The Big 5-0, Planning to be My Best

At a Glance: Holly Fields

Age: 50

Occupation or Education: College Professor, Gym Owner, Online Coach, Ph.D. Student

Family: Partner of 6 years, Luke; sons-Connor, 22 and Carter, 17

Current Residence: Salem. VA

Years training: 25+ years

Height: 5’8"

Weight: Off Season 145-155, Contest 130-135

Favorite Fitness Meal: Chicken with egg whites, one whole egg, with “Everything Bagel” seasoning

Favorite Supplements: UMP Rocky Road made as a pudding at nighttime, sometimes topped with 1 tbsp of natural peanut butter or sugar-free Cool Whip. Right now, I am also loving Muscle Synergy and Up-Lift during my training!!

What would you recommend to someone who has never used Beverly supplements before? Start with UMP! It is THE most amazing protein and can be used not only in shakes but also in baked goods and pancakes and waffles. You can honestly trust Beverly for whatever goals you have in mind! I love them so much that I became a rep!

Music: Avenged Sevenfold, Metallica, and most 80s “hair metal” bands are my favorites!!

Most Inspiring Book: Girl, Stop Apologizing by Rachel Harris

Hobbies or interests: There are so many things I love to do, but summertime and water (especially the beach) are my favorites.

Words to live by: If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you. Every time you go through something hard, it makes you a stronger person. When you are dealing with significant struggles, just remember to hold on, and everything will get better-have faith In God; he will get you through it.

Contact:
IG: @fit_with_holly
Website: www.fitwithholly.com
FB: www.facebook.com/fitnessbyholly

So… this is a BIG year for me, as you can see from my bio!! My goal in life has always been to be my very best. But to get a glimpse of my whole story, we must go back several years.

I played sports as a kid, mainly softball and basketball, and continued those in high school but also played volleyball during those five years (we didn’t have middle school-high school was 8-12). When I went to college, I had no idea what I wanted to do, so I decided to major in psychology. After my first year (it was rough-my grades were terrible), I found the PE department and major of “Commercial Fitness.” While taking my basic “wellness” classes, there were several sections, and one was strength training. I absolutely LOVED it!! I was determined to lift regularly, but the college fitness center was ALWAYS packed, so I convinced my dad to buy me a membership to the little gym in town. This was truly an “old school” gym with magazine pictures of the bodybuilding greats all over the walls!! I think my friend and I were the only female members.

Fast forward to six years after graduation-I had lifted that whole time, but never really with a plan or goal. My first son was born in March 1999, and after his birth, his dad was closing the local grocery store that had been in his family for years and building a brand new IGA supermarket in our town. I decided that the old “Mick or Mack” grocery store would be an excellent place to develop my first gym. We renovated the old grocery store, and in April 2000, my first gym opened. About the same time, I learned of a new bodybuilding category, Figure. It was just what I needed to push me to a new goal. Even with a new baby, I had the drive and determination (or maybe I was just a little crazy) and competed in my first figure competition that same year. At that time, there was still a one-piece and a two-piece round. I had no idea what I was doing but read as much as possible and became more knowledgeable for the next one. I competed again in 2001 and 2002, but nothing spectacular. That was SO long ago; I don’t even remember the exact dates and shows. Sadly, I had to close my first gym in 2002 and took a teaching position in Health/PE.

Luckily, there was a great weight room outside the PE office. A fellow teacher and I lifted together after school. That’s where I learned about Beverly International supplements. I began using UMP, Mass Aminos, and Ultra 40. WOW! All I can say is once I tried them, I have never found anything to compare. I competed again in 2004 with some real improvements to my body, primarily due to my Beverly supplement regimen.

In 2010, I competed in the NPC Northern Kentucky. That’s where I met Sandy and Roger in person. I also made the BIG decision to commit to reaching my goals and dreams by putting everything into my training, contest prep, and offseason! I have spent many years in competition, 2010-2012 was in Figure, then in 2013, I switched to Women’s Physique.

In 2015 after my husband suddenly passed away, I was literally in a fog for months. I was in a terrible place, but lifting weights kept me somewhat grounded. I kept training hard and eventually met my current boyfriend. He had just gotten into lifting, but his enthusiasm and support helped me set new physique and competition goals. I competed in the 2018 NPC Elite Muscle Classic and the 2020 NPC Max Muscle NPC, VA.

I have found that competing every other year allows my body to get a little better in muscle growth. As a natural lifter of over 25 years, it became tough to gain anything between shows when competing every year. Right now, I plan to do another competition in April 2022. No matter what, I know that I will always be chasing the gains, and I would never consider doing it without Beverly.

I tell people often that this IS truly a lifestyle! It isn’t something you can jump in and out of, or you will never see progress. Once you have been doing it a while,
it’s also hard to see a lot of progress, but do not QUIT! Consistency is the key!!

I am currently a professor at a local college teaching Fit for Life courses, and I also still run my gym as well as online coaching and personal training. I am also in the final phase of my Ph.D. and working on my dissertation.

One thing I have learned in being so busy is that you HAVE to make a plan (for everything), or it will likely get pushed aside-there is always something else to do; it is just about what you make a priority. In addition to training clients and teaching while also working on my YouTube channel and podcasting each week (Fit with Holly-YouTube, Women’s Body & Power Podcast). I love to interview competitors to talk about their experiences and just discuss fitness and nutrition.

Adding Muscle in the Off-Season

One of the most challenging components of gaining quality muscle, especially as a natural competitor, is consuming the correct number of calories while still focusing on quality nutrition.

Diet Plan (you need to be sure you are in a caloric surplus to gain lean muscle!)

I typically eat 5-6 meals year-round, typically 3 larger meals and 2-3 smaller meals. I focus on keeping about 50% of my total carbs (25% pre-workout and 25% post-workout) around my training.

I use a macros-based nutrition plan which allows me some flexibility in my food choices.

Top priorities are

  1. Hitting protein goals
  2. Having 3-5 servings of fruits and veggies daily
  3. Keeping processed carbs to a minimum. I follow the same principles in both off-season and competition prep; the calories are adjusted according to my goals.

Here’s a sample of what a day of eating might look like for me in the off-season. This is just a sample plan; I always try to have LOTS of variety, especially to get a wide assortment of nutrients every day.

My goal is to hit my daily macros-when building, I am typically around 2200-2500 calories and constantly working on increasing those numbers while keeping body fat gain to a minimum-however, some extra body fat is necessary (as opposed to being competition lean) to be at the best place hormonally to gain muscle.

Holly Fields

Meal One
1 egg, 100g whites, 2 slices turkey bacon or turkey sausage crumbles added to the egg whites, 2 slices flax (or high fiber) bread or 40g oats, 1 tbsp nut butter or plant-based butter, sliced tomatoes or berries
(about ¹⁄₂ cup of one or the other-usually I have berries with oats)

Meal Two
1 scoop UMP, 4 oz Greek yogurt or ¹⁄₂ cup cottage cheese
Plain Greek yogurt is excellent mixed with UMP Rocky Road or UMP Chocolate - tastes like chocolate cheesecake-this can also be done with cottage cheese if you have a bullet blender or immersion blender.

Meal Three
3-4oz chicken breast, large chopped salad

 

Meal Four (pre-workout)
¹⁄₂ c oats or 1 serving cream of rice, ¹⁄₂ scoop UMP mixed in (extra “toppings” like berries, crushed walnuts, or dry cereal for crunch)

Meal Five (post-workout)
1 scoop Mass Maker Ultra, ¹⁄₂ scoop UMP. Mass Maker Ultra is excellent for post-workout recovery during the building season.

Meal Six
4oz cooked lean ground beef or steak, sweet potato or baked potato, vegetables (broccoli, roasted brussels sprouts, etc.), whole grain bread, sourdough, etc. (I usually have more carbs left at night, and this is where desserts can often fit in as well)

Mass Aminos and Ultra 40 are the fundamental supplements for adding muscle in the off-season. I recommend 12 of each per day
(divided into servings of 3 or 4 at a time) for most women.

Training Plan

During this past off-season, my training plan consisted of a new hybrid training program I created and used for many months.

Full Body Push (Day 1)
I always begin with compound movements and include at least 1-2 warmup sets. Typically, I increase the weight on each set if possible, and reps will usually go down.

Squat variation (3-4x 6-10) try to increase weight each week on the final set

Bench Press or DB Press (3x8-12)

Front Delt Raise (3x12-15)

Overhead DB Extension or Tricepes Pressdown (3x10-12)

Leg Extension (4x15-20)

Calves (Standing or Leg Press Machine) (3-4x 15-20)

 

Full Body Pull (Day 2)

Deadlift variation (traditional, trap bar, or trap/deadlift machine) (4x6-10)

Pullups or Lat Pulldown (4x 10-12)

Cable Row or Machine Row (3x10-12)

Rear Delt (either Reverse Pec Dec or Rope Face Pulls) (4x15-20)

Upright Row (3x10-12)

Machine Curl, EZ Curl, or DB Curl (3-4x12-15)

Hamstring Curl (3-4x8-10)

 


Day 3 Off

 

Upper Body (Day 4)

Pullups (4x AMRAP) or Pulldowns (4x10-12) (alternate each workout)

Chest Flye or Pec Dec (4x8-15)

Shoulder Press (4x8-12)

Rope or DB Pullover (3x12-15)

Superset: Cable Curl/Reverse Triceps Pressdown (3x10-15 per exercise)

Lower Body (Day 5)

Leg Press (3-4x 10-15)

KB or DB Front Squat (3x10-heels on a plate)

Lying Leg Curl or Barbell Romanian Deadlift (4x8-10)

Smith Machine Split Squat (3x10-12 per side)

Lunge variation (2 Sets x 20-30) -usually walking or reverse alternating with DBs

Leg Extension (3x10-12)

Seated Calf Press (3x10-12, slow and controlled with fairly heavy weight)

*1-2 x per week-abs (2-3 varied exercises of 15-20 reps per set, 3 sets each)

 

Day 6 Off

Repeat, or if feeling particularly tired, take 2 rest days before repeating.

Cardio

I will do 4-5 cardio sessions per week off-season, simply for heart health (often just 30 minutes of walking or the bike).

When contest prep time comes around, I increase my focus! I add interval sessions and total time as needed to make sure I am hitting my fat loss goals. Remember though; nutrition is the most vital factor in losing fat- you cannot out-train a bad diet!

My Contest Prep Supplements

3 servings of 4 tablets of Mass Aminos and Ultra 40 each day. At 4 weeks out, I switch to Density instead of Mass Aminos.

1-2 scoops UMP per day throughout my entire prep, typically post-workout and evening (favorite is Rocky Road made as a pudding at nighttime- sometimes topped with 1 tbsp of natural peanut butter or sugar-free Cool Whip)

7-Keto MuscLean and Lean Out stack; I also use Lean Out in the off-season, but I add 7-Keto when I am getting to the point where I am doing daily cardio as it really helps give me some added energy. I take two or three 7-Keto Musclean before cardio and maybe again at lunch or pre-workout. 1-2 Lean Out are taken before cardio and then again with each meal (at least 4 per day).

Also, Energy Reserve is invaluable during competition prep!!

In Closing

The best advice I can give anyone trying to change their body is to be consistent! Even if things happen and you need to slow down, that is ok! You can adjust your workouts or make modifications, but just don’t STOP- think of pushing a boulder uphill- it might slow down, but it is way harder to get it rolling again if you let it come to a complete halt.

First Hit The Stage At 45, And I’m Just Getting Started

At a Glance: Rachel Payne

Age: 46

Occupation: Lawyer

Family: Ava 15 and Edwin 12

Residence: Ft. Thomas, KY

Years training: 4 years

Height: 5'1 3/4"

Weight: 115 (off-season), 109 (contest)

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

Favorite Supplements: UMP, 7 Keto and Lean Out.

What would you recommend to someone who has never used Beverly supplements before: Wait no longer, I have been pleased with all the products. Check the website or Beverly’s Supplement Recommendation Chart to coordinate your goals with the supplements.

Music: Pitbull, 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.

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 Rachel 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.

After the Monster Mash, I went on to compete in the NPC Kentucky Muscle in November, 2011. IFBB pros also competed at Kentucky Muscle, and that was amazing to see. Also, it was a much larger competition than the Monster Mash, so in my mind again, it was a learning experience. I was thrilled to carry home some more swords that day for first place in Masters 45+ and third place in Figure Open Class A.

The next round of competitions came around in the spring. I had just started a highly stressful job and was not sure I could pull the discipline needed to make it through. However, after I was written up for taking an extra break to get in my fourth meal of tuna and asparagus at some odd time in the afternoon, I was determined to see it through. After all this effort, I was not going to back out because of a can of tuna. The NPC Cincinnati Natural was first up in March. It was a smaller competition, but the competitors were fantastic. Giving much credit to my trainers, I was lucky again: First place in Class A Open and first Place in Masters 45+.

The Northern Kentucky and Derby Festival

The Beverly International NPC Northern Kentucky was a week later. This one was huge. From the size of the convention center to the number of competitors, it was a big one!! The competitors looked beautiful. By this time, I was seeing familiar faces which made the process even more fun. I was lucky again and placed first in Masters 45+ and second in Class A Open.

I was happy, more than happy, but exhausted. My dear sweet children were also ready for a break. The plan was to not compete for a while, and to eat, rest, and work out hard. That plan lasted for two weeks. My trainer and some other friends were planning to compete in the NPC Derby Festival on April 24 and watching them work got me jazzed to go again. Two weeks out, I jumped back on the diet and the 4:45 a.m. cardio train. Things worked out well, placing first in Masters 45+ and fourth in Class A Open. It was a great competition with positive people all round, which made the entire experience all the better.

Now, I am really on a break. Due to scheduling conflicts, I have changed trainers and I am currently working with Brian Wiefering and the folks at Wiefit. They have a wealth of knowledge and never let up, which is what I want.

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.

MEAL 1:
1 serving cream of rice or cream of wheat, 3 oz chicken and 3 oz lean red meat

MEAL 2:
3 oz tuna, 1 tbsp peanut butter, 1 cup veggies

MEAL 3:
UMP protein shake, ½ apple

MEAL 4:
5 oz chicken, 4 oz sweet potato

MEAL 5:
4 oz white fish, asparagus spears

MEAL 6:
UMP or Muscle Provider protein shake, 1 cup berries, 3 oz sweet potato

MEAL 7:
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:
3oz lean red meat, ½ grapefruit, asparagus and sweet potato

2 gallons of water at first, then dry out as directed a few 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.

Training

As with the nutrition, my workouts would alter the closer I got to competition. The basic schedule included 30 – 40 minutes of morning cardio at least six days a week. I’ll alternate my morning cardio choices among step mill, walking and walking lunges on an incline, or 30 minutes of 2 minute sprints.

I lift four days a week; do high intensity cardio and/or plyos two days a week (later in the day in addition to my lower intensity morning cardio) and rest one day. Below are listed the various exercises I do. However, when I am working with a trainer, I do what they tell me. That can include some of the same, but often something entirely different and more challenging than what I do on my own. I am far from perfect; I follow the plan and do most of these exercises most days of most weeks. Much of the time I am able to get it all in as planned. However, there are some days family or work will claim my attention.

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: Legs
Cardio or Plyo and Abs

40-50 high intensity cardio or Plyos including Burpees, Man Makers, Mountain Climbers, Pop Squats, Box Jumps and Walking Lunges

200 reps for abs

 

Wednesday: Legs, Heavy
3-4 sets of 12-15 reps each
Leg Press
Weighted Split Lunges
Leg Extensions
Hamstring Curls
Deadlifts
Squats

Thursday: Back and Biceps
3 sets of 10-12 reps each, superset pairs of exercises (for example Push-ups w/ Dumbell rows, set of 25 abs reps in between supersets
Push-ups
Double Dumbell Rows
Bent Barbell Rows
Bicep Curls
Single Arm Row
Hammer Curls
Deadlifts
Lateral Raises

Friday:
Cardio or Plyo and Abs, same options as Tuesday

Saturday: Shoulders, Triceps and Lats
3 sets of 10-12 reps each, superset pairs of exercises, set of 25 abs reps in between supersets Wide Grip Pulldowns
Seated Row Machine
Cable Row - alternate close and wide grip Alternating
Front Lateral Raises
Bent Rear Delt Flyes
Leaning Side Lateral Raises
Overhead Triceps Extensions
Dumbbell Press
Double Triceps Kickbacks
Barbell Shoulder Press

Sunday: Legs, high reps lower weight
3-4 sets of 20 reps each, superset 2-3 exercises together in between supersets
Walking Lunges, 30 lbs
Curtsy, 30 lbs
Jump Lunges, 20 reps
Split Squat, 30 lbs
Leg Press
Hamstring Curls
Adductor/Abductor
Butt Blaster Machine Bev

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.

My Figure Competition Dream

At a Glance: Angie Morales

Age: 38

Occupation: Group Exercise Director at Baptist Family Fitness for 12 years.

Family: Married to Tony for 15 years. Two children ages 9 and 13.

Residence: Corbin, KY

Years training: 19 years of training

Height: 5'3"

Weight: 125-127 (off-season), 117 (contest)

Favorite Fitness Meal: 4oz chicken, ¼ cup brown rice over a bed of spinach and cauliflower, 1-2 tbsp hot salsa, ½ avocado

Favorite Supplements: UMP chocolate protein is by far my very favorite supplement. I mix mine like a milk shake using water and ice. The consistency is amazing and the taste reminds me of chocolate cake batter. I use UMP most mornings and always at bedtime.

What would you recommend to someone who has never used Beverly supplements before: My very first recommendation is the UMP. It is the tastiest way to add extra protein to your diet. It is easily blended and works great in a shaker cup. This makes it very portable for on-the-go situations. I’d tell that Beverly International has been a huge part of my dietary success. I don’t think I would have made it past my chocolate cravings had it not been for UMP. I believe in this company. I trust their products and love the fact that I can pick up the phone at any time and get good-sound advice from the professionals who work there.

Music: Nickelback, Pitbull and LMFAO

Favorite Book: I couldn’t say that I have much time to read, and when I do it’s usually for fun. But my favorite series of books would be the Twilight series.

Hobby or interests outside fitness: My life is pretty simple. When I am not working or training, I am spending my time at the ball fields with my two children. My 9 year old daughter plays basketball and is on four baseball teams. My son is also active in sports and has recently taken up exercising at home on our Bowflex.

Words to live by: “I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” ~Michael Jordan

For as long as I can remember, I have always been an athlete. I was always up for a challenge and was hardly a “Barbie doll” type of girl. I was obsessed with movies like Rambo, Rocky, Conan the Barbarian and The Incredible Hulk. It’s funny now, to look back on the fact that I watched the icons of bodybuilding before I even realized my future passion.

I joined my first gym nearly 20 years ago. I loved weights and I wanted to learn as much about it as I could. 3 years later, I had my first secret thought of someday competing. I never told anyone of my “competition dream”, instead I just ignored it for fear of failure. A year later I became pregnant with my first child. At this point, I was hit or miss at the gym, and I gave myself permission to eat whatever I wanted. On August 17, 1998, the day Hunter was born, I weighed 200 pounds. I was completely at a loss. I didn’t see any hope for ever being 125 pounds again. I worked a full-time job and spent every free moment with my baby. I felt disgusted with my appearance and I even questioned my husband on how he could possibly still love me. Of course, he supported me and loved me no matter what size I was. It was at this point that I knew I had to make changes. I started training again. I became an animal in the gym, hitting the weights and cardio with a vengeance. By the summer of 2000, my goal was met! I had finally made it back to the mid 120’s. We went to the beach that summer, but I still found myself wearing shorts over my bathing suit. I’ve just never been comfortable in my own skin, and especially in a bathing suit.

So, fast forward to January 23, 2003, the day my daughter was born. After a pregnancy of continuous exercise, weight training and healthier eating, I delivered Kaylee at about 180 pounds. It was unbelievable to me that I had still gained over 55 pounds with her. Four months later, my daughter was diagnosed with Bacterial Meningitis and we almost lost her. She was near death when they took her off in the ambulance to UK Pediatric ICU. Those were the scariest two weeks of my life. She did recover, and is now 9 years old and perfect in every way.

Now, I was overweight again, but consumed with “mommy guilt” about hitting the gym. My only exercise was when I taught my group exercise classes. Years passed, with me once again feeling down on the inside about my appearance. I gradually started to add weight training back in to my routine, but not with the same passion that I had in the beginning.

It was a planned Florida vacation in 2009 that finally sparked my passion again. My goal was to be as lean as the women featured on the cover of Oxygen. I “secretly” went on a competition diet that I found online and by the time we left for our trip, I had managed to reach 126 pounds. While on vacation, I exercised every morning at sunrise. I ran the stairs of our condo, 25 floors, multiple times. Then at 7am, the gym opened and I circuit trained for another hour. I actually came home from our trip weighing 3 pounds less than when we arrived.

I finally decided to enter a Figure Competition. I picked a show, discussed the details with my husband and set my plan into action. I had 12 weeks to get ready. I continued to follow my now, “not so secret” diet plan and made tremendous progress. I stepped on stage at 112 pounds and took two overall titles (Masters and Open) at the East TN Expo in Knoxville, TN. My next show was seven days later where I placed 5th at the Tricky Jackson Classic, an NPC National Qualifier in Lexington, KY. I was hooked! I’ve continued to compete ever since and just got home from the Arnold Classic Amateur where I placed 4th! Pretty much a dream come true. As you can probably tell by now, I am in love with the sport, and the stage and I plan to compete for many years to come.

Now, I’d like to share some insight into my nutrition, cardio, and training with you. I hope it will help you to start or advance your own journey into fitness.

Nutrition

My meal plan was developed by “Fit To Be In Your Kitchen” and Ruben Sandoval. I eat 7 small meals every day. I implement a carb-cycling plan where I do two low-carb days, then a medium carb day, followed by three low-carb days, followed by a high carb day. My calories during my Arnold Classic show prep ranged from 1650-2050 throughout the week.

My low carb day looked like this:

3:45am: Wake up, three Fit Tabs (previously called Ultra 4), one scoop Glutamine Select, two Lean Out and three 7-Keto

4:30am: Workout and posing practice

8:00am: UMP chocolate with ½ cup of strawberries and another scoop of Glutamine Select

10:30am: 4 egg whites and ¼ cup of oats plus 1 tbsp natural peanut butter and two Lean Out

1:30pm: 3 egg whites and one granny smith apple

4:00pm: 4oz chicken, ¼ cup brown rice, ½ avocado and lots of veggies plus 2 Lean Out

6:00pm: Quest bar, 2 Lean Out and three 7-Keto

7:30pm: 4oz Tilapia (pan fried in 1 tsp of olive oil), 7 asparagus spears, a bit of cauliflower and a tbsp of salsa, 1 tbsp of Chia Seeds sprinkled over Tilapia, lemon juice squirted over everything and 1 tsp of Parmesan cheese sprinkled over everything

9:30pm: ¾ scoop of Chocolate UMP and 1.5 tbsp of natural peanut butter, two Lean Out and three Fit Tabs

On my medium and high carb days, I have a variety of recipes including egg pancakes, slow-cooker chicken tacos, egg muffins, and a quinoa, chicken and spinach meal that is really tasty. I also get to use some mayonnaise!

I prep my foods in advance. I boil a big pan of chicken, after it’s finished, I place individual servings into sandwich bags and add seasoning. I make a whole box of brown rice at once as well as many servings of Tilapia. I keep two days’ worth in my fridge and place the rest in the freezer. As I need more, I remove it from the freezer and allow it to thaw inside the fridge. The key is to be prepared! I know what I am going to eat every day, and plan accordingly. I pack all my foods in a cooler if I am working or at ballgames with my children. I even pack my digital scale everywhere I go just in case I need to measure anything. I am very diligent about my food measures, it’s the only way to know exactly how many calories you are consuming. I drink at least one gallon of water each day. It’s healthy and a good way to help control hunger pains. I use sea salt enriched with iodine on most of my foods as well as Mrs. Dash seasonings.

Supplements

Chocolate UMP is the bomb! I will NEVER use any other protein powder. It’s my chocolate fix every day. Glutamine Select is what I call my “magic potion”. I train very hard, and without it, I am dragging. It helps me recover faster so that I can push just as hard with every single workout. I love Fit Tabs, it’s the new name for Beverly’s original Ultra 4 multi-vitamin, it doesn’t make me sick like most vitamins. When I don’t use Fit Tabs, I get cramps in my legs. I use Lean Out and 7-Keto to keep my metabolism up and to mobilize stored fat for energy.

Cardio

I am a Group Exercise Instructor. I teach 4 days of classes per week including Indoor Cycling, Step and Bodypump. I’m lucky to be able to use these classes as my cardio. My only other cardio is one extra day of treadmill hill climbs or outdoor stair running. The Group Exercise classes are a great way to burn a lot of calories and have a ton of fun. The atmosphere is motivating and the participants are encouraging to one another and to me.

Presentation

I practice my posing at least 4 days a week, starting at 6 weeks out from the show. I visualize myself on stage. I hold each of my poses at least 30 seconds and repeat multiple times. I practice my walk, my smile, my model pose and even my curtsy. I also video myself once per week and use it to see where I need to improve or make any corrections. When on stage, my goal is to appear super-confident and relaxed. I think it really makes a difference if you take your posing practice seriously.

In closing, I would like to say to everyone that the journey to being healthy and fit is not easy, but it’s so worth it. The feeling of meeting your daily goals, each and every day, is very powerful. I strive to lay down every night, proud of what I have accomplished that day. I sleep sound and wake up excited to do it all over again the next day! Maybe you too have a secret competition dream. Set small goals, take it one day at a time and be an example to those around you. Competitions may not be for everyone, but feeling good in your own skin is, and that’s a trophy in itself.

Training

I usually start show prep with a split routine where I weight train 5 days a week, working one muscle group each day. I train each muscle with 5 exercises doing 4 sets of 8-12 reps for each exercise. I hit abs at least three days a week. Hanging knee raises is one of my favorites. As my show gets closer, I train 6 days a week. I do full body, circuit style weight training on four of the days. On these days I utilize supersets, tri-sets and quad-sets. I like to train at a fast pace, keeping my heart rate high, and breaking a good sweat during these sessions. On the other 2 days, I focus on legs one day and shoulders the other. These are two of the most important

Long Term Consistency Trumps Short Term Intensity

At a Glance: Sean Young

Age: 41

Occupation or Education: Physical Therapist; owner of The Impakt Lab

Current Residence: Cincinnati, OH

Years training: 23 years

Weight: 205-210 (Offseason), 185-190 (Contest)

Favorite Bodybuilding Meal: Steak, eggs, and sweet potatoes

Favorite Supplements: Muscle Synergy and the Super Pak

What Supplements would you recommend: Super Pak for everyone; Muscle Synergy for year-round muscle gain, and Up-Lift for a great stimulant-free pre-workout and pump

Music: Anything with a good beat

Favorite Book: Can't Hurt Me - David Goggins

Hobbies and interests: Camping and hiking with my wife and daughters all over the USA; coaching my daughters' lacrosse, soccer and basketball teams

Words to work out by: The pain of being legendary is less than the pain of being ordinary. If you don't have enough discipline to beat the alarm clock, how are you going to beat everything else in life?

Instagram: @theimpaktlab

In the dresser in my room, I have a plaque that highlights the importance of perseverance. It is a word that is one of the fundamental principles in which I live my life. I have had this plaque since high school, over 20+ years ago. That's when I also decided to begin my career in bodybuilding and was introduced to Beverly International by my first prep coach Jeremiah Forster. Fast forward 20+ years later, countless amateur bodybuilding competitions, achievement of natural professional status, and now 10 professional bodybuilding shows won; Beverly has been with me all the way!

In 2018 after competing and running marathons simultaneously, I found out I had a severely torn cartilage leaking fluid, a stress fracture in my tibia, and a torn meniscus in my left knee. Surgery was strongly recommended, however being the stubborn physical therapist I am, I decided to do my own rehab and see how far I could get. Although the cartilage and meniscus will not heal, I rehabbed my knee to full strength and ROM and resumed bodybuilding training. In 2020 when the gyms shut down, I got back into running. Although my true passion is bodybuilding, running was another outlet to challenge myself physically and mentally. When you can make yourself do daily tasks that are uncomfortable and difficult, you will be more equipped to handle more difficult tasks when they arise. 2020 was a great example of this. I was not about to let it get the best of me. I joined a couple of virtual marathons and ran four consecutive half marathons in 4 weeks leading up to my 40th birthday. Given the aforementioned knee injury and my home base Gymbo's Personal Training and Fitness Center opening back up in the summer, it was time to get back to my true passion of bodybuilding!

The old saying goes, "If you do what you have always done, you will get what you have always got." I have been bodybuilding and competing for 20 years! This year I decided to try out a new bodybuilding split and venture outside my comfort zone. I have always been intrigued by the push/pull/legs split but wanted to make my own version. What I developed was an 8- day split. It would eventually shape out like this:

  1. Legs: Quad focused
  2. Pull: Upper back and bicep isolation
  3. Push: Upper chest anterior and delt pressing movements with heavy triceps movements
  4. Off
  5. Back: Primarily posterior chain movements and rowing
  6. Arms
  7. Chest and shoulders: Isolation chest movements using multiple angles and a lateral delt head focus
  8. Off

Example of my typical Chest and Shoulders - Day

  1. Machine Flyes: 4x10
  2. Flat Bench Press: 15,12,10,8
  3. Incline Bench Flyes: 4x10
  4. Hammer Strength Chest Press: 4x10
  5. DB Laterals: 4x12
  6. Standing Heavy Single Arm Laterals: 4x10
  7. Alternating DB Front Raise: 4x10
  8. Rotator Cuff External Rotation: 4x20

This layout allows for recovery between body parts and minimizes the overlap of muscle groups. Once I established the main framework, I then had to figure out a total volume for the end of the 8-day cycle by trial and error. If you are going to try this, I would suggest tracking your total reps and sets to find your maximum recoverable volume for the 8-day cycle.

The next step was a good supplement regimen to aid recovery while building muscle. I primarily worked out in the morning. Depending on the day, I would start with coffee and Muscle Synergy to get a good pump in the morning. I typically drink 2 scoops of Muscle Synergy 3x/day. If working out later in the morning, I would drink two scoops of Up-Lift before my workouts. I began taking 2 Ultra 40's 3x/day with meals. I also take a Super Pak and 3 ZMA 200 before bed.

My first show of the year was the PNBA Phillip Ricardo Legends Classic in Virginia. I used the same split that I laid out above but decided to try a different approach to cardio. To get ready for competition in the past, I would train, do "traditional" cardio, and not much else in terms of physical activity the rest of the day! In prep, as our calories decrease, so does our natural activity. Our bodies are smart and always find a way to auto-regulate to conserve energy when they are in a deficit. First, I looked back on data from my Apple Watch to see what my average step count was for the previous two months at maintenance calories. Once I began prep, I decided to add 2000 steps to my current average step count. This would combat the natural decreased activity levels to ensure that I continued my current activity and added additional activity. I decided to use this approach instead of "traditional" cardio to the first show and see what would happen!

I eat clean year-round and never get too far out of shape. When I prep for a show, I may change the ratio of macronutrients but never exclude a specific macronutrient!

Supplements

2 scoops Muscle Synergy 3x/day

2 scoops Up-Lift pre-workout

1 Super Pak; 3 ZMA 2000 before bed

 

Here is an example of my meal plan at 6 weeks out:

Meal One
1 scoop UMP, 80 grams steel cut oats

Meal Two
6oz chicken, 6 ounces broccoli, 6 ounces carrots

Meal Three
1 scoop UMP, 7 rice cakes

Meal Four
6oz chicken, 8 oz potato, 1 serving fruit

Meal Five
10 egg whites, 2 whole eggs,
7 rice cakes

Meal Six
6oz 93% lean beef, large salad,
2 cups mixed vegetables

Well as it turned out, my new approach was a success. I placed first in the Pro Classic Physique division, achieving my 9th professional win! The next show was promoted by Josh Miller, the NGA Bluegrass Championships. This show was 8 weeks later, so it would give me some time to experiment with new ideas again. I always tell my prep clients that I practice new ideas on myself first, so it's on me and not them if I mess up!

Since my conditioning was where I wanted it to be, I maintained my step count for the prep duration. No additional cardio was necessary! I was really enjoying the new workout split, so no changes were needed in this area either. I made sure to continue training as heavy as possible and maintain my workout volume. I am a strong proponent of going as heavy as possible with good form leading up to a show to best maintain your hard-earned muscle.

The next step in the process was to experiment with weekly refeeds. This was an excellent opportunity not only to replenish glycogen but a chance to see how my body would respond and look with additional carbohydrates. My refeeds were in the form of a carbohydrate bump only, with a slight decrease in protein and fats to keep the calories under control. I would refeed with an addition of a 50-75% increase in carbs from the usual daily average. I practiced single-day refeeds and two-day refeeds as I became closer to the show date to see how I would respond. I found that I looked the best on the 4th day after a 2-day refeed! So day 1 and 2 refeed, day 3 baseline macros, and I would look my best day 4. I used this approach to compete in the NGA Bluegrass Classic, placing first in the Pro Classic Physique division - my tenth Professional career win! Being that it was close to home, my wife, daughters, parents, training partners, and gym family were all there in attendance to cheer me on and make it a wonderful and memorable experience.

Over the past 20+ years, I have been blessed with a great support system at home from my wife, children, and family. I also had great training partners, friends, and a great gym to train and work. Along with the support of family and friends, Beverly has been the backbone of my training program throughout my entire career in natural bodybuilding! Long-term consistency of good family, friends, support, and Beverly International supplementation trumps short-term intensity every day or the week!

Five Ms Olympia Figure Titles and Fifteen Years with Beverly International

At a Glance: Cydney Gillon

Age: 29

Occupation or Education: Professional Female Figure competitor, Ambassador for the IFBB, and Posing Coach (for all divisions)

Education: University of Southern California (Master of Arts in Strategic Public Relations), University of Pennsylvania (Bachelor of Arts in Psychology)

Current Residence: Douglasville, GA

Years training: 16 years

Height: 5’3 3/4”

Weight: 150s, Contest - 130s

Favorite Bodybuilding Meal: Ground turkey and rice cakes

Favorite Supplements:  Density, Lean Out, 7-Keto MuscLean, ZMA2000

Hobbies or interests: Dancing, yoga, and eating

Words to live by: "If you want to succeed as much as you want to breathe….then and only then, will you be successful."

5x Ms. Figure Olympia

National and International Posing Coach NPC Promoter - Cydney Gillon Peach Classic

Certified Personal Trainer (IAFS)

CEO @officialcakefactoryfitness

Creator @cylenceclothing

Co-Creator @cydneygillonflawlessretreat

Cydney Gillon Scholar-Athlete Scholarship

I can't believe it has been over five years since I graced the cover of Beverly's No Nonsense magazine. At that time, I was training for my first Ms. Figure Olympia title. Now, I'm defending my fifth consecutive title.
I started lifting at age 13 and began taking Beverly International supplements at 14. At that time, I was preparing for my first bodybuilding show. My mom wanted to make sure that my supplements were safe since I was so young; that's why she chose Beverly International. Now at 29 years of age, my journey with BI continues. Over these years, I have gained a wealth of knowledge about the value of training with proper nutrition and supplementation.

In the remainder of this article, I'd like to share with you the current state of my nutrition, supplements, training, cardio, and presentation plans.

Nutrition Plan

In the beginning, I used Beverly's 16 weeks out diet plan. See page 4 to check out this plan in detail. It formed the foundation for my physique and nutrition philosophy. I tried the Keto diet at one time, but I don't think it is a viable long-term plan. I don't particularly like counting macros, so my preference is to be told by my coach what to eat. In general, I eat six meals a day every 2.5 to 3 hours. I also need to say that I love my "planned" cheat meals. I decided five years ago to watch my diet year-round. My coach, Damian Segovia, writes out my meal plans based on how much muscle I need to gain (or lose) and the amount of body fat I need to shed. The programs vary each year and for every competition. Hydration is also essential. I drink a minimum of 2 gallons of water a day.

My Supplements

7-Keto MuscLean for weight loss, Lean Out for fat loss, Density to maintain muscle while doing intensive cardio, ZMA 2000 for recovery, and the Super Pak to keep a healthy body. UMP protein pudding and pancakes are some of my favorites!

Training

My training style is based on my track foundation and the basics that I learned from my parents. Today it varies. Now, my focus is overall maintenance, so I train to maintain and refine, not grow. I build muscle easily, so I have to be careful not to gain too much. Too much mass can take away from the look needed for my category.

I enjoy the drive needed for improvement, which also means overcoming the challenge of using different training techniques that may be foreign to me. Pushing myself to do my best relaxes me. In my years of training, I have learned to pay attention to my body and learn what works for me. I spend as much time as needed in the gym to achieve the goals I set for the day. Total time including stretching, warm-up, and cool down, averages 1.5 hours.

A typical leg workout might include squats, leg extension, lunges, and presses. Hamstrings might consist of standing and seated leg curls. (I have to avoid any direct glute exercises to ensure I don't overdevelop that bodypart).

My gym has a variety of equipment for each exercise, which allows me to hit new angles and work the parts of my legs I want to target.

Cardio

I usually do cardio after my workouts. I like to change it up. I will walk, use the elliptical, bikes (different ones), and sprint. I try to keep my body guessing. There is no need to do excessive cardio if you are in shape. I never do hours of cardio. At a certain point, it starts to eat away at your muscle. 20-30 minutes is usually right for me, depending on whether or not I am sprinting, doing steady-state, or just getting my steps in. Sometimes I incorporate plyometrics.

Contest Countdown - 16 Weeks Out Nutrition Plan

The nutrition and supplement plan listed below is the nutrition plan that Cyd references in her article. It was the plan she followed as she began her quest to one day become Ms Olympia.

Prepping for Show Diet: 6 meals per day:

Meal One
1 whole egg + 4 egg whites - 4oz very lean meat - ¹⁄₂ cup oatmeal

Meal Two (Choose one option)

Option A: Protein drink with two scoops Ultimate Muscle Protein (UMP), one tablespoon healthy fat source (olive oil, flax oil, almond butter, or heavy cream).

Option B: 4oz lean beef or chicken or one can tuna, one small apple or orange

Meal Three
5oz lean meat (chicken or other lean protein
source) - 5oz sweet potato or ¹⁄₂ cup cooked brown rice - 2 cups vegetables (broccoli, etc.) or green salad with 2 tbsp vinegar and oil dressing

Meal Four (same options as meal #2)

Meal Five
5oz very lean meat (chicken breast, fish, turkey breast, lean beef - sirloin, filet, etc.) - 2 cups vegetables - Salad with 2 tbsp vinegar and oil dressing

Meal Six (Optional)

Option A: Protein Shake or Pudding: 1 Scoop Ultimate Muscle Protein (UMP), add enough water to make a shake or pudding the consistency you desire

Option B: 6 egg whites with 2 cups of vegetables

Essential Supplement Program:

Take 2 FitTabs with meals #1 and #5

Lean Out - 1 capsule per meal during this stage to help regulate cravings and mobilize fats for energy.

Take 3 Ultra 40 tablets and 3 Mass Aminos (or 2 Density) with any four of the meals listed

EFA Gold - 3 capsules with meal #1

Presentation Tips

Practice, practice, practice! I practice my posing year-round, usually after my workout. Since I am a posing coach, I am ALWAYS thinking about posing and coming up with different ideas for my clients. I only practice posing 2-3 times a week since I've become fairly proficient, but your practice should be determined by the amount of work you need. Your posing needs to look effortless. You need to get a second set of eyes on you. I use my mom and video my routines. Please DO NOT WAIT UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE to perfect your posing.

Conclusion

You have to do what you need to do while competing, but you also have to make time for your family, friends, and fun. Living. That means having a cheat meal as needed and doing other things that bring you joy. Preparing for a show is tedious and sometimes grueling if everything isn't in sync. When it is time to cut everything out (those things that could be distracting to your prep), then and only then do you focus on YOU, your training, nutrition, and rest. Lastly, young athletes also need to understand that it is important to first build the best body you can with basic nutrition and hard work. Build YOUR foundation. Bodybuilding is not a quick fix. It takes time to transform.

If you want to succeed in your transformation/competition, it requires more than just training, nutrition, and the correct supplementation. You have to have the proper mentality. This is so important because many competitors do not. In addition, you need to be secure with yourself and stay on course. Don't let anyone deter you from your goal or keep you from staying on track. Stay focused. Life doesn't stop, so you need to be resilient and bounce back from whatever negative occurrences are going on in your life. Attaining a successful transformation requires mental strength, dedication, consistency, and passion. This is the mindset a competitor has to have to create long-term success.

Fitness Nutrition Training and Recipes

At a Glance: Danielle Intemann

Age: 29

Occupation: Health & Wellness Coach

Hometown: Scottsdale, AZ

Height: 5'7"

Weight: 150 (off-season), 140 (contest)

Favorite Bodybuilding Meal: Fit French toast using UMP Vanilla Protein

Favorite Supplements: Vanilla & Chocolate UMP, 7 Keto, Lean Out and Glutamine Select.

What would you recommend to someone who has never used Beverly supplements before: UMP all the way!!

Music: When I am running or doing cardio I like to listen to techno. Honestly, I have about 15 songs on a play list that just repeat over and over. I have however just added “Eye of the Tiger” to the mix! That song really gets me moving!

Most Inspiring Book: How to Win Friends & Influence People, by Dale Carnegie.

Hobby or interests outside bodybuilding: Running, hiking, traveling, cooking, training, fitness modeling, coaching and of course, inspiring others.

Words to Live By: Thoughts are things, dare to dream, keep your eyes on the prize, desire to inspire and YOU’VE GOT THIS!!!!

Being from a large Italian family, food was always the center of attention, I can remember spending hours in the kitchen with my Grandmother and Mom learning all the family recipes. Although I was healthy growing up, as an adult I found my lifestyle and hectic schedule was catching up with me. I made a decision to take control of my health and fitness so I pushed myself to train and compete in fitness competitions. I loved finding solutions to eating the food I love and created healthier versions to fit into everyday life. During my training, I was introduced to Beverly International supplements by a more experienced trainer. On his advice, I used them throughout my preparations. These products are phenomenal. Beverly’s UMP allows me to create recipes for my diet that are both healthy and delicious.

I was certified as a personal trainer and nutrition consultant by the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) in 2001.Through the years I have traveled around the US doing fitness modeling and promotions, and I have worked with some amazing athletes and leaders in the fitness industry. My personal lifetime fitness journey has been very rewarding, but being part of someone else’s fitness journey is just as fulfilling as my own success. Being a fitness trainer and nutrition coach is about helping others reach their fitness potential while living a healthy balanced lifestyle. I hope this article will offer you some tips and guidance to be a success in your own Reshape project.

Nutrition

I am a big fan of carb cycling (high and low carb days) to keep my metabolism guessing.

Low Day (Mon, Tues, Thurs & Fri)

Meal 1:
Fit French Toast (see recipe);
1 cup organic berries

Meal 2:
Popeye Punch (see recipe)

Meal 3:
5oz lean protein (turkey, chicken or fish); 2 cups veggies; 1/2 cup of black beans or lentils; and 1/4 avocado

Meal 4:

1 1/2 scoops UMP blended with water; 2 oz almonds or other raw nuts.

Meal 5:
5oz lean protein (turkey, chicken or fish); 2 cups veggies; 1 oz Udos oil

High Day (Wed, Sat & Sun*)

Meal 1:
1 serving of high fiber, whole grain cereal; 2 scoops UMP mixed with 1 cup almond milk; 1/2 banana; 1 piece of Ezekiel bread; 1 tbsp natural nut butter.

Meal 2:
Homemade Protein Bar (see recipe); 1 piece of organic fruit.

Meal 3:
1/2 cup beans or lentils; 1/2 quinoa; 1 Ezekiel tortilla; 2 cups veggies; 1/4 cup hummus.

Meal 4:
1 ½ scoops UMP blended with 1 cup Almond milk; 1 cup berries

Meal 5:
5oz lean protein (turkey, chicken or fish); 2 cups veggies; 1/4 cup raw nuts or seeds

Sunday
1 reward treat on Sundays 🙂

Supplements

UMP Vanilla & Chocolate - meals 2 & 4
Lean Out - 2 each meal and pre workout
7 Keto MuscLean - 2 capsules before breakfast 2 before lunch
Digestive Enzymes - 1 at meals 1, 3 & 5
EFA Gold - 1 capsule at meals 1, 3 & 5
Glutamine Select - sip on while training
Density or (Muscularity) - 2 tablets (or capsules) 3 times daily with meals 1, 3 & 5

Recipes

Popeye Punch Green Smoothie

Protein
1/2 scoop UMP Vanilla

Carb
1/2 cup frozen strawberries

Veggies
1 cup of spinach
1 cup of kale
1/4 cup shredded carrot
1 tsp of “greens” mix (I prefer Trader Joe’s brand, but your local health food store will have options that will work)

Fat
1/4 avocado or 1oz coconut oil
1 tbs ground flaxseeed
6-8 oz Almond Milk

Flavor
dash of Cinnamon

Directions
Start by filling the blender with the water and ice. Add all ingredients and blend away. This tasty treat really gives a boost of energy right when I need it the most!! Also try adding other spices like Turmeric, Ginger, and Cumin for added flavor and health benefits.

Fit French Toast

Protein
4:1 egg whites to whole egg
½ scoop UMP vanilla

Carb
2 pieces of Ezekiel® bread
1 cup fresh organic berries

Flavor
dash of Cinnamon

Directions
Beat eggs and UMP together then add cinnamon. Soak bread in egg batter and then cook on stove over medium heat until golden brown. Top with fresh organic berries.

Homemade Protein Bars

Protein
2 scoops of Vanilla UMP protein powder

Carb
1 cup of dry oatmeal

Fat
1/2 cup all natural no sugar added peanut butter or almond butter 2 tablespoons flaxseed (optional)

Flavors
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions
Spray an 8 by 8 dish with Pam. Mix all the dry ingredients together and then add in the vanilla and nut butter of choice. You may also add a touch of water until a sticky dough forms. Spread dough into pan and set in freezer until dough hardens. Cut into aprox 8 -10 squares and wrap bars in foil or little snack bags. Store bars in fridge or freezer and enjoy as a healthy meal replacement on the go.

Mental Focus and Visualization

This is critical to reaching your goals and being successful at any sport or com-petition. You have to believe it to achieve it. Your thoughts are a very powerful force and the types of conversations you have with yourself can either make or break you. I always keep a positive mental attitude, it’s the only thing that gets me through the pain of training hard. I also will visualize myself on stage or running through the finish line.

Shoulders

Warm Up (10 min cardio or stretch)

Routine 3 sets of 15 each exercise (moderate weight)

Shoulder DB Press
Seated DB front raises on incline bench
Wide grip upright row with EZ bar
DB Side laterals - palms facing behind at end
DB Side lateral - palms facing behind the entire movement Front Raise with 10 lb plate rotate hands at top
Rear Delt bent over raise with EZ bar
Rear Flies - Machine

Cool down (5 min stretch)

 

HIIT Cardio - Airdyne Bike Intervals

Warm Up (5 min)

Invervals (alternating pace 1 min 40 sec and 20 sec) 1:40 min at moderate intensity
:20 at max intensity
Total time: 20 min

Cool down (5 min)

 

Total Body Blaster

Routine 10 minute run

Weighted Air Squats with medicine ball or 25lb plate x 15 Plyo push ups x 15
Lunges with weighted bar x 15 (each leg)
10 min run
Burpee x 15
Bridge up 1 leg on step 1 up in the air x 15 (each leg) Planks 30 - 30 - 30sec - left side - middle - right side 10 min run
Box jumps x 15
Dips x 15
Cleans or push press with medicine ball or bar x 15
10 min run
10 air squats
5 lunges each leg
5 jumping lunges each leg
5 jump squats

Cool down (5 min stretch)

Rest and Recovery

This is an extremely important part of any training regimen. Your body needs to rest and recover so you can train harder the next day. Here are some things I do daily to make sure I am recovering in the best way.

  • Ice Baths: After long runs or grueling workouts I will sit in the bathtub and pour 5-6 bags of ice into the water and soak for 20 mins, brrrrrr...
  • Lights outs: I’m in bed by 10pm and up by 6am. I suggest 8+ hours of scheduled sleep every night.
  • Black out!: I make my room completely dark. Your body produces melatonin at night and you will get the deepest sleep with no artificial light distraction.

Tip

I write down everything from workouts to diet when I am training for an event. That way I can always look back to see how I can improve or teach others from my own experience.
My personal goal as an athlete and coach is to continue to set higher standards for myself. Fitness and nutrition are not just hobbies; they are keys to a better way of life. I know my challenge is to make this life the best it can be, and I’m blessed to have the ability to help others make their lives more fulfilling as a Reshape Coach with Reshape the Nation.

Going Strong at Age 50

At a Glance: Joe Corbett

Age: 50

Occupation: BSBA Madison University, registered investment advisor and founder of Equis Group LLC.

Family: Married to Stacey for 23 years. We have five children Kasey 23, Cecelia 21, Joseph 18, Luke 16 and Frankie 13.

Residence: Wildwood (St. Louis), MO

Years training: 33

Height: 5'10"

Weight: 190 (off-season), 176 (contest)

Favorite Meal: Organic steel cut Irish oats with cinnamon, Splenda and vanilla UMP mixed in

Favorite Supplements: Hands down UMP cookies & creme, in final stages of contest prep diet, I can’t wait to have a shake made extra thick and right from the fridge.

What would you recommend to someone who has never used Beverly supplements before: If you are serious about your fitness goals you should at least try Beverly products. Perhaps you could start with the proteins and then experiment with other products you are interested in. I have used many supplements on the market today, but really feel that Beverly products help me to achieve my very best. I have two sons that play soccer at a high level. I formulated a nutrition plan for them including an UMP shake every day, Fit Tabs multi-vitamin and Glutamine Select.

Music: I have all types of music consisting of classic rock, metal, country and R&B. My workout playlist is called “Crush It” and it consists of bands like Disturbed, Chevelle, Godsmack, and Tool. This music describes the way I train –total intensity.

Hobby or interests outside bodybuilding: Riding my motorcycles and watching my kids play sports.

I have trained my entire adult life. At 17 years old, my friend and I rode bikes to a nearby community college to work out on Universal equipment. Then, at age 18 I joined George Turner’s gym paying with money I had saved. Turner’s was a hard core gym with big guys lifting heavy weights. I maintained a decent level of fitness throughout my 20’s and actually competed once without much success due primarily to a lack of discipline.

Again, I maintained through my 30’s and competed again at age 40. I took second place at the “Show Me Naturals”. It was such a blast; I competed the following year in the same show and won the middle weight open class. I competed several more times over the next 3 years with decent placings.

Last year, at age 49, I competed again. This time in a larger show, the “NPC Continental USA” and won the overall Masters. This was the first show where I used Beverly products seriously and boy what a difference it made in my overall physique. After competing this summer at the “Missouri State Show”, I would ultimately love to compete in the “NPC Masters Nationals”. But for me, the real accomplishment is just standing on stage in the best shape of my life. I heard a quote once that sums it up for me, “Your body and your spirit are gifts from above and what you do with them while on this earth is your gift back to God.”

Now that you know a little about me, let’s get into some things that I’ve learned along the way that might help you. We’ll start with a problem that I finally solved which may be relevant to many of you. I couldn’t hold muscle in the later stages of my contest diet. I solved it by keeping my body fat lower off-sea-son, increasing my pre contest food intake a little, and adding two specific Beverly products that helped me maintain muscle tissue, Mass Amino Acids and Ultra 40. Now, let’s go deeper into my diet.

Diet & Supplement Schedule

6:30 am:
2 caps of 7-Keto MuscLean

7 am:
5 egg whites, 2 whole eggs and ½ cup of steel cut Irish oats
1 Super Pak, 3 Mass Aminos, 3 Ultra 40 and Lean Out

10 am:
2 scoops of UMP and 1 piece of fruit

12:30 pm:
10 oz white fish, large veggie salad with homemade dressing consisting of seasonings, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and 1 ½ cups of brown rice
3 Mass Aminos, 3 Ultra 40 and Lean Out

1:30-2:00 pm:
1 scoop of Up-Lift 30 minutes before work out; 1 scoop of Creatine Select: drink while walking into gym, and 1 scoop of Glutamine Select in a water bottle to drink throughout training

2 pm:
Immediately following training, while walking out of gym: 2 scoops of Muscle Provider (Chocolate) with 1 piece of fruit

6 pm:
2 caps of 7-Keto MuscLean, 30 minutes prior to meal
10 oz of chicken breast, white potato, and large veggie salad with homemade dressing
3 Mass Aminos, 3 Ultra 40 and Lean Out

9 pm:
3 hardboiled eggs and 1 scoop of UMP
3 Mass Aminos, 3 Ultra 40 and Lean Out

I pretty much follow this diet year round, but it becomes more strict 12 weeks prior to competition, especially in terms of timing the meals, which is so important. 8 weeks prior to competition with the help of my trainer, Travis Wallis, we adjust the macro nutrients as needed.

Training

I alternate heavy and lighter weeks as illustrated below.

Week 1: As heavy as possible, but never sacrifice form

Day 1: Arms
BB Curl
4 sets of 8-10
DB Curl (seated) 4 sets of 8-10
Concentration Curl 4 sets of 10-12
Skull Crushers 4 sets of 8-10
DB Kickbacks (palm facing floor-not thumb) 4 sets of 8-10
Rope Pressdowns (with elbows wide) 4 sets of 8-10

Day 2: Quads/Calves
Hack Squat 5 sets of 8-10 reps
Inverted Leg Press 4 sets of 8-10
BB Squat 4 sets (deep) of 12 reps
Leg Extension 4 sets of 25 reps - you won’t be able to use much weight at all, but go slow and feel the squeeze at top
Standing Calf Raise 6 sets of 20
Donkey Calf Raise 6 sets of 20

Day 3: Rest

Day 4: Chest
BB Bench Press 5 sets of 8-10 reps
DB Decline Flye (this kills) feel squeeze at top of movement 4 sets of 10-12
Cable Flye 4 sets of 10-12

Day 5: Back
Chins 5 sets to failure
Deadlift (in rack with stops 8 inches from floor to limit range at bottom of movement) 4 sets of 8
DB Row (with hand on bench and both feet on floor) 4 sets of 8.

Day 6: Shoulders and Hams
Lateral Raise 4 sets of 8-10 reps
Front Raise with Barbell 4 sets of 8-10
Rear Delt Flye (bent over) 4 sets of 8-10
Hammer Shoulder Press 4 sets of 8
Seated Leg Curl 5 sets of 8
Stiff Legged Deadlift 5 sets of 8
Lying Leg Curl 4 sets of 8

Day 7: Rest

Week 2: Only 1 minute rest between sets, keep the intensity up and use supersets. Do ab work every other day.

Day 1: Arms
Hammer Strength Preacher Curl 5 sets of 15
Concentration Curl 4 sets of 15
DB Hammer Curl (standing) 4 sets of 15
Hammer Strength Triceps Extension 5 sets of 15
Hammer Strength (plate loaded)
Dip Machine 4 sets of 15
Overhead Rope Extensions 4 sets of 15

Day 2: Quads and Calves
Leg Press 5 sets of 15
Hack Squats 5 sets of 15 - narrow stance and keep constant tension on quads - don’t lock out and go deep, all the way down
Walking Lunges to failure - or you throw up
Seated Calf Raise 6 sets of 20
Standing Calf Raise 5 sets of 20

Day 3: Chest
Hammer Strength (plate loaded)
Decline Press 5 sets of 15
Smith Incline (only slight incline) 4 sets of 15 - keep bar moving, don’t lock out
Hammer Strength (plate loaded) ISO Wide Chest 4 sets of 15

Day 4: Back
Seated Cable Row with wide bar 5 sets of 15 - do movement slow and really squeeze as you bring weight back
Cable Pulldowns (with feet behind you, not in front) 5 sets of 15
T-bar Row 5 sets of 15

Day 5: Shoulders/Hams
Lying Leg Curl 4 sets of 15
Standing Leg Curl 4 sets of 15
Stiff Legged Deadlifts 4 sets of 15 - 1 leg at a time and keep opposite toe pointed toward floor at all times
DB Press 4 sets of 15
Seated Shrugs 5 sets of 12
Lateral Raise 4 sets of 15

Day 6 and 7: Rest
Repeat week 1

Tips on Turning 50

Before I close, I’m going to list some tips and observations I’ve made about my training since turning 50.

  1. Spend adequate time warming up. If I’d paid more attention to proper warm-up earlier in my life, I might not have as many aches and pains as I do today. Now, I spend about 20 minutes warming up my joints before I train. I do this every time I go to the gym.
  2. I have “bodywork” done weekly at Fitzmaurice Performance in St Louis, and more often if needed. There are various names for it, massage, myofacial release, etc… but I just call it “bodywork”. This has made a huge difference for me.
  3. REST - when I was in my 20s it wasn’t a big deal if I didn’t get enough sleep. At age 50 and beyond, it is ESSENTIAL.
  4. Get your micronutrients every day. I start every day with a Super Pak whether I am competing or in the off season. That way I know I am giving my body the essentials.
  5. Have Fun! Even though we may not look like top pros, we are still trying to constantly improve. Think positive and carry this momentum with you as you age.
  6. As I get older, I found that I must be much stricter in my pre contest diet. The days of putting on 10 pounds in the off season are over. I must now maintain my condition all year round. I allow myself planned cheat meals in the off season, but if my body fat increases too much, it’s not worth the extra time and lost muscle it takes to get it off.
  7. Supplements are now more essential to my nutrition plan. Ultra 40 and Mass Aminos with every meal really help.
  8. I have to time my meals and eat every 2 ½ or 3 hours. At 40 it didn’t seem to make that much of a difference if I went 4 hours without a meal. Now it’s hard to keep my lean mass unless I am eating on schedule.
  9. I try to lift heavy to keep my muscle bellies full and dense. But it just kills my joints if I lift heavy all the time. When I follow the training schedule above it allows me to lift heavy week 1, and up the intensity and reps on week 2 for hypertrophy, but with less stress on my joints.

I have really dedicated my life to my family, my faith and my fitness. I really enjoy helping others. At this stage, I am just trying to maintain the amount of muscle I have and refine it to achieve a higher level of conditioning and separation. Wherever you are today in terms of fitness, be kind to yourself. We all want to be better and that’s a good thing. I believe the way to achieve your fitness goals is to have a plan and don’t be lazy. Seek the advice of a professional trainer if you need help and follow his or her advice. It’s not too late, I am competing at 50 years old and hope to still be walking out on the stage in an over 60 class someday….God willing.

Stan Thomakos Comes Back At 53 After A 15-Year Lay off

[Note from Sandy R: After seeing Stan Thomakos at our Northern KY contest I asked if he would write up a little about himself and how he achieved such great condition.]

I am 53 years young and have been weight training for almost 30 years now. I started taking Beverly products back in 1985 and with the help of Roger and Sandy I stepped on stage in my first bodybuilding contest which was the Mr Northern KY in 1986. After a 15-year lay off from competition, I got the bug to try it one more time. I contacted Jason Theobald at Natty Nutrition who put a diet program together for me and helped me get in the best shape of my life. 8 months later I finished 1st in the Masters over 50 and 1st in the bantamweight men’s open class at the Cincinnati and placed in both classes at the Northern KY the next weekend. Now, I am going to shoot for the 2012 Buckeye natural, then try to make a few gains and shoot for the 2013 Masters Nationals.

Training

At my age training smart is key. You have to know when to push and when to stop. Injuries at 53 don’t heal near as quickly as they do at 33. I train on a 5 day program with 1 body part each day so that I can completely recuperate between workouts. In the off season I’ll do 20 minutes of cardio after workouts. Pre contest I upped the cardio to 90 minutes per day, 7 days a week. Being a natural bodybuilder at 53 makes you do things like 90 minute cardio sessions that a younger bodybuilder may not have to do!

I’ve been told my chest is my best body part. Here is a typical workout I do for my chest.

Proper warm-up is super important at any age and especially 50 and over. On chest days I do some very light incline and flat bench dumb-bell presses (2 sets of each) and a couple of sets of 20 push-ups.

4 sets of flat bench straight bar pyramid up 10-12 @ 145, 8-10 @ 185, 6-8 @ 205 and last set 4-6 @ 225.

I do the same with incline dumbbells (10-12 @ 60, 8-10@ 80, 6-8 @ 90 ,4-6 @ 100)
I like changing the angle of the bench every week to hit the whole chest!

The next chest w/o I do incline dumbbells and flat bench straight bar, rotating dumbbells and straight bar back and forth every other chest workout.

Next I go to the dip bar for 4 sets. 3 heavy sets (45lb plate between legs) 10-12 reps and the last set with bodyweight for 20 reps.

I like to finish up with 3 sets at 185 on incline Smith and alternate back and forth with the cable crossover’s super set style! It’s fast and furious!

Sometimes I like to add 1-2 sets of 30 push-ups just for fun! That reminds me… one other thing has contributed to my chest development, my dad started me off doing push-ups when I was 3 years old, and I never have stopped!!!!

Diet

Jason at Natty Nutrition started me dieting almost 8 months out from the Cincinnati. Yes, 8 months. He put me on more food than I have ever eaten in my life. Lots of calories and 7 meals a day. Never before had I eaten that much food! But I was losing BF and putting on muscle for nearly 3 months! Then when Jason and I noticed I had stopped losing fat he started cutting carbs from my diet. We noticed an immediate fat loss! At about 8 weeks out from the Cincinnati contest we stopped almost all carbs and went to a ketogenic diet with higher fats and almost zero carbs. That’s when the fat really started coming off. Apparently some people do much better on high fats and zero or low carbs. Well, that’s me.

My diet and supplements were pretty simple. I also mixed Muscle Synergy powder in water and drank it through all of my workouts.

5 GH Factor and 3 7-Keto upon waking

Meal 1: 7 egg whites, 2 Fit Tabs, 2 Quadracarn, 2 Lean Out, 3 Joint Care

Meal 2: 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1 ½ scoops of Muscle Provider, 15 almonds

Meal 3: 6 oz chicken breast, spinach salad w/ vinegar and oil or broccoli, 2 Lean Out and 2 Quadracarn

Meal 4: 6 oz chicken breast, spinach salad w/ vinegar and oil or broccoli, 2 Lean Out and 2 Quadracarn

Meal 5: 1 ½ scoops Muscle Provider and a tablespoon of peanut or almond butter. (My post workout and favorite meal of the day because of the peanut butter!)

Meal 6: 7 Egg white omelet made with lots of onions and a spinach salad

That’s about it ! Stayed on this diet with very little changes for about 10 weeks.

Perseverance and determination are the most important things in bodybuilding! Bodybuilding teaches us both, which helps us in our lives !!!

Earning My “Open” Natural Pro Card at Age 51

At a Glance: Robin Marion

Age: 51

Occupation: Certified Personal Trainer and Health Coach, Retired Military, Owner Velvet & Steel Fitness

Current Residence: Waldorf, MD

Years training: 30+

Height: 5'7.5"

Weight: 145-150 (off-season), 130 (contest)

Favorite Fitness Meal: Roast chicken breast, redskin potatoes, asparagus

Favorite Supplements: Beverly UMP, Muscle Synergy, Lean Out, 7-Keto MuscLean, Quadracarn, Density, and Glutamine Select. I use these supplements to help sculpt and define
my body as well as dropping bodyfat and leaning out my physique. The UMP tastes great and I love all the things I can do with it. I’ve had protein muffins, protein pancakes and I use it in my oatmeal. They are made with great and natural ingredients. All the info on the products is upfront. Nothing hidden and the company reps are very knowledgeable on the products as well. I started using Beverly supplements in 2012 and I haven’t looked back. I love them and the results they produce. I also became a reseller of Beverly Supplements.

What would you recommend to someone who has never used Beverly supplements before: I would recommend they look up the supplements on the Beverly website (www.beverlyinternational.com) and contact a company rep (800-781-3475 M-F 9-4 ET). There are good descriptions for each product and what it does, but talking to someone will allow you to get more detailed info or ask questions the product info may not provide. The company reps also help develop the right combination of supplements to help you achieve your goals.

Music: All Genres

Most Inspiring Book: Becoming by Michelle Obama

Hobby or interests outside bodybuilding: Spending time with family, reading, shopping, cooking.

Words to live by: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

Editors note: Robin was featured in a No Nonsense article in 2017. Since that time she has made tremendous improvements in her physique. At age 51, she achieved the best condition of her life. (And this is after 30+ years of training!) We thought it would be inspirational and educational to update you with a brief Q&A and list the current diet, supplements, and training programs she uses to achieve her remarkable results.

I am a retired US Army Soldier and mother of five (blended family), with seven grandkids and one grandcat. I have always been active but struggled with various medical conditions that have affected my levels of activity. Serious bouts of fatigue followed many of my very active days. This made follow up activities nearly impossible to do. While I have never struggled with being overweight, I always struggled with being underweight. I actually had to gain weight in order to enlist in the military. My medical conditions did not stop me from doing what I wanted to do. I just had to get creative in my approach to doing them. However, the issues I was dealing with did contribute to bouts of depression and low self-confidence. Some things we can change and some we cannot. Some are meant to be changed and some are not. I believe we truly become free to love “who and how we are” when we accept “who and how we are.”

How did you get started lifting?
I’ve been active all my life but the military amplified that. My first supervisor in 1989 introduced me to bodybuilding while stationed in Korea. That’s where I did my first bodybuilding competition and I loved it.

Did you have any problems starting out that other readers might relate too?
My biggest challenge was adjusting to the strict nutrition plan required for bodybuilding success. I can work out for hours but sticking to my nutrition plan has always tested my discipline.

Did you try anything that didn’t work?
I had too many conflicting goals. My training and nutrition were not in sync. I’d try to circumvent lapses in my nutrition plan by adding more training.

What did you do to solve the problem?
Follow the plan. Prioritize my goals and stick to one at a time. What you do or don’t do with nutrition shows on your physique. Proper nutrition is critical.

What were the results of prioritizing your goal & sticking to the plan?
My preps were less stressful when I trusted the process. I have a tendency to second guess things as it relates to my body and what I see. Don’t be afraid to ask your coach about their methods and the why, when, how, or what of the process. They are often learning your body just like you are. Contest prep has now become second nature to me. This means I don’t overstress or over think them. I listen to my coach and we have become a team that works together to have a healthy prep while bringing my best package to the stage. The results? Higher placings, and 2 OCB Pro Cards. Under my current coach I have only placed outside of Top 5 once. All other placings have been 1st or 2nd place. This year’s goal was to obtain my Open Figure Pro card in the OCB. I had already obtained my Masters Figure Pro Card. I told my coach what I wanted and he developed a plan which I followed. The result was earning that Open Pro Card in June 2021.

Diet

Here is the diet I followed to earn my OCB Open Figure pro card

Meal 1 

Ground beef, white rice, spinach

Meal 2

Chicken breast, red skin potatoes, veggies

Meal 3

Chicken breast, red skin potatoes, veggies

Meal 4

Shrimp or white fish, white rice

1 gallon of water daily

Pretty basic, right? The key is STICK TO THE PLAN! I’m a creature of habit when it comes to my meals. My “off plan” meals are few and far between and I’m okay with that. If I go off the rails too much my digestive system doesn’t like it. My favorite “off plan” meals are oatmeal with strawberries and blueberries, cheeseburger and fries, and Lorna Doone cookies.

Supplements

Glutamine Select I add to my water and drink throughout the day Lean Out and 3 7-Keto MuscLean (with meals 1 and 3)

Density Two tablets with each meal

UMP Post-workout

Muscle Synergy Pre-workout

Quadracarn 3 tablets pre-workout, 3 tablets with meals 2 and 4 (9 tablets total per day)

Mass Aminos and Ultra 40 I follow the directions on the bottles and take one tablet of each for every ten pounds of my bodyweight. This comes out to 13-15 each of Mass and Ultra 40 per day. If you follow the directions these two supplements will give you great results.

FitTabs Two tablets with meals 1 and 3 (4 tablets daily)

Training

I am currently training each body part once every eight days. However, when in contest prep mode I change to six days per week and hit each muscle group twice. I perform 3-4 sets per exercise. Rep ranges are 8-10 on heavy days and 12-15 on volume days. I focus on progressive overload and time under tension training.

Day 1 (Quad Focus)
Leg Extension
Leg Press
Smith Machine Squat Hack Squat
Seated Calf Raise

Day 2 (Chest)
Dumbbell Incline Press
Smith Machine Incline Press
Flat Bench Barbell Press
Incline Cable Flye

Day 3 (Back)
Pull-ups (assisted or unassisted)
T-Bar or Barbell Rows
Cable Row
Dumbbell Row
Dumbbell Pullover

Day 4 (Rest)

Day 5 (Hamstrings)
Walking Lunges
Deadlifts (Sumo and Stiff-leg) I change the type weekly
Lying Hamstring Curl
Single-leg Hamstring Curl
Standing Calf Raise

Day 6 (Arms)
Skull Crushers
Triceps Pressdown
Cable Kickback
Alternate Dumbbell Curl
Hammer Curl
One-arm Preacher Curl

Day 7 (Shoulders)
Smith Machine Shoulder Press
Cable Side Lateral Raise
Machine Reverse Flye
Shoulder Shrug
Dumbbell Front Raise

Day 8 (Rest)

Start over at Day 1

Closing Thoughts

The sport of bodybuilding is not easy. I’ve done many competitive events and bodybuilding is by far the hardest I’ve ever trained for. It requires discipline, consistency and true GRIT. Although I am a personal trainer and coach, hiring a contest prep coach and posing coach is the best thing I could have done. It took a lot of the guess work out of things for me. Get the mental part on board and the rest will follow. Be committed to the process. There is no circumventing what works in the process. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it. Regardless of the outcome on the stage there is always something to be learned about yourself and others in the process. The result is always a win.

This year I competed in 4 competitions in a month and a half, and it was by far the hardest yet best prep season I’ve had. It was grueling but I am extremely happy with the outcome and look forward to the next competition season.

2021 Competition Season Results:

  • OCB Atlantic Super Show 1st Place Class C
  • OCB Catonsville Conqueror 2nd Place Class B
  • OCB Jersey Natural 2nd Place Class B
  • OCB Colonial Open, Figure Open Pro

I am extremely thankful for my support system in my husband, children, family and friends, my Coach Donovan Strong and Team Strong Physiques, Posing Coach Tina Johnson, my clients of Velvet & Steel Fitness and the OCB Organization.

If it’s in Your Heart to Compete, DO IT! (No matter your age)

At a Glance: Andrea Edwards

Age: 55

Occupation: Medical Assistant at OH ENT & Allergy Physicians in Columbus, OH

Current Residence: Columbus, OH

Years training: 40

Height: 5'0"

Weight: 124 (off-season), 114 (contest)

Favorite Bodybuilding Meal: Tilapia and green beans with avocado oil

Favorite Supplements:  Muscularity, GH Factor, Glutamine, Quadracarn. I add Lean Out, 7-Keto MuscLean, and Muscle Synergy when dieting for competition.

What would you recommend to someone who has never used Beverly supplements before: I would highly recommend Muscle Synergy, Glutamine Select, Quadracarn, and GH Factor for building muscle and recovery; Lean Out and 7-Keto MuscLean are fundamental for increasing metabolism and getting shredded.

Most Inspiring Book: Beauty for Ashes by Joyce Meyer.

Hobby or interests outside bodybuilding: Writing, painting, shopping (of course!), and spending time with my three dogs.

Words to live by: DON'T QUIT!! You grow through what you go through.

My bodybuilding journey began 41 years ago when I joined (with my Mother's permission) a Fitness Center for women at age 14. That was the era of leotards, leg warmers, and headbands. (all of which I wore proudly). In addition to the hip shaker machine (as I called it), which consisted of a band, you put around your waist, and the machine proceeded to shake the weight off of your hips and thighs, they also had a few Nautilus machines. After testing out the equipment with no knowledge of what I was doing, I was immediately hooked! One thing led to another, and I joined (again with my Mother's permission) a "real" gym with free weights and posters of famous bodybuilders on the wall, including Rachel McLish. She was my inspiration for lifting weights and later on competing. Fast forward quite a few years which included working at gyms, being a personal trainer, competing, and a tour of duty in the Navy; here we were in 2020.

I stepped away from competing for 19 years due to "life happenings" and some personal struggles, which I won't go into detail about. I decided to reenter the competition world last year. I have competed in three NPC shows so far and plan to compete in Nationals next year. I had hesitations about competing again at age 54, but after meeting with Mike Francois at Metro Fitness in Worthington, OH, I decided to go for it. I had 12 weeks to get ready for his show. Luckily, I had kept myself in good shape over the years, so it was an attainable goal.

My advice to anyone who thinks they are too old, not pretty enough, muscular enough, or whatever other excuses we tell ourselves is to ignore that voice in your head. If it is in your heart to compete, then DO IT! Life is too short for regrets. What's the worst that can happen? You don't place or win. But you did win because you had the guts and drive to do what very few people in this world can do. That makes you a winner! Anything else is icing on the cake.

Diet

Meal One
6 egg whites, 1 yolk, ¹⁄₄ c blueberries, ¹⁄₂ c oatmeal, coffee

Meal Two
2 one scoop whey protein (Muscle Provider)

Meal Three
6oz fish or chicken, 4oz yam, 1 cup vegetables

Meal Four
6oz fish, chicken, or beef, ¹⁄₂ c rice or ¹⁄₂ yam, spinach salad, or 1 cup vegetables, 1-2 tbsp flaxseed oil

Meal Five
Protein pancake (3 egg whites, 1 whole egg, 1 scoop vanilla UMP, additional vanilla, and cinnamon to taste. I add a little water sometimes too. Cook over low to medium heat with non-stick spray. Top with sugar-free syrup.)

Supplements

I have tried many different supplements over the years and spent a lot of money for little to no results. None have given me results like Beverly International. I can honestly say that Beverly International products are of the highest quality and will give you the results you are looking for. 7-Keto MuscLean, Lean Out, and Quadracarn are a must for fat burning and increased vascularity with contest prep, especially as you age. Muscle Synergy, Muscularity, and Density are essential for preserving muscle on a contest diet.

Supplement Schedule

  • GH Factor 6 with meal 1
  • Lean Out 1 with each meal
  • 7-Keto MuscLean 2 with meals 1, 3 and 5
  • Quadracarn 3 tablets twice a day
  • Glutamine Select 1 scoop before workout
  • Muscularity 2 capsules three times a day
  • Muscle Synergy 1 scoop per day
  • Density 5 tablets per day

Training

Mon & Thurs: Shoulders/Tris

Machine Shoulder Press 4x12
Side Laterals 4x12-15
Dumbbell Press 4x12
Arnold Press 4x12
Skull Crushers 4x12
Cable Upright Row 4x12-15
Reverse Pec Dec 4x12
Rope Pushdown 4x12
Abs

Tues & Fri: Legs

Leg Extension 4x15
Leg Curl 4x15
Walking Lunges
Stiff-Legged Deadlifts 4x15
Hack Squats 4x12-15
Lying Single-leg Press 4x15
Bulgarian Split Squat 4x15
Leg Press 4x12-15
Donkey Calf Raises 3x30
Seated Calf Raises 3x30

Wed: Back

Wide Grip Pulldown 4x15
Cable Row 4x12
Close Grip Pulldown 4x12
Deadlift 4x8-12
1 Arm DB Row 4x8-12
Hyperextensions 4x15-20
Abs

Sat: Chest/Biceps

Incline DB Press 4x8-12
Hammer Curl 4x10
Bench Press 4x8-12
Preacher Curl 4x10
Cable Flye 4x12-15
Dumbbell Curl 4x10
Abs

Cardio Schedule

Off-Season: 30-minute sessions, 4 to 5 times a week.
Contest Prep: 30–60-minute sessions, 4 to 6 times a week.
I prefer the treadmill, elliptical, and StairMaster machines. I add sprints during contest prep.

Tips on Presentation

Practice practice practice! You can never be too prepared. Watch videos of other competitors, or find a good posing coach. Your time on stage is limited so bring your best. You've worked hard for many weeks to get there, it wasn't easy, but you did it. And even if you don't win or place, it's ok as long as you can say I did my best.

Final Thoughts

Don't compare yourself to others. Be the best version of YOU that you can be. No one can do you better than you! Stay the course and keep grinding.

NEVER QUIT!