My training partner is driving me nuts: he has made some nice gains and good progress – I keep telling him if he would just throw caution to the wind, take that extra step, commit another 5-10%, this guy could be incredible! He must have a low pain tolerance. He has become predictable: when things start getting tough, you know on the last few reps of the top set, he will quit!
When it comes to the final tough reps at the end of a tough set he bails out. He does this about 50% of the time. As you could probably guess, he predictably bails out on the tough reps of exercises he does not like: he has no problem pushing hard, hitting forced reps and drop sets on curls, machine presses and any kind of bench press. I tell him that his chest/biceps and shoulders are disproportionally outsized, compared to his spindly legs and non-existent back because he refuses to push into the pain/discomfort zone on exercises he doesn’t like. It gets worse: after an aborted set is over, and I start bugging him about being a quitter, he throws THIS in my face…”Iron Vic says to make sure and not injure yourself.” My man starts quoting YOU saying, “Vic says the real pros will bag a set if they sense anything wrong.” So this meatball is invoking you using your name in defense of his slacker behavior on exercises he doesn’t care for. I thought you might be interested in the fact that many dudes are perverting your words to suit their own “do less, go lighter, quit sooner” purposes…How’s it feel to be a slacker sage?
I’m counting to ten slowly, so my freaking blood pressure doesn’t explode my head. Well that’s just great! Sort of like opening the newspaper to read that friends were arrested in a swingers club bust or perhaps rounded up as part of a satanic cult. So your training partner is using my words to justify his slacker actions? He’s quoting me like members of the Red Guard used to quote Chairman Mao before burning down the mayor’s house while the mayor and his family are sleeping. I resent being invoked to justify being sensible in the weight room. I was never sensible in the weight room. I would put being a little crazy in the weight room near the top of the list as to why I succeeded. Those who never get crazy during training, (“Statistics show that lifting too much could lead to serious injury!”) those that do less, quit sooner, stay safe and bag it early never make it in the muscle-building strength-infusing game. You have to be a little bit nuts in the gym. The idea is to methodically, continually, relentlessly, repeatedly stretch and extend the limits of what you, as a man, are capable of using on a particular lift with a particular poundage, pushing or pulling for a specified number of reps. Real Iron Men push up to the limit then seek to exceed the limit: this is instinctual behavior for a champion. The regular normal guy really doesn’t want to step outside his comfort zone while the champion can’t wait to step off into the crazy zone – the champion knows that is where all the gains are. That’s where all the fun is had. A lot of the bag-it early types love machines. Personally, I rarely use a machine.
Barbells and dumbbells are the true tools of the true champions. The simple fact is: in the rough and crude world of result-producing resistance training, being sensible does not make you any bigger or stronger. I think if a man has the ability to effortlessly stroll into the pain and discomfort zone, his potential is unlimited. To grow muscles that are larger, to make a muscle stronger, you must take that muscle past current capacity. And there is nothing about that process that is comfortable or sensible! Do you really think doing the same things in the same way with the same poundage for the same number of sets and reps would at some point morph you into a Hercules? Hardly. Champions thrive in the pain and discomfort zone while regular guys play patty cake pretend in the comfort zone. Do you know how to tell a regular guy when you walk into a gym? The regular guys are the trainees whose physiques never, ever change. I would suggest to your training partner to get some of the enthusiasm powerlift immortal Willie “The Hammer” Bell used to demonstrate before attacking a world record squat (He did 880 weighing 240). Before a record squat attempt The Hammer would rear back and purposefully crack his skull onto the razor-like center knurling of the barbell as it set in the squat rack. This drew blood. The Hammer would then proceed to squat world records with blood running down his chiseled face. Not that you need to crack your forehead open before every squat set but this tale relates the level of intensity the elite muster for the top set. Another quick tale about “getting a little crazy” in training….
There once was a powerlifting longshoreman named Popeye. He was a stevedore on the tough Baltimore docks and he and other powerlifting dockworkers (there were many) formed a lifting club. At competitions they would smack each other in the forehead – hard – prior to a big attempt using a three foot section of 2×4 board. They carried “The Board” to competitions in its own special gym bag – nothing other than The Board rode in that bag brother! During the competition if one of his boys missed a lift Popeye would growl, “You need The Board? You need The Board?? Fetch me the BOARD!!!” The Board was actually banned after Popeye, in an overzealous moment, hit Big George Ivanovich so hard with The Board that he actually knocked George unconscious, causing George to miss his state record attempt at 825 in the deadlift. Perhaps Randy, you need to purchase a gym bag and construct your own version of The Board. Perhaps you need to wake some people up!
Is there a Parrillo Mass Stack? I mean if a guy were looking to pack on say 20-25 pounds of un-marbled beef over the next six months, which Parrillo supplements would you buy? I know that they are all good – I need to start laying in the groceries and getting serious about getting big. I am 6’4″ and 195 super lean pounds. I need some beef BAD! I am all muscle, but very thin. I figure I can add like 20-25 pounds over the next six months if I really buckle down. I don’t want to blow all my dough on supplements on account of grocery store lean protein sources being so expensive. On the other hand I definitely have money figured into the food budget for some Parrillo supplements. I could use some help selecting two or three Parrillo products. Love the column and please, never mellow with age! Just stay grumpy and drop over dead suddenly one day.
I actually like that death thing Stretch: roll on, never ever mellow or mentally age, then when it’s time, keel over, dead before you hit the floor. Now onto cheerier topics; here are my top three top choices for mass inducement…
CapTri®: Above all else, when seeking to add mass, the single absolute most important task is to consume more calories than you burn, each and every day. You must establish a surplus of calories. We all have a caloric set point, a breakeven calorie range, a normal tipping point at which we neither add nor lose body weight. In order to build new muscle tissue we must attain anabolism and in order to become naturally anabolic a surplus of calories is an absolute prerequisite. If those surplus calories are “clean” calories, then weight gain will be 99% muscle gain. There is no cleaner source of calories than those contained in CapTri®. At a whopping 120 calories per tablespoon, this liquid lipid is caloric dynamite. The Parrillo method for adding lean mass is to eat lots of clean regular food meals and supplement with lots of CapTri®. Train like your hair is on fire, eat every clean calorie in sight and douse those multiple meals with loads of CapTri®. Settle in for a couple of months and buy some new clothes as current shirts will soon be too snug! Don’t forget about Parrillo Butter-Flavored CapTri®.
50/50 PlusTM: Parrillo Products mixed two protein types, a fast-release whey protein with slow-release caseinate protein and mixed the protein blend in exact proportion with an equally potent carbohydrate powder. Parrillo uses a low DE slow-release maltodextrin carbohydrate powder. The two protein powders and the carb powder are combined and called 50/50 PlusTM. Parrillo designed 50/50 PlusTM to replenish a battered body after an intense workout. Science confirmed what competitive bodybuilders have known for decades: that the best thing you can do for a body shattered by a savage training session is to feed it immediately after training. The optimal way to ingest a post-workout meal, a “feeding,” is via a liquefied “smart bomb” shake. Optimally the predigested shake contains an equal mix of high BV protein and glycogen-replenishing carbohydrate. Parrillo’s 50/50 PlusTM delivers 20 grams of protein, 17 grams of carbohydrate and contains 150 calories per serving. This potent concoction contains zero fat and zero sugar. 50/50 PlusTM was designed as a post-workout smart bomb: all Parrillo adherents drink a 50/50 PlusTM smart bomb after every workout. The classical use for 50/50 PlusTM is now augmented by a second use: as a weight gain supplement. Most big men will double the recommended serving creating a delicious drink containing 40 grams of protein, 34 grams of carbs and 300 calories. To use 50/50 PlusTM as a weight gain supplement drink two shakes per day.
Optimized Whey Protein PowderTM: The statistics on Parrillo’s whey protein powder are awesome: 33 grams of high BV protein, a mere four grams of carbohydrate with zero fat and zero sugar. Each serving contains 150 calories. The idea is to drink two or three supplemental protein shakes per day, each and every day. Do so and pump up your protein volume from 66 to 100 grams. This is the finest supplemental protein available on the market today. A lot of folks are ignorant of the fact that (unlike 98% of his competitors) John Parrillo has a protein powder production facility onsite at corporate headquarters. Parrillo custom blends all his powder and bar formulations. Onsite blending allows for unrivaled potency and quality. Mass construction requires ample amounts of amino acids, the building blocks of muscle. Adding 66 to 99 grams of muscle-building protein per day will go a long way towards the attainment of the recommended 1.5 grams or more of protein per pound of bodyweight per day. Supplementing with Parrillo Optimized Whey means you don’t have to cook and eat every single bite of protein. If I were allowed a fourth supplement I would unhesitatingly select one of the various Parrillo Bar Formulations: Sports Nutrition BarTM, Energy BarTM, Protein BarTM, High Protein/Low Net Carb BarTM or the latest Parrillo Product, the Protein Chew BarTM. Use these supplements in conjunction with a methodical ‘regular’ food multiple-meal eating schedule; add some savage weight training and copious amounts of cardio to keep weight gains lean, and in six months time instead of stretch they’ll start calling you Mongo.
What’s your opinion of the recent massive upset in the UFC where Forrest Griffin beat Rampage Jackson? To me this was sort of like Ali beating Liston back in 1963. Looks like it’s a new era. All the Pride guys have been beaten – also I see Donald Trump is footing the bill to fund a rival organization to compete against the UFC. Trump has signed Russian Pride champ Fyodor E. to fight Tim Sylvia. It could be exciting. Tito Ortiz has signed with Trump as has superstar Randy Couture. What’s your take?
Rollo, Parts Unknown
I like the Liston/Ali analogy. Like cute and sweet Ali against the fearsome Liston, few gave the red headed youngster from Georgia much of a chance against the fearsome Jackson. Forrest has an iron jaw and an ability to “take a licking and keep on ticking.” He is indomitable and seems to get stronger the longer any fight goes on. With Rampage’s demise every single Pride fighter has now been defeated in the UFC. Most of the fight intelligentsia, me included, was convinced the Pride guys, Silva, Rua, Kro Cop and Rampage, would decimate the “weaker” UFC fighters. That has proven factually inaccurate: the combined fight record of UFC versus Pride fighters is something like 7-1 favor UFC. The big news is that Donald Trump, sensing a business opportunity, is bankrolling a rival UFC organization. This is a serious deal: Trump is betting big bucks that he can wrest control of the billion dollar industry from the notoriously tight-fisted UFC organization. Since the demise of Pride, the UFC is the only game in town, and insofar as being a cage fighter, that was a bad thing. Reportedly fight purses are sinfully small in relation to the amount of dollars being generated at the gate and on cable. Trump became close to Tito Ortiz after the blond one had a seven week run on Trump’s reality TV show, Celebrity Apprentice. Tito informed The Donald that a lot of quality fighters could be snatched up for next to nothing. Trump decided to commit and went out and signed the biggest gun in all of mixed martial arts: Russian Sambo master and Pride Dominator Fyodor Emilianenko. The first Trump fight card is scheduled within a few months and features Fyodor fighting former UFC champion Tim Sylvia. At 6’7″ and close to 300 pounds, Sylvia will make for a terrific opponent. The mixed martial arts world is abuzz with this latest development. I am excited for the fighters: a bidding war could break out that would make MMA fighters millionaires in all weight divisions. This is going to be great for the fighters, great for the audiences and great for the future of this amazing combat sport. Monopolies stifle development every single time!