by Tom Furman
Butch Tock has become a bit of a legend in the strength training world. He claims to have trained Vinny Spelt, Mr. Natural, Steroid Free For Life, Nebraska. Spelt’s training program, according to Butch, was three exercises, once a month, for one, 3 minute, repetition each. Many find it hard to believe, but there is more………..
Q — Mr. Tock, it is quite an honor to finally meet you, but why is this interview being held at a fast food chain?
BT — You may call me Mr. Tock, my friends do………I have to have interviews at public places. I have enemies you know…
Q — Really?? Why is that??
BT — Any GENIUS has his detractors…I will be taping you, taping me, during this interview.
Q — Do you tape a lot of conversations?
BT — Everyone of them if I can. You can’t be too careful.
Q — Getting back to the interview,..How did you start training?
BT — In a basement of a department store in Palo Alto. My friend’s father worked there, and we bought muscle magazines and trained on a wooden bench and cement floors.
Q — Could you describe those early workouts?
BT — It was literally one hundred degrees in that basement in the summer. I started a workout weighing 140 pounds, and ended it at 130 pounds. We had to do squats with a garden hose lodged in our mouths to prevent dehydration. I would train so hard that I would dry heave and convulse for literally minutes after the training had ceased. My heart rate was over 200 for 10 minutes after my last exercise. I would lay on the ground, and recover by staring at a Betty Page poster on the ceiling of the basement. I could feel my muscles grow and grow. It sounded like walking on LEGO toys in the dark. Lots of small screams and profanity would be wretched out of the muscle tissue as it grew.
Q — That is amazing! What kind of results did you get?
BT — I had the flu a lot. I gained 2 pounds in 5 months,…then I invented MICROMOVEMENT training.
Q — What year was this and how old were you?
BT — I was in my teens, this was the ’50’s.
Q — What motivated you to create a training system?
BT — My training was strong on motivation, and weak on results. I knew there had to be a better way to train. I observed animals at the zoo, I examined bulldozers, I looked at girls on the beach, I watched Gladiator movies,…..It seemed that slow, careful movement was more effective than fast, erratic ones.
Q — That is quite theoretical jump for a teenager. Were you always such a deep thinker?
BT — I didn’t date much. It gave me time to think. I altered my workouts from 25 exercises to 15, and stopped heaving the bar. I also changed the photo of Betty Page to Mamie Van Doren. Better results followed. I tried a curl that took over a minute to complete. My biceps cramped so severely that my arms locked into a flexed position for 24 hours. Have you ever had to put on socks with your elbows?
Q — Not lately,…Did your results increase??
BT — I put on ten pounds of muscle in two days!
Q — That’s a helluva an increase. What did you eat?
BT — Anchovy pizzas. They are the perfect mixture of carbs and sodium. You suck up fluids like a sponge and gain weight by the pound.
Q — So the weight gain was largely water?
Q — That is really not consistent with what current coaches, dieticians, and health givers would recommend for athletes…….
BT — Who are you going to listen to, a team of morons from a diploma factory, or me? At least I can produce results. The only thing that matters is results. With my team of MICROMOVEMENT Certified Implementers, I will change the way everyone trains.
Q — Tell me more about micromovement.
BT — The basis of the human condition is to do work. Hard work, and hard work alone is responsible for improvement. I just started to work so hard that I had little time for anything else. My life suffered as a result. I decided to take the next logical step. Not to train at all. I immediately felt better. I had time to read, and work, and travel, and sleep, and I got married for the first time.
Q — So it was an either / or situation?
BT — Seemed like that, huh? Well, I slowly went back to training. I did a chin up and a squat. I felt stronger almost immediately, and I didn’t have to give up my life to do it! I continued with just two exercises and added back all the weight I had lost. Then the breakthrough came.
Q — What was that?
BT — The combination of bad seafood and inhaling excessive cigar smoke gave me the cramps from hell one day. I still managed to make it to the gym to train. But I had to crawl since I was so cramped up, and my ex wife had stolen my car. Every movement in the gym was excruciating. It was as close to death as I ever wish to come. However, that night, I had an dream. An Indian Medicine Man appeared and told me that I could get to the State of Perfection, but I had to drive on the Highway of Punishment.
Q — Well,…ummm,..excuse me,…but what the hell does that mean?
BT — The combination of being ill and trying to train made me move very slow because of gut searing cramps. The slow movement seemed like meditation for the mind and an elixir for the body. I knew I was on to something. I went home and studied textbooks on mechanics, physiology, human behavior, neurolinguistics, chaos theory, and listened to Art Bell’s Coast to Coast, every night. I discovered, …these guys are not too smart,…they just write books that are hard to understand. I threw the books away and opened my first training center.
Q — And where was that?
BT — In the parking lot of the KMart I was working at. I had a chinning station, and one of those old, vertical leg press machines. My first clients were the homeless men who wandered by. The newspapers picked up the story, and I was able to rent a warehouse for a place to live, and to build a training facility. The clients began to see results. Then I found Vinny Spelt.
Q — How did you find him?
BT — He was playing local football and needed a part time job. I gave him a job doing my laundry and fixing my decaf. I allowed him to train for free. He took to MICROMOVEMENT like a duck to water. He put on 30 pounds the first month, 30 pounds the second month, and 20 pounds the third month…..
Q — Eighty pounds in three months? That is incredible!
BT — It was the product of hard training, and the fact that we were located behind a Krispy Kreme and got all the day-olds for free.
Q — Tell me more about his training.
BT — Vinny did three exercises, he has the capacity to handle more pain than any person I have ever seen. They were the leg press, the dip, and the chin. Besides, these were the only pieces of equipment in my facility. I had to sell the rest to pay for alimony,….but I digress,..Vinny’s workout took ten minutes. 3 minutes per exercise, with little to no rest between machines. We had to load the leg press machine with a fork lift from the body shop next door. It took all the weights that we had, literally three thousand pounds, plus the weight of myself and two other trainees. Vinny would slowly lift the weight to the top position, taking up to 15 seconds to move the weight to lockout. Then he would take up to 3 minutes to do one long repetition to absolute muscular failure. All bystanders would stop to stare, the building would shake, and the cops often showed up. Vinny trained in tight denims and the pump in his thighs would literally split the seams of his pants. My two assistants would drag him trembling to the chinning bar, hang some weight to his belt, and order him to lift. He would take a minute and a half to raise his body with weight, and then another minute and a half to lower himself. Occasionally I stood on his shoulders during the lowering phase, but I fell once and broke my arm.
Q — What type of weight did Vinny use in the chin?
BT — Between 300 and 400 pounds in 100 pound plates. We used a nylon tie down from a flatbed truck for a belt, and a hook from a tow truck with chains to load on the hundred pound weights. Vinny’s low back and waistline were constantly stained with oil from the industrial strength gear we use.
Q — How did he manage to even move to a dip station?
BT — He would fall onto a large slab of card board and we would slide him to the dip station.
Q — Did he use the same weight?
BT — We had no choice. He was usually collapsed and heaving, and it was impossible to get the belt off. We had to throw a bucket of ice water on him and verbally abuse him to even get him on the dip bars. I feel the tactical use of demeaning profanity, along with threats of job loss, and a general attack on one’s manhood are extremely effective motivational tools if used in the most clinical of controlled circumstances. I allowed Vinnie up to 30 seconds rest to get in place for his weighted dips. He would start in a deep stretch and would scream like a banshee as he slowly moved to the top position. The scream would set off car alarms and make the dogs howl. It took him over 90 seconds to get to the top position, then I made him cramp his triceps and pecs until the veins stood out like fire hoses and his skin was ready to burst. His descent would take another minute and a half. My assistants and I had to jump out of the way as Vinnie fell to the floor. Occasionally we had to use bolt cutters to remove the weights. I could see Vinnie’s pulse through most of the vasculature of his body as he passed out and came to over and over.
Q — How long did it take for him to recover?
BT — In about 15 minutes he was ready to go and hungry. He would get baby wipes and take a sponge bath out back near the restroom and we would eat. This kid could live on a diet of fried chicken and Krispy Kreme donuts while maintaining 1.8% bodyfat.
Q — How many calories do you estimate he ate?
BT — Close to 12,000 a day or more. We dunked him at the University to determine his body fat. The first reading was where we got the 1.8% . We didn’t get to do a second one.
Q — Why is that??
BT — The security guard kicked us out. We had to break in after hours to use it.
Q — Oh,….How did you specifically prepare for a contest?
BT — I had Vinnie train once every three weeks. Then later once a month. I also had him run a week before the contest to drop some water.
Q — What type of running? Jogging, sprints,??
BT — He did one slow run of ten miles with a rubber suit on. It was 95 degrees out and very sunny.
Q — How did you motivate him? Did you run along with him?
BT — No, I drove beside him in a air conditioned red truck. I occasionally lowered the window to yell or flick cigarette butts at him.
Q — Could you tell me his stats?
BT — Sure, 6 feet, 290 pounds. His bodyfat is 1.8% or possibly leaner. Arms, neck, and calves are all 25 inches, ice cold. His waist is 28, and his chest is over 60 inches. His thighs are 35 inches too.
Q — That is unbelievable! I have never heard of anything like that! And he is clean? No ‘roids??
BT — This boy will not even touch an aspirin. Just gallons of water, donuts and fried chicken. And of course,…MICROMOVEMENT training.
Q — Tell me about your certified training experts.
BT — I have hand picked several devoted followers that have been trained by me personally. They have lived at my place, payed rather handily, and done all of my housekeeping and errands as well. I test them mentally, physically, and spiritually. There are written tests, oral tests, practical tests, and a boot camp atmosphere. I require certain specific character traits and dress codes.
Q — What would they be?
BT — First off, they need to be anal retentive to highest degree. Then they have to have short hair and wear a Doctor’s lab coat.
Q — Why is that?
BT — Well, years ago health food stores had their employees wear smocks and lab coats, …that was brilliant marketing. I insist on short hair for men, the military look commands respect. Women have to tie their hair back and wear thick glasses, flat shoes, and no makeup.
Q — What?
BT — You realize of course that long hair, long finger nails, and high heels are the signs of a woman of questionable intention. I have had plenty of experience in this area. You know I have been married 6 times?
Q — Not lucky in the marital arena?
BT — Let’s just say this is a common character flaw in MICROMOVEMENT practitioners. Either you are middle aged and unmarried, or you frequently enter the wedding chapel with a revolving door in front.
Q — Any other tips you can give us?
BT — Yes,.. and keep this to yourself,….Hire an image consultant. I did an entire TV interview with toilet paper stuck to my foot, sweating through my clip-on tie. Then I hired my last ex wife who taught me how to look GOOD.
Q — And what tips did she give you?
BT — Well first off, wear emerald green shirts and use a bronzer on your face for camera interviews. Second, make sure that you speak in a Southern accent, with slow deliberate pronunciation. Another tip, wear good watches and polish your shoes.
Q — Well, OK,….Could you give me a quick opinion on some people in the health and fitness field?
BT — Sure, go ahead.
Q — Arthur Jones
BT — He was THE source of truth, justice, and the American Way.
Q — The late, Charles Poliquin
BT — He had big arms and a good haircut
Q — Joe Weider
BT — I wish I had his marketing team, his house, his cars,…..
Q — Arnold Schwarzenegger
BT — It’s a shame he never trained right. I could have made him huge. He also talks funny.
Q — TC Luoma
BT — Who?
Q — Richard Simmons
BT — Why are his legs always shiny?
Q — Pavel Tsatsouline
BT — The one man I fear. He knows karate you know.
Q — Anyway,……What is your current project??
BT — I am writing my life story and greatest training manual known to man. Each manual will be individually typed on my IBM Selectric typewriter. The book will weigh in excess of eight pounds. It will be completely littered with photo’s of me in shirts and ties, and Vinnie doing workouts. And for the first one hundred buyers, I will include a can of my special lean body mass supplement. This will add ten pounds of muscle in a week. I haven’t perfected the formula yet, but it will be ready soon. Vinnie has been the guinea pig, and he is bigger than ever. He only trains once every two months now.
Q — Where is Vinnie by the way??
BT — Well,..the latest lean body mass formula gave Vinnie the trotskies and he is in the rest room relaxing with his cheek on the cool tile floor.
Q — Oh.
BT — -You can still interview him if you get in the next stall and slide the recorder under the divider.
Q — Maybe next time….Hey look, it has been interesting, and our readers no doubt will be very interested in this interview.
BT — It’s over already? I haven’t told you about how my mother taught me to wrestle, or my days working as carnie,….No wait! Don’t walk away yet! I’m not through here.