Lifetime Bodybuilder

At a Glance: Michael Sheppard

Age: 38

Occupation: Owner of Heritage Park Fitness, in Harker Heights, TX.

Education: BS in Early Childhood Development

Family: Children: two boys, Isiah 13, and Deandre 19

Residence: Harker Heights, TX

Years training: 19 years

Height: 6'

Weight: 256 (off-season), 245 (contest)

Favorite Bodybuilding Meal: Steak, rice, and salad

What would you recommend to someone who has never used Beverly supplements before: I would let him or her know that they are excellent products. I have been using them since 1999 and trust what they are supposed to do for me, my body, as well as my bodybuilding career.

Music: Kendrick Lamar, Jay Z, Metallica, Rage, Public Enemy, Lil Wayne, Jimi Hendrix, Five Finger Death Punch, Snoop Dogg, Kanye West, and Drake.

Hobby or interests outside bodybuilding: I am truly a gym rat at heart, but I do enjoy riding my Hyabusa.

Words to live by: When you go through hardship and decide not to surrender, that is strength.

Website: www.facebook.com/michaelallensheppard

I have been a competitor my entire life. From sports in high school, to college basketball, I wanted to be the best I could be. When I found bodybuilding, I fell in love.

My first bodybuilding competition was in Guam (1997). I didn’t know much about competing, but I had been training for about 5 years. The gym owner talked me into it and I was good enough to win the heavyweight division that night.

Two years later, I moved to Ft. Hood, TX and started working out on post in the same gym where Johnny Jackson once trained. At one of the shows there, I noticed the overall winner talking to a Beverly International representative named Richard Dougherty. I approached Richard and expressed interest in get-ting some diet and supplement help for the upcoming Lackland Classic (1999). Richard invited me down to his store where he taught me all about Beverly International products. Having learned the difference between BI and the other brands, I have been using BI ever since.

I dieted for 12 weeks starting at 220lbs. Contest day I was very nervous, but leaner than I had ever been in my life. I won the 198lb class and also took the overall title. After that win I was hooked, I did the 2000 Southwest Natural and took the heavyweight class. I also did the Texas State and took 5th. I was just not as seasoned as the guys competing at the state show. In 2001, I took second at the Heart of Texas competition, and third at the Texas State. I was moving forward, but I still had a lot to learn and improvements to make. More and more I saw that it is as much about symmetry and the “X-Factor” than just size and definition. I needed to bring my legs up to match my upper body.

I took 4 years off from competition to build more size in my legs and improve my proportions. I used two main strength movements for legs. Every leg day, I’d start with heavy squats and then follow them with heavy dead lifts. I know it’s not com-mon to do squats and deads in the same workout, but it worked for me and my legs grew.

I finally decided to get back on stage in 2006 and pursue my pro card with the NGA. This competition prep was the toughest yet because my sons’ mom was overseas. I was trying to run a business, train and diet for the show, and play both parents at the same time. I was in and out of fast food restaurants while trying to stay on a diet plan of some sort. At the John Colby Classic (2006) I weighed 205 and got a close second. My Beverly supplement plan was on track, but not my diet. I just wasn’t eating right. The following year my sons’ mom was home and I was able to go for my pro card again. I did the John Colby Classic again and this time won first place and took the Overall at 212lbs. I won my NGA pro card that night. At this point my friend wanted to shoot a documentary about my prep and we put a few videos online. (Google: “Mike Sheppard the Natural on you tube” to view them).

hen headed to the big NPC shows in 2011. My official comeback was at the 2011 Adela Garcia Classic where I took the overall. I felt like I kept getting better and better so I went to the Branch Warren and took a close second, then headed to the Europa and took second again. While traveling to the show I got lost the night before weigh-ins. I didn’t get checked in until 3am. Thank goodness I had my Beverly International shakes in the car. My contest weight was now up to 219.

I did the 2012 Branch Warren in Houston as a prep show for the USA’s. I did not put full attention to my prep due to work, meetings, and travel. But, I ended up taking second place to Steven Frasier. I was looking forward to a rematch with Steven at the USA’s in July.

I arrived in Vegas on Sunday night. For the week leading up to the show I ate 5 solid food meals each day and added 4 Ultra 40’s with every meal. I got tighter and tighter as I followed my supplement program which I’ve notated below. The USA was the biggest show I had ever been to in my life. 500 competitors and 40 of them were in my weight class. I was very nervous, but knew I was at my best for this show.

I was second to last to go out on stage and I had nothing to warm up with. So I looked up and saw a beam going across the ceiling. (Anyone who knows me knows that I love doing pull-ups.) I jumped straight up and started doing pull-ups. My fellow competitors were shaking their heads as they watched me doing one pull-up after an-other. You can tell by my smile on stage that I was happy to be there and for the experience. Now I know what’s next and what they are looking for. And as a footnote, Steven Frasier, remember him, the guy who beat me at the Branch Warren, he won the overall and got his IFBB pro card.

I had a few adjustments to make for the 2012 season. My supplement plan was rock solid, but I needed stricter off-season nutrition. I also needed to continue to build up my legs while backing off a little on upper body. I trained legs heavy twice a week. Although I like to stay strong, I know there is no award for strongest legs so I had to work on shape as well. I had to figure out how to balance the two. (See more about this in my training schedule.)

New challenges are ahead for me. I am in the Super Heavyweight category now and am up against a lot of people that natural bodybuilders typically just don’t go after. But I have goals. I want to win the Branch Warren. Taking second there twice is not good enough for me. I would love to qualify and compete at the Master’s Olympia. I know that I have not yet reached my best possible condition. This year I will work harder, I will perfect and tweak what needs to be done. I won’t stop. I’m hooked on Beverly International, on training and on bodybuilding competition. I’ve been a lifetime competitor, and that will never end.

Contest Diet

First and foremost let me say that nutrition is the hardest part of all of this for me. I look at dieting kind of like Lent. For about 40 days I must take things out of my diet that are impure and will harm me in the long run.

MEAL #1
1 cup oatmeal, 1 scoop vanilla UMP with 1 tbsp flax oil, Splenda brown sugar, and dried cranberries. (Occasionally I use one of the recipes from BI’s website for Protein Pancakes/ Shakes).

MEAL #2
2 scoops UMP (Pre Workout).

MEAL #3
2 scoops Muscle Provider (Post Workout).

MEAL #4
10oz chicken or shrimp; 4 cups vegetables; 1 cup rice.

MEAL #5
1 scoop UMP protein somewhere in the afternoon normally gets added in because I am so hungry.

MEAL #6
8oz lean meat; 2 cups vegetables; 1 cup rice.

MEAL #7
10oz lean meat; 2 cups vegetables; 1 cup rice.

MEAL 7 ON MONDAY AND THURSDAY HIGH CARB DAYS: 1½ cups cooked rice, 10oz sweet potato, medium banana, 1 cup vegetables, 1 tbsp. butter at the end of the day.

Competition Supplement Program

UMP, Muscle Provider, Ultra 40, Lean Out, GH Factor, 7 Keto, EFA Gold, Density, Muscularity, and ZMA. I use this entire combination because of the muscle building and fat burning properties.

MEAL #1
4 Ultra 40’s, 4 Lean Out, 2 GH Factor, 3 7-Keto, 3 EFA’s, 2 Density, 3 Muscularity

MEAL #2
UMP (2 Scoops) Pre workout for a sustained release protein source, 2 Lean Out

MEAL #3
Muscle Provider (2 Scoops) Post workout for a fast absorbing protein

MEAL #4
4 Ultra 40’s, 4 Lean Out, 2 GH Factor, 3 7-Keto, 2 Density, 2 Muscularity

MEAL #5
1 scoop UMP protein (to stave off hunger) and 2 Lean out

MEAL #6
4 Lean Out, 2 GH Factor, 2 Density, 2 Muscularity

BEFORE BED
3 ZMA 2000

Training Schedule

Monday/Thursday: Back and Chest

Tuesday/Friday: Shoulders, Bi’s and Tri’s

Wednesday/Sunday: Legs

Saturday: Off (typically)

Major body parts are trained in the morning; every evening I head back into the gym and do a small muscle group workout (20-30 minutes of Dips, Pull-ups, Abs, and Calves), practice my posing, and then do 45-60 minutes of cardio.

Presentation Tips

A basketball player practices year round, on or off-season. He never stops practicing. So, like a basketball player, I never stop. I train year round, and at 12 weeks out I kick my posing practice into high gear, holding each pose harder and holding it for progressively longer periods of time. I spend 15-20 minutes each evening working on my mandatory poses. Monitoring your posing year round really helps me identify areas where I need improvement. As the event grows closer, posing becomes more exciting than working out. That’s when I can really see how I’ve progressed from competition to competition.

Cardio

Two weeks out from every competition I love to put myself through “Hell Week” as I call it. It’s an 8-day week program. I use the stepper and add 5 minutes every day. The first day, I begin at 65 minutes and I end at 99 minutes (since my steppers don’t go to 100). The last day makes everything else seem so easy. Good luck and Godspeed. (Tip: Have really good music with you.)

My Journey from “Rock Bottom” to Bikini Bodybuilding Champion

At a Glance: Celeste Gillispie

Age: 25

Occupation or Education: BA in Psychology from University of Texas Permian Basin, Owner Anytime Fitness, Odessa, TX

Family: Super supportive husband Clint Gillispie, our 3-year-old English Bulldog Magnus, my parents Mr. & Mrs. Ashworth & sisters Cymber & Celeen Solis

Residence: Odessa, TX

Years training: 7 years

Height: 5'4"

Weight: 132-140 (off-season), 120-124 (contest)

Favorite Bikini Prep Meal: Shrimp, asparagus, sweet potatoes, and for dessert UMP Cookies and Creme pudding with almond milk.

Favorite Supplements: (UMP) Cookies & Cremé is my favorite! It has optimal grams of protein per serving, it's low in carbs and sugar, and the taste is delicious! After my workout, I love eating UMP treats like pudding, muffins, brownies, cookies, waffles, pancakes, or even a simple creamy shake!

I enjoy the tart cherry flavor of Up-Lift and the fact that it is a non-stimulant pre-workout that gives me a feeling of intense focus during my workouts without jitteriness, or a crash afterward!

When I am preparing for a contest, I use Density to help increase muscle hardness and muscularity. 7-Keto MuscLean is also a favorite. This stack has helped me preserve my muscle mass and lose fat during intense weight training sessions, cardio & caloric deficits.

What would you recommend to someone who has never used Beverly supplements before: I have two recommendations for all my clients. #1 is always Beverly's quality protein powders! This is the MOST important supplement for anyone looking to build and preserve lean, strong muscle, and or lose fat. It also helps curb my sweet tooth cravings during my prep. After five years, I have not gotten tired of it because it is THAT good! My #2 recommendation is Glutamine Select. It is clinically dosed with BCAAs, which helps maximize muscle recovery, build anabolism and reduce muscle soreness. When dieting, this supplement also helps combat cravings and helps preserve lean muscle mass. I drink this during or after my workouts, and I turn them into cute ice pops in the summer!

Music: My playlist can go from today's top hits, pop, country, alternative rock, rap, hip-hop, classical piano, meditation & nature sounds, the 2000s, 90s, and 80s, depending on my mood or what I am doing.

Most Inspiring Book: The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. This book changed my life!

Hobby or interests outside bodybuilding: shooting guns, cooking & baking, hiking, playing and cuddling with my English bulldog, painting/coloring/crafting, reading, journal writing, spending time with my loved ones, yoga, meditation/prayer, community events.

Words to live by: If you've got passion, faith and are willing to work hard, you can do and create anything you want in your lifetime!

My competitive personality sparked at age 5 when I played my first sport, T-Ball. I played catcher throughout my childhood and transitioned into girl's athletics, and at age 12, I was introduced to weight lifting. I participated in volleyball, basketball, cross-country, track & field, and cheerleading. I continued to participate in volleyball and cheerleading throughout high school, where I graduated at the top of my class in 2012 at Permian High School in Odessa, TX. GO MOJO!

I began my journey into fitness and health in late August of 2013, after a night of excessive partying and "hitting my rock bottom." My life had become filled with toxic relationships, chronic stress, panic attacks, and depression. I was overindulging in poor quality foods, alcohol & drugs. My weight ballooned up 35 pounds. I started my road back to health by making small positive changes and healthier food swaps. I eliminated fast food, processed carbohydrates, and sugar and ate smaller, more frequent meals and snacks. My friend gave me the "Insanity" program, and I started working out in my kitchen first thing in the morning before classes or work. I lost the weight but had become a skinny 110 pounds with little to no muscle tone.

I enrolled in a Personal Training certification program and began weight training. As my knowledge grew, I began instructing boot camp-style strength and conditioning classes at a local gym in Odessa. Helping others achieve their fitness and health goals became my purpose and passion. When my client base grew large enough, I quit my serving/bartending job at Saltgrass Steakhouse and focused my efforts on my personal training business and graduating from college.

By January 2016, I was in better shape, healthy and happy, or so I thought. I was living an active lifestyle, going to college, eating healthy, exercising, doing yoga, helping others, and my personal training business was thriving. But there was still something wrong. I was experiencing chronic stress, panic attacks, anxiety, and depression. In my junior year of college, a doctor prescribed Xanax and anti-depressants. I took the anti-depressants for three months and felt worse than before, so I stopped taking them. After eight months of continual decline, a new doctor prescribed an antipsychotic medication that scared the life out of me. It was then that I realized that it was my environment, the exact "rock bottom" that I had experienced in 2013, that I needed to change. It was then that my passion for a holistic approach to life and Mind-Body medicine was born. I left the toxic environment and relationships one month later, and I've been holistically healthier ever since.

My First Contest, a Career Upgrade and Marriage

I was introduced to Beverly International products in 2017 by my future husband, Clint Gillispie. Clint, along with his father, had both been long-time advocates and users of Beverly products. After graduating college in May of 2017, I competed in my first bikini bodybuilding contest, the Lackland Classic in San Antonio, TX. I placed first in the Class D Novice and fourth in the class D Open. I weighed 110-112 pounds! "Just a baby," as Clint would say, lol. That first show lit a fire inside me, and bikini bodybuilding was my new passion hobby.

A year later, I became co-owner with Clint of Anytime Fitness Odessa. Our business partnership was very professional until it eventually became a romantic relationship, and we became inseparable. On October 10, 2020, I had my fairytale wedding better than my dreams, and our souls became one.

Contest History

Over the last five years, I have competed in 11 shows, including 4 National level shows. My first 1st place Open win and Bikini Overall Title was at the El Paso Supplement Express in August 2019. Initially, my goal was to be the best NPC Bikini bodybuilder in Texas. I accomplished this by winning 1st place in Class D Open and Bikini Overall at one of the biggest shows in Texas -The Europa Dallas. I finally achieved my muscularity goals at the 2021 Universe in Charleston, SC. I placed 4th out of a stacked class, just a few spots away from turning Pro. I weighed 124 pounds on stage that day. My Coach of Team Elite Physiques, Adam Bonilla, helped me take my physique to that next level, allowing me to compete at the National level competitively.

Diet

Dieting Tips

Prep and weigh all your meals, so they're ready to take with you for the day. Save your most satisfying meals for dinnertime.

Last two weeks before a contest, eat only spinach, kale, iceberg, or romaine lettuce for your veggies to help reduce bloating other vegetables may cause.

Drink one gallon of water a day, not including coffee or diet sodas. Find your favorite drinking cup to help you get it down faster and flavor it with lemon or flavored drink enhancers. My favorite is the strawberry watermelon.

At the end of the day, if you're still hungry (which you will be), chug some water, brush your teeth and go to bed.

Off-Season Diet

Meal #1: 25grams of Kodiak Cakes buttermilk pancakes, half a scoop of UMP Cookies & Crème, and 1-2 tbsp. Lily's sugar-free dark chocolate chips.

Meal #2: Greek yogurt 2% (200 grams) Have when you want in the day and move it to when you like (I liked this right before bed).

Meal #3: Lean Protein Sources: 4oz of 96% lean ground beef, pork tenderloin, cod, tilapia, tuna, shrimp.

Carbs:105 grams of sweet potato.

Veggies: 1 cup of brussel sprouts, cauliflower rice, asparagus.

Fats: 1tbsp of almond butter, 60 grams of avocado, or 16 grams of almonds, cashews, or unsweetened coconut flakes.

Meal #4: Same as meal #3 but cut out the "fats" portion

Meal #5: (Pre-workout): I have Up-Lift and Creatine Select. (Post-workout): 1.5 scoops of UMP protein, 120 grams of a banana, and Glutamine Select during or after my workout.

Meal #6: (Moveable snack): Quest Protein bar (all flavors are delicious). I'm looking forward to Beverly's new Almond Honey UMP bar!

My coach gives me an 1800 calorie free meal once a week because I love food and like to eat. This is not a cheat day! Sometimes I don't use it, but when I do, I typically like to eat Chick-fil-A, or I will cook a favorite lifestyle meal.

Competition Diet

Meal #1: 3oz shrimp, ¹⁄₄ cup lemon juice, black coffee with 1tbsp sugar-free vanilla or hazelnut creamer.

Meal #2: 3oz tilapia, shrimp, or 96% lean ground beef or turkey; 105 grams sweet potato; 1 cup veggies: Brussel sprouts, cauliflower rice, asparagus, spinach, or kale.

Meal #3: Same as meal #2

Meal #4: Same as meal #2

Meal #5: (Pre-workout): I have Up-lift, and during my workout, I take 5 Density tablets. (Post-workout): I have 1 scoop UMP protein, 120 grams of a banana, and Glutamine Select.
On non-workout days I skip the banana.

Meal #6: Same as meal #2

Presentation Tips

Show day presentation can determine your placing. Hair color, bikini, tan, jewelry, and make-up are all fundamental aspects of show day. If you have the best physique on stage and you don't display it well enough or exude confidence about yourself, the subjectivity of the sport allows the judges to give it to your runner-up just because their presentation was better. Make sure you make eye contact with the judging panel!! Practice your posing routine in front of a mirror every day for a minimum of 30 minutes. Don't forget to have FUN AND SHOW OUT ON SHOW DAY!! You WORKED SO HARD mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually to get there. Enjoy the moment and take lots of pictures because it goes by so quickly! After your show, reach out to the judges for their physique critique. Lastly, develop a thick skin when allowing yourself to be judged in a tiny bikini by strangers. If you did your best and made improvements, that's all you can do! Enjoy the process of building the best version of yourself!

Supplements

Protein (UMP) is ESSENTIAL for building muscle and a must for people lifting weights! Protein powder supplements are convenient and ideal post-workout.

Essential Amino Acids (Density) are helpful during workouts and on non-training days to help maintain lean body mass.

Glutamine and BCAAs (Glutamine Select) play a vital role in the health and well-being of the entire body. This supplement can yield benefits to help build muscle mass, reduce catabolism and helps speed up muscle recovery, and improves gut health.

16 Week Competition Prep Supplement Schedule

Super Pak: One pak with breakfast. This high-potency vitamin-mineral supplement is very important for general health and crucial when training like an athlete.

Lean Out: 2 capsules with meals 1 and 3;

7-Keto MuscLean: 3 capsules with meals 1 and 3. Lean Out & 7-Keto MuscLean are my favorite fat-burning stack. It attacks the stubborn fat areas around my waist and hips! It also helps with my energy and suppresses my appetite.

Density: 5 tablets three times a day at meals 1, 3, and 5. Density is extremely valuable for someone like me who struggles to maintain muscle mass when in a calorie deficit before a competition.

Pre-workout: Up-Lift, 5 Density tablets, & Glutamine Select during the workout

Post-workout: UMP with a banana made into mini-waffles

Multiple Enzyme Complex: 1 tablet (meals 1,3,6) a year and a half ago, I started using digestive enzymes and probiotics daily because I was experiencing bloating issues and irregular bowel movements (since I was a kid). Within a month, I had regular bowels, and my gut was no longer in pain.

Probiotics: 1 capsule before bed (meal 6)

Training

Long-term consistency is key: Take your training sessions and pre and post-workout supplements seriously.

Warm-up and cool-down properly: Most people want to skip this part because they think it's boring or they don't have the time. Creative Instagram moves are fun (do these on a fun workout day), but the basic exercises work the best for bodybuilding! Focus on good form and the mind-body connection when working each muscle group.

Be sure to prioritize your sleep: I try to get 7-9 hours to function optimally.

I spend about 20-25 mins stretching before lifting and foam roll out after. I train my abs with stomach vacuums for 5 sets of 5-10 reps at the start of each workout. I do 30-45 minutes of fasted AM cardio 5-6 times a week.

Monday Glutes and Legs

Glute Bridges 3x20-25

BB Squats 4x18-25

BB Walking Lunges 3x12-12 (12 steps each leg)

Heavy Abduction Machine 4x8-10

Glute Kickbacks 4x10-12 reps

Tuesday Back and Shoulders

Reverse Pulldowns 4x10-12

Body Weight Pull-ups 4x10-12

T-Bar Rows 4x 6-8 reps

High Cable Rows 4x8-10

1-Arm Cable Row 4x8-12
superset with Alternate DB incline

Front Raise 4x12-15

Lateral Raise 4x8-10

Bent-Over Laterals 4x12-15

Back Extensions 4 sets to failure

Hanging Leg and Knee Raises 4x15

Wednesday Back/Arms

Rope Abs 3x15-50

Lat Pulldown with Cables 4x12-15
superset with 4x20-25

Lat Pulldown Machine 4x8-10
superset with Rope Extensions 4x20-25

Straight-arm Lat Pulldown 4x10-15
superset with BB Bicep Curls 4x20-25

Close Grip T-bar Row 4x8-10
superset with Rope Hammer Curls 4x20-25

Weighted Heavy Abs 5x10-12 reps

 

Thursday Shoulders

DB Shoulder Press 4x10-12

DB Arnold Shoulder Press 4x8-10

Cable Front Raise 4x8-10

Machine Lateral Raise 4x8-10

Off-hip Lateral Raise (Thumbs at Hip) 4x12-15

Machine Rear Delts 4x8-10

Heavy Rope Crunch Abs 4x15-20

 

Friday Glutes

Heavy Glute Bridges 5x10-12 DB RDL 4x8-10

Banded Glute Bridge 4x15-20 BB RDL 4x10-12

Abduction Machine 4x12-15

 

Saturday Fun Workout!

Any form of physical activity. I like to do F45 classes, hikes, outside cardio, or anything active.

 

Sunday Rest

 

Recovery tip: Take epsom salt baths 2-3x a week!

In Closing

I am so grateful for all the places, memories, struggles, lessons, and inspiring human beings I met through my bodybuilding journey. I'm blessed to have my supportive husband, Clint, who loves living the bodybuilding lifestyle as much as I do. He has always encouraged me. He's my #1 cheerleader at all of my shows!

I do not doubt that the muscle gains and improvements I've made throughout the last five years would have been impossible without Beverly international supplements. I couldn't have achieved my dream physique without them!

My initial intention when I began competing was not to turn it into a career; it was simply a fun, positive hobby for me. I am currently in transition, leaving behind this extreme bodybuilding lifestyle for a while and moving forward into unknown territory.

I have come so far, and I can now peacefully take a break from bikini bodybuilding to enjoy the fruits of my labor! Before I had a vision of turning Pro, I had the desire to become a mommy!
"I'll be back" (Arnold Schwarzenegger voice lol), and I'll have my husband and children in the crowd watching me achieve my Professional bikini bodybuilding aspirations!

My First Year In Bikini

At a Glance: Sarah Vance

Age: 25

Education: Registered nurse working in ICU

Family: My parents Pamela and Alan Vance -- both were bodybuilders who utilized Beverly International products, an older sister Shelley, my wonderful and supportive boyfriend Giev, and my child (really my dog!), Niko

Residence: Cincinnati, OH

Years training: 3 years

Height: 5'5"

Weight: 120-122 (off-season), 115-118 (contest)

Favorite Fitness Meal: : I look forward to two of my meals every day. The first is UMP pancakes with a side of turkey bacon. The second is Chocolate UMP mixed into a pudding with cinnamon and peanut butter. During the off season, I put nonfat cool whip and a banana on top for a banana split taste. It is amazing!

Favorite Supplements: UMP powders are my favorite because of their taste and versatility. You can bake with them, mix them into a pudding, or make a shake when you are in a rush. UMP tastes amazing and is like a sweet treat. My second favorite is Glutamine Select. The flavor is very refreshing and it really helps me power through intense training sessions.

What would you recommend to someone who has never used Beverly supplements before: I recommend they try UMP. One of the major issues people have when dieting is dealing with their sweet tooth. UMP tastes so good that it virtually eliminates sugar cravings. I guarantee there isn’t a better tasting protein powder on the market.

Music: When in the gym, I usually listen to a dance station on Pandora. If at home reading or cooking, I listen to classical/orchestra type music. I love all music, except country!

Hobby or interests outside fitness: Dancing, cooking, and relaxing.

Reflecting on my current state of affairs, I was turning twenty-five, overweight, and unhappy. I knew I needed to reinvent myself. “Is this the best I can be? Am I the healthiest I can be? Is this the best physique I can offer myself?” I decided it was time for a major lifestyle overhaul.

Growing up, both my parents were active bodybuilders, so my decision to start my over-haul by going to the gym should be no surprise. I loved lifting, but did not have a concrete goal until I attended the 2012 Arnold Expo. My goal crystallized when I saw the bikini competition. I thought, “This is what I want to do.” I wanted to become what each competitor portrayed onstage - a healthy, fit, and genuinely happy individual.

For my first competition, I had to drop a significant amount of body fat. I dieted hard, trained hard, and believed in myself. I also learned a valuable lesson; next time if I stay within 5lb of my stage weight competition prep will be a lot easier. I followed that rule for my next round of competitions and have been able to make lean muscle gains while keeping body fat to a minimum. I am coming in ahead of schedule because I didn’t go crazy during the off season. I also learned to be patient and trust that if I stick to my plan, my body will do what it is supposed to do. That said, here’s my plan. Why don’t you give it a try?

Nutrition

My typical meal plan is six meals spread throughout the day over a 12 hour window. I drink a gallon of water each day and try to keep my meals at 2-3 hour intervals. This helps me stay sufficiently full and not suffer extreme hunger pangs or cravings. Even though my food choices are limited, I vary the way I cook, season, and present my food so it is more appetizing and does not become monotonous. I have two large food prep days each week when I cook everything and portion it into my Tupper-ware. This way there is no room for error and no guess work to what I am going to eat throughout the week.

MEAL #1 (9 AM)

2 slices low fat turkey bacon, ½ cup dry oatmeal, 2 scoops Beverly International vanilla UMP, 4 egg whites. I mix the oats, UMP, and egg whites all together with some cinnamon and make pancakes. I usually drink black coffee with this meal.

MEAL #2 (11 AM)

Apple with 1 tbsp peanut butter; 4oz nonfat Greek yogurt or 2 pieces of lite mozzarella cheese sticks

MEAL #3 (1 PM)

4oz chicken breast; 1 cup mixed veggies (I prefer grilled peppers and onions); 6oz sweet potato; and a side salad with olive oil and vinegar dressing

MEAL #4 (4 PM)

2 scoops of Beverly International Rocky Road UMP and cinnamon mixed into pudding

MEAL #5 (6 PM)

Steak fajitas - 3oz lean steak, a cup of veggies, and 2 low carb tortillas

Fortunately, during my last contest prep, I had the luxury of having 200 flex calories each day. I can use these remaining 200 calories to eat any ‘clean’ foods. Below is what I usually ate.

MEAL #6 (9 PM)

2oz sliced turkey breast, 2 tbsp hummus, and carrots; or if I have a sweet craving, I will mix UMP chocolate with a CarbMaster yogurt.

My macros and calories may change as I go through prep based on what I need at the time to present my best physique possible.

 

Supplements

A structured meal plan must go hand in hand with a structured supplement plan in order to attain maximum results. The staples of my plan whether I am in the heart of contest prep or in a maintenance stage are Beverly International’s Lean Out, Fit Tabs, Glutamine Select, and Density. I typically add 7-Keto to aid in dropping body fat and appetite suppression as I get closer to the contest. My supplement regimen looks like this:

Supplement Schedule

2 Lean Out taken 5 times a day before meals to help trans-port fat to be used for energy

3 Density tabs 3 times a day to help maintain my lean muscle

1 capsule of 7-Keto twice a day -- one prior to fasted cardio, one before my 1 pm meal

1 scoop Glutamine Select pre-workout to aid in muscle recovery

1 scoop of Muscle Synergy pre-workout for maintaining lean muscle mass and increasing strength, it also gives me a great pump

2 Fit Tabs twice a day -- two in the morning and two in the evening. Fit Tabs are quite beneficial to overall health, and ensure that even as my diet reaches its most stringent phase, I am still obtaining all the essential minerals, vitamins, and micronutrients.

Cardio

Cardio is another important additive to contest prep. My favorite type is High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) first thing in the morning. During contest prep I do 15 minutes of HIIT three times a week prior to breakfast. This usually consists of sprints, stair stepper, or jump rope. At times I will do all three or add in some plyometrics for variation.

I used to despise cardio; now I don’t mind it at all. The key is finding something you truly enjoy. I love sprinting. It is hard, gets my heart rate up, and also involves quite a bit of glute activation. I also have learned that mixing it up keeps me interested and my body from becoming too accustomed to one thing.

A routine that really gets my heart rate up is sprinting as fast as I can for 30 seconds, doing 20 walking lunges, sprinting for 30 more seconds, doing 15 pop squats, and ending with 30 more seconds of sprinting. Repeat that a few times and I guarantee your heart rate will rise considerably. The other benefit of HIIT is that you actually continue to burn calories for 24 hours after your session in comparison to LISS (Low Intensity Steady State) type cardio.

Training

When I am training in the gym, I am completely focused on my workout and the specific body part being worked. If you blindly go through your workout routine, you’ll only be cheating yourself and hinder your ability to better your physique. My routine usually consists of high rep, low weight supersets, trisets, and plyometrics. My heart rate stays elevated during all of my routines. I especially like to train legs and glutes. Leg day usually consists of high rep squats, lunges, and plyometric work. Top bikini competitors are known for having really high, tight glutes, and the plyometric work has really helped me in that area.

My favorite exercises for legs and glutes:

Single leg straight squats: 15 reps on each leg for three sets. These are SO hard but they really work your glutes, legs, and even your abs since you have to maintain your balance.

Single leg skip ups: 15 reps, three sets per leg

Jump squats: 15 reps for 3 sets

Jumping switch lunges: 10 reps for three sets

Bench step ups stepping down and back into rear lunges: These really make your glutes burn the entire time

Single leg plate drag: 12 reps for three sets

I promise you that these exercises will set your glutes on fire. For illustrations and descriptions of these exercises and more, go to JulieLohre.com and click on Exercise Library.

Presentation

I cannot stress to you enough the importance of your presentation. You must feel and look comfortable and confident on stage. On the day of the show you may be fatigued, excited, nervous, or all of the above. The last thing you want is to have to consciously think about each pose. I attended Julie Lohre’s Mock Competition and I will never forget her saying, “You will want to be able to pose in your sleep.” Practice your posing regularly so that when you take the stage you can demand the judges’ attention, make eye contact, and be confident in the hard work you have done. I currently practice posing a minimum of 15 minutes, 3 times a week. The more you practice, the more natural it will become.

Getting ready for a contest and competing has been an unforgettable experience. I was proud of myself for just being able to stand on stage, and then taking the overall Bikini at the 2012 NPC Kentucky Muscle (in just my 2nd show) was truly a humbling experience.

I couldn’t have done it without Julie Lohre’s Team Fitbody. After that day at the Arnold Expo, I didn’t know where to start. It was a friend of a friend who told me about Julie’s Mock Competition. I decided to give it a try and see if this was something I really wanted to do. I was surrounded by educated and strong women with beautiful physiques. Julie beamed with her love for the sport and her passion for helping people make healthy lifestyle changes. I knew I wanted to be a part of this team.

I highly recommend joining such a team if you have the chance. It’s great to go through contest prep together, share ideas, laugh about each other’s experiences, or just talk about how good ice cream sounds. I reinvented my mind, body, and soul by embracing a healthy diet, sensible workout plan, and the support of my teammates.

Becoming a Fitness Model: My Dream Becomes a Reality

At a Glance: Steve Kuchinsky

Age: 26

Occupation or Education: Personal Trainer / Professional Model

Family: Extremely fortunate to have a mother, father and older brother whom I am extremely close with and who have always supported me in my aspirations and in following my dreams

Residence: Manhattan, NY

Years training: 8 years

Height: 6'

Weight: 193 (off-season), 191 (contest. Live by rule of thumb of not having an "off season")

Favorite Bodybuilding Meal: grilled chicken, egg whites, brown rice, black beans, avocado, hot sauce, spinach. Put it all in a big bowl and mix it up. Hmm, hmm good!

What would you recommend to someone who has never used BI supplements before: I would recommend Muscle Synergy! By far the most effective supplement I’ve ever taken.

Hobby or interests: I am originally from upstate NY and I love the out-doors and hiking.

Words to live by: "Always stay strong and on point, you never know who you are inspiring"

Most inspiring book: Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

 

I started lifting 8 years ago at age 18. But, my goal crystallized when I read my first No Nonsense Magazine. Brian Wiefering was featured, and I was hooked. I said to my-self, “I want to look like that”. I didn’t just “want” to look like “that”; I was willing to devote my life to achieving a physique similar to Brian’s.

I wanted to learn more about how Brian did it, so my next move was to get my hands on more of the BI No Nonsense mags and newsletters. I read them cover to cover and started applying what I learned. I experi-mented with the various nutrition and train-ing plans, searching for the best plan to put me on the fast track to success.

And it worked!

My photos first appeared in Exercise for Men. More modeling jobs followed includ-ing Men’s Fitness, Muscle and Fitness, Nike and Under Armour, and the most recent, the front cover of Physique Magazine.
Now, I’ve turned my focus and discipline to a new challenge - competition. Preparing for physique competitions will push me out of my comfort zone and be a new challenge for me to pursue. If you’d like to follow along with me, here is my preparation outline.

Meal Plan / Supplement Schedule Regimen: A Winning Strategy

As an all-natural competitor, supplementation is crucial. Having a quality brand like Beverly International in my corner gives me a winning strategy. My basic approach for competing is the same as prepping for a photo shoot. My arsenal of BI products provided me continuous winning results year after year. Here is the regimen I follow for the weeks leading up to a photo shoot or competition. I believe that this is a great plan for anyone who wants to lean out and build muscle at the same time. Why don’t you give it a try?

(7:30AM) PRE-WORKOUT SUPPLEMENT STACK

2 scoops Glutamine Select, 1 scoop Muscle Synergy powder, 5 tablets Density, 2 scoops Up-Lift

(I take my Pre-Workout stack first thing in the morning on an empty stomach and then head directly to the gym. Muscle Synergy helps give me explosive power and awesome pumps. In addition, the therapeutic dose of HMB in Muscle Synergy helps protect my muscles while training on an empty stomach. I take Up-Lift for energy throughout my workout. I sip an additional scoop of Glutamine Select during my workout to prevent catabolism and help spark the recovery process.)

(8:00am) WORKOUT

(9:30AM) POST-WORKOUT SHAKE AND SUPPLEMENTS

2 scoops Muscle Provider, 1 banana, 5 tablets Density, 1 Ultra C

(Post workout I use 2 scoops Muscle Provider for a fast digesting protein source, 1 Super Pak, 5 Density, and 1 more scoop of Muscle Synergy (for further recovery). Throughout the day I sip on Glutamine Select (2 scoops in my gallon water jug).

MEAL #1 (11:30AM)

12 egg whites, ½ cup oatmeal, 2 tbsp almond butter, 5 tips asparagus

(I take three Mass Aminos and three Ultra 40's with Meals #1-6. This helps ensure I meet my daily protein requirements and stay anabolic throughout the day.)

MEAL #2 (1:30PM)

2 scoops Ultimate Muscle Protein, 1 tbsp almond butter

MEAL #3 (3:30PM)

10 oz tilapia; ½ sweet potato; 1 cup spinach

MEAL #4 (5:30PM)

8oz lean red meat; 1 cup spinach or asparagus; 3 EFA Gold

MEAL #5 (7:30PM)

8oz grilled chicken breast; 1 cup spinach or asparagus; 3 EFA Gold

MEAL #6 (9:30PM)

2 scoops Ultimate Muscle Protein; 1 tbsp almond butter; 5 tablets Density

(For my last meal, I have two scoops of Ultimate Muscle Protein. UMP helps feed my muscles throughout the night with its slow release protein delivery system.)

PRIOR TO BED: 3 ZMA 2000

Workout Arsenal

My training routine consists of a mix bag of workouts and methods to keep my muscles guessing. No workout is ever the same! I customize workouts for my clients and myself and change them frequently. Below is a sample of my workout routine hitting each body part once a week.

Chest

  1. Incline Bench Press: 5x5
  2. Flat DB Press: 5x5
  3. Decline Bench Press: 5x5
  4. Incline DB Press: 3x20
  5. Flat Bench Press: 3x20
  6. Decline DB Press: 3x20

Back

  1. Deadlift: 5x5
  2. Weighted Pull Ups: 5x5
  3. Seated Cable Rows: 5x5
  4. Deadlift: 3x20
  5. Pullups (Body Weight): 3x20
  6. Seated Cable Rows: 3x20

Shoulders

  1. Military Press Barbell: 5x5
  2. Side Laterals: 5x5
  3. Arnold Presses: 5x5
  4. Military Press DB: 3x20
  5. Side Laterals: 3x20
  6. Arnold Presses: 3x20
  7. Rear Delt Machine: 3x20

Arms

  1. Heavy Barbell Curls: 5x5
  2. Heavy Skull Crushers: 5x5
  3. Incline DB Curls: 3x20
  4. Weighted Dips: 3x20
  5. 21's On Cable Curl
  6. Cable Press Downs: 3x20
  7. Barbell Curls: 3x20
  8. Skull Crushers: 3x20

Legs

  1. Squats: 5x5
  2. Front Squats: 5x5
  3. Leg Press: 5x5
  4. Leg Extensions: 5x5
  5. Squats: 3x20
  6. Leg Extensions: 3x20
  7. Leg Press: 3x20

Abs

Every day at the end of my workout.

Kuch’s Oatmeal Delight

Here’s one of my favorite recipes: 2 scoops Ultimate Muscle Protein, ½ cup oatmeal, 2 tsp cinnamon, 1 tbsp. almond butter.

Cook oatmeal first, then mix in the remaining ingredients and you’re ready for a healthy, nutritious breakfast!

 

Continuous Journey

It has been an amazing journey, but one that has brought me tremendous pride and joy. At this juncture, I sincerely want to help others achieve a healthy and fit lifestyle. There are times you will be faced with obstacles, but my goal is to help you alleviate those times, the same way Beverly International did for me when I first started out.

WWW.KUCHFIT.COM - Personal training, health and fitness consultation to help all achieve their fitness goals.

FULL STEAM AHEAD: Nutrition, Training, Cardio, and Visualization for Figure Competition

At a Glance: Hyla Conrad

Age: 29

Education: Bachelor’s degree in exercise science and cur-rently writing articles for Julie Lohre’s TeamFitbody.com website

Family: Married for 2 years to my high school sweetheart, Jimmy. We have a very active border collie named Max.

Residence: Corydon, IN

Years training: Competition training for 2 years, always been active and had a very athletic childhood

Height: 5'3.5"

Weight: 130 (off-season), 122 (contest)

Favorite Bodybuilding Meal: Beef! I love beef, lean steak or hamburger with side salad and sweet potato.

Favorite Supplements: I love FitTabs multivitamin because they make my hair and nails look amazing. I take two in the AM and two PM. Of course, how could I not mention UMP? By far the best protein I have ever used. It keeps me full, while delivering the results I am looking for - lean muscle gain. This protein is so versatile, and tastes amazing just mixed with water. I have at least two shakes a day. My favorite is vanilla mixed with Jell-O sugar free banana pudding powder and 2tbsp of natural peanut butter with a little bit of water and ice topped with fat free Cool Whip. It’s delicious!!

What would you recommend to someone who has never used BI supplements before: Make sure you know your goals and the body type are trying to achieve, and read the Supplement Recommendation Chart on the BI website before you purchase. Educate yourself on the science behind the supplements; connecting the mind to the body is key.

What’s in your CD player: Mix of classical music for my Pilates workout

Hobby or interests: Camping, hiking, and playing in my garden. I love the dirt.

Words to live by: "Fear defeats more people than any other one thing in the world” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Most inspiring book: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver

 

I have always dreamed of competing but I didn’t know where to start, so in January of 2011, I turned to the Internet and searched for personal trainers in Kentucky. That is how I found IFBB Pro, Julie Lohre. It was the best decision I ever made. I was small and thin, with little to no muscle. Julie suggested I com-pete in bikini, but I always loved the way figure ath-letes looked and dreamed of having a body like that. I was determined to gain muscle in my upper body and with a background in gymnastics, I decided to take a shot at Fitness. I will never forget Julie’s re-sponse to my first 4-week photo update. I had gained muscle in my upper and lower body in just 4 weeks. I was ready for the stage in 9 weeks with lean muscle gains and a lower body fat percentage. I placed 1st in Fitness at the NPC Kentucky Derby Show and 2nd at the Julie Palmer Showdown.

Now, I am a figure competitor. My muscle gains have increased, and my body fat percentage is stable, only dropping during contest prep. The process of contest prep is easier because I am able to stay on track with the help of Julie and Beverly International. I am healthy and have tons of energy. Along with my everyday healthy lifestyle, competitively 2012 was the best year for me! My fall competition season started with Overall Figure wins at the NPC Kentucky State, the NPC Ohio State and the NPC Kentucky Muscle. My fall season ended with a trip to NPC Nationals in Atlanta, GA, which gave me the experience that I’ll need to improve and come back stronger in 2013. This journey and career path is just the beginning for me, and I am excited to see what is next.

Working with Julie has been a positive, life changing experience; committing to her training programs and nutritional guidance delivered results. She introduced me to Beverly International products, which supplemented my success in ways I never could have imagined. The quality of these products has given me the ability to take Julie’s training and nutritional pro-grams to another level.

Now, I’d like to outline exactly what I did this year to achieve these results, and I hope it will help you design your own success program for 2013.

 

MY MUSCLE GAIN / STAY LEAN DIET

MEAL #1

  • 2 whole eggs + 3 egg whites
  • 3 slices of turkey bacon
  • 3-4 slices of low-carb/high fiber bread with spray butter and sugar-free jelly
  • ½ cup of berries

MEAL #2

  • ½ cup of low-fat cottage cheese, 1 small apple

MEAL #3

  • 8oz ground turkey patty with 2 slices of low-carb/high fiber bread to make a burger with lettuce, tomato, onions, pickles and mustard
  • Small salad w/ 1 tbsp olive oil & vinegar dressing

MEAL #4

  • 2 scoops Ultimate Muscle Protein
  • 1 banana or apple
  • 2tbsp natural peanut butter
  • 2 rice cakes

MEAL #5

  • 4-5oz lean beef
  • 2 cups of green vegetables-usually a salad or green beans
  • ½ cup of sweet potato or brown rice

MEAL #6

  • 2 scoops of Provosyn mixed with ¾ cup of skim milk (awe-some for lean muscle gain)

Supplement Schedule

BI FitTabs Multi-Vitamin: 2 in AM and 2 in PM

BI Glutamine Select: 1 scoop during training and another at night if I’m feeling depleted

BI Lean Out: 2 capsules with 5 meals

BI Ultra 40: 2 tablets with 5 meals

BI EFA Gold: 3 in AM and PM

BI 7-Keto: 3 in AM and 3 with Lunch (4-6 weeks out from competition)

Cardio

3-4 days a week 30 minutes HIIT in the early evening. I can work harder when I do cardio in the afternoon and I have more energy. As a former sprinter, I usually head to the local track and do sprints mixed with some plyos or I run stairs at the local fairgrounds. This type of car-dio really helps keep my legs tight, while developing the glute/ham tie in that many of us struggle with. I also wear a heart rate monitor to help me understand when my heart rate is at its peak and help me to monitor shorter recovery times. My recovery times are based on HR and not muscle exhaustion or accelerated breathing rates.

Training

My training routine is more athletic based and incorporates bodyweight exercises mixed with higher intensity weight training. I started doing Tabata workouts and saw a huge change in my cardiovascular system. My recovery times in between sets were becoming easier and I was becoming more efficient each week. Plus it keeps my mind active by switching up the typical training regimen. I also added in Pilates twice a week to keep my legs and core tight, while helping to elongate the muscle bellies in my lower body.

Monday

Core/Back/ Delts

Tuesday

Legs

Wednesday

Rest

Thursday

Back/Biceps/Triceps

Friday

Shoulders/Abs

Saturday

One Pilates and cardio session on either day

Sample Tabata Workout

8 sets x 20 seconds work/10 second rest each exercise

1. One Arm Overhead Press Standing on one foot (alternate foot)
2. Across Body Delt Pulls (left)
3. Inverted Pushups
4. DB Lateral Raises
5. Across Body Delt Pulls (right)

Presentation/Competition Experience

After working hard for weeks, sweating, training and sticking to clean meal plans, competition day is the day I get to be tan, wear pretty jewelry, and have my hair and makeup done. For me, competition day is my “girly” day! The competition experience is always special to me and each one is unique. I always meet wonderful inspiring women who are living the same lifestyle I am. It’s like, “you step backstage and things you love automatically surround your world”. Just being in the com-petition is a great feat in itself, and everyone should be proud of being a part of something so wonderful.

I practice my presentation at least 3 times a week year round, even if it’s just a quick 5min practice in my gym clothes. This helps me remember some of the reasons why I am training and helps me keep track of symmetry and areas that I need to improve. First thing that goes through my mind is, smile. Second, is eye contact to all the judges. Lastly, I remember this is a show, and people want to see a show. My walk, my stage presence, my confidence, everything is centered on one thing- knowing that I am in a show. I scan the judges and the audience constantly with a huge smile on my face. I prac-tice this at home in a mirror, the walk, eye contact to all the judges, turns, just like it’s a real show.

Vision and Motivation

What helps keep me motivated? I am a strong believer in connecting the mind with the body. I truly believe if you can vision yourself in a positive light, you are able to achieve anything. Connections between the body and mind are very important for diet and training too. Knowing how foods work in my body help to keep me on track and healthy. Understanding the muscle structure and how it works is key to making those connections with the body during training sessions.

I have a vision of what my life will be like in a couple years. It’s a vision that includes everything I have ever wanted to achieve in my life. I revisit this vision often, and have a key word that takes me there. That key word is “steam”. My vision looks like this - “I am cooking a healthy meal for dinner in my kitchen, and the “steam” is rising out of the pot on the stove. My husband is sitting on the couch reading. My dog Max is napping on the floor a couple feet away from me. The windows are open, the air is clean and crisp, and the leaves on the trees are changing. I feel fit, healthy, and happy. I am in my mid 30’s and I am an IFBB Pro and I have won many competitions and have friends that support me and love the bodybuilding industry as much as I do.” This vision is important to me, and holds a special place in my heart. When I lose my focus, I turn to this vision and it keeps me training and pushing towards it. I really suggest that you develop your own personal vision for the life you want to achieve, inside and outside of fitness.
The love for this sport will never die for me. I know when I am 80 years old, I won’t be competing but I will still be training and enjoying this healthy lifestyle, and I will still be using Beverly International products!

NoNonsense 2015-2014 Collection

Four Years Twenty Pounds of Muscle

Between November of 2010 and October of 2014 I gained nearly 22 pounds of muscle and managed to shed a half pound of fat. In comparison to those ridiculous ads we are bombarded with daily about gaining fifty pounds of muscle this year (or month!) it might not seem like much. But for those of us in the real world who fight for every ounce of muscle it is very substantial. The net effect of those pounds was very noticeable and made the journey worthwhile. Let me show you how I did it.

In 2010 I competed in the amateur Universe. I followed the Beverly Contest Workshop Manual to a ‘T’ including taking precise measurements throughout using Beverly’s body fat spreadsheet. I also had lots of photos taken afterward, some purposely from not so flattering angles. I compiled all this data and sat down to analyze it. My thoughts preceding each off season are threefold. First, I look at the big picture, the mile high view to see the most glaring weaknesses in my physique. Secondly, I look in more detailed fashion to determine how those weaknesses are manifested; exactly where am I weak? Third, I create a plan to eliminate them. That’s it, I keep it very simple and go to work.

My analysis of the numbers and pictures told me the following: I needed more overall mass. In particular I needed more muscle in my back. And lastly, I needed to consume more calories to support those goals while following a routine revolving around big, basic movements. In essence, I needed to eat more while doing some power lifting with additional emphasis on back work. Sounds simple enough but…

The trouble is that I am very ectomorphic. If you aren’t familiar with the term it refers to bone structure and metabolism. Ectomorphs are naturally small boned people with fast metabolisms. Endomorphs are the opposite and mesomorphs are your genetic wonders who can gain muscle easily. I have gained a lot of muscle over the years but had hit a wall in terms of caloric consumption. If you have ever had to force feed yourself you know what I mean. It is nauseating and gets old really fast. Most folks are quick to say how lucky I am but that’s only because they have never experienced it. As a bodybuilder I have done both, I have crammed food down my throat in the off season and dieted for shows and I can tell you neither is a picnic. I just didn’t know how I was going to eat any more food on a consistent daily basis.

I needed to find a way to supply my body with additional calories, especially protein, without overly filling my belly or adding to my already extensive food prep. I searched the Beverly website for a day or two and pulled out my old No Nonsense magazines, flipping through hoping to find an article that might pertain to my plight. I found the solution by chance in the form of an old ad for Ultra 40 liver tabs. In that ad it said that by combining Ultra 40 and Mass aminos several times daily a person could gain up to five pounds of muscle yearly. Don’t get me wrong, I was no stranger to either prod-uct. However I had only used them religiously pre contest main-ly to stave off hunger between meals. The thought of using them extensively in the off season sounded really appealing. This way I wouldn’t be bloated and there was no food preparation involved. I don’t believe in doing anything half way so I planned to use 8 of each after each meal. I figured I was approaching my genetic limit so it would be twice as hard to gain that five pounds as for a normal person. What could it hurt? Even at that heightened intake it was cheaper than buying another thousand calories of food daily.

I also cranked up my consumption of the new Mass Maker Ultra. I admit that wasn’t really a conscious decision but just kind of happened because I really like the taste. I followed the meal plan I had in the past from Beverly designed for a 225+lb guy, with a few added calories. Here’s how it broke down:

Meal 1: 6 whole eggs, 8oz ground turkey or beef, small amount of cheese, salsa; 1 cup oatmeal, honey, almond butter and added one scoop of UMP, and some apple juice

Meal 2: 3 scoops of UMP or 4 scoops of Provosyn, 2 tablespoons of flax seed oil. I combined this with one scoop of Mass Maker Ultra and followed it with an apple.

Meal 3: 10oz ground turkey or beef (cooked amount); 1 cup lentils or rice and a large mixed salad with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Meal 4: Repeated Meal 2. Since this was usually my pre workout meal I would mix in two scoops of Mass Maker Ultra, sometimes three. I wish shaker cups were larger!

Post workout: I would immediately drink another 2-3 scoops of Mass Maker Ultra mixed in juice.

Meal 5: Basically this was a repeat of Meal 3. I often steamed the vegetables and made a large stir fry.

Meal 6: Protein pudding! 3 scoops of UMP, almond butter, honey and a cup of cottage cheese. I added apple juice or kefir and made it into an ice cream type consistency.

In addition to this I always had a Super Pak, Creatine Select, QuadraCarn and Lean Out, which I take in the off season for the cardiovascular benefits, not fat burning. I used two Multiple Enzymes, sometimes three, be-fore meals and used Up-Lift before every workout. I also used Muscle Synergy sporadically, probably every other month.

This did not constitute a change from my former eating habits. The change was from the Ultra 40 and Mass aminos. I took 8 of each before or after each meal and often during workouts. I went through thousands of those little gems. Since the diet was the same as before and this was the only addition I knew this would be a valid experiment to determine their merit. The frustrating part was how slowly it progressed; it is very easy to second guess yourself and want to try something else because the scale is barely moving. Even at the best rate of five pounds yearly it only breaks down to less than half a pound monthly! During those times I would re-mind myself to stay the course and give it a solid chance. Whether it is a meal plan or workout I believe you need to follow it precisely for at least six months before passing judgment. So I toiled on and faithfully observed the plan.

One quick note: I cannot stress enough the value of Beverly’s most economical supplement, the Multiple Enzyme Complex. In my experience ectomorphs like myself often do not secrete sufficient gastric enzymes to allow for the digestion of large quantities of food. This may be why their stomachs tell their brains that they are not hungry. Taking just a couple of these before a big meal makes the difference between being uncomfortably bloated for hours or feeling normal. Remember, it isn’t what you eat, it’s what you absorb that matters. Multiple Enzymes are an absolute must on a weight gaining diet.

I also keep logs in the off season though not as detailed. As I progressed through 2011-2014 I compared my body weight, strength levels and abdominal skin pinch measurement to those from previous off seasons. My body weight had not sky rocketed but was gradually climbing. My strength levels were higher and at a lower body weight than at previous personal bests. And my belly fat was considerably less. Overall I was carrying more lean mass at a lower body weight which brought me some mental comfort. I didn’t get too excited though as I knew that true gains could only be ascertained by comparing contest to contest, when all the fat had been stripped away. I eventually plateaued at 217 and decided it was time to solidify the gains I had made.

Training

Let’s step back and look at the training plan I followed in con-junction with this meal plan. As a competitive power lifter I have always favored strength oriented routines like the periodization plan detailed in an old NNN issue (“A 12 Week Training Cycle for Muscle Size and Strength”, No Nonsense Vol 12, #3). Any one is welcome to contact me for a spreadsheet copy of this excel-lent routine. I have used it many times with great success, gaining lean mass and strength steadily. I went through four full cycles of this then incurred an elbow injury requiring surgery. Rather than lay around and fatten up (or skinny up in my case) I decided to employ the Smolov squat routine since it required no upper body work whatsoever. I wouldn’t wish that program on my worst enemy but man, did it work. I put over 70lb on my best squat over the course of three months and found my upper body had responded as well; proof of the power of systemic growth exercises like the squat. After that I returned to the periodization plan for several more cycles. I was steadily growing and things were going well. Then I got greedy…

A Year Wasted

I became enthralled with a popular training method followed by many elite powerlifters. I thoroughly studied this unique and com-plex methodology and purchased quite a bit of new equipment in order to give the program my best shot. I desperately wanted this to work. I went for it for a full year. Then I compiled my data again and analyzed the results. A year wasted! At the end of the day my lifts had stalled and my lean mass hadn’t budged. And my target body part, the back, had suffered most! I couldn’t afford to lose any more time, I had to return to what worked FAST. So it was back to the periodization routine that had never failed me. The lesson I learned was to stick with what works.

Pre Contest Nutrition & Training

I continued with the Beverly periodization routine until the end of April, 2014. I wanted to compete in the fall and knew I would need to dedicate at least five months to the process. With my me-tabolism crash dieting is a major no-no. I have to go easy or I risk burning up whatever I may have built in the off season. Using the Beverly International Pre Contest Workshop manual as a guide here is what I formulated to bring me into top shape by October:

  • 2 months of the 2 on, 1 off routine while following meal plan 1B.
  • 2 months of the 4 on, 1 off routine while following meal plan 2B.
  • 1 month of 3 on, 1 off routine while following meal plan 2C.

Note: If you are lucky enough to own the Pre Contest manual, you’ll find the nutrition plans referenced on pgs 15, 21, and 22. The training programs can be found on pgs 39-42. If you do not own the Pre Contest manual, you can still use the “Solutions” section of the BeverlyInternational.com website to access the plans. You’ll find the diets in the “Beverly Nutritional Programs” section:

  • Meal plans 1B and 2B are comparable to the “Gain Muscle and Lose Fat Plan”
  • Meal plan 1C corresponds to the “Male Bodybuilding Pre Contest Nutrition Plan”

The training programs are illustrated in the “Training” section under the heading PreContest Training Program.

The only change I made to the meal plans was the frequency of Carb Up meals. I know my metabolism pretty well and I know when it is telling me to eat. The meal plans called for Monday/Thursday Carb Up Meals but I added a third and often would have Saturday as a ‘free day’ where I would re-ally stuff in the calories. This wasn’t lack of discipline, this was twenty years of experience of listening to my body. At the end of the day (or the contest) it isn’t who deprived them-selves the most who wins, it’s who looks the best. And I knew that if I pushed it too hard too soon I would burn muscle.

I followed the workouts precisely. I added a pulley set up to my home gym so that I could do smaller moves like pushdowns and cable rows and even got a set of Power Block dumbbells for curls, laterals, etc. I kept an eye on my strength levels and pushed for PR’s up til the last month. On the days that I had more energy I would employ five sets of five on the big moves and supersets on the days I didn’t. I kept it very simple and just trained hard.

As for cardio, I didn’t do it. I am not a fan in general especially for ectomorphs like myself. I really proved this to myself in the off season. To go with the “elite” powerlifting training program that I mentioned earlier, I bought a sled, prowler, wheelbarrow and tire and performed the recommended HIIT workouts faith-fully. Like I said, if I sign up to do something I go all-in. And I watched my lifts drop as my frustration climbed. Maybe it works as a conditioning tool for some but in terms of fat loss for me I will take proper dieting over cardio any day.

Final Results

So the day of the contest, the WPAA Troy Alves Classic, finally rolled around and I won my class. A judge said I was the most conditioned guy in the whole show, a testament to Beverly’s con-test prep wisdom. Just as importantly, I had new measurements and photos to analyze. Here is the hard data from the day before the show in 2010 and again in 2014:

  • 2010: 154.4 lb of lean mass, 8.6 lb of fat
  • 2014: 175.9 lb of lean mass, 8.1 lb. of fat
  • Net result: 21.5 pounds of muscle gained, .5 lb. of fat lost

Now that is what I call progress! Since the training was largely the same as before (I even lost a year) and the meal plans were identical I can safely assume the difference was due to the addition of Ultra 40 and Mass Aminos. I felt this was a very valid study under controlled circumstances with minimal variables, at-testing to the worth of these products.

In my opinion an average of five pounds of muscle gained yearly for the average lifter is a best case scenario. The genetically gifted or chemically enhanced might scoff at these numbers but I am truly pleased. I highly recommend employing this tactic to anyone interested in gaining lean mass with minimal investment. I also feel they are key to maintaining that mass while dieting. To those who may shirk at the thought of ingesting so many pills daily, allow me to briefly toot my own horn: I suffer from dysphagia, a condition that causes difficulty swallowing and frequent choking. Therefore I must chew each and every one of these tablets. If you truly want progress you will find a way.

I am hardly the first person to discover the power of this combination nor am I the first to reap its benefits to this degree. I hope others will read this and decide to give it an honest try. As hard as we work in the weight room I feel that taking a few dozen of these pills daily is a minor inconvenience at most. Take 4 of the Ultra 40 and 4 of the Mass Aminos with each meal this off season and note the impact it has on your own physique. I believe you will be very pleased with the results.

 

PostScript

I was very pleased with my conditioning and knew that Beverly had contest prep down to a science. Boy was it nice to be working with a tried-and-true outfit instead the many self-proclaimed gurus in the area. I listened to the insanity that other competitors went through at the instruction of their local wizards and knew they had compromised their conditioning. I tried to keep to myself but eventually some fellow competitors asked about my own prep. When I told them how simply I had done things, like not even doing a ‘peak week’ they scoffed. However when my clothes came off a little later they were suddenly silent. Eventually they all asked me who I trained under and how much it cost. When I told them of Beverly’s free information and programs on their website, I thought they might cry! Again the moral here is to stick with what really works, in this case a company with nearly half a century’s experience working with thousands of bodybuilders. A company that cares about more than just their bottom line. What ‘team’ am I on? Beverly!!!

 

From 10th Place TO FIRST Here’s How I Did It!

At a Glance: Nicole Phinney

Age: 29

Family: Fiance, Daughter, 6; Son, 3

Occupation: Director of Sales and Marketing, Total Nutrition Shop, Sheffield Village, OH

Residence: Cleveland, Ohio

Years training: 3

Height: 4'11"

Weight: 128 (off-season), 117 (contest)

Favorite Bodybuilding or Fitness Meal: Flank Steak, Sweet Potato, Grilled Asparagus with Salad

Favorite Supplements: Glutamine Select and Muscularity!! They were integral to maintaining my muscle mass while leaning down. The pharmaceutical grade quality ensures great results.

What would you recommend to someone who has never used Beverly supplements before? Hands down I would recommend they start with UMP! It tastes delicious and is second to none with regards to nutritional benefits.

In my CD player: Rob Bailey and the Hustle Standard

Hobbies or interests outside of bodybuilding: Baking (watch out for my chocolate chip cookies!!)

Words to live by: "The gratification comes in the doing, not in the results." - James Dean
“People will forget what you said, they will forget what you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel.” - Maya Angelou

 

My journey started on May 14, 2011, when my then husband turned off the car while the windshield wipers were still on, leaving them stuck in the middle. This action filled me with such fury that I literally exploded hours later with the birth of my second child via C-section, two weeks ahead of schedule. As with my first child, I had gestational diabetes. I had spent the last five months visiting doctors weekly, checking my sugars multiple times a day, eating on a strict nutrition plan, and giving myself insulin shots (something I had avoided with my first pregnancy). When all was said and done, I waddled into the hospital at 160lbs on my 4’11” frame and unfortunately, I did not give birth to a toddler.

Six weeks after my son arrived, I decided it was time to get my body back. I was going to do something insane; I was going to go to the gym. Nervously, I placed both of my children in the “child watch” center and I ventured into the gym wilderness. I immediately mapped out the “safe” areas which left me with the cardio machines and the group fitness classes. I tried many classes including Zumba, Aerobics, and Step. I wasn’t particularly enjoying myself in these classes nor was I very good (once the step instructor had to stop the entire class because I was so off-tempo)! I persisted and finally found a class that I actually enjoyed and did not require any K-kick, jump over step or grapevine combos. The class taught basic weightlifting, and I gradually moved my way up from the 2lb dumbbells. Over time, I began to feel more comfortable and I took the next step. I ventured out of my “safe” zone and into the machine area.

I started going to the gym in July and by October I had exhausted my training knowledge base, but still craved more, so I hired the gym’s personal trainer. She suggested that I set a goal for myself, and I very naively decided to compete in a Bikini competition the following March. The more I trained, the more I fell in love with the sport and the harder I pushed. I started taking progress photos and they added fuel to my fire. Eight weeks before my competition, I decided to switch divisions and set my sights on competing in Figure and I made what has come to be one of my fitness journey’s greatest decisions; I hired Dave Liberman as my trainer.

Our short timeline meant Dave had to teach me a completely new way of looking at fitness and nutrition, and quickly. (Needless to say, it was a tough 8 weeks.) This is when Dave introduced me to the incredible Beverly International products. Combining my new meal plan, lifting style and Beverly products, I was able to achieve the leanness necessary for Figure in eight weeks.

Through the process of leaning down it became apparent that there had been some serious damage to my abdomen from my pregnancies beyond the normal abdominal separation. The leaner I became, the more pregnant I looked. If I laid on my side my abdominals would sort of slump over in a mushy mass. Many hours were spent sobbing in frustration. I was in the best shape of my life but there I was looking 3 months pregnant and about to step on stage! I consulted with a surgeon and discovered that regardless of how many abdominal exercises I did, the damage could only be repaired surgically. He actually said that he had never seen a patient with this much damage but who could also flex their abdominals into a six pack.

Despite the abdominal difficulties, I had committed to a goal and was going to follow through. My daughter, who was 3 at the time, had grown to recognize my change in lifestyle. I wanted her to see her Mommy as a strong and dedicated woman. I hit the stage for the first time weighing 94lbs on March 23, 2012 and again one week later for the NPC Natural Ohio. I had followed Dave’s training, the nutrition schedule, and supplementation with Beverly International precisely and came in looking in the best shape of my life!

I finished 10th out of 12 girls. I stepped off stage after being in the last call-out, destroyed a chocolate chip cookie (or a dozen) and cried. What made it worse was that I still had to go back on stage for the night show. (Bodybuilding competitions are broken into two parts, the morning prejudging and the evening awards show.) I could have left, but I couldn’t let myself not finish. I took the afternoon to lament in self-pity. I pulled myself together and went back to the evening show with the attitude that it was time to celebrate my accomplishment of stepping on stage in the best condition of my life!

Two days after competing in the NPC Natural Ohio, I was rolled into the operating room for an abdominal-plasty. As it turns out, my abdomen had not only separated medially, but also horizontally. Originally, we thought that I had a hernia, but it was discovered that the abdominals surrounding my belly button had completely torn apart as well. The surgeon had to stitch my abdominal wall back together twice during surgery. It had been almost a year exactly; I was once again wrapped in an abdominal support band just as I had been after my C-section. Right then and there I committed to stepping on stage again, but only after I had appropriately healed and trained for a significant length of time.

Dave had designed an off-season bulk nutrition, supple-mentation and training program for me. I stepped back into my iron cathedral in May 2012 to implement his plan. My training split was 6 days a week, training a different muscle group each day and my lagging muscle group twice. Here’s a sample of my workout program. I’m sure that any female who is trying to develop more muscle mass will benefit from it.

Training schedule

QUADS*
Leg Extension: Warm up
Superset Wide Stance Leg Press / Hack Squat: 5 sets 12 reps each Leg Extension: 5 sets 12 reps
Walking Lunges: 4 sets 15 reps

CHEST
Incline Dumbbell Press: 5 sets 12-10-8-8-8 reps
Incline Flyes: 5 sets 10-12 reps
Barbell Bench Press: 5 sets 10-8-6-6-6 reps
Cable Crossovers: 5 sets 12 reps

BACK
Lat Pulldowns: 5 sets 12-10-8-8-8 reps
Bent Over Barbell Rows: 5 sets 12-10-8-8-8 reps
Seated Cable Rows: 5 sets 10-12 reps
Deadlifts: 5 sets 10-8-6-6-6 reps

SHOULDERS
Standing Barbell Presses: 5 sets 10-8-6-6-6 reps
Lateral Raises: 5 sets 10-12 reps
Rear Delt Raises: 5 sets 10-12 reps
Shrugs: 5 sets 12 reps

LEGS (Workout #2)*
Leg Extension: 5 sets 12 reps
Squat: 5 sets 12-10-8-8-8 reps
Superset Leg Curl & Stiff Leg Deadlifts: 5 sets 10-12 reps each

ARMS
Barbell Curl: 4 sets 12-10-8-8 reps
Skull Crushers: 4 sets 12-10-8-8 reps
Preacher (or Machine) Curls: 3 sets 10-12 reps
Seated 1-DB Triceps Extension: 3 sets 12 reps
Alternate DB Curls: 3 sets 12-10-8 reps
Triceps Pushdowns: 3 sets 12-10-8 reps

*Work abs and calves on your leg days. Pick two exercises for abs and two for calves. Perform 3 sets of 25 reps on each exercise.

It is very important that you track your workouts when trying to add muscle mass. Start a little lighter than you think you should. Work on perfecting your form. Once you get the form down it’s time to start building muscle. In order to build muscle you’ll need to gradually increase the amount of weight you are able to use. Add weight to the exercise whenever you are able to perform all your sets for the prescribed reps in good form. For example on the Incline Dumbbell Press you might be using 25x12, 30x10, and 35 for 3 sets of 8. At first, you might not be able to get 8 reps on each of the last 3 sets. But, keep working and when you successfully get 8 reps on each of those sets in good form, increase the weights the next time you do that exercise.

Nutrition and Supplement Plan

In order to successfully build the muscle necessary for Figure, I had to put on some bodyweight. Here is a sample nutrition plan from the Beverly website (www. BeverlyInternational.com) for a female who is trying to add muscle mass.

Meal #1 (choose 1 of the following)
Option A: 3 egg whites, 1 whole egg omelet with 1 or 2 ounces cheese; 1 slice whole-grain toast with almond butter.
Option B: 2 whole eggs, 5 ounces lean beef or 1/2 cup cottage cheese; 1/2 cup oatmeal

Meal #2
Protein Drink: 2 scoops Ultimate Muscle Protein; 1 tbsp. healthy fat source (olive oil, flax oil, almond butter) or heavy cream. – Optional: 1 serving low carb fruit.

Meal #3
6oz ground turkey; 2/3 cup cooked brown rice (or other complex carbohydrate source).
Optional: 1 or 2 servings of low carb fruit or vegetables.

Meal #4
1 can tuna or 4oz chicken breast, 1/2 cup cottage cheese; 1/2 cup pineapple (unsweetened) or 1/2 cantaloupe
Option B: Protein Drink with two scoops Ultimate Muscle Protein; 1 tablespoon healthy fat source (olive oil, flax oil, almond butter or heavy cream).

Meal #5
6oz beef, chicken, turkey or fish; 6oz baked potato or sweet potato; 1-2 cups vegetables or salad.

Meal #6 (Optional)
Protein pudding – mix one or two scoops Ultimate Muscle Protein in a bowl with just enough water
to make a pudding texture. Add one tablespoon of almond butter, walnuts, or heavy cream.

Dessert Saturday and Open Diet Sunday:
On Saturdays I had a dessert with meal #5 and skipped Meal #6. Sundays were my “open diet days”. I tried to keep portions within reason, but was al-lowed to eat whatever foods I wanted.

Muscle Building Supplement Plan

Fit Tabs: 2 tablets with meals #1 and #5
Ultimate Muscle Protein: As noted in nutrition plan
Mass Aminos: 3 tablets with each meal
Ultra 40: 3 tablets with each meal
Optional: Creatine Select & Muscle Synergy

While most of your off-season weight gain is muscle, you may gain a little fat in your quest to add size. This fat had to hit the road for me to step on stage and we began my prep for the Spring of 2013 in early October. The plan was for an incredibly slow-paced lean-down in order to preserve as much muscle as possible. We adjusted my off-season nutrition plan in steps, so it was a very manageable progression. My in-season plan has turned out to be incredibly similar to my off season plan.

Contest Prep Nutrition Schedule

Meal #1
6 egg whites; 40g oatmeal

Meal #2
4oz lean ground turkey; 3.5oz sweet potato

Meal #3
8oz chicken breast; 1/3 cup cooked brown rice; 170g asparagus, salad

Meal #4
4oz chicken breast; salad

Meal #5
6 egg whites

Pre-Contest Beverly Supplements

Once again, the cornerstone to my contest prep was the use of multiple Beverly International supplements. I researched the entire line and with the recommendations from my coach, we incorporated the following into my supplement schedule:

7-Keto MuscLean: 3 capsules twice daily
Lean Out: 2 capsules with each meal
Density: 3 tablets with each meal
Muscularity: 2 capsules with each meal
Glutamine Select: Before and during training, between meals whenever I started getting hungry

It is with complete honesty and sincerity that I say these prod-ucts absolutely helped me to lean down AND preserve my muscle mass. As an added bonus, the Glutamine Select also helped curb any bouts of hunger I encountered between meals. I followed the recommended guidelines for dosages of each product and stacked them with my meals and training sessions.

Cardio

As a result of my nutrition schedule and the use of the Beverly International products, my cardio schedule was adjusted in manageable stages. At the height of my season I was doing fasted cardio 6 days a week for 35 minutes on the elliptical at a comfort-able pace. While I had to say goodbye to my beloved “Dessert Saturdays” and “Open Diet Day Sundays” earlier than the com-mon 12 week prep, I will forever allow more prep in this slow and steady fashion.

Back On Stage

I stepped back on stage on March 30, 2013, exactly one year later and 5lbs heavier. I competed at the NPC Natural Eastern and placed a very close first runner up in Open Figure Class A! I was elated. The feedback I received was that I came in too “hard” and needed to soften up a bit. The following week before the NPC Natural Ohio Dave adjusted my peak week cycle daily. I stepped back on stage April 6th, fuller and slightly softer and won Open Figure Class A! One year ago I had been sobbing in the back of the car binging on cookies over being in last call outs. This year I was sobbing in happiness over winning! My dream has literally become a reality. This season has been filled with such incredible positivity. The beautiful sentiments that have been expressed to me from family, friends and even complete strangers have exemplified even more how beautifully a blessed life can be. These kind words fuel me, they inspire me, and they lift me up when I’m struggling.

The following summer I began working with IFBB Pro Mike Ely. After another year of intense training and adherence to my nutritional plan I stepped on stage at the 2014 NPC Junior USA’s and won Open Figure A! I missed my IFBB Pro Card in the Over-all by one place! Two weeks later we tried again at the NPC Junior National’s where I placed second in Open Figure A! For the IFBB North American Championships, we made the necessary tweaks to bring my best package to date! All of our time and efforts had paid off; I placed first in my class and earned my IFBB Pro Card. This has been an incredible journey and I truly would have never thought I would be where I am today.

Nicole’s Contest Prep Tip:

Organization! Schedule and chart everything, it makes your day less stressful knowing you are pre-pared and have appropriated the proper amount of time for all of your tasks. And most importantly, listen to one person. It is easy to be overwhelmed in this industry by a myriad of different training and nutrition styles. Follow your coach’s plan; you hired them for a reason!

Never Give Up Never Give In

At a Glance: Dave Uhlman

Age: 41

Family: Married to my beautiful wife, Susan for 7 years and two amazing boys, Braylon – 5 yr old and Aston – 1 yr old

Occupation: Owner of Elite Personal Training and Contest Prep

Current Residence: Union, KY

Years training (total): 26

Height: 5'1"

Weight: 212 (contest)

Favorite Bodybuilding Meal: There are quite a few! Jasmine rice, corn, organic rice cakes, grilled chicken, and Walden Farm’s Spicy BBQ. Mix it all up and enjoy!

Favorite Supplements: For my last contest I used Beverly’s Muscle Synergy, Fit Tabs, Glutamine Select, Multiple Enzyme, Energy Reserve, and UMP. All of these were used to give me added energy, help ensure no muscle loss, increase absorption of foods, and as far as the UMP- it gives me a great treat when my sweet tooth is calling!

What would you recommend to someone who has never used Beverly supplements before? Definitely UMP because it tastes killer. If you are trying to gain muscle then Ultra 40 and Mass Aminos, and Muscle Synergy for a great pump during training.

Hobbies outside of bodybuilding: I love to hang out with my wife and kids. It might not sound exciting but just being with them and having family time is the best. I also do an out of state fishing trip each year, usually in Florida. I love relaxing and being on the ocean!

Music: I listen to either Techno music while training or very relaxing and chill music when driving. Usually Pandora is on and gives great mixes for either.

Words to live by: Never give up. Never give in. You are never too old or beat up to reach your ultimate goals. Believe in yourself, have faith, Bust Your Butt and anything is possible!

 

My fitness journey has had a lot of ups and downs. Some amazing moments and some I’d like to forget. When I started training 25+ years ago I was a short chubby kid who was very self-conscious. I got into training to change the way I looked and improve my confidence. Life was good for the first 15 years. I made continual progress gaining nearly 60lbs of muscle over that time span. As I progressed, training and eating came to rule pretty much every minute of the day. I had some contest success with several class wins including the 2002 Mr. Ohio super heavyweight class. However, I was the big muscular guy who lacked that really dialed-in look needed to win the overall. I’d train like an animal and eat the same way. Prep was always tough for me because I couldn’t wait for it to be over so I could get back to heavy training and eating. No regrets though. Well that’s not 100% true. The old saying “If I knew then, what I know now…”, definitely comes into play. I ultimately paid the price for always training heavy no matter what my body was telling me.

Over the next 10 years I had 5 rotator cuff tears (some I tore twice), a re-attached bicep tendon, a partial pec tear, herniated disc, and many other minor injuries. I lost 30lbs of muscle. I suffered mentally as well with bouts of depression, sadness, and a loss of hope. My worst moments came after a surgeon told me to “find another sport” and recommended that I never train again. But I never gave up.

In January, 2013 I made a pact with myself to get down to a low bodyfat for my 40th birthday. By the end of June I had got-ten close to the 7% mark. Thoughts of competing started to resurface but I wasn’t sure if my body could do it again. I stayed at 7% or below for almost a year and in April, 2014 I pulled the contest trigger and committed 100%. I knew I wouldn’t have the same amount of mass as in the past, but my goal was to surpass my previous best condition by 10x's. I also was determined to enjoy the entire contest prep process (including all the ups and the downs) as it could be my last time on stage. I hooked up with friend and fellow prep coach, Jason Theobald of Scooby Prep, to make sure I got to the stage in my best condition ever. Here’s my final 15-week prep schedule. Remember, I was starting at 7% bodyfat and was already within striking distance.

Diet

Each week I’d follow my base diet (see below) for 5 days. I had a LOW DAY (usually on Sunday when I didn’t train) where I ate the same foods as the base diet, but cut the carb portions in half. I also had a refeed day. It was similar to my base diet but calories were raised to between 4300-4700, the carb portions were increased, and until 4 weeks out I could substitute some foods I really liked at a couple meals. For example, I had cereal post training as my carb source, a Chipotle burrito for another of my meals, and made Ezekiel pizzas with low sugar sauce, fat free cheese, pineapple, and mushrooms. I loved my refeed days!!

Here is an example of my base diet. I used a food scale to measure each portion so that we could make minor tweaks weekly, or sometimes even daily.

Upon Awakening: 2 scoops of Glutamine Select, 2 Energy Reserve, and a fat burner

30-35 min of fasted low intensity cardio each morning on a recumbent bike

Meal 1: 370 grams liquid egg whites, 3 pieces Ezekiel bread, 180 grams of blueberries, 1 organic brown rice cake, 5 grams natural peanut butter, Walden Farms maple syrup, 4 Fit Tabs

Meal 2: 82 grams UMP, 1 organic brown rice cake, 5 grams natural peanut butter

Meal 3: (pre workout) 220 grams grilled chicken, 220 grams jasmine rice, 80 grams sweet corn, 2 organic brown rice cakes, Walden Farms spicy BBQ sauce,

Pre workout supplements: 12-14 Muscle Synergy tablets, 2 Energy Reserve, 1 fat burner

During workout: 2 scoops Glutamine Select, beta alanine, citrulline malate, creatine (note: Beverly Creatine Select, Up-Lift, and Fast Up provide effective doses of beta alanine, citrulline malate, and creatine.)

Meal 4: (post workout) 90 grams cream of rice, 5 organic brown rice cakes, Walden Farms caramel sauce, 82 grams UMP

Meal 5: 82 grams UMP, 7 grams natural peanut butter

Meal 6: 210 grams grilled chicken, 1 can green beans

Snacks: Sugar-free Jello and more green beans if hungry which was every night

Training schedule

I trained 6 days a week for the shows. Usually Sundays were my off day. Since I had several surgeries and physical limitations I incorporated more moderate weight for my workouts. I kept intensity high and rest times to a minimum. I’m a huge believer in slowing the movement down and feeling the muscle. I used a lot of pause techniques, drop sets, and almost always did super sets. Again more volume and time under tension was key for my physique and bringing out detail in the muscle.

Monday & Thursday: Chest, Biceps, Abs

Superset Group 1:
Incline DB Press: 15,12,10,8,8
Standing DB Curls: 15,12,10,8,8
Flat Bench Crunches: 5 x 25

Superset Group 2:
Cable Crossovers: 15,12,12,12,12 with a 10 second hold at end of each set
Cable Curls: 15,12,12,12,12
Floor Planks: 45 seconds for 5 sets

Superset Group 3:
Hammer Strength Incline Press: 15,12,10,10
Hammer DB Curls seated: 15,12,10,10
Roman Chair Knee Ups: 4 x 20

Superset Group 4:
Incline DB Flyes: 15,12,10,10
Preacher Bench Single Arm Curls: 12,10,8,8
Pushups: 4 x 20 (hold at bottom for 10 sec on each set)

Tuesday & Friday: Legs, Calves

Superset Group 1:
Leg Curls: 20,15,12,10,10
Standing Calf Raise: 25,20,15,15,15 (stretch and squeeze between each set!)

Superset Group 2:
Leg Extensions: 20,15,12,10,10
Seated Calf Raise: 20,15,12,12,12 (stretch and squeeze between each set!)
Step Ups: 15 each leg with Dumbbells

Superset Group 3:
Squats: 20,15,12,10,8
Wall Sits: 45 seconds after each set of squats

Superset Group 4:
Leg Press: 15,12,12,12,12
Step Lunges: 5 sets of 20 each leg with 20-30lb Dumbbells

Wednesday & Saturday: Back, Shoulders, Triceps, Traps

Superset Group 1:
Pulldowns to front: 15,12,12,12,12
Cable Straight Bar Pushdowns: 20,15,12,12,12
Standing Side Lateral Raise: 20,15,12,10,10

Superset Group 2:
Barbell Deadlifts: 12,10,10,10,10
Lying DB Skull Crushers: 15,12,12,12,12
Seated Shoulder Press: 15,12,10,10,10

Superset Group 3:
Single Arm Row: 15,12,12,12,12
Dumbbell Kickbacks: 15,12,12,12,12
Single Side Lateral Raise: 5 sets of 12

Superset Group 4:
Cable Rear Delt High Row: 20,15,15,15
Under Grip Pulldowns: 15,12,12,12
Palms Facing Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press: 12,10,10,10

Superset Group 5:
V-bar Tricep Pushdowns: 20,15,15,15
Front Dumbbell Shoulder Raise: 4 sets of 12
Underhand Single Cable Tricep Pushdowns: 15,15,15,15
Cardio: In addition to my morning low intensity cardio, I also included two 15 minute High Intensity cardio sessions each week. I used the elliptical for my HIIT sessions.

Posing: I practiced my posing quite a bit. I think having muscle control is important and knowing what poses are your best and how to hit them properly is key. My back poses were some of my best, so I really keyed on glutes and hams, not just my back in these poses.

One Week Out - A Major Setback

As if training around major injuries wasn’t hard enough, I suffered a huge blow a week out from the 2014 KY State. I had a routine massage to help with recovery and keep my muscles loose, as I had done for the previous 12 years, and something bad happened. Several capillaries burst and my left pec swelled 5 times its size. Within 2 days bruising covered one quarter of my left pec and left side. 15 weeks of contest prep, not to mention 9 years waiting to get back on the stage, were in jeopardy. At 3 days out I decided to do the show regardless of all the bruising and inflammation. Well it all worked out and I won 3 classes (Masters 40+, KY Open heavyweight, KY State heavyweight) and the Overall KY State for 2014.

Closing Thoughts

This prep was my favorite to date. Mentally I was engaged from the first minute of prep all the way through the final posedown of my show. It really helped that I had taken those 6 months back in 2013 to get down to 7% bodyfat and kept it there for a year. So when I started prep late April this year I was in a great spot to start. I was able to eat WAY more food, have more energy, and even put on some muscle getting ready for the shows. I believe if you are smart during the off season and keep bodyfat levels down then prep is more enjoyable and you have a better chance to get that super lean look without killing yourself.

In closing, I want to key on one major point. And that is you can never give up on yourself or your dreams. No matter what obstacles come into your path you have to push on and not give up. I try to teach this to my clients and prep athletes. This last contest prep has taught me a lot about myself. I am stronger than I have ever been. Not physically by any means but mentally, spiritually, and emotionally. This sport can bring you so many wonderful things all you have to do is believe and Never Give Up. Never Give In!

Sandy digs deeper with Dave, one of our Beverly “longtimers”

  1. When did you first meet up with Beverly In-ternational? What brought you into the Beverly cult?
    I first discovered Beverly International in 1994. I knew I needed some help with supplements for my first contest so I asked around to see what others recommended. A lot of people were using Beverly so I gave it a shot. I used several Beverly products for that show and have been hooked ever since. I continued to put on muscle through the diet even though I was still learning the nutrition part of contest prep.
  2. What changes have you seen through the years that you can contribute to using Beverly International?
    The biggest change is gaining muscle. When I decided many years ago to use Beverly supplements I made a choice to go all in. Not just take the supplements here and there with no plan. I used them in the amounts and consistency needed to make huge changes. And it worked. Between 1994 and 1998 my contest weight rose from 175lbs to 218lbs while I was way leaner on stage. The biggest addition was the Beverly supplements during that period.
  3. What is your favorite product?
    It is tough to pick just one so I’m going to pick two. The combination of Ultra 40 and Mass Aminos were a mainstay throughout my muscle gain-ing years. I took upwards of 40 of each a day, 5-6 with every meal. While bartending for many years I always had 2 small cups by my register. One contained Mass Aminos and the other, Ultra 40. I would take a few of each every hour that I worked. That along with my Beverly shakes ensured I always had killer nutrition all night long. I can’t tell you how many times people asked what kind of pills were in those cups!
  4. Do you have a favorite protein recipe?
    First, there are literally hundreds of killer recipes using UMP out there. I’ve never seen a protein used in so many ways to make tasty meal re-placements. With that being said here’s one that’s quick and easy but tastes great!Quick, Easy UMP Goodness.

    • 2 scoops chocolate UMP
    • 2 tbsp shaved coconut
    • 2 tbsp slivered almonds
    • 1 tbsp coconut oil
    • ½ cup steel cut oats
    • Mix all ingredients in a bowl with just enough water to make a paste. Put in the fridge or freezer to cool.
  5. How do you feel Beverly International compares to other companies in the industry?
    Beverly is much more accessible to their customers than other companies in the industry. They have always been grounded and approach-able no matter how successful they’ve become. They use the best ingredients to formulate their products. They don’t go the cheap route that so many other companies use. I just want to say that I would not have built the physique I have without the help of BI supplements. I truly feel they have made a definitive difference in my quest for gaining lean mass and losing fat all these years. I also want to thank Roger and Sandy for all they have done for me over the years and truly am blessed to have had a relationship with them all these years!
  6. What is something that sticks out in your memory about your association with BI?
    What I remember most is Roger and Sandy’s willingness to help. For many years Roger helped me with my contest prep and he would always take time to regularly meet with me for updates and posing. He always cared how I progressed and put forth a lot of his time to help me. I learned a lot about nutrition during those sessions which I carry on to this day. I don’t know of many large business owners who would sacrifice their time like that. He always would and I’m still grateful for it
  7. Tell us a little more about yourself. What things are really important to you?
    First and foremost my faith and family are at the top. I’m blessed with an awesome wife, two beautiful sons, and a great family that has always backed me and my dreams. Second, my business and helping others is very important to me. I’m lucky to have a job that I can help people not only achieve their best but in some cases overcome huge lifelong battles. To be part of a journey with people who are changing their lives to be more healthy and happy is awesome.I have had my training and nutrition business, Elite Personal Training and Contest Prep, for 17 years. I offer in person training to clients in the Greater Cincinnati area and also online nutrition and training programs for competitors and non-competitors from all over the U.S., Canada, and several other countries. I work with all types of people with many different goals.

Mass Building Workouts

Dave states that he is training lighter now with more volume (more exercises, more sets, and more reps) than in the days when he was adding pounds of muscle to his frame. Many of you may be interested in the kinds of programs he used when adding nearly 60lbs of muscle to his frame. His starting bodyweight was 175lbs and he built it up to a relatively lean 235lbs over his first 15 years of training. Throughout his building phases his favorite supplements were (and still are) Mass Aminos, Ultra 40, and Muscle Synergy. Here are two mass building workouts you can try. One is for an advanced novice bodybuilder (6 months or more of training), the other for the intermediate who has been training regularly for at least one year.

Advanced Novice Mass Building Workout

Monday & Thursday: Chest, Back, Shoulders
Start with 2-3 sets of Sit-Ups or another abdominal exercise. 15-20 reps should be fine. The idea is to get some ab work in and start the blood flowing.

ExerciseSetsReps
Bench Press615, 12, 10, 8, 6, 5
Bent Row615, 12, 10, 8, 6, 5
Standing Presses512, 10, 8, 6, 5
Calf Raises515, 12, 10, 8, 6

Tuesday & Friday: Legs, Biceps, Triceps
Start with Leg Raises or another abdominal exercise.

ExerciseSetsReps
Squat
615, 12, 10, 8, 6, 5
Straight Leg Deadlift412, 10, 8, 6
Barbell Curl512, 10, 8, 6, 5
Close Grip Bench512, 10, 8, 6, 5

Set/Rep Strategy
You’ll be using a Pyramid Set/Rep scheme. That means you’ll add weight each set while reducing the reps. Here’s an example of how you might incorporate the 6 sets / 15-5 reps for the Bench Press:

Set#WeightReps
19515
213512
316510
41858
52006
62105

When you can get all 5 reps on your final set in good form add weight to sets #3-6 on your next workout. If your workout calls for 5 sets of 12-5 reps, you’ll use the same procedure but your 1st set will be 12 reps instead of 15.

 

Intermediate Mass Building Workout

Monday & Thursday: Chest, Back, Shoulders

ExerciseSetsReps
Bench Press615, 12, 10, 8, 6, 5
Incline DB Press412, 10, 8, 6
Bent Row615, 12, 10, 8, 6, 5
Front Lat Pulldown412, 10, 8, 6
BB or DB Presses512, 10, 8, 6, 5
Upright Row310, 8, 6
Calf Raises615, 12, 10, 8, 6, 5

Tuesday & Friday: Legs, Biceps, Triceps

ExerciseSets Reps
Squat515, 12, 10, 8, 6, 5
Leg Press512, 10, 8, 6, 5
Straight Leg Deadlift512, 10, 8, 6, 5
Barbell Curl512, 10, 8, 6, 5
DB Curl310, 8, 6
Close Grip Bench512, 10, 8, 6, 5
Tricep Pushdown310, 8, 6

My First Figure Overall after a Five-Year Layoff

At a Glance: Laurie Lapsevich

Age: 43

Family: Supportive husband, Nick

Occupation: Exercise Physiologist in Cardiopulmonary Rehab and National Board-Certified Health and Wellness Coach

Residence: Brunswick, Ohio

Years training: 20 years

Height: 5'8.75"

Weight: 160 (off-season), 138 (contest)

Favorite Bodybuilding Meal: Oatmeal and egg/egg white, veggie bake with Beverly International Glutamine Select

What would you recommend to someone who has never used Beverly supplements before? I have used many Beverly supplements, and each one has had noticeable benefits. The UMP protein tastes fantastic! Their Super Pak vitamin/mineral pack is amazing, and I have noticed huge improvements in my physique and workouts when using it. I also use Glutamine Select, Quadracarn, Lean Out, and Density daily.

Music: Variety, but usually hip-hop music

Most Inspiring Book: Anything to do with a positive mindset and inspiration

Hobbies outside of bodybuilding: Traveling, hiking, reading, rowing, painting, connecting with other like-minded people in bodybuilding or through wellness coaching, love learning and studying my passion of coaching/wellbeing, listening to music, anything in nature, art, or being creative.

Words to live by: "If you don't like something, change it; if you can't change it, change the way you think about it." Mary Engelbreit

 

Working out has always been a hobby for me. I started young; I would go up in the haymow of our barn in St. Marys, Oh, after doing my chores. I would use my brother's weight set or instruct my younger sister through a Bootcamp. By the time I was in high school, I could see the muscles in my shoulders and arms. I joined the weight lifting club and was a sprinter on our state track relay team. From there, I was hooked! I went on to be on the women's crew team at the University of Dayton. Pushing boats over our heads and training through some grueling Erg Sprints helped me further develop my back and shoulders. To this day, 21 years later, I still use my Concept2 as part of my training!

I studied exercise science at the University of Dayton because I wanted to learn all I could about working out and the science behind being my best and helping others feel their best. After college, I went on to do a couple of sprint triathlons, half-marathons, and two marathons. I thought running marathons would make me the most elite athlete mentally and physically. However, I noticed that I would run for hours and then want to eat everything in sight. I soon realized that I needed to change my routine to achieve the balance and physique I wanted.

I began reading Beverly's No Nonsense magazine and started changing my nutrition and training. I began using Beverly supplements, following some of the nutrition and training protocols and recipes in the magazine. I soon realized that my physique was improving, and my clothes were fitting much better. I liked the shape and the definition I saw in my body.

I realized that I was not eating enough protein to support muscle recovery, ward off hunger, and keep me satiated. I began adding more strength training to my routine and additional Beverly International supplements. My physique was transforming. My friend Mary encouraged me to step on stage to do my first competition in 2009. I worked with Jen Hendershott, who was a great inspiration and coach! From there, I worked with Jason Theobald at Scooby Prep and placed 6th in my class at Jr USAs in 2011. I took a couple of years off and again qualified for nationals at the Kentucky Muscle in 2015. From there, I took five years off to build more and round out my legs. I decided to make a comeback in 2020 with See You Later Leaner, Adam Atkinson.

All my years of pushing hard in the gym paid off! The pandemic hit during my prep, and all of the gyms shut down. My husband and I put our home gym to work. I began doing pull-ups on a bar over my doorway and squats at every conceivable angle to build my quads. I gave up stops for coffee after work and did tons of walking in my neighborhood with my husband. We got creative with workouts, and I kept my head focused on my goal sticking to my diet through all of the frustrating, isolating days of the pandemic.

It all paid off when I took the top of my classes and Masters Overall Champion at the Natural Ohio in Cleveland. Then, I won my first Open Figure Overall at the Kentucky Natural! 2020 became the year I sparkled and reached what I set my mind to do! All the years of training and nutrition paid off!

Diet

Food preparation is vital for success. I religiously prep my food on the weekends and pack my food for the day, whether in-season or off-season, because I crave these healthy foods and feel best when I eat them. I have noticed that our bodies have food patterns, and I get hungry nearly the exact times each day for the same foods. Healthy habits are essential, and bodybuilding has helped me ingrain these habits, so they are a lifestyle.

Meal 1

One egg yolk, 100g egg whites, 1 cup spring mix, 30-40g oats, 1 scoop Beverly International Glutamine Select, 2-3 EFA Gold, 2 FitTabs or a Super Pak

Meal 2

3oz flank steak, 100 calorie pack walnuts/almonds, grapefruit

Meal 3

3-4oz 99% lean ground turkey, 250g cucumbers, 4 mini peppers, 35g brown rice

Meal 4

4oz tilapia, 7 Light and Fit rice cakes, 15 asparagus spears

Meal 5

1.5 scoops UMP, ¹⁄₂ c blueberries or zucchini, 2 tsp MCT oil or Flaxseed oil, 4 tbsp cocoa powder, 4 tsp cinnamon

Supplements

I highly recommend Beverly Supplements because they are high quality, and I notice improvements in my physique, adherence to my plan, and mental clarity when I use them.

Glutamine Select: I love adding Glutamine Select into my cream of rice or oatmeal with a dash of cinnamon, nutmeg, and french vanilla stevia. This helps me keep sweet cravings down all day! I also take a scoop before training at night or to combat cravings in the evening.

Quadracarn: Take 3 upon rising for mental clarity, sense of wellbeing, and to feel great for the day and 3 more before training for energy and vascularity.

Lean Out: I take 1 capsule with each meal and 2 with the last meal of the day to help with any cravings into the evening.

Density: I start with 3 tablets upon arising and 3 tablets before workouts. As the show day comes closer, I increase to 6 tablets pre-workout. Density is a definite help when calories are low, supplying my muscles with building blocks they need to get through another lifting session.

Cardio

I would start all my cardio workouts with an intense warm-up on my Concept 2 rower in my basement of 2500 meters in around 10 minutes. This really gets the blood pumping!

Burner workouts were put out during COVID quarantine times by my team, See You Later Leaner, and I would do these in my basement with my husband (CrossFit style workouts). I did these about twice per week.

As my show got closer, I switched to walking 20 minutes in the morning before work and another 20 minutes with my husband after work.

1-2 times per week, I did five sets of HIIT training, 45 seconds on and 15 seconds off of the following:

Tuck jumps - Squat jacks - Burpees - Mountain climbers - Kettlebell swings

 

Training

I like being in the gym so much that it was tough for me to learn to take "off" days. I've listed an advanced workout that I use when preparing for a contest. I perform 3-4 sets of 8-15 reps for each exercise listed in contest mode. For an intermediate workout, choose four exercises for legs, back, shoulders, and glutes, and two exercises for biceps and triceps. If you are unsure how to perform any of the exercises listed, Google them. You might find something new to add to your workout.

Day 1 Quads

  • Squats Feet elevated squats toes straight ahead, knees over toes
  • Squats Feet elevated squats toes out, knees over toes
  • Ball Squeezes for inner thighs
  • Wall Sits 1-2 minute holds
  • Jumpies
  • Single Leg Step Downs
  • Sumo Squats
  • Bulgarian Split Squats

Day 2 Shoulders

  • Upright Rows
  • Bent-Over Reverse Flyes
  • Lateral Raises
  • Empty Can Raises
  • Front Plate Raises
  • Shoulder Press
  • Urlachers
  • Banded Shoulder Exercises
    for rear delts

Day 3 Back / Biceps

  • Upright Rows
  • Bent-Over Reverse Flyes
  • Lateral Raises
  • Empty Can Raises
  • Front Plate

Day 4 Off

Day 5 Chest / Triceps

  • Incline Chest Press
  • Chest Flyes with Bands
  • Push-Ups
  • Decline Push-ups
  • Front Raises with bands- squeeze chest
  • Svend Press
  • Tricep Dips
  • Tricep Kickbacks
  • Band Tricep extensions standing or bent over (various grips including reverse grip)

Day 6 Glutes /Hams

  • Step-ups
  • Sumo Squats
  • Bulgarian Split Squats
  • Narrow Squats (deep)
  • Nordic Curls
  • Single-leg Hip Thrusts
  • Ball Pull-Ins
  • Banded Walks
  • Ankle Weight Hamstring Curls
  • Various Donkey Kicks etc. for glutes

Day 7 Off

Presentation Tips

Posing and stage presence are key. "Head up, chin up," Fran Chot Thomas (of See You Later Leaner) told me, and I will never forget that before going on stage. Remember to face the judges, even if you are at the end of the line on stage. You want to angle your body so you face the judges and not the audience. I focus on practicing vacuums and pulling my lats out. Always smile, as that is your best attribute- I would tell myself to have fun and SHINE! I felt more comfortable practicing at home than I did at the gym.

In Closing

Mindset is crucial, and as a wellness coach, I tell my clients and patients to write down their goals and WHY. You must believe in yourself and do the small behaviors that create the big changes over time. You must see yourself succeeding before you actually do. Visualization is key! My friend Mary used to tell me, "fake it till you make it."

I cannot thank my husband enough for his support during my prep. He purchased several items for our home gym that made it possible to fit my workouts in no matter what-even now! Coach Adam Atkinson held my dream and believed in me even when I doubted myself. His positive coaching helped me stay positive throughout my long year of prepping for my comeback to the stage.