"Ripped" by Clarence Bass

Has anyone read any of the Ripped books by Clarence Bass? They’ve been around for a long time but I’ve never gotten around to reading any of them. I’m just curious if they contain any useful information.

I appreciate this thread is probably long forgotten. I have just bought ripped 3 and read the diet section and found the principles fairly simple. He suggests the use of unrefined and high fibre foods in order to ensure satiety off a controlled number of calories. However, he is not into calorie counting, but he figures if you follow the suggested method of eating then the calorie control will come as a by product. It seems like a sensible healthy solution as opposed to the more Atkin’s like recommendations.

As it happens, I ended up buying all three Ripped books. They’re decent, and more importantly, they demonstrate that sound nutritional principles don’t really change that much over time. His approach is surprisingly moderate. He emphasizes eating bulky foods that fill you up without a lot of calories (e.g., apple vs. nuts) and specifically avoiding refined carbohydrates rather than avoiding carbohydrates altogether. In fact, he’s a big defender of bread!

Despite the appearance of his diet, it’s really not that drastically low in calories. In one of the books he breaks down the calorie content of his diet and it’s still around 2,500 give or take, although when you see the diet written out you would think it’s only 1,000 calories, which goes to show it’s easier to rack up calories than your realize if you’re not careful. In fact, he emphasizes not to lower your calorie intake too much to avoid lowering your metabolism, which we hear today from guys like Scott Abel, John Berardi and Mike Roussell. Dan Duchaine also emphasized this.

My main point of disagreement with him is his approach of eating the same thing every day. This definitely makes things easier from a logistical and calorie control standpoint, but it’s too boring and therefore unfeasible as a long term lifestyle. Furthermore, although the food selections in his diet are good, there’s no thing as a perfect diet that covers all your nutritional needs. Nutrient content and bioavailability differs from food to food, requiring a fairly broad spectrum of foods in the diet to ensure adequate nutrition, although to his credit, volume 3 shows all the variations that he uses with his meals. I also think the protein and fat content should be a bit higher, but I also agree that the need for protein has really been overstated over the decades as a way to sell supplements. It’s important but not that important.

The first book was written in '79, and it was funny to read his discussion of low carb diets and specifically Atkins, which just goes to show that these trends repeat themselves in cycles. The more things change the more they stay the same.

I’ve read them all. The descriptions above are accurate. What are you mainly wanting to know about him? He talks about his use of hormonal supps early on. I imagine he’s on HRT now although I don’t think he talks about it. Basically he built a good muscular physique early on, got ripped, and has spent the last 30 years maintaining it.