From Size 14 To Size 6 My First Figure Competition

I don’t know about you, but I’m a dreamer. Starting as a little girl, I’ve sat around daydreaming about all the things I wanted to do. The problem is, I’m a dreamer, but not a dream chaser. Some say that keeps me grounded, but I say it’s lead me to be comfortably complacent in life.
I know that God wants us to be our best in every facet of life, love, friendships, work and health. We’ve all been given an incredible capacity to achieve continually, better ourselves and learn daily. Although this is what I knew in my heart, it wasn’t the way I was living.

I was taking the easy road when it came to my body. I’d look in the mirror and critique every inch of my body wishing it looked different… knowing that it took more than wishing. It took discipline and focus; two things I had deep down, but always let self doubt defeat.

I’ve been through all the ups and downs of dieting – losing it, then gaining it back. Even though I was a tennis player in both high school and college, I’ve always been a size 10–12 and at times a 14.

My senior year of college, 1999, I trained for and ran the Walt Disney Marathon with my mother for the Leukemia Society. I completed the race and was very proud of my accomplishment. Yet, in terms of body size and composition I didn’t lose a pound during my training. I was still 170+ pounds and probably 28% body fat.

I’ve been through all the ups and downs of dieting – losing it, then gaining it back.

That same year I met Todd and after a whirlwind romance we were married. I had worked hard on my lifting and diet and had gotten in what for me was pretty good shape. A year later, Todd and I opened Bluegrass Fitness Center, in Harrodsburg Kentucky. Now as hard as it may be for you to understand, just because you own a fitness center doesn’t mean it’s easy to get fit. In fact, Todd and I found it very difficult to get back to training consistently after opening the gym. “Working out where you work” wasn’t working out for me!

We opened a second fitness center in Elizabethtown, KY and did start training, but our diet program was unconscious eating and weekend gorging. We’d usually do OK during the week, but would eat pizza, wings and more every weekend. Even though I was training fairly consistently, my body started creeping up in size. Last year, I had to break out my "BIG" jeans and that was not something I was too happy about.

My sister, Shelley had made some great strides working with Beverly for her figure contests and I thought maybe it was something I’d be interested in doing as well. My problem was I really didn’t believe I could do it. It was hard enough to lose 2 pounds, much less the 25 or 30 I needed to lose to compete. I thought about calling them for help, but honestly I was scared. I’d known a lot of ‘fit’ people who used Beverly, including my sister, Shelley, and I was afraid that I couldn’t measure up.


Tara NPC Northern Figure contest warming up before going on stage

After my visit to Beverly International, I was pumped up and ready to go.

I said to myself, "They won’t want to see me, I’m too fat. I can’t do it." Then I’d become disgusted with myself and decide to call. Finally, after a lot of back and forth I made an appointment. Todd and I made our way to BI for our first appointments. I remember that day very clearly; I was so nervous!! Todd and I were greeted like we were old friends. I weighed in that first day at 173, I had a lot of fat to lose and now I had a plan that would work, if I followed it.

I left pumped up and ready to go. I had a goal to do a show in six months. The first few weeks were great. Then I started to slack. The weekends would come and I’d gain back a pound of what I’d lost the week before. I knew in my heart I wasn’t following the plan like I needed to.

Six months passed and I was still a good 10 pounds from where I needed to be. I’d started at 173 pounds and 22 percent body-fat, now I was 164 pounds and 18 percent; progress, but I knew it wasn’t enough. And I had only myself to blame. The realization that I could run a marathon but not stick to my diet for more than a few weeks at a time brought tears of frustration… and a new resolve.

I made the decision to really change, to quit playing around with my diet and this time stick to it, perfectly. And I did for the next 15 weeks! I never felt better in my life. I got my weight down to 145 pounds and my body-fat to 13 percent body-fat.

I also finally attained my goal of competing in a figure competition and looking like I belonged there at the 2005 KY Muscle Open Figure Championships where I placed fourth out of 19 in my class. I WAS THRILLED!

For now I plan on one more competition, the Northern KY this spring, then Todd and I would like to start a family.

I’ve learned so much throughout this experience; not only about dieting and working out, but about myself. I’m now stronger physically, mentally and spiritually than before.

I want all of you who have dreams of competing or even of just looking your best to know you’re not alone. I know how difficult it can be, especially when it seems so easy for others. Believe me, it wasn’t easy for me; but whenever I felt weak I would pray and ask God to give me the strength I needed to complete the immediate task at hand. I believe God wants us to continually challenge ourselves not only spiritually, but also mentally and physically to be our best. As it says in 1 Corinthians 9:24, "run in such a way as to get the prize."

I could never have achieved my goals without Rachel Wade. Rachel was there for me through all my ups and downs. I have to admit I broke down on her and Angie, my trainer, a couple times during the course of my contest prep. Todd was great and very supportive. He kept saying, "It’s not the end results that matters, honey, but the journey to get there." What a philosopher. Thanks baby!

Todd, my husband, was great! He kept reminding me, "It’s not end result that matters, but the journey to get there".

Tara’s Diet 16 Weeks Out
Supplements: Ms Power Pak, 3 Ultra 40 and 3 Mass Amino Acids with each meal, 2 Lean Out per meal, and 3 EFA Gold with meals 1 and 5.
Meal #1: 1 whole egg and 5 egg whites; 3 ounces 93 percent lean beef, chicken or turkey; ½ cup oatmeal
Meal #2: Protein Shake: 2 Scoops Ultra Size or Ultimate Muscle Protein mixed with water to desired consistency
Meal #3: 6-ounce lean protein source; 4-ounce sweet potato or ½ cup cooked brown rice; 1 cup vegetables or salad
Meal #4: (same as meal #2)
Meal #5: 6-ounce lean protein; 2 cups vegetables
Meal #6 (Occasionally): 1 scoop Ultimate Muscle Protein, enough water to make it pudding consistency and topped with 4 tablespoons Cool Whip (yum!)
Tara’s Diet 6 Weeks Out
Supplements: Super Pak; 4 Ultra 40 and 4 Muscularity BCAAs with each meal; 3 EFA Gold with meals 1 and 5.
Special Fat Loss Supplements:
Lean Out – 2 caps with each meal 7–Keto MuscLean – 3 caps in am & 3 in p.m. GH Factor – 4 caps in a.m., 4 before training or an afternoon meal, & 4 before bed (all on empty stomach – taken final 5 weeks) Energy Reserve – 2 tablets before training and before each meal.
Training & Recovery Supplements: Glutamine Select – 1 scoop before and after training
Muscle Mass – 5 tablets before training, and 5 every 8 minutes during training until I reached a total of 25
Joint Care – 3 caps with meal #1
Digestive Support: Multiple Enzyme Complex – 1–2 tablets with each meal
Meal #1: 3 egg whites, 1 scoop UMP or MP, ½ grapefruit
Meal #2: 2 scoops protein brownie mixture: 1 scoop Ultimate Muscle Protein Vanilla + 1 scoop Muscle Provider Chocolate
Meal #3: 5-ounce very lean meat, 2 cups veggies topped with red wine vinegar
Meal #4: Same as meal #2
Meal #5: 5-ounce very lean meat or 10 egg whites, or 6-ounce whitefish or 3 egg whites and one scoop UMP or MP, 2 cups veggies (ate lots of spinach). I love egg white and spinach omelets!
Mondays and Thursdays: In place of my 5th meal, I had this version of the Beverly carb
Meal: ¼ cup oats, ½ cup brown rice, 1 cup veggies, 4-ounce sweet potato, and 1 tablespoon butter.

My 1985 Bodybuilding Training Routine

It was the spring of 1985. I was 37 years old and pretty much thought I’d met my potential in bodybuilding. I’d been working out pretty regularly since I was 14 and in that time I’d read everything there was to read about weight training and bodybuilding.

And I tried about every conceivable program

Here’s a list of some of them:

  1. 120-rep squat workout.
  2.  Five sets of five reps.
  3. Ten sets of ten reps on Bench Press, Squat, Bentover Row and Deadlift.
  4. John MacCallum’s Keys to Progress series (which was a synthesis of the 20-rep squat workout with the five sets of five program).
  5. Arthur Jones’ full body — one set to failure for each bodypart.
  6. Weider’s saturation Bomb and Blitz 70’s training (like Arnold and Zane trained).
  7. Mentzer’s Heavy Duty with rest pause and negatives (an off-shoot of Arthur Jones).
  8. Periodized powerlifting programs based on percentage increases each week.
  9. Workouts from Muscle Builder and Mr. America using all the Weider principles.
  10. All the workouts that had been published in the old Iron Man magazines to date. And even the Bulgarian 2-3 times-a-day training.
I thought I’d tried everything. It was always hard for me to put on muscle. So, most of my off-season training programs were built around the conventional wisdom.

Heavy weights, low to moderate reps, three to five sets. Now thats not to say its the only way I trained. Its just what I found had given me the best results. But now the results were diminishing. I thought it was just my age. But then, I hit upon something I hadnt tried. What if instead of working up in weight, Id use a decent weight and see if I could work up into some rep ranges that I had not even considered in the past?

Heres how I did it

I took a weight that I could get for about 20 reps (for example 205 lbs in the bench press). But then, I’d work up to 25-30 reps with that weight, then once I reached the upper range Id add about 10% and try to work up to 25-30 reps again. Same for the squat. Instead of ten reps with 315, Id try for 30 reps with 225 and follow that with set of 20-25 with 255. (See workout sidebar for more details).

The training strategy is based around a 3 on / 1 off system. The first three days are heavy days (but still keep the reps very high on some exercises), and the next three are lighter workouts with less rest between sets. Some of the rep ranges may look like typographical errors, but they are not. You can start at the lower end of the recommended rep ranges but work up to the upper end before you increase the poundage. Use a weight that is challenging for 10-15 reps and then just keep adding a rep or two per workout.

When I started this workout I thought that 255 for max reps on the squat was going to be ridiculously light, however, following my first set of 225 for 23 reps, I got 255 for 16 and built it from there workout by workout. When I reached 30 reps with 225 and then followed it with 25 reps at 255 I raised the work sets to 250 and 275, and so on.

This workout combined high volume (higher than I was used to) with decent poundages. You are going to need to rest about five minutes after each work set of squats and benches so this workout is not one you can do in 45 minutes. And, by the end of the workout youll have to go pretty light to finish all your prescribed sets. Whenever you can reach the high rep number in the range add about 10% more weight for that set the next time you do that particular workout.

There are a couple of other tricks throughout the workout that really made it effective. In addition to the high rep bench sets, I remember the initial 20-rep sets on presses, laterals, lat pulldowns, and curls provided a terrific stimulus. In the past if I did a 20/16/12/8 rep scheme the first set was pretty light. But now, I treated the 20-rep set like a heavy work set and used as much weight as I could to get 17-20 reps (and if I got 20, I added weight the following workout). But, man, did it take a lot out of me for the remaining sets. Often I couldnt add weight on the following sets even though the reps went down.

Another cool twist was day seven, when I did biceps before lats. I’d always believed in working the larger muscle group first, and that doing biceps first would cause my lats to suffer. What a surprise when the very next day my lats were sorer than they had been in years! Those straight arm pullovers on day seven (lying length-wise on, not across, the bench) were something I hadnt done in twenty years. I always thought they were a rib cage expansion exercise, but found they were an excellent lat developer — even when I used just a 5′25-pound bar for resistance.

I used this workout for the next 12 weeks and grew bigger and more muscular than I had ever been. That summer I won the Neptune Classic in Virginia Beach and followed with my biggest title, the 1985 overall AAU Masters USA (it was 35 and over back then).

I think this workout will work best for you if you’ve hit a sticking point in your training, you’re highly motivated, and you have some extra time to devote to your workouts. I’d really recommend that you use Creatine Select and Glutamine Select to get the greatest possible benefit from this workout. If you’ve used creatine and think that it doesn’t work for you, I beg you to try Beverly’s Creatine Select plus Phosphates. Do a little experiment. Try one cycle of the workout below without it and track your lifts. Then try another cycle of workouts using Creatine Select. I bet you’ll be shocked at your progress.

5 days to get your 3 workouts

1985 Training Essential Points

  • 3 on / 1 off — but if it takes five days to get your three workouts in, that’s fine. Just follow the sequence of workouts and don’t worry too much about the days.
  • Focus on progression from one workout to the next. Keep a training journal. If you get 205 for 17 reps on the bench press your first time through, try to get 18 or more the next time.
  • Remember, that high reps with fairly heavy weights are going to make your next set much tougher, so rest as needed between sets.
  • Recovery is going to be essential so get plenty of good nutrition and supplement with Creatine Select plus Phosphates, Glutamine Select plus BCAAs, and Mass Maker.
  • Complete all sets listed for each day’s workout, even if you have to use ridiculously light weights to complete the sets. I remember using 40 pounds resistance on our Polaris Leg Extension at the end of day one to get 3 x 15 after all of those squats and hacks.

Read the directions for the workout once again to make sure you are clear as to how to perform each set. Then go for it. Follow this program for the next 8 weeks and I guarantee you will be a better bodybuilder than when you started it.

It took me to a whole different level at age 37, think what it can do for you.


Bench Press:

  1. 135 x 15
  2. 155 x 10
  3. 205 x max reps (18 — 30 reps)
  4. 275 x max reps (10 — 15 reps)
  5. 295 x max reps (3 — 5 reps)
  6. 225 x max reps (15 — 25 reps)
  7. 185 x max reps (whatever you have left)

*Try to increase by a rep or two each time you go through the cycle. When you reach the top rep number increase by 10% the next time through. Adjust your starting weights so your reps fall in the above ranges. My bench max was about 365 at the time I started this program.

Incline Barbell Press:

  1. 135 x 10
  2. 185 x 6
  3. 205 x 3 sets x max reps
  4. 205 x 3 sets x max reps
  5. 205 x 3 sets x max reps

Incline Flyes: 3 sets x 15 — 18 reps

Seated Front Press: 4 sets x 8 — 12 reps
Behind Neck Press: 4 x 20 / 16 / 12 / 8 all as heavy as you can go
Standing Laterals: 4 x 20 / 15 / 12 / 12<

ABS: 200 reps total



  1. 135 x 20
  2. 185 x 15
  3. 225 x max reps (15 — 30)
  4. 255 x max reps (10 — 25)
  5. 225 x max reps (15 — 25)

Hack Squat: 3 x 12

Leg Curl: 5 x 12 — 15

Leg Extension: 3 x 15

Hyperextension: 3 x 20 Bodyweight only

Calves: Donkeys Supersetted with Standing Raises: 5 x 20 each



Heavy Row: Warm-Up, then 5 x 6Front Pulldown: 5 x 25 / 20 / 15 / 10 / 10 (all heavy as you can)Cable Row: 3 x 12


Dips: 4 x max reps — no weightTriceps Pushdowns: 4 x 12 — 15Curls: 6 x 20 / 16 / 12 / 8 / 8 / 15 max weightsAlternate DB Curl: 4 x 12 — 15

ABS: 200 reps totalDAY 4: OFF*The next three workouts should be performed at a quicker pace than the first three.



Incline DB Press: 4 x 12 — 15 (same weight each set, 90 seconds rest between sets)

Bench Press: 4 x 20 / 16 / 12 / 8

Flat Flyes: 4 x 8


Laterals 6 x 12 Superset with Bent Laterals 6 x 12 (60 seconds rest between supersets)

Upright Row: 3 x 20 / 15 / 10

ABS: 200 reps total


Squats — Raise Heels — Bar High Up or Front Squats: 5 x 12 (same weight each set, 90 seconds rest between sets — I used 185 lbs for my first workout)

Leg Extensions — Slow Strict: 4 x 15

Leg Curls: 4 x 15Medium Weight Deadlifts — Semi Straight Legs: 3 x 20 / 15 / 10

Standing Calf Raise: 4 x 12 Superset with Seated Calf: 4 x 12


ARMS (first)

EZ Bar Curls: 5 x 12 — 15

1985 Mr. USA – AAU, Overall Winner

Competed in my first figure competition – Loving it learning more age 45

At a Glance: Rachel Payne

Age: 46

Occupation: Lawyer

Family: Ava 15 and Edwin 12

Current Residence: Ft Thomas, Kentucky

Years Training: 4 years

Height: 5’ 1″

Weight: Off season 115, Contest 109

Favorite fitness meal: Breakfast! Cream of wheat and a burger made with ground sirloin (no bun). Second favorite: orange roughy and asparagus.

In my iPod: Pittbull, AC/DC, Aretha Franklin, Daddy Yankee, with a lot of Salsa and Reggaeton

Favorite Book: Charms for the Easy Life, by Kaye Gibbon

Hobby or interests: My children

Words to live by: "That’s how we do it."

Shortly after I turned 45, I gave myself a hard look in the mirror and was very discouraged with what I saw. The size was ok and my weight was not a problem, but everything was soft and, very frighteningly, I could see the beginnings of "the mom butt." The tush had most definitely begun to droop. It was a sad day.

I said to myself, "Is this it? Is it just time to give up and let nature do its damage?" Turns out, it was not time to give up. Six months later I competed in my first figure competition, and came home with some hardware. That was a great day, and things kept getting better. Clearly, my fun as a figure competitor had just begun.

At the time of the sad day, I had recently been released to resume physical activity following 5 months of recovery from surgery. Prior to that time, as an adult, I had been very active with running, teaching group fitness and dancing. I did work out with weights as part of an overall fitness routine, but I was just guessing at what was right. I wanted to recover properly and see what I could do before I just totally gave in and invested in mom jeans So, for the first time ever, I contacted a personal trainer.

Goal lift the booty

My goal was very specific, lift the booty. From the first training session, I was loving it and learning more and more. Very simple instructions at first: eat more, lift heavier. It was not long before I was seeing changes that propelled me on. Since high school, when I would go in and out of working out, I had always admired the women bodybuilding pioneers such as Rachael McLish and Lisa Lyon. (Yes, this would have been in the 80’s). Their bodies were beautiful and muscular and symmetrical. Reaching that level was always a far, far away impossible dream, one that I certainly did not think was attainable at 45.

Then, three to four months into the training, sometime in August of 2011, my fabulous trainer turned fabulous friend, Brenda Gabbard, commented that we should work to get me on stage. I gasped and tears welled up in my eyes. It was one of the nicest things I had ever heard and I jumped on it! "Really? Me? You think I can do that?" Yes, said she. We teamed up with another fabulous trainer and fabulous friend, Marie Gibbon, to train for the competitions and for me to learn to pose. We were off with a diet and workout plan to get ready for the NPC Monster Mash at the end of October 2011.

My First Contest

Following a trail of chicken, tuna, sweet potatoes, broccoli, asparagus, four thousand gallons of water, Beverly UMP, Lean Out and 7 Keto, my trainer and I made our way to Harrison, Ohio, for the Monster Mash. So many amazing bodies, beautiful suits, fancy shoes, and the earrings! My purpose there was to learn and to observe and to enjoy the process. Surviving the challenge of the pre-competition diet and all the other contest prep was satisfying in and of itself. It was a personal challenge simply to do the competition.

I was not nervous, or so I thought, partly because my expectations were not high and partly because walking across a stage was not a new thing for me. Having been a Theater major and dancer in college and a lawyer for a profession, I have performed a lot and have been in the hot seat many times. So, walking across stage and doing a few key poses, with no lines to speak, no songs to sing, no choreography to remember, and no client to represent, I thought the stage presentation was the easy part. However, when I got to the middle of the stage, I forgot which way to turn and which hip to hike up! I was a bit befuddled, but I made it through and just laughed at myself for my boo boos.

I did not expect to place and certainly not to win. Did not even know what "first call out" meant until I was backstage and someone told me I was in the first call out. I had thought they were being nice to let me try again because I was so clumsy the first time. To make a long story longer, yes, I was in the first call out for all three categories in that competition. I placed second in Masters 40+, second in Pure Novice and fourth in Figure Open Class A. I smiled from ear to ear for days following that competition, and I was ready for more.

Nutrition and Supplements

My nutrition and supplement program evolves depending upon where I am with training and how my body is responding.
This is the basic pre-competition diet I have followed previously at about 4 weeks out.
4 weeks out:
1 serving cream of rice or cream of wheat, 3 oz. chicken and 3 oz. lean red meat
3 oz. tuna, 1 tbsp peanut butter, 1 cup veggies
UMP protein shake, ½ apple
5 oz. chicken, 4 oz. sweet potato
4 oz. white fish, asparagus spears
UMP or Muscle Provider protein shake, 1 cup berries, 3 oz. sweet potato
5 oz. chicken or turkey, 1 bell pepper, 1 grapefruit 2 gallons of water
At about 2 weeks out, the diet altered to the following:
MEAL 1: 5 egg whites, 1 cup green beans, 1 serving cream of rice
MEAL 2: 5 oz. white fish, 1 bell pepper
MEAL 3: UMP or Muscle Provider protein shake
MEAL 4: 3 oz. tuna, asparagus, 1 cup green beans
MEAL 5: 3 oz. tuna, asparagus, ½ grapefruit
MEAL 6: 3 oz. lean red meat, ½ grapefruit, asparagus 2 gallons of water at first, then dry out as directed afew days before competition

Supplements stayed the same through the competition prep until the last week or two prior. The staples of my supplements are always Beverly International products including 7 Keto MuscLEAN, Lean Out, Glutamine Select, GH Factor, Quadracarn, Energy Reserve, UMP and Muscle Provider. My favorite is vanilla UMP. That stuff is wonderful any time of day or night. I also include vitamin C, B-12, B-6, and a multivitamin.

The Future

I am looking forward to competing again in the fall in a few yet to be determined competitions. I don’t know what to do with myself if there is no diet plan on the front of my refrigerator. Even more so, I find that the discipline for competing carries over into the discipline to do my best with family and work. Once you become accustomed to that level of focus, it becomes a part of your life. I am 46 and with triceps as hard as a brick, I’m not going back.

Each competition was different and fabulous. By the time I would actually get to the competition, my objective was to enjoy the process, enjoy the people, and do the best I could. It is impossible to predict who is going to show up right next to you, so I saw no reason but to simply give all you’ve got and make it fun. I’m often the wacky one backstage, getting psyched and trying to make others smile with crazy dancing (as much as I can without disengaging the bikini bite!) and cracking jokes. Next time, join me, it’s good to smile and laugh before taking the stage.

40+ Men Use This Stack to get Your Physique Back!

Where did your physique go? If you’re 40 years of age or older, you probably feel as if your body doesn’t look or perform the way it used to. There’s a good chance this has something to do with The Big Three age-related conditions.

These are:

  1. Sarcopenia,
  2. Andropause, and
  3. Age-associated fat gain.

Learn about a stack that 40+ men are using to conquer The Big Three and get their physique back!

Facts about Sarcopenia

  • Sarcopenia is also known as age-associated muscle loss.
  • Observational studies reveal that a man’s muscle mass and strength peak between his teens and 30’s. Following this, both undergo a steady decline.
  • The average man can lose up to 8% of his muscle mass per decade after age 40. Strength may drop even faster.
  • By 2015, it has been estimated that over 100 million men will suffer from sarcopenia.
  • Contributing factors: Anabolic resistance, low testosterone (andropause).

Facts about Andropause

  • The chief androgen in men is testosterone
  • Andropause is also known as age-associated testosterone decline or deficiency.
  • Between 35 and 40 years of age, men begin to experience a drop in circulating testosterone concentrations of approximately 0.8% per year. Free testosterone levels fall more rapidly, by 2-3% per year.
  • Free testosterone is the fraction of circulating testosterone that is not bound to blood proteins. It is, therefore available, or free, to produce physiological effects in the body. So, this is why free testosterone is considered to be so important.
  • Symptoms of andropause can include deteriorations in energy, mood, libido, erectile performance, stamina, muscle mass, and strength.
  • Contributing factors: Recent research suggests that andropause is not an inevitable consequence of aging. Contributing factors include excess body fat, stress, diabetes, and lack of exercise.

Facts about Age-Associated Fat Gain

  • Starting as early as 30 years of age, an increase in fat mass (body fat) occurs in conjunction with muscle loss (sarcopenia).
  • Contributing factors: Decreased levels of the main fat-burning enzymes, impaired thermogenesis, and decreased metabolic (calorie-burning) rate.

Joe Corbett Mature Muscle Personified

The Mature Muscle Stack:

Tackle The Big Three and get your physique back.

Stack Component #1: Muscle Provider, UMP, or Provosyn

We all know that the combination of resistance exercise and protein is your most powerful weapon against sarcopenia. It triggers ananabolic response in your muscles that (when repeated) causes them to become bigger and stronger.

Anabolic Resistance
Research indicates that as you get older, your muscles’ability to mount an anabolic response to resistance exercise and dietary protein becomes blunted. Scientists refer to this as anabolic resistance.

Anabolic resistance can be at least partly overcome by regular consumption of high-quality protein that is rich in the amino acid leucine. Muscle Provider, Ultimate Muscle Protein (UMP), and Provosyn are high quality protein supplements containing several grams of leucine per serving, plus every other amino acid required to build and repair muscle tissue. This makes them especially well-suited for men 40 years of age or older.

Usage tip: Enjoy a delicious shake made with1 serving of your choice of Beverly proteins immediately after resistance exercise. Have a second serving 4-5 hours later to boost muscle anabolism again.

Stack Component #2: Muscle synergy

Muscle synergy (powder or tablets) contains multiple ingredients that act synergistically to help combat age-associated muscle and strength loss. One of these ingredients is HMB, a naturally occurring, clinically studied compound that has been shown to enhance the benefits of resistance exercise. HMB is believed to work by rebuilding muscle and alleviating or preventing muscle damage associated with exercise, thereby shortening recovery time.

Usage tip: For maximum results, it is important that you take the full dosage recommended on the product label. Be sure to take at least one of your daily servings of MUSCLE SYNERGY before your workout.

Stack Component #3: Quadracarn

Testosterone exerts its physiological effects in the body by binding to androgen receptors. Androgen receptors are found in cells throughout the body, including skeletal muscle tissue.

Quadracarn contains four types of carnitine. One of these has been found to increase androgen receptor levels in muscle tissue. With more androgen receptors present, your testosterone signaling strength is improved. This is expected to enhance the effects of resistance exercise and shorten recovery times.

Quadracarn also supports fat-burning metabolism, circulation, and sexual performance, among other benefits. Usage tip: Carnitine takes some time to accumulate in your body. Therefore it is important to take Quadracarn every day, according to label directions. Don’t miss a dose.

Stack Component #4: 7-Keto Musclean

7-Keto Musclean© helps the 40+ man conquer age-associated fat gain. The driving force of this formula is 7-Keto. 7-Keto is a clinically studied form of 7-keto-dehydroepiandrosterone, a naturally occurring substance that is usually abbreviated as 7-keto.

By the time you reach 40, your production of 7-keto may have dropped by 40% and continues falling for the rest of your life. 7-Keto helps restore youthful levels of 7-keto and is clinically proven to produce three times more weight loss than diet and exercise alone.

7-Keto is thought to work by restoring levels of fat-burning enzymes, as well as thermogenesis and metabolic rate. It is supported by three clinical trials, all double-blind and placebo-controlled in design.

Usage tip: The clinical dose of 7-Keto is achieved by taking two servings of 7-Keto Musclean daily. Follow label directions.

Stack Component #5: Joint Care

When we think of muscle, we often forget that a good portion of muscle consists of connective tissue. In fact, every time you lift a load, your connective tissue bears the bulk of it. It’s no surprise that it undergoes serious wear and tear, particularly at age 40 and beyond.

Joint Care is a perfect addition to your Beverly Mature Muscle Stack. It contains ingredients like boron, hyaluronic acid, MSM and glucosamine that work synergistically to support a healthy inflammatory response and provide relief from joint discomfortand stiffness.

Here’s how to get the most benefit from the Mature Muscle Stack.

  • Combat AGE RELATED MUSCLE LOSS with protein and Muscle Synergy

›› Ideal times are:

  • Breakfast or mid-morning UMP and/or Provosyn with one serving of Muscle Synergy.
  • Immediately before training: 1 serving Muscle Synergy
  • Immediately after training: 1 serving Muscle Provider (or UMP)
  • 4-5 Hours after training: UMP and/or Provosyn
  • Combat ANDROPAUSE with 2-3 servings of Quadracarn per day. Take 3 tablets twice daily on non-workout days, and 3 tablets three times daily on workout days. (One serving just prior to workout.)
  • Combat AGE-ASSOCIATED FAT GAIN with 7-Keto MuscLean. Take one serving (3 capsules) in the morning and another pre-workout or in the afternoon.
  • Combat Joint and Connective Tissue wear and tear with Joint Care. Start with a loading phase by taking 3 capsules, 4 times daily for 1 week; 3 capsules 3 times daily during week 2; and then 3 capsules twice daily with meals from week 3 on.

Full Body Routine for Older Newcomers

Here is a 2 or 3 day per week, whole body workout that provides a well-balanced program for 40 and older newcomers to start training and combat the Big Three! It is also great for anyone who is getting back into training after a prolonged lay-off.
Press (barbell or dumbells) 2 sets of 8-10 reps
Curls (barbell or dumbells) 2 sets of 8-10 reps
Bentover Row (barbell or dumbells) 2 sets of 8-10 reps
Squats (bodyweight if necessary to get the correct form), then add just the bar and slowly add weight each workout) 2x15
Bench Press 3x6-8 Sit ups (or Crunches) 1 set as many as you can do in good form
Leg Raise (or Knee Ups while hanging from chinning bar) 1 set as many as possible If you don’t do Knee Ups, it is still beneficial to just hang from the bar to decompress your spine (and improve your grip) 1 set as long as you can hold on

Split Routine for Intermediates

At age 50 and up, we can all benefit from an Intermediate workout program

Day 1
Squat 5x5 (2 warm-up sets, then 3 sets with working weight), increase weight by 5 lbs when you get 5 reps on all 3 work sets
Bench Press 5x5 (same as squat)
Bentover Rows (or better alternatives are High Pulls or Power
Cleans if you have the technique down) 5x5 (same progression as squat)
Curls 3x5-8
Calves and Abs 3x15 each
Day 2
Press 5x5 (same as Squat)
Deadlift 5x5 (4 progressive warm-up sets starting with 60% of your work set poundage, and then add 10% each set; example for a 300x5 work set:: 180x5, 210x5, 240x5, 270x5, 300x5 (add 5 lbs whenever you get all 5 reps in good form)
Alternate the next 2 exercises:
Reverse Grip Pulldowns 5x8 (2 warm-up sets, then 3x8), (chins are better if you can get at least 8 reps on your 1st set)
DB Bench Press (same as pulldown)
Day 3
Optional, this means that you can skip it without compromising results from this workout routine
Leg Press (or Front Squat) 2x12-15 after warm-ups
Alternate next 2 exercises:
Incline Press (BB or DB) 2x10-12
1-Arm DB Row 2x10-12 Alternate next 3 exercises:
DB Press 2x10-12
DB Curl 2x10-12
Close Grip Bench Press (or Dips) 2x10-12
Calves and Abs 2x20 each

Usage tip: For faster relief and results follow the loading phase as explained below.

Want Bigger Muscles Faster? Science says Cycle your Training!

Before the Lifecycle improved coronary flow and made a lot of people a lot of money, and before steroid and GH cycling gave the word cycle a bad name, blighting bodybuilding, Eastern European and Soviet Coaches and physiologists had quite a different view of the word cycle. It had nothing to do with sitting on a bike.

As far back as the mid-sixties, many athletes were improving their skills and physical attributes involved in their sports (such as speed, power, acceleration) by following something formerly called periodization. Today, virtually every world-class Olympic athlete follows a variation of a periodization training system. Indeed, it would be safe to say that every world record in weight lifting, track and field and swimming are a result of periodization.

Well listen, believe it or not, bodybuilders can use pretty much the same training system to make consistent "drug free" gains in both size and strength year round!

Four Specific Cycles or Phases

  1. Hypertrophy – muscle size increase – heavy weights, but for moderate/high reps.
  2. Strength / power – medium reps, very heavy weights.
  3. Power – low reps, very heavy weights.
  4. Rejuvenation – active rest

Hypertrophy-Phase 1

If you divide your yearly training into phases or cycles, you’ll maintain a better mental outlook, more motivation and your body will also respond better physiologically.

The first phase of training I suggest, is the one that builds muscle size and pre–orients your muscles to be geared up (condition–wise) to go for strength and power which will theoretically allow you to even add more muscle size. Plus, you will condition your tendons and joints to handle the stresses of heavier weights to come.


Deon Lozon steadfastly improves using cyclic training plans

I recommend (as do most responsible trainers that you do 6–15 reps per set for size with the great majority of reps falling somewhere from 8–12 reps. I also like 3–4 heavier "work" sets after a systemic warm–up plus 2–3 warm–up weight sets per exercise. As you might note, so far this sounds pretty much like a standard common sense bodybuilding workout.

  • "With a cycle training approach your training weights should come near, but never exceed, your limit. That means you do not train to failure. Some say that doing anything to FAILURE produces an ultimate negative mindset, but more importantly, training to positive and negative failure can cause a form of cortisol adrenal over–production, as the stress is just too high. (To his wise defense, Mike Mentzer, was a proponent of this type of training, and realized this and advised one that you could NOT train with ultimate intensity often, so you had to reduce volume).
  • "Nonetheless, the premise of periodization avoids too much constant adrenal stress and recognizes both the mental and physiological needs to cycle the varying proponents of training. One simply can not come into each session and always work harder. While this may sound good in theory it never works in practice–never. So, instead, in this phase, the goal is to make small steady increases in your workload parameters, on a weekly basis. Success breeds success. Failure breeds failure.
A Recommended 8–day Size Training Cycle or ‘Training Week’:
Day One: Chest (Heavy), Back (Light), Shoulders (Heavy)
Day Two: Rest
Day Three: Legs (Heavy), Arms (Light)
Day 4 Rest
Day 5: Chest (Light), Back (Heavy), Shoulders (Light)
Day 6: Rest
Day 7: Arms (Heavy) Legs (Light)
Day 8: Rest
Repeat Cycle

Continual progression is a big key and much harder for NON–DRUG USERS!

So, start the first week of each phase at 90% of your best. Yes, 90%. Leave a bit in reserve. By this I mean if you can do 225–lbs for 10 reps in the bench press, then start week one with 200 for your 3 work sets.

Yohnnie Shambourger is a well-known bodybuilder who cycles his training pre–season for hypertrophy, off–season for strength/power and pre–contest to peak for competition. He has produced a very motivational instructional video, Unleash the Winner in You!

Each full 8–day cycle increase your training weights by just 5–lbs.
Week 1, 200 –lbs, 3 x 10 Week 2, 205 –lbs. 3 x 10
Week 3, 210 –lbs. 3 x 10
Week 4, 215 –lbs. 3 x 10
Week 5, 220 –lbs. 3 x 10
Week 6, 225 –lbs. 3 x 10
Week 7, 230 –lbs. 3 x 10
Week 8, 235 –lbs. 3 x 10.

After eight weeks, you have gone from a best of one set of 10 with 225-lbs to 3 sets of 10 with 235-lbs. Guess what? This probably means that on a well-rested day, you would now be able to get 240-245 pounds for one set of 10! A big improvement! You will have gained strength along with great size improvement.

These were heavy day discussions. On your light days use just 80-85% of your planned heavy day poundage. This is crucial. The greatest strength increases occur when a particular muscle group is trained heavy once every 7-10 days and stimulated but not maximally trained 3 – 5 days later. So, instead of 3 sets of 10 with 220-lbs in week 5, you would use 175-185-lbs instead!

Exercises / Days

What about the exercises?

For muscle size and increased strength we at BodyMuscle suggest:

  • Days 1 and 5
    Chest: bench presses and incline presses (either with the bar or dumbbells)
  • Back: bent–over rows and pulldowns or chins
  • Shoulders: a shoulder press exercise such as behind–the–neck presses or dumbbell presses.
  • Days 3 and 7
  • Legs: High bar squats to below parallel, leg presses and deadlifts, on your heavy leg day. On your light day do not do any deadlifts.
  • Biceps: biceps curls (either with the bar or dumbbells)
  • Triceps: one triceps press such as close–grip bench presses, dips, pullover & press or triceps pushdowns

The Hypertrophy phase will enable you to add muscle and lose fat! At BodyMuscle, we advise a diet of 50% protein, 20% carbs and 30% fat during this phase. (Our supplement suggestions for each phase are listed in a convenient table at articles end).

Strength and Power Phase 2

This will be another 8–week cycle. To develop strength and power, the greatest athletes in the world generally work with 2–6 reps. Since we are geared to bodybuilders we adjust this slightly and in this phase, we advocate 4 5 sets of 5 to 7 reps.

Here is how this cycle works. Well use our previous example for the Bench Press where you ended Phase 1 at 235 for 10 reps. Do an active system warm–up, then with weights 95 x 10 and 155 for 10. On your final warm up set do 205 for 6.

Then go to your target weight which is actually only 10–lbs. above the weight you ended up at sets of 10 in your first phase. So, start at 245–lbs. x 3 sets of 5–6 reps. You are leaving yourself some extra so you continue to gain positively all the way through the cycle.

Okay, now you will once again, increase your target weight each week. Try 5–lbs increase per week like this:
Week 1, 245 lbs. 3 x 5–6.
Week 2, 250 lbs. 3 x 5–6
Week 3, 255 lbs. 3 x 5–6
Week 4, 260 lbs. 3 x 5–6
Week 5, 265 lbs. 3 x 5–6
Week 6, 270 lbs. 3 x 5–6
Week 7, 275 lbs. 3 x 5–6
Week 8, 280 lbs. 3 x 5–6

Use the same exercises for Phase 2 as you did in Phase 1. Use 5-6 reps as your goal for Bench Press, Bent Row, Squat and Deadlifts and 6-7 reps for your arm and shoulder exercises (as well as the secondary exercises Inclines, Pulldowns and Leg Press). Dont forget that every other bodypart workout is a light day at 80 85% of your target weights for the week

As an option that many bodybuilders love to do is the down-set After your primary strength and power work, try doing one down set of 10 reps to maintain your increased muscle size from the hypertrophy phase. This is a down set not a burn out set. Dont go to failure here. Instead use about 70% of the weight you used on your work sets and stop when you reach 10 reps. As eight times Mr. Olympia Lee Haney (1984-1991), said, Stimulate dont annihilate.

During this strength/power phase we feel an enhanced good complex carb source is advisable.

Power Phase 3

In physics, work is a measure of force and distance. (w = f x d). Power means doing a specified amount of work per unit time. If you can move mass M over distance D in 10 seconds and then (after training) move the same mass M the same distance D, but do it in 5 seconds, you are twice as powerful!

Our experience has been to spend a maximum of four weeks in the power phase and to use 2-3 reps in benches and deadlifts, 3 4 reps in the squats and bent-over rows, and 5 – 6 reps for all other exercises. Again, follow your 2-3 warm-ups, and 3 power work sets and then do a down set of 10 reps with about 70% of your target weight, just as you did in the strength phase.

You ended your strength cycle at 280-lbs. for 5-6 reps.

So start at 285-lbs for your target weight, 3 reps each, for week 1.

Then add 5-lbs per week over the 4-week cycle progressively, just as before:
Week 1, 285-lbs. 3 x 3 reps
Week 2, 290-lbs. 3 x 3 reps. Week 3, 295-lbs. 3 x 3 reps
Week 4, 300-lbs. 3 x 3 reps

During this 20-week periodization cycle, you should go from a 10-rep maximum of 225-lbs. and that probably equates to a 300-lbs. for a one rep maximum for most people, to doing a couple of sets of 3 reps with your maximum one rep before! That is a huge increase for a natural athlete!

One thing – if you are planning to enter a bodybuilding competition you should follow the power phase with a pre-contest training phase similar to the hypertrophy phase and perhaps just slightly longer.

You would want to train in a slightly higher volume - semi intense manner using as much weight as possible for 8 to 12 reps. This type of training stimulates all muscle fibers and all the elements of the muscle cell.

If you are not competing following phase 1, 2 and 3, then go into a rejuvenation phase.

Rejuvenation/Active Rest Phase 4

Now heres a chance to stay out of the gym completely, focus maybe more on sports and/or cardio, of if you must go to the gym try some new equipment with no structured routine.

But active rest should only last 2-3 weeks and then its time to start another cycle start phase 1 at a slightly higher level than your last time through.


  • Start each phase with a target weight that is less than your maximum!
  • Make sure to keep light days light about 80-85% of your target weights on the heavy days.
  • Stick to your planned program even if your target weights on a particular day feel light. Resist the temptation to add more weight or do extra reps! You are in this for the long haul!
  • Rest long enough between sets so you can be successful on the next set.
  • If you are unable to get all your sets with a planned target weight, use that same weight when your next heavy day comes around.
  • Start your second complete cycle at a slightly higher level than you did the previous cycle.
  • You should do a general systemic warm-up plus 2-3 warm up sets, and then, 3-4 work sets per exercise during each phase. Your first one or two warm-ups should be around 10 reps. The reps on your final warm up should be the same number of reps as your target sets during a particular phase.
  • Don’t forget your down set of 10 reps with 70% target weight during the strength and power phases.

Brent Jones uses cycle training and credits Beverly heavily for upping his mass over the last 2 years. He is preparing for the 2001 North American Championships

A 12-Week Training Cycle for Muscle Size and Strength – Periodization 4 specific phases

Hypertrophy Strength Power Rejuvenation

In my last article I detailed the 1985 training routine I used to achieve my best ever condition. In that article I told you how I took a weight that I could get for about 20 reps (for example 205 lbs in the bench press). But then, I’d work up to 25-30 reps with that weight, then once I reached the upper range I’d add about 10% and try to work up to 25-30 reps again. Same for the squat. Instead of ten reps with 315, I’d try for 30 reps with 225 and follow that with set of 20-25 with 255.

The problem with a program like that is it only works for a specified period of time. I found that after eight weeks the gains slowed down. Mentally, and probably physically too, I was getting burned out trying to set a new max rep record every workout. The workout I’m going to give you in this article is one that you can do indefinitely and continue to make gains. In fact, every world-class Olympic athlete follows one variation or another of this training system. Virtually every world record in weight lifting, track and field and even swimming is a result of this training system. If you follow this workout you will be able to make continuous "drug free" gains in both size and strength year round..

Personally, I have used this "Periodized" training system for at least two 12-week cycles each year for the past ten years.
Simply put, the "classic" periodization breaks up training into four specific phases:
1. Hypertrophy – muscle size increase – moderate to high reps
2. Strength / power – medium reps, heavier weights
3.  Power – low reps, heavy weights
4.  Rejuvenation – active rest

Phase 1 – Hypertrophy

The first phase of training is the one that builds muscle size and sets your muscles up for strength increases to follow. You’ll do 8 – 12 reps per set. Three work sets plus two warm-up sets per exercise. Sounds pretty much like a standard bodybuilding workout so far, doesn’t it?

Here’s the essential difference between a Periodized program and your typical bodybuilding workout. It’s also the difference between consistent drug free gains and zero progress week after week.

   With a cycle training approach your training weights should come near, but never exceed, your limit. That means you do not train to failure. Training yourself to fail can mentally shake your confidence. But more importantly, training to failure can disrupt your neural patterns and do more harm than good.
  Instead make small steady increases on a weekly basis. Remember success breeds success. On the designated (Heavy) days above start the first week with 90% of your 10RM (limit weight you can do for 10 reps.) If your max Bench Press is 225 for 10 reps in good form without a spotter, start Week One with 205 for your three work sets. Increase your training weights each week by 4%. Week two is 210, week 3 – 220lb, and week 4 – is 102% of your starting 10RM or 230lb for 3 sets of 10. If 230 goes easy, add another 2% and stay with the hypertrophy phase for a fifth "training week." If 230 feels like your limit go into the next phase. (Note that even though you only trained near failure for one workout out of the eight workouts during this phase you’ve added at least five pounds to your 10-rep max. Remember a five-pound increase each month for a year results in a 60lb annual increase.)

You will be training each bodypart eight times during the first phase, but four of those days will be "Light". On "Light" days use just 85% of your planned heavy day poundage. This is crucial. The greatest strength increases occur when a particular muscle group is trained heavy once every 7 – 10 days and stimulated but not maximally trained 3 – 5 days later. If 205lb was your first week target weight, your (Light) day poundage would be 85% of 205lb or about 175lb. That’s what you should use.

Remember, it’s supposed to be light
Week Heavy Day   Light Day (85% of Heavy Day)
1 205 175
2 210 180
3 220 190
4 230 (new 10 rep max)195
Here’s a recommended workout to add muscle size and increase strength using Cycle Training follows:
Days 1 and 4
Chest: Bench Press and Incline Press (Barbell, DB’s, Hammer Incline or other Incline Pressing movement)
Back: Bent Row and Pulldowns or Chins
Shoulders: Choose one Shoulder Press movement (Smith, Military, Behind Neck, DB’s, Hammer)
Days 2 and 5
Legs: Olympic Squat (Bar High – below parallel), Leg Press, and Dead Lift on heavy leg day only (traditional style – bent legs / flat back) omit the Dead Lift on light days
Biceps: One Biceps Curling Movement (Barbell or Dumbbell)
Triceps: One Triceps Pressing Movement (Close Grip Bench, Dips or Dip Machine, or Pullover & Press)

Research shows that the Hypertrophy training phase will cause you to add muscle and lose fat. For best results follow Beverly’s Gain Muscle – Lose Fat Diet Plan of 50% Protein, 20% Carbs, 30% Fat during this phase.

Supplement with Beverly’s Ultimate Muscle Protein / heavy cream combination. Take Mass Aminos with meals for greater protein utilization and Muscle Mass BCAAs during training for an added build muscle – lose fat effect. You will definitely be adding muscle during this phase but if you find that your bodyweight is decreasing add Mass Maker as a post recovery drink to build more muscle and pack on the weight.

Phase 2 – Basic Strength

Do 4–5 sets of 5–7 reps in the Basic Strength phase. You want to start this phase with a weight that is just slightly higher than the weights you ended with during Phase 1. Even though you’ll be doing as few as 5 reps, don’t increase the weight too much. Start every phase with weights that are easy to get the recommended number of reps. Then work up to a new goal at the end of a four or five week cycle.

We’ll use our previous example for the Bench Press where you ended Phase 1 at 230 for 10 reps. In phase 2, warm-up with 135 for 10, 205 for 5, then your “target weight” for week one – 240lb for 3 sets of 5 reps. Once again increase your “target weight” each week. Ten pound increases per week see you end week 4 at 270. Not bad – by the end of phase 2 you’ll have already added ten pounds to your best set of 5.

It’s best to use the same exercises for Phase 2 as for Phase 1. Use 5 reps as your goal for Bench Press, Bent Row, Squat and Deadlifts. Use six or seven reps as your goal for arm and shoulder exercises as well as the secondary exercises like Inclines, Pulldowns and Leg Press.

If your primary focus is bodybuilding include one "down set" of 10 reps to maintain your increased muscle size from the "hypertrophy" phase. This is a "down set" not a burn out set. Don’t go to failure here. Instead use about 70% of the weight you used on your "work" sets and stop when you reach 10 reps.

As Lee Haney said, "Stimulate – don’t annihilate."
Week Heavy Day 10-Rep (Down Set) Light Day (85%)
1 240 (3x5) 170 205
2 250 (3x5) 175 215
3 260 (3x5) 180 230
4 270 (new 5 rep max) 190 230

If you’re on the bulky side still add the clean complex carbs but cut down on the beef and whole eggs to lower your fat intake. Switch your protein drinks from Ultra Size and heavy cream to Ultimate Muscle Protein mixed in water. Drink a serving of Muscle Provider pre and post workout. Be sure to add Ultra 40 Liver tabs if you’re not already taking them during phase 2. They’ll give you strength benefits found in no other food.

Regardless of whether you are a little too bulky or too thin, be sure to go on Creatine Select at the beginning of this phase. Always take 1 or 2 scoops before training. Take any additional servings to get your quota with meals. For example, on week 4 it’s 1 scoop with each meal and 2 scoops before training to get your 8 servings.

Here is the dosing schedule that I recommend you try:

Always take 1 or 2 scoops before training. Take any additional servings to get your quota with meals. On week 4 it’s 1 scoop with each meal and 2 scoops before training to get your 6-8 servings in.
Creatine Select Dosing Schedule for Maximum Results
Week 1: 2 scoops per day (10g total)
Week 2: 4 scoops per day
Week 3: 4-5 scoops per day
Weeks 4 & 5: 6-8 scoops per day (30g-40g total)
Week 6: 6 scoops per day
Week 7: 4 scoops per day
Week 8: 2 scoops per day

Phase 3 – Power

Use 3 reps as your goal for Bench Press and Deadlifts, 3–4 reps for Squats and Bent Rows, and 5-6 reps for the others. Follow your two warm-ups, and three "work sets" with a “down set of 10 reps with 70% of your target weight, just as you did in the Strength Phase.

You ended your Strength Cycle at 270 for 5 reps. Now go to 280 for 3 as your target weight for Week 1, then 290 for 3 the second week. If the 290 goes fairly easy add a 3rd week at 295. Spend just three weeks in the Power Phase.

During the eleven-week cycle you went from a 300lb max bench (10-RM of 225 equates to about a 300 1-RM). Now you should be able to do a single with 315lb. Yes, three plates in just eleven weeks.

The Rejuvenation Phase follows the power phase. Here’s a chance to stay out of the gym completely, focus on a little cardio, or if you must go to the gym try some new equipment with no structured routine. After a week or two of active rest it’s time to start Phase One cycle again at a slightly higher level than your first time through.


  • Start each phase with a relatively light target weight.
  • Make sure to keep light days light – about 85% of your target weights for the heavy days.
  • Stick to your planned program even if your target weights on a particular day feel light. Resist the temptation to add more weight.
  • Rest long enough between sets so you can be successful on the next set.
  • If you are unable to get all your sets with a planned "target" weight, use that same weight when your next heavy day comes around.
    • Start your second complete cycle at a slightly higher level than you did the previous cycle.
    • You should do two warm up sets and three work sets per exercise during each phase.
    • Your first warm-up is always 10 reps.
    • The reps on your second warm – up should be the same number of reps as your target sets during a particular phase.
    • Don’t forget your "down" set of 10 reps with 70% target weight during Strength and Power phases.


Determining your 1-rep Max
Here’s another way to determine your ‘target’ training poundages: If you know your One Rep Max (1RM) for a specific exercise multiply by the %RM to arrive at your target weight for that week. In this example the Target Weight is based on a one rep max of 300lbs.
One Rep Max (1RM) Target Weight
Week % 1RM Reps Target Weigh
1 68% 10 205
2 71% 10 215
3 74% 10 220
4 77% 10 230
5 80% 5–7 240
6 84% 5–7 250
7 87% 5–7 260
8 90% 5–7 270
9 93% 3-5 280
10 95% 3-5 290

Your Fit Figure: Here’s How to Guide Training Nutrition key to the competitive look


Specific recommendations for the woman who wishes to compete (or just look like she could compete) in a figure or fitness contest. The main source of misinformation stems from the bodybuilder mentality of all or nothing.

We get questions daily at Beverly Nutrition. This article is a complete plan to get the aspiring figure competitor in the best shape of her life. 4 Month Figure Makeover developing a V-shape, recipes and food prep. Shape Your Fit Figure Workout ideal workout to achieve a shapely, fit, lean physique.


In general the primary source of information for the figure girl is the gym guru or a bodybuilder boyfriend. Probably the biggest error we see is that women who are trying to buff their physique are concerned about overtraining. They are under the mistaken impression that since the other “serious” guys in the gym train each body-part just once a week that they should also follow this method for best results. Not true! A woman who is trying to get the lean, muscular look of a fitness/figure competitor should train each muscle group two times per week.

The other major area of training foolishness is proper intensity. Finding the correct training intensity is relatively easy, to start use the heaviest workout poundages that allow you to complete the stated rep range in good form. If you are to do three sets of 10-15 reps, that means use a weight heavy enough that you can do no more than 15 reps on your first set and can do at least ten reps on the third set. Add weight whenever you can do the top number of reps in the range for all sets, in good form. It’s really that simple. You should rest sixty to ninety seconds between sets. Here is an ideal workout to achieve a hard, lean physique.

Fitness Figure competitor sample workout

Exercise Sets Reps
Crunches 3 20-30
Twisting Crunches * *
On Cable Machine 3 20-30
DB Row 3 8-10
Pull-downs 3 10-12
Pullover 3 10-12
DB Shrug 3 10-15
Hyper-extension 3 10-15
Incline DB Curl 3 10-12
Concentration Curl 3 10-12
Calf Raise 4 10-15
Calf Press 4 15-20
Exercise Sets Reps
Crunches 3 20-30
Leg Raises 3 20-30
Twisting Crunches * *
On Cable Machine 3 20-30
Incline DB Press 4 8-10
Flat Flyes 4 10-12
Pec Deck 4 10-12
Shoulder Press 4 8-10
Side Laterals 3 10-12
DB Shoulder Press 3 10-12
Triceps Extension 10-12
Triceps Pushdown 3 10-12
Exercise Sets Reps
Crunches 3 20-30
Leg Raises 3 20-30
Twisting Crunches * *
On Cable Machine 3 20-30
Squat 4 10-15
Leg Press 3 10-15
Leg Extension 4 10-15
Seated Calf Raise 4 10-15
Standing Calf Raise 4 15-20

Cardio relative body-fat composition

The amount of cardio you will do will be determined by your relative body composition.

The closer you are to your ideal condition, the less cardio you’ll need to do. Too much cardio can eat away hard earned lean muscle, prevent catabolism with less cardio more recovery.

Here is a 12-week program for the aspiring figure contest competitor starting in the 16-20% body-fat range. If you are closer to contest condition do less, if you are at a higher body fat percentage starting out follow this program for an additional time period.

Monday-Wednesday-Friday: 30-45 minutes at moderate intensity. Use the cardio equipment of your choice or just go outside and walk for the required time. (Start at thirty minutes and add five every other week until you reach forty-five minutes. Then stay at that level.)

Tuesday: 15-30 minutes high intensity intervals. Start with three minutes at an easy pace. Now you are ready for your first sixty-second work interval. Increase the elevation or resistance setting and go hard for sixty seconds. Ease the tension back for a sixty second “rest interval” then perform another ”hard“ interval. Perform five work intervals the first week followed by a two minute cool down. Each week add another interval until you reach twelve. At that point add five seconds to each work interval and reduce the “rest” interval by five seconds for each of the next four week leading to your contest.

Thursday: 15-20 minutes. On Thursday we are going to measure progress by seeing how many calories we can burn during a session. First, choose a piece of equipment that gives you a “calories expended” readout. The first week go at a slightly higher than comfortable pace for fifteen minutes and record the calories expended. Each week you will try to increase the calories expended while keeping the time constant. When you cannot increase your intensity further go up to sixteen minutes to get the additional caloric expenditure you are after, etc.


Nutrition is the key factor in acquiring the competitive “look”. There are as many theories about dieting as there are training. We at Beverly are in a good position to make recommendations since we work with both bodybuilding and fitness/figure competitors on a daily basis. Almost every one of them wants to lose fat while attaining a nice, pleasing muscular physique. We find that diet high in protein, with some healthy carbohydrates and void of simple sugar works best. Here is the diet we recommend for the typical beginning competitor who wishes to harden up her physique by reducing body-fat and gradually adding lean muscle tissue.

Diet recommend for beginning competitor
Meal #1
1 whole egg + 3 egg whites or 1 scoop Ultra Size or Ultimate Muscle Protein or 3 oz. lean beef or chicken breast & ½-cup oatmeal before cooking (Many combine the ingredients above into a pancake recipe.
Meal #2
Protein Drink: 2 Scoops Ultra Size or Ultimate Muscle Protein as a shake or with less water as a pudding. Or whole food option: 5 oz chicken or turkey breast, 5 strawberries or 1 peach
Meal #3
5 oz. chicken (before cooking) or 6.5 oz. can of tuna in water 4 oz. sweet potato or ½ cup cooked brown rice 1-cup vegetables (broccoli, etc.) or salad with 2 tbsp low cal dressing
Meal #4(Post Workout)
2 Scoops Muscle Provider and 14 oz. water
Meal #5
6 oz. lean beef, chicken, turkey, or fish 2 cups green vegetables or salad

To give your diet variety we have included a list of substitutions you can make for the foods above. (See below.) You may substitute foods on your prescribed diet with another food from the same category below. For example, if your diet calls for broccoli, you can substitute with any non-starchy vegetable such as tomato or another from the list below.

Permissible Clean Food List

  • Beef: Beef tenderloin, Filet Mignon, Sirloin, Flank Steak, Round Steak, Top Round, Roast Beef, Ground Round, Ground Sirloin. Ground Beef (93% Fat Free or leaner)
  • Poultry: Chicken breast (no skin) Canned Chicken Breast (Swanson’s), Turkey Breast, Turkey Breast Cutlets, Ground Turkey Breast (95% Fat Free or Leaner), Canned Turkey Breast, Deli Turkey Breast.
  • Fish: Just about all kinds, the best are: Tuna (canned in water or fresh), Cod, Flounder, Halibut, Haddock, Orange Roughy, Salmon (canned in water or fresh, but limit to twice weekly), Red Snapper, Perch, Pollock, Scallops, Shrimp, Whitefish and Swordfish.
Complex Starchy Carbohydrates
Oatmeal, Cream of Rice, Puffed Rice, Rice Cakes, Cooked Rice (brown or white), Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Beans (white, pinto, kidney or black), Lima Beans, Corn, Peas.
Fibrous Vegetables
Asparagus, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Cucumbers, Green Beans, Lettuce, Mushrooms, Spinach, Tomato, Water Chestnuts, Zucchini.
Apple, Blueberries, Cantaloupe, Grapefruit, Kiwi, Nectarine, Peach.

Naturals Can Build Big Muscles – 3 Days on 1 Day Off Workout

Stick to the basics and train Intelligently

Correct training means many different things to many different people, from the late Mike Mentzer’s Heavy-Duty “high intensity” (HIT) programs to Serge Nubret’s 20 sets of 20 reps of bench presses (high volume chest training). But you know there is a BIG difference for those training on steroids and those not using them and far too many writers, coaches and trainers have completely overlooked this obvious fact.

Natural Training The Basics

Your training program should be progressive in one or more of the following areas, but your rate of progress inevitably slows over time, so you must make accommodations for this.

Progression is measured by:

  • Resistance used for your set or sets
  • Number of reps performed with any particular weight
  • The amount of time in which a series of sets are performed

You should try to improve in one of the above areas to stimulate the potential for growth, but even with the proper stimulus, growth will only occur with proper rest and recuperation. Steroids generally make one recover much faster allowing the steroid user to train more frequently.

Dedicated hard correct training with optimum nutrition and supplementation (with an assist from mom’s genetics) determines your rate and how much muscle growth you can achieve. But, there are some indispensable rules.

Use a workout journal to track your progress. Every time you use a heavier weight than before on a set, get more reps with a particular weight, or complete a series of sets in less time, note this in your journal.

Prince Fontenot proves natural guys can build large muscle mass (Non steroid users need to be much more scientific and dogmatic than do steroid users about training, recovery, nutrition, and supplementation especially if you are a Prince). Disciplined hard correct training, optimum nutrition, genetics AND supplementation determines how much muscle growth you realize.

Resistance Reps Time

Use proper form.

Make sure each exercise is working the correct area. If you’re working biceps and your lower back is stiff the next day that’s a sure sign you’re cheating way too much on your curls. Generally, use a full range of motion on every exercise to develop big, full round muscle bellies. So... squat to parallel or below. Don’t round over like you are doing good mornings. Do full-range leg presses, not two-inch lockouts where your knees barely bend. Bent-over rows should be performed with legs bent slightly, your back flat and close to parallel to the floor.

The Routine:
Day 1: Chest / Shoulders and Triceps
Day 2: Legs / Calves and Abdominals
Day 3: Back / Biceps
Day 4: Off

The particular days you train are not important, just make sure you get at least 3 days in throughout the week with a day off and use proper rotation. That means upper body work one day, lower body the next, then upper body and rest! Without steroids, this is the only way you can recover using a three-on-and-one day off format.

In this program we’ll use two of the oldest and most basic progression schemes:

Your Basic Program:

1.  PYRAMID TRAINING: Add weight and lower the reps each set.
Set 1: 12 reps with a very easy warm-up weight.
Set 2: 8-10 reps still pretty easy

Work Sets:

  • Set 3: 8 – 9 reps
  • Set 4: 5 – 6 reps
  • Set 5: 5 – 6 reps
  • Exercises using this Pyramid system are marked by an*

2.  DOUBLE PROGRESSION SYSTEM: Use the same weight for all sets.
Try to gradually increase your repetitions on your 3 work sets. When you get 8 (or the top recommended number) consistently on all work sets, add weight and start over at 6 (or the lower rep range.)
Exercises below, where you should use the Double Progressive System are marked by **

FLEX magazine features IFBB pro bodybuilders. The IFBB does not conduct steroid tests. BodyMuscle proves that natural athletes like Jeff Pruett (who has been tested) can get huge without steroids.


Day #1 (chest, shoulders, triceps)

  1. Bench Presses (pyramid)* 2 warm-up sets and then one set of 8-9 reps, and two sets of 5-6 reps
  2. Incline Dumbbell Presses (double progression)** 3 sets x 6 – 8 reps constant weight. When you get 3 sets of 8 reps, add weight and start back at 6 reps
  3. Seated Dumbbell Presses (double progressive)** 3 sets x 6-8 reps with constant weight
  4. Tricep Pushdowns ** 3 sets x 8-12 reps with constant weight
  5. Dips** Do 2 or 3 sets x maximum reps you can with your bodyweight only. Try to add a rep each workout to one of your sets or get the same total number reps in less time

That ends Day #1. Don’t be in a big rush to use as much weight as possible in each exercise. Try to leave each workout knowing you can improve in at least one exercise the next.

Day #2 – (legs / calves, abdominals)

  1. Squats* – Pyramid 5 sets x 15 / 12 / 8 / 8 / 8 reps
  2. Leg Presses** 3 x 10 – 15 reps (you may want to increase 2 reps per workout here)
  3. Leg Extensions** 3 x 12 – 15 reps
  4. Leg Curls** 3 sets x 10 – 12 reps
  5. Standing Calf Raises** 3 sets x 12 – 16 reps
  6. Strict Crunches**3 x 25 – 50 reps

Day #3 – (back, biceps)

  1. Bent-Over Rows* – Pyramid 5 sets x 15 / 12 / 8 / 8 / 8 reps
  2. Deadlifts – 3 sets 8-10 reps (add weight each set but stay at 8-10 reps per set)
  3. Concentrate on perfect, form and add weight very gradually in 5-lb. increments each week
  4. You also can do a compound deadlift and shrug movement to stress your traps even more
  5. Pulldowns** 3 x 8 – 12 reps.
  6. Barbell Curls**3 x 8-12 reps
  7. Preacher Curls** 2 x 10-12 reps

Basic Muscle Nutrition

Jeff Williamson achieved professional status training at home.

Optimum muscle growth requires proper training and proper nutrition. A basic nutrition program includes three good bodybuilding meals and three super-powerful protein drinks, a high potency vitamin/mineral pack and (as an interesting option, liver tablets).

  1. Breakfast: 3 – 4 eggs (4 whites, one yolk), half cup cottage cheese, a 4-oz beef patty, 1 piece rye toast with peanut butter or occasionally, hot cereal with a banana or other fruit and a Beverly Super-Pak
  2. Lunch: Roast beef (about half pound) and Swiss Cheese sandwich on Rye Bread, two pieces fruit, glass of low fat milk
  3. Dinner: Large meat serving – steak, chicken, etc., baked potato or other starch, green vegetable, salad


You don’t need steroids and drugs to gain muscle! Using this exact routine we guarantee you’ll get great muscle gains!

Jeff Williamson achieved professional status training at home. This guy practically lives and breathes on Ultra 40 liver tablets

Total Bikini Competitor’s Program

At a Glance: Jill Taylor

Age: 28

Occupation: Development Associate, United Way of Greater Cincinnati (full-time);Academic Affairs, Communication & Recruitment Coordinator, Ohio State University, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine (part-time)Family: Husband, Chris Sanders Taylor, two cats/ furry children – Ping & Pong

Current Residence: Cincinnati, OH

Height: 5’8"

Contest Weight: 133 (I think this is where I was when I last weighed in?)

How did you decide to compete in Bikini? I was looking for a way to re-motivate myself in my fitness and nutrition, as well as personally a way to push myself beyond my normal routine. I considered training for some sort of competition, but wasn’t sure what. After some searching online, I came across Julie Lohre’s website. Initially I contacted Julie thinking about training for a figure competition; however, after speaking with Julie about my person goals, I learned about the Bikini division, which seemed to be a good balance for me. It was a way to challenge myself as an athlete, as well as push me outside of my comfort zone and allow for expansion and expression of my personality as well.

Favorite Fitness Meal: Lean hamburger with fat free cheese and sweet potato chips sprinkled with cinnamon. I’ve also discovered great low carb/high fiber wraps (Ole/5grams carbs/wrap) that I can enjoy with grilled chicken or lean sirloin with sautéed mushrooms, onions and light Laughing Cow cheese!

Most Inspiring Book: Eat, Pray, Love Elizabeth Gilbert; Most Entertaining Janet Evanovich Stephanie Plum series!

Hobbies or interests outside of fitness: I love being outdoors, so hiking and visiting parks is an ideal day for me! Being with family and friends, watching movies and laughing!

Words to live by: To live content with small means; to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion; to be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not, rich; to listen to stars and birds, babes and sages, with open heart; to study hard; to think quietly, act frankly, talk gently, await occasions, hurry never; in a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the common--this is my symphony.˜ William Henry Channing

At a Glance: Rachel Fazzalaro

Age: 27

Occupation: Project Manager – Convergys

Family: My sweet husband, two dogs Oliver and Sprocket and a crazy cat Milo Current Residence: Bellevue, KY

Height: 5’4"

Weight: Off Season – 115; Contest – 110 pounds

How did you decide to compete in Bikini?: I started working out just to feel and look better for myself. Once I learned about Bikini I loved the idea of competition and seemed to have a knack for the posing. It became my new motivation in the gym!

What is your favorite part of being a Bikini Competitor? I love walking on stage each time to show the progress I’ve made. Those few minutes in the spot light make all of the early mornings in the gym and meals packed each day worth it! Even bigger than being on stage though, many people in my life have become more interested in their own health and fitness after learning about what I do each day and watching my progress over time. To me the most rewarding part is knowing I’ve inspired someone else to take control of their health just by setting an example.

Favorite Fitness Meal: UMP Banana Split – Toast one piece of Ezekiel bread. Spread 1 tbsp of peanut butter on the Ezekiel bread (I like crunchy). Place banana slices on top of the peanut butter. Top it off with one scoop of vanilla UMP mixed with just enough water to make a pudding consistency! Yummy! I love having this for breakfast!

In your CD player: Louis Prima

Most Inspiring Book: I recently read "The China Study" by T. Colin Campbell. Very eye opening book about diet and health. Hobby or interests outside of fitness: I enjoy learning about nutrition, growing my own veggies and herbs and tending to my orchids and other plants. I also love cooking with my husband. We always have so much fun creating new recipes. Most of them are good, others – not so much. It is always fun though.

Words to live by: "Well behaved women rarely make history."˜ Laurel Thatcher Ulrich


Whether you want to get in shape for summer or for stage, rock hard abs and tight glutes are at the top of every woman’s personal wish list. The National Physique Committee brand new woman's division that is quickly becoming one of the hottest categories on the fitness scene.

The Bikini Division is a fantastic mix of athletics and modeling, hard toned bodies with both a touch of muscle and a large dose of attitude.

Women that excel in Bikini, pay close attention to the details, work hard on both their training and diet and have the stage presence and confidence of an LA movie star.
If you have dreamed of stepping on stage in the past, but lacked the muscularity to be successful in Figure, Bikini could be a great choice. I foresee Bikini becoming more and more popular in the coming years. And why not! We all want to look and feel great in a bathing suit.

Over the last year, I have worked with many women that are either preparing for Bikini shows or want to have that Bikini body look. Rachel Fazzalaro and Jill Taylor are two of those women that have gone from good to amazing, stage ready FitBodies. Both initially came to me with plans to compete in Figure, but after analyzing their physiques and talking at length about their goals, I recommended that the Bikini Division was a better match for them. Both women have incredible potential and have worked very hard to sculpt and tone their bodies. They each have a pleasing amount of muscle, but their overall genetic size and structure is a better match for Bikini. They also have a look that mixes girl next door with fitness model.With Jill and RachelI structured their training, cardio, diet and supplement plans to work for their individual bodies. For Rachel, it was important that she gain muscle to round out her naturally thin physique and give her more curves. In 5 months of training, Rachel has transformed her body dropping her body-fat from 23% to 14% (9 percent drop!), losing 10 pounds of fat while gaining 8 pounds of muscle. On her frame, this has made an incredible difference. Jill began her contest prep in a very good place. She has always trained and ate clean to start so I knew with some fine tuning of her already good habits, she could make the changes that would put her at the top of any Bikini class. In 3 months, Jill dropped from 16% body-fat to 11% (a 5 percent drop!), losing 7 pounds of fat while gaining 4 pounds of muscle.

So what does it take to get a great Bikini body? The answer is a plan that incorporates weight training, plyometrics, body weight exercises, cardio, a great diet and the best supplements. I developed this TOTAL Bikini Competitors Program to take help you achieve your dream Bikini FitBody and help you make the leap to stage.

Here are the rules:

You have to put in the work. Very few women are genetically gifted enough to step on stage without working their tails off in the gym first. Resistance training is the most important activity for reshaping your body. Not only does it tone your body, it plays a very important role in promoting fat loss because of the metabolic properties of muscle tissue.

Some indispensable do’s and don’ts:
1. Keep a workout journal. It can be a spiral notebook or as fancy as you like. Keep track of every training and cardio session, all of your meals and your supplements. Use the star method to track your progress with weights. Every time you use a heavier weight than before on a set, get more reps with a particular weight, or complete a series of sets in less time give yourself a star in your journal. My FitBody Workout Journal is a very detailed logbook that I have put together specifically for competitors.
2. Use proper form. If you have any questions on how this workout should be done, check out our behind the article at 5 pillars to my fitness lifestyle plan
3. Make sure each exercise is working the correct area. Use a full range of motion on each exercise and choose, slow, concentrated reps over fast, half done reps.

Where to begin:

You can’t move forward until you know where you are. I start every competitors program by asking for beginning measurements and photos that show her current conditioning. These do not have to be fancy, but you need to first know your strengths and weaknesses. Take photos in a bathing suit from the front and the back then examine the photos comparing yourself with top Bikini athletes. Do you need to gain muscle? Lose body-fat? Tone your abs, glutes, arms? Are you starting in a good place and just need some polishing or will reaching your goals take more time and effort? Each woman needs a different amount of time to achieve her dream body. This will not happen over night for 95% of us. Be realistic, but also positive. While it may be hard to take photos and to objectively critique your physique, we all start somewhere and knowing where we are starting allows us to celebrate our coming successes.

The Workout:

Your weight training routine is structured as a three-day split routine where you will be training each muscle group once per week. You’ll alternate between a 45 minute weight training routine one day and a 30 minute cardio session the next. You can adjust the days as necessary but you must get in 3 resistance training and at least 3 cardio sessions per week.

Weight training routine
Day 1: Shoulders / Biceps / Triceps
Day 2: Cardio (Treadmill Intervals)
Day 3: Quadriceps / Glutes / Hamstrings / Calves
Day 4: Cardio (Stationary Bike Intervals)
Day 5: Back / Chest / Abdominals
Day 6: Cardio (Stair Climber or Elliptical)

Perform all exercises as a circuit, resting 1-2 mins between each circuit. Keep up a good pace during your workout. Perform a set, stretch the target muscle group, and then go right to your next set: lift – stretch – lift – stretch. This should be a fast pace, high intensity workout that challenges your muscles and your cardio vascular system.

In order to become your best *you*, you’ll have to train beyond your comfort zone. Once you become accustomed to the prescribed exercises, you’ll pick a weight that is heavy enough so that the last few repetitions are very difficult (nearly impossible) to finish. This is how you will get the fullest benefit in both tone and fat loss from your training. With a little experimentation you’ll soon have a good idea of exactly how much weight you need to use for each exercise.

Once you achieve "baseline" weights for your workouts keep progressing in one or more of the following areas each time you workout:

› Amount of resistance or weight used for a particular set.

› Number of reps performed with a particular weight.

› duce the amount of rest time between circuits.

› Train harder go for the burn.

Bikini Athlete Training – Program

Day One: Shoulders, Biceps, Triceps

Circuit One:
Do one set of an exercise, stretch, then move immediately to the next exercise. Complete one set of each exercise in the Circuit before resting 1-2 mins and then repeating. Repeat the Circuit 2-3 times before moving to the next Circuit. To ensure proper performance of each exercise be sure to view the workout video on my website, You’ll see Rachel and Jill as they go through this exact workout.

Day One: Shoulders, Biceps, Triceps
Exercise (x) Reps/Set
DB Shoulder Press 10 reps
DB Curls standing on BOSU 10 reps
DB Triceps Extension 10 reps
DB Delt Skier Kickbacks 10 reps

Cardio: Minutes (1 min of moderate pace, followed by 3 intervals – 45 seconds hard/high intensity then 15 seconds recovery

Circuit Two:
Exercise (x) Reps/Set
Plate Front Raise 15 reps
One Arm Cable Curl 8 per arm (you can use bands if training at home)
Barbell Curl 10 reps
Triceps Kickback 10 reps
Plate Front Raise 15 reps
Stand Alone Exercise: 3 sets x 10 reps

Cardio: 3 intervals 45 seconds hard/high intensity then 15 seconds recovery

Day Two: 30 Minutes Cardio (Treadmill) + 200 Crunches throughout the day broken down into sets as you would like.

Day Three: Quadriceps, Glutes, Hamstrings, Calves

Circuit One:

Same procedure as Day One. Repeat each Circuit 2-3 times
Exercise (x ) Reps/Set
Squats 20 reps
Quick Leg Press 20 reps
DB Lunge 10 reps
Stiff-Legged Dead-lift on BOSU 10 (squeeze glutes hard at top of each rep)

Cardio: 4 minutes of alternating jumping jacks for 30 seconds and push-ups for 30 seconds

Circuit Two:

Day four: 30 minutes Cardio (Stationary Bike) Hill or interval program

Day Five: Back, Chest, Abdominals

Day Four: 30 Minutes cardio (stationary bike) hill or interval program
Exercise (x ) Reps/Set
Push-ups (with feet elevated if possible) 10
Curl Grip Pull-down 10
DB Pullover 12
Up down plan holds 30 seconds

Cardio: 25 Medicine Ball Rebounds, 25 Lateral Skis, 25 Squat Thrusts

Day Five: Back, Chest, Abdominals
Exercise (x ) Reps/Set
Incline Bench Press 10 reps
Bent Row (BB, DB, or Cable) 10 reps
Cable Crossover Pulses 20 reps
Oblique Medicine Ball Crunches 20 reps

Cardio: mins (1 min of moderate pace, followed by 3 intervals – 45 seconds hard/high intensity then 15 seconds recovery)

Day Six: 30 Minutes cardio

(stair master or elliptical) hill or interval program

Day Seven: Rest

Many Bikini athletes take one or more cardio classes during the week in addition to, or in place of their scheduled cardio days.

Bodybuilding Contest Prep week 16 – Contest Countdown Starting at 16 weeks out

Contest Countdown

We’re writing this article to help you prepare for your first or next bodybuilding competition. Since the 1998 Northern Kentucky Championship is a contest designed for first time competitors or those peaking for a later show, let’s make this your first show of the year. If you count backwards from March 21, you’ll find that 16 weeks out is the weekend following Thanksgiving, so let’s start your diet December 1. In this article we are going to provide you with the actual diets that successful competitors followed as they prepared for the Northern Kentucky Championship.

Phase 1: 16 weeks out to 8 weeks out

Diet: Let’s begin by taking a few things for granted. First, you have been training properly and have already started regulating your diet by eliminating junk foods, sugar, bread, high carbohydrate drinks, regular soft drinks and are cutting down on high lactose milk products. Start reading labels and if there is more than 5 grams of sugar per serving drop it from your diet.

With sixteen weeks to go, it’s time to start seriously. The goal is to maintain bodyweight, unless you are way out of shape, but to slowly lose bodyfat while actually adding lean tissue from your training, improved diet and supplements. One of the mistakes we see most often is a competitor makes an instant calorie drop when he starts his diet. This causes the loss of a lot of muscle tissue right at the outset of the diet. Your goal is to add calories and nutrient density through your diet and supplements at the sixteen weeks out point.

Here are some of the actual diets we’ve used with various competitors during Phase One of their diet:

James Johnson, 1997 NPC Jr. National BW Champ followed this meal plan 16 weeks out from his first bodybuilding contest, the 1996 Northern Kentucky Championship where he won the overall title.
Supplements: Super Pack, Mass Amino Tablets: 6 / meal, Ultra 40 Liver 6 / meal, Flaxseed Oil 2 tablespoon / daily

Phase 1 Diet
Meal #1
6 egg whites + 2 whole eggs
2 servings oatmeal / cream of rice / or cream of wheat
1 orange or other fruit
Meal #2
6–8 ounces lean meat ( chicken / turkey / fish, lean ground beef)
1 medium sweet potato, 1 apple
Meal #3
6–8 ounces lean meat
1 cup of rice
1 cup vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, etc.)
Meal #4
6–8 ounces lean meat
1 six oz. baked potato or yam or ½ cup rice
1 piece fruit
1 cup vegetables
Meal #5
6 egg whites + 2 whole eggs
1 serving oatmeal

*James sometimes substituted a protein drink for any meal where it was difficult to eat a prepared meal:3 scoops Muscle Provider, 1 ounce heavy cream, 1 whole egg, 9 strawberries, 12 ounces water

Bill Hooks has won his class in the Novice division at the Northern Kentucky the past two years. In 1997 he moved up to 2nd in the Open Division as well. Bill, at a starting weight of 210 lb., had to follow a different dietary approach than James since he was attending school and had to rely on Muscle Provider as a portable meal. His diet works well for those who are on the run and have little time to prepare or eat food meals. Jeff Storch, who is featured elsewhere in this issue follows a similar plan.

Bill’s 4000 calorie diet at 16 weeks out is based on these percentages of nutrients – Protein: 54%, Carbohydrates: 20%, Fat: 26%.

Supplements: Super Pak, Flaxseed Oil: 1 tablespoon daily, Mass: 4 per meal, Ultra 40: 4 per meal

Meal #1
2 whole eggs + 6 egg whites
4 oz. lean beef or chicken
1 ounces oatmeal
1 grapefruit
Meal #2
2 scoops Muscle Provider
1 oz. (2 tablespoons) heavy cream (or 1 tablespoon Flax Oil)
1 egg
6 strawberries
12 oz. water
Meal #3
8 – 12 ounces steak
1 serving oatmeal or small sweet potato or ½ cup brown rice
1 cup green beans
Meal #4
2 scoops Muscle Provider
1 oz. (2 tablespoons) heavy cream (or 1 tablespoon Flax Oil)
1 egg
6 strawberries
12 oz. water
Meal #5
8 –12 ounces turkey breast, chicken breast or lean beef
2 cups vegetables or 1 piece fruit
Meal #6
6 egg whites, 2 yolks
omelet vegetables
oz. = ounce(s)

Tracy Beckham at 12 weeks: We decided Tracy needed to improve her muscle density at this point and restructured her diet to include more protein and fat, less crabs, and a high Carb meal every third day.

Tracy 12 week plan
Supplements: Super Pak, Ultra 40 5 / meal, Flaxseed Oil 1 tablespoon daily.
Meal #1
4 egg whites – 1 yolk
3 Oz. chicken, turkey, or tuna
6 strawberries or 1 orange
Meal #2
Protein drink: 2 scoops Muscle Provider
mixed with 1 whole egg, 12 Oz. ice water,
6 frozen strawberries and ½ frozen banana
Meal #3
1 ½ cups salad containing choice of salad
vegetables w/ 2 tablespoons oil +1 tablespoon vinegar,
6 – 8 ounces lean protein (lean beef,
chicken breast or turkey or fish)
Meal #4
4 ounces lean beef or 6 – 8 Oz. chicken breast or turkey or fish
2 egg whites
1 small sweet potato
Meal #5
6 – 8 Oz. chicken, turkey breast, or fish
1 cup vegetables

*Every 3rd day Tracy ate the following meal in addition to her regular meals: 1 cup rice, 1 small sweet potato, 1 small banana, 1 cup vegetables with 1 tablespoon oil, butter, or margarine.

Phase One Cardio

We encourage you to keep cardio at a minimum during your early contest preparation period. If you do too much cardio too soon, your body will adapt and you have no where to go but to increase your cardio even more. Soon there’s not enough time or energy in the day to do justice to your training. We do recommend 15 – 20 minutes of high intensity cardio three days per week during this phase. Remember your goal during the first four weeks of dieting is to improve your body composition while maintaining your weight. Research has shown that high intensity cardio has a greater positive effect on body composition than low intensity (less than 75% maximum heart rate) cardio. Each week attempt to burn more calories in the same amount of time. This is an easy gauge to make sure you are improving. The way you do this is walk faster on the treadmill at a higher angle or increase the level on the Lifecycle or stepper. If the cardio equipment you’re using gives you a calorie readout, it’s simple to try to break your record each week.

Phase One Training

At sixteen weeks you should begin to up the intensity of your training and start paying special attention to the quality of your physique. The lateral delts, serratus, hamstring and glutes are areas that can make the difference between a "winning" physique and an also ran.We recommend a four on, one day off split at this point. This will allow you to recuperate from each session. There are many variations but training each bodypart only one day a week precontest may be too little and training on a three day on, one day off seems to cause one to overtrain too early in the precontest phase. As far as bodypart splits we’ve seen and done them all personally and with our clients. We suggest that you choose the split that seems right for you. Just make sure you train your weak parts early in the cycle.

Sets and reps are also a very individual matter, but about 10 really hard work sets per larger bodypart and six sets per smaller part should be about right. Remember you’re adding muscle during this phase so don’t start dropping the weight and trying to do more reps.You should begin to shorten your rest between sets. Start getting focused and do your next set as soon as you have recovered adequately from the previous one.

Phase One Posing

Begin a structured program to practice your poses. Find the best practice lighting, similar to stage lighting. At this time you should practice the facings and mandatories 15 – 20 minutes two or three days per week. Practice holding the poses for 10 seconds each. Remember to start each pose from the feet up – make sure you flex your legs. Contest Countdown Workshop

  • Hit your best poses
  • Resist moving from the best lighting, this may not be at the front of the stage
  • Try to highlight your strong points against your competition’s weakness
  • Catch the judges’ eye with your poise and control