How to Stay Fit After 40

Fit women over 40… are they really just genetic anomalies who miraculously keep their six pack abs well into their 40’s and 50’s?

Do they spend hours upon hours in the gym sculpting the perfect butt and snacking on celery…. Well, if you have ever wondered how to stay fit after 40, I have some really good news for you. It is absolutely possible. In fact, I am proof. Just before I turned 46 this year, I took part in the fitness photo shoot that ended up on the cover of the newest FITBODY Magazine.

As an online fitness coach and entrepreneur running the full FITBODY brand, I work every day with women. Your time is tight. Most women do not have the luxury of spending hours upon hours a day working out. Food-wise, we want to enjoy our food and to be able to EAT! Personally, I happen to like celery, but l am also partial to the occasional burger and wine.

So how do you do it? How do you stay fit when you are heading into menopause with hormones shifting, skin sagging and energy waining? Whether you are noticing that it is easier to gain weight now or that the same old tricks that helped you drop that last 10 pounds before just don’t work, let me share with you some of my best fitness secrets…

Start the Morning the Right Way

Breaking that fast first thing in the morning might not be in vogue with the latest intermittent fasting gurus, but what I can tell you is that including a healthy breakfast packed with protein has been the recommendation of health experts and doctors for ages. And for good reasons. A healthy morning meal can curb early afternoon hunger helping you avoid that snack attack mid-day.


There is also something deeply profound about starting your morning in a positive direction. When you eat a healthy breakfast you set the rest of your day on track to keep making healthy choices. Additionally, high protein breakfast foods are recommended for women as they enter menopause because of their high protein and iron content. Over the last month, I have started each day with 2 scoops of Beverly International’s PBP (Plant-Based-Protein) with 12 ounces of almond milk and a few ice cubes. Literally the best plant-based protein I have ever tried. I crave it every morning!

Fill Up on Fruits & Veggies

Fit women know that vegetables and fruits are nutritional gems with tons of nutrients and super low calories. And talk about fiber. Veggies in particular are super filling and help stave off hunger allowing you to eat less total calories in your quest to stay fit over 40. I suggest filling your plate half full of veggies for lunch and dinner meals and then including fruits as a snack 2-4 times a day. Fruits, like grapefruit and berries along with leafy green vegetables tend to be excellent choices.

Load Calories Earlier in the Day

While the quality of your food is most important, there are benefits to eating the majority of your calories and carbs early in the day if you want to stay fit over 40. Ideally try to get in about 70% of your daily calories before 4 pm.

Be Your Own Chef

Whether you realize it or not, restaurants load seemingly healthy options with extra oil, sugar and butter that can add up calories quickly. They also have ridiculously large portion sizes that can derail your best efforts to stay fit and healthy. While you don’t want to avoid eating out altogether, be sure that most of your meals are cooked at home in your own kitchen. When you are in control of your food preparation, you make better choices.

Watch Your Calorie Intake

We all know that eating too many calories causes weight gain but did you know that too little calories can be just as damaging to your metabolism. Finding that happy medium where you are taking in enough to fuel your workouts and day, but not so much that you add fat, takes some balance. I recommend women that want to lose body fat start with their resting metabolic rate (the number of calories your body burns at rest) and adding 200-300 to account for daily activity. Be sure you are also exercising at least 30 mins every day. If you are trying to stay fit and more so want to maintain, take your resting metabolic rate and add 500-700 calories. Tracking your calories with an app like My Fitness Pal helps you pay attention to your food and make better choices for the long haul.

Avoid Sugar, Except in Moderation

Sugar is enemy number one for fit women over 40. Sugary coffee drinks, sodas, juices, desserts, energy drinks… no matter where it comes from added sugar spikes your insulin and causes serious cravings. Cut back on sugar to avoid adding bodyfat. Making the jump to water or zero-cal drinks can also lower your risk for disease like diabetes.

Wine Once a Week

While there is some research that moderate alcohol intake can be beneficial for certain groups, the bottom line is that most alcoholic drinks are full of empty calories that lower your inhibitions and make you more susceptible to snacking. Have you ever noticed that your will power to avoid those fancy cheese and crackers seems nonexistent after a few drinks? Women should keep alcohol consumption limited. I recommend having 1-3 drinks once a week if you really want to stay on track.

Fire Up Your Metabolism

Pound for pound, muscle burns more than double the amount of calories fat does while your body is at rest. While you may think of cardio as fat burning, putting on more muscle will actually help you burn more fat while you sleep or sit on the couch. This is key for a speedy metabolism because even the most active woman likely spends more time sitting and sleeping than moving.

Build Muscle

Over 40, there’s a pretty simple rule when it comes to your muscles: you have to use them or you’ll lose them. While nutrition is a very important part of the picture, in order to maintain, let alone build muscle mass, you need to be lifting weights. Your muscles are constantly going through a state of being broken down and rebuilt. That’s part of life. Your muscles grow when the amount of protein synthesized within them eclipses the amount that is broken down.

People naturally lose muscle after 40, especially women after menopause. Because muscle burns more calories than fat, this can slow down your metabolism and make it harder to shake those stubborn pounds. Strength-training exercises like lifting weights can help you keep those muscles. I recommend that you train with weights at least three days per week, and preferably five.

Have Your Thyroid Checked

If you’re eating healthy and exercise regularly and are still finding you can’t lose weight, your thyroid may not be working as it should. This happens in a small percentage of people, and it’s most common over 40. In addition to weight gain, it can also cause fatigue, joint or muscle pain, and depression. There are medications that can help, so check with your doctor if you think that might be an issue.

Include the RIGHT Supplements

For the last 20 years I have diligently included Beverly International supplements in my own overall health plan and recommended them to thousands of women for two reasons. One, because Beverly literally has the highest quality supplements on earth and two, because they simply work. I have seen consistent, solid results from their time tested, no nonsense formulas. There is a reason that Beverly has been around so long when many supplement companies have come and gone over the last few decades.

You can count on Beverly to deliver for you again and again. Truly, finding Beverly changed my life all those years ago and I count on them to support me and my clients for the next 20 years as well!


A must-have for women and offers a unique formula that works in two ways to create a metabolic environment optimal for getting lean. First, it helps your body transport fat released from adipose tissue to other tissues like your liver and muscles where it can be burned as fuel. Second, it helps your metabolism handle carbohydrates more effciently. Personally I find I have significantly less cravings for sweets when I take Lean Out regularly.


GH Factor supports healthy growth hormone (GH) secretion, naturally, with a clinically based blend of arginine and lysine. This combination of amino acids has been shown to raise GH levels by up to 8-fold. Your body secretes GH in pulses throughout the day, with the biggest pulse typically occurring in the early stages of nighttime sleep. With increasing age, the secretion of GH tends to decline. I like to keep a bottle in my bathroom so I can take it first thing in the morning and again right before bed as it works best on an empty stomach.


I HIGHLY recommend women over 40 incorporate Quadracarn, especially if they are experiencing some of the very common issues women have like decreased libido, decreased energy and mood. Most women notice improvements in energy, mood, cognitive performance, sexual health, testosterone (yes, we actually need that too), vascularity, pumps, muscle hardness, stamina, and recovery.


Glutamine Select supports the fastest possible improvements in the appearance and performance of your physique by tackling a little known but pervasive condition known as "anabolic fatigue". Use before, during, and/or after training. You can also take Glutamine Select between meals to sustain blood sugar levels while dieting. I notice a huge difference in post workout soreness and how quickly I recover when I include Glutamine Select.


This delicious 5-star protein powder will simplify your diet while helping you build and preserve lean, strong muscle as you loose fat, which is critical for women heading toward menopause. Lean, sexy muscle is key to boosting your metabolism and that is where UMP really shines. Did I mention how amazing it tastes? Seriously the best tasting protein powder I have ever tried. AND you can cook with it! Check out some of my favorite recipes (

Get Support & Accountability

Having a trusted coach who cares about you and your goals can impact your ability to stay on track. With my online training program, I work exclusively with women world- wide that want to look and feel their very best. Many of the women that I work with are busy and in need of a straight forward plan to help them focus specifically on their goals. I take the guess work out of both training and nutrition while providing structure, guidance, and accountability. If you need an online fitness coach to not just line out your nutrition and workout plans but also to be there throughout the whole process, I would love to see if we might be a match. Check out for more details.

Judy Weichman: Negative Conditions Handled By Positive Attitude

At a Glance: Judy Weichman

Age: 47

Occupation: IFBB Figure Pro Competitor, Ace Certified Personal Trainer, Figure and Bikini Coach

Family: 3 boys (Austin 18, Kolton 16, Brandon 14)

Residence: Bloomington, IL

Height: 5’7”

Off-Season Weight: 150-155

Competition Weight: 133

Favorite Fitness Meal: Turkey muffins, white rice and Brussels sprouts

Favorite supplements: UMP (chocolate), Muscle Provider (vanilla), Lean Out, Muscularity, GH Factor, EFA Gold

What would you recommend to someone who has never used Beverly supplements before: UMP or Muscle Provider and Lean Out

Music: Christian Music

Most Inspiring Book: The Bible

Hobby or interests outside bodybuilding: Cooking, going to my boys' games or activities, and bicycling

Words to live by: Follow your dreams and your heart.

Presentation Tips: In preparation for a contest, I suggest starting sixteen weeks out and coming down slowly. Also, a proper tan is crucially important at a contest. I see so many competitors work so hard then they get tanned right before the show and their color either is too light, too dark or just occasionally perfect. You want to have a great tan for stage. Not only do you need a great physique and a great posing routine but your hair/ makeup/tan/suit all needs to flow together nicely.

A great example of someone living as a champion is recent figure pro, Judy Weichman. Raised in Pontiac, Illinois, she was naturally competitive, competing in track, softball, and volleyball. She did particularly well in track, competing as a sprinter, high jumper, long jumper and earned a scholarship with Illinois State University for high jumping.

The summer before college, Judy was rear-ended in a car accident, which caused a spinal injury. This left her with five years of physical therapy, making her unable to use her track scholarship. She went to a junior college but lost her ability to quench her competitive nature.

Life gives us many challenges to face. Judy's oldest son, Austin, had bacterial meningitis as a baby, which led to seizures. This included a 15-minute seizure in which he was announced as being brain dead. Austin fell into a medically induced coma but woke up a few days later asking for his mother. The doctors were amazed at this miracle.

Judy's second son Kolton was born healthy, but her third son (Brandon) was born seven weeks early and had suffered from a stroke prior to her giving birth. This was discovered when he was a year old since he was not using the right side of his body.

Nine years ago, Judy started to notice some weird symptoms like numb arms and feet and lightheadedness. She saw four different neurologists with differing opinions. It seems like she was in the early stage of multiple sclerosis. They found a lesion on her brain and on her spine and suspected that the stress of overall family health problems may have added to a genetic tendency to MS.

The head neurologist from the Mayo Clinic recommended she start weight training, cardio work and following their clean eating recommendations, rather than relying on pills. “Judy, eat clean and work out,” he said. “That is the best chance you are going to have for it not to get worse.”

Judy's doctor appointment was on a Friday, she joined Gold's Gym the next Monday, and bought a book describing the clean diet recommendations. “I ended up discovering that I loved to lift weights, as I had never lifted weights before.”

The book recommended foods to avoid body inflammation. Prior to the diagnosis, Judy was naturally skinny and ate sweets and anything she wanted. She had the nickname “Junkfood Judy.” Her doctor told her that nutrition had a serious effect on most diseases, particularly diabetes, heart issues and MS.

“I literally did a one-eighty,” Judy says. “I went from junk food to preparing all my meals right out of the suggestions of that book. This included clean healthy food, nothing packaged, just home cooked healthy meals.”

Her diet was based on the clean diet requirements to reduce inflammation in order to control her MS symptoms.

For this, she avoids wheat products and simple sugars, and eats in a gluten-free  manner. Her carbs are geared more towards sweet potatoes, brown rice and quinoa. Her protein sources are chicken, fish, and Beverly protein shakes. Her fats include natural almond and peanut butters, avocados, and she cooks with coconut oil.

“If you are a competitor or just someone wanting to be as healthy as possible, the key is clean eating,” Judy says. “I can’t stress that enough. Whether you have a specific disease or not, the most important thing you can do for yourself is to eat lean clean foods and supplement your body with Beverly International supplements. You can also make so many great recipes with their protein powders.”

A guy at her gym told Judy that she had a great figure and should compete. “I was so shy I couldn't imagine getting up on stage,” she says. “And then I realized that I didn't have to talk, and I'm a competitive person, so I decided to give it a try.”

Figure Pro, Chaundra Tangi moved to Bloomington from Colorado at this time. Chaundra had lost focus on competing, but was inspired by Judy. They both worked together and Chaundra helped her particularly with her posing and stage presence.

“My goal was to get up on stage and not fall down in the heels I was not used to wearing, but I ended up winning my first show in Rockford, Illinois. I did another show two months later in Chicago and also won. Since then, I have been doing two to three shows a year.”

This includes competing at the national level, in which she won the figure overall at both the 2014 NPC Continental USA Championships and the 2016 NPC Masters Nationals (and her pro card).

Her diet was so on track that at a recent show she was able to eat the same food plan she was on for twelve-weeks up to the show, no adjustments were necessary. She didn't need to do anything to fill out or adjust her hydration. “As we women get older,” Judy says, “our hormones and metabolism sometimes get off track. I have been lucky so far not to have that as a concern.”

Every year, Judy has an MRI in which they look to see if her lesions have changed. Fortunately, hers have not gotten worse. “What has changed, and what shocked my physician, is that he saw the changes to my body a year after my first show.” Her doctor was shocked by the changes to her physique and encouraged her to continue in that direction.

What makes Judy special? It’s not just winning a pro card as Judy did, but it was how she handled the challenges of real life. It wasn’t using her burdens to accept less from the world, it was how she put forth the effort to make her life as good as possible. Judy Weichman is a great example of what it means to be a true champion!


My nutrition plan consists of high protein, moderate carbs, and healthy fats. I drink at least one gallon of water each day. Here’s a sample of my pre-contest meal plan:

Meal 1: 5 egg whites, 1/3 cup oatmeal, 1/3 cup blueberries

Meal 2 (pre-workout): 4oz salmon or lean red meat, 2oz white potato, 3/4 cup green beans or Brussels sprouts

Meal 3 (post-workout): 1 scoop Muscle Provider, 4 strawberries

Meal 4: 5oz chicken, 2oz white potato, 2 cups spinach salad, 1oz nuts

Meal 5: 5oz chicken, 3/4 cup cabbage

Meal 6: 4oz chicken or white fish, 3/4 cup of green beans, spinach or Brussels sprouts

Meal 7: 5 egg whites, 1/2 cup spinach

Favorite Snacks

UMP Protein Cookies (see recipe, pg 23) and Homemade No-Bake Protein Bars (recipe below):
• 8 scoops Chocolate Muscle Provider or Vanilla Muscle Provider (add cinnamon)
• 4 cups quick oats
• 1 cup peanut butter
• 1 1/2 cups unsweetened applesauce

Mix together and put in a 9x13 pan sprayed with Pam. Refrigerate and cut into bars 🙂


7-Keto MuscLean – 3 capsules with meals 1 and 4
Lean Out – 2 capsules with meals 2, 4, and 6

Muscularity – 3 capsules with meals 2, 4, and 6
EFA Gold – 2 capsules with meals 2 and 4



Monday: LegsAmount
Leg Extensions 4x8-10
Squats 4x10-12
Single Leg Press 4x8-10
Leg Press 3x6-8
Hip Thrust 4x10-12
Plie Dumbbell Squats 5x10-12
Side Lunges 3x10-12
Side Cable Kick Outs 4x10-12
Walking Lunges Stepping Out To Side4x10-12
Leg Curls 5x6-8
Barbell Deadlifts 3x8-10
Hip Adductor Machine 5x10-12
Overhead Squat 3x10-12
Tuesday: Back & BicepsAmount
Lat Pulldowns 3x10-12
Barbell Rows 4x10-12
T-Bar Rows 3x10-12
Cable Rows Or Db Rows 3x10-12
Close Grip Rows 3x10-12
Wide Rows 3x10-12
Dumbbell Hammer Curls 4x10-12
Cable Curls 4x10-12
Close-grip Barbell Curls 4x10-12

No Weights — Plyo Workout

Single-Leg Glute Bridge                                   (this series is 5 Sets with 45 seconds rest in between)
Leg Lifts
Single-Leg Romanian Deadlifts (this series is 5 Sets with 1 min. rest in between)
Flutter Kicks
Wall Sits with Ball
Side Leg Raise
Leg Crossovers (this series is 5 Sets with 1 minute rest in between)
Step Ups with High Knee
Glute Kickbacks
Shoulders & Triceps

Barbell Shoulder Press 3x10-12
Machine Lateral Raise 3x10-12
Cable Lateral Raise (Front) 3x10-12
Cable Lateral Raise (Rear) 3x10-12
Upright Row 3x10-12
EZ Curl Bar Front Raise 3x10-12
Rear Delt Rope Pulls 6x10-12
Rear Pec Deck 6x10-12
Straight Bar Pressdown 4x10-12
Skull Crushers 4x10-12
One-Arm Cable Pressdown 4x10-12
Friday: LegsAmount
Leg Extensions 4x10-12
Front Squats 3x10-12
Walking Lunges2x25 Steps
Hack Squats 4x6-8
Single Leg Press 3x10-12
Lying Leg Curl 5x10-12
Cable Pull Through 4x10-12
Cable Kickbacks 4x10-12
Bulgarian Split Squats 5x6-8
Goblet Squat 4x10-12
Straight-Leg Deadlifts 5x10-12
Side Band Walking 15ft each way
Leg Curls Half Reps 5x6-8
Hip Abductor Machine 5x6-8
Saturday: Back & ChestAmount
Pullovers 4x10-12
Lat Pulldowns 4x10-12
Pull-ups 4x8-12
Dumbbell Rows 3x10-12
Cable Rows 4x10-12
Flat Bench 3x6-8
Incline Bench3x8-10
Dumbbell Flye 3x10-12
Sunday: Shoulders & TricepsAmount
Dumbbell Shoulder Press3x6-8
Behind-the-Neck Barbell Press 3x6-8
One-Arm Lateral Raise 3x6
Front Plate Raise 3x6-8
Dumbbell Front Raise 3x10-12
Straight Bar Pressdown 4x10-12
Skull Crushers 4x10-12
One-Arm Cable Pressdown 4x10-12

Cardio Schedule

Off-Season: 3-4 times a week, 20-30 minutes. I like to change things up with Stairmaster, stepper, bike, elliptical, and treadmill.

Contest Prep: (Cardio time depends on how many weeks I am out from a show) For example: 45 minutes fasted cardio first thing in the morning, 6 days a week and 20 minutes HIIT cardio after weight training. I usually do Stairmaster and stepper.

It’s Never too Late to Feel Great

At a Glance: Linda Stephens

Age: 50

Occupation or Education: Masters Degree in Clinical Nutrition, NASM Certified Personal Trainer, IFBB Pro Athlete, Writer, Nutrition Coach and a Full-time Mom

Family: 16 year old son and a 13 year old daughter

Current Residence: Darien, CT

Years training: 10 years

Height: 5’7

Weight: 155lbs (Off-Season), 140lbs (Contest)

Favorite Fitness Meal: Grilled grass-fed steak, spinach and sweet potato (off-season make that sweet potatofries). My favorite post workout meal is my shaker cup filled with strawberry UMP, cinnamon, powdered peanut butter (off-season only) and water. Shake and bottoms up!!!

Favorite supplements: Strawberry UMP Pre/Post workout, mixing Graham Cracker UMP in with my eggs, and I LOVE chocolate UMP pudding at night before bed. Lean Out / 7-Keto stack to burn fat and aid in getting lean during prep, ZMA 2000 to help with recovery and rest at night, Density to make sure I get a full complement of amino acids. I use Glutamine Select BCAA’s to aid in intra-workout performance.

What would you recommend to someone who has never used Beverly supplements before? I always put my clients on UMP right off the bat. It’s easy to digest and refuel post workout. Tastes amazing mixed with just water. It’s also a great way to fuel up in between meals when hunger strikes. It can also be made into an amazing pudding when that sweet tooth rears its ugly head. Chocolate UMP protein pudding before bed is AMAZING.

Music: I love doing cardio to 80’s and 90’s music.

Most Inspiring Book: Women and Self Esteem. It’s so important to fill yourself up. So often we look for others to validate ourselves. IT MUST come from within or every relationship you have will suffer.

Hobby or interests outside bodybuilding: I’m a HUGE basketball & Boston Celtics fan. I enjoy a good basketball game especially when it’s my daughter’s team playing.

Words to live by: Be a VICTOR not a VICTIM – Joel Osteen



My parents raised me to be active. I played basketball and figured skated as a kid and in my teens and early twenties I taught aerobic classes. It wasn’t until my mid 20’s that I ventured into the weight room. From the first time I picked up a pair of dumbbells I was hooked. Building beautiful, feminine muscle became my new focus. It’s pretty simple, cardio and weight training are the keys to developing a shapely healthy body while reversing the effects of aging.

I lifted weights throughout both my pregnancies and couldn’t wait to get back to the gym. My body bounced back within days after giving birth. In 2010, I decided to compete in an NPC show and took my workouts to the next level. I had no idea what class I’d compete in, but I knew that taking the stage was my next goal. I’ve been competing ever since, doing 3-5 a shows a year. I spent 4 years as an amateur NPC figure competitor until turning IFBB Pro in 2014. It’s been fun and challenging but so worth it. I’ve built so many solid relationships competing and some of my best friends are the women I’ve competed against.

Before I became a nutritionist/personal trainer, I worked on Wall Street on the institutional equity trading desk. I covered major institutions’ listed equity transactions. I loved that life. It was fast-paced and exciting to have your finger on the pulse of U.S. economy. Once I became a mom, I knew that life wouldn’t work for me anymore. I wanted to be there for my kids and be the best mom possible. Working 12-hour days would not allow me to do that. I retired from the investment world, but my gym time never lapsed. One day a friend said, “You should get certified as a trainer and make money at what you love to do.” Before I knew it I was sitting for my CPT with the National Academy of Sports Medicine. I didn’t stop there, as I wanted to have something in my arsenal that would put me a cut above the rest. My passion about living and eating healthy sparked my interest in nutrition. I researched local colleges and universities that offered programs and degrees in nutrition. I sought real knowledge backed by credentials and embarked on my graduate degree in nutrition at the age of 43. I was both nervous and excited. There were classes required that I hadn’t had since high school such as biology and chemistry. It was very challenging for me with two small kids plus being in contest prep several times during my 3 years in grad school. I thought about quitting many times because it was so hard and challenging. I shed many tears throughout those years as I pushed myself to achieve that degree. I’m happy to say I graduated magna cum laude with a master’s degree in clinical nutrition at the age of 46. It was also the same year that I turned IFBB Pro in Figure. Blood, sweat and tears, but I did it.

I reached a new milestone in my life on my last birthday (age 50) in March, 2018. But, I'm not done yet. I'm working toward a new goal - to the hit the IFBB stage in my first Women's Physique competition. I’m a firm believer that it’s “never too late to feel great”. I hear many clients tell me that they can’t do it because of age. Well, I’m here to prove that age IS JUST A NUMBER. I’m here to lead by example. I’m here to inspire women of all ages but especially my demographic that you can do whatever you want at any given time. Never ever put limits on yourself.


Before earning my degree in nutrition, I had worked with 3 different coaches for my contest prep. I learned what not to do and I also learned what worked for my body. After attaining my degree, I understood carb cycling, keto diets and other ways to lean out and be healthy. I grasped the science behind it and what our bodies do with the foods that we consume. The tilapia and asparagus diet was one of the worst that I’ve ever done. After reading about certain fish and how they affect our bodies I knew what not to eat and how to make better choices. I teach my clients that eating healthy doesn’t have to be boring or flavorless. I give them the meals I’ve created on my own. It’s not always a culinary experience but it is tasteful and healthy.

Here’s a look at how I eat both off and in season. My in season meal plan is much tighter with portions and timing but for the most part I just eat more of my prep diet when I’m not in contest mode. I’m also doing about an hour of cardio a day during contest prep. I will also include cheat meals once or twice a week during offseason. I think there may even be a bit more guacamole too.

The key to any successful meal plan is preparation. You must cook in bulk and package up your food. It won’t work if you wait until you’re hungry to start cooking or decide what you even want. There are also excellent food prep companies that will ship the food to you for ease. It’s not that expensive but it will ensure that you’re eating within the macros for your body goals.



Ultimate Muscle Protein (UMP): I recommend this product to all my training and nutrition clients. I tell them if they don’t like it I’ll buy it back. I’ve yet to have anyone take me up on that offer. It’s taste is the best, mixes the best and never causes any bloating or gas. No one is more lactose intolerant than me and I’ve never had a GI issue with UMP. I put it in my eggs, oatmeal & make blended shakes with it. It keeps me fueled pre and post workout or when I don’t have time to eat I’ll drink a shake. It’s easy and tastes amazing.

Density: I use Density to ensure that I’m getting the full complement of amino acids daily. I take 2 tablets three times throughout the day. I have all my vegetarian clients incorporate it into their daily regimen to cover their daily dose of amino acids. Definitely helps with building muscle and aids in recovery time.

ZMA 2000: Not only does ZMA increase your ability to have a more restful night’s sleep it also naturally helps raise testosterone levels. Important for building muscle and having productive workouts. Zinc is an antioxidant, which aids in cell regeneration while resting and keeps the immune system strong. All my clients male and female utilize this little gem.

7-Keto MuscLean: This favorite of mine gives you a nice little spring in your step without giving you the jitters. It does have caffeine in it so it instantly gives you a boost to your energy and mood. I like to take 2 before fasted morning cardio and another 2 before my early afternoon workout to ensure I have maximum energy for my lifts.

Joint Care: It helps prevent joint issues by improving lubrication, elasticity and recovery. With the right balance of Glucosamine, Chondroitin and MSM it will also help relieve pain and inflammation in your joints. MSM is key in aiding proper absorption. Everyone can benefit from this product.

Meal Plan


Meal 1: 1/2 cup of egg whites plus one whole egg mixed with graham cracker UMP, 1-2 slices of Ezekiel toast with 1 tbsp. of natural almond butter, 1/2 cup of berries

Meal 2 (usually preworkout): 1.5 scoops of strawberry UMP mixed with a 1/3 cup oats, 1 tbsp. powdered peanut butter, cinnamon shaken with water, 1 toasted whole grain waffle

Meal 3 (usually post workout): 3/4 cup of 1% cottage cheese no salt added, 1/2 medium apple, toasted cinnamon raisin Ezekiel English muffin with coconut oil drizzled on it. (No cottage cheese during contest prep. I use 3oz of chicken for my protein here)

Meal 4: 1.5 scoops of Chocolate UMP with 8oz of water, instant coffee, pb2 and ice in the blender for a thick milkshake, 1/2 medium apple.

Meal 5: 4oz grass fed beef or wild caught salmon, green veggie, and either brown rice or sweet potato.

Meal 6: (if needed) Chocolate or Graham Cracker UMP pudding an hour or so before bed. I add in decaf instant coffee and some PB2.


Sunday: Rest


Monday: Quads/GlutesAmount
Leg Extensions:4x12 (medium/heavy weight)
Smith Machine Squats:(close feet) 5x12 getting my glutes low
Walking DB Lunges:12 on each leg for 3-4 sets holding 35lb DB’s
Hip Thrusts:I alternate between barbell and Smith machine. I go as heavy as I can 6x12-15.
Add a resistance band above the knees.
Other movements I love: Hack Squat, Sissy Squats, Leg Press, Split Squats, and Front Squats
Tuesday: Back & Biceps
(superset when I need to work faster)

Lat Pull Downs:4x12, I use a Maxagrip (, I love the hand
positioning of it. I also use the wide grip bar and pull behind
the head for 2-3 sets.
Seated Row:4x12 also with the Maxagrip bar
Bentover Barbell Rows:4x12
Assisted Pull Up Machine:4x12 – alternate between wide and neutral grip
Back Extensions:4x12 holding a 25lb plate
DB Bicep Curls:4x12-15
EZ Bar Wide Grip Bicep Curls:4x12-15
ROPE Bicep Curls using the low pulley:4x12-15
Wednesday: Shoulders & TricepsAmount
Seated Side Lateral Raises:4x12, last set is a drop to failure
Smith Machine behind the head Press:4x12, last set is a drop
Rear Delt Machine:4x12, last two sets are drop sets
Seated Press Machine:4x12 (one arm at a time)
Low Pulley Rope Front Raises4x12
Triceps Rope Pull Downs:4x12
Seated DB Overhead Triceps Press:4x12
Thursday: Hamstrings & GlutesAmount
RDL’s: Lift from the floor:6x10-12
BB Hip Thrusts with a resistance band: 4x12
Lying Leg Curl: 4x12, last set is a drop set
Seated Leg Curl:4x12
Good Mornings: 4x12
Rope Pull Throughs: 4x12
Friday: Chest, Biceps, AbsAmount
Hammer Incline Chest Press:
Incline DB Fly:4x12
Pec Dec Machine: 4x12
Push Ups:4x12
DB Bicep Curls: 4x12
Hanging Knee Ups: 4x15-20
Incline Sit Ups:(slow on the way down)
Smith Machine Hip Thrusts:
Lat Pull Downs4x12
DB Pullovers: 4x12
Resistance Bands Squat Jumps: 4x12 jumps
Side Lateral Raises: 4x12


I love fasted cardio. I rise at 5:30am and do about 20-30 minutes steady state in my off-season 5-6 times a week. I own an Elliptical so I literally roll out of bed and into my cardio. When I’m in-season I do much more cardio. But, I still do fasted early cardio for about 30-40 minutes. I warm up for 5 minutes and then I perform HIIT sprints. I sprint fast for one minute and recover for 2-3 minutes then repeat for the remainder. Usually at some point in the afternoon I’ll do round two of cardio usually steady state for another 15-20 minutes. Afternoon cardio is my least favorite of contest prep but it’s necessary to get that lean shredded look.



When I come off of a season I usually take a break from posing. But, I always practice certain poses during my rest intervals when training. It’s fun to pop a front pose after smashing some delts. I’ve been doing figure for the last 7 years but this season I’m crossing over to physique. So, I’ve been learning the poses with my coach, IFBB Pro Jamie Pinder. I also have to put a routine together. It’s a whole new ball game this season. I was resistant to change but I’ve finally got my head around it and I’m excited.

In Closing

My fitness journey continues to be exciting and spiritual. I’ve met so many wonderful people along the way. Some live close and some live far. But, no matter the distance the support is always there. It’s spiritual because whether you compete or not there’s always something to learn about yourself as you pursue your goals. You should never stop evolving. The fitness community is one where people are constantly striving to be better versions of themselves. They will support you unconditionally and pick you up when you falter. My tag line for my business is: “It’s NEVER TOO LATE to feel GREAT”.

Helping others train and eat properly is my passion. It’s worth its weight in gold when a client thanks me for helping them change their body. Don’t put off your personal fitness journey any longer.

Feel free to contact me should you have any questions at
Or on Instagram: lindastephensifbbpro

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.

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

My Natural Pro Figure

At a Glance: Wendy Doran, NGA Pro Figure Champion

Age: 50

Occupation: Preschool Teacher

Family: Mother of two wonderful children - Ashley (13) and Tyler (10)

Current Residence: Cincinnati, Ohio

Years training (total): 5 years

Height: 5’8”; Weight: 160 (off-season), 140 (contest)

Favorite Bodybuilding Meal: My Chewy UMP Granola Bars! Too delicious to resist!

Favorite Beverly Supplements: UMP is by far my favorite supplement! It’s very versatile! I use vanilla UMP in just about everything that I bake! It’s an easy on-the-go first meal of the day and a “must have” post- workout meal! Lean Out and Muscularity are also essential supplements during competition prep. Lean Out helps me with my conditioning and Muscularity aids in lean muscle mass maintenance.

What would you recommend to someone who has never used Beverly supplements before? Beverly International has a Supplement Profiling Chart that is a great reference. I recommend it for specific individualized goals. (You can find it on the home page at

Music: I like to listen to hard rock music, especially Rob Zombie and Marilyn Manson. It’s music that motivates me to lift heavy!

Hobby or interests outside bodybuilding: I enjoy spending time with my children; making posing suits for competitors; cooking healthy food; and landscaping my yard.

Words to live by: “It’s not how hard you hit. It’s how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.” (Sylvester Stallone, Rocky Balboa)

At the age of 44 I was rapidly gaining weight and didn’t know why. I went to the doctor for answers and was shocked to find out that I was going through menopause! I knew that I had to do something fast to get my weight back under control and live a healthier lifestyle.

So, I joined Beechmont Fitness Club and did cardio for an hour a day, three times a week for an entire year. My weight decreased and my confidence increased, but I still wasn’t content with my overall appearance. I needed more shape. To do this I needed to add muscle! That, however, required lifting weights and I had no idea what to do. I asked a friend at the gym, Tom, for advice.

Tom advised me to cut back on cardio, start lifting heavier weights, and start using Beverly International supplements. I did some research and found Tom’s advice for gaining muscle was right on the money. For inspiration, Tom also suggested that I attend a bodybuilding show.

When I saw the Figure competitors step on stage for the first time at the NPC Northern Kentucky show, I was amazed! I wanted to learn what they did to be able to get in that kind of shape! They had a lot of muscle, very little fat, and looked stunning! I later found out that it required as much mental as physical strength to attain their physique.

I think the “conceive, believe, achieve” mindset is essential for anything that you want to accomplish in life, including a competitive physique. You need to dream, visualize yourself in that dream, and strive to make it reality. There are times you might be the only one who believes in yourself with an image of how you want to look. If you can sustain that mindset, you can achieve your goals and grow stronger through the process.

Because of bodybuilding, I am mentally the strongest I have ever been in my life! I went on to become a Pro Figure competitor in the NGA, WNBF, ANBF and nationally qualified in the NPC. I own and operate Cutting Edge Posing Suits, LLC where we design custom made posing suits, write meal plans, and give posing classes. I also teach preschool and created the “Fit for Life” program at the Goddard School in Anderson Township, Ohio. My program introduces children to a healthy lifestyle with fitness and good nutritional decisions. Most of my achievements are due to the mindset that I learned through bodybuilding, which has been an ongoing journey that originated from a desire to lose weight and be healthy.

Here’s a look at how I achieved the following contest accomplishments:

2014:  NGA Kentucky Natural Classic – 1st Open Figure, 1st Masters Figure, Overall Winner;

2015: NGA Kentucky Bluegrass Bodybuilding Championships – 1st Pro Figure;

2016: NGA Kentucky Natural Classic – 1st Pro Figure; NGA Pro/Am Western Kentucky Natural – 1st Pro Figure, Overall Pro Figure; NGA Bluegrass Bodybuilding Championships – 1st Pro Figure, 1st Pro Masters

Nutrition & Supplements


Daily Meal Plan - In the off-season I eat many small “meals” throughout the day. Here is a typical meal plan I use between competitions to build muscle while keeping my bodyfat relatively low:

Meal 1 (7:00 am): 1 scoop of vanilla UMP, 12oz almond milk, blended with ice (tastes like a milkshake!)

Meal 2 (8:30 am): 2 brown rice cakes, 2 tbsp almond butter, and a small banana

Meal 3 (10:30 am): 1/4cup of nuts

Meal 4 (11:30 am): Salad with chicken, shredded cheese, and low fat dressing

Meal 5 (1:30 pm): Beef jerky

Meal 6 (3:30 pm): My Chewy UMP Granola Bars (see recipe below)

Meal 7 (5:30 pm): Burrito bowl made with venison, beans, shredded cheese, and plain Greek yogurt

Meal 8 (6:30 pm): Protein bar (during workout)

Meal 9 (8:30 pm): 1 scoop vanilla UMP, 12oz almond milk, blended with ice (it’s an essential post-workout meal)

Meal 10 (10:00 pm): Steak with broccoli

Water Intake: I drink about 1 1/2 gallons of water each day, because of my active lifestyle.

Meal prep tips:

Kai Greene (IFBB professional bodybuilder) said, “Plan and preparation prevents poor performance.” When I prep for the week, I like to cook multiple things at one time. I get more accomplished that way and it’s a lot easier. I’ll have something cooking in the oven, on the stove top, in the crock pot, and mixing in a bowl. Then, I stock my freezer and I’m set for the week! I make it fun by blasting music!

Wendy’s Chewy UMP Granola Bars


  • 2 1/2 cup oats
  • 4 scoops Vanilla UMP
  • 1 cup sweetened coconut
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup blueberry Craisins


  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  • Preheat oven to 325°
  • Line 9 x 9 pan with parchment paper and spray with olive oil
  • Mix dry ingredients in a bowl
  • Stir in wet ingredients


  • Press down firmly in the pan (use a glass cup to roll firmly)
  • Bake for approximately 40 mins
  • Make sure to let cool in pan
  • Cut into bars, serve, and enjoy!

Supplement Schedule

Ultimate Muscle Protein - 1 scoop at meal 1 and 9 and also the main ingredient of my Chewy Granola Bars (meal 6). (Daily total: 3 scoops to maintain and build muscle, reduce body fat, and satisfy a sweet tooth.)

Lean Out - 1 capsule with meals 1 through 9. (Daily total: 9 capsules to reduce body fat.)

Muscularity - 3 capsules with meals 1, 4, and 7. (Daily total: 9 capsules to maintain muscle mass, during my strict dieting as the contest approaches.)

Density - 3 tablets with meals 1, 4, and 7. (Daily total: 9 tablets to improve gains and acquire that rock, hard, solid muscle look.)

Glutamine Select - 2 scoops with water after every workout for muscle recovery and growth, and/or for a tasty treat when cutting calories.

Fit Tabs - 2 tablets with meals 1 and 7. (Daily total: 4 tablets to ensure that I am getting the necessary vitamins and minerals that my body requires to perform at its best.)

Joint Care - 3 capsules with meal 5 as a precautionary measure to maintain healthy joints.

Weight Training


Monday LegsAmount
Leg Extensions5x10
Leg Press Machine5x10
Tuesday ChestAmount
Bench Press5x10
Pec Deck5x10
Dumbbell Flyes5x10
Cable Cross-Over5x10
Wednesday Back Amount
Seated Rows5x10
Lat Pulldowns5x10
Reverse Pec Deck5x10
Thursday Arms & Shoulders Amount
Dumbbell Curls5x10
Dumbbell Hammers5x10
Cable V-Bar Pushdowns5x10
Rope Pressdowns5x10
Dumbbell Raises(Forward) 5x10
Dumbbell Raises(Side) 5x10
Friday Legs (second time in the week
with lighter weights, higher reps)

Calf Raises5x12
Seated Leg Press5x12
Leg Extensions5x12
Glute Kickbacks5x12
Saturday CardioAmount
Yardwork “grass cutting cardio”for 2.5 to 3 hours

Sunday Rest

Abs (every other day)Amount
Hanging Leg Raises(to failure)
Incline bench sit-ups(to failure)
Ab wheel(to failure)

Cardio Schedule


I am a preschool teacher and move around all day. Because of that, I don’t need to do cardio until I’m 30 days out from a competition. I found that I tend to eat more when I do too much cardio, which defeats the purpose. I use the elliptical 3 times a week for 20 minutes each time on a moderate tension, steep incline setting. I rely more on yardwork as a means for conditioning. I live on one acre of land and cut my grass with a push mower. It’s a great workout that provides results, while also being productive.


Presentation Tips

When you first decide to compete, I believe you should seek out a posing instructor to help you understand the basic comparison poses. Then, do your research! Watch YouTube videos. Check out contest photos and online images of the top competitors in your category. Then, analyze everything they do. Try to emulate their positions/poses in front of the mirror and make minute changes to see what works best for your physique. Keep practicing and adjusting as your physique changes throughout prep. Also, make sure someone critiques you throughout the process. A second opinion is very important, especially when you don’t have the use of a mirror as an aid. Last, but not least, don’t forget to exude confidence on stage! It makes a huge difference in your overall appearance!

In Conclusion

Bodybuilding is a very difficult yet gratifying lifestyle. It will take you through a journey that will test your limitations, both physically and mentally. You must to be able to set yourself apart from others, especially in the way you think. Then, with a strong mindset, you can achieve your dreams not only in bodybuilding but in life!

Being My Own Competition

At a Glance: Danielle Smith

Age: 51

Occupation: Stay at home mom

Family: Married 20 incredible years to my amazing husband Lee, mom to 2 fantastic kids Sam (17) and Lily (14)

Current Residence: Pickerington, OH

Years in Training: Weight lifting for 30 years, competing for 6 years

Height: 5’7”

Weight: 140-145lbs (off- season), 130-135 lbs (stage)

Favorite Bodybuilding Meal: Without a doubt it has always been UMP chocolate pudding mixed with 1 tbsp almond butter and fresh strawberries.

Favorite Beverly Supplements: UMP is my all-time favorite off-season and in-season supplement. I love ALL of the flavors and it is so incredibly versatile. I use it in everything from pancakes for the family to protein bars and shakes.

What would you recommend to someone who has never used Beverly Supplements before? First step, call Beverly’s incredibly knowledgeable Advisor Team at (800) 781-3475 and speak to their highly educated specialists. They are beyond friendly and helpful with never any pressure to buy. They will walk you through a program that suits your needs. Also, I tend to share samples of UMP with friends to try and it’s always a winner!!!

Music: I’m constantly listening to the Foo Fighters. My all-time fav!

Hobby or interests outside of bodybuilding: Family time, traveling, new adventures and riding and showing my horse.

Words to live by: “Try everything that can be done. Be deliberate. Be spontaneous. Be thoughtful and painstaking. Be abandoned and impulsive. Learn your own possibilities.” -George Bellows

It has been 5 years since my first article in Beverly’s No Nonsense magazine. At the time I had just won 1st place in the 2013 Arnold Amateur Tall division and 3rd place Masters overall. I was on cloud nine. After about a month I knew I needed a new goal. What was going to be my next step? I wanted to see how far I could push myself so I set my sites on trying to achieve my IFBB Pro Card by competing that year in the NPC Masters Championships in Pittsburgh.

That competition really opened my eyes to the incredibly conditioned top-level physiques who were vying with me for a pro card. I don’t think there was any way that I could have adequately prepared myself for seeing so many amazing competitors in every division. I competed in the 45 and over Masters Figure Tall class and was more than happy to place 6th. Once the competition was over, I knew I still had a good amount of work to put in. Specifically, I needed to increase my muscular development, as well as create a more symmetrically balanced physique. This would take time and formulating a smart plan would be essential. I gave myself 18 months off from competing to adequately put in the work and hopefully see the results I knew I needed to achieve. This could not be done without some serious outside expertise. I was lucky to retain Anthony Castore as my trainer and we started to work together immediately.

I decided that I was going to be my own competition. I would work as hard as I could and give it everything I had to bring my absolute best to the stage.

I knew my Beverly International supplement protocol was right on the money, and continued using the tried and true products that I had come to depend on. Anthony changed my training a bit to create a nice balanced split giving each muscle group its own day (see Weight Training sidebar) while I continued HIIT sessions with my long time trainer Brian Taylor. This time away from the stage was just what I needed and began to see the results I was hoping for.

Road to Pro

In 2015, I competed in the Flex Lewis Classic and placed 2nd in the 45 and over. I was certainly starting to see more muscle development, but was still needing more balance and symmetry in my overall physique if I was going to be a viable competitor going for my IFBB card. We continued to focus on lagging muscle parts, having fun and enjoying every challenge each session brought.

2017 was going to be my hardest push yet. I was determined that this was going to be “it.” I needed to qualify as well as get back on stage before going for my pro card. The Arnold in March would be a great opportunity to qualify with still enough time to improve before the Pro Qualifier in September. The Arnold was another amazing experience and I could not have been more grateful for the guidance and support I was given. Hearing and seeing your trainers, family and friends is more satisfying and humbling that any trophy. I placed 4th in the 35 and over division. Once again I was beyond happy and more determined than ever.

Since I turned 50 years old in November and was now qualified, I would be able to compete in the Masters 50 and Over category at the NPC North Americans Championships in September. I truly felt this was my time.

Trusting the Process

As fate would have it, I ran into a dear friend, Kelli McCall, in June. When she asked what was “next” and I told her what my goal was she immediately and without hesitation said, “let’s do it!” I know I needed posing work, an extra set of eyes and to see where the weaknesses were. She and Michael Moore were the most giving, enthusiastic, and dynamic pair of people I could be blessed enough to come to know and their support of my dream and goal was limitless. I felt they both wanted it as much as I did! The three of us battled hard the next 3 months to leave nothing behind, nothing undone. The two of them could see what I couldn’t and they could motivate and coach in a way that just made me feel incredibly grateful. Each week’s progress pictures really blew my mind as I was really starting to see it all coming together. The plan was working!!! This is where you just “trust the process.”

As any competitor knows, the training is fun, the meal prep and eating becomes routine, but the posing is…exhausting and hard!!! I could not give less than 150% in my presentation as this area can make or break any competitor on stage. I trusted both of them implicitly and by far this was the best prep EVER!

Hitting the Stage

Finally, it was competition time. In my mind and heart I knew I had done everything I could to have the prefect plan in place. Thanks to Beverly International, my supplementation was spot on (as always). Thanks to my long time trainer Brian Taylor – HIIT was spot on. Anthony Castore – muscle development training was spot on. Thanks to Kelli and Michael - training, posing, meal protocol – spot on. Thanks to Tamee Marie – my suit was spot on. Family and friends – love and support- AMAZING. I was really ready!

As determined as I was for that coveted IFBB card, when I hit the stage I knew that I had accomplished everything I had set out to do, regardless of placing. I had achieved my goals of muscle development and size, symmetry and shape, and sheer happiness along the way. The whole experience that day was surreal.

Prejudging had me in the middle but honestly you never know. I was my own competition that day – I beat the competitor that stood on that stage 4 years ago. Time seemed to stand still during the finals. The emotion that I felt as my name was called as a new “IFBB PRO” was indescribable. I accomplished my goal!!! My mind immediately went to thanking everyone who made this possible.

My love for this sport and the journey that got me to my goal was summed up that very day. I relied heavily on so many extraordinary people, their expertise, guidance, love and support. It’s a feeling that will always stay with me, remind me of their kindness, and knowing you can accomplish anything if you give it your all and surround yourself with greatness.

Meal Plan


Daily meal plan at start of prep – 12 weeks out

Meal 1: 1 whole egg, 3 egg whites, handful of spinach cooked in 1 tsp of coconut oil

Meal 2: Preworkout - 3oz chicken or turkey breast, 1/3 C oatmeal, 1/3 C green beans

Workout - Glutamine Select

Meal 3: 5oz lean beef or bison, 1/3 C rice, 1/2 C green veggies

Meal 4: 5oz Greek yogurt, 1/4 C blueberries

Meal 5: 5oz chicken or turkey breast, 3oz sweet potato, 1/4 C black beans

Meal 6: 1 scoop Beverly UMP w/water and add 1 tbsp PB2

At least 128oz of water a day. One “relaxed” meal on one of my upper body workout days.


Ultimate Muscle Protein (UMP) – Used in meal plan, Meal #6

Glutamine Select – During training sessions

3 ZMA 2000 – before bed

Fit Tabs – 2 tabs with Meal #1 and Meal #5

Weight Training


A sample of some workouts

Monday: Bicep & Triceps, AbsAmount
DB Curls4x15
Seated Cable Curls4x15
Cable Hammer Curls w/Rope3x15
Single Arm Kickbacks3x12
Cable Pushdowns w/Rope4x15
Hanging Leg Raises
Tuesday: Shoulders & ChestAmount
Incline Chest Press4x15
Flat Chest Press4x15
Standing Front Plate Raises3x12
DB Lateral Raises3x12
Upright Rows3x12
Rear Delt Raise3x12
Wednesday: Quads & AbsAmount
Leg Extensions4x15
Leg Press4x15
Walking Lunges W/20lb weights15 paces down and back
Donkey Kicks3x15
Weighted Sit Ups
Thursday: BackAmount
Wide-Grip Pull Downs4x12
Seated Cable Close Grip Rows 4x15
Standing Cable Rows 4x15
Heavy Single Arm Row 4x10
Pullovers 4x15
Friday: Hamstrings & GlutesAmount
Lying Leg Curls4x15
Straight-Leg Dead Lift4x15
Good Mornings4x15
Weighted Hip Thrusts4x15
Ab Scooter and Planks

Saturday: Vinyasa Yoga

If You Believe You Can You Will!

At a Glance: Angelia Craft

Age: 53 years old widow and suicide survivor

Occupation or Education: Earned Bachelor of Arts Degree in Health, Wellness, and Human Services from Ashford University in May, 2019; Active Advocate for American Foundation for Suicide Prevention; Registered Certified Medical and Podiatric Medical Assistant and Wound Specialist

Current Residence: Greenville, NC

Family: Son, Jamal and his wife, Heather are my biggest cheerleaders; Daughter, Sheila

Height: 5'5"

Weight: Off Season:150 (I have been over 200 in the past), Contest:125-130

Music: Oldies and Christian Music

Most Inspiring Book: The Bible. One of my favorite passages is Psalm 46 “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in times of trouble” (KJV)

Hobby or interests outside bodybuilding: I love running and reading a good book. I am also an avid couponer and I use this skill to purchase produce for those who are in need. I love helping others.


Exercise saved my life. When depression and adversities become too great, exercise is my refuge. It helps to clear my mind and allows me to focus more clearly.

My self-esteem was very low and had been since I was a young girl. Life was hard growing up. My mother’s boyfriend robbed me of my innocence and childhood. I grew up thinking I was weak, unattractive, and worthless. I married and finally found happiness with my husband, David, but then on June 11, 2009, my happy world came crashing down around me. I came home that day for lunch and found David had hung himself. I immediately called 911 and was instructed to cut him down, but it was too late. I touched him and his body was cold and lifeless.

His suicide came as a shock to me. I felt so alone. We were always inseparable. How was I expected to go on after this event? I wanted to die so badly in order to be with him. Pastor Flowers, who preached at David’s funeral, called me each day to make sure I was doing as well as I could. He, his wife, and my church family helped me deal with my grief every step of the way. He stated something in one of his sermons that really stuck with me. If God gives you a vision, he will give you the provision and connect you with the correct people at the correct time. That is how I feel about this opportunity to share my story. I am currently writing a book regarding my life story. I hope that my experiences can assist others in their life.

From 200 lbs to Natural Pro

I have been a personal trainer and group fitness instructor since 1999. I loved teaching. I was very overweight when I became certified, but this didn’t stop me from providing fitness goals and assistance to others. I was about 200 pounds when I started. At first, I couldn’t believe I was asked to do this, Me, are you kidding! It was held at Lenoir Memorial Hospital's Wellness Center. My class members and I helped motivate one another. The class was called Fitness Fun! We, as a class, worked out, shared our lives, celebrated one another’s accomplishments and often cried on one another’s shoulders.

Then, nearly twenty years later, I wanted to do something great to further empower myself. I decided to enter a bodybuilding contest before I turned 50. I went to Fitness by William and inquired how I could do this. Dr. William Ingram, the owner, asked a little about my fitness background and I explained to him I really wanted to become leaner and more muscular. I started working out at the gym. I loved it and everyone there was so encouraging. William said I could compete that November at the Crystal Coast Classic in Morehead City.

Contest Prep Diet and Supplement Program by Dr. William Ingram, Fitness by William


Here is the contest and supplement plan that William prepared for me.

Meal 1: 4-6 egg whites (boiled, no yolks), 1 sweet potato or 1 cup oatmeal

Supplements: I like to mix a scoop or two of Glutamine Select (Wild Berry is my favorite) in a large glass of water and use this to take my supplements - Super Pak, 5 Mass Aminos, 2 Quadracarn, 3 Lean Out, and 3 7-Keto MuscLean

Meal 2: Tuna or salmon pouch, 1 banana or a small box of raisins

Meal 3: 1-2 chicken breasts or 2-4 drumsticks, 1 cup of string beans, 1 medium sweet potato or brown rice

Supplements: 1 scoop Glutamine Select in water, 5 Mass Aminos, 2 Quadracarn, 3 Lean Out, 3 7-Keto MuscLean

Meal 4 (if needed): 2-4 egg whites, 2 plain rice cakes

Meal 5: 1-2 chicken breasts or 2-4 drumsticks, sweet potato, string beans or broccoli

Supplements: 1 scoop Glutamine Select in water, 5 Mass Aminos, 2 Quadracarn, 3 Lean Out

Before Bed: 2 ZMA 2000

Tips that helped along the way:

  • Drink 6-8 glasses of water daily
  • Use hot sauce, black pepper, vinegar or seasoning salt
  • Cut fruit, rice and drumsticks 2-3 weeks out from the show

My Favorite UMP Recipe

For meals #2 and #4 I sometimes substituted a UMP shake. Here’s a favorite recipe:

  • Blend 1 scoop of UMP Chocolate in 8oz chocolate almond milk
  • Place covered in the freezer for 2 hours
  • Eat it with a spoon as a sorbet type dessert---delicious.
  • UMP is very satisfying to my sweet tooth without the guilt!

Training Schedule

My workout was a three-day split performing 3 sets of 12-10-8 reps for each exercise.


Day 1: Chest & Shoulders

Flat Bench Dumbbell Press

Incline Dumbbell Press

Pectoral Fly Machine


Seated Dumbbell Military Press

Dumbbell Side Laterals

Dumbbell Shrugs

Day 2: Back & Biceps

Lat Pulldowns

Seated Rows

One Arm Dumbbell Row

Standing Barbell Curls

Seated Dumbbell Alternate Curls

One Arm Preacher Curl

Day 3: Legs & Triceps

Leg Extensions

Seated Leg Curls



Leg Press

Triceps Pushdowns

One Arm Cable Kickback

Seated Bench Dips

For Abs and Core I used some combination of ab machine crunches, 3-way planks, standing / lying leg lifts, plyometrics (every 2 weeks - my least favorite), burpees, jump lunges, jump squats, and static 1-2 minute squats.

Cardio included a 3-mile run 6 days per week, and the Stairmaster for 30 minutes 3 days per week, with stretching every day.

Bikini Pro at Age 50

At a Glance: Kelley Mello

Age: 50

Occupation: Licensed Aesthetician, Licensed Massage Therapist, and business owner for 18 years

Family: Boyfriend - John, stepson - Iric, and my Vizsla - Twix

Current Residence: Dartmouth, MA

Years training (total): 30 years; competing, 7 years

Height: 5'4"

Weight: Off-Season 127, Contest 116

Favorite Meal: Baked salmon, sweet potato, green beans

Favorite Supplements: UMP Chocolate, Lean Out, and Density

What would you recommend to someone who has never used Beverly supplements before? Call Beverly (800-781-3475) and ask their supplement advisors to help you choose the best selections to achieve your goals.

Music: I’m old school. I love the 70’s in general, at the gym Led Zeppelin, 80’s Rock.

Most Inspiring Book: You’ll See it When You Believe It - Dr. Wayne Dyer

Hobby or Interests outside bodybuilding: Spending quality time with my family, I also love to travel, support animal shelters and practice guitar.

Words to live by: “Don’t die with your music still in you” - Dr. Wayne Dyer


For as long as I can remember I have always loved to stay in motion. I was involved in dance and gymnastics during my childhood. In high school I loved performing in show choir, singing in a small group or performing a duet with a classmate.

I joined my first gym at age 20 where I started lifting weights and was doing aerobics 5 days a week. From then on working out has been part of my life. I learned all that I could about exercise and purchased a lot of home workouts on video and cassette. We’re going back to the 80’s now when Bess Motta and Gilad were popular.

In my mid 20’s I came across a poster for a local fitness show. I remember going to the show by myself and loving every part of it - the music, the routines, the fit physiques, it was thrilling. The show was more of a fitness pageant than a bodybuilding event. It was definitely something I wanted to do, but I had no idea how to begin. Life went on and I never found another local event, so a seed was planted, but never pursued.

Now, fast forward 20 years. I came across an article in a fitness magazine by Tosca Reno. She was in her early fifties and getting ready for a bikini fitness competition. I had to know more! I set out to learn all I could about Tosca and about Bikini competition. In my research I found that one of these contests was being held right in my area. Right there and then I entered my first show. I had no idea about diet or posing, but I learned all that I could from the internet and winged the rest. I was still such a novice at age 44. I placed 6th at the OCB Spirit of America. It was a great learning experience. I entered a couple more OCB events and still no top 5 placing - the bottom line was that I just wasn’t getting lean enough.

Competitors are always talking back stage and that’s when I got introduced to the Beverly International product line by a woman whom I was competing with. At the OCB Cape Cod Natural, I had my hopes on at least placing. But to my surprise I ended up taking 1st place in Master Bikini and 5th place in Novice Bikini and received my Pro Card in Bikini Masters to boot. I’ll never forget the ride home that evening, what a great feeling. Since becoming a Pro, I have taken 4th place in the WNBF Monster Mash in 2016 and 2nd place in 2017 OCB Battle of the Gods.

In Closing

You can’t go into a show thinking that if you have the best body you’re going home with the hardware. That’s only half the battle. Proper posing and presentation is crucial. Practice and then practice some more. When practicing at home video yourself as you perform your routine. (I keep an old suit for posing practice.) There are plenty of videos on YouTube to get started with the basics. Take the time to develop your own style, get yourself noticed and grab the judge’s attention.

These past few years have been a dream come true for me. It’s so much work and dedication but when it’s in your blood you don’t mind the sacrifice. One thing I have learned through this journey of competitive fitness is that the judging at the shows can vary from show to show. You can have no placement in one show, then the next week compete again and place top 3. Always contact the judges after a show for feedback. The most important thing is to do everything (diet, workouts, cardio, presentation) to the best of your ability so that when you’re on stage you’ll know you gave it all you got. Make friends, have a good time and support one another.

You’ll find my pre contest diet plan and one of my favorite workout schedules accompanying this article. Give them a try for at least 6 weeks and see if you don’t achieve your best ever bikini physique.

Pre Contest Diet and Supplement Plan

My diet may change a little as the competition nears but this is a typical day of eating during contest prep. I drink 1 gallon of water with lemon daily.

Pre workout: 1 protein waffle with peanut butter

Meal 1: 3 egg whites topped with some hot sauce, a bowl of steel cut oats with cinnamon and blueberries

Meal 2: 1 scoop Ultimate Muscle Protein shake, 1 plain rice cake with avocado

Meal 3: large salad – albacore tuna, 2 hardboiled eggs, 1 cup spinach, bell peppers, cucumber, balsamic vinegar

Meal 4: 4 egg whites and 1 plain rice cake

Meal 5: 3oz chicken seasoned with Mrs. Dash, 1 small sweet potato

Meal 6: 1 scoop Ultimate Muscle Protein shake


Lean Out: 2 capsules with meals (1, 3, & 5)

7-Keto MuscLean: 2 capsules with meals (1, 3, & 5)

Quadracarn: 3 tablets before bed

UMP (Chocolate usually): meals (2 & 6)

Workout & Cardio Plan


The first 2 sets for each muscle group are warmups. Super set each pair of exercises listed below. Example: Smith Machine Squats superset with Stiff-Leg DB Deadlift, etc.

Monday: LegsSets Reps
Smith Machine Squats510-12
Stiff-Leg DB Deadlift510-12
Romanian Split Squats510-12
Barbell Good Mornings510-12
Hip Thrusts Weighted515-20
Lying Leg Curl510-12
Tuesday: Shoulders & AbsSets Reps
DB Press510-12
Trunk Curl and Crunch520
Lateral DB Raises512-15
Bicycle Crunch520
Front DB Raise512-15
V Ups520
Assisted Pull Ups1Failure
Wednesday: Back & Biceps Sets Reps
Seated Pulley Rows510-15
DB Bicep Curls510-12
Overhead DB Pullover510-12
EZ Bar Wide Grip Curls510-12
Close Grip Pull Downs510-15
Incline DB Curls58-12
Assisted Pull Ups1Failure
Thursday: Chest & TricepsSets Reps
Flat DB Bench Press510-12
Lying EZ bar Extensions510-12
Incline DB Press510-12
Close Grip DB Press510-12
Standing Cable Crossover510-12
Rope Extensions510-12
Friday: LegsSets Reps
Leg Press510-12
Leg Curls510-12
Seated Leg Extensions510-12
DB Stiff Leg Deadlift510-12
Seated Abduction510-12
Cable Kick Backs510-12
Walking DB Lunges320

Saturday: Rest

Sunday: Active rest day. I choose between Vinyasa Yoga, corrective stretching, or walking.

Cardio Schedule:

Off Season: I typically do HIIT 3x per week for 20 minutes either on the treadmill or stationary bike.

Contest Prep: I do cardio 5-6 times per week. 3 days HIIT for 20 minutes, and 2-3 days steady state 30 minutes. I like to do my cardio after my weight training.

Safe Haven – How Bodybuilding Saved My Life

My bodybuilding journey began late in life. I was 38. Below, my daughter goes into detail about my life’s journey and how the course of events, shortened the competition chapter of my life. When I was no longer able to compete, I enjoyed the bodybuilding world through my “bodybuilding” family. Since 2003, I have helped them prep for shows (posing, tanning, planning for the events, etc.). In 2007 my daughter, Cydney joined our bodybuilding family which added even more joy to my life. Cydney in now Ms Figure Olympia for the past two years. Once I entered the bodybuilding world, I never left- couldn’t leave. I realized this is the world I loved! Cyd takes it from here.

Superficial is a word that comes to the minds of many individuals who hear the word bodybuilding. But, those who do not seriously compete will never know the true impact that bodybuilding can have on one’s life, an impact so strong that lives change.

At the age of 34, my mom, Tangelea found herself extremely unhappy and overweight. She had become sedentary and desk bound by her job as an architect. As she saw the pounds mounting up on her 5 foot 1 inch frame, she knew something had to change, but she did not know where to start. One day she and her husband stumbled across Bill Phillips’ twelve-week, Body For Life program. They both embarked on the program and Tangelea went from a size 16 to a size 8. Her health journey had begun.

In 2001, Tangelea entered her first bodybuilding competition by a fluke. She had no desire to compete but made a deal with one of her husband’s personal training clients – “I’ll get on stage if you do.” Then the client pulled out of the contest, but Tangelea, despite being very scared about going it alone, decided to honor her word and enter the contest. She placed last in that show but her fire was lit. She was determined to be her best and one of the first obstacles she had to overcome was her natural shyness. Standing onstage, in front of strangers, preparing herself to be judged, was a leap for which she would need to be prepared.

Over the next two years Tangelea made steady improvements and began winning almost every show she competed in. Then she had to put what had become her new found joy on hold. At 40 years old, Tangelea was diagnosed with breast cancer while she was preparing for her next bodybuilding competition. Cancer was not going to stop her. She told the doctor to “wait on the surgery because I have a show coming up.” It was unknown if she would be able to ever compete again. She did not want the months dedicated to this one day, stripped from her because of a disease that no one could control. She took fate into her own hands, stepped on stage at the Atlanta SNBF (Supernatural Bodybuilding and Fitness) organization show, and won every category she entered. She earned an 8-foot spear trophy that she used to symbolically fight her condition.

Tangelea feels that “bodybuilding saved her life.” Without being in the physical condition she was in prior to competition, she would have never seen the lump that had formed on the side of her breast. Without bodybuilding, she would still be the meek, young girl who was too shy to eat in public; without bodybuilding, she would not have known how mentally and physically strong she was; without this sport, she would not be the woman she is today. Ten years later, Tangelea stepped back on stage to the tune of “Woman on Fire” by Alicia Keys, and that she was.

In 2013, I started competing again after taking 10 years off. There had been a revolution in physique competitions, new divisions and a new level of conditioning. As an amateur I was accustomed to winning or placing in the top 3 of every show, winning over women my age and much younger. As a Natural pro, and being 56, I find myself losing more often than winning. Age and being a woman has made it very difficult to truly lean out. I now have to work harder and smarter during every prep, dieting from 5 or more months out. With that being said, I am on a mission in 2019. I plan on bringing my best physique to the stage this year. This new body will be better than my best physique in 2003 where I placed 2nd at the NPC Georgia and won every bodybuilding category at the SNBF show including the overall (my last show). It is a challenge; the journey bitter-sweet; however, I won’t stop until I achieve my personal goals.

Contest Prep

Diet: I have used the “16 week out” up to the “4 weeks out” meal plans and the “final prep week” from Beverly with great success (see training and diet plans on the following 3 pages). A couple of years ago I decided to try counting macros. Loved the flexibility but hated measuring everything I ate. This year I combined the macros and the last four weeks from Beverly’s program. When in prep, I usually prepare all my meals for the day. This decreases my stress. I know I get tired as the day progresses, so there’s one less thing to worry about.

Supplements: I use Density, EFA Gold and Lean Out year round, regardless of whether I am in contest prep mode or not. This year I have added in my old staples, Mass Aminos and Ultra 40. When I started using Beverly products in 2003, Mass and Ultra 40 allowed me to maintain muscle while I got leaner. Prior to that time, when I did not use Mass and Ultra 40, I would get leaner and leaner from my diet, but also smaller and smaller. Other supplements I rely on during contest prep are Muscularity, 7-Keto MuscLean, Quadracarn, UMP (graham cracker, vanilla, chocolate, cookies & crème, and strawberry).

I divide out all my supplements for the day (including protein shakes) into sandwich bags. That way, regardless of what happens during the day, I have what I need. I also carry water and usually an emergency protein bar in case I don’t get a chance to eat a scheduled meal (off season only).

Cardio: I find that morning cardio works best for me. I prefer intervals, normally on an incline (up to level 15 on my treadmill). I also do steady state at a fast pace to help with my glutes. Off season, I try to get in 2-3 times a week for 15 – 20 minutes. (Muscle has memory, cardio does not.) I increase time, days per week, and intensity as a contest approaches.

This year my daughter Cyd, had me implement her cardio regimen. She explained that I had to do different types of cardio, since I have been training for so long, my body had just stopped responding. I did a lot more HIIT than I would do on my own. She also got me away from relying on the treadmill incorporating battle ropes (which I hate), stair master, bike, arc trainer, elliptical and rowing machines.

Training: Pre contest I work my entire body twice a week (over 8 days), 3 days on, rest, 3 days on, rest (see sidebar). Day 1- Chest and Arms, Day 2- Legs (Quads and Calves), Day 3- Back and Shoulders; the routine is the same during the next 3-day cycle except on Day 2 (Legs) I focus on Hams and Glutes, rather than Quads. I don’t use momentum to get the weight up. In fact, I slow my cadence so that that the reps are harder.

This off season, I decided to work 1 body part a day (except arms which are usually biceps and triceps together), working out 1.5 hours on most days and 2 hours on leg days (focusing on my glutes).


Bodybuilding, I embrace the journey. You can never truly “lose” when you prepare for a show and have the right mindset. I always say building the body is art and science in sync; the fountain of youth; the way to staying healthy and fit. It is a lifestyle.

Sample 3 Days On – 1 Day Off Workout Routine

Goal: To improve your muscularity, muscle tone, and separation while developing an athletic looking physique.

Progression: After a warm-up, use the same weight for all sets of an exercise. Start at the low end of the suggested rep range. Gradually increase the repetitions, usually adding one rep each workout until you reach the top number of suggested reps for each set of a particular exercise. Then add weight and start over at the lower end of the rep scheme.

Use as much weight as you can with perfect form for the target amount of reps. If you can do more reps than the target on your last set, add weight. If you can't get at least the lower recommend amount of reps, then lighten the weight slightly. Go pretty quick between sets. You should not rest more than 90 seconds between sets.


Day Four and Eight: Rest, Day Nine: Start over at Day 1

Day One: Chest and ArmsSets Reps
Incline DB Press46-10
Flat Dumbbell Press48-12
Pec Deck38-12
Barbell or EZ Curl36-10
Incline DB Curl38-12
Concentration Curl210-12
Close Grip Bench Press36-10
Triceps Pushdown38-12
Lying Triceps Extension38-12
Abs (use any variety of exercises you want)825-50
Day Two: Legs (Quads and Calves)Sets Reps
Leg Press310-15
Hack Squat Machine*310-15
Stiff-Legged Deadlift310-12
Leg Extensions312-15
Calf Raises615 reps on any
combination of

* do the Hack Squats as One and One Half Reps. This means go all the way down below parallel with your quads, then come half way up, then all the way back down, and then all the way up. This equals 1 repetition.

Day Three: Back and ShouldersSets Reps
One Arm DB Row38-10
Seated Cable Row38-12
Straight-Arm Pulldowns310-12
Shoulder Press36-10
Upright Row38-10
Lateral Raise310-12
Bent Over Laterals310-12
Abs (do tougher exercises than Day 1)
615-25 reps
Day Five: Chest and Arms
(same as Day 1)
Sets Reps
Incline DB Press46-10
Flat Dumbbell Press48-12
Pec Deck38-12
Barbell or EZ Curl36-10
Incline DB Curl38-12
Concentration Curl210-12
Close Grip Bench Press36-10
Triceps Pushdown38-12
Lying Triceps Extension38-12
Abs (use any variety of exercises you want)825-50
Day Six: Legs
(Hamstring and Glutes emphasis)
Sets Reps
Romanian Dead Lift
(superset with next exercise)
Wide Leg Press310-15
Leg Curl
(superset with next exercise)
Walking Lunge312-15 steps with each foot
Leg Extension (superset with next exercise)312-15
Smith Machine Squat310-12 (non-lock)
Calf Raises615 reps on any combination of machines
Day Seven: Back and Shoulders
(same as Day 3)
Sets Reps
One Arm DB Row38-10
Seated Cable Row38-12
Straight-Arm Pulldowns310-12
Shoulder Press36-10
Upright Row38-10
Lateral Raise310-12
Bent Over Laterals310-12
Abs (do tougher exercises than Day 1)
615-25 reps

Cardio: The best times to do your cardio are in the mornings, after your weight training, or in the evening before bed.

Bonus Exercises: It is very beneficial for the Figure Competitor to perform push-ups and chins as often as possible. It can be as part of your cardio, interspersed throughout the day, or at the end of your workout. To progress - just try to go for a greater cumulative number each week. If you do ten pushups at the end of each of your workouts the first time though, that’s 60 cumulative reps; next week – beat that total. On chins you might start as low as 3 per day. (It’s not where you start, it’s where you finish.)

Diets and Supplement Programs at 16 Weeks Out

16 Weeks Out Diet:
It’s okay to adjust portions or add or decrease a meal as needed to maintain progress. Do not worry about the particular order of your meals, if you want to eat Meal 1 as your last meal of the day, go ahead, it’s OK. Just make sure that you eat something or have a protein shake about every three hours.


Diet Program at 16 Weeks Out

Meal #1: 1 whole egg + 3 egg whites, 3oz very lean meat, 1/2 cup oatmeal - before cooking

Meal #2: (Choose one option)

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

Option B: 1 can tuna, one small apple or orange

Meal #3: 5oz lean meat (chicken or other lean protein source), 1/2 cup cooked brown rice or 4oz sweet potato, 1 cup vegetables (broccoli, etc.) or 2 cups green salad with 2 tbsp vinegar and oil dressing

Meal #4: Two scoops Muscle Provider in 12-16 oz water

Meal #5: 6oz salmon or very lean meat (chicken breast, fish, turkey breast, lean beef - sirloin, filet, etc), 1 cup low carb vegetables, salad with 2 tbsp vinegar and oil dressing

Meal #6: (This is an option if you reduce meal #4 to one scoop protein; you add meal #6 below. Which is better? – Whatever works better for you.)

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

Option B: 6 egg whites with 1 cup of vegetables

Supplement Program at 16 Weeks Out

Take 2 FitTabs and 3 EFA Gold at meals 1 and 5.

Take 2 Mass Aminos and 2 Ultra 40 with each meal.

Take 2 Density (and/or 2 Muscularity) and 1 Lean Out with each meal listed above. (Lean Out is the most important supplement you can take with this nutritional plan if your primary goal is to lose fat. Lean Out helps your body burn stored fats, not your hard-earned lean muscle.)


Glutamine Select – take 1-2 scoops during training to preserve muscle during precontest dieting.

ZMA 2000 – 2 capsules before bed to aid recovery and sleep.

If you have any questions about Beverly supplements be sure to call them at 1-800-781-3475. The Beverly Team will help you get the best results possible.

Final Four Weeks Out Diet for Maximum Fat Loss


Diet Program at 4 Weeks Out

Meal #1: 3oz chicken breast or turkey breast, three egg whites, one-half grapefruit.

Meal #2: (Choose one option)

Option (A): Protein Drink with one scoop Ultimate Muscle Protein or Muscle Provider, one teaspoon healthy fat source (olive oil, flax oil, almond butter).

Option (B): Three and one-half ounces chicken breast or tuna, three egg whites, one tomato.

Meal #3: 5oz chicken breast, two cups salad (lettuce, tomato, carrot, cucumber, green peppers, etc.) or two cups low carb vegetables, one tablespoon “Newman’s Own” dressing ( or make your own with one tablespoon cider vinegar and one tablespoon olive oil).

Meal #4: Protein Drink with one scoop Ultimate Muscle Protein or Muscle Provider and water. If this is the meal preceding or just after training, Muscle Provider is the optimal protein at this time.

Meal #5: 5oz chicken breast, turkey breast or 96% lean beef, two cups low carb vegetables or salad.

Monday and Thursday:
Substitute the following for your 5th meal at the end of the day:

  • 3/4 cup oatmeal, or 3/4 cup cooked brown rice
  • 5oz sweet potato
  • 4oz banana
  • 1 cup vegetables
  • 1 tbsp butter or almond butter

Supplement Program at 4 Weeks Out

Meal 1: Super Pak

Meal 1 & 5: 3 EFA Gold

Each meal: 2 Density, 2 Muscularity, 2 Lean Out, and 1 Energy Reserve

Training: 2 scoops Glutamine Select plus BCAAs


7-Keto MuscLean: 3 capsules upon arising and 3 capsules mid afternoon

(Optional) GH Factor: 6 capsules immediately upon arising and six more before bed (or if you eat right before bed, take six GH Factor thirty minutes prior to your last meal.

GH Factor is ideal if you’ve hit a fat loss plateau. Especially valuable for stubborn thigh and abdominal fat. You’ll take six capsules upon arising and six more before retiring.