Figure Competition – No Longer a Dormant Thought

Photo Credit: Chris Banks, Sinnerman Photography

At a Glance: Ayana Domingo

Age: 42

Occupation: Patient Screening Navigator for Breast Health at New York-Presbyterian Hudson Valley Hospital

Family: Married; 2 children - Tyler 22, Synda 14

Current Residence: Cortlandt Manor, NY

Years training: 1.5 years

Height: 5'3"

Weight: 130 (Off Season), 119 (Contest)

Favorite Body Building Meal: 4oz beef or bison burger, 5oz sweet potato, grilled asparagus

Favorite Supplements:

  • UMP is my absolute favorite – I love the chocolate and cookies and crème This is my last meal of the day and I consider it a dessert.
  • Glutamine Select – I drink Glutamine Select pre/ intra/post-workout. I love that it contains BCAAs which keeps me from getting sore during the recovery period and the flavor is not overpowering.

Advice to Someone who has never used Beverly: I recommend that you check out the Beverly International website ( All the supplement recommendations are available there. No matter your fitness goals, you will definitely benefit from Beverly products.

Music: As a classically trained pianist for over 30 years, I enjoy all genres of music.

Most Inspiring Book: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. I read this book every year because it reminds me to never give up on your dreams.

Hobby or Interest outside of Bodybuilding: Outside of bodybuilding, I am a freelance photographer of life and love; shooting baby showers, engagements, birthdays, and weddings. I also love to run 5Ks and am a member of USA Track and Field; the 100 meter sprint is my favorite event.

Words to Live By: The mind tells the body what to do, not the other way around…

Favorite Quote: “And when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” –Paulo Coehlo


I've been an athlete for most of my life. I ran track competitively throughout junior high, high school, and some college, specializing in the 55, 100, and 200 meter dashes, as well as running on the 4 x 400 meter relay team. I worked out occasionally during those years and was encouraged by a friend to compete. My response was, “no way”, and I tucked that thought deep in the back of my mind. I went on to earn my Bachelors of Science degree in Health Education and Promotion from Lehman College in 2005. Then life happened, marriage and children, and any remaining passion for fitness fell to the back burner.

What really prompted me to focus on my health

In 2010, I was incidentally diagnosed with hypertension and was placed on blood pressure medications due to increased weight gain, eating processed foods high in sodium, and stress. My readings ranged from 140/100 – 150/120 some days. Over the years, I made numerous attempts to get my health in order but everything I did was a short-term fix.

Fast forward to 2016, I set a goal of getting into the best shape of my life by 2018 and started to document my fitness journey on Instagram. That same year, I joined and started to use their various workout programs and challenges, but still, I fell short and didn’t complete them. The consistency and drive was not there. Any thought of competing was a thing of the past, reserved for the young.

Journey to the stage

On January 8, 2018, I pushed the hard reset button and made a decision that I was going to compete in an NPC Figure show in the summer. I signed up for the $50K, 12 week transformation challenge to see what results I could achieve on my own. Although I did not win the challenge, my transformation was phenomenal. At that point, I knew I was ready to take the next steps necessary in order to prepare me for the stage.

Through word of mouth, I contacted competition prep coach Steve Poynter who worked with me starting at 14 weeks out. He outlined my nutrition and training in detail and made adjustments where needed during my prep. Beverly supplements were an integral part of my regimen throughout my entire prep.

On July 7, 2018, I stepped on stage in the best shape of my entire life at the NPC Northeast Summer Classic show in White Plains, NY. I placed fifth in Novice and the 40 and Over Figure division.

My journey to the stage was not easy, like many, I experienced setbacks. I developed quadricep and bicep tendinitis, along with a condition called notalgia paresthetica on the right side of my mid-back which made it painful to open up my right lat. (Not a good thing for a Figure competitor.) Luckily, I was able to seek medical therapy in a timely fashion and learn how to work through and strengthen my injured areas.

Presentation Tips

As I will be preparing for my 2nd show this year, I emphasize “practice, practice, practice” no matter how seasoned you are. I continue to practice my posing for 15 to 20 minutes a day as posing is considered a huge component of overall stage presentation.

Helpful Tips

  • Incorporate stretching before and after all training as it reduces risk of injury.  Invest in a stretching strap (it works wonders).
  • Know your “why”? Why are you competing? Knowing your “why” will add depth, passion, and fuel your inner strength towards achieving your goals despite any obstacles that might stand in the way.
  • Don’t compare yourself to other competitors. Always strive to be the best version of yourself and beat that person staring back at you in the mirror.

Closing Thoughts

At 42 years old, I finally reached my fitness goals and can now say that I am an NPC Figure competitor. This journey has been a life changing experience for me. I did what I thought was impossible. I learned a lot about myself, how my body responds to different types of foods, and learned who was really on my support team for the long haul. I’ve met amazing friends who supported my goals and gave me that mental push on days when I wanted to give up.

For anyone thinking about competing or even weight loss in general, know that it will take time, patience, and dedication, but you can do it if you put your mind to it. Results may not happen overnight; however, with the right guidance and support system by your side, anything is possible. I believe in you.


Nutrition is key; there’s no way around it.

Every Sunday, my husband helps me meal prep for the week by grilling all of the meats and veggies. I measure out my portions the night before and carry my meals with me to work every day. It saves so much time, money, and keeps me on track with my fitness goals.

Meal 1 (pre-workout): 5 egg whites, 1/2 cup steel cut oats

Meal 2 (post-workout): 1.5 scoops Muscle Provider, 1/2 banana or 1/4 cup blueberries, 2 tbsp PBfit powdered peanut butter

Meal 3 (usually post workout): 4oz lean ground chicken or chicken breast, 1 cup green vegetables, 1/2 cup white rice

Meal 4: 4oz lean ground chicken or chicken breast, 1 cup green vegetables, 3-4oz yam

Meal 5: 5oz lean beef or salmon, 1-2 cups vegetables, avocado or 2 tbsp unsalted peanut butter

Meal 6: 1.5 scoops UMP

Water Intake: Drink at least 1 gallon of water per day


Muscle Provider – post workout to build lean muscle and recover from tough workouts faster

UMP – as a great tasting, contest friendly, nighttime meal replacement

Glutamine Select – before, during, and after my workout reduces soreness and quickens recovery time

Lean Out stacked with 7-Keto MuscLean to help my body to convert stored fat into energy and lose fat without losing lean muscle

Training Schedule

I started to use Beverly’s Pre-Contest Training manual as a guide in early 2018. I have made some adjustments along the way (more sets, lower reps, heavier weights). My workouts last from 45 to 90 minutes. Here’s an example of my training:

Monday: Legs & AbsSetsReps
Leg Press310-15
Hack Squat*310-15
Straight Leg Deadlift312
Leg Extension312
Abs (various exercises)825-50

* Hack Squats are one and one half reps – go all the way down, then half way up, back down, and all the way up = 1 rep.

Tuesday: Back, Delts, Biceps, CalvesSetsReps
One-Arm Row38-10
Lat Pulldown38-12
Seated Row38-12
DB Lateral310
Front DB Raise310
Bent DB Lateral310
Cable Preacher Curl38-12
DB Curl38-10
Barbell Curl35-6
Calf Raises (various)6-815
Wednesday: Chest, Triceps, AbsSetsReps
Incline DB Press46-10
Flat DB Press48-12
Pec Deck38-12
Triceps Pushdowns48-12
Lying Extension410-12
Abs (various exercises)615-25
Thursday: Legs (glute emphasis), CalvesSetsReps
Romanian Deadlift310-15
Wide Leg Press310-15
Leg Curl36-8
Walking Lunge312-15
Leg Extension312
Smith Machine Squat312
Superset each pair of exercises above
Calf Raises (various)6-815
Friday: Delts, Back, Arms, AbsSetsReps
Shoulder Press36-10
Lat Pulldowns38-12
Upright Row38-10
Straight Arm Pulldown310-12
Bent Laterals310-12
Seated Row38-12
Barbell or EZ Curl36-10
Close Grip Bench Press36-10
Concentration Curl210-12
Triceps Dip210-15
Superset each pair of exercises above6-815
Abs (various exercises)825-50

Cardio Schedule

For heart health and to keep my blood pressure under control, I do some form of cardio every day for 20 – 30 minutes alternating between the stair master, spin bike, and arc trainer. Leading up to contest day, I increase my cardio intensity and incorporate plyometrics and wind sprints depending on my condition.

Purpose Driven Prep

At a Glance: Jesse Dale

Age: 40

Occupation: Co-Founder MacroMissionary & Gym Owner

Family: Wife, Erika Dale

Current Residence: Indianapolis, IN

Years training (total): 28

Height: 5’8”

Weight: 200 (off season), 185 (contest)

Favorite Bodybuilding Meal: Beverly UMP treats! (pancakes, brownies, ice cream), huge stir fry’s and salads

What would you recommend to someone who has never used Beverly supplements before? Read the No Nonsense magazine, order UMP, ask anyone who has been around for a while about Beverly

Most Inspiring Book: The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren

Hobby or interests outside bodybuilding: Music, travel, mentoring others to reach their goals

Words to live by: “If you want to make a million dollars then help a million people” and “people do not care how much you know until they know how much you care.”


I did my first show when I was 18 years old, the Teen Novice Michigan. I was able to win my class and like many others who catch the “competition bug,” was hooked on the sport! In 2003, I was introduced to Beverly International. I have been using Beverly products now for 15 years! But, not only their products, the foundation I gained from Beverly’s information and philosophy on training and diet have led me to many successful competition experiences throughout the years.

In 2011, I did a final series of shows and then decided to “hang up my trunks”. At this time, I owned a few gyms, promoted two drug free NPC shows (the Natural Indiana & Indianapolis), and had a number of nutrition counseling clients. I hadn’t really intended to “quit” bodybuilding, but my priorities slowly drifted away from competing. I still kept in shape and people would always ask when “The Shark” (a nickname I’ve had as long as I can remember) was going to return to the stage.

I half-heartedly planned on competing in 2013; however, due to poor decisions and too much ambition in business, I ignored my relationships, didn’t pay as close attention to family, and even got “too busy” to go to church. As a result this was a rough year of divorce, dividing and dissolving assets, and a time for inner reflection and needed council.

It was later that year that I met Erika. I coached her as she achieved her lifelong goal of competing as a figure athlete, and as our friendship grew, I found myself attracted to her work ethic and dedication to her faith. I was madly in love and didn’t even realize it. Luckily she felt the same and we got married in 2016. Erika shared my passion for health and fitness and using it as a platform to help as many people as we possibly can. She helped me rebrand our nutrition company into MacroMissionary and in late 2017 she declared that she was going to compete again.

Self Reflection Time!

Erika’s decision to compete really made me think. I stopped competing for two main reasons.

  1. I did not want to start using illegal drugs.
  2. I’d get too caught up in winning to where it would be messing with my head.

I made no commitment to compete, but set a goal to get in my best shape ever for my 40th birthday. I buckled down and got to work eating and training like a bodybuilder... and the thought of returning to the stage began creeping into the back of my mind.

About this time I read Rick Warren’s book, The Purpose Driven Life. The book inspired me to make the very best of the gifts that God has given me. And to honor not only Him, but also the people that He put in my life to help me foster these talents. Those who helped me the most in life and bodybuilding were my mom and dad, brother, and Erika. I decided I would compete again, not striving for ripped abs or a trophy, but for a much greater purpose - to honor these people who had meant so much to me.

Jump Back into the Contest Waters

I set my mind to compete in the same two shows Erika was doing -- the Indianapolis Championships, August 4th and the Indiana state Championships, August 18th. Unfortunately my dad has later stage Alzheimer’s so travelling to Indiana for the shows would be too hard for him and my mom. But on the 4th of July I was scrolling through the NPC site and came across a show in Michigan not too far from my parents’ house. The show was just 3 days away!!! I called my friend and leader in the NPC, Ed Sanders, and asked him his thoughts about my competing and he gave me his blessing. I’ve never believed in crazy changes the final week, and Erika was BEYOND supportive, so I entered the show and dedicated it to my dad.

Three valuable lessons that my dad taught me are:

CONSISTENCY - Dad didn’t chase the next new thing, or greener grass on the other side. He was loyal to his work at GM, never missing a day in 36 years. This taught me in bodybuilding & life to find the basics, follow them, and stay focused, not for days or years, but for a lifetime.

HARD WORK - My dad was not gifted with an Einstein brain or a Michael Jordan jump shot. He put in the work, period. His thought was “I work until the job is done.”

In bodybuilding, I’d get up before school and pay an older friend with a car to drive me to the gym, then hit it again after school. I started weeding gardens, cutting grass, and shoveling snow at 10 years old. Thank you Dad for teaching me to WORK.

FOLLOW THE RULES - Although we butt heads on this one, it’s probably the primary reason I choose not to do drugs illegally. My dad followed the rules, period! If he signed a contract he made right on it. His word meant everything. Thank you for your example dad!

As it turned out, I won the Masters and Open Classic Physique Overall titles, as well as 1st in the Open Bodybuilding LHW class with my dad and mom right there in the audience!


Midwestern States and Indianapolis

The next show was the NPC Midwestern States. This show’s purpose was to honor my brother Jason. He was always a positive role model and was the one who actually got me into lifting when I was 12 years old. He showed me how to do the exercises using old sand weights in my parents’ basement. He gently “forced me” to follow the workout routine 3 times per week and as I grew into high school I became known as “the lifting expert”. While other kids were experimenting with alcohol I was testing new lifting protocols, and when they were eating cafeteria food I was preparing meals and eating out of Tupperware. I never really told him how much I appreciated him until the day of the contest.

I won the Masters Bodybuilding Overall and the Open Men’s Physique Overall. My first overall victory in Indiana.

The next show was the Indianapolis Championships! Erika and I would compete together! I won the Master 40+ class and the Masters Overall at this show and Erika competed with amazing confidence having lost 23 pounds of body fat and reducing her bodyfat percentage by 17% in her journey to the stage!

Our final show was the Indiana State Championships. Ever since I was a kid I wanted to be Mr. Michigan or Mr. Indiana. It was my dream and at one point the only thing that mattered. As it turned out, I cracked top 4 in the open LHW and 2nd in the Masters Over 40, but the mission was much bigger and more meaningful than my placing. This show was dedicated to my mom! She inspired and motivated me in life through her example of overcoming adversity, societal bias and ALWAYS letting her light shine NO MATTER WHAT.

The journey back to the stage was incredible, but also the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. I gained an entirely new respect and empathy for athletes who compete, the hunger, the low energy, social events, and concentration which are really tough the last few weeks before shows. If it wasn’t for the PURPOSE behind the prep there is no way I would have followed through, NO WAY.

Looking for help on your nutrition? Email:

Shark Nutrition

One of my more strict contest diets. Guaranteed to get you ripped.

I’m going to start this section with one of my most effective contest diets as a reference for anyone who would like an exact diet template to follow.


Meal 1: 8oz lean beef or turkey, 3 egg whites, 1 grapefruit

Meal 2: Protein Drink: 2 scoops Ultimate Muscle Protein, 1 scoop Muscle Provider, 1tbsp almond butter or heavy whipping cream

Meal 3: 8oz chicken or turkey breast (weighed prior to cooking), 2 cups vegetables

Meal 4: (same as meal #2)

Meal 5: 8oz lean meat (chicken, turkey, fish, 93% or leaner beef, etc.), 4 cups salad (lettuce, tomato, carrot, cucumber, green peppers, etc.), 2 tbsp cider vinegar and 1 tbsp olive oil (or other vegetable oil) for a dressing

Meal 6: 4oz chicken or turkey breast; 6 egg whites; 1 cup omelet vegetables

Monday and Thursday: In place of meal #6: 1.5 cups oatmeal (measured before cooking) or cooked rice, 10oz sweet potato, medium banana, 1 cup vegetables, 1 tbsp butter, almond butter or oil at the end of the day.

Today, I vary my food choices more than in the past and constantly come up with new recipes. Here are a few recent favorites.

Breakfast: Egg white, ham & cheese omelet w/tomato, zucchini, and onion, and my Shark Supershake (kale, spinach, blackberries, strawberries), coffee

Lunch: Massive stir fry or salad (spinach or bok choy, mushrooms, riced cauliflower, red onions, and fish, chicken or ground turkey)

Post Workout: Protein Ice Cream (2 scoops UMP, 1 cup almond milk, 1 tsp xanthan gum - blend almond milk and ice gradually in a high powered blender, gradually add UMP and xanthan gum to an ice cream consistency. Top with a drizzle of Walden Farms no-carb chocolate sauce and Cool Whip free. Delicious!

Dinner: Sharkenator (I saw a commercial for a baconator burger with barbecue chicken from Applebee’s so I created my own healthy version): 6oz Laura’s Lean Beef, 3oz shredded chicken breast mixed with a little G Hughes barbecue sauce, a couple strips of bacon, 1 slice fat free cheese, tomato, and horseradish on a Healthy Life high fiber bun. I also slice a small potato into fries and cook them in our air fryer.


I’ve been using Beverly supplements for 15 years. Over that time I’ve had great success with their supplements. Staples for my supplements this past year were:

UMP (Ultimate Muscle Protein) - We make AMAZING ice creams, brownies, pancakes, muffins and other delicious treats with UMP. This protein is an absolute MUST if you do not want to sacrifice flavor or quality. We have tons of recipes that you’d swear are straight from the bakery and yet they are nothing more than UMP, Cool Whip free, oatmeal, and maybe some Walden Farms calorie free sauce!

Super Pak and Vitality Stack (Protandim, probiotic, fish oil) – I take these supplements with my first meal of the day. The Super Pak provides my body with high levels of micronutrients for a full 24 hours to promote maximum growth and performance. Protandim is not a Beverly product but it is very good for reducing oxidative stress.

Lean Out and 7-Keto MuscLean stack - Lean Out is a great stimulant free addition to anyone’s fat loss strategy, it’s a perfect blend of well researched ingredients. It’s also great at controlling blood sugar levels. I take 7-Keto MuscLean in the morning and pre workout to keep my metabolism stoked and to aid the fat burning process.

Mass Aminos and Ultra 40 stack – I’ve used this stack to successfully add muscle in the off season, and to preserve muscle and keep my energy up pre contest.

Creatine Select and Glutamine Select pre workout – Beverly’s Creatine Select is the ONLY creatine on the market that does not bloat me and I get noticeable strength gains from it. I like Glutamine Select over other BCAA products because it contains the most abundant amino acid in skeletal muscle – glutamine – I consider it a MUST.

Shark Workout Terminology

In my workout I use a “Heavy/Light” method which I call “4:13’s”. It consists of using a heavy weight on a particular exercise for 4 reps, then I immediately lower the weight and perform 13 explosive reps of the same exercise. I rest for up to 4 minutes, and repeat 4 reps heavy, 13 reps light until a total of 4 sets of “4:13’s” are completed.

HATA is my abbreviation for (heavy as technique allows).

“Death by” exercises – start a new set every 2 minutes. 1st set use a very moderate weight and perform 10 reps. Add 1 rep each set until you can no longer complete the assigned reps for a set while adhering to the rule of starting a new set every 2 minutes.


Here is the split that I followed this year that made a huge impact in my muscularity and fullness.

Day 1: Lats & Hamstrings intense/heavySetsReps
Weighted Bridge39
Neutral Grip Seated Row44:13’s
Wide Grip Machine Row49 (HATA)
Day 2: Chest, Shoulders, Arms intense/heavySetsReps
Floor Press44:13’s
Cable Crossovers47 (HATA)
DB Overhead Press44:13’s
Seated Side Laterals39 (HATA)
Tricep Cable Extension44:13’s
Seated DB Curls44:13’s
Barbell Curls39 (HATA)
Day 3: Legs (quad focus) volumeSetsReps
Box Squats
“Death by”
Leg Extensions5+10+
Walking Lunges3 20
Day 4: Back & Shoulders volumeSetsReps
Wide Lat Pulldown512
Close Grip Pulldown410
Wide Grip Bent Rows
“Death By”
Cable Overhead Press5+10+
Cable Laterals312
Wide Grip Upright Row217
Day 5: Chest & Arms (volume)SetsReps
Bench Press
“Death By”
Cable Incline Press5+10+
Pec Deck217
Overhead Rope Extension
“Death By”
Cable “V bar” Extensions5+10+
Cable Curls
“Death By”
Overhead Cable Curls217

From Track Star to Powerlifter

At a Glance:Sydney Hunter

Age: 23

Occupation or Education: Certified Personal Trainer with a Bachelor’s of Science from UC Riverside in Sociology with a concentration in the Social Determinants of Health. Owner of Body by Syd Personal Training.

Family: I have a brother who is 18 months younger than me and two loving parents who support my dreams and aspirations.

Current Residence: Glendale, CA

Years training (total): 13 years

Height: 5’5”

Weight: 138, Contest - 132 (Powerlifting 60 kg class)

Favorite Fitness Meal: My go to meal is salmon, asparagus and potatoes.

Favorite Supplements: UMP Graham Cracker tastes great and gives me the protein boost I need to build strength without feeling bloated. UMP gives me that extra lift I need to power through some crazy tough workouts.

During my bulking/building phase, Mass Maker Ultra is an integral part of my diet as it has carbs that feed and promote muscle growth in the weight room and keeps me on track while I’m in a calorie surplus.

When it comes to focus and endurance, Ultra 40 does the trick. I also feel as though my recovery time is shorter and I have minimal soreness. As a powerlifter, some days of training can be hard and the wear and tear on my muscles can be intense. The best part is how fast you see improvement in muscle growth, I usually see changes within 8 days.

What would you recommend to someone who has never used Beverly supplements before? I have tried many products and UMP is a far superior product. You can both feel and taste the purity in the products. I always recommend UMP to my clients and receive rave reviews and great feedback. The primary comments I hear are that UMP does not have that “chalky” taste so common with protein powders and that they don’t get that bloated feeling.

Music: My favorite songs are Diva by Beyoncé, Love It When You Cry by Steve Aoki and A Milli by Lil Wayne.

Most Inspiring Book: Mind Gym by Gary Mack - it delves deeply into how to be a successful athlete and that it starts in the mind. I believe the mind is a powerful tool and it can be our biggest supporter or our biggest enemy. I tell all of my clients that if you control your thoughts, the possibilities are endless.

Hobbies or interests outside powerlifting: Hiking, eating at new restaurants with friends and shopping.

Words to live by: “No matter what, have fun & keep your head held high.”


Growing up, I played every sport from basketball and soccer to softball and even did equestrian horseback riding. But my heart and my talent were always with track and field. I started running track when I was 10 years old. My specialty events were the 400 meters, 200m and 400m relay. As I progressed in the sport earning numerous awards, the possibility of being a college athlete came into focus and became a reality. I was known in high school as “Sydney the Track Star” so when it came time to get recruited, my heart was set on no less than a Division 1 college scholarship. As a young 18-year-old, I wasn’t thinking much about majors or career--I just knew that I wanted to run track.

I accepted a scholarship to the University of California Riverside to run track. But, before the season even began, I suffered an injury. Soon it seemed that injuries became a routine for me including concussions, back spasms, sprained ankles and a sprained wrist. I was always in the sports rehab room healing an injury. The crazy part is that the majority of the injuries happened in my “happy place” - the weight room. I did not let it deter me; I used it as fuel to get more balanced. I changed my focus to not just moving weight but also connecting with my muscles (mind muscle connection).

After my second year of college it was time to find a summer job. I knew I wanted to work at a gym so I googled “Gyms in Riverside”, closed my eyes, scrolled and picked one and it was A Taylored Body and this was where my love for personal training started. This gym’s atmosphere was something special--everyone was so loving and positive. I gained so much experience training clients from age 7 to 85 and everything in  between. After working there for only a few months, I knew I had found my career - I loved being a trainer, using fitness and health to transform lives.

After 3 years of running collegiately, I knew I had a tough decision to make. My passion to help others reach their fitness goals came to the forefront and I made a decision to stop running and leave track behind. I feared that in leaving track I would lose my identity (remember I was “Sydney the Track Star”). But the assurances I received from my track coach, my teammates and my parents helped me in my decision making. They believed in me, the person, and saw my greater potential.

Though I was carrying a full-time load, I was determined to complete college in four years, I wanted to spend every spare moment training clients, it brought me so much joy. My focus has transitioned from track to personal training & powerlifting.

In addition to training clients, I began focusing more on me and my progress in the weight room. After a year without track, my love for lifting weights grew but I never thought about competing, I just liked to challenge myself to lift heavy. In February of 2019, my coach reached out to me about competing in powerlifting and I made the leap and said YES! After my first workout at Iron Addicts I was hooked. Although my physical strength was adapting slowly to my new program, my mental strength was rapidly growing. After my first competition, I knew it would not be my last. Stepping on the platform is electrifying, it seems as if the room goes quiet and it's just you and the bar. Like running track, powerlifting is a sport where you can always improve and I love that.

Diet & Nutrition Tips

Meal Planning Tips: Think about what you’re going to make for the week before you go to the grocery store so you are not overwhelmed. Also pick your meal prep day. Mine is Sunday so every week I set aside about 2 hours to prep and make everything. Big tip is to prep your snacks, separate your snack items into bags whether it be almonds, strawberries or whatever it may be to ensure you stay on track.

Let’s start with two of my favorite UMP recipes. S’mores Protein Waffles are great during my Muscle & Strength Building season and my Protein Frappuccino works in both my muscle & strength and weight cutting phases.

S’mores Protein Waffles: yields 2 waffles
• 1/2 cup Birch Benders original pancake mix
• 1/2 scoop UMP Graham Cracker
• 1/2 scoop UMP Rocky Road
• dash of cinnamon
• 1 tsp olive oil
• 1 cup of water

Stir all ingredients together in bowl Turn waffle iron on med-high Pour 1/2 batter in waffle maker Leave in waffle maker for 3-5 minutes

Protein Frappuccino
• 8oz cold brew
• 6oz unsweetened almond milk
• 1 scoop graham cracker UMP
• add tons of ice

Blend for a homemade low-calorie Frappuccino

My Daily Meal Plan

Muscle & Strength Building

6am: 1 scoop UMP, 1 Scoop Muscle Provider, 6oz black coffee, 6oz almond milk, 1.5 cup of hash browns, 2 pieces turkey bacon, 1 English muffin, 4 Ultra 40

9am Snack: 1 orange, 1 cheese stick, 3 Ultra 40

11am Snack: 23 almonds, 1 apple

2pm Lunch / Pre Workout: 1 Scoop UMP, 8oz water, 6oz chicken breast, 3oz zucchini, 4oz brown rice, 4 Ultra 40

4pm Post Workout: 1 scoop UMP, 1 granola bar, 10 strawberries, 13 almonds

7pm Dinner: 4 oz salmon, 7-10 asparagus spears, 3oz potatoes, 3 Ultra 40

9:30pm Before bed meal: 1 scoop UMP, 1 tbsp almond butter, 3/4 cup frozen fruit, 1/2 cup granola, dash of cinnamon, 2 tbsp of blueberries, 1 tsp of agave

Cutting Diet to Make Weight

After weeks of slowly cutting my calories, I stay at 1300-1400 calories per day for the two weeks leading up to weigh-ins.

6am: 6oz black coffee, 1 scoop UMP, 1 English muffin, 1 cup hash browns, 4 Ultra 40

10am Snack: 13 almonds, 1 grapefruit, 1 cheese stick

2pm Lunch: 4oz salmon, 1 cup of green beans, 4 Ultra 40

4pm Snack: 1 scoop UMP mixed with 8oz of water, 1 apple, 13 almonds

7pm Dinner: 4oz chicken breast, 7 asparagus spears, 4 Ultra 40

9pm Before bed snack: 1 scoop UMP, 7 strawberries, 2 Ultra 40


During my cutting phase which lasts about 2 weeks before a competition:

I do Incline Treadmill 15% for 35 minutes or Stairmaster 4 days a week during prep. I also teach spin classes 2 days a week (1 hour each class). My only cardio during my bulking/building phase are the two spin classes I teach each week.

Tips for cardio:

Things like walking on the treadmill can get boring so pick a cardio show-- It is a show that you only watch while doing your cardio so it makes it special. Or take a class like spin where you can get a great workout and sweat like crazy without too much stress on your joints.

Training schedule

I lift 4-5 times a week at the beginning of a training cycle, then as it gets closer to competition, the sessions are 3-4 times a week and one of those days would just be accessory work. Providing full recovery to stay healthy without strength withering. (I’ve included my workout below.) The program is based on progressive overload to ensure maximal strength improvement. I follow the Candito Strength 6-week progression along with extra strength training provided by my Coach James Harris.

Sample Training Program

(Based on Candito 6-Week Strength Program,

The program is based on my 1RM’s at the beginning of the program – Bench Press 165lbs, Squat 285lbs, Deadlift 410lbs. I have listed the approximate percentage used for each lift so that you can adapt the program to your personal strength levels.

Week 1

Muscular Conditioning

Squat 4x6 (80% of 1RM)
Deadlift 2x6 (80% of 1RM)
(Optional Leg Extension and Leg Curl 3-4x8-12)

Bench Press 4x10,10,8,6 (50%, 67.5%, 75%, 77.5% 1RM)
Row 4x10,10,8,6
DB Overhead Press 4x12,12,10,8
Lat Pulldown 4x12,12,10,8
(Optional Barbell or DB Curls 3-4x8-12)

Same workout as Tuesday

Squat 4x8 (70% of 1RM)
Deadlift 2x8 (70% of 1RM)

Bench Press 1xMR (80% of 1RM)

Week 2


Squat 1xMR up to 10 (80% of 1RM)
Squats 5x3 – 60 second rest between sets (5lbs more than 1st set)
Snatch Grip Deadlift 3x8
(Optional Leg Extension and Leg Curl 3-4x8-12)

Bench Press 3x10,8,6-8 (72.5%, 77.5%, 80% of 1RM)
Row 3x10,8,8
DB Overhead Press 3x10,8,6
Lat Pulldown 3x10,8,6
(Optional Barbell or DB Curls 3-4x8-12)

Squat 1xMR10 (80% of 1RM)
Back Off Squats 8-10 sets of 3 reps – 60 seconds rest between sets (10lbs less than 1st set)
Deficit Deadlift (standing on a small block or plates) 3x8

Same as Tuesday’s workout

Bench Press 1xMR (80% of 1RM)

Week 3

Linear Strength Progression

Squat 3x4-6 (85% of 1RM)
Deadlift 2x3-6 (87.5% of 1RM)
(Optional Leg Extension and Leg Curl 3-4x8-12)

Bench Press 3x4-6 (85% of 1RM)
Row 3x6
DB Overhead Press 3x6
Lat Pulldown 3x6
(Optional Barbell or DB Curls 3-4x8-12)

Squat 1x4-6 (87.5% of 1 RM)
Snatch Grip Deadlift 1x8
(Optional Leg Extension and Leg Curl 3-4x8-12)

Bench Press 3x4-6 (87.5% of 1RM)
Row 3x6
DB Overhead Press 3x6
Lat Pulldown 3x6
(Optional Barbell or DB Curls 3-4x8-12)

Here are a couple of other important points about the workout.
1. 1RM is the maximum amount of weight that you can lift with excellent form for 1 repetition at the beginning of the 6-week program.
2. 1xMR up to 10 means that you do as many reps as possible in good form with the prescribed weight. If you can do more than 10 reps, stop at 10.
3. The percentages listed are used only for the three power lifts (Bench Press, Squat, Deadlift).
4. On the other exercises your 1st set should be relatively light, add some weight on the 2nd set, and add weight again on the 3rd (and 4th) sets. Use weights that allow you to get all the reps listed in perfect form without straining.

Week 4

Acclimation to Heavy Weights

Squat 3x3 (90% of 1RM, 90%+5lbs, 90%+10lbs)
Deficit Deadlift 2x6
(Optional Leg Extension and Leg Curl 3-4x8-12)

Bench Press 3x3 (90% of 1RM less 10lbs, 90% less 5lbs, 90% of 1RM)
Row 4x10,10,8,6
DB Overhead Press 4x12,12,10,8
Lat Pulldown 4x12,12,10,8
(Optional Barbell or DB Curls 3-4x8-12)

Squat 1x3 (92.5% of 1RM), 1x1-2 (95% of 1 RM)
Deadlift 1x3 (92.5% of 1RM), 1x1-2 (95% of 1 RM)
(Optional Leg Extension and Leg Curl 3-4x8-12)

Bench Press 1x3 (87.5% of 1RM), 1x2-4 (90% of 1RM), 1x1-2 (95% of 1RM)
Row 4x10,10,8,6
DB Overhead Press 4x12,12,10,8
Lat Pulldown 4x12,12,10,8

Week 5

Intense Strength Training

Squat 1x1-4 (97.5% of 1RM)
Deadlift 3x4,4,2 (67.5%, 70%, 72.5% of 1RM)
(Optional Leg Extension and Leg Curl 3-4x8-12)

Bench Press 1x1-4 (97.5% of 1RM)
Row 3x8,6,6
DB Overhead Press 3x8,6,6
Lat Pulldown 3x8,6,6
(Optional Barbell or DB Curls 3-4x8-12)

Deadlift 1x1-4 (97.5% of 1RM)

Week 6

Determining a new 1RM

Determine a new 1 repetition max (1RM) for each of the three powerlifts, or you can project your new 1 RM in this manner. Take what you lifted in week 5, and multiply by 1.03 if you completed 2 reps, 1.06 if 3 reps, and 1.09 if you completed 4 reps.

Power Meet Prep

The preparation for powerlifting is detail oriented, a game of numbers and technique. When it comes to competing make sure you are doing it for YOU. Because you will train harder and be more committed if you are fully wanting to do it and more importantly that you are enjoying doing it. Sometimes when it gets heavy, willpower is the only thing to get those white lights and a clean lift from the judges. I’ve learned that with the correct mindset, support group, and training system ANYTHING is possible.

A Short Q&A with Sydney

How did you get started lifting?

I started lifting when I was 13 years old, as part of a strength and conditioning program. Lifting helped me to get quicker and more powerful on the track--the weight room was something that I both enjoyed and excelled in. I always enjoyed science and found it intriguing how the body responds and develops as lifting was introduced and intertwined into the routine.

Did you have any problems starting out that other readers might relate too?

I enjoyed lifting but my friends at school would sometimes make fun of me because I was “so muscular”. At times I felt uncomfortable wearing tank tops, but I knew I couldn’t let what others say affect me because at the end of the day I was stronger than most of them- I turned my strength into unrelenting confidence.

Did you try anything that didn’t work? 

I found that just going through the motions and mindlessly doing workouts leads to injury, lack of awareness and minimal results especially out on the track.

Tell what you did to solve the problem.

It sounds crazy but getting injured so much made me anxious to know more. I was so frustrated because every time I got injured meant I had to sit out and take time to recover, which was the last thing I wanted to do. It took taking a step back and making the change to just “slow down” basically just focus on the movements and think “what is this supposed to be working on, where should I be feeling this” instead of just doing what is prescribed.

Relate your results.

This resulted in me being a better athlete and now a better trainer because I better understand the body. As a trainer it has helped me better relate and explain movements to my clients more effectively with cues on how to engage the movement. As a powerlifting athlete I now know how important it is to listen to my body--in such an intense sport sometimes taking a rest day is equally as important, if not more, than the lift days.

How can our readers contact you?

Instagram & Twitter: @sydbarbz

Back to Fitness

At a Glance: Donna Baran

Age: 42

Occupation: Owner/President – Baran Property Management (BPM)

Family: Husband of 18 years, 17-year-old Daughter, and 12-year-old Son.

Current Residence: Trinity, FL

Years training (total): 6 years

Height: 5’4”

Weight: Off-Season: 140-145 lbs, Contest: 125 -130 lbs

Favorite Fitness Meal: My go to is usually either lean ground turkey & baked sweet potato chips or oven baked chicken breast and red potatoes.

Favorite supplements: Quality supplements are an important part of my fitness lifestyle. Depending on where I am in contest prep some products can vary. But a few of my staple products are: Muscle Provider - a clean whey isolate/hydrolysate for pre and /or post workout. Always a comprehensive multi-vitamin, Super Pak, to ensure I am getting in all my basics. Glutamine Select is a must in our house for recovery. The last few years digestion has become tougher for me so a digestive enzyme is extremely important. Multiple Enzyme Complex is one that is in my arsenal. I’m not a huge fish eater so a high quality multi Omega complex supplement, EFA Gold, is essential. Finally, ZMA 2000 is on this list as I struggle with solid sleep.

What would you recommend to someone who has never used Beverly supplements before? This all depends on your goals but you cannot go wrong with a clean protein (UMP or Muscle Provider) and a quality multi vitamin (Super Pak or Fit Tabs). And, if you’re like me and your mind goes 100mph then ZMA 2000 is key here. Great suggestions can be found on BI’s website (

Music: Depends on my mood. Generally, if I am solo at the gym my music has to be hard. Either hip hop or metal. When I’m driving or working, I usually listen to podcasts or smoother music.

Most Inspiring Book: I had shifted much of my personal development to being absorbed through podcasts. But my most recent book that has tons of great content and I highly recommend for anyone looking to become a better “you”. Best Self: Be you, Only Better by Mike Bayer.

Hobby or interests outside bodybuilding: Bodybuilding is a huge part of my life and many aspects of my life benefit from it. But from day one and always my family is my number one priority and enjoy every moment we share together. Next is building my business, (BPM). Also, promoting our first Women’s Day Tampa event this year was lifechanging for me and will now be an annual event. It was a very special journey leading up to it and was just something words cannot explain how incredible and impactful that day was. If you’re in FL, I would love for all of you to attend in 2020, we will be promoting on Facebook with dates and information very soon. Also, we are working on my new coaching program which I am so very excited about and cannot wait to share the details.

Words to live by: Balance doesn’t exist if you want to be great at something. You must give that aspect of your life 100%. It’s not easy but can be done.


I grew up a very shy person who kept to herself. But, always knew I wanted more out of life than my status quo. So many ups and downs allowed me to become the person I am today. In this article I won’t go into all of the different areas of my life but will stick to the fitness side. Fitness helped me come out of my shell and do things I never thought I could or would do.

It’s crazy that I have been around fitness since 1998 and never really applied it to myself. I was that person who would get a gym membership, go the first week and then continue paying on it for a year. I was the one who went super hard out of the gate (in a class or on the treadmill) for as long as I could and then I’d quit. I even blacked out after a class one time, walked straight into a wall and busted my nose (it still has a bump on it today). I was also the person whose daily meal plan consisted of the largest size latte loaded with sugars (even the local Dunkin Donuts’ and Starbucks’ baristas knew my name) for breakfast and didn’t eat again until dinner. I worked long hours in a demanding field and came home to my family’s dinner which was either a huge pasta meal or we’d go out to a local restaurant. I never saw myself as overweight, (by society standards) so I thought I was ok. I worked very hard at being at the top of my game in my career and family and believed that’s all that mattered. I love my family more than anything and was proud of what I was accomplishing in my career, but I couldn’t help but feel the “is this it” feeling”. Sound familiar to anyone?

I still remember the exact moment that my fitness journey started. I was getting ready for work (in early 2013), got out of the shower and looked at myself in the mirror (just as I had a million times before). But this time was different. I looked at myself good and hard and stopped dead in my tracks. I couldn’t believe the person I was looking at. I examined myself from my head to my ankles and was not only disappointed with what I saw, but upset and angry. How did I let myself get into this shape?

I immediately called my husband, Chris, into the room. I said, “We are joining the gym tonight and I need you to help me get in shape!” (Chris has been in the fitness industry his whole life.) He’d heard this from me before, but this time he knew something was not the same. I wanted to start right then. I remember the excitement I felt that day. I could barely focus on work. I did my best with food. I skipped my morning latte and forced down water all day. I got home, changed and said, “Let’s go.” Chris said, “Let’s eat first, please.” (I didn’t understand the importance of food yet.) I was not comfortable going to an actual gym so we joined the local YMCA and started training together. We still train together to this day and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

We were very consistent with training and our eating for many months. I was getting to know my way around the gym, learning correct form, what exercise worked which body part, etc. I was soaking it up like a sponge and it was exciting for me. One day a couple from the gym started discussing competition. Then, out of the blue, they asked me when my next show was. Chris had competed before, but I hadn’t even thought about it. About ten months later we were laying in bed and I asked Chris, “How many weeks do you think I would need if I wanted to compete?” He smiled ear to ear and replied, “In your current shape, about 16 weeks.” I said that I’d like to try it, but only if he competed too. He said, “Let’s do it!”

We picked a show and then called our friend, IFBB Pro Vinny Galanti. We told him our plans and before we even asked, he said, “You’re going to hate me for the next 16 weeks, but I’m helping you.” Our show was the 2014 NPC Tampa Classic. Chris and I trained together, suffered together, and stood on stage together. Vinny and his wife, Sheila, flew in from NJ just to be with us that weekend. I placed 2nd in the Open and 3rd in the Masters that day. Of course, I had trained to win, but my real win was achieved the second I walked on the stage. My placing was just icing on the cake.

Prepping and getting on a stage were the toughest things I ever did. I have now competed in 15 shows over the past 5 years, 3 being National shows. Having trained alongside and learned from some top athletes in the sport, I have truly engulfed myself within the fitness world and look forward to continue giving back.

Fitness is a huge part of my life now and I couldn’t imagine life without it. It allowed me to push harder in all aspects of life. It helped me overcome my shyness. I am truly grateful for it. Now, I’d like to give you samples of my nutrition and training plans in hopes that you too might follow them and achieve your physique goals.


My diet may change during prep, but this is a good starting point for anyone. As I get older, I’ve learned that it is essential for me to take 1-3 of Beverly’s Multiple Enzyme Complex with each meal to aid digestion. Here is my typical 5 meals per day food plan. Occasionally, I’ll add a sixth meal.

Upon waking: I consume a 16oz bottle of water containing 2 scoops green powder, juice of 1 lemon, 1/4 cup natural cranberry juice, 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar, 1 scoop Glutamine Select, and 1 scoop of fiber powder. With it, I take 3 EFA Gold, 2 FitTabs, magnesium, and 1 Ultra C (2000mg vitamin C).

Meal 1: 3 egg whites, 1 whole egg, 5oz strawberries, 1 cup cooked greens (spinach or kale)

Meal 2: 3oz lean ground turkey or chicken, 140g jasmine rice, 75g greens

Meal 3: Sometimes I replicate meal 2. Other days I have 3/4 cup Greek yogurt, 1 scoop Muscle Provider, 1 stevia packet, 1/4 cup blueberries, 1/2 cup oats, 1/4 cup egg whites

Meal 4: 3oz chicken breast or 3oz grass-fed beef, 5oz sweet potatoes, 75g greens

Meal 5: Protein shake - 1/4 cup egg whites, 1 scoop Muscle Provider, 1/2 cup oats, 1/4 cup blueberries and water.

Before bed: ZMA 2000, Ultra C, multi fiber powder

I also take a thyroid support, a liver support and adrenal health formula each day.


My training generally doesn’t change much when it comes to prep other than more supersets, drop sets, or increased volume. I take less days off leading into a show but that may change next prep as I am liking the way I feel with more recovery days.

Day 4: Off, Day 7: Off

Day 1:
Legs (Quad Emphasis)

Leg Extensions3x20 warmup
Leg Extensions4x8-12 (1 second pause at top)
Seated Leg Press3x12-15 (heavy)
Bulgarian Split Squat4x8-12
Smith Machine Squat3x8-12
Hip Thrusts4x12-15
Wide Stance Goblet squat3x8-12 (superset)
Smith Machine Stiff Leg Deadlift3x12-15 (superset)
Day 2:
Shoulders (Focus on Delts)

Side DB Lateral Raises4-5x12-20
Seated DB Press4x8-12
Rear Delt Machine4x12-15*
Upright Rows3x10-12 (superset)
Front Plate Raises3x10-12 (superset)

*Last set is a triple drop set to complete failure. I don’t count the reps.

Day 3:

Medium Grip Pulldown4-5x8-15
Chest Supported Row Machine4x8-12
Standing Cable Pullover4x12-15
DB Rows3x8 (heavy)
Underhand Pulldown4x12

* Striving for perfect technique, I’ve had back issues the past year

Day 5:
Chest & Hamstrings

Hammer Incline Machine4x12
Cable or Machine Flye3x8
Machine or DB Press2x8 (heavy)
Lying Leg Curl5x10-15
Super-wide Single DB Squat4x8-12
DB Stiff Leg Deadlift3x12-15
Glute Kickback Machine3x8-12
Leg Press (feet high)3x15-20
Day 6:
Arms (All Supersets)

Rope Pushdowns / Rope Hammer Curl4x12-15
Lying Triceps Extensions / Bicep Curls3x12-15
Seated Triceps Pushdowns / Bicep Curl Machine3x8-12

If I feel I need to hit either biceps or triceps more, I will do a few more sets of one of the movements. Usually Cable Kickbacks for triceps.

Abs & Calves: I alternate Abs and
Calves at the end of every workout.

Hanging Leg Raises4 x failure
Weighted Rope Crunches3x20+
Standing Calf Raise4x15-20 (superset)
Seated Calf Raise4x8-10 (superset)


My cardio varies depending on the cycle of training that I am in. Right now, I am doing it mainly to keep in heart-healthy shape. So 25 minutes, 3 times a week on either the treadmill (at 3-3.5mph speed and a 4% incline) OR since we live in FL and it’s brutally hot, we like to go outdoors at night once the sun is down and do sprint/walk intervals for 25 minutes, 3 times a week.

I am a HUGE fan of the Arc trainer during contest prep as I can really amp up the intensity and do interval training on it safely. Chris is a bit nuts so here are a few of his favorites for interval high intensity cardio. Like the Stepmill isn’t hard enough, he has me on the Stepmill with a band around my waist as he’s pulling on the back and I’m running up the stairs for intervals.

Presentation Tips

My whole first year I just couldn’t nail my rear pose. I couldn’t open my back up and I think it cost me in a few shows. I decided I would never let that happen again. From then on, I hit a few shots between sets on back and shoulder days in every workout to ensure I am opening up 100%. Practice nonstop between sets and squeeze and hold your poses after training – even for as long as 5 minutes per pose. Try hitting your poses with your eyes closed, then open them to see if you’ve hit it correctly. Make adjustments. The more you pose, the more your body will naturally go into that position. It does help a ton to have someone critique your posing in person. If there is no one in your area, try Skype.

In Closing

Too many competitors fall into depression (and some go to insane lengths to achieve a certain level) just to fall into obscurity or let themselves go once they achieve it or not. My advice to anyone who is looking to compete is do it 100% for yourself. If you’re overweight and want to set a goal of stepping on stage to help you get to where you want to be, go for it! If you’re shy and think this will help you come out of your shell, then do it. But do not base how you feel inside off of how you place. Look at where you started and where you are now and be very proud. Bodybuilding is about longevity, health, building confidence, and creating discipline, so if you have gone through a prep or went through a transformation you have my highest respect and you should hold your head high.

Contact Donna at:
Facebook and Instagram: donnabaran

Earning My Bodybuilding Pro Card

At a Glance: Jermey Holt

Age: 29

Occupation: Machine Operator

Current Residence: Alliance, OH

Years training: 15 years

Height: 6' 0"

Weight: 196lbs (contest); 220lbs (off-season)

Favorite Bodybuilding Meal: 10 egg whites, 2 slices of low-fat cheese and 6 slices of wheat toast

Favorite Beverly Supplements: Chocolate and Rocky Road UMP, ZMA 2000. UMP helps me keep my protein intake high. It’s definitely the best tasting protein powder on the market. I take 4 ZMA 2000 capsules before bed to aid in recovery and optimize natural testosterone production.

What would you recommend to someone who has never used Beverly before? Try UMP, you won’t regret it.

Music: Anything from classic R&B, to rap, rock, and country.

Hobby or interests outside of bodybuilding: I love spending time with my family, play competitive slow-pitch softball, and listen to weight training podcasts by Mike Israetel, Eric Helms and Austin Stout.


I have been interested in sports and fitness my entire life! At the age of 5 I was playing organized baseball. When I entered middle school, I ran hurdles for the track team and participated in baseball and basketball. I excelled at both in high school.

My Grandpa was my coach up until high school. To this day he is the biggest reason why I love baseball as much as I do.

I first started to work out with weights in high school to become better at sports. I focused on legs, core strength, and shoulder and arms so I could hit the ball harder and further. I remember even skipping class just to work out before practice.

After graduating high school, I decided to try out for a few professional baseball teams but didn’t succeed. After a few more years I decided to give up on my dream of professional baseball and turned to softball. Softball was actually better suited to my style of play – geared toward offense –the power I had accrued from my workouts certainly helped me in this endeavor.

In 2013, my mom asked why I had not attempted to compete in any bodybuilding events. I told her I had never really thought about it before but it was something I’d love to try. My mom actually picked out my first competition, the NPC Natural Northern USA in Cleveland, Ohio.

I won the junior division title at that show - it was a pretty amazing experience. From that moment forward I was completely hooked. The next morning, I talked with my coach, Phil, about competing for a pro card in IFPA (International Fitness Professional Association) the following weekend. I won the overall bodybuilding title and earned my pro card that same weekend.

At the beginning of my bodybuilding journey there was a lot I didn’t understand about the sport. But, as I learned from others who had years of experience, I started training more for aesthetics and put much more emphasis on how to eat properly. In six competitions over the ensuing three years, I garnered 6 class wins in the light heavies along with 3 overalls.

I took off a full year from competition in 2016. I knew that I needed to focus on my physique. Another big decision was to switch coaches. At first, I was scared I might never win again. I joined Adam Atkinson’s “Team See You Leaner” and from that moment forward everything seemed to click.

In 2019, I competed in 3 competitions winning 3 Open light heavyweight classes, 3 Classic Physique classes and overalls in both Open Bodybuilding and Classic Physique. It’s hard to believe but up to this point I was still doubting myself, but I finally started to gain confidence and stopped doubting myself.

However, my season did not end as I hoped. I had set my eyes on the NPC Universe. First, I would have to win the Indiana Pro, the Natural Ohio, and the Pittsburgh Pro. I succeeded in taking wins in both Bodybuilding and Classic Physique classes in Indiana; as well as both classes and the overall at the Natural Ohio. I also placed 1st in my Classic Physique class in Pittsburgh.

Everything was going according to plan. July 6th finally came and it was competition day for the NPC Universe. I felt confident that I was going to win but that day it was just not meant to be; I ended up placing 3rd in Bodybuilding. I was heartbroken- I felt like I had failed not just on stage but that I had failed my coach, the team, and most of all my family. I was sitting there in self-pity; but Adam then approached me and gave me a hug and said, “I’m proud of you”.

This prompted me to stop and really think about why I was so disappointed- 3rd place at Nationals is an amazing achievement. I still was a little heartbroken and called my mom and dad who always seem to make everything better. My parents were so proud I had placed 3rd- they have always been my biggest supporters.

I will continue to focus on growth, development and furthering my career in bodybuilding in the upcoming year. Bigger and better things are yet to come. In the rest of this article I will outline my nutrition and training in hopes that you too can emulate the results that I’ve achieved.


One thing I have learned is that I can tolerate carbs much better than many competitors. Wheat bread is a “go-to” for me, whereas for many competitors it is forbidden.

Here’s a typical pre contest nutrition day for me.

Meal 1: 10 egg whites, 6 slices of wheat bread

Meal 2: 6oz 96% ground beef, 2 tortillas and salsa

Meal 3: 6oz 96% ground beef, 1/2 cups of rice

Meal 4 (Post Workout): 2 Scoops of UMP Protein and 2 bananas

Meal 5: 10 egg Whites, 2 slices of low-fat cheese, and 6 slices of wheat bread

Before bed: I take 4 ZMA 2000 capsules to aid recovery

Training Tips

  • Experiment to find the training volume and frequency which results in your best gains. Study and try various methods.
  • Rest/recovery is a key element for muscle growth (that is why ZMA 2000 is such an essential part of my nutrition)
  • Each set should be performed so that you have 0-4 reps in reserve (RIR).
  • Take enough rest between sets to make sure that your recovery satisfies the following 4 limiting factors:
  1. 1. Has the target muscle recovered to do at least 5 reps on the next set?
  2. 2. Has the central nervous system recovered enough to remove it as a limiting factor to target muscle performance?
  3. 3. Has the cardiorespiratory system recovered enough to remove it as a limiting factor to target muscle performance?
  4. 4. Have the synergist muscles utilized in performing the exercise recovered enough to remove them as limiting factors to target muscle performance?

Note: If it takes more sets and reps to warm-up than you are getting on your work sets, you’re using too much weight on your work sets.

Back / Delts / Biceps


Lat Pulldowns48-15
Bent-over Rows38-15
DB Side Laterals312
DB Rear Delt Raise312
Concentration Curls412
Chest / Side Delts / Front Delts / Triceps


Incline Bench48-15
Flat Machine Press412-15
Cable Crossovers312-20
Cable Side Laterals312
DB Shoulder Press412
One-Arm Cable Pushdowns412
Traps / Legs


Barbell Shrugs412
Rack Pulls412
45-degree Hyper Extensions220
Hamstring Curls210-15

Thursday: Rest / Recovery Day

Friday: Repeat Monday

Saturday: Repeat Tuesday

Sunday: Repeat Wednesday

Cardio is performed daily on the stationary bike or treadmill for a duration of 45 minutes.

Newfound passion for bodybuilding turns 53-year-old into an unstoppable sensation

At a Glance: Stevie Stevonovich

Age: 53

Occupation: Quality assurance senior manager in the food and beverage industry

Education: Business related degrees but I am really proud of my newly accomplished certification as a Primary Personal Trainer

Family: I am fortunate enough to have my mother, Rita Blue, living nearby in San Bernardino with her husband Frank. My aunt Pat, my brother Monte, and my cousin Shawn also live locally in Southern California.

Current Residence: Beaumont, CA

Years training: 2 years focused on bodybuilding

Height: 5’4

Weight: Off Season: 130-135 ideally; Contest: 113lbs with 13% body fat

Favorite Bodybuilding or Fitness Meal: Oatmeal with whole eggs

Favorite supplements: 7- Keto MuscLean and Lean Out stack is great for burning the fat. Quadracarn helps me with mood and energy and when I put them all together, they create a winning situation.

What would you recommend to someone who has never used Beverly supplements before? I spent plenty of time researching which supplements would help get me to my goals and Beverly International’s products had consistently high ratings so I tried them. I would definitely recommend FitTabs for someone looking for a high quality multi-vitamin and the 7-Keto MuscLean and Lean Out stack for fat burning.

Music: My playlist includes a little from every genre. I listen to alternative rock, rap, rock, 80s music, disco, and a little pop. Korn is my favorite band and always with me at the gym.

Most Inspiring Book: Pumping Up! Super Shaping the Feminine Physique by Ben Weider & Robert Kennedy

Hobby or interests outside bodybuilding: I am an award winning, published photographer. I am passionate about architectural photography and nature photography. What is strange is that I am not so keen on insects; however, I find their details to be fascinating in photographs. I also love to cook, concerts, mountain biking and road cycling.

Goal for 2020: Put on some size, and compete in another competition or two. I want to get a few more training and coaching certifications and start training people so I can help them feel good and get healthy.

Words to live by: It’s never too late to be your best self.


My fitness story started with one simple goal in mind - I just wanted to see my abs.

Being a bodybuilder was never in my plan.

This unexpected chapter in my life began at the age of 51 years old. It was 2017, I had lost loved ones and found myself at the end of a rocky relationship. The break up was emotionally brutal. My self-esteem was dragged down and the confident woman I once was had vanished.

I had developed an emotionally toxic connection with food and did not recognize the person looking back at me in the mirror anymore.

My Why

My biggest why is that I wanted to never feel so low again. I had reached a weight of 170 pounds. I had developed high blood pressure and was taking medication daily. A surgery on my right knee left me with little to no cartilage so my added weight made walking excruciating. My outward appearance did not reflect who I really was, nor did my spirit, and the time was now to make a change.

The Spark

I lifted my spirits by setting new goals and not giving up on my ultimate goal- to live a happy, healthy and active life! I had started dieting and continued my weight loss efforts by switching to a Keto diet. I realized that I could optimize my weight loss by taking the right supplements so I did some research and found Beverly International. I started taking the 7-Keto MuscLean and Lean Out stack. In September 2018, I was able to start working out again and by this time I had lost a total of 30lbs.

As all good things go, I hit a plateau.

Then I saw Cindy Lane Ross on the cover of Beverly International’s No Nonsense magazine in April, 2019. Cindy had an amazing story about rising from loss and I wondered if she could help me. Finding her training business online was easy so I reached out and asked if she would coach me. We started in May, 2019.

The decision to call Cindy was certainly one of the most rewarding in my life because it led down a path to self-discovery in finding what has now become my true passion — fitness and bodybuilding.

The Show

I knew nothing about bodybuilding but decided I would like to compete in the Women’s Physique Division. I picked a show to be held in Hollywood, CA in December, 2019. I thought that would allow enough time to really perfect my form and I got to work.

Cindy sent a diet and workout plan to me and I dove right in. I found an awesome posing coach, Karma Schopp, and never missed a scheduled posing practice.

I began seeing major changes in my shape by July, 2019. Cindy contacted me one day and encouraged me to compete in an impromptu bodybuilding competition as a “warm up” before my big show in December. She said she would be there with me and I was excited to have her on board for my first show. Little did I know it would be one of the best days of my life.

I signed up and competed in the OCB “Battle On The Beach” in Gulf Shores, AL. I placed 1st in Women’s Physique Debut, 2nd in Women’s Physique Masters, and 2nd in Women’s Physique Open. When I arrived back in California after the competition, I continued my contest prep and managed to get to 13% body fat and weighed 113 pounds by the time I hit the stage at the OCB Hollywood Natural! I came in 1st in all 3 Women’s Physique classes I entered; Open, Masters 40+, and Masters 50+. This show was special because my mom was able to come and see me compete and win.

Presentation and Team Tips

Physique competitors - practice and learn all your mandatory poses. Listen to your coaches! You honestly need to trust your coaches and do what they instruct you to do. Of all the people that have made an impact on my life, Cindy has been the most encouraging and supportive during my time of transition.

Carrying the Torch

My next chapter includes more competition, more fitness certifications, and the opportunity to provide a unique experience for someone as their personal trainer. Who knows, maybe I will help someone make their ultimate transformation?

I can identify with people who are struggling with weight, poor confidence, or self-esteem. I get it, I’ve been there and it’s something I won’t forget. Also, I want everyone to know that your age should not be a limiting factor because it’s never too late to start living your best and most healthy life.


The one thing that I cannot stress enough to the reader is that my physical transformation took a couple of years, and I had setbacks. I never stopped trying and never gave up on myself.

Just keep going! It’s so worth it!


My Nutrition Advice

The biggest obstacle I had to overcome was my diet. I developed a routine of getting my weights and cardio workouts in each day, but the contest prep style of eating was a shock. I found that eating the same thing every day was a real challenge at first.

My diet consisted of fish, seafood, some chicken, oats, eggs and some veggies. Additionally, weighing my portions and eating every two hours required extreme discipline. But it was not long before I noticed my body begin to take shape and the mirror began reflecting the results that I wanted to see.

Here is a sample diet:

Meal 1: 150g egg whites, 1 cup veggies (spinach, onions, etc.), 1/2 cup oatmeal measured dry, 75g berries, 1 piece gluten free toast (on non-training days I cut out the toast and take 1 scoop vegan protein in water immediately after training)

Meal 2: 4oz salmon, 1/2 cup jasmine rice , 1 cup vegetables

Meal 3: 4oz white fish, large iceberg lettuce salad with veggies, 2 caramel rice cakes

Meal 4: 2 whole eggs, 75g egg whites, 2 plain rice cakes, 75g avocado, 1 cup vegetables

Meal 5: 4oz cod or Mahi Mahi, 1/2 cup brown rice, 1 cup broccoli or asparagus

Meal 6: 150g egg whites, 3oz fish or 1 scoop vegan protein

I consume at least 100 oz of water per day


The diet is strict, so getting creative is a must. I am a home gourmet chef so I experimented with spices and preparing my foods through various cooking methods, like grilling, smoking, sauté and steaming - you will find that variety does help and a good grill pan is very handy.

When my nutrition and exercise habits changed, the medications I was taking to treat hypertension were no longer necessary. I monitor my salt with every meal, and use healthy fats while cooking. I would recommend opting for seasonings that do not contain salt as the main ingredient.

Also, every calorie really does count while you are in contest prep so I even stopped adding creamer to my coffee. After competition, I found that I did not like the taste of creamer anymore and my flavor pallet changed for the better.

My Favorite Beverly International Supplements

I currently am slowly adding more calories into my diet and working on muscle development. (Yes, even at my age.) The 7- Keto MuscLean and Lean Out stack are a favorite. When I take those two supplements, I burn more fat. FitTabs are a staple for me. I noticed a big difference when I wasn’t taking them. I also added Quadracarn for mood and energy, GH Factor for speedy muscle recovery, Density for leaner and thicker muscle, Muscle Mass for BCAAs, and Creatine Select to help feed my muscles.

Supplement Schedule

3 Quadracarn, 2 FitTabs, and 3 7-Keto MuscLean with breakfast and dinner

2-3 Density, 2 GH Factor, and 2 Lean Out throughout the day with each meal

1 scoop Creatine Select and 5 Muscle Mass before training

Weight Training

My workouts usually include supersets or giant sets so I can be as efficient as possible while maintaining proper form and posture each rep. For example, when I am doing a superset on day 1, I do an exercise that will work my quads then immediately go into an exercise that works my glutes.

I will lift heavy with low reps and slightly longer rest periods when trying to add muscle size. When leaning out, I use lighter weights and get 12-15 reps per set. I find that performing slower negatives (lifting the weight at a normal speed but returning the weight very slowly) is easier on my joints. I can use a slightly lighter weight and still keep the muscle under a load for a longer period of time. I love to lift! Here’s my normal schedule.

Day 1: Legs & Glutes

Day 2: Back & Biceps

Day 3: Shoulders & Calves

Day 4: Legs & Glutes

Day 5: Chest & Triceps

Day 6: Back & Biceps (every other week switch out with Shoulders & Calves)

Day 7: Active Rest


I do 20-30 minutes of cardio at least 6 days a week. Although I have knee problems, I am able to use certain types of stair climbers and the elliptical is really good for range of motion and minimal impact. I love taking the mountain or road bike out and can guarantee a much longer cardio session when I’m riding. Hiking is another good option. There are plenty of hills with trails near me and I target a pace that will keep me in my cardio zone and an incline that is kind to my knee.

73 Years of Age, Completely Natural, and 3rd Place at the NPC Masters Nationals

At a Glance: Bob Slade

Age: 73

Education: BS – History, Brockport State University

Occupation: Retired; previously #1 Sales Representative globally at MetLife Corporation

Family: spouse – Diane, children – Cheryl and Todd

Current Residence: Jacksonville, FL

Total Years Training: 15 years

Height: 5’9”

Weight: 180 (off season), 163 (contest)

Favorite Bodybuilding Meal: Tilapia, sweet potato & salad

Favorite Beverly International Supplements:
UMP – It is great tasting. Your craving for sugars will disappear. I use it as soon as I wake up in the morning and before bed. I usually use two scoops.

Quadracarn – it is an all-around supplement that gives you energy and a feeling of well-being. I use this all year round. It is the heart of my supplement program.

Fit Tabs – vitamin/mineral supplement for good health.

Muscle Synergy - gives me muscle definition and muscle leanness.

Creatine Select – for muscle strength and size.

What would you recommend to someone who has never tried Beverly supplements? I would implore you, no matter what point you are at in your workout or bodybuilding journey, that you try and use the following products from Beverly International if you have never used their products before: UMP, Quadracarn, FitTabs.

Most Inspiring Book: The Conquest of Everest by Wade Davis

Hobbies Outside of Bodybuilding: Sports cars, college football (tremendous Penn State football fan), following the New York Yankees (staying true to my New York roots)

Music Preferences: 60’s & 70’s Rock & Roll

Words to Live by: “No matter the circumstance, NEVER quit!”


I've always been a very competitive individual, whether it be work, sports, etc. In college, I competed in both football and lacrosse. After college I balanced my intense work demands with my advancement in US amateur tennis ranks at the national level. After retiring in 1994, I gravitated towards golf and evolved from being pretty bad at the sport to competing as a very low handicap golfer.

By 2005 I was experiencing shoulder issues and then received a diagnosis of fibromyalgia. I was forced to turn to something else. I knew absolutely nothing about bodybuilding but joined a gym hoping to combat, or at least reduce the pain and affects of fibromyalgia on my body. I asked a lot of questions in the gym and soaked up information like a sponge. I became inspired as I worked out every day. Soon, I decided to adopt the bodybuilding lifestyle and my first competition was just around the corner.

I placed 3rd in my first competition. This inspired me to continue in the sport. I trained very, very hard over the next 13 years and entered various contests with moderate success.

Then I discovered Beverly International.

Using Beverly’s supplements, I stuck religiously to a solid nutrition plan and started to win most of my contests in both Florida and regionally. Beverly supplements helped me build muscle mass (yes, even at 70+ years of age). They also improved my recovery time and overall feeling of well-being - which is so important considering my medical challenges. I don’t beat myself up over it but often wonder where I would have been if I’d discovered Beverly International’s line of supplements 13 years earlier.

In my most recent competitions at the Masters’ Nationals, I placed 5th in 2018 and then 3rd in 2019. As a completely natural bodybuilder I had to be near perfect with my training, diet and supplements.

Diet & Supplements

Bodybuilding is a lifestyle. It is a year-round commitment. You will notice I eat a lot of fish which helps with leanness. Alcohol, bread, and sweets will kill your physique, and eating poorly up until contest prep time, and then going on extreme binge cycles will destroy your health.

The following is my meal and supplement regimen. I would recommend it to anyone looking to add muscle while getting in the best shape of your life.

Off Season:

Meal #1: UMP protein shake, 2 scoops Muscle Synergy, 2 FitTabs, 3 Quadracarn

Meal #2: 1 cup oatmeal

Meal #3: 8oz turkey breast, egg whites, 1 scoop Muscle Synergy, 1 scoop Creatine Select

Meal #4: 8oz tilapia, 10oz sweet potato, salad, 3 Quadracarn, 3 7-Keto MuscLean

Meal #5: 8oz chicken, salmon, cod, or halibut, 2 cups rice, salad

Meal #6: UMP shake with banana(s)

Contest Preparation: (Weeks 14 – 9 Out from Contest Date): You need 2 extra weeks in-case of any final, minor changes (instead of starting 12 weeks out).

Meal #1: UMP protein shake, 2 scoops Muscle Synergy, 2 FitTabs, 3 Quadracarn, 2 Lean Out

Meal #2: 1 cup oatmeal, 2 Lean Out

Meal #3: 6oz turkey breast, 6 oz egg whites, 1 grapefruit, 1 scoop Muscle Synergy, 1 scoop Creatine Select, 2 Lean Out

Meal #4: 8oz tilapia, 10oz sweet potato, salad, 3 Quadracarn, 3 7-Keto MuscLean

Meal #5: 8oz salmon, cod, or halibut, 1 cup rice, salad, 2 Lean Out, 3 Quadracarn

Meal #6: UMP shake with banana, 1 scoop Creatine Select

Diet Adjustments: (Weeks 8 – 5 Out from Contest Date)

Eliminate the sweet potato from meal four and rice from meal five.

Monday and Thursday: replace meal 4 with 10oz sweet potato, 2 cups of oatmeal with bananas

Diet: (Weeks 4 – 2 Out from Contest Date)

Meal plan is the same but I double my fish portions at meal 4, eliminate meal 5 and the banana at meal 6.

Final Week Before Contest: All supplements the same except for the addition of Creatine Select with every meal.

Meal #1: UMP shake

Meals #2-4: 8oz chicken, 1 grapefruit

Meal #5: UMP shake

Training Routine

I train each muscle group one day per week, with the exception of legs which I train two days a week. I perform five or six exercises per bodypart for 4-5 sets of 10-15 repetitions (unless noted otherwise). I take very little rest between sets on most exercises, but do take a little extra rest on Squats. Some days I superset or even triset groups of exercises. I usually pyramid my weights on each exercise, increasing the weight for each set.

MondayFavorite Exercises
Chest                                         Incline Bench, Cable Flyes, Incline Smith Machine Press, Incline Dumbbell Press, Flat Bench Press, and Push Ups to failure
TuesdayFavorite Exercises
Back                                         Lat Machine Pulldowns (reverse and overhand grip), One Arm Seated Cable Row, Seated Cable Row, Machine Rows, Smith Machine Rows w/ Incline Bench
Wednesday & SaturdayFavorite Exercises
Legs                                                                                 Smith Machine Squats (10 sets x 15, 10, 10, 10, 8, 8, 8, 6, 6, 5), Seated Leg Curl, Single Leg Press, Standing Leg Curls, Lying Leg Curls, Hack Squat
ThursdayFavorite Exercises
Arms                                         Reverse Cable Curls, BB or EZ Curls, Cable Rope Curls, Spider Curls, Close-grip Smith Machine Press, Cable Pressdown, Cable Triceps Extension, Chin Ups (5 sets to failure)
FridayFavorite Exercises
Shoulders                                         One-arm Cable Laterals, Rope Pulls to Face, Seated or Machine Military Press, DB Laterals, DB Front Raises, Rear Laterals, Upright Row on Smith Machine



30 minutes on the elliptical each day after weight training; if I am very tired, I skip cardio that day. The goal is to build muscle every day, not eat away at it through cardio.

14 Weeks Out from a contest:

50 minutes of cardio, 7 days per week. NOTE: Diet, Supplements, Cardio = Success

It’s All About Progression… Not Perfection

At a Glance: Michelle Gonda

Age: 45

Occupation: Receptionist, Road Secretary, and Parks Coordinator Harborcreek Township

Family: 4 Sons - Brett (25), LCpl Luke (forever 21), Cpl Jacob (22), Brady (13) and Boyfriend/Coach/Trainer- Jack O Newport.

Current Residence: Erie, PA

Years Training (total): 15 years

Height: 5’ 4”

Weight: Off Season-125 lbs, Contest-113 lbs

Favorite Bodybuilding or Fitness Meal: 1/2 cup oatmeal + 1 tbsp Smuckers Natural Crunchy peanut butter + stevia, 1 Scoop Chocolate UMP + 1 cup vanilla almond milk (mixed w/ ice in my Nutribullet)

Favorite Supplements: Chocolate Ultimate Muscle Protein - Quality product/great taste. Lean Out & 7-Keto MuscLean - for fat loss.

What would you recommend to someone who has never used Beverly supplements before? UMP

Music: Hip Hop, Rap, Pop, Heavy Metal, anything goes really … When the lifting gets tough the headphones go in!

Hobbies or Interest Outside of Bodybuilding: Spending time with family, interior design, furniture refinishing, upcycling, flea markets, garage sales, thrift stores, horror movies.

I watched my Dad lift weights as a little girl in our basement. They say your children are always watching and listening. I know that I absolutely was. But I didn’t really start working out until I was 30 years old. That’s when I joined the YMCA and began using the cardio machines. I took a few weight training classes but the weight room intimidated me.

Ten years later I was going through a divorce and decided to try a bodybuilding competition. A friend reintroduced me to that weight room and we began working out together. We gave it our all for 16 weeks, but neither of us had much knowledge of the importance of nutrition or proper supplementation. Consequently, I placed last in two divisions in my first contest. I was absolutely devastated; my confidence was at an absolute low.

A few months later I approached Jack O Newport, a bodybuilder at our local Y. It was COMPLETELY out of character for me. But, I left that conversation with a fire in me to try again, and also butterflies in my stomach because I really liked him! Three years later (2017) I competed again. That bodybuilder who had given me butterflies had become my boyfriend. I competed again in that same show where I finished last and this time took first in both divisions with his coaching.

On July 3, 2017 life as I knew it changed forever. My world stopped. My 21-year-old son, Marine LCpl Luke Gonda took his own life. My grief absolutely consumed me. The next year I decided that prepping for another show might be therapeutic and help me navigate through the grief. It forced me to get out of bed. It forced me to exercise. It forced me to eat. It forced me to be social. The gym became my antidepressant.

I competed in October after the hardest contest prep I’d ever gone through. I was told at that show my physique had become too muscular for their bikini division and placed accordingly. I was heartbroken and questioned if the bikini division, which I loved, was no longer an option. Through the encouragement of Jack and local gym owner and IFBB Pro Judge, Jack Sullivan, I stepped out of my comfort zone and into another organization, the NPC.

I trained for 24 weeks and competed in the NPC Mid-Atlantic States bikini division. I placed 1st in Masters 40+ and 2nd in three additional classes while qualifying for the NPC Nationals. I went right back into prep for 4 more weeks (and fulfilled an ultimate goal) when I stepped on a national stage at the NPC Masters Nationals in Pittsburgh, PA. I didn’t receive the placing I’d hoped for (received 3rd call outs) but we either win or we learn and I learned a lot from the experience. I know what I need to do to be competitive at this level and I plan on trying again in July 2020.

After the Nationals I was battling the post competition blues when I saw a contest sponsored by Muscle and Fitness Hers on social media. It was for the title of “Ms Health and Fitness 2019”. I entered (along with 20,000+ other women). The title is decided through online voting and donations to the Wounded Warrior Project. Through weeks and weeks of voting I’m humbled to say I made it into the Semi-Finals along with 150 deserving woman who also had their own stories and journeys. This was very near and dear to my heart having two sons who followed the military path as Marines.

Exercise has helped me navigate through very difficult times and has been my antidepressant. I’ve been blessed to spread mental health awareness through this platform. It is a true honor to be featured in the No Nonsense magazine and to be able to share my story with others.

Presentation Tips

I run through my posing routine almost every morning before I shower in the off season. During contest prep I work with my coach on Saturdays after HIIT training for about 1/2 hour. This typically starts about 8 weeks out. Posing is something you can always improve on and it should become second nature. My nerves take over on stage and that’s when the auto pilot kicks in.

In Closing

I have competed in 6 shows since I started in 2014. My placings range from dead last to first and everywhere in between. My best advice for a competitor is do not let the placing define you. Train to win but enjoy the experience and the friendships you make along the way. Last place drove me to try again and first place gave me the opportunity to step on the stage at Nationals. You never lose in this sport. You either win or you learn. You can always improve and that’s what drives me. It’s all about progression not perfection. God willing, I stay injury free I will continue to compete until I no longer find joy in the sport.

Nutrition and Supplements

Off –Season: Sunday - Friday
6:00 am 8oz water, apple cider vinegar, juice of 1 lemon

Meal 1: 1 scoop UMP in 1 cup almond milk, 1/2 cup oats, 1 tbsp Smuckers Natural Chunky Peanut Butter

Meal 2: 1 cup egg whites, 25g walnuts, 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt, 1/2 cup fruit

Meal 3: 4oz 90% ground beef, 3oz veggies, 1/2 cup jasmine rice

Meal 4: 4oz chicken or fish, 1/2 jasmine rice, 3oz veggie

6:00 pm Intraworkout drink: 1 scoop Glutamine Select & 1 scoop Creatine Select

Meal 5: 1 scoop UMP in 1 cup almond milk, 1/2 cup jasmine rice or 3 rice cakes w/ sugar free jelly

Meal 6: 5 eggs (2 whole eggs + 3 whites)

Saturday: My “Cheat” day. I typically stay on track and splurge on one meal (dinner) but allow myself more flexibility while still
following the plan throughout the day. If I want a cookie, I eat a cookie or whatever I’ve been craving that week.

Drink 1 gallon of water daily.


FitTabs multi vitamin/mineral 2 tablets with meals 1 and 4

EFA Gold 3 softgels with meals 1 and 4

Beverly’s Multiple Enzyme Complex 1 tablet with meals 1, 3, and 4

16-Week Contest Prep Diet (7 days a week*)
I do all of my meal prep and shopping on Sunday. (This plan gets tweaked by my coach depending on my physique)

Meal 1: 1 scoop UMP in almond milk, 1/2 cup oats, 1 tbsp peanut butter

Meal 2: 5oz chicken or fish, 1 tbsp coconut oil, 3oz veggies

Meal 3: 5oz ground turkey or 90% ground beef, 3oz veggies, 1/2 cup jasmine rice

Meal 4: 5oz chicken, 1/2 avocado, 1/2 cup rice

Intraworkout: 1 scoop Glutamine Select + 1 scoop Creatine Select

Meal 5: Post 1 scoop UMP & 1 scoop Glutamine Select in almond milk and 1/2 cup jasmine rice

Meal 6: 10:30 pm 5 eggs (2 whole & 3 whites)

*Cheat meals are very limited – only if it is determined that a refeed day is needed.

Drink 1 gallon of water daily.


FitTabs (multi vitamin/mineral) 2 tablets with Meal 1 & Meal 4

Energy Reserve (l-carnitine) 2 tablets daily

Quadracarn (carnitine multi-species) 3 tablets twice daily

Lean Out 1 capsule 4 times daily with meals

7-Keto MuscLean 3 capsules twice daily

EFA Gold 3 softgels twice daily

Multiple Enzyme Complex 1 tablet per meal (this is an especially important supplement for anyone who is increasing their protein intake – particularly if you are over 40)

Off-Season Cardio Schedule

Leg Day / Warm up on recumbent bike -15 mins

30 mins - StairMaster, incline treadmill, or elliptical*

Rest Day (during contest prep I may add a cardio session)

30 mins HIIT or 15 mins of rowing

30 mins - StairMaster, incline treadmill, or elliptical*

(during contest prep) 30 minutes HIIT

*Target heart rate for steady state between 120-140 bpm

Training Schedule

I use the same basic workout during both the off season and contest prep, but intensity increases during prep.

Monday: Leg Day (1)Amount
Squats4x10-12 (go deep)
Leg Curls12 reps (30 sec rest) + 12 more reps; repeat 3 times
Stiff Leg DB Deadlift3x15 reps (increase weight each set)
Hip Adductors3x12-15 (last set to failure as drop set)
Superset Leg Extension & Leg Press3x12-15
Tuesday: ShouldersAmount
DB Press4x10-12
Cable Lateral Raise3x12-15
Plate Front Raise3x12-15
Rear Delt Lateral3x15-20
Triceps Pushdowns4x12-15
Thursday: Back, Biceps, Calves DayAmount
Assisted Pull–ups4x10-12
Rack Pulls4x12-15
Wide Grip Pulldowns3x12-15
Bent Rows on Smith Machine3x12-15
Face Pulls on cables3x15
DB Curls4x10-12
Calves4 set to failure (2 sets w/ toes forward, 1 set w/ toes
inward, 1 set w/ toes outward)
Friday: Leg Day (2) Glute/Hamstring FocusedAmount
Warm up - Superset Ball Raises & Banded Lateral Walk3x15-20
Hip Thrusts3x12-15
Hip Abductors3x20
Hack Squat4x12-15
Donkey Kicks on Smith Machine3x12-15
Hyperextensions(focus on the glutes) 3 sets to failure
Cable Kick Backs3x15-20
Walking Lungesto burn out

15 Pounds of Muscle and an IFBB Pro Card with Beverly International

At a Glance: Jeremy Jones, IFBB Mens Physique Pro

Age: 42

Occupation: Air Force Health Administrator. Masters in Business Administration, NASM Certified Personal Trainer, NASM Fitness Nutrition Specialist

Family: wife - Laura; children - Jade, Jeremy Jr, Jaslyn

Current Residence: Washingtonville, NY

Years training (total): 27

Height: 5’10”

Weight: 210lbs (off season), 190 (contest)

Favorite Bodybuilding Meal: Beef & broccoli with brown rice

What would you recommend to someone who has never used Beverly supplements before? At a minimum, use UMP, Ultra 40, and Mass Amino Acids to aid the muscle building process.

Music: Rap/ R&B

Most Inspiring Book: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Hobby or interests outside bodybuilding: Continuous education and reading

Words to live by: When they say it can’t be done, they’re not talking to me.

I ’ve been working out or playing sports for more than 27 years. While serving on active duty in the Air Force, I played intramural basketball, football, and softball. I currently serve in the Air National Guard as a Health Administrator. I enjoyed lifting heavy, but didn’t focus on bodybuilding until I finished Air Force Squadron Officer School.

Even then, I never really thought about competing until several people at Gold’s Gym in Newburgh repeatedly asked me if I competed. The answer was always, “No that’s not for me.” Then about two years later I saw a picture of some of the NPC Mens Physique athletes and thought I could remain natural and compete in that division. April of 2015 is when I decided to start prepping for my first show. I did an insane amount of cardio. I’m talking a minimum of 60 minutes a day. I didn’t win, but I did finish in the top 5. One of the judges asked me who my posing coach was and I told him, “YouTube”. The judges liked my physique but my posing needed work. Anyway, that’s how bodybuilding started for me.

I weighed 177lbs for that first competition in June of 2015. Over the next four years, I’ve managed to gain 15lbs of muscle through consistent training, proper nutrition, and the use of Beverly International supplements while remaining 100% natural. I learned about Beverly International when I was in the House of Nutrition in Poughkeepsie, NY. Matt, the owner put a No Nonsense magazine in my bag. Later that day I had a chance to read the magazine and read that the supplements were designed for natural athletes. I did some additional research, talked to Matt in depth the next time I was in the store, and ended up making my first Beverly International purchase.

Competition Tips

  • Do your research. Learn the requirements for your division (weight, posing, suits, rules).
  • There’s no blanket time for how long each individual’s prep will be. Remember it’s how you look not a number on a scale. For in shape guys, I’d say 12 weeks would be a good target and for in shape ladies, I’d give them 20 weeks.
  • Give yourself an additional 4 weeks to experiment with peak week if you don’t have a coach. This will give you a chance to play with your water, sodium and carb intake. Remember for every gram of carbohydrate stored in the body you’ll retain 2-3 grams of water. I’ve found that gradually cutting water until it’s just sips the day of the show, reducing sodium to about 75% of your norm the day before, and carb loading the day before the show seems to be the most consistent way to help my athletes to avoid spilling over. How you look on show day will determine if you continue to carb load or not.
  • Along the way people will try to deviate you from your plan. It will seem like everyone in the gym is an expert. They’ll all have an opinion. Don’t let them distract you! Follow your plan all the way through.
  • Invest time in your posing. Having the best physique doesn’t guarantee victory. The last thing you want is to not place well because of poor posing. Practice! Practice! Practice! As you get closer to the show realize that your poses may need to change a little as new definition and striations appear. All the practicing will also help you be a little less nervous on stage. Remember, the judges and the crowd don’t know your routine so even if you do mess up keep going because they probably will not notice. Most importantly, have FUN out there!!!
  • A final word of advice - Know yourself! If you need someone to hold you accountable, I suggest you find a coach with your values and best interests in mind. If you don’t have a coach, give yourself another four-week cushion for your contest prep. This will allow you to play around with a few peak week regimens.

In Closing

I’ve always been and will always be a natural athlete. I’m also a NASM certified personal trainer, fitness nutrition specialist and prep coach. I’ve earned a pro card naturally in the IFBB using Beverly International products. As a prep coach, I have helped athletes win several shows as well. My goal is to inspire other athletes who want to achieve their ultimate level of fitness without compromising their health.

Contact Jeremy at:
IG: superj34_ifbbpro
YouTube content coming August 2020.


Initially, I took Matt’s recommendation, but over time have developed my own favorite stacks. The core supplements I use both on and off season are Ultra 40 and Mass Amino Acids. My favorite supplement for muscle growth is Muscle Synergy. The increased strength and muscle pumps from Muscle Synergy are undeniable. During contest prep GH Factor really brings out my vascularity.

Here are my favorite off season and contest prep stacks.

Off-Season: Ultra 40, Mass Amino Acids, Glutamine Select, UMP, Super Pak, Muscle Synergy, Quadracarn

Contest Prep: Ultra 40, Mass Amino Acids, Density, Glutamine Select, UMP, Super Pak, Lean Out, 7-Keto MuscLean, GH Factor

Pre-Contest Diet

Meal #1: 1/2 cup steel cut oats w/ 1 scoop of chocolate UMP and a sprinkle of cinnamon

Meal #2: 1/2 scoops of UMP and 1 scoop Glutamine Select post AM workout

Meal #3: 8oz chicken, 4oz sweet potatoes, and 5oz broccoli

Meal #4: 1/2 scoops of UMP and 1 scoop Glutamine Select post 2nd workout

Meal #5: 8oz lean ground turkey, 4oz brown rice, 5oz asparagus

Meal #6: 8oz tilapia, 4oz sweet potatoes, 5oz Brussels sprouts

Supplement Schedule

Ultra 40: 4-5 tabs after every meal or shake (muscle growth)

Mass Amino Acids: 4-5 tabs after every meal or shake (muscle preservation)

Glutamine Select: 1 scoop after morning & lunchtime workout (muscle recovery)

UMP or Muscle Provider: 1/2 scoops after morning & lunchtime workout

Super Pak: With first meal (to avoid vitamin deficiencies during prep)

Lean Out: 1 capsule after every meal and before workouts (used to convert fat into energy)

7-Keto MuscLean: 3 capsules first thing in the morning and 3 capsules before lunchtime workout (increased caloric burn)

GH Factor: 1 capsule after each meal (increases nutrient delivery and blood flow to muscles)


I train twice a day during contest prep – cardio or abs in the morning with my weights workout in the afternoon.

On Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings I do cardio - 30 minutes of low intensity stairs or walking on the treadmill at an incline (the greater the incline the more calories burned) – 2-minute warm up and 2-minute cool down for all cardio sessions.

On Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday I work abs and a little cardio:

Leg Raise on dip bar: 4 sets 12-15 reps, Decline Sit-ups: 4 sets 12-15 reps, Russian Twists: 4 sets 12-15 reps, Oblique Crunch with Cable: 4 sets, 12-15 reps plus 24-30 minutes of HIIT - 60 seconds sprint at 60-80% max speed followed by a 60 second walk (repeat cycle 12-15 times).

Sunday: Rest

Monday PM: LegsAmount
Reverse Lunge4x10-12
Leg Press4x12-15
Leg Extension4x12-15
Abductor Machine3x12-15
Weighted Glute Bridge3x12-15
Calf Raise3x12-15
Tuesday PM: Chest & TricepsAmount
Flat Barbell Bench4x10-12
Incline Dumbbell Bench4x10-12
Decline Barbell Bench4x12-15
Cable Chest Flye4x12-15
Cable Triceps Extension W/ Rope3x12-15
Single Arm Cable Triceps Extension3x12-15
Triceps Kickback3x12-15
Skull Crusher3x12-15
Wednesday PM: Back & BicepsAmount
Wide Grip Pulldown3x10-12
Close Grip Pulldown3x10-12
T-Bar Row4x12-15
Straight Arm Pulldown4x12-15
Dumbbell Row3x12-15
Standing Barbell Curl3x10-12
Dumbbell Concentration Curl4x12-15
Dumbbell Hammer Curl4x12-15
Thursday PM: ShouldersAmount
DB Military Press4x10-12
Seated DB Front Raise4x12-15
Seated Lateral Raise4x12-15
Incline Rear Delt Raise4x12-15
DB Shoulder Shrugs4x12-15
Face Pulls w/ Cables4x12-15
Friday PM: LegsAmount
Front Squat4x10-12
Walking Lunges4x12-15
DB Straight Leg Deadlift3x12-15
Standing Leg Curl3x12-15
Seated Leg Curl3x12-15
Calf Raise3x12-15
Saturday PM: Chest, Back, ArmsAmount
Reverse Grip Flat Bench4x12-15 (2 Wide Grip/ 2 Close Grip)
Machine Cable Flye3x12-15
Reverse Grip Pulldowns4x12-15 (2 Wide Grip/ 2 Close Grip)
Barbell Row3x12-15
Hammer Curl3x12-15
Preacher Curl3x12-15
Reverse Grip Triceps Extension3x12-15
Parallel Bar3x12-15

From “Skinny Fat” to IFBB Pro

At a Glance: Lacy Green

Age: 40

Occupation: For 15 years I was a Registered Respiratory Therapist. I left my career early in 2018 to open a Virtual Gym called C323 Fitness.

Family: Husband Andy, Mom to Jensen, Isaac, Lili, Karson, and Asher

Current Residence: Elida, OH

Years Training: 3

Height: 5’6”

Off Season Weight: 128, Contest Weight: 118

Favorite Fitness Meal: The “M3 Smoothie”: 1 scoop UMP Angel Food Cake, 2oz Plain Greek Yogurt, 4-6 whole strawberries, 6 ice cubes, and 4oz water blended. Reminds me of Strawberry Shortcake!!!

Favorite Supplements: UMP is number 1!! My first experience with a protein drink came from chocolate UMP. Nothing could compare after that! I am currently hooked on the Angel Food Cake UMP. It is smooth and delicious!!

What would you recommend to someone who has never used Beverly supplements before? UMP is an easy recommendation. The flavor and texture are like no other protein supplement I have ever used. It mixes and cooks beautifully. It is easy to digest and never leaves me bloated.

Music: When I workout I rarely listen to music. I listen to motivational speakers, sermons, and inspirational stories. If I were to listen to music, it would be Gospel or Contemporary Christian.

Most Inspiring Book: The Bible inspires all that I do!!!

Hobby or Interests outside of Bodybuilding: Talking to people. I love to go to the grocery to simply chat with people. I have the most fulfilling conversations with complete strangers. I look for opportunities to talk to people everywhere I go.

Words to live by: “The disciplined mind rooted in truth can do the impossible” ~Billy Alsbrooks


I was always what I call skinny-fat. You know – low bodyweight, with a lot of flab and hardly any muscle. Like a lot of women, I was careful about what I ate, but my physique did not change. I spent a few years running. I did several 5k races and ran several times a week for exercise. I enjoyed it, but again, my physique did not change. I thought that lifting weights might be the answer, but I had no idea what to do in a weight room, so I didn’t pursue it.

In 2011 my husband deployed to Afghanistan. While deployed he lifted weights daily. He came home a year later completely transformed! He had gained a large amount of strength and muscle mass. Unfortunately, that quickly went away when he quit lifting and began running for almost 2 years. He lost muscle mass and became very thin. He wanted to regain the muscle he had while deployed so he joined a local gym. Each day after work he went to the gym. I began to miss him. He is a law enforcement officer and I recognized the great value in fitness for his career, so that we could spend more time together, I started going to the weight room with him. At first, I kind of hung out with him while he worked out. After a few days I decided to try the exercises that he was doing, albeit with lighter weights. I could tell that it was just what I needed and started noticing changes in my body. We both loved it and our gym dates became routine.

I am an all or nothing kind of gal, so I wanted to know everything about weight training. I took an ISSA course and became a Certified Personal trainer. Even after learning the correct way to weight train, I ran into a brick wall with my fitness goals. I’d made great progress, but now I was stuck in a plateau. I could not lose fat off my body. I tried several diets and eating plans, none worked so I knew it was time to get some nutrition guidance. I hired Hammer Fit Coaching led by IFBB Pro, Mark Hummel. This was a game changer! Three weeks after beginning a bikini prep meal plan I barely recognized my body! In July of 2017, after 3 months of being on Hammer Fit coaching plans, I decided to compete in the 2017 NPC Natural Indianapolis as a Bikini competitor. I won 1st place Novice, 1st place Masters, 1st place Open Bikini, and the overall Bikini title! All of a sudden I was instantly Nationally Qualified!! A short 8 months later, in July, 2018 I competed at the the NPC Teen, Collegiate, Masters Nationals in Pittsburgh. This was my second competition ever and I earned my IFBB Pro Card!

During my training for Nationals, I decided to leave my career after 15 years in Respiratory Therapy to open a fitness business. I had developed a passion for fitness and wanted to share it with others. I recall a day during my training where I caught a glimpse of myself in the gym mirror and could not believe what I was seeing. I barely recognized my own fit physique. It brought joyful tears to my eyes right there in the gym. I vowed to learn all I could about fitness, so I could help others experience the joy I felt in that moment. I saw a need to help people “find their fitness”. We all have a personal level of fitness and I want to empower and inspire people to achieve their highest personal level. To continue my knowledge base, I completed my certification as a Fitness Nutrition Coach through the ISSA.

I currently work as a personal trainer and nutrition coach for Westwood Fitness in Lima, Ohio. I also work as an online competition coach for Hammer Fit. It is an honor to work for the coaches who changed my life by coaching me from a recreational gym junkie to an IFBB pro in less than a year. I love coaching novice competitors! My big project right now is C323 Fitness, my virtual gym. While talking to people, I recognized a huge need to bring a gym to the people, not ask them to come to a brick and mortar gym. I believe in meeting people where they are at in their fitness journey. For many, that is in the comfort of their own home. Most people that I spoke with could not get to the gym for various reasons. They want fitness, but are limited by things like child care issues, shame due to their current lack of fitness, fear of judgement, lack of time, and lack of motivation. I created a solution to these issues by providing people with a gym that comes to them through Wi-Fi to their smartphone, personal computer, and tablet wherever and whenever they choose. C323 has a variety of recorded content for all fitness levels that can be accessed around the clock and live one on one personal training with a variety of highly motivated personal trainers from all over the country. There is something for everyone!

I am often asked about the name of the gym. C323 is short for Colossians 3:23; Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men. I chose this scripture because as a business owner I am my own boss. I am the steward of the gym, but I work for Him to serve His creation. The members of my gym deserve my very best service!

Presentation Tips

In bikini, posing is very important. I practice it year-round. I highly recommend a posing coach who knows how to angle your body in the most flattering ways. Confidence is key! From the moment you step on stage you are being judged so make every step count. Show your personality and have fun!

My Diet

I carb cycle every 3 days. This is a typical day of my regular diet.

Meal 1: 3 egg whites, 2 eggs, 1 cup spinach (I make into an omelet), and 1 cup oats.

Meal 2: Strawberry Smoothie (5 strawberries, 2oz Greek Yogurt, 1 scoop Angel Food Cake UMP, 6 ice cubes and 4oz water blended)

Meal 3: 4oz cod, 15 almonds, 1 cup spinach

Meal 4: (post workout): 4oz sweet potato, 1tbsp chunky natural peanut butter, 1/2 banana (all mashed together), 1 scoop Beverly UMP Graham Cracker.

Meal 5: 5oz 90/10 ground beef, 1 cup green beans

Meal 6: 6 egg whites, 1 cup green beans


Pre-Workout: 1 scoop Muscle Synergy, 6 Muscularity capsules

Fit Tabs – 2 tablets with Meal 1

UMP – for meals 2 and 4 (see diet schedule on the next page)

EFA Gold – 3 softgels with meal 6

I use Multiple Enzyme Complex with every meal.

If I want to have a leaner look or as a contest approaches, I take 2 Lean Out each meal and 3 7-Keto MuscLean in the AM and mid afternoon.

Training Schedule


Day 4: Rest

Day 1: Back/Legs

4x20 of each

Triset: Pull Up, Cable Straight Arm Pulldown, Seated Close Grip Pulldown

Triset: Leg Curl, Leg Extension, Leg Press

Triset: Banded Glute Kick, Lateral Banded Walk, Ankle Band Jumping Jacks

Day 2: Back/Shoulders

4x20 of each

Superset: Pullups, Standing Military Press

Superset: Seated Low Row, Face Pulls

Superset: Behind Neck Pull Down, Lateral Raise

Superset: Close Grip Pulldown, Front Raise

Day 3: Glutes (Dominant)

Barbell Deadlift 4x12-15

Cable Kickback 4x12

Dumbbell Sumo Squat 3x8-10

Superset: V-bar Cable Squat, Straight Bar Cable Deadlift 4x12

Superset: Smith Wide Deep Squat, Smith Close Deep Squat 4x8-12

Day 5: Shoulders/Arms

4x20 of each

Triset: Dumbbell Arnold Press, Wide Grip Upright Row, Lateral Raise

Superset: Bicep Cable Extension, Rope Push down

Triset: Dumbbell Curl, Skull Crusher, Lying Cable Row


Then I go back to day 1

Cardio Schedule

Off Season I do 20-30 minutes on the Step Mill every other day. During show prep I have done as many as two 40-minute sessions a day on the Step Mill.