By Andre Newcomb
Tim decided it was time to get serious about bodybuilding. He had lifted weights in high school as part of sport training for football and baseball, but as a quarterback and pitcher he was hardly a serious lifter. He had lifted weights because it was required and with no enthusiasm or real interest. Now it was ten years down the road and things were different. Tall and painfully thin, Tim had the emaciated physique of a man that had just escaped from a prison camp. He had always been a picky eater with no real passion for food. He was a man with a lot of food allergies. Tim did not cook and unless someone else made a meal he would eat something out of a can or a box or head to a fast food joint or eat nothing at all. He skipped meals all the time. When a new Gold’s Gym opened in his neighborhood, he joined up. The top personal trainer operating out of Gold’s was an ex-professional bodybuilder named Jonas. The muscled-up Samoan had won a major NPC show a decade earlier and was a card-carrying IFBB professional bodybuilder. Though he retired from the competitive circuit, Jonas was never out of shape. The two men struck up a conversation and hit it off. Jonas, a Parrillo Certified Personal Trainer, saw potential in Tim and told him as much. “You’ve got natural leanness and a naturally low bodyfat percentile; you have paper-thin skin, you already have what everyone else seeks. You just need to add muscle – and that is easy.” It was easy for Jonas and those that followed his Parrillo-inspired tactics.
The two men sat in Jonas’ office and laid out a plan. Jonas set the priorities. “First and foremost, we have got to square up your nutrition. You need to come to grips with cooking: you need some simple food prep techniques. You are going on an all-out Parrillo nutritional mass-building regimen and certain key foods are eaten repeatedly. It is easy to scramble eggs. How hard is it to turn an oven to 350 and grill a chicken? We’ll teach you how to sauté chicken fingers in CapTri® C8 MCT. Do you know how easy it is to make rice or bake potatoes? Anyone can learn how to steam shrimp or prepare fiber vegetables.” Tim nodded. He felt helpless in the kitchen. He was going to make it happen. He was a socially inactive bachelor with a well-equipped and underused, kitchen. He wanted to be a swinging bachelor with muscles and dates. Jonas outlined the workout schedule. “Even though you are looking to add muscle, you still need to do cardio. Aerobic exercise done right, often and hard, will ensure any weight gain is lean muscle and not marbled with fat. You have a Nordic Track aerobic machine at home, right?” Tim nodded. Tim continued, “Every morning begin your day with a ‘fasted cardio’ session.” Jonas explained, “Fasted cardio burns fat at an accelerated rate. I need you to really get after it: work hard, sweat, try to outdo your previous session best. Exert as hard as you can for a long as you can. Seven days a week you start off your day with an intense cardio session. Cardio not only burns body fat, cardio makes you fitter and amps up the metabolism for hours after the session is over. Eat your first meal of the day when done.”
Jonas weight trained four days a week and essentially made Tim a training partner. All the lifts and techniques Jonas used in his training routine, Tim used. He “ghosted” Jonas, only with far less poundage. The training split was classic: Monday was heavy legs, Tuesday, chest and arms. On Wednesday they took off from lifting. Thursday was back and calf day, while Friday was reserved for shoulders and more arm work. They took off from lifting on Saturday and Sunday. The workouts took an hour to complete and after every lifting session Tim felt shattered in the best, most beneficial way. After each heavy set, Jonas would perform a patented Parrillo fascia stretch and have Tim follow suit. The procedure was to pump the targeted muscle, then stretch that same muscle to loosen tight fascia. Once the targeted muscle has been maximally pumped and maximally stretched, the same muscle was repeatedly flexed. The repeated flexing sent muscle tissue into the newly loosened fascia. Done consistently, fascia stretching not only increases muscle size, the stretching improves flexibility, which makes the bodybuilder supple, limber and less susceptible to injury. Fascia stretching is highly beneficial on a multitude of levels. After Jonas and Tim finished a workout, they would drink a double serving of Parrillo 50-50 Plus™ along with a handful of Muscle Amino™ capsules and Liver Amino™ tabs.
Tim found that he loved to train arms. Jonas’ favorite tricep exercise was the heavy weighted dip. “I do them a certain way and I want you to copy my style. I only dip down until the upper arms are parallel to the floor. Any lower and the pecs are activated. Low dips can wreak havoc on rotator cuffs. A lot of guys do dips deep as a pec exercise – that is a mistake as there are a lot of better pec exercises than dips taken low. But there is no better triceps exercise than weighted dips – assuming you only dip down to parallel and finish each rep with a hard lockout. The lockout is the whole game insofar as building triceps. The lion’s share of contractions happens at the tiptop of the dip rep stroke. Make sure to use an ultra-hard lockout on every single rep.” Jonas was able to perform eight reps to parallel with a 100-pound plate strapped onto the dip belt. Instead of forced reps, when he would hit positive failure on rep 8, he quickly stripped off the dip belt and proceeded to rep out with no weight. He made 22 no-weight reps before conking out. Tim strapped on a 25-pound plate and got six good dip reps. He followed Jonas’ lead and dropped the dip belt and made 9 no-weight reps. Heavy weighted dips were super-setted (alternated) with heavy cheat curls using the barbell. Jonas explained the technique. “The cheat curl was Arnold’s numero uno bicep exercise. I would call his curl technique ‘barely cheating’ cheat curls. He used some heave to get the poundage moving and some slight layback at the top of each curl rep. This particular technique enabled him to ‘overload’ his biceps, it forced his biceps to handle more than they were capable of.”
Jonas showed Tim how to properly administer forced reps on cheat curls, “Not too little help, not too much help, just the right amount of help.” Weighted dips and cheat curls were followed by tricep and bicep fascia stretches: the tricep stretch was a forward lean where all the weight of the body was used to stretch the triceps. The bicep fascia stretch was to let a pair of dumbbells hang down, palms up, on relaxed straight arms draped over a preacher bench. The men took turns working through four successive supersets of cheat curls and dips. This was followed by close-grip bench presses and seated dumbbell curls with the 90-degree pad in place to make the curls more difficult. The stretches were shifted: for triceps, the bottom-position of a dip was assumed and relaxed into. Jonas showed Tim how to assume the final position of the skin-the-cat without actually performing the flip over. Next on the arm training menu were tricep pushdowns done with the rope handle. These were super-setted with continuous tension, low-angle cable curls using an EZ-curl bar attachment. Each man provided forced reps for the other after they reached positive failure. On the 3rd super-set the poundage was dropped, drop set style. The final fascial stretches were held extra-long. Done blasting arms, they down a handful of Parrillo’s branched-chain Muscle Amino Formula™ capsules with their 50-50 Plus™.
After a quick shower, the two men would walk to a seafood buffet in a restaurant a block from the gym. They would proceed to stuff themselves on shrimp, flounder, oysters and sea bass. The men headed to their respective homes for well-deserved naps. After twelve weeks of solid adherence to the fasted cardio, after twelve weeks of weekly training sessions under the Jonas’ take-no-prisoners supervision, after twelve weeks of strict adherence to Parrillo-style high calorie, high protein, low LCT fat nutrition, Tim had added fifteen pounds of pure muscle. The visual improvement was astounding. He looked like a different man and in many ways he was. The difference between a gaunt Tim and a muscled-up Tim was mind-blowing. The additional muscle changed Tim’s outlook on life; he went from frail to empowered in three short months. His nutritional supplementation was critical: he used Parrillo Optimized Whey™ when he needed a quick protein infusion and Parrillo Hi-Protein powder™ when he wanted a sustained release of high BV protein. 50-50 Plus™ was taken after every weight training session. Tim’s “Parrillo pills” included Max Endurance Formula™ and Liver Amino Formula™. He took Liver Amino™ tabs throughout the day. For a treat, Tim discovered that he loved Parrillo Pudding mix™, Parrillo Contest Brownie mix™, and above all, Tim loved Parrillo Spice Cake/Cupcake mix™. He could not believe that he could eat Parrillo spice cake till it came out of his ears and this was not only allowable but beneficial.
By the end of the first month, Tim had added five pounds of lean muscle while his body fat percentile dipped from 11% to 9%. Jonas administered weekly BodyStat 9-point skinfold caliper tests to determine changes in body composition. Throughout the three-month process, Tim added muscle while simultaneously losing body fat. This happened despite incrementally doubling his caloric intake. His strength skyrocketed. Most of his new muscle appeared to settle in his chest and arms. His chest increased three inches and his arms grew from 14.5 to 16. His coworkers started calling him “Guns.” Jonas was matter of fact about it all. As a longtime Parrillo Certified Personal Trainer, this type of improvement was commonplace for his students, assuming the trainee adhered to all the aspects of the Parrillo approach. Tim began contemplating competing in one of the new bodybuilding divisions. His new goal was to gain even more muscle, to weigh a full 200-pounds while maintaining his current degree of leanness. Jonas knew how to stoke Tim’s ego and fire up his enthusiasm. “You know Tim at a full 200-pounds you will likely have 17-inch arms.” Tim’s eyes bugged out of his head. “Oh man, building 17-inch arms would be the greatest accomplishment of my life!” Jonas stifled a laugh. “Well we got the game plan whenever you’re ready to kick it off.” Jonas thought of a Parrillo arm specialization program he’d used in the past with great success that would be perfect for Tim. Nothing stokes a bodybuilder’s enthusiasm like dramatic physical results and a full-on Parrillo training and nutritional regimen never fails to deliver results; results that are always proportional to the degree of adherence.