Competing Again at Age 50

At a Glance: Laurie Foote

Age: 50

Occupation: Salesperson & Co-Owner at Equal Exchange- a fair trade, organic food organization; Certified Personal Trainer and Group Exercise Instructor

Current Residence: Doylestown, PA

Family: husband, Jeff Celia (he’s also an amazing stage manager, keeping me organized and sane on show days!)

Years training (total): 30

Height: 5'3"

Weight: Off-Season: 130, Contest: 114

Favorite Bodybuilding Meal: Organic grass fed beef & asparagus

Favorite Supplements: UMP is a staple; I rotate between flavors for variety, but Rocky Road is my favorite. Lean Out and 7-Keto MuscLean are essential precontest!

What would you recommend to someone who has never used Beverly supplements before? Lean Out and 7-Keto MuscLean really helped me to jump start my fat loss; if you plan on competing, get both of them, now!

Music: 80s rock and singer-songwriter classics

Most Inspiring Book: My Stroke of Insight by Jill Bolte Taylor

Hobby or Interests outside bodybuilding: Gardening, going to farmer’s markets, vintage dress shopping, making cheese, mission work with my church, knitting

Words to live by: Gratitude is the cause of happiness

Contact: Email: lauriefootefitness@gmail.com, Instagram: @lauriefootefitness

 

At almost 50 years old, it wasn’t the first time I stepped onstage in a Figure competition, but it was certainly the first time I stepped onstage with a clear sense of who I really was. I last competed in my early 40s, and did pretty well, including winning Ms Natural Illinois Figure. At the time, I was a successful Real Estate Broker in Chicago, living on Michigan Avenue and enjoying philanthropic and social events in the city.

But a lot has changed over the past ten years. Depression, chronic headaches, a thyroid condition, and a failed marriage led to some serious soul searching.

So I sold my condo, gave up my business and moved to a farm in Pennsylvania where I milked goats, made cheese and yogurt, and sold my products at a local farmers’ market! At first, I had no idea what I was doing, but it felt right to be working with animals and the land. Through my contacts at the market, I eventually wound up working at an organization that partners directly with farmers to grow and market fair trade, organic products. The pieces fell into place.

My husband (who I also met at the farmers market!) and I have similar values. In addition to my work with food, I am also a personal trainer and group exercise instructor. Finally, I feel like I am working for the health of the individual (myself and those I teach and train), the community (here in my town at the YMCA, at my church, the farmers and communities my company partners with), and the earth (by growing my own food, eating organic and local when possible, and bringing fair trade, organic food to consumers).

Last Christmas, my sister Jenny, who is a triathlete, asked me if I would ever compete again. I laughed and said no; it was fun, but it was really hard! But the more I thought about it, the more fun I remember having, and the more I realized that “because it’s hard” is a really dumb reason not to do something! So, I made up my mind to compete once again. In January of 2019, I started as a “normal”, if fit, 130lb 49-year-old. I knew the hard work and dedication it takes to compete, and as a Certified Personal Trainer, I followed my own training and nutrition strategy to prepare for competition.

I have always been a natural athlete, and competed in drug-tested shows, so I knew I needed high quality, clean supplements to support my diet and training. Beverly International was the first - and only - supplement company I turned to. Beverly products are clean and natural, and their company values match mine. Unlike some supplements I had tried in the past, Beverly products made my body feel strong and healthy in a natural way. I felt good mentally and physically about what I was putting into my body, just like the foods that were now part of my everyday diet. Beverly products have become an integral and natural fit into my diet, training, and lifestyle.

By mid-May, I was ready. I competed back-to-back in 2 OCB shows, came in 1st in the Masters Figure category, won my pro card, and came in 2nd in the Open Figure A Class - in both shows! Many people have been asking me how I did it. In this article you will find example plans that I followed leading up to my competitions.

Presentation Tips

If it’s your first contest, go to as many shows as you can beforehand, and study what works and what doesn’t! YouTube is also a great resource; you can find videos of competitions at your level, and really study the posing. Then, practice, practice, practice! Take videos of yourself practicing, and watch them. Find a posing workshop (in person is best, but online can work, too), and use the leader’s guidance & expertise to improve. Then, practice some more!

When you do compete, get all the information you can from the judges. At some shows, you will get copies of the actual score sheets, or have a mix-and-mingle with the judges afterward. Sometimes the truth is tough to hear - but the feedback they give you can be invaluable to your future success! Also, scrutinize photos and videos from your shows. Your strengths and weaknesses will be clear, and you will gain insight into what the judges are looking for.

Besides exercise, nutrition, and supplementation, there are several things that I believe have been crucial to my competition success. One is sleep. It’s my other secret weapon! It is like a drug for making changes in your body. Sufficient sleep is essential for fat burning, cellular repair, and muscle growth. The mental and emotional benefits of sleep are key for competition prep, too. I like to be in bed before 9pm every night, so I can get at least 8 hours of quality sleep.

The other necessary component of competition prep is your mindset. You have to make up your mind that this is something you are going to do - and that’s it. You can do it; you will do it!

Diet

We eat pretty clean at our house; my husband even more so than I - he preps and packs his food every week, just like a bodybuilding competitor! I’m lucky that I have the flexibility to work from home, so I can keep my kitchen stocked with good, clean food and the Beverly supplements I need to make my nutrition plan a no-brainer. Every Saturday we go to the farmer’s market in our town, and stock up on fresh, local vegetables, and there is a local heritage livestock farm where we get all of our meat. As a rule, I don’t eat sugar, even in the off season, and I get most of my carbs from vegetables – but I eat LOTS of vegetables! I also drink 1.5 gallons of water a day.

 

Here is a sample contest prep meal plan, which I follow anywhere from 8-16 weeks prior to competition:

Meal 1: Breakfast “Smash-UMP”
1 scoop Vanilla UMP and 1 scoop Glutamine Select mixed into 5oz nonfat Greek yogurt - then I add a variety of 2 or 3 of the following ingredients: 1tbsp almond flour, 2 tbsp hemp protein, 2tsp coconut flour, 2 tsp organic cocoa, dash of cinnamon, 1 tsp of peanut butter or almond butter, 10-12 frozen blueberries… and lately, believe it or not, grated cauliflower for bulk and texture without lots of calories! I mix it all up like a batter, and it’s a real treat.

Meal 2: 3-4 cups raw veggie mix*

Meal 3: 3 free range eggs scrambled with spinach, peppers, mushrooms, and hummus OR a big salad with greens, veggies and herbs from our garden, 5oz tuna or salmon, 1tbsp olive oil and 3tbsp balsamic vinegar

Meal 4: UMP Rocky Road shake, blended with cold brew coffee, lots of ice, and 1/2 teaspoon each of vanilla and almond extract. Frosty mocha deliciousness!

Meal 5: 3/4 cup low-fat cottage cheese, 3-4 cups raw veggie mix*

Meal 6: 4-6oz grass fed lean beef (London Broil and liver are my favorites, but I know liver isn’t for everyone!), and 3 cups fresh asparagus or green beans OR stir-fry of scallions, eggplant, zucchini and 4-6oz chicken or pork loin

*My raw veggie mix is my secret weapon! This is the one thing I ALWAYS have prepped in my kitchen. My current mix is 2 bunches celery, 2 fennel bulbs, 2 large cucumbers, 3 bunches broccoli, 1 head cauliflower, and 8 bell peppers (different colors). Cut everything up into bite-sized pieces and mix together, then divide into Tupperware containers. It usually makes 10-14 good-sized portions. I typically eat 2 portions per day. Also, if I am really craving something I know I shouldn’t have, I will tell myself that I can have it AFTER I eat a container of veggie mix. Then, 9 times out of 10, once I eat the veggie mix, I’m full and don’t have the craving anymore!

When I’m not competing, my diet is similar to the above, with the addition of cheese and nuts, and more volume - I can eat a LOT of steak! And once in a while, I do allow myself an order of onion rings or a glass of wine, but not too often.

What I will implement for my next contest prep:

1 or 2 high carb days per week, to see how my body responds. Also, I will rearrange my schedule to eat before I work out. I know it will benefit me to fuel up prior to lifting, but this is tough, since I have a thyroid condition and have to take medication 1/2 hour before I eat, so I will need to get up REALLY early to eat before that 6am gym time!

Supplements

UMP: In my Breakfast Smash and in a shake for my afternoon Favorite flavors are Vanilla and Rocky Road. I love coming up with different shake combinations, like a scoop of vanilla with 1tsp orange extract blended with lots of ice for a creamsicle. The extracts add flavor, and help to emulsify the shake so it’s really smooth and creamy.

Lean Out: 1 capsule

7-Keto MuscLean: (2 capsules) and Energy Reserve (1 tablet) – before meals 1, 3, and 5.

Glutamine Select : 1 scoop after workouts and in my Breakfast Smash with UMP

FitTabs: 2 tablets in the morning and 2 with my evening meal

What I will implement for my next contest prep:

Quadracarn: Starting with 2 tablets at breakfast and 2 tablets before bed

Cardio Schedule

I teach Group Exercise at the local YMCA, so I either teach or take some type of Group Exercise Class for 60 minutes, 5 or 6 times per week, year round. For me, first thing in the morning is the best time for cardio; it helps me get my day off to a good start. A typical week of cardio training will look like this:

 

Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday: Indoor Cycling

Tuesday & Thursday: Kettlebell, TRX or Interval Training Class

Sunday: Off (from cardio)

Once or twice a week, if the weather is nice, I will walk during lunch with a friend. I also love yoga, and sometimes take a yoga class instead of cardio, especially if I need the stretching and recovery; it’s a great counterbalance to intense cardio and lifting.

What I will implement for my next contest prep:

Sprints! I strained a hamstring several months ago, so I’ve had to work around that, but it’s finally healed.

Training Schedule

Here is a typical workout plan that I follow in order to add or maintain muscle mass as I go into contest prep mode. I do some form of abdominal or core work every day:

 

Sunday: Shoulders & TricepsAmount 
Handstand Pushups against a wall50 total (as many sets as necessary; usually 4-6)
Superset
Dumbbell Press4x10
Bent-over DB Rear Delt Raises4x10
Kettlebell Upright Rows 4x10
Triceps Pushups4x10
Triset
180 degree Lateral Raises (lift arms laterally all the way overhead) 4x10
Triceps Dips4x12
Front Raise with Plate4x10
Cable Lateral Raise3x10
Cable Lateral Raise 3x10
Hanging Toes-to-Bar Leg Raise 3x6-10

Monday: Off

Tuesday: Legs (heavy, lower reps)Amount
Barbell Squats4x8-10
Superset
Kettlebell Swings4x10
Kettlebell Sumo Squats 4x8-10
High Box Step-Ups4x10
Banded Side Steps4x10
Sissy Squats 4x10
Glute/Ham Raise4x8-10
1-Leg Calf Raises4x10 each leg
Decline Crunches3x15
Wednesday: BackAmount
Pullups 50 total, as many sets as it takes! *
Superset
Reverse Rows hanging under a fixed bar4x10
Reverse-Grip Pulldowns4x10
Bent-Over Kettlebell Rows 4x10
Swiss Ball Hyperextensions 3x15
Swiss Ball Reverse Hyperextensions3x15
Kettlebell Windmills3x10 each side

* Start with assisted pullups, and gradually lower the assistance weight until you can do them It might take time - but that’s OK! It took me about 8 months of training until I could do all 50 unassisted - and now I’m doing weighted pullups! I love watching the jaws drop when I do those.

Thursday: Legs (light, higher reps)Amount
This workout will be similar to my Tuesday or Saturday leg workout;
with lighter weights and 100 reps total per exercise.
Superset
Kettlebell Swings4x25
Kettlebell Sumo Squats, going parallel or below4x25
Romanian Deadlifts 4x25
Walking Lunges4x25 each side
Cable Rear Leg Raises4x25 each side
Swiss Ball Glute Bridges4x25
Swiss Ball Pull-Ins4x25
Single Leg Standing Calf Raises 4x25 each leg
Ab Superset
Swiss Ball Pikes3x15
Swiss Ball Stir-the-Pot3x15 each way
Friday: Chest & BicepsAmount
Superset
Incline Barbell Bench Press 4x10
Incline Dumbbell Bicep Curls4x10
Decline Barbell Bench Press4x10
Cable Flyes4x10
Cable Bicep Curls4x10
TRX Triset
TRX Chest Press4x10
TRX Chest Flyes4x10
TRX Bicep Curls4x10
Swiss Ball Crunch Combo
Crunches throwing & catching medicine ball50
Quick Pulse Crunches 50
Crunches, Pause Halfway50
Saturday: Legs (heavy, lower reps)Amount
Sled Leg Press 4x8-10
Single Leg Romanian Deadlifts 4x8-10 each side
Walking Lunges 4x8-10
Smith Machine Glute Bridges4x8-10
Single Leg Swiss Ball Pull-Ins4x8-10
Leg Extension 4x10
Seated Calf Raise4x10

What I will implement for my next contest prep:

Planned recovery time. When training at a high intensity, it’s important not to overtrain, so I want to be more conscious of that. Symptoms of overtraining include trouble sleeping (and I LOVE to sleep!), headache, exhaustion, joint & muscle aches.

Over 50 Training – Another Perspective

 

In this article I would like to share some personal thoughts on the best system of training for the mature bodybuilder. By bodybuilder, I mean anyone who is trying to develop muscle and strength, not just those training to enter a contest. This article is targeted at the over 50 male who has had some previous experience with weight training, but he may have experienced a long lay-off or he just wants to try something different from what he’s been doing for years.

To start, let’s agree that the over 50 bodybuilder’s basic concerns are very much the same as bodybuilders of any age – to develop an above average degree of fitness, muscle, and strength. For the over 50, let’s add – to look and act younger than his age.

Here is an outline of notes I’ve taken regarding myself specifically, and the aging bodybuilder in general. I started training pretty regularly in 1963, so these comments are based on more than 50 years of training experience.

 

Challenges for the over 50 bodybuilder

Negative factors of aging

  • Males typically lose 1/2 pound of muscle per year once they hit their late 30’s or early 40’s.
  • Fast-twitch muscles decline and testosterone production is reduced as the years go by.
  • An extended “lay-off” or “years-off”, results in excess fat. In addition our metabolisms slow down as we age.
  • Training time is often limited because of work and family obligations. However, this may be a good thing. You are less likely to over train by training too often or with too many sets and reps.
  • Injuries – anyone who has been training for most of their life has accumulated various injuries that interfere with their workout. My personal list includes lower back and elbow injuries for years, which are now pretty much ok. Current issues include arthritic knees, shoulders (including a complete shoulder replacement of my left shoulder) and wrist (which currently is my most limiting), along with varying degrees of tendinitis. But injuries, like limited time to train, can actually be a blessing. You may have to cut way back on the poundages that you use in certain exercises. The reason this is good is that you can really concentrate on developing perfect form and slowly progress for a very long period of time before you hit a plateau.

Positives for the over 50 bodybuilder

  • Self-Discipline - often improves with age. We’ve had to use it throughout our lives – not only in our workouts, but, perhaps in college, the military, building our own business – in fact; any goal we’ve achieved has had self-discipline as a vital component.
  • Patience – the older bodybuilder is no longer looking for a quick fix. He knows that anything worth achieving takes time and effort.
  • Knowledge of how his body works and feels – which exercises he can do and which he must make adjustments to, or avoid.
  • Realistic expectations – he realizes his strengths, but also his limitations. Goals are essential for the over 50 bodybuilder, but unlike many younger bodybuilders he knows that he is not going to be the next Arnold.
Note:We can counter the negative effects with targeted supplementation. Muscle Synergy, Quadracarn, and 7-Keto MuscLean will help you overcome these factors of aging. For more information, see Supplements at the end of this article.

Q & A

1. Should I train like I used to, or be content with a milder version?

Be cautious, but don’t let caution keep you from progressing – for any strength or muscle building routine to be effective it must include some overloading in the form of progression.

2. Can I still do certain exercises?

It is more important than ever to focus on the best exercises. These are core exercises for the shoulder girdle, back, and legs. Try the harder exercises: squats, dead lifts, and military presses. Even if you quit doing them years ago, give them another chance. Often, you just need to reduce the weight on the bar and improve your flexibility to start doing these exercises safely and productively. If an exercise is beneficial to a younger athlete, it can be useful to an older one. Don’t build limitation into your routine simply because of your age.

3. Can I really expect any gains at my age?

Absolutely, the older body responds to strength training exactly as a younger one, but at a slower pace (this could be good for it helps you avoid injury and overwork). – You must adhere to principles of strength development.

Realistic Goals

Forget the old Don’t become fixated on how strong you used to be. You’ll lose focus on what you are currently trying to accomplish, and become discouraged. One of the keys to the routines that follow is small, steady strength increases over the long haul. It is important that you set realistic goals based on your current condition. What you used to do is ancient history. It’s how you look and feel today that really matters. Don’t set goals based on your previous best lifts (for some of you that would take you back to your 20’s and 30’s), but do set goals for your current age. For example, at age 55, perform 6 perfect reps in the bench press with 185 lbs. Set new personal records, but base them on where you are now in life.

You can set personal age related records every There is a formula used in weightlifting called the Malone-Meltzer age coefficient which adjusts for age. At age 55 your coefficient is 1.35. That means that if your goals were 300 (bench press) – 400 (squat) – 500 (deadlift), you would basically be achieving these goals with lifts of 225, 300, and 370. This puts everything into perspective with definitive goals within your reach. (You can Google Malone-Meltzer to find what the coefficient is for your age.)

 

Sample Schedules

Here are a couple of sample workout schedules. Program #1 is for the over 50 male who is just starting training or starting back training after a prolonged lay off. Program #2 is for anyone who is looking for an alternative workout that will save time yet build strength and muscle.

 

Program #1

Objectives

  • Acquaint or reacquaint yourself to the basics – perfect your form on the best exercises.
  • Slowly build or rebuild your strength on the basic exercises.
  • Halt and reverse age related muscle loss.
  • Improve body composition – more muscle, less fat.

Scheduling

  • 2 or 3 weight training sessions per week.
  • Alternate workouts A and B with at least one day and preferably two days between each workout – do not overtrain.

Warming up and stretching

  • Five to ten minutes of a general body warm-up is very important. You can use an air-dyne or elliptical exerciser to warm-up everything at once. Or just go through the various movements you’ll be using in your workout with little or no weight.
  • Next, stretch between sets and exercises. Flexibility is an A number 1 priority for the older bodybuilder. Your workout should be: Lift, stretch, lift, stretch then leave.

Progression

You will want to lift as much as you can right away. Everyone does. But, you have to look at the long term. Start with a weight 70% or less than what you are currently capable of using. Concentrate on training consistency and proper form. We want to progress very slowly over a prolonged period of time. If you add 5 lbs to an exercise every other week for 3 months, you’ll have added more than 30 pounds to each exercise.
  • On the exercises which have a 10-12 rep range, add weight the following workout for exercises where you got 12 good reps on at least two of the sets.
  • For those with a 6-8 rep goal, add weight when you can perform 8 reps in perfect form on one or more of the sets.

Keys

  • Consistency, correct technique and slow, sustained poundage progression. Your weight increases should be as small as possible.
  • If you have micro plates (1.25 lbs or less, by all means use them).
Workout A
Exercise

Amount
Squat 3x10-12
Bench Press 3x6-8
Barbell Row 3x6-8
DB Shoulder Press 3x10-12
DB Curl 3x10-12
Abs / Calves
One exercise for each 3x15 or 2x20 per exercise
Workout B
Exercise

Amount
Deadlift 3x6-8
Incline DB Press 3x10-12
Pulldown
(using chin grip with palms facing you)

3x10-12
Barbell Press 3x6-8
Barbell Curl 3x6-8
Abs / Calves
One exercise for each 3x15 or 2x20 per exercise

Program #2

Objectives

This workout is for anyone who needs a change from his current program. It is terrific for the 50+ male who has been training regularly, but is at a standstill as far as strength.

Objections

  • Many of you will think this program is not enough, but that may be just the reason your progress has stalled – you’ve been doing too much.
  • Most assume higher reps are best for the 50 and older bodybuilder, but this is not necessarily the case. Your goal is to regain or continue to gain as much strength as you can. This means 4-6 sets of 4-6 reps on core exercises.

Advantages

You’ll start building (or at the least, regaining) strength and since the workouts are shorter, you’ll have more time for recuperation (and a real life).

Time Tested

This routine is based on time tested strength building basics. Give it at least a good three months. Personally, I’ve been using variations of this program for more than five years and am still making gains (at 71 years of age.)
  • Progression: Program #2 embraces a variation on the 5 sets of 5 reps theme similar to what I’ve been following for the past 15 months. Reg Park, one of the strongest and best developed bodybuilders of the pre-steroid era often trained with this method. He recommended that your first set (after a thorough warm-up) be with 60% of your 5-rep max, set #2 with 80% of your 5-rep max, and set 3, 4, and 5 with your 5-rep max. For illustrative purposes let’s say that at age 55 you are capable of 5 reps with 200lbs. Your first set (after warm-ups) would be with 120, set #2 with 160, and sets 3, 4, and 5 with 200. When you can reach 5 reps on each of these final 3 sets you would increase the load by 5lbs on all sets. (Note: you never want to increase the poundage on an exercise by more than 2-3%.)

Warming up and stretching

Should be the same as Program #1.
Workout A
Exercise
Amount
Squat5x5
General warm-up, then as many warm-up sets of 5, 3, or 1 as necessary to get to
your first set, then 5x5
Curl5x5
Close Grip Bench Press (hands just a little closer than shoulder width apart) 5x5
Weighted sit-up or crunch 2x8-12
Auxiliary work for forearms, neck, calves:
I personally include neck work (as I am trying to avoid “old man’s neck”) and
forearm gripping exercises.
After at least 1 day’s rest, go to workout B
Workout B
Exercise

Amount
Bench Press 5x5
Bent row 5x5
Plank 2x30-60 seconds
(Optional) Alternate chins (palms facing you) and Dips
(or push-ups) 2-3 sets of max reps
Now, take 2 days off and go to Workout C
Workout C
Exercise

Amount
Deadlift 5x5
Shoulder Press 5x5
Front Pulldown 5x5
Hanging Leg Raise or any ab exercise you like 2x8-15
Auxiliary work for forearms, neck, calves

Adjustments I’ve made to continue making progress

Regardless of how slowly you progress, eventually you’ll get find it nearly impossible to continuing getting 5 sets of 5 on each exercise as described above. Here are some modifications I have made that have kept me progressing.
  •  I’ve used a 5-4-3-2-1 rep scheme adding 10lbs per set from my 5-rep max.
  •  I’ve alternated weeks of 5 sets of 2 with about 10% above my 5-rep max. Example: If I was capable of 200x5 for 3 sets, instead of going to 205 the next week, I’d do 5 sets of 2 with 220, and then go to 205 the following week.
  • I’ve also had to modify exercises (due to that darned wrist). I use heavy 1-arm DB incline presses for the bench press, thumbs up curl (with a log bar or dumbells), 1-arm db press for shoulder press (which I love), and for the close grip bench, I’ve been using a set of cable strands for tricep pressouts.

 

Nutrition

I recommend higher protein and moderate to low carbs for the over 50 bodybuilder who is trying to build muscle and strength while losing some fat. Always include at least 1 UMP protein shake. I mix 1 scoop of UMP vanilla with 1 scoop of Provosyn and drink it at least once per day and often twice.

30 grams of protein per meal is the minimum you should shoot for and 4-6 meals per day. Some current research shows that the older bodybuilder may need more protein than the younger one, so don’t be afraid to go up to 50 grams of protein in a meal.

Unfortunately, as we grow older our metabolism does slow down a little. Therefore we have to watch our caloric intake. I’d estimate 12-13 calories per pound of bodyweight is about right if your goal is to add muscle and strength while tightening up. Keep carbs under 150 grams per day on most days.

Supplements

Many of BI’s best clients are in the 40-50-and 60 age brackets. I think one of the reasons for this is these guys have been around, tried it all, and settled on what works.

Here is my A list of supplements for the over 50: UMP, Quadracarn, Muscle Synergy or Creatine Select.

Next in importance would be Density or Mass Aminos, Lean Out, and 7-Keto MuscLean to keep your metabolism cooking.

Final Thoughts

I hope that this article has given you some new thoughts regarding strength training and muscle building for the over 50 bodybuilder. Please let me know if you have any questions related to the article. I wouldn’t mind including a “mature muscle” question and answer column in each issue if enough of you older readers are interested. Further topics we might pursue are intensity cycling, athletic type movements, bodypart specialization, exercise modification, and more in depth supplement stacks for specific goals. Please send your comments and questions to rogerr@BeverlyInternational.net.

How I Prepared for My First IFBB Pro Contest

At a Glance: Scott Foster

Age: 40

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

Current Residence: Russell, PA

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

Height: 5'2"

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

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

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

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

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

Music: Hard rock and metal.

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Maximum Muscle and Lean Weight Gain Diet

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

Optional: 1 serving low carb fruit.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pre and Post Workout Drink - Training Days Only:

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

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

Supplements I took during the Gaining Phase:

1 Super Pak

3 Mass Aminos with meals 1-6

3 Ultra 40 with with meals 1-6

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Essential Supplements during the Hardening Phase:

Super Pak with meal 1

3 Ultra 40 with each meal

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

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

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

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

March 13-April 15:

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

Maximum Muscle and Lean Weight Gain Diet

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

 

My Supplements

Super Pak with meal 1

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

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

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

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

Meals

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

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

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

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

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

Meal #4: (same as meal #2)

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

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

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

Or Repeat Meal #1, but skip the oatmeal.

Pre-Contest Tweaks

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Meal #4: (same as meal #2)

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

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

*Lean meat was almost always lean ground beef.

My Classic Physique Training Plan

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

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

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

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

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

I added extra chin ups on my off days.

 

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

Day One:
Chest/Back/Abs

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

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

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

“Hitting The Wall”… Naturally

At a Glance: Tim Walton

Age: 56

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

Current Residence: Chittenango, NY

Years Training: 40+

Height: 5'8"

Weight: Off-Season: 182, Contest: 168

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

"Hitting The Wall"... Naturally

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

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

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

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

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

Final Words

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

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

Diet & Supplements

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

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

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

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

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

Dinner: Same as lunch

Early evening: Half bagel with almond butter

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

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

Daily Supplement Schedule

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

Lunch: 4 Ultra 40, 4 Mass Aminos

Dinner: 4 Ultra 40, 4 Mass Aminos

Early evening: 4 Quadracarn

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Workouts

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It’s Never too Late to be Great

At a Glance: Cindy Lane Ross

Age: 41

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

Current Residence: Orange Beach, AL

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

Years Training: 30 years

Height: 5’5”

Weight: Off Season 129, Contest 119

Favorite Fitness Meal: Large bowl of oatmeal with berries.

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

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

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

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

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

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

2018... A Year of Self- Discovery

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

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

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

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

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

My Nutrition Advice

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

In Closing

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

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

Year Round Diet

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

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

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

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

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

Supplements:

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

Ultra-C, Lean Out, and Quadracarn with breakfast

Lean Out and Density with each meal throughout the day

Creatine Select before my weight training sessions

Contest Season Diet

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

Meal 2: 4oz salmon, 1 cup vegetables

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

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

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

Supplements:

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

Training

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

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

Tuesday: Back

Wednesday: Legs (Quads)

Thursday: Arms

Friday: Shoulders

Sunday: Legs (Glutes & Hams)

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

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

Cardio

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

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

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

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

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

A Peanut Among Peanuts

At a Glance: Eva Serber

Age: 43

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

Current Residence: Charleston, SC

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

Height: 4’11”

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

Favorite Bodybuilding Meal: Salmon and roasted Brussels sprouts

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Diet

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

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

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

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

Meal 4: 4oz chicken, green veggies

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

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

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

Supplements

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

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

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

Training

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

Day 1: Back (width) & Side Delts

Day 2: Chest

Day 3: Quads

Day 4: Back (depth) and Rear Delts

Day 5: Biceps and Triceps

Day 6: Hamstrings and Glutes

Day 7: Shoulders

Day 8: Back and Biceps

Day 9: Chest and Triceps

Day 10: Legs

Day 11: Shoulders

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

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

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

 

In Closing

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

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

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

Becoming a Better Me!

At a Glance: Susan Ramsey

Age: 36

Occupation: Radiologic Technologist and Certified Personal Trainer

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

Current residence: Montgomery, IN

Years training: 5+

Height: 5'4"

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

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

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

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

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

Most Inspiring Book: The Bible

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Training

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

Monday:back

Exercise SetsReps
Lat Pulldowns412
Seated Cable Row412
Bent Over DB Row412
Pull-Ups4Failure
Close Grip Pull Downs412
Rower- As fast as I can for 15 minutes

 

Tuesday: Glutes and Quads

Exercise SetsReps
Leg Extensions510
Wide Stance Leg Press412
Squat410
Hip Abductions415
Barbell Hip Thrusters415
Cable Kickbacks412

 

Wednesday: Shoulders

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

 

Thursday: Triceps and Biceps

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

 

Friday: Chest and Core

Exercise SetsReps
Smith Bench Press412
Seated Chess Press412
Incline DB Chest Press412
DB Flye412
Hanging Leg Raises412
V-Ups Holding A Weight415
Crunches425

 

Saturday: Shoulders, Glutes & Hamstrings

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

 

Sunday: Rest

 

Cardio

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

Diet

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

UMP Protein Waffle

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

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

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

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

 

Supplements

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

In Closing

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

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

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

Focus on You and Do YOUR Best

At a Glance: Tina Parsons

Age: 38

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

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

Current Residence: Traphill, North Carolina

Years Strength training (total): 4

Height: 5’0”

Weight: Off Season-117, Race Day-115

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

A bit of history

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

Lessons from the Treadmill

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

My Introduction to Weights

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

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

CrossFit

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

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

Enter the OCR

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

Diet – Abs are made in the kitchen

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

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

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

Daily Nutrition Plan

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

10:00: UMP Graham Cracker shake

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

Training

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

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

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

Supplements

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

 

Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

At a Glance: Doug Ludmann

Age: 45

Occupation: Self Employed Lighting Designer- specializing in high end resort developments

Family: Wife of 20 years and a 15 year old son

Current Residence: Fort Mitchell, KY

Years training (total): 32 years

Height: 5'11" Weight: Off-Season 180, Contest 165

Favorite Bodybuilding Meal: I absolutely love making pancakes out of UMP and egg whites. Sometimes I'll mix in some ground flax or almond flour. You really can't screw them up!

Favorite supplements: Up-Lift, Muscle Synergy and Glutamine Select for my workouts. Muscle Provider post workout (MP is my favorite for post workouts because it's not filling so I can still consume a meal quickly thereafter); Quadracarn, Ultra 40 and Mass Amino Acids all day.

What would you recommend to someone who has never used Beverly supplements before? UMP - there is no better meal substitute.

Music: Shinedown, Tool, Korn

Most Inspiring Book: The Book Thief

Hobby or interests outside bodybuilding: Waterskiing, Paddle boarding

 

There I was, all 5’1”, 79 pounds of me asking my father to send me to weight lifting camp the summer prior to my freshman year of high school. Looking back, I’m not sure what I was thinking, but now realize what my father was probably thinking- but he sent me anyway. I still remember the looks on the coaches who ran the camp when I walked in. I didn’t even know which way to lay on the bench, and that 45lb bar felt like a ton, but I didn’t care. Even though I was clueless about weight training, deep down inside me, I knew this was where I belonged.

Now, at 45 years old, I still feel the same when I walk into the gym. Hopefully, by writing this article I will motivate at least one person to step out of their comfort zone and step into a gym for the first time – or go back to the gym after a long layoff. Regardless, I urge you to step out of your comfort zone and head to your local gym.

In high school I was a runner; sure, I lifted weights but I was a runner. My college recreation center was amazing and I frequented the gym there, but still my focus was as a runner. After graduation, yes, still a runner, lifting on the side- 5k, 10k, half marathons, ultra-marathons- you name it I ran it!

I was introduced to Beverly International in 2002 at the Gold’s Gym in Alexandria, KY and upon tasting UMP I have never considered any other brand. As a runner I used Glutamine Select immediately post run and UMP soon thereafter. I started to learn how to properly fuel my body from the No Nonsense magazine. I’d read every word in each magazine making notes on how people trained; their favorite lifts, and their splits. An amazing thing happened, the more I lifted, the better my running became. I was able to go further and faster. The stronger I became the faster I got.

I started running at age 13. Twenty six years later, yes 26 years later, I won my first race. Most people would have given up by that point, but let me say that 26 years of training for that first win made it that much sweeter. That year I was able to win multiple races, finishing up 2012 by winning a 30-mile road race in cold, windy, rainy conditions. Then a few years later, at 42 years old, I hit a new personal best at the marathon distance completing the Flying Pig Marathon at 2 hours and 50 minutes.

A week after that race I decided I wanted to enter a bodybuilding show. Talk about stepping out of my comfort zone! I sent in my entry for the NPC Kentucky Open in August, 2015, but a week before the show my appendix had different ideas. Post-surgery I focused on recovery and realized that the Natural Northern Kentucky was coming up. I began preparing as soon as I was allowed to get back to lifting. I made up for lost time with my diet and training and came into that October show completely conditioned. I won my class, but missed out on an overall win in the Mens Physique division.

Next, I prepped for the Northern Kentucky Grand Prix the following spring and came in as one of the best conditioned in my division. I won the Masters Mens Physique, but that was it. I was just too small to win the open. I competed in two more shows where I sacrificed conditioning for a little more size and missed the top spot due to not being lean enough. Remember, it took me 26 years of running before I won my first race, so I wasn’t about to give up yet.

I went back to my key bodybuilding info resource, Beverly’s No Nonsense magazine, and came across an article on Dave Uhlman. I asked around and couldn’t find anyone who did not praise his physique coaching ability. Something that really struck my interest was that he was still stepping on stage in his 40s!!!

I contacted Dave 10 weeks out from my upcoming show, the NGA Kentucky Natural Classic. He immediately went to work refining my diet and training. For the first time, I started gaining muscle mass while I lost fat. Dave had me working harder in the gym and eating more than I ever had before leading up to a contest. I came into that show with a physique unlike anything I ever imagined I’d have. I was both “full” and “hard”. I won my class, the Masters class and “finally” took that elusive overall spot in the open Mens Physique division, earning my NGA Pro Card at 44 years old

I need to mention how different Dave’s approach to “Peak Week” was than anything I had done before. He was very observant to how my body reacted to different levels of carbs and proteins and utilized specific Beverly supplements based on my diet. He had me constantly supplementing with a wide variety of Beverly products. Ultra 40, Mass Aminos, EFA Gold, Muscle Synergy, Muscle Provider, UMP, Up-Lift and Quadracarn were all essential during the prep. Now to get back to “Peak Week”, it was amazing… No major changes! We did the work early to get lean and just continued with the same program during the final week.

Next, I would step out of my comfort zone once again. If anyone ever deserved the title “chicken legs” it was me. Genetically my legs are long and skinny. But with the advent of the classic physique category, I wanted to try it. My next time on stage I would not have long board shorts to hide my legs.

Dave and I went right back to work. I leaned out quickly and yet again on Dave’s diet was able to build muscle mass and lose fat. My upper body, even my lower back where I tended to hold the last of my fat leaned out nicely. However, my legs were not leaning out like the rest of my body. Dave switched my workouts up to where I trained legs twice a week, Quads on Monday and Hamstrings on Friday. It was an absolute struggle, but after months of leg workouts, posing, and extremely clean eating, we got my legs to a respectable size and lean enough to step on stage in Classic Physique. I think the hour-long posing sessions that Dave put me through twice a week played a large role in getting my legs into contest shape. I was actually getting more sore from posing than from my workouts.

I had hit a new low body fat level and went into the Kentucky Natural Classic leaner than ever. I was able to win my weight class, the Masters class, and again the overall top spot, but this time in Classic Physique, earning a NGA Pro Card in a second category. I also won the Pro Mens Physique Class. I’ve included my diet, supplement and workout plans in this article so you can see exactly how I did it.

Conclusion

I could have never walked on stage that conditioned and that full had it not been for Dave Uhlman and Beverly International. Putting your faith in someone is not easy, but once you find someone you can trust as a coach, you must let them do what you hired them to do! And with Beverly, I trust I’m getting perfectly clean supplements that help stimulate my metabolism to lose fat and assist me in building/maintaining muscle.

Prepping to step on stage is one of the hardest things anyone will do and that’s coming from someone who has trained for ultra-marathons. It takes the same persistence and hard work, but it also takes months of 100% discipline in your diet. And most importantly you have to be ready to step out of your comfort zone and pretty much live out of that comfort zone for a few months.

 

Training

Every week’s workout varies, but this is a good example.

SS denotes superset.

 

Monday: Legs - focus on Quads

• Single Leg Extensions - 3 sets to warm up
• Leg Press (feet low on plate) - 5 x 16,12,10,6,6
• Elevated-heel Squats - 5 x 8-12 (increasing weight each set)
• Hack Squat – 7 x 16,12,10,8,6,10,16
• Leg Extension - 5 x 20
• Seated Calf Raise - 5 x 20

 

Tuesday: Chest – focus on upper chest with higher reps

• Incline Bench - 3 sets with just the bar to warm up
• Incline DB Press - 5 x 16,12,10,8,6
• Incline Cable Flyes - 5 x 16
• Incline DB Svend Press - 3 x 10-12
• Low Incline Around the Worlds – 3 x 12
SS Pushup (on exercise ball) - 3 x 12
• DB Pullover – 3 x 10-12
• Underhand DB Front Raise (targeting upper chest) - 5 x 12 each side

 

Wednesday: Back – squeeze each rep

• Straight Arm Pulldown - 3 sets to warm up and stretch
• Deadlift - 5 x 8-12 (increasing weight)
• Close Grip Seated Row - 5 x 8-12
• Bentover Row (with close, underhand grip) - 5 x 16,14,12,10,8
• Parallel Grip Pulldown (heavy) - 3 x 10-12 reps
• One-Arm Dumbbell Row - 3 drop sets x 6 (18 reps total)
• Pullup (varying grip) - 3 sets to failure

 

Thursday: Shoulders and Biceps - so many people forget about the eccentric movement especially while doing shoulders. Making the lifts as hard as possible is the goal here.

• Standing Military Press - 3 sets with just the bar to warm up
• DB Press - 5 x 16,12,10,8,6
SS with Seated Dumbbell Curl - 5 sets of 12
• Arnold Press - 3 x 8-12
SS Concentration Curl - 3 x 12
• Upright Row (light) - 5 x 12-16
SS Seated Laterals (heavy) - 5 x 8-12
• Front DB Raise – 3 x 8-12
SS Cable Front Raise - 3 x 12-16
• Landmine Press - 5 x 12-16 (each arm to burn out the delts)

Friday: Legs - focus on Hamstrings

• Walking Lunge – 3 sets to warm (no weight)
• Squat - 5 x 16,12,10,8,6
• Leg Press (feet high on plate) - 5 x 16,12,10,8,6
• DB Walking Squats - 5 x 20 steps
• V Squat Machine - 3 drop sets of 6 (18 reps total each set)
• Lying Leg Curl - 5 x 12-16
• Standing Calf Raises - 3 x 20

 

Saturday: Rest

Sunday: Chest and Triceps - slow and heavy- it’s Sunday take your time and enjoy

• Bench Press - 3 sets with just the bar to warm up
• Flat DB Press - 7 x 16,12,10,8,6,10,12
• Flat DB Svend Press - 5 x 8
• Incline Smith Machine Press – 3 x 8-12
SS High Cable Flyes - 3 x 8-12
• Landmine Press - 3 x 8-12
SS Low Incline Around the Worlds - 3 x 12
• Weighted Dips - 5 sets to failure (heavy)
• Incline Skull Crushers - 3 x 12
SS Rope Extensions - 3 x 12

 

Note: I do core workouts after my fasted cardio focusing on abs one day and obliques the next. I normally do these as my breakfast cooks.

Diet & Supplements

 

 

 

My diet does not vary too much from in season to off season. Quantities may change, but the types of foods stay pretty much the same.

I'm a lighting designer specializing in high end resort developments for my occupation. I am lucky enough to work from home most of the time, but I do a lot of travelling which makes meal prep very difficult. I may travel for 5-10 days at a time and when I'm on contest prep I make sure I'm prepared. I bring a lot of my food with me- 6oz bags of tuna, 90-second microwaveable rice, rice cakes and all my supplements take up the bulk of my travel bag. Eating out can be scary, but I have found that restaurants are very accommodating most of the time. If I can’t find a sushi restaurant or a Chipotle, I'll just ask for a plain chicken breast and broccoli or asparagus on the side.

Before fasted AM cardio: 2 Quadracarn, 2 Lean Out, black coffee

Meal 1: 1 cup egg whites, 1 whole egg, 1 cup spinach, 4 pieces sprouted grain bread, 1/2 grapefruit

  • 2 FitTabs, 2 EFA Gold

Meal 2: 2 scoops UMP, 1 cup Kodiak Cake mix, 2 tbsp ground flax, 1 cup egg whites mixed with enough water to make pancakes;
or 6oz chicken, 140 grams white rice

  • 8 Mass Aminos and 8 Ultra 40 (the Mass/Ultra 40 stack is one of the keys to building muscle while leaning out at the same time)

Meal 3: 6oz tuna, 200 grams rice, 1 cup green beans

  • 8 Ultra 40, 8 Mass Aminos

Pre Workout: 2 Quadracarn, 2 Lean Out, 10 Muscle Synergy tablets

Intra Workout: 1 scoop Up-Lift, 2 scoops Creatine Select, 2 scoops Glutamine Select

Meal 4 (post workout): 2 scoops Muscle Provider, 1 sprouted grain English muffin

Meal 5: 8oz chicken, turkey, or fish, 10 small red potatoes with garlic, 10 asparagus spears

  • 8 Ultra 40, 8 Mass Aminos

Meal 6 (bedtime): 2 scoops UMP, 1 cup egg whites, 1 tbsp peanut butter, blended together with ice

  • 6 Muscle Synergy tablets

 

On the Road to Success

My journey with Beverly International began when I was just 20 years old and a college student studying for my master’s degree in physical therapy. I decided to do a bodybuilding show and was told Beverly was the company to see! I met Roger and Sandy and many others from the Beverly family. They were instrumental in teaching me about the role of nutrition in bodybuilding. I also saw first-hand the difference that their quality supplements made in my physique.

Fast forward 18 years: I am now a happily married father of 4 daughters, professional natural bodybuilder with multiple Pro wins, have completed multiple full and half marathons, am a physical therapist and run my own fitness training and consulting company called The Impakt Lab. Something that has remained consistent through it all, my supplementation with Beverly International supplements!

In this article I’d like to give you a glimpse into my “training life” and let you see how I approached 3 unique challenges this past year.

One thing I have learned over the years is balance is the key to success. With every competition or life event comes a new challenge to our balance and homeostasis. I am always up for a new challenge, but with the main rule that I make sure to be a good husband, father and person at the same time! This year my challenges were to:

1. Run a half and full marathon in the spring.
2. Take my wife and 4 daughters on a camping trip out west for 3 weeks.
3. Compete in multiple “natural pro” bodybuilding contests in the fall.

The first challenge I would face was how to maintain my muscle mass and remain injury free while training to run a marathon. The next challenge would be how to initiate my bodybuilding precontest training while on an extended camping trip with my family. Yes, these would not be easy feats, but with Beverly in my corner I knew I could make it happen.

Dawn Reichley

Challenge #1: (Prepare to run a marathon while maintaining my muscle mass)

Running a marathon was the goal during this phase, but bodybuilding remained a priority. I worked out with weights 5 days a week, and devoted 2 days to running. I also added a cardio / cross training segment to my Wednesday weight workout.  This included tire flips, jump rope, air dyne bike, battle ropes, tire hammers etc. Here is an example of a typical week:

Monday: Legs (quad emphasis)
Tuesday: Upper Back (pulling movements) and Lateral Delts
Wednesday: Chest and Triceps; plus Cross Training or 3 miles on the Elliptical
Thursday: Mid distance run, stretching and foam rolling
Friday: Lats / Hamstrings (posterior chain movements) and Biceps
Saturday: Upper Chest and Anterior Delts
Sunday: Long run (progressively add mileage each week)

 

 

Phase 1 Supplement Plan

Joint Care: 3 capsules twice daily to maintain / protect my joints from the pounding they were getting from running and weight training
Quadracarn: 3 tabs 3 times daily for testosterone support
Glutamine Select: for recovery
UMP and Mass Maker Ultra: (see sample diet)
ZMA 2000: for added recovery and testosterone support
Up-Lift: I mixed Up-Lift and Glutamine Select together in my water bottles during long runs. (This is great for any extended cardio activity where too much caffeine would be detrimental.)

Phase 1 Meal Plan

When training for running, I like to keep my carbs high every day since I never have a rest day. My average macros are approximately 200 grams protein, 400 grams carbs, and 25 grams fat.

Here is an example of my meal plan during this phase:

Meal 1: 8 egg whites, 100 grams Cream of Wheat
Meal 2: 2 scoops UMP, 7 rice cakes
Meal 3: 5oz chicken breast, 15oz potato
Meal 4: 2 scoops Mass Maker Ultra
Meal 5: 5oz chicken, 15oz potato, 2 cups veggies
Meal 6: 2 scoops UMP (made into protein pudding), 7 rice cakes dipped in the pudding!

 

Modifications as the marathon draws closer

When my runs on Sunday were 12 miles or more, I would cut back on my Monday leg workout. I’d still do the basics – squats and leg presses, but I’d cut out any accessory movements. I also added more mobility work including plenty of foam rolling and stretching.

I ran my first race of the season, the Heart Mini Marathon in March. It was a success so I continued to ramp up my longer runs training to complete a full marathon at the Flying Pig in May. At the Flying Pig, I also entered the Pump and Run division. I received a gold medal in the “pump” portion of this event in the “30+ Pump Club” for benching 30 or more reps with my bodyweight on the bar. In addition, I completed the full marathon!

I did not use any pre-run dietary manipulation tricks. Since my daily carbs were already fairly high there was no reason for me to carb up before the race. One of the major benefits that I noticed was that I had no gastric upset during the long runs or races. This is a fairly common occurrence for those who engage in some heavy carbing up before their races.

 

Challenge #2: 3-week off-road family camping vacation at the beginning of my precontest preparations

After successfully completing my first challenge, my training was back to normal. I replaced my long runs with interval workouts, got back into a routine and then… took off with my family on a 3-week camping trip out west. I was just beginning preparations for some pro contests coming up in the fall so I couldn’t miss workouts. But, it’s not easy to always get a workout while on a camping trip. Here’s how I did it.

I brought a good set of resistance bands along with me and used them for the majority of my workouts. I attached bands to trees, to our camper, and used them in “who knows how many ways”. Pushups and bodyweight squats for high reps were another mainstay. For cardio there were long hikes, often while carrying one or more of my tired little girls. I also tried to get one “gym” workout in each week. There are many gyms who offer a 1 day membership for travelers. It took some research to find one in the areas we camped but I managed to get one full body weight workout each week.

By the way, if you are going to do one full body workout per week, I’d recommend you stick to the basics. My workouts were based around squats, deadlifts, and presses. That way the particular gym you’re at will not have to offer any specialized machines required for your workout. With the addition of one weekly “gym” workout, I was able to break my “camping workout” scheme into 1 full body workout, 3 band workouts and a lot of hiking each week!

Now, I’m going to give you an example of one of my bodyweight/band workout days. I enjoy getting up early and found there is nothing better than working out outdoors and watching the sunrise!  Our camping neighbors may have thought I was crazy, but when you have goals it doesn’t matter.

Warm up: 50 pushups, 50 bodyweight squats and 50 jumping jacks
Circuit 1: (3 rounds of 20 reps) - Band Low Rows (tie the band to a tree), Band Laterals, and Bodyweight Squats
Circuit 2: (3 rounds to fatigue) - Pushups, Band Bicep Curls and alternating Backstep Lunges holding a weighted object (find a nice sized rock or child)
Circuit 3: (3 rounds to fatigue) - Band Tricep Pushdowns, Band Pulldowns and Band Squats
Circuit 4: (3 rounds to fatigue) - Band Shoulder Press, Close Grip Pushups and Single Leg Split Squat

Repeat warm up sequence to end the workout.

 

 

Phase 2 Supplement and “On the Road” Meal Plan

Quadracarn & ZMA 2000 I continue to take Quadracarn (3 tabs 3x/day) and ZMA 2000 (3 capsules before bed) for testosterone support and to maintain lean mass.

UMP & Muscle Provider As you’ll notice in my “On the Road Meal Plan”, I rely heavily on high quality Beverly proteins whenever we camp. It’s not easy for me to cook chicken and store it properly while on the road.

Here is an example of my meal plan while on the road:

Meal 1: 1 scoop Muscle Provider and 1 bagel
Meal 2: 2 scoops UMP and 2 packets low sugar oatmeal (mixed and drank as a shake)
Meal 3: 1 can chicken and 1 bagel
Meal 4: 2 scoops UMP and 2 packets low sugar oatmeal (same as meal 2)
Meal 5: 1 can tuna, 7 rice cakes
Meal 6: 2 scoops UMP

Macros on average were around 180 grams protein, 300 grams carbs and 30 grams fat. This was enough to sustain my energy, provide quality protein and a simple meal plan to begin my transition to contest prep.

The trip was a blast, we camped from Cincinnati to California and back, traveling over 6000 miles and visiting 12 national parks!

 

Challenge #3: Contest Season!

At the end of the summer, the total plan was coming to fruition. I was able to maintain my muscle mass and had been leaning down throughout the previous 2 phases. When we arrived home from our camping trip I was 8 weeks out from my first show, the PNBA Pro Team USA championships and 14 weeks out from the Natural Olympia.

 

 

Precontest Supplement Plan

Quadracarn & ZMA 2000: as in the previous phases

Muscle Synergy: I use 2-3 scoops Muscle Synergy powder each day during contest prep. It intensifies my pumps and allows me to continue building muscle while on a contest prep diet. Besides starting my day with Muscle Synergy (mixed with Up-Lift, see below), I actually like to eat my Synergy before my workout. I just take a scoop, throw it back and chew on it!

Up-Lift: My job requires that I get up between 4:30 and 5 each day and on top of work and my online business - as mentioned earlier I have 4 daughters and coach their teams. Needless to say, my days are long. Being on a calorie restricted diet, I don’t eat first thing in the morning. I begin my day with coffee, then switch to sipping on what I refer to as my cherry lemonade, Muscle Synergy and Up-Lift!

Glutamine Select: As the day progresses I sip on Glutamine Select throughout the day. It helps curb my cravings and feed my muscle between meals.

Lean Out: I take 2 Lean Out with each of my 6 meals (12 total per day) to facilitate fat loss. Lean Out helps your body convert carbs and stored fat into real energy.

 

Precontest Meal Plan

Here is an example of my meal plan at 8 weeks out: portion sizes vary depending on the phase of my diet and progress.  I also do one additional scoop of Muscle Provider post-workout.

Meal 1: Egg whites and Cream of Wheat
Meal 2: 1 scoop Muscle Provider, 1 apple
Meal 3: Chicken and 2 cups vegetables
Meal 4: 1 scoop Muscle Provider and rice cakes
Meal 5: Lean beef and vegetables
Meal 6: UMP and peanut butter

Training:

I trained each body part twice a week for 15 sets per training session. This gave me a total of 30 sets per body part per week. I also began posing and doing steady state cardio for 30 minutes 2x/week.

I was able to come to the PNBA Team USA as planned and ended up placing first in the Classic Physique division and qualifying for the Natural Olympia. I then followed that up with a Pro bodybuilding win 3 weeks later at the NPF Natural West Virginia. I finished out the year with a top 5 finish in PNBA Natural Olympia competing against natural champions from around the world.