Vince Wood was at a crossroads. A national-ly ranked bodybuilder, Vince was experienc-ing “burn out.” He was tired of his longtime proven-effective approach. He was losing his enthusiasm. Vince was becoming convinced he had taken his career about as far as it was going to go following the road he was on. Vince felt impaled on the horns of a dilemma: that his current methods worked was beyond dispute.
What was also beyond dispute was the cold hard fact that he hadn’t significantly improved in over a year. Should he abandon his proven effective ways and strike out in an entirely new bodybuilding direction – with no guarantee that his new ap-proach would yield results? Should he “Man Up” and stay the course, using his tried-and-proven methods of training and eating? Should he reconcile himself to the fact that as a 40 year old man, future progress would be measured in teeny steps and infinitesimal degrees? Which way should he jump? Should he jump at all? The 5’9″ athlete com-peted in shredded-and-ripped condi-tion weighing 175 pounds and was known for his symmetry and mus-cular delineation. Vince knew he was treading water and the tipping point came when his enthusiasm, al-“How I took my stagnant physique to the next level.”ways off the charts, began to wane. He knew a drastic repositioning and recalibration might be the only way to reenergize his enthusiasm. Still he was haunted by doubts and indeci-sion.
“I felt as if I had painted myself into a corner. I had spent many years getting to a certain level – yet once I obtained my pro card I hit a pla-teau that I could not overcome.” As a longtime Parrillo adher-ent, it eventually dawned on Vince that he had to take a chance and make the leap: if he were to gen-erate radical results he would need a radically dif-ferent approach. As John Parrillo has pointed out since 1980, a competent competitive bodybuilder needs a series of effective training regimens ready to roll out when stagna-tion inevitably sets in. To use an appropriate analogy, think of effective weight training and car-dio routines as shirts hung neatly on hangers in a closet: when one shirt gets dirty or when a particular routine goes stale, time to throw the shirt/routine into the wash and time to pull another fresh shirt/routine off the rack. Note that we didn’t say “time to throw the proven effective routine in the trash,” we hang the proven routine (or diet) back in the closet for future use. Top pros might have a dozen different routines, proven rou-tines, and rotate them regularly. At the elite level, seasoned bodybuild-ers actually anticipate stagnation ahead of time. Vince Wood coldly took st
ock and decided that what he needed in order to improve his com-petitive placing was to add muscle mass – without losing any of his fabled conditioning. “While I had been quite successful competing at 175 pounds carrying a 4% body fat percentile, if I could compete weigh-ing 190+ pounds carrying that same 4% body fat percentile, I would dra-matically improve my placing.” In the magic fairy world of pretend bodybuilding, everyone wants to add a lot of muscle without add-ing any body fat: in the real world of competitive bodybuilding, that is the Mount Everest of bodybuilding. Vince came up with an innovative solution rooted in ancient training practices: he would undertake a con-centrated dose of pure powerlifting. He would concentrate on squats, bench presses and deadlifts to near exclusion. He would seek to become as strong as possible in the three lifts. He would combine hardcore powerlifting with cutting-edge Par-rillo-style nutrition and seek “strength above all else.” He reasoned that this approach, power-lifting and “straight Par-rillo” nutrition would allow him to maximize muscle mass without adding excessive am-ounts of body fat in the process. Vince came up through the bodybuilding ranks admiring the “power look.” His physique role models were the men who looked strong because they were strong.
“I have always loved strength, size and power and noted that all of the great physiques, the ones that I admired, were possessed by men who had serious strength backgrounds.” From the early days of Bill Pearl and Reg Park, on through the incredible Sergio Oliva, on into the modern era of bodybuilding spearheaded by Arnold and Franco and down through Fox, Yates and Ron Coleman, the great ones had the “power look” for one reason: they were powerful. The way you build massive thighs is to develop a massive squat ala Tom Platz, a man who could squat 500 for 20 reps. The way to build a thick back, a back with mountain-range traps, python erectors and humongous lats is to build a massive deadlift: Ron Coleman deadlifts 800 for reps. Do you want to construct a massive chest? Construct a massive bench press! There is an undeniable correlation between massive strength and massive muscles. Vince was excited. “I decided to head in an entirely new direction. I decided to powerlift. I’m talking competitive powerlifting – not just adding the three powerlifts to my bodybuilder training routine – no – I would actually compete! I decided that if I was going to strike off in this new direction I would need to immerse myself. That meant competing in powerlifting competitions.” Vince had been weight training 5-6 times a week and for the first time ever, this 41 year old was experiencing serious joint pain. “In the past few years I developed some serious aches in my knees and shoulders.
I was a bit apprehensive that by shifting to pure powerlifting I would aggravate this condition. It blew my mind when after committing to a full blown power program my joint pain disappeared!” Vince attributed the disappearance of joint pain to a reduction in his overall training volume. “As a bodybuilder I trained 5-6 times a week and as a powerlifter I train three times a week. Despite handling way more poundage, my sessions were less frequent. Miraculously, my joint pain vanished completely. It seemed counterintuitive; it turned out that even though I was handling far less poundage, training often, using higher reps, was far more joint-inflammatory than slamming big iron for lower reps on a relatively infrequent basis.” Vince also rediscovered his enthusiasm. Within a week of commencing his new training template he felt reborn and reinvigorated. “I found that only training three times a week had tremendous psychological benefit. Instead of dreading going to the gym to do the same old stuff in the same old way, I suddenly was so fired up that on my off days I would daydream about the weights I would be handling in my next scheduled session. By purposefully staying out of the gym I found myself dying to get back into the gym.” Vince combined his newfound enthusiasm with a power training template and underpinned it all with a classical Parrillo “off-season” nutritional te-mplate.
The first order of business was to “up” his clean calorie intake. He kept doing his cardio; he wanted to ensure his weight gains were muscle gains and not fat gains. His clean Parrillo-style eating and infrequent power training caused his body to explode with growth. “Previously, my off-season body-weight would be in the 200 to 205 pound range; using my new approach caused my body weight to leap up to 218 pounds – and I felt great!” Vince intends to powerlift for all of 2009 and return to competitive bodybuilding in the year 2010. “I want to dedicate myself to the path I am on for the next fourteen months then return to bodybuilding. Ideally I would like to add another 15 to 20 pounds of muscle. When I return to bodybuilding I want to compete weighing a ripped 195.” “I would say that the highlight of my bodybuilding career was winning my World Natural Bodybuilding Federation pro card in April of 2005. I won the middleweight title and also captured the overall title at The Natural Northeast America, a pro qualifier. As the overall winner I was awarded professional status. I went to my first pro natural show in 2005 and placed 4th out of 14 competitors. In 2007 I placed 4th in my class at the prestigious Pro Natural Masters Cup.” Vince wanted to mention how grateful he is to another pair of Par-rillo cover people: the Kansas-based husband and wife team of Fred and Jan Rowlett. “Fred and Jan are body-building powerhouses; they put on the best bodybuilding competitions I have ever competed in. Fred and Jan always go that extra mile to ac-commodate both the athletes and the audience.
As a competitor I appre-ciate the nice hotels that we stay at. I appreciate the gift bag each com-petitor receives. I appreciate the fact that every year, every show gets better and better and better…Fred and Jan are two very classy people and a terrific credit to bodybuild-ing. In a sport where a lot of people tear down one another, Fred and Jan draw universal praise from friends, fans, competitors and clients. Their efforts are appreciated.” (Look for an article on this dynamic duo lat-er this year.) Vince has competed in two powerlifting competitions in 2008: in February at the World Natural Powerlifting Federation’s “Raw” World Championships, he took second place. Weighing 218 pounds, lifting as a ‘master’ (over 40) lifter, Vince nailed a 450 pound squat, a 285 pound bench press and a 515 pound deadlift. This past June at the New Jersey State Cham-pionships, Vince won the Master Division squatting 500, bench pressing 300 and deadlifting 530 pounds. “My goal for 2009 is to concen-trate totally on powerlifting; push my lifts upward as much as possible and in doing so cre-ate a lot of new muscle mass. I feel that I can squat 530 to 550, bench press 325, and deadlift 575 to 600 pounds. Even now at my current level I am car-rying more muscle than at any time in my life. The ultimate goal is to swing back to body-building in 2010, hopefully weighing 230 pounds carry-ing a 10% (or less) body fat percentile. I will then embark on a Parrillo-style “lean out” program that will, I sincerely hope, result in my weighing 195 to 200 pounds carrying less than 5% body fat.” Vince feels great, looks great, and at an age most men his age are contemplating retirement from bodybuilding, Vince plans on re-emerging bigger and better than ever.
“This dose of undiluted pow-erlifting has infused me with enthu-siasm: physically I am strong and getting stronger; psychologically I am fired up. I would unreservedly recommend that any bodybuilder feeling stale and burnt out consider my approach.” Vince Wood intends to compete at the national level in powerlifting this coming year and his lifts will make him extremely competitive in the master’s division. His unique blending of “pure power and Parrillo” is both innovative and effective. “I feel as if I could swing back and forth between these two sports for years to come – when I feel I’ve gone about as far as I can go in one direction I’ll switch di-rections and compete in the second sport. Bodybuilding and powerlift-ing are completely complimentary assuming you use Parrillo-style nu-trition as the unifying foundation.” “I will throw in hanging leg raises and crunches for my abdominals on Monday after leg training. Technique is paramount; squats are low, benches are paused and deadlifts are locked out fully and completely at the top of each and every rep. Each week prior to a competition I seek to add poundage to the top set of each of the three prime powerlifts: squat, bench press and deadlift. I reduce the training reps in the final month leading up to a competition. I compete in “raw” powerlifting, i.e., no lifting “gear” is allowed other than a lifting belt: no knee wraps, squat suits or bench shirts. Again I am a bodybuilder engaging in powerlifting and raw lifting is perfect for my purposes.” Meal I 6am: 3/4 cup oatmeal with 2 scoops of Parrillo Optimized Whey ProteinTM Meal II 9am: 50/50 PlusTM, 5 grams of Parrillo Creatine MonohydrateTMMeal III 12pm: Parrillo Energy BarTM (cherry cordial or graham cracker)Meal IV 3pm: Chicken breast, yams, broccoliMeal V 6pm: 10 egg whites omelet w/broccoli, green peppers, spinachMeal VI 9pm: Parrillo Optimized Whey ShakeTM“I drink a double serving of 50/50 PlusTM after my early morning work-out and drink at least a gallon of water during the day. I am a longtime Parrillo supplement user. All Parrillo supplements are potent, effective and tasty. I cannot say enough good things about John Parrillo and his nutritional approach. Unlike other supplements that make outrageous claims, John always states that real food is the foundation and supplements are used to round out a sound food program. I cannot imagine training for a bodybuilding competition – or a powerlifting competition – without using Parrillo nutritional tactics and Parrillo nutritional supplements.
I have a thriving personal training business and I insist my clients use Parrillo supplements and the Parrillo nutritional system. Every day I take Parrillo Essential Vitamin FormulaTM, Enhanced GH FormulaTM and Liver Amino FormulaTM. I find that by taking a handful of liver tabs between meals I am able to stay anabolic and maintain positive nitrogen balance. I enjoy all of John’s bar formulations and find they taste awesome; the bars are mini-meals in wrappers. I eat bars between food meals or when I travel. I use Pro-CarbTM (vanilla flavor) when I am at a powerlifting competition. I mix a massive amount of Pro-CarbTM in a gallon water jug and sip the mixture throughout the competition. This keeps my energy sky high. I love Parrillo PancakesTM and look forward to eating a big pile every Sunday morning for breakfast. I have been a Parrillo Performance Product user since 1990 – I guess that tells you everything you need to know about how I feel about the purity of these amazing products. Thank you John for these amazing products and for your amazing nutritional system.”