Squats: the King of lifts…I don’t want to weigh 400! Chew Bar™: More than diet food…Rampage on a Rampage
IRON VIC SPEAKS by IRON VIC STEELE
I got into an argument with a Pilates instructor over barbell squats – she said that it was “widely known” that full squats are dangerous for the knees. This is, of course, utter bullshit. It is frustrating to not have the exact science at your fingertips to refute these Yahoos when they throw this garbage in your face. This was in front of a group in an informal situation. You could see all their heads bobbing in agreement – people want to believe that hardcore exercises like the squat, or the power clean or deadlift or a half-dozen other compound free weight exercises – are dangerous because if they’re dangerous then you cannot be reasonably expected to do them. Plus these sissy personal trainers keep telling the gullible that a comfortable resistance machine can give you just as good a leg workout as those awkward, dangerous barbell squats. It is maddening to have skinny losers with zero athletic credentials run down the squat. Makes me want to “go postal” and start bashing people with a 45-pound plate – but that would be wrong! Race, Del Rio
“As of the last 18 months I’m a personal trainer at Innovative Fitness in Fircrest, WA. Fitness and serving others has always been a passion of mine. I first became certified as a trainer in 2001 and trained at a franchised club. One of my early goals was to be in the best shape of my life at age 50. After raising two boys it was finally my turn to become the athlete I had always dreamed I could be. Stepping on stage for the first time as a bodybuilder in 2003 at the age of 50 was a humbling and exhilarating experience. Year-to-date, I have competed in 11 contests, and I plan to compete in three shows in 2009. The Emerald Cup is my next goal, April 18th, I plan to take 1st after taking 2nd the last 3 years. In 2008 I competed in three contests taking first at the North West Night of Champions, second at the Emerald Cup and First at the Empire Classic. I’ve been following the Parrillo nutrition plan since 2002 and love the products. The butter flavored CapTri® is so yummy and the Protein and Energy bars™ are so good I feel like I’m cheating. I’ve come a long way! I live my life on purpose and can’t imagine it any other way.” You can reach Denise by emailing: IamFitDenise@hotmail.com.
By John Parrillo
There’s a lot of talk these days about “superfoods” – foods that give you extra nutrients, provide energy, help fight disease and aging, and for bodybuilders and athletes, build muscle. Obviously, superfoods are the way to go to get the most health- and muscle-building nutrition for your time and money. And fortunately, the Parrillo Nutrition program is packed with superfoods. For example:
Proteins are found in all cells and tissues and are required for the structure and function of every part of the body. And of special interest to bodybuilders, muscles are made of protein.
By Cliff Sheats
To enhance and extend your energy, make sure you’re getting enough of your B vitamins. They are involved in nearly every reaction in the body, from the manufacture of new red blood cells to the metabolism of carbohydrates, fat, and protein. Unfortunately though, cooking and food processing can destroy these nutrients. Plus, emotional stress can cause deficiencies.
Here’s a closer look at five key players on this important “B-team”:
Thiamine or vitamin B1 plays a key role in the production of energy. It is also essential for the maintenance of a good appetite, normal digestion, and the health of the gastrointestinal tract. It has also been shown to enhance muscular endurance. Yet many people are low in this vitamin. Eating foods low in thiamine, cutting calories drastically, overcooking foods – these are a few of the practices that cause deficiencies or destroy thiamine in the body.
Sometimes a health catastrophe can lead to good things
By Andre Newcomb
Two years ago Ron’s whole life had been turned upside. At the time of his first and only heart attack he was 46 years old. Ron weighed 303 pounds and stood six feet even. A hard working small businessman, an electrician by trade, Ron built a small firm from scratch that now employed twenty people. Athletically gifted his entire life, at the time of his heart attack Ron was hyperactive: a competitive powerlifter, a scratch golfer who played every weekend, the star player on a very serious adult flag football league, Ron ran and romped and lifted and was vital and seemingly bulletproof. He was a big, burly, beefy, athletic guy and ate anything and everything his heart desired. He had his heart attack the day after TV anchor Tim Russert had died. Russert, 58, keeled over unexpectedly at his office desk with no prior indication of a heart condition. Ron had just finished reading about Russert’s heart attack death when his first heart tremors commenced. That very afternoon the pain began shooting up his right arm. He knew immediately something was dreadfully wrong and realized the inconvenient truth that he was having a heart attack. And as the whole drama was unfolding, all he could think about was Russert. Luckily for Ron, he had nothing so serious that a little angioplasty couldn’t fix. After having had his arteries reamed out with a mechanical device, Ron lay in his bed and plotted how he would eat his way out of this health catastrophe – as surely as he had eaten his way into this disaster.
His comeback plan was pure Parrillo-inspired genius: hardcore weight training would be meshed with Parrillo-style nutrition and amplified further with supplementation. While still in the hospital Ron called the 800-number and ordered a huge box of Parrillo products. His doctor eventually gave him the okay to commence hard training and from that point forward Ron made getting healthy his number one priority. He exercised hard and often and he turned his full attention to diet and nutrition. He became extremely disciplined. Ron had always been a genetically gifted athlete; the problem was that his great body and terrific muscles were covered by 100 pounds of body fat. Over the next two years Ron reduced his body weight from 303 pounds to 219. His body fat percentile plummeted from 32% to 12%. Because Ron was an athlete with lots of muscle memory, he progressed at an astoundingly fast rate. He had always been a hard trainer; that was the easy part for him. The key to Ron’s rapid progress was his use of a full blown Parrillo nutrition regimen. Ron had known about Parrillo and the Parrillo methods and products for years; he had eaten John’s bars and used his protein powders since 1990. But Ron was never disciplined enough to eat strictly. Up until his heart attack Ron had been addicted to Fettuccine Alfredo and Budweiser beer. After his heart attack he instantly and effortlessly began a regimented nutrition and supplementation program. He lost a mountain of body fat and added eleven pounds of muscle. He knew this for a flat fact: every single week Ron had his cousin (and training partner) Richard, administer a Parrillo 9-point BodyStat skin-fold caliper test.
Hard training and clean eating transformed Ron: before he lost the weight, he was just another out-of-shape, middle-aged, ex-athlete. Now he resembled a starting outside linebacker for the Baltimore Ravens. Consistency became his strong suit. On a typical weekend morning Ron would start his day before anyone else awoke. He would wake at five, slip out of bed and into a warm jogging suit. He would silently make his way out the back door and as the sun rose, Ron would begin an hour long cardio session. He would start off with light jog around his hilly, upscale neighborhood. He always started off easy; the idea was to raise his core body temperature before going all out. His doctor suggested he use a heart rate monitor. This was a precaution; a stopgap that could alert him when he was exceeding safe stress levels. Ron would periodically glance at his heart rate monitor watch as he jogged along. On this particular run his heart was beating at a steady 124 beats per minute. This was a good reading: 124 was a nice initial pace for a 46 year old, 219 pound man. As his knees, tendons, ligaments and hips warmed to the task, Ron increased his speed. After fifteen minutes he was ready, willing and able to hit his full stride. He ran on a tree-lined trail; it was a Saturday morning in mid-April and per usual, he had the park to himself. As was his habit, Ron listened to music over his iPod as he ran. An old Van Halen tune started playing just as it was time for him to start sprinting.
He ended the session running flat out up one final hill. This was the toughest single section of the run course. As he crested the hill he knew his heart rate had spiked dramatically. He glanced at the watch: 171 beats per minute, time to back off. Ron’s cardiologist had alerted Ron what was and was not acceptable for a post-heart attack patient. Ron slowed and stopped. In many ways he was a medical community poster boy: the answer to virtually every health problem was, is and always shall be: a remedial dose of “diet and exercise.” Ron attacked diet and exercise with complete fanaticism. As a direct result of his self-admitted fanaticism, he made fantastic progress and he made it rapidly. Ron sprinted the last one hundred yards to cross an imaginary finish line at the start of his property. During his 60 minute session, Ron’s heart rate averaged 136 beats per minute. Ron’s shirt and jogging jacket were completely soaked in sweat. Ron believed John Parrillo’s contention that if aerobic activity were done with great intensity, over time additional muscle mitochondria would be constructed within the working muscles. More mitochondria meant greater nutrient absorption capacity. One thing for sure, his heart was functioning impeccably. He took a shower in the kitchen bathroom and changed out of his sweaty sweats. He reckoned that he must have added a few energy-producing mitochondria with today’s lung-searing, leg burning aerobic session. Ron dressed quietly.
His wife Terry was still asleep in the second floor master bedroom. The girls were having a sleepover: a dozen kids were strewn about the living room, still sleeping. Ron quietly made his way into the kitchen to drink his Parrillo shake. He got a strong pot of powerful coffee percolating and went to his “Parrillo Cabinet.” He selected his Parrillo pills: five Max Endurance Formula™, two Advanced Lipotropic Formula™ capsules, two Bio-C™, five Liver Amino™, four Muscle Amino Formula™ and one each of Essential Vitamin™ and Mineral Electrolyte Formula™. Ron made his shake using Parrillo All-Protein™. He mixed this with water and as he drank he marveled how the drink tasted just like milk. This shake provided Ron with 30 grams of protein. He washed his assortment of Parrillo Pills down in two gulps. Ron then microwaved a serving of oatmeal and mixed into the warm goop two scoops of dry, chocolate-flavored Parrillo Hi-Protein Powder™. Ron added a little more tap water to stir the chocolate goop into just the right consistency. He snapped closed the lid on the Tupperware container and ravenously anticipated eating this oatmeal chocolate protein goop at his 8 AM meal. Ron grabbed a big cup of Joe and silently slipped out the backdoor: he was meeting his training partners for a 9 AM lifting session. Ron liked to show up early and warm-up a bit before the Saturday iron-slinging session began in earnest. At the gym, Ron silently ate his oatmeal/protein goop. It was delicious; he literally felt the energy entering his body as he went through his extended and methodical warm-up routine. When his three training partners showed up to squat, he was rested, energized and completely loose and warm.
Ron was built to squat. The partner’s procedure was for the poundage on the barbell to be systematically and sequentially increased. As the weight progression proceeded, the four training partners would jump in when the squat weight was to their liking. They would rep the poundage for whatever was appropriate, while the others spotted and offered profane encouragement. Ron squatted 135 for 12 reps, then 225 for 5, 275 for 3, 315 for 2 and 365 for one rep: his squat warm-ups were now complete and it was time for him to tackle his “top set” of the day – 405 pounds for eight reps. Four 45s were loaded on each side of the barbell: his partners gathered to spot him. Some could squat more but none were as old as Ron and none of them were coming off heart surgery. His spotters yelled as Ron powered through 405 for eight reps with strength to spare. Ron then did three sets of front squats with 275 pounds. He would drop all the way down until he bottomed out, at which point he would bounce back up. He wobbled over to the leg extension bench and performed five supersets, alternating seated leg extensions with lying leg curls. He ended the session with eight sets of calf raises – each set to failure. Four sets of seated calf raises were followed by four sets of calf raises done using the leg press machine.
In between each set Ron performed a Parrillo fascial stretch. He had learned about Parrillo fascial stretching from one of his lifting partners; Tom was a successful head personal trainer at a very exclusive local club. He was also a Parrillo-certified Personal Trainer. Tom taught Ron the basic stretches: between squat sets Ron would sit on his haunches and attempt to lie back as far as possible. On each successive set of stretches he was able to lay back a bit further; this intensely stretched the tissue in his thigh muscles. It was a conflicting sensation in that the heavy squats compacted his thigh muscle fibers and the Parrillo fascial stretches forcibly elongated those same muscle fibers. In between the leg extension/leg curl super sets, Ron switched to a one-leg-a-time stretch involving hooking a foot on an exercise bench. In between calf raise sets, Ron switched to his most extreme fascial stretch: he placed one knee on an exercise bench and leaned back in just the right way. Ron could stretch the hell out of his thighs, particularly the hard-to-stretch middle thigh by using this final “bench stretch.” The entire weight training session was finished in 75 minutes. Ron retrieved a Tupperware shaker from his gym bag. In it was a double portion of Parrillo 50/50 Plus Powder™. The post-workout “smart bomb” provides muscles precisely what they need in the post-workout environment to heal and grow. Ron activated the powder with water from the drinking fountain. He sipped the fabulous tasting chocolate mixture while he gathered his gym bag, lifting belt and iPod
At home Terry and the kids were up and operating at top volume: the house was still packed with sleepover kids. Ron made his way to the kitchen and constructed a power-packed egg white omelet. He diced bell peppers, onions, garlic, carrots and added some baby leaf spinach. The vegetable concoction was sautéed in Butter-flavored CapTri®. The eggs were added and he set the pan into a 325 degree oven. After 15 minutes Ron removed the pan from the oven. He had created a vegetable omelet soufflé. He ate ¾ of the mixture while Terry ate the remainder. Ron was still hungry and grabbed a Parrillo Energy bar™ and stuck it in his pants pocket. He would spend the rest of the morning being active, doing yard work, mowing the lawn and trimming branches. Around 11 am he took a break to inspect his handy work. He took the Sweet Milk Chocolate bar out of his pocket. The bar, warmed by Ron’s body heat, had softened to the perfect texture. Ron marveled at how good the bar tasted. A 2 PM he took a break and went inside to eat a quick lunch. He selected two chicken breasts marinating in CapTri® and grilled them to studied, charbroiled perfection. Ready inside of five minutes, Ron prepared the breasts and paired them with a small salad and a handful of raw vegetables. He took another round of Parrillo Pills. That afternoon Ron and Terry accompanied eight of the girls to an indoor roller skating rink. That evening Ron took a light, 20 minute jog through the neighborhood. He came home and made dinner for the two of them: the girls were spending the night with friends.
Ron made Chilean Sea Bass and a mountain of fibrous carbs sautéed in Butter Flavored CapTri®. He made a salad and had exotic Indian brown rice. For dessert he made a Parrillo chocolate cake. Terry and Ron sat on the porch and watched the stars emerge. Before bed Ron made his way to the kitchen one final time: he drank a serving of slow-release chocolate Hi-Protein™ along with a half a dozen Liver Amino™ tabs. This little pre-bed trick would provide his body with a steady supply of protein, even as he slept. Ron could not help stepping on the scale as he brushed his teeth before going to bed. 217.9 pounds…he pondered the fact that he’d lost 86 pounds. He also couldn’t help himself when he threw up a double bicep pose in the mirror; Ron then crunched down into a thigh and ab pose: his waist was ripped. Ron had a strange thought: “Not that I’d ever wish it on anyone else – but in a weird way the heart attack was the best thing that ever happened to me!” Ron knew he had taken the lemons that life had handed him and turned them into lemonade.
Bodybuilder Is Born: Generations
By Ron Harris
Hundreds of millions of years ago, when the earth’s atmosphere had twice as much carbon dioxide, giant reptiles ruled the world and the seven continents were still one solid land mass called Pangea, there was a 1976 movie called “Network” that won four Academy Awards. The most famous scene was when a deranged news anchor urged the people of the nation to throw open their windows and unleash their frustrations at anything and everything they were upset about with this battle cry:
“I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!”
Recently I did something similar, though it was too cold to open my window, on top of which there is a screen that prevents me from actually sticking my head, or anything else larger than a fruit fly’s leg, out of it. But still, I was so upset that I did feel like screaming,
“You got to eat the right foods – it’s as simple as that. You got to put the right fuel into your body.”
If there was such a thing as a Parrillo Army, Mike Grant would be a Drill Instructor. Mike is a Parrillo Certified Personal Trainer and has appeared repeatedly in this magazine for good reason: he started off at a high level (when we first got to know him) and he has consistently gotten better as he has gotten older. He exemplifies the classical bodybuilder lifestyle and by any benchmark Mike Grant is “the real deal.” Mike has been the real deal for the past 25 years. Living and working in Woodbridge, Virginia, an outer suburb of Washington, DC, Mike is the part owner of Life Design Personal Fitness Center. He works with upwards of 60 clients and students each week. “I love what I do. I am able to