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Chris Aceto Interview

Article care of www.star-interviews.com

DON LEMMON ASKS: Who was the first person to tell you getting into bodybuilding was a crazy idea?
CHRIS ACETO RESPONDED: Well, my father always told me as a teenager, "You can't eat the weights" which I never understood until much later. By that, he was telling me bodybuilding was a viable path to being poor. I thought he was the crazy one cause I never had intentions of being a professional bodybuilder mainly because I never knew anyone could actually generate money from looking all pumped up. A few years later after great success, my coach, Bob Gruskin, the one and only real guru of bodybuilding told me the same thing - though he hammered it home over and over and reiterated my father's mantra that a college education was the way to go. I went on to Springfield College, was a straight A student and won my class at several contests including the Collegiate Mr America.

DON LEMMON ASKS: What directed your attention to the industry itself as a profession and how did you originally see your part in it?
CHRIS ACETO RESPONDED: It was fate to some degree. First, I worked for Joe Weider at his Muscle and Fitness Bodybuilding Camp in Los Angeles. I was really young. The first summer I was there I was only 20. I worked there during the summer of '87, '88 and 89. Lee Haney and Rich Gaspari were in their prime, bodybuilding was exciting then. At least it seemed so to me. During those years, I got to interact with really good people. Besides Lee Haney and Samir Bannout, whom I forged a great friendship with, I got to know Dr Tom Deters and Vince Scalisi. Tom is, in my opinion, brilliant and really focused. Really really focused. I am too, so I kinda liked just being around him. Vince, who is now sort of the co-captain with Tom, at Muscle and Fitness is a smart guy and truly genuine. Those camp years got me thinking I'd be involved in the industry some how, though I didn't have this overwhelming need or drive to stay in the field. I also met Laura Creavalle at the camps and, for us, things took off.

DON LEMMON ASKS: Your 5 favorite websites are:
CHRIS ACETO RESPONDED: www.nytimes.com I just have to keep up on what on earth is going on. Course, there's mine www.chrisaceto.com Why not a selfish plug? I like yahoo for its variety and ease-of -use and amazon and Barnes & Noble to see how my books are selling. (ok. another selfish plug - or two. Oops! Almost forgot. I like www.flexonline.com too to read the gossip. I am soooo outside the bodybuilding world I like to keep up on all the silly things. Makes me feel connected.

DON LEMMON ASKS: Got a secret you want to share? Tell us something nobody knows but only because they havent asked.
CHRIS ACETO RESPONDED: I was responsible for the bull market of the 1990's! Well that's why we call 'em secrets right? I'm a container that's air tight. No secrets from me.

DON LEMMON ASKS: What's your craziest experience in the sport or maybe witnessed happen but didn't participate in?
CHRIS ACETO RESPONDED: The craziest? Was when A pro bodybuilder cramped up on stage and soon after another guy cramped at the USA. This was around 1993. I knew it was all down hill from there. I mean, I had, at some time, been advising a few pro bodybuilders and I always was and have been extremely conservative in all facets of the sport. When someone almost dies, it's an indication something mighty strange is going on...something I never wanted and don't want to be a part of.

DON LEMMON ASKS: Anything embarrassing ever happen to YOU when trying to look cool? What?
CHRIS ACETO RESPONDED: Without trying to sound too cocky or arrogant , I 've never put forth an effort to look cool or hip. I've always just been myself and been pretty much happy at that with no real need to feel I have to 'look' or 'act' a certain way. For the most part, it's kept me out of trouble and stress free. I think a lot of that may have come from my surroundings. I was raised in Maine, sort of a quite life, where most folks just didn't try to look cool. I guess there may have been less peer pressure in a more rural state or, at least, there might have been less peer pressure then, than now. I do remember the one time a drank alcohol in high school. That was clearly a move trying to look cool. I was at a party and drank 2 beers and was sick by the second one. The gross type of sick....

DON LEMMON ASKS: Your biggest lie ever is:
CHRIS ACETO RESPONDED: " I never lie" Can't get bigger than that.

DON LEMMON ASKS: What's the grossest thing you ever ate? Was it because some one said "Hey, taste this!" and did you get even? or did you want to try it?
CHRIS ACETO RESPONDED: I once ate a pigeion in the Saudi Desert. It was so bad tasting I expelled it out of my mouth straigh across the cicrle I was sitting in. A gallon of ketchup would not have tempered the (lack of) flavor.

DON LEMMON ASKS: What's the hardest and yet easiest part of dealing with the sport?
CHRIS ACETO RESPONDED: The hardest for the individual is knowing how to self evaluate. I think all bodybuilders need some guidance. Even an honest friend to critique their physique. It's also hard to encourage people to continue to compete because, to some degree, you are facilitating drug use. While that is the individual's own choice, I can't keep a clear concious and say I don't feel I'm part of the problem when someone, with great genetics, asks if they have "what it takes" to be a pro bodybuilder, and I enthusiastically affirm "Yes! go ahead and go for it! The easy part. There really is no easy part to successful bodybuilding. It takes lots of time, lots of effort, lots of dedication and lots of perserverence.

DON LEMMON ASKS: Have the people around you changed since you got started? Those who werent supportive, suddenly are or vice versa?
CHRIS ACETO RESPONDED: True friends will encourage you. Those not so true will not. It's a nice test of a friendship to see where those friends go during non successful times.

DON LEMMON ASKS: I have been asked that 1000 times. Is professional bodybuilding healthy? Is it something one can do forever and then tell me, what is your most frequently asked question and what question makes you crazy, but you somehow manage to remain composed when asked?
CHRIS ACETO RESPONDED: "How do I loose weight?" I get in over and over. And over.

DON LEMMON ASKS: Is there a job or a gig that you were offered but passed up in the past that we would find interesting because it has mothing to do with bodybuilding? Like bagging groceries or something? There may have been opportunities I missed, though, looking at it from a different angle, the things I have done may have worked out far better than supposed 'opportunities.' You can't live in the past only look forward to the future.

DON LEMMON ASKS: Some people think you appeared overnight. How does it make you feel to see people less talented or not in as good of shape as you handed something overnight? Does it give the wrong impression to those on the outside looking in?
CHRIS ACETO RESPONDED: Well, when I started coaching bodybuilders in 1986 and '87 I sort of did appear over night. What I realize now, that I did not realise then, was I really had, besides a great textbook knowedge of training and nutrition via my University degree, a tremendous amount of natural insight for both training and nutrition. I think a lot of that came from having a curious mind and the opportunity to spend time with Bob Gruskin and many great bodybuilders he made. Of course, I picked the brains of bodybuilders at Muscle and Fitness Camp too. Anyhow, when I was really helping lots of bodybuilders, I don't think people knew what to think of me cause I was young and probably looked younger. Those were great days cause training and diet were more important as drug use was less intense. DON LEMMON ASKS: Your crowning achievement in life using what you have achieved so far will hopefully be what? Oh. I don't think I have a crowning achievement. But I am happy to have been able to help a few people realise their dreams and aspirations while maintaining a friendship with them outside of a strictly 'business' relationship. DON LEMMON ASKS: Tell me a joke: What do you get when you cross a Macaw and a Paraqueete? A bird who not only can hold a tune, but knows all the words.

DON LEMMON ASKS: Favorite music album of the year so far and what do you listen to most?
CHRIS ACETO RESPONDED: I'm not a music collector, but I like top 40, jazz, and classical

DON LEMMON ASKS: What is your favorite probably regarded to as BAD music or an album no one else likes but you love anyhow? You know, something a bit embarrassing but you just don't care!
CHRIS ACETO RESPONDED: Classical. I always liked how it made me feel when I'd window shop at boutiques in Portland, Maine. And, while I dont like museums, I dig the classical beat.

DON LEMMON ASKS: Tell me something about the industry you are in people forget.... and something they do not realize....
CHRIS ACETO RESPONDED: Bodybuilders forget they got to retire one day.......Supplement companies forget to tell people most of their gains are due to hard training, rest and good ole eating habits. Magazine Publishers forget to tell you there's nothing too new under the sun, and People with PhD's forget to tell you they really copy, steal and usurp information from Muscle and Fitness! Seriously. That is, bodybuilders, Joe Weider speficially, was the first person to build science based models for training and bodybuilding nutrition. He was the first to discuss negative reps....low and behold! PhDers tell us the negative portion of the rep is vital in muscle growth. Joe was the first to tell bodybuilders they needed more protein....PhDers come out and tell us that years later. Joe was waaay ahead of his time with this stuff. I don't like that most PhD-types frown upon training and nutrition practices of modern day bodybuilders while they're the ones behind the times. Bodybuilding and J Weider paved the way for modern day University nutrition and physiology degrees. They'll deny it, but thats the truth. Go JOE!

DON LEMMON ASKS: Once that is off your chest, what other thing would you change about your industry if you could without hesitation?
CHRIS ACETO RESPONDED: In pro Bodybuilding....hmmm. I don't have solutions so I can't really criticize. I'd like to see higher prize money for the men and women and I'd like to see drug testing. I'm just bored of dumb ads for supplement companies. The claims are stupid.

DON LEMMON ASKS: Who is the most intriguing person in your business besides yourself?
CHRIS ACETO RESPONDED: Joe Weider. Nobody comes close.

DON LEMMON ASKS: Tell me the last good movie you can remember in a long time that you saw in theaters, and the last video you rented:
CHRIS ACETO RESPONDED: I rented "Meet the Parents" last night. A good theatre movie? "Chicken Run" It's about good versus evil and the good wins out.

DON LEMMON ASKS: How often do you see concerts and what was the last one attended?
CHRIS ACETO RESPONDED: I live in Maine Don. Zero. But if Janet Jackson tour comes here it might be hard to get a ticket in a theatre that holds less people than a large apartment complex in New York.

DON LEMMON ASKS: The TV show you most watch is:
CHRIS ACETO RESPONDED: 60 minutes. Sundays at 7 pm

DON LEMMON ASKS: When I was bodybuilding, I was around 270 and had abs but wasn't ripped. My next question involves the scenario that while being that big, people treated me like an animal, predjiduced me. My family was afriad I would crush my nieves and nephews... Can you relate?
CHRIS ACETO RESPONDED: My family was likely more worried with "How big is enough" At one time I weighed 260 when no one else ...or very few did.

DON LEMMON ASKS: Tell me what you ate yesterday (or today for that matter):
CHRIS ACETO RESPONDED: Today I had 3 eggs, hashbrowns and an english muffin. For lunch I tried to eat a big steak and baked potato but failed.

DON LEMMON ASKS: What type of aerobic schedule do you keep? Do you go for speed, time or distance?
CHRIS ACETO RESPONDED: I think aerobics is dumb. I'd rather eat less or train hard.

DON LEMMON ASKS: The worst pickup line you ever heard was... And did that pickup line work?
CHRIS ACETO RESPONDED: "Whats a guy like you doing in a nice place like this" Not sure if that was a drunk pick up line or a put down.

DON LEMMON ASKS: If you were anyone else who would you be (even just for a day, a good day) or who did you emulate growing up? Do you still emulate or try to be like them now?
CHRIS ACETO RESPONDED: I'm way too unimaginative huh? I'm still trying to perfect what I got. I guess, in modern times, a nice role model is Muhammad Ali. He opposed the war, he lost basically his popularity and his money. But, he did what I think was right and in the end, through living up to high moral principles, he became a icon.

DON LEMMON ASKS: What did we forget?
CHRIS ACETO RESPONDED: My last chance to plug my books on training dieting and fat free sugar free cooking. "The Lite Lifestle" cook book is the bomb!

See more of Chris at www.chrisaceto.com

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