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Over 40 Transformation Of The Week - Dennis Fanucchi

Ever since Dennis was 13, he dreamed of having a great physique. It wasn't until 41 years later that he stepped into a gym and got serious. Now he's 77 pounds heavier and looks better than ever. Read on to learn how he committed to a healthy lifestyle ...

Before Before:
130 lbs
After After:
207 lbs

Vital Stats

Name: Dennis Fanucchi
Age: 64

Before: May 4, 1997
Weight: 130 lbs
Arms (Non-Flexed): 10"
Arms (Flexed): 11.25"
Chest: 34"
Shoulders: 38"
Waist: 29"
Quads: 17"
Calves: 12.5"
Neck: 14"

After: January 12, 2008
Weight: 207 lbs
Arms (Non-Flexed): 15.25"
Arms (Flexed): 16"
Chest: 48.75"
Shoulders: 51.5"
Waist: 32"
Quads: 23.75"
Calves: 16.75"
Neck: 18"

Why I Got Started

I could remember when I was 13, I dreamed of having a good physique. I even went to a gym (in 1956) and when I walked in I saw all those huge men and quickly retreated, not to return to a gym until 41 years later.

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Dennis Fanucchi.

I have great discipline and that is what is needed to accomplish the transformation of my body. Chris Welton, my first trainer, told me that with my discipline he guaranteed me that I would not have a good body but a great body.

Dennis Dennis
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Dennis Fanucchi.

Besides wanting to be in the best condition as possible I wanted to slow down the aging process. I am 64 and many people guess me at 40-45. I am reliving my 40's in my 60's and really enjoying it more! I never dreamed of getting the attention I now get with my physique. That is definitely a driving force.

Dennis Dennis
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Dennis Fanucchi.

How I Did It

I was dedicated and determined to change my body and life. I started with a trainer and within 2 months hired a nutritionist. I used to eat no more than 2 meals per day.

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Dennis Fanucchi.

She taught me that you have to fuel your body to grow. I went up to 4 meals, then 4-6 and now I eat 7-8 meals per day. I continued to have a trainer at least 6 months a year for my first 4 years, to monitor me, educate me on the different body parts, get the most out of my workouts and expand my inventory of exercises. Since I now do competition shows, instead of a trainer I have coaches that monitor my progress, especially prior to shows.

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Dennis Fanucchi.

To this day, I meet with my nutritionist on my menu. It takes me 45 minutes to prepare my 7-8 meals the night before. I still weigh and measure all my food.

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Dennis Fanucchi.

I eat so clean that after a recent physical, my doctor told me that my bad cholesterol was too low and that I eat too clean. He said it's the first time he has ever told a patient that he eats too good. I do research on nutrition and workout programs.

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Dennis Fanucchi.

I continually add new exercises and have a vast inventory on all body part workouts. I concentrate on form and use the "mind to muscle" relationship during all workouts. I also change my workouts and never do the same exercises for the same body part two times in a row. To make the progress I have made and to improve is like having another job.


I am a nutrition store delight. I spend at least $250 a month on supplements.


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Dennis Fanucchi.


    Monday: Back/Shoulder/Calves
    Tuesday: OFF
    Wednesday: Biceps/Triceps/Forearms
    Thursday: Chest/Traps/Calves
    Friday: Quads/Hams/Lats
    Saturday: OFF
    Sunday: Lagging body parts & Calves

I separate my Traps from Shoulder day and Lats from Back day. This gives me a chance to target a body part within that body part. On Shoulder day the Traps becomes the secondary muscle part and Back days the Lats are a secondary muscle and so on. I have proved this method to show results. My Traps/shoulders, Back and Lats are dominate muscle groups for me.

    ABS: In the mornings at home
    Monday/ Wednesday/ Friday: Upper and Lower ABS
    Tuesday/ Thursday/ Saturday: Oblique's

    CARDIO: Immediately after waking up

These are some of my favorite exercises for each body part. My workouts are designed to target the entire muscle group I am working. I do not use the same exercise two times in a row.

arrow Biceps

    Barbell Curl - Place Elbows tightly against your hips - raise bar as high as you can and contract for a count of two. Do not have elbows leave your sides. This works the peak of your biceps. 1 set 12 reps; 1 set 10 reps; Pause and Power set - 8 reps - pause for 15 seconds then perform 8 more reps

    Incline DB Bench Curl - Put bench back down to 30 degrees - this gives you a longer range of motion as your arms are further back than the normal bench curl. 3 sets of 10 reps

    Laying Cable Curl - Place bar on high cable, lay on floor and curl 2 sets of 10 reps; Pause and Power set - 8 reps - pause for 15 seconds then perform 10 more reps

    High Cable Curl - Perform 2 sets of 10 reps; the 1st and 2nd set you alternate arms. On the 3rd set - go to failure, drop weight 20-30% and immediately continue until failure. Then do the same with your other arm. The non working arm should be touching your head to keep tension.

arrow Triceps

    Decline DB Press - Extend arms straight above. Keep weight separated so each arm works independently. Lower one arm stopping just short of touching you - your non-working arm is extended to keep tension. Alternate arms - 4 sets of 10 reps

    Dips - using bench or dip unit - 1 set 12 reps; 1 set 10 reps; 3 set pause and power - do 10 reps - pause for 15 seconds go to failure

    Skull Crushers - Sit on a flat bench holding an EZ-Curl bar with an overhand grip. Lie back so that the top of your head is even with the end of the bench. At the same time, extend your arms over your head so that the bar is directly over your eyes - 4 sets of 10 reps

    Triceps Kickback - Perform 3 sets of 10 each arm; 1 set pulling cable directly behind you and parallel to the floor; 2nd set - bring cable out to an angle (away from you body); 3 set same as 1st; 4th set same as 2nd

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Dennis Fanucchi.

arrow Forearms

    Seated Palms Up - rest wrist on knee bring bar to tips of your fingers and curl wrist and squeeze - 2 sets of 10 reps

    Standing Behind The Back - bar behind you and curl up as seated bar - 2 sets of 10 reps

    Standing Reverse Curl - bring bar up to chest - 2 sets of 10 reps

    Seated Palms Down - palms facing down - with wrist on knees bring wrist up and squeeze forearms - 2 sets of 10 reps

arrow Chest

    Smith Machine Bench Press - 8 reps - 5 sets = completed set. Raise the bar with your right and lower with your left. Alternate arms - raise with left down with right. Do this for 5 sets. Take a 3-minute rest period and do the same starting with the left arm

    Smith Machine Incline Bench Press - same number of sets - reps as above

    Incline DB Fly - sets 1 and 3 - back of bench is placed high at a very slight angle. This directly hits the upper chest. The second set place back of bench at 60-degree angle - 3 sets of 12 reps

    Decline Dumbbell Flyes/Dumbbell Flyes - perform 10 DB Flys and go right into DB Press - 3 sets of 10 reps

arrow Traps

    Cable Shrugs - lay on cable row bench - use small straight bar - put feet on pads - shrug the cable for a count of two then slowly go back to starting position 1 set of 12; 1 set of 10; 1 set of 8 reps - drop weight 20-30% and go to failure

    Smith Machine Shrug - 3 sets of 10

    Dumbbell Shrug - Grab DB with one arm - shrug DB up toward the ceiling then raise shoulder and squeeze your shoulder into the traps - Perform 3 sets of 10 reps on each arm

arrow Calves

arrow Back

    Pullup - put bar about 4 feet off the ground - hang from bar with feet extended and butt just above floor. Proceed to pull yourself up where your chin clears the bar. Hold for a count of one and lower body down slowly to full stretch - repeat. 3 sets of 10 reps

    Chin-up - hold bar at close grip - stand far enough away from unit where your arms are fully extended. Bring bar to and touch forehead. Make sure elbows are up and above your shoulders. Hold for a count of two - slowly go back to starting position. 3 sets of 10 reps

    Lying T-Bar Row - Lay face down on bench place two 45-pound plates under the front part of the bench to elevate. Have the bench pad at a 30-degree angle. This makes a direct hit on your middle back. Grab a barbell and place on floor. Lift the barbell upward until your elbows are at shoulder height. Hold for a count of two and slowly go back to the start position - perform 3 sets of 12 reps

    Hyperextension - Use a weight plate to add pressure to the lower back - perform 4 sets of 10 reps

arrow Shoulders

    Machine Shoulder Press - Sit at Smith Machine palms facing you. Press up and go down just below your chin. Perform 2 sets of 10 - then 1 set to failure; drop weight 20-30% and continue until failure

    Smith Machine Behind Head - Sit at Smith Machine with a normal grip shoulder width. Proceed to press the bar up (behind your head) and bring down to the middle part of the back of your neck. Perform 2 sets of 10 - then 1 set to failure; drop weight 20-30% and continue until failure

    Cable Crossover - High Cable - Grip the cable handle at the opposite side of the apparatus. Keep you arms locked with a slight bend at the elbows; uncross your arms until they are parallel to your body. Flex hard and return to cross-over position. Perform 3 sets of 12 - 15 reps.

    Lateral Raise - Place your non-working hand on a stationary unit for support. Place DB in working hand. Lean body at an angle so your working shoulder will be pointing at the floor. Raise DB above your shoulder; come down slowly. Perform 4 sets of 10 reps on each arm

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Dennis Fanucchi.

arrow Lats

    Dumbbell Row - Place knee on bench with back flat. Grasp a DB - Raise DB until the elbow of your working arm is at your body level (parallel) to the floor. Your head should be facing opposite to your working arm. That locks your body. Slowly lower DB and at the bottom turn the DB toward your body. Do the same for the other arm. Perform 2 sets of 10 reps. The final set is to failure. Then drop weight 20-30% and proceed with the same arm again to failure. Do the same with the opposite arm

    Bent Over Barbell Row - Arms shoulder width - Palms facing down. Raise bar to Chest/Ab area. Hold for a count of two. Return to starting position slowly. Perform 2 sets of 10 - then a Pause - Power set of 8 reps - rest for 15 seconds and do 8 more reps.

    Reverse Bent Over Barbell Row - Same exercise as above but your palms are facing up

arrow Quads

    Front Squats - You can use Smith Machine of free bar cage. Hands crossed on shoulders - place arms under bar. Lower body until quads are parallel to floor. Perform 4 sets of 12

    Leg Extensions - Perform first and third sets with one leg and second and fourth sets with both legs. Contract when leg(s) are at the top position for a count of two. 12 reps per set

    Single Leg Squat - Place working leg on platform with foot pointed outward. Have free leg dangling. Lower leg slowly til quad is level to floor. Perform 3 sets of 12 reps on each leg

    Leg Press - First and third sets have feet pointed outward. Second and fourth set feet are straight. Perform 4 sets of 15 reps

arrow Hamstrings

    Lying Leg Curls - Remember- your hams are the biceps of your legs. At the contraction point you must squeeze the upper leg as hard as you can. Perform 4 sets of 12 reps

    Stiff-Legged Dumbbell Deadlift - Same as bar deadlift but with the DB you have to concentrate on lowering each DB at the same speed. Hold at the bottom for a count of two. Slowly raise DB concentrating on raising with you Ham Muscles.

arrow Abdominals

    Swiss Ball Crunches - Full Crunches with and without weight plate. On crunches I raise my body up with my abs and not my back or shoulders. You really have to make the connection of "Mind to Muscle" to accomplish this. When you get to full contraction - squeeze you abs, blow out; then go back to a 90-degree angle and stop-contract and blow out. This makes for another movement - then go to starting position.

    Partial Crunches - perform the same as above but just go up 1/2 way - contract - blowout. Go back to a 45-degree angle - hold - contract and blow-out. Go back to starting position

Suggestions For Others

Nutrition is 80% of creating the body you are working to achieve. You can workout hard and long but if your body is not fueled you will see little if any results.

Also to avoid your body hitting the dreadful "plateau phase," you should plan your workouts prior to getting to the gym. I see so many gym-mates walk in and do the same exercise just about every time. Your muscles have memory and by changing your workouts you shock the muscles.

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Dennis Fanucchi.

Analyze the muscle group you are doing and do exercises that targets that muscle - i.e. shoulders - front delt, middle delt, rear delt and laterals. I use the "Mind to Muscle Theory" and when you make that connection you will get the most out of each rep. Your form is more important than heavy weight.

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