Posts Tagged ‘Winter’

If you have followed my blog for the last couple years, you would know that I pick a different “weak point” to work on every off-season.

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For example: several years ago I focused mainly on my calves, and now they are one of my best body parts. This past year I actually worked out my back twice a week and unfortunately it still needs some extra work.

This coming winter I plan on killing my legs, specifically, I plan on squatting twice a week.

I tried experimenting with using the leg press for several years and I have discovered that it cannot compare to good old-fashioned squats when it comes to leg development.

Not only have my legs grown tremendously since I started squatting again, but it also adds to my overall body mass.

It’s funny, but when I first started working out I focused mostly on my chest because it was a major weak point. Now as a 39 year old man, my chest has become my best feature.

Bodybuilding is a funny sport, sometimes you can grow in one area very easily and other areas can take you years of experimentation.

Wish me luck.

-John Andre.

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Being stubborn can destroy your training.  If you continue with the same routines day in and day out, you will never improve.

And I see this ALL the time at the gym.

Most people don’t change at all.  Middle of winter or in the blazing hot middle of July, they look exactly the same.

Now that I am officially in my late 30’s, almost 40, I am still in pretty good shape.  I am still deadlifting in the mid 500’s, my squats are in the mid 300’s and I can still run good times.

But there are two things that I need to change asap.

A) I need to keep my diet strict all year round and slow down on my winter bulk up.  Last season I felt that I bulked up way too much and it was a struggle to get my body weight down quickly.  This year I gained about 6 lbs less, but it still feels pretty heavy.

B) I need to do cardio all year around.  Again, I did “some”cardio all year, compared to last season when I took 6 months off.  That is not healthy and I think I actually looked better when I stayed lean during the winter.  For my 40th birthday next year I am going to make sure that I continue cardio all winter long.

Conclusion: Like I stated above, being stubborn can cost you big time in bodybuilding.  I can still train hard, if not harder, then when I was younger, but I do need to make some changes in my routine.

Spring is definitely here, time to hit the cardio hard, lose weight and start getting cut.

Good luck!

-John Andre

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Running 2.0 The End Of Long-Distance Running: Including The Top Ten Spint Workouts To Remove Bodyfat

Finally, Some Good News

I have to be honest, the last several months I haven’t had my usual “killer instinct”.

2018 was a bad year.  I guess it wasn’t necessarily horrible, but I really didn’t make any progress.

Besides saving a decent amount of money, nothing else went great.

I didn’t find a new job, I only added several new clients to my side-business and my third book wasn’t published.

I went to too many funerals, my vacations were not fun and my wife didn’t get pregnant with baby #2.

Thankfully, 2019 has been off to a good start.

In the last several weeks, it seems like my luck is starting to change.

I hit some heavy numbers in my last weeks of winter bulkup, I started my early Spring training cardio and I am also feeling motivated again.

It’s hard to stay motivated all the time.

When it comes to the gym, I honestly like going.  There will be weeks where I might be more motivated than others, but I am consistent in showing up.

For running, it takes a little more internal motivation to get it going.  Some years I will really be in the mood and run some fast times, other years, I will just go through the motions and just use some cardio to get cut.

When it comes to my career and starting businesses, I am really hit or miss.

Sometimes I will get super motivated, work on my side business and/or go on interviews, other times I will not be into it mentally and I do almost nothing.

Recently I feel like I have been in a “rut”, but I am slowly starting to come out.

Time to work out hard in the gym, fast running outside and side-businesses to start.

Any month where I am not making progress is wasted time.

I have wasted enough.

-John

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Lift Heavy/Run Fast

I can’t believe it, but I am officially 39-years old.

It’s weird, but I don’t feel that much different from when I was 18.

18 was a fun a year.  I was lifting weights and running pretty much 7 days a week, my diet was nonexistent and I (thought) I was insane shape.

But it wasn’t until my late 20’s that I learned how to work out and run properly, along with a real diet, that I finally became ripped.

JASUMMERPICTURE-MIX

Now that I am in my late 30’s and almost 40, what changes do I feel?

Nothing.

Ok, I am lying.  I feel some changes.

My shoulders are always killing me, I don’t get to sleep past 7:30 due to work and/or family and my hangovers last 3 days.

But besides that, what’s the difference?

When someone between ages 35-45 starts telling you about how they are an “old man”, send them to my website and tell them they are being a bitch.

There is no difference at that age except you are hard headed.

If your diet is bad, you quit sprinting and you complain about every little ache and pain, then yes, 40 might be a death sentence for you.

But for those you want to keep training hard, you can still get better.  Actually when it comes to bodybuilding, ages 35-45 are usually the best.

So, how to we compare last season to this season?

  • Are you lifting more?
  • Are you running faster?
  • Do you weigh less?
  • Do you look better?

When it comes to the winter bulk up, its really pretty easy.  What are you lifting and at what body weight.

Last year I was around 7-10 lb’s heavier and I am squatting and deadlifting more this year.

That is progress.

My top deadlift was 515 last season and I just did 525 yesterday and it went up like a rocket ship.  Going to lift heavy for another 2 weeks and hopefully get over 550 before I start spring training.

For my squat, I am getting near 315 pretty easy.

My problem with bench and squatting, is that I don’t have a steady spotter.  All of my training partners keep quitting.

For the bench press, I am training in the 275-300 range without a spotter, which is dangerous.

So last year was a bench press victory, but I definitely improved on squats and deadlifts and I also weigh less.

When the spring starts I will start my cardio again and the question will be, did I get faster than last year?

Sprinting, 1-mile run and the 3-mile run.

Stopwatches are great.  Unless the earth is spinning slower around the sun, 18 minutes when I was in college is still the same 18 minutes now.

Last year I got my 3 mile time down to around 20:30.

Can I beat that this year? We will see.

This year I want to “try” to focus a little more on my sprinting times, 1-mile or less, but I will still run a couple fast 3 mile races.

And then there is my looks.

This year I have a solid chance of looking ripped.  My son was still a baby last summer and it was killing my sleep.

Now, with some extra rest and a solid training plan, hopefully I will look better.

At least better than you other 39-year old’s.

-John Andre

Check out my books on amazon.com!

Lift Heavy/Run Fast

Imagine that your doctor told you that you had 20 years left to live?

Would you quit your job?

Would you travel more?

Would you get married or divorced?

I think I know what I would do.  I would buy an R.V. and travel throughout the United States for several years.

travel-rv

In my R.V. I would pack a squat rack, bench press and up to 600 lb’s in weights.  Although it’s going to kill my gas mileage, I would be able to set up a base at different sites and powerlift.

For my cardio, well that’s easy.  I can run anywhere in the great outdoors, or alongside the truck as my wife drives.

After several years traveling throughout the United States, I would like to do the same in Europe.  Travel throughout the different counties with my 600 lb’s of weights and maybe take one or two side-excursions to Asia, most likely Japan and one other country.

Along with stopping at various churches and praying for my afterlife, I will publish two books about my travels and then I am ready to die.

So what would you plan on doing?

Or more importantly, what are you doing now?

  • Do you workout 5-6X a week?
  • Do you lift heavy to moderate weights?
  • Do you add cardio to your routine including sprint training?

Also, how is your diet?

  • Do you eat clean?
  • Do you have a visible 6-pack for part of the year?
  • Do you take any recreationale drugs?
  • Do you drink more than 20 beers a week?
  • Do you have high blood pressure or cholesterol and need medication to lower it?

WAKE UP STUPID!

Your life expectancy is probably only 20 years right now.

Travel…

Exercise…

Run…

Eat right..

Pray…

And enjoy your life…

-John Andre

Check out my books on amazon.com…

Lift Heavy/Run Fast

 

As I sit here typing this as a 38-year old man, I firmly believe that every man under 50 years of age should go to Spring Break.

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Spring Break is healthy.  Spring Break is motivational.

And it’s a damn good time.

For some of my European and Asian readers that are not familiar with Spring Break, it is an American tradition where many young people travel to a warm area during the months of March and April.  It’s very popular for College students and usually coincides with their school schedule.

Some of the hot spots include Florida, Jamaica, Texas, Cancun and others.

In my lifetime, I have been to 4:

  • Cancun
  • Lake Havasu, Arizona
  • Bahamas
  • South Padre, Texas

The last one that I have been to was in South Padre, Texas when I was 30 years old.

So, what do I love about Spring Break besides the warm weather and the debauchery?

First of all, it is IDEAL for bodybuilding.

There is nothing that gets me more motivated in the Winter than training for Spring Break.

When it is 20 degrees out and snowing, I can’t stop thinking about the warm beaches and palm trees.

It is also seasonally perfect.  Typically I would bulk up from October to February, then I would start to diet and add cardio to my routine.

The result would be that I would start to look really good in Late March and Early April.

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I wouldn’t be super cut and skinny like I get in the summer, but I would still have some solid bulk that would look really good.

Spring break is the ultimate motivation.

If walking around in a bathing suit in front of thousands of people doesn’t get you motivated to train, what else will?

Now that I am older, married, and I have a child. Should anything change?

Why should I stop going to Spring Break?

This year, it is officially back on.

Although I won’t be doing keg stands on Daytona Beach, I sure as heck will be somewhere warm, diving into a swimming pool.

And I refuse to be the overweight and out of shape father on vacation, I am showing up ripped this year.

Now I have something to live for as winter starts to slowly creep into NYC.

Extra motivation.

-John Andre

Check out my books on amazon.com!

Lift Heavy/Run Fast

I have to be honest with myself. I am a 38-year old man, and there is a good chance that I will never become a billionaire.

I SHOULD become a millionaire. Not necessarily a million dollars in salary, but I should eventually hit one million dollars in liquid assets at some point in my life.

Not rich, but solid all-American middle class.

But why should I give up? I am a super competitive guy, but I am also realistic.

How can I possibly compete with a BILLIONAIRE?

Two words: BODYBUILDING and VACATIONS

VACATION:

Vacation is very important to me and I would like to travel as much as possible while I am alive on this earth. Some of the places I attended in the last 4-5 years:

St Patrick’s Day Boston
St Patrick’s Day Key West
St Patrick’s Day NYC
St Patrick’s Day Philadelphia
St Patrick’s Day Ireland (Dublin)
St Patrick’s Day Arizona (Scottsdale)

Kentucky Derby
Preakness Stakes
Belmont Stakes

Mardi Gras (New Orleans)

Spring Break South Padre

Seattle/Vancouver
Charleston, SC
Savannah, GA
Magog, Canada
Lake Willoughby, Vermont
Ottawa, Canada
Dewey Beach, Delaware
Atlantic City
Las Vegas
Myrtle Beach
Gettysburg, PA
Hilton Head, SC
Raleigh, NC
Kennebunkport, MA
Lake George, NY
Lake Placid, NY
Portland, MA
Birmingham Alabama
Lancaster, PA

Sweden/Estonia

BODYBUILDING:

I work out either 6 or 7 days a week and I also eat a healthy diet. I haven’t met too many people in this world who can beat my 6-pack every summer.

“BODYBUILDING IS ONE OF THE MOST FAIR SPORTS IN THE WORLD”.

Of course genetics play a large role in bodybuilding, but overall, you get back what you put in.

You can have the most expensive personal trainer and the most expensive steroids available, and you probably still won’t beat me.

Rich or poor, bodybuilding brings people together.

Conclusion: So what can a billionaire do that I can’t?

I am unable to fly on a private plane, I don’t even fly first class.
I am unable to afford very expensive hotels or 5-star restaurants
I don’t have access to world leaders

The only way I can compete with a billionaire is by doing more life EVENTS.

When I am dying in the hospital and the priest comes in the room, I want him to slap me five and say “You Lived a Good Life!”

-John Andre

Lift Heavy/Run Fast

I’ve always been jealous of the guys training in Miami or in Los Angeles.  How can you beat being outside all year-round in beautiful weather, with a nice tan and healthy looking skin?

NYC winters are brutal.  Not only do I get pasty white, but my skin gets so dry and itchy that I rarely want to take my shirt off.  Thank god I always book a trip to somewhere warm 2 or 3 times every winter, otherwise I would be in trouble.

But there are really no excuses for being in crappy shape just because you live in a cold region.  Sergio Oliva trained in Chicago, Lou Ferrigno was originally from my hometown of Brooklyn, and Dorian Yates trained in England.

The key for training in cold weather regions is to “not get too fat”.  Its fine to put on a little size in the winter and it will even help keep you warm.  But you can’t let it get out of control.

  • tighten up your diet
  • throw in a little cardio when it isn’t too crappy out
  • continue to work out your abs
  • take at least one vacation to somewhere warm

The one advantage you have when living somewhere cold, is that it is a lot easier to bulk up.  You need to focus on putting on those slabs of granite muscle, while the guys in L.A. are eating hummus and going rollerblading.

And when the spring rolls around, you need to diet hard. If you can keep that solid muscle on while just burning up your fat, you will look RIPPED!

Right now, I am about a month into my winter bulkup.

I haven’t weighted myself recently, but I am sure I have put on at least 10-15 lbs and I am already deadlifting over 455 lbs.

This year I plan on bulking to around Feb 1st.  Last year I bulked until around St Patrick’s day but I think that was too long.

This year my goal is LEAN gains.
Good Luck!

-John Andre

Check out my brand new book on amazon.com!

Lift Heavy/Run Fast

Now that my winter bulk up is over, I am starting to add some cardio back into my routine.

This week I ran 4 times.  I ran Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday.

I was considering running on Sunday, but I decided not to.  When I use my running for cardio, I like to run HARD.  Easy running is for marathon runners and it doesn’t burn off a lot of body fat.

If anything, most marathon runners are skinny fat.  Skinny fat is where you have a low body weight but still a high body fat percentage.

The key to cardio is intensity.  Run hard, run fast and push it.

This year, my goal is to run 3 miles under 21 minutes without running for than 3 or 4x a week.  I also never run more than 3-4 miles in my training, when I run, it is short and fast.

I meet runners all the time that utilize a ton of mileage in their routine, but their running times never go anywhere.

It’s truly a waste of time to go outside or on a treadmill and start plodding along.

The key to cardio is to work on your SPEED.

You don’t really lose a lot of endurance as you get older, but you definitely lose a lot of speed.

Speed is the key to life and vitality, not endurance.

Sprints, tempo runs and even sports are the cardio routines that you can use to get into great shape and remove body fat.

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Last summer I was running outdoors and when I would start to feel burnt out, I would switch to basketball.

But overall, I would never run more than 12-15 miles a week, max.

Today I ran 2 miles in 15:00 minutes (7:30 per mile pace).  I’m only into my second week of running, but I am quickly starting to feel pretty good.

Running is a weird sport, it usually takes me around 15-20 runs before I start to get into the “groove”.

But once my legs and my breathing starts to make the adjustment to the training, I can really start to push it hard.

Remember, start training outside now so when the weather changes, you will be ready.

By the time Spring rolls around you want to be in the middle of a hard training routine, not at the beginning.

-John

Lift Heavy/Fun Fast on Amazon.com!

 

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