Posts Tagged ‘Working out’

July 4th is a great holiday.

Not only is it the biggest American holiday over the summer, but it is also a patriotic and symbolic occasion.

As we honor those that have served and sacrified, I am also reminded of American exceptionalism.

Although the world is becoming smaller than ever, there are still certain American characteristics that make this country unique.

One the biggest difference that I find between Americans and the rest of the world, is our proud tradition of “individualism“.

We are not scared to be individuals.

Although soccer may never become a very popular sport in the United States, a sport like bodybuilding has always been popular and the U.S. has traditionally been a world leader.

One of the greatest examples of American invividualism and exceptionalism would be with Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Although I have better abs than him, Arnold’s life truly embodies the American dream.

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He emigrated to the United States as a young man, at one point became the highest paid movie star in the world, and he is generally considered the greatest bodybuilder of all time.

When I think of the 4th of July, I think of people like Arnold Schwarzenegger.

I don’t know what it is, but I love getting ripped for the 4th of July.

jabeer

Ripped abs

There is just something about drinking a Budweiser, eating a Nathan’s hot dog and ripping my shirt off on the beach and showing what can be achieved with hard work.

God bless the United States!

-John Andre

Lift Heavy/Run Fast

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I am happy to announce that my first race of the season is this Thursday.

One of the good things about this race, is that I have run it almost 7 years in a row.

Since the course hasn’t changed, I should be able to judge what type of shape I am in.

So far, I think I am in pretty good shape.  Definitely not my fastest shape for Mid-May, but I am setting myself up for a good summer.  I think it will be one of my top running times, just not my best of all time.

The only problem I see so far, is that it might rain.  Rain is not necessarily a problem if it is light.

But if it is raining hard your clothes get wet, your sneakers get heavy and then it is game over if you consider running a fast time.

My 2nd race of the year will most likely be on Father’s Day.  I ran this race last year right after my son was born and I ran like a snail.

It was easily the worst race that I had run in about 10 years. This year, I plan on destroying that time.

It should be pretty easy, but we will see.

I hope everyone’s training is going well.  I am about to kick the bodybuilding into high gear soon and start putting up some progress pics.

The abs are starting to show now, but its still too early to start taking pictures.

I need some more sprint work outs, heavy lifting and a sun tan, before I start showing off the goods.

More to come soon!

-John Andre

Check out my book on amazon.com!

Lift Heavy/Run Fast

You need to work out hard.  There is no way around it.

I don’t buy all of these articles stating that less workouts are better than more. I agree that you cannot overtrain, but is less really better than more when it comes to removing bodyfat?

It depends.

Performance is everything.  If you think you can work out twice and week and show up in good shape, good luck.

You wont be able to run a mile in 5 minutes.

You also won’t have enough cardio workouts to burn off the extra body fat.

When I train for the summer, I will work out 6 or 7 days a week and show up ripped.

jabeer

Although I will work out for 6 or 7 days a week, my workouts are usually only an hour at time, and two hours on the days that I do both cardio and weights.

I only squat and deadlift once a week and I rarely do more than 3 sets per body part (not including warm ups)

I prefer to focus on high-intensity.  Hit it hard and quickly and get out.

But sometimes I feel rundown.

Last week I was on vacation and when I went back to work on Monday I felt exhausted.

Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday were horrible workouts, so by Thursday I realized that something was off.

Thursday night I decided to increase the calories.  I had a big dinner, some desert and I had 2 beers before I went to sleep.

Friday I went to the gym and I decided to skip deadlifting.

So overall, I took an easy day at the gym and I completely cheated on my diet.

End result?

Today I ran like a champ!  I finally had a great workout and ran 4 miles at around a 7 minute per mile pace.

So although I try to be strict on my diet as much as possible and I rarely skip the gym, sometimes its pays off to take a break.

Increase the calories,  and skip or take an easy day at the gym.

Once you feel rested, right back at it.

Just as long as you don’t make a habit of it, a short break ran help your training and assist you in reaching your goals.

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-John

It’s really not that hard to get ripped, yet most people in the gym look the same day in and day out.

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It’s not that they are training wrong per se, but more that they are either not training hard enough or not dieting correctly.

The first step in getting ripped is to be consistent.  If you aren’t going to show up for your workouts, then you are wasting your time.

I never miss a day.  I think I missed only 2 days in all of 2017.You need to commit to make any progress.

The second part is the weight training. You NEED to gain strength if you expect your muscles to grow.

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This is where almost everyone gets stuck.  It gets harder and harder to continue getting stronger and most people give up and go into maintenance mode.

If you are going to lift weights, take it serious and increase the intensity.  Focus on gaining strength and your physique will change.  If you are lifting the same amount of weights, your body will look the same.

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And finally, you need to be strict with your diet and cardio.  Some professional bodybuilders get extremely ripped without using any cardio at all, they just use a proper diet and steroids.

Although this might seem like a ton of work, if you are already working out consistently, then you are probably closer than you think.  Sometimes it is that extra 10 to 15% extra effort that helps you beat your competition.

It is the same theory with working a 9 to 5 job.  For example; I take a ferry to Manhattan for work every day and the ferry that I take runs every 15 minutes in the morning.

I set my alarm for 5:45 am, and I usually try to make the 7:30-7:45 ferry instead of the 8 or 8:30.  But more importantly, I’ve noticed that there is a big  difference between the people going to work at 8am and the people crawling in for a 9 to 5.

The 7:30am boat is always a lot quieter, with people mostly reading newspapers or checking information on their phones, while the 8 and 8:30am boats are a madhouse.  Most of the people are loud, they are socializing or playing music and the lack of motivation is noticeable.

Just by waking up 30 minutes earlier can be the difference between becoming a millionaire and being stuck as a regular Joe.

It is the small efforts that add up.

Don’t be the person walking into work late and take your workouts serious in the gym if you want to improve.

P.S. 3 more weeks of my winter bulk up left and then I need to get ripped.

-John

Check out my books on amazon.com!

Lift Heavy/Fun Fast on Amazon.com!

 

 

Well, it’s official.  Summer is over, I am done cutting up and I am on vacation this week.  I was supposed to be in Hilton Head, SC but due to the Hurricane, I am doing 3 days in Cape May, NJ before heading to upstate NY.

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I have to admit, it does feel good to finally be able to eat.  After 4 months of hard dieting, I have let myself go these last couple days.

Although I went running outside on Saturday and Monday, I probably came close to doubling my average caloric intake.

One thing that I have noticed about working out and especially bodybuilding, is that you can lose your cuts immediately.

Don’t kid yourself, I could probably put on 5 lbs of body weight over a bad weekend.

And where do you think that body weight is going to hide? Most likely your stomach.

Now, if you have been working out and dieting consistently for weeks, you can get right back on track in 3 or 4 days, but a bad weekend can really hurt you.

DON’T TAKE OFF.

My rule of thumb is that I will allow myself to eat crap for a wedding or birthday party, but besides that, I try to stay on point forever.

I still have an entire week of vacation left and its going to be tough, but I am going to try to slow down.  I don’t need to pig out for 9 days straight.  Although I am probably going to be eating at restaurants, I am going to start ordering more fish and cut the desert to a minimum.

Most importantly, I going to include some workouts on my vacation.  I’m not going to go as crazy as I do during my regular week, but I will at least run or lift light weights in the hotel gym every other day.

So in conclusion, bodybuilding is a lifetime sport.  If you think you can skip the gym or cheat on your diet for over several days, your physique will suffer.

You can lie to yourself, but your body knows the truth and will look accordingly.

-John

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

Lift Heavy/Fun Fast on Amazon.com!

 

 

Hello All.  If you read my blog, you would know that I had my first child in April.  So far, it has been a life changing experience, both good and bad, and I couldn’t picture my life before him.

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So, what are the major changes?

  1. Sleeping in late is OVER:  After age 32-33, I started getting up pretty early on the weekends anyway, but now I get up at the latest, 530-630 am.  As soon my son is up, I am up.
  2. The first month you wont sleep:  I am not going to lie, the first month is tough.  I remember going to work with little sleep day after day.  You eventually get used to it, but by then, my son started sleeping a little better.
  3. Your sleep is never straight through the night.  I am almost 5-months in and I still have to wake up 2-3x a night.  Sometimes it will only be once, sometimes 4, it really depends on his day.
  4. Working out doesn’t change too much:  I only  missed about 3-4 days of weights.  I work out with weights at lunch, so that really didn’t change.  Cardio is a little tougher.  After work I am pretty tired and I also want to get home to see him before he goes to bed.  I have been using a lot of treadmile and 8am weekend running.
  5. Read all you want, but there is no substitute for real life practice and every child is different.  You will QUICKLY find out what they like and what they don’t like.

What are some other major changes?

  • More compassion but less tolerance for bullshit.  For some reason, I feel more compassionate for people with real legitimate problems.  With that being said, I lost all patience for bullshit.  Especially with young lazy people.
  • Become more religions.  If having a child doesn’t do it for you, nothing will.

What about costs:

  • My wife is not working indefinitely, so we have to be on a strict budget.  But to be honest, you have a solid 9 months to prepare, so you don’t have any excuses.  And I got married at age 36, so I wasn’t a rookie.  We paid off almost all debt and so far, it’s a lot cheaper than being single.  Less drinking, eating out and vacations, but more money on health insurance, formula, diapers and utilities.  Overall, not as bad as I thought it would be.

Overall, I can’t say enough how life changing it is to have a child.  Very tiring, but I would say you are crazy to not entertain the idea before its too late.

Do I miss single life? Not really.  Occasionally, I will feel like I am missing out on a big trip.  The key is to get everything done BEFORE you get married.

  • Go to Miami
  • Go to Ireland
  • Go to Japan
  • Go to Mardi Gras

And for the love of god, don’t pass up on having children just to support some stupid corporate job.  Trust me,

-John

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

Lift Heavy/Fun Fast on Amazon.com!

 

Years ago when I was back in College, I started a daily training log where I wrote down my weight lifting and running numbers and I kept it up until I was in my early 20’s.

I saved all of the books and sometimes I will look through it just to see what type of training I was using.

Today I don’t keep a log, but generally, I will run several races every year and in the summer I will take some bodybuilding pics. I know my limitations in the gym and with running, so I don’t need to write it down anymore.

One thing I have noticed after all these years, is that I need to stay “aggressive”.

This goes not only for my training; but also for earning money and living my life.

I will give some examples.  If there is a course or certification that you need to take for work, get it done.  Don’t procrastinate, don’t hesitate, do it.

If you aren’t earning enough in your current job but feel comfortable, get “uncomfortable”

If you want to train for a half-marathon, sign up for the race immediately and start training.

If I review the last 10 years of my life, probably 6 or 7 of them were aggressive and several of them were passive.

I need to stop having passive years.

I am going to turn 38 this year and I have a 3-month old child.  It’s either going to happen or it isn’t.

Some examples include:

  • Start law school
  • Write a book
  • Go back to school for a 2nd career
  • Get a second job
  • Lose 20 lbs

There is never a good reason to “cruise” through life until the very end.

You need to work hard and keep pushing!

Good luck!

-John

Lift Heavy/Fun Fast on Amazon.com!

 

If you want to get wealthy, you need to work hard and you need to be willing to work long hours.  I don’t believe in short cuts nor do I believe in the Tim Ferris “4 hour work week”.


The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich
Tim tried to apply his “4 hour work out” to bodybuilding and he didn’t make any progress.

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I recently took a break from any type of cardio and I am amazed by how quickly my energy levels are decreasing.  Although I have been bulking up and gaining strength, I can feel a noticeable decrease in energy from when I was still doing cardio workouts.

The same theory goes for working and building wealth.

Recently I have been working a lot of late nights.  Typically, this is my busiest time of year up until the middle of December and it is not uncommon for me to work until 1o or 11 at night.  It’s interesting, but I am starting to see a lot of similarities between the stamina I had built up from running and the stamina I am building up from working.

From working a bunch of late nights, a 9 to 5 work day now feels like a half day for me.  My stamina is so strong now that I can basically work all day and night and still wake up the next day feeling fresh.

In business you need stamina.  If your coworkers are working from 9 to 5 and you can work from 8 to 6, you should be able to surpass their performance.  The same goes for sales jobs, studying for licensing exams or starting a side business.

Some of my friends laugh when they see me working side businesses, but an extra $10K a year can make a huge difference.  $10K a year over a 30 year career is $300K before interest, that is a TON of money.

So take my advice on this.  Running, graduate school, 2nd job, etc.  You will be surprised by how much you can increase your wealth and improve your career when you work on improving your stamina.

-John

Check out my book on amazon.com!

I’m officially into my winter bulk up and I am rapidly increasing the calories.

This year I plan on going from a low of 149 lb’s this summer to possibly over 180.  Around 180-185 lbs is basically the heaviest I ever want to weigh again.  I don’t believe it is healthy to stay overweight for an extended period of time and I only plan on staying heavy for several weeks at most.

It’s interesting but I actually look really good during the first month that I start bulking up.  A little bit of extra calories makes a difference for me.  After only several weeks of increased calories I am already up to 70’s for 10 in shoulder dumbbells and 245 for 7 in the bench press.  My goals this year is to go up to 110’s for shoulder dumbbells and 335 for bench press.

Although I am consuming a large amount of calories, it is still important that you eat clean throughout the year.  I want to make sure that I put on the least amount of body fat while attempting to only add lean muscle mass.

My favorite part about bulking up is that I haven’t used a scale in a long time.  I am basically just eating a ton of food and not worrying about how much I weigh.  Around November 1st I will step back on the scale just to make sure that I am not gaining weight too fast.  If I am too heavy I will have to cut down slightly on the calories.

Overall, I feel that bulking up is important, just as long as you only stay heavy for a short time period.  It’s perfectly fine to increase the calories, but still make sure that you continue to eat cleanly.

I like to embrace winter.  Its starting to get colder outside, the sun is starting to set earlier and the holidays are right around the corner.

Couldn’t ask for a better time to bulk up.

So enjoy your extra eating, your extra sleeping and most importantly, your heavier lifting.

-John

For years I have had REALLY small calves.  Almost embarrassingly small.

I always figured that I just had horrible genetics and they would never grow, but it looks like I was wrong.

In the last several years I started focusing hard on my calves and they are starting to explode.  I never measured them, but my calves are starting to become one of my best body parts.  I am actually starting to get more comments and questions on my calves than any other body part.

The calve muscles are a very important body part.  Generally, they are the only muscle in your legs that people can see when you wear shorts.  Unless your shorts are really tight, you usually aren’t going to show off your hamstrings or quads, but your calves are always visible.

Since my calves are starting to really stand out, I plan on DESTROYING them during this  years’ bulk up season.  I always say when you have a good body part, go with it.   I want to build up a tremendous set of calves for next summer.

My biceps are another story.

My biceps are “ok”, but they could be a lot better. I’ve tried many different training techniques, but I still haven’t found the best routine.  So far the best method I have found is by using heavy cheat curls.  Nothing else has really worked for me.

I am going to have to experiment with different exercises this year to improve my biceps.  There has to be some routine that will make them explode and I need to discover it.

In the next several weeks I will start to post some bulk up pictures and hopefully some videos.

-John Andre

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