By Marty Gallagher
Vic Simms is a 41-year old IFBB professional that competes in the Classic Physique division. In July of 2018 Vic won his pro card, this after competing in only seven shows. His rapid rise was attributable to many factors, not the least of which is that Vic Simms is a lifelong athlete. In high school Vic ran track and wrestled. Track developed his speed and agility while wrestling developed his stamina and raw power. All these early athletic experiences later served as a perfect foundation for the ex-wrestler that had decided to try his hand at Mixed Martial Arts. Vic had an outstanding MMA record before personal tragedy intervened and prematurely ended his career. “I went into a bit of a tailspin after the death of my younger brother. I had just won the biggest fight of my career and four months later I lost my brother. When I lost my brother, I lost the will to continue.” Fighting seemed meaningless. It took Vic a few years to bounce back. Being the true athlete that is, a few years later when he decided to get back in shape, his progress was so quick and dramatic that he thought he’d try his hand at bodybuilding, he met with immediate success. The 42-year old licensed plumber won his bodybuilding pro card this past July. What makes his rapid rise so much more impressive was he was competing and defeating men young enough to be his sons. In the first of a few clichés, “cream rises to the top.”
Vic has a wide range of athletic interests and a lot of varied training under his belt. It all combined to give him an excellent set of muscles long before he ever took up bodybuilding. His high school athletics served his bodybuilding career well: track built fast-twitch muscle fiber; wrestling gave him a work ethic and leaned him out. He had self-admittedly gotten out of shape after walking away from MMA. “I gained quite a bit of unwanted bodyweight.” He headed to the gym and got serious about training and nutrition. He had a lot of muscle memory working for him. Once he locked in on process, results came rapidly. His MMA background was instrumental creating his outstanding physique. The modern MMA fighter develops incredible cardio. The ability to “not gas out” is the primary goal of modern fight training. To build a bigger aerobic gas tank, fighters engage in high intensity cardio sessions that are right out of the Parrillo playbook. John Parrillo has always favored really intense cardio, for a host of reasons. The best way to get lean is to combine high intensity cardio with a bodybuilder’s approach towards nutrition. Vic began MMA style training at a late age. He found he really took to it; so much so that he was urged to take some MMA fights. “I didn’t start MMA until my early 30s, which is quite late in life for a fighter. I think I was around 32 to be exact.” Despite his age and late entry into the fight game, he was a natural.
“I started off strong. I held the MMA Big Show title with a record of 6 wins and 1 defeat. I had no title defenses for eighteen months. Finally, I got to defend my title and I beat the original guy that held the title. I decided to go pro. My first pro fight was versus a very tough opponent. He was a purple belt in jujitsu and trained with Mark “The Hammer” Coleman. I won via a referee stoppage. I had two more Pro bouts. My record was 2 and 1 as a Pro. My last fight was on April 23, 2013.” This was a big win that would open the door to even more MMA opportunity. “Four months after winning my April fight, I lost my younger brother. Everything spiraled downhill.” The blow rocked his world and threw everything off kilter. “I lost my will to train. I didn’t care about anything, training, eating healthy. I gained weight. This went on for about two years.” Vic came out of his (understandable) tailspin when a friend asked him to set up his MMA training. “A buddy of mine asked me to help him train for his upcoming MMA fight. The fight would take place in mid-2015; I agreed and that’s when things began to turn around.” Vic was back in the gym and back in the game. He was inspired once again and commenced training, using bodybuilding tactics. “I trained at several gyms around Cincinnati before finally joining World Gym. I never intended on doing any competitive bodybuilding. My progress came quick; after six months of bodybuilding-style training, I decided to enter my first show. I wanted to compete in the Classic Physique division. In my first competition I placed 2nd, beating a whole lot of seasoned competitors. I was hooked after this first show and my unexpected (for me) high placing.” He redoubled his efforts and got deeper into the bodybuilding approach. He began using Parrillo Products and his progress skyrocketed. “I love CapTri®. It made a huge difference.”
Vic went on a competitive rampage. “I competed in seven shows between 2016 and 2018.” His meteoric rise reached its peak when he won his pro card. “I become an IFBB Pro on July 20, 2018. This was almost five years to the day after losing my brother. This was a very special and emotional day for my family and myself.” Vic improved with each successive outing and his use of Parrillo products accelerated his progress. Scott Canatsey was responsible for introducing Vic to the various Parrillo products and their highly specialized uses. Vic wanted to be sure and thank Calvin Williams and Scott Canatsey for their help in Vic’s quest to become an IFBB pro. These two men shared their collective wisdom and greatly aided Mr. Simms in his bodybuilding adventure. Vic made it a point to thank family first: “I love my three sons; they are my motivation. I goal is to be a positive role model in all their lives. I want to thank my mother for watching over me and allowing me and encouraging me to train.” It is another trite cliché to say someone has “barely scratched the surface” of their capabilities and capacities, however in Vic Simms case the cliché is completely appropriate.