By Iron Vic Steele
I got a Hawaiian vacation coming up and, for a lot of reasons, time got away from me. I had to blow off training for a few months and my eating, which had been very good became very bad. Anyway, I am back in the saddle and have plenty of time for training. My problem is I am 25-pounds overweight and there are only six weeks, 42 days, until my ten days of fun in the sun. I weigh a portly 200 and in my best recent shape (a year ago) weighed 175 with a 250-pound bench press and 400 deadlift – not that those numbers would impress you – but I just wanted to illustrate that I am a lifelong athlete that let himself get out of shape only recently. Can I get ripped in six weeks if I pull out all the stops??
Vlad, San Fran
Well it all depends on you. On the plus side you will have muscle memory working for you. It is so much easier to regain what you once had than trying to attain what you’ve never possessed. In order to make the kind of progress you are talking about, you will have to live a perfect life with no bobbles, falling off the wagon, false starts or mulligans. Insofar as ‘the stops,’ yes, you will need to pull out all of them: lifting, cardio, nutrition and supplementation. I think a two pound-per-week reduction in bodyweight is possible. This would take you from 200 to 188 pounds of bodyweight – however, keep in mind that you be adding muscle: given your recent condition you will likely be able to add one pound of muscle per week for six weeks straight. This is because you are out of shape and muscle gains come quick for a (relatively) untrained body. Though the scale will register a 12-pound reduction in body weight, your weekly BodyStat readings will reveal that after six weeks you will have shed 18-pounds of fat and added 6 pounds of muscle. What is required? A multiple-meal eating schedule consuming nothing but clean calories and augmented by powerful Parrillo supplements. Plus, four to five weekly hardcore weight training sessions are going to be complimented with daily fasted cardio. No bad meals, no skipped cardio, no blown-off workouts, no skimping on supplements. Perfect in every way every day. Get to it, time is a wasting.
Do MMA fighters need big muscles and big deadlifts? I train at a gym where there are some really good mixed martial artists. These are guys you see on TV. Anyway, I get to see them train most every day and they are quite friendly. I asked how come they didn’t lift big weights and their answer was ‘we don’t need that kind of strength – meaning like a big bench press or deadlift. This crew will do some lifting, but it is a lot of crazy high rep stuff that is really cardio using barbells and exercise machines. So are the MMA guys exempt from needing real power??
I argue with BJJ (Brazilian jujitsu) fighters over this all the time. They say the same thing, “Veek, we don’t need no beg dead-lift, we strangle people!” I shut them up by saying, if size and strength don’t matter – how come there are weight classes? The reason weight classes were established was because a good BIG man beats a good little man every time. On paper, BJ Penn at 145-pounds outclasses his good friend, Mark “The Hammer” Coleman weighing 245-pounds in every category. On paper BJ has better stamina, better flexibility, better skills, a better record and better everything than Mark – except for two things: size and strength. And because the strength disparity is so great, Coleman would simply overwhelm and overpower the smaller man with the greater skills. Size and strength can be increased with expert progressive resistance training. Personally, I feel that the MMA guys that avoid “real” strength training are making a mistake; even within a weight class being strong is a distinct advantage. One reason Matt Hughes beat the tar out of Royce Gracie a few years back was that Hughes (literally) manhandled the weaker Gracie. Matt imposed his weight trained will on the muscle-less Gracie.
I have taken up long distance biking. There is a big group of bike riders here is Seattle and we ride every weekend. Surprisingly I have really come to enjoy biking and have made this my main form of aerobic exercise. I used to dread cardio done on a seated stationary bike, now I love cardio even though I am working harder at it. Often our bike rides will last two hours. What Parrillo supplements could I take before, during and after riding? I am pushing 50 and get dragged out by the end of the two-hour bike ride – any way to help avoid energy drop-offs?
John Parrillo has worked extensively with teams of competitive bike riders; he worked out a very scientific supplemental program designed to improve performance while on the bike and accelerate recovery after a tough day of bike riding. Before the ride, take several capsules of Parrillo Max Endurance Formula™ capsules. During the ride I would suggest consuming a Parrillo Energy Bar™. My all-time favorite flavor is the chocolate almond coconut. With 34 grams of carbs and 14 grams of protein, this power-packed bar will most certainly prevent energy nosedives. In order to accelerate recovery after the ride, I would take several Parrillo Joint Formula™ and Parrillo Fish Oil DHA 800 EPA 200™ capsules. When a person pedals for hours, repetitive motion injuries can occur and knee, ankle and hip strain are always lurking. After the ride, eat sensibly and don’t forget to strength train: too many cardio athletes stop lifting when they get deep into a cardio activity. Strength training makes the cardio athlete far more injury-resistant and strength training gives the biker the power to power up hills and steeps inclines. If I had a group in my neighborhood, I’d be riding right along with them. What a great way to obtain the intense cardio needed to elicit gains, i.e., reduced body fat and increased stamina.
Is there such a thing as too much cardio? I really got into playing racquetball. There is an age-group league and I play three nights a week for usually 40-45 minutes. I exert like crazy and sweat like crazy. In addition, I do “fasted cardio” every morning for 30-minutes. I break a good sweat using my trusty Nordic Trac. I lift weights three times a week. I know what I am doing and work with training partners. We push each other. Here is the problem: since I added the racquetball, my overall energy is low. I am gassed. I can power through, but I feel worn down. I hate to stop this groove. I have lost ten pounds of fat in 6-weeks and look the best I have in ten years. What is the solution? Am I over-trained? Do I need to cut back?
You need to kick up your clean calorie intake. As the old bodybuilding cliché goes, “there is no such thing as over-training – only under eating.” I would rephrase the cliché to over-training can be corrected with additional eating. There needs to be a balance between training and nutrition. Bodybuilders need enough quality calories to heal and grow new muscle tissue. Eat too many of the wrong calories and “spillover” occurs. When too much glycogen is ingested the cells become full and spillover occurs creating new body fat. I would suggest you begin supplementing with CapTri® C8 MCT, the Parrillo medium-chain triglyceride. CapTri® C8 MCT is a type of dietary fat that cannot end up stored as body fat. MCTs are preferentially burned once consumed; the MCT molecular structure provides the caloric density of fat, 9-calories per gram, yet CapTri® C8 MCT calories will never end up as body fat. CapTri® C8 MCT can be drizzled over food meals and to that end, Parrillo has a butter-flavored CapTri® C8 MCT that is used and tastes like real butter. CapTri® C8 MCT can be used a cooking lipid, like olive oil. CapTri® C8 MCT can be made into a salad dressing. Drink a Parrillo Optimized Whey™ protein shake upon awaking and anther just before bed. During the day, take 4 or 5 Parrillo Liver Amino™ tablets every three hours. Liver Amino Formula™ is loaded with blood-enriching heme iron. Beef liver reenergizes tired blood and cures iron-deficiency anemia. Don’t cut back, stay in your productive groove; use these three supplements to provide the healing nutrients needed to allow your stressed (in the best way) body to cope and grow. Kick up the calories.
Olympic weightlifting is very big in my home country of China. I am a 70-kilo guy with a 120-kilo clean and jerk. Bodybuilding is not widely practiced in China and actually frowned upon; a bit too showy for the Chinese character. In the Olympic lifts, they actually discourage us from doing any arm work. No bicep or tricep work at all, the rationale being that big arms are not used or needed in Olympic weightlifting and those big useless arm muscles would be better reapportioned as back, hip or leg muscles. What would be a good basic arm routine for someone that has never worked arms?
Jet, San Fran
One reason Olympic weightlifting is so popular in China is the lack of equipment needed. You only need a barbell, squat racks and expert coaching. No need for a fancy gym with cardio machines and resistance machines, no need for expensive gym memberships. Because of the sheer numbers of Chinese participating in O-lifting, over the last 30 years the Chinese have consistently produced the finest lightweight (under 150-pound) Olympic lifters in the world, both for men and women. The classic arm routine for a “beginner” (if you can call a guy with a 265-pound clean and jerk a beginner) would be a two day per week arm routine emphasizing different exercises.
To support this amount of arm work, make sure and drink a double serving of Parrillo 50/50 Plus™ after each arm training session. If you work the arms this hard, unless muscles are doused with healing and regenerating nutrients, there is insufficient fuel to stimulate recovery, much less fuel new growth. Generally speaking, a bodybuilder usually needs to gain around ten pounds of lean muscle to create a 1-inch increase in arm size. I would suggest you supplement with Optimized Whey™ protein power, ProCarb™ and the famed Parrillo sport nutrition bars, perfect for supplying supplemental calories that will, along with hard training, grow your virgin arms. After three months of using this routine (and adding some high potency Parrillo supplements) your arms are so sure to grow that they will likely kick you out of the Olympic lift club on account of your massive guns. Somehow, I get the impression you wouldn’t care.
Day 1 (all exercises are done for four sets of 6-10 reps)
- barbell cheat curls alternated with dips
- seated dumbbell curls alternated with single-dumbbell French press
- concentration curls alternated with tricep pushdowns
Day 2 (all exercises four sets of 8-12 reps)
- dumbbell incline curl alternated with lying close grip bench press
- cable curls alternated with resistance machine triceps press
- machine curls alternated with rope-handle triceps pushdowns