How I Prepared for My First IFBB Pro Contest

At a Glance: Scott Foster

Age: 40

Occupation/Education: 5th and 6th grade Math and Language Arts Teacher

Current Residence: Russell, PA

Family: My beautiful wife Julia, daughter Brynn (7), sons Camden (4) Cullen (2)

Height: 5'2"

Weight: 170 (off-season), 140 (contest) My goal is to be on stage at 160.

Favorite Bodybuilding Meal: My twice weekly carb up meal - 1.5 cup oatmeal, 10oz sweet potato, 6oz banana, 2 tbsp almond butter, 1 cup broccoli.

Favorite Gain phase Bodybuilding Meal: 5 whole eggs, 2 oz cheese, 2 tbs almond butter, 2 whole wheat pieces of bread, 1 apple.

Favorite Supplements: Mass Maker Ultra, UMP Chocolate, Ultra 40, Mass Amino, Quadracarn, Creatine Select, Muscle Synergy.

What would you recommend to someone who has never used Beverly supplements before? UMP is by far the best protein on the market. It tastes amazing. It can be used in so many different ways. I've made no bake brownies with it by stirring it into a pudding and letting it set over night, pudding, ice cream (freezing the pudding).

Music: Hard rock and metal.

Most Inspiring Book: The Bible, The Little Engine that Could.

Hobby or Interests outside bodybuilding: Playing with my kids (my favorite), training (I don't take much time off), working on cars.

Words to live by: What is impossible for man is possible for God. Never give up. Push through the hard things, they will make you stronger.

 

It had been eleven years since I won my pro card at the 2008 NPC National Championships in Atlanta, Georgia. Big changes, good changes in life happened. I took time off to start a family. My wife Julia and I were married in September of 2009. Then in 2012 our first child, Brynn was born. Our two sons Camden and Cullen followed in 2015 and 2017. My family and I moved from my home state of Indiana to my wife’s home state of Pennsylvania. Other things in life were more important, but I kept training and future competition remained in my mind.

At first, I saw the 212 class as a possible option. Being a person of short stature (I’m 5’2”) and weighing what I did (I won my pro card at 137) and never higher than the 170s, I knew I would be out of my league in open IFBB contests, even competing in the 212 class would be difficult. But I did not let that deter me. I kept training, trying to gain enough size to possibly compete in the IFBB one day.

Then in 2015, The NPC and IFBB introduced the Men’s Classic Physique division. I honestly didn’t pay much attention to it at the time. I had other things on my plate as mentioned above. But last December I saw an announcement that the IFBB Pittsburgh Masters Pro would have a Classic Physique division. When I researched how this division was set up, by height vs weight, I could not have been more excited. I had an avenue to compete again. I’d waited eleven years and finally, I had my chance. I knew with my stature and structure I would never be close to 212. With Classic Physique, I could compete in the 5’4” height, 170-pound class. It was exactly what I needed.

Once I decided to do it something inside me clicked. It was like a switch flipping on inside me and there was no turning back. It had been eleven years since I had stepped on stage last, but once you get the rush of it all, you can’t let go. I love the competition.

I immediately started cleaning up my diet and began a diet plan to gain good muscle weight (see Sidebar – Maximum Muscle and Lean Weight Gain Diet) and started a training regime geared toward developing a more “classic” physique (see Sidebar – My Classic Physique Training Plan). I started solid dieting 20 weeks out from the show and stayed on the same meal plan for a majority of the prep.

Most days I trained before work. In the summer I would get up at 3:30 or 4:00 am and be at the gym by 4:30 to train my hardest. I had to be at work at the local lumber yard by 6:30 and worked until 5:00 pm. By training early in the morning, I had the rest of the evening to spend with my family. When school started (I teach 5th and 6th grade math and language arts), I was able to switch my training time to an hour or two after school. I enjoy the training because for many of us the gym is our “fortress of solitude.” We walk in, forget about our troubles for an hour or two and get our workout in. Dieting gets monotonous but the food is fuel. It is part of the process. It will get me where I need to be.

Preparing for the IFBB Pittsburgh Masters Pro show, my pro debut was tough. Not only for me, but also my family. We all sacrificed a lot. When you show prep, or compete in anything, you never do it alone. I was blessed to have my family alongside me. As the weeks went by, I had to become totally focused - to embrace the challenge and ask myself how bad I wanted it. When I compete I go for the win, plain and simple. If I get beat by someone who is better than me, I’m fine with that. If I lose because I didn't do all I could, that is something totally different. Obstacles are only obstacles if we let them be. We, if we choose to, can work around anything. You might have to give up a little sleep or favorite food, possibly a favorite past time. To surpass an obstacle, and not let it be in your way, there is always a sacrifice.

The closer the show became, the more excited I became. I was excited and nervous at the same time. Once I stepped backstage, I was in the zone and ready to go. It was game-on. Everything was in focus. All my sacrifices got me where I wanted to be, a winner in the IFBB. I competed in three classes, Open Men’s Bodybuilding where I took 6th place, Men’s Classic Physique 35 and over where I took 2nd, and Men’s Classic Physique 40 and over which I won.

In closing, we have to remember our goals. Make small, short- term goals, then larger, long-term goals. Smaller goals always lead to bigger goals. All the great bodybuilders and others in different avenues of life say the same thing. Greatness takes time, effort and sacrifice. I’m not where I want to be but I’m working on it.

When I earned my IFBB pro card back in 2008 I told myself right away how amazing a gift it was and how it was then, and is now my obligation to help others. I see my pro status as an obligation to help everyone I can. If anyone has a question, or if I see someone struggle with something, I offer advice. I try to make myself available for anyone who has a question, needs a spot, or wants to train. I do not know everything, I’m still learning myself, but I’ll help anyone who wants it. That's the fun part of bodybuilding. We are all at different levels of our training. We all have different goals, some are bodybuilders, some are powerlifters, and some train for athletic improvement or overall wellness. In the end, it’s the simple fact that we are training.

I can’t thank all who helped me enough. My family, my wife Julia, my children Brynn, Camden, and Cullen, my parents and my wife’s parents. I also want to thank my friends, including Roger and Sandy along with everyone at Beverly International.

 

Maximum Muscle and Lean Weight Gain Diet

Phase 1:
Advanced Gaining Phase Program
You can find this plan in Section 7, Weight Gaining Nutritional Programs of Beverly's Blueprints for Success. Go to beverlyinternational.com, click on “Bev Solutions” at the left and then “Nutrition Solutions”. You’ll find the entire Blueprint there.

Strategy: This is a 12-week program that alternates gaining and hardening phases in a specific pattern. The “Gain” cycle includes six meals PLUS a pre and post workout Mass Maker Ultra recovery drink. The “Hardening” cycle consists of five or six meals daily and is designed to solidify the gains I made during the “Gain” cycle.

Schedule:
Weeks 1-4: 4-Week Gaining Phase
Week 5: 1-Week Hardening Phase
Weeks 6-8: 3-Week Gaining Phase
Week 9: 1-Week Hardening Phase
Weeks 10-11: 2-Week Gaining Phase
Week 12: 1-Week Hardening Phase

 

Gain Cycle (Weeks 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11)

Meal #1: 3 egg omelet with 2 ounces cheese, 2 slices whole-grain toast with almond butter, 1 apple.

Meal #2: Protein Drink: 2 scoops Ultimate Muscle Protein, 2 tbsp healthy fat source (olive oil, flax oil, almond butter) or heavy cream.

Optional: 1 serving low carb fruit.

Meal #3: 8oz lean beef or chicken breast (or other lean protein source), 3/4 cup cooked brown rice (or other complex carbohydrate source).

Optional: 1 or 2 servings of low carb fruit or vegetables.

Meal #4: 6-8oz turkey breast, 1/2 cup cottage cheese, 1/2 cup pineapple (unsweetened) or 1/2 cantaloupe

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

Meal #5: 8oz steak, lean beef, pork loin, chicken, turkey or fish, 6oz baked potato or sweet potato, 1-2 cups low carb vegetables or salad.

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

Option B: 8oz lean beef, one serving low carbohydrate vegetable or fruit.

Pre and Post Workout Drink - Training Days Only:

30 Minutes before training: 2 scoops Mass Maker Ultra mixed in 10oz water

Immediately after training: 2 scoops Mass Maker Ultra mixed in 10oz water (Eat your next meal about 60 minutes after your Mass Maker Ultra shake.

Supplements I took during the Gaining Phase:

1 Super Pak

3 Mass Aminos with meals 1-6

3 Ultra 40 with with meals 1-6

Muscle Synergy - 8 tablets before training and 8 tablets in the evening

Creatine Select - 2 servings daily (pre and post training) on training days, and 1 serving daily on non-training days

Hardening Phase Nutritional Program (Weeks 5, 9, and 12)

Meal #1: 1 whole egg, 5 additional egg whites, 5oz chicken breast or turkey breast, 1/2 cup oatmeal

Meal #2: Protein Drink - 2 two scoops Ultimate Muscle Protein, one tablespoon healthy fat source (olive oil, flax oil, almond butter) or heavy cream.

Meal #3: 6oz chicken breast (or other lean protein source), 1/2 cup cooked brown rice (or other complex carbohydrate source).

Optional: Add one or two servings of low carb vegetables.

Meal #4: 1 can tuna (water packed) or 6oz turkey breast, 1 or 2 servings of low carb vegetables or 1/2 cantaloupe

Option B: Protein Drink with 2 scoops Muscle Provider or Ultimate Muscle Protein mixed in 16 ounces water.

Meal #5: 8oz chicken breast, turkey or fish, 1-2 cups low carb vegetables or salad

Meal #6: Protein pudding – mix 2 scoops Ultimate Muscle Protein or Ultra Size in a bowl with just enough water to make a pudding texture.

Option B: Six egg whites, three ounces chicken breast, one serving low carbohydrate vegetable.

Essential Supplements during the Hardening Phase:

Super Pak with meal 1

3 Ultra 40 with each meal

Density - 3 first thing in the morning, 5 after training and 2 before bed

Muscle Synergy – 1 scoop before training and 1 scoop in the evening

Creatine Select - 2 servings daily (pre and post training) on training days, and 1 serving daily on non-training days.

I did not take the Mass Maker pre and post workout shakes during the Hardening Phase. Instead I took 2 scoops Glutamine Select mixed in my water bottle during workouts. Another good plan is to add five Muscle Mass tablets at the start of your workout, five at about the half- way point, and five more at the end of your workout.

March 13-April 15:

I continued the same plan, but changed the schedule to Weeks 1&2 Gaining Phase, Week 3 Hardening, Week 4 Gaining, and Week 5 Hardening.

Maximum Muscle and Lean Weight Gain Diet

Phase 2:
Nutrition Plan to Gain Muscle while Continuing to Lose Fat (April 16 – July 30)

 

My Supplements

Super Pak with meal 1

4 Mass Aminos and 4 Ultra 40 with each meal and shake listed below

Quadracarn – 3 tablets three times daily (morning, pre workout, and evening)

Muscle Synergy – 1 scoop before training and 1 scoop in the evening

Creatine Select – 1 scoop daily before training and 1 scoop either in am or pm

Meals

Meal #1: 2 whole eggs + 4 egg whites, 5oz lean meat, 1/2 cup oatmeal

Meal #2: Protein Drink - 2 Scoops Ultimate Muscle Protein,

2 tbsp healthy fat (almond butter, flax oil, olive oil) or 2 tbsp heavy whipping cream, add enough water to make a shake or pudding the consistency you desire.

Whole food option: Add one or two servings of low carb vegetables.

Meal #3: 8oz lean meat, 6oz sweet potato or 2/3 cup cooked brown rice, 2 cups vegetables (broccoli, etc.) and/or salad with 2 tbsp vinegar and oil dressing

Meal #4: (same as meal #2)

Meal #5: 10oz lean meat, 2 cups vegetables and salad with 2 tbsp vinegar and oil dressing

At first, I ate only the first 5 meals, near the end of June I added a 6th meal of 6 egg whites before bed.

Meal #6 (optional): Protein Shake or Pudding: 2 scoops Ultimate Muscle Protein, add enough water to make shake or pudding the consistency you desire.

Or Repeat Meal #1, but skip the oatmeal.

Pre-Contest Tweaks

July 31 – August 12
I continued the Phase 2 diet but added the famous “Beverly Carb Meal” at 5 weeks out. On Tuesday and Friday night I ate the following as my last meal of the day. It was a blessing and something to look forward to.

  • 1 1/2 cups oatmeal (measure before cooking)
  • 10oz sweet potato
  • 6oz banana
  • 1 cup vegetables
  • 1 tbsp butter or almond butter

August 13 – August 30
Here are a couple of tweaks we made to the diet for the final 2 1/2 weeks.

  • Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday: Meal 1, add 3 oz meat (8oz total), substitute 1/2 grapefruit for the oatmeal (no oatmeal on Monday or Thursday)
  • Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday: Meal 3, add 2 oz meat (10oz total) – cut out the sweet potato and rice – added more veggies
  • Wednesday and Saturday: Follow current diet and keep the added meat at Meals 1 & 3.
  • I continued the carb meal on Tuesday and Friday

This is the diet I followed then going in to the show:

Meal #1: 2 whole eggs + 4 egg whites, 8oz lean meat*, 1/2 grapefruit, Wednesday and Saturday I also had 1/2 cup oatmeal.

Meal #2: Protein Drink: 2 Scoops Ultimate Muscle Protein,
2 tbsp healthy fat (almond butter, flax oil, olive oil) or 2 tbsp heavy whipping cream, add enough water to make a shake or pudding the consistency you desire.

Meal #3: 10oz lean meat, 2 cups vegetables (broccoli, etc.) and/ or salad with 2 tbsp vinegar and oil dressing, Wednesday and Saturday I had a 6oz sweet potato.

Meal #4: (same as meal #2)

Meal #5: 10oz lean meat, 2 cups vegetables and salad with 2 tbsp vinegar and oil dressing

Meal #6: 6 egg whites, or on Tuesday and Friday the Beverly Carb Up meal.

*Lean meat was almost always lean ground beef.

My Classic Physique Training Plan

My training plan was formulated to not only build muscle, but also to create an optical illusion so that I appeared larger than I actually am. I was very likely the smallest guy (at 5’2” and 140 lbs) in each of the pro divisions in which I competed. By putting extra emphasis on my weak points and those most important for classic physique I was able create the illusion of a much larger physique. For example, I placed great emphasis on increasing my lat width and also on the lateral (side) head of my delts so that I’d appear wider with a pronounced "V" shape.

I used the pyramid system on most of my exercises. Here’s a quick explanation:

First set – Use a medium weight for the indicated reps primarily as a warm-up.
Second set – Do ten strict reps with a slightly heavier weight.
Third set – Use a poundage that allows eight reps in good form.
Fourth set – Add more weight, you can use a slightly looser style on this set.
Fifth set (where indicated) – Use the heaviest weight you can handle for five good reps.

I performed the schedule below just as listed for the first three months. Then, for variety, I performed the program as follows:

1st 5-Day cycle I performed the reps as listed below.
2nd 5-Day cycle I doubled the reps on each set.
3rd 5-Day cycle I performed the reps listed, but supersetted the exercises. For example, Bench Press & Incline DB Press, etc. I repeated the above schedule up until the show.

I added extra chin ups on my off days.

 

Schedule - Day Three: Rest, Day Five: Rest, Day Six: Start the training cycle over with Day One

Day One:
Chest/Back/Abs

Amount
Bench Press 5x12,10,8,6,5
Incline DB Press 4x12,10,8,6
Decline (or Flat DB Flyes)4x12,10,8,6
DB Pullover (Chest / Back transition exercise)4x10–15 (constant weight)
Lat Pulldowns to front5 x12,10,8,6,5
Cable Rowing4 x12,10,8,6
1 Arm DB Row4 x12,10,8,6
Hanging Knee Up4 x maximum reps
Crunches 4 x maximum reps
Day Two:
Lower Back/Thighs/Hamstrings/Calves

Amount
Squat (Olympic style)5x20,15,12,10,8
Hack Squat 4x12 (constant weight)
Leg Extension4x15
Hyperextension 4x10
Leg Curl 4x15 reps
Straight Leg Dead Lift4x12 (constant weight)
Seated Calf Raise 5x15–20
Donkey Raise or Standing Calf Raise5x15–20
Day Four:
Shoulders/Biceps/Triceps

Amount
DB Press5x 12,10,8,6,5
DB Lateral Raise4x12,10,8,6
Incline Rear Lateral Raise 4x12,10,8,6
DB Shrug 4x12,10,8,6
Lying Triceps Extension 5x12,10,8,6,5
Triceps Pressdown4x12,10,8,6
1 Arm DB Extension4x12,10,8,6
Barbell Curl4x12,10,8,6
Incline DB Curl 4x12,10,8,6
Preacher Curl 3x10,8,6

“Hitting The Wall”… Naturally

At a Glance: Tim Walton

Age: 56

Occupation: Military & Government Contractor veteran, Family Business- Danlee Medical

Current Residence: Chittenango, NY

Years Training: 40+

Height: 5'8"

Weight: Off-Season: 182, Contest: 168

Favorite Fitness Meal: Medium rare flank steak with raw peppers.

Favorite Supplements: You can't build a house without a solid foundation. Ultra 40, Mass Aminos, Quadracarn, and Super Pak are my “must-haves” and provide a solid foundation year round.

What would you recommend to someone who has never used Beverly supplements before? Determine your goals, look through their information and guides, and make a phone call if you need further assistance. Beverly has to be the most helpful supplement company with their avenues of information. You can't go wrong!

Music: I like a variety but for working out, it's Manowar.

Most Inspiring Book: I read a lot, but never felt compelled to write a letter to an author until I read Robert Kennedy's, Bull'$ Eye.

Hobby or Interests outside bodybuilding: Reading, trying to learn to be a boater (we moved on a lake), traveling/doing things with my wife, dog-sitting my son's stocky bulldog, Boris.

Words to live by: "You're right again dear!" (Haven't been married for 35+ years without that, haha!) But inspirational words, easy: "Press On!" by Colonel Chuck Yeager. No matter what got in this guy's path, he just kept going. Simple, to the point, no excuses.

 

"Hitting The Wall"... Naturally

Growing up working on farms and involved in school sports were a good base for me physically. There wasn't much in the area of equipment, nutrition advice, or information back then. I welded a bench out of plumbing pipes in shop class with a bare plank for the flat part, "borrowed" some sand-filled weights from my older brother, winged it on nutrition, and worked out on total instinct using trial and error.

In the military, I ended up on a small restricted base in Turkey that had a large closet they called a weight room. We improvised alot while reading the latest Muscle Mags trying to emulate what the Pros were doing. We didn’t realize that most of it was fabricated and wasn’t what they were actually doing or using. I made some decent gains nonetheless.

In civilian life, I got married, moved to a new city, and we struggled mightily for a long time as jobs were scarce and the pay was sparse. Living on Ramen Noodles 3 times a day for a year and a half isn't conducive to gains, believe me. Eventually we solidified ourselves financially and started our own business. (Hello working 12-16 hours a day including weekends!) At the time we focused more on our son Dan's athletic ventures rather than our own although I did try to set a good example by regularly getting my workouts in. I continued to follow the bodybuilding scene, but never seriously considered competing. I didn’t know of any natural contests and there was no way I was going to do any drugs. Time was always a constraint also.

Then, about a year and a half ago, a friend of mine took me out to the Body Alive Gym in Utica, NY for a free Saturday workout.
I loved the Old School atmosphere and vibe of the people working out there. But what caught my attention was "The Wall". There were large posters of members on the wall who were obviously accomplished. I asked the owner, Bob Donnelly, "How do you get up on that wall?" He replied, "Win." I had competed, and been successful, in quite a few different areas of athletics over the years, but felt a need to compete in something again as it had been a long time since putting myself on the back burner for life's other endeavors. When I found out the people on "The Wall" were natural competitors, I now had a goal in the back of my head

This past summer, Bob asked when I was going to try a show. As it happened, I was actually starting to step away from our business at that point, so time was no longer a factor. I said I was in. He pointed to a contest 7 weeks away and said he could get me ready. Seven weeks isn't a lot of time, but he had been out in Venice, CA during the "Golden Era" and had worked out with the legends. I drove 80 miles 6 days a week to train and we kicked it Old School style so intense that cardio wasn't needed. The only "Cardio" I did was to walk with my wife, Joni in the park each day. Unfortunately, that bit me in the butt, literally, a couple weeks out from the contest. We had just started our walk when we sprinted over to pull an attacking Rottweiler off of an elderly lady who was cradling her small dog. I didn't realize it till after the adrenaline wore off that I pulled/strained something in my glute when I sprinted over. I was very limited on legs, but we worked around it and I placed a very close 2nd in the Open in my first contest. The 2nd contest was the following weekend where I once again placed 2nd. A couple months later, I decided to try a 3rd contest. About 4 weeks out, my oral surgeon pulled a back molar as the roots were cracked to the jawbone. He said I couldn't workout for a week. Two days after getting the green light, I learned a new term, “slipped rib”. Three weeks to go! Once again, we worked around it and got a decent package ready. In a very competitive Open Class, I got edged out again, but nabbed 2nd place. I won the Masters Class and finally got my Natural Pro Card. I made "The Wall"!

Final Words

A lot of credit goes to my wife of over 35 years, Joni, for doing the preps with me and being supportive during the whole process. Obviously Coach Donnelly and the Body Alive Crew who made me feel like I was in a Rocky movie during my workouts with all of their input and encouragement. Joe Dardano, original owner of my hometown Hercules Gym, clued me in on Beverly Products quite a while ago and they've been a staple of my foundation ever since.

I’m very excited to do a few shows next year now that my "Rookie" season at age 56 is over. Looking forward to see how much better I can be having months, not weeks, to prepare and while injury and impediment free.

Diet & Supplements

Since we only had weeks, not months, to dial in, I went very basic with my diet. A typical day would be:

Breakfast: 3 soft boiled eggs, half a protein bagel with almond butter

Mid-morning: Protein shake with 1 scoop Provosyn and 1 scoop UMP

Lunch: 10oz broiled cod, 1 cup raw peppers (orange, red, yellow) sprinkled lightly with apple cider vinegar

Mid-day: Provosyn and UMP shake (1 scoop each)

Dinner: Same as lunch

Early evening: Half bagel with almond butter

The first couple weeks I had chicken breasts in place of cod at lunch and dinner. Apple Cider vinegar and safflower oil were sprinkled lightly on the peppers.

I’ll admit I'm not much of a cook outside of following what's in a cookbook, but one thing I like doing is taking a cup of cottage cheese, add a scoop of UMP Graham Cracker, stir, chill for about 20 minutes, then toss in some walnuts, and there's dessert!

Daily Supplement Schedule

Breakfast: Super Pak, 4 Ultra 40, 4 Mass Aminos, 3 Quadracarn

Lunch: 4 Ultra 40, 4 Mass Aminos

Dinner: 4 Ultra 40, 4 Mass Aminos

Early evening: 4 Quadracarn

I sip on Glutamine Select throughout the day as I feel it helps me recover quicker and it satisfies my sweet tooth and curbs hunger.

During my workouts I make a drink up with 20 oz of water, 3/4 scoops of both Creatine Select and Up-Lift, and a full scoop of Muscle Synergy. This combo sustains my energy levels during and after.

I usually don't need much to rev up for a workout, but I utilize Fast-Up when I do. I especially like it because it doesn't give you the shakes, crash and tingles like other pre-workouts. You can regulate the potency by how many capsules you take, and you can carry them in your pocket. (By the way, the tingles from others is often an overload of niacin, the shakes from WAY too much caffeine, yohimbe, or 1,3 Dimeth, which is on the WADA banned list.)

I don't count calories as each day is a different expenditure of energy depending on what I'm involved in.I usually carry a small bag of almonds in my pocket as well as some Muscularity and Density. That way, if I'm ever stuck or delayed from consuming my meals, I've got them with me to keep things going on the "Muscletram".

Now two things I did that were different, yet effective as the contest approached:

1. Right before bed I would take 2-3 Lean Out. I figured that it helps convert fat to energy, so why not let it work all night long as I'm lying there? Then, first thing in the morning, I'd take more with my morning I really feel like that accelerated the fat loss in the short amount of time we had.

2. I read a study that carnitine would help draw nutrients and water into muscle tissue during a carb reload before a contest. So, the last 3 days before my contest, I would take 3 Quadracarn 3 times a day with carbs. In mid-morning and mid-evening, I would take 1 Energy Reserve. I'm sure this had a lot to do with my muscles not being flat appearing after dieting down so quickly on a strict contest diet.

Workouts

Workouts vary from full body ones to split routines. My favorite is a 3 days on, one day off schedule. Every workout starts with a warm-up for that body part, usually a couple lighter sets of each exercise.

 

Day One: Chest & BackSets Reps
Incline Dumbbell Press46-12
Flat Dumbbell Press38-12
Pec Deck412-15
Cybex Machine Row56-12
Wide Grip Lat Pulldown68-12
Farmer's Walk480 yards each

Notes: I NEVER do decline presses. As we age, stuff starts to drop. If your upper chest drops a little, it’s no problem. If your lower chest is over developed, you'll probably end up with droopy pecs.

I actually bought a Cybex Machine Row for my home gym, that’s how much I like it. On Pulldowns I use a TK Star True Wing Lat Bar and highly recommend it.

Day Two: Legs & DeltsSets Reps
Safety Bar Squats88
Lateral Machine510-15
Front Cable Raise312-15
Rear Cable Raise312-15

Notes: On safety squats I put the bar WAY down on my back and thrust up with my hips first. Sounds weird, but there is very little strain on my back and it hits the legs better (for me) than "regular" squats.I may do 10 sets of 10 reps on a good day.

I usually use a Strive or Nautilus side lateral machine, but may substitute “running the rack” (a favorite of the 1st Mr Olympia, Larry Scott) starting with 40-lb dumbbells for as many reps as possible and going down the rack dropping the weight 5 lbs each set and doing as many reps as I can, all the way down to the 5-lb dumbbells.

Day Three: Arms, Calves, AbsSets Reps
Machine Curls312
Preacher Curls410
Incline Hammer Curls310
Seated Triceps Extension410
Skull Crushers310
Tricep Pushdowns410-15
Standing Calf Raise425
Donkey Calf Raise415
Rope Crunches250
Ab Coaster625

Notes: On the Ab Coaster I do 150 continuous reps switching the hip angle every 25 reps.

Day Four: OFF (Add in an extra day off for 2 in a row if you're really hammering yourself hard.)

Cardio note: My weight workouts are pretty fast paced so my heart rate is elevated pretty good throughout. Some exercises can be supersetted so that the workouts are brief, but intense. If I feel the need for extra cardio, I'll do 10-12 minutes on the Jacob's Ladder followed by 20 minutes on an Airdyne.

It’s Never too Late to be Great

At a Glance: Cindy Lane Ross

Age: 41

Occupation: Owner of Orange Beach Fitness & Cindy Lane Ross Fitness

Current Residence: Orange Beach, AL

Family: Husband. I lost my mother, father, and brother to autoimmune diseases. I have one surviving brother, Chance Lane.

Years Training: 30 years

Height: 5’5”

Weight: Off Season 129, Contest 119

Favorite Fitness Meal: Large bowl of oatmeal with berries.

Favorite Supplements: I absolutely love the benefits of Quadracarn for sustained energy and mood. My body is responding well to the 7-Keto MuscLean & Lean Out stack. I also use the Creatine Select, Glutamine Select, and Density. This stack really helps me to stay lean and hard.

What would you recommend to someone who has never used Beverly supplements before? Living with Rheumatoid Arthritis, I’m very selective about what I put in my body because taking the wrong supplements can result in weeks of illness. So, I researched a lot about the benefits and if there were any possible side effects of the Beverly International products. I feel fantastic having now switched all my supplementation over to Beverly International.

Music: I create a playlist on Spotify specific for what I’m training for. I love all music so usually when I’m working out it’s an upbeat variety. Reggae is something that always puts a smile on my face, so I can guarantee Bob Marley hits every one of my playlists.

Most Inspiring Book: Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss and Can’t Hurt Me by David Goggins.

Hobby or Interests outside bodybuilding: Travel, photography, reading, and spending time with my husband in Orange Beach, AL.

Words to live by: “For me life is continuously being hungry. The meaning of life is not simply to exist, to survive, but to move ahead, to go up, to achieve to conquer.” - Arnold Schwarzenegger

2018... A Year of Self- Discovery

2018 was a year of self-discovery, and I realized I needed more consistency and discipline in my life. I had thrown myself into 80+ hour work weeks running multiple businesses. But in the process I had neglected many personal relationships and unfortunately my own self-care.

My day of awakening came on April 30, 2018, when an old friend was concerned enough to tell me to pull myself together. That’s just the boost I needed to snap out of it and begin challenging myself again.

The next day I began regular workouts again and eating a responsible diet. I started battling back from personal despair as I had years before. What really reignited the fire in me was when my husband Jason (who is a competitive bodybuilder) asked me if I wanted to train legs with him. Up until then I generally skipped weights and opted for cardio. I started working out with Jason and began to love what I saw in the mirror - a shape that I desired but couldn’t achieve with my cardio workouts alone. I began to think that a dream that I had long ago might be achievable – to be a bodybuilder.

In early June, 2018, I read about an OCB Natural Bodybuilding show coming to Gulf Shores, in October. I realized that I hadn’t set personal goals for myself for over 20 years and so I set a huge goal to compete in the bikini division in my first bodybuilding competition.

This was just what I needed to get back on track - I began the process of fulfilling a lifelong dream. I want all women to know you can be fit, strong and healthy at any age and that endurance and strength can even peak later in life. Don’t be afraid to chase your dreams, at any age, it’s never too late.

My Nutrition Advice

The best advice I can give anyone trying to stick to a set diet is that meal prep is essential to your success! Always, always, always, make the time to plan your meals in advance. Set up a time and day to plan your grocery shopping (don’t forget your list) and prepare your meals. I live by my food scale and measuring cups. Invest in some easy to carry containers so you can grab your meals and go. Amazon has pages of sealable containers that meal prep enthusiasts swear by. Be sure to read the reviews first though.

In Closing

I hope to inspire everyone to live to their fullest and happiest potential. I tell people of all ages, —“It’s never too late to be great.” You can rediscover yourself at any time. We all have setbacks in life, but you just have to pick yourself up and start believing that you can begin to live your best life now. Since I learned to control my disease with nutrition, exercise, and proper supplementation, at the age of 41, I have never felt stronger and more alive. Bodybuilding has reshaped my body and improved my quality of life.

I recently met my 16-year-old self again at the age of 40 and even though the journey has had a lot of bumps and bruises, I’m still here, and I’m smiling because I am alive and looking forward to the sunrise of each new day.

Year Round Diet

Meal 1: 150g egg whites, 1/2 cup oatmeal measured dry, 200g any berries, and 1-piece gluten free bread with low sugar jelly. Immediately after training drink 1 scoop protein in water, 30 min later eat 5 Hershey’s kisses

Meal 2: 3oz cod, Mahi Mahi, orange roughy, or tuna, 3/4 cup rice, 1 cup green vegetables, 1 plain rice cake with 1 tbsp natural peanut butter

Meal 3: 3oz tuna, large iceberg lettuce salad w/ veggies, (any dressing ok or 2 servings olive or coconut oil), 25 almonds, 2 caramel rice cakes

Meal 4: 2 whole eggs, 100g avocado, 1 cup vegetables (peppers, onions, mushrooms, etc.), 3 rice cakes

Meal 5: 3oz salmon, 150g any potato, 1 cup green vegetables, 1 rice cake with 1 tbsp natural peanut butter

Supplements:

Glutamine Select & 7-Keto MuscLean during fasted cardio in the morning

Ultra-C, Lean Out, and Quadracarn with breakfast

Lean Out and Density with each meal throughout the day

Creatine Select before my weight training sessions

Contest Season Diet

Meal 1: 2 whole eggs, 75g avocado, 2 plain rice cakes

Meal 2: 4oz salmon, 1 cup vegetables

Meal 3: 2 whole eggs, 100g egg whites, 1 cup vegetables, 15 almonds or any nuts

Meal 4: 200g egg whites, 75g avocado, 1 cup vegetables

Meal 5: 4oz cod or other fish, 1 cup green vegetables

Supplements:

When preparing for a contest I add Muscularity, GH Factor, and Energy Reserve in addition to those outlined in my year round program.

Training

I typically like to do 3 sets (heavy) of each exercise for upper body with a superset of high reps in between. I’m currently working on slimming my legs, so my training consists of higher reps.

I workout with weights six days a week:
Monday: Chest & Calves

Tuesday: Back

Wednesday: Legs (Quads)

Thursday: Arms

Friday: Shoulders

Sunday: Legs (Glutes & Hams)

Here are examples of my Wednesday and Sunday "Leg" workouts.

Wednesday: (Quad Emphasis)Sets Reps
Leg Extension (superset)515
Leg Press520
Lunge (superset)415
Narrow Stance Squats415
Walking Lunge (no superset)410
Sunday: (Glutes & Hamstrings – no supersets)Sets Reps
Walking Lunge530
Jumping Lunge520
Deadlift530
Walking Squat w/band530
Leg Curl520
Jump Squats520

Cardio

I have been known as “cardio queen” because of my love for running. Now after finding bodybuilding, I have learned to love the Stairmaster. Here are my workouts:

Off season:
6 days a week of 25-30 minutes fasted steady state cardio each morning.

Contest time:
40-80 min a day of fasted steady state cardio in the morning and 20 minutes HIIT later in the day.

For steady state cardio, I keep my heart rate in the 125-140 beats per minute range.

On Saturdays, I include ten 30-second sprints. I believe this helps keep my thighs slender.