528 Chama, N.E., Albuquerque, NM 87108
PO Box 51236, Albuquerque, NM 87181-1236
(505) 266-5858    E-Mail:  cncbass@aol.com



 Mr. America Past 40, Short Class
 Clarence Bass by Russ Warner


Fitness Success Stories (3)
We've heard many success stories over the years, and here are some of them that are especially noteworthy and inspiring.

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Runner Sees Dramatic Change in Leanness 
After Adding Weight Training

Dear Mr. Bass,

I am not sure if you remember me, but I wrote you in August of 2000 regarding my then goal of running a marathon and I wrote you again this year when I moved to Georgia and started the Clayton Regional Law Enforcement Academy.

Now that the hassles of moving from Idaho to Georgia, starting a new job, and buying a new house are behind me, I have seriously shifted focus from distance running to more mass-building/strength training, along with stretching for flexibility. I have also been taking Krav Maga (a defensive tactics course) and have cut back my running to just two sessions per week of intervals on the treadmill, based loosely on your treadmill program in Lean for Life. As a police officer, I still need to maintain my speed and ability to run, but I also need size and strength.

If you remember, I ran the Portland Marathon on October 1, 2000 with a horrible 13%, which was confirmed by Dr. Vernon Hoeger at the Human Performance lab at Boise State University on September 15, 2000. It is a shame that 13% got me an "excellent" rating back then.

Before I changed my focus from distance running to more pure fitness, I ate a typical "runner's diet." Like most recreational runners, I committed the sin of excess by eating anything and as much of it as I wanted of pasta, pizza, and burgers knowing that the mileage I was doing (upwards of 100 miles per week) would burn away all those calories. Though I was putting in all those miles, I never seemed to get as lean as I wanted.

Now that I am a police officer, the need to be in the best shape possible was no longer a luxury to dream about, it was something that my life could very well depend on. So, with my wife's blessing (she's from Denmark, a country well-known for it's cheese and pork industries), I switched from the above "runner's diet" to a more "Ripped" style of eating, that you recommend: whole grains, unprocessed foods, fruits and vegetables. I also followed the conventional wisdom of eating more meals, but smaller quantities and started drinking two whey protein drinks mixed with skim milk each day.

The most important part, though, is that I got serious about the third prong of the Ripped approach and began to follow a well designed program of weight training based on things not only from your Ripped books, Lean for Life and Challenge Yourself, but bits and pieces of wisdom from a range of people from Mike Mentzer and Arnold to Covert Bailey, George Sheehan and other "non-bodybuilders." Before, my training consisted of only a haphazard schedule of push-ups, sit-ups and pull-ups and miles and miles and miles of running.

Although I do not have a human performance lab test to confirm the exact results, since my switch to a more "ripped" style of eating, weight training and much less running, my leanness has improved dramatically. (MY best guessimate is that bodyfat is now around 6-7%). I weigh only one pound less than I did when I ran the marathon, but my waist measurement is an UNBELIEVABLE 5 inches smaller! (from a waist size of 36 to 31). I can see the obvious difference in my arms and legs (I can almost make out an ab or two). I was what Covert Bailey called "Thin-fat." While I was fairly healthy, I was more "skinny" than I was lean. I am wearing smaller clothes now, but I am in much better shape. (My Karate instructor, who usually greets me with "Hello, Officer," last night added, "Hey, you look like youíve been hitting the weights." What an ego boost!)

The irony is that I used to think bodybuilders and weightlifters were "heavy" and "sluggish-looking" but Iím in better shape, not only in looks and clothes size, but I feel more energetic, much more light on my feet, now that I am hoisting iron!

My weight program is currently four days a week, based loosely on things from Ripped 1,2, and 3, Lean for Life and Challenge Yourself. I am looking forward to training "even less" than I do now and still improving.

Tell that to all those runners who think that running makes them lean! I had been a hard-core endurance athlete (triathlons, biathlons, running, bicycle racing) for most of my life and I have never achieved this level of "pure" fitness and have never gotten anywhere near as lean as I have since I started eating "ripped" and hitting the weights. I have made these improvements in only 14 weeks! And it is all your fault! Look for the bill in your mailbox for my new wardrobe!!

above- about 179lbs, 13% bodyfat....around May of 2000
below- 178lbs, about 6-7% bodyfat today 26 NOV 02

Thank you for the opportunity to share my "success" with your readers. Although I am hesitant to use the word "Success" as it seems to indicate to me the end of something and I am just really only starting out on the path total fitness. Following your footsteps, I have absolutely no doubts I will make it!

I'll keep you posted on my future "successes" as well!

With much respect and with many thanks,

R. Mark Williamson
Covington, GA

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Transformed by Evo Lifestyle

Dear Clarence:

I was always the guy that joked with my friends about being able to eat anything I wanted without getting fat.  In 1998 I became partners in a business...a DELI!  By 1999 I was living on a strict diet of Corned Beef and Margaritas!  I felt like crap and looked worse than I felt.  I had black bags under my eyes, my memory was shot, I had no energy, and I needed to drink a bottle of red wine just to go to sleep.  I attributed all this to stress, hitting 30 years old and being overworked.  Just like most Americans I made excuses, was dishonest with myself and had the attitude that as long as I was making money I was happy.  WRONG!  

One day my Uncle (overly honest sometimes) looked at me and said, "You're fat!"  I replied, "What?, I'm getting fat?" he said, "No, you ARE FAT!"  Coming from him I new he was telling the truth, no one else had said anything, and I just didn't notice. That day I went home, took a look in the mirror and decided to make a change.  I was around 25% bodyfat and my waist was a burly 38 inches!

 I  tried everything on the market to lose it quick.  Pills, Drinks, Fads, Ab Rollers, etc.  I got fatter.  I would exercise half-heartedly a couple days per week and think I was improving.  I would justify my trips to the fast  food joints by thinking I was "bulking-up"  (I was bulking up all right) or I would say, "I worked out today I'll burn it off!!!!

One evening I was watching a program on PBS or the The Learning Channel, one of them.  And there was a special about the human evolution. It compared humans of today to our ancient ancestors, stating that our physiologies are almost identical but our rate of disease had increase and our muscular density and our overall level of conditioning and sensitivity to our environment had dramatically decreased.  There was a reference to the work involved in obtaining the three basic needs:  food, clothing and shelter.  The hunter and gatherer had to work for these needs.  Modern day man has these readily accessible to him therefore we have added a fourth basic need....Exercise.   They had to exercise to obtain their needs, we do not.  They ate small amounts of food during the day whenever they found it, they had to track and sprint to catch food, they built shelters with their bare hands, and hunted animals to make their clothing.  They were rarely idle and their diet consisted of foods that grew naturally or had to be caught.  I tease people now that ask me how to eat, I say "if it didn't grow naturally 5000 years ago or if you don't have to catch it don't eat it!" How much ice cream would you eat if you had to make it from scratch?

On February 15th 2000 I began to implement this lifestyle.  Doing anything in my power to mimic it in today's society.  I walked everywhere I went, sprinted instead of jogging, eating fish instead of red meat, consuming small meals of fruit, veggies and legumes throughout the day, sometimes eating up to 8 times.  My workouts consisted of multi-muscle work-outs (Deadlifts, Squats, Barbell Rows, Snatch etc) and I stuck with it. Before too long I was feeling great, looking better and most importantly, thinking more clearly and efficiently.  My mood was enhanced dramatically and my energy level rose almost TOO high.  I was drinking nothing but lots and lots of water and before long my 12 hour work day became a 6 hour work day.  I was never hungry.  I could not wait to exercise.  My body had adapted...quickly.

On May 9th, less than 90 days later, without killing myself physically or depriving my caloric intake, my weight had dropped to 165 pounds, my waist was under 30, my squat over 400 pounds and deadlift just under 500.  My  muscles were strong yet lean and my confidence went through the roof.  I have maintained a bodyfat of under 10% and I continue to get stronger. The day someone at the gym told me my abs looked awesome and asked what I was doing?...I cried. I share this with all your readers not to say "LOOK WHAT I DID", but

Before: 208, 38" W, 25% BF. After: 162, 29" W, 5.5% BF  


Yours in Good Health,
 John Cook

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