Lessons from an IFBB Pro Figure Athlete

Photo Credit: Gustavo

At a Glance: Dawn Reichley

Age: 46

Occupation: Neuroscience Account Manager, Otsuka Pharmaceuticals

Current Residence: Dayton, OH

Family: Married 20 years to husband, Ryan, and 2 boys, Jake-17 and Parker-10

Years Training: 20 years training, competing 7 years

Height: 5′ 0″

Weight: (Off-Season) 118 lbs, (Contest) 108 lbs

Favorite Fitness Meal: UMP protein pancakes.

Favorite Supplements: UMP Protein (all flavors), Fit Tabs, Ultra-C, Glutamine Select, Muscle Synergy, Fast-Up, Quadracarn, and GH Factor. These are my favorite products that I use not only in contest prep but also year round for off-season training!

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

Music: TRY THEM……. you won't be disappointed! UMP is the best tasting protein powder on the market and all the other products are high quality grade with the athlete and performance in mind.

Music: Pandora Prince radio, Pink, Britney Spears, Aerosmith, really anything upbeat; I even throw in some Charlie Daniels band, “Devil Went Down to Georgia”.

Most Inspiring Book: Power of Positive Thinking - by Norman Vincent Peale

Hobby or Interests outside bodybuilding: Spending time with my family (mostly on the soccer field) but also enjoy shopping and quality time with friends.

Words to live by: “Your mind is a powerful thing. When you fill it with positive thoughts, your life will start to change.” - Unknown author

 

I started weight training after graduating from college. I had been a collegiate cheerleader
(placing 2nd nationally) and was invited back for the alumni game. I didn’t want to be the alumni cheerleader that everyone whispers about, “look how fat she got”. Although I kept in good shape, it was very difficult for me to add even a little muscle. In college I’d been a tiny 90-lb flier so I definitely didn’t have much muscle to work with starting out. And on top of that I had almost no knowledge as to what to do in the gym or how important proper nutrition was in building muscle.

I started reading and researching to learn what to do. My staples were Oxygen magazine and Muscle and Fitness. These magazines helped some with my training but I was still clueless about how critical nutrition and proper supplementation are to growth and improvement. I finally hired a trainer in 2006 and he introduced me to Beverly International supplements and started building a diet for me to follow.

After training for several years I had made good progress, but became bored and complacent with my workouts. My physique had also hit a plateau. I decided to hire a trainer and sign up for a show, just to say I did it. I was hooked! From 2011 to 2014 I competed in 3-5 shows a year. I loved the stage and rarely took much time off between shows. During that time I placed top 5 in figure class A in every NPC show I did. Although I loved my achievements I wanted more.

I decided to set my goals higher and go for my ultimate goal of becoming an IFBB Pro. I competed on the national level for the first time at the NPC Jr USA. I placed 3rd in my class, just missing out on my pro card. At my third national show in 2014, the North American Championships, I won my class and finally earned the title of IFBB Pro!

What I didn’t know was how different things would be at the pro level. First, I learned I needed to take some needed time away from the stage to continue to build my physique and bring up my weak areas. That said, I needed to know what the pro judges thought were my weak areas. I’d have to take a leap, jump in with both feet, and do a show so I could gain their insight and feedback. I did my first pro show in March 2015 where I was in a lineup with 29 amazing ladies and took 3rd callouts! I also learned that at the pro level there are no height classes, boy was that a wakeup call for this little 5’0 tall nugget. You learn that everyone at the pro level looks amazing, strong, conditioned, and posing becomes even more critical. It has been a humbling experience to say the least. Going from a perennial top 5 NPC competitor to an IFBB Pro that hasn’t been able to crack the top 10.

But, that is what I love about this sport. It keeps me driven, hungry to improve, and strong in both mind and body. I have changed my mindset along the way from “I gotta place top 5” or “I’m training to win”, to a mindset that it is truly “me” vs “me”. Now I set a goal to do everything in my power to step on stage better than the last time. If I beat the ME from the previous show then in my mind I’ve WON! I achieved my goal. At the end of the day if I put 100% into my contest prep and left no stone unturned, then the rest is out of my hands. At that point it’s time to step on stage, have fun, and enjoy the process that got me there.

Nutrition & Supplements

I was still behind the learning curve regarding nutrition even at the start of my competitive career. Even though I knew the types of foods to eat I didn’t know the correct portions that would maximize my gains. I severely under ate for my goals to build muscle. I relied on protein powders and bars for my main source of protein vs utilizing whole foods like chicken, turkey, eggs, fish and red meat. I literally did not eat any whole food proteins at that point. I also had this forbidden fear of carbs so I always under ate carbs as long as I felt like my energy was OK.
The first step to getting my nutrition on track was adding chicken, fish and eggs into my diet. In 2013, I incorporated red meat into my diet as I started my quest for a pro card. Lately I’ve also learned that my body now responds very well to carbs.

Dawn Reichley

Meal Prep & Supplement Schedule

I meal prep 2 times per week, once on Sunday and again on Wednesday. Each night before bed I weigh out my meals and put them into containers to take to work with me the following day. I also load my supplement container so it is ready to go as well. It’s all about planning ahead and being prepared. I am very strict with my meal plan when I’m in contest prep and never stray from the plan. In the off season I allow a little more flexibility for substitutions. For example if I’m craving something sweet I might substitute Beverly UMP pudding or make a protein pancake in place of one of my planned off season meals.

Meal 1: 3/4 cup egg whites, 1 whole egg, 1/2 cup oatmeal

Meal 2: 3oz turkey, 1 cup sweet potato, 1 cup broccoli, 1.5oz avocado

Post Workout: 1 scoop UMP mixed into a pudding, 1/2 banana

Meal 3: 4oz flank steak, 10 asparagus spears, 3/4 cup white rice

Meal 4: 3oz chicken breast, 1 cup green beans, 3/4 cup white rice

Meal 5: 4oz flank steak, 1 cup green beans, 1/2 cup sweet potato

Meal 6: 4 whole eggs, 1/2 cup chopped red and green peppers

Meal 1: 2 FitTabs, 3 Quadracarn

Meal 2: 1 Multiple Enzyme Complex (MEC) Meal 3: 1 MEC, 3 Quadracarn

Meal 4: 1 MEC, 1 Ultra-C, vitamin K

Meal 5: 2 FitTabs, 3 Quadracarn

Preworkout: I take Fast-Up, Muscle Synergy, Glutamine Select, & beta alanine

Training

You’ll notice in my workouts that I exhaust each body part with one exercise for 1 set of 30-45 reps before moving into my main exercises for that body part.

 

 

 

Exercise                                  

Monday: Quads & Shoulders

ExerciseSetsReps
Machine Shoulder Press130-45
DB Shoulder Press410-12
Underhand Front Raise412-15
Machine Lateral Raise315-20
Leg Press130-45
Front Squat510-15
Leg Press (superset)412-15
Walking Lunge (superset)410-15

 

Tuesday: Back & Hamstrings

ExerciseSetsReps
Machine Row130-45
DB Bent-Over Row410-12
1-Arm DB Row412-15
Cable Row415-20
Wide Grip Lat Pulldown312-15
Seated Leg Curl130-45
Sumo Deadlift48-12
Reverse Hack Squat412-15
Seated Leg Curl315-20

 

Wednesday: Chest, Shoulders, Triceps

ExerciseSets Reps
Machine Chest Press
130-45
Smith Machine Incline Press
410-12
Machine Lateral Raise
130-45
DB Lateral Raise
3-412-15
Military Press
48-10
Cable Upright Row
415-20
Crazy 100’s*
3100
Dips3-4failure

*(Pick 5 Cable Triceps exercises and perform 20 reps each as a giant set)

 

Thursday: Off Day

 

Friday: Quads, Hams, Glutes

ExerciseSetsReps
Leg Extension
130-45
Hip Thrust
130-45
Leg Curl
130-45
Deep Barbell Squat
48-12
Smith Reverse Lunge
412-15
Leg Press412-15
Split Squat315
Leg Extension310-15
Lying Leg Curl
315-20
Stationary Lunge

310-15

 

Saturday: Shoulders, Back, Biceps

ExerciseSetsReps
Machine Press
130-45
Seated DB Shoulder Press
410-12
Underhand DB Front Raise
412-15
Machine Lateral Raise
415-20
Machine Row
130-45
Wide Grip Bentover Row
410-12
Narrow Grip Cable Pulldown
412-15
Rack Deadlift
415-20
BB Curls
515-20
Preacher Curl

515-20

 

Sunday: Off Day

Note: Abs are incorporated at the end of my workout 2-3 times per week utilizing body weight movements only 3-4 sets at 25 reps.

 


Cardio

Off season: typically 4 twenty minute cardio sessions post weight training.

Contest prep: slowly increase as the show gets closer, but at around 3 weeks out I’m doing 6-7 days per week for 30 minutes steady state before my workout and 15 minutes HIIT after my workout.

My preferred cardio is the step mill, or spin bike. If I’m doing a short HIIT session, I tend to lean towards treadmill sprints.

 

Presentation Tips

Stage presence is huge. Presentation includes suit selection, hair, makeup, tanning and most important posing. I have worked with several suit designers to help select a color that best works with my skin tone, hair and eye color. I also think it’s important to choose something bright that will stand out against the bold stage lights but it should be a color that you feel confident in as well. I have always had a professional apply my makeup because I’m pretty clueless when it comes to any makeup and especially stage makeup that is needed to show up under the bright lights. I have had my hair done professionally and also have done it myself. The overall package should complement your physique not distract from it. Finally, the part I feel is most important, posing. My best advice is practice, practice, practice until you can’t get it wrong. I have worked with several posing coaches over the years to help showcase my physique in the best light. Finally bring your confidence and a smile! You have worked hard to get to that stage, smile and enjoy it!!!

 

Closing Thoughts

My experience of becoming a competitive athlete has been one of the most challenging, yet also most rewarding experiences, I have taken on. I wish I had started younger but I’ve realized that fitness is the fountain of youth and you should never limit or define yourself by age. If you have a dream or a goal, chase it with your whole heart. Bodybuilding is a lifestyle commitment and you will get out what you put in. A fitness lifestyle requires drive, desire, commitment, motivation, and discipline. It has helped shape who I am in all aspects of life. I have learned that I can achieve what I put my mind to. I have learned that it’s better to try and fail than to never have tried at all. I hope that I can motivate and inspire others to get up, get moving, implement goals and challenge yourself to new heights. We are given one life and one body and I chose to live it to the fullest, chase my dreams, learn from my mistakes, and grow into a better, more well-rounded person every day because I have left nothing to chance!

 

Doug DeRuyter and Class Physique A Perfect Match

Photo Credit: Jeff Robinson

At a Glance: Doug DeRuyter

Age: 42

Occupation: Elementary Physical Education Teacher

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

Residence: Caledonia, MI

Years Training: 23

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

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

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

Music: Country

Most Inspiring Book:The Carpenter, by Jon Gordon

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

First started lifting weights

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

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

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

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

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

10 Years Later

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

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

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

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

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

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

Diet and Beverly Supplements 8 Weeks Out

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Training and Cardio

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

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

Tuesday: Back, Triceps, 25 minutes of stair stepper

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

Wednesday: Legs (emphasize quads), Abs

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

Thursday: Shoulders, Calves, 25 minutes of stair stepper

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

Friday: Chest, Biceps, Triceps, Abs

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

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

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

Sunday: Off