Super Nutrition Seminar
By: Dennis B. Weis "The Yukon Hercules"
Bill Pearl is a creative and dedicated bodybuilding superstar who
has learned how to create a bit more from an already-great physique.
At nearly 73 years of age, he continues to live the bodybuilding
and fitness lifestyle. Bill merits respect for his personal way
of life, not only for his physical excellence, but for his fine
mind and well-rounded personality as well.
He is universally admired by those who know him and is genuinely
modest and sincere in every way. His solid rugged-looking physique
can be appreciated by the average man and woman on the street,
and that's a rarity today. He is definitely a legend and an inspiration
to all who admire a powerful muscular physique. Bodybuilders the
world over would do well to emulate Bill Pearl.
The following supernutrition strategies are compiled from group
seminars that he conducted in Virginia Beach, Virginia, and Atlanta
Georgia, back in the 1980s.
Q. When you're in training for a contest such as your last one
in 1971, or, say, for an exhibition, what does your diet consist
BP. My morning and afternoon meals will almost be all eggs and
some fresh fruit and raw vegetables. Most of the fat that is found
in an egg is in the yolk, so my wife will scramble 6 or 7 eggs
in a Teflon pan and, while doing it, would take out 4 of the 7
yolks. So, to keep the fat content down, we will keep backing off
For my evening meal I will have some type of meat substitute and
fresh vegetables and maybe some cooked vegetables and some type
of fruit like cantaloupe, watermelon, or honeydew.
Q. So by backing off the yolks in eggs, you didn't have any problems
with your cholesterol, did you?
BP. No! I found out,and the reason I became a lacto-ovo-vegetarian,
where Judy [wife] and I eat all plant foods plus dairy products
and eggs, because my cholesterol levels had gotten so high, it
ran through my veins just about like syrup. Back about 25 years
ago, when I was 35 years old, I used to work for North American
Rockwell in the aerospace program. It was my job as a consultant
to keep the astronauts in good shape for their upcoming flights
into space. The company used to hold me up as an example. You know,
everybody's got to look like ol' Pearl.
I had a blood test done one day, and
the company doctor called me into his office and said, "Bill, do you have a family doctor?" I
said "Yes, I have a family doctor," and he said, "I
strongly suggest you see this man and he puts you in the hospital." I
said "You've got to be kidding, doc," and he said, "No,
Bill, if you were my patient, I'd actually put you in the hospital." He
said that my uric acid, blood pressure, and triglycerides were
so high that I was a prime candidate for a heart attack! So I went
to my family doctor, who is a Seventh Day Adventist and whom I
had a tremendous amount of respect for. He started watching my
diet and advised me to get the red meat out of it.
I kept backing off and backing off 'til
I finally got away from red meat all together. Liver and milk
were also taken out of my
diet, and that's how I became a lacto-ovo-vegetarian. I've been
eating this way now for the past 25 years, and I never deviate
from this; but I am not here to preach this stuff, and I am not
trying to change everybody's philosophy or eating habits. It's
just what seems to work best for me."
Q. Bill, you say you don't eat red meats.
Do you think you could've won a Mr. Universe contest if you didn't
eat red meats?"
BP. Well, the last two Universe contests
I won were done without eating red meat. Think of it this way.
If you feel the secret to
bodybuilding is how much red meat you can consume every day, don't
you think the smart thing to do is put down 2 or 3 pounds of that
stuff on a regular basis? You’d be bigger than anyone walking
the streets. So meat is no more than another substance to put in
your body, and what little bit of protein and carbohydrates and
minerals that are there, your body will extract it and use it like
any other food. Meat is definitely not the secret to bodybuilding.
Q. Did you ever have problems with your shoulder, elbow, and knee
joints when you ate red meats?
BP. Yes, I did, and that is another reason I got off the red meats
and became a lacto-ovo-vegetarian. When I changed my diet over,
I had less and less joint problems. All the poisons found in your
system such as uric acid . . . is going to be stored in the joints
of the body if it can't be expelled through the kidneys or liver.
I think you'll have less and less joint problems the longer you
are off red meats, especially gland meats. I am really against
organ meats such as liver. I think it is one of the worst foods
you can consume, in my opinion.
Q. Can you tell us some of your secrets you use for getting rid
of excess body fat just before a contest or exhibition? Do you
use different fat burners?
BP. I don't take fat burners, because the fat burners that are
selling on the market today have nothing to do with burning adipose
tissue. The fat burners only burn the fat that is in the blood
that causes arteriosclerosis [hardening of the arteries] and has
nothing to do with burning adipose tissue. There is no such animal.
You can't take a pill that's going to burn body fat unless it's
some type of thyroid. The only health food products I take are
vitamin C, at 1000 milligrams per day, which is spread out during
the day because it is a water-based vitamin, and if you took it
all in the morning, by the time you went to the bathroom, the rest
of it would go down the toilet. I also take a good multi-B complex
vitamin and some E.
I might take a protein food supplement if I'm on the road and
not getting enough protein, and when I do, I eliminate as much
animal fat and as much vegetable fat from my diet as I possibly
can. Things like margarine, salad dressings. I back off all I can
from refined sugars, no canned foods, no ketchup, no pastries.
I eat a lot of complex carbohydrates, which comes from fresh fruits
and vegetables, raw nuts, whole grains, and very small amounts
of low-fat dairy products, and that's it.
Q.You just mentioned that you take a good protein food supplement.
What is the best type of protein a person can take, and how many
grams should be taken per pound of a person's muscle bodyweight?
BP. The best type of protein a person can ingest is a milk-and-egg
protein concentrate. The protein efficiency ratio [PER] in milk
and eggs is the highest you can possibly get other than eggs itself,
and the protein efficiency is just about like mother's milk, so
it's just about the best concentrate you can consume.
I don't mean that you should go out and drink a gallon of milk
and eat a ton of eggs. The manufactures of milk and egg protein
concentrates have already extracted the protein and the amino acids
from the milk and mixed it with the protein powder from eggs and
so on. They came up with a real good product where there is zero
fat in it almost all together.
Regarding your question about the grams of protein per pound of
muscle bodyweight. I have done studies on this, and I've read more
on protein than you can shake a stick at. If you're consuming 1/2
gram of protein per pound of muscle bodyweight regardless of how
hard you train, that's all you need for repair and muscle growth;
that's it. Any more than that will either be stored as fat or you
can consume it as fuel. So if a person is taking 400 or 500 grams
of protein a day, they're wasting their money and would be better
off eating Hershey's candy bars, because they can be digested quicker.
Q. The evening before a physique contest, do you think it is wise
to use any kind of diuretic, natural or otherwise?
BP.I think if a bodybuilder is carrying a lot of water weight
and so on and wanted to back off the water weight, some form of
natural diuretic would probably be all right. But if you're not
careful and you take too much, you're going to defeat yourself
by knocking your balance of electrolytes off so badly that you
will cramp up and lose muscle size as well. Be sure to take a good,
natural mineral substance.
Q. What are your thoughts about anabolic steroids?
BP. I don't think a person who takes anabolic steroids is an immoral
person. I think it's a matter of choice. If you want to subject
your body to that type of abuse, then be my guest. I think any
time that you're putting some foreign substance in your body, you're
going to have to pay the price.
Q. Have any of the top physique men you know to have taken anabolic
steroids had any serious side effects?
BP. Yes! There was a former Mr. America who passed away from the
effects of anabolic steroid use. There have been numerous other
physique stars who have quit the sport of bodybuilding because
of it. I think if anabolic steroids were taken under a doctor's
supervision and taken as they were prescribed, then there may be
a place in the sport for the drug itself. I'm opposed to the abuse
of it. I was in Portland, Oregon, a few years ago on a lecture
tour, and I was shocked to learn that many of the younger physique
contestants were taking more steroids for the amateur Mr. Oregon
than many of the top physique stars take prior to entering a national
show. The sad fact was that 99% of these younger guys had absolutely
no potential in the sport at all.
Q. Have you ever taken steroids?
BP. Yes, I have taken steroids. I would not take them in this
stage of my life, but I got caught up in this thing like everybody
Q. Did you ever take them for a contest, or have you taken them
BP. Oh, no! I've only taken them for a short period of time back
in 1967, for a 6-8 week period under a doctor's supervision like
I'm telling you. I got off of it after that, and I have never touched
them since, because I could see that it was just something that
didn't make me feel good about myself, and I said I'll get out
of the sport and I'll quit training all together if that's what
I've got to subject myself to, to stay in it.
Q. If a bodybuilder wants to stay in the sport and train naturally,
can you give them some ways to improve their testosterone levels
BP. If a person could do this and he could become more manly,
his chance for muscular growth in the sport of bodybuilding would
be a great deal better. I think the more masculine you are, the
more massive you can become, can be through diet more than anything
Q. Will the numerous supplements like glandulars and all the others
be worth a try for increasing testosterone levels more naturally?
BP. If you took all the glandular tablets by the bottle full or
any of the other numerous supplements, it wouldn't do the job for
you. It might help a teeny bit, but you have to realize that, if
these supplements did a great deal for you, they'd be under a prescription
like anabolic steroids and have to be bought through the FDA.
Q.You mentioned earlier some of the health food products you take,
and it doesn't seem like a lot when comparing it to the megadosages
that many bodybuilders take from day to day. What gives?
BP. Regarding the issue on health food products, I make my living
selling health foods. Believe me, that's how I make my living.
I have 69 or so products that I sell, and any time I see, let's
say, a vitamin 1000% higher than the RDA or even 500% higher than
that, and down the line. If a person asks me about such a product
and its worth, I will tell them they are just wasting 99% of their
money. Your body is so used to taking such a small amount of vitamins
and minerals out of your foods and if you had a proper diet which
included whole good, fertile eggs, tremendous amounts of fresh
fruits and vegetables, baked potatoes and brown rice and other
high-fiber types of foods, in many cases you might not need extra
vitamins and minerals at all.
When you commence to take vitamin and mineral supplements 500
to 1000 percent over the RDA, do you realize that your body stops
even digesting them from your foods whatsoever? It doesn't have
to. Then, if you quit the vitamin and mineral regimen for some
reason, you get tired, sick, feel lousy. Why not? Your body has
totally shut off its capability of processing the vitamins and
minerals from your foods for a period of time. If you smoke heavy
and need more vitamin C or are under heavy stress, then more B-6
are good reasons why you should take more, but not a thousand times
more than your daily requirements. Don't get caught up in the high
Q. You just mentioned that, if a person had a proper diet, vitamin
and mineral supplements might not even be needed. How many calories
a day would a person have to eat to be sure of getting the right
amount of vitamins and minerals?
BP. Allowing for the loss of nutrients that occurs during storage,
processing, or food preparation, in their raw state, most men can't
get by on less than 2200 calories, and women need 1500 calories
just to get the vitamins and mineral nutrition they need from day
to day. That's why those 1000 calorie diets don't work. The best
way to go is to increase your daily activity so it burns more calories,
and that way you can eat more of the vitamin and mineral packed
Q. What about eating loads of brown rice?
BP. The amazing thing about brown rice is that you could have
it at every meal and actually lose weight. You can have 10 bowls
of rice, because it is so high in fiber and so difficult for your
body to break down, it takes more calories for digestion than is
found in the rice itself.
Q. Many of the top bodybuilders, aside from you and a few others
who eat optimally, put many things in their mouths that seem counterproductive
to long-term health, but they look great and will even tell you
that they feel like a million bucks most of the time. Are they
being totally honest with us?
BP. To show you how the body works, I use the following example
all the time. If you were to go to a doctor and were going to get
an immunity for polio, the doctor would take a small amount of
polio vaccine and put it on a sugar cube. You ingest it, and he
will tell you to come back in 7 years and get another dose. So,
for the next 7 years, you are safe. No more polio. Use this as
an example of how long it took your body to rid itself of just
one small drop of the polio vaccine. It took your body 7 years!
So, if you are loading up on anabolic
steroids, you're loading up on uppers and downers, you're loading
up on Coca Cola, you're
loading up on white flour and sugar and so on, all the toxins from
these things have to be processed in the same way, and you still
train with weights. How in your right mind can you think you are
living a happy and healthy life? It has to be a whole process or
it won't work. I had a guy walk into my gym one time. He was about
54 or 55 years of age. I said, "Yow are you doing?" and
he said, "Bill, I'm doing just fine. I just got a haircut
and I'm going to take my wife out tonight. I have never felt better
in my life." The guy then walked two steps over to get his
workout card and dropped dead of a heart attack, BAM, just like
that! I have 5 medical doctors working out in the gym, and we all
pumped on this guy 'til our eyes popped out. What does this say?
It means that health is a state of mind. He thought in his mind
he was health. The guy was so sick, two seconds later he was dead.
The amazing part which I'll never forget
on this deal -- when the guy dropped, I called the coroner. They
said, don't touch him,
leave him where he is, we'll come out and get him. He's laying
right by the workout card rack. I go to the massage room and get
a sheet and throw it over the dude, see. I'll bet you a hundred
people came into the gym, walked over and got their workout cards,
and stepped over that guy. There was not one person who asked me, "Hey,
Bill, what's under that sheet?" They just didn't want to know.
That's about all the questions I have time to answer. Thanks a