More Pimp than Pump.
Rich Gaspari was one of bodybuilding’s most famous superstars of the 80’s and 90’s. Renown for his superior levels of conditioning, he was probably best known for being one of the first to sport “shredded-glutes” onstage. He was a consistenlyhigh placer in the very competitive 80’s-90’s competitive scene and a fixture on the cover of many of the muscle magazine of the time.
Now, just like many of the familiar faces from that era, Gaspari has joined the ranks of the “if can’t beat ’em join ’em” former pros lending their name and former muscular visages to selling/shilling an industry of nearly homogeneous supplement lines.
Writing this book at age 48, Gaspari’s book is a journal detailing his 51 day comeback to return to a semblance of his former physical glory. Each chapter is written as a day in his journey containing a dose of motivational wisdom, a workout and a daily diet.
How many times can you say Myofusion?
Gaspari borrows heavily from the Bill Phillip’s playbook of supplement infomercial marketing. Phillips himself owner of once industry leader EAS supplements, used his best selling “Body for Life” book as one of the primary vehicles to pimp his now (poetically) defunct supplement line. Every page of Gaspari’s book is peppered with references to Gaspari supplements and the included diet and recipes map out a nutritional strategy dominated by his brand with actual food playing a supportive and relatively minor role.
The workout is a generic template that doesn’t really cater to individual differences all that much -differentiating only between the regular trainee and self-labelled “hardgainer”. It’s a cookie cutter routine that looks like it was given the barest minimum of thought before it was cut and pasted to serve as filler between the supplement adds.
Gaspari claims to be a proponent of research and development, siting at the cutting edge of training and nutritional science; yet many of his recommendations in the book concerning nutrition and training are still firmly entrenched in 1980’s/90’s dogma . Much of Rich’s “cutting edge tips” could have been lifted from the pages of any Flex Magazine circa 1985. Even most of the motivational platitudes and quotes are by now, more than well worn and tired cliches.
I can’t help but think that the release of this book was done in part as a form of damage control due to some of the negative attention his MyoFusion protein received in recent lab analysis reports demonstrating that the product did not meet label claims. Whether or not the formulation of Myofusion has been rectified, it’s hard to regain consumer trust in a field so saturated by choice and so under the scrutiny of it’s often skeptical consumer base.
Speaking of trust, some of Gaspari’s claims in the book severely test the upper limits of any tuned “bullshit-meter”
*Gaspari mentions that he never used steroids during his career as a pro
* He claims to have invented the super set method of training.
* The insinuation that Lee Haney, 8 time Mr Olympia, didn’t really train all that hard and coasted on his genetic talent until pushed by the threat of a more intense and focused Gaspari.
He continually references the fact that he beat out guys with better genetics through a more consistently intelligent approach and a more focused gym work ethic. While this could be true, there’s no denying that Gaspari still represents one of the genetic elite.
Nothing really distinguishes this book from the mountain of other fitness and celebrity endorsed books that already saturate the market. I particularly hate these thinly veiled supplement adds masquerading as instructional resources for naive and otherwise uninformed newbies. The firm intention of the book is to advertise rather than educate. Putting aside the numerous references to himself in the third person and the varied anecdotal comments alluding to Gaspari as one the most “arrogant assholes” in the business, the book’s tone thinly veils the author’s level of hubris and condescension towards lesser mortals that undoubtedly make up the majority of his readership and customer base. Unless you are a die-hard Gaspari fan who hangs on his every word and would like to read more about Rich discuss how great he is, then I would look elsewhere for solid training and nutritional information.