By Andre Newcomb
Ten reasons why your fitness efforts are failing!
The failed New Year’s fitness resolution has become a joke and a cliché. How many times have you tried and failed to turn over a new leaf with the onset of the New Year? How many times have you tried to unsuccessfully curb or quit some negative physical or psychological habit? 2019 is going to be on us in an eye-blink: are you going to pledge to do better and then fall flat on your face? How does one avoid yet another failed fitness resolution? The need to make a New Year’s fitness resolution is bought about by being out of shape. Whatever the resolver is doing is not working; there is no need to ditch nasty habits if you don’t have any. To succeed in attaining the fitness goals you seek, things need to be done differently. The single smartest move you can make to make this year different is to embrace reality: to make a real change in the physique requires real changes in diet and exercise. Over time, John Parrillo has delt with every fitness-related malady and deficiency known to man. when quizzed on the most common reasons for failing, Parrillo offered these commonsense reasons why our fitness efforts fail. Your efforts need not be doomed. Embrace the idea of trying new ideas and strategies. In addition to identifying the reasons for failing, in addition to pointing out the landmines and dead-ends, we offer Parrillo-inspired solutions. Let’s make this year different!
- Lack of good situation: good intentions and being highly motivated don’t amount to squat if you do not have a favorable life situation. To mount a serious fitness effort, the serious trainee must have the time and energy needed to succeed. Do you have to work a ton of overtime? Do you have no time to train? Do you have to travel long distances to train and does this result in missed sessions? Are those around you supportive of your efforts? or jealous and non-supportive? Be real: do you have the right situation to launch a comprehensive bodybuilding effort?
The solution: don’t launch a fitness effort without having a supportive environment. Be honest with yourself: desiring change is not enough; you need to time to train, you need time for cardio, time for food shopping and food preparation. Can you make time?
- Lack of planning or insufficient pre-planning: it takes planning to mount a successful fitness effort. Do you have a specific strategy for weight training? What about nutrition? Are you weighing foods or are you just guessing at portion sizes? Cardio needs as much planning as weight training, yet most bodybuilders leap on the nearest stationary bike and casually pedal while reading a magazine or distractedly texting. Do you log training results? Do you have a regular time set aside for the next week’s food prep? Are you ordering supplements with enough lead time – or do you order when you run out, creating gaps in the usage? Lack of planning in bodybuilding is inevitably fatal: no one casually builds a great body. No planning, no results.
The solution: the opposite of a lack of planning is the thoroughness of the Parrillo approach towards bodybuilding. The Parrillo protocol relies on nutritional accuracy: food is weighed, data is logged, results analyzed. BodyStat provides the weekly report card. Using a nine-point skin-fold caliper test (that can be done in five minutes) body composition changes are identified. Why fly blind?
- Lack of balance: there are three legs to the bodybuilding stool: weight training, cardio and nutrition. Classically the beginner or intermediate-level bodybuilder favors one or two of the three interrelated disciplines while avoiding the other(s.) A man can be strong as an ox and have the cardio of a locomotive, yet still be fat because they have terrible nutrition. Another man can be ripped and possess the aerobic capacity needed to run a marathon – yet because this type avoids or deemphasize resistance training they have tiny muscles. Diet alone is never enough: intense exercise amplifies the metabolism and burns calories at an accelerated rate. Optimally, intense exercise is synced with Parrillo-style nutrition.
The solution: better a little of all three (lifting, cardio, nutrition) in synchronized balance than a disproportional emphasize on one or two, while avoiding the other(s.) All three elements need be in place and practiced. Don’t fall into the trap of continually playing to your strengths. The Parrillo Performance Package contains a 450-gram food scale, detailed manuals and the BodyStat Kit complete with Diet-Trac sheets. The devil is in the details.
- Lack of training intensity: mild resistance exercise is insufficient to trigger muscle hypertrophy. Mild cardio is insufficient to burn off significant amounts of body fat. How do you know if you are training hard enough? In the weight room, John Parrillo makes use of “intensity enhancers,” i.e., forced reps, drop sets, extended sets, giant sets and controlled negatives. In cardio, the Parrillo benchmark is labored breathing and lots of sweating. The body is not going to build new muscle or dissolve body fat in response to mild exertions. Naturally the finest training effort can be sabotaged by poor nutrition. Most trainees have no idea how hard they need train to grow muscle, melt off fat.
The solution: become adept and comfortable with the idea of going ‘past failure.’ When training alone, this is accomplished by using drop sets and extended sets. Work to positive failure and then find ways to keep the set going. In cardio the solution is to go faster; find that sweet spot right below the oxygen debt threshold, that place that allows you to breathe hard, sweat like crazy and still push ahead. Do not neglect to sync nutrition with training.
- Lack of training partners: everyone lifts better when other people are watching. Lifters lift better when they are part of a group and all in the group are all intent on the same thing: building muscle. Without training partners, this psychological benefit is lacking. Without training partners to encourage and spot, the athlete is far less likely to extend themselves and push to the limit – and beyond. Only by consistently seeking to improve our lifting and cardio performance do we improve our physique. It is impossible to self-administer forced reps. A training partner is invaluable for spotting: this allows you to attempt those growth producing reps that you would not dare without a spotter: those barely completed final reps of the tough set are where the gains lie.
The solution: even a single training partner will make an incredible difference. Training partners perform the same workout. While one partner lifts, the other partner spots, counts reps and is ready willing and able to step in and assist in the completion of growth-inducing final reps or forced reps. How do you find a training partner? Post a note at the facility you train at outlining the days and times you train and relating the workout you want to do.
- Inconsistency: bodybuilding requires steadfast consistency. You cannot have five good days, fall off the wagon over the weekend and recommence being good on Monday and expect to progress. Missing workouts is bad sign; obviously if there is a real emergency or unusual situation, that is fine, life happens – however missing workouts because you are tired or have something better to do is a sign that you are not really serious. Go take up bowling or golf. Missing meals, eating bad foods, drinking the wrong stuff, blowing off the diet, it is all symptomatic of surefire failure: you are wasting your time if you are less than perfect in all aspects of the bodybuilding matrix. There are no days off or time outs.
The solution: real bodybuilding is about stacking one perfect day on top of another. When a person strings together two straight weeks of perfect eating coupled with never-miss banzai-style training, results will appear. By the end of the first month (of complete adherence) dramatic results are apparent. After three months of perfect adherence the body is utterly and completely transformed.
- Faulty nutrition: there are a lot of whacky yet seductive diet strategies floating around in the wide world of fitness. First off, diet-only approaches are woefully lame, compared to diet strategies linked to exercise strategies. As John Parrillo has noted, “If you look long enough and hard enough you can find some qualified expert that will agree with whatever you like to do already.” The point being, it is one thing for a doctor to write a best-selling diet book based on his work with a dozen patients. John Parrillo learned his nutrition guided by results: he prepped hundreds of competitive bodybuilders for national and international level competition. In that world, you either successfully guide your bodybuilder to the show carrying a sub-5% body fat percentile – or you don’t. Parrillo Performance nutrition is based on decades of hardcore in-the-trenches knowledge.
The solution: if you are serious about bodybuilding you have got to get your head wrapped around the concept of nutritional perfection: perfection in the food selections, perfect to never miss a meal, a supplement meal or feeding. Inconsistent eating torpedoes any attempt at “real” bodybuilding. You will never, ever, get ripped without precision nutrition adhered to for a protracted period. Figure on a month of perfect eating to deliver the results we secretly seek. Perfect eating needs to be coupled with high-intensity training.
- Too much reliance on supplements: nutritional supplements are supposed to supplement, not replace, regular food. There are beneficial digestive occurrences that happen when bodybuilding foods are consumed at regular intervals. Fiber and protein require the digestive system work hard to break down nutrients. John Parrillo has been in the nutritional supplement business for four decades and has built his vast clientele based on the purity and potency of his products. Assuming the diligent bodybuilder is eating right and training hard, expert targeted nutritional supplementation will add 10-15% to the final finished product.
The solution: make expert use of potent nutritional supplements. Supplement with a purpose: know why you are taking a supplement, what the intended effect is and the expected timeframe to see results. For supplements to work optimally, they need be taken in coordinated conjunction with a Parrillo-style multiple meal eating schedule. Optimally, supplements augment perfect food eating.
- Not enough reliance on supplements: at the ridiculous extreme are those that dismiss the value of supplementation altogether. When it comes to bodybuilding, supplements are a must. What better way, what easier and tastier way for an athlete to hit the high daily protein benchmarks then with Parrillo protein supplements? Every gram of high-BV protein taken in via supplements is another gram of protein that doesn’t have to be cooked. A serious bodybuilder is expected to ingest quality calories every 2-3 waking hours, five to seven times a day. This comes to 35 to 49 “feedings” per week, week in, week out, without break. How much easier it is to attain lofty nutritional benchmarks when you have had the foresight to assemble an array of potent nutritional supplements. Those hardheads that dismiss all supplements as fraudulent and overrated are wrongheaded and ignorant and shutting down an excellent pathway of progress.
The solution: protein supplementation makes it easy for a 200-pound bodybuilder to attain the optimal 1 to 1.5 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight per day (200 to 300 grams per day.) For example, a Parrillo Hi-Protein™ shake along with a Parrillo Soft Chew™ bar and a handful of Parrillo Liver Amino Formula™ tablets will deliver 60-grams of pristine protein in the form of a single supplement meal. That meal alone goes a long way towards attaining a 200-gram per day protein goal.
- Lack of results: the biggest reason fitness efforts fail is a lack of results. Bodybuilders need motivation: motivation to train hard, motivation to stay tight on the diet and motivation to take care of the 101 things needed to ensure success, i.e. grocery shopping, food prep, travel time to and from the gym, ordering supplements, keeping detailed training and nutrition logs, getting a weekly BodyStat measurement, posing practice (if competing) and making it all fit into a regular lifestyle. Nothing gets a bodybuilder more motivated than real results and nothing is more discouraging that reaping nothing in return for our efforts. People quit because nothing is happening.
The solution: good intentions, diligent application and consistent training will fail you if your methods are flawed. The weight training needs to be intense enough to grow muscle, cardio needs to be equally intense. Nutrition is the hardest element to get right – and far and away the most important. The eating needs to support the training. Results are critical. The surest way to progress is to implement the Parrillo approach. As the new year approaches, let us vow to implement those battle-tested Parrillo strategies that work every single time they are implemented fully and completely. Let’s use Parrillo products and methods make this year’s New Year’s resolutions come to fruition!