The Grand Prix series was one of ihe roughest ordeals of my life. Holding contest form for any length of time is almost impossible. You have to
Emotionally, it was very trying on me and the people around me. When I’d see people eating ice cream, I’d say to myself they were just eating cement blocks. In my workouts I became very irritable, although I tried not to hassle other people.
Personally, I think there was too much time between contests in the Grand Prix series. Instead of a gap of several weeks from one show to the next, I think, ideally, all the shows could be held in a period of six weeks. It should not be a five-month marathon like it is now.
However, from January to May, I earned a lot about peaking. I understand my body more fully now. I :ine-tuned my caloric intake. I took DnIy the liquid I needed to train and survive. I never missed a set of sxercises. Persistence became a drug.
Some of the contestants went into :he first two or three shows and naybe returned for the finale in New fork. I made it a point to enter every Dne of the five shows. Some of the cagier guys started with the fourth show, a kind of warm-up, and then Deaked for the finale. I don’t think hat’s fair. I think anyone entering the Srand Prix should be required to 3nter a minimum of four shows.
I would propose a program whereby every contestant is subsidized for an entire six-week aeriod by the Grand Prix promoters. Every contestant should be made entirely comfortable, free to concentrate on getting and staying in he best shape possible. Everybody vould benefit. We shouldn’t have to ive in dives between shows or suffer torn undercompensation while away competing. Paid air fare does not suffice.
Despite the hardship of this year’s 3rand Prix, I gained a lot from it in erms of determination and dedication. I kept a rigid computation 3f my calorie intake. I calculated how nany calories there were in every
morsel of food. I carried a calorie counter. I allowed myself perhaps 500 calories for breakfast, 200 for lunch and around 300 for dinner. I limited myself to 1000 calories a day in the final days before a show. I ate chicken, turkey and tuna and eliminated anything with sodium or salt. I eliminated red meat entirely because of its high calorie content.
Some people may doubt that I subsisted on 1000 calories a day, but let me tell you, I did it! I didn’t eat more than a pound of fish and fowl combined in any single day. I ate only fresh fruits and vegetables that were low in calories. The only junk food
“Peaking for five big competitions in succession as I did is not something I’d readily recommend.”
was an occasional bit of dietetic ice cream. I ate three times a day, and when I finished my last meal at 7 p.m., I ate nothing until the next day. In fact, I worked out at 8 p.m., and I went to bed with zero calories in my stomach. I would be more than ready for refueling by morning, after about six hours of sleep. (Editor: Casey, of course, was peaking for competition. The above is not a diet Muscle & Fitnesswould recommend to its readers generally to build the body and foster good health.)
I trained seven days a week, 2-2V2 hours a night. I worked half my body in each training session. On Monday I worked chest, back, arms and calves. On Tuesday I worked shoulders, quadriceps, leg biceps and calves. I did waist work every day. I repeated the cycle with no rest days. I did four sets of 10-12 reps on each exercise. I did 4-5 different exercises for each bodypart. That’s approximately 20 sets per bodypart.
I did high reps, even lowering my poundages so I could do them. It’s a matter of fatigue. At times I would feel like an eight-cylinder car popping along on one cylinder. The closer you get to the contest, the weaker you get. I was burning every last calorie, and I knew I was getting into contest shape. (Continued on page 187)
Four years ago young Greg DeFerro came to California hoping to forge a career in bodybuilding. After two weeks he went back home to the East Coast disenchanted. Now Greg has made the cross-country trip west once again. But this time he arrives with credentials — in 1979 he won two major titles, Best In The World and Mr. International.
Greg has an air of confidence now. At 27, 5’8″ and 221 pounds, he’s a bigger version of Franco Columbu — same shoulders, same back, same muscle density. He also looks remarkably like Sylvester Stallone.
“The first time I came west I realized my move was premature, I was too young,” says Greg. “But my reason for coming out here then was the same as it is now. If you want to get to the top in a sport, you train where the action is. Baseball players go to Florida, skiers go to Colorado, bodybuilders go to California. So here I am.
“I knew I had to make this move. We’ve all heard that old expression, ‘Knock, and the door shall open.’ As a result of my victories last year the door had been opened, and if I didn’t go through I knew I would regret it. So despite my conservative tendencies I came to California.”
What did he give up back East? “Well, to most people, not very much,” he says. “But to me, a lot. I’d lived in the same apartment since I was in my teens. I was very comfortable there. I had a number of very close friends that I hated to leave. I gave up friends, family, job, and a feeling of security — however transient that is.
“When I first talked to Joe Weider last year, he helped me make plans for the future. But being realistic, I didn’t expect pat solutions to my problems. I had to make my own decisions. Joe and I corresponded for a year, and we have come to a satisfactory arrangement. I’m very confident of my potential in this sport. I have supporters in the East who think I went farther than what seemed possible considering the training facilities available back there and the scarce publicity.”
Greg says he has no regrets about coming to California. His former home was Stratford, N.J. (population: 7500), very suburban, “without getting
downright rural with cows and horses.” There’s a slight tone of nostalgia in his voice, but he repeat he has no regrets.
He had many anxious moments driving across the continent, wondering whether his eight-year-olc jalopy with 170,000 miles on it woul< hold together. Greg admits he’s reall; a worry wart.
“As Joe pointed out when I got here, most worries are imaginary anyhow, and you just waste a lot of time thinking about them,” he says. “Still, driving across the country wa: one long anxiety trip. When am I going to get there? Am I going to ge there? What is Joe going to be like’ What am I going to seem like to Joe’ Fortunately it’s all worked out well. I’ there were any negative thoughts, Joe has proved every one of them wrong He’s given me the opportunity to prove myself.”
Having been given that opportunity Greg intends to do just that — prove himself. “I have all the necessary time the availability of fine food supplements, advice on diet, photographers, and monitoring at regular intervals by Joe himself. I couldn’t ask for more.”
If Greg wins the 1980 Mr. America title, he’ll be well on his way to turning professional, which is his ultimate goal. If he doesn’t win the America, and fails to make the Mr. Universe team, he figures that he’s in for an extra year of relative obscurity. He \i confident that as a professional, he’c be good enough to be among the top five pro bodybuilding superstars. He would sure like to enjoy some of the benefits of being in that select group
The acid test will be going up against a favored Ray Mentzer for a berth on the Universe team that will go to Manila in November. The realization that he has to be good enough to beat Mentzer excites him
A thought sticks in his mind, an exhortation from a friend after a loss in a previous contest: “Greg, next tim( you’ve got to be so good, they’ll have, to give it to you.”
“If you’re good enough,” Greg affirms, “they will have to give it to you. Don’t leave any doubt in the judges’ minds. It’s easier on them anc it’s easier on you. Everybody goes home early.”
In his bodybuilding career,
(Continued on page 111)
“There is no substitute for using the body in active, enjoyable and demanding ways.”
serious problem and physical difficulties such as lower back pain can manifest themselves.
But old age does not begin at 30. You can keep your weight down by controlling your calorie balance. You can keep your youthful appearance through good nutrition and well-rounded exercise programs. Proper nutrition and exercise also prevent such things as back problems and even the development of age-related disease, such as cardiac trouble.
Women have feared the 40s unnecessarily. True, the metabolism does slow down even more at this age, which makes it easier to gain weight. And most housewives and mothers, as well as hard-working career women, do not get much encouragement to devote themselves to physical training. Also, women of this age may require calcium supplementation to keep their bones strong and healthy.
But these are minor inconveniences, easily overcome. Women bodybuilders such as Florida’s Doris Barrilleaux, who has just turned 49, are still capable of standing onstage next to girls of 20 and blowing them away in competition. It’s all a matter of whether or not you take the time and trouble to eat right and get enough exercise.
Menopause is a time when many women experience both mental and physical difficulties. But the fact is, the better the shape you’re in, the healthier and more physically confident you become, and the less you have to fear from natural biological changes in your own body.
The 50s and Beyond
After you reach 50, neglect of the body can result in non-reversible aging. When you are younger, diet and exercise can actually reverse the aging process to some degree. But not so after 50. Therefore, taking care of yourself at this age becomes of utmost importance.
Yet, in some ways, it gets a lot easier. Athletes have long known that
“Progressive resistance exercise can dramatically improve the health, appearance and fitness of any woman from six to 96r
Fitness is a lifetime concern — or at least it should be. After all, life itself is a form of athletic event, and we are only issued one body with which to get through it. Age does exact its toll in the long run, but this doesn’t mean we should take that sitting down, literally. Proper exercise and nutrition is the way to fight back.
Actually, most of us have the wrong idea about the effects of age on our bodies. Much of what we regard as signs of aging are just the effects of neglect and deterioration. When you look at men and women who have really worked at physical fitness all their lives, it’s often virtually impossible to tell their age.
But the body changes with time, and so do its needs. A teenager is very different physically from a 40-year-old. Therefore, staying physically fit all your life means that you have to take these physical changes into consideration.
Surprisingly, the kind of exercise and diet that you need at different ages is pretty much the same. What changes is just the emphasis, the priorities you have to observe. You use the same sort of recipe; you just alter the proportion of the ingredients.
The hardest part of any program is simply getting started. The young procrastinate, thinking they have all the time in the world. Older people are reluctant, believing that they’re already too late. Neither of these attitudes is correct.
The younger you are, the more
results you’re going to get from exercise and good nutrition. But the older you are, the more important physical fitness becomes in combating the gradual loss of physical powers that comes with age.
So whether you’re 14, 24, 44 or more, it’s time to shape up for health, strength, beauty and fitness. And as for getting started, there’s no time like the present!
When a young man reaches puberty, his body is flooded with testosterone. A lot of boys become skinny teenagers who never gain a pound no matter what they eat.
With women, it’s just the opposite. Puberty brings on increased estrogen levels, and many teenage girls have a constant battle on their hands to keep from getting chubby. This stage passes, but not nearly fast enough to suit most girls. And the danger exists that poor exercise and nutritional habits learned at this age can result in poor fitness and health down the line.
But women approaching their 20th year, as is the case with men, are nearly at the height of their physical powers. They can achieve a higher heart rate and are capable of great physical endurance. Because the body is so responsive to training at this age, you can lay down a foundation of fitness that will serve you well the rest of your life.