Christina Comparato

At a Glance: Christina Comparato

Age: 42

Occupation: High School Math Teacher for 19 years, Co-Owner of Total Nutrition for 13 years

Family: Mom, Dad, brother, sister-in-law, niece, nephew, & 3 fur-sons: Muscles, Oreo, & Zeus

Current Residence: Sylvania, Ohio

Years training (total): 19 years

Height: 5’2”

Weight: 130 (off-season), 116 (contest)

Favorite Bodybuilding Meal: Breakfast of Champions UMP Pancakes- 1/4 cup oatmeal (cook first), 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk, 1/4 cup Greek yogurt, 1/4 cup pumpkin, 1 egg white, 1/2 scoop UMP (any flavor), 1 tbsp flax seed, 1 tsp cinnamon & 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice. Cook into one large pancake or several small ones if desired. I top mine with 1 tbsp Chocolate PB2 & 1 tsp almond butter. Macros: 326 calories, 31 C, 28 P, 10 F

Favorite Supplement: UMP! I use it 24-7-- breakfast, as a snack, pre & post workout. You can even eat it off the counter if it spills. It’s that good! I also put it in my coffee as a creamer & sweetener.

What would you recommend to someone who has never used Beverly supplements before? Try UMP. It will not matter if you drink it as a shake mixed in 8-12 oz of cold water, or eat as a pudding mixed in just a little bit of water. You will NOT be disappointed.

Music: From Country to the Rocky soundtrack during tough workouts

Most Inspiring Book: “Until I Say Good-Bye: My Year of Living with Joy,” by Susan Spencer-Wendel

Hobby or interests: Giving back to the bodybuilding community by judging shows and volunteering at fit clinics & seminars

Words to live by: “Eat to Live, Don’t Live to Eat”


Working out has been a way of life for me for nearly twenty years. But, it’s not the only thing in my life. I started teaching high school math the same year that I started working out. This fall I’ll be starting my 20th year in teaching. Along with teaching and competing, I’m also co-owner, with Barry Gordon of Total Nutrition in Toledo, OH where I help others with their nutrition, supplements, and training. In the remainder of this article I’m going to touch on:

  • How I got started competing
  • A little about how my students relate to me
  • How I got started with Beverly
  • Some of my recent accomplishments (courtesy of Barry)
  • My cardio, training, nutrition, and supplement plans
  • Tips I’ve learned along the way

How I Got Started Competing

I’d been working out a couple of years when I moved to the Toledo, OH area in 2000. One of the first things I did was join a gym. After a short time the gym regulars started encouraging me and commented on my workout ethic and favorable genetics. They suggested that I give competition a try, “What the heck, at least try an 8-week diet, get tanned up, step on stage, and see how you do.” Barry Gordon was already a competitor and offered to go through my first contest prep with me.

We dieted together, trained together, and two months later competed and won our mixed pairs competition. And of course I was hooked.

How My Students Relate

My kids Google me a lot and I am known as the bodybuilder teacher. We don’t really talk about it but I feel that they respect me because of it. They seem to know when it is competition time, especially if I am gone on a Friday and Monday. When I come back, they somehow know where I’ve been and say congratulations. Throughout the year, I have numerous students ask me about healthy food plans, workouts, sport specific advice, etc. I also keep in touch with quite a few of my past students over the years. For example, just last week, one student inquired about me training him and his family, another asked for competition advice. One had a big hockey tryout coming up and asked me for training advice. It is very rewarding to say the least and I love it!

How I Got Started with Beverly International

About 15 years ago Barry and I opened Total Nutrition. We carried Beverly supplements right from the start. I used several of them during my first contest preps, was hooked, and have stuck with them ever since. I’ve always been impressed with their integrity and the incredible high quality of their supplements. Another plus is the ease of placing orders and that I am able to get any questions answered by a live person. I also like the information in their No Nonsense magazine both for me and our clients. I was actually featured in the magazine ten years ago (go to BeverlyInternational. com, click “Search” at the top left and type in Christina Comparato).

Recent Accomplishments

Barry Gordon here to give you a brief rundown on Christina’s latest accomplishments. After a 5-year hiatus from competition, Christina got the bug to step back on stage in 2014. Her Pro status had expired so the first order of business was to work her way back up the ladder. That summer she competed in 2 INBA shows earning her Pro status in the PNBA. That fall she competed in a NANBF show and regained her IFBA natural Pro status. She was also awarded Pro status in a newer natural organization, the DFAC. Christina closed out the year by taking 1st in bodybuilding at the PNBA Natural Universe and placing top 3 in DFAC Miami World’s Finals, and the PNBA Natural Olympia. She said how surreal it was to experience those 2 big World shows with athletes representing several countries. Yes, she was still working this entire time as a HS math teacher and running our nutrition/personal training studio (Total Nutrition) by herself in the evenings and weekends.

In 2015, Christina was back on the Natural Olympia stage and won first place and the Gold Medal for bodybuilding. In 2016, she was once again going for the Gold at the PNBA Natural Olympia. Not only would she defend her pro title in women’s bodybuilding, but she also entered Pro Master’s Physique and Mixed Pairs. It would be quite a feat to pull off 3 wins in 3 different categories. But with a fire under her that I had never seen before, Christina walked away with 3 first place wins, earning her 3 more Gold medals. Now, I am proud to say she is a 4x Olympia World Champion. And I couldn’t be more proud of her. - Barry Gordon

How I Did It - My Cardio, Training, Nutrition and Supplement Plans



Two months out from the Olympia in 2016, I knew it was crunch time. My body was not dropping fat and I had a title to defend. That’s when I decided to hit cardio 7 days a week. 4 days I did 30 minutes of MISS (Moderate Intense Steady State) cardio keeping my heart rate at 130 BPM or higher. I mixed it up with the elliptical, stair stepper, incline fast walk, & P90X-3 workouts. On the other 3 days I did both HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) and MISS cardio: ten minutes of HIIT, consisting of 20 seconds full out as fast as I could, with 40 seconds of recovery. HIIT was usually on a stationary bike standing & pedaling as fast as I could or incline sprints on a treadmill or sprints outside my business in the parking lot. Immediately following HIIT I did 10 minutes of MISS, again keeping my heart rate at about 130 BPM.


I train each body part twice a week. I use heavy rep ranges for one of the workouts (6-8 reps) and hypertrophy ranges for the other (8-12 or 15-20). Here’s how a typical week looks.

Monday (Heavy - Pull)

Back: Pull-Ups 3x8, BB Rows, 3x8, Hyperextensions 3x8

Biceps: Preacher Curls 3x8, Incline DB Curls 3x8, Wide Rope Curls 3x8

Abs: Leg Raise with DB 3x8, Machine crunches 3x8, Decline Crunches with plate 3x8

Cardio: 30 minutes Medium Intensity Sustained State done before workout (medium day diet)

Tuesday (Hypertrophy – Push)

Chest: Cable Crossovers 3x20, Decline DB Flyes 3x12, Smith Bench Press 3x20

Shoulders: Smith Press 3x20, Standing Wide Rope Raises 3x12, Rope Face Pulls 3x20

Triceps: DB Extensions 3x20 each side, Incline BB Skull crushers 3x12, Straight Bar Pushdown 3x20

Cardio: 30 minutes MISS cardio done before workout (medium day diet)

Wednesday (Heavy - Legs)

Quads: Smith Squats 3x8, Leg Press 3x8, Single Leg Extensions 3x8 each side

Hamstrings: Leg Curls 3x8, BB Stiff Leg Deadlift 3x8, Reverse Leg Curls 3x8

Calves: Seated Raises 5x8, DB Standing Raises 5x8

Cardio: 10 HIIT intervals after workout, followed by 10 minutes MISS cardio directly after (medium day diet)

Thursday (Hypertrophy - Pull)

Back: Close Reverse Grip Lat Pulldown 3x20, Single Arm Pulldowns 3x12 each side, T Bar Row 3x20

Biceps: BB Curls 3x20, Spider Curls 3x12, DB Hammer Curls 3x20

Abs: TRX Knee-Ins 3x20, Single Cable Crunch 3x12 each side, Roman Chair Plate Twist 3x20 each side

Cardio: 10 HIIT intervals after workout, followed by 10 minutes MISS cardio directly after (high day diet)


Saturday (Heavy – Push)

Chest: Bench Press 3x8, Incline Cable Flye 3x8, Decline Smith Press 3x8

Shoulders: Arnold Press 3x8, Reverse Pec Deck 3x8, Single Cable Side Lateral Raises 3x8 each side

Triceps: Skull crushers 3x8, Rope Pushdown 3x8, Cable Kickbacks 3x8 each side

Cardio: 30 minutes MISS cardio done before workout (medium day diet)

Sunday (Hypertrophy - Legs)

Quads: Hack Squats 3x20, BB Lunges 3x12 each side, DB Single Leg Squats 3x20 each Side

Hamstrings: DB Lying Leg Curls 3x20, Standing Leg Curls (with Cable) 3x12 each side, Good Mornings 3x20

Calves: Calf Raise on Leg Press 4x20, Calf Raise on Smith Machine 4x12

Cardio: 10 HIIT intervals after workout, followed by 10 minutes MISS cardio directly after (high day diet)


My diet consists of 4 Medium days (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday), 2 High days (Thursday and Sunday), and one Low day (Friday).


Meal 1: Omelet made with spinach, egg whites, and walnuts

Meal 2: UMP protein shake and almonds

Meal 3: Fish, 1 cup of veggies (broccoli, green beans, or Brussel sprouts), almonds

Meal 4: Chicken, sweet potato, almonds

Meal 5 (Pre-workout): Oatmeal pancake: oatmeal, UMP, egg whites

Meal 6 (Post-workout): Muscle Provider protein shake and a sweet potato

Meal 7: Salad with turkey, spinach, veggies, and almonds

  • My High day is approximately 1779 calories, Medium day is 1689 calories, and Low day about 1455.
  • Sample diet above is my medium day.
  • On high days, I increase the carbs. For example, instead of an 8oz sweet potato at meal 4, I would increase it to 12 oz, and instead of 1/4 cup oatmeal in meal 5, I’d increase it to 1/2 cup.
  • On low days, leave out the carbs (oatmeal and sweet potatoes) from meals 4, 5, and 6.
  • Water: The last 2 years my body seems like it is always asking me for water. So my water intake has increased to a consistent 2 gallons a day.

Meal prep tips

Make it as easy as possible on yourself. Personally, like everyone else when in contest prep mode and with multiple jobs, I need to have everything cooked on the weekends because my Monday- Fridays are super busy from 6 am to 8 pm. (That’s also the only time I have to clean my entire house.) I even cut up my pancake in pieces so it is ready to take with me each morning. And trust me, the pancakes taste the same on Monday as they do on Friday. I cook one or two meats for the week, usually chicken, ground turkey, or tilapia. Numerous sweet potatoes are thrown in the oven for about 90 minutes at 400 degrees. Not even I can mess them up. I just stick them in the oven while prepping everything else. I also throw in a few sliced white potatoes for a post workout carb a few days a week. I like fresh veggies and bulk shop once a week at Sam’s club. My usual veggies are green beans, Brussels sprouts, or asparagus.


I consider my supplements essential to my success and longevity in the sport. Here is the supplement schedule I used en route to my Natural Olympia victories.

FitTabs - 2 in am & 2 in pm for all my essential vitamins and minerals

Lean Out - 2 with each meal helps ensure that fat is constantly being mobilized for energy

Ultra 40 - 3 with each meal to maintain my size

Density - 3 with each meal helps me get LEAN & HARD - love it!

Quadracarn - 3 twice a day, helps me lean out and maintain muscle

Muscle Mass - 5 pre & post workout, a great BCAA for recovery

Advanced Antioxidant - 2 post workout to recover from a busy lifestyle

Multiple Enzyme Complex - 1 a day helps me maintain optimal digestion and assimilation of nutrients (very important for a natural athlete)

Glutamine Select - 1 scoop near the end of my workout lets me finish strong, & recover fast

ZMA 2000 - 2 before bed, helps me recover from my workout and rest better

Tips I’ve Learned Along the Way

  1. Always, always, stretch & warm-up before your Get on the bike for 5 minutes and do some light DB exercises for the body parts you are going to be working. Also do some leg extensions on leg days to warm up your knees. Trust me; it helps as you get older.
  2. Focus on a goal and stick with ONE If you ask 5 people their opinion about a workout program or meal plan, you will get 5 different answers. Consistency is one of the key ingredients.
  1. I know everyone says it, but if you are competing you need to practice your Start off with a 10-minute session practicing your quarter turns and/or poses. Then increase your time each week by 5 minutes. The easiest time for me to practice my posing was after my workout while I ate/drank my post workout meal. Have someone who knows critique you so you can make changes. You may not realize that you are irritating the judges by bobbing your head or running your hand up and down your obliques (I have seen both).
  2. Be confident. Don’t have self-doubt and constantly compare yourself to Believe in yourself and focus on the hard work you have put into your weight loss or competition journey.
  3. To gauge progress in your weight loss journey, use 3 numbers - yes the scale, but also buy a caliper & test your body fat, and use a tape measure for a few hip & stomach Once a week or every other week is sufficient. When you see the changes in your body and/or your numbers, it is very rewarding.
  4. If you are a competitor, thinking about competing, unsure of a certain method, need a workout program, not sure which organization to compete with, or wondering which bodybuilding show to compete at, please please do not hesitate to reach out to me. I can be reached at thetototalnutrition@

How I Maximized My Fitness Level and Physique at Age 40!

At a Glance: LaRita Laktonen-Ward

Age: 40

Occupation/Education: Tru Life Fitness online certified weight management and competition prep coach, personal trainer, BS Kinesiology, Masters in Public Health

Family: Married to Tru Ward, 12 year old daughter, Ravenna

Current Residence: South Prince George, Virginia

Years training (total): 5 competitively, but have always exercised and learned healthy eating habits

Height: 5’10”

Weight: (Off-Season) 160, (Contest) 145

Favorite Fitness Meal: UMP Pancakes (see sidebar for recipe)

What do you love most about Beverly supplements? Beverly supplements are designed for the drug free natural athlete. The quality of the products will maximize your results. Find a stack that lines up with your goals and take as directed.

Music: Hard rock or rap while lifting

Most Inspiring Book: Anything on maximizing fat loss or muscle gain. I love reading peer reviewed research on exercise physiology and nutrition.

Hobby or interests outside bodybuilding: Family is my number one priority, so I strive to get my husband and daughter as many opportunities to fulfill their dreams and I also support them. I’m a dance mom and also invest many hours cooking to support the nutrition and energy needed for success.

Words to live by: Action proceeds motivation and it comes from you. You can seek motivation in others, but you can’t wait for it to kick in. Make an action plan and stick with it. Motivation will follow action and consistency.

The No Nonsense magazine used to have a tagline, “Amazing Transformations”. As a lifetime fitness learner and expert, I don’t have a huge transformation story to talk about, but I can tell you how I maximized my fitness level at the age of 40. Since my 40th birthday I have won overall at the OCB Pro Bowl in Professional Figure and 2nd at the prestigious OCB Yorton Cup in Professional Figure. I try my best to lead by example, and I’m a true believer that longevity in the sport of bodybuilding is increased by being steroid and drug free. It can be done and you can meet your desired goals through simply hard work and balance.

I lifted some in high school and as a college basketball player in the late 90’s, but not consistently until 2012. I was inspired seeing my husband compete and attending various shows with him. As a busy professional at the time and a mom, I did my first show while my husband was deployed with the Army. I won overall Bikini in my very first show. The prep was the hardest ever and I was so burned out after the show that I put on 15 pounds within a couple weeks. When you spend months focused on a big goal and invest your all, it can be an empty feeling when it’s over. Now, I have a better understanding of myself emotionally, mentally, and physically, so I am able to find balance after a competition.

Before I tell you about my diet and training, I’d like to leave you with this thought. You must have a goal. No matter how much you know about nutrition and training, your body will not take you there unless your mind has the destination. Goals bring an extra level of dedication and intensity.


In my very first competition, my diet consisted of 99 percent lean protein, starchy carbs, and green vegetables. As the first prep is always the toughest, I also suffered from many cravings due to not having essential fats in my diet.

Now, the focus is on whole foods, but supplementing protein powder for convenience. I cycle starchy carbs including them with most of my meals on some days and only before and after training on other days. On the lower carb days I will add in whole eggs or other forms of good fats like almonds to replace the calories. Carb cycling not only gives you a mental break, but helps bump up your metabolism.

My favorite starchy carbs are sweet potatoes, rice, and oats. My favorite protein sources are egg whites, 99% lean ground turkey, or chicken, but I also eat fish.

The meal plan below is a typical day for me:

Meal Plan


Meal 1: 1 whole egg and 1 cup egg whites scrambled with garlic, mushrooms, asparagus and 1 Ezekiel English muffin

Meal 2: 2/3 cup oats cooked with 2 scoops of chocolate UMP protein and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon

Meal 3: 5oz ground turkey, 4oz sweet potatoes, and steamed broccoli

Meal 4: 2 scoops UMP protein in shaker bottle with water or blended with 1 cup of no sugar added vanilla almond milk, with 16 raw almonds on side

Meal 5: 5oz grilled chicken, 1/2 cup rice, and mixed greens

Meal 6: 5oz ground turkey, 4.5oz baked potato, and steamed asparagus

In my diet, greens are always a go and unlimited! One quick snack that I enjoy is to add two handfuls of spinach into the blender with a cup of no sugar added vanilla almond milk and UMP protein powder! Vanilla or chocolate both taste amazing and it keeps you full! Adding the spinach may not sound good, but can’t knock it till you have tried it.


My absolute go to’s are:

EFA Gold (3 with meal 1)

Joint Care (3 per day)

Creatine Select (1 scoop daily), or we substitute

Muscle Synergy (16 tablets daily) for the last month before a show

FitTabs (2 tablets with meal 1), although we use the Super Pak pre contest

Mass Amino Acids (2-3 with every meal for a total of 12-18 daily)

Lean Out (2 capsules, 3 times daily between meals) helps me during the last few weeks of show prep to cut cravings and burn that last little bit of fat.

Training Schedule

Natural athletes have to incorporate both volume and heavy weights. We often include drop sets on an exercise to get 10-20 more reps after failure. Occasionally, I will do 300-400 bodyweight lunges in addition to my weight workouts. Depending on what our individual goals are, we may push harder on certain days or go into that workout more determined and focused. A typical plan for the week would be like this:

3 Days On, 1 Day Off | Day 4: Cardio or full rest day

Day 1: Chest, ShouldersAmount
Smith Machine Shoulder Press1x15, 4x10
Single DB Press4x12 each side
DB Lateral Raise4x12 (superset)
DB Front Raise4x12
Push-ups4 sets to failure (start flat or incline,
as many as you can, then go to knees
and continue to failure)
Day 2: BackAmount
Heavy Single-arm DB Rows6x12
Assisted Pull-ups4x10 (last two reps are slow negatives)
Row Machine4x12
Wide Lat Pulldown4x12 (superset)
Reverse Grip Pulldowns4x10-12
Day 3: LegsAmount
Single Leg Extensions4x15 slow squeeze (Last set AMRAP
with both legs on single leg weight)
Leg Press5x10
BB Glute Press4x15 (heavy)
Step-back BB Lunges
4x30 (alternating)
Leg Extensions3x30 (both legs together)
Calf Raises100 reps any combo/exercise
Day 5: Chest, ShouldersAmount
Hammer Strength Incline Press1x15, 4x10
High Cable Pec Flyes4x12
Flat DB Bench Press 3x25
DB Overhead Press5x10
Cable Rope Face Pulls4x12
DB Lateral Raises(one set, 60 sec. AMRAP
with moderate weight)
Day 6: LegsAmount
BB Squats4x10
DB Suitcase Squats5x10
Deadlifts on Unilateral Hammer Strength or BB4x8-10
Seated Hamstring Curls3x15
Day 7: ArmsAmount
Single-arm Rope Extension4x12 (superset)
Single Handle Cable Extension4x12
Both-arm Rope Extension3x15
Machine Bicep Curls5x12
Machine Single-arm Curls3x10


In blender:
- 1 c of oats
- 1 scoop UMP vanilla
- 1/2 c egg whites
- 1 heaping tbsp baking cocoa
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract for flavor
- Walden Farms 0 cal syrup
- Fruit or unsweetened applesauce
Blend and add a little water at a time till it's the right consistency for pancakes

Competition suits, courtesy of Figure Suits by Jodi

Cardio Schedule


During prep, I prefer the stationary bike, as I have seen studies that show it preserves the most muscle, followed by incline walking. When going into a show, I will do a couple days of 30 minutes on the bike per week and also a couple days of HIIT (high intensity interval training) in the form of outdoor sprints for 45 seconds all out and 75 seconds walking in between for a total of 20 minutes. Off season, I like to hike or jog occasionally, but I don’t have a prescribed schedule for cardio.

Being the Best Version of Yourself

At a Glance: Brittney Palomino

Age: 38

Occupation or Education: McNeese State University graduate, Bachelors of Science; currently a sales representative for fuel and oil distributor

Family: Married with 2 children, both girls.

Current Residence: Lake Charles, Louisiana

Years training (total): 2010 is when it got “serious” for me. It wasn’t until 2010 that I worked with a trainer and decided to compete for the first time at a fitness show.

Height: 5’ 9”

Weight: Off Season-140, Contest-130

Favorite Fitness Meal: 1/2 cup oatmeal with a scoop of UMP! It is my favorite! It tastes like a treat to me and it nourishes my body.

What would you recommend to someone who has never used Beverly supplements before? If you contact their customer service, they will respond! They are so helpful and want you to reach your goals. Everyone has different goals they want to achieve. The Beverly Staff will offer supplement advice to help you… Starting with the UMP protein powder is a great start- the flavors are all great! That is what I did. I fell in love with the taste, how it settled on my stomach, and wanted to start taking other Beverly supplements as well.

Music: Christian music and motivational speakers

Most Inspiring Book: I read Daily Devotionals - I have “Jesus Calling” that I read over breakfast every morning. It sets the tone for my day and gets my mind and heart in the right place.

Hobby or interests outside bodybuilding: I have a passion for helping others. I am an excellent motivational speaker; enjoy public speaking events, and encouraging others. I have learned a lot myself over the years- from competing, strict dieting, binge eating, yo-yo dieting, being pregnant twice, and working a full time job. I manage my time well and am able to still eat healthy and have goals to accomplish. I am relatable and happy to help others achieve their personal goals in life. Whether it be fitness and health OR just being happy in their workplace, and happy in their personal life.

Words to live by: Take each day one day at a time. Yes, have a plan and visualize your future. BUT take every day one step at a time.


I am a wife, a mother of 2 children, and work full time. I live in Lake Charles, Louisiana; enjoy getting my hands dirty, being outdoors, doing yard work, and helping my husband with his crawfish farm. I have a very busy life, and have to manage my time well, but still am able to get a gym workout in 5 days a week, eat healthy and compete on stage.

I grew up seeing my parents take care of themselves. My father played just about every sport there was – football, basketball, soccer, golf- you name it- my dad played it. When I was growing up I watched him run in many local races. My mother went to the gym regularly and took my brother and me with her. Being healthy, active, and the best version of you- is how I was raised.

When I started working out, I knew my way around the gym from going with my mom as a kid, but didn’t really know exactly what to do. I wanted to build muscle in some areas and reduce fat in others. I also didn’t know much about clean eating. I just ate everything no or low fat. I started watching others and asking what muscle groups a particular exercise was targeting. I started writing up my own workout plans to follow, focusing on certain muscle groups. I subscribed to Fitness magazines and would read them cover to cover. I’d get ideas for what to do in the gym and also write down healthy recipes and meal plan ideas. I began reading up on nutrition, what foods do for your body, researching what other females with close to my body type were eating to look and feel the way they did.

Here’s what didn’t work:

Restriction. I would cut way back on calories- whether it be no carb, no sugar, no fat, etc. That never worked for me. It might work for a few weeks, I would drop weight, but it all piles back on, because this type of diet is not sustainable. You need to find a “diet” that works for you, and that you can follow for the long run. That is when the results will come and stay.

Here’s what worked:

A balanced meal plan. I tracked macros for at least 2 years. I had targets for my total calories, proteins, fats, and carbs set and I would eat to hit those targets. 80% of my foods were “clean” and 20% whatever I wanted as long as I hit my macro targets. Eventually it got to where I didn’t have to track macros. I just knew what foods to eat more of or less of.

Meal Plan

This is the basic meal plan I follow- of course it all changes when I am getting close to a competition. I feel this is a sustainable plan for most people.


Meal 1: 1/2 cup oatmeal with 3/4 cup liquid egg whites

Meal 2: 4oz chicken, 4oz sweet potatoes (pre workout meal) (I get my workouts in during my lunch breaks)

Meal 3: Muscle Provider protein shake with 2 rice cakes

Meal 4: 5oz tilapia, 1/2 cup rice, 3/4 cup broccoli

Meal 5: 4oz salmon, 1/2 cup brown rice, 8 asparagus spears

Meal 6: UMP with 1/2 cup oatmeal (mix UMP in after cooking oatmeal)

Meal Prepping does not have to be time consuming or hard. Here are some tips:

  • I prep most of my food in bulk and store in the fridge for the work week. Every morning before work I will weigh out my meals, put them in a cooler, and take them with me.
  • Have healthy foods cooked and ready to go in your fridge. When you get hungry, you should be able to grab something quick.
  • For chicken - yes a grill is nice or the oven, but now I like to just throw the chicken in a crockpot with a cup of water and let it cook. It’s simple. Use a crockpot liner for quick clean up.
  • For carbs - cook a big pot of rice and keep in fridge. Buy sweet potatoes in a steamer bag, throw them in the microwave and they are done! Let cool, peel, and put in Tupperware in the fridge.
  • For veggies - steamer bags are your friends! Asparagus, broccoli, and green beans. Cook and store in Tupperware in your fridge.

Supplement Schedule

Lean Out:
3 caps with breakfast, lunch, and dinner (meals 1, 3, & 5)

7-Keto MuscLean:
3 caps with breakfast and lunch (meals 1 & 3)

Energy Reserve:
1 tablet with each meal + 2 tabs before training

3 caps with breakfast, lunch, and dinner (meals 1, 3, & 5)

2 caps mid-day when I need boost of energy

Muscle Provider:
Meal 3 (post workout)

Meal 6 (usually mixed with oatmeal)

Training Schedule


Monday and Thursday: Orange Theory 1-hour class.

Tuesday: Glutes & HamstringsSets Reps
Leg Curls512-20
Leg Press512-20
Stiff-leg Deadlift512-20
Weighted Pelvic Thrust512-20
Wednesday: Back & BicepsSets Reps
Wide Grip Pullups510-15
Wide Grip Pulldowns510-15
T-Bar Row510-15
DB Jerks510-15
Wide Bar Cable Row510-15
Alternate DB Curls58-12
Straight Bar Curls58-12
DB Hammer Curls 58-12
Friday: Chest & TricepsSets Reps
Flat Bench DB Press510-15
Cable Flyes510-12
Cable Rope Pressdowns58-12
Skull Crushers58-12
Weighted Bench Dips58-12
Saturday: ShouldersSets Reps
DB 3/4 Shoulder Press510-15
BB Military Press510-15
DB Lateral Raise510-15
BB Upright Rows510-15
Incline DB Front Raise510



I currently attend Orange Theory Fitness twice a week. I have seen a big difference in my physique since implementing that into my workouts. I enjoy HIIT style for cardio. Increase that incline on the treadmill to target your glutes more.


Presentation tips

Practice posing, wear your competition heels around the house. Get comfortable in them! Practice in front of a mirror, but also not. You won’t be looking back at you on the stage, you need to visualize people, the judges looking back at you. Smile the whole time, even when you are waiting to go on stage, you are being judged before you step on that X on the stage.

Closing Thoughts

If you compete, have a plan of action for after the show. Yes, enjoy a meal that evening and the next day. But get back on your plan Monday. Don’t drastically cut cardio or change up your meal plan. If you are not going to compete for a while, you should still slowly transfer to your off season meal plan.

The Monday after a show, I jump back on a meal plan that is very close to my precontest diet. If you were doing 1 hour of cardio a day, you don’t want to up your calories a ton and stop cardio, you will gain bad weight quick.

Remember if you chose to compete or not- it’s always “you” vs “you”. If you just want to lose weight, this is YOUR journey. Do not compare yourself to anyone. When it is time to compete, step on that stage, if you gave it your all, and did YOUR best, then you won. Just compete against yourself, always striving to be the best version of yourself.

A Life Changing Accident Blessing!

At a Glance: Jennifer Cook

Age: 42

Occupation: Sr Account Sales Manager at Wise Snacks

Family: Married almost 2 years and 2 children

Current Residence: Massapequa Park, NY

Training (total): Joined my first Gold’s Gym at 20 years old, first Women’s body building show in 2001 at 24 years old as a middle weight

Height: 5'4"

Weight: Off-Season 145-165lb, Contest 137lb

Favorite Bodybuilding or Fitness Meal: Steamed chicken and white rice

Favorite Supplements: UMP Angel Food Cake is my absolute favorite. UMP is so versatile and has so many flavor options. When I am not in prep, one of my favorites is rainbow sprinkles in my angel food cake shake.

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

Music: 90’s rap

Most Inspiring Book: The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer

Hobby or Interests outside bodybuilding: Doing anything with my family. We love to travel when we can. We love Lake George, NY- we were married there in 2017.

Words to live by: “Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take but by the moments that take your breath away.”

I never would have thought that being hit by a car at 20 years old would be a blessing in my life. It was a sunny January afternoon in 1997 when I was crossing the street from my office to the post office as I did most days, but this day was different. A car ran a stop sign and hit me head on in the crosswalk. The car stayed at the scene thankfully and called 911. At the hospital, I found out that I would need reconstructive surgery for my knee. I had to go into physical therapy for almost 4 months to build enough muscle to even have the surgery. The doctors told me after the surgery I would have tremendous atrophy in my leg and needed to build  it up as much as possible before the surgery. They were right. I looked like a peg-legged pirate after surgery with one leg down to the bone and the other with normal muscle tone.

Something changed forever in my life during the 6 months I spent in post- surgery physical therapy. You see as a child I was tormented for my weight all through school, especially in junior high. I didn’t know how to eat healthy or exercise so I just stopped eating. I was so embarrassed and ashamed of the way I looked.

When I started to lift weights for physical therapy, I started to see my body change. I felt healthier and stronger. After being someone who battled weight gain my whole life while using unsafe methods to lose weight including anorexia and bulimia, I finally saw things differently. I decided to join a gym after I completed my therapy. I started to read Muscle & Fitness and Oxygen to learn new exercises and nutritional plans. I was teaching myself how to be healthy.

Four years later I was on stage at the 2001 NPC NY Metropolitans in NYC as a middle weight bodybuilder. I went from a girl who was ashamed to wear a dress to a woman who was proud of her physique and not ashamed to be in front of a theater full of people. That was it. I was hooked on the lifestyle. I continued to train but did not compete again for many years. I took time away from the gym and had 2 beautiful kids Justin (2007) and Madison (2009).

In 2013, I was finally able to join a gym again. Two years later an amazing thing  happened as I was prepping for my first NPC Figure show. A few weeks into my prep I met a guy on the bicep curl machine and we started chatting about competing and training. About 4 months later I was onstage at the NPC Metropolitans and that guy who I was chatting with became my fiancé. He proposed to me the night before the show. The next day I placed top 5. It was truly an amazing 24 hours.

In closing, I look forward to many more years of training and living a healthy lifestyle, and hopefully one day maybe getting to share the stage with not only my husband, but also with my kids.

Pre-Contest Meal Plan

Meal 1: UMP protein shake made with 8oz no sugar added almond milk and ice; 1 cup black coffee

Meal 2: 4oz chicken breast*, 1/2 cup white rice

Meal 3: 4oz chicken breast

Meal 4: 4oz grilled chicken, 1 cup greens of my choice, healthy fats dressing

Meal 5: UMP protein shake made with water and 1 tbsp peanut butter or 1/4 cup cashews

*I mix up my proteins - chicken, eggs, and lean beef twice a week

Supplement Schedule

7-Keto MuscLean upon arising and at noon (really helps me get going)

Super Pak with meal 1 (When I started using the Super Pak, I stopped getting sick. This is especially important when your immune system is stressed during contest prep. Winters in NY are tough and the gyms are filled with germs. Super Pak gives me all the immune defense I need.

Advanced Antioxidant with meal 3

EFA Gold with meals 3 and 4

Glutamine Select during and after my workout

My 5-Day Workout Plan

Day 1: LegsSets Reps
Leg Press415
Leg Curl415
Leg Extension415-20
Seated Calf Raise320
Standing Calf Raise320
Day 2: Chest & AbsSets Reps
Bench Press415
Incline DB Press415
Pec Dec Flyes415
Lying Leg Raise325
Cable Crunch320
Incline Sit-ups 320
Day 3: Back & AbsSets Reps
Assisted Pull-up4Failure
1-Arm Row415
Reverse Grip PD415
AbsSame as Day 2Same as Day 2
Day 4: Shoulders & AbsSets Reps
DB Press 415
Lateral Raise415
Upright Row415
Bent Laterals412
AbsSame as Day 2Same as Day 2
Day 5: ArmsSets Reps
1-Arm Extension415
BB Curl415
Assisted Dips415
Incline DB Curl415
Triceps Pressdown415
Machine Curl415

It’s Never too Late to be Great

At a Glance: Cindy Lane Ross

Age: 41

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

Current Residence: Orange Beach, AL

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

Years Training: 30 years

Height: 5’5”

Weight: Off Season 129, Contest 119

Favorite Fitness Meal: Large bowl of oatmeal with berries.

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

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

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

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

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

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

2018... A Year of Self- Discovery

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

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

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

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

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

My Nutrition Advice

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

In Closing

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

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

Year Round Diet

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

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

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

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

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


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

Ultra-C, Lean Out, and Quadracarn with breakfast

Lean Out and Density with each meal throughout the day

Creatine Select before my weight training sessions

Contest Season Diet

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

Meal 2: 4oz salmon, 1 cup vegetables

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

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

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


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


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

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

Tuesday: Back

Wednesday: Legs (Quads)

Thursday: Arms

Friday: Shoulders

Sunday: Legs (Glutes & Hams)

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

A Peanut Among Peanuts

At a Glance: Eva Serber

Age: 43

Occupation or Education: Ph.D.; Licensed Clinical Health Psychologist and Associate Professor at an Academic Medical Center

Current Residence: Charleston, SC

Years training: I’ve focused on bodybuilding since 2012.

Height: 4’11”

Weight: Off Season: 109, Contest: 98-100

Favorite Bodybuilding Meal: Salmon and roasted Brussels sprouts

What would you recommend to someone who has never used Beverly supplements before? UMP is a great protein powder. Versatile, high mixability, and delicious flavor. I started with Glutamine Select and Quadracarn for recovery and rehabilitation after an ACL tear and reconstructive surgery (patellar tendon graft). I highly recommend these two foundation supplements for anyone trying to build strength, muscle, and promote recovery (from every day workouts or injury).

Music: Top 40 pop and rock, and I am most definitely an 80’s girl. In the gym often listening to Pandora’s station “Hard Rock Strength Training” and cardio “Dance Cardio”.

Hobby or interests outside bodybuilding: I love physical activity of any kind and being outside on the beach, Greenway trail or bridge walking, baking cupcakes for others’ special days, going to the movies or theater productions with friends.

Words to live by: “Self-care is not selfish”, “in all that you do, do it in the service of your values”. “Say what you mean and do what you say.”


I have always been passionate about health and fitness, starting as a young girl with dance and gymnastics. I loved gymnastics and for a long time one of “my big regrets” was quitting “too early” when my classes stopped being fun. I played softball, had a short stint of cheerleading, joined a gym and just worked the machines with no specific goal other than enjoying it and “trying to manage my weight.” Kickboxing and Muay Thai (1st torn ACL; left knee) in graduate school was what turned the corner for me into training for athletic performance and competitive athletics. At that time, people would ask what I did for weight lifting, and I didn’t, it was just hours training in boxing and kickboxing. I started running, too, as I needed interval and endurance training for multiple rounds of kickboxing. While training kickboxing at Gainesville Dojo my sensei said that with my muscle structure I could do bodybuilding. I laughed, thinking you needed to be huge for bodybuilding, not knowing anything about the sport.

In 2005 I suffered a minor whiplash that landed me in months of physical therapy. I’ll never forget the physical therapist telling me, “Despite all that you do, you have a weak back.” She gave me a home exercise program to continue strengthening my back and that was the start of my serious weight training.

I was now on clinical internship (for a PhD in health psychology), in a weight management center and I started learning about nutrition and meal timing. I continued to lift and bodybuilders started telling me I could probably enter a bodybuilding show if I just leaned out a bit (2008). That year, with the generosity of others’ time and expertise for training and prep, I entered my first bodybuilding show, just to do it. I entered the INBF Monster Mash in bodybuilding, figure, and Ms Fit Body; placed top 5 in all categories. Afterwards, I resumed running and ran several half-marathons, lifting weights only to maintain my muscle and strength while I focused on distance running.

Fast forward to 2012. I wanted to compete again. Recently returning to Charleston, SC where I spent a year for internship, I started learning more about the different divisions of NPC competiiton. Combining my newfound love of weightlifting and strength, and my “regret” of stopping gymnastics (with dance and yoga moves in my repertoire); I sought out my coach and started training for the Fitness Division. I competed in the Women’s Physique and Fitness divisions, placing top 5 for both. Later that year I tore my other ACL while unpacking from a recent residential move. One of the medical team members recommended that I try Beverly International to aid in my recovery. I started with Glutamine Select for the purpose of healing from the trauma of injury and surgery. I then added Quadracarn for muscle maintenance and circulation benefits while in grueling rehab for 10 months.

Day one of physical therapy after my ACL reconstruction surgery (July 25, 2013), I was asked what was my goal. Without hesitation, I answered,
“Tri-fitness Challenge in Tampa, FL; May 2014 and return to the NPC Fitness Division that season as well.” Ten months of hard work in PT, Beverly International supplements, and following an anti-inflammatory diet; I achieved my goals with flying colors. I competed in Fitness in 2014 qualifying for nationals, and competed in the NPC Jr USA National Championships 2015. I retired fitness that year (at 40 years of age) to fully focus on the Women’s Physique Division (WPD). My body and work schedule needed a break from the extra hours of training required for fitness (dance, choreography, and gymnastics in addition to lifting time).

Since 2016 I have competed in WPD at the regional and national level. I’m a natural athlete and have continued to use Beverly International supplements as my constant mainstay since 2012. In terms of rankings, one could say my peaking moment was receiving 3rd place in 2017 at the NPC North American Championship; and it was indeed a very proud and excited moment. My prep was the best ever. I felt strong, happy, and maintained a reasonable work-life balance. My physique ended up better than I had ever thought it could. I had been dreaming, believing, and hoping to win a national show. I was initially disappointed with the standings, but then quickly focused on how proud I was of me. I am, and will always be the little peanut, even amongst the peanuts of 5’2” and under; and that is okay.



From July 26 to September I slowly added calories to my day while reducing cardio time to build up my metabolism again. Now it is time to recheck myself and do a “mini cut” as I slowly crept above the body fat range I wanted to maintain. This would be a good diet for any female who wishes to lean out without too much suffering.

Meal 1: 5 egg whites, 1/2 cup brown rice or quinoa, or rice cakes

Meal 2: 4oz chicken, 4oz sweet potato (or any kind of baked potato), green vegetables (these are unlimited throughout the day)

Meal 3: 4oz salmon, green veggies (my favorite is roasted Brussels sprouts and butternut squash)

Meal 4: 4oz chicken, green veggies

Meal 5: 4oz orange roughy, green veggies (my favorite at this meal is a cole slaw recipe made with Greek yogurt and apple cider vinegar)

If super hungry before bed, I have a scoop of protein (UMP) and add just enough water/milk to make a “pudding.”

On the weekend, I have a “treat” meal (e.g., burger, steak, tacos).


FitTabs, EFA Gold, & Joint Care: These three supplements are the foundation for overall health and wellness. I take them every morning.

Glutamine Select & Quadracarn: I take these twice/day to help with muscle recovery and growth. I started taking these when I tore my ACL and recovering from reconstruction surgery. Research shows that flooding the body with glutamine helps the body recovery from physical trauma.

Lean Out, 7-Keto MuscLean, & Ultra 40: Help me stay lean while building muscle during “mini cuts” throughout the year, and when cutting for competition.


I used to do a set workout for each day of the week. Now I have a game plan for body parts, but I mix up my workouts like this:

Day 1: Back (width) & Side Delts

Day 2: Chest

Day 3: Quads

Day 4: Back (depth) and Rear Delts

Day 5: Biceps and Triceps

Day 6: Hamstrings and Glutes

Day 7: Shoulders

Day 8: Back and Biceps

Day 9: Chest and Triceps

Day 10: Legs

Day 11: Shoulders

During my building season I usually do 4-5 sets of 6-10 reps on each exercise. However, if I feel that I need more definition, I increase the reps to 12-15 during my “mini-cut”.

One constant in my workout sequence is to do a standard leg workout on days 3 & 10 in the accompanying schedule, and then on the weekend I alternate my favorite workout - one mile (yes, one mile) of lunges on the beach at sunrise one week, with a stadium workout of lunges and bleacher runs the next.

Stadium Workout: Lunges for one straight away, then run up the bleacher one step at a time, recover on the way down, then run up the bleachers again taking every other step.


In Closing

I love training, I love seeing what the body and the mind can do, the transformations and changes just from changing nutrients; and above all being consistent and persistent. I take it year by year, taking stock of how I am doing mentally, physically, socially, and occupationally. There is a time and a place for everything; and no one can do it all, all of the time.

In addition to my academic credentials and clinical experience, I am also a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) with the National Strength and Conditioning Association.

If you would like help in pursuing your fitness goals in health and wellness or athletic performance, please contact me a

Becoming a Better Me!

At a Glance: Susan Ramsey

Age: 36

Occupation: Radiologic Technologist and Certified Personal Trainer

Family: Married to my high school sweetheart, Clint. We broke up senior year and reunited 10 years later! We have two sons, ages 6 and 3.

Current residence: Montgomery, IN

Years training: 5+

Height: 5'4"

Weight: Off Season - 125 lb, Contest - 110 lb

Favorite fitness meal: 30 grams old fashioned oats mixed with 1 scoop UMP Cookies & Crème. Or 4-6 oz lean meat, 130 grams sweet potatoes, steamed asparagus and Brussels sprouts.

Favorite Supplement: UMP! The shakes taste like a milkshake and help curb any sweet craving. My sons even love UMP shakes (especially chocolate)! I also like to take a small spoonful of the chocolate UMP and mix with my coffee. Tastes like a café mocha.

What would you recommend to someone who has never used Beverly? If you have never used Beverly products, I highly recommend starting with their protein powder. Beverly UMP is hands down the best tasting protein powder out there! It does not leave a nasty aftertaste, and it legit is like having a treat. You can also bake healthy goodies with it.

Music: I like a wide variety, but I am a huge George Strait fan.

Most Inspiring Book: The Bible

Hobby or Interests outside bodybuilding: Hanging with my family, reading, watching Dateline, and tending to my flowers/garden.

Words to live by: Every opportunity is an experience to learn.


I have always enjoyed fitness, but it was mainly cardio and only occasionallylifting a light dumbbell. After having my first son in 2012, I decided to get my body in shape. That’s when I discovered weights and fell in love with them! My body started changing, I finally began to see some muscle tone. For years I would scroll through social media, jealous of the women who were on stage and wishing I could be like them.

In 2015, while I was very pregnant with our second son, I expressed my desire to compete to my husband. Without hesitation, he encouraged me to go for it as soon as I could after having our baby. So in 2016, I competed in my first show. (I went to a show in a different state so no one would know me). I placed and since then have fallen in love with the sport. I love the idea of working on becoming a better me and seeing the results! My latest competition was May 4, 2019; I competed in the Indiana Muscle in Evansville, IN. I placed 3rd in Masters, 2nd in Bikini Novice B, and 2nd in Bikini Open B.

When the word got out that I was a competitor, women began asking about my workouts. Throughout the years my husband and I had turned half of our basement into a home gym. With both of us working full time and having two small children, going to a gym was not doable. So I thought, "Why don't I start training women here?" I trained my first group session on January 3, 2017. I only had a few women in the beginning, but I absolutely loved it! Soon after, I became a certified personal trainer. My clientele has grown thanks to word of mouth, and I now have 50+ clients. The past two years I have been working full time and running my fitness business part time. After a wonderful 13 years working in radiology, I resigned in May, 2019 to focus on my growing personal training business. It brings me so much joy to see the women I train become more confident, stronger, and learn to live a healthier lifestyle.

My classes are strictly strength training. I have found that most women do not feel comfortable lifting weights in the gym and will just go to the cardio machines. My goal is to educate them on what to do and give them the confidence they need in order to achieve their goals.

I thank God daily for blessing me with this opportunity. I preach to my clients, fitness is a lifestyle, not a seasonal hobby.

In the remainder of this article I will discuss my own personal competition training, diet and supplement programs. I hope that you will be able to incorporate them into your own physique improvement plan.



I wake up at 4am every day to get my workout in. It is important to have that time to work on becoming a better me. Plus, I sleep better at night! Here’s a workout that has given me great results!


Exercise SetsReps
Lat Pulldowns412
Seated Cable Row412
Bent Over DB Row412
Close Grip Pull Downs412
Rower- As fast as I can for 15 minutes


Tuesday: Glutes and Quads

Exercise SetsReps
Leg Extensions510
Wide Stance Leg Press412
Hip Abductions415
Barbell Hip Thrusters415
Cable Kickbacks412


Wednesday: Shoulders

Exercise SetsReps
Dumbbell Lateral Raises412-15
DB Shoulder Press412
Cable Upright Rows415
Plate Front Raises412
Cable 1-Arm Laterals410
Rear Delt DB Fly412


Thursday: Triceps and Biceps

Exercise SetsReps
Triceps Press Down510
Triceps Bench Dips510
1-Arm Triceps Pulldown412
DB Overhead Extensions412
Biceps Curls412
Cable 1-Arm Curls410
Hammer Curls412


Friday: Chest and Core

Exercise SetsReps
Smith Bench Press412
Seated Chess Press412
Incline DB Chest Press412
DB Flye412
Hanging Leg Raises412
V-Ups Holding A Weight415


Saturday: Shoulders, Glutes & Hamstrings

Exercise SetsReps
DB Lateral Raises412
Kettle Bell Upright Rows412
DB Shoulder Press412
Barbell Hip Thrusters412
Hip Abductions320
Romanian Deadlifts412
Hamstring Curls412
Bulgarian Split Lunges412


Sunday: Rest



Off season I do cardio 25-30 min 2-3x a week. During competition prep I will spend my lunch hour getting it in. I do walking on an incline or the elliptical. I have found that strength training is what gives me the best results. When I used to concentrate on cardio and restrictive eating, I had little results. Speaking of eating…


I track macros, and I love making my meals healthy, yet fun. I allow one cheat meal a week, and I drink at least 1 gallon of water a day. Meal prepping is so important to me! Every Sunday I prep my foods for the week, and it helps me stay on track. Consistency is the key, and I train and eat well all year round. Here’s a typical pre competition diet day.

Meal 1: 30 grams old fashioned oats with 1 scoop UMP Cookies & Crème (optional add 1/4 cup blueberries)

Meal 2: 1 cup egg whites, 1 whole egg, handful of spinach plus 3 slices turkey bacon, and 1 slice Ezekiel raisin bread toast

Meal 3: 4-5oz lean ground turkey, 130 grams sweet potatoes, 85 grams steamed Brussels sprouts, and 50 grams steamed asparagus

Meal 4: 2 rice cakes with 2 tbsp natural peanut butter or a honeycrisp apple

Meal 5: 4-5oz chicken breast, 1 cup steamed veggies, 40-50 grams avocado and either 1/2 cup rice or 65 grams potatoes

Meal 6: Protein shake using 1 scoop UMP Angel Food Cake, 8-10 oz water, handful of ice, and 4-5oz frozen strawberries

UMP Protein Waffle

Here’s one of my favorite recipes – and it’s good off season or pre-contest.

  • 1 scoop UMP Angel Food Cake
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda

Add a small spoonful of unsweetened applesauce or a splash of low fat milk.

Mix really well with a spoon. The mixture will be a small, sticky blob, but after you place it in a heated waffle maker it expands into a nice waffle!
I sometimes add fruit to my mixture. Make sure the waffle iron is well heated and sprayed with a nonstick cooking spray before you start!






I don’t think I could have had the success that I’ve had without Beverly International supplements. Here’s my daily “go-to” supplement regimen.

UMP: I love making protein waffles, adding UMP Cookies & Crème to my morning oatmeal, and making protein shakes using frozen fruit.

Lean Out: I use Lean Out throughout my entire competition prep. I take 2 capsules 3 times a day with meals. It definitely helps me burn fat and “lean out” for the stage.

Glutamine Select (my favorite is their NEW flavor, Wild Berry): I love drinking a scoop or two of Glutamine Select post workout and between meals. Tastes so good!

Ultra 40: Building muscle does not come easy for me. Ultra 40 has helped me put on mass where I needed it, and it gave me the endurance I needed for my workouts. I take 9 tablets a day, 3 with 3 of my meals.

Muscle Synergy Powder: I love drinking this on my arm and shoulder day. It helps give me a good pump plus I really like the lemony taste.


In Closing

My advice to those who are wanting to compete is to know going in that the last few weeks of contest prep are mentally and physically tough. Also make sure you are ready for the self-discipline to be patient and trust the process. Finding time to get all of your workouts and cardio in while having a family and working can be tough. I recommend giving yourself one hour a day to dedicate to your training. As prep goes along, the cardio increases, and that is when I would squeeze in what I could during my lunch break or just 20-30 minutes at night.

Finally, my health is very important to me. Cancer runs strong in my family. I lost my mom to ovarian cancer. I know that to keep my body healthy, I have to make it a priority to take care of myself. There is no excuse to not move your body and eat well. If you feed your body crap, you will feel like crap. Besides maintaining a healthy diet, I fuel my body with Beverly supplements. I am a huge fan of the Beverly products because they are natural and they have really helped me achieve my goals.

I know that most women are busy with work, family, and just life in general. I am here to show you that you can make time to work on a better you. I offer online personal training to those who are not able to attend my classes. My contact for online training is

Focus on You and Do YOUR Best

At a Glance: Tina Parsons

Age: 38

Occupation: Lowe's Companies Corporate headquarters in Wilkesboro, NC

Family: Husband, Kevin and mother of two beautiful girls, Baylee and Hayley

Current Residence: Traphill, North Carolina

Years Strength training (total): 4

Height: 5’0”

Weight: Off Season-117, Race Day-115

Favorite Fitness Meal: Oatmeal with Cookies & Crème UMP and blueberries or strawberries and cinnamon

What would you recommend to someone who has never used Beverly supplements before? People often ask me about protein supplements. Before I get a chance to answer they say, “Everything I’ve tried tastes terrible.” I always recommend Beverly’s UMP. Every flavor I’ve tried is delicious and it’s so simple to blend. I recommend buying a little personal blender and add a scoop of UMP, add a little ice and water. Mix with blender, and bam! Heavenly treat. It’s honestly like a milkshake, you gotta try it!

Music: My workout playlist is all over the place – some country, but mostly hip-hop, rap and hard rock. I don’t listen to the words, (which is probably a good thing). It is the beat that matters to me. Very rarely does a song get the privilege to be downloaded to my workout playlist, but when it does, you better believe it’s a good one!

Most Inspiring Book: Dave Ramsey- The Total Money Makeover. I just love Dave, he puts life in real world terms with no candy coating.

Hobby or interests outside of racing/training: I especially enjoy training my Doberman who is also my trail running companion. Seems the older I get, the wiser I become, therefore I feel most safe running with a large dog. It’s a little comical when we come running through, people completely clear off the trail. Other hobbies include mountain biking, scuba diving, horseback riding, photography and muscle cars. Last and most important to me is exploring new adventures with my two girls.

Words to live by: Live and have no regrets. Take every opportunity when it knocks, because you may not get another one. Always take time and look at the views, because you never know when you will cross this path again.


I’m not the typical fitness bodybuilder you usually read about in this magazine. But, I am a competitor who trains and focuses on my diet (including using Beverly International supplements) every day. My competitive focus is obstacle course racing (OCR). Several years of hard work, blood, tears, and a lot of sweat culminated in a great 2018 racing year. My biggest highlight was placing 3rd in my age group at the Spartan World Championship race in North Lake Tahoe, CA. I also took 2nd in the Spartan North American Championship, as well as placing 1st in six other local and regional races.

A bit of history

I’m an average busy working mom. I work a full-time office job with a 45-minute commute each way. Like most moms, I am pulled in many directions – there’s always something going on at school or the office. I try not to let my passion for fitness take anything away from my family, but I still feel a little bit of guilt for taking time to achieve my fitness goals. To compensate, I do almost all of my training during my one-hour lunch break at the office. Since my time is limited I make every lift and every mile count. My lunch workouts are absolutely priceless to me. They have made me who I am today in the fitness world. (So, if you are reading this mom, and have an hour lunch break, you can do it too.)

Lessons from the Treadmill

I started out as an absolute beginner. So, I will share some tips that I have learned along the way through trial and error. My fitness journey started in my early 20s. I’m just 5’ tall and I was worried that keeping weight off would be a struggle as I got older. So, not having a clue as to what else to do, I joined the YMCA and started running on the treadmill during my lunch break. I worked up to 3 miles nearly every day. I must say, when you run that long on the treadmill… you have lots of time to think. I began to focus on getting just a little faster with each run. I took things very slow. Each run already felt hard and I wanted to be careful not to burn out. I focused on breathing - keeping my head up and chest open to maximize my lung capacity. Little did I know I was perfecting my running form at the same time. After all these years, I give much of the credit for my running success to these early treadmill workouts. They taught me to be consistent and keep pushing when things get really tough. I still use the treadmill nearly every day.

My Introduction to Weights

Within a blink of a few years, my girls were born and my fitness journey was put on the back burner. I wanted to spend every second I could at home with my babies. Then, after a few years, I resumed running on my treadmill at home. As my running base came back, something inside me had a fire for something more. The day I stepped into a new cross-training gym I discovered what I really wanted. A trainer (also a mom) at this new gym was incredibly fit and had the most amazing abs. This inspired me and I made a goal, that if she can do this, so can I.

My journey in weight lifting had begun. I remember being completely overwhelmed – not only learning the exercises, but trying to remember each one’s name. So, this is what I did and it worked. I made myself a book. I wrote the name of each exercise, searched the internet for a photo, then I cut and pasted it into my book. I took my book with me each time I went to the gym. If you are a beginner, try this. You won’t waste time walking around the weight room trying to remember stuff to do. I learned another important tip from the gym owner. He recommended I write everything down, including weights, reps and how I felt. I quickly fell in love with the changes my body was making.


A few years ago, I joined a CrossFit/training class. I was amazed at how quickly I fell in love with the lifts and the hardcore workouts. I remember not being able to do a single pull up and only using the empty bar for most of my lifts. I was often the last one to complete the WOD (workout of the day), but I didn’t care. My focus was to learn the exercises and do them correctly. What was important for me was to just do my best, focus on me, and not worry about what others were doing. Tip, FOCUS ON YOU and do YOUR BEST, don’t even look around at what everyone else is doing.

I remember being cheered on by others who had finished way before me. I learned how special the social part is and the amazing friends you make along the way. The unspoken part of the CrossFit WOD and the part that is somewhat addictive is the competition. It keeps my fire burning. Now, everyone knows the CrossFit WOD is not a race, but when the clock starts, it’s definitely a fight to be done first. The competition is tough, the WOD is intense with no breaks, but afterwards the feeling of accomplishment is totally amazing.

Enter the OCR

So, all of this led into why I race OCR. It seemed to be a perfect place to test out my fitness. My first Spartan race was in April 2015. I learned very quickly that Spartan races are no joke. I thought I was in pretty good shape, but was unable to complete many of the obstacles. For every failed obstacle, I’d have to do a 30-burpee penalty.  I continued to race with friends that year, and with each race I made a goal to complete more obstacles and do fewer burpees. The next year, I started racing alone and began thinking about racing competitively. I set a goal each race to overcome at least one more obstacle. Sometimes it took several races to achieve this goal, but I never gave up. I knew that I was at a disadvantage scaling the 6’, 7’, or 8’ walls because of my diminutive height. The 16’ rope climb was another big challenge. I could barely get started up before my strength gave out, and on top of that I had a fear of heights. I finally was able to conquer this one by finding a rope at the gym and practicing on it every chance I got. Many rope burns later and some fears conquered, I am now confident I can ring that bell on the rope climb every time.

Diet – Abs are made in the kitchen

As my workouts in the gym intensified and after a few more Spartan races, my obsession of “having abs” resurfaced. Was this even possible for me after two C-sections? I was getting discouraged and when I brought it up to my doctor, he kind of gave me a crazy look. But, I didn’t give up. I had heard the saying, “Abs are made in the kitchen,” so I began to research nutrition.

This is about the time I was first introduced to Beverly products. I knew I needed to get a good amount of protein in, but how? I bought boxes of protein bars which I soon found were loaded with sugar. So, I reached out to a friend for advice and she told me about Beverly UMP. I ordered it online that day and my life has never been the same!

I continued to improve my diet by cutting out sugar, fast food, and most processed foods. I learned that the harder and more often I trained, the more good food I needed to eat. In the past, my body actually stored fat because I was not eating enough! I used a free app, “myfitnesspal”, to track my diet and recorded everything I ate for over a year. I think this is a great tool for everyone who wants to improve their nutrition and stay on track.

Daily Nutrition Plan

Overall, my diet does not change much during the year. I eat about the same foods every day. The only exception is I reduce my carb intake a little on rest days. Here’s an example of my everyday eating schedule.

7:30: Usually a sweet potato muffin which I eat during my morning commute

9:30: 3-4 egg whites with shredded cheese (in the microwave at work)

11:00: (About an hour prior to my workout) instant oatmeal with UMP Cookies & Crème, blueberries and cinnamon

1:30: (Post workout) UMP Graham Cracker shake

2:30: Grilled chicken, turkey, or salmon, and sweet potato mash (mash together a small sweet potato, 1oz cream cheese, honey, molasses, and cinnamon)

4:00: Spoonful of peanut butter or almond butter with dried apple slices

7:00: Usually something light like a spinach salad with pecans, chicken, and cheese

10:00: UMP Graham Cracker shake

I often treat myself before and after a race to foods I love as a reward for the hard work I put in. This keeps me happy and becomes another motivation to keep racing! I love pizza, so the night before the Spartan World Championship race in North Lake Tahoe, I ate nearly an entire Hawaiian pizza with no regret! Running a grueling 10-13+ mile race climbing up steep mountains, yeah… I think I worked hard for that pizza. So, if you work hard but have a strict diet, take time to occasionally reward yourself with foods you enjoy.


As noted earlier, I do almost all of my training during my lunch break. I start each session with a one-mile run on the treadmill for a warm-up. After that I do either a Cross Fit WOD, or train a specific bodypart in a bodybuilding type workout. On gorgeous days when I need some sunshine in my life, I may trade my lift day for a 5-6 mile mountain bike ride or a 3-5 mile trail run.

Saturdays are usually a rest day (if not racing), or if I’m lucky to get to town for another lifting workout.

Sunday, it’s usually a long trail run at the state park in Stone Mountain, NC. Hard mountain running with amazing views are always worth it, I look forward to Sundays because it refreshes my soul.





My favorite Beverly supplement is UMP. I use it several times a day. UMP Cookies & Crème is a must in my morning oatmeal. I always have an UMP Graham Cracker shake blended with water and ice after my midday workout, and often another one right before bed.

Glutamine Select is a must in my gym bag. It definitely helps me recover quickly from my intense lunch break workouts.

During racing season, I need to be lean and lighter. Even one pound of extra weight can alter my upper performance on the OCR obstacles. So, to help me stay lean, I take Beverly’s Lean Out. It helps me burn fat from the extra food I’m eating while in intense training. It keeps me soaring though the upper body obstacles.

Last, I truly believe in vitamins to keep me feeling good and keep my immune system strong. When racing I need something extra potent. I’ve worked too hard to get where I’m at so I’m not taking any chances on being sluggish. Race season, I take Beverly’s Super Pak.


My first year in Figure

At a Glance: Michelle Brown

Age: 37

Occupation/Education: RN, Manager of Case Management at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. I am also currently pursuing my Doctorate of Nursing Practice at the University of Cincinnati.

Family: Mother of three beautiful girls- Madisyn (17), Brooke (9), Kylie (7). Husband- Derrick.

Current Residence: Crittenden, Kentucky

Years training (total): 3

Height: 5′ 5″

Weight: 140 (Off-Season), 130 (Contest)

Music: While in the gym, I listen to everything from 90’s old school rap to Metallica.

Most Inspiring Book: How Full is Your Bucket? By: Tom Rath and Donald Clifton
This book discusses how the smallest interactions with others affect relationships, productivity, health, and longevity. It helps you increase the positive moments in your life while reducing the negative.Hobby or interests outside bodybuilding:I enjoy spending time with my family on our farm and watching my girls play basketball!

Words to live by: She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future (Proverbs 31:25).

Comprehensive look at my best nutrition, supplement, and training programs

Growing up, I was an active athlete participating in cheerleading, gymnastics, and softball. Upon entering college at Northern Kentucky University, I made the cheerleading team and cheered for the Lady Norse in 1998!

Throughout this time, I was always able to eat whatever and whenever I wanted without fear of gaining weight. McDonald’s, Wendy’s, and Subway were my main fast food choices while enjoying college life.

In 1999, I became a teen mother of a beautiful baby girl. As a single mother,
I worked night shift as a Registered Nurse. My poor eating habits and fast food became an even bigger staple in my life. Exercise and fitness were the furthest thing from my mind.

After meeting my husband, having two more amazing daughters via cesarean section, and reaching the “Over 30” mark, my fast food habits and lack of exercise were starting to show in my abdomen and legs. I was gaining too much weight, too fast!

In October 2013, at the age of 33, I stepped on the scale and discovered that I had reached my top pregnancy weight (and this time I wasn’t pregnant.) I was devastated. I made a commitment right then and there to begin a healthy journey to lose the weight.

Three months later, I started attending spinning classes at my local gym, Body Works Gym in Dry Ridge, Kentucky. I also began a crash diet where I consumed only 700-800 calories per day. After a few weeks, the owner of the gym, Justin Baker, encouraged me to attend his nutritional class and start weight lifting/training. Justin customized a meal and supplement plan along with a weight lifting program to fit my goals. By May, I had lost 30 pounds and reduced my body fat significantly!

I enjoyed watching my body change. I was losing fat and adding muscle. I also found that lifting provided stress relief which made my whole life better. I had also begun helping others as they embarked on their weight loss journeys.

After a year of progress and addition of new muscle, Justin encouraged me to train for a competition. I began to train for my first figure competition in May, 2015. Since then I’ve competed in seven contests in 2015 and 2016. Before I get into my results I’d like to give you a comprehensive look at what I’ve found to be my best nutrition, supplement, training and cardio programs.

My daily nutrition plan

Daily Meals

The way my diet changes depends on my physique and how close I am to being stage-ready. Here’s a plan that has worked great for me and I’ll bet that it will work for you too.

Meal 1 (5:30 am): 3 egg whites; – cup plain oatmeal mixed with – scoop of UMP (Cookies & Créme – yum!).

Meal 2 (9:00 am): 2 scoops of Chocolate or Cookies & Créme UMP as a shake or mixed as a pudding. To make UMP into a pudding add 2 scoops of UMP and a little water in a small bowl. Mix. Add a little more water and mix again. Do this until the pudding is the desired consistency. I will usually mix as a pudding if I am in a meeting at work and do not want to distract from the meeting by shaking my shaker bottle!

Meal 3 (12:00 pm): 6 oz. chicken breast, turkey breast, tilapia, or tuna; 2 cups spinach or salad; 2 tbsp. Newman’s Own Lite Balsamic Dressing; 4 oz. sweet potato.

Meal 4 (3:00 pm): 2 scoops of UMP Cookies & Créme made as a shake or pudding.

Meal 5 (6:00 pm): 6 oz. chicken breast, turkey breast, tilapia, or tuna; 2 cups low-carb vegetables (broccoli, asparagus or green peppers).

Meal 6 (9:00 pm): 3 egg whites with 1 whole egg. I have chickens that we raise on our farm and enjoy eating farm fresh eggs!

Water intake: 1 gallon of water throughout the day. Water intake is important to stay hydrated. Water intake changes/ increases the closer you get to peak-week and throughout peak-week itself.

Supplement Schedule
Ultimate Muscle Protein – Meal replacement for meals 2 and 4 and added to my oatmeal at meal 1
Super Pak – One packet daily with meal 2
7-Keto MuscLean – 3 capsules with meals 1 and 3. (Daily total: 6 capsules to reduce body fat and optimize lean muscle mass.)
Lean Out – 3 capsules with meals 1, 3, and 5. (Daily total: 9 capsules to reduce body fat.)
Muscularity – 4 capsules with meals 1, 3, and 6. (Daily total: 12 capsules, BCAAs assist in building lean muscle mass with co-factors for blood sugar regulation and diet support.)
Density – 4 tablets with meals 1, 3, and 6. (Daily total: 12 tablets used to achieve a firm, lean look to the muscle.)

Training & cardio

Weight Training Schedule

Monday: Arms

  • Barbell Curls 3x12
  • Superset: Tricep Pushdown & Lying Cable Curls 3x12
  • Superset: Skull Crushers & Preacher Curls 3x12

Tuesday: Back

  • Chin-ups 3x12 Deadlifts 3x12
  • Dumbbell Row 3x12
  • Straight Arm Pulldown 3x12

Wednesday: Legs

  • Squats 8x12-15
  • Leg Press 2x50
  • Leg Extension 3x12
  • Calf Raise 3x20

Thursday: Shoulders & Traps

  • Shoulder Press 3x12
  • Tri-Set: Side Raises 3x12
  • Front Raises & Bent-Over Raises 3x12
  • Superset: High-Pulls & Reverse Pec Deck 3x12

Friday: Chest

  • Superset: Bench Press & Dumbbell Flye 3x12
  • Superset: Incline Press & Decline Press 3x12
  • Superset: Raised Feet Push-ups & Pec Deck 3x12

Saturday: Glutes & Hamstrings

  • Lying Leg Curl 3x12
  • Stiff-Leg Deadlift 3x12
  • Weighted Walking Lunges 3 laps around gym

Sunday: Rest

Abs: Done during or after weight training every day

  • 60 second Planks
  • 100 Sit-ups
  • 48 Decline Sit-ups with Russian Twists added (until I feel the burn)
  • 12 Hanging Leg Raises
Dawn Reichley

Cardio Schedule

HIIT Training before Weight Training

During contest prep, each of my weight training sessions begin with HIIT training. This is primarily to preserve muscle and burn fat. I typically stick to two forms of HIIT which include the treadmill and the elliptical.

Treadmill: Set the treadmill to intervals. Warm-up by walking at a moderate pace for 2 minutes. Increase your pace to sprint (for me, that is about 10 mph) for 45 seconds. Slow your pace to moderate and walk/rest for 15 seconds. Repeat for 10 minutes making your total including warm-up 12-15 minutes.

Elliptical: Warm up by pedaling moderately for 2 minutes; gradually increase the resistance to a relatively difficult setting. Once warmed up, sprint for 20 seconds and rest (pedal slowly) for 10 seconds. Repeat for a total of 10 minutes for a warm-up and sprint total of 12-15 minutes.

Additional Cardio after Weight Training

Each weight training session is followed by 10-20 minutes of cardio on the elliptical or treadmill. On the elliptical I increase my resistance every 2 minutes so that I am at the highest resistance possible during the last 3 minutes of my session. On the treadmill, I set the incline to the highest possible setting and walk at a moderate pace (4 mph) for the entire duration.

Off-Season Walking: It is important to build muscle in the off-season while keeping fat off. To achieve this I walk at a moderate pace on the treadmill for 20 minutes, 3 days per week following my weight training.

Presentation tips

Posing and presentation are crucial in competition. Presentation can make or break you on stage. The judges do not see you in the gym, they only can judge what you present to them on stage. They do not take into account the time, sweat, diet and work that a competitor puts in every day to build their physique. During prep, I pose for a minimum of 20 minutes every day. During off-season, I continue to practice and tweak my presentation/posing 1-2 days per week. I recommend that bikini or figure competitors practice in their competition heels so that they become comfortable wearing them. Looking natural and comfortable on stage is essential. Smiling is also a big part of your presentation. A smile can be a sign of confidence, beauty, and poise. The judges want to see that you are having fun! “A smile is the best makeup a girl can wear.” ˜Marilyn Monroe

My results

In August 2015, I competed in my first show, the Kentucky Open presented by Gene and Tina Goode. This was a great show for both experienced and novice competitors! Gene and Tina are amazing promoters that put on an amazing, coordinated, seamless show consistently every year. Surprisingly, I took home FIRST PLACE in the Master’s 35 and over Figure division!

In October 2015, I also competed in the Tricky Jackson Classic (2nd place Master’s). In November 2015, I competed in the Kentucky Muscle (5th place Novice).

During my off-season, I focused on building my quads which were identified as one of my weak areas. To accomplish this, I stopped all of the excess running I had been doing and limited my cardio to just 3 days per week.

The building season and minimizing cardio paid off as I began to achieve higher placements in my next few competitions. In March 2016, I competed in the Northern KY Grand Prix (3rd Open, 1st Master’s) and in April 2016, I competed in the KY Derby (5th Open, 3rd Novice, 3rd Master’s).

In October 2016, I competed in the KY Muscle (5th place Open, 4th place Novice, and 2nd place Master’s.

For the final show of the season and 2 weeks after the KY Muscle, I went to West Virginia to compete in the Grand Prix where I brought home 3rd place in Open and 1st place in Master’s and the OVERALL Master’s title!

In conclusion

The best advice that I could give to anyone working towards fitness goals is to trust the process. Diet and exercise are only half of the battle when trying to reach your goals. Dedication, determination, and the will to succeed are all mental challenges people face in their journey. Results are not accomplished overnight. You must dedicate your time and focus on the end and consistently stick to your plan in order to achieve your goals.

Dawn Reichley

From Size 14 To Size 6 My First Figure Competition

I don’t know about you, but I’m a dreamer. Starting as a little girl, I’ve sat around daydreaming about all the things I wanted to do. The problem is, I’m a dreamer, but not a dream chaser. Some say that keeps me grounded, but I say it’s lead me to be comfortably complacent in life.
I know that God wants us to be our best in every facet of life, love, friendships, work and health. We’ve all been given an incredible capacity to achieve continually, better ourselves and learn daily. Although this is what I knew in my heart, it wasn’t the way I was living.

I was taking the easy road when it came to my body. I’d look in the mirror and critique every inch of my body wishing it looked different… knowing that it took more than wishing. It took discipline and focus; two things I had deep down, but always let self doubt defeat.

I’ve been through all the ups and downs of dieting – losing it, then gaining it back. Even though I was a tennis player in both high school and college, I’ve always been a size 10–12 and at times a 14.

My senior year of college, 1999, I trained for and ran the Walt Disney Marathon with my mother for the Leukemia Society. I completed the race and was very proud of my accomplishment. Yet, in terms of body size and composition I didn’t lose a pound during my training. I was still 170+ pounds and probably 28% body fat.

I’ve been through all the ups and downs of dieting – losing it, then gaining it back.

That same year I met Todd and after a whirlwind romance we were married. I had worked hard on my lifting and diet and had gotten in what for me was pretty good shape. A year later, Todd and I opened Bluegrass Fitness Center, in Harrodsburg Kentucky. Now as hard as it may be for you to understand, just because you own a fitness center doesn’t mean it’s easy to get fit. In fact, Todd and I found it very difficult to get back to training consistently after opening the gym. “Working out where you work” wasn’t working out for me!

We opened a second fitness center in Elizabethtown, KY and did start training, but our diet program was unconscious eating and weekend gorging. We’d usually do OK during the week, but would eat pizza, wings and more every weekend. Even though I was training fairly consistently, my body started creeping up in size. Last year, I had to break out my "BIG" jeans and that was not something I was too happy about.

My sister, Shelley had made some great strides working with Beverly for her figure contests and I thought maybe it was something I’d be interested in doing as well. My problem was I really didn’t believe I could do it. It was hard enough to lose 2 pounds, much less the 25 or 30 I needed to lose to compete. I thought about calling them for help, but honestly I was scared. I’d known a lot of ‘fit’ people who used Beverly, including my sister, Shelley, and I was afraid that I couldn’t measure up.


Tara NPC Northern Figure contest warming up before going on stage

After my visit to Beverly International, I was pumped up and ready to go.

I said to myself, "They won’t want to see me, I’m too fat. I can’t do it." Then I’d become disgusted with myself and decide to call. Finally, after a lot of back and forth I made an appointment. Todd and I made our way to BI for our first appointments. I remember that day very clearly; I was so nervous!! Todd and I were greeted like we were old friends. I weighed in that first day at 173, I had a lot of fat to lose and now I had a plan that would work, if I followed it.

I left pumped up and ready to go. I had a goal to do a show in six months. The first few weeks were great. Then I started to slack. The weekends would come and I’d gain back a pound of what I’d lost the week before. I knew in my heart I wasn’t following the plan like I needed to.

Six months passed and I was still a good 10 pounds from where I needed to be. I’d started at 173 pounds and 22 percent body-fat, now I was 164 pounds and 18 percent; progress, but I knew it wasn’t enough. And I had only myself to blame. The realization that I could run a marathon but not stick to my diet for more than a few weeks at a time brought tears of frustration… and a new resolve.

I made the decision to really change, to quit playing around with my diet and this time stick to it, perfectly. And I did for the next 15 weeks! I never felt better in my life. I got my weight down to 145 pounds and my body-fat to 13 percent body-fat.

I also finally attained my goal of competing in a figure competition and looking like I belonged there at the 2005 KY Muscle Open Figure Championships where I placed fourth out of 19 in my class. I WAS THRILLED!

For now I plan on one more competition, the Northern KY this spring, then Todd and I would like to start a family.

I’ve learned so much throughout this experience; not only about dieting and working out, but about myself. I’m now stronger physically, mentally and spiritually than before.

I want all of you who have dreams of competing or even of just looking your best to know you’re not alone. I know how difficult it can be, especially when it seems so easy for others. Believe me, it wasn’t easy for me; but whenever I felt weak I would pray and ask God to give me the strength I needed to complete the immediate task at hand. I believe God wants us to continually challenge ourselves not only spiritually, but also mentally and physically to be our best. As it says in 1 Corinthians 9:24, "run in such a way as to get the prize."

I could never have achieved my goals without Rachel Wade. Rachel was there for me through all my ups and downs. I have to admit I broke down on her and Angie, my trainer, a couple times during the course of my contest prep. Todd was great and very supportive. He kept saying, "It’s not the end results that matters, honey, but the journey to get there." What a philosopher. Thanks baby!

Todd, my husband, was great! He kept reminding me, "It’s not end result that matters, but the journey to get there".

Tara’s Diet 16 Weeks Out
Supplements: Ms Power Pak, 3 Ultra 40 and 3 Mass Amino Acids with each meal, 2 Lean Out per meal, and 3 EFA Gold with meals 1 and 5.
Meal #1: 1 whole egg and 5 egg whites; 3 ounces 93 percent lean beef, chicken or turkey; ½ cup oatmeal
Meal #2: Protein Shake: 2 Scoops Ultra Size or Ultimate Muscle Protein mixed with water to desired consistency
Meal #3: 6-ounce lean protein source; 4-ounce sweet potato or ½ cup cooked brown rice; 1 cup vegetables or salad
Meal #4: (same as meal #2)
Meal #5: 6-ounce lean protein; 2 cups vegetables
Meal #6 (Occasionally): 1 scoop Ultimate Muscle Protein, enough water to make it pudding consistency and topped with 4 tablespoons Cool Whip (yum!)
Tara’s Diet 6 Weeks Out
Supplements: Super Pak; 4 Ultra 40 and 4 Muscularity BCAAs with each meal; 3 EFA Gold with meals 1 and 5.
Special Fat Loss Supplements:
Lean Out – 2 caps with each meal 7–Keto MuscLean – 3 caps in am & 3 in p.m. GH Factor – 4 caps in a.m., 4 before training or an afternoon meal, & 4 before bed (all on empty stomach – taken final 5 weeks) Energy Reserve – 2 tablets before training and before each meal.
Training & Recovery Supplements: Glutamine Select – 1 scoop before and after training
Muscle Mass – 5 tablets before training, and 5 every 8 minutes during training until I reached a total of 25
Joint Care – 3 caps with meal #1
Digestive Support: Multiple Enzyme Complex – 1–2 tablets with each meal
Meal #1: 3 egg whites, 1 scoop UMP or MP, ½ grapefruit
Meal #2: 2 scoops protein brownie mixture: 1 scoop Ultimate Muscle Protein Vanilla + 1 scoop Muscle Provider Chocolate
Meal #3: 5-ounce very lean meat, 2 cups veggies topped with red wine vinegar
Meal #4: Same as meal #2
Meal #5: 5-ounce very lean meat or 10 egg whites, or 6-ounce whitefish or 3 egg whites and one scoop UMP or MP, 2 cups veggies (ate lots of spinach). I love egg white and spinach omelets!
Mondays and Thursdays: In place of my 5th meal, I had this version of the Beverly carb
Meal: ¼ cup oats, ½ cup brown rice, 1 cup veggies, 4-ounce sweet potato, and 1 tablespoon butter.