I am a bodybuilder who competes. I am looking for ways to move up the competitive ladder. I am twenty-one years old, weigh 165 in the off-season and compete weighing 150, give or take a few pounds. The problem is that I am 6 feet tall and when I step onstage I look like a basketball player. I tower over my competitors. I know I need to gain weight but I cannot gain no matter what I do. I eat a lot of fruit and raw vegetables during the day because they don’t need to be cooked. I eat protein when I can get my mom to cook me chicken breasts or fish. I don’t want to get fat – so I make sure she grills the breasts just right after she strips off the skin. When she can afford it, I like fish. I usually get her to make my protein portions for me after she gets home from work. But some nights she is too tired – so I am inconsistent in my protein intake. I could use some advice. I have a vision quest to become a great bodybuilder. I want to win my IFBB Pro Card in five years. I want to be a competitive bodybuilder the rest of my life!
Long Live Bodybuilding!
Lance, San Diego
Somebody kill me. Lance you got to MAN UP! If you were here right now I would slap the taste out of your mouth; just like my idol, General George S. Patton did. You say you eat a lot of fruit and raw vegetables during the day – this has to be because you refuse to learn how to cook! You make your poor mom hassle with cooking you chicken (“done just right’”) after she’s been slaving away all day at work to keep a roof over your lazy ass?! What in the hell is wrong with you Lance? Are you delusional? Learn how to make your own damn food! Pay for your own damn food! How dare you impose your delusional bodybuilding ‘vision quest’ on your poor mother! Do you have a job? Do you contribute anything? To anyone? Anytime? Get a job, start making your own money, buy your own food and prepare it yourself. Drop out of competitive bodybuilding for a complete year. Build yourself up to 200 pounds in bodyweight before you even think about competing again. Does mom pay your entry fees? I envision you playing Xbox 360 all day long in your room in mom’s basement. If you are serious about becoming a real bodybuilder you can’t depend on ‘mommy’ or anyone else to make your food. The reason you are skinny is because you don’t take in enough calories. Likely you eat a half of a single skinless chicken breast and complain that you’re stuffed! Hell son, back in the day when I was your age and looking to move up from the 198 pound class to the 220 pound class, I used to eat an entire chicken and drink a half gallon of milk – for lunch! True we’re a lot smarter today than back then; and nowadays I would “switch out” some of the foods I used to eat – but the point is this: even back in those moronic days of yore we freaking knew that in order to grow gargantuan (and that’s what I wanted to be, full-blown gargantuan!) we knew that in order to grow muscle we needed to slam calories! You are a fool fooling yourself!
No one cares about seeing your ripped-and-shredded 14 inch arm; no one cares about seeing your defined 38 inch chest. You need to add size, significant size. You’ve got to reprioritize your pathetic life or you are going to end up like Travis Bickle in the movie Taxi Driver. You’ll need to make serious eating and serious power training your top priority. You need to gain a pound a week – come hell or high water – every week for the foreseeable future. Go get a job. Kick mom some rent money. Spend your disposable income on quality food. Learn how to shop and above all else learn how to cook. Mom will be thrilled to teach you. Besides, cooking is creative and pleasurable and once you get into it your entire physique will change for the better. Son you need a reality check. You need to turn over a new leaf. Do your own food shopping, do your own cooking and always clean up after making your food. Don’t leave a freaking mess for your poor, stressed-out mother to have to clean up after she gets home from a hard day at work. I would advise you invest some money in a few choice Parrillo supplements. Here is a sample menu of what a thin guy on a budget should be eating in order to grow quality muscle mass over a protracted period of time….
Breakfast: microwave a large bowl of oatmeal and mix in a serving of Parrillo Hi-Protein™ powder. On weekends make an egg-white omelet with veggies sautéed in CapTri®.
Mid-morning snack: a Parrillo Energy Bar™ makes an ideal mid-morning snack.
Lunch: pack a lunch and have tuna or chicken breast along with a salad and some roasted potatoes or brown rice. Purchase a bottle of CapTri® and drizzle a tablespoon or two over every food meal. CapTri® is cheaper than food and provides 110+ calories per tablespoon.
Post Workout: 50/50 Plus™ is an incredible supplement that is designed specifically to replenish the body after a savage training session. Drink a serving (or two) after every power training session as this will accelerate and amplify workout results.
Dinner: Chicken breast can be diced, sliced, cubed, grilled or baked. Tilapia is a reasonably priced fish and can be grilled, sautéed or baked. Regardless the protein selected, eat brown rice, potatoes or corn. Eat fiber vegetables at every meal. Don’t forget eggs. Another great dinner idea is constructing a jumbo egg omelet soufflé. Place 10 egg whites and two yolks in a blender; in a large Teflon skillet sauté diced onions and bell peppers in CapTri®. Add the eggs and cover. Reduce the heat and let the eggs rise. This makes a delicious, power-packed dinner soufflé omelet.
Before bed: How about drinking a serving of Parrillo Hi-Protein™ and washing down some beef liver tablets? This way you will grow while you sleep. Hi-Protein™ is a slow-release blend of protein and the potent beef liver tablets will dissolve as you sleep.
Train four times a week using a pure power routine consisting of core exercises: deep squats, flat and incline bench presses, deadlifts, rows, cleans, heavy curls and dips. Keep the reps in the 5-8 range. Strive to grow larger and strive to push the poundage up each consecutive week. Add at least a pound of bodyweight every week for 12 straight weeks. Do so and you will be unrecognizable. Make sure you keep up the cardio during this mass building phase. Cardio keeps the metabolism revved and the appetite kicking. Cardio ensures weight gain is muscle gain. Never miss a meal or a feeding. Eat like a Man Lance! Every single day take CapTri® with each food meal. Every single day take six liver amino tabs with each meal and another half dozen before bed. Every single day be serious, act serious and do something for mom. Perhaps you could blow her mind and make dinner for her after her hard day at work. Time for an end to the childish behavior Lance; Time to MAN UP! If you want to become a great bodybuilder then start acting like one!
What’s your take on the recent suspension of six NFL players for having diuretics in their urine during routine drug tests? How can they suspend players for diuretics? No steroids were found and the players union is protesting. I wondered what you thought about this most recent athletic scandal.
I don’t know the particulars. However diuretics have been used to hide steroids in the urine for decades. Back in the 1980s, the Bulgarian Olympic lifters discovered that taking diuretics masked the presence of steroids in urinalysis. Lifters could take all the drugs they wanted and by simply taking a diuretic before the drug test they would come up “clean.” Word leaked out as to what was going on and the IOC authorities made the presence of diuretics in the urine illegal; tantamount to having steroids in the urine. The athletes protested, “Hey! How can you accuse us of having steroids in our system just because we have taken a diuretic! That ain’t fair!” Neither is it fair to be gassed while your competitors are drug-free. And besides, what earthly reason is there for a 300 pound Olympic weightlifter (or shot-putter, or discus thrower or 100 meter dash sprinter) to have a diuretic in their pee? The whole issue of diuretics being evidence of taking steroids was challenged in the courts and the sport governing bodies won the case. Athletes could and would be banned for having diuretics in their system. According to the papers I read, six NFL players mysteriously all had an identical type of diuretic in their urine. Why? Does this particular diuretic make you tackle better, run faster or block better? What possible explanation could there be for the presence of a diuretic in drug test urine of a football player? It is quite a mystery but I think I know the answer. No doubt the players union is going to try that old tactic of saying, “Hey! Just because we got diuretics in our pee – that doesn’t necessarily mean we take steroids!” I suppose the courts will have to settle this smelly issue once again.
I am looking to try some new cardio modes during the long winter months. I get incredibly bored riding the various cardio machines. I live in Minnesota and my beloved outdoor jogging is out of the question between November and April. I belong to a nice fitness facility that has every conceivable type of equipment including a pool. I was a good swimmer as a kid. I am 39 and haven’t really done lap swimming since 1990 but thought that might be an idea. I perform my cardio early before I go to work. I was hoping you might have some innovative and cool cardio ideas. Is swimming good cardio?
Bored-to-tears Ted in St. Paul
I can only ride a cardio machine for so long before I freak out and start acting like Heath Ledger’s Joker in the latest Batman movie. I notice that the makers of fancy cardio machines are now installing televisions in all the latest aerobic devices. That tells you that people are bored to tears riding these machines – just like you Ted. The aerobic machine makers are installing TVs in order to distract people from the prolonged drudgery of machine cardio. I have several ideas that might be doable, given that you belong to a lavish, country club-like fitness facility…
Swimming: This venerable exercise mode has tremendous aerobic advantages and is highly recommended. First off swimming is the least stressful of all aerobic modes insofar as stress on the tendons, joints, ligaments and connective tissue. Fitness-minded individuals that use one particular type of cardio machine, over and over, run the risk of incurring a repetitive motion injury. Swimming uses both arms and legs to propel the body through the water – whereas most cardio machines are ‘legs only.’ Swimming allows you to change strokes and avoid repetitive motion issues. Swimming keeps the core body temperature low during exercise. Being submerged in cool water prevents overheating and this natural cooling allows the swimmer to go further without fatiguing. Swimming allows for infinite stroke variations and is a fabulous cardio activity. Get to the indoor pool early and swim laps when few people are there.
Intense Games: Want to make time fly while performing beneficial aerobic activity? Join a basketball or racquetball league. These intense games are fast paced, played indoors and cause participants to sweat by the bucketful. Intense games involve continual motion and nothing elevates the heart rate like running full out to return a serve or to stay ahead of a ‘fast break.’ Most people jump on a cardio machine and tool along at a nice, even pace. That’s fine, but in order to build mitochondria, cardio activity needs to be intense. John Parrillo has championed intense cardio, the type of cardio that requires the participant to operate just below the oxygen debt level, for decades. Running up and down the length of a basketball court or engaging in prolonged volleys creates the type of stress required to build mitochondria. Why is mitochondrial density within a muscle important? More mitochondria in a muscle means more food/fuel can be processed and oxidized. How do we cause the creation of more mitochondria? Subject a muscle to repeated cardio/muscular stress for an extended period of time. Regardless the cardio mode, try and work to a point just shy of complete oxygen deprivation. Both basketball and racquetball fit the cardio bill: from start to finish the players are required to put out incredible bursts of power and speed. These intense bursts are interspersed with short cool down periods. This type of cardio makes the time fly by – 45 minutes is gone in the blink of an eye. Aerobic intenseness creates muscle mitochondria. Check out the club directory to find out how to join a basketball or racquetball league. These leagues are usually broken down into age groups. This levels the competitive playing field and makes participation more user friendly for older athletes.