sleep.

At 5:30 pm I felt a little better, so I decided to FINALLY make it to the gym.  I usually don’t work out that late on Saturday, but I didn’t want to start missing days over a fussy newborn.

I ran 2 miles on the treadmill in pretty decent speed and then instead of leaving, I decided to add some extra intervals at a 5:30 per mile pace.

Later that night I took a look in the mirror and I noticed that I was finally starting to look “beach ready”.

Sometimes in life, you are just not working hard enough.  I took about a 6 week break from killing myself at work and in my training, but now its time to start getting busy again.

  • More books to be written.
  • More licensing tests to take.
  • Harder training.

No more Mr. Nice Guy!

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I have to be honest, this year’s cut up is going slow.

Most recently I have been weighing in around 163 lbs.  Although I have cut 15 lbs from my peak in late February, I still have noticeable body fat.

I am starting to work a little bit harder on my cardio and I am hoping to look decent by Memorial Day.  For me to look cut, I HAVE to get my bodyweight under 160.

But, that is not the only problem.

I am running like a snail.

In the last several years I have noticed that I could get pretty fast in long distance running, with times in the 3-mile run under 20 minutes, but my sprinting times are horrible.

When you get older, you need to focus on SPEED.  Strength and stamina does not go away as fast as speed.

My goal this summer was to run one lap (400 meters) in one minute flat.  That is a time I havent ran since I was 17.

Yesterday I went down to the track and I had my wife time me in a couple runs.

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Pre marriage

Although, it is still really early and the first time I have run on the track this year.

I ran three 400 meter sprints at a decent effort and my times were HORRIBLE.

I ran the first lap in 1:14, 2nd attempt I ran 1:21 and the last one in 1:25.

Those times are horrible, but the good news is that I realized how far I need to go.

For the next several weeks I need to focus on hard sets in the gym, intense cardio and most importantly, I need to be strict on my diet.

Good luck!

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I have been running now for over 20 years and the question I get asked the most is “when are you going to run the marathon?”

And the answer is probably never.

I don’t even really want to go past 3 miles anymore.

Long-distance running is not good for you.

Of course people like to send me survey’s that compare the overall health of runners compared to non-runners, but I don’t think its a fair comparison.

A long distance runner should be healthier than someone who is sedentary, but let’s be honest, are they healthier than a basketball player?

Or tennis players?

Or swimmers?

And they absolutely do not have a low body fat percentage.  Most marathon runners are “skinny fat”.  “Skinny fat” is when you have a very light body weight but you still carry a high body fat percentage.

I haven’t done any cardio since September, but I am about to start it again in several weeks.

My goal for this year is SPEED.

I don’t care about distance at all.  I want to become fast again.

Sprints, hill repeats, suicides, etc.

When you get older you don’t really lose any endurance and stamina, but you do lose speed.

My goal is to run a sprinting race for the first time since I was 18-years old (I’m 37).  I am curious to see what type of shape I am in after a 19-year lay over.

Good luck….

-John

I have been lifting weights for 21 years straight and I don’t plan on ever stopping.   After all of these years of training, I can officially tell what works for my body and what doesn’t.

I have competed in over 10 powerlifting competitions and my top lifts were a 345lb bench press, 585 lb dead lift and a 245lb military press.

A couple of years ago I tried to experiment with my routine and I switched to higher rep sets with more cardio.  The end result was that I looked a look worse.

There is a certain look that a powerlifter has that regular people in the gym will never achieve and the only way to replicate that look is by using heavy weights.

The heavier the weights, the better.

People like to claim that Arnold Schwarzenegger didn’t use heavy weights, but the truth is that he still went pretty heavy.

His bench press was over 400lbs and both him and Franco Columbu had deadlifted over 700.

Although you won’t win a powerlifting competition with those lifts, that is still pretty damn strong.

This winter I am trying to get back to the basics and start lifting heavy weights again.  As usual I have a bunch of nagging injuries, but so far, I have been lifting pretty heavy.

So far this winter, my bench press is over 305, I have reached 95’s for dumbbells shoulders and I have leg pressed over 600.

This year I want to focus on building up a solid physique that will really look good when I start to cut up for the summer..

Recently I was looking at some pictures of my physique and in every single one of my best years, I was lifting heavy weights.

Heavy weights work.  There is no short cut or alternative to heavy weights, so if you want to have a solid physique, you better start lifting heavy.

-John

You need to EAT.  EAT, EAT and more EATING.

If you want to just put on lean muscle, that could be a problem.  But if you are looking to just lift some heavy-ass weights, you need to eat or you aren’t going to make any process.

I can’t BELIEVE how strong I am getting this year.  I cut off my cardio workouts about a month and half ago and I am already lifting near my  winter goals in some exercises.

So what have I been doing differently?

First of all, I stopped all of the high rep, multiple set nonsense.  Maybe that works for you, but for me it does just the opposite.  I lose muscle mass and my body starts to look very stringy.

But most importantly, I am taking in a TON of protein.  I don’t count my calories, but I am consuming a large amount of fish, chicken, peanuts and steak on a weekly basis.

Today I lifted 80’s for 7 reps in shoulder dumbbells.  That is not my best, but I am not far off from my peak.  At my best ever, I was up to 80’s for 10 and 105’s for 1.  I should be able to reach that pretty easily.

I am also surprised by how strong my muscle memory is this year.  I have been lifting heavy for the last 15 years and my body is responding so fast, it is almost unbelievable.

The late 30’s and early 40’s are very strong years for powerlifting and bodybuilding.  It’s hard for a young person to compete with someone who has years of 600 lb deadlifts and 400 lb bench press under their belt.   Building up mass takes time.

My basic goals this winter was to hit 315ish in the bench and over 100’s in the shoulder dumbbells.  It’s still not even November yet, but I think I might break that pretty soon.

I also planned to reintroduce my cardio workouts in December.  But with the success I’ve been having in the gym recently, I might even postpone that until February.

Why stop when something is working?

Pictures and more videos coming soon..

-John

Happy Hump Day!

I read an interesting interview the other day by the famous bodybuilder Lee Priest.  Basically, Lee stated that if your genetics don’t allow you to grow almost immediately, then you should probably give up on ever becoming a professional bodybuilder.

I agree.

If you don’t have the perfect set of genetics, you will never become a champion bodybuilder.  And that doesn’t go for just bodybuilding; that also pertains to basketball, track and field, swimming,tennis and many other sports.  Let’s face it, if you are only 5’2 with short arms, you probably will never be able to out swim Michael Phelps.

But even if you don’t have superstar genetics, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t compete or quit working out, you just need be honest with yourself.  If you weren’t born with the right genetics, any amount of training won’t make a difference.  You will never become Arnold Schwarzenegger just by training exactly the same way he did.

So forget about being Arnold and focus on becoming the best that you can be.

Anyone can gain muscle, remove body fat and build a nice, cut, 6-pack.  All it takes is hard work, dedication and consistency.

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The key is to find the right combination of training that works for YOU.

Arnold was famous for using tons of sets in his training, that routine doesn’t work me.

My body needs heavy weights, small sets and a moderate amount of cardio.  I have been training for over 20 years now and I can tell with almost certainty the routines that work for my body and the ones that don’t.

Something has to change. You need to look different week after week.

And if you are not seeing any results, change your routine up IMMEDIATELY.  Don’t stick with a program that isn’t working.

Change your diet

Change your cardio

Change your rep and weight scheme

As I stated above, only a small percentage of the population can professional bodybuilders. But if you find the routine that works the best for you, I can almost guarantee that you can make impressive gains.

You used to bench press 225, now you can bench press 275: GAINS

You used to run the mile in 8 minutes, now you can run it in 6:36:  GAINS

You used to weigh 225, now you are stronger at 190: GAINS

-John

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