Saturday, February 2, 2008

Anthony Ditillo on Getting Smaller




Anthony Ditillo

At 5 feet 6 inches in height I have weighed from 185 to 258 pounds at one time or another during my training, so I know what it is to be big. I can recall wearing slacks that 4 years previous would have been identical to my coat size, and I have also worn coats the size of tents! At 185 my family said I had a good build; at 258 my friends said I ‘radiated’ power and massiveness and yet, all the while, my wife has been telling me that I’m just plain fat!

If you are interested in losing a few pounds to keep in your weight class, or perhaps are just a wee bit too chubby or ‘bulky’ (whichever name you prefer) I feel I’m the man to see. Even though I can’t lift my way out of a paper bag compared with other lifters, and even though my physique may appear rather ‘piggish’ to any ‘Mr.’ winner, I do claim a title which can be very important to many overweight people. That title is: “Mr. Weight Control.”

The diet and routine I am going to list later on in this article are the exact ones I have used for the past half a year in reducing my body from a ‘monstrous’ high to a more ‘subtle’ low of 215.

Before diving right in on the matter of my diet plan, I would first like to give my own personal views of weight control. To me, losing fat and losing loose skin, in order to define yourself for some physique event, are two entirely different situations and require two entirely different remedies. Many, many trainees misconstrue a fining down routine with a training down routine, and the consequence in the pre-mentioned situation is very little weight loss in proportion to the amount of strength that fades away. You see, as far as defining a physique is concerned, light weights and absolute concentration, along with peak contraction movements are the key. Naturally, a high protein, low carbohydrate diet is necessary or all is in vain. This diet plus training principle applies to a man who is already well developed and needs to lose 10-15 pounds in order to show outstanding definition. The diet alone will result in a more defined physique and coupled with many sets of many repetitions with light weights success is almost assured! But, dear readers, there is another side to out coin. What about the REALLY bulked-up fellow with the low metabolism? Will the same principles apply for him? I, for one, don’t think so.

I have personally tried a protein diet and while I did lose some weight without having to count calories, the results were certainly slow. I also felt devoid of any energy. I did find, however, when I used heavy weights, high sets and low reps, using a slight cheat on the last few, and performed only muscle-group exercises, and along with this training plan ingested a diet that was medium-high in protein, high in carbohydrates and very low in fats, my strength increased along with my training drive and the weight began to really melt off. I also used water excretion tablets which reduced my water weight somewhat. I know this sounds like a complete reversal concerning nutrition and exercise, yet all the same this is how I reacted. I also feel I can give reasons for this ‘strange phenomenon.’

I have read and hold to be true, that carbohydrates supply a great abundance of energy for a short time and then are completely burned-out by the body and used very quickly. This is unless the diet is very high in calories with a surplus of all types of food; then the carbohydrates turn into body fat. This is why FAT is said to be a better source of energy. It has more staying power for the body to use. I agree this is quite true. But what if you were to lower your calories to maybe half of what it normally takes to maintain your present weight? Wouldn’t you be operating on a deficit? Do you think it would really matter what type of food you ate? Since fat stays longer in the body wouldn’t that mean that it would be a poor food for a calorie-counting diet? A tablespoon of butter has 100 calories in it – all fat; yet a cup of macaroni has around 10 times the filling power of butter and only 50-60 calories. Do you get my point? Also, if carbohydrates are supposed to move through the body faster than fats, unless there is an overabundance of food ingested, which on a calorie-counting diet there couldn’t be, then wouldn’t it be easier to burn up the calories contained in the carbohydrates and proteins than in the fats? I will leave the final decision up to the reader himself.

Next on the list is protein. I feel we all know enough about this nutrient without trying to get too technical, so I’ll come right to the point and say that I feel many fellows overdo this ‘blessing’ much too much. No matter how much you stuff yourself with protein you can only use as much as your body needs and the rest will be excreted. Only so much can be used for building muscle and this amount is governed by the amount of HARD WORK you perform. That’s the key, fellas, HARD WORK! Suppose we have two guys perform the following routine, starting with the curl:

No. 1 performs 5 sets of 10 reps with all the weight he can use.
No. 2 performs 10 sets of 5 reps with all the weight he can use.
They each concentrate as much as possible on the muscles being worked and the movement being performed. Which one performed the harder work? Even though they both totaled 50 repetitions in the movement, No. 2 handled more weight, so he increased the intensity of the work performed, while No. 1 did not.

Therefore, wouldn’t it be sensible to infer that No. 2 would need more protein than No. 1, all other relevant facts and figures being equal? I certainly think so. Yet in reality No. 1 may be forcing himself to gulp down 200-300 grams of protein per day. Where is it all going? Out the other end, in all probability.

A 1200-1500 calorie diet, in most cases, without concern for how much of each nutrient ingested, will cause a large man to lose weight very quickly. Smaller built fellows will probably not fall into the weight-reduction category I have been referring to throughout this part of the article, anyway.

While on this type of power routine-low fat diet, my energy has been at an all-time high. I now train 5 days a week with full body routines and my enthusiasm is growing by leaps and bounds. I have lost very little muscle size while on this diet and my strength has increased somewhat also. I feel tighter now and more like a recoil of a rifle ready to spring when the bullet is sent on its way. I find I am ore alert at my job (store keeper) and more content with the variety of food that I can eat.

I have decided to stay at 215 for a number of reasons. First, I felt too weak and brittle at 185. Second, at 258 I felt (and looked, to some) like Paul Anderson, who is not generally known for his aesthetic physique. At 215 I like the way I feel and look and I also enjoy that heavy bodyweight feeling of power. To put it briefly (paraphrasing Goldilocks and the Three Bears): This one’s too big; this one’s too small; this one’s just right!

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