Here's what has changed, and what has been learned.Read article
Lony Pizarro is America. For all the political punditry that is bandied about on the issue of immigration, there exists a “tug at the heartstrings” narrative that is commonly employed. The story typically revolves around someone taking enormous risk to flee his or her home country, only to prosper in the opportunity-driven construct of American capitalism. Just ask Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Though Pizarro’s storyline is still being written, the boilerplate info remains the same. At the age of 8, he “escaped”—his word, not ours—Venezuela on money his parents did not have to spare. He says: “My family was so broke, we could barely afford our next meal, and Venezuela continued to grow more and more dangerous.”
But as Pizarro learned, the land of opportunity is equally fraught with challenge.
“I spent most of my days eating lunch by myself in the bathroom stall where no one could hurt me,” he says. “I still remember one specific time. While walking home from school, I was jumped by a few older students. They were much bigger and stronger than me. And as much of a fight as I put up, I still ended up with a few bruised ribs and my very first black eye. I was so angry and confused. I didn’t understand why they hated me just because I looked different. That same night I decided to make something of myself. Every day after school, I locked myself in my room and worked out until I could feel no more pain.”
Pizarro quickly gained strength and athleticism, and he began applying them to other pursuits, including taekwondo, in which he eventually earned a black belt. Pizarro also found himself earning high marks at school.
“I then decided I needed to educate myself if I was going to have a fighting chance at making it in this country, so I studied my ass off,” he says. “I became the first in my family to earn a bachelor’s degree. I work like hell day in and day out because I want to be the reason that somebody out there experiences hope, regardless of their current circumstances. If I can be that for somebody, then that is enough for me to have fulfilled my life purpose.”
As often as Pizarro is tabbed for work as a fitness model—he is sponsored by industry giant Optimum Nutrition—his ultimate goal is to become an actor.
“I want to stand in front of a camera and recite the words of a masterpiece,” he says. “This is why I do it. To express myself through another man’s shoes. And from the bottom of my heart, I believe this is my calling.”
Save for the genetic ingredients, Pizarro didn’t bring these abs with him from Venezuela. No, this midsection is 100% American grown. Losing himself in workouts to escape the torment of preadolescent bullies and sluggish assimilation, Pizarro learned how to trick out his abs through attrition. And when your work ethic is as relentless and emotionally driven as his was during his formative years, you learn a thing or two about developing a lean, streamlined middle.
What follows are three Pizarro-customized workouts geared toward athletes of every skill level. Take each of them on as needed/desired to start chiseling your own chiseled sixer.
Below, find the descriptions for each level workout, then check out the actual workouts below.
This circuit-based workout provides a broad range of abdominal activities in order to cook your middle from the inside out. Plank-based moves target your deeper transverse abdominis, which, when conditioned properly, hold your rectus abdominis (six-pack) closer to your spine for a thinner waist. The lack of rest provides a conditioning element to the workout as well, keeping you moving purposefully to maintain form throughout.
This eight-move circuit is a journey to Painville. For this session, Pizarro has increased the number of exercises and the number of times you’ll go through it, creating the type of deep-fiber burn that is the hallmark of solid development. If you fancy the workout after a first go, try upping the time on each move to 45 seconds.
Like Rome, Pizarro’s abs weren’t built in a day. Sometimes you just need to beat them down unmercifully and deal with being sore for the next four to five days. The effectiveness of this workout lies in the volume, where time under tension thrashes your abs from north to south.