Earning My “Open” Natural Pro Card at Age 51
No Nonsense Magazine Volume 24, #3
By: Robin Marion, OCB Open and Masters Natural Pro
At a Glance: Robin Marion
Occupation: Certified Personal Trainer and Health Coach, Retired Military, Owner Velvet & Steel Fitness
Current Residence: Waldorf, MD
Years training: 30+
Weight: 145-150 (off-season), 130 (contest)
Favorite Fitness Meal: Roast chicken breast, redskin potatoes, asparagus
Favorite Supplements: Beverly UMP, Muscle Synergy, Lean Out, 7-Keto MuscLean, Quadracarn, Density, and Glutamine Select. I use these supplements to help sculpt and define
my body as well as dropping bodyfat and leaning out my physique. The UMP tastes great and I love all the things I can do with it. I’ve had protein muffins, protein pancakes and I use it in my oatmeal. They are made with great and natural ingredients. All the info on the products is upfront. Nothing hidden and the company reps are very knowledgeable on the products as well. I started using Beverly supplements in 2012 and I haven’t looked back. I love them and the results they produce. I also became a reseller of Beverly Supplements.
What would you recommend to someone who has never used Beverly supplements before: I would recommend they look up the supplements on the Beverly website (www.beverlyinternational.com) and contact a company rep (800-781-3475 M-F 9-4 ET). There are good descriptions for each product and what it does, but talking to someone will allow you to get more detailed info or ask questions the product info may not provide. The company reps also help develop the right combination of supplements to help you achieve your goals.
Music: All Genres
Most Inspiring Book: Becoming by Michelle Obama
Hobby or interests outside bodybuilding: Spending time with family, reading, shopping, cooking.
Words to live by: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
Editors note: Robin was featured in a No Nonsense article in 2017. Since that time she has made tremendous improvements in her physique. At age 51, she achieved the best condition of her life. (And this is after 30+ years of training!) We thought it would be inspirational and educational to update you with a brief Q&A and list the current diet, supplements, and training programs she uses to achieve her remarkable results.
I am a retired US Army Soldier and mother of five (blended family), with seven grandkids and one grandcat. I have always been active but struggled with various medical conditions that have affected my levels of activity. Serious bouts of fatigue followed many of my very active days. This made follow up activities nearly impossible to do. While I have never struggled with being overweight, I always struggled with being underweight. I actually had to gain weight in order to enlist in the military. My medical conditions did not stop me from doing what I wanted to do. I just had to get creative in my approach to doing them. However, the issues I was dealing with did contribute to bouts of depression and low self-confidence. Some things we can change and some we cannot. Some are meant to be changed and some are not. I believe we truly become free to love “who and how we are” when we accept “who and how we are.”
How did you get started lifting?
I’ve been active all my life but the military amplified that. My first supervisor in 1989 introduced me to bodybuilding while stationed in Korea. That’s where I did my first bodybuilding competition and I loved it.
Did you have any problems starting out that other readers might relate too?
My biggest challenge was adjusting to the strict nutrition plan required for bodybuilding success. I can work out for hours but sticking to my nutrition plan has always tested my discipline.
Did you try anything that didn’t work?
I had too many conflicting goals. My training and nutrition were not in sync. I’d try to circumvent lapses in my nutrition plan by adding more training.
What did you do to solve the problem?
Follow the plan. Prioritize my goals and stick to one at a time. What you do or don’t do with nutrition shows on your physique. Proper nutrition is critical.
What were the results of prioritizing your goal & sticking to the plan?
My preps were less stressful when I trusted the process. I have a tendency to second guess things as it relates to my body and what I see. Don’t be afraid to ask your coach about their methods and the why, when, how, or what of the process. They are often learning your body just like you are. Contest prep has now become second nature to me. This means I don’t overstress or over think them. I listen to my coach and we have become a team that works together to have a healthy prep while bringing my best package to the stage. The results? Higher placings, and 2 OCB Pro Cards. Under my current coach I have only placed outside of Top 5 once. All other placings have been 1st or 2nd place. This year’s goal was to obtain my Open Figure Pro card in the OCB. I had already obtained my Masters Figure Pro Card. I told my coach what I wanted and he developed a plan which I followed. The result was earning that Open Pro Card in June 2021.
Here is the diet I followed to earn my OCB Open Figure pro card
Ground beef, white rice, spinach
Chicken breast, red skin potatoes, veggies
Chicken breast, red skin potatoes, veggies
Shrimp or white fish, white rice
1 gallon of water daily
Pretty basic, right? The key is STICK TO THE PLAN! I’m a creature of habit when it comes to my meals. My “off plan” meals are few and far between and I’m okay with that. If I go off the rails too much my digestive system doesn’t like it. My favorite “off plan” meals are oatmeal with strawberries and blueberries, cheeseburger and fries, and Lorna Doone cookies.
Glutamine Select I add to my water and drink throughout the day Lean Out and 3 7-Keto MuscLean (with meals 1 and 3)
Density Two tablets with each meal
Muscle Synergy Pre-workout
Quadracarn 3 tablets pre-workout, 3 tablets with meals 2 and 4 (9 tablets total per day)
Mass Aminos and Ultra 40 I follow the directions on the bottles and take one tablet of each for every ten pounds of my bodyweight. This comes out to 13-15 each of Mass and Ultra 40 per day. If you follow the directions these two supplements will give you great results.
FitTabs Two tablets with meals 1 and 3 (4 tablets daily)
I am currently training each body part once every eight days. However, when in contest prep mode I change to six days per week and hit each muscle group twice. I perform 3-4 sets per exercise. Rep ranges are 8-10 on heavy days and 12-15 on volume days. I focus on progressive overload and time under tension training.
Day 1 (Quad Focus)
Smith Machine Squat Hack Squat
Seated Calf Raise
Day 2 (Chest)
Dumbbell Incline Press
Smith Machine Incline Press
Flat Bench Barbell Press
Incline Cable Flye
Day 3 (Back)
Pull-ups (assisted or unassisted)
T-Bar or Barbell Rows
Day 4 (Rest)
Day 5 (Hamstrings)
Deadlifts (Sumo and Stiff-leg) I change the type weekly
Lying Hamstring Curl
Single-leg Hamstring Curl
Standing Calf Raise
Day 6 (Arms)
Alternate Dumbbell Curl
One-arm Preacher Curl
Day 7 (Shoulders)
Smith Machine Shoulder Press
Cable Side Lateral Raise
Machine Reverse Flye
Dumbbell Front Raise
Day 8 (Rest)
Start over at Day 1
The sport of bodybuilding is not easy. I’ve done many competitive events and bodybuilding is by far the hardest I’ve ever trained for. It requires discipline, consistency and true GRIT. Although I am a personal trainer and coach, hiring a contest prep coach and posing coach is the best thing I could have done. It took a lot of the guess work out of things for me. Get the mental part on board and the rest will follow. Be committed to the process. There is no circumventing what works in the process. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it. Regardless of the outcome on the stage there is always something to be learned about yourself and others in the process. The result is always a win.
This year I competed in 4 competitions in a month and a half, and it was by far the hardest yet best prep season I’ve had. It was grueling but I am extremely happy with the outcome and look forward to the next competition season.
2021 Competition Season Results:
- OCB Atlantic Super Show 1st Place Class C
- OCB Catonsville Conqueror 2nd Place Class B
- OCB Jersey Natural 2nd Place Class B
- OCB Colonial Open, Figure Open Pro
I am extremely thankful for my support system in my husband, children, family and friends, my Coach Donovan Strong and Team Strong Physiques, Posing Coach Tina Johnson, my clients of Velvet & Steel Fitness and the OCB Organization.