Overcoming Death to Make My Bodybuilding Dreams Come True

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Training

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

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

Nutrition Plan

Prepping for Show Diet: 6 meals per day:

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

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

Meal Three
10 egg whites, 1 red pepper

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

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

Meal Six
1 scoop UMP protein

Current Prepping Diet: 5 meals per day:

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

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

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

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

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

Supplements

These are the Beverly Products I recommend:

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

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

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

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

Sick and Skinny to Master’s Bikini Champion: How I Did It

At a Glance: Stacey Grubbs

Age: 36

Occupation: Photographer

Family: Husband Bill of 8 years, 2 sons, Will 4 years old & Alex 14 months

Residence: Erlanger, KY

Years training: off and on for about 8 years, training to compete, 8 mos.

Height: 5'10"

Weight: 135 (off-season), 140 (contest)

Favorite Bodybuilding Meal: Oatmeal with a scoop of vanilla UMP & blueberries, and UMP pudding

What would you recommend to someone who has never used Beverly supplements before: The UMP for sure! It took me years of wasting money and being stuck with horrible protein powders before discovering UMP. And I will NEVER go back!

Music: Beastie Boys, 50 cent, old school hip hop!

Most Inspiring Book: The Bible

Hobby or interests outside bodybuilding: I love taking pictures and traveling! The combination of the two is even better!

Words to live by: “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength”, Philippians 4:13

I was always the tallest girl in my class ever since i started school! and not just the tallest, but also always the thinnest! I hated being both! My mom was called to school on a few occasions and questioned on whether or not I had an eating disorder. Thankfully, i never had an eating disorder, just never could gain weight. as an adult I continued to be too thin. a lot of this stems from having had stomach issues and being diagnosed with IBs in my mid 20’s. due to this, i was very limited as to what i could eat without getting sick. My diet usually consisted of nothing but carbs, pasta, rice and bread. Very rarely would I eat vegetables or any type of protein.

I started to go to the gym to try to put on some muscle, but with not eating right I gained nothing! I was very unhappy with my body and wanted to look healthy! after having
my second child, I remembered the name of a trainer that someone had told me about, Julie Lohre. so I looked her up and exchanged emails with her. shortly after, I joined her Team FitBody. When she saw my photos, she said that if I was really motivated I could be ready to do a show as soon as 8 weeks. I thought, “This woman is crazy!” But, I did what she told me to do in the gym and ate what she told me to eat (my meal plan being based around my dietary restrictions). as the weeks went by I started to gain weight and muscle. When the 8th week came, I was exactly where she said I would be, ready and on stage. I had dropped to 10% body fat, and gained almost 10lbs of muscle. it was truly amazing! I actually loved my body! and the best part, I was healthier than I had ever been!
it is amazing that I went from sick and skinny to healthy and fit! since beginning my training I have eaten clean, by eliminating a lot of processed foods, sugar and 80% of the carbs from my diet. now, the base for all my meals is protein. and another thing that is truly amazing, I have had almost no attacks of IBS!

My Bikini Diet

I am very lucky as far as diet is concerned! My contest diet contains two cheat meals each week up until the last 4 weeks out from a show. I take them out at that point. This is what my typical meal plan is like on a daily basis:

Meal 1
2 eggs/ 5 egg whites
1 cup oatmeal (1/2 scoop UMP Vanilla) with ½ cup of blueberries

Meal 2
2 scoops of UMP chocolate for shake
1 medium banana

Meal 3
5 oz. of chicken, 2 pieces of Ezekiel bread
¼ avocado
1 cup veggies (usually broccoli)

Meal 4
Large salad with 7 oz of chicken, salsa and 2 tbsp of low fat dressing

Meal 5
6 oz. of chicken
1 cup brown rice
1 cup veggies (usually red peppers)

Meal 6
1 scoop of UMP chocolate made into pudding with 1 tsp natural peanut butter

My diet pretty much stays the same whether prepping for a show or not. I eliminate my two cheat meals the final four weeks and replace the eggs and egg whites (due to extra sodium) with fish. I also eliminate any condiments the last two days.

When I first started Julie’s program, I found meal preparation a challenge. I was just trying to make each meal as it was time to eat. I finally smartened up and started setting aside Sundays to prepare all my food and supplements for the week. now, I cook all my food at one time and store it in the fridge. That way it’s ready to eat and I can just grab it when I need it! I also do this for my supplements. I take smaller storage containers and fill each with a day’s worth of supplements. They are small and I can throw them in my cooler or purse when I head out the door.

My Bikini Body Supplement Program

UMP (chocolate & vanilla): I use this for my shakes as a fabulous snack, in my oatmeal to add some flavor and to make pudding!

Density: I take 3 right before I work out, 3 right after my work out and 3 with my lunch for losing fat and increasing muscle mass.

Glutamine Select plus BCAAs I add 2 scoops to my water and sip on it as I work out to aid recovery after a hard workout.

Muscle Synergy: I take 5 of these with my density right before I workout and 5 with my first meal for energy and to help build lean muscle and to help with post workout soreness. I also take it shortly before going on stage to give me a good pump and energy!

Ultra 40: I take 3 of these with 4 of my meals, for preservation of lean muscle mass. Ultra 40 has everything in it, protein, iron, and B 12.

Cardio

I incorporate 2-3 days of 20-minute HIIT cardio each week. Cardio can get boring if you let it. You really have to think of creative ways to switch it up! Like trying a dance class or getting out of the gym and riding a bike doing hill intervals. My favorite cardio equipment is the stair master! I also take a dance class for one of my days. I love dancing and get a great workout in as well.

Bikini Training

I work full time and have two young children, so I have to get up pretty early to get my training in. On a typical day of training I usually arise at 4am, get to the gym by 5am, and workout until 7am. at the end of my training I practice posing for about 15 minutes each day. even though I am definitely not a morning person, I honestly look forward to getting up and going to the gym.

Right now I am doing higher weight, lower reps to gain muscle in my legs. My upper body develops pretty quickly, so my trainer said unless I wanted to transition over to figure I need to stick with lighter weights on my upper body for now.

 

Monday

Legs
Delts
Abs

Tuesday

Chest
Biceps
Abs
Plyometrics
CARDIO

Wednesday

Off

Thursday

Ddelts
Triceps
Hamstrings
Glutes
CARDIO/DANCE CLASS

Friday

Back
Plyometrics
Abs

Saturday

20 minutes of cardio

I will usually add a little ab work after my cardio, since this is an area where I have a hard time gaining muscle.

Presentation for Bikini Competition

I believe that presentation is of prime importance when you are competing! For my first show I had no idea about all that goes into preparing for getting up on stage. I thought I could do my own tan, hair and make-up. Thankfully, I was advised to let someone do all that for me! When you work soo hard and spend soo much time perfecting your body for that day on stage you want everything to be perfect! now, I book my spray tan, as well as hair and make-up appointments, as soon as I register for the show. allowing someone else to do those things takes a lot of worry and stress off your plate at a time when there is al-ready a lot on it. if I order a new suit for the show, I make sure I have it in plenty of time. I start looking for the jewelry I will wear with the suit about a month in advance! I am definitely a planner!

And most important is posing! You have to really dedicate time to practice your posing! as I was preparing for my first show, Julie included times to practice our posing right along with our meal and workout plans. When I first saw this, I thought, “Why would anyone have to practice that much?” now, I know, it is something that if you don’t practice you will never be good at. even the pros incorporate posing into their daily workouts.

My first show was the NPC Kentucky Derby in Louisville. it was a great show for a first timer. as I arrived at the venue I was really nervous and did not know what to expect. Thankfully, a lot of the girls that I trained with were competing as well, so there were some familiar faces. as I sat there and watched all the girls come in I totally started to psyche myself out. You look at all these tan, beautiful, fit girls and think “Oh my gosh! What am I doing?” it is very easy to let yourself be intimidated, but that is when you have to say, “I trained as hard as these girls and I deserve to be here”.

As the time approached Julie was the back stage expediter, ushering the different classes of girls for bikini to get ready to go on. And then it was my turn! I went out there and did what I had practiced over and over again. I loved it! I was immediately hooked! When it was all said and done I ended up taking 1st place in the Masters Bikini! after I came off stage with my award I was greeted by Julie, I don’t know who was more excited, me or her!

I left that competition with many new friends that I still keep in contact with. and more of a feeling that I can accomplish anything if I work hard enough!

My path has not been easy, but it has definitely been most rewarding! I would not be able to do this without my wonderful husband and the support he has given me. My trainer, Julie Lohre, is always looking out for me and my best interests. But there is one person that I could never have done any of this without, and that is God! he provided me with the strength I needed to accomplish what I have. I can do anything as long as I put my faith and trust in him.

 

My Unique Training and 3-Phase Nutrition Plans

At a Glance: Keanu Soto

Age: 29

Occupation or Education: Personal Development / Strength and Conditioning Coach

Residence: McKinney, TX

Years training: 11 years

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

Weight: 205-210 all seasons

Favorite Bodybuilding Meal: Steak and eggs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nutrition

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

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

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

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

For women: BMR 10W + 6.25H - 5A –161

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

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

Sedentary = 1.2

Moderately active = 1.550

Extra active = 1.9

Lightly active = 1.375

Very active = 1.725

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Training

Lower Body Day

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

Back Squat
Good Mornings
Romanian Deadlift
Deadlift

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

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

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

 

Upper Body Day

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

Upper Body Super Set 4 sets each

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

Upper Body Super Set 4 sets each

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

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

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

 

SPECIAL REPORT: The Secret to Maximizing Your Results with Pre-Workout Stacks!

Whatever your goal... BI has the “ultimate” pre-workout stack for you.

Male? Female? Over 40? Need more energy, strength, stamina, or endurance during your workouts? Want to lose weight, get cut, or gain lean muscle? Stacking can help you achieve all of the above, faster.

One of the things physique and performance athletes and fitness enthusiasts of all kinds appreciate most about Beverly products is that they can be stacked in any of a number of ways to produce synergistic effects. Be-low is a selection of pre-workout stacks designed to maximize the results of a broad range of individuals with different workout styles and goals. Choose the stack that best suits your needs. Don’t be afraid to change it up from time to time by trying a different stack from the list!

What’s the secret?

The secret to designing the “ultimate” pre-workout stack is that you must consider the following three factors:

#1: CNS

  • Your central nervous system (CNS) functions like “command central”. During your work-outs, for instance, the CNS sends signals to your muscles telling them when to “jump” (i.e. contract) and how “high” (i.e. how much force to generate). If your CNS is fatigued or has difficulty focusing (think of early morning workouts), you will be, too.
  • Nutraceuticals like caffeine (Fast-Up, 7-Keto Musclean) and n-acetyl-carnitine (Quadracarn) can stimulate your CNS. This makes you feel more energetic, alert, focused and even powerful. In turn, you will be more motivated to go to the gym and have a great workout.
  • CNS-stimulating nutraceuticals can even reduce your perception of effort. This means that working out at a higher intensity level feels easier.

#2 Muscle:

  • Particularly when you’re performing resistance exercise (i.e. lifting weights), you want to use nutraceuticals that:
    • enhance your ability to achieve a muscle pump
    • promote muscle strength, power, stamina or endurance
    • protect your muscles from catabolism (protein breakdown).
  • The pump occurs when working muscle tissue becomes filled, or “pumped” with blood. The pump is considered the hallmark of an effective muscle-building workout.
  • Nutraceuticals like propionyl-l-carnitine (Quadracarn), arginine and citruline (Up-Lift, Muscle Synergy) promote pumps by supporting vasodilation (relaxation of blood vessels). This means that blood can flow into your muscles more easily.
  • Beta-alanine (Creatine Select, Up-Lift), creatine (Creatine Select, Muscle Synergy) and betaine (Up-Lift) help your muscles delay fatigue while performing high-intensity contractions. This means you can perform more reps with a given weight, or take shorter rest periods between sets.
  • Carnitine (Energy Reserve, Quadracarn) can also help delay fatigue, especially during intense or long cardio workouts requiring stamina or endurance.
  • Glutamine and BCAAs (Glutamine Select) support muscle protein synthesis (anabolism) and help combat excess muscle protein breakdown (catabolism).

#3 Fat Burning:

  • We all know that to lose fat (and weight), your metabolism must burn fat faster than it stores it on your body.
  • We usually think of cardio workouts as the best place to burn off fat. Cardio is certainly a great way to stimulate your metabolism to burn fat faster. This is partly because it typically involves using large muscle groups (especially the legs) for a sustained period of time.
  • Nutraceuticals like 7-Keto (7-Keto Musclean) and caffeine (found in 7-Keto Musclean, Fast-Up), both of which stimulate thermogenesis, can help you take fat-burning to the next level during (and after) your cardio workouts. By increasing thermogenesis, more calories are burned off in the form of heat, instead of being stored as fat.
  • Carnitine (Energy Reserve, Quadracarn) also supports fat-burning. It is required to carry fat inside the mitochondria of muscle cells and other types of cells where it is burned to provide energy.

MUSCLE PRE-WORKOUT:

Goals & Benefits: Lean muscle mass and tone, muscle pumps, strength and power.

Applications: Typical resistance exercise workouts used for bodybuilding, figure or fitness.

Products (combine or “stack” together):

1. Fast-Up:

  • Suggested Use: Take 1-3 capsules 15-30 minutes pre-workout.

2. Up-Lift:

  • Suggested Use: Take 2 full scoops 30 minutes pre-workout. Refer to mixing instructions on product label.

3. Creatine Select:

  • Suggested Use: Take 1-1.5 full scoops 30 minutes pre-workout. Refer to mixing instructions on product label.

Caffeine-Free Option: Up-Lift and Creatine Select, but replace Fast-Up with:

1. Quadracarn:

  • Suggested Use: Take 3 tablets 30-60 minutes pre-workout.

CARDIO PRE-WORKOUT:

Goals & Benefits:: Fat burning, weight management, energy, focus, overall performance

Applications: Typical cardio workouts used for fat burning and weight management.

Products (combine or “stack” together):

1. Fast-Up or 7-Keto Musclean:

  • For energy, focus and overall performance, take Fast-Up. Suggested Use: Take 1-3 capsules 15-30 minutes pre-workout.
  • For energy, fat-burning and weight management, take 7-Keto Musclean. Suggested Use: Take 3 cap-sules 30 minutes pre-workout. Refer to product label for complete instructions.

2. Up-Lift:

  • Suggested Use: Take 2 full scoops 30 minutes pre-workout. Refer to mixing instructions on product label.

Caffeine-Free Option: Up-Lift, but replace Fast-Up or 7-Keto with:

1. Quadracarn:

  • Suggested Use: Take 3 tablets 30-60 minutes pre-workout.

 AGE 40+ MUSCLE PRE-WORKOUT:

Goals & Benefits: Lean muscle mass and tone, muscle pumps, strength and power.

Applications: For men and women 40 years of age and older.

Products (combine or “stack” together):

1. Fast-Up:

  • Suggested Use: Take 1-3 capsules 15-30 minutes pre-workout.

2. Muscle Synergy powder or tablets:

  • • Suggested Use (powder): Take 1-2 full scoops 30 minutes pre-workout. Refer to mixing instructions on product label.
  • Suggested Use (tablets): Take 8 or more tablets 30 minutes pre-workout. Refer to product label for complete instructions.

3. Quadracarn:

  • Suggested Use: Take 3 tablets 30-60 minutes pre-workout.

Caffeine-Free Option: Same as above, Muscle Synergy and Quadracarn, but replace Fast-Up with:

1. Up-Lift:

  • Suggested Use: Take 2 full scoops 30 minutes pre-workout. Refer to mixing instructions on product label

STAMINA PRE-WORKOUT:

Goals & Benefits: Stamina (i.e. the ability to sustain a high work rate)

Applications: High-intensity interval training (HIIT), CrossFit-, P90X-, Boot Camp, Tabata-, and Insanity-type workouts.

Products (combine or “stack” together):

1. Fast-Up:

  • Suggested Use: Take 1-3 capsules 15-30 minutes pre-workout.

2. Creatine Select:

  • Suggested Use: Take 1-1.5 full scoops 30 minutes pre-workout. Refer to mixing instructions on product label.

Caffeine-Free Option: Replace Fast-Up with:

1. Up-Lift:

  • Take 2 scoops 15 minutes prior to workout

1. Quadracarn:

  • Suggested Use: Take 3 tablets 30-60 minutes pre-workout.

"Before every workout I take 3 Fast Up for instant energy that lasts through my workout, without the crash. That is very important to me, considering I workout in the middle of the my workday, and have to see clients for 4 more hours following my workout.

In addition to Fast Up, I take Glutamine Select and Muscle Synergy. I am back to working out hard 5 days a week. It’s imperative that my body can handle this type of regimen. I’m not getting any younger as I get closer to the big “40”!

Glutamine Select pre and post workout is essen-tial for recovery. An added benefit is that the branch chain aminos that are so abundant in Glutamine Select, allow my body to use the BCAAs instead of my muscle tissue while I am cutting fat (spare muscle tissue!).

While I’m cutting fat right now, my carbohydrates have been slightly reduced. Muscle Synergy helps me keep the fullness that can sometimes go away while shedding body fat. I realize many people take Muscle Synergy for the “Pump” and the vanity reasons that come with it. What they might not understand is that this “Pump” allows for greater protein synthesis (muscle growth!)."

Sincerely,
Brian Wiefering, www.wiefit.com

Products (combine or “stack” together):

1. Fast-Up:

  • Suggested Use: Take 1-3 capsules 15-30 minutes pre-workout.

2. Glutamine Select:

  • • Suggested Use (powder): Mix 2 full scoops with 12-16 oz of water in a shaker bottle. Drink half of the contents of the bottle immediately pre-workout. Drink the remaining half 60 minutes into your workout or sip throughout if possible.

3. Energy Reserve:

  • Suggested Use: Take 2 tablets 30-60 minutes pre-work-out (ideally with your carbohydrate-containing meal).

Caffeine-Free Option: Omit Fast-Up, add Up-Lift.

 

 

 

 

Pre Workout I take 1 serving each of 7 Keto, Lean Out, Ultra 40, Energy Reserve and Up-Lift. I do 30 minutes of cardio right after lifting. I consume a mixture of
2 scoops Glutamine Select mixed with 2 scoops Muscle Provider vanilla while doing cardio. - Steve Mousharbash

 

 

 

 

15 minutes before working out I mix 1/3 cup oat bran, ½ scoop vanilla UMP, 1 scoop Creatine Select, and 1 scoop Muscle Synergy powder in 6 oz. water and drink it. I sip Glutamine Select throughout my training session. – Jennie Gray

Pushing Through Challenges: My First Contest Prep

At a Glance: Adrienne Schroll

Age: 36

Occupation or Education: B.S. Microbiology from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities. M.S. Regulatory Affairs and Quality Assurance (Drug Development) – Temple University School of Pharmacy. Currently, work as the Director of Quality for a medical device start-up that is developing an implantable neuromodulation device used to treat chronic migraines.

Family: I have a 13-year-old Yorkie, Jack, and a ginger cat, Gus.

Residence: Minneapolis, MN (but born and raised in Wisconsin)

Years training: 1.5 years specifically training as a bikini athlete, but I have been lifting most of my life to support other sports I have participated in.

Height: 5'3"

Weight: 120-129 (off-season), 110-116 (contest)

Favorite Fitness Meal: UMP Protein Pancakes

Favorite Supplements: UMP Protein Powder – Used to meet protein intake goals, post-workout repair. Glutamine Select – Helps with recovery (Wild Berry tastes great!). Muscle Synergy – Pre-workout supplement.

What would you recommend to someone who has never used Beverly supplements before: UMP Protein Powder – It is unlike the other products on the market. It is truly something you can enjoy drinking. Not only is it a great protein supplement, but for anyone looking to lose weight, it has been my go-to for those late-afternoon and evening cravings.

Hobby or interests outside bodybuilding: I love the Midwest weather. During the summer months, I spend time with my family and friends out on the lake, waterskiing, and wakeboarding. I play soccer a few times a week and also enjoy running half-marathons. I have learned to embrace the frigid Minnesota winter months through cross-country skiing.

Words to live by: “Nothing that’s worthwhile is ever easy.”

In the Fall of 2019, I finished my third marathon and completed graduate school. The anticipation I was feeling for a comfortable life without the stress of graduate school and marathon training was short-lived. I needed something new to challenge me and give me purpose. My career has always been fulfilling, but I knew there had to be more. I wanted to compete in a bodybuilding contest for as long as I can remember, but it was always something I put on the backburner, as I did not know where to start. That all changed as I began to verbalize my goal of competing to friends and family and kept getting positive reinforcement to pursue it. It finally became a reality when I was at a birthday party in January of 2020 and told a friend I was going to start training. I did not have a plan, nor did I have a coach, but I found myself committing to making my dream a reality. Verbalizing my goal was the first step; the second step was finding a coach I could trust.

When I first was looking for a coach, I wanted it to feel as though there was a person invested in helping me and not a robot behind the screen. I also wanted someone that was going to hold me accountable and push me to meet my goals. I found Julie Lohre after failed attempts at finding a reliable trainer locally. I had identified Julie earlier in the process as someone I was interested in learning more about and decided to work with her after our initial phone call.

Working with Julie took my level of understanding of my own body to a much deeper level. I learned how my body responds to certain macronutrients and which types of protein worked best for building lean muscle mass-specific to my metabolism. She varied my training programs as needed to maximize lean muscle and overall leanness while avoiding overtraining. You’ll find the diet and training programs that Julie formulated for my competition journey a little later in this article.

The Hardest Part of My Competition Journey

I went through a very tough breakup about two months before my competition. I felt like my world had been flipped upside down. I moved to a new city and was living alone. The little things that gave me comfort and stability were gone, and I had to establish a new normal. All of this and being in the middle of a pandemic with limited time to spend with friends and family made everything seem a lot harder, including training. I felt physically and emotionally drained, and the thought of competing felt so far out of reach. I could not eat or sleep, and I was struggling to complete my workouts each day. As time passed, I slowly found a new daily routine, and my drive to compete intensified, and I was able to regain focus. It did not happen overnight, and I had my share of bad days, but I took it day by day and knew if I completed my workout(s), it would numb the pain for a while. The week before the contest was one of my worst. I was full of emotion and felt angry and sad about everything that had happened. But all of the emotional pain I was dealing with was a blessing in disguise as what happened at the competition changed me for the better.

I placed first in both the Open Bikini and Debut Bikini classes of the 2020 OCB Sugar Maple Classic (Green Bay, Wisconsin). I was overcome with a rush of emotions! I feel like I accomplished something I never thought was possible and did it at a point in my life where things seemed to be at their worst. The best feeling of all was realizing I did this on my own (with the support of my amazing friends, family, and Julie Lohre). That day was one of the best days of my life.

Training

Below is my workout plan at the eight weeks out from my last show:

Day 1 Lower Body & Abs

Squats 4x10-12
Glute Kickbacks (w/band) 4x10-12
Hand to Elbow Planks 4x10-12
DB Push Press 4x10-12
Hamstring Ball Curl-in 4x10-12
Hanging Knee Raises 4x10-12
Plie Squat 4x10-12
Medicine Ball Oblique Twists 4x10-12

Day 2 Upper Body

Bench Triceps Dips 4x10-12
Incline DB Flyes 4x10-12
Triceps Pressdown 4x10-12
Bent over BB Row 4x10-12
Lateral Raise 4x10-12
Barbell Curl 4x10-12
DB Shoulder Press 4x10-12

Day 3 Rest

 

Day 4 Lower Body & Abs

DB Deadlift 4x10-12
Walking Lunges 4x10-12
Floor Glute Pulses (w/weight) 4x10-12
Upward Hip Thrusts 4x10-12
Bench Step-ups 4x10-12
Squat w/ Side Leg Lift 4x10-12
Ball Crunches 4x10-12

 

Day 5 Cardio/Endurance Circuit Workout

Complete the following circuit as many times as possible in 30 minutes.
10 Burpees
15 Butterfly Sit-ups
20 Air Squats
15 Push-ups
50 Jump Rope Single-Unders
10 Inch Worms
Rest 2 minutes

Day 6 Full Body

DB Snatch (alternating arms) 4x10-12
Pull-ups 4x10-12
Man-Makers 4x10-12
Barbell Thrusters 4x10-12
Seated Cable Row 4x10-12
Incline Bench Press 4x10-12

Day 7 Rest

 

Cardio

I perform 2-3 HIIT training sessions per week. I find that 20 minutes of HIIT training with an additional 5-10 minutes for a warm-up and cool-down are ideal for me.

For example:

  • Warm-up (5 min) Speed
  • 3- 3.5mph and gradually increase to 4.0
  • Varied incline throughout to help take your mind off the pain.
  • Jog 1 min
  • Walk 30 sec
  • Sprint 30 sec (Max intensity, you should not be able to have a conversation)
  • Walk 30 sec
  • Repeat Sprint/Walk for 20 minutes
  • Cool-down 5 min

This workout can be tailored to the advanced trainee by increasing the incline during the sprint. This type of workout can also be done on a bike, elliptical, stair-stepper, rower, etc.

For someone not as advanced in cardio or just getting started, trade the “sprint” for a “jog” and work your way to the sprint.

On the other days of the week, I usually throw in a longer cardio session if I am training for a race. I will do a low-intensity run for 45-60 min. I do this on a day that I don’t lift, and it usually helps as an active recovery session.

Posing Tips

Posing is not something to take lightly. Hire a posing coach and start practicing at least two months before the competition. You need to practice posing daily, just like a workout, especially in the final months of contest prep. You can bring your best physique, but all those long hours in the gym will be wasted without the proper posing.

Diet

Nutrition is, of course, super important, and getting into the best shape of my life has taken a lot of consistency with diet. Here are some tips that have helped me and I’m sure they will help you too.

Set up a weekly meal plan. Remember that there is no quick fix. Diet is all about being consistent over an extended period of time. Don’t let one bad meal or lousy day derail your overall goal. If you cheat, get back on track with your next meal. The sooner you get back on track, the sooner you will be back on the pathway to achieving your goals.

There is no benefit to starving yourself to lose fat, especially if you are trying to build lean muscle mass.

Eat clean, unprocessed foods every two-four hours and drink 1-gallon of water per day. Veggies are unlimited, so keeping them in your refrigerator, prepped, and ready to enjoy is vital.

Determine your macro targets and make that your focus. If you are just getting started, your first step is to add a protein supplement such as UMP. FitTabs and Glutamine Select would also play a beneficial role as you start increasing your workouts to get in shape.

During my contest prep, Julie modified my nutrition plan every two weeks to take into account how my body was reacting to the current calories and macro range and to keep it fresh for me. The following is my nutrition plan at eight weeks out from my show:

Meal One
Breakfast Bowl – ¹⁄₂ cup oatmeal, 1 tbsp flax seeds, ¹⁄₄ cup almonds, 1 cup strawberries, and 1 whole egg

Meal Two
Protein Shake - 2 scoops UMP, ¹⁄₂ cup fruit

Meal Three
4oz lean turkey breast, 2 slices Ezekiel bread, lettuce, onions, tomato, 2 tbsp hummus, 3oz carrots, apple

Meal Four
3oz lean steak, ¹⁄₂ cup brown rice, 2 cups mixed veggies

Supplements

Stack 1 - Pre-contest Rapid Fat Loss

Lean Out - 2 with three meals
FitTabs - 2 per day (AM)
7-Keto Musclean - 2 with two meals (AM and Lunch) UMP - 1-2 scoops per day
Glutamine Select - 1 scoop before training

 

Stack 2 - Post-Contest Lean Muscle Building

Density - 2 with three meals
Ultra 40 - 2 with three meals
Fit Tabs - 2 per day (AM)
Muscle Synergy - 1 scoop before training UMP - 2 or more scoops per day

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

In Closing

I feel amazing, even after my show. I have a strong desire to continue to compete and see how far I can go in this sport, as I know I have more room to improve. I crave the discipline this sport requires as it creates stability in my life. I have continued eating the way I did when I first started training. I’m now lifting heavier weights than I ever have and cannot believe how much stronger I am. I’m honestly in the best shape of my life!

Setting Up My Master’s Figure Game Plan

At a Glance: Danielle Smith

Age: 46

Occupation:Stay at home mom

Family:Married for 15 years to my best friend Lee. Mom to Sam, 12 and Lily 9

Residence: Pickerington, OH

Years training: Dancing since 13, gym training 26 years, current trainer 7 years, competition training 1 year.

Height: 5'8"

Weight: 133-135 (off-season), 129 (contest)

Favorite Meal: UMP pudding mixed with 1 tbsp. peanut butter and straw-berries without a doubt!

Favorite Supplement: I can’t pick just one; they’re all instrumental to my success. But if I have to, it would be Glutamine Select w/BCAA’s and Muscle Synergy. I can’t separate the two. With Glutamine Select, I can get through 5 straight days of hard training and still feel great. Muscle Synergy (MS) has had a huge impact on my muscular development and size. I drink 2 scoops of MS 10 minutes before my workout and get a dramatic pump. I also sip this before pre-judging and it definitely does the trick.

What would you recommend to someone who has never used Beverly supplements before: This is an easy question to answer because I am continually telling friends about Beverly products. First what are their goals? Secondly, call the Beverly 1-800-781-3475 Customer Service number and speak to their highly educated specialists. The way you are walked through the programs puts you right at ease. There is no pressure to purchase more than you need, just what is essential. I am always giving scoops of UMP Chocolate away for friends to try. That seals the deal!

Music: BRMC, Kings of Leon, The Black Keys, Cage the Elephant and AC/DC for leg day.

Most Inspiring Book: Even the Stars Look Lonesome by Maya Angelou

Hobby or interests outside bodybuilding: Traveling, adventures with my family, searching antique shops and watching my kids having fun.

Words to live by: Try everything that can be done Be deliberate. Be spontaneous Be thoughtful and painstaking Be abandoned and impulsive Learn your own possibilities - George Bellows

Almost a year ago to the day, one of my best friends, Debbie, challenged me to join her in participating in the bikini division of the NPC Natural Ohio show. Neither of us had ever thought of competing, but I had been training with a group for years. I had no idea where that challenge would lead. Once committed, we were “all in” and needed a game plan. I knew that if I wanted to be my best, I had to surround myself with the best. Knowing nothing about competing, I searched for someone that could help me learn how competitions were run from A-Z.

I found Julie Lohre on-line and immediately signed up for her “Mock Competition”. This event could not have been more suited to our needs. Once meeting Julie, and being a part of that learning experience, we knew we were headed in the right direction. Needless to say, after attending her “Mock Competition”, we were 100% even more committed and inspired.

Julie also introduced me to Beverly International supplements. I had pre-ordered my “bikini package” of supplements and happily went home with a box of UMP Chocolate, 7-Keto, Lean Out and Fit Tabs. I had tasted many other protein powders, but clearly UMP was like no other. The quality of every item was far superior to anything I had ever taken.

The contest came and I placed lower middle of the pack. I decided to make another go at it, but would switch from Bikini to the Figure division instead.

Now, I had to learn a whole new division and its requirements. Luckily, I knew exactly where to get help. I contacted Julie once again and signed up to be a client. The first thing I learned was that to compete in figure, I definitely had to put on some muscle size.

Training without proper nutrition and supplements would not put on size - it just kept me in shape. I couldn’t keep doing the same thing and expect different results. Julie’s first suggestion was a comprehensive supplement program to build muscle. Within weeks of starting my new supplement program, I started to notice a difference. My body fat began to drop and in my weekly photos I began to see more and more muscle definition and size.

Nothing motivates me more than a plan that works. I started lifting heavier and was continually setting new PR’s. I recovered quickly from these heavy workouts and was even seeing better hair and nail growth (thank you EFA Gold)!!!

In my first figure show, just 2 months later, I placed 2nd in Masters and 2nd in Open Tall at the Mike Francois Classic! Wow! Did that really just happen???? I signed up for the NPC Ohio last summer and placed 5th in Open Tall and 6th in Masters.

But, by far my biggest hope, dream and goal came true at the 2013 Arnold Amateur Master’s Figure Competition this year. I won my height division and 3rd over all Masters Amateur Figure. I know without a doubt this never would have been a reality without my family, my trainer, my amazing workout support group, Julie Lohre and the entire Beverly International family and community.

Diet Meal Plan

I’m not a fan of the word “diet”. To me it has a connotation of depravity, that was far from what I experienced. I prefer “meal plan”. Julie mapped out my “meal plan” strategy for the “Arnold” and it looked like this:

MEAL #1 (7:30):
1 egg + ½ cup egg whites; 1 cup mixed veggies

MEAL #2 (8:00):
2 scoops UMP (Pre Workout).

10 MIN PRIOR TO TRAINING:
2 scoops Muscle Synergy

TRAINING SESSION:
2 scoops Glutamine Select + 2 scoops Creatine Select

MEAL #3
(w/in 45 min of finishing training): 6 oz. potato, 1 tbsp. honey

MEAL #4 (1:00):
4 oz. lean protein; large salad w/mixed veggies and 1 tbsp. olive oil & vinegar dressing

MEAL #5 (4:00):
4 oz. lean protein; 1 cup rice

MEAL #6 (7:00):
4 oz. protein (I like fish for this meal); 1 small potato; 2 cups mixed veggies; ¼ cup almonds

MEAL #7 (9:00):
1 scoop UMP (mixed w/water); 1 cup berries

Julie Lohre gave me an immense food substitution list to help keep meals diverse with a variety of nutrients from different, healthy sources.

My two protein shakes, Meal #2 and Meal #7, were by far my favorite. Meal #2 is my pre-workout meal and it made me feel amazing!! I felt it gave me great strength and endurance for my training sessions. Even in off-season I still choose UMP pudding as my desert. To me, it is more satisfying than ice cream!

Contest Prep Supplement Schedule

GOALS: GAIN MUSCLE WHILE LOSING FAT TAKING IN CONSIDERATION MY AGE - 46

ULTRA 40: 3 w/5 meals

MASS AMINOS: 3 w/5 meals

7 KETO: 3 in am / 3 in pm

LEAN OUT: 2 w/5 meals

MUSCULARITY: 2 – 3 X a day

CREATINE SELECT: 2 scoops during training

FIT TABS: 2 – 2 X a day

JOINT CARE: 2 – 2 X a day

EFA GOLD: 2 – 2 X a day

QUADRACARN: 2 – 2 X a day

MUSCLE SYNERGY: 2 scoops pre workout

GLUTAMINE SELECT W/ BCAAs: 2 scoops during workout

UMP: Chocolate, Vanilla, and Cookies & Crème

What I have discovered about the Beverly family is that their Customer Service can’t be beat. I have called so many times with questions and each and every time hung up knowing I was given the best game plan possible. Each representative really cared and would go at great lengths to make sure each supplement and usage was explained. One of the first things they’d say to me was, “Do you have a pencil and paper ready?” That let me know they were serious and had my best interest at heart.

Cardio

I picked what I enjoyed most for cardio. My preference was interval running and the stair mill. I needed to concentrate on on my glute/ham tie-in and both of these exercises target this area. I did cardio 3 times a week for about 20-minutes per session.

Training

I have been with my trainer Brian Taylor for 7 years, ever since moving from San Diego to Columbus. It’s hard to put into words what he has done for my health and how this has shaped my life. I work in a group and this motivates me like nothing else. These amazing women help push me far beyond what I could do on my own. We see each other almost everyday, share our daily exercise and eating struggles, and push each other to be better than we were the day before. Brian has us doing HIIT sessions and always incorporates stretching throughout. The stretching and my Beverly Glutamine Select w/BCAA’s are absolutely paramount for recovery. I train hard 5 days in a row, take a day off, and go right back to another 5 days feeling 100% ready to go.

Presentation

So many months of prep and now comes the day to show off all of your hard work and dedication. It’s a showcase like nothing else. For me everything becomes a checklist: spray tan (check), competition suit (check), heels (check), jewelry (check), and the list goes on. It is beyond motivating and inspiring once you are backstage with your fellow competitors. You would think that it would be a fierce, non-friendly atmosphere, but it’s just the opposite. Competitors helping competitors - fix suits, pining numbers on, and calming each other’s nerves. EVERYONE has trained hard – we have all relatively done the same sort of prep to get to this spot on this day. Competition day is when reality hits – your time to shine and give it all you got. You walk out on stage, hold your head up high; show off all of your hard work, sweat and tears. I think it would be incredible to hand every participant an award, because every person there is a winner. They did it! They put in the time, the hard work, the strain on families, on themselves and they stuck it out until the end. They completed the journey, and for that there is no trophy that can replace their sense of accomplishment.

Conclusion

Once I began to see what my body would do and how I felt, I realized that this was becoming more of a lifestyle for me. I love how I feel when I eat clean, exercise regularly and get a good night sleep. It has definitely crossed over into my family life as my amazingly supportive husband, in solidarity, began to join me in my meal plan and supplement taking. He currently takes the Super Pak daily along with UMP and Glutamine Select. He, as well, has increased muscle mass, strength and overall health. In addition, it is really important to me to set an example for our two kids to incorporate clean eating and exercise for overall good health.

Every time I prep for a competition it becomes a new journey. I continue to learn more and more about how my body responds to the three key factors: train-ing, nutrition and supplements. Along with this, it is instrumental to “maintain balance”. I enjoy the discipline of eating healthy, training effectively, and staying grounded. I know that I cannot and shouldn’t maintain my competition body stats year-round. It’s just not realistic. I’m fine with that. When it is time to dial it all in, I have the game plan and am ready to get down to business.

I have to thank the entire Beverly International family for being a part of and helping me reach and go beyond all of my fitness and physique goals. At 46 years, old I feel better and I think look better than I ever have. I finally have the body I’ve always aspired to have. I think I’m developing the right mental outlook and I am gaining the knowledge to do it the right way. For me, this is priceless!

Five Decades and Still Training

At a Glance: Randy Snodgrass

Age: 65 (chronological) biologically I feel (and probably act lol) much younger!

Occupation: Retired Policy Analyst for the State of Ohio

Family: Wife of 43 years, two children, six grandchildren

Residence: Westerville, Ohio

Years training: 50 years

Height: 5'8"

Weight: 166 (off-season), 162 (contest)

Favorite Bodybuilding Meal: My infamous Randy’s casserole (ground turkey breast, egg whites, veggies)

Favorite Supplements: UMP, Mass Aminos, and Super Pak

What would you recommend to someone who has never used Beverly supplements before: UMP and Super Pak are a great start for anyone. The macros in UMP are perfect for competition training but are also great for the novice and veteran lifter.

Music: Creed, Collective Soul, POD, Candlebox

Most Inspiring Book: THE HOLY BIBLE

Hobby and interests: Drums and Corvettes

Words to live by: “Love not by word alone but in deed and truth.”

Website: www.facebook.com/michaelallensheppard

Like some folks, I began my weight training story while playing sports in high school. In my case, that sport was football. I was a “normal” size kid weighing about 160 lbs in high school and noticed that some classmates were more muscular and much better athletes. This inspired me to begin my fifty-year journey with weight training, fitness, and ultimately bodybuilding. That was 1971.

As I neared the end of my high school football days, one of my lifting friends took me to two different places that profoundly affected my life. The first was a child orphanage (where my friend had set up a small workout space). The second was the Ohio State University (OSU) Barbell Club. The orphanage experience afforded me the privilege of learning to serve others while doing what I loved. The OSU Barbell Club visit opened my world to bodybuilding and strength sports at a level I didn’t know existed. Thus began my dream to be a world-class bodybuilder, and yes, I wanted to be Arnold. Didn’t everybody?

The following year I entered OSU and joined the OSU Barbell Club. I began training with folks who were much stronger and muscular than I ever dreamed I could be. Lifting progressively and eating more than I should, I gained weight and felt I was on my way. Then bam! My lifting friends at the club told me about the Mr. OSU competition. I entered and placed 4th out of 15 bodybuilders (there was only one class and only 15 competitors back then!). I was ecstatic. The following year I tried again and placed 3rd out of 13 and brought home my first hardware. That was June 1977.

Then in 1978, something much bigger than bodybuilding touched my life forever. I met my wife of 43 years, the love of my life, and everything changed for the better. I asked her just one thing. Would you please allow me to keep training and pursue my bodybuilding dreams? Sounds easy, right? Not. I quickly learned that a marriage takes two committed people who are in love and are willing to compromise for the good of the marriage. Well, with the help of the good Lord, 43 years speaks for itself. That same year I began a lifelong career working for the state of Ohio. In 1984, I competed in eight bodybuilding shows and acquired eight more trophies, including a first place.

Twenty years passed. I never stopped training. I never stopped dieting. I never skipped. But I didn’t compete. I missed it. I missed it a lot. Now I realize it was okay, and here’s why… During that time, we had two beautiful kids who later in life blessed us with six grandkids. The time away was well worth it.

In 2004, Arnold Classic winner Mike Francois and BEVERLY INTERNATIONAL entered my life. Driving home from the grocery one evening, my wife and I noticed a sign by the road advertising “The Mike Francois Classic.” Living in Westerville, Ohio, for several years, I had heard of Mike, and his Arnold Classic win. Long story short, we attended the show, and later as we walked to the car, I asked my wife a “loaded” question. “So…in the masters division, Hon, how do you think I would’ve done?” She responded, “Probably 5th”. I thought, BAM! I’m back! The following week I met with Mike and began to train as if my life depended on it. The next year, 2005, I did place 5th in the masters division of the Francois Classic! My wife had nailed it!

I can’t say enough about Beverly and Mike Francois. Both are world-class on several levels. Mike is such a wonderfully humble guy who reached the pinnacle of our sport. He highly recommended Beverly International products, which I continue to use to this very day. Beverly’s Ultimate Muscle Protein (UMP) has always been my favorite, along with their Super Pak vitamin minerals and Mass Aminos. With ingredients and macros designed for the bodybuilder in mind, I use these Beverly products up to and including the day of the show.

With Mike’s help, I went onto win 14 masters division titles in NPC national qualifying contests. I qualified for OPEN national competitions twice with first or second-place finishes in open classes against competitors half my age. I guess the cliché “age is just a number” is true. During that time, I also judged several NPC national qualifying events. Thank you, Mike, and thank you, Beverly!

Training

I train seven days a week on a six-day lifting split. Fasting cardio/core daily. When I was younger, I would train in the evenings. As I approached retirement, I was able to train on an extended lunch. Now that I’m retired, I do fasting cardio/core after my morning coffee and Beverly’s Mass Aminos. Two hours later, after breakfast, I train with bands and weights. Through the years, as I aged, I’ve modified my training to accommodate injuries, my arthritic predisposition, and to mitigate sarcopenia. Beverly’s UMP has dramatically helped in slowing & ultimately stopping my sarcopenia over the past 16 years. My baseline workout schedule has remained essentially the same for over 50 years. (I know you’re supposed to change it up, but I do vary the exercises and have replaced certain movements with an equivalent more conducive to what my body can tolerate without sacrificing the workload for a particular muscle group.)

For example, I’ve replaced barbell squats with the leverage squat machine to reduce the strain on cervical vertebrae due to my cervical fusion. Another cool example is using high bands for bench pressing. Attaching bands from the top of a power rack deloads resistance at your chest (taking the strain off the shoulders) and reloads the resistance at the top of the press. Chains are also employed in various movements. It’s important to note that I use Iron Rebel elbow sleeves for upper body days and Inzer squat briefs for leg days. These provide critical support for vulnerable joints. With the help of Beverly International nutritional support, which I believe is precisely 50% of attaining an optimum physique and fitness, I’m thankful I can still train intensely to maximize my results over time.

Daily (including Sunday): Fasting Cardio/Core

Recumbent bike
Treadmill
Hypers
Reverse hypers
Sit-ups
Twists 

Mondays & Thursdays: Chest & Back

Band Chest Press supersetted with Band Chest Flyes: 4x20 using progressively heavier bands
Low Band Bench Press: 1x12, 1x6
High Band Bench Press: 1x10, 1x6, 1x3
Barbell Bench Press: 1x10, 1x6, 1x3
DB Bench Press: 1x12-15, 1x8-10, 1x5-7, 1x4-5
Cable Flyes: 1x15 (off season), 3x15 (contest)
Seated Iso-Row Machine (or Seated Cable Rows): 1x15, 1x10, 1x8, 1x6
DB Shrugs: 1x15, 1x10, 1x8, 1x6

Contest chest & back finisher:
Superset Bench Press with Lat Pulldowns: 3x10

 

Tuesdays & Fridays: Shoulders & Arms

Band warm-ups for shoulders: 2x20 Rehab Band Lateral Raise, Front Raise, Rear Delt Stretch
Shoulder Horn: 1x10
Seated Dumbbell Press: 1x20, 1x15, 1x10, 1x5, 1x10 Pump Set
Lateral Dumbbell Raise (Supersetted With Dumbbell Press):
1x20, 1x15, 1x10, 1x5, 1x15
Standing 5/8” Chain Curls supersetted with Tricep Pushdowns: 5x10
EZ Curls supersetted with Band Assisted Dips: 5x10

 

Wednesdays & Saturdays: Legs

Bodyweight Squats: 1x50
Leverage Squats: 2x10, 1x5
Belt Squat: 2x10, 1x5
Leg Press: 2x10, 1x5
Seated Calf Raise: 5x10, 1x30 (drop burn set)

 

Nutrition and Supplements

I believe proper nutrition and Beverly International supplements account for at least 50% of my bodybuilding longevity and success. I generally eat 4-6 meals or snacks each day. As an integral part
of meal prep, I fix two “casseroles” that will last 3-4 days. The first casserole is a breakfast-style casserole; the second casserole is a dinner-style casserole. The breakfast casserole consists of egg whites and vegetables. The dinner casserole consists of fat-free ground turkey breast, egg whites, and vegetables. I keep my diet clean except for cheat meals every fourth Saturday. It’s incredible how a cheat meal “refeeds” your body after eating clean for extended periods.

I define eating clean by following my macros closely, keeping simple carbs very low, and allowing for some “good” fats. Good fats include wild-caught salmon, sardines, chia, flax, extra virgin cold-pressed olive oil, and almonds. What’s nice about Beverly’s Muscle Provider and Ultimate Muscle Protein (UMP) is they’re probably the “cleanest” proteins available which fit perfectly into my nutrition plan.

The major difference between my off-season and contest diet is reducing fats and reducing complex carbs. Though it’s not an exact science, I monitor how I look weeks leading up to the contest and adjust accordingly to dial in.

Upon Arising: 12oz black coffee with 5 Beverly Mass Amino tablets

Meal One: 8-12oz of the breakfast casserole (egg whites and vegetables, 2 whole eggs fried in olive oil), turmeric tea

Meal Two (pre-workout): 1 scoop Beverly UMP, liquid egg whites, cinnamon, ground almonds, chia, and flax

Meal Three (post-workout): 2 scoops Muscle Provider, ground almonds, chia, and flax

Meal Four: 6-8oz chicken breast tenders, 8oz greens, medium sweet potato or 6oz brown rice

Meal Five: 8-12oz dinner casserole (fat-free ground turkey breast, egg whites, and vegetables), 6oz nonfat cottage cheese

Meal Six: 2 scoops Beverly UMP, egg whites, cinnamon, ground almonds, chia, and flax

Daily Supplements

1 Super Pak vitamin-mineral packet 5 scoops UMP or Muscle Provider (meal two, meal three, meal six)\

20-30 Mass Amino tablets

10-20 Lean Out capsules

10 Joint Care capsules

10-20 Muscularity capsules (contest)

10-20 Density EAAs (contest)

Closing Thoughts

Early in my career, I was totally focused on bodybuilding as a lifestyle and winning bodybuilding titles. As time progressed, I gained perspective on life but retained the work ethic and discipline from our sport to help me be a leader for my family life in general. I am so grateful, and God has blessed me richly. In terms of health & fitness, to me, it’s an equation of equal parts:

Nutrition (with Beverly’s help!) + Weight Training + Determination = Health & Fitness

Lifetime Bodybuilder

At a Glance: Michael Sheppard

Age: 38

Occupation: Owner of Heritage Park Fitness, in Harker Heights, TX.

Education: BS in Early Childhood Development

Family: Children: two boys, Isiah 13, and Deandre 19

Residence: Harker Heights, TX

Years training: 19 years

Height: 6'

Weight: 256 (off-season), 245 (contest)

Favorite Bodybuilding Meal: Steak, rice, and salad

What would you recommend to someone who has never used Beverly supplements before: I would let him or her know that they are excellent products. I have been using them since 1999 and trust what they are supposed to do for me, my body, as well as my bodybuilding career.

Music: Kendrick Lamar, Jay Z, Metallica, Rage, Public Enemy, Lil Wayne, Jimi Hendrix, Five Finger Death Punch, Snoop Dogg, Kanye West, and Drake.

Hobby or interests outside bodybuilding: I am truly a gym rat at heart, but I do enjoy riding my Hyabusa.

Words to live by: When you go through hardship and decide not to surrender, that is strength.

Website: www.facebook.com/michaelallensheppard

I have been a competitor my entire life. From sports in high school, to college basketball, I wanted to be the best I could be. When I found bodybuilding, I fell in love.

My first bodybuilding competition was in Guam (1997). I didn’t know much about competing, but I had been training for about 5 years. The gym owner talked me into it and I was good enough to win the heavyweight division that night.

Two years later, I moved to Ft. Hood, TX and started working out on post in the same gym where Johnny Jackson once trained. At one of the shows there, I noticed the overall winner talking to a Beverly International representative named Richard Dougherty. I approached Richard and expressed interest in get-ting some diet and supplement help for the upcoming Lackland Classic (1999). Richard invited me down to his store where he taught me all about Beverly International products. Having learned the difference between BI and the other brands, I have been using BI ever since.

I dieted for 12 weeks starting at 220lbs. Contest day I was very nervous, but leaner than I had ever been in my life. I won the 198lb class and also took the overall title. After that win I was hooked, I did the 2000 Southwest Natural and took the heavyweight class. I also did the Texas State and took 5th. I was just not as seasoned as the guys competing at the state show. In 2001, I took second at the Heart of Texas competition, and third at the Texas State. I was moving forward, but I still had a lot to learn and improvements to make. More and more I saw that it is as much about symmetry and the “X-Factor” than just size and definition. I needed to bring my legs up to match my upper body.

I took 4 years off from competition to build more size in my legs and improve my proportions. I used two main strength movements for legs. Every leg day, I’d start with heavy squats and then follow them with heavy dead lifts. I know it’s not com-mon to do squats and deads in the same workout, but it worked for me and my legs grew.

I finally decided to get back on stage in 2006 and pursue my pro card with the NGA. This competition prep was the toughest yet because my sons’ mom was overseas. I was trying to run a business, train and diet for the show, and play both parents at the same time. I was in and out of fast food restaurants while trying to stay on a diet plan of some sort. At the John Colby Classic (2006) I weighed 205 and got a close second. My Beverly supplement plan was on track, but not my diet. I just wasn’t eating right. The following year my sons’ mom was home and I was able to go for my pro card again. I did the John Colby Classic again and this time won first place and took the Overall at 212lbs. I won my NGA pro card that night. At this point my friend wanted to shoot a documentary about my prep and we put a few videos online. (Google: “Mike Sheppard the Natural on you tube” to view them).

hen headed to the big NPC shows in 2011. My official comeback was at the 2011 Adela Garcia Classic where I took the overall. I felt like I kept getting better and better so I went to the Branch Warren and took a close second, then headed to the Europa and took second again. While traveling to the show I got lost the night before weigh-ins. I didn’t get checked in until 3am. Thank goodness I had my Beverly International shakes in the car. My contest weight was now up to 219.

I did the 2012 Branch Warren in Houston as a prep show for the USA’s. I did not put full attention to my prep due to work, meetings, and travel. But, I ended up taking second place to Steven Frasier. I was looking forward to a rematch with Steven at the USA’s in July.

I arrived in Vegas on Sunday night. For the week leading up to the show I ate 5 solid food meals each day and added 4 Ultra 40’s with every meal. I got tighter and tighter as I followed my supplement program which I’ve notated below. The USA was the biggest show I had ever been to in my life. 500 competitors and 40 of them were in my weight class. I was very nervous, but knew I was at my best for this show.

I was second to last to go out on stage and I had nothing to warm up with. So I looked up and saw a beam going across the ceiling. (Anyone who knows me knows that I love doing pull-ups.) I jumped straight up and started doing pull-ups. My fellow competitors were shaking their heads as they watched me doing one pull-up after an-other. You can tell by my smile on stage that I was happy to be there and for the experience. Now I know what’s next and what they are looking for. And as a footnote, Steven Frasier, remember him, the guy who beat me at the Branch Warren, he won the overall and got his IFBB pro card.

I had a few adjustments to make for the 2012 season. My supplement plan was rock solid, but I needed stricter off-season nutrition. I also needed to continue to build up my legs while backing off a little on upper body. I trained legs heavy twice a week. Although I like to stay strong, I know there is no award for strongest legs so I had to work on shape as well. I had to figure out how to balance the two. (See more about this in my training schedule.)

New challenges are ahead for me. I am in the Super Heavyweight category now and am up against a lot of people that natural bodybuilders typically just don’t go after. But I have goals. I want to win the Branch Warren. Taking second there twice is not good enough for me. I would love to qualify and compete at the Master’s Olympia. I know that I have not yet reached my best possible condition. This year I will work harder, I will perfect and tweak what needs to be done. I won’t stop. I’m hooked on Beverly International, on training and on bodybuilding competition. I’ve been a lifetime competitor, and that will never end.

Contest Diet

First and foremost let me say that nutrition is the hardest part of all of this for me. I look at dieting kind of like Lent. For about 40 days I must take things out of my diet that are impure and will harm me in the long run.

MEAL #1
1 cup oatmeal, 1 scoop vanilla UMP with 1 tbsp flax oil, Splenda brown sugar, and dried cranberries. (Occasionally I use one of the recipes from BI’s website for Protein Pancakes/ Shakes).

MEAL #2
2 scoops UMP (Pre Workout).

MEAL #3
2 scoops Muscle Provider (Post Workout).

MEAL #4
10oz chicken or shrimp; 4 cups vegetables; 1 cup rice.

MEAL #5
1 scoop UMP protein somewhere in the afternoon normally gets added in because I am so hungry.

MEAL #6
8oz lean meat; 2 cups vegetables; 1 cup rice.

MEAL #7
10oz lean meat; 2 cups vegetables; 1 cup rice.

MEAL 7 ON MONDAY AND THURSDAY HIGH CARB DAYS: 1½ cups cooked rice, 10oz sweet potato, medium banana, 1 cup vegetables, 1 tbsp. butter at the end of the day.

Competition Supplement Program

UMP, Muscle Provider, Ultra 40, Lean Out, GH Factor, 7 Keto, EFA Gold, Density, Muscularity, and ZMA. I use this entire combination because of the muscle building and fat burning properties.

MEAL #1
4 Ultra 40’s, 4 Lean Out, 2 GH Factor, 3 7-Keto, 3 EFA’s, 2 Density, 3 Muscularity

MEAL #2
UMP (2 Scoops) Pre workout for a sustained release protein source, 2 Lean Out

MEAL #3
Muscle Provider (2 Scoops) Post workout for a fast absorbing protein

MEAL #4
4 Ultra 40’s, 4 Lean Out, 2 GH Factor, 3 7-Keto, 2 Density, 2 Muscularity

MEAL #5
1 scoop UMP protein (to stave off hunger) and 2 Lean out

MEAL #6
4 Lean Out, 2 GH Factor, 2 Density, 2 Muscularity

BEFORE BED
3 ZMA 2000

Training Schedule

Monday/Thursday: Back and Chest

Tuesday/Friday: Shoulders, Bi’s and Tri’s

Wednesday/Sunday: Legs

Saturday: Off (typically)

Major body parts are trained in the morning; every evening I head back into the gym and do a small muscle group workout (20-30 minutes of Dips, Pull-ups, Abs, and Calves), practice my posing, and then do 45-60 minutes of cardio.

Presentation Tips

A basketball player practices year round, on or off-season. He never stops practicing. So, like a basketball player, I never stop. I train year round, and at 12 weeks out I kick my posing practice into high gear, holding each pose harder and holding it for progressively longer periods of time. I spend 15-20 minutes each evening working on my mandatory poses. Monitoring your posing year round really helps me identify areas where I need improvement. As the event grows closer, posing becomes more exciting than working out. That’s when I can really see how I’ve progressed from competition to competition.

Cardio

Two weeks out from every competition I love to put myself through “Hell Week” as I call it. It’s an 8-day week program. I use the stepper and add 5 minutes every day. The first day, I begin at 65 minutes and I end at 99 minutes (since my steppers don’t go to 100). The last day makes everything else seem so easy. Good luck and Godspeed. (Tip: Have really good music with you.)

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 Year In Bikini

At a Glance: Sarah Vance

Age: 25

Education: Registered nurse working in ICU

Family: My parents Pamela and Alan Vance -- both were bodybuilders who utilized Beverly International products, an older sister Shelley, my wonderful and supportive boyfriend Giev, and my child (really my dog!), Niko

Residence: Cincinnati, OH

Years training: 3 years

Height: 5'5"

Weight: 120-122 (off-season), 115-118 (contest)

Favorite Fitness Meal: : I look forward to two of my meals every day. The first is UMP pancakes with a side of turkey bacon. The second is Chocolate UMP mixed into a pudding with cinnamon and peanut butter. During the off season, I put nonfat cool whip and a banana on top for a banana split taste. It is amazing!

Favorite Supplements: UMP powders are my favorite because of their taste and versatility. You can bake with them, mix them into a pudding, or make a shake when you are in a rush. UMP tastes amazing and is like a sweet treat. My second favorite is Glutamine Select. The flavor is very refreshing and it really helps me power through intense training sessions.

What would you recommend to someone who has never used Beverly supplements before: I recommend they try UMP. One of the major issues people have when dieting is dealing with their sweet tooth. UMP tastes so good that it virtually eliminates sugar cravings. I guarantee there isn’t a better tasting protein powder on the market.

Music: When in the gym, I usually listen to a dance station on Pandora. If at home reading or cooking, I listen to classical/orchestra type music. I love all music, except country!

Hobby or interests outside fitness: Dancing, cooking, and relaxing.

Reflecting on my current state of affairs, I was turning twenty-five, overweight, and unhappy. I knew I needed to reinvent myself. “Is this the best I can be? Am I the healthiest I can be? Is this the best physique I can offer myself?” I decided it was time for a major lifestyle overhaul.

Growing up, both my parents were active bodybuilders, so my decision to start my over-haul by going to the gym should be no surprise. I loved lifting, but did not have a concrete goal until I attended the 2012 Arnold Expo. My goal crystallized when I saw the bikini competition. I thought, “This is what I want to do.” I wanted to become what each competitor portrayed onstage - a healthy, fit, and genuinely happy individual.

For my first competition, I had to drop a significant amount of body fat. I dieted hard, trained hard, and believed in myself. I also learned a valuable lesson; next time if I stay within 5lb of my stage weight competition prep will be a lot easier. I followed that rule for my next round of competitions and have been able to make lean muscle gains while keeping body fat to a minimum. I am coming in ahead of schedule because I didn’t go crazy during the off season. I also learned to be patient and trust that if I stick to my plan, my body will do what it is supposed to do. That said, here’s my plan. Why don’t you give it a try?

Nutrition

My typical meal plan is six meals spread throughout the day over a 12 hour window. I drink a gallon of water each day and try to keep my meals at 2-3 hour intervals. This helps me stay sufficiently full and not suffer extreme hunger pangs or cravings. Even though my food choices are limited, I vary the way I cook, season, and present my food so it is more appetizing and does not become monotonous. I have two large food prep days each week when I cook everything and portion it into my Tupper-ware. This way there is no room for error and no guess work to what I am going to eat throughout the week.

MEAL #1 (9 AM)

2 slices low fat turkey bacon, ½ cup dry oatmeal, 2 scoops Beverly International vanilla UMP, 4 egg whites. I mix the oats, UMP, and egg whites all together with some cinnamon and make pancakes. I usually drink black coffee with this meal.

MEAL #2 (11 AM)

Apple with 1 tbsp peanut butter; 4oz nonfat Greek yogurt or 2 pieces of lite mozzarella cheese sticks

MEAL #3 (1 PM)

4oz chicken breast; 1 cup mixed veggies (I prefer grilled peppers and onions); 6oz sweet potato; and a side salad with olive oil and vinegar dressing

MEAL #4 (4 PM)

2 scoops of Beverly International Rocky Road UMP and cinnamon mixed into pudding

MEAL #5 (6 PM)

Steak fajitas - 3oz lean steak, a cup of veggies, and 2 low carb tortillas

Fortunately, during my last contest prep, I had the luxury of having 200 flex calories each day. I can use these remaining 200 calories to eat any ‘clean’ foods. Below is what I usually ate.

MEAL #6 (9 PM)

2oz sliced turkey breast, 2 tbsp hummus, and carrots; or if I have a sweet craving, I will mix UMP chocolate with a CarbMaster yogurt.

My macros and calories may change as I go through prep based on what I need at the time to present my best physique possible.

 

Supplements

A structured meal plan must go hand in hand with a structured supplement plan in order to attain maximum results. The staples of my plan whether I am in the heart of contest prep or in a maintenance stage are Beverly International’s Lean Out, Fit Tabs, Glutamine Select, and Density. I typically add 7-Keto to aid in dropping body fat and appetite suppression as I get closer to the contest. My supplement regimen looks like this:

Supplement Schedule

2 Lean Out taken 5 times a day before meals to help trans-port fat to be used for energy

3 Density tabs 3 times a day to help maintain my lean muscle

1 capsule of 7-Keto twice a day -- one prior to fasted cardio, one before my 1 pm meal

1 scoop Glutamine Select pre-workout to aid in muscle recovery

1 scoop of Muscle Synergy pre-workout for maintaining lean muscle mass and increasing strength, it also gives me a great pump

2 Fit Tabs twice a day -- two in the morning and two in the evening. Fit Tabs are quite beneficial to overall health, and ensure that even as my diet reaches its most stringent phase, I am still obtaining all the essential minerals, vitamins, and micronutrients.

Cardio

Cardio is another important additive to contest prep. My favorite type is High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) first thing in the morning. During contest prep I do 15 minutes of HIIT three times a week prior to breakfast. This usually consists of sprints, stair stepper, or jump rope. At times I will do all three or add in some plyometrics for variation.

I used to despise cardio; now I don’t mind it at all. The key is finding something you truly enjoy. I love sprinting. It is hard, gets my heart rate up, and also involves quite a bit of glute activation. I also have learned that mixing it up keeps me interested and my body from becoming too accustomed to one thing.

A routine that really gets my heart rate up is sprinting as fast as I can for 30 seconds, doing 20 walking lunges, sprinting for 30 more seconds, doing 15 pop squats, and ending with 30 more seconds of sprinting. Repeat that a few times and I guarantee your heart rate will rise considerably. The other benefit of HIIT is that you actually continue to burn calories for 24 hours after your session in comparison to LISS (Low Intensity Steady State) type cardio.

Training

When I am training in the gym, I am completely focused on my workout and the specific body part being worked. If you blindly go through your workout routine, you’ll only be cheating yourself and hinder your ability to better your physique. My routine usually consists of high rep, low weight supersets, trisets, and plyometrics. My heart rate stays elevated during all of my routines. I especially like to train legs and glutes. Leg day usually consists of high rep squats, lunges, and plyometric work. Top bikini competitors are known for having really high, tight glutes, and the plyometric work has really helped me in that area.

My favorite exercises for legs and glutes:

Single leg straight squats: 15 reps on each leg for three sets. These are SO hard but they really work your glutes, legs, and even your abs since you have to maintain your balance.

Single leg skip ups: 15 reps, three sets per leg

Jump squats: 15 reps for 3 sets

Jumping switch lunges: 10 reps for three sets

Bench step ups stepping down and back into rear lunges: These really make your glutes burn the entire time

Single leg plate drag: 12 reps for three sets

I promise you that these exercises will set your glutes on fire. For illustrations and descriptions of these exercises and more, go to JulieLohre.com and click on Exercise Library.

Presentation

I cannot stress to you enough the importance of your presentation. You must feel and look comfortable and confident on stage. On the day of the show you may be fatigued, excited, nervous, or all of the above. The last thing you want is to have to consciously think about each pose. I attended Julie Lohre’s Mock Competition and I will never forget her saying, “You will want to be able to pose in your sleep.” Practice your posing regularly so that when you take the stage you can demand the judges’ attention, make eye contact, and be confident in the hard work you have done. I currently practice posing a minimum of 15 minutes, 3 times a week. The more you practice, the more natural it will become.

Getting ready for a contest and competing has been an unforgettable experience. I was proud of myself for just being able to stand on stage, and then taking the overall Bikini at the 2012 NPC Kentucky Muscle (in just my 2nd show) was truly a humbling experience.

I couldn’t have done it without Julie Lohre’s Team Fitbody. After that day at the Arnold Expo, I didn’t know where to start. It was a friend of a friend who told me about Julie’s Mock Competition. I decided to give it a try and see if this was something I really wanted to do. I was surrounded by educated and strong women with beautiful physiques. Julie beamed with her love for the sport and her passion for helping people make healthy lifestyle changes. I knew I wanted to be a part of this team.

I highly recommend joining such a team if you have the chance. It’s great to go through contest prep together, share ideas, laugh about each other’s experiences, or just talk about how good ice cream sounds. I reinvented my mind, body, and soul by embracing a healthy diet, sensible workout plan, and the support of my teammates.