My Journey from “Rock Bottom” to Bikini Bodybuilding Champion

At a Glance: Celeste Gillispie

Age: 25

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

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

Residence: Odessa, TX

Years training: 7 years

Height: 5'4"

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My First Contest, a Career Upgrade and Marriage

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

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

Contest History

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

Diet

Dieting Tips

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

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

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

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

Off-Season Diet

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

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

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

Carbs:105 grams of sweet potato.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Competition Diet

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

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

Meal #3: Same as meal #2

Meal #4: Same as meal #2

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

Meal #6: Same as meal #2

Presentation Tips

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

Supplements

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

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

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

16 Week Competition Prep Supplement Schedule

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

Lean Out: 2 capsules with meals 1 and 3;

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

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

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

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

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

Probiotics: 1 capsule before bed (meal 6)

Training

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

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

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

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

Monday Glutes and Legs

Glute Bridges 3x20-25

BB Squats 4x18-25

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

Heavy Abduction Machine 4x8-10

Glute Kickbacks 4x10-12 reps

Tuesday Back and Shoulders

Reverse Pulldowns 4x10-12

Body Weight Pull-ups 4x10-12

T-Bar Rows 4x 6-8 reps

High Cable Rows 4x8-10

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

Front Raise 4x12-15

Lateral Raise 4x8-10

Bent-Over Laterals 4x12-15

Back Extensions 4 sets to failure

Hanging Leg and Knee Raises 4x15

Wednesday Back/Arms

Rope Abs 3x15-50

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

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

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

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

Weighted Heavy Abs 5x10-12 reps

 

Thursday Shoulders

DB Shoulder Press 4x10-12

DB Arnold Shoulder Press 4x8-10

Cable Front Raise 4x8-10

Machine Lateral Raise 4x8-10

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

Machine Rear Delts 4x8-10

Heavy Rope Crunch Abs 4x15-20

 

Friday Glutes

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

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

Abduction Machine 4x12-15

 

Saturday Fun Workout!

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

 

Sunday Rest

 

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

In Closing

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

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

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

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

My First Year In Bikini

At a Glance: Sarah Vance

Age: 25

Education: Registered nurse working in ICU

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

Residence: Cincinnati, OH

Years training: 3 years

Height: 5'5"

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nutrition

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

MEAL #1 (9 AM)

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

MEAL #2 (11 AM)

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

MEAL #3 (1 PM)

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

MEAL #4 (4 PM)

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

MEAL #5 (6 PM)

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

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

MEAL #6 (9 PM)

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

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

 

Supplements

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

Supplement Schedule

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cardio

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

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

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

Training

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

My favorite exercises for legs and glutes:

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

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

Jump squats: 15 reps for 3 sets

Jumping switch lunges: 10 reps for three sets

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

Single leg plate drag: 12 reps for three sets

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

Presentation

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

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

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

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

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

At a Glance: Hyla Conrad

Age: 29

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

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

Residence: Corydon, IN

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

Height: 5'3.5"

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

MY MUSCLE GAIN / STAY LEAN DIET

MEAL #1

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

MEAL #2

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

MEAL #3

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

MEAL #4

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

MEAL #5

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

MEAL #6

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

Supplement Schedule

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

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

BI Lean Out: 2 capsules with 5 meals

BI Ultra 40: 2 tablets with 5 meals

BI EFA Gold: 3 in AM and PM

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

Cardio

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

Training

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

Monday

Core/Back/ Delts

Tuesday

Legs

Wednesday

Rest

Thursday

Back/Biceps/Triceps

Friday

Shoulders/Abs

Saturday

One Pilates and cardio session on either day

Sample Tabata Workout

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

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

Presentation/Competition Experience

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

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

Vision and Motivation

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

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

Four Years Twenty Pounds of Muscle

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Training

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

A Year Wasted

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

Pre Contest Nutrition & Training

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Final Results

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

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

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

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

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

 

PostScript

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

 

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

At a Glance: Nicole Phinney

Age: 29

Family: Fiance, Daughter, 6; Son, 3

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

Residence: Cleveland, Ohio

Years training: 3

Height: 4'11"

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

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

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

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

In my CD player: Rob Bailey and the Hustle Standard

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Training schedule

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nutrition and Supplement Plan

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Muscle Building Supplement Plan

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

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

Contest Prep Nutrition Schedule

Meal #1
6 egg whites; 40g oatmeal

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

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

Meal #4
4oz chicken breast; salad

Meal #5
6 egg whites

Pre-Contest Beverly Supplements

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

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

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

Cardio

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

Back On Stage

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

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

Nicole’s Contest Prep Tip:

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

Never Give Up Never Give In

At a Glance: Dave Uhlman

Age: 41

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

Occupation: Owner of Elite Personal Training and Contest Prep

Current Residence: Union, KY

Years training (total): 26

Height: 5'1"

Weight: 212 (contest)

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

Diet

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Training schedule

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

Monday & Thursday: Chest, Biceps, Abs

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

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

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

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

Tuesday & Friday: Legs, Calves

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

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

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

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

Wednesday & Saturday: Back, Shoulders, Triceps, Traps

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

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

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

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

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

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

One Week Out - A Major Setback

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

Closing Thoughts

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

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

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

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

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

Mass Building Workouts

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

Advanced Novice Mass Building Workout

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

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

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

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

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

Set#WeightReps
19515
213512
316510
41858
52006
62105

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

 

Intermediate Mass Building Workout

Monday & Thursday: Chest, Back, Shoulders

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

Tuesday & Friday: Legs, Biceps, Triceps

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

My First Figure Overall after a Five-Year Layoff

At a Glance: Laurie Lapsevich

Age: 43

Family: Supportive husband, Nick

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

Residence: Brunswick, Ohio

Years training: 20 years

Height: 5'8.75"

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

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

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

Music: Variety, but usually hip-hop music

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Diet

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

Meal 1

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

Meal 2

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

Meal 3

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

Meal 4

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

Meal 5

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

Supplements

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

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

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

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

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

Cardio

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

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

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

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

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

 

Training

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

Day 1 Quads

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

Day 2 Shoulders

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

Day 3 Back / Biceps

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

Day 4 Off

Day 5 Chest / Triceps

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

Day 6 Glutes /Hams

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

Day 7 Off

Presentation Tips

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

In Closing

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

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

Bodybuilding over 60: Age is just a number

At a Glance: Bruce Glenny

Age: 61

Family: Single

Occupation: High School Choral Music Teacher and part-time church musician

Current Residence: Havertown, PA

Years training (total): 35

Height: 5'8"

Weight: 155 (off-season), 140 (contest)

Favorite Bodybuilding Meal: Grilled chicken, sweet potatoes, veggies

What would you recommend to someone who has never used Beverly supplements before? Use UMP (especially chocolate or strawberry), Quadracarn, EFA Gold, Creatine Select – all are quality supplements

Books I read: Anything about US history and biography

Hobbies outside of bodybuilding: Playing classical music on the organ, piano, or harpsichord

Music preferences: Anything classical, especially Bach or Beethoven

Words to work out by: “Never, ever give up”; “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.”

 

I never thought I would become a bodybuilder or, for that matter, an athlete. Growing up in Western Massachusetts in a very rural setting with few kids my age around, I never had the opportunity to play sports. Instead, music was a big part of my family’s activities, and I began piano lessons. I enjoyed them and would practice for hours. In high school, I began organ lessons in addition to piano lessons. I excelled at both, and a music career seemed to be my path. Unfortunately, I led a very sedentary lifestyle, and as I entered college, I was overweight and inactive. By the time I reached graduate school, my weight had ballooned up to 232 lbs., which was way too much for my 5’8’ frame. Then in my second year of graduate school, I learned I had high blood pressure. Also, my mother, after a 5-year battle with cancer, died. This was the turning point for me. It seems we all need to hit a low point before we turn our lives around, and I’d reached my lowest point.

So, I began to think about what I was eating and my activity level. I was frequenting fast-food restaurants 4 or 5 times a week and rarely did any exercise. I slowly began to change my diet and incorporate more healthy foods, less sugary snacks, and high-carb meals. I also started to run. In the beginning, this meant a run/walk of a 1/2 mile. I built this up until I was running 2 miles without stopping and had lost 50 lbs. I joined the local YMCA in graduate school and ran on the indoor track. Finally, after nine months, I got my weight down to an acceptable 148lbs. At this point, I began using the circuit training machines at the Y and began to build muscle. I kept up this routine for 15 years – lots of running and weightlifting using machines.

By the late 1990s, I was living in a suburb of Detroit and was regularly using the local gym. I also joined a running club and began training for a marathon. In 2000, at age 41, I ran my first marathon in Detroit called the Detroit Free Press Marathon. It was a stunning route as we ran over the bridge into Canada and then under the Detroit river through the tunnel and back to the US side. I completed the race in 4 hours and 2 minutes, which was right on target as I set a goal of 4hours. My next goal was to learn how to use free weights and train more seriously. I hired a trainer at my gym, learned to love lifting, made great progress, and I became hooked!

In 2005, I had moved to Philadelphia and was in a different gym with a new trainer when one day he asked me if I was interested in competing in a bodybuilding contest. I had no idea what a bodybuilding contest was, but I said I would give it a try. I prepped for six months and then did a 14-week cut and competed in the OCB Charm City Classic in Baltimore. At age 46, I came in 3rd in the Men’s Masters class, and I was overjoyed.

I’m Introduced to UMP

I had been using protein powders which did not taste very good and had an adverse effect on my stomach. Then a friend introduced me to Beverly International supplements. The very first thing I noticed about
Beverly’s UMP protein was the taste. The chocolate flavor was so good, and there were no bad gastric effects. I tried the vanilla and then the strawberry when it was introduced into their line of products. To this day, chocolate and strawberry remain tied as my favorites!

By 2010, I had competed in about 25 shows and had done well as an amateur. At this time, I found a new coach and trainer, Joe Franco, from Bucks County, Pennsylvania. I had a dream, which I shared
with him, that I would like to become a pro-all-natural bodybuilder someday. He listened and based my training and diet on this goal. I also incorporated more Beverly products into my diet, including Lean Out, 7-Keto MuscLean, and Quadracarn. Finally, in October of 2012, at the age of 53, I won my Masters bodybuilding pro card at the same show where I competed for the first time, the Charm City Classic in Baltimore. I won the 50+ division with ten competitors and then went on to take first place in the master’s class. I was beyond happy and grateful. It seemed that this moment was the culmination of a very long journey beginning with me as an overweight child and ending with me becoming a pro bodybuilder. There were lots of emotions in that win!

Since turning pro, I have competed in many shows throughout the country in several different organizations. I have traveled to Florida, Arizona, Missouri, Tennessee, and up and down the Northeast
coast and mid-Atlantic. My love of the sport keeps me striving for improvements and gives a special focus to my life. I firmly believe that exercise and intense physical activity keeps a person feeling young. At age 59, I competed in an OCB November show (Battle of the Godz) in Providence, Rhode Island. I took 2nd place in the Men’s Pro Master Bodybuilding division. I felt great about this placing, and I can say that age is only a number, and it is never too late to begin something new. I can honestly say that at age 61, I am the strongest I have ever been in my life. I feel I still can make improvements as long as I train smart.

Recently I have been working with Nick Peterson, who designs my workout programs. We switch up the workouts every 3 or 4 months, so my body does not get too used to the same exercises and rep schemes.

Over the last 15 years, I have competed in approximately 70 shows and gained a lot of experience in the competition world. I have also become a judge for the OCB and have judged dozens of shows.
My future plans include competing again in 2021 as I turn 62. This July, I will promote an OCB show in Harrisburg, PA. I intend to keep myself active in the sport in as many ways as possible.

Every day I rely on Beverly supplements. I have been using these products for 15 years, and I see and feel the results. I take Beverly UMP and Creatine Select with me on vacation! I will find a gym, work out, and drink my Beverly shake. My Beverly supplements have even gone as far as Athens, Greece, with me.

Year-Round Diet

Meal One
UMP Chocolate protein shake with frozen fruit, one cup of high fiber low sugar cereal with almond milk – Quadracarn, Creatine Select, EFA Gold, FitTabs (multivitamin)
Workout between these two meals

Meal Two
Protein pancake – 1 cup Beverly UMP Vanilla, ³⁄₄ cup oatmeal, and cinnamon; add water and stir to a pancake batter consistency

Meal Three
3oz turkey, 21-grain thin sliced bread, low-fat mayo, veggies or salad

Meal Four
UMP Strawberry protein shake with fruit, ³⁄₄ cup oatmeal with 2 tbsp of peanut butter

Meal Five
6oz chicken, fish or turkey, 6oz sweet potato, veggies or salad – Quadracarn, Creatine Select

When I am in contest prep mode, I will add Lean Out and 7-Keto MuscLean twice a day to my supplement schedule.

During Contest Prep, I take 20 – 24 weeks to lean out slowly. This slow prep helps me to retain strength and mental well-being.

Training

I train six days a week, taking one day off for complete rest and a mental break from the gym. Each workout includes a 10-minute cardio session. I will vary my cardio using one of the following machines: the elliptical, bike, rower, or HIIT on the treadmill.

Currently, I am training in 3-week cycles. I do full-body workouts each day during weeks 1 and 2. Week 3 consists of a 3-way body part split using heavier weights for 5x5 on the core exercises. I increase the weight in small increments for each new 3-week cycle and will follow this program for three months before switching it up. Although at first glance this program might look easy, be careful! It may make you very sore by the end of the week!

Weeks 1 & 2 (Full Body each Day)

Monday

Incline Dumbbell Press 3x10

Standing Cable Curl 3x10

Farmers Walk 3x50 steps

Squat 3x10

Pull-Ups 3x Max

Dips 3x Max

Abs

Tuesday

Incline BB Bench Press 3x12

Incline DB Curl 3x12

Overhead Press 3x12

Leg Extension 3x12

Leg Press 3x12

Hamstring Curl 3x12

Lat Pulldown 3x12

Skull Crushers 3x12

Wednesday

Flat Bench Press 3x15

EZ-Bar Preacher Curl 3x15

Lateral Raise 3x15

Leg Curl 3x15

RDL (Romanian Dead Lift) 3x15

Seated Row 3x15

Overhead Press 3x15

Abs

Thursday

Incline BB Bench Press 3x10

1-Arm DB Preacher Curl 3x10

Shoulder Shrug 3x10

Goblet Squat 3x10

1-Arm DB Row 3x10

Overhead Triceps Extension 3x10

Friday

DB Bench Press 3x12

DB Hammer Curl 3x12

Front Raise 3x12

Lunges 3x 20 Steps

Calves 3x12

Neutral Lat Pull Down 3x12

Rope Pressdowns Rope 3x12

Abs

Saturday

Deadlifts 3x15

Chest Flye 3x15

Seated DB Curl 3x15

Cable Rear Delt Fly 3x15

Reverse Flye 3x15

Cable Kickbacks 3x15

Sunday - Rest

Week 3 (3-Way Split)

Monday Legs

Back Squat 5x5

Hamstring Curl 3x10

Leg Press 3x10

Abductor Machine 3x10

Adductor Machine 3x10

Hip Bridge 3x12

Calves 3x15

Abs

Tuesday Chest & Arms

Bench Press 5x5

Seated DB Curl 3x10

Triceps Press Down 3x10

Floor DB Press 3x12

Dips 3x12

Wednesday Back & Shoulders

Deadlifts 3x10

Overhead Press 5x5

Lat Pull Down 3x10

Lateral Raises 3x12

Front Raises 3x12

Y Standing Rows 3x12

Abs

Thursday Legs

Leg Press 3x15

Leg Extension 4x15

Walking Lunges 4x20 steps

Calf Raises 4x20

Single-Leg Hip Bridge 4x15 each leg

Prone Hamstring Curl 3x15

 

Friday Chest & Arms

Chest Fly 4x15

Incline DB Press 4x15

Overhead Triceps Press 4x15

Single Arm Triceps Press Down 4x15

Single Arm Preacher Curl 4x15

EZ Bar Biceps Curl 4x15

Abs

Saturday Back & Shoulders

High Pull 4x15

Seated Row 4x15

Lat Pull Down 4x15

Overhead Press 4x15

Lateral Raise 4x15

Front Raise 4x15

Sunday - Rest

My Never Ending Quest for Perfection

At a Glance: Aaron Robey

Age: 35

Occupation: Fitness trainer, model, actor

Current Residence: Atlanta, GA

Years training (total): 10

Height: 6'4"

Weight: 265 (off-season), 235 (contest)

Favorite Bodybuilding Meal: Ground turkey (with ketchup), white rice, and peanut butter

Favorite supplements: Ultra 40 and Mass Aminos

What supplement would you most recommend? From my own experience, I'd recommend Ultra 40 liver tablets. I achieved significant muscle growth from Ultra 40 and no bloating.

Music: Rap and rock.

Favorite Book: SEO 2020 by Adam Clarke.

Hobbies and interests: I love muscle cars - restoring them, studying them, and watching them in car shows. I can be captivated by them all day.

Words to work out by: "Study proper form for each exercise and hit high burning reps till failure."

Instagram: @thegodofmuscle

Website: aaronrobey.com

Originally from Columbus, OH, I moved to Atlanta in the 8th grade. I was always tall but extremely skinny. Being thin in high school wasn't a problem. I played basketball, and my height was an advantage. But as I transformed into a man, skinny no longer was working for me. I wanted size. People who worked out regularly looked like giants to me. I was enthralled. Lol, getting size became my mission in life.

One problem, I had the ambition but zero ideas on how to go about achieving it. Then one day, while eating breakfast at a restaurant, I saw one of the trainers from the local gym. He looked like he was 300lbs of
pure muscle. I wanted that look. The next day I joined his gym and was faced with a whole new set of challenges. Primarily, I had no idea how to train. First, I turned to the muscle magazines for advice. I tried various workout routines and made a little progress.

My reading led me to believe that the supplements advertised in the mags were the real secret. I spent hundreds of dollars monthly looking for the combination of supplements that was right for me. Unfortunately, none of the products worked as advertised. I was discouraged, but at the same time, I was gaining knowledge. I began eating cleaner. I started to see some quality results by ditching the fast foods and sugars for whole meats and complex carbohydrates.

Fast forward a year or so, I had a conversation with a professional bodybuilder. I asked him the same question that probably a hundred others like me had asked. "How can I get bigger?" He told me that he was personally eating beef liver tablets like candy. I immediately started researching and wore out Google looking for "the best liver pills." All signs came back to Beverly International's Ultra 40. I ordered two bottles and started taking ten tablets per day. The tablets are defatted liver, nearly pure protein. As the months passed, the lean muscle came.

I learned that what the magazines and internet made look easy, was in reality, the hardest thing I'd ever done in my life. However, I was hooked and continued learning more and more about my body. As I progressed, I realized that I was not taking in enough amino acids to maximize my muscle gains. So, I did my research and came back to Beverly for their Mass Aminos tablets. Mass Aminos was a game-changer. I finally was reaching my full potential and, within a year, had gained enough confidence to compete.

I pushed my body to the absolute limit during my contest prep and was devastated when I didn't win. I looked good but not as good as I thought. I learned from my defeat and went back to the drawing board. I realized that fitness was a mathematical equation as simple as 1 + 1 = 2: Hard work plus consistent dieting equals success. The amount of focus needed to achieve the physique of your dreams is incredible.

Diet is something I still haven't mastered

Off-season, I'm pretty relaxed. My foundation eating is to be sure to include a dozen eggs and 2lbs ground turkey each day (along with 30 each Mass Aminos and Ultra 40 liver tabs) plus some nut butter each day. But carrot cake, cookies, and cheeseburgers are the nutritional devils in my life (which I try to enjoy in moderation). I don't think you need to have an extreme diet all year. Learn your body. Understand what you can eat and what you can't. Whatever I eat throughout the day, I make sure I complete my foundation eating.

Everything changes with contest preparation. Every gram of protein, carbohydrate, and fat is ever so important. A typical contest diet entails 12 egg whites, 2lb of ground turkey, oatmeal, cabbage, and unsalted nut butter daily. My favorite supplements are Ultra 40 and Mass Aminos. First thing in the morning, I take 6 of each along with my essential vitamins (A, B-Complex, C, D-3, E). At each meal, I take eight more Ultra 40 and Mass Aminos. These supplements have worked great for me in preserving my precious muscle during extreme dieting and cardio.

Sodium is cut by nearly 90%. Sodium acts like a sponge in my body that absorbs water. When I remove sodium, I have minimal water retention. I don't cheat, I don't miss meals, and I don't skip workouts. At this stage in prep which is around three weeks out, I am like a robot. Each day becomes a repetition of the last. Stick to and complete the process in its entirety, and you will reap the benefits.

Competition training is brutal

Typically, in the off-season, I lift for high reps to failure with lighter weights. While training for a contest, my trainer, Rory Sessions, pushes me to the brink of exhaustion using heavy weights and high reps. I have never been a fan of lifting heavy, but his method completely transformed my physique. I entered the Arnold Classic Amateur with a transformed body – an extreme amount of clean and lean muscle. I took 4th in that show.

Unfortunately, Covid hit as soon as I made it home from Ohio. Gyms were closed everywhere, and I didn't lift for three months. My weight increased to 265, but the 3-month rest healed my body completely. The Olympia was a few months away. Rory and I went right back where we left off. What I learned from the last show is that recovery was an issue because of the heavier weights. Beverly International had the answer.
I increased my Ultra 40 and Mass Aminos and added ZMA 2000 for nighttime recovery. This stack prevented me from losing muscle while I dropped body fat. Showtime, I gave all I had left in the tank and earned a 2nd place performance at the Olympia Amateur. Rory is the king of training, and Beverly International is the king of supplements.

Training Tips

  • Don't count reps; take every set to failure.
  • Don't always wear headphones when you train; get in tune with the soundtrack of your body.
  • Get your sleep. Get your sleep. Get your sleep.
  • Hit calves from 3 angles – toes to the front, toes out, and toes in.
  • Hit abs daily.
  • Perform Pull-ups and Dips daily no matter what.
  • Get your sleep, lol.
  • Be humble enough to take advice.
  • Fasted morning cardio is king. Cardio before sleep is queen.
  • Only use the scale as a reference. It's not the judge of your fitness journey. How you look in the mirror and how your clothes fit is the actual scale.

Diet Tips

  • Drink distilled water to pull the water out of your system as the contest approaches.
  • Eat cabbage every day. It's a natural anti-inflammatory.
  • Watch your sodium. Water retention looks the same as body fat on stage.
  • Protein is essential for building muscle. Whether you are vegan, vegetarian, or omnivore, get some protein in every meal.
  • Don't force yourself to eat 6-7 meals a day to lose fat. In competition prep, I only eat 3. Find what works for you.
  • Drink black coffee before your workout. You will thank me later.
  • I drink fresh parsley tea daily. It's a natural diuretic.

Supplement Tips

  • Take Ultra 40 beef liver tablets and Mass Aminos every meal. 1 per 10lbs of your bodyweight.
  • Never underestimate the power of Vitamin A, B-Complex, C, D-3, and E. Beverly's Super Pak and FitTabs contain huge doses of them.
  • Take digestive enzymes at every meal. Beverly's Multiple Enzyme Complex is a good one (and inexpensive).
  • Don't live on protein powder. Moderation is key. I use it 10 minutes after my workout. Both Muscle Provider and UMP.
  • Take ZMA 2000 before bed. It helps recovery and will also give you a great night's sleep.
  • Creatine is good, but don't abuse it. I take five grams immediately after my workout.
  • I drink a shot of apple cider vinegar every morning.
  • Dandelion root is another natural diuretic. I take it in the morning and before bed.

Cardio

  • Off-season: Every other day for 30 minutes first thing in the morning. I lose weight relatively fast, so I don't go mental during the off-season.
  • On-season: Yes, I go mental. 30-45 minutes fasted cardio in the morning and another 30 minutes before bed. But I will adjust depending on how I look in the mirror.

Training

  • Off-season: 1.5 hours max in the gym, working my entire body. Everything from calves to arms gets worked.
  • On-season: I work my "show" muscles in the afternoon - abs, calves, forearms, and delts. Everything is high reps. There's no time limit; I stay in the gym till I'm finished.

 

Sample Evening Training Sessions

 

 

Monday: Chest

  • Machine Chest Press 5 x 50, 40, 30, 20, 10, start with 45lbs on each side, increase weight every set
  • Machine Incline Press 5 x 50, 40, 30, 20, 10, start with 45lbs on each side, increase weight every set
  • Standing Triceps Extension 5 x 50, 40, 30, 20, 10 (60 lbs) Push-ups 100

Tuesday: Back

  • Lat Pulldown 8 x 50, 50, 50, 50, 40, 30, 20, 10, start with a moderate weight, add weight every set
  • Seated Lat Row 5 x 50, 40, 30, 20, 10, start light, add weight every set
  • Deadlifts to Hang Clean with Olympic Bar 135 lbs, six sets to failure
  • Pull-ups 100

Wednesday: Shoulders

  • Shoulder Press Machine 5 x 50, 40, 30, 20, 10
  • Dumbbell Press 5 x 50, 40, 30, 20, 10 (25, 35, 45, 55, 65lbs)
  • Lateral Raises 6 x 50, 50, 40, 30, 20, 10 (15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40lbs)
  • Push-ups 100

Thursday: Arms

  • Pull-ups 100
  • Dips 100
  • EZ Curl 5 x 50, 40, 30, 20, 10 (60 lbs)
  • Standing Triceps Extension 5 x 50, 40, 30, 20, 10 (60 lbs)

Friday: Legs

  • Pull-ups 100
  • Dips 100
  • Walking Lunges 8 x the full length of the gym, up and down
  • Leg Press 8 x 100, 80, 50, 40, 30, 20, 20, 10, start with 2-45’s each side, add 1 plate every set
  • Leg Extension 8 x 40, 40, 40, 40, 30, 30, 20, 10, start light, add 1 plate each set
  • Leg Curl 8 x 30, 30, 30, 30, 20, 20, 20, 10, go up 1 plate each set

Working out is a never-ending push for perfection. Enjoy the journey and take your training seriously. But as with everything in life, you must learn moderation. Take a break from working out sometimes and eat that burger. It will increase your motivation to push harder in the future.

Get ready to Tighten, Round, and Firm Your Backside with the Best Butt Workouts for Women!

Note from Sandy: It's just a personal thing… a glute thing. I can remember even back in high school, wanting to have a good butt. I weighed about 117 (5'7") and was very skinny. Track season would begin in the spring, and when training started, my butt would jiggle a bit on our mile warm-up runs. After about two weeks, it got firmer and shapelier. As I got a bit older, the power of the squat and lunge became a strong staple in my routine. Over time, my glutes began to take on a different look. Not so much just a firm behind, but also a more rounded shape. It was a strong accent, and as I saw the changes, I wanted to keep developing that area of my body. Even now, at 58, I look at my glutes and hope that I can keep what I have as I continue to
age. Heavy squats and lunges are out of the question for me now due to injuries and overuse, but I've continued to find good/safe ways to keep what I have tight and firm. We all have our own BUTT stories to share, so take a look at what Julie writes here, and maybe you can grab a few takeaways for yourself. Improvements can happen every day!!!

Great legs and a tight, round butt is something that we are all after. Not only can a firm, round butt fill out your clothes and make you look amazing, but it will also make your whole body work better. Weak glutes can impact your efficiency and strength, affecting how you run, squat, jump and do other everyday activities. It's important to build those muscles with the right kind of exercises to keep your hips aligned and rotating correctly.

So, I went on a mission... find the best butt exercises for women. We want to focus on the best exercises out there and follow the correct principles to build lean, shapely muscle; this means focusing on the basics because there is no magic shortcut. We will be doing Squats, Bulgarian split squats, Romanian deadlifts, Thrusters, and Plie Squats.

I've put them together for a butt workout that will seriously activate your glutes and help your butt grow tight, round, and firm. As a bonus, this workout will also serve as a great leg workout that targets, builds, and defines your quads and hamstrings too!

I am going to recommend two "butt dominant" leg workouts per week. Your goal should be to improve weekly on each of the exercises in these routines. If you are a beginner, start with just 1 set per exercise and add another set every two weeks until you are performing the full workout
that follows.

Day 1

SQUAT
4 sets of 6-8 reps

If you are looking for a tremendous butt-building exercise, you would be hard-pressed to do much better than the traditional back squat. Back squats place a significant load on your posterior, namely the glutes and hamstrings. To execute a back squat with proper form, I recommend practicing first with an unweighted bar as these types of butt exercises require practice to perfect.

Begin with a barbell resting behind your head at your shoulders. Keeping your weight on your heels, begin descending slowly into the back squat keeping your chest lifted. Drop your hips until they are parallel with the floor. As you start to come back up from your back squat, be sure that you are utilizing your glutes and hamstrings by squeezing your glutes to help you rise back to the top. It is critical to keep the core tight during this challenging exercise. Go relatively heavy using a full range of motion.

BULGARIAN SPLIT SQUAT
4 sets of 8-10 reps

With the Bulgarian split squat, the glutes are very active in the eccentric phase for control and hip stability while also at deeper hip flexion ranges. I love exercises that challenge both your glutes and your balance while engaging stabilizing muscles to allow you to get the most out of the movement. This exercise targets the front of your leg with your back leg there to offer some balance support.

Stand lunge-length in front of a stable bench or stability ball. Hold a dumbbell in each hand and rest the top of your left foot on the bench or ball behind you. Lower your body until your front knee is bent at a 90-degree angle. Press through your front heel and squeeze your glutes as you rise from the single-leg lunge position.

One thing to remember about the Bulgarian split squat is that it takes some trial-and-error to find proper foot placement to perform the exercise comfortably. Feel free to use a stable bench as you learn the Bulgarian split squat, but for advanced athletes, few things are better than a stability ball to make this one of the most challenging butt workouts out there!

BARBELL THRUSTERS
4 sets of 12-15 reps

Ready to take things to the next level and make one of the great butt exercises work for your whole body? Meet the barbell thruster. Cross fitters have known for some time that combining a powerful front squat with a push press is a full-body slam dunk that will help you get stronger and increase your functional fitness.

Those looking to build the best butt possible will appreciate the barbell thruster even more. Begin holding a weighted barbell at your shoulders, hands in an overhand grip, and elbows squeezed together and lifted. Sit back, pressing through your heels and keeping your core strong as you descend into the front squat portion of the barbell thruster. Sit until your butt is parallel with the floor. With power, press upward, pushing with your legs and arms at the same time. You end this exercise in a full overhead press keeping tight alignment all the way through from the barbell, shoulders, hips, and heels.

This exercise will be challenging when you first incorporate it into this routine following squats and split squats, so use a very light poundage.

DAY 2

SQUAT
5 sets of 5 reps

We are starting with squats again because your goal is to become an expert on this essential exercise while getting stronger over time. Start with a light to moderate weight and add a little weight to each set.

ROMANIAN DEADLIFT
4 sets of 10-15 reps

Romanian deadlifts might be old school, but there is nothing dated about how they help build your glutes and legs. But take it easy on this exercise at first, because you can get very, very sore from it.

Start by standing in front of the bar with your feet slightly under it. Feet should be hip-width apart with toes slightly turned out. As you squat down, keep your arms straight and shoulder-width apart, just outside of your legs. Bend your knees slightly while keeping your chest lifted to place the bar right at shin level or a little above and your hips slightly elevated. Take a big breath and begin to stand up while maintaining a flat back. Keep the bar close to your shins allowing it to follow your legs upward. As you lower back down slowly, keep your weight pressing through your heels and hamstrings engaged.

There is a good reason that this exercise has been around forever! Romanian deadlifts are a glute and hamstring dominant movement that develops the entire posterior chain (hamstrings, glutes, and back). One of the unique things about this deadlift is that it focuses on the eccentric lowering motion, allowing for deeper engagement. Essentially, you are fighting gravity as you slowly lower the bar down toward the ground. You are engaging the hamstrings and glutes in a totally different way than when you focus on the concentric lifting portion.

PLIE SQUAT
4 sets of 8-10 reps

For one of my favorite targeted butt exercises, check out Plie Squats. Stand with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart, toes turned out. I like to hold a plate in front of me for the plie squat, but you can also hold a dumbbell straight down. Push your hips back and lower your body until your thighs are parallel to the floor.

Be sure to keep your chest lifted and the core engaged. While pressing firmly through your glutes, a plie squat will take you back up to the starting position with your legs straight. As an upper-body bonus, squeeze tightly with your arms by keeping your elbows close to your body.

This is another exercise that can make your thighs, hamstrings, and butt very sore the first couple of times you do it, so use a light weight at first and focus on your form.

Best Supplements for Building Amazing Glutes

Of course, you need a solid nutrition and workout plan to see growth in your glutes, but beyond that, the right supplements can make a big difference. Here is what I recommend when you are on a mission to achieve a lean, shapely booty.

Beverly International Ultimate Muscle Protein

Start at the beginning with the highest quality, best-tasting protein on the market. This delicious 5-star protein powder will simplify your diet by helping you build and preserve lean, strong muscle and lose fat. In my experience, UMP will help you gain powerful muscle naturally while boosting your metabolism to help you lose fat. I recommend including 1-2 shakes per day.

Beverly International Mass Aminos

This one-of-a-kind formula is a valuable aid for building and preserving muscle. Bodybuilders, powerlifters, weekend warriors, collegiate athletes, and everyday fitness enthusiasts of all ages report gaining strength and getting leaner when using Mass Amino Acids tablets. Mass is the most effective form of protein supplementation available for increasing nitrogen retention and lean mass.

Beverly International Ultra 40

Ultra 40 is an all-natural performance enhancer obtained from cattle that graze on the grassy, fertile hillsides of Argentina. Each tablet contains 100% Argentine beef liver loaded with a powerful array of vitamins and other growth factors that support optimal blood and muscle health and much more. Many women consider Ultra 40 to be one of the best supplement investments they've ever made.

Beverly International FitTabs

Restore your energy and performance, diminish stress, and rebalance your entire body with this multivitamin custom-made for the fitness lifestyle. It's used by nearly all of my figure and bikini competitors, and the impact it makes on your hair, skin, and nails is incredible!

Beverly International Glutamine Select

Glutamine Select is all about recovery, and it supports the fastest possible improvements in the appearance and performance of your physique by tackling a little-known but pervasive condition known as "anabolic fatigue." Use before, during, and or after training. You can also take Glutamine Select between meals to sustain blood sugar levels while dieting. It is best mixed in a water bottle or shaker cup and sipped.