My Journey from “Rock Bottom” to Bikini Bodybuilding Champion

At a Glance: Celeste Gillispie

Age: 25

Occupation or Education: BA in Psychology from University of Texas Permian Basin, Owner Anytime Fitness, Odessa, TX

Family: Super supportive husband Clint Gillispie, our 3-year-old English Bulldog Magnus, my parents Mr. & Mrs. Ashworth & sisters Cymber & Celeen Solis

Residence: Odessa, TX

Years training: 7 years

Height: 5'4"

Weight: 132-140 (off-season), 120-124 (contest)

Favorite Bikini Prep Meal: Shrimp, asparagus, sweet potatoes, and for dessert UMP Cookies and Creme pudding with almond milk.

Favorite Supplements: (UMP) Cookies & Cremé is my favorite! It has optimal grams of protein per serving, it's low in carbs and sugar, and the taste is delicious! After my workout, I love eating UMP treats like pudding, muffins, brownies, cookies, waffles, pancakes, or even a simple creamy shake!

I enjoy the tart cherry flavor of Up-Lift and the fact that it is a non-stimulant pre-workout that gives me a feeling of intense focus during my workouts without jitteriness, or a crash afterward!

When I am preparing for a contest, I use Density to help increase muscle hardness and muscularity. 7-Keto MuscLean is also a favorite. This stack has helped me preserve my muscle mass and lose fat during intense weight training sessions, cardio & caloric deficits.

What would you recommend to someone who has never used Beverly supplements before: I have two recommendations for all my clients. #1 is always Beverly's quality protein powders! This is the MOST important supplement for anyone looking to build and preserve lean, strong muscle, and or lose fat. It also helps curb my sweet tooth cravings during my prep. After five years, I have not gotten tired of it because it is THAT good! My #2 recommendation is Glutamine Select. It is clinically dosed with BCAAs, which helps maximize muscle recovery, build anabolism and reduce muscle soreness. When dieting, this supplement also helps combat cravings and helps preserve lean muscle mass. I drink this during or after my workouts, and I turn them into cute ice pops in the summer!

Music: My playlist can go from today's top hits, pop, country, alternative rock, rap, hip-hop, classical piano, meditation & nature sounds, the 2000s, 90s, and 80s, depending on my mood or what I am doing.

Most Inspiring Book: The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. This book changed my life!

Hobby or interests outside bodybuilding: shooting guns, cooking & baking, hiking, playing and cuddling with my English bulldog, painting/coloring/crafting, reading, journal writing, spending time with my loved ones, yoga, meditation/prayer, community events.

Words to live by: If you've got passion, faith and are willing to work hard, you can do and create anything you want in your lifetime!

My competitive personality sparked at age 5 when I played my first sport, T-Ball. I played catcher throughout my childhood and transitioned into girl's athletics, and at age 12, I was introduced to weight lifting. I participated in volleyball, basketball, cross-country, track & field, and cheerleading. I continued to participate in volleyball and cheerleading throughout high school, where I graduated at the top of my class in 2012 at Permian High School in Odessa, TX. GO MOJO!

I began my journey into fitness and health in late August of 2013, after a night of excessive partying and "hitting my rock bottom." My life had become filled with toxic relationships, chronic stress, panic attacks, and depression. I was overindulging in poor quality foods, alcohol & drugs. My weight ballooned up 35 pounds. I started my road back to health by making small positive changes and healthier food swaps. I eliminated fast food, processed carbohydrates, and sugar and ate smaller, more frequent meals and snacks. My friend gave me the "Insanity" program, and I started working out in my kitchen first thing in the morning before classes or work. I lost the weight but had become a skinny 110 pounds with little to no muscle tone.

I enrolled in a Personal Training certification program and began weight training. As my knowledge grew, I began instructing boot camp-style strength and conditioning classes at a local gym in Odessa. Helping others achieve their fitness and health goals became my purpose and passion. When my client base grew large enough, I quit my serving/bartending job at Saltgrass Steakhouse and focused my efforts on my personal training business and graduating from college.

By January 2016, I was in better shape, healthy and happy, or so I thought. I was living an active lifestyle, going to college, eating healthy, exercising, doing yoga, helping others, and my personal training business was thriving. But there was still something wrong. I was experiencing chronic stress, panic attacks, anxiety, and depression. In my junior year of college, a doctor prescribed Xanax and anti-depressants. I took the anti-depressants for three months and felt worse than before, so I stopped taking them. After eight months of continual decline, a new doctor prescribed an antipsychotic medication that scared the life out of me. It was then that I realized that it was my environment, the exact "rock bottom" that I had experienced in 2013, that I needed to change. It was then that my passion for a holistic approach to life and Mind-Body medicine was born. I left the toxic environment and relationships one month later, and I've been holistically healthier ever since.

My First Contest, a Career Upgrade and Marriage

I was introduced to Beverly International products in 2017 by my future husband, Clint Gillispie. Clint, along with his father, had both been long-time advocates and users of Beverly products. After graduating college in May of 2017, I competed in my first bikini bodybuilding contest, the Lackland Classic in San Antonio, TX. I placed first in the Class D Novice and fourth in the class D Open. I weighed 110-112 pounds! "Just a baby," as Clint would say, lol. That first show lit a fire inside me, and bikini bodybuilding was my new passion hobby.

A year later, I became co-owner with Clint of Anytime Fitness Odessa. Our business partnership was very professional until it eventually became a romantic relationship, and we became inseparable. On October 10, 2020, I had my fairytale wedding better than my dreams, and our souls became one.

Contest History

Over the last five years, I have competed in 11 shows, including 4 National level shows. My first 1st place Open win and Bikini Overall Title was at the El Paso Supplement Express in August 2019. Initially, my goal was to be the best NPC Bikini bodybuilder in Texas. I accomplished this by winning 1st place in Class D Open and Bikini Overall at one of the biggest shows in Texas -The Europa Dallas. I finally achieved my muscularity goals at the 2021 Universe in Charleston, SC. I placed 4th out of a stacked class, just a few spots away from turning Pro. I weighed 124 pounds on stage that day. My Coach of Team Elite Physiques, Adam Bonilla, helped me take my physique to that next level, allowing me to compete at the National level competitively.

Diet

Dieting Tips

Prep and weigh all your meals, so they're ready to take with you for the day. Save your most satisfying meals for dinnertime.

Last two weeks before a contest, eat only spinach, kale, iceberg, or romaine lettuce for your veggies to help reduce bloating other vegetables may cause.

Drink one gallon of water a day, not including coffee or diet sodas. Find your favorite drinking cup to help you get it down faster and flavor it with lemon or flavored drink enhancers. My favorite is the strawberry watermelon.

At the end of the day, if you're still hungry (which you will be), chug some water, brush your teeth and go to bed.

Off-Season Diet

Meal #1: 25grams of Kodiak Cakes buttermilk pancakes, half a scoop of UMP Cookies & Crème, and 1-2 tbsp. Lily's sugar-free dark chocolate chips.

Meal #2: Greek yogurt 2% (200 grams) Have when you want in the day and move it to when you like (I liked this right before bed).

Meal #3: Lean Protein Sources: 4oz of 96% lean ground beef, pork tenderloin, cod, tilapia, tuna, shrimp.

Carbs:105 grams of sweet potato.

Veggies: 1 cup of brussel sprouts, cauliflower rice, asparagus.

Fats: 1tbsp of almond butter, 60 grams of avocado, or 16 grams of almonds, cashews, or unsweetened coconut flakes.

Meal #4: Same as meal #3 but cut out the "fats" portion

Meal #5: (Pre-workout): I have Up-Lift and Creatine Select. (Post-workout): 1.5 scoops of UMP protein, 120 grams of a banana, and Glutamine Select during or after my workout.

Meal #6: (Moveable snack): Quest Protein bar (all flavors are delicious). I'm looking forward to Beverly's new Almond Honey UMP bar!

My coach gives me an 1800 calorie free meal once a week because I love food and like to eat. This is not a cheat day! Sometimes I don't use it, but when I do, I typically like to eat Chick-fil-A, or I will cook a favorite lifestyle meal.

Competition Diet

Meal #1: 3oz shrimp, ¹⁄₄ cup lemon juice, black coffee with 1tbsp sugar-free vanilla or hazelnut creamer.

Meal #2: 3oz tilapia, shrimp, or 96% lean ground beef or turkey; 105 grams sweet potato; 1 cup veggies: Brussel sprouts, cauliflower rice, asparagus, spinach, or kale.

Meal #3: Same as meal #2

Meal #4: Same as meal #2

Meal #5: (Pre-workout): I have Up-lift, and during my workout, I take 5 Density tablets. (Post-workout): I have 1 scoop UMP protein, 120 grams of a banana, and Glutamine Select.
On non-workout days I skip the banana.

Meal #6: Same as meal #2

Presentation Tips

Show day presentation can determine your placing. Hair color, bikini, tan, jewelry, and make-up are all fundamental aspects of show day. If you have the best physique on stage and you don't display it well enough or exude confidence about yourself, the subjectivity of the sport allows the judges to give it to your runner-up just because their presentation was better. Make sure you make eye contact with the judging panel!! Practice your posing routine in front of a mirror every day for a minimum of 30 minutes. Don't forget to have FUN AND SHOW OUT ON SHOW DAY!! You WORKED SO HARD mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually to get there. Enjoy the moment and take lots of pictures because it goes by so quickly! After your show, reach out to the judges for their physique critique. Lastly, develop a thick skin when allowing yourself to be judged in a tiny bikini by strangers. If you did your best and made improvements, that's all you can do! Enjoy the process of building the best version of yourself!

Supplements

Protein (UMP) is ESSENTIAL for building muscle and a must for people lifting weights! Protein powder supplements are convenient and ideal post-workout.

Essential Amino Acids (Density) are helpful during workouts and on non-training days to help maintain lean body mass.

Glutamine and BCAAs (Glutamine Select) play a vital role in the health and well-being of the entire body. This supplement can yield benefits to help build muscle mass, reduce catabolism and helps speed up muscle recovery, and improves gut health.

16 Week Competition Prep Supplement Schedule

Super Pak: One pak with breakfast. This high-potency vitamin-mineral supplement is very important for general health and crucial when training like an athlete.

Lean Out: 2 capsules with meals 1 and 3;

7-Keto MuscLean: 3 capsules with meals 1 and 3. Lean Out & 7-Keto MuscLean are my favorite fat-burning stack. It attacks the stubborn fat areas around my waist and hips! It also helps with my energy and suppresses my appetite.

Density: 5 tablets three times a day at meals 1, 3, and 5. Density is extremely valuable for someone like me who struggles to maintain muscle mass when in a calorie deficit before a competition.

Pre-workout: Up-Lift, 5 Density tablets, & Glutamine Select during the workout

Post-workout: UMP with a banana made into mini-waffles

Multiple Enzyme Complex: 1 tablet (meals 1,3,6) a year and a half ago, I started using digestive enzymes and probiotics daily because I was experiencing bloating issues and irregular bowel movements (since I was a kid). Within a month, I had regular bowels, and my gut was no longer in pain.

Probiotics: 1 capsule before bed (meal 6)

Training

Long-term consistency is key: Take your training sessions and pre and post-workout supplements seriously.

Warm-up and cool-down properly: Most people want to skip this part because they think it's boring or they don't have the time. Creative Instagram moves are fun (do these on a fun workout day), but the basic exercises work the best for bodybuilding! Focus on good form and the mind-body connection when working each muscle group.

Be sure to prioritize your sleep: I try to get 7-9 hours to function optimally.

I spend about 20-25 mins stretching before lifting and foam roll out after. I train my abs with stomach vacuums for 5 sets of 5-10 reps at the start of each workout. I do 30-45 minutes of fasted AM cardio 5-6 times a week.

Monday Glutes and Legs

Glute Bridges 3x20-25

BB Squats 4x18-25

BB Walking Lunges 3x12-12 (12 steps each leg)

Heavy Abduction Machine 4x8-10

Glute Kickbacks 4x10-12 reps

Tuesday Back and Shoulders

Reverse Pulldowns 4x10-12

Body Weight Pull-ups 4x10-12

T-Bar Rows 4x 6-8 reps

High Cable Rows 4x8-10

1-Arm Cable Row 4x8-12
superset with Alternate DB incline

Front Raise 4x12-15

Lateral Raise 4x8-10

Bent-Over Laterals 4x12-15

Back Extensions 4 sets to failure

Hanging Leg and Knee Raises 4x15

Wednesday Back/Arms

Rope Abs 3x15-50

Lat Pulldown with Cables 4x12-15
superset with 4x20-25

Lat Pulldown Machine 4x8-10
superset with Rope Extensions 4x20-25

Straight-arm Lat Pulldown 4x10-15
superset with BB Bicep Curls 4x20-25

Close Grip T-bar Row 4x8-10
superset with Rope Hammer Curls 4x20-25

Weighted Heavy Abs 5x10-12 reps

 

Thursday Shoulders

DB Shoulder Press 4x10-12

DB Arnold Shoulder Press 4x8-10

Cable Front Raise 4x8-10

Machine Lateral Raise 4x8-10

Off-hip Lateral Raise (Thumbs at Hip) 4x12-15

Machine Rear Delts 4x8-10

Heavy Rope Crunch Abs 4x15-20

 

Friday Glutes

Heavy Glute Bridges 5x10-12 DB RDL 4x8-10

Banded Glute Bridge 4x15-20 BB RDL 4x10-12

Abduction Machine 4x12-15

 

Saturday Fun Workout!

Any form of physical activity. I like to do F45 classes, hikes, outside cardio, or anything active.

 

Sunday Rest

 

Recovery tip: Take epsom salt baths 2-3x a week!

In Closing

I am so grateful for all the places, memories, struggles, lessons, and inspiring human beings I met through my bodybuilding journey. I'm blessed to have my supportive husband, Clint, who loves living the bodybuilding lifestyle as much as I do. He has always encouraged me. He's my #1 cheerleader at all of my shows!

I do not doubt that the muscle gains and improvements I've made throughout the last five years would have been impossible without Beverly international supplements. I couldn't have achieved my dream physique without them!

My initial intention when I began competing was not to turn it into a career; it was simply a fun, positive hobby for me. I am currently in transition, leaving behind this extreme bodybuilding lifestyle for a while and moving forward into unknown territory.

I have come so far, and I can now peacefully take a break from bikini bodybuilding to enjoy the fruits of my labor! Before I had a vision of turning Pro, I had the desire to become a mommy!
"I'll be back" (Arnold Schwarzenegger voice lol), and I'll have my husband and children in the crowd watching me achieve my Professional bikini bodybuilding aspirations!

My First Figure Overall after a Five-Year Layoff

At a Glance: Laurie Lapsevich

Age: 43

Family: Supportive husband, Nick

Occupation: Exercise Physiologist in Cardiopulmonary Rehab and National Board-Certified Health and Wellness Coach

Residence: Brunswick, Ohio

Years training: 20 years

Height: 5'8.75"

Weight: 160 (off-season), 138 (contest)

Favorite Bodybuilding Meal: Oatmeal and egg/egg white, veggie bake with Beverly International Glutamine Select

What would you recommend to someone who has never used Beverly supplements before? I have used many Beverly supplements, and each one has had noticeable benefits. The UMP protein tastes fantastic! Their Super Pak vitamin/mineral pack is amazing, and I have noticed huge improvements in my physique and workouts when using it. I also use Glutamine Select, Quadracarn, Lean Out, and Density daily.

Music: Variety, but usually hip-hop music

Most Inspiring Book: Anything to do with a positive mindset and inspiration

Hobbies outside of bodybuilding: Traveling, hiking, reading, rowing, painting, connecting with other like-minded people in bodybuilding or through wellness coaching, love learning and studying my passion of coaching/wellbeing, listening to music, anything in nature, art, or being creative.

Words to live by: "If you don't like something, change it; if you can't change it, change the way you think about it." Mary Engelbreit

 

Working out has always been a hobby for me. I started young; I would go up in the haymow of our barn in St. Marys, Oh, after doing my chores. I would use my brother's weight set or instruct my younger sister through a Bootcamp. By the time I was in high school, I could see the muscles in my shoulders and arms. I joined the weight lifting club and was a sprinter on our state track relay team. From there, I was hooked! I went on to be on the women's crew team at the University of Dayton. Pushing boats over our heads and training through some grueling Erg Sprints helped me further develop my back and shoulders. To this day, 21 years later, I still use my Concept2 as part of my training!

I studied exercise science at the University of Dayton because I wanted to learn all I could about working out and the science behind being my best and helping others feel their best. After college, I went on to do a couple of sprint triathlons, half-marathons, and two marathons. I thought running marathons would make me the most elite athlete mentally and physically. However, I noticed that I would run for hours and then want to eat everything in sight. I soon realized that I needed to change my routine to achieve the balance and physique I wanted.

I began reading Beverly's No Nonsense magazine and started changing my nutrition and training. I began using Beverly supplements, following some of the nutrition and training protocols and recipes in the magazine. I soon realized that my physique was improving, and my clothes were fitting much better. I liked the shape and the definition I saw in my body.

I realized that I was not eating enough protein to support muscle recovery, ward off hunger, and keep me satiated. I began adding more strength training to my routine and additional Beverly International supplements. My physique was transforming. My friend Mary encouraged me to step on stage to do my first competition in 2009. I worked with Jen Hendershott, who was a great inspiration and coach! From there, I worked with Jason Theobald at Scooby Prep and placed 6th in my class at Jr USAs in 2011. I took a couple of years off and again qualified for nationals at the Kentucky Muscle in 2015. From there, I took five years off to build more and round out my legs. I decided to make a comeback in 2020 with See You Later Leaner, Adam Atkinson.

All my years of pushing hard in the gym paid off! The pandemic hit during my prep, and all of the gyms shut down. My husband and I put our home gym to work. I began doing pull-ups on a bar over my doorway and squats at every conceivable angle to build my quads. I gave up stops for coffee after work and did tons of walking in my neighborhood with my husband. We got creative with workouts, and I kept my head focused on my goal sticking to my diet through all of the frustrating, isolating days of the pandemic.

It all paid off when I took the top of my classes and Masters Overall Champion at the Natural Ohio in Cleveland. Then, I won my first Open Figure Overall at the Kentucky Natural! 2020 became the year I sparkled and reached what I set my mind to do! All the years of training and nutrition paid off!

Diet

Food preparation is vital for success. I religiously prep my food on the weekends and pack my food for the day, whether in-season or off-season, because I crave these healthy foods and feel best when I eat them. I have noticed that our bodies have food patterns, and I get hungry nearly the exact times each day for the same foods. Healthy habits are essential, and bodybuilding has helped me ingrain these habits, so they are a lifestyle.

Meal 1

One egg yolk, 100g egg whites, 1 cup spring mix, 30-40g oats, 1 scoop Beverly International Glutamine Select, 2-3 EFA Gold, 2 FitTabs or a Super Pak

Meal 2

3oz flank steak, 100 calorie pack walnuts/almonds, grapefruit

Meal 3

3-4oz 99% lean ground turkey, 250g cucumbers, 4 mini peppers, 35g brown rice

Meal 4

4oz tilapia, 7 Light and Fit rice cakes, 15 asparagus spears

Meal 5

1.5 scoops UMP, ¹⁄₂ c blueberries or zucchini, 2 tsp MCT oil or Flaxseed oil, 4 tbsp cocoa powder, 4 tsp cinnamon

Supplements

I highly recommend Beverly Supplements because they are high quality, and I notice improvements in my physique, adherence to my plan, and mental clarity when I use them.

Glutamine Select: I love adding Glutamine Select into my cream of rice or oatmeal with a dash of cinnamon, nutmeg, and french vanilla stevia. This helps me keep sweet cravings down all day! I also take a scoop before training at night or to combat cravings in the evening.

Quadracarn: Take 3 upon rising for mental clarity, sense of wellbeing, and to feel great for the day and 3 more before training for energy and vascularity.

Lean Out: I take 1 capsule with each meal and 2 with the last meal of the day to help with any cravings into the evening.

Density: I start with 3 tablets upon arising and 3 tablets before workouts. As the show day comes closer, I increase to 6 tablets pre-workout. Density is a definite help when calories are low, supplying my muscles with building blocks they need to get through another lifting session.

Cardio

I would start all my cardio workouts with an intense warm-up on my Concept 2 rower in my basement of 2500 meters in around 10 minutes. This really gets the blood pumping!

Burner workouts were put out during COVID quarantine times by my team, See You Later Leaner, and I would do these in my basement with my husband (CrossFit style workouts). I did these about twice per week.

As my show got closer, I switched to walking 20 minutes in the morning before work and another 20 minutes with my husband after work.

1-2 times per week, I did five sets of HIIT training, 45 seconds on and 15 seconds off of the following:

Tuck jumps - Squat jacks - Burpees - Mountain climbers - Kettlebell swings

 

Training

I like being in the gym so much that it was tough for me to learn to take "off" days. I've listed an advanced workout that I use when preparing for a contest. I perform 3-4 sets of 8-15 reps for each exercise listed in contest mode. For an intermediate workout, choose four exercises for legs, back, shoulders, and glutes, and two exercises for biceps and triceps. If you are unsure how to perform any of the exercises listed, Google them. You might find something new to add to your workout.

Day 1 Quads

  • Squats Feet elevated squats toes straight ahead, knees over toes
  • Squats Feet elevated squats toes out, knees over toes
  • Ball Squeezes for inner thighs
  • Wall Sits 1-2 minute holds
  • Jumpies
  • Single Leg Step Downs
  • Sumo Squats
  • Bulgarian Split Squats

Day 2 Shoulders

  • Upright Rows
  • Bent-Over Reverse Flyes
  • Lateral Raises
  • Empty Can Raises
  • Front Plate Raises
  • Shoulder Press
  • Urlachers
  • Banded Shoulder Exercises
    for rear delts

Day 3 Back / Biceps

  • Upright Rows
  • Bent-Over Reverse Flyes
  • Lateral Raises
  • Empty Can Raises
  • Front Plate

Day 4 Off

Day 5 Chest / Triceps

  • Incline Chest Press
  • Chest Flyes with Bands
  • Push-Ups
  • Decline Push-ups
  • Front Raises with bands- squeeze chest
  • Svend Press
  • Tricep Dips
  • Tricep Kickbacks
  • Band Tricep extensions standing or bent over (various grips including reverse grip)

Day 6 Glutes /Hams

  • Step-ups
  • Sumo Squats
  • Bulgarian Split Squats
  • Narrow Squats (deep)
  • Nordic Curls
  • Single-leg Hip Thrusts
  • Ball Pull-Ins
  • Banded Walks
  • Ankle Weight Hamstring Curls
  • Various Donkey Kicks etc. for glutes

Day 7 Off

Presentation Tips

Posing and stage presence are key. "Head up, chin up," Fran Chot Thomas (of See You Later Leaner) told me, and I will never forget that before going on stage. Remember to face the judges, even if you are at the end of the line on stage. You want to angle your body so you face the judges and not the audience. I focus on practicing vacuums and pulling my lats out. Always smile, as that is your best attribute- I would tell myself to have fun and SHINE! I felt more comfortable practicing at home than I did at the gym.

In Closing

Mindset is crucial, and as a wellness coach, I tell my clients and patients to write down their goals and WHY. You must believe in yourself and do the small behaviors that create the big changes over time. You must see yourself succeeding before you actually do. Visualization is key! My friend Mary used to tell me, "fake it till you make it."

I cannot thank my husband enough for his support during my prep. He purchased several items for our home gym that made it possible to fit my workouts in no matter what-even now! Coach Adam Atkinson held my dream and believed in me even when I doubted myself. His positive coaching helped me stay positive throughout my long year of prepping for my comeback to the stage.

Bodybuilding over 60: Age is just a number

At a Glance: Bruce Glenny

Age: 61

Family: Single

Occupation: High School Choral Music Teacher and part-time church musician

Current Residence: Havertown, PA

Years training (total): 35

Height: 5'8"

Weight: 155 (off-season), 140 (contest)

Favorite Bodybuilding Meal: Grilled chicken, sweet potatoes, veggies

What would you recommend to someone who has never used Beverly supplements before? Use UMP (especially chocolate or strawberry), Quadracarn, EFA Gold, Creatine Select – all are quality supplements

Books I read: Anything about US history and biography

Hobbies outside of bodybuilding: Playing classical music on the organ, piano, or harpsichord

Music preferences: Anything classical, especially Bach or Beethoven

Words to work out by: “Never, ever give up”; “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.”

 

I never thought I would become a bodybuilder or, for that matter, an athlete. Growing up in Western Massachusetts in a very rural setting with few kids my age around, I never had the opportunity to play sports. Instead, music was a big part of my family’s activities, and I began piano lessons. I enjoyed them and would practice for hours. In high school, I began organ lessons in addition to piano lessons. I excelled at both, and a music career seemed to be my path. Unfortunately, I led a very sedentary lifestyle, and as I entered college, I was overweight and inactive. By the time I reached graduate school, my weight had ballooned up to 232 lbs., which was way too much for my 5’8’ frame. Then in my second year of graduate school, I learned I had high blood pressure. Also, my mother, after a 5-year battle with cancer, died. This was the turning point for me. It seems we all need to hit a low point before we turn our lives around, and I’d reached my lowest point.

So, I began to think about what I was eating and my activity level. I was frequenting fast-food restaurants 4 or 5 times a week and rarely did any exercise. I slowly began to change my diet and incorporate more healthy foods, less sugary snacks, and high-carb meals. I also started to run. In the beginning, this meant a run/walk of a 1/2 mile. I built this up until I was running 2 miles without stopping and had lost 50 lbs. I joined the local YMCA in graduate school and ran on the indoor track. Finally, after nine months, I got my weight down to an acceptable 148lbs. At this point, I began using the circuit training machines at the Y and began to build muscle. I kept up this routine for 15 years – lots of running and weightlifting using machines.

By the late 1990s, I was living in a suburb of Detroit and was regularly using the local gym. I also joined a running club and began training for a marathon. In 2000, at age 41, I ran my first marathon in Detroit called the Detroit Free Press Marathon. It was a stunning route as we ran over the bridge into Canada and then under the Detroit river through the tunnel and back to the US side. I completed the race in 4 hours and 2 minutes, which was right on target as I set a goal of 4hours. My next goal was to learn how to use free weights and train more seriously. I hired a trainer at my gym, learned to love lifting, made great progress, and I became hooked!

In 2005, I had moved to Philadelphia and was in a different gym with a new trainer when one day he asked me if I was interested in competing in a bodybuilding contest. I had no idea what a bodybuilding contest was, but I said I would give it a try. I prepped for six months and then did a 14-week cut and competed in the OCB Charm City Classic in Baltimore. At age 46, I came in 3rd in the Men’s Masters class, and I was overjoyed.

I’m Introduced to UMP

I had been using protein powders which did not taste very good and had an adverse effect on my stomach. Then a friend introduced me to Beverly International supplements. The very first thing I noticed about
Beverly’s UMP protein was the taste. The chocolate flavor was so good, and there were no bad gastric effects. I tried the vanilla and then the strawberry when it was introduced into their line of products. To this day, chocolate and strawberry remain tied as my favorites!

By 2010, I had competed in about 25 shows and had done well as an amateur. At this time, I found a new coach and trainer, Joe Franco, from Bucks County, Pennsylvania. I had a dream, which I shared
with him, that I would like to become a pro-all-natural bodybuilder someday. He listened and based my training and diet on this goal. I also incorporated more Beverly products into my diet, including Lean Out, 7-Keto MuscLean, and Quadracarn. Finally, in October of 2012, at the age of 53, I won my Masters bodybuilding pro card at the same show where I competed for the first time, the Charm City Classic in Baltimore. I won the 50+ division with ten competitors and then went on to take first place in the master’s class. I was beyond happy and grateful. It seemed that this moment was the culmination of a very long journey beginning with me as an overweight child and ending with me becoming a pro bodybuilder. There were lots of emotions in that win!

Since turning pro, I have competed in many shows throughout the country in several different organizations. I have traveled to Florida, Arizona, Missouri, Tennessee, and up and down the Northeast
coast and mid-Atlantic. My love of the sport keeps me striving for improvements and gives a special focus to my life. I firmly believe that exercise and intense physical activity keeps a person feeling young. At age 59, I competed in an OCB November show (Battle of the Godz) in Providence, Rhode Island. I took 2nd place in the Men’s Pro Master Bodybuilding division. I felt great about this placing, and I can say that age is only a number, and it is never too late to begin something new. I can honestly say that at age 61, I am the strongest I have ever been in my life. I feel I still can make improvements as long as I train smart.

Recently I have been working with Nick Peterson, who designs my workout programs. We switch up the workouts every 3 or 4 months, so my body does not get too used to the same exercises and rep schemes.

Over the last 15 years, I have competed in approximately 70 shows and gained a lot of experience in the competition world. I have also become a judge for the OCB and have judged dozens of shows.
My future plans include competing again in 2021 as I turn 62. This July, I will promote an OCB show in Harrisburg, PA. I intend to keep myself active in the sport in as many ways as possible.

Every day I rely on Beverly supplements. I have been using these products for 15 years, and I see and feel the results. I take Beverly UMP and Creatine Select with me on vacation! I will find a gym, work out, and drink my Beverly shake. My Beverly supplements have even gone as far as Athens, Greece, with me.

Year-Round Diet

Meal One
UMP Chocolate protein shake with frozen fruit, one cup of high fiber low sugar cereal with almond milk – Quadracarn, Creatine Select, EFA Gold, FitTabs (multivitamin)
Workout between these two meals

Meal Two
Protein pancake – 1 cup Beverly UMP Vanilla, ³⁄₄ cup oatmeal, and cinnamon; add water and stir to a pancake batter consistency

Meal Three
3oz turkey, 21-grain thin sliced bread, low-fat mayo, veggies or salad

Meal Four
UMP Strawberry protein shake with fruit, ³⁄₄ cup oatmeal with 2 tbsp of peanut butter

Meal Five
6oz chicken, fish or turkey, 6oz sweet potato, veggies or salad – Quadracarn, Creatine Select

When I am in contest prep mode, I will add Lean Out and 7-Keto MuscLean twice a day to my supplement schedule.

During Contest Prep, I take 20 – 24 weeks to lean out slowly. This slow prep helps me to retain strength and mental well-being.

Training

I train six days a week, taking one day off for complete rest and a mental break from the gym. Each workout includes a 10-minute cardio session. I will vary my cardio using one of the following machines: the elliptical, bike, rower, or HIIT on the treadmill.

Currently, I am training in 3-week cycles. I do full-body workouts each day during weeks 1 and 2. Week 3 consists of a 3-way body part split using heavier weights for 5x5 on the core exercises. I increase the weight in small increments for each new 3-week cycle and will follow this program for three months before switching it up. Although at first glance this program might look easy, be careful! It may make you very sore by the end of the week!

Weeks 1 & 2 (Full Body each Day)

Monday

Incline Dumbbell Press 3x10

Standing Cable Curl 3x10

Farmers Walk 3x50 steps

Squat 3x10

Pull-Ups 3x Max

Dips 3x Max

Abs

Tuesday

Incline BB Bench Press 3x12

Incline DB Curl 3x12

Overhead Press 3x12

Leg Extension 3x12

Leg Press 3x12

Hamstring Curl 3x12

Lat Pulldown 3x12

Skull Crushers 3x12

Wednesday

Flat Bench Press 3x15

EZ-Bar Preacher Curl 3x15

Lateral Raise 3x15

Leg Curl 3x15

RDL (Romanian Dead Lift) 3x15

Seated Row 3x15

Overhead Press 3x15

Abs

Thursday

Incline BB Bench Press 3x10

1-Arm DB Preacher Curl 3x10

Shoulder Shrug 3x10

Goblet Squat 3x10

1-Arm DB Row 3x10

Overhead Triceps Extension 3x10

Friday

DB Bench Press 3x12

DB Hammer Curl 3x12

Front Raise 3x12

Lunges 3x 20 Steps

Calves 3x12

Neutral Lat Pull Down 3x12

Rope Pressdowns Rope 3x12

Abs

Saturday

Deadlifts 3x15

Chest Flye 3x15

Seated DB Curl 3x15

Cable Rear Delt Fly 3x15

Reverse Flye 3x15

Cable Kickbacks 3x15

Sunday - Rest

Week 3 (3-Way Split)

Monday Legs

Back Squat 5x5

Hamstring Curl 3x10

Leg Press 3x10

Abductor Machine 3x10

Adductor Machine 3x10

Hip Bridge 3x12

Calves 3x15

Abs

Tuesday Chest & Arms

Bench Press 5x5

Seated DB Curl 3x10

Triceps Press Down 3x10

Floor DB Press 3x12

Dips 3x12

Wednesday Back & Shoulders

Deadlifts 3x10

Overhead Press 5x5

Lat Pull Down 3x10

Lateral Raises 3x12

Front Raises 3x12

Y Standing Rows 3x12

Abs

Thursday Legs

Leg Press 3x15

Leg Extension 4x15

Walking Lunges 4x20 steps

Calf Raises 4x20

Single-Leg Hip Bridge 4x15 each leg

Prone Hamstring Curl 3x15

 

Friday Chest & Arms

Chest Fly 4x15

Incline DB Press 4x15

Overhead Triceps Press 4x15

Single Arm Triceps Press Down 4x15

Single Arm Preacher Curl 4x15

EZ Bar Biceps Curl 4x15

Abs

Saturday Back & Shoulders

High Pull 4x15

Seated Row 4x15

Lat Pull Down 4x15

Overhead Press 4x15

Lateral Raise 4x15

Front Raise 4x15

Sunday - Rest

My Never Ending Quest for Perfection

At a Glance: Aaron Robey

Age: 35

Occupation: Fitness trainer, model, actor

Current Residence: Atlanta, GA

Years training (total): 10

Height: 6'4"

Weight: 265 (off-season), 235 (contest)

Favorite Bodybuilding Meal: Ground turkey (with ketchup), white rice, and peanut butter

Favorite supplements: Ultra 40 and Mass Aminos

What supplement would you most recommend? From my own experience, I'd recommend Ultra 40 liver tablets. I achieved significant muscle growth from Ultra 40 and no bloating.

Music: Rap and rock.

Favorite Book: SEO 2020 by Adam Clarke.

Hobbies and interests: I love muscle cars - restoring them, studying them, and watching them in car shows. I can be captivated by them all day.

Words to work out by: "Study proper form for each exercise and hit high burning reps till failure."

Instagram: @thegodofmuscle

Website: aaronrobey.com

Originally from Columbus, OH, I moved to Atlanta in the 8th grade. I was always tall but extremely skinny. Being thin in high school wasn't a problem. I played basketball, and my height was an advantage. But as I transformed into a man, skinny no longer was working for me. I wanted size. People who worked out regularly looked like giants to me. I was enthralled. Lol, getting size became my mission in life.

One problem, I had the ambition but zero ideas on how to go about achieving it. Then one day, while eating breakfast at a restaurant, I saw one of the trainers from the local gym. He looked like he was 300lbs of
pure muscle. I wanted that look. The next day I joined his gym and was faced with a whole new set of challenges. Primarily, I had no idea how to train. First, I turned to the muscle magazines for advice. I tried various workout routines and made a little progress.

My reading led me to believe that the supplements advertised in the mags were the real secret. I spent hundreds of dollars monthly looking for the combination of supplements that was right for me. Unfortunately, none of the products worked as advertised. I was discouraged, but at the same time, I was gaining knowledge. I began eating cleaner. I started to see some quality results by ditching the fast foods and sugars for whole meats and complex carbohydrates.

Fast forward a year or so, I had a conversation with a professional bodybuilder. I asked him the same question that probably a hundred others like me had asked. "How can I get bigger?" He told me that he was personally eating beef liver tablets like candy. I immediately started researching and wore out Google looking for "the best liver pills." All signs came back to Beverly International's Ultra 40. I ordered two bottles and started taking ten tablets per day. The tablets are defatted liver, nearly pure protein. As the months passed, the lean muscle came.

I learned that what the magazines and internet made look easy, was in reality, the hardest thing I'd ever done in my life. However, I was hooked and continued learning more and more about my body. As I progressed, I realized that I was not taking in enough amino acids to maximize my muscle gains. So, I did my research and came back to Beverly for their Mass Aminos tablets. Mass Aminos was a game-changer. I finally was reaching my full potential and, within a year, had gained enough confidence to compete.

I pushed my body to the absolute limit during my contest prep and was devastated when I didn't win. I looked good but not as good as I thought. I learned from my defeat and went back to the drawing board. I realized that fitness was a mathematical equation as simple as 1 + 1 = 2: Hard work plus consistent dieting equals success. The amount of focus needed to achieve the physique of your dreams is incredible.

Diet is something I still haven't mastered

Off-season, I'm pretty relaxed. My foundation eating is to be sure to include a dozen eggs and 2lbs ground turkey each day (along with 30 each Mass Aminos and Ultra 40 liver tabs) plus some nut butter each day. But carrot cake, cookies, and cheeseburgers are the nutritional devils in my life (which I try to enjoy in moderation). I don't think you need to have an extreme diet all year. Learn your body. Understand what you can eat and what you can't. Whatever I eat throughout the day, I make sure I complete my foundation eating.

Everything changes with contest preparation. Every gram of protein, carbohydrate, and fat is ever so important. A typical contest diet entails 12 egg whites, 2lb of ground turkey, oatmeal, cabbage, and unsalted nut butter daily. My favorite supplements are Ultra 40 and Mass Aminos. First thing in the morning, I take 6 of each along with my essential vitamins (A, B-Complex, C, D-3, E). At each meal, I take eight more Ultra 40 and Mass Aminos. These supplements have worked great for me in preserving my precious muscle during extreme dieting and cardio.

Sodium is cut by nearly 90%. Sodium acts like a sponge in my body that absorbs water. When I remove sodium, I have minimal water retention. I don't cheat, I don't miss meals, and I don't skip workouts. At this stage in prep which is around three weeks out, I am like a robot. Each day becomes a repetition of the last. Stick to and complete the process in its entirety, and you will reap the benefits.

Competition training is brutal

Typically, in the off-season, I lift for high reps to failure with lighter weights. While training for a contest, my trainer, Rory Sessions, pushes me to the brink of exhaustion using heavy weights and high reps. I have never been a fan of lifting heavy, but his method completely transformed my physique. I entered the Arnold Classic Amateur with a transformed body – an extreme amount of clean and lean muscle. I took 4th in that show.

Unfortunately, Covid hit as soon as I made it home from Ohio. Gyms were closed everywhere, and I didn't lift for three months. My weight increased to 265, but the 3-month rest healed my body completely. The Olympia was a few months away. Rory and I went right back where we left off. What I learned from the last show is that recovery was an issue because of the heavier weights. Beverly International had the answer.
I increased my Ultra 40 and Mass Aminos and added ZMA 2000 for nighttime recovery. This stack prevented me from losing muscle while I dropped body fat. Showtime, I gave all I had left in the tank and earned a 2nd place performance at the Olympia Amateur. Rory is the king of training, and Beverly International is the king of supplements.

Training Tips

  • Don't count reps; take every set to failure.
  • Don't always wear headphones when you train; get in tune with the soundtrack of your body.
  • Get your sleep. Get your sleep. Get your sleep.
  • Hit calves from 3 angles – toes to the front, toes out, and toes in.
  • Hit abs daily.
  • Perform Pull-ups and Dips daily no matter what.
  • Get your sleep, lol.
  • Be humble enough to take advice.
  • Fasted morning cardio is king. Cardio before sleep is queen.
  • Only use the scale as a reference. It's not the judge of your fitness journey. How you look in the mirror and how your clothes fit is the actual scale.

Diet Tips

  • Drink distilled water to pull the water out of your system as the contest approaches.
  • Eat cabbage every day. It's a natural anti-inflammatory.
  • Watch your sodium. Water retention looks the same as body fat on stage.
  • Protein is essential for building muscle. Whether you are vegan, vegetarian, or omnivore, get some protein in every meal.
  • Don't force yourself to eat 6-7 meals a day to lose fat. In competition prep, I only eat 3. Find what works for you.
  • Drink black coffee before your workout. You will thank me later.
  • I drink fresh parsley tea daily. It's a natural diuretic.

Supplement Tips

  • Take Ultra 40 beef liver tablets and Mass Aminos every meal. 1 per 10lbs of your bodyweight.
  • Never underestimate the power of Vitamin A, B-Complex, C, D-3, and E. Beverly's Super Pak and FitTabs contain huge doses of them.
  • Take digestive enzymes at every meal. Beverly's Multiple Enzyme Complex is a good one (and inexpensive).
  • Don't live on protein powder. Moderation is key. I use it 10 minutes after my workout. Both Muscle Provider and UMP.
  • Take ZMA 2000 before bed. It helps recovery and will also give you a great night's sleep.
  • Creatine is good, but don't abuse it. I take five grams immediately after my workout.
  • I drink a shot of apple cider vinegar every morning.
  • Dandelion root is another natural diuretic. I take it in the morning and before bed.

Cardio

  • Off-season: Every other day for 30 minutes first thing in the morning. I lose weight relatively fast, so I don't go mental during the off-season.
  • On-season: Yes, I go mental. 30-45 minutes fasted cardio in the morning and another 30 minutes before bed. But I will adjust depending on how I look in the mirror.

Training

  • Off-season: 1.5 hours max in the gym, working my entire body. Everything from calves to arms gets worked.
  • On-season: I work my "show" muscles in the afternoon - abs, calves, forearms, and delts. Everything is high reps. There's no time limit; I stay in the gym till I'm finished.

 

Sample Evening Training Sessions

 

 

Monday: Chest

  • Machine Chest Press 5 x 50, 40, 30, 20, 10, start with 45lbs on each side, increase weight every set
  • Machine Incline Press 5 x 50, 40, 30, 20, 10, start with 45lbs on each side, increase weight every set
  • Standing Triceps Extension 5 x 50, 40, 30, 20, 10 (60 lbs) Push-ups 100

Tuesday: Back

  • Lat Pulldown 8 x 50, 50, 50, 50, 40, 30, 20, 10, start with a moderate weight, add weight every set
  • Seated Lat Row 5 x 50, 40, 30, 20, 10, start light, add weight every set
  • Deadlifts to Hang Clean with Olympic Bar 135 lbs, six sets to failure
  • Pull-ups 100

Wednesday: Shoulders

  • Shoulder Press Machine 5 x 50, 40, 30, 20, 10
  • Dumbbell Press 5 x 50, 40, 30, 20, 10 (25, 35, 45, 55, 65lbs)
  • Lateral Raises 6 x 50, 50, 40, 30, 20, 10 (15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40lbs)
  • Push-ups 100

Thursday: Arms

  • Pull-ups 100
  • Dips 100
  • EZ Curl 5 x 50, 40, 30, 20, 10 (60 lbs)
  • Standing Triceps Extension 5 x 50, 40, 30, 20, 10 (60 lbs)

Friday: Legs

  • Pull-ups 100
  • Dips 100
  • Walking Lunges 8 x the full length of the gym, up and down
  • Leg Press 8 x 100, 80, 50, 40, 30, 20, 20, 10, start with 2-45’s each side, add 1 plate every set
  • Leg Extension 8 x 40, 40, 40, 40, 30, 30, 20, 10, start light, add 1 plate each set
  • Leg Curl 8 x 30, 30, 30, 30, 20, 20, 20, 10, go up 1 plate each set

Working out is a never-ending push for perfection. Enjoy the journey and take your training seriously. But as with everything in life, you must learn moderation. Take a break from working out sometimes and eat that burger. It will increase your motivation to push harder in the future.

Get ready to Tighten, Round, and Firm Your Backside with the Best Butt Workouts for Women!

Note from Sandy: It's just a personal thing… a glute thing. I can remember even back in high school, wanting to have a good butt. I weighed about 117 (5'7") and was very skinny. Track season would begin in the spring, and when training started, my butt would jiggle a bit on our mile warm-up runs. After about two weeks, it got firmer and shapelier. As I got a bit older, the power of the squat and lunge became a strong staple in my routine. Over time, my glutes began to take on a different look. Not so much just a firm behind, but also a more rounded shape. It was a strong accent, and as I saw the changes, I wanted to keep developing that area of my body. Even now, at 58, I look at my glutes and hope that I can keep what I have as I continue to
age. Heavy squats and lunges are out of the question for me now due to injuries and overuse, but I've continued to find good/safe ways to keep what I have tight and firm. We all have our own BUTT stories to share, so take a look at what Julie writes here, and maybe you can grab a few takeaways for yourself. Improvements can happen every day!!!

Great legs and a tight, round butt is something that we are all after. Not only can a firm, round butt fill out your clothes and make you look amazing, but it will also make your whole body work better. Weak glutes can impact your efficiency and strength, affecting how you run, squat, jump and do other everyday activities. It's important to build those muscles with the right kind of exercises to keep your hips aligned and rotating correctly.

So, I went on a mission... find the best butt exercises for women. We want to focus on the best exercises out there and follow the correct principles to build lean, shapely muscle; this means focusing on the basics because there is no magic shortcut. We will be doing Squats, Bulgarian split squats, Romanian deadlifts, Thrusters, and Plie Squats.

I've put them together for a butt workout that will seriously activate your glutes and help your butt grow tight, round, and firm. As a bonus, this workout will also serve as a great leg workout that targets, builds, and defines your quads and hamstrings too!

I am going to recommend two "butt dominant" leg workouts per week. Your goal should be to improve weekly on each of the exercises in these routines. If you are a beginner, start with just 1 set per exercise and add another set every two weeks until you are performing the full workout
that follows.

Day 1

SQUAT
4 sets of 6-8 reps

If you are looking for a tremendous butt-building exercise, you would be hard-pressed to do much better than the traditional back squat. Back squats place a significant load on your posterior, namely the glutes and hamstrings. To execute a back squat with proper form, I recommend practicing first with an unweighted bar as these types of butt exercises require practice to perfect.

Begin with a barbell resting behind your head at your shoulders. Keeping your weight on your heels, begin descending slowly into the back squat keeping your chest lifted. Drop your hips until they are parallel with the floor. As you start to come back up from your back squat, be sure that you are utilizing your glutes and hamstrings by squeezing your glutes to help you rise back to the top. It is critical to keep the core tight during this challenging exercise. Go relatively heavy using a full range of motion.

BULGARIAN SPLIT SQUAT
4 sets of 8-10 reps

With the Bulgarian split squat, the glutes are very active in the eccentric phase for control and hip stability while also at deeper hip flexion ranges. I love exercises that challenge both your glutes and your balance while engaging stabilizing muscles to allow you to get the most out of the movement. This exercise targets the front of your leg with your back leg there to offer some balance support.

Stand lunge-length in front of a stable bench or stability ball. Hold a dumbbell in each hand and rest the top of your left foot on the bench or ball behind you. Lower your body until your front knee is bent at a 90-degree angle. Press through your front heel and squeeze your glutes as you rise from the single-leg lunge position.

One thing to remember about the Bulgarian split squat is that it takes some trial-and-error to find proper foot placement to perform the exercise comfortably. Feel free to use a stable bench as you learn the Bulgarian split squat, but for advanced athletes, few things are better than a stability ball to make this one of the most challenging butt workouts out there!

BARBELL THRUSTERS
4 sets of 12-15 reps

Ready to take things to the next level and make one of the great butt exercises work for your whole body? Meet the barbell thruster. Cross fitters have known for some time that combining a powerful front squat with a push press is a full-body slam dunk that will help you get stronger and increase your functional fitness.

Those looking to build the best butt possible will appreciate the barbell thruster even more. Begin holding a weighted barbell at your shoulders, hands in an overhand grip, and elbows squeezed together and lifted. Sit back, pressing through your heels and keeping your core strong as you descend into the front squat portion of the barbell thruster. Sit until your butt is parallel with the floor. With power, press upward, pushing with your legs and arms at the same time. You end this exercise in a full overhead press keeping tight alignment all the way through from the barbell, shoulders, hips, and heels.

This exercise will be challenging when you first incorporate it into this routine following squats and split squats, so use a very light poundage.

DAY 2

SQUAT
5 sets of 5 reps

We are starting with squats again because your goal is to become an expert on this essential exercise while getting stronger over time. Start with a light to moderate weight and add a little weight to each set.

ROMANIAN DEADLIFT
4 sets of 10-15 reps

Romanian deadlifts might be old school, but there is nothing dated about how they help build your glutes and legs. But take it easy on this exercise at first, because you can get very, very sore from it.

Start by standing in front of the bar with your feet slightly under it. Feet should be hip-width apart with toes slightly turned out. As you squat down, keep your arms straight and shoulder-width apart, just outside of your legs. Bend your knees slightly while keeping your chest lifted to place the bar right at shin level or a little above and your hips slightly elevated. Take a big breath and begin to stand up while maintaining a flat back. Keep the bar close to your shins allowing it to follow your legs upward. As you lower back down slowly, keep your weight pressing through your heels and hamstrings engaged.

There is a good reason that this exercise has been around forever! Romanian deadlifts are a glute and hamstring dominant movement that develops the entire posterior chain (hamstrings, glutes, and back). One of the unique things about this deadlift is that it focuses on the eccentric lowering motion, allowing for deeper engagement. Essentially, you are fighting gravity as you slowly lower the bar down toward the ground. You are engaging the hamstrings and glutes in a totally different way than when you focus on the concentric lifting portion.

PLIE SQUAT
4 sets of 8-10 reps

For one of my favorite targeted butt exercises, check out Plie Squats. Stand with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart, toes turned out. I like to hold a plate in front of me for the plie squat, but you can also hold a dumbbell straight down. Push your hips back and lower your body until your thighs are parallel to the floor.

Be sure to keep your chest lifted and the core engaged. While pressing firmly through your glutes, a plie squat will take you back up to the starting position with your legs straight. As an upper-body bonus, squeeze tightly with your arms by keeping your elbows close to your body.

This is another exercise that can make your thighs, hamstrings, and butt very sore the first couple of times you do it, so use a light weight at first and focus on your form.

Best Supplements for Building Amazing Glutes

Of course, you need a solid nutrition and workout plan to see growth in your glutes, but beyond that, the right supplements can make a big difference. Here is what I recommend when you are on a mission to achieve a lean, shapely booty.

Beverly International Ultimate Muscle Protein

Start at the beginning with the highest quality, best-tasting protein on the market. This delicious 5-star protein powder will simplify your diet by helping you build and preserve lean, strong muscle and lose fat. In my experience, UMP will help you gain powerful muscle naturally while boosting your metabolism to help you lose fat. I recommend including 1-2 shakes per day.

Beverly International Mass Aminos

This one-of-a-kind formula is a valuable aid for building and preserving muscle. Bodybuilders, powerlifters, weekend warriors, collegiate athletes, and everyday fitness enthusiasts of all ages report gaining strength and getting leaner when using Mass Amino Acids tablets. Mass is the most effective form of protein supplementation available for increasing nitrogen retention and lean mass.

Beverly International Ultra 40

Ultra 40 is an all-natural performance enhancer obtained from cattle that graze on the grassy, fertile hillsides of Argentina. Each tablet contains 100% Argentine beef liver loaded with a powerful array of vitamins and other growth factors that support optimal blood and muscle health and much more. Many women consider Ultra 40 to be one of the best supplement investments they've ever made.

Beverly International FitTabs

Restore your energy and performance, diminish stress, and rebalance your entire body with this multivitamin custom-made for the fitness lifestyle. It's used by nearly all of my figure and bikini competitors, and the impact it makes on your hair, skin, and nails is incredible!

Beverly International Glutamine Select

Glutamine Select is all about recovery, and it supports the fastest possible improvements in the appearance and performance of your physique by tackling a little-known but pervasive condition known as "anabolic fatigue." Use before, during, and or after training. You can also take Glutamine Select between meals to sustain blood sugar levels while dieting. It is best mixed in a water bottle or shaker cup and sipped.

Bodybuilding Through the Decades

At a Glance: James B. Lucas

Age: 54

Occupation: Project Manager

Family: Wife, Karen for 24 years and son, David (20), daughter, Jordan (17)

Current Residence:Tarpon Springs, FL

Years training (total): 16 years training total with a gap of 20 years from age 33 to 53

Height: 5'6"

Weight: 185 (off-season), 165 (contest)

Favorite Bodybuilding Meal: 1 whole egg, 12 egg whites with salsa, and an Ezekiel muffin

Favorite supplementsUMP, Ultra 40 liver tablets help with energy and oxygen transportation and is essential when dieting. Mass Aminos is an excellent, full-spectrum amino that allows you to retain as much muscle as possible during contest prep, another essential when dieting.

What would you recommend to someone who has never used Beverly supplements before? I would say trust in Sandy and Roger. They helped me in the '90s to win contests, and they are
still helping today. Even if you don't wish to compete, Beverly International can help you reach your fitness goals. All you have to do is check out their website with recommendations from beginner to competitive athletes.

Music: I am a classic rock kind of guy and enjoy U2 and Bruce and the E Street Band

Most Inspiring Book:  Arnold, The Education of a Bodybuilder, which came out in 1977. I have an original hardcover copy and reading that got me into the gym and changed my life as a teenager.

Hobby or interests: I loved coaching football for many years. The thrill of taking a team and making them competitive gives me that same exhilaration as being on stage. I also love spending time with the family, but there is far less of that as the kids get older.

Words to live by:  "What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals." — Henry David Thoreau

My introduction to bodybuilding happened when I bought Arnold's Education of a Bodybuilder when I was 12 years old. I was mesmerized by Arnold's story and the black and white photos of his physique. Bodybuilding was about to become part of my life. I re-read that book again and again throughout my teenage years. I bought various muscle magazines from the smoke shop at the mall featuring Franco, Frank, Chris Dickerson, and of course, anything with Arnold in them. I lifted to get better at wrestling and was fortunate to have Miklos Kiss, a European powerlifter, teach me form and the fundamentals.

In my twenties, I began adding size to my frame while working as an auto mechanic and putting myself through school to earn my Bachelor's degree. It was the 80's; Rocky III had just come out and became my favorite movie. I was inspired by Stallone and his new physique along with the song, Eye of the Tiger. I decided it was my time to evolve myself, and I entered a contest without any knowledge. I took 5th place at Mr. Akron.

Along came the 90's and I'm managing Nutrition Services at various hospitals. I met my wife Karen, and we bought a home in the little town of Canal Fulton, OH. In 1999 I met Sandy and Roger from Beverly International. I sent "Polaroids" bi-weekly to Roger, and he crafted and adjusted my nutrition plan based on the photos. With his guidance, I continued to improve and took 3rd place in the 1999 Natural Ohio Classic and first place in the 2000 Powerhouse Classic. Karen gave birth to our son, David, in 2000 and our daughter, Jordan, in 2003. A career relocation to East Lake, FL, started the new millennium for us.

Lifting and personal goals gave way to family goals. I coached David in baseball, soccer, and football. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to coach him through high school. I was the "Cheer Dad" to Jordan, and we traveled the state to competitive cheerleading events (as well as spotting her in the living room as she perfected her back handspring).

A few more years passed. David and Jordan were moving on to college. I looked at myself and found that at 54, I weighed 221lbs (almost 75 pounds heavier than when I had competed 20 years prior). In September, I made it my mission to get back in shape. I started working out again, paying attention to my diet, and started to feel and look better. I began wondering, "Could I get back on stage?" I sought advice from a former Natural Mr. Universe, John Hansen, and started using Beverly products again. UMP, Mass Aminos, Ultra 40, and Lean Out helped me reduce my waist from 42" to 34" while adding muscle.

The Covid pandemic came along, but I still set my sights on entering the NGA Hurricane Classic in September of 2020. I entered the NGA Hurricane Classic at 179lbs, 42 pounds less than when I started my prep. I took 3rd in the Masters Bodybuilding 50+ division. The judges' critique was that I had good muscle size and symmetry, but I needed to get leaner. Six weeks later, I entered the NGA Central Florida Fall Classic. I lost another 12lbs and 2" more off my waist in those six weeks, coming in at 167lbs with a 32" waist. The addition of Beverly's 7-Keto MuscLean and GH Factor to my supplement plan helped me accelerate my fat loss while maintaining muscle mass.

Those additional six weeks of training, cardio, dieting, and my Beverly supplement plan paid off. I was awarded 1st place in Masters Bodybuilding 40+ (at 54 years of age) and 3rd in Open Mens Bodybuilding.
My new goal is to win a Masters Overall Bodybuilding competition. Six months to go, and I have already started getting ready. I will continue to improve and get harder and leaner with Beverly International products. I'm not only a Beverly product user but also a retailer of Beverly products. If you are looking in the Tampa Bay area to find Beverly products locally, go to www.docmusclesupplements.com
I am also on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/james.lucas.5832 and Instagram @docmuscle10. Please follow or reach out to me.

Workout Plan: 2 Days On – 1 Day Off

I follow the same basic workout plan both off-season and pre-contest. The only difference is the addition of cardio during pre-contest. To illustrate, I've listed a recent workout from my training journal. Since machines differ, some of the weights listed may be different if performed on another machine. But this is an excellent approximation of what my actual workout looks like. Remember, I am 54 years old, weigh in the 170s, have laid off for 20 years before coming back, and am 100% natural.

Day 1: Back, Biceps

  • Pullover (90x12, 160x8, 170x7, 170x7)
  • 1-Arm Lat Pulldown (70x10, 80x8, 80x8 )
  • T-Bar Row (90x10, 125x8, 145x6)
  • Cable Row (65x10, 85x7, 85x7)
  • Hyperextension (BWx25 x 3 sets)
  • Barbell Curl (70x10, 90x8, 90x8)
  • Hammer Curl (40x10, 45x8, 45x7)
  • Concentration Curl (20x12, 25x10)

Day 2: Abs, Legs

  • Leg Raise (30, 25, 25)
  • Crunches (25, 20, 20)
  • Leg Extension (80x15, 95x12, 110x10)
  • Leg Press (180x12, 360x10, 540x10, 590x8)
  • Hack Squat (270x12, 470x8, 470x8)
  • Leg Curl (90x10, 110x7, 110x7)
  • Straight Leg Deadlift (135x12, 185x10, 225x8)
  • Glute Machine (60x15, 60x12, 60x12)
  • Seated Calf (90x15, 140x10, 140x9)
  • Standing Calf (120x12, 135x10, 150x8)

Day 3: Chest, Shoulders, Triceps

  • Bench Press (185x10, 225x8, 245x6, 245x6)
  • Incline Press (185x8, 205x6, 205x6)
  • DB Flyes (70x8, 75x6, 75x6)
  • Machine Pullovers (80x12, 90x10, 100x8)
  • Military Press (90x12, 160x8, 170x6, 170x6)
  • Lateral Raise (30x10, 35x9, 35x9)
  • DB Shrug (75x8, 80x6, 80x6)
  • Triceps Pushdowns (70x12, 80x10, 90x8)
  • Lying Extensions (40x10, 50x9, 60x7)
  • Dips (12, 10, 10)

Cardio Plan

For contest prep, I perform the same workout as above, but with added cardio. I have NO favorite cardio but used the treadmill, elliptical, Stairmaster, and bike to burn extra calories.

12 weeks out:

15 minutes on the elliptical machine every other day

8 weeks out:

20 minutes a day every workout day

4 weeks out:

20 minutes of elliptical on workout days and 20 minutes Stairmaster on my off days (or went for a ride on the bike).

Meal & Supplement Plan

This is the basic meal plan that I used to reduce my weight from 220lbs to 179lbs and my waist from 42” to 34”.

Meal One

  • One scoop UMP
  • ¹⁄₂ cup oatmeal
  • ¹⁄₂ cup blueberries
  • 6 Ultra 40
  • 6 Mass Aminos
  • 2 Lean Out
  • 3 7-Keto MuscLean

Meal Two

  • One whole egg
  • 6 egg whites
  • 1 Ezekiel muffin
  • 2 Lean Out

 

Meal Three

  • 6oz tuna fish
  • 130g sweet potato
  • 3oz broccoli
  • 6 Ultra 40
  • 6 Mass Aminos
  • 2 Lean Out

Meal Four

  • UMP Protein Shake
  • 2 slices Ezekiel bread
  • 2 Lean Out
  • Three 7-Keto MuscLean

Meal Five

  • One whole egg
  • 7 egg whites
  • 1 slice Ezekiel bread
  • 6 Ultra 40
  • 6 Mass Aminos
  • 2 Lean Out

In addition, I use Quadracarn throughout the year as a precursor to increase testosterone production. I always feel leaner, stronger, and have more energy with it. I also use Energy Reserve before weights and cardio. It gives me a pick-me-up for those exhausting days in the gym.

Final 6 Weeks' Meal Plan

My weight dropped 12 lbs and my waist another 2 inches. I kept my protein up, lowered my carbs, increased my fats, and added cardio. The Mass Aminos and Ultra 40 liver tablets helped keep my energy up and maintain as much muscle as possible. (From what the judges said, I kept most of that hard-earned muscle and symmetry while gaining a lot more definition.)

I used UMP Angel Food Cake in my coffee instead of creamer to get in more protein and add a little variety. It mixes easily and tastes like French Vanilla creamer.

I also added GH Factor during this phase of my diet. Take 12 capsules daily - 6 upon arising and 6 before bed. Alternatively, you can take 2 with each meal and 2 before bed.

Meal One

  • One scoop UMP
  • 1/2 cup oatmeal
  • 6 Ultra 40
  • 6 Mass Aminos
  • 2 Lean Out
  • three 7-Keto MuscLean

Meal Two

  • One whole egg
  • 6 egg whites
  • 1 slice Ezekiel bread
  • 2 Lean Out

Meal Three

  • 6oz chicken
  • 3oz broccoli
  • 6 Ultra 40
  • 6 Mass Aminos
  • 2 Lean Out

Meal Four

  • UMP Protein Shake
  • 2 Lean Out
  • three 7-Keto MuscLean

Meal Five

  • 6oz salmon
  • 3oz broccoli
  • 6 Ultra 40
  • 6 Mass Aminos
  • 2 Lean Out

41 Years of Age … and Never Looked Better

At a Glance: Kerry Tighe

Age: 41

Occupation: 17yrs NASM Certified Personal Trainer/ Nutrition Coach

Family: Husband, Lucas, 20-year retired Army Veteran. We will be married 20yrs in 2021! Daughters, Olivia 18 and Deirdra, 16, and son, Thomas, 6.

Current Residence: Monument, CO

Years training (total): 25 years (Began in 1995 as a high school athlete)

Height: 5'6"

Weight: 145 (off-season), 130 (contest)

Favorite Fitness Meal: Egg White Omelets, Grapefruit, and Coffee

Favorite supplements: Top 2 Beverly Supplements…

UMP: It is critical in hitting your protein macros to build and maintain muscle. UMP ensures I hit that number every day without stressing or cooking whole food meals for all five meals. I use UMP for two of my five meals every day.

Muscle Synergy: This was a new addition to my stack this year. The muscle growth while using Muscle Synergy was unlike anything I had experienced before. I took 1 scoop first thing in the morning and 1 scoop during my workouts.

What would you recommend to someone who has never used Beverly supplements before? Always start with Ultimate Muscle Protein! A proper and consistent nutrition plan is essential to see changes in body composition. UMP makes this goal easy and delicious.

Music: Classic rock, upbeat pop, and motivational podcasts. I am also a true-crime podcast junkie and sometimes listen to these on long, steady-state cardio sessions.

Most Inspiring Book: Can't Hurt Me by David Goggins and any Jon Gordon book.

Hobby or interests: Hiking and traveling.

Words to live by: "I did not come this far to only come this far."

At the age of 15, I had my first taste of success at being an athlete, and I was hooked. Back then, it was track and field, and by the time I graduated high school, I was a two-time state champion. My body clock was wired to be at practice, training at 3 pm every day. This schedule continued into my college days at Florida State University. My afternoons consisted of gym sessions of strength work and plyometrics to help me throw further.

Even after I became a wife and mom, I never stopped showing up at the gym; it was a part of my life no matter what. In my late 20's and early 30's, I competed in NPC figure and bodybuilding contests. I won my class at multiple shows and was even featured in Beverly's No Nonsense magazine. But by 2010, I was burned out. Our family was stationed overseas, and it seemed like the perfect time to try something new. Long-distance running became my new athletic activity. I completed three half marathons in Europe, and by the time we moved stateside to Colorado, I had the running bug.

Colorado is a hotbed for long-distance trail running, and it did not take long before I finished my first full marathon. My next challenge was ultra-running. I had completed both 50k and 50-mile races by 2014.

Now I was in my 40s and ready to go back to figure competition, this time in the figure masters division. I contacted Rachel Wade at Focused Fitness for guidance. Rachel had helped me with nutrition, training, and Beverly supplement plans when I first stepped on stage. Even though I have been a practicing NASM-CPT for the past 17 years, I needed someone to help me stay accountable. Even the coach needs a coach!

We discussed expectations and agreed that I couldn't compare myself to my condition more than a decade earlier. I had a lot of work to do. Muscle loss had ramped up in my late 30's. While my diet was solid, I knew I needed to add more protein to improve my body composition. I needed to gain muscle and lose body fat, so I started with what I call the "Baseline Bev Stack." I took UMP twice a day every day along with Ultra 40, Mass Aminos, FitTabs, Lean Out, and Glutamine Select.

During the first six weeks, I made significant progress combining my "Baseline Bev Stack" with a 5-day training plan and some cardio. It was March 2020, I was right on track and had picked out a few local summer shows in Colorado to make my 10-year return to the stage. What could go wrong?

Then Covid-19 showed up!

The local gyms closed up. I had no choice but to move my training to my garage. Fortunately, my husband, Lucas, and I had some equipment set up in the garage, including a squat rack, resistance bands, barbells, plates, and a set of dumbbells from 5-45 pounds. I had to become creative and modify my workouts to fit my equipment. Lucas is handy with welding equipment, and he quickly made me a pulley system to replace resistance bands on my heavier exercises. For cardio, I had an old exercise bike and the local school track to get it done.

As the weeks clicked by, I started adding some HIIT sessions at the track. In mid-May, I was performing a sprint session and tweaked my hamstring. I modified my training a little to let it recover. It was coming along fine until one day when I was playing with my son in our backyard. I planted my foot to run and felt pain shoot up my leg. My leg was swollen, bruised and the pain was unbearable. Later that week, it was confirmed that I had torn my hamstring in three places. I was angry. I had made so much progress. Just a few days ago, I was on top of the world. I was in the nutrition zone; I could even see my abs! Now I was injured badly and would need weeks, if not months, of rehab before I could train my legs and glutes.

There was a ray of light in my misfortune. My scheduled shows were canceled due to Covid restrictions. The contests' cancelation gave me breathing room to heal and be ready to compete by late fall. I shifted my training to a six-week gaining cycle. My favorite training schedule for muscular weight gain is what I've dubbed the "Coat Rack Plan." I cut my reps in half, doubled my sets, and added weight every week to add as much upper body size as possible. See page 10 for a complete illustration of the "Coat Rack Plan."

I used the designated leg day to do additional therapy work. I treated rehabbing my hamstring like it was my job. I spent nearly all of my free time in the PT facility doing compression therapy, red light treatments, and balance exercises. Soon I was able to get back on the bike for moderate therapy and light leg work. My nutrition plan was crucial during this time for healing and to limit fat gain. I upped my Ultra 40 and Glutamine Select, switched from Mass Aminos to Density, and added Muscle Synergy to assist my muscle gains and healing.

I had pretty much recovered by August and was ready to crush the last 12 weeks of contest prep for the OCB Natural Viking. I added sessions of outdoor stair climbing on a set of 310 steps built on the side of a mountain 15 minutes from my home. I burned hundreds of calories on those stairs while giving my glutes and legs the extra work they needed. The local gyms started reopening, and I was able to add leg presses, power squats, and traditional leg machine exercises back into the plan. I upped my reps and increased cardio each week as my body grew leaner, harder, and more muscular. I began practicing my posing 3-4 days a week for 15-20 minutes, plus traveling to Denver to work with posing coach, Nick Natt once a week.

Finally, it was contest time. I was now 41years old and had never looked better. My husband, son, and I flew to Minneapolis, MN, and I competed in the 2020 OCB Natural Viking. I entered both the Open and 40+ Masters divisions. With Covid restrictions in place, the contest flew by. Before I knew it, I had won my OCB Masters Figure Pro Card and finished 3rd in the Open division against six other women, some half my age. I was thrilled, but it was over so quickly that it was difficult to take it all in.

Despite my success, I decided to take the stage one more time in 2020. By the time I returned to Colorado, I had entered the OCB Natural Tampa and went right back into contest prep mode. My celebration meal would have to wait. I was pretty sure that the OCB Tampa show would have some of the absolute best natural figure athletes in the country. When I hit the stage in Tampa, my intuition was proven right. These ladies looked incredible. Pre-judging was intense. We were compared for over 25 minutes, quarter turn after quarter turn. Boy, was I glad I had put so much time into my posing practice! When pre-judging ended, I felt like I had done an hour of cardio. However, I had also secured myself a placing in the top 3 in both divisions. It was a terrific day, and for the first time, my daughter Deirdra was able to be my backstage helper. What a fantastic way to wrap up my year!

Since Tampa, I have wasted no time getting right back to training, my "Baseline Bev Stack," and slowly adding protein and carbs to my diet to accommodate another growth phase. I plan to make my 2021 OCB pro debut at the 2021 OCB Yorton Cup Pro Championship. With my "tough as nails" mindset, I know that I will be bringing my best all-natural figure package to the stage in 2021.

Meal and Supplement Plan

Carb Cycling works best for my body. I keep my carbs low five days a week, and then I eat a carb meal in place of Meal 5 on Monday and Thursday to replenish glycogen.

Meal #1: 3 egg whites, 2oz chicken, ¹⁄₂ grapefruit, coffee

Meal #2: 4-5oz chicken or whitefish, 4 cups salad veggies, 1tbsp oil and vinegar dressing

Meal #3: 1-2 scoops UMP

Meal #4: 4-5oz chicken or turkey breast, 4 cups salad veggies or 2 cups green beans/zucchini, 1 tbsp oil and vinegar dressing

Meal #5: 1-2 scoops UMP

Monday and Thursday (in place of Meal 5): 4oz sweet potato, 4oz green vegetable, ³⁄₄ cup oatmeal, 1tbsp butter, and 4oz banana

Baseline Bev Stack

I started with my "Baseline Bev Stack" of UMP (per my meal plan), Ultra 40 Liver tabs & Mass Aminos (3 with each meal), FitTabs (2 with meals 1 and 4), Lean Out (2 with each meal), and 1-2 scoops Glutamine Select (pre and intra workout).

Stage Worthy Beverly Stack

At eight weeks out, I continue my "Baseline Bev Stack" (substituting 3 Density for 3 Mass Aminos at each meal), take 1 Multiple Enzyme Complex with each meal, and add the following supplements to complete my "Stage Worthy Beverly Stack."

Upon waking: Three 7-Keto MuscLean, 2 Energy Reserve, one scoop Muscle Synergy powder, and 6 GH Factor

Pre-workout: Three 7-Keto MuscLean, 2 Energy Reserve, one scoop Muscle Synergy powder

Before Bed: Six GH Factor

I also mix 1-2 additional scoops of Glutamine Select in a blender with ice and Mio water enhancer for a fantastic "Muscle Slushie" after training or whenever I need to ease my hunger pangs.

Workout Plan

Ladies, DO NOT BE AFRAID TO LIFT HEAVY! I've made the most progress by far by embracing what I call the "Coat Rack Training Plan." I have used this plan off and on for years to add size and strength, especially in my upper body.

Day 1: Chest, Shoulders, Triceps

  • Incline BB Press 6x6
  • Flat DB Press 6x6
  • High Pulls 6x6
  • Heavy Laterals 3x8 each (front, side, rear)
  • Triceps Pressdown 6x6

Day 2: Legs

  • Leg Press 6x6
  • Squat 6x6
  • Hack Squat 6x6
  • Leg Curl 5x8
  • Leg Extension 4x10

Day 3: Off

Day 4: Chest (light), Shoulders, Triceps

  • Incline Speed Bench Press 8x3 (50-60% of Day 1)
  • Flat DB Press 6x6 (85% of Day 1)
  • Shoulder Press 6x6
  • Lying French Press 6x6
  • Incline Dumbbell Kickouts 4x8

Day 5: Back, Biceps

  • Reverse Grip BB Row 6x6
  • Lat Pulldown 6x6
  • Seated Good Morning 6x6
  • Barbell Curl 6x6
  • Preacher Curl 6x6

Days 6-7: Off

Notes

 

  • The key to the success of this program is that you DO NOT start too heavy. On 6 x 6 exercises, begin with a weight you could perform 12 reps with on week one, but only do the prescribed amount.
  • Progress at a pace that allows you to continue to get all 6 reps on all 6 sets each of the first five weeks. Do not increase the weight by more than 5% or at most 10% any given week.
  • The final week is an all-out max effort! (If you reach failure before week 6, you started too heavy or tried to progress too fast.)
  • High Pulls – this is a powerful and explosive version of upright rows. Start with the bar just above your knees and explode the weight up above your sternum – keeping your elbows high.
  • Speed Bench Press – Lower the bar in a controlled manner and explode up as fast as possible with the bar. Speed is the real key to this exercise – it is far more critical than weight. Rest no more than 45 seconds between sets.
  • Dumbbell Kickouts on Incline Bench – lay on an incline bench face up. Start with the end of the dumbbells resting on your chest with your palms facing down towards your hips. Extend the dumbbells with your triceps. In the finishing position, your arms should be extended as if they are at the finish of an incline barbell press. Lower to your chest and repeat. This workout focuses on Bulk and Power, emphasizing shoulders, chest, and pressing strength, aka your "Coat Rack."

The Secret to 40 Years of Bodybuilding Success

At a Glance: Richard Knight

Age: 63

Occupation: Retired Aerospace Technician

Family: Wife of 34 years

Current Residence: Anaheim, CA

Years training: 39

Height: 6';

Weight: 203 (off-season), 198 (contest)

Favorite Bodybuilding Meal: My off-training day lunch of 6oz Boars Head London Broil roast beef with a slice of horseradish cheese on Milton’s Multi-Grain bread. It’s like eating a Prime Rib sandwich.

Favorite supplements: Muscle Provider and Provosyn for proteins, Quadracarn, Density, and ZMA 2000.

What would you recommend to someone who has never used Beverly supplements before? UMP is a great-tasting all-around protein that works well as an extra meal, especially before bedtime, to repair and build muscle. Muscle Provider digests faster and is best before and after training.

Music: Electronica

Most Inspiring Book: Education of a Bodybuilder by Arnold Schwarzenegger

Hobby or interests: Road cycling, beekeeping, and falconry.

Words to live by: “The results you get out of training depend on the work and nutrition you are willing to put in.”

The first time I had the opportunity to train at a gym was when I moved from Iowa to California in the summer of 1980. At Jack LaLanne’s Health Spa in San Diego, I met a competitive bodybuilder and became interested in weight training to gain muscle size and strength. While visiting a store that sold Olympic barbells and a wide variety of weight lifting equipment, I purchased Arnold Schwarzenegger’s book, Education of a Bodybuilder, and was inspired by his story.

Fast forward two years, and I was back living in Iowa due to some tough economic times. I realized that I needed to learn a skilled job to be successful in life. Since I enjoyed and was good at working on cars, I felt I could apply those same skills on aircraft. I devised a plan to join the Marine Corps as an aircraft mechanic to gain experience, and then when I got out, I could land a job at one of the many aircraft manufacturing plants in Southern California. During my time in the Marines, I made a point of consistently lifting weights. I added 10 pounds of muscle during boot camp - just from all the physical activity and good meals - I wanted to keep progressing. I even purchased 180 pounds of plates and dumbbell handles to take with me on deployment to the Far East.

Upon leaving the service, everything worked out as planned, and McDonnell Douglas hired me in Long Beach, where I worked on the MD80 program. When Boeing bought them in 1997, the commercial airplane production line was phased out, so I moved over to work on the C-17 Air Force cargo plane for my final years. After 25 years at Boeing, I was laid off and then got hired at SpaceX, where I worked on the F9 Falcon rocket for the first few years and then the Dragon capsule. After six years at SpaceX, I retired at the age of 62. During my years at McDonnell Douglas/Boeing, I worked the swing shift, which was perfect for me.

I was able to train in the morning when my energy level was highest, and the crowds at the gym were minimal. However, while working at SpaceX, it was mandated that we work 10-hour shifts, so the only time I had to train was on the weekends (and only then when they didn’t make the Saturdays mandatory too!) Despite being limited to just training one day a week, I was still fortunate to maintain the physical condition I did. The best thing about now being retired is training any day I choose.

My competition journey began after leaving the service in 1986. I joined a Gold’s Gym in Orange County and trained for two years before entering the Southern California Bodybuilding Championship. I won the Tall Novice Division and Overall Novice. A couple of weeks later, I entered the Orange County Muscle Classic and placed fifth. I was pleased with this placing since it was a National qualifier. I trained for another year and gained more size before entering the Ironman (now called Excalibur) and placed near the back of the pack in the heavyweight class. I just couldn’t compete against guys at that level who had 20-30 pounds of lean mass over me. I became discouraged and gave up thoughts of further competition.

As I’ve grown older, I am very fortunate that my metabolism has stayed very high. I am never more than a few pounds away from contest condition, which gives me an advantage in Masters competitions. It is much easier for me to achieve the level of conditioning needed to be competitive.

In 2020, I planned to go back to the Southern California contest I won as a Novice and attempt to win it as a Master, but the show was canceled due to COVID. Instead, I entered the NPC Iron Games Classic Physique over 45 class (the highest age class available) in November and won overall. That qualified me for the Masters USA event in December, where I could earn a Pro Card. At the Masters USA, I won the over 50 C division but not the overall title, thus missing my goal of earning a Pro Card. I’m currently contemplating entering the NPC Teen, Collegiate, and Masters Nationals this year. It has an over 60 class and could offer me a better chance at earning a Pro card.

Workouts

For many years I trained Monday - Friday and then took the weekends off but now that I am retired, I train four days on and one day off. I start each exercise relatively light and increase the weight until the final two or three sets are at my top weights for the day.

Day 1: Shoulders, Chest

Cable Lateral Raises 5x10-15

Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press 5x10-12

Rear Deltoid Machine 4x10-12

Pec Deck 5x10-12

Incline DB Flys 5x10-12

Incline DB Press 4x10-12

Cable Crossovers x10-12

Day 2: Back
I have two mildly herniated discs from an injury sustained over 30 years ago and spinal stenosis at three locations in my back, so I can’t do anything bent over. I use machines that have a chest pad for support for all rowing movements.

Warm-up with elastic band-assisted Pull-Ups 4x10

Lat Pulldown 4x10-12

Seated Machine Rows 4x10-12

Seated Machine Rows Low Position 4x10-12 (This machine duplicates the range of motion that I would get from T-bar rows if I could do them.)

Straight-Arm High Cable Pulldown 4x10

Shrugs 4x10-12

Day 3: Legs

Leg Extensions 2x15-20 (as a warm-up for my knees)

Leg Press 5x10-15

Lying Leg Curls 4x10-12

Leg Extensions 5x10-15

Seated Leg Curls 4x10-12

I do some Hamstring and Quad stretches to finish up.

Day 4: Biceps/ Triceps

Triceps Pushdown 4x12-15

Skull Crushers or Seated Machine Triceps Extensions (depending on which gym I am training at) 4x12-15

Machine Dips 4x10-12 (I position myself forward on the seat to put more emphasis on my triceps)

Lying Biceps Curl 4x10-12 (Connect a short cambered or straight bar to the cable of a seated row machine, lay back on the seat pad, put your feet on the footrests as you would for rows, keeping your elbows pinned to your sides, curl the bar in strict form and really squeeze at the top.)

Machine Preacher Curls 4x8-10

Seated Hammer Curls 4 drop sets (I do 10-12 reps with 30 lb dumbbells to failure, 6-8 with 25s, and 6-8 more with 20s. I get great pumps with this exercise.)

Cardio

For different periods over the last 30 years, I have ridden mountain or road bikes at least once a week. I currently get in a 28-mile road ride about every six weeks when my off training day falls on a Sunday. For contest prep, I did 30 minutes on a treadmill at a fast walk every morning starting ten weeks out from the Masters USA.

Nutrition and Supplements

Although many pro bodybuilders recommend eating six meals a day, my system just can’t process food fast enough to achieve that even with an excellent digestive enzyme like Beverly's Multiple Enzyme Complex. That means the three meals a day I consume have to be very nutrient-dense and supplemented with Muscularity, Mass Amino Acids, Density, and Ultra 40.

Regular Daily Meal Plan

Soon after waking, I have a quick snack of four Belvida breakfast biscuits with organic almond butter before setting off on my morning dog walk with ReMax, our German Pinscher.

Meal One

(Training Days) One scoop Muscle Provider, 1 scoop Provosyn, 1 tbsp MCT oil (Parrillo CapTri), and one banana mixed in 12oz pineapple juice. I have used this delicious combo for many years as an easily digested pre-workout meal.

(Non-Training Days) Three scrambled eggs with either a bowl of oatmeal, pancakes, or French toast.

Meal Two

(Training Days) One scoop Muscle Provider, 1 scoop Provosyn, 45 grams powdered sweet potato and oats (5% Nutrition Real Carbs) mixed with 8oz pasteurized egg whites, 4oz cold water, and 1 tbsp flaxseed oil.

(Non-Training Days) 6oz Boars Head London broil roast beef and one slice of horseradish cheese on two pieces of multi-grain bread.

Meal Three

6oz chicken (white and dark meat), 4oz Calrose rice, 2¹⁄₂ tbsp honey sesame sauce.

Daily Supplements

Density 5 tablets upon waking

Muscle Provider and Provosyn with meals 1 and 2 Mass Aminos 6 with each meal

Ultra 40 liver tablets 6 with each meal

Quadracarn 3 tablets with each meal

ZMA 2000 3 capsules before bed

Pre Contest Adjustments

Meal 1: 12oz pasteurized egg whites, 1 tbsp MCT oil, 45 grams powdered sweet potato and oats.

Meal 2: One scoop Muscle Provider, one scoop Provosyn, 16oz cold water, and 1 tbsp flaxseed oil.

Meal 3: 6oz white meat chicken, 3.2oz (uncooked) Calrose rice, and 2oz honey sesame sauce.

Pre Contest Supplements

Muscle Provider and Provosyn (meal 2)

Density 5 tablets upon waking and 5 with each meal

Ultra 40 liver tablets 6 with each meal

Quadracarn 3 tablets with each meal
ZMA 2000 3 capsules before bed

Closing Thoughts

It’s very gratifying to have someone approach me in the gym, ask my age, and be surprised when I tell them. They usually come back with, “I hope to look as good when I reach your age.” I encourage them never to stop training and be consistent.

I Lost 81 lbs in just 11 months. Here’s how.

I was on the verge of turning 40 with four kids under my belt and my highest weight ever of 210lbs at 5’2. It was the lowest point in my life. I had so many aches and pains and health issues related to my diet and lack of exercise that I was always sick. I had been overweight most of my life and had tried everything from fad diets to diet pills and every quick fix you can think of without success.

At a Glance: Jennifer Colon

Age: 41

Occupation: General Manager

Family: Married with four children (17,15,11,3)

Current Residence: Fenton, MI

Years training (total): 11 months

Height: 5’2”

Weight: 129 (down from 210 just 11 months ago)

Favorite Bodybuilding Meal or Fitness Meal: 4oz lean ground turkey, 4oz sweet potato, 1 cup asparagus. My trainer has taught me some different tricks with spices to make this super yummy and flavorful. I actually look forward to eating the sweet potatoes!

What would you recommend to someone who has never used Beverly supplements before? Don’t hesitate! Hands down, Beverly products are fantastic, and the flavor of the UMP is unbeatable. I’ve literally tried everything on the market and go back to Beverly’s UMP every time! And I drink two or three shakes per day! I also like their new Plant-Based Protein, PBP. Graham Cracker UMP is my favorite, but I use them all in rotation.

Music: I have a different playlist to get me pumped up for training, work, and dealing with the kiddos. Lately, I’ve been enjoying the “Today’s Christian” station on Apple music.

Most Inspiring Book: The Bible

Hobby or interests outside bodybuilding: My husband and I spend a lot of time playing with the kids, hanging out with our friends and family, going to church, and shopping. For quiet “me time”, I listen to different true crime and Christian podcasts. I also begin each day with my bible app.

Words to live by: “Don’t look back; you’re not going that way!”

One day my husband said, “We’re going to get a trainer.” I was terrified as we went to our first appointment with Eric Senter. As we set up our next appointment, I thought of so many reasons not to go back. Keep in mind that I had never trained with020 weights a day in my life. But Eric believed in me from the beginning. He said, “You’re going to have a great physique, and you’re going to be great at deadlifting.” I looked at him with confusion because I had no idea what a deadlift was! Now I’m deadlifting 240 lbs and still getting stronger.

All told, I’ve lost 80 lbs in eleven months! How did I do it? Through daily discipline with diet, exercise, and maintaining a positive attitude.

Diet

I’m a busy mom of four who works full time, so prepping my meals in advance has been a lifesaver. Yes, it takes time, but it ultimately saves time and makes it much easier to stick to my food plan rather than grabbing just anything off the shelf when
I’m hungry.

Here is the diet plan Eric devised for me that brought me down to my current weight of 129 lbs in just eleven months.

Training Day Macros and Meal Plan:

1210 calories, 135 grams protein, 90 grams carbs, 30 grams fat

Meal #1: 4 egg whites, ¼ cup oatmeal, ¼ cup blueberries or raspberries

Meal #2: One scoop UMP, 12 almonds, 1 rice cake

Meal #3: 4oz chicken breast, 1 cup broccoli

Meal #4: One scoop UMP, 12 almonds, 1 rice cake, 1 tbsp natural peanut butter

Meal #5: 4oz extra lean ground turkey, 4oz sweet potato, 1 cup asparagus

Non-Training Day Macros and Meal Plan:

1180 calories, 144 grams protein, 36 grams carbs, 52 grams fat

Meal #1: 4 egg whites, 2oz lean sirloin, 1/2 cup asparagus

Meal #2: One scoop UMP, 12 almonds

Meal #3: 4oz chicken breast, 3 cups baby spinach, 6 almonds, 1 tbsp each olive oil and apple cider vinegar

Meal #4: One scoop UMP, 12 almonds, 1 cup raw broccoli

Meal #5: 4oz extra lean ground turkey, 1 whole egg, 1 cup asparagus or broccoli

Notes: Drink 1/2 gallon water daily, no alcohol, pop, or juice. Black coffee is okay. Measure food first, then cook. Use spices, mustard, cinnamon as desired.

Supplements

 

 

I use UMP as an integral part of my daily meal plan. I take my other supplements first thing each morning using Muscle Synergy, Glutamine Select, and Creatine Select for strength, lean muscle gain, and recovery. Beverly’s Advanced Antioxidant helps my body detox free radicals while supporting healthy aging and immune system function.

 

 

Training

 

I train five days a week with Eric.


Monday:
Back

Tuesday: Chest

Wednesday: Bis and Tris

Thursday: Shoulders

Friday: Legs

 

 

 

Saturday or Sunday: - I train full body using two exercises per muscle group at about 50% of my usual poundage.

On Tuesdays, I add in a little more focused Glutes after my regular workout. On Thursdays, I do another Back session after I complete Eric’s program. (Back day is my favorite!)

Our progress is monitored by the three core lifts: deadlift, bench press, and squat. But Eric varies our workouts daily. We rotate between cables, dumbbells, bodyweight, etc., each day. We do a lot of Time Under Tensions, where Eric gets enjoyment from counting down the seconds for us.

 

Cardio

 

 

Cardio is incorporated into every training session. Our group grinds hard since we have only 45 minutes. We might warm up with 5-10 minutes of traditional cardio. But we continue to get cardio throughout the entire session. Jumping jacks, mountain climbers, running in place, pushing the sled, running on a treadmill, air squats, rowing, etc., are interspersed throughout the workout. Every day is a little different.

I do extra cardio three days per week for 15-20 minutes. I rotate the incline treadmill, elliptical, or stair climber so I don’t get bored. If I’m not at the gym, I just hop on my Peloton at home.

 

 

In Closing

 

 

The best advice that I can give someone is to just do it. I know that sounds trite, but it’s the initial step and frame of mind needed to get moving. Take progress pictures because you may not notice the minor improvements you are making. Get a sound support system, like a workout group or partner. Someone that can hold you accountable every day. I couldn’t have done it without the support of my husband, my trainer, Eric, and our training group. They encourage me to challenge myself daily!

Celebrate your successes, however small they may be. But most important, do something that you enjoy. Something that you look forward to every day and that makes you happy! Every night when I go to bed, I’m excited to get up the next day at 4:30 am to get my day started and follow my routine with supplements, training, and food prepping.

Contact Eric Senter at: sentertransformation@gmail.com or on the web at www.sentersstrengthandheath.com

 

One Saturday Morning

No School Like the Old School

I’ve always liked the saying, “There’s no school like the old school”. It’s long been the foundation of my training philosophy and mindset. As I was preparing to write this article, I was reflecting on my training leading up to the Arnold Classic and Mr. Olympia. My goal was to put those thoughts onto paper, but it wasn’t going to be an easy task given the amount of time that had passed, 25 years to be exact.

Then, one Saturday morning, something unexpected happened. I was going through some old storage crates with my wife, and to my surprise I ran across my old training records that had been tucked away for decades! I had everything written down - what I trained that day, every ounce of food I ate, doctor’s appointments, travel schedules, guest posings, photo shoots, phone calls to return… everything. I then came across photos from my beginning days in local competitions all the way through to the Arnold and Olympia stage. Wow, you talk about memories flooding back, not to mention the reminder of what it took to go from a local show to the pinnacle of the sport.

I kept digging and digging and eventually came across a very special folder that was simply labeled “Arnold”. Inside was my detailed records leading up to the 1995 Arnold Classic, the year I won. I started analyzing everything and realized I had recorded all the workouts I used from the offseason all the way through the show. I particularly was intrigued by the back training and the plan I had implemented to improve this bodypart leading into that year’s Arnold Classic. I remember knowing I needed to make drastic gains in order to compete against the likes of Flex Wheeler, Andreas Munzer, Lee Labrada and many others. I had to be honest with myself and address my weaknesses and so I did just that.

It isn’t pleasant for anyone to admit their weaknesses, but that is exactly what you must do if you truly want to improve your physique. This applies to all competitors at every level of bodybuilding. Whether you are competing at the pro level, beginner level or somewhere in between, turning your weaknesses into strengths is the key to achieving success. If you keep putting all your efforts into your 21-inch arms, what good will that do you if your quads are that same 21 inches! We’ve all seen “that guy” in the gym - phenomenal arms, but no legs. But what body part is he training every day, you got it… ARMS!

Like “that guy”, I too had to analyze my physique. I quickly realized that my back wasn’t where it needed to be, and I had to bring it up if I ever wanted to reach my goals. My dream wasn’t to just get better, I wanted to be the best I could be on stage. In order to do this, I had to devise a plan of attack that would allow me the best opportunity to achieve the aggressive goals I had set for myself. I was never the type who would say much about what my aspirations were. Instead, I would just do the homework needed and keep pushing and quietly do whatever it took to improve. I knew what needed to be done and the only thing left to do was work!

Back training is hard! Let’s face it, training your back can be painful…single-arm 200-lb dumbbell rows, 400-lb reverse grip rows, 800-lb rack pulls, etc. I personally loved it and training my back was probably my favorite, however that doesn’t mean it didn’t hurt. The brutal training is what led to results, which in turn created the motivation to push harder and get even better.
  

  
 

Now it’s time to get to it! Below I have outlined my 9-week mass-building back training that helped me win the 1995 Arnold Classic:

9 Week Back Program

A FEW THINGS TO NOTE:

  1. I trained my back (and all bodyparts) one time per week.
  2. Any weights listed are for demonstration purposes only, and you will need to adjust accordingly.
  3. Rest approximately 2 minutes between rack pulls and deadlifts for weeks 1-6.
  4. Rest approximately 1 minute between deficit deadlifts for weeks 7-9.
  5. Rest approximately 45-90 seconds between auxiliary exercises.
  6. Warm up properly before beginning.

WEEKS 1-3

MAIN EXERCISE

Rack Pulls (mid shin level)

Instructions: Perform 2 sets of 10 reps followed by 2 sets of 5 reps. You will then keep adding weight and performing a single rep until you fail (or barely get the rep). I want you to feel you are going as heavy as you can that day.

135 lb x 10 reps
225 lb x 10 reps
315 lb x 5 reps
405 lb x 5 reps
495 lb x 1 rep
585 lb x 1 rep
675 lb x 1 rep

AUXILIARY EXERCISES

Shrugs
4 sets x 10 reps

Pull downs
4 sets x 10 reps

Dumbbell rows
4 sets x 10 reps

Reverse grip barbell rows
4 sets x 10 reps

Reverse hypers
4 sets x 15 reps

  
WEEKS 4-6  
  

MAIN EXERCISE

Deadlifts (off the floor)

Instructions: Same rep pattern as rack pulls

135 lb x 10 reps
225 lb x 10 reps
315 lb x 5 reps
405 lb x 5 reps
495 lb x 1 rep
585 lb x 1 rep

AUXILIARY EXERCISES

(Same as weeks 1-3)

  
WEEKS 7-9  
  

MAIN EXERCISE

Deficit deadlifts:

Instructions: Either lift off a sturdy 5-6” box or lift off floor using 25-lb plates instead of 45-lb plates. Notice the changed rep scheme for these 3 weeks. Reminder: Rest only 1 minute between these deadlifts, not 2 minutes as in prior weeks.

135 lb x 10 reps
225 lb x 10 reps
315 lb x 5 reps
405 lb x 5 reps
405 lb x 5 reps
405 lb x 5 reps
405 lb x 5 reps
405 lb x 5 reps

AUXILIARY EXERCISES

(Same as prior weeks)

AUXILIARY EXERCISES

Deficit deadlifts:

(Same as prior weeks

Supplements

Must haves:

In order to train this intensely and still recover in time to hit your other bodyparts with the same ferocity, these supplements are a must:

  1. Glutamine Select: This product contains the BCAAs and Glutamine at the levels necessary to aid in muscle recovery.
  2. UMP: A great way to get in the extra protein and calories you need when training intensely. Mix it with fruit and ice and blend into a high protein smoothie! But, honestly this high quality protein powder tastes phenomenal right out of the jug!
  3. FitTabs: FitTabs are vitally important to make sure all your bases are covered nutrient wise.

Other supplements to consider

If you are on a calorie restricted diet, here are a few additional supplements that will aid in your recovery, metabolism and fat burning. These scientifically designed and researched supplements are specifically manufactured for those in contest prep and/or are on calorie restricted nutrition plans.

  • 7-Keto MuscLean
  • Muscularity
  • Quadracarn
  • Lean Out

In Closing

There is nothing glamorous about this back-training workout. Given our high-tech environment, I realize everyone has access to a plethora of training information on the internet (some good, some not so good). However, in the end, it still comes down to ‘old school’ basics.

I can’t guarantee I will be around in another 25 years to open that storage container back up, but I can confidently say that this back workout will stand the test of time. I challenge you to give it a try.

Contact Info: mikefrancois.com

Instagram: michaelfrancois33