By Marty Gallagher
It took mainstream medicine decades to catch up to John Parrillo. In the 1980s, when John was gaining traction on a widespread basis, the mainstream medical community was downright hostile to bodybuilding in general and John Parrillo specifically. All of which sounds strange in 2020. What complaint could competent medical professionals possibly have with a system (bodybuilding) that recommends strength training, regular aerobic exercise and emphasizes nutrition? The medical professionals were incredulous that Parrillo was recommending his students and bodybuilders eat copious amounts of lean protein and clean calories. The mainstream medical community insisted (despite decades of empirical data to the contrary) that protein intake past .25 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight was “ridiculous” and “dangerous.” The medical pros looked for the fainting couches when Parrillo advised 1 gram per pound of bodyweight per day at a minimum. They lost their minds over how many calories Parrillo was recommending. What Parrillo was claiming was a “physiological impossibility” one MD snidely related.
When Parrillo offered flesh-and-blood examples of men and women eating thousands of calories in excess of their Energy Balance Equation(EBE) breakpoint or setpoint and getting measurably leaner in the process, the mainstream was flummoxed. One clever medical pro dismissed bodybuilders defying the EBE as “outliers” and “anomalies” and therefore not relevant – as if a particular segment of humanity, bodybuilders, were somehow exempt from the settled science the rest of us were subject to. Parrillo was unintentionally exploding the EBE (and anti-protein biases) by having his fleet of bodybuilders intake 4.000, 5,000, 6,000…upwards of 10,000 calories a day, along with 200, 300 or in some cases, 400 grams or more of protein per day. Real results were replicated with regularity. Parrillo was adhering the 1st principle of science (replicating results) yet being told what he was doing was not possible. Any calories eaten past a certain amount must be excreted or turned into body fat. If you were a 30-year old male weighing 175-pounds, the EBE stated that any calories eaten past 2,500 would exceed the tipping point and the excess calories would be excreted or stored as body fat. Yet 175-pound Parrillo bodybuilders were routinely eating 5,000 calories a day while attaining sub-10% body fat percentiles. Parrillo persevered and his modes and methods have stood the test of time.
Flash forward forty years and the pendulum has swung back the other direction. Nowadays there are legions of sharp, young, outside-the-box thinkers, medical doctors, high-level professionals that understand and appreciate the wisdom of living the bodybuilding lifestyle, the holistic melding of strength training, aerobics and disciplined nutrition. One such sharp young doctor is Jeremy Girmann, a board-certified Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation (PM&R) physician. Jeremy is 34-years old. He is a “lifelong” lifter/bodybuilder with the physique to prove it. His areas of expertise include non-operative orthopedic and sports medicine, musculoskeletal ultrasound and various types of regenerative medicine. He treats muscle, tendon, nerve and joint disorders and has performed thousands of minimally invasive procedures to encourage healing of tissue and relief of pain. Jeremy’s wife, Brandie is a nationally certified Physician Assistant. She has been a practicing PA for over 10 years. Brandie worked for many years with patients in lifestyle and weight loss medicine. She now practices cosmetic dermatology. Brandie and Jeremy are super-fit individuals that exemplify the vibrant health that comes from soundness of mind and body.
Brandie and Jeremy have both been fitness competitors. It was Brandie that first discovered John Parrillo. She was a serious athlete when she happened to come across a copy of the Parrillo Performance Press. Impressed by the content and approach, Brandie got excited when she deduced that John Parrillo and Parrillo Performance Products were in the Girmann’s hometown of Cincinnati. The duo drove over to the Parrillo headquarters and were greeted warmly by John and Dominique Parrillo and the entire Parrillo crew. The Girmann’s were given a tour of the offices, the production area and the huge, wonderfully equipped Parrillo Performance gym. Naturally, the bodybuilding grand maestro and the young medical professionals, both longtime subscribers to the “bodybuilding lifestyle,” engaged in extended and stimulating conversations about how best to improve the composition and performance of the human body. Their conversations would shift from cutting-edge science to hardcore gym empiricism. What strategies were most effective for healing, repairing and ultimately, growing and strengthening the human body? The methods Parrillo developed for elite bodybuilders proved to be highly effective for the regular trainee. Parrillo showed normal people how to use elite methodology to improve physique and performance.
Brandie later worked with John Parrillo in preparation for a fitness competition and came to know firsthand the Parrillo approach: the intricate interplay between intense resistance training, fasted cardio, precision nutrition and expert use of nutritional supplementation. The Parrillo system is methodical, systematic and scientific. Over time the Girmann’s came to spend a fair amount of time at the Parrillo Performance Training Center. When Jeremy casually mentioned he would love to open a clinic in the area, John suggested he take some space within the Parrillo Headquarters building. The Girmann’s loved the idea. This would be cohabitation of two like-minded enterprises. The space was built out and Inertia Medical center was born. The list of available services is mind-blowing: ultrasound exams, ultrasound-guided joint injections, hyaluronic (gel) injections, regenerative medicine, autologous Stem Cell therapy, platelet-rich plasma (PRP), TENEX tendon therapy, dry needling, nerve blocks, electromyography (EMG), prolotherapy, rehabilitation exercise and functional training. There are a lot of tools and strategies in the Inertia toolbox.
This is practice with a philosophy. Take a trip to the Inertia website and access the well-produced YouTube videos featuring the charismatic Dr. Girmann. He has short, extremely informative videos on various musculoskeletal disorders and treatments. One favorite is entitled What is Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation? (PM&R) This four-minute video offers a philosophic overview of the Girmann’s approach towards medicine, rehabilitation, health, wellness, longevity and fitness. Now ensconced in the Parrillo Performance Headquarter building, this cutting-edge sport science clinic cohabits with the biggest brain in bodybuilding. It should make for a synergistic relationship. Check out the Inertia website and Facebook page for more information. If you have any sort of debilitation, chronic injury or ongoing bodily malfunction, take a stroll through Jeremy’s Facebook / Instagram videos. Short, informative and educational, anyone afflicted should check out these well thought out presentations.