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What's New And Other Stuff (2)

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Date Set for Video Shoot

The basic outline of the video is complete and shooting will begin the last week of September.

Wayne and Tina Gallasch are already working on some historical photos which will be included and we have located some film of Clarence doing the Olympic lifts more than 30 years ago. If will be interesting to compare  Clarence then with the modern-day version. We are eager to see that ourselves.

The Gallaschs will be spending the week with us so there should be opportunities for some candid views of the Ripped lifestyle, which should be fun and, hopefully, informative.

In preparation to show to his 65-year-old physique to best advantage, Clarence has tightened up his diet a little and added some extra minutes to his daily walks. He’s also working on a few new poses and polishing some old ones.

He’s preparing for the training segments, of course. Among other things, safe pulling techniques for the quick lifts, interval training on the Concept 2 rower and the Air-Dyne, and some stretching will be included. 

The training will be the real thing, not just going through the motions for the camera. This creates the interesting problem on how to explain what he’s doing and still concentrate on performing at a high-level. He’ll probably do some explanations on the spot, but mostly voice over. We’ve never done this before and it will be an interesting challenge.

We’ve heard from quite a few people about the video and know many are eagerly anticipating the final product. We are as well. Doing something new is always exciting.

Wish us luck.

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Ripped Revisited – by Ironman

The September 2001 issue of Ironman magazine features in an eight-page Q & A with Clarence, including 11 great photos. The article is also highlighted on the cover: "1 PERCENT BODY FAT! How Mr. Ripped Does It."

Freelance writer and certified kettlebell instructor Mike Mahler asks Clarence about training to failure, combining weights and aerobics, low-carb diets, proteins requirements, high-intensity training – just about everything bodybuilders want to know.

Great job Mike! Thanks.

Ironman has been following Clarence for years. He was last featured in the Aug. 98 issue.

Ironman founders Peary and Mabel Rader were the first to carry Clarence’s photos and articles, starting way back in the 60s. The new publisher, John Balik and Editor in Chief Steve Holman have continued to cover Clarence in the magazine. Steve tells us that they may be back for a follow-up soon.

Thanks to everyone at Ironman. We’ll do our best to merit continued interest.

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Video Scheduled for Filming

Many people have to ask us for a video, and we’ve finally decided the time is right.

Longtime friend Wayne Gallasch, the famous Australian film and video maker, and his wife Tina are coming for a visit in September. In the course of exchanging emails, the subject of a video came up. To make a long story short, we decided to enjoy having Wayne and Tina as our guests, and at the same time take advantage of the opportunity – and their expertise -- to make a video.

When Wayne visited with us in 1983 – we became acquainted in the 1970s when both of us were writing for Peary and Mabel Rader’s Ironman magazine -- he took wonderful photos which are included in several of our books.

Wayne has been traveling the world and making bodybuilding films and later videos for over 35 years -- the first big event he filmed was the 1970 Mr. Universe contest in England -- and has built up a vast library, which he sells from his base of operation in Adelaide, Australia. You can visit him online: www.gmv.com.au.

We’re in the early planning stages, but we all agree that the world doesn’t need another video on training body parts. We want to do something different, more diverse and interesting – something unique to our areas of the interest.

We’ve tentatively decided to focus on topics we are often asked about and are difficult to cover adequately in a book. We want content that will add value to our books, topics that give life to the axiom, "a picture is worth a 1000 words." Subjects we have in mind include: preparation of a meal illustrating the Ripped diet philosophy, general and specific warm-up, tracking changes in body weight and fat, doing the quick lifts safely, demonstrating the Tabata protocol and our favorite abs exercises. No doubt, we’ll be debating "what and how" up to the day of shooting.

If there are things you’d like to see in the video, let us know. We’d welcomed your suggestions.

We’ve always said we wouldn’t do a video unless we could do one of the same quality as our books. That’s a tall order, we know. With the expertise of Wayne and Tina Gallasch, hopefully we can approach that standard. We don’t expect to be perfect the first time, but we’re going to try hard to meet the challenge.

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Ripped Crosses Rare Milestone

Ripped, our first book, published in 1980, will go into its 10th printing early in 2002. It’s a record achieved by very few bodybuilding books, especially those published by an individual. Bill Pearl’s Keys to the Inner Universe is probably the only self-published bodybuilding book to eclipse our record, which puts us in pretty good company. Information like this is, of course, private and hard to verify, but it’s safe to say that Ripped has proven to be a timeless book.

From the very first printing, many people told us that Ripped was the best book in the entire bodybuilding field. Peary Rader, the highly regarded founder and publisher of Ironman magazine, called it "the most remarkable book of its kind [he] had ever read." Joe Weider said it was "a superb text for people who want to lose body fat and retain muscle tissue – men, women, fitness-minded individuals and competing bodybuilders."

Ripped meticulously explains the trial-and-error process Clarence used to achieve 2.4 percent body fat and win his class in the Past-40 Mr. America and other national competitions. The fact that it’s selling well more than 20 years later suggests that what people said early-on may still be true.

It’s a record of which we are extremely proud – and grateful.

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Laszlo in Town for Visit and KB Workout

Our friend Laszlo Bencze (see articles #52 and #67) was in Albuquerque recently on a photo assignment for the defense electronics company Rockwell Collins and stopped by for a visit. It was the first time we’ve met face-to-face in about 30 years and it was wonderful to see him. Now 55 and built like a fire-plug at five-feet-10 and a little over 240 pounds, he looks like the lifelong lifter that he is. Plus, he converses as well as he writes, and those who have read his pieces on this web site will know that’s saying something.

Laszlo and I had planned a kettlebell workout and he chatted with Carol while I got ready. He and Carol had never met and they took the opportunity to get acquainted and discuss their mutual interest in photography. Laszlo showed her one of his portfolios and talked about his assignment for Rockwell Collins. He was asked to take photos at the Albuquerque international airport to produce a dramatic effect for their annual report. The picturesque mountain background at the Albuquerque Sunport makes it the perfect place to produce the desired effect – which they probably don’t want revealed prematurely.

As mentioned in the intro to his first article, Laszlo is known as a master of location photography. Rockwell Collins brought him to Albuquerque and paid him a handsome fee to take a series of photos to be molded into a collage for the cover of their annual report. Laszlo’s reputation and experience made him just the man for the job.

As regular visitors know, I'm relatively new to kettlebell lifting (see article #72) and Laszlo had never tried it before, so it was a little like the blind leading the blind. Nevertheless, all things considered, we did pretty well and had a good time. Laszlo snatched the big kettlebell (32 kilos) 15 reps with his left arm and after a brief rest repeated with his right arm. As anyone who has tried it will know, that’s darn good lifting, especially the first time out of the box.

I can’t manage the Big Daddy with one arm, but Laszlo inspired me to a new PR with the midsize KB, which weighs a very compact 24 kilos. I snatched it eight reps with my right arm – two reps more than I had done alone – but I was happiest about making it with my left arm. As some of you will remember, I have some weakness in my left shoulder; I injured it doing a barbell jerk in my Olympic lifting days and it has bothered me ever since.

Until this workout, I had not been able to navigate the big jump from the small KB (16k) -- which I’ve snatched for 20 reps – to the midsize weight with the left arm. I’d been trying to bridge the gap by practicing with Powerblock dumbbells and had worked up to six reps on the left with 60 pounds, which is about seven pounds heavier than the middle kettlebell. You need to do more weight with a dumbbell than the kettlebell, because the kettlebell must be pulled substantially higher to compensate for the distance from the handle to the bottom of the kettlebell. Pavel explained the difference when he was here, but you have to try both to appreciate how much harder it is to snatch the kettlebell. The problem, of course, is that the kettlebell must be pulled high enough to flip over at the top and come around on the back of the arm.

I wasn't planning to try the middle kettlebell with my left arm. But I wanted to do six reps with 62 ˝ pounds using the Powerblock, and with Laszlo watching it went easier than expected. With that success under my belt -- and spurred on by the sight of  Laszlo manhandling the big kettlebell – I decided to have a go at the middle kettlebell with my left arm. To my delight, the weight came off the floor nicely, accelerated as it passed my knees, zoomed past my head and rolled over at the top nice as you please. What’s more, the first rep went so well that I did two more reps from the hang.

If you knew how heavy -- and scary -- that middle bell felt the first time I tried it with my bad shoulder, you’d understand how happy I was to finally make it, and a little ahead of schedule -- thanks to having Laszlo there to inspire me.

It was great fun having you, Laszlo. Please come back soon.


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Ripped Enterprises, 528 Chama, N.E., Albuquerque, New Mexico 87108, Phone (505) 266-5858, e-mail: cncbass@aol.com, FAX: (505) 266-9123.  Office hours: Monday-Friday, 8-5, Mountain time.

Copyright©2001 Clarence and Carol Bass.  All rights reserved.

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