By Iron Vic Steele

Happy New Year!

In your opinion what is the main reason normal people fail to get traction with their New Year fitness resolutions? All my relatives go through this annual madness: they resolve to get fit, try for a while and eventually quit. I think lame exercise programs and a lack of training ferocity are the main culprits.  Everyone I see training kinda drifts through the exercises, using the wrong exercises and doing them wrong. No doubt they are eating all the wrong stuff in the wrong amounts outside the gym. What is your take?  

Danny, Fred-Neck

iron-vic-speaks-lifting-and-cardioThe reason people quit their New Year’s resolutions is that they don’t see any results. After 4-6 weeks of diligent effort (even if the effort is insufficient and the exercises all wrong) the normal person expects to see some sort of tangible results for their time, money and effort. If they don’t see results, they quit, simple as that. So the solution is get some results before the enthusiasm runs out. You are completely right: people select the wrong training programs and they are equally off base insofar as diet and nutrition.  However many normal people making New Year’s resolutions are quite earnest and quite capable of strict training and diet adherence – but they select bad exercise routines and use stupid fad diets. There are a lot of disciplined and diligent resolution makers that train and eat with no deviations or wobbles for six straight weeks – however when nothing happens, when there is no increase in muscle mass or strength, when there is no dramatic reduction in body fat, when nothing of any real significance occurs, the normal person quits. The time, energy, effort and money are not worth the lack of results. Why a lack of results? Assign the blame to a lame system of training and an ineffectual nutritional regimen. The lack of ‘ferocity’ you point out is critical.

The difference between a normal, diligent, disciplined and sincere resolution-making individual and a bodybuilder that gets real results is the degree of intensity an elite bodybuilder is able to exert in training. Regular people have no real frame of reference. They have never trained with serious bodybuilders so they can’t comprehend how hard the bodybuilder exerts during his or her training sessions. Regular people can be diligent and determined, but what they lack is an understanding of the tremendous physical effort required to trigger hypertrophy. The regular trainee, the normal person, is essentially going through the training motions; at best moderate training exertions deliver moderate results. The ignorant regular person thinks they are accomplishing something by being diligent and consistent – this is not enough. Training hard enough to trigger true hypertrophic gains is something entirely different. The smartest thing “normal people” can do in order to obtain the real results they earnestly seek is to get on-board with a full-on Parrillo training regimen: lifting, cardio and fascia stretching. ‘Underpin’ the fierce training with a high-calorie, high-protein Parrillo-style nutritional regimen. Get on-board fully and completely with a Parrillo training and nutritional approach and real results appear way before enthusiasm gives out. This is the ultimate secret of transformational success.


Happy 2017!

How best, do we keep progress going when it stalls? I get going with a hardcore training routine that I like, I get it synced up with the perfect diet and I get great results for a while – then BAM! One day I wake up and hit a brick wall. All of a sudden results instantly dry up. Is this normal? I have followed the bodybuilding lifestyle for a lot of years and have noted this predicable end of progress.  Are there routines that produce progress for longer than a month or two?

Raoul, Manhattan

At some point, all training routines and diets, no matter how sophisticated, run out of results. Most pro bodybuilders actually change their training and diet in anticipation of stagnation. A good routine should be productive for 4 to 6 weeks. If I am making progress, I don’t change anything; never fix what ain’t broke. Conversely, if a routine or diet is just not working, I might switch it out after two or three weeks. The point being, you need to be on guard against stagnation. When it is time to make a change, create a big change. Seek to significantly alter training and/or eating. Create dramatic, progress-stimulating contrasts, all the while still staying within the broad boundaries of the overall Parrillo approach. Within the wide expanse of the totality of all the Parrillo training and nutritional strategies, there is a lot of room to maneuverer; a lot of ways to create performance stimulating contrast. Here are some ways to create training contrast…

When it comes to training, any aspect of weight training or cardio exercise can be placed in one of these four categories. Are you stagnant weight training five times a week using high iron-vic-speaks-weightsvolume and lighter weights? Try dropping to three weekly sessions and use a limited number of old school barbell/dumbbell exercises. Drop to low rep sets and really move some poundage. Up your clean calories and let’s build some muscle mass. Have you been using stationary bike exclusively? Try switching to a push/pull Nordic-trac or perhaps some treadmill work or outdoor jogging. Do your cardio sessions last 45 minutes using a moderate pace? Why not switch to some sprinting. Use a blistering pace and shorten sessions to 30-minutes. Coordinate nutritional changes with training changes. When pondering nutritional changes, think in these terms…

Tiny changes, subtle or infinitesimal changes, are not effective.  Switching your reps from 8 to 10 is not a drastic change: shifting your reps from 8 to triples or from eight reps to 20-reps is dramatic contrast. Dramatic contrast is needed to blast the complacent body out of its complacent state-of-being. Be a radical when instituting changes. Sync up nutrition with training – don’t be at cross-purposes.



How is it possible to eat all the calories Parrillo recommends and not get fat?! How does a 180-pound in-shape guy like myself eat 4,000 to 6,000 calories a day and not end up weighing 250 with a 40% body fat percentile? I don’t get it?

Dubious, Parts Unknown

First off you don’t just start off eating 5,000 calories a day: you build up to it. Secondly, 1,000 calories worth of pie and beer is treated differently (by the body) than 1,000 calories of lean protein, fiber carbs, natural starch carbs and CapTri. Instituting a high calorie/clean calorie approach, in combination with intense weight training and daily cardio “builds the metabolism.” Start by cleaning up the food selections and instituting a multiple-meal eating schedule.  Start supplementing and become disciplined and methodical about the nutritional process. The bodybuilder starts off eating small, super clean mini-meals. Five meals containing 400-calories per meal comes to 2,000 calories per day. The Parrillo bodybuilder locks down the nutrition and then commences intense exercise: long, hard and often. Each successive week the Parrillo bodybuilder adds a few more calories to each of his 400-calorie mini-meals: within six weeks he is eating five 800-calorie meals. In six weeks time he has doubled his calories and is consuming 4.000 clean calories per day. The calories the Parrillo bodybuilder consumes don’t spike insulin; the starch calories consumed are always eaten in combination with protein and fiber, both of which have an insulin spike – supressing effect. The bodybuilder builds his metabolism by combining intense exercise with clean eating, augmented by the powerful Parrillo nutritional supplements. It all combines to enable the disciplined bodybuilder to grow larger, yet simultaneously grow leaner. This is the miracle of the built metabolism.  Trying is believing. Dubious; you should try our approach. You would be amazed.


Greetings Iron Man,

Happy 2017. Where are our flying cars? Back in the 80s we thought we’d all be living like the Jetsons. Is there any exercise equipment out there that gets you excited or that is new and different? Is there anything new and note-worthly out there, insofar as exercise equipment?

Robbie, Toronto

Not as far as I know. The older I get and the longer I am in the iron game the more convinced I am that Old School free weight exercises, done with perfect technique, trumps all other iron-vic-speaks-scott-training-guytypes and kinds of progressive resistance training tools. When it comes to building muscle, power and strength, no exercise machine or device can come close to delivering the results delivered by barbells and dumbbells used expertly. The best free-weight equipment I have ever worked with is the John Parrillo’s Genetic Equalizer series. Everything he touches is genius: he has created innovative benches, unusual lat devices, FxStretch units…all of John’s pieces are unique: like a 660 horsepower hand-constructed Ferrari 458 Speciale. His current exercise artwork is a leg press machine that is virtually indescribable, unique and unlike any other leg press machine on the planet. Parrillo’s approach is always based on how best to stress and attack a specific muscle or group of muscles. How is hypertrophy triggered with the greatest effectiveness? John designs each piece with a unique take on exercise(s) positioning and technique. In many instances, the Genetic Equalizer equipment forces the trainee to assume the optimal position to work a muscle. Trying is believing.


Mr. Steel,

I saw your response to the lady a few issues back where you suggested Parrillo Liver Amino Formula™ tablets as a possible cure to what you thought might be a case of undiagnosed iron deficiency Anaemia. Low energy, you suggested, might well be related to “tired blood.” I thought your response made sense so I am ordering some beef liver tablets. I too feel fatigued and for no real reason. I am fit, trim, I train hard, I pay attention to what I eat and pretty well abide to the Parrillo approach towards training/nutrition. It seems that any time I am not working or working out I am exhausted. I am a 35-year old divorcee with no kids. I am tired of being tired. Yes, I have a stressful job but who doesn’t. I seemed to feel the best after an early morning workout – but the feeling fades. I want to feel energized.

Rhonda, Tampa

So why not try the Liver Amino™ approach? If it works it will be an inexpensive, nutritionally beneficial way to get back some energy and without resorting to those horrific “energy drinks.” Buy a giant 400-tablet bottle of Parrillo Liver Amino Formula™ and take them religiously throughout the day. I would stop to take a small handful every 2-3 waking hours. How many? That really depends on how big or small you are, a 210-pound bodybuilder needs more liver tabs than a 120-pound housewife. I would start with three at a time and monitor the effects. Parrillo beef liver tablets are power-packed: each tablet contains 1.5 grams of high BV protein. More importantly, Parrillo Liver Amino™ tablets contain blood-enriching heme iron, the antidote for the often under-diagnosed iron deficiency and the anaemia that occurs as a result. Who pays attention to iron? Most people obtain enough through their regular eating; if you have an overactive adrenal, iron deficiency can be a serious problem. You should feel better, more energetic, within 5-7 days. You need to be diligent about taking the pills consistently throughout the day. Constant dosing ensures a steady flow of protein and heme iron. Take a handful before bed and have protein dissolving in your bloodstream as you sleep. Let us know how this works out.