Parrillo Performance is proud to bethe only company offering bodybuildersa comprehensive program of nutrition,supplementation, and training optimized toincrease muscle mass and decrease bodyfat. Our program is about results— that’sthe bottom line. It’s unfortunate that somany people work out in the gym and tryto watch what they eat, but just never seemto get the results they’re looking for. Usu-ally it’s because they’ve left out some partof the formula that’s required forsuccess. How many people in thegym where you workout have trulyimpressive physiques? Probably notmany. If you don’t have the bodyyou want or if you’re not makinggood progress, that means you’redoing something wrong. Mostpeople take the approach of tryingthis and trying that, reading musclemagazines and talking to their friendsin the gym, hoping that sooner orlater they’ll find something that willwork.
The single most valuable ser-vice we offer is our information, andthat’s probably what sets ParrilloPerformance apart more than any-thing else. Parrillo Performancemakes bodybuilders by teachingpeople how to become bodybuilders. Youcan’t get that anywhere else.Pick up any bodybuilding magazineand you’ll find ad after ad promising thata certain supplement will transform yourphysique. A lot of young bodybuilders gettrapped in the mentality of searching forthat magical supplement that will packpounds of muscle onto their bodies. I’lltell you up front it doesn’t work that way.If developing a championship physiquewas as easy as taking supplements you’dsee a lot more impressive physiques in thegym. Sure, supplements can help, and weoffer, without doubt, the most effectivesupplement line on the market.
But still,supplements are only part of the picture.Bodybuilding is hard work—in andout of the gym. Your work in the gym isonly the beginning. What is bodybuildingabout, after all? It’s about taking an ordi-nary body, or even a less-than-averagebody, and turning it into something spe-cial— something beautiful. That isn’t easy.In my business, I’ve been privileged tosee many remarkable transformations, inpeople of all ages. Seeing people makepositive changes in their lives and achievetheir goals is my greatest reward.I do this because I love bodybuildingand I love to see people get results.We’reabout education and information be-cause people need the information to getresults. That’s why I publish this maga-zine I publish this magazine. As you mightimagine, this is a tremendous expense thateats a huge chunk out of my profits, but Iwant to stay in touch with my clients andcontinue to bring them up-to-date scien-tific and practical information. That’s theway I want to do business. I have a sci-entist on staff with a Ph.D. in molecularbiology to help us with research in nutri-tion and metabolism. I sent him to medi-cal school and in a few months we’ll beproud to have an MD on staff. And it’s alldone in the interest of increasing theknowledge of maintaining a healthy hu-man body.Bodybuilding is about mastery. Mas-tery of your body and your life.
It’s aboutdiscipline and self control. It’s using yourmind to control your body, to make itwhat you want it to be. And before youcan use your brain to transform your phy-sique into that of a bodybuilder, your brainhas to know what it’s doing.That’s where I come in. I teachpeople what to do to becomebodybuilders. The sense of mas-tery, of controlling your life andyour destiny, is to me what body-building is really about. (And youthought it was just about liftingweights!) People develop a senseof self-worth or self-esteemwhen they set a goal for them-selves and follow through on it.Bodybuilding is a journey. Yourdestination may be to become atop amateur or professional body-builder. Or a fitness star. Or amodel. Or the best looking guyon the beech. Or just to finallylose that weight and get in thebest shape of your life. Like any journey,you take it a step at a time. You set a goaland then plan out a strategy, or road map,to get you from where you are to whereyou want to be. The Parrillo PerformanceProgram is your road map to bodybuild-ing success.
The beauty of our program is that itis a comprehensive approach, and nodoubt that’s why it works so reliably. Itincludes exact instructions on nutrition,supplementation, weight training, aerobicconditioning, and stretching. The Nutri-tion Program comes with a food scale andinstructions on how to precisely constructeach meal to contain the number of calo-ries and grams of protein, carbohydrate, and fat you need. It includes a food com-position guide listing the nutrient break-down of the foods you should be eating.It contains instructions on how to modifyyour diet throughout the year to gainmuscle or lose fat. It tells you how to carbload and peak for your contest. We pro-vide a Body Stat Kit with skin-fold cali-pers so you can monitor your body com-position. This way you can make sureyou’re gaining muscle and losing fat. Ifthings aren’t going the right way, themanual tells you what changes to make.The Training Manual describes the properexecution of the most effective bodybuild-ing exercises, has suggested routines, andtells you how to stretch each musclegroup. All of this is backed up by our tech-nical services line (513-531-1311) whereyou can call with any questions. We pro-vide a comprehensive line of state of theart supplements to help enrich your diet.
Call us if you have questions about whichones are most appropriate for you.With this comprehensive approach tobodybuilding, we leave no stone unturned.Every element of the program has beentested on top level bodybuilders manytimes over. During the last twenty yearsI’ve done just about every experimentwith training, nutrition, and supplementa-tion you could imagine. The program ispolished and honed—and it works. All ofthe guesswork is removed. It truly is aformula for success.My philosophy basically is that, if youwork hard, you deserve to be rewardedwith results. To achieve a top level body-building physique is not easy. As with anyworthwhile goal, it requires dedication,consistency, and hard work. If you makea commitment to those ideals and put forththe effort, I’ll make the commitment toteach you what to do to become your best.I’m a trainer of competitive bodybuild-ers, and over the years I developed myown line of supplements because I sawin my athletes a need for better products.I was training competitive athletes andexperimenting with nutrients a long timebefore my supplement line came out. I’ma trainer first, and the knowledge of whatto do is much more powerful than anysupplement could ever be.
Parrillo Per-formance is here to teach serious athleteswhat to do to become their best. I’vehelped more than a few bodybuildersmove up to the professional ranks.Over the last few years I’ve writtena lot of articles detailing the science be-hind the program. We’ve talked abouthormones and how to control them withdiet, metabolism of fat, muscle physiol-ogy, exercise physiology, biochemistry ofnutrients, energy metabolism, and othertopics that represent why the program isthe way it is. The practical “how-to” in-formation is spelled out in detail in theNutrition and Training Manuals. What I’dlike to do now is give kind of an overviewof the program that integrates some ofthe technical information with the practi-cal information.The basic premise of the Parrillo Nu-trition Program is that healthy foods arethe foundation of nutrition. This is in starkcontrast to the other companies, whowant you to believe that their product isthe magical key to success. Supplementscan help, but remember that they’re sup-posed to be used to fortify or enhanceyour diet. Supplements cannot redeem abad diet. In other words, a bad diet plussupplements is still a bad diet. Properlyused, supplements can boost the levels ofspecific nutrients beyond what can prac-tically be obtained from whole foodsalone.
So let’s start with the diet. I advo-cate a diet low in fat, medium in protein,and high in complex carbohydrates. Theway to calculate your diet is simple. Re-search has shown that intensely trainingathletes need about one gram of proteinper pound of body weight per day to main-tain nitrogen balance (1). That means theyneed that much protein to unsure theyhave enough to build muscle mass. Thisamounts to about 2.5 times the RDA forprotein, which is based on non-exercis-ing people. For years there was a lot ofcontroversy on this issue, but now it iswell understood that intense exercise train-ing increases a person’s need for protein.During dieting I suggest you increase pro-tein intake to 1.5 grams per pound of bodyweight. Here’s why: Some of the proteinyou eat is burned for energy. During ex-treme conditions, such as starvation orprolonged endurance exercise, the proteinin your muscles can even be broken downand used for energy. Any form of calo-ries provided by the diet is said to “spare”protein, meaning that the more caloriesyou have coming into your body the lessprotein it needs to burn (2). When you’redieting to lose weight for a contest youwill be consuming less calories than dur-ing the off season.
This increases thechances your body will use some proteinas fuel. To make up for this you shouldincrease protein intake when you reducecalories.So start with one gram of protein perpound body weight in the off season or1.5 grams pre-contest. The next step isto limit fat to 5% of daily calories. Therest of your calories come from complexcarbohydrates. That’s a pretty simple for-mula. It’s impossible to accurately breakthis down into percentages of caloriesfrom protein, carbohydrate, and fat be-cause the numbers work out to be differ-ent for every one. As an example, a body-builder weighing 200 pounds and con-suming 3,000 calories would consume200 grams of protein, 17 grams of fat,and 510 grams of carbs. This would be27% protein, 68% carbs, and 5% fat.(Remember that protein and carbohydratehave 4 calories per gram and fat has 9calories per gram.) The ratios usually workout to be 25-30% protein, 60-65% carbs,and 5-10% fat for most people. The ba-sic rationale is this: The role of protein inthe body is to support your lean bodymass and to provide the raw materials youneed to build more muscle. So proteinrequirements are determined by bodymass. As your muscle mass increases,your protein requirement increases. Therole of carbohydrate is as a fuel source,so carbohydrates are used to supply thebulk of calories. The carbohydrate re-quirement is determined by daily energy(calorie) needs.
Dietary fat is kept to anabsolute minimum. Study after study hasshown that body fat is more closely de-termined by dietary fat content than bydietary energy content (2-5). In other how much fat is in your diet, and this ismore important than how many caloriesyou eat. Dietary fat has a strong tendencyto be stored as body fat, whereas leanprotein and complex carbohydrates do not(2-5). Excess calories from protein andcarbohydrate tend to be lost as body heatinstead of being stored as fat (2-5). Ex-cess calories from dietary fat are simplyretained as body fat (2-5). Consider this:metabolic studies have shown that yourbody is constantly burning amixture of carbohydrate andfat for energy. At rest, mostof your energy is derivedfrom fat. As activity level in-creases, more carbs arethrown into the furnace. Soyour body burns a certainamount of fat every day asfuel. What would happen ifyour diet supplied less thanthis amount? You will burnbody fat, that’s what.There are several thingsabout the low fat diet thatmake it perfect for body-builders. I’ll get back to that in the future.One of the toughest questions is,“How many calories should I consume?”This is a very individual thing, and is de-termined by your lean body mass, activ-ity level, and genetics. There are severalmathematical formulas you can use toestimate your maintenance requirements,but I’m not going to list them here be-cause they don’t work reliably. The indi-vidual variation is tremendous.
The easi-est and best way to handle this is simplyto start weighing your food and use theFood Composition Guide in the NutritionManual to calculate how many caloriesyou normally consume. Keep a food jour-nal and write down every bite of food youeat. After a week or so, average your dailycalorie intake and this will give you a goodidea of how many calories you need tomaintain your present lean body mass. Youcan adjust this up or down by 300-500calories per day depending on whetheryou want to gain weight or lose weight.Remember that muscle tissue is constantlyburning calories to maintain itself, even atrest. So as your muscle mass increasesyou’ll need to slowly and continually ad-just your calories upward. As your musclemass increases your metabolic rate in-creases, so your calorie requirements in-crease too. I call this “building your me-tabolism.” I introduced this concept sixor seven years ago and it revolutionizedthe way people thought about bodybuild-ing nutrition. Since then it’s caught on inthe popular diet literature too, and nowyou see info-mercials on TV about it.You need to feed your body and sup-ply it with all the nutrients it needs to behealthy—even when you’re dieting to loseweight. Caloric restriction sets off a star-vation response that shuts down your me-tabolism to save fuel. By increasingmuscle mass you can build your metabo-lism so that you constantly burn morecalories. And by restricting dietary fat youcan force your body to burn its own fatfor energy.
There are also some highlytechnical aspects about how various fu-els are metabolized by your body that fac-tor in here. I explained these concepts inmy series about thermogenesis a coupleyears ago. The bottom line is that theParrillo diet increases metabolic rate byfostering muscle growth, as well as bydirect thermogenic effects of the nutrientprofile.So we’ve talked about how manycalories to consume and how to dividethose up among protein, carbohydrate, andfat. The next major concept is how tostructure your meals. Simply put, youshould divide your daily requirements forcalories, protein, carbs, and fat into sixequal portions and eat six small mealsspaced about three hours apart through-out the day. An important part of the dietis its effect on hormone levels, especiallyinsulin, glucagon, and growth hormone.The diet is specifically designed to con-trol these hormone levels to maximizemuscle mass and minimize body fat. Itwon’t work if you eat only protein at onemeal and only carbs at the nextmeal. Each meal must be prop-erly balanced. Also, it’s impor-tant not to eat too many calo-ries in any one meal. Six smallmeals will make you muchleaner and more muscularthan three large ones, evenif you consume the sametotal number of caloriesduring the day.
Too manycalories at one meal will el-evate insulin levels toohigh and will promote fatstorage. Also, musclecan only grow so fast andit does better with a more constant anduniform supply of nutrients instead ofthree big doses. Another important factoris the thermic effect of feeding, or TEF.Every time you eat, your metabolic rateincreases as a result of stimulation of thesympathetic nervous system by nutrientsand by hormones released from the gutafter feeding (2). Frequent, small feedingsincrease TEF and decrease fat storage.The only time to change this is the lastfew weeks before a contest you may wantto decrease carbs in your last meal of theday to promote fat burning at night, butthat’s a small technical point we don’t needto worry about now.Finally we need to talk about whichfoods to eat and which foods to avoid.The best lean protein sources are skinlesschicken breast, skinless turkey breast, eggwhites, and most fish (including tunapacked in water). Carbohydrates are di-vided into two groups: starchy and fi-brous. Good starchy carbs include pota-toes, sweet potatoes, rice, beans (all varieties are okay), lentils, corn, peas,oatmeal, grits, and cream of wheat. Fi-brous carbs are basically any and all freshor frozen vegetables.
Examples are saladgreens, lettuce, spinach, broccoli, cauli-flower, asparagus, cabbage, eggplant,mushrooms, onions, peppers, tomatoes,carrots, celery, and so on. Each mealshould contain one serving of protein, oneserving of starchy carbohydrate, and onefibrous vegetable, in the appropriate ra-tios. Combining fiber and protein with thestarch slows the rate of glucose releaseso you get a slow, steady insulin release,which helps channel the calories to muscleand not fat. If you combine your foods inthis way you really don’t have to worryabout glycemic index. White potatoeshave a relatively high glycemic indexwhen eaten alone, but when combined ina meal like this the overall glycemic indexof the meal is very low. As far as dietaryfat goes, you don’t have to add any fatsource at all to the diet. Your 5-10% fatcalories will come along naturally with theother foods. You may want to add oneteaspoon to one tablespoon per day of flaxoil to provide essential fatty acids (EFAs),or take an EFA supplement such asevening primrose oil. Fish oil supplements(for the omega-3 fatty acids) are fine too,but you won’t need these if you eat fishseveral times a week.
You’ll notice these are all whole, natu-ral, unprocessed foods. You’ll get muchbetter results eating healthy foods like thisthat you prepare yourself. Part of the com-mitment to this program is the willingnessto fix your own food and take it with youin a cooler where ever you go. At firstthis will be a major chore, especially ifyou’re not used to weighing your foodand calculating its nutrient values. For thefirst month or so this will take more timethan working out. Soon, however, you’lllearn what portions you need and the pro-cess will become second nature. An ex-perienced bodybuilder may even spendless time on food preparation than the av-erage person, and yet construct preciselyengineered meals. It just takes a little prac-tice. The results will make it worthwhile,believe me. You can prepare meals in bulkand put them in Tupperware dishes in thefreezer, so all you have to do in the morn-ing is throw a few bowls in the cooler.To attain the physique of yourdreams, one of the sacrifices you have tomake is to avoid certain foods. I wish Icould say all things are okay in modera-tion, and there are no forbidden foods,but it just isn’t so.
Foods you should avoidare butter, margarine, mayonnaise, saladdressings, oils, shortening, nuts, seeds,peanut butter, jelly and jam, all sweets,desserts, candy, cake, pie, cookies, muf-fins, ice cream, pizza, cheese, hamburger,hot dogs, processed meats and deli meats,olives, avocados, crackers, pretzels, andchips. You should avoid all fast food, junkfood, convenience food, snack food, allfried food, and anything in a vending ma-chine. In general you should not eat inrestaurants. It is possible to get a low fatmeal in a restaurant, but difficult. Youshould avoid refined carbohydrates suchas bread and pasta. You should also avoidfruit and dairy products (including low fatdairy products) because they derive mostof their calories from simple sugars.Bread, pasta, fruit, and dairy products areperfectly healthy foods and they’re greatfor most people, but they just don’t workfor bodybuilders. You’re better off withunrefined, unprocessed, natural, complexcarbohydrates.This sounds like a long list of “don’ts”but you’ll see what they have in commonis they are all either high in fat, sugar, salt,or refined carbohydrates.
These are thingsyou want to avoid to be healthy anyway.Please notice that if you omit fruit anddairy products from your diet you’ll haveto take a vitamin and mineral supplement.These are the only supplements which aretruly required on the Parrillo diet. Pay spe-cial attention to get enough calcium. Youneed 1,000 mg per day, and the typicalone-a-day formulas out there don’t comeclose to that. The Parrillo PerformanceEssential Vitamin and Mineral ElectrolyteFormulas were designed specifically forbodybuilders following this diet. Four tab-lets of the mineral formula per day willmeet your calcium requirement.So that’s a summary of how manyProgrammed For Success: Supplementation For Optimal Results, Part Icalories to eat, how much protein, carbo-hydrate, and fat to eat, how to divide it upinto individual meals, how many meals toeat, which foods to eat, how to combinefoods at each meal, and which foods toavoid. Like I said, Parrillo Performanceis about information. If you want a cham-pion level physique, I can teach you whatto do to get it. The Nutrition Manual isavailable for those who want more infor-mation and more detailed instructions. Itcomes with a food scale and a food com-position guide, so you can construct mealsprecisely to meet your exact nutrientneeds. It also contains a lot of sample di-ets, with all the calculations already donefor you. Until next month— happy eat-ing!
1. Lemon PWR. Protein and AminoAcid Needs of the Strength Athlete. Intl.J. Sport Nutr. 1: 127-145, 1991.
2. Bjorntorp P and Brodoff BN. Obe-sity. J.B. Lippincott Co., Philadelphia,1992.
3. Astrup A. Dietary composition,substrate balances and body fat in sub-jects with a predisposition to obesity. Int.J. Obesity 17: S32-S36, 1993.
4. Swinburn B and Ravussin E. En-ergy balance or fat balance? Am. J. Clin.Nutr. 57: 766S-771S, 1993.
5. Horton TJ, Drougas H, BracheyA, Reed GW, Peters JC, and Hill JO. Fatand carbohydrate overfeeding in humans:different effects on energy storage. Am.J. Clin. Nutr. 62: 19-29, 1995.