The easy way to build muscle and lose fat
YouTube is an amazing resource. Experts on any and every conceivable topic can be instantly accessed. It is an amazing thing to be able to see real experts talk about and demo all types and kinds of subjects. One such video features our very own John Parrillo in a recent YouTube snippet entitled, “The easy way to build muscle and lose fat.” In eleven minutes and twenty-two seconds, John poses and answers just about every conceivable question related to how to attain this ultimate bodybuilding state-of-being. Parrillo has a highly defined strategy for achieving this most elusive of metabolic states: adding muscle and reducing body fat at the same time. This requires a subtle balance between nutrition, exercise and recuperation. It all needs to be balanced and in perfect synchronization. Attaining and retaining this tricky balance represents the highest form of the bodybuilding art. The goal is problematic: the bodybuilder builds muscle (anabolic) while simultaneously losing body fat (catabolic.) Parrillo shows how to pursue the two conflicting goals at the same time whereas normally these two goals are pursued independent of one another. Parrillo shows how it can be done, but as you might expect, the guidelines are stringent: hard consistent exercise is “underpinned” with high performance nutrition and targeted nutritional supplementation. Everything is scientifically monitored on a continual and ongoing basis through the use of BodyStat.
Overview: In eleven and a half minutes, John lays out his easy-to-understand strategy in plain-speak. Everything is logical, precise and understandable. He introduces the viewer to his unique approach, which is a skillful blending of nutrition and exercise coupled with the ability to monitor results as they occur. Integral to the Parrillo approach is the use of the BodyStat monitoring procedure. The central element of the BodyStat procedure is the nine-point skin-fold caliper test that allows the bodybuilder to access changes in body composition. By using BodyStat the bodybuilder is no longer limited to the mirror and the bathroom scale. A weekly BodyStat charting session allows the athlete to access the impact of the previous week’s training and nutrition. By creating a tool that determines changes in body composition, intelligent tweaks can be made to the ongoing lifting, cardio, nutrition and supplementation. The Parrillo YouTube explanation makes great use of graphics and visual aides to walk the viewer through the comprehensive process. Grounded in science, Parrillo makes the complex understandable.
Background: Parrillo commences his strategic overview with some background. John relates that as a young bodybuilder preparing for his first bodybuilding competition, he made some serious mistakes. “I had read that to get ‘defined,’ west coast bodybuilders were living on nothing but collagen. For two months leading up to my first show I existed on three 16-ounce bottles of cherry-flavored collagen a day. At the show I was so weak I could barely stand up. I remember I almost fainted on several occasions. I had lost so much bodyweight that I weighed what I did as a freshman in high school. All my muscle had wasted away. I told myself, there has to be a better way.” John Parrillo had eight years of analytic science under his lifting belt and was majoring in chemistry. He had the right background. John became his own lab experiment. “I started tracking my diet. I thought, ‘okay, let’s make a science of this.’ At the same time, I trained with a bunch of bodybuilders and they knew I was a science and chemistry guy. They would come to me with questions. I would research the answer and get back to them.” Sometimes they took John Parrillo’s advice, sometimes they didn’t. “It dawned on me that I had the perfect experimental group – but I needed them to do what I wanted them to do. I developed a psychological method. When they asked a question I would go, ‘I don’t know – let me call California.’ That got their attention. We were in awe of the west coast bodybuilders.” John’s “hotline” to California advice was avidly sought after and most importantly, followed. It was all a ruse. “I didn’t know anyone in California.” Parrillo related. Those local bodybuilders, thinking they had access to the latest secrets of the LA bodybuilding scene followed Parrillo’s “California” advice without question. They got incredible results.
The formulation of the Parrillo methodology: at the time John began formulating the Parrillo nutritional approach, bodybuilders of the day were (literally) starving themselves. This was the accepted way to get maximally lean. Olympia winners and contenders were existing on 600-calories a day for months on end. Right away, Parrillo saw that starvation dieting was wrong on so many levels. He saw the need for objective feedback. “Bodybuilders would use the scale and the mirror as their tools for accessing what was going on. I needed a more sophisticated monitoring device.” Scientific feedback was critical. John developed BodyStat, a nine-point skin-fold pinch test for determining changes in body composition. “The procedure is simple and easy to do and once you get good at it, a BodyStat measurement session takes less than five minutes.” The BodyStat process provided objective feedback; week to week comparisons were now possible. The BodyStat process allowed John to refine competition dieting to a finite degree. “We started off eating regular food. We would take things out of the diet and put things into the diet. Over time we saw what foods worked. I was the first one to say that fruit was a bad diet choice. At the time it was heresy.” Parrillo soon developed a following. “Word got out and soon bodybuilders from all over the country were contacting me. This was the beginning of Parrillo Performance Products.” A big incentive for creating Parrillo Performance Products was the inability at the time to obtain quality nutritional supplements. The products available were woefully inadequate, weak and ineffectual. Parrillo Performance Products grew out of a need for potent nutritional supplementation.
How it works: after the brief bit of background info, John’s YouTube presentation switches to science. He explains how food is processed. Big on simplicity, John talks plainly, yet without diluting the science. “You eat your food, it goes into your stomach and gets digested. Where does it go? It goes into your bloodstream. The fats, sugars (carbs) and proteins go into the bloodstream. Your pancreas secrets insulin to lower blood sugar that rises as a result of eating. After eating food, your blood sugar starts to go up and insulin is secreted; insulin makes cells permeable, more able to absorb nutrients.” John goes on to explain that muscle cells love protein and carbohydrate. At the same time, “Fat cells love fat, so dietary fat is preferentially going into the fat cells.” Eating creates an anabolic state, protein and carbs are going into muscle tissue to build new muscle or create energy. Excess carbohydrates are stored for future use. “The body will turn carbohydrates into glycogen.” Parrillo points out that muscle cells, though metabolically active, have a limit as to how much carbohydrate they can absorb before “spillover” occurs. “Spillover is when glycogen creation exceeds the muscles ability to absorb nutrients. The excess spills over, creating new body fat. Insulin makes all cells permeable; insulin assists dietary fat into fat cells.”
The dietary template: the Parrillo approach starts with the expert usage of regular food. The multiple-meal eating schedule is the foundation: lean protein, fiber and complex carbs are consumed in ample quantities while long-chain triglyceride (LCTs) fat intake in minimized. LCTs are easily converted into body fat and are preferentially stored as body fat. The loss of caloric density caused by removing LCTs is offset with the inclusion of MCTs, medium-chain triglycerides. CapTri® C8 MCT oil is devised to deliver the caloric density of LCT fat, 9-calories per gram, yet CapTri® C8 MCT calories, because of their compositional makeup, are impossible to end up stored as body fat. MCTs go to the front of the oxidation line, no matter what is already in the body waiting for oxidation. CapTri® C8 MCT is the ideal supplement for a bodybuilder seeking to reduce LCT fat calories without causing the body to go into catabolic starvation mode. Supplemental protein is another critical component in the Parrillo approach. Optimally the hard training bodybuilder ingests 1 to 1.5 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight per day: a 200-pound bodybuilder would seek to intake between 200 to 300-grams of protein per day, every day, seven days week. For someone that engages in hardcore weight training and high intensity cardio on a regularly occurring basis, any less protein dramatically increases the likelihood of substandard gains and increased risk of overtraining. Parrillo protein supplements are tasty, potent and go a long way towards assisting the attainment of consistently high daily protein goals.
Maximizing the anabolic state while minimizing spillover: eating “clean” is critical. In the Parrillo lexicon, clean calories are derived from lean protein, fibrous carbohydrate, complex starch carbs and medium-chain triglycerides. Because there are clean calories, there are also “dirty” calories i.e., refined carbohydrates, sugar and alcohol. These are at the top of the dirty calorie list. In the YouTube clip, Parrillo uses bar graphs to explain the advantages of multiple meals and clean eating. Parrillo explains the glucagon-insulin axis and points out that by making better food choices the fat-producing peaks and deep valleys are leveled off. The idea is to eat smaller meals more often. For example, instead of eating a breakfast of 750 calories, a lunch of 1,000 calories and a dinner of 1,250 calories (total 3,000 calories) how much better it is to eat six 500-calorie meals (total 3,000 calories.) Smaller, cleaner meals lessen the digestive burden, keeps the bodybuilder in a state of perpetual anabolism and avoids spillover. The key to generating tangible physical gains is the melding of intense exercise with precision eating and augmenting the food meals with targeted nutritional supplementation.
Train intensely, supplement logically: Parrillo weight training and Parrillo aerobic exercise are characteristically intense. Optimally the Parrillo bodybuilder begins their day with a torrid, sweaty, intense “fasted cardio” training session. This is another Parrillo innovation that accelerates fat-burning is to engage in aerobic exercise while glycogen is at its lowest point, this coming off the sleep-fast. During the day the bodybuilder consumes food meals and “supplement meals.” The idea is to refuel at equidistant intervals throughout the day with each “feeding” consisting of nothing but clean calories. A supplement meal, by way of example, could be a Parrillo Energy bar™ plus a Parrillo Optimized Whey™ shake and a handful of Liver Amino Formula™ tablets. Many bodybuilders will have a “Parrillo treat” at night, perhaps Parrillo chocolate cake, Parrillo muffins or a batch of Parrillo Contest Cookies™. Highly potent Parrillo nutritional supplements are combined with clean food meals and the impact is monitored via a BodyStat composition reading. At the end of this YouTube video John Parrillo rhetorically asks the camera “See how simple it is?” When logic and science are wedded to hard work and disciplined eating, dramatic results are assured. There are many terrific Parrillo YouTube videos online: do yourself a favor and check them out.