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Old 04-07-2009, 05:24 PM
dragonfire101's Avatar
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John Parrillo's FX Stretch™ fascial stretching system.

I see all these routines regarding progressive strength, extreme stretching, pump sets and fascia stretching, but nobody talks about John Parrillo's FX Stretch™ fascial stretching system. I figure I post it up.


The Parrillo 3 Phase Set

THE MASTER BLASTER: John Parrillo has been a force of Nature in the bodybuilding world for over three decades. The man is first and foremost a thinker: John has been a consistent inventor and innovator since the 1970s. His approaches to both training and nutrition are broad and comprehensive while simultaneously exacting and demanding. No doubt about it, any human being on the face of the planet not impaired or deformed can and will make staggering progress if they suddenly and completely adhere to the numerous Parrillo procedures, protocols, products, systems, strategies and methods. What differentiates John Parrillo from other bodybuilding experts is the effectiveness and practically of his ideas. John made his bones preparing thousands of athletes (primarily bodybuilders) for competition. John’s prowess is a result of his working with the best bodybuilders in the world. They seek his services. They want to pick his brain. They value his opinions and they know that John knows exactly what to do when an athlete under his direct supervision experiences a plateau or hits a stagnant patch. While Parrillo is primarily thought of as a nutritional guru (and the maker of the most potent supplements available anywhere) his expertise and ideas relating to training are equally as innovative and impressive. One of the most effective ideas Parrillo ever devised is a devilishly difficult training strategy that came to be known as the Parrillo Three-Phase Set. The Three-Phase set is a training protocol universally used by Parrillo adherents. Another classical Parrillo innovation, John first introduced this revolutionary strategy twenty years ago. It is widely used to this day by athletes competing at the national and international level. The Three-Phase Set’s longevity is a testament to its effectiveness.

The Great Grimek

The Great Grimek

PURE MUSCULAR DECIMATION: The Parrillo Three-Phase Set follows a logical progression: the trainee starts the procedure by performing a resistance training set in any exercise for whatever reps are appropriate. Immediately after finishing the weight training set, the trainee commences the second phase of the three-phase procedure: they perform a Parrillo fascia stretch. Fascial stretching is a term coined and defined by John Parrillo in the 1980’s. A Parrillo fascia stretch precisely targets the muscle just hit by the resistance exercise. This extremely intense stretch is held for 10-15 seconds. The trainee finishes the third phase of the Parrillo Three-Phase Set by posing the target muscle. The proper posing procedure is to repeatedly flex the target muscle, over and over, to the point of cramping. The Three-Phase Set procedure goes pump, stretch, pose, rest – pump, stretch, pose and rest. The protocol is repeated for every set of the entire workout. If, for example, it was shoulder day and you began your routine with the standing overhead dumbbell press, the instant you lowered the bells on your opening Parrillo Intensity Set, you would walk over to a chin-up bar and do some sort of reverse deltoid shoulder stretch. The more nimble trainees can perform John’s single favorite shoulder/pec stretch: the infamous “skin-the-cat.” Immediately after pumping the shoulder muscles, stretch the shoulder muscles and finish by flex-posing, perhaps hitting a rear double bicep pose with such conviction that the deltoids cramp. This completes one full circuit. The rationale behind the Parrillo Three-Phase Set is pure genius: engorge a target muscle with blood and while still swollen stretch the muscle so intensely that the fascia that surrounds the muscle is forcibly loosened. The pose then forces muscle tissue outward against newly-loosened fascia.

Repeated use of forcible stretching – followed by intense posing causes the fascia (a sausage-like casing that surrounds and defines a muscle) to become more elastic and pliable. A tight fascia makes muscle growth difficult. By sessions end, the muscle is maximally pumped, maximally stretched and maximally posed. Complete muscular decimation has occurred: now it is time to move onto another muscle – or end the session. Repeated stretching of this type has the added side benefit of dramatically improving a person’s flexibility. This “forced flexibility” approach is particularly valuable as we age; stiffness associated with aging is eliminated by the continual and comprehensive use of Parrillo-style fascia stretching. The inflexible suddenly become flexible when they begin studiously incorporating fascia stretching. Don’t neglect the posing portion – this is a vital component. The repeated flexion, coming on the heels of a fascia-loosening stretch, forces muscle tissue into newly-loosened fascia and causes the forcible expansion of fascia, similar to blowing air into a balloon to inflate it.

Real life applications of the Parrillo Three-Phase Set: Few trainees are lucky enough to have access to Parrillo’s patented FxStretch devices. The FxStretch equipment allows users to self-administer any imaginable fascia stretch. What can you do if you don’t have access to an FxStretch device – yet you are intrigued and want to incorporate the Parrillo Three-Phase Set procedure into your current training? It is possible to devise stretches that provide reasonable facsimiles of the various Parrillo Fx-fascia stretches. A Parrillo-style fascia stretch is dramatically different than a conventional stretch. A fascia stretch takes the stretch right to the pain threshold. In order to loosen fascia, the casing needs to be tugged and stretched and pulled upon – done with the requisite intensity, none of these procedures are pleasant. Unfortunately, the fascia will not loosen its iron grip (imagine the fascia as thick canvas) in response to nice and easy yoga style stretches. Anyone who has ever had the painful pleasure of being personally stretched by Master Blaster John Parrillo can attest to the fact that while unquestionably effective, the Parrillo procedure is unquestionably painful. “I watch the facial expression of the person I am stretching,” John related, “Only when real pain becomes apparent do I back off; unless you seek to extend the boundaries – and that automatically means going into the ‘pain zone’ – nothing of any significance is going to happen. If you want to loosen the fascia you must travel into the pain zone. Period.”

THE THREE PHASE SET IN ACTION: How would you incorporate the Parrillo Three-Phase Set into a classical chest routine? Let’s assume you select as your chest exercises the flat bench press, incline dumbbell press, flat dumbbell flye and pec deck. Our hypothetical trainee arrives at the gym and we’ll assume he intends to work up to 245 for 8 reps in the flat bench press. He starts off benching 135 x 20 using the Parrillo Intensity Set procedure. During a proper Intensity Set, the athlete takes ultra-light poundage and purposefully makes the weight much harder by exaggerating muscle tension. This is done by slowing down the rep speed and resisting the weight. After finishing the Intensity Set and racking the weight, our bodybuilder immediately commences a pec stretch that we will call “the doorway walk through.” Position yourself inside a doorway and place the hands, palms facing forward, at pec height on the door jam. Step forward with one foot while keeping the elbows held high and the arms parallel to the floor. You know you are stretching right when the “doorway walk through” creates tremendous tension across the breastbone. Done properly, the pecs feel as if they are being torn away from the ribcage. Lean into the stretch with ever increasing tension. Create additional pressure by stepping forward, as if you were performing a lunge. Keep the elbows high and wide and center the stretch in the pecs. The right combination of arm, hand and torso positioning allows the trainee to create a perfect pec stretch. The intensity of the stretch can be increased or decreased simply by altering the leg pressure.

After holding the walk through stretch for 10-15 seconds, the trainee immediately strikes a most muscular pose, concentrating the muscle tension in the two pec muscles. This completes one complete cycle of the Parrillo Three-Phase Set. The bodybuilder rolls deeper into the flat bench workout…185 x 8, 225 x 8 and finally 245 x 8. His training partner steps in on the final set and provides two more excruciating forced reps. In between each of the four bench press sets, our man performs the doorway walk through stretch. On each subsequent set he is able to increase the stretch. He finishes each Three-Phase Set with the crab pose, pushing his clasped hands together with all his might for 10 to 15 seconds. The posing pushes expanding muscle into loosened fascia. Our bodybuilder now moves to incline dumbbell presses and works up to a pair of 70s for a set of 8 reps. In between he stretches and hits three extended crab poses. For incline presses he switches the stretch and begins performing an upper pec stretch. By being clever and inventive, you can devise stretches of great intensity, stretches sufficient enough to loosen the fascia sheathing. The pose used between the incline press and the flat flyes is the classical ‘most muscular’ crab pose with a twist. The hands are pushed together in front: by leaning forward and allowing the clasped hands to drift upward as they are pressed together, the flexion can be centered in the upper pec region. After three incline dumbbell press sets, after three sets of flat dumbbell flyes, our hypothetical athlete finishes his hypothetical chest workout with a high rep burnout set (to failure) using the pec deck. A third fascia chest stretch is the “dip stretch.” Assume the bottom position in the standard dip; relax and allow your bodyweight to stretch the pecs and shoulder joints. By altering the angle of the arms you are able to shift the focus point of the dip stretch to hit any part of the pecs you want. Incline presses are done for 8 rep sets while flat flyes are done for high rep sets of 12-15. Our man makes 16 reps in the pec deck before his training partner administers four final forced reps. His final pose is a crab pose variation.

This hypothetical chest routine consists of eleven lifting sets, eleven stretches and eleven poses. On each successive stretch our bodybuilder increases his flexible range of motion. In simple terms, he is able to demonstrate a far greater flexibility at the end of the workout compared to the degree of limberness he demonstrated at the beginning of the session. As the body warms up, flexibility improves. A warm, blood-enriched muscle has far greater suppleness than that same muscle cold, stiff and brittle. Imagine how supple and flexible a bodybuilder would become after using the Parrillo Three-Phase Set in every workout for an entire year! The bodybuilder would demonstrate amazing flexibility after a solid year of stretching; the cumulative effect on the fascia would be dramatic: the tightest of fascia sheathing would be rendered pliable. If you are not including stretching in your workouts, get started. Do not forget to pose those pumped and stretched muscles. Always, always, always smart bomb with a serving (or two) of 50/50 Plus™ after each workout. If you are serious about breaking through to the next level of physical development, start pumping, start stretching and start posing. Pump the muscle maximally, stretch
Low Calorie, High protein Taffy!

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that same muscle maximally then pose the targeted muscle maximally. Keep the Parrillo Three-Phase Set procedure up for a protracted period of time and friends, family and coworkers will be amazed as you undergo a dramatic physical transformation, right before their very eyes.

The Great Grimek: Prototype Fascia Stretcher

One of the greatest bodybuilders of all time was John Grimek. John was a hell of an athlete. He used to finish his posing routine with a standing back flip and was never defeated in bodybuilding competition. Grimek made the 1936 United States Olympic team as a weightlifter. In the mid 1950s scientists wanted to test weightlifters and bodybuilders to determine if weight training made a person “muscle-bound.” A group of scientists traveled from New York to York, Pennsylvania to test Grimek. They were amazed at his gymnastic abilities - but what really shocked them was when he stood on a table and with locked knees was able to reach down 18 inches below the table top. Asked how so muscular a man was able to perform such a feat of lower back and hamstring flexibility John responded that his continual practice of stiff leg deadlifts done off a bench was responsible. Grimek was using weights to forcibly increase his flexibility – in much the same way as modern trainees use Parrillo Fascial Stretching. Grimek understood that weights could be used to infuse flexibility. He was unaware that he was also loosening his fascia.

Last edited by dragonfire101; 04-07-2009 at 07:19 PM.
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Old 04-07-2009, 07:33 PM
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I have been using Parrillos techniques since the mid-nineties and I've been pretty pleased with the results. The stretches are far from pleasant but I think they really help.

Another trick Parrillo suggests is to pose for 30 sec immediately after the fascial stretching. This results in one heck of a pump for the body part you just worked.

/* lol... I just noticed that posing is mentioned in the first post. My bad. */
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Old 04-07-2009, 08:25 PM
dragonfire101's Avatar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by norm1220 View Post
I have been using Parrillos techniques since the mid-nineties and I've been pretty pleased with the results. The stretches are far from pleasant but I think they really help.

Another trick Parrillo suggests is to pose for 30 sec immediately after the fascial stretching. This results in one heck of a pump for the body part you just worked.

/* lol... I just noticed that posing is mentioned in the first post. My bad. */
What are the stretches like. Any examples anywhere.
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Old 04-07-2009, 08:57 PM
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thanks dragonfire
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Old 04-08-2009, 01:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dragonfire101 View Post
What are the stretches like. Any examples anywhere.
I haven't seen any examples online I could point you towards , unless you feel like buying his manual. - http://www.parrillo.com/training-manual.asp

My wife and I have attended several of Parrillo's seminars and that is where we learned the stretches. We used to train at Golds Gym in Anchorage, AK and they had lots of Parrillo equipment too like the Belt Squat set up. Golds went out of business here and the equipment was moved over to Worlds ( which is where we train now) but the only Parrillo stuff still around are two of his cambered benches which are great for chest development.
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Old 04-08-2009, 04:10 AM
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DC stretches are a supplement for Parillo Stretches. Anything thats puts the muscle in an extreme position will do. I haven't personally been to any of Parillo's seminars, but as long as you can feel an extreme stretch in the muscle that is all you need. I imagine the machines only put you at a different leverage in the stretch.

An example would be getting between two benches (pushup position between the benches) and get in the lowest relaxed position, then pulling with your back to get into a lower position.

For triceps, you can get in a standing tricep extension and lower yourself as far as possible, then try to pull down even farther with your biceps.

For hamstrings, you can get in a stiff leg deadlift position with upper torso parallel to the ground (hold a weight close to your chest), then upon beginning the exercise pull down with your abs as low as possible and hold.

I could go on... But an extreme stretch is an extreme stretch.
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Old 04-08-2009, 05:39 AM
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Iv'e got a good read by him.Has different lifts, demonstration of stretches and sample meal guide.
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Old 04-08-2009, 06:13 AM
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Parrillo's Sports Nutrition Guide has some great info as well.
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Old 04-08-2009, 06:26 AM
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He invented some machines for the stretches
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