Hello Iron Vic,
I am a 44 year old mother of three and a longtime fitness fanatic. I am 5-4, I weigh 145 pounds and would really like to drop 20 pounds of fat. I enjoy weight training and can bench press my bodyweight. I have no problem with cardio. I jog on my treadmill every day while watching the TV news. What messes me up is sweets. I love chocolate! I don’t drink or smoke and other than eating sweets I eat pretty “clean” to use your word. My problem is I am absolutely addicted to chocolate. I am like some sort of heroin junkie – I even have a candy stash! They say the first step to breaking a bad habit is admitting you have a problem – so I’m saying that I have a problem – any advice would be appreciated. Please don’t ever go soft on us! Raylayne, Dallas
I love that you bench bodyweight! For a lot of individuals engaged in bodybuilding and fitness the major obstacle in the pathway of success is diet. For certain individuals the major dietary obstacle is an addiction to sweets. For certain women the major dietary obstacle is specifically chocolate. Taste is the culprit that trips up dieters and the taste of chocolate is a temptation many individuals, particularly those of the female persuasion, cannot overcome. Scientific studies have shown that certain females have a genetic affinity for chocolate. This is not imaginary or psychosomatic; a goodly percentage of women are born with primordial encoding that heightens the pleasure derived from chocolate. The Sweet Tooth, particularly the “Chocolate Jones” has probably derailed more female physique aspirations than any other single dietary factor. While guys are usually addicted to beer, fatty foods, cheese or pizza, the hold that chocolate has over genetically predisposed females is tougher to break than an addiction to crack…
Women can become dedicated Iron Pumpers and are more than capable of generating the immense physical effort required to trigger real gains.
Women can chug along at cardio with the best of their male counterparts, exhibiting terrific determination while developing incredible endurance.
Women have fewer problems avoiding fatty foods and alcohol that ensnare and beguile so many of their male counterparts.
Yet when these dedicated distaff trainers get a strong whiff of pure and rich chocolate, the tantalizing aroma causes them to lose all self control.
Chocolate is perhaps the most seductive of all foods. Three Star Michelin Chef Eric Rupert noted that the three richest tasting foods in the world are: roasted bone marrow, caviar and chocolate. Is it any wonder that so many people have a devilish time ignoring chocolate? John Parrillo has had great success over the years weaning women off chocolate using a “substitution principle.” The idea is sheer genius: anytime the sweet-tooth chocolate addiction pops up, the Parrillo prescription is eat something that tastes chocolate-like – yet is not chocolate. Do not try and suppress the chocolate urge; do not try and pretend the urge doesn’t exist; do not try and use willpower to overpower the urge – instead satiate these cravings by eating or drinking one of a dozen chocolate-flavored Parrillo products. The Parrillo nutritional arsenal is mind-boggling in terms of scope, depth and breadth. A diligent individual seeking to kick a chocolate addiction could construct an amazing diet loaded with a dozen different chocolate-flavored products that in fact contain no fat and sugar laden chocolate. After decades of trial and error the Parrillo team has devised a wide array of products that taste of pure chocolate goodness – yet amazingly contain no sugar. Here is a sample diet that innovatively and imaginatively uses potent Parrillo supplements to overcome the chocolate addiction through substitution….
Breakfast: 6am (after morning cardio) chocolate-flavored Hi-Protein Powder™ mixed with oatmeal; small egg white omelet with diced onions and green peppers
Mid-morning snack: 10 am Sweet Milk Chocolate-flavored Energy Bar™, chocolate-flavored Optimized Whey Protein™ Shake
Lunch: Chicken breast, small yam, large garden salad with oil and vinegar, Parrillo Chocolate-flavored Cupcake™ frosted with Parrillo Chocolate Flavor Protein Frosting™.
Mid-afternoon snack: chocolate-flavored Fudge Brownie Protein Bar™, chocolate-flavored Pro-Carb™ shake (pre-workout)
Post-workout: chocolate-flavored 50-50 Plus™ shake (6pm)
Evening meal: Fish or shellfish, brown rice, sautéed broccoli/garlic/spinach/carrot mix Parrillo chocolate-flavored Instant Hi-Protein Low Carb Pudding™
Evening snack: a Glass of milk-flavored Parrillo All-Protein™ and a large piece of Parrillo chocolate-flavored Hi-Protein Cake™ frosted with Parrillo Chocolate Flavor Protein Frosting™.
This is just one sample diet strategy. Given the sheer number of Parrillo products and flavors, the combination possibilities are almost limitless. We haven’t even mentioned Cappuccino-flavored or Layered Peanut Butter/Chocolate Sport Nutrition Bars™. How about the Chocolate Almond Coconut Energy Bars™? Or the Creamy Chocolate Fudge High-Protein/Low Net Carb Bars™? The sample diet laid out above attacks the sweet-tooth problem on two separate fronts: people addicted to sweets usually binge when they are hungry. By eating wholesome, nutritious foods every few hours, hunger is avoided. Starting at 6am and continuing until bedtime, food or supplements are consumed every few hours: this establishes anabolism and creates the metabolic state necessary for muscle growth. Because the calories consumed are low fat/low glycemic and preferentially partitioned towards providing energy, or used to construct muscle tissue, body fat is not accumulated. All this is predicated on the assumption that the individual is training hard, training intensely and training often. It assumes the trainee is engaging in hardcore Parrillo-style resistance training and intense, mitochondria-building aerobic exercise. Stay disciplined in the meal timing and consumption. Avoid binge-inducing hunger; satiate chocolate cravings by including a chocolate-flavored Parrillo product at virtually every meal, snack or feeding. This idea is pure genius and I have never seen it fail.
What is your opinion of the flat and incline dumbbell flye? How are you supposed to perform them? I train at a hardcore facility here in Dayton and I have seen guys perform flyes that look more like bench presses. They use massive weights and keep their arms in tight while barely lowering the bells. I read where flyes were a favorite exercise of Schwarzenegger at his peak and he used light weights and lowered the hell out of the bells. I am confused. Are flyes a good or bad exercise? Should I use them or avoid them?
Use them but do them right! The pectoral muscles have two biomechanical functions: to push poundage away from the body – as in a bench press – or to squeeze the arms together in “bear hug” fashion. A properly performed flye is a great exercise and worthy of inclusion. The pec dec is a mechanical flye and as all hardcore iron pumpers know, free weight exercises trump machines that mimic the free weight exercise. You keep the free weight in the groove whereas a machine keeps the poundage in the groove for you. As a result, free weight exercises stimulate more muscle fiber than machine exercises. Back to pectoral function: the best way to exhaust the push function of the chest muscles is to perform the various bench presses using a variety of grip widths and angles. Perform flat benches using a barbell and use wide, medium and narrow grips; perform incline barbell presses using wide, medium and narrow grips. Don’t forget flat and incline dumbbell presses. I prefer to pause my bench presses. This eliminates rebound momentum and causes the pec muscles to work harder: harder work equates to more muscle fiber stimulation and yields greater muscular results.
The second muscular function of the pectoral muscles is the “hug” function. Arnold described himself as a “master of the flye” and described proper flye technique as akin to “hugging a giant tree.” I think that is an excellent technical description. I know exactly what you are talking about when you mention the guys who perform “flyes” that more resemble a dumbbell bench press than a pure flye. These guys are missing the boat: because they are ego driven and poundage hungry, they prefer to use 70 or 90-pound dumbbells and perform “flyes” that are really perverted dumbbell bench presses. This is the worst of both worlds: by using too much weight and not flinging their arms wide, the pecs are barely stimulated and because of the awkward nature of the movement they risk injury. Mike Mentzer, now deceased, ended his physique career by ripping a pectoral muscle attempting to handle a pair of 90 pound dumbbells in the incline flye. My advice is to use light bells and fling the arms open as wide as humanly possible on the descent. Allow the weight of the light bells to force the arms downward; I exhale at the low point as this allows the bells to fall even further. From the low point raise the bells slowly using pec power and pec power alone. You can rebound out of the bottom (dangerous) and use the arms to raise the weight: however, for maximum pectoral stimulation raise the bells slowly and concentrate on using pec power alone to raise the weights. Do this right and you will feel it in the pecs “in real time,” as you actually raise the bells. I would add 2-3 sets of proper flat flyes after finishing all my flat and incline benching. I would then head over and do a high rep, single set-to-failure on the pec dec as a final pumper-upper. I’d forget about incline flyes and master Old School Arnold-style flat bench flyes.
Dear Mr. Parrillo,
I recently read Mr. Steele’s response to an email in the Oct issue of Performance Press. His response used words that were very offensive such as “midget,” “commie,” and “chi-com.” You didn’t even reprimand his blatant racism. I, along with my entire office (about 400 employees) have cancelled our subscription. He is incredibly insensitive and I am launching a website to counter his racism and encourage others to do the same. You, Mr. Steele, are a dumb ass!
Lisa, are you a “vertically-challenged” Chi-com commie lover? I suspect you must have spent a lot of time at the feet of some professorial Marxist. What type of arrogant, 5th columnist individual would infer that phrases like “commie” or “chi-com” are racist?! Are you spoofing me, like Ali G? “Obviously Iron Vic is a racialist!” So when did commie become a racial slur? I’m sorry, but being a “dumb ass” I must have missed that memo. I must also have missed the memo placing the word “chi-com” (short for Chinese communist) on the Politically Incorrect offensive list. Is my dumb ass use of Commie and Chi-Com a certifiable hate crime? When did that law pass? Any individual that becomes mortally offended by “Chi-com” or “Commie” likely are commies or commie sympathizers. As this readership is painfully aware, communists are not crunchy granola-eating, love-and-peace socialists – au contraire – communists are rabid, self-described violent revolutionaries dedicated to the overthrow of the capitalistic system “by any means necessary.” Most Americans love and cherish the free-market system and don’t consider capitalism a dirty word. But then again, as a free-market Dumb Ass capitalist I cannot be expected to keep up with the latest PC campus hate crime list of offensive terms. Come clean Lisa; are you a Marxist revolutionary dedicated to the violent overthrow of the American government?