Interview with Oreste Petrillo – Old School Training

I met Oreste online and was able to get a sneak peek at his new book, “The Black Book Of Old School Training”. It is filled with routines from old bodybuilding legends. I was able to do a quick interview with him, and he is the first trainer that I have interviewed from Italy! This interview is short and the advice is simple – but its important to read because sometimes we forget that ‘simple’ works. Period.

Oreste Petrillo, Author & Personal Trainer – Italy

Hello, Oreste! I understand your working on a new project right now?

Hi and thanks for interviewing me! At the moment I’m translating my book “The Black Book Of Old School Training” (Italian Amazon bestseller) in English and other languages. It is very exciting!

Can you tell us a little about what someone will get out of your book?

With my book, you’ll discover how to reach your genetical potential with the same techniques of Old School Trainers and how to quickly improve your muscle mass and strength with little or no plateauing.

How did you get started in “old school training?”

It started when I was a newbie of bodybuilding. At that time I was very confused about the exact workout and training method to obtain muscle mass and herculean strength.

I changed my programs every two to three weeks and had almost zero results. After years, I started to study everything about this world and I studied the life of the greatest strongmen and bodybuilders of the old school training days and I understood my mistakes.

What’s one huge thing you learned from old school bodybuilders and strongman that you still apply to your training/methodology today?

Training frequently without working out to failure; absolutely the best for drug-free lifters!

Today we are befuddlement because we think that the fake, the pro bodybuilders, the photoshopped model on TV, and online are natural and their workout is the best for common people.

Nothing could be more wrong!

If you are a drug-free lifter and you want to obtain great muscle mass you should have a workout every 2-3 days for each group muscles! Why? Because protein synthesis lowers after 48 hours! It’s a fact!

What is something in the fitness industry that you wish you knew when you were starting out?

Dedicating 80% of my energy, time, and force to train with multi-joint exercises. Only after have obtained more strength and more power to them, you can think to specialize neglected muscles. Nowadays people specialize after the first three years of their workouts! It’s an absurdity!

What’s one book that changed your practice/mindset, etc… and why? What’s the one thing you took away from it?

In the fitness sector, I changed my mindset with the Brooks Kubik’s books. I’ve in contact with him (here his interview, both in English and Italian:

What’s one thing you took away from Brook Kubik’s book, Dinosaur Training?

Absolutely training with heavy weights with multi-joints exercises! I love them!

What are you reading right now?

The Adonis Complex by Doctor Harrison G. Pope, a book about the myth of natural bodybuilding.

Can you talk about a breakthrough with a client, and what led up to it?

I have had a client that could not increase his muscle mass because he was afraid of getting fat and he ate with a very low carb diet. I helped to change his mindset and his diet. Now, he eats a lot of healthy carbohydrates and his muscle mass and his weight began to increase.

How did you change your client’s mindset to include more carbs? A lot of people could have negative views of carbs.

Because when you notice that every effort in the gym is frustrated by bad alimentation, the first thing is to try something of different.

When you want became more shredded you lower the carbs, so why don’t eat more carb if do you want became bigger?

Observe it yourself!

Can you tell me about your proudest moment?

When my book became a best-seller in the Amazon “bodybuilding” store! Also, it is 3rd place overall.

How has your programming changed since last year?

The birth of my first son has changed everything. Now he is the center of the universe, but I am still focused on training and working to improve my body, my life, and my business!

How did you adjust your training after the birth of your son?

Oh, it’s a continuous discover! Really! At the moment I use only multi-joint exercises with a set of 5 reps and no more than 2-3 exercises for the workout so I can end my workout before next diaper change!

Here’s an example:

Workout A: Military press – Chin up – Squat

Workout B: Incline Bench Press – Dumbell rowing – Deadlift.

Workout C: Parallel bar dip – Pull up – Pin pull,

All in 5×5 set and reps.

What’s one thing that you think is really easy, but works well with many of your clients?

To become stronger in multi-joint exercises and to eat more carbs. When combined togeather they have brought tons of muscle mass around the world. There’s a reason that Steve Reeves had a classic and worshiped physique and the ancient lifters have thrived without the last study on PubMed.

Thanks, Oreste! I look forward to reading your old school training book. Any parting advice?

Enjoy with your body and workout. Without love, your career will end in 2-3 years. With love and passion, You’ll have a workout for life!

With love and passion, You’ll have a workout for life!

How do we get in contact with you?

If you want to know as an adult how to obtain strength and muscle mass, please visit my blog: (many interviews are both in Italian and in English)  or write me an email at

Thanks for this interview, and have a good workout!


Books to Read:

“The Black Book Of Old School Training” – Oreste Petrillo

Adonis Complex by Doctor Harrison G. Pope

Dinosaur Training by Brooks Kubik