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Nov. 28, 2015 - It's always good to record your shape when it's very good. I came across these photos from 11 months ago taken on Dec. 29, 2014 (age 50.5 yrs) and was almost in shock after not seeing them since then. You can be motivated by yourself rather than by someone else especially since that WAS you recently and you can be that again and very possibly exceed it. Still not too late. Time to get to work.



Oct. 10, 2015 - Have not taken photos like this since June 30 and have even taken a month off training in the time since then and got back on the wagon Sept. 20. Photos are the best way to see any kind of progress or lack thereof. Much better than the mirror. Need some work in certain areas. The main thing for me is to be ripped ("quality" lean muscle) above all else year round.



Archive photos from Jan. 13, 2014 - I recently took 15 days off of training which was good. Sometimes that's actually healthy for the body to totally rest so you can start back refreshed with more energy and enthusiasm. These are photos from 2014 in very peak condition. My goal now is to get like that by Aug. 31 when I'll take new progress photos. Started training again on Aug. 11 and will do it EVERY day till Aug. 31 working each body part every 4th day since the workouts are broken up into 3 days. Also, to help speed up the metabolism, working abs every single day 3x15 in a non stop circuit training fashion doing upper, lower, obliques so it goes fast and doing a 6 minute power walk before and after each workout with 30 lbs strapped to my body. The eating is very strict with basically rice, beans, veggies, fruit, protein shakes and lots of water. It will be a nice experiment since I've never trained this way before nor eaten this strict.



June 30, 2015 - keeping the leanness going into the summer and always striving to improve through exercise, nutrition and rest.



June 18, 2015 (birthday) - more photos from last week.



June 18, 2015 (birthday) - my goal was to be in my best shape ever. Not sure if I made it but got pretty close. Will hold onto the leanness throughout the summer and keep improving. Still, basically doing 1 hard set per body part per workout. It's high intensity but that's why only one set plus it saves time. Who wants to spend an hour or 2 or 3 in the gym? Not me.



30 years difference - it's clearly a lifestyle at this point. Age is NO excuse. It's ONLY an excuse to get in BETTER shape and HEALTHIER on the inside and outside.



Here's another excellent tasty health dish I created last night. Very high in anti oxidants, protein, carbs, fiber, good fats and all natural and mostly organic. It consists of: organic whole wheat pasta, raw garlic clove, red onion, dried parsley, wild caught salmon, broccoli, black pepper, olive oil, raw sauerkraut juice, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, tomato, tomato sauce, black beans and a dash of sea salt. It happens to be a very strong anti-cancer dish as well. The veggies were only steamed for 3 min. to retain the vitamins except for the tomato which was steamed for about 10 min. (longer cooked heated tomatoes are better than raw for health). I figure if you're eating good to prevent cancer, you're covering everything and will be that much more healthy.



May 16, 2015 - sticking with the program of precise hard training and very healthy eating. Moving forward into summer and never felt better.



May 6, 2015 - working out hard and eating clean with organics to stay lean.



May 1, 2015 - moving forward towards summer and June birthday with a goal to be in my best shape ever for my birthday.



April 26, 2015 - the little adjustments I feel are already taking effect. Before, I was getting too comfortable with the "minimalist approach" and went a little too far on minimizing albeit very hard set/reps per body part. I still do that approach and still do basically one hard set per body part with the exception of one or two lagging body parts that need to be hit hard from different angles therefore including multiple sets. 

Also, regarding the diet, it is pristine with (all organic) broccoli, beans, raw garlic, onions, red cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, leeks, spices (turmeric, cayenne, cinnamon, ginger), olive oil and more all mixed in with wheat pasta and/or brown rice. Shooting for very high anti oxidants and anti cancer foods because if you eat that way, it's gotta be very healthy. Veggies in the cruciferous family and allium are the strongest anti cancer veggies and foods. It makes your skin glow as well. Will add organic sauerkraut which is even more healthy (anti cancer) than raw cabbage due to the fermentation process. Should keep improving from here on out. P.S. the spices mentioned above are all excellent to relieve joint pain/inflammation and even cure arthritis if taken regularly. It allows good blood flow to all the joints, hence removing pain. Castor oil is excellent as well.



April 21, 2015 - maintaining good condition but realized I have to shift gears and go back to the drawing board. Will add more protein/calories and regarding the workouts, will add a little more volume on certain parts and that should do the job to get back to where I was in Dec - mid Jan. Have sort of lost the "eye of the tiger" and need to get it back and will for sure in the coming weeks. Stay tuned.



April 14, 2015 - working on getting a little leaner. Below are my last simple yet hard leg and upper body HIT workouts - each done on separate days:

hamstrings - lying leg curl x 6
lower back - hyper extensions x 6
quads - leg ext. x 10, front lunge holding dumbbells at side x 8 each leg

triceps - overhead dumb. ext. x 3 no rest chair dip x 4
traps - dumb. upright row x 6
side delt - standing lateral raise both arms x 4
biceps - lying cable curl x 4
outer forearm - half reverse wrist curl x 7
rear delt - bent over dumb. raise x 7
back - stiff arm pull down x 4 no rest dumb. pullover x 4
chest - inc. flye x 4 no rest dip x 4 no rest flat bench dumb. press x 4



April 7, 2015 - Below is my short and simple yet hard weekly upper body workout from tues, April 7:

triceps - 45 degree body weight triceps press/extension x 4, no rest - triceps kickback x 4
traps - seated dumb. shrug leaning on 80 degree incline x 7
side delt - lateral raise x 7
biceps - standing barbell curl x 7
rear delt - bent over raise x 1 (static hold x 25 sec)
back - weighted wide pull-up x 3, no rest - single dumb. row x 3
chest - inc. flye x 3, no rest - inc. press x 3, no rest - push-up 20 lbs on back x 2, body weight x 2



March 31, 2015 - keeping it going strong at almost 51 years of age. NO excuses. Below is my short and simple yet hard weekly upper body workout from tues:

triceps - skull crusher x 3, no rest - close push up (20 lb on back) x 4
traps - seated dumb. shrug leaning on 80 degree incline x 4
side delt - lateral raise x 1 (held 25 sec - static hold)
biceps - conc. curl x 2 rest pause 10 sec between each rep
rear delt - bent over raise x 7
back - dumb. pullover x 4 no rest - single dumb. row both hands pulling up to chest x 4
chest - inc. flye x 5, no rest - dip x 5, no rest - decline dumb. press x 5



March 24, 2015 - has been a while since I last updated but had a lower back injury (from carelessness) and took a couple weeks off. In that time I've been studying and experimenting a lot with intensity by upping it more and minimizing the routine even more with some sets having just one rep. That's it. In yesterday's workout, only 1 rep was done for the rear delts. It was called a "static contraction hold" where I held the heaviest weight possible in peak position (at top) for 30 sec or less and then let it down slowly. I can feel it today in the rear delts so it is effective. Static contractions also recruit more muscle fibers than just doing up and down full range reps with lighter weight in a set like most people do in a workout. I'll be incorporating these 1 rep sets into my upcoming workouts on different muscle groups thereby reducing volume overall with even better results I believe. Statics also add strength. The next static hold for rear delt will be more weight held for about 15 sec. My weekly upper body workout from yesterday is listed below. From just that low amount of volume, I'm sore today and will be even more sore tomorrow as I usually am on the 2nd day after my intense workouts.

TRICEPS - 1x10 (2 different exercises done non stop x5 each)
TRAPS - 1x7
BICEPS - 1x7
BACK - 1x8 (2 different exercises done non stop x4 each)
CHEST - 1x10 (3 different exercises done non stop x3,3,4)



March 4, 2015 - about 2 lbs heavier than last week. Have reduced the weekly workout to even less than before. Now only doing 1 hard set on each body part. That's it! That includes a super set (2 different consecutive exercises) or giant set (3 different consecutive exercises). The intensity has increased and the TUL (time under load) for each rep is longer. For example, yesterday's workout included chest, back, etc. (all upper body in general). For chest, only 12 hard reps were done in 3 different non stop exercises. For back, only 8 hard reps were done in 2 different non stop exercises. The result? Very sore muscles the following day. This is after being in already very good seasoned condition. The point is, for muscle stimulation and growth, INTENSITY is paramount to the amount of reps/sets/exercises done. Thus, only 1 hard set per body part per week would suffice.



Feb. 25, 2015 - everything is going smoothly - the weight training, cardio, eating and sleeping. All vital for staying in optimal condition. Sound body, sound mind is my motto.



Feb. 2015- working out in the home gym "Rocky" style using bricks, etc. It's not necessarily the equipment you have but how you untilze it that's important.



Feb. 10, 2015 - got behind on posting photos but haven't skimped on the workouts. Still 1 x per week hard weight session per body part followed by a hard 6 min. cardio session and eating very healthy almost vegetarian. Mostly out of convenience. Preparing and cooking meat and poultry is time consuming. I will eat store bought roasted chicken about once a week which is very good. My protein mostly consists of whey shakes, black beans, kidney beans, wheat pasta and eggs.



Jan. 21, 2015 - photos after a very intense and productive workout on Wed. Taking the photos was even a workout like every photo session is. Flexing for several photos can only help for definition.



Jan. 12, 2015 - same exact weight as my best shape in college but in even better leaner shape now. Made a change to my routine where I'm only training each part every 10 or 11 days instead of every 7 days like before. This will be an experiment to see if the longer recovery time will make a difference. The workouts are so intense, I was sore 6 days after my workout. It's better for progress/growth to be fully recovered than train when you're even slightly still sore. Will still do a short cardio session following the workouts.



Jan. 5, 2015 - starting off the new year with a bang in best condition ever and plan to keep improving with the weekly full body HIT weight workouts, cardio and healthy eating. You can't turn back the clock but you can slow down the aging clock with a healthy lifestyle.



Dec. 29, 2014 - make 2015 the year you get in your best shape ever. Working hard now to keep improving every week into the new year and beyond. Happy new year.



Dec. 22, 2014 - still staying lean going into the holidays and new year. The HIT workouts are still very brief and hard. Direct biceps work is now eliminated from upper body days when doing heavy back pulling exercises like pullups or seated cable rows. Those work the biceps plenty. Otherwise, it would be overtraining the biceps. This is an example of a "quality" workout over "quantity."  Will do intense biceps work on the light/higher rep back days.


Dec. 9, 2014 - keeping it going with the hard once a week workouts and a new haircut. Tuesday's upper body workout was very effective doing negative only pullups, all rest pause chest work, etc. Next is legs on Saturday.


Dec. 2, 2014 - managing to stay in shape during the holidays. In fact, improving some as there's always room for improvement in one way or another.



Dec. 1, 2014 - here's some unpumped test photos for lighting taken early this morning. Experimenting with lighting and camera settings. Something I've never really paid attention to. Before, just shined a light and took the photos on "auto" setting. These test photos turned out pretty strong and dramatic from bouncing the lamp off the ceiling, etc.



Nov. 10, 2014 - Had a really good upper body workout on Monday. Did dips for triceps. Mike Mentzer said they're the best triceps builder. I believe it. Perhaps a tad leaner than last week. Plan to gradually keep getting leaner every week. It's a challenge. After having a cheat meal on Tuesday, it's time to get serious for the rest of the week with brown rice, veggies and tuna, etc til Monday again.


These photos show Bill 23 years apart (at the same bodyweight of 150 lbs) - proof that fitness and health can be a way of life.  Note: The knife and wardrobe are only props inspired by Sylvester Stallone's iconic character "Rambo."  (Bill was Rambo for a college Halloween party in '85 and followed up with the same wardrobe for these photos for comparison).



These 2 photos show a difference of 28 years at roughly the same body weight which demonstrates you can improve with age through knowledge in fitness and nutrition and just knowing your body and what works best for you. Each workout session now is less than half the time spent back in 1985 with better results today. This is due to the "intensity" and "strict controlled form" in each and every repetition of a set rather than high volume of sets.



These 2 photos demonstrate a lifetime of fitness in a span of 31 years and again it proves you can improve (naturally) with age like this comparison shows.




(in his own words from his experience & knowledge)


Aside from my art, keeping fit and healthy has always been an important part of my life. It also helps me relax and paint with a clear head.  Sound body sound mind.  Also, because painting isn't the most physical activity, the daily exercise regimen is much needed for health and to help keep the blood flowing good which is very important.

The seed was planted when I saw the movie "Rocky" with Sylvester Stallone at the age of 12.  It had a VERY strong impact on me.  To this day, I have never felt better leaving a movie theater as I did with "Rocky."  When I got home after seeing the movie, I was so pumped up and inspired, I literally did several one handed push-ups on each arm.  After that, I started a regimen of doing 100 push-ups every other day pretty regularly up until the age of 15 when I got a weight bench and a set of iron weights for my birthday.  I started reading weight training and bodybuilding books like Arnold's very inspirational book (not just for bodybuilding but for life) "Education of a Bodybuilder" along with "Muscle & Fitness", "FLEX", "Iron Man", "Natural Bodybuilding", "Musclemag", "Muscular Development", etc. magazines.  I trained regularly with weights along with jogging all through high school although one of the things lacking at this time, was my knowledge of nutrition and the discipline to eat healthy.

The summer after I graduated from high school, I saw "Rocky III" in the theater.  That movie re-ignited the fitness spark that was started from "Rocky."  I saw how Sylvester Stallone had transformed his body into unbelievable lean shape.  It was very motivating and inspiring.  I like bodybuilding and am a fan and was also very inspired  by Arnold, Zane, Mentzer, Platz and others when starting out, but for me, and my needs, that kind of build is too much and unrealistic.

At the University of Missouri, I joined Gold's gym and worked out all through college but it wasn't until my senior year that I started getting "quality" muscle (as seen in "Rambo '85" pic) and got into my best physical condition up to that time.  I believe it was a combination of being inspired by the "Rambo ll" movie that summer and just learning more about nutrition and exercise (with emphasis on nutrition) and knowing what works for me.  In the past 12 years, I've been studying and learning from Clarence Bass' cbass.com books like the "RIPPED" series among many others he's written.  He's a wealth of knowledge on training and diet with emphasis on "staying lean for life."  He too, is a true inspiration and like a fine wine, gets better with age.  Check out his photo at age 75. Also, more recently, have been seriously studying and practicing "high intensity training" or "HIT." I follow the principles of "HIT" which was first made popular by the late Arthur Jones - inventor of the Nautilus machines. In turn, "HIT" was made even more popular by the late great bodybuilder Mike MentzerDr. Ellington Darden, John Little and Drew Baye. I've been studying this book backwards and forwards called "High Intensity Training - The Mike Mentzer Way" by Mike Mentzer and John Little. Also, very recently purchased this book by John Little called "Advanced Max Contraction Training" with a forward by Drew Baye and look forward to reading more. So far so good and very interesting. Here is another excellent blog with great information on HIT by David Groscup - Dr. HIT's High Intensity Bodybuilding and check out his very informative books for sale HERE.

Today, I work out differently than I did 20 years ago.  Now, as touched on above, intensity and strict correct form are key working for the absolute "quality" in a workout rather than "quantity" of exercises.  Working out very hard as opposed to long. I believe that working out correctly with slow full range movement is an art form in itself.  I go with the motto: "Less is MORE" and only work out for approximately 20 minutes a day, 5 days a week with weights working different muscle groups each day followed by a few minutes of powerwalking outside.  I do fast powerwalking with wrist weights/waist weight and holding a steel pole carrying a total of 30 lbs extra when I walk. I firmly believe in the mind/muscle connection focusing entirely on that particular muscle being worked.  Not merely going through the movement but making EACH rep count usually taking longer on the "negative" (downward) movement.  No swinging the weights or bouncing them so there is no momentum whatsoever.  The workouts are short but intense usually doing just one set for each body part - 2-3 sets on bigger muscle groups like legs and chest with as much weight as possible.  I work out at home with very modest equipment and keep it simple. 

With eating, I do a type of eating called "intermittent fasting". It has many benefits such as removing toxins from your body (thereby reducing cancer risk), improving lean body mass, increased growth hormone release, improved blood sugar control, improved appetite control to name a few. 16 hours of the day is fasted ( around 10 pm - 2pm) with an 8 hour window for eating. As for the foods consumed, I basically keep it low fat, high fiber with a balance of protein to carbs with good fats like olive oil.  I try to eat organic food in its natural state as much as possible like with fruits and vegetables.  I also eat brown rice and whole wheat pasta for carbs.  They are high in fiber, low in fat and the pasta is also high in protein.  Never any low carb diet for me.  Why suffer?  Tuna in water, black beans and eggs are staples for protein.  I also eat almost daily a large cranberry/walnut salad with a nonfat feta cheese mixed with spring greens and nonfat raspberry venaigrette dressing.  Post workout nutrition includes a whey protein shake mixed with a banana.  I never count calories.  My stomach is always satisfied and never ever starved for food.

There it is in a nutshell.  Keeping fit can be habit forming like brushing your teeth.  The late fitness guru, Jack Lalanne said it best: "what is the most important thing you own? Your body, so you might as well take care of it first and everything else should follow."  That makes a lot of sense to me.  Obviously, Sylvester Stallone not only inspires me to paint heroic pictures of him but also to keep in shape.  Go for it!



(This routine is designed so each body part is worked once a week and so there is no overlap of the same muscle being worked again while still sore. That should never happen. Full recovery is paramount for growth.)

day 1 - chest (HIT) x 2, back (HIT) x 2, side delt (HIT) x 1, traps (NTF - not to failure) x 1, bi (NTF) x 1, tri (NTF) x 1 (no side delt if upright rows are done for traps. They work side delts too). If shrugs are done, then side delt work like lateral raises are done.

day 2 - OFF

day 3 - calves (NTF) x 1, abs x 1 (abs are always rotated between upper, lower, obliques and just do 10 hard reps. Calves are switched off every other week with seated calves or standing)

day 4 - neck (HIT) x 2 (either both sides or front and back), forearm (inner) (HIT) x 1, outer (NTF) x 1  (neck is alternated with sides or front/back every other workout on neck so it's always 2 sets)

day 5 - chest (NTF) x 2 or 3, rear delt (HIT) x 1

day 6 - hamstrings (HIT) x 1, glutes (NTF) x 1, low back (HIT) x 1, quads (NTF) x 3 (super set always)

day 7 - OFF

day 8 - start over. Whatever was NTF (not to failure) before, is done in HIT now and same with whatever was HIT before is done in NTF now doing different exercises/reps per bodypart (never the same exercises in a row per bodypart in order to shock the muscles into growth). This routine is 5 days/week, with 2 days rest. An ALL-OUT intense sprint walk for 4 min. (30 lbs strapped to body) is done at the end of each weight workout. Great way to finish.




CHEST - incline dumbbell press - 57 lbs x 6 (cadence 5 down, 4 up) , wide dips 10 lbs strapped on belt doing rest pause reps at end of set -  x 4, 2, 1 (cadence 4 up, 4 down) + 2 neg. only for 6 sec., flat flyes - 45 lbs x 3, rest pause 40 x 3 (cadence 6 down, 5 up). 


BACK - dumbbell pullovers - 60 lbs x 6 (cadence 6 down, 4 up), seated cable under grip pulldown - 90 lbs x 5, 1, 1 rest pause last 2 reps (cadence 4 down, static hold 2, 8 up)


SIDE DELTOID (higher reps - not to failure or NTF - very strict form) - leaning single lateral raise - 18 lbs x 10


TRICEPS (higher reps - not to failure or NTF - very strict form) - skull crushers on flat bench - 56 lbs x 10


BICEPS (higher reps - not to failure or NTF - very strict form) - dumbbell 21s - 27 lbs


The next workout for these body parts will be lighter weight/higher repetitions for chest and back and high intensity style (always done first in workouts) for triceps and biceps and so on for the following workouts. Also, on the abdominal days, just 1 section (upper, lower, or obliques) is done in only 1 set of 8-10 repetitions. That's it! Again, intensity and form are key with abdominals like any other muscle group along with diet. The abs also get so much work indirectly from other exercises. The diet determines the leanness (of the whole body) and the workouts mostly (along with diet) determine the muscle shape/size.


Below are photos of Bill's body of art through the years (starting with most recent)

***New progress photos added weekly. It's a really great way to stay motivated when you see progress each time. Also, works the other way - if you don't see progress, you work to fix it whether it be adjusting the diet and/or adjusting the routine.***



Oct. 13, 2014 - this shows the high intensity 4 reps (per week) rest-pause concentration curls and 90 degree preacher curls (in separate workouts) are working. Never had this kind of peak before. Everything is put into 4 reps. The only other indirect biceps work is from back exercises. Use the heaviest weight possible (should be about 90% of single max). Curl the weight up, static hold at peak position (about 3/4 from top) for 10 sec., let down slowly about 5 sec. Rest 10-15 sec. repeat for 3 more reps. If the last rep is too hard, reduce the weight. That's what you call intensity. I learned this in my Mentzer training book.


Oct. 6, 2014 - 2 more photos from Monday.


Oct. 6, 2014 - new photos after an excellent high intensity workout on Monday with most of the upper body. Had an excellent lower body workout over the weekend. Had a very busy Monday and didn't workout and take photos till late evening. Experimenting with different poses. Posing is definitely an art form and takes lots of practice and is very exhausting. Working out correctly is an art form too. Will add some more photos from yesterday a little later today. Can't emphasize enough the importance of regular photo taking to keep you motivated. This is something Frank Zane did regularly to keep everything in check.


Sept. 29, 2014 - new photos after another great workout on Monday. From last Monday's intense rest-pause 4 rep biceps preacher curl workout, the biceps were sore up until sat. with just a hint of soreness. When there's soreness for that long from only 4 reps and you're already in decent shape, that means it's very effective. Today, for biceps, was 1 set of concentration curls in very strict form but not to failure. Also, one of the best things about H.I.T. (even with heavier weight) is there is very low risk of injury because of the slow controlled form.



Aug. 19, 2014 - putting on lean size. It's a slow process when you don't want to "bulk" up and put on fat. Experimenting with reducing cardio to practically nothing and mostly relying on the food for staying ripped and still doing intermittent fasting which I find is very beneficial for health and staying lean.


Aug. 7, 2014 - with new haircut and very effective  and fulfilling workouts. Having the courage to eliminate even more exercises from the routine. For example, ab work is reduced down to only 8-10 reps once a week. I've learned from Drew Baye that abs are already worked in so many other exercises. I recently did very slow "V up" leg raises with a cadence of 2 sec. up, 4 sec. hold at top and 8 sec. down for 10 reps. It was truly exhausting. My abs were already in shape but they were very sore (even the obliques) for 4-5 days afterwards from just that one high intensity set of 10. You can train hard or you can train long, but you canít do both.


June 18, 2014 (50th birthday) - personal goal was reached to be in best shape ever (muscle mass/shape combined with leanness). Never felt better either which is the most important part not to mention sleeping like a baby. No joint pain to speak of which is attributed to warming up/stretching and slow strict controlled workout form but I believe mostly from the daily consumption of ceylon cinnamon, turmeric, cayenne and ginger (all organic) which are very strong anti-inflammatory spices. The spices allow very good blood flow to the joints which leaves them warmed up and pain free.


Jan. 18, 2014 - in peak condition. After these photos, will take time off (after nearly 7 months straight of consistent training) and regroup. Make changes to workout routine (with more of an emphasis on High Intensity Training) and diet (more overall healthy calories) in order to add more lean bodyweight.


Dec. 23, 2013 after almost 7 weeks of daily intermittent fasting (16 hrs fasting with an 8 hour window for eating - working out intensely during the fasting phase to burn more fat and raise HGH levels even more). The result: harder/leaner/more vascularity with more muscle size. Never felt better.


Nov. 23, 2013 - started "intermittent fasting" a month prior for better overall health including raising high levels of HGH and is effective for anti-aging and decreasing body fat. Seems to be working.











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© Copyright Bill Pruitt 2013