Author: tommaso1215

A fashion myself the Anomaly. 20 plus years deeply invested in the pursuit of advanced human performance. Strategic Sales & Marketing Visionary, 100% Growth Mindset. So whats your Story? It matters!

Preparing to test drive Heavy Duty

As I prepare to embark on a 6 week course of Heavy Duty training there are some subjects to cover as well as a plan to lay out so I can document the results and post a program snapshot.

First and foremost is the need for a training partner. I will be going to war with longtime friend and competitor Monte Plumb. The need as our mentor Mr.Universe Greg Long attests is that a good training partner pushes us to go beyond on a daily basis and is absolutely essential when digging deep into the mental part of the game that comes with pushing into the realm of true Heavy Duty training!

Selecting the workout days/ and exercises and further which exact units will be used is key as well since it will allow us to best record and measure progress.

The split Monte and I have chosen is a slight iteration on the Heavy Duty posted program.

Training days will be Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday

The split will be

Day 1 Chest/ Lats/Traps

Day 2 Deltoids/Biceps/Triceps

Day 3 Quads/ Hamstrings/Calves

This allows one day to be hit twice in a week rotation and that to change weekly. That second workout is where we plan to deploy extra intensification tactics such as:

Rest Pause sets- by resting or taking a 10- to 15-second pause between each rep you can actually help increase your strength Opens a New Window. and muscle hypertrophy Opens a New Window. . Restpause training. Opens a New Window. breaks down one set into numerous mini-sets, with 10- to 15-second rests in between.

Eccentric only sets- (also known as negative trainingis a technique that allows you to push your muscles past their normal point of failure. This allows you to lift, eccentrically, 30 to 40 percent more weight that you could normally handle (concentrically).

Giant Sets- ( a Milos Sarcev influence) Giant sets are an advanced weight training technique used to shock the muscles and increase the rate at which muscle strength, density, and size are realized. …Giant sets are performed on one muscle group at a time and generally consist of performing 3 or more exercises per muscle group.

This weeks friday workout will be at the home gym for Monte and I with Greg Longs Gym just outside Philadelphia. We plan to train there every Friday to do Photo and scale updates and the final workout of each week.

Having the guidance and insight of Greg and Dennis Long will prove extremely valuable and that gym- the best energy and equipment if you are truly seeking to make amazing goals a reality!

Next post I will outline the diet- The “180 Diet” which is the Champion maker and developed over 50+ years by Greg Long and we plan to cover it inside and out both here and in the podcast- stay tuned and empoewered! Your Sacrifice- Greg Long, Champion, Icon, Legend, Friend

Respect the Pullover

One thing that remains a absolute cult favorite and justifiably so is the attachment many Old Schoolers’ have for the Nautilus Pullover machine which has developed a mystique for its role as a core element in some of the sports greatest backs namely Mike Mentzer and Dorian Yates.

Pullover and Pulldown combo!

If you can locate a Old School gym with some of the early Nautilus pieces especially the “combo” units you will absolutely be able to minimize transition time in the pre exhaustion sequences .

Preexhaust, as the name implies, is pre-fatiguing or pre-tiring a certain muscle of a body part (e.g., chest, legs, deltoids) using an isolation or “single-joint” exercise first and then finishing with one or two compound or “multiple-joint” movement(s).

In the case of the Lats this comes from a brutal super set of Nautilus Pullovers to Underhand Lat Pull down (Both to momentary muscular failure or beyond)

Next post I will dig into what momentary muscular failure looks like, why this program more than any requires a training partner and some of the intensification techniques to pull out periodically.

As for workout 2 Tuesday/Friday:


  1. Nautilus Pullovers
  2. Close grip underhand Pulldowns (2 cycles to Failure)
  3. One arm Rows ( Strict and to Failure)

Traps: ( Often trainers use the term BACK for the entire posterior – WRONG! ..The Traps as the illustration shows are a major muscle group with a entirely separate movement pattern than Lats.


  1. Dumbell or Nautilus Shrugs
  2. Upright Rows 2 supersets to Failure


  1. Side Lateral raises (Strict)
  2. Shoulder Press ( Strict) 2 superset cycles with rep ranges 10-15 to Failure
  3. Rear deltoid laterals 2 sets to failure ( 10-15 repetitions)


  1. Preferred Curl (for me it is Standing alternate dumbell curls) Reps 8-12 superseted with
  2. Close grip Chin ups (Once 8 strict repetitions are able to be performed with body weight add additional poundages) 2 supersets

If you cannot perform a strict Chinup following curls, jump into contacted position- Hold and control superslow eccentric lowering for 4-6 reps

Til next time!

Mike Mentzer and Heavy Duty training

Technically there is a training “tree” that I have always been deeply fascinated with. That is the lineage stemming from Arthur Jones.

Arthur Jones was a force of nature and his impact and legacy can be seen in the brands he invented, Nautilus Inc and MedX Inc, both of which produce to this day the absolute finest exercise machines period for building the body.

Mike branded his specific High Intensity training Heavy Duty and its evolution began in the late 1970’s. I had the privilege to train with Mike in the late ’90s at which point I was embarked on my first competition period and at that point Mike was advocating a very brief and infrequent protocol.

We may dig into that Heavy Duty phase II and even Arthur Jone’s original 12 exercise programs such as used in the “Colorado experiment” and measure and document progress during later training phases.

For now the topic will be Mike and his take on training intensity, volume, and frequency. We will discuss exercises, form as well as recovery.

Part 1 of the Workout as Mike published it in the late 70’s was as listed ( and we shall discuss)

Monday and Thursday:


Leg extensions

Leg presses

Squats (barbell) (1 triset to Failure after warm up)

Leg curls 1 set Failure

Calf raises 2-3 sets


1.Dumbell flyes

2. Incline press (Db/BB or machine) (2 supersets to Failure after warm up)


  1. Tricep pushdown
  2. Dips (2 supersets to Failure after warm up)
Heavy Duty partial Squats

Episode 2 Ric Drasin, Golden era bodybuilding Icon

Today was my first ever recorded call interview with a dear friend, mentor and Icon, Ric Drasin.

My interview does not do this legend justice however it is part of the process. Start! Create ugly work first and repeat until I wake up one day and I actually can say it is good..I welcome you all on my journey especially while I am learning.

Ric’s website





Ric Drasin on his start in the Iron Game

When nobody cares

As a professional I am amazed at both the opportunities in today’s marketplace as much as I am the limitations.

The limitless opportunities to connect and provide something real to a specific consumer has never been so real.

The limitations in trying to please everyone has also never been so real either.

Nobody cares unless Somebody cares

Brands are so adverse to risk when the greatest opportunities are proportionally attached to the risk of getting specific on WHO and WHAT.

Is it a coincidence BIG brands cannot seem to spend their way to the ubiquitous successes of past glory? I think not. Its the sign that things are working we just have not adjusted as professionals.

24 years ago when my career began it was much more favorable to be one of the Big brands with a wall of skus in every store and to be in every store in the specialty space.

Now those big brands are at a loss. We are in the age of connection and brands that are very specific in what they do, why they do it and ultimately who they do it for.

That is a tough nut to crack for the big brands

The challenge as a professional is where to add the value? Where are we most needed?

I believe that the greatest constraints for big brands is to get out of the “Group think” mentality that accompanies the status quo. To be the one that asks why not and delivers value that is creatively outside conventional thinking. That comes with much criticism as I am experiencing in my career.

Giving people what they want often times serves neither the brand or the professional. It is the goal that matters most.

The small brands that often start from a true desire to solve a specific problem for a specific community have a different constraint altogether- Strategic “conscious” understanding of the process and the ability to navigate this as a experienced adviser to the team.

There is not a map and what we leverage is not relationships to speed the process. The work is the work. The brands part of the deal always remains to its customers and creating experiences for them.

There are lists of questions to be honestly discussed….but it really starts with getting specific because Nobody cares…except specifically somebody


Everything goes full circle

First the newness of electronic mail created a enormous advantage to those willing to embrace the change while others still required face to face meetings.

The few email lists I was on were eagerly anticipated and digested and often passed along.

Then things changed.

Electronic mail no longer provides advantage of the early years. It is easier to Spam everyone with scripted letters and offers and play the old direct marketer playbook.

The result is a very low open rate

The result is marketers who care and respect others time and permission not even being seen.

The result is going back to the start but finding a manner to do so that embraces the best of Tech while it holds true to a genuineness.

Maybe that is face to face meetings but with FaceTime as the tech that allows respect for time?

So many in my meetings create unnecessary travel and costs at the expense of companies that would be served much better with directing those resources into supporting the very placements they meet to discuss. Not to mention all the harm from environmental standpoint flying cross country for a 1 hour meeting!

We seem overly agreeable with saving trees and not printing a email ( and making this part of our email signature) but have no issue with the enormous expense of unnecessary travel.

Business lessons I have learned from watching my wife

Those of you that know me or have read my posts so kindly in all their roughness know that I do not really mention or talk about my family as part of my writing as a professional. I tend to keep these camps separate. I do however wish to tell a little bit about my wife “accidental” business because I believe it holds tremendous value for both the creative that is too fearful to put herself, her real self and her work out there to be judged as well as the companies/ brands that are the a state of alarm in the wake of recent developments with Amazon and earning trust and delivering in a saturated, connected long tail economy.

Last year my wife walked away from a stressful work situation and with our little girl three years old we made the decision that we would do whatever it took to have her be home. We also realized in today’s world we still required my wife to do something of a job to help out. (btw as a aside, I was a fool to believe that as a infant once Carmella was mobile and speaking it would get easier haha! ) So my wife Dana began working a couple days per week as her friends jewelry shop (which she actually still does). My wife has a background in fashion design and with a little girl was one of those moms dressing her up for mommy and Carmella photo shoots regularly! The packages arrived, and arrived and she developed friends, began to have the discussions and interactions revolving around only things those on the inside would understand. Out of genuine sincerity she became a Insider to the culture of Moms like her and as Seth Godin says “People like us, do things like this” , “Moms like her, they buy couture special designs like this for their children” .

She began. She works harder and more hours than anyone I have ever witnessed and I respect the connection she has continued to develop with her Tribe so much! Everything is literally done by hand- Everything- not a exaggeration at all!

I have not seen my dining room in over 8 months, haha!

The challenge I see before her is the ability to scale Carmellas Couture without losing the connection and trust of the community while increasing her connections and engagement to become a go to for more moms.

It is the same challenge I witness plague many highly connected start ups in the CPG space. The challenge is in the ability to know your loyal customers so much that you can make a reasonable attempt at increasing offerings, at automating production knowing what their level of expectation is (because its yours also). It becomes much less about antiquated and rude demographics and much more about personas and psychographics. The scary part is that their is risk and with that risk comes the reality that it could be over if they do not embrace it, but it could also as easily be new horizons of success!

Amazon and the enormous push with private label products is horrifying every brand executive I have spoken to of late. Yes, I’ll admit its a challenge however has anyone truly viewed Amazon as anything but a competitor? Have we not witnessed Borders books? Maybe I am crazy and a marketer that believes his own stories too much but I believe there is a Silver bullet.

The Silver bullet? Connection! I will dare say boldly that brands that are trusted, that give honestly and generously to their community will not lose. I believe they will win! We cannot control what Amazon or any other retailer does but we can absolutely deliver outstanding levels of joy to our communities.

Is it any wonder that of the Top 60 supplement brands in natural channel, 38 are direct, 4 major direct, 3 hybrid, 15 are in distribution? Top brands realize the ease that distribution places on logistics is overshadowed completely by the loss of genuine connection that comes along with direct relationships. This comes with a great caveat- above and beyond service and experience. Look at the brands like Garden of Life, Ancient Nutrition ( any wonder since it is Jordan Rubin and Jason Dewberry from GOL) and Vega- all with brand culture ambassadors cultivating fans everyday!

“But that is unrealistic for a small brand” , ” we cannot afford to even try” says the startup owner.

You can. It is all about learning to be deliberate and patient.So YES a Pennsylvania based startup would go snake eyes trying to support national directives but what about focusing on the Northeast? Demoing Every account. Vetting each. networking online, collaborating- as Gary Vaynerchuk says “being a practitioner”. seeking the be the best in the world – the world of PA/NJ…..and then drip by drip, state by state, account by account. the ratchet turns. slowly but surely..

So what are you dreaming of doing that you wont do because it doesn’t pay? Is it worth your television time? Surely it wont feel that way tonight or tomorrow but what about drip by drip 1 year? (they go fast) 2 years? , 5 years?

I personally am witnessing love and connection everyday. Don’t put of the generous work you know we need you to do..Start today

Here is Dana’s Instagram for anyone who wants to check her work out

More or better ;-)

It has been some time since I have stepped away from social media as well as writing on this blog platform. I made a commitment to myself to not make noise for attentions sake but rather to remain consciously aware and dedicated towards adding value.

I have been attempting to make sense of it all. As a professional I consider myself extremely fortunate to have the amazing experiences and associations that I have developed through over two decades of love and work in the specialty/ supplement / Physical culture communities.

So what do I have to say that has prompted me to post this entry? What is the change I seek to create? Where can I add value that is generous to the point of change?

As the divide between the camps of those who are all in on the digital brand route and those who are dedicated to the resurgence of brick & mortar retail becomes wider I feel the need to air my opinion which many will disagree with I am certain. That is okay and quite honestly my hope if I am on to something worthwhile.

First and foremost we must understand our value proposition, what is our deliverable- and who is it for? When I ask this I often get the return gaze that can only mean that they think it is a worthless and ambiguous question. Lets however be very clear that we should absolutely be dialed in to the Psycho graphic we seek to serve. I know it sounds draconian doesn’t it? I will argue that it comes down to the intentions and values we hold. I will argue that once we understand this piece more than we understand how to build a projection flow chart we will have the greatest chance to do something dynamic.

Understanding the Psycho graphic(s) we seek to provide to ultimately provides all the answers. We cannot however depend on traditional market research as it has indeed been proven to be a flawed and very indirect manner to gain perspective. As professionals it is essential and should dictate what, where, how, and all the details associated with forging a brand.

Understanding your target customers online behaviors, preferences for example makes an enormous difference in how you should direct your brand online shouldn’t it?

Understanding your target customers retail behaviors also matters immensely, doesn’t it?

What I am getting at is that a deliberate approach that embraces listening, asking questions and generously looks to provide solutions through our goods and services is within our reach more than ever.

In a series of posts I will cover topics with the intention of creating dialogue and ultimately moving us forward to less noise and more connection

Monday pondering on a train

The thing about life is nobody gets out alive

A funny statement but deeper upon reflection

The older I get the more inward I turn

No longer seeking approval from certain tribes with certain status areas

No longer seeking as much superficial

Still status is a determining force

Always will be I guess

The secret maybe is to understand truthfully what motivates certain actions and responses

To understand and most importantly embrace that actions happen outside our control however interpretation only occurs under our own control

To lastly understand that everyone lives with some skeletons

Maybe the abstinence from mob mentality and gossip is more valuable than we realize in both attaining a realistic focus on our life and shortcomings as well as focus towards living with virtue

Just some thinking