Being My Own Competition

At a Glance: Danielle Smith

Age: 51

Occupation: Stay at home mom

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

Current Residence: Pickerington, OH

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

Height: 5’7”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Road to Pro

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

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

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

Trusting the Process

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

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

Hitting the Stage

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

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

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

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

Meal Plan


Daily meal plan at start of prep – 12 weeks out

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

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

Workout - Glutamine Select

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

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

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

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

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


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

Glutamine Select – During training sessions

3 ZMA 2000 – before bed

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

Weight Training


A sample of some workouts

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

Saturday: Vinyasa Yoga

Christina Comparato

At a Glance: Christina Comparato

Age: 42

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

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

Current Residence: Sylvania, Ohio

Years training (total): 19 years

Height: 5’2”

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

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

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

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

Music: From Country to the Rocky soundtrack during tough workouts

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

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

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


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

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

How I Got Started Competing

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

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

How My Students Relate

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

How I Got Started with Beverly International

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

Recent Accomplishments

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

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

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



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


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

Monday (Heavy - Pull)

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

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

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

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

Tuesday (Hypertrophy – Push)

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

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

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

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

Wednesday (Heavy - Legs)

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

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

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

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

Thursday (Hypertrophy - Pull)

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

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

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

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


Saturday (Heavy – Push)

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

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

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

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

Sunday (Hypertrophy - Legs)

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

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

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

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


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


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

Meal 2: UMP protein shake and almonds

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

Meal 4: Chicken, sweet potato, almonds

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

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

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

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

Meal prep tips

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


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

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

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

Ultra 40 - 3 with each meal to maintain my size

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tips I’ve Learned Along the Way

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

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

At a Glance: LaRita Laktonen-Ward

Age: 40

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

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

Current Residence: South Prince George, Virginia

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

Height: 5’10”

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

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

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

Music: Hard rock or rap while lifting

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

The meal plan below is a typical day for me:

Meal Plan


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


My absolute go to’s are:

EFA Gold (3 with meal 1)

Joint Care (3 per day)

Creatine Select (1 scoop daily), or we substitute

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

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

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

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

Training Schedule

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

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

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


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

Competition suits, courtesy of Figure Suits by Jodi

Cardio Schedule


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

Return of the Beast from Batesville

At a Glance: Jeff Williamson

Age: 50

Occupation: Cooperate Supplier Quality Manager

Current Residence: Batesville, IN

Years training (total): 30 yrs

Height: 5’9”; Weight: (Off-Season) 240, (Contest) 210

Favorite Bodybuilding Meal: Turkey, rice, olive oil – all mixed together (Greek Style)

Favorite supplements:

Muscle Provider - Post workout- this is the best protein powder on the planet. Quick acting protein that sets the muscle repair building mechanism in motion after training. This is a must after training – NOT AN OPTION.

Quadracarn! - I simply use it because it works! (3 tabs 3x/day) Quadracarn clearly makes a difference in the way the muscles look and “pop” when using this stuff!! Muscles look full and skin looks tight and younger…too many people have the same results to dispute this…not sure how it works but I cannot believe the difference in how my body, skin, and muscles look when I take this insane product.

What would you recommend to someone who has never used Beverly supplements before? I would recommend Ultimate Muscle Protein – it is a perfect meal replacement, and/or an excellent way to get more protein in the diet. UMP has essential fats the body needs and the blend of proteins which makes it a perfect protein to take any time of day or night, plus it will never upset your stomach because of the high- quality ingredients and it tastes so good - ESPECIALLY when dieting.

Music: Anything from Kid Rock to Nickelback

Most Inspiring Book: “The WAY of the SEAL” by Mark Divine

Hobby or interests outside bodybuilding: Fast cars and sport bikes

Words to live by: “Always be prepared”

Jeff Williamson wins a pro card at the NPC Masters Nationals

When we think of a beast, we imagine a muscular monster, fists pounding on chest, the loud sound of a deep window-shaking growl, before crashing through cinderblock walls and flipping vehicles over in anger. New IFBB pro Jeff Williamson keeps the Hulk-like anger inside, using his energy wisely to create an amazing and balanced classic physique... winning the open bodybuilding over-50 class at the national level and progressing to an amazing pro debut.

Jeff Williamson rates as an exceptional bodybuilder. With both of us fortunate enough to be longtime parts of the Beverly International family, I met Jeff around twenty years ago. A group of us shared a meal and talked training, laughed, and saw that each of us had different lives but similar interests. Jeff interested me because his answers were never predictable. He would pause, consider the question, and make a lateral cerebral exploratory reply that told me that he does not rattle off the typical answers we have all read or heard dozens of times. He replies honestly and wisely.

Back in April, my good friend Big E invited me out to a posing clinic with longtime NPC executive Gary Udit and a dozen IFBB pros. I know Big E through his training partner Brian Yersky, and the three of us have been to many gyms and events together. He knows that I enjoy catching a handful of top male and female lifters in all classes so that I can throw some deep video questions their way. This event was at Joe Mazzone's Powerhouse Gym in Berea, Ohio and had an obvious impressive gathering.

I stepped into the clinic room while Udit was wrapping up the bikini class segment. The room was tightly packed and I whispered a “Hey” and a nod to Brian Yerski and Big E when my peripheral vision caught someone wearing a black Beverly International hoodie. Even though it had been over a decade since we ran into one another, the familiar smile, Scandinavian shaped nose (unlike mine that resembles a poor-skilled boxer), and positive attitude was a common Jeff Williamson intro.

While we couldn't talk in that room, I caught up with Jeff, even shot some video interview segments, and shared some of the changes we both have had in our lives. Jeff had driven out from Indiana to help his girlfriend (an impressive female competitor named Rita George) get ready for some upcoming stage work, and modestly mentioned that he was going to get on stage again himself.

Much like bodybuilding icon Bill Pearl, Jeff takes long periods away from competing (years at a time), making people wonder if he has retired from the game, even though I am sure that his commitment to training is obvious to those who see him in the squat rack. This is not uncommon. For many bodybuilders there is a lifetime addiction toward gym battles in their future. This is because love of training might only be beaten by our love of friends and family (in Jeff's case this includes his two sons, nineteen and twenty years of age), with competition often coming to a conclusion.

In Bill Pearl's history, he earned a Mr. Universe trophy in 1953, 1956, 1961, 1967 and 1971. While most of his followers assumed Pearl was retired, he would shock them on stage with a new improved physique. Jeff Williamson has followed that same direction in his bodybuilding career. The difference is that on Pearl's final Mr. Universe wins, Sergio Oliva, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Frank Zane displayed a future stage of bodybuilding coming on the horizon. With Williamson, some may say he presented an improved futuristic physique, and stood on stage presenting an even better build to not only match the growth of the sport, but to lead this master's category.

History of the Beast

Jeff Williamson started lifting right out of high school. This involved lifting in the garage. When Jeff went to college to study engineering he joined Gold's Gym in Evansville. “It was my first exposure to a gym atmosphere and I was hooked from there on,” says Jeff who was just lifting and not even thinking about competing.

When he was thirty-years old, Jeff trained at a gym in Harrison, Ohio. “I think it was called Excalibur at the time,” Jeff recalls. “The gym owner asked me if I ever competed. He told me that I needed to talk to the people at Beverly International. One thing lead to another and I made an appointment and met with Sandy. She took a look at me and said that I should do the Tri-State Novice, which was coupled with the Mr. Kentucky. I won that show and did several shows since then. I’d do four to five shows, sit out for a while, do a few more shows, and then sit out for a few years.” Just like Bill Pearl.

Jeff won numerous titles in a number of organizations including the NANBF USA title. He also competed in the WNBF for a few years. But, one title had eluded him, so Jeff returned to the NPC and won the overall at the NPC Indiana State Championships in 2012. Five years later, he decided to go after the NPC Masters National title. In order to take things to a higher level, Jeff included some outside guidance.

The Importance of Adding a Coach

“I don’t think everyone that competes needs a coach,” says Jeff. “There are a number of National-level competitors who don’t have coaches, but I do think everyone needs a little help in one area or another (posing, diet, training, supplements, or pre-contest prep). Most importantly, most competitors need an external critique of their body guiding you to improve weak points and timing your contest prep. At a high level, you really need to dial in the diet. You can really screw things up the week before prep, the day of the show, between pre-judging and finals.” Top competitor and friend Todd Buchanan recommended that he consider hiring IFBB pro Brian Hoydic as his Vince Lombardi/Gironda.

“I learned a lot from my coach in the posing area alone”, says Jeff. “I have worked with a few of the best people in the sport and thought I had the posing down. I soon learned there were several things I had to change in terms of presentation. Brian Hoydic took me to the next level. NOT to take one thing away from my roots…Roger and Sandy both gave me more than a foundation in the sport. They have always been my rock and without them I would not have ever walked on a bodybuilding stage. I have used their techniques, nutritional advice, Beverly products and all their information to help countless others. I also work as a personal trainer working with clients, many of which are competitors, and almost 100% of what I do with them comes from what Roger and Sandy have taught me 'Beverly-style'…if you will. I owe any success that I may have to Roger and Sandy. Certainly my coach now, Brian Hoydic, played a huge role in me getting my IFBB pro card. I have worked with Brian for about a year and Beverly about twenty years, just to put things into perspective.”

I contacted Brian Hoydic to hear his views on the Batesville Beast. Okay, he had no idea who I was referring to until I added in, “I mean JEFF!”

“Jeff has no weaknesses,” says Brian. “He has full, round muscle bellies. He gets hard and dry. His shoulders and pecs are his strongest attributes. The first time I saw his pics I told him if he follows the plan he will be a pro. He didn't miss a meal or take an unscheduled cheat meal. He checked in on time every time. He never once complained or questioned anything. Most guys that are trainers add stuff or take stuff away. He did not. What's impressive is that he has a full- time job and trains clients 40 hours a week. I couldn't ask for a better client.”

“Funny story...” Brian says when discussing Jeff's athletic climb. “When he got together with me in Pittsburgh for Masters Nats six weeks ago, I had him meet me at the check- in room. I get there and tell him to strip down and let's see how he looks. I already knew he looked really good from previous pics he sent the day before. He [strips down] and hits one of the mandatory poses. I only needed two seconds and to see just the front of him to see that he was gonna easily win. I told him in two seconds, 'Get dressed. You've won!' He also collaborated with me and trained his girlfriend Rita George, who won her pro card. So not only did he win his first pro show, his girlfriend got her card on the same day."

Changes to The Beast's Training

Many of us have read (and reread) Jeff's articles on training and nutrition. These are areas he has put a great deal of thought into and a serious game plan. I recommend you get on the site and check these out. (There’s a search button at the top right of this page, just type in Jeff Williamson.) I, of course, had to ask him how his diet and training has changed in recent years."

I like the training the most,” says Jeff. “Going to the gym, getting a pump, and just training. That’s what I enjoy. I'm not big on getting on stage. That's why I take off two or three years at a time. I like the process of getting there. I like to win, but it is the gym and training that I love.” Jeff Williamson's training does not sound like it has changed much since his previous articles. Why change what works? (See Jeff's complete program on pg 6.) I asked him if there were any areas he felt needed a little extra work in order to maximize his symmetry. His overall positive traits that impress the judging panel include balance, fullness and condition. No one has perfect balance though. In an ideal situation, we choose one area to focus on that may be slightly behind and eventually make it a strong point.

“My legs are probably my weakest bodypart,” admits Jeff. “I hide them well. My legs get separated. The adductor area, the inner thigh, is probably my weakest area.” Now I didn't say anything, but this is an example of someone with far greater symmetry than 98% of us. A year from now, he may admit that his brachioradialis is slightly behind his biceps, triceps and brachialis or maybe the tibialis anterior on the front of his calves is a bit behind his gastrocnemius, soleus and peroneus brevis and peroneus longus. He still gave an excellent strategy on fixing a “weak” point.

“I have really focused on that over the past year and it has come up a lot,” says Jeff. “Even at 49 or 50 years old, I have made huge improvements in that area. Overall, legs have been my weakest area. My legs have always been really strong. I can lift good weights but the strength has not translated to hypertrophy,” says Jeff. “In my case, I put in more volume of work and went lighter. For two months, I would hit legs every [training] day. I had my regular leg day but during other training sessions I would train legs light. I would hit light leg extensions, light adductors or even some really light Smith machine squats on my toes, for maybe three sets. And I did this every day for about two months leading up to the show. You would think at 50-years-old that you are not going to respond, but I did. My legs, hamstrings... I brought up my glutes too, and in five years I had not had glutes with striations.”

“I think my leg development was the best it has ever been,” says Jeff (and the judges seemed to agree!). “Come showtime everything just came together. This may not work for everyone but it worked for me. More volume. Again hitting legs every day. When I say hitting legs every day, I'm talking about maybe three sets, not necessarily working super hard...maybe twelve reps, medium weight, squeezing hard.”

Something that has come up often when we discussed training was a focus on FEEL over training poundages. “When you are doing bent-over barbell rows and you are slinging the weight around, you might be building your arms and getting almost nothing for your back. You kind of let your ego get in front of you when you are younger. Looking back, I wish I wouldn't have been so much concerned with lifting heavy as feeling the target body part and giving it time-under- tension more. When I was younger, I went in and thought I was hitting the right body parts but really was probably only hitting it about half as much as I could.”

Nutrition, Complete Diet and Supplement Program

Like training, the wisdom has evolved but the basics of Jeff's nutrition have not changed a great deal (if it still works, you often can keep collecting the benefits). He continues to eat a diet that includes quality protein (lean meats, eggs and Beverly protein powder), limited carb sources, healthy fats, and adequate veggies. During the off-season he simply makes sure to eat six times a day and get protein in all six of those meals. “I'm not perfect with that,” says Jeff. “I eat junk food if I want it. If I want pizza I get it, but always with some protein.”

Contest prep eating has not changed too much either. “The only real change I have made is keeping carbs in as long as I can before a contest. The best way to describe it is that my diet is basically Beverly-style. The last two shows I kept carbs in as much as I could. I dropped them down a little bit two months out and then three weeks out, I cut carbs out completely. There is no question that Beverly International supplements propelled me to the next level. You need to take in some good, quality supplements to get into the type of condition required to get into and win some of these bigger shows.” (See Jeff’s exact nutrition and supplement plan.)



Meal 1: 6 egg whites, 4oz beef, 1.5 cup oats

Meal 2: 10oz chicken, 2 cups rice, 1/2 cup broccoli

Meal 3: 8oz beef, 2 cups rice, 4oz green beans

Meal 4: 10oz chicken, 8oz sweet potato, 1/2 cup broccoli

Meal 5: 10oz turkey, 1 cup any green leafy veggie

Meal 6: 4oz beef, 6 egg whites, 2 cups spinach

Meal 7: I drank a 2-scoop UMP shake in the middle of night - usually around 2 am, or whenever I woke up.

Pre workout: 2 scoops Mass Maker Ultra

Post workout: 2 scoops Muscle Provider

Note: Anytime I could not get a meal in, I always had 2 scoops of UMP with me as a substitute


Super Pak with meal #1

Quadracarn 3 tabs 3 times a day (EVERY DAY)

4 Ultra 40 and 4 Mass Amino Acids with every meal (24 of each per day)

3 ZMA 2000 before bed

I added Density, Energy Reserve, Glutamine Select, and Muscularity as the competition drew closer.

The Batesville Beast's Impressive Debut

Winning an IFBB pro card is a lifetime goal that many competitive bodybuilders devote decades to, often letting the other aspects of their lives (such as their careers) dwindle, but still fail to win an IFBB pro card. Jeff not only won his pro card, but went on to step onto a pro stage and not only did well, but won at his first IFBB pro contest!

After winning the Masters, I asked Jeff what his future goals were and he told me that he planned to compete in the IFBB Pittsburgh Pro Championship. “I was not at my absolute best at the Master Nationals,” says Jeff (although obviously still better than the other oiled stage-guests). “I needed about two more weeks to really tighten up. The Pittsburgh Pro was six weeks after the Master Nationals so it gave me plenty of time to tighten up. It was my choice to make this show my pro debut.”

The Pittsburgh Pro Show runs in conjunction with the NPC North Americans, so the Batesville Beast's IFBB pro debut was actually held in the middle of the week (Wednesday). “I really like the idea of going on stage first and only having one class,” says Jeff. “All the judging is done in the morning and there is no posedown in the finals, so you pretty well know where you place at prejudging.”

“Competing at the IFBB level you need to compete within your bounds. I'm not going to compete against guys at the Olympia level. It has to be guys within the Masters level or maybe even the 212-pound class. I need to see how I stack up.” Winning his first IFBB pro contest shows that he chose wisely and progressed at an impressive rate.

“Everyone was a lot bigger than I anticipated and everyone was in shape,” says Jeff. I forced my humble friend to open up with a very honest explanation of why he won. “A very classy group of guys. I'm not huge. I'm not really that big. I don't overpower anyone, but I have the round, full look...the round muscle bellies. It comes down to me being in condition. If I am in condition and have the round full look, it makes me appear a lot bigger on stage. My conditioning and round muscle  bellies set me apart from the rest and from the back I have a 3-D type look that sets me apart.”

Brian Hoydic adds, “Honestly, he ended up looking better than I thought. He looked even better for the pro show than when he won the pro card. I think his posing really separated him from the rest of the pros. There were two really good guys in his class, but his overall balance and symmetry closed the deal.”

I ask Jeff Williamson how the Batesville Beast becoming a pro will affect his life and he let me know the change would not be dramatic. “I have a career in the corporate world but I do think it will help my side business (personal training/supplement sales). I just have not had time for everything to sink in and begin to capitalize on it yet.”

“I am planning on doing the Baltimore Pro on October 28th. This was not planned, but again I know I can make improvements in the next eight weeks. I feel like this is the year to do as much as I can since I am in condition and mentally and physically feel great! I really have no excuse why not to jump into the Baltimore Pro.”

If this longtime member of the Beverly International family collects a series of wins before going into a long term off-season, it does not mean he will not again be doing quarter-turns for pro judges in a few years. “Consistency and being prepared is what makes a champion,” says Jeff. “In other words, when you go to the gym you have to mentally and physically be prepared. You have to know you are on track. From the big things to the small things. Eating throughout the day. Make sure you are hydrated. Make sure you are ready for the workout. Be prepared for the workout. Know what you are going to do when you go in there. You don't have to know every set or every detail. You need to have a pretty good idea what your goals are in the gym. Be prepared and be consistent with it.”

Never expect the Batesville Beast to retire. Jeff Williamson breaks the retirement schedule that ends most bodybuilding careers. He does not even present an age- declining physique. I look forward to seeing his future title-collecting victories!

Training Program

I normally follow a 3 on – 1 off workout split. I do 3 work sets for each exercise (after warm-ups when necessary). My exercises and reps are listed below.


Day 1 Chest, Shoulders & TricepsAmount
Incline DB Press12,10,10
Cable Crossover12,12,12
Hammer Incline Press superset with Flat DB Flyes10,10,10
DB Shoulder Press15,12,10
Medium-grip Upright BB Rows12,12,12
DB Reverse Flyes30,25,20 (face down on incline bench)
Rope Pushdowns20,20,20
Machine Dips20,20,20
Close-grip Bench Press10,10,10
Day 2 Back, BicepsAmount
Front Pulldowns15,12,10
Barbell Row10,10,10
T-Bar Row10,8,8
Seated Row10,10,30
(Set of 30 is quick pumping style reps)
BB Shrug20,15,12
Close-grip Cable Curls40,30,20
Seated Alternate DB Curl2 sets: 20lbs to failure, 30 lbs to failure
Preacher Curls with EZ Bar20,20,20
Day 3 LegsAmount
Leg Extensions30,30,30 (get quads super pumped to start)
Seated Calf Raise(very strict) 20,20,20
DB Sumo Squats30,30,30
Hack Squats(feet shoulder width) 12,10,10
Smith Machine Squat(2 plates each side) 20,20,20 (this is tough)
Standing Calf Raise12,12,12
Leg Press20,20,20
Leg Curl30,30,30

Hero or Super-hero?


This sport does not care that you have a funeral to attend,” answers Truman Ward to my question asking what it takes to be a champion. “It does not give a d@mn that you have a bad lower back. It doesn't care that you were up until midnight helping your twelve-year old with some really hard math homework. It is not concerned with the fact that you work sixteen hours out in the hot sun and then you still have got to go to the gym and nail out squats. All it cares is that you are prepared to put in no less than 100% in everything you are going to do concerning diet, concerning rest, concerning your workouts, concerning your prep, concerning your food intake and when you eat it. If you decide to give just 90% and you have people on stage to your left or right who gave 100%, then you best believe you will (at best) go home with a fifth or sixth placing. For some people that might be okay, but for a champion, that isn't!”

For Truman, he obviously fits the definition of champion. I spoke to him a few days after he won the Men's Physique class at the NPC Lenda Murray. This was the first in two recent (July 2018) contests. “My goal was to compete in that show and place (or win) so that I could qualify and compete this Friday for my IFBB card,” he says. “I want to be able to earn my IFBB card naturally. Not saying that no one else is...but I for sure will be a natty competitor!”

The (Superhero) Lifestyle

Part of his thinking may have come from his childhood. While visiting the grocery store with his mother, Truman's eyes were drawn to Amazing Spider-Man issue #21, in which a humble, yet heroic, young-in-his-twenties hero named Peter Parker takes the step forward to marry his girlfriend Mary Jane. Truman became hooked on comic books from that point on, driven by his two favorites, Spider-Man and Wolverine before the guys on the muscle-mag covers joined his reading list. Wisely, his reading list still includes comic books, even after adding bodybuilding, nutrition and engineering studies to his page-stack.

His comic book fandom revealed itself as I interviewed him. His driven athletic mindset is similar to the replies that Spider-Man, Captain America, Wolverine or Superman would share in their text-bubbles, placing strong integrity in the difficult situations and challenges we all have in life.

Truman serves the U.S. Army as a warrant officer and specializes in welding and machining and maintenance. Starting out as a private in 1993, with welding being a major part of his tasks, he wanted to elevate his role, so finished his degree in order to create a long-term career for our government.

“My first duty as an officer was to work in Anchorage, Alaska, which didn't excite me,” says Truman. “It was cold and I didn't want it. The Army didn't care what I wanted, it was based on what it needed and it sent me to Alaska.” While he had been serious about strength training before moving there, he joined a local gym that had a very serious group of prominent lifters including national-level and some IFBB and Natural pro and women. This drove him to take things to a higher, more serious level.

“One of my buddies dragged me out to this nightclub, called Chilkoot Charlie's, something of a famous historical icon in Anchorage. While there, I saw the most beautiful female I have ever seen in my life, standing across the room...but she had a crowd of dudes around her, and I had too much self-respect to go over and say anything to her. Eventually, she tapped me on the shoulder and asked me if I was following her. We got married just a few months after!”

LaRita was obviously the Mary Jane to his Peter Parker or the Lois Lane to his Clark Kent. Her athletic background was as a basketball player and coach. She had well-developed muscular legs, but not a female fitness/gym background at that time.

“I got into my first NPC show (the Crystal Cup) and she helped me backstage,” Truman says. “She was looking at a lot of the female competitors and making comments that she felt confident that she already could have beaten some of them. It kind of offended me because some of those female competitors were my buddies and she didn't realize that. So I said, 'How about you get into a competition if it's that easy?' The next month she did, and won first place overall!”

For Truman and LaRita, bodybuilding has become a central aspect of their family lifestyle, including their twelve-year old daughter, Ravenna. “My daughter will be in the audience. Once we get off stage from pre-judging, we come back, and ask her what she thinks. She knows about first-callouts, about being moved out to the left or right or being moved to center stage. She understands the criteria for every category there is, whether it is men's bodybuilding, men's physique, sports model, women's figure, women's physique. She has even helped coach some of the females that my wife is coaching for their competition. She knows posing, how to walk, the diet. She understands peak week.” The three of them are starting to make me think of a gym/comic book version of the Fantastic Four (but we might need to add a robot that can spot on incline press and squats to match the same number).

“I love (and always will love) working out, and sculpting my physique the way I want it to look,” says Truman. “It is lucky that the way I want it to look is currently the same thing that the judges are looking for. Everything I was doing in the gym is validated when I am handed the first-place trophy or pro card by seven judges who all apparently think in the same terms that I thought. Now if they didn't think that that was how my physique was supposed to be and I placed lower, I wouldn't so much care, because there is no trophy on the planet that compares to how I think first. The trophy is just a bonus.”

Super (-Villan Fighting) Nutrition

During the off-season, because of his super-hero-like metabolism, Truman has to consume around 5,500 calories daily, packing in a great deal of food (mostly clean). This allows him to compete looking hard, big and dry. Every two days, he will have a cheat meal. “This may consist of a four-patty burger with fries or a fully-loaded burrito with a little bit of cheese and sour cream...” says Truman. “Just something to spike the glycogen and keep being able to build muscle.”

“The reason a number of lifters are not successful on stage is because of one of two reasons,” says Truman, “They are in such a deficit the whole year-round that they cannot actually build any real muscle. I think that women sometimes fall into this category. And then when they prep, they lose much of the muscle that they already had.”

“Then,” Truman says, “you have the opposite, a group that feels that they need to bulk-up during the off-season. For example, imagine a bodybuilder at 5'10 that weighed 265. He believes he had to just drop down to 240 to be shredded. He diets to 240 and there’s still not even one ab muscle. Then he drops to 220, but still doesn't have any abs, so he has to drop to 210. He finally realizes that he built a lot more fat than muscle. The faster you are dropping fat, the faster you are dropping muscle, so it is best to keep weight gains moderate in the offseason.”

Truman's pre-contest period starts at roughly three-months out. He doesn't lower calories for any longer than that since he does not want to risk losing muscle. While he may be as high as 240 in his off-season, he needs to be around 205 (207 tops) on stage. “If I were to drop from 240 to 220-pounds but I still have three or four months left...I would be the guy getting last call-outs, at 180 pounds. But at 210, I'd be the guy getting my hand raised for first-place.”

His post-contest re-feed is a slow-paced, moderate strategy. “I don't have a psychological fixation that I need to have cheeseburgers and pizza. When I am done with a show, I will go and have one nice cheat meal, maybe loaded nachos. If I don't have another contest planned for a number of months, I will still go back to prepping seven meals a day, eating healthy. But I may add some cheese to things or some wheat- honey bread and have a few tablespoons of ice cream a few times a week. I may have some pizza every once in a blue moon. But mostly it is fairly strict regardless of having chosen a contest yet.”

As you can see on Truman's Typical Pre Contest Meal Plan accompanying this article, supplements are a regular part of his nutrition intake. His wife LaRita discovered Beverly International online. “We were researching different creatine and protein powders and came across Beverly International. We tried them and they have been getting us first places on-stage ever since.” Some of his favorite supplements include Mass Amino Acids, Joint Care, Glutamine Select and Muscle Synergy. “Synergy helps muscle recovery, fullness, hydration of the muscle, and the healing process, because you are not actually growing muscle in the gym, but breaking them down. Amino acids help you restore all the muscle you have broken down in the gym,” says Truman. His Marvel Comics upbringing again reveals itself as he mentions that Beverly International nutrient intake will help provide “that cartoonish physique you want...thick pecs, boulder shoulders, that lean tone look. For natural bodybuilding, they are easily the top company for supplements and nutrition.”

[LEGAL MESSAGE: Beverly International products do not contain even low-levels of gamma radiation that helped build Bruce Banner's Hulk- like physique or the experimental serum that was tested upon Steve “Captain America” Reeves to boost his athletic abilities, as those have not been passed by the Food and Drug Administration. Also, neither of those components is accepted in natural bodybuilding contests.]


(Avenger) Training

Truman's training philosophy is very similar to the Bruce Wayne method to maximal physical condition. A great example is that in each year, he takes a single week off (such as Christmas week or when doing some travel for work). His main focus is on large body parts, such as his back and legs. Chest (a naturally strong part for Tru) and shoulders are hit once a week. With arms, he may go two months without directly training them due to their genetic growth. “I just have to walk past weights and my arms get huge,” says Truman, revealing yet another super-power.

“I generally do 4-6 sets per exercise with at least one drop set or a burnout set to failure. Some will argue that this can cause adrenal fatigue or is taxing on the nervous system, but my body is used to the intensity, I love it. My goal for every workout: to have an “out of body experience” pain level.”

“I don’t do cardio till the month before a show, usually 45 minutes steady state x 4 sessions a week (bike or incline walk).”

A gym role-model for Truman is Mike “The Titan” O'Hearn, American Gladiators TV celebrity, super-hero-like actor and natural bodybuilding and powerlifting champion. The two have met on three different occasions. “Not only do I try to emulate his theories regarding training, but also his mindset,” says Truman. “He has the thickest, aesthetic, symmetrically-pleasing physique. When I talk about super-heroes, that dude somehow seems to have gotten ahold of the secret soldier serum (from Captain America's origin) and he actually gets better with age. I certainly attempt to follow in his footsteps.”

In his future, forty-four year old champion Truman Ward plans to continue as a competitor, eventually entering masters-level contests. “At some point, I am going to be 50, and at some point I'm going to be 55.” He will be training as long as he physically can, but at a certain point it is going to be more important for him to focus just on his health. “My physique will always be important to me, but will it be good for a judge?”

Don't worry, Truman. Superman and Batman have been around for eighty years and Spider- man has been around for fifty years, and they still look like they are in their twenties or is all about letting your super-heroic abilities continue!

Training  Schedule


Saturday: Off

Monday: Back/Calves

Calves: 150-200 reps total (in sets of 25, usually standing)
Lat Pulldowns: 5x15
Single-arm Rows: 4x12
Close-grip Cable Row: 4x12
Wide Single-grip Pulldowns: on separate cables 3x8
DB Pullovers: 3x12

Tuesday: Chest/Calves

Calves: 150-200 reps (Sets of 25, usually standing)
Hammer Strength Incline Press: 5x10
Incline Smith Machine Press: 5x12
Single-arm DB Press: 4x8
Cable Flyes: 4x12-15

Wednesday: Legs

Leg Extension: 4x30
Leg Press: 8x10, 1x25
Squats: 5x10-12
Leg Curl: 4x10
Adductor Machine: 4x25

Thursday: Shoulders/Traps

Shrugs: 100 reps total
Smith Shoulder Press: 5x10-12 Single-arm Shoulder Press: 3x8 Superset:
DB Lateral Raises: 4x15
Front Raises: 4x15
Bent-over Lateral Raises: 6x12

Friday: Back/Calves

Calves: 150-200 reps (Sets of 25, usually standing)
Pullups: 5x10
Reverse-grip Row: 4x12-15
Machine Row: 4x15
Hammer Strength Row: alternating singles 4x30

Sunday: Arms

Standing Cable Curls: 6x10
Single-arm Machine Curls: 5x12
DB Hammer Curl: alternating 4x20
Tricep Dips: 4x15
Single Cable Pushdowns: 4x12
Rope Extension: 4x15

Tru Ward’s Typical Pre-Contest Meal Plan


Meal 1: 3 whole eggs, one cup of egg whites, 1 cup oats

Meal 2 (usually preworkout): 8oz chicken, 10oz sweet potatoes

Meal 3: 8oz chicken breast, 10oz rice, greens

Meal 4: 8oz tilapia, 10oz rice, veggies, 24 almonds

Meal 5: 8oz tilapia, 10oz sweet potatoes, spinach

Meal 6: 2 scoops UMP, 2 tablespoons peanut butter, one cup oats (post workout)

Meal 7: 8oz ground turkey patty, Ezekiel toast, and Dijon

I generally like eating 30 minutes before my workout and again 10 to 15 minutes after I work out. With my metabolism, I lose weight extremely fast so it’s essential I get in calories right after I train to keep from going into a catabolic state.


FitTabs 4 tablets in the morning

EFA Gold 3 gel caps each morning

Joint Care 4 capsules each morning (I think this has really helped on heavy squat days)

Mass Amino Acids 4 tablets before and 4 after each workout

Creatine Select 1 scoop before training

Muscle Synergy 8 tablets in the morning and 8 before training

The Sky Is the Limit with the Right Training, Nutrition and Supplementation

At a Glance: Kathy Kiefer

Age: 51

Occupation: Client Manager/Contract Writer for a healthcare software company

Family: Married for 28 years and have 2 fabulous kids, Ryan-27 and Heather-25

Current Residence: Potomac Falls, VA

Years Training: 28 years active; 6 years of competitive training

Height: 5′6″

Weight: (Off-Season)140lb / (Contest)125lb

Favorite Fitness Meal: Oatmeal and chocolate UMP

Recommendation regarding Beverly Supplements: First of all, have peace of mind knowing these supplements are tried and true, standing the test of time. I have used the Beverly supplements for six years experiencing great results, both with training outcomes and the fact that I have a sensitive system and have never had a compatibility issue with anything from Beverly.  To maximize muscle, you need to dial in on the optimal stack for you and your training so you have the option to call Beverly and talk to a consultant.  They are super helpful and just a phone call away.

Music:  For cardio, I listen to podcasts about health and bodybuilding.  My current favorite podcast is “Muscle Expert Podcast” by Ben Pakulski.  I don’t listen to anything during my strength workouts because I focus on the mind/muscle connection and the task at hand.  During post workout recovery time, I will frequently listen to classical, spa, or meditation music to come down from the workout and let the mind and muscle growth begin.

Most Inspiring Book: My favorite right now is “Maximum Muscle Bible” by Christian Thibaudeau and Paul Carter.

Hobbies and interests outside bodybuilding:  Gardening, shooting at the range and playing with my dogs.

Words to live by:  “Panic slowly”, Dr. Lincoln Gray, distinguished professor of Communication Sciences and Disorders at James Madison University.

Regardless of Age or Disability

It has always been about strength and competition for me. My father built us a barn in our back yard and I got my first pony at the age of seven. From that point, it was immediately about how many hay bales I could throw/stack, how many 50lb bags of feed at a time I could push in the wheelbarrow, etc… I started competing in horse shows immediately. Shortly after that, I became a trainer for dozens of ponies and horses, which continued until I was 21.

All or nothing was my mantra. In 1990, I replaced the 24/7 horse lifestyle with marriage and had two fabulous kids in the following years. I joined a gym to fill the strength and movement passion that I had developed during my horse years. I had this dream of being a bodybuilder but wasn’t sure how to go about it. There wasn’t much info out there in the late 1980’s/early 1990’s, and no Google, but the dream had taken root.

And then something went wrong, very, very wrong. I received the diagnosis that I had Multiple Sclerosis. I had a couple of exacerbations, one of which in 2001 left my right ankle, quad and hamstring permanently damaged (can’t lift it well or hamstring curl it).

Typical of me, I plowed forward and laser-focused 100% on my kids, as they had stellar athletic careers from a very early age. I coached fastpitch softball during my daughter’s early years and then spent the rest of her pre-college years traveling the country with her while she played in softball tournaments most weekends.

My biggest mistake was writing myself off. I saw myself as “worthless” and “broken.” I couldn’t run. I couldn’t jump. I couldn’t play sports. My list of “couldn’ts” was endless. And I had gained too much weight from doing not much.

When my daughter, my youngest child, left for college in 2011 I had a large amount of spare time on my hands. I had no more softball practice, games, workouts, training to take her to. I had time. I needed a replacement.

And then something went right, very, very right. I changed my perspective. Instead of focusing on what I couldn’t do, I decided to set out on a new adventure called “what can I do”. 90% of my body was still fully functional and being held prisoner by my 10% of disability. Well, a leg is maybe more than 10% but this is how I conceptualized it.

I was a bumbling tripping mess who could not walk on a treadmill without holding on for dear life. But I persevered and hired a personal trainer at my local Gold’s Gym. My goal was not weight loss, but just gaining function. However, I figured out how to lose weight along the way and dropped 60lb in just six months. I honestly had NO idea I had that much to lose but did not argue with that result!

With the rapid weight loss and progression from lifting weights, I was hooked and living full-on in the bodybuilding lifestyle. And my physical disability was diminishing! People started telling me I should compete. Wait, what?? I had written that dream off years ago. But why not go for it. I got an online trainer for my first competition and that is where I got introduced to Beverly Supplements. I jumped right into Super Pak, as well as Glutamine Select and UMP daily. These supplements made an immediate impact on my performance and development, and I am still taking them today. Other Beverly supplements come and go in my program depending on where I am in my competition prep schedule but are just as impactful for me when it is time to add them in each season.

After my first few competitions in 2013, I fell in love with the challenge of the stage. It was then that I had fortune of finding an incredible competition prep trainer I could work with in person – Jason Fuller with Xtremely Fit. I am not a typical client with my unique training limitations, but Jason works through this. We train all year round and he has seen me through several shows each year including the thrill and excitement of competing at the NPC Masters Nationals in 2016 and 2017. Currently I am full steam ahead- body under construction working for the 2019 Figure competition season. I am so pleased with the significant progress I make each year. Although disability and age are not in my favor for stellar results on stage, I am living my dream. Every day. And Beverly supplements have helped me every step of the way.


Note: I have some food intolerances and sensitivities so this may seem boring, but I just don’t need variety. I have a formula of simple food that provides me with optimal performance and that is all I need. The food stays pretty much the same all year; the amount is adjusted depending on the time of year.

5 days week

Meal 1: ¼ cup oatmeal, 5 egg whites, spinach, grated ginger & cinnamon

Meal 2: ¼ cup oatmeal, 3 oz. cod, ½ c blueberries

Meal 3: 4 oz. wild salmon, ½ cup rice (black or jasmine), 1 c broccoli

Meal 4: 3 oz. cod or haddock, ½ cup blueberries

Meal 5: 5 oz. wild salmon, ½ cup rice, 1 cup Brussels sprouts or green beans

Meal 6: ¼ cup oatmeal, 2 oz. cod, tsp fish oil

2 days week

Meal 1: ½ cup oatmeal, 2 eggs, 1 cup cauliflower

Meal 2: 3 oz. cod or haddock, ½ cup green beans, ½ grapefruit

Meal 3:4 oz. orange roughy, 1 cup green beans, spinach

Meal 4: 5 oz. orange roughy, ½ cup blueberries

Meal 5: 4 oz. wild salmon, 2 cup broccoli

Meal 6: 3 oz. cod, 1 cup broccoli & spinach, tsp fish oil

UMP is substituted for a protein in any of the above meals, added before or after a workout, or as a treat before bed.


Dawn Reichley

Kathy NPC Masters Nationals

Supplement Schedule

  • Density – I take Density starting 8-10 weeks out from a competition. I take 3 with breakfast, 3 with lunch, 3 pre-workout and 3 before bed and continue for a few weeks post competition to get rebalanced and transition back into a more plentiful diet.
  • Glutamine Select – I take a scoop after morning cardio, after lunch, and again after workouts. It is a great midday pick-me-up and gives me assurance I am getting the BCAA spike and some glutamine throughout the day.
  • Mass Aminos – I take 3 with breakfast, 3 with lunch, 4 pre-workout and 3 before bed during off season, and replace with Density 8-10 weeks before a competition
  • Quadracarn – I take 3x daily during contest prep season to assist with leaning out, on the same schedule as Density starting 8-10 weeks out and then a few weeks post competition.
  • Super Pak – I take daily with breakfast. I train super hard and have a narrow diet with various food sensitivities and intolerances and I know Super Pak has me covered. I think of it like back when I was pregnant. If I missed taking my prenatal vitamin in the morning I was exhausted and doomed for the day. Super Pak is like my prenatal vitamins! A must have!
  • UMP – I take as a meal replacement, around workouts and sometimes as a treat before bed. This is a fast acting and sustained release protein but it goes way beyond just the need for protein. UMP is an incredible fit for my training and lifestyle. It is the best tasting, best textured, easiest to blend, easy on my stomach, no bloating protein supplement I have ever found. I add just enough water to stir into a pudding and that is it. It is so easy to travel with. Just put a scoop of UMP in a Ziploc bag, along with a bottle of water, a disposable coffee cup and a plastic spoon and take to meetings, car rides, ball fields, airplanes, everywhere! It has truly been my simple go-to for years. My favorite flavors are chocolate and graham cracker. Sometimes I blend them together, sprinkle with espresso granules or sprinkle with cinnamon. I keep it simple.

Cardio Schedule

Note: We believe with my age and disability, I do best to keep moving and move often. I have a sedentary desk job so high frequency of workouts and movement are key.

Morning: Fasted cardio every day, most often using the stepmill. Yes – every day, all year. Duration is usually somewhere between 25 and 50 minutes, just depends on the time of season and competition prep. I use this time to absorb into a podcast to make dual use of this wonderful time each morning. It provides a great mental flow of energy, as well as the desired training effect. After cardio, I do some body weight functional training and mobility work like bosu squats, walking lunges, and band work for back and shoulder mobility. I also add some ab work a few mornings a week.

Pre workout: Row for 10 minutes.

Post workout: Depends on time of year. Sometimes we add additional cardio during prep season.

Training Schedule

Lift 6X per week, group conditioning 1X week, Bikram Yoga 1X week, and graston/ART (soft tissue mobilization and active release technique) 1 or 2X week.

Most lifting sessions are 5 sets of 12-15 reps each, although we periodize reps and have heavier sessions with 8-10 reps and lighter sessions with 20 reps. However, most leg work is in the high rep range.

Monday & Thursday – I train with Jason and most of these days are a mix of back/biceps on one day, chest/triceps on another, and shoulders added in. Most often, I have a training partner so we super set or giant set many of our movements. Drop sets are also used. This training split is very effective as we hit body parts several times during the week with a variety of exercises and angles. On Tuesdays, we do group conditioning following the workout.

Wednesday – Leg workout with Jason, again a mix of quad/ham/glute each week. Typical movements are squats, lunges, leg extension and seated ham curls.

Thursday – Bikram Yoga

Friday – Shoulder workout, usually consisting of barbell or rack presses, as well as high rep supersets and drop sets with cables or dumbells doing front raise, lateral raise and rear delts.

Saturday – Back workout usually doing rack pulls, and a variety of pull ups, pull downs and row variations. And sometimes I add another yoga session.

Sunday – High volume leg workout with squats, leg press, hack squats and reverse hack squats.

Presentation Tips

Understand the criteria for the organization you are competing in. Deliver what the judges expect to see. But most of all, be yourself. Practice, practice, practice several times a week for weeks leading up to your show. For several weeks out, I wear my heels around the house, I cook in them, do chores in them. With my disability, walking in heels is very difficult so I just make heels part of my daily routine. Don’t be shy about shooting video of your posing practice. Watch yourself over and over. I have also found it helpful to set an interval timer onmy phone to practice quarter turns. Smile, be confident and deliver your package that you have worked so hard to prepare. Be on point with your suit selection, tanning, makeup, nails, jewelry and hair. This is as much a beauty contest as it is a physique contest. Don’t cut any corners. And just shine.

Final Thoughts

I have competed in many Figure shows, a few each year for the last six years. I have learned that every competition preparation is different, so keep an open and flexible mind and be ready for the curveballs that are always coming. Keep educating yourself on the process and keep learning. And remember it is you vs. you, keep working hard, be consistent. The stage has taught me so much about self-confidence and self presentation which has translated into my everyday life and to my job. It has forever made a positive change in my life. But most important for me, is my time in the gym each day. That is where the real win is. Each day is like Christmas morning, you never know what package of delight will come with that day’s workout. I am stronger and more fit and better than ever, better every day. With the right training, nutrition and supplementation the sky is the limit regardless of age or disability.

Dawn Reichley

Doug DeRuyter and Class Physique A Perfect Match

Photo Credit: Jeff Robinson

At a Glance: Doug DeRuyter

Age: 42

Occupation: Elementary Physical Education Teacher

Family: Wife, Tracy and 3 kids, Jake, Owen, and Ella. Their support is endless and appreciated!!

Residence: Caledonia, MI

Years Training: 23

Height: 6’2”
Weight: Off-season 230-235
Contest: 218-220

Favorite Bodybuilding Meal: 10 oz. lean steak, 1 cup jasmine rice, mushrooms, spinach, and tomatoes sautéed together.

Favorite Supplements: UMP, Mass Aminos, and Ultra 40 – I stay relatively lean year round so it’s vital for me to retain my muscle mass. I take 5 Mass Aminos and 5 Ultra 40 pre workout and post workout with my Muscle Provider as well with my other 6 meals. That’s right, 35 of each every day. I truly believe this combination not only helped me retain, but also build muscle and strength during contest prep!

Music: Country

Most Inspiring Book:The Carpenter, by Jon Gordon

Words to Live by: Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice, and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do! -Pele

First started lifting weights

I have been into sports and fitness my entire life! I grew up playing nearly every sport imaginable, was a high school athlete and was even recruited to run college track. Even to this day, as an elementary physical education teacher, I am teaching the importance of physical fitness and trying to set a good example for my students to follow!

I was a tall and skinny 160-lb sophomore in college when I first started lifting weights. Even though I had always wanted to be stronger and more muscular, I was intimidated by the gym. Fortunately, my roommate had a lot more knowledge than I did in that area and invited me to work out with him. I was reluctant at first, but it soon became part of my weekly routine. Slowly, I began gaining some muscular weight and strength. I found that I was beginning to love weight training! As my knowledge of proper training techniques and nutrition grew, that love continued to grow into a passion and lifestyle!

In 2002 I decided to compete in a couple of local bodybuilding shows. I ended up doing very well, taking the overall novice in one show and first in my class at the second show. I competed again in 2003; taking the overall open at one show and had two other first place finishes. I took a few years off from competing and then competed again in 2007. That’s when I decided to enter my first NPC show. I knew that I would have to come in better than ever. That’s when Beverly supplements became a huge part of my contest prep and daily training!

I came across Beverly supplements simply through research and decided to give them a try! I was impressed that they had been around for decades as well as the quality of their products! Like most people, I too have tried many different brands of supplements. I have bought into the hype of a fancy advertisement or label, but the end results were pretty much the same - minimal results. I now use only Beverly supplements because they truly give me unmatched consistent results! For my first NPC show, I used Mass Aminos, Ultra 40, Creatine Select, Glutamine Select, Super Pak, and UMP. I competed in the heavyweight division. Even though I was the lightest of the heavyweights, I still came in first place! I honestly believe that the Beverly Supplements gave me an edge in physique quality which the other competitors could not match.

As our family grew, I decided it was time to stop competing. I continued to train hard and eat clean. I started doing personal and group training beside my work as a physical education teacher. I enjoy being able to share my love of fitness with others and motivate them to meet their fitness goals!

10 Years Later

The love of competing had never left and I was getting the “itch” to compete again. Being as tall as I am, 6’ 2”, and a hard gainer, I would classify myself as an ecto/mesomorph. Because of this, I started researching a new class in bodybuilding called Classic Physique. I felt with my conditioning and body style, broader shoulders and narrow waist, I would fit into this category much better than traditional bodybuilding. So in 2017 I decided to compete again in Classic Physique! Once again, without a question, I knew that Beverly supplements would be a huge part of my contest prep. I knew what products work for me as well as the results I could expect! I once again, used Mass Aminos, Ultra 40, Super Pak, Creatine Select, Up-Lift, UMP, and Muscle Provider. I had been using Quadracarn as part of my daily supplementation, and continued using this as well.

I entered the NPC Central States show in Ypsilanti, MI and won my class, overall masters, and overall classic physique! A few weeks later, I competed in the NPC Western Michigan Bodybuilding Championships. There I won the overall Masters and also won the open class C category! Both of these shows were national qualifiers, which now meant I could compete at a national show. Honestly, I never thought I would be competing at the national level, but with my recent success, I decided I would compete at the 2018 Teen, Collegiate, and Masters Nationals in Pittsburgh. I had eight months to prepare! I continued my exclusive Beverly only supplement plan trying to add as much lean muscle as I could, while keeping my diet relatively clean and strict.

My show prep for Masters Nationals was 14 weeks long. I felt I came into this show looking the best I ever have looked! I knew a clean diet and hard work in the gym were two huge factors, but again, I can honestly say the continued, and consistent use of Beverly supplements was also a major factor!

I wasn’t sure what to expect competing in my first national show! And boy, was I amazed at the number of quality competitors! National shows can have over 1000 total competitors, all bringing their best! I competed in the 40 and over age group in Classic Physique. Because of the high number of entries, I was in Class D; this was the height class with the tallest competitors. I was up against some quality competition! I ended up taking 4th place in class D, which was just 2 places away from earning my IFBB pro card!

I was extremely proud of what I had accomplished in my first national level show! However, being a competitive person, I know there is always room for improvement! So I will continue to train hard, eat quality meals throughout the day and continue to use Beverly supplements to reach that goal of earning my pro card!

Here’s a look at my nutrition and training programs at 8 weeks out from the contest:

Diet and Beverly Supplements 8 Weeks Out

Train at 5 AM: 1 ½ scoops Creatine Select, 1 scoop Up-Lift, 5 Mass Aminos, 5 Ultra 40, 3 Quadracarn

Meal 1: (Post Workout) 1 scoop Muscle Provider for fast acting recovery and 1 scoop UMP for time released sustained recovery, 5 Mass Aminos, 5 Ultra 40

Meal 2: 4oz Cream of Wheat, 6oz extra lean ground beef, 2 eggs, 1 cup egg whites, spinach and mushrooms.
Super Pak, 5 Mass Aminos, 5 Ultra 40

Meal 3: 9oz cod, 1 cup jasmine rice, 1 cup broccoli.
5 Mass Aminos, 5 Ultra 40, 3 Quadracarn

Meal 4: 8oz chicken breast, 1 cup jasmine rice, 1 cup asparagus
5 Mass Aminos, 5 Ultra 40

Meal 5: 8oz turkey tenderloin, 6oz sweet potato, 1 cup broccoli
5 Mass Aminos, 5 Ultra 40

Meal 6: 10oz lean steak, 1 cup jasmine rice, mushrooms, tomatoes, and spinach sautéed together.
5 Mass Aminos, 5 Ultra 40, 3 Quadracarn

Meal 7: 2 scoops UMP made into pudding or 10oz cod and asparagus
5 Mass Aminos, 5 Ultra 40

Training and Cardio

Monday: Chest, Biceps, Abs plus 25 minutes of stair stepper

Exercises Sets Reps
Incline DB Press 4 8-15
Machine Press 4 10-15
Standing Flye 4 15-20
BB Curl 4 10-15
Seated Concentration Curl 4 10-15
Various Ab Exercises 12 15-20

Tuesday: Back, Triceps, 25 minutes of stair stepper

Exercises Sets Reps
Incline DB Press 4 8-15
Pull-ups 4 10-12
Bent-over Rows 4 8-15
Pulldowns 4 8-15
Single-arm Hammer Row 4 8-12
Tricep Dips 4 20
Cable Pushdowns 4 15-20

Wednesday: Legs (emphasize quads), Abs

Exercises Sets Reps
Squats 5 8-15
Leg Press 4 10-15
DB Front Squat 4 10-15
Leg Extension 4 15-20
Various Ab Exercises 12 15-20

Thursday: Shoulders, Calves, 25 minutes of stair stepper

Exercises Sets Reps
Seated DB Press 4 8-15
Standing Lateral Raise 4 10-15
Cable Face Pulls 4 15-20
Hammer Shoulder Press 3 8-12
Cable Laterals (superset) 3 10-15
DB Bent Lateral (superset) 3 10-15
Various Calf Exercises 12 15-20

Friday: Chest, Biceps, Triceps, Abs

Exercises Sets Reps
Smith Incline Press 4 8-15
Flat DB Press 4 8-12
DB Flye 4 10-15
DB Curl 4 10-15
Cable Curl 4 10-15
Lying Tricep Extension 4 10-15
Hammer Tricep Dips 4 15-20
Various Ab Exercises 12 15-20

Saturday: Legs (emphasize hamstrings), 25 min. of stair stepper

Exercises Sets Reps
Stiff-leg Deadlift 4 8-12
Reverse Hack Squat 4 12-15
Lying Leg Curl 4 12-15
Standing Cable Curl 4 12-15

Sunday: Off

Swolemates at the Gym and Trophies on the Stage

Photo Credit: Will Edwards

At a Glance: Sharlyn Hampton

Age: 40

Occupation: Chicago Police Department and Personal Trainer

Current Residence: Chicago, IL

Years Training: 13

Height: 5′ 5″

Weight: (Off-Season) 140 lbs, (Contest) 135 lbs

Favorite Fitness Meal: UMP protein pancakes. The pancakes taste great with every flavor of Beverly UMP protein. I prepare them for breakfast as well as an on the go snack. Hot or cold it’s a perfect replacement meal.

Favorite Supplements: Graham Cracker UMP- I use it for anything from shakes to making protein muffins. I also enjoy the Glutamine Select during my workouts.

What would you recommend to someone who has never used Beverly supplements before? I’ve sampled various protein powder supplements and Beverly UMP has been the best. The flavors taste great and UMP blends very well with fruit and oats.

Music: Classic R&B.

Most Inspiring Book: Love Addiction.

Hobby or Interests outside bodybuilding: Because of my midwestern United States and Turkish roots, I enjoy trying new foods. I am passionate about bodybuilding so when I’m not working out, I’m helping someone else achieve their fitness goal. I enjoy spending time at home, watching movies, and binge watching Netflix. Spending time with family and friends is essential.

Words to live by: YOU vs YOU. Everything we do begins and ends with how we start our day. The mental mindset that we initiate and continue to maintain, is the foundation of the goal that we want to accomplish. It starts with YOU and ends with YOU..

Creating the best physique

What are the greatest things you have to overcome to be a champion? Training harder? Avoiding the sweet foods you crave? Living the right athletic mindset? Rather than focusing on the things she has been forced to go without, or her daily life challenges, for IFBB Pro Sharlyn Hampton, becoming a champion is simply an effect of going for what she hard, eating properly, consuming the best nutrition supplements, posing artistically onstage, and creating the best physique possible.

While her win at the NPC Universe (capturing the open class and the masters 35-and-over) gave her a pro card, her densely-built, aesthetically-shaped, athletically beautiful female physique was a primary goal in her life.

Background: basketball stress reliever

Sharlyn was born a military brat in Germany, where her father worked in the Army. Later in life, she spent much of her time in the St. Louis, MO area, where her father’s family is based. Her father always took her older brother to compete in sports. One summer, he noticed girls playing basketball and had her join up. Basketball and soccer became regular sports that she competed in, playing basketball all the way into college. She was introduced to lifting weights by her high school basketball coach, Theresa Humble. From her freshman year on, she was hooked on weight lifting.

After studying exercise, nutrition and health sciences at Chicago’s Robert Morris University, Sharlyn worked as a government contractor in Iraq for three years. She was a supervisor for a contracting company called KBR (Brown & Root Industrial Services) in morale, welfare and recreation. This included working in the gyms and rec centers that the soldiers used for training. While she enjoyed helping soldiers with lifting, there was another aspect of her job that was very stressful. Over the three years she was employed there, attacks with explosives were launched numerous times on the facilities. She consistently had to run from her bunker to nearby safety zones. “There were some soldiers that I would see on a regular basis in the gym and they would go outside of the wire and some of them would not come back.” This was very important work, but difficult to handle for long periods. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) was a concern which she realized after leaving that job and returning to Chicago. “In the morning, I would wake–up and just automatically roll underneath my bed. That was one of the things we did regularly in Iraq when we’d hear a loud noise indicating that our base was being hit and there was not enough time to get down to the bunker.”

Sharlyn worked as a personal trainer while going through the training and hiring process to join the police department. The gym always helped her to relax her mind and soul. She still works part–time as a personal trainer and her own gym time is a major part of her life. “The gym is an area which is totally in my control. Certain situations I have been in as a police officer or my work overseas were not always under my control. Bodybuilding is just something I am completely in control of and a stress reliever.”

Entering Bodybuilding Competition

It was around 2006 that Sharlyn was pulled into the contest prep world. “When I became a personal trainer, about 4–5 of the other trainers were competing in bodybuilding and I just jumped on the bandwagon.” Her first contest (of about nine shows) was in the lightweight bodybuilding category at the NPC Caveman Classic in St. Louis, which she won. This was followed by another victory at the NPC Illinois show.

After taking a few years off from competing, she entered the 2012 NPC Muscle Heat in Greensboro, North Carolina. It was her first time in the new Women’s Physique division, and she won the overall! She took off a few more years in order to go through the academy training for her new police career, but returned and took 2nd place in Physique at the 2016 Chicago Wings of Strength Extravaganza.

“Later that year, I went into a national show and didn’t do that well,” says Sharlyn. ”I entered the Women’s Physique category and a couple of the judges told me, ’I know you have a bodybuilder’s mentality, but you definitely have a figure girl’s body. If you’d stepped onstage as a figure girl, you would have had a pro card years ago.’” While the bodybuilding and women’s physique divisions motivated her, she realizes that going into bodybuilding instead of figure with her build “was like taking a knife to a gun show.”

Sharlyn jumped into three figure contests this year. The first one was an overall victory at the NPC Michigan. A week later she hit third place in the NPC Junior Nationals. A week after that was when she captured her pro card at the NPC Universe with multiple class wins, including the overall in the over–40 class. “The thing I liked most was that I was in the open class with the younger girls and I won my class there too. Winning was absolutely amazing. It was almost like an out–of–body experience. The competitors made it so amazing back stage – everyone helping one other.”

She felt she had finally reached her best condition. Trainer Shelby Starnes jumped in to assist her just a few weeks before these three contests. “The difference Shelby made was he had me eating a lot more carbs than before. I would send him my morning pictures and he would tell me to eat more carbs. Your body can take more carbs. Keep eating!” This helped her have the slightly more “rounded” look required for high level figure competition.

In 2019, Sharlyn Hampton plans to enter her hometown’s Wings of Strength Chicago Pro for her pro debut. I also had to ask what her lifetime bodybuilding goal will be. “I want to step on the Olympia stage in Vegas. That might be a far out dream considering I am in my 40s, but I want to give it a try and go for it anyways, and see how I fare. I would love to be able to say I put my pinky toe on that Olympia stage in Vegas.”


Years ago, one of her gym friends told her about Beverly International. “He told me their brand had the highest quality out there. I had tried many other companies’ proteins and was always turned off by the taste and chalky feel. UMP was not like this at all. It tasted really good and mixed easily as a shake or pudding. I grew up on homemade pudding and was thrilled when I discovered I could mix UMP with a little water and make a delicious pudding. I like chocolate and the graham cracker flavor is really good, too!”

Lean Out and 7-Keto MuscLean are my two must-have’s during my fat cutting phase for competition. I take 7-Keto MuscLean thirty minutes before my fasted cardio session upon waking, and again 30 minutes before my PM cardio session. I include 2 Lean Out with every meal. What I love about Lean Out is that it is stimulant free which I definitely prefer over most fat burners that give you the jitters. Adding these two supplements to a healthy diet will help anyone lower body fat faster!

I just started using Density (essential amino acids). Adding 2 or 3 to every meal has really helped with muscle growth and fat breakdown. EFA Gold doesn’t have a fishy taste and it really helps burn body fat. I also take a multi vitamin.

Sharlyn at NPC Junior Nationals

Sharlyn at NPC Junior Nationals

Sharlyn with Supplements

Diet and Beverly Supplements 8 Weeks Out

While most of us count on protein as our primary nutrient, Sharlyn has a unique “more carbs please” macronutrient balance. She consumes five to six meals a day. Because of her fast metabolism, her intake is higher carbs, moderate levels of protein and low fat (under 20%).

“Working as a police officer keeps me eating on the go. I’m in my squad car a lot and don’t have the luxury to sit and eat 5-6 hot meals a day. My typical meal plan consists of a lot of tuna packs, egg whites, UMP protein powder, whole wheat wraps, and oats. I alternate between peanut butter, almond butter and Beverley International EFA Gold capsules as my fat sources at each meal.” Here is a sample day’s eating.

Meal 1: Egg whites, oatmeal and 3 EFA Gold capsules

Meal 2: UMP protein, whole wheat wraps with peanut butter

Meal 3: Tuna, whole wheat wraps and olive oil

Meal 4 (Pre-workout): UMP protein, Quaker oats, peanut butter

Meal 5 (Pre-workout): UMP protein, banana, fruit and nut granola bar

Meal 6: Grilled chicken breast and asparagus

On her off day she enjoys UMP Protein Pancakes, her favorite meal of the week! (See side bar for recipe.)

UMP Protein Pancake Recipe

  • Ingredients
  • ½ cup oats
  • 1 ½ scoops UMP Angel Food Cake
  • 1 tsp flour
  • 5 strawberries or handful of blueberries
  • 1 tbsp natural peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup egg whites equivalent to 2 eggs
  • ½ – ¾ cup water depending on how thick or thin you like themDirections
    Mix all ingredients together in a blender and cook like regular pancakesFinal Thoughts“When you get knocked down, you get back up,” says Sharlyn. “When I say knocked down that means not getting first–place. You take constructive criticism from the judges and you go back to the drawing table and you bring a different package to the stage the next time you compete. You stay humble. It takes being consistent. It takes time to put on the muscle. Keep grinding, keep working at it. Keep going to the gym. Will and consistency!”With her serious attitude and seriously driven lifestyle, we look forward to seeing champion Sharlyn Hampton on the pro stage!
    And she did, Winner of 2018 NPC Universe Women’s Figure Masters Over 35.Photo Credit: Dan Ray

Swole Training

When it comes to training, Sharlyn aggressively pursues the changes she knows judges want in her build. Her goal is to put on an extra layer of muscle, building a wider lat spread and full, cannon-ball delts. “I have to lift heavy to get those results,” she says. This motivates her each time she heads to the gym. ”Heavy training and volume is what I need for that extra muscle.”

”My workout routine changes frequently but here’s a sample of what I’m currently doing. I am including the actual weights that I used in my last workouts to give you a point of reference.” For example: 95/6 means the weight is 95lbs and I got 6 reps. On some exercises I just do as many sets as it takes to reach a total number of reps. On these exercises I rest just 30 seconds between sets.In the workout below I indicate this as: Machine Rows – 60 reps, 30 seconds rest.

Training and Cardio

Monday: Chest, Shoulders, Abs

Bench Press: Bar/10, 95/6, 115/3, 135/2, 155/1,
175/1, 135/3x5-7

Incline DB Press: 35/10, 45/8, 55/3x6-10
Dips superset with Incline Cable Flyes: 4x8-15

Military Press: Bar/10, 65/6, 85/3, 95/as many reps
as possible using a slight cheat

Barbell Shrugs: 95/12, 115/10, 135/3x8, slow and

DB Laterals (20lbs) + Reverse Pec Dec Flyes + Alternate Front Raises (25-30 lbs): 3x10-15 each

Lying Leg Raises: 60 reps (total)

Seated Twists: 60 reps


Tuesday: Legs, Triceps, Calves

Squats: Bar/10, 95/8, 135/6, 215/3x6-10

Leg Press: 90/10, 180/8, 270/6, 360/max

Romanian Deadlifts (115lbs) + Lying Leg Curls: 4x6-
12 each

EZ-Bar Standing Triceps Extension: 30/12, 40/10,

Lying Triceps DB Extensions: 15/12, 20/10, 25/8,

Triceps Pushdowns: 4x15-20

Calf Raise: Total of 70 reps

Reverse Raise (tibialis): Total of 70 reps


Wednesday: Back, Biceps, Forearms

Deadlifts: 135/3, 155/5, 175/7, 200/10

Barbell Rows: Bar/10, 75/8, 135/3x6-8

Lat Pulldowns + Seated Cable Rows: 4x8-15 each

Barbell Curls: 4x12/10/8/6

Seated DB Curls: 20/15, 25/12, 30/10, 35/max

Concentration Curls: Total of 70 reps

Wrist Roller: 5 sets

DB Reverse Wrist Curls: (15 lbs) total of 60 reps


Thursday: Rest

Friday: Chest, Shoulders, Abs

Bench Press: Bar/10, 95/8, 115/ 7, 135/total of 30 reps

Decline Press: 95/10, 115/8, 135/3x6-10

Flyes + Pec Deck Flyes: 4x15/12/10/8

Seated DB Press: 20/10, 30/8, 40/3x4-8

Upright Rows (60lbs): For a total of 60 reps, 30 seconds rest
between sets

1-Arm Laterals (25 lbs): For a total of 70 reps

Weighted Crunches: 60 reps

Hanging Leg Raises: 5 sets max reps


Saturday: Legs, Back

DB Lunges: 25/10, 35/8, 45/6

Power Cleans: Bar/10, 65/8, 85/as many sets as necessary to
get 30 reps

Leg Extensions: For a total of 70 reps, 30 seconds rest
between sets

Machine Rows: 60 reps, 30 seconds rest between sets

Good Mornings: 95/4x6-12

1-Arm DB Row: 55/4x6-12

Adductor Machine: 60 reps, 30 seconds rest between sets


Sunday: Rest

Sharlyn adds that, “It is important to have great swolemates for lifting partners.” Her serious swolemate team includes Mia Wilson, Derick Abel, and Tay Raines for support and motivation. “On the days in which I am super-tired they push me to the limit!