I’m Happy! – Dreams come true for new IFBB pro Franco Santoriello

September 27, 2011 by  

I’m Happy!

Dreams come true for new IFBB pro Franco Santoriello

1989 was a year of dreams come true for 24-year-old Franco Santoriello. On October 14, he won the light-heavyweight division at the Men’s Nationals with five first-place votes and four seconds. Having finished in the runner-up spot to Vince Taylor the previous year, Santoriello shouted out a heartfelt “I’m happy!” when he was announced as this year’s class winner.

With dream number one under his belt, Santoriello set his sights on an even bigger dream: becoming a professional IFBB bodybuilder. Wasting no time, he went to London, England one week after Nationals for the Weider Challenge Cup. This time he had more reason to be happy: another light-heavyweight class win earned Satoriello his IFBB pro card.

No matter what the song says, wishing on a star had nothing to do with Santoriello’s dreams coming true. He credits his achievements to intense training and a carefully orchestrated, high-caloric diet. The new IFBB pro follows the Parrillo Performance Nutrition Program, taking on over 9,000 calories a day in the off-season. Santoriello maintains a diet high in protein and complex carbohydrates and low in dietary fats. He does, however, allow for an occasional off-season splurge. (Just ask John Parrillo about the five pounds of Christmas cookies that mysteriously disappeared from his kitchen during Franco’s last visit.)

Parrillo and Santoriello first met in 1984, when Parrillo trained the then 18-year old for his overall victories at eth 1984 Teen U.S.A. and NPC Teen Nationals. this was followed by a two-year layoff. When Santoriello wanted to return to national competition, he found himself at 175 pounds and 20 percent bodyfat. he came back to Parrillo for guidance in nutrition and training. Twelve months later, Santoriello took second at the 1988 Men’s Nationals at 193 pounds and 2-1/2 percent bodyfat.

Since graduating from the amateur ranks, Santoriello has been busy with guest posing, seminars and photo shoots for IRONMAN, Muscle and fitness and other top magazines. he is currently preparing for his first professional contest some time in 1990. While he won’t say which sow he plans to enter, it would be no surprise to see Santoriello on stage at the Night of champions in May, followed in October by his first crack at the biggest dream of all: the Mr. Olympia title.

The Olympia would also provide a chance to renew his rivalry with fellow New Jerseyian Rich Gaspari. Santoriello is possessed by the desire to prove he’s the best bodybuilder ever to come out of the Garden State. And if he can continue with his “unchained animal” training and nutrition program, it won’t be long before Santoriello achieves the rest of his dreams.




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