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Name: Giacomo (Jack / Lean and Green) Marchese
Age: 28
Height: 6’ 0"
Weight: 185-205  lbs. off season, 165 lbs. competition
Birthplace: Brooklyn, N.Y
Current Residence: Portland, OR
Sports: Bodybuilding, Snowboarding, Racquetball, Handball,   Cycling,Running, Tennis, to name a few

Why did you become vegan?
In September 2002 I entered a bodybuilding competition.  I learned much about eating whole unprocessed foods to diet down and get adequate nutritional intake on a calorically restricted diet.  I would juice tons of kale every single day and it felt great.  After picking up several books and searching for more info from my local organic food market,  it all started to make sense.  From “Healing Whole Foods’ to Mike Mahler’s promotion of pea protein as a viable source of protein supplementation; I made the switch. 

It was only until after I became a part of the vegan community did I learn of the cruelty to animals and wastefulness of our earth’s resources that came with factory farming and all things alike.  I now embrace a cruelty free vegan lifestyle with compassion and kindness to animals.  It is a journey and I am loving every second of it. 

When and why did you become interested in fitness?
Truth be told?  I wanted to look good to gain self esteem so that people would stop picking on me, I could play sports well and that girls would like me.  A gym opened up in my high school.  It was small but had all the bare essentials.  It helped immensely that my music teacher was a champion bodybuilder.  He pushed me all the time in band to come train with him. Come to think of it, he gave me the confidence to get my butt into there and get started.  Showed me the ropes, put me in touch with fellow classmates who were already lifting.  Thanks Mr. Lipowski; you played a major role in my life. 

Afterwards, I was hooked and trained pretty seriously in college  Our whole tennis team was jacked including the #1 singles player who was the biggest of all; so we all kept each other motivated.  After college I got into personal training which paved the way to placing first in an INBF bodybuilding competition as well as a spurt of powerlifting several years later. 

Training is one of those things that once you get it, no matter how many times you stray from it; chances are you’ll come back for more.  I have stopped resistance training several times in my past including just recently between 2006 – 2008..  I was completely out of shape and looked like I hadn’t lifted a weight in my life in Jan 08’.  7 months later, I had my body back and a year later, I’m 15 weeks out from doing my second competition.  I am going to stick with it for the long term this time and pursue the stage for years to come. 

How would you describe your nutrition program?
Well; it has been trial and error with adjustments all over but always based on primarily vegetables being the optimal # 1 food group for me.  On the dieting down side, I have experienced success with juice feasting, very high protein/calorie restricted diets and fasting.  In bulking, I enjoy sprouted buckwheat  and beans immensely although the beans can be hard on my digestion, even when sprouted.  Nuts and seeds at times and the finer gourmet raw foods that I enjoy prepping.  Being a raw foodist; I consume nothing that is cooked, heated or processed.  I do however feel certain supplementary products that are vegan but not raw, benefit my training and I use them intermittently throughout the year.  For me it’s creatine monohydrate and aakg (a synthetic form of l-arginine blended with salt). 

Ratios and such?  I shoot for 1.5 – 2.0 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight every day.  moderate to low fat and an adequate amount of carbohydrates.  Vegetable blends, Salads, Spirulina blends are in the diet pretty much year found.  I love things like Lara Bars, Vega Bars, Sunwarrior sprouted brown rice protein, Hemp Protein power.  My favorite foods are Granny Smith apples, bananas, dates and coconuts.

How would you describe your training program?
Consistent and intense with a purpose behind it at all times.  Optimally, as a traditional bodybuilder; I train to increase muscle belly size as much as possible in a symmetrical fashion.  So that means two thing:  1) My desired rep range is between 8-10 reps and 2) there will be times where I am training certain body parts much harder and more frequent  than others to play catch up with genetically dominant muscles.  I often train for certain periods of time in all different rep ranges from negatives to 3-6 reps per set for straight up power all the way to 12-15+ with drop and super sets with little to no rest (like a circuit) for endurance.  This way, when I bring it all back to my desired rep range (8-10) for maximum growth; it will come together in the best way possible.  I’ll have more endurance and power to lift for as hard and long as possible while training to GROW.  =)    This may change one day for unspecified periods of time as I have interest in heavy lifts and athletic endeavors like cycling and running but I feel like for now, I am going to stick to the bodybuilder’s mentality as best as possible.  I will run a marathon one day; cycle long distance again and put oodles of miles in on a weekly basis, compete ion racquetball tourneys and whatever else life’s interests may bring me.   Not for a couple of years though at the least as I am dedicated to the here and now and competing in my prime.