Thoughts on Joining the “Sexty” Club

Well, I just enjoyed my 60th birthday and my husband, Brian, says I've officially joined the "Sexty" club.

Starting sixteen weeks out from the big day, I committed to getting in competition shape – not necessarily to enter another contest, but to compete against my former best condition. A planned Florida vacation about the time of my birthday helped with additional motivation. My bodyfat was 21.5%, and my goal was to get down to 10% while staying healthy and strong, LEAN and MEAN! (I mean "mean" in the nicest way.)

I did all my training in our home gym. My husband, Brian, and I converted our 24' x 24' garage into a gym three years ago. Enjoying the freedom of having our own place to train and work with our treasured clients is such a blessing. We are so thankful for the handful of clients we retained throughout COVID. And now all of our previous clients have returned along with some new ones to "Simpson's Gym".

My Food Plan to Achieve My "Sexty" Goal

Workouts and cardio are important, but without a NUTRITION PLAN… you'll get NOTHING…AS FAR AS RESULTS GO!

Planning and preparing my meals have become part of my lifestyle. I followed pretty much the same food plan for the entire 16 weeks.

Meal One
4 egg whites, 3oz turkey or turkey sausage, 2oz red potatoes, veggies

Meal Two
UMP protein shake (usually Chocolate or Strawberry) with a handful of blueberries, one rice cake topped with chunky almond butter

Meal Three
Healthy Choice power bowl (I add 3-4oz of extra protein)

Meal Four
UMP protein shake, 1 rice cake with almond butter

Meal Five
6oz chicken, 1 cup cottage cheese, green veggies, 2 rice cakes

Notes: If I trained early in the morning, I'd switch the order of meals 1 and 2. The order of the meals is totally up to YOU, depending on your daily schedule. I also add a CARB LOAD meal midday once a week
(oatmeal, red 'taters', cup of veggies, ¹⁄₂ banana).

"Sexty" Supplements

 

FitTabs 2-3 times daily
Up-Lift pre-workout
Muscularity 4 post-workout & 2 with Meal 3 Glutamine Select post-workout
Joint Care 2 midday and 2 before bed

EFA Gold 2 before bed
UMP (my favorite flavors are Chocolate, Strawberry, and Angel food cake)
Muscle Synergy 1 scoop before and 1 scoop after my workout

The supplements that gave me the most noticeable impact were Muscle Synergy and Glutamine Select. The daily UMP was also essential in meeting my protein goals. It also ended up being the one thing I looked forward to during contest prep. I would mix UMP (vanilla) with cinnamon, water, and ice together in a blender. It tasted a lot like ice cream.

Two of My Favorite Recipes:

Chocolate UMP Pudding:

  • Start with one scoop of UMP Chocolate in a bowl.
  • Stir in water, a little at a time, until you reach the desired pudding consistency.
  • Mix in a heaping tbsp of almond butter.
  • Top with sugar-free whipped topping and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

UMP Angel Food Cake Blueberry Pancakes:

  • Combine 3 scoops of UMP Angel Food Cake, 3 egg whites, and 1 whole egg in a mixing bowl.
  • Add water to the batter consistency that you like, then stir in ¹⁄₂ cup blueberries.
  • Cook like a regular pancake.
  • Spread a little yogurt on top, then add sugar-free syrup, almond butter, and cinnamon.

My "Sexty" Workout Plan

Daily: Abs, Cardio, Yoga
I do abs daily, mixing in a couple of these exercises each day:

Crunches (200-300 total reps)
Hanging Leg Raise (5x20)
Ab Wheel (3x20)
Medicine Ball Crunches (3x20)

There is a lot of variety in my cardio workouts. I do one or more of the following each day, Monday – Saturday:

Jog – Run – Power Walk on an outdoor trail
Treadmill – 40 or 50 minutes
Boxing Training (jump rope, heavy and light bags)
Zero Runner or Stationary Bike
Yoga – I teach a Saturday morning Yoga class for our gym (might be inside, outside, or on our trail). I also practice Yoga throughout the week.

Workout Split
Monday: Glutes, Biceps, Calves, and lots of walking lunges on our trail
Tuesday: Back
Wednesday: Chest, Abductors & Adductors Thursday: Quads & Biceps (heavier sets than Monday) Friday: Triceps & Glutes
Saturday: Shoulders
Sunday: Off Day

In Closing

I want you to know that you can make yourself the BEST YOU! No matter your age or obstacles. Just FOCUS ON THE PRIZE, whatever that may be for you. If, at times you stumble, 'Get Up' and move forward.

My LIFE GOAL is to help Inspire, Motivate, & Support people (clients, family, friends, or even someone I just met) as a Trainer and Teacher.

I hope this article gets YOU started on a NEW Journey, or inspires you to KEEP ON, KEEPIN' ON!

A Life In Bodybuilding: Natural Pro Bodybuilder, Prep Coach, Gym Owner, & Promoter

At a Glance: Josh Miller

Age: 42

Occupation or Education: Gym Owner/ Personal Trainer, M Club Fit Transformation (two locations in Lexington, KY)

Family: Wife (married 21 years), no children, 1 dog (Oliver), 1 cat (Rooney)

Current Residence: Lexington, KY

Years training: 25 years

Height: 6’0"

Weight: Off Season 195, Contest 175

Favorite Bodybuilding Meal: Breakfast (Egg Whites, Oatmeal, Berries)

Favorite Supplements: UMP and  Muscle Synergy

What would you recommend to someone who has never used Beverly supplements before? Definitely use UMP (all flavors are amazing)

Music: Praise and Worship

Most Inspiring Book: Bible

Hobbies or interests outside Bodybuilding: Motivational Speaking

Words to live by: "It's in your moments of Decision that your Destiny is shaped" ~Tony Robbins

Fitness, nutrition, and athletics have always been a passion of mine. Growing up as a kid from eastern Kentucky, I had a dream of becoming a professional bodybuilder. Even from a very young age, I always had a desire to exercise and eat healthy. I remember asking my dad at the age of 6 to teach me how to do push-ups and sit-ups. I can also recall always seeking healthy foods for my nutrition. I avoided sugary foods and only wanted to drink water. As I grew older, I became heavily involved in sports and recognized that training and proper nutrition had given me an advantage.

Career

Fast-forward several years; I graduated from Morehead State University with a degree in Exercise Science. I was excited to begin my career as a personal trainer. After gaining some experience, I learned that much more goes into this profession than writing workout programs and meal plans. I knew early on that effective workouts and meal plans alone were not the only secret to success. I had to find ways to keep my clients focused and motivated. I had to help them develop self-discipline and teach them its rewards. It does a client no good to have an effective program if they do not have the focus and self-discipline to follow through. I began to ask myself, what makes people successful? How can I implement proven success strategies with the many different personalities
I work with every day? I realized that I must first believe in them for my clients to succeed.

Keys to Success

It is vitally important that I instill a strong positive mental mindset in my clients. Here are the keys I use every day with them:

  1. I must Believe in my client
  2. I must Instill Discipline in my client
  3. I must keep them focused
  4. Have a specific Outcome in mind
  5. Have an effective Action Plan (and adjust it accordingly)
  6. Have a Deadline on when the goal is to be accomplished
  7. Have the clients on a good supplement plan
  8. Clients must surround themselves with a good supportive network of friends.

After seven years of personal training in local gyms, I decided to open my own business, which I originally called Transformation Personal Training. It's still going strong eleven years later. It's now named M Club Fit Transformation. I feel very privileged and honored to have worked with each client. Not only have I had the benefit of helping them achieve their goals, but each of them has helped me in more ways than they will ever know.

Bodybuilding Career

In March of 2006, I competed as a bodybuilder for the first time. I won the open middleweight weight class at that show, and I was hooked ever since. I fell in love with the sport. I continuously wanted to train and compete. I have now competed in over 25 shows with 15 class titles, earning my NGA pro card in 2014. I currently have four pro show wins. Because of my passion for natural bodybuilding, I couldn't help but share that passion with others. So in May of 2013, I promoted the state's first natural bodybuilding contest as a non-sanctioned event. I sanctioned the show with the National Gym Association (NGA) the following year. I am now the NGA state chairman for Kentucky. I promote two Natural Bodybuilding shows a year, the NGA Pro/Am Kentucky Natural Classic held every April in Lexington, Ky, and the NGA Pro/Am Bluegrass Bodybuilding Championships held every September in Lexington, Ky.

As a promoter and coach, it's important that I teach the true value of bodybuilding. Bodybuilding is so much more than just standing on stage. It is about who you become in the process. To become an elite competitor, one must develop character, discipline, and focus. Once this process is mastered, the same success principles can be utilized in any area of life.

Sample Meal Plan / Supplement List

I cannot say enough about Beverly International supplements. I rely on them every day. They are a huge component of my success and the success of my clients. It is imperative to utilize supplements as a part of your nutrition program for the natural bodybuilder. The following is a sample of how my prep begins. However, my meals may change from week to week throughout my prep according to my progress.

Supplement List

All supplements are from Beverly International:

Muscularity: (2 capsules with breakfast,
2 with lunch, 2 with dinner)

Mass Amino Acids: (2 tablets with mid-morning snack, 2 with mid-afternoon snack)

Muscle Synergy: (2 scoops while training) Creatine Select: (1 scoop daily just before training)

Muscle Provider: (1-2 scoops immediately following my workout)

UMP: (2 scoops for an evening snack)

Breakfast
1 cup liquid egg whites, ¹⁄₂ cup of oatmeal (measured before cooking), ¹⁄₂ cup blueberries
Calories: 392 - Protein: 37g - Carbs: 43g - Fats: 11g

Snack #1
16 almonds, 1 grapefruit
Calories: 185 - Protein: 6g - Carbs: 22g - Fat: 10g

Lunch
8oz of Tilapia, ¹⁄₂ cup Quinoa, 1 cup broccoli Calories: 337 - Protein: 45g - Carbs: 28g - Fat: 6g

Snack #2
2 Scoops Muscle Provider, ¹⁄₂ tbsp peanut butter, 2 rice cakes
Calories: 337 - Protein: 46g - Carbs: 24g - Fat: 5g

Dinner
8oz chicken, 6oz sweet potato, 10 asparagus spears
Calories: 425 - Protein: 57g - Carbs: 28g - Fat: 6g

Snack #3
2 scoops Ultimate Muscle Protein (UMP)
Calories: 250 - Protein: 43g - Carbs: 4g - Fat: 7g

Daily totals
Calories: 1,916 - Protein: 231g - Carbs: 155g - Fats: 45g
Drink 1-gallon water daily

Workout Plan

I have always worked out six days a week, working each muscle group twice/week. The workouts do change periodically, but the following is a sample of what they typically look like:

Cardio

Three days for 25 minutes

Chest and Triceps (Monday/Thursday)
Barbell Bench Press
5x5
Incline Press 3x10
Dumbell Flye 3x10
Cable Cross-Overs 3x10
Dips 3x10
Triceps Pressdown 3x10
Skull Crusher 3x10
Dumbell Triceps Extensions 3x10
Bench Dips 3x20

Back and Biceps (Tuesday/Friday)
Pull-ups
(3 sets to failure)
Lat Pulldown 3x10
Low Row 3x10
1-Arm Dumbell Row 3x10
Hyperextension 3x15
Barbell Curl 3x10
Alternating Dumbell Curl 3x10
Cable Curl 3x10

Legs and Shoulders (Wednesday/Saturday)
Squat
5x10
Leg Press 3x10
DB Walking Lunges 3x20 steps
Romanian Deadlift 3x10
Leg Extension 3x10
Leg Curl 3x10
DB Shoulder Press 3x10
DB Rear Delt Flye 3x15
DB Lateral Raise 3x15

Abs
Six sets of 30 reps of floor crunches/ or any abdominal exercise of my choice after each workout.

In Closing

I have earned a lot of titles - gym owner, competitive bodybuilder for 15 years and counting, show promoter, contest prep coach, and NGA state chairman. I have worked with many people in the fitness and bodybuilding industry, and it is an honor to have a part in the success of so many people. I must say Beverly International has always been a major contributor to my success and the success of my clients. I have always advised my clients to use Beverly International because they are the best quality supplements on the market. They have stood the test of time!

The Big 5-0, Planning to be My Best

At a Glance: Holly Fields

Age: 50

Occupation or Education: College Professor, Gym Owner, Online Coach, Ph.D. Student

Family: Partner of 6 years, Luke; sons-Connor, 22 and Carter, 17

Current Residence: Salem. VA

Years training: 25+ years

Height: 5’8"

Weight: Off Season 145-155, Contest 130-135

Favorite Fitness Meal: Chicken with egg whites, one whole egg, with “Everything Bagel” seasoning

Favorite Supplements: UMP Rocky Road made as a pudding at nighttime, sometimes topped with 1 tbsp of natural peanut butter or sugar-free Cool Whip. Right now, I am also loving Muscle Synergy and Up-Lift during my training!!

What would you recommend to someone who has never used Beverly supplements before? Start with UMP! It is THE most amazing protein and can be used not only in shakes but also in baked goods and pancakes and waffles. You can honestly trust Beverly for whatever goals you have in mind! I love them so much that I became a rep!

Music: Avenged Sevenfold, Metallica, and most 80s “hair metal” bands are my favorites!!

Most Inspiring Book: Girl, Stop Apologizing by Rachel Harris

Hobbies or interests: There are so many things I love to do, but summertime and water (especially the beach) are my favorites.

Words to live by: If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you. Every time you go through something hard, it makes you a stronger person. When you are dealing with significant struggles, just remember to hold on, and everything will get better-have faith In God; he will get you through it.

Contact:
IG: @fit_with_holly
Website: www.fitwithholly.com
FB: www.facebook.com/fitnessbyholly

So… this is a BIG year for me, as you can see from my bio!! My goal in life has always been to be my very best. But to get a glimpse of my whole story, we must go back several years.

I played sports as a kid, mainly softball and basketball, and continued those in high school but also played volleyball during those five years (we didn’t have middle school-high school was 8-12). When I went to college, I had no idea what I wanted to do, so I decided to major in psychology. After my first year (it was rough-my grades were terrible), I found the PE department and major of “Commercial Fitness.” While taking my basic “wellness” classes, there were several sections, and one was strength training. I absolutely LOVED it!! I was determined to lift regularly, but the college fitness center was ALWAYS packed, so I convinced my dad to buy me a membership to the little gym in town. This was truly an “old school” gym with magazine pictures of the bodybuilding greats all over the walls!! I think my friend and I were the only female members.

Fast forward to six years after graduation-I had lifted that whole time, but never really with a plan or goal. My first son was born in March 1999, and after his birth, his dad was closing the local grocery store that had been in his family for years and building a brand new IGA supermarket in our town. I decided that the old “Mick or Mack” grocery store would be an excellent place to develop my first gym. We renovated the old grocery store, and in April 2000, my first gym opened. About the same time, I learned of a new bodybuilding category, Figure. It was just what I needed to push me to a new goal. Even with a new baby, I had the drive and determination (or maybe I was just a little crazy) and competed in my first figure competition that same year. At that time, there was still a one-piece and a two-piece round. I had no idea what I was doing but read as much as possible and became more knowledgeable for the next one. I competed again in 2001 and 2002, but nothing spectacular. That was SO long ago; I don’t even remember the exact dates and shows. Sadly, I had to close my first gym in 2002 and took a teaching position in Health/PE.

Luckily, there was a great weight room outside the PE office. A fellow teacher and I lifted together after school. That’s where I learned about Beverly International supplements. I began using UMP, Mass Aminos, and Ultra 40. WOW! All I can say is once I tried them, I have never found anything to compare. I competed again in 2004 with some real improvements to my body, primarily due to my Beverly supplement regimen.

In 2010, I competed in the NPC Northern Kentucky. That’s where I met Sandy and Roger in person. I also made the BIG decision to commit to reaching my goals and dreams by putting everything into my training, contest prep, and offseason! I have spent many years in competition, 2010-2012 was in Figure, then in 2013, I switched to Women’s Physique.

In 2015 after my husband suddenly passed away, I was literally in a fog for months. I was in a terrible place, but lifting weights kept me somewhat grounded. I kept training hard and eventually met my current boyfriend. He had just gotten into lifting, but his enthusiasm and support helped me set new physique and competition goals. I competed in the 2018 NPC Elite Muscle Classic and the 2020 NPC Max Muscle NPC, VA.

I have found that competing every other year allows my body to get a little better in muscle growth. As a natural lifter of over 25 years, it became tough to gain anything between shows when competing every year. Right now, I plan to do another competition in April 2022. No matter what, I know that I will always be chasing the gains, and I would never consider doing it without Beverly.

I tell people often that this IS truly a lifestyle! It isn’t something you can jump in and out of, or you will never see progress. Once you have been doing it a while,
it’s also hard to see a lot of progress, but do not QUIT! Consistency is the key!!

I am currently a professor at a local college teaching Fit for Life courses, and I also still run my gym as well as online coaching and personal training. I am also in the final phase of my Ph.D. and working on my dissertation.

One thing I have learned in being so busy is that you HAVE to make a plan (for everything), or it will likely get pushed aside-there is always something else to do; it is just about what you make a priority. In addition to training clients and teaching while also working on my YouTube channel and podcasting each week (Fit with Holly-YouTube, Women’s Body & Power Podcast). I love to interview competitors to talk about their experiences and just discuss fitness and nutrition.

Adding Muscle in the Off-Season

One of the most challenging components of gaining quality muscle, especially as a natural competitor, is consuming the correct number of calories while still focusing on quality nutrition.

Diet Plan (you need to be sure you are in a caloric surplus to gain lean muscle!)

I typically eat 5-6 meals year-round, typically 3 larger meals and 2-3 smaller meals. I focus on keeping about 50% of my total carbs (25% pre-workout and 25% post-workout) around my training.

I use a macros-based nutrition plan which allows me some flexibility in my food choices.

Top priorities are

  1. Hitting protein goals
  2. Having 3-5 servings of fruits and veggies daily
  3. Keeping processed carbs to a minimum. I follow the same principles in both off-season and competition prep; the calories are adjusted according to my goals.

Here’s a sample of what a day of eating might look like for me in the off-season. This is just a sample plan; I always try to have LOTS of variety, especially to get a wide assortment of nutrients every day.

My goal is to hit my daily macros-when building, I am typically around 2200-2500 calories and constantly working on increasing those numbers while keeping body fat gain to a minimum-however, some extra body fat is necessary (as opposed to being competition lean) to be at the best place hormonally to gain muscle.

Holly Fields

Meal One
1 egg, 100g whites, 2 slices turkey bacon or turkey sausage crumbles added to the egg whites, 2 slices flax (or high fiber) bread or 40g oats, 1 tbsp nut butter or plant-based butter, sliced tomatoes or berries
(about ¹⁄₂ cup of one or the other-usually I have berries with oats)

Meal Two
1 scoop UMP, 4 oz Greek yogurt or ¹⁄₂ cup cottage cheese
Plain Greek yogurt is excellent mixed with UMP Rocky Road or UMP Chocolate - tastes like chocolate cheesecake-this can also be done with cottage cheese if you have a bullet blender or immersion blender.

Meal Three
3-4oz chicken breast, large chopped salad

 

Meal Four (pre-workout)
¹⁄₂ c oats or 1 serving cream of rice, ¹⁄₂ scoop UMP mixed in (extra “toppings” like berries, crushed walnuts, or dry cereal for crunch)

Meal Five (post-workout)
1 scoop Mass Maker Ultra, ¹⁄₂ scoop UMP. Mass Maker Ultra is excellent for post-workout recovery during the building season.

Meal Six
4oz cooked lean ground beef or steak, sweet potato or baked potato, vegetables (broccoli, roasted brussels sprouts, etc.), whole grain bread, sourdough, etc. (I usually have more carbs left at night, and this is where desserts can often fit in as well)

Mass Aminos and Ultra 40 are the fundamental supplements for adding muscle in the off-season. I recommend 12 of each per day
(divided into servings of 3 or 4 at a time) for most women.

Training Plan

During this past off-season, my training plan consisted of a new hybrid training program I created and used for many months.

Full Body Push (Day 1)
I always begin with compound movements and include at least 1-2 warmup sets. Typically, I increase the weight on each set if possible, and reps will usually go down.

Squat variation (3-4x 6-10) try to increase weight each week on the final set

Bench Press or DB Press (3x8-12)

Front Delt Raise (3x12-15)

Overhead DB Extension or Tricepes Pressdown (3x10-12)

Leg Extension (4x15-20)

Calves (Standing or Leg Press Machine) (3-4x 15-20)

 

Full Body Pull (Day 2)

Deadlift variation (traditional, trap bar, or trap/deadlift machine) (4x6-10)

Pullups or Lat Pulldown (4x 10-12)

Cable Row or Machine Row (3x10-12)

Rear Delt (either Reverse Pec Dec or Rope Face Pulls) (4x15-20)

Upright Row (3x10-12)

Machine Curl, EZ Curl, or DB Curl (3-4x12-15)

Hamstring Curl (3-4x8-10)

 


Day 3 Off

 

Upper Body (Day 4)

Pullups (4x AMRAP) or Pulldowns (4x10-12) (alternate each workout)

Chest Flye or Pec Dec (4x8-15)

Shoulder Press (4x8-12)

Rope or DB Pullover (3x12-15)

Superset: Cable Curl/Reverse Triceps Pressdown (3x10-15 per exercise)

Lower Body (Day 5)

Leg Press (3-4x 10-15)

KB or DB Front Squat (3x10-heels on a plate)

Lying Leg Curl or Barbell Romanian Deadlift (4x8-10)

Smith Machine Split Squat (3x10-12 per side)

Lunge variation (2 Sets x 20-30) -usually walking or reverse alternating with DBs

Leg Extension (3x10-12)

Seated Calf Press (3x10-12, slow and controlled with fairly heavy weight)

*1-2 x per week-abs (2-3 varied exercises of 15-20 reps per set, 3 sets each)

 

Day 6 Off

Repeat, or if feeling particularly tired, take 2 rest days before repeating.

Cardio

I will do 4-5 cardio sessions per week off-season, simply for heart health (often just 30 minutes of walking or the bike).

When contest prep time comes around, I increase my focus! I add interval sessions and total time as needed to make sure I am hitting my fat loss goals. Remember though; nutrition is the most vital factor in losing fat- you cannot out-train a bad diet!

My Contest Prep Supplements

3 servings of 4 tablets of Mass Aminos and Ultra 40 each day. At 4 weeks out, I switch to Density instead of Mass Aminos.

1-2 scoops UMP per day throughout my entire prep, typically post-workout and evening (favorite is Rocky Road made as a pudding at nighttime- sometimes topped with 1 tbsp of natural peanut butter or sugar-free Cool Whip)

7-Keto MuscLean and Lean Out stack; I also use Lean Out in the off-season, but I add 7-Keto when I am getting to the point where I am doing daily cardio as it really helps give me some added energy. I take two or three 7-Keto Musclean before cardio and maybe again at lunch or pre-workout. 1-2 Lean Out are taken before cardio and then again with each meal (at least 4 per day).

Also, Energy Reserve is invaluable during competition prep!!

In Closing

The best advice I can give anyone trying to change their body is to be consistent! Even if things happen and you need to slow down, that is ok! You can adjust your workouts or make modifications, but just don’t STOP- think of pushing a boulder uphill- it might slow down, but it is way harder to get it rolling again if you let it come to a complete halt.

Long Term Consistency Trumps Short Term Intensity

At a Glance: Sean Young

Age: 41

Occupation or Education: Physical Therapist; owner of The Impakt Lab

Current Residence: Cincinnati, OH

Years training: 23 years

Weight: 205-210 (Offseason), 185-190 (Contest)

Favorite Bodybuilding Meal: Steak, eggs, and sweet potatoes

Favorite Supplements: Muscle Synergy and the Super Pak

What Supplements would you recommend: Super Pak for everyone; Muscle Synergy for year-round muscle gain, and Up-Lift for a great stimulant-free pre-workout and pump

Music: Anything with a good beat

Favorite Book: Can't Hurt Me - David Goggins

Hobbies and interests: Camping and hiking with my wife and daughters all over the USA; coaching my daughters' lacrosse, soccer and basketball teams

Words to work out by: The pain of being legendary is less than the pain of being ordinary. If you don't have enough discipline to beat the alarm clock, how are you going to beat everything else in life?

Instagram: @theimpaktlab

In the dresser in my room, I have a plaque that highlights the importance of perseverance. It is a word that is one of the fundamental principles in which I live my life. I have had this plaque since high school, over 20+ years ago. That's when I also decided to begin my career in bodybuilding and was introduced to Beverly International by my first prep coach Jeremiah Forster. Fast forward 20+ years later, countless amateur bodybuilding competitions, achievement of natural professional status, and now 10 professional bodybuilding shows won; Beverly has been with me all the way!

In 2018 after competing and running marathons simultaneously, I found out I had a severely torn cartilage leaking fluid, a stress fracture in my tibia, and a torn meniscus in my left knee. Surgery was strongly recommended, however being the stubborn physical therapist I am, I decided to do my own rehab and see how far I could get. Although the cartilage and meniscus will not heal, I rehabbed my knee to full strength and ROM and resumed bodybuilding training. In 2020 when the gyms shut down, I got back into running. Although my true passion is bodybuilding, running was another outlet to challenge myself physically and mentally. When you can make yourself do daily tasks that are uncomfortable and difficult, you will be more equipped to handle more difficult tasks when they arise. 2020 was a great example of this. I was not about to let it get the best of me. I joined a couple of virtual marathons and ran four consecutive half marathons in 4 weeks leading up to my 40th birthday. Given the aforementioned knee injury and my home base Gymbo's Personal Training and Fitness Center opening back up in the summer, it was time to get back to my true passion of bodybuilding!

The old saying goes, "If you do what you have always done, you will get what you have always got." I have been bodybuilding and competing for 20 years! This year I decided to try out a new bodybuilding split and venture outside my comfort zone. I have always been intrigued by the push/pull/legs split but wanted to make my own version. What I developed was an 8- day split. It would eventually shape out like this:

  1. Legs: Quad focused
  2. Pull: Upper back and bicep isolation
  3. Push: Upper chest anterior and delt pressing movements with heavy triceps movements
  4. Off
  5. Back: Primarily posterior chain movements and rowing
  6. Arms
  7. Chest and shoulders: Isolation chest movements using multiple angles and a lateral delt head focus
  8. Off

Example of my typical Chest and Shoulders - Day

  1. Machine Flyes: 4x10
  2. Flat Bench Press: 15,12,10,8
  3. Incline Bench Flyes: 4x10
  4. Hammer Strength Chest Press: 4x10
  5. DB Laterals: 4x12
  6. Standing Heavy Single Arm Laterals: 4x10
  7. Alternating DB Front Raise: 4x10
  8. Rotator Cuff External Rotation: 4x20

This layout allows for recovery between body parts and minimizes the overlap of muscle groups. Once I established the main framework, I then had to figure out a total volume for the end of the 8-day cycle by trial and error. If you are going to try this, I would suggest tracking your total reps and sets to find your maximum recoverable volume for the 8-day cycle.

The next step was a good supplement regimen to aid recovery while building muscle. I primarily worked out in the morning. Depending on the day, I would start with coffee and Muscle Synergy to get a good pump in the morning. I typically drink 2 scoops of Muscle Synergy 3x/day. If working out later in the morning, I would drink two scoops of Up-Lift before my workouts. I began taking 2 Ultra 40's 3x/day with meals. I also take a Super Pak and 3 ZMA 200 before bed.

My first show of the year was the PNBA Phillip Ricardo Legends Classic in Virginia. I used the same split that I laid out above but decided to try a different approach to cardio. To get ready for competition in the past, I would train, do "traditional" cardio, and not much else in terms of physical activity the rest of the day! In prep, as our calories decrease, so does our natural activity. Our bodies are smart and always find a way to auto-regulate to conserve energy when they are in a deficit. First, I looked back on data from my Apple Watch to see what my average step count was for the previous two months at maintenance calories. Once I began prep, I decided to add 2000 steps to my current average step count. This would combat the natural decreased activity levels to ensure that I continued my current activity and added additional activity. I decided to use this approach instead of "traditional" cardio to the first show and see what would happen!

I eat clean year-round and never get too far out of shape. When I prep for a show, I may change the ratio of macronutrients but never exclude a specific macronutrient!

Supplements

2 scoops Muscle Synergy 3x/day

2 scoops Up-Lift pre-workout

1 Super Pak; 3 ZMA 2000 before bed

 

Here is an example of my meal plan at 6 weeks out:

Meal One
1 scoop UMP, 80 grams steel cut oats

Meal Two
6oz chicken, 6 ounces broccoli, 6 ounces carrots

Meal Three
1 scoop UMP, 7 rice cakes

Meal Four
6oz chicken, 8 oz potato, 1 serving fruit

Meal Five
10 egg whites, 2 whole eggs,
7 rice cakes

Meal Six
6oz 93% lean beef, large salad,
2 cups mixed vegetables

Well as it turned out, my new approach was a success. I placed first in the Pro Classic Physique division, achieving my 9th professional win! The next show was promoted by Josh Miller, the NGA Bluegrass Championships. This show was 8 weeks later, so it would give me some time to experiment with new ideas again. I always tell my prep clients that I practice new ideas on myself first, so it's on me and not them if I mess up!

Since my conditioning was where I wanted it to be, I maintained my step count for the prep duration. No additional cardio was necessary! I was really enjoying the new workout split, so no changes were needed in this area either. I made sure to continue training as heavy as possible and maintain my workout volume. I am a strong proponent of going as heavy as possible with good form leading up to a show to best maintain your hard-earned muscle.

The next step in the process was to experiment with weekly refeeds. This was an excellent opportunity not only to replenish glycogen but a chance to see how my body would respond and look with additional carbohydrates. My refeeds were in the form of a carbohydrate bump only, with a slight decrease in protein and fats to keep the calories under control. I would refeed with an addition of a 50-75% increase in carbs from the usual daily average. I practiced single-day refeeds and two-day refeeds as I became closer to the show date to see how I would respond. I found that I looked the best on the 4th day after a 2-day refeed! So day 1 and 2 refeed, day 3 baseline macros, and I would look my best day 4. I used this approach to compete in the NGA Bluegrass Classic, placing first in the Pro Classic Physique division - my tenth Professional career win! Being that it was close to home, my wife, daughters, parents, training partners, and gym family were all there in attendance to cheer me on and make it a wonderful and memorable experience.

Over the past 20+ years, I have been blessed with a great support system at home from my wife, children, and family. I also had great training partners, friends, and a great gym to train and work. Along with the support of family and friends, Beverly has been the backbone of my training program throughout my entire career in natural bodybuilding! Long-term consistency of good family, friends, support, and Beverly International supplementation trumps short-term intensity every day or the week!

Five Ms Olympia Figure Titles and Fifteen Years with Beverly International

At a Glance: Cydney Gillon

Age: 29

Occupation or Education: Professional Female Figure competitor, Ambassador for the IFBB, and Posing Coach (for all divisions)

Education: University of Southern California (Master of Arts in Strategic Public Relations), University of Pennsylvania (Bachelor of Arts in Psychology)

Current Residence: Douglasville, GA

Years training: 16 years

Height: 5’3 3/4”

Weight: 150s, Contest - 130s

Favorite Bodybuilding Meal: Ground turkey and rice cakes

Favorite Supplements:  Density, Lean Out, 7-Keto MuscLean, ZMA2000

Hobbies or interests: Dancing, yoga, and eating

Words to live by: "If you want to succeed as much as you want to breathe….then and only then, will you be successful."

5x Ms. Figure Olympia

National and International Posing Coach NPC Promoter - Cydney Gillon Peach Classic

Certified Personal Trainer (IAFS)

CEO @officialcakefactoryfitness

Creator @cylenceclothing

Co-Creator @cydneygillonflawlessretreat

Cydney Gillon Scholar-Athlete Scholarship

I can't believe it has been over five years since I graced the cover of Beverly's No Nonsense magazine. At that time, I was training for my first Ms. Figure Olympia title. Now, I'm defending my fifth consecutive title.
I started lifting at age 13 and began taking Beverly International supplements at 14. At that time, I was preparing for my first bodybuilding show. My mom wanted to make sure that my supplements were safe since I was so young; that's why she chose Beverly International. Now at 29 years of age, my journey with BI continues. Over these years, I have gained a wealth of knowledge about the value of training with proper nutrition and supplementation.

In the remainder of this article, I'd like to share with you the current state of my nutrition, supplements, training, cardio, and presentation plans.

Nutrition Plan

In the beginning, I used Beverly's 16 weeks out diet plan. See page 4 to check out this plan in detail. It formed the foundation for my physique and nutrition philosophy. I tried the Keto diet at one time, but I don't think it is a viable long-term plan. I don't particularly like counting macros, so my preference is to be told by my coach what to eat. In general, I eat six meals a day every 2.5 to 3 hours. I also need to say that I love my "planned" cheat meals. I decided five years ago to watch my diet year-round. My coach, Damian Segovia, writes out my meal plans based on how much muscle I need to gain (or lose) and the amount of body fat I need to shed. The programs vary each year and for every competition. Hydration is also essential. I drink a minimum of 2 gallons of water a day.

My Supplements

7-Keto MuscLean for weight loss, Lean Out for fat loss, Density to maintain muscle while doing intensive cardio, ZMA 2000 for recovery, and the Super Pak to keep a healthy body. UMP protein pudding and pancakes are some of my favorites!

Training

My training style is based on my track foundation and the basics that I learned from my parents. Today it varies. Now, my focus is overall maintenance, so I train to maintain and refine, not grow. I build muscle easily, so I have to be careful not to gain too much. Too much mass can take away from the look needed for my category.

I enjoy the drive needed for improvement, which also means overcoming the challenge of using different training techniques that may be foreign to me. Pushing myself to do my best relaxes me. In my years of training, I have learned to pay attention to my body and learn what works for me. I spend as much time as needed in the gym to achieve the goals I set for the day. Total time including stretching, warm-up, and cool down, averages 1.5 hours.

A typical leg workout might include squats, leg extension, lunges, and presses. Hamstrings might consist of standing and seated leg curls. (I have to avoid any direct glute exercises to ensure I don't overdevelop that bodypart).

My gym has a variety of equipment for each exercise, which allows me to hit new angles and work the parts of my legs I want to target.

Cardio

I usually do cardio after my workouts. I like to change it up. I will walk, use the elliptical, bikes (different ones), and sprint. I try to keep my body guessing. There is no need to do excessive cardio if you are in shape. I never do hours of cardio. At a certain point, it starts to eat away at your muscle. 20-30 minutes is usually right for me, depending on whether or not I am sprinting, doing steady-state, or just getting my steps in. Sometimes I incorporate plyometrics.

Contest Countdown - 16 Weeks Out Nutrition Plan

The nutrition and supplement plan listed below is the nutrition plan that Cyd references in her article. It was the plan she followed as she began her quest to one day become Ms Olympia.

Prepping for Show Diet: 6 meals per day:

Meal One
1 whole egg + 4 egg whites - 4oz very lean meat - ¹⁄₂ cup oatmeal

Meal Two (Choose one option)

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

Option B: 4oz lean beef or chicken or one can tuna, one small apple or orange

Meal Three
5oz lean meat (chicken or other lean protein
source) - 5oz sweet potato or ¹⁄₂ cup cooked brown rice - 2 cups vegetables (broccoli, etc.) or green salad with 2 tbsp vinegar and oil dressing

Meal Four (same options as meal #2)

Meal Five
5oz very lean meat (chicken breast, fish, turkey breast, lean beef - sirloin, filet, etc.) - 2 cups vegetables - Salad with 2 tbsp vinegar and oil dressing

Meal Six (Optional)

Option A: Protein Shake or Pudding: 1 Scoop Ultimate Muscle Protein (UMP), add enough water to make a shake or pudding the consistency you desire

Option B: 6 egg whites with 2 cups of vegetables

Essential Supplement Program:

Take 2 FitTabs with meals #1 and #5

Lean Out - 1 capsule per meal during this stage to help regulate cravings and mobilize fats for energy.

Take 3 Ultra 40 tablets and 3 Mass Aminos (or 2 Density) with any four of the meals listed

EFA Gold - 3 capsules with meal #1

Presentation Tips

Practice, practice, practice! I practice my posing year-round, usually after my workout. Since I am a posing coach, I am ALWAYS thinking about posing and coming up with different ideas for my clients. I only practice posing 2-3 times a week since I've become fairly proficient, but your practice should be determined by the amount of work you need. Your posing needs to look effortless. You need to get a second set of eyes on you. I use my mom and video my routines. Please DO NOT WAIT UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE to perfect your posing.

Conclusion

You have to do what you need to do while competing, but you also have to make time for your family, friends, and fun. Living. That means having a cheat meal as needed and doing other things that bring you joy. Preparing for a show is tedious and sometimes grueling if everything isn't in sync. When it is time to cut everything out (those things that could be distracting to your prep), then and only then do you focus on YOU, your training, nutrition, and rest. Lastly, young athletes also need to understand that it is important to first build the best body you can with basic nutrition and hard work. Build YOUR foundation. Bodybuilding is not a quick fix. It takes time to transform.

If you want to succeed in your transformation/competition, it requires more than just training, nutrition, and the correct supplementation. You have to have the proper mentality. This is so important because many competitors do not. In addition, you need to be secure with yourself and stay on course. Don't let anyone deter you from your goal or keep you from staying on track. Stay focused. Life doesn't stop, so you need to be resilient and bounce back from whatever negative occurrences are going on in your life. Attaining a successful transformation requires mental strength, dedication, consistency, and passion. This is the mindset a competitor has to have to create long-term success.

Earning My “Open” Natural Pro Card at Age 51

At a Glance: Robin Marion

Age: 51

Occupation: Certified Personal Trainer and Health Coach, Retired Military, Owner Velvet & Steel Fitness

Current Residence: Waldorf, MD

Years training: 30+

Height: 5'7.5"

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.

Diet

Here is the diet I followed to earn my OCB Open Figure pro card

Meal 1 

Ground beef, white rice, spinach

Meal 2

Chicken breast, red skin potatoes, veggies

Meal 3

Chicken breast, red skin potatoes, veggies

Meal 4

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.

Supplements

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

UMP Post-workout

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)

Training

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)
Leg Extension
Leg Press
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
Cable Row
Dumbbell Row
Dumbbell Pullover

Day 4 (Rest)

Day 5 (Hamstrings)
Walking Lunges
Deadlifts (Sumo and Stiff-leg) I change the type weekly
Lying Hamstring Curl
Single-leg Hamstring Curl
Standing Calf Raise

Day 6 (Arms)
Skull Crushers
Triceps Pressdown
Cable Kickback
Alternate Dumbbell Curl
Hammer Curl
One-arm Preacher Curl

Day 7 (Shoulders)
Smith Machine Shoulder Press
Cable Side Lateral Raise
Machine Reverse Flye
Shoulder Shrug
Dumbbell Front Raise

Day 8 (Rest)

Start over at Day 1

Closing Thoughts

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.

If it’s in Your Heart to Compete, DO IT! (No matter your age)

At a Glance: Andrea Edwards

Age: 55

Occupation: Medical Assistant at OH ENT & Allergy Physicians in Columbus, OH

Current Residence: Columbus, OH

Years training: 40

Height: 5'0"

Weight: 124 (off-season), 114 (contest)

Favorite Bodybuilding Meal: Tilapia and green beans with avocado oil

Favorite Supplements:  Muscularity, GH Factor, Glutamine, Quadracarn. I add Lean Out, 7-Keto MuscLean, and Muscle Synergy when dieting for competition.

What would you recommend to someone who has never used Beverly supplements before: I would highly recommend Muscle Synergy, Glutamine Select, Quadracarn, and GH Factor for building muscle and recovery; Lean Out and 7-Keto MuscLean are fundamental for increasing metabolism and getting shredded.

Most Inspiring Book: Beauty for Ashes by Joyce Meyer.

Hobby or interests outside bodybuilding: Writing, painting, shopping (of course!), and spending time with my three dogs.

Words to live by: DON'T QUIT!! You grow through what you go through.

My bodybuilding journey began 41 years ago when I joined (with my Mother's permission) a Fitness Center for women at age 14. That was the era of leotards, leg warmers, and headbands. (all of which I wore proudly). In addition to the hip shaker machine (as I called it), which consisted of a band, you put around your waist, and the machine proceeded to shake the weight off of your hips and thighs, they also had a few Nautilus machines. After testing out the equipment with no knowledge of what I was doing, I was immediately hooked! One thing led to another, and I joined (again with my Mother's permission) a "real" gym with free weights and posters of famous bodybuilders on the wall, including Rachel McLish. She was my inspiration for lifting weights and later on competing. Fast forward quite a few years which included working at gyms, being a personal trainer, competing, and a tour of duty in the Navy; here we were in 2020.

I stepped away from competing for 19 years due to "life happenings" and some personal struggles, which I won't go into detail about. I decided to reenter the competition world last year. I have competed in three NPC shows so far and plan to compete in Nationals next year. I had hesitations about competing again at age 54, but after meeting with Mike Francois at Metro Fitness in Worthington, OH, I decided to go for it. I had 12 weeks to get ready for his show. Luckily, I had kept myself in good shape over the years, so it was an attainable goal.

My advice to anyone who thinks they are too old, not pretty enough, muscular enough, or whatever other excuses we tell ourselves is to ignore that voice in your head. If it is in your heart to compete, then DO IT! Life is too short for regrets. What's the worst that can happen? You don't place or win. But you did win because you had the guts and drive to do what very few people in this world can do. That makes you a winner! Anything else is icing on the cake.

Diet

Meal One
6 egg whites, 1 yolk, ¹⁄₄ c blueberries, ¹⁄₂ c oatmeal, coffee

Meal Two
2 one scoop whey protein (Muscle Provider)

Meal Three
6oz fish or chicken, 4oz yam, 1 cup vegetables

Meal Four
6oz fish, chicken, or beef, ¹⁄₂ c rice or ¹⁄₂ yam, spinach salad, or 1 cup vegetables, 1-2 tbsp flaxseed oil

Meal Five
Protein pancake (3 egg whites, 1 whole egg, 1 scoop vanilla UMP, additional vanilla, and cinnamon to taste. I add a little water sometimes too. Cook over low to medium heat with non-stick spray. Top with sugar-free syrup.)

Supplements

I have tried many different supplements over the years and spent a lot of money for little to no results. None have given me results like Beverly International. I can honestly say that Beverly International products are of the highest quality and will give you the results you are looking for. 7-Keto MuscLean, Lean Out, and Quadracarn are a must for fat burning and increased vascularity with contest prep, especially as you age. Muscle Synergy, Muscularity, and Density are essential for preserving muscle on a contest diet.

Supplement Schedule

  • GH Factor 6 with meal 1
  • Lean Out 1 with each meal
  • 7-Keto MuscLean 2 with meals 1, 3 and 5
  • Quadracarn 3 tablets twice a day
  • Glutamine Select 1 scoop before workout
  • Muscularity 2 capsules three times a day
  • Muscle Synergy 1 scoop per day
  • Density 5 tablets per day

Training

Mon & Thurs: Shoulders/Tris

Machine Shoulder Press 4x12
Side Laterals 4x12-15
Dumbbell Press 4x12
Arnold Press 4x12
Skull Crushers 4x12
Cable Upright Row 4x12-15
Reverse Pec Dec 4x12
Rope Pushdown 4x12
Abs

Tues & Fri: Legs

Leg Extension 4x15
Leg Curl 4x15
Walking Lunges
Stiff-Legged Deadlifts 4x15
Hack Squats 4x12-15
Lying Single-leg Press 4x15
Bulgarian Split Squat 4x15
Leg Press 4x12-15
Donkey Calf Raises 3x30
Seated Calf Raises 3x30

Wed: Back

Wide Grip Pulldown 4x15
Cable Row 4x12
Close Grip Pulldown 4x12
Deadlift 4x8-12
1 Arm DB Row 4x8-12
Hyperextensions 4x15-20
Abs

Sat: Chest/Biceps

Incline DB Press 4x8-12
Hammer Curl 4x10
Bench Press 4x8-12
Preacher Curl 4x10
Cable Flye 4x12-15
Dumbbell Curl 4x10
Abs

Cardio Schedule

Off-Season: 30-minute sessions, 4 to 5 times a week.
Contest Prep: 30–60-minute sessions, 4 to 6 times a week.
I prefer the treadmill, elliptical, and StairMaster machines. I add sprints during contest prep.

Tips on Presentation

Practice practice practice! You can never be too prepared. Watch videos of other competitors, or find a good posing coach. Your time on stage is limited so bring your best. You've worked hard for many weeks to get there, it wasn't easy, but you did it. And even if you don't win or place, it's ok as long as you can say I did my best.

Final Thoughts

Don't compare yourself to others. Be the best version of YOU that you can be. No one can do you better than you! Stay the course and keep grinding.

NEVER QUIT!

A Lifetime of Health and Fitness

At a Glance: Joe Toth

Age: 52

Occupation or Education: Master's Degree in Special Education and Bachelor's Degree in Chemistry. I am an intervention specialist for Akron Public Schools. I teach children with severe emotional disabilities.

Family: Wife and two daughters

Residence: Kent, Ohio

Years training: 35 years

Weight: 192 (off-season), 185 (contestt)

Favorite Bodybuilding Meal: Chicken and rice with salsa

Favorite Supplements:

UMP: Absolutely the best meal replacement (recommended by Ryan Propst).

Creatine Select: Proven by science and my gains in the gym to be effective

ZMA 2000: Help with my sleep and recovery

Muscularity: A must when I'm dieting to preserve hard-earned natural muscle

What would you recommend to someone getting started on Beverly supplements? First, I would congratulate them on choosing the best quality product that you can find. I recommend that you start with a protein such as Ultimate Muscle Protein (UMP) or Muscle Provider (MP). Next, I would recommend Creatine Select. Creatine is backed by science to be an effective muscle builder. I would also recommend taking FitTabs as an excellent mineral source to help with protein absorption and speed up recovery after a workout.

Music: I listen to everything from Toby Mac to Ozzy Osbourne.

Words to live by: Do not judge because you will be judged. Matthew 7:1

The Beginning

Coming from a family of professional athletes, fitness was as common as waking up every morning and brushing my teeth. As a young boy, it was never what sport I was going to be involved in; the expectation was what sport were you going to excel in?

The bodybuilding bug hit when I was in 8th grade with the influence of my swole gym teacher, Mr. Dave Douglas, who taught me the basics of bodybuilding.

Though Mr. Douglas taught me the basics of working out, I didn't understand the aspects and benefits of proper nutrition and supplementation until I began training at a local bodybuilding gym,
"Bodybuilders Inc" in Akron, Ohio.  One day I got up enough nerve to ask the biggest guy in the gym how he got so big and strong. He pointed out the protein and supplements he was taking. They were from a company called Beverly International. Of course, I immediately bought the protein and took it religiously after each workout as directed. I gained 10 pounds of quality muscle that summer and decided to compete in my first bodybuilding show. I entered the Mr. Akron and won my class at 15 years old.

As time went on, I continued to religiously take the Beverly International supplements that jump-started my bodybuilding passion as I won several titles in bodybuilding and powerlifting.

I won two state titles in powerlifting. But I became discouraged with the amount of drugs being used in bodybuilding and stopped competing for ten years. I continued training hard and always had the dream of maybe competing again in the back of my head. My dream became a reality when I learned of Dave Lieberman's drug-tested NPC Mr. Ohio contest. I would return to the bodybuilding stage in 2012 and vowed to come in my best shape ever. I ramped up my training and went with the same Beverly International supplements that I had used to ramp up my initial bodybuilding passion.

I won the overall in both the open and masters divisions. This achievement would not have been possible without the help of Dave Liberman and my consistent use of Beverly International supplements.

Today

I still compete, write diet and nutrition plans for clients, train others, and consistently preach healthy living. As I write this article, I am preparing for the 2021 Natural Northern USA and Yorton Cup, which are considered the country's best and biggest natural shows. At 52 years old, training has gotten more difficult and taxing; therefore, my supplementation and nutrition have become even more critical. There is no doubt in my mind that I have maintained a 20-year-old body at 52 years young because of my nutrition and supplementation with Beverly International products.

Training

I'm a big believer in training the muscle according to fast-twitch or slow-twitch fibers. I have a heavy day and a light day to accommodate both types of muscle fibers.

Monday: Chest and Triceps

Dumbbell Incline Press 3x6 heavy
Dumbbell Incline Flye 5x8
Machine Bench Press 3x6
Dips 2x max reps
Triceps Pushdown 6x8
Dumbbell Kickbacks 4x10

Tuesday: Legs and Abs

Squat machine 10x15-4
Leg Press feet high 3x6
Glute Bridge with tension bands 5x6-12
Rack Pulls 4x6-10
Romanian Deadlifts 4x4-12
Ab Rope Pulldowns 4x20
Decline Sit-ups 3x20
Flutter Kicks 3x1 minute
Lower Back Extension 4x15

Wednesday: Rest

 

Thursday: Back and Biceps

Wide-Grip Pull-Ups 6x8
Power-Grip Chin-Ups 3x8
T-Bar Rows 3x10
Bent-Over Rows 3x8
Three-way Lat Pulldowns 3x10
Straight Arm Pulldowns 3x8
Standing EZ-Bar Curls 4x6-8
Hammer Curls 4x6-8
Concentration Curls 3x10

Friday: Shoulder and Traps

Machine Military Press 4x12
DB Front Raise 4x12
Upright Rows 4x15
DB Lateral Raise 3x15
DB Shrugs 4x10

Saturday: Abs and Core
Rope Crunches 4x20
Decline Sit-ups 3x20
Flutter Kicks 3x1 minute
Lower Back Extension 4x12

Sunday: Rest, food prep

Nutrition & Supplements

Pre-Contest at 8 weeks out

Meal One
Two scoops of UMP, ¹⁄₂ cup oatmeal, 1tbsp MCT oil, 1-2 scoops Glutamine Select, 3 Muscularity capsules, 2 FitTabs

Meal Two
One cup liquid egg whites, 6oz of baked potato, ¹⁄₄ cup almonds, 1 scoop Creatine Select, 3 Muscularity

Meal Three
6oz chicken or venison, 1 cup cooked rice, 2 tbsp MCT oil, 1 scoop Glutamine Select, 3 Muscularity

Meal Four
6oz chicken or venison, 1 cup cooked rice, 2 tbsp MCT oil, 2 FitTabs, 1 scoop Creatine Select, 3 Muscularity

Meal Five
1.5 scoops UMP, 2 tbsp peanut butter, ZMA 2000 3 capsules before bed

I follow the above diet for three days, then add more carbs on the fourth day. Increase rice to 1.5 cups at meals 3 and 4 and add five rice cakes to meal 5. I repeat this cycle until you are three weeks out.

Overcoming Death to Make My Bodybuilding Dreams Come True

I'm a straight-talker, and I can honestly say that my life has been guided by bodybuilding. I started bodybuilding back in 1998 after taking a job at a reputable tree company. I had always been small and skinny. Yet my new job required me to climb and cut down trees. Often, I needed to trim limbs very close to electric power lines. The tools were heavy. I needed to be much stronger to do my job well. I wanted to succeed, and bodybuilding provided the best answer to gaining the size, strength, and endurance I needed to gain the respect of my crew and management.

The tools got heavier as the demands of my job grew. A big part of it was cutting logs in hurricane-stricken states. Not only was upper-body strength required, but I also needed to improve my leg strength which is essential for a climbing arborist. I had begun a weight training program and was making progress, but not enough. After nearly a year, my weight stood at 135lbs. Then I added Beverly International supplements to my regimen. A daily intake of Beverly proteins, Creatine Select and Glutamine Select, increased my weight to 150lbs in six months. That's when I fell in love with bodybuilding, and it became my life's passion. Despite my extremely physically demanding job, I was going to the gym 6-7 days a week for two hours at a time. I began to prepare for my first bodybuilding contest.

In 2008, my life changed dramatically. I was critically injured one day while pulling the top of a tree over. As I best recollect, the top snagged in a second tree beside it and caused the top I was holding to pop free and fall onto the wire that I was pulling it away from. Twelve thousand five hundred volts went through my left arm, down through my chest cavity, and exited through my left leg, killing me instantly. My circulatory system shut down. The weight of the top of the tree was heavy enough to go through the wire and break the current, which allowed me to let go. Now lifeless and hanging in the tree, my coworkers brought me down in an aerial rescue. My crew started CPR. I was revived over life-flight to Cleveland Metrohealth Medical Center.

Although electrocution on the job postponed my bodybuilding dream, it was not ended. I remember while in the hospital staring at the EKG machine and trying to ignore the fears of losing my sport. I was unable to move my arm. My ribs were fractured due to the CPR the paramedics performed to revive me to life. When a person is electrocuted, it cooks a person from the inside out like a hotdog. My heart had been traumatized, and the doctors speculated that I would never be able to use my left arm correctly or at full strength ever again. They called it rehab, but I saw rehabilitation as my road back to bodybuilding.

I would repeat to myself, "I will not let my dream die, I will not" during every therapy session. Doctors gave me a small EKG device that was hooked to my belt. My injury left me with a heart murmur, bradycardia and my heart would frighteningly misfire, causing mini heart attacks. Yet, I persevered as any died in the wool bodybuilder would. Through encouragement and grit, my arm began to work correctly. I left the hospital and therapy sessions with enough progress that I was able to get myself back in the gym.

I wanted my bodybuilding back. I wouldn't listen to anyone who remarked I shouldn't or couldn't do it again. My arm wasn't 100%. (I still have a small amount of muscle deformation on my left arm where the electricity entered my body as a reminder of that time.) I decided to go all out on a complete nutrition regimen and daily workout program. I took Beverly's Glutamine Select to speed recovery and reduce muscle soreness, while Creatine Select increased my strength, power, speed, and stamina. I stacked those two products with UMP protein to support the muscle rebuilding process and gradually regained my lost muscle.

Ten years after my accident, my heart had finally healed itself, and I was able to stop taking all the prescription medication that followed my injury. I was ready to compete in bodybuilding. Doctors and therapists were amazed, but I did it. Now at the age of 44, I entered my first bodybuilding competition. I signed up for the 2021 Northcoast Championships weighing 182lbs. As the competition grew closer, I leaned out. I added Lean Out to my UMP, Creatine Select, and Glutamine Select stack for pre-contest preparation. If someone wants to compete, Lean Out is a must for a cutting diet.

I cut my weight to 164lbs and entered nine events doing novice, open, and masters in bodybuilding, classic physique, and men's physique as a welter-weight. I medaled four times. Frankly, I almost cried, knowing what I'd overcome and trained so hard for. My road to these medals took over 20 years, but I never lost my passion for bodybuilding.

Bodybuilding still helps me be a maniac at tree-work. But this one competition isn't enough. Joe Toth, a former Mr. Ohio and 3X powerlifting champ, is going to coach me. My goal now is to become a pro. I will never give up on this dream and will come out blasting, bigger, stronger, and better than ever!

Training

This is what my weekly training routine looks like. Each body part gets worked twice per week. One day is a heavy, low repetition day, and the other is a lighter, high repetition day.

 

 

 

Sunday: Legs
Monday: Chest/Triceps
Tuesday: Back/Biceps
Wednesday: Shoulders
Thursday: Legs
Friday: Chest/Triceps
Saturday: Back/Biceps

Leg Work
Machine Squat 5x5-8
Angle Leg Press 5x6-8
Abduction 3x10
Adduction 3x10
Glute Thrust 5x8
RDL's with Dumbbells 6x6-10
Calf Raises 6x6-10

Chest Work: Workout 1
Dumbbell Bench Press 4x6
Dumbbell Incline Press 4x6
Mid Pulley Crossover 3x8
Weighted Dip 3x10
Rope or Cable Extension 8x6

Triceps
Cable Pull Downs 6x10-12
Nose Busters 4x10/10/20's
Dumbbell Kickbacks 4x10

Back Work / Lats
Wide Grip Pull-ups 3 sets of 45 seconds
Rack Pulls 3x8
Underhand Grip Inverted Row 3x10

 

Biceps
Dumbbell Isolations Curls 5x8-10
Dumbbell Hammer Curls 5x8-10
Dumbbell Cross Chest Curls 5x8-10
Machine Curls 3 sets to failure

Shoulders
Overhead Dumbbell Press 4x6-8
Dumbbell Shrugs 4x6-8
Dumbbell Front Raises 6x8-10
Incline Dumbbell Lateral Raises 6x8-10
Dumbbell Side Raises 6x10

Traps
Lawn Mower Rows 4x10
Elbows Out Chest Support Row 3x10
Prone Trap Raise 3x12

Nutrition Plan

Prepping for Show Diet: 6 meals per day:

Meal One
2 servings UMP protein, 1 tbsp MCT oil,
1 cup oatmeal

Meal Two
6oz chicken, 1 red pepper, ¹⁄₄ cup almonds

Meal Three
10 egg whites, 1 red pepper

Meal Four
2 servings UMP protein, 1 kiwi, 1 tbsp MCT oil

Meal Five
6oz chicken, 1¹⁄₄ cup rice, 1 kiwi

Meal Six
1 scoop UMP protein

Current Prepping Diet: 5 meals per day:

Meal One
10 egg whites or 2 servings UMP protein,
1 tbsp MCT oil, 1 cup oatmeal

Meal Two
10 egg whites, 6oz potato, ¹⁄₄ cup almonds

Meal Three
6oz chicken, 1 cup rice, 2 tbsp MCT oil

Meal Four
6oz chicken, 2 red potatoes or 2 apples,
2 tbsp MCT oil

Meal Five
1 ¹⁄₂ scoops UMP 4 rice cakes,
2 tbsp peanut butter

Supplements

These are the Beverly Products I recommend:

UMP Protein: This is a 90% milk protein isolate obtained from fresh grade
A skim milk. It has a ratio of 80/20 Casein to Whey. That is your fast and your slow-digesting proteins. It is also fortified with Arginine, Glutamine, and BCAA's. That's known as the critical cluster. It is also low in fat and carbs. UMP causes no gas or bloating.

Creatine Select: Promotes strength, power, speed, and stamina. It also promotes muscle building and preservation. Creatine Select is a proven form of creatine plus essential phosphates, electrolytes, and beta-alanine.

Glutamine Select: Helps reduce soreness, quicken recovery, and keep you hydrated. It contains 8000mg total of pharmaceutical Grade L-Glutamine and BCAA's in the same doses shown to enhance lean muscle and strength.

Lean Out: Helps with fat loss and overall wellness. Lean Out contains lipotropics and L-Carnitine, which help transport stored fat to the muscle to burn it as fuel. It can also reduce the urge to overeat and improve carbohydrate tolerance.

My Unique Training and 3-Phase Nutrition Plans

At a Glance: Keanu Soto

Age: 29

Occupation or Education: Personal Development / Strength and Conditioning Coach

Residence: McKinney, TX

Years training: 11 years

Height: 5'11" (but who's counting right?)

Weight: 205-210 all seasons

Favorite Bodybuilding Meal: Steak and eggs

Favorite Supplements: I’ve always been a HUGE fan of Beverly’s UMP (Ultimate Muscle Protein). First and foremost, the taste is impeccable. Second, I call it my pocketknife protein because it can be utilized in many situations. The 80:20 blend of casein to whey makes it perfect for staving off hunger. I like to use the strawberry flavor for breakfast with my oats. It’s also great before bed.

What would you recommend to someone who has never used Beverly supplements before: I’m telling you, you will not find a better tasting protein. That for me alone is a deal breaker, but then you throw in the fact that it mixes well and is easily digested. Game changer.

Music: You can catch me vibing to a little country during my dynamic warmups, a little hip hop as the workout starts to ramp up. Then during the big boy lifts, I like to get my heavy metal on!

Most Inspiring Book: Hands down Atomic Habits by James Clear. This book has changed the way I live my life.

Hobby or interests outside bodybuilding: Outside of the gym you can catch me reading some sort of personal development book, watching something nerdy like Star Wars, or having game night with my friends. I’m ULTRA competitive.

Words to live by: "As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” – Proverbs 27:17

My name is Keanu, and I'm absolutely obsessed with all aspects of personal development. I've always been intrigued with what makes a high performer a "high performer" (CEOs, billionaires, bodybuilders), so I've made it my life's work to study, emulate, and execute on my findings. I think a huge reason for this is my love for what's called The Hero's Journey. The Hero's Journey is essentially the story of a hero who goes on an adventure, learns a lesson, wins a victory with that newfound knowledge, and then returns home transformed. Examples of this include Luke Skywalker, Frodo Baggins, and Harry Potter in their respective movies.

But WE are the hero in OUR story, all capable of accomplishing great things. Still, those things can only come to fruition through discipline, consistency, grit, mental fortitude, and most importantly, accountability. Even the greatest of heroes' fiction or non-fiction didn't get to those great heights on their own.

How did you get started lifting?
I started lifting because of high school sports, and once I saw the results, I couldn't stop.

Did you have any problems starting out that other readers might relate to?
My greatest struggle when I was starting out was hip mobility and muscle imbalances.

Did you try anything that didn't work?
I was just powering through my workouts without any thought to what might be causing my problems. Mostly because I was 15 and had never given flexibility any attention unless I was in P.E. class, and I had never heard of muscle imbalance.

Tell what you did to solve the problem.
When I became 18, I had acquired my first training mentor (shout out Eain Brooks, love you brother); unbeknownst to him, I would hang on to every word he said.
I would stand within hearing range of him training clients, specifically this one client named Tina who had proprioceptive issues. He spoke one day about fixing imbalances and how addressing those issues would help her move her body in synergy. I started prioritizing stretching in my daily life and incorporating some of the stability work I saw Eain do with Tina in my workouts. Before I knew it, my strength and power shot up exponentially. My back squat shot up from 315x10 to 365x10, and my vertical jump went from 32" to 36" all in a 4–6-month period.

Nutrition

My approach to nutrition is similar to my approach to training. I get the best results with periodization.

Phase 1: I start with what I like to call Metabolic Priming, getting my body back to homeostasis. During this phase, my goal is to get my body back into balance while working on different breathing techniques and meditations to reduce stress.

I start by calculating my basal metabolic rate (BMR), or the calories your body burns by simply being alive using this formula.

For men: BMR = 10W + 6.25H - 5A + 5

For women: BMR 10W + 6.25H - 5A –161

W is body weight in kg, H is body height in cm, A is age in years.

I then take this BMR result and multiply it depending on my activity level:

Sedentary = 1.2

Moderately active = 1.550

Extra active = 1.9

Lightly active = 1.375

Very active = 1.725

 

For example, my BMR is, (955) + (1,135) – (145) + 5 = 1,940. I then multiply it by 1.725 because I would consider myself “very active” at the moment. I get a total of 3,347 calories per day. My goal now becomes to eat 3,347 calories of quality foods (regardless of macros) each day.

Phase 2: Depending on my goal, I call it either the Performance or Aesthetic phase. This phase has three subcategories, Performance, Muscle Building, or Fat Loss.

If my goal is to Perform at a particular event, let’s say a CrossFit competition, I would add 250 - 500 calories steadily, eventually reaching a total of 3,847. I then divide those calories into 50% carbohydrates, 25% proteins, 25% fats.

If my goal is to build muscle, I would slowly add 100 – 350 calories for a total of 3,697. I would then divide those calories into 40% carbohydrates, 30% proteins, 30% fats.

If my goal is to lose fat, I would slowly begin taking away 100 – 500 calories over time, until I hit my 2847 calorie mark. My macro breakdown for fat loss would be 40% carbohydrates, 40% proteins, 20% fats.

Phase 3: Once the event is over in the case of performance or my metabolism has finally hit its peak for fat loss or needs a temporary break from the number of calories required to build muscle, I will then move into what's called the Lifestyle Phase.

Essentially the Lifestyle Phase is keeping the results I have acquired from the previous phase while slowly either reducing or increasing calories back to what would now be considered my new "maintenance." I allow myself to "live a little during this third phase." I will have a drink here and there with my friends or indulge in an extra cheat day if I feel like it. When I'm close to maintenance again, I then start over with priming my metabolism for Phase 1.

For easy tracking of food and macros I recommend the “MyFitnessPal” app.

Training

Lower Body Day

Lower Body Barbell Complex (Each exercise is performed back-to-back, try not to rest until completed) 3 rounds of 10 reps each, 2-minute rest between rounds. Choose a weight you can comfortably use to complete ten reps of Good Mornings. This weight will be used for each exercise.

Back Squat
Good Mornings
Romanian Deadlift
Deadlift

Lower Body Super Set 4 sets of 15, 12, 8, 5 reps, go heavy on the sets of 8 and 5 reps

Single-Leg Leg Press 15, 12, 8, 5 for each leg
Split Squat 15, 12, 8, 5 each leg

Dumbbell Walking Lunge 20, 15, 10, 5 each leg
Squat Jump 100 Reps, and you're done.

 

Upper Body Day

Alternate Pullup and Push-up
Pullup 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1
Push-up 20, 18, 16, 14, 12, 10, 8, 6, 4, 2

Upper Body Super Set 4 sets each

Single Arm Dumbbell Chest Press 12, 10, 8, 6
Single Arm Dumbbell Bent Over Row 12, 10, 8, 6

Upper Body Super Set 4 sets each

Barbell or E.Z. Bar 21's 21 Total Reps, 7 are from the bottom to halfway up, 7 are from the top of the curl position to halfway down, and the last 7 are full curls
(that's one set!)

Triceps Press Down As many reps as possible.
(Choose a weight you think you can get at least 15 - 20 reps with, and don't adjust unless it's to go up in weight.)

I imagine for most readers, these rep ranges and volume are out of line with what you would typically do, and that is EXACTLY why I encourage you to try it. Enjoy your pump.