My First Top 5 “Pro” Finish
No Nonsense Magazine Vol 22, #4
By: Ken Blunkosky, OCB & IFPA Natural Pro Bodybuilder
At a Glance: Ken Blunkosky
Occupation: IFPA and OCB Pro Bodybuilder, OCB Judge, ACE certified personal trainer, Associates of Science in Nursing, Certified Massage Therapist, and owner of Diamond Athletic Club in Pittsburgh, PA
Family: Married to my amazing wife Beth, daughter, Madison. We are a faith and fitness-based family.
Current Residence: Export, PA
Years training: 25 years
Weight: 175 (Off Season), 171 (Contest)
Favorite Bodybuilding Meal: 1 cup oatmeal, 1/4 cup walnuts, 1 tsp flax meal, cinnamon, 2 scoops UMP Graham Cracker!!
Favorite supplements: I can’t pick just 1 or 2 products; UMP, all the flavors are awesome! All through my contest prep, I enjoyed making mine a little thicker and eating it like a pudding. Post-workout I have 2 scoops of chocolate or vanilla Muscle Provider, or sometimes one scoop of each. I always have 2 scoops of Glutamine Select during my workout and another 2 scoops 1 or more times throughout the day to help get me past those cravings. 16 tabs of Muscle Synergy (8 a.m., 8 pre-workout) had me feeling pumped all day. Ultra 40, Mass Amino Acids, Quadracarn…I can’t say enough about the results I see and feel with all the Beverly products I take.
What would you recommend to someone who has never used Beverly supplements before? First and foremost, I would emphasize the quality of Beverly International products. And not only “they are what they say they are,” but through numerous emails and phone calls, I felt like they were genuine, they answered all my questions, and gave some recommendations…they made me feel like I was family.
Music: K-Love plays 24/7 at our gym, but while I’m working out, it’s usually Toby Mac, Mercy Me, Mandisa, or FLAME in the headphones.
Most Inspiring Book: I Am by Joel Osteen
Words to live by: “Fear is a liar” Zach Williams; “I will fight” Steven Furtick
I've been training for 25 years, and competing for twenty. My first ever competition was in 1998, and then I did a couple more here and there over the next couple years. I bought a gym in 2003 and took time off from competing, but continued to train. In 2009 I got back in the game. I competed in a natural show and ended up winning the novice class, bantamweight class and the overall and earned my IFPA pro card. Since then I’ve competed in numerous drug-free pro shows. My goal was always to be better than I was at my previous show. Although my condition was improved show after show, I still did not crack the top 5 in a pro show.
In January 2018, I decided to compete in, what I thought would be my last show. I trained like it was my last…4 am fasted cardio, increased intensity every workout, near perfect diet, but something just wasn’t right. I turned to the internet for answers (cause we all know, if it’s on the internet, then it’s got to be true). That just shows my desperation. I’m the guy who is skeptical of just about anything published on the web.
However, in this case, I believe divine intervention may have been involved and lead me to Beverly International. I searched for “supplements”, “best supplements for competitive bodybuilding”, “best supplement brands”, etc. The results lead me to many different supplement company websites, but in my side bar, Beverly International products kept appearing… UMP, Muscle Provider, Mass Amino Acids, Ultra 40. I figured someone (the man upstairs) was trying to tell me to look into this company. I did some more research, then took a leap of faith and ordered that day. (The funny thing about that is I’m one of those people who puts items in my cart and they are still there 3-4 weeks later, it’s a running joke in our family.)
As I was browsing through the Beverly International website, I clicked on the BevSolutions link. The information here is priceless! I incorporated the “Bodybuilding Pre-Contest Dieting Program up to 185” and went all in with the supplement recommendations (UMP, Muscle Provider, Ultra 40, Mass Amino Acids, Glutamine Select, Lean Out, 7-Keto MuscLean, Quadracarn, Density, Muscularity, Creatine Select, Muscle Synergy).
I really didn’t know what to expect, or what results I could achieve in such a short period of time. Within the first week, I felt fuller, thicker and leaner, with more energy and endurance. I couldn’t believe the transformation that was taking place. In as little as 3 weeks, I knew that I was going to show up with my best physique ever! At 8 weeks out I emailed Beverly International and explained exactly what I was taking and asked for any suggestions as to what I should take coming down the home stretch. Almost immediately I received a reply with a couple of suggestions that I implemented and never looked back (or better).
I went into the competition in the best shape of my life and was honored to place 5th in the best pro class that I have ever been a part of. This was “supposed” to be my last show, but with the results that I achieved with Beverly International, it’s only the beginning! Every finish line is the beginning of a new race!
My Daily Nutrition Plan
Post AM Cardio: 1 scoop Muscle Provider in water
Meal 1: 5oz lean ground turkey, 6 egg whites, 1/2 grapefruit
Meal 2: 6oz chicken, 4 cups salad with tomato, carrot, and cucumber, 3 tbsp Newman’s oil and vinegar dressing
Meal 3 (post-workout shake): either 2 scoops UMP in water, 2 scoops Muscle Provider in water, or 1 scoop each Muscle Provider and Provosyn in water
Meal 4: 5oz chicken, 2 cups salad, 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar and 1 tbsp olive oil
Meal 5: 5oz chicken, 1 cup broccoli or green beans
Meal 6 (Protein Pudding): 2 scoops UMP stirred into about 6oz water (every flavor is amazing!)
Carb Load Meal (Monday and Thursday, in place of meal 6): 1 cup oatmeal (precooked), 8oz sweet potato, 4oz banana, 1 cup broccoli or green beans, 1 tbsp almond butter (to prolong the positive effects of the carb-up meal and stabilize my blood sugar through the night).
My Daily Supplement Plan
Throughout the years I have used many different brands of supplements. I took advice from others who I believed knew the answers to my problems. I did this for all the pro shows I competed in and all produced the same result…minimal change. It was the definition of insanity… doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results.
Going into my last show (so I thought) I decided that I wasn’t going to
listen to anyone else but myself. I began with the same supplements, but changed my workouts and diet to pre contest mode. I started out feeling good, then I just hit a brick wall. That was when I decided that I needed to change the supplements. I did the research, figured out the best supplement plan for me (Beverly International makes this process seamless). I only wish that I would have found Beverly International
when I started my bodybuilding career. The BevSolutions section on their website makes sense of it all, nutrition, supplements and training. You can’t go wrong, but even when you are in doubt, they are just a phone call or email away.
My results were far greater than I had ever imagined. I stepped on stage in the best shape of my life. And now I can only imagine what the results will be with a full 16-week prep with Beverly International supplements. Thanks to Beverly international, the finish line is just the beginning of a new race and retirement is nowhere in my near future!
Beverly breaks down their competition supplement plan into four levels – Essential, Advanced, Comprehensive, and Maximum. If a competitor had enough time before his contest he might start at the Essential level and add the next levels of supplements progressively as the show approached. For example, if you had 16 weeks to the contest you might start at the Essential level for four weeks, then add the Advanced level supplements, with eight weeks to go add the Comprehensive level supps, and finally add in the Maximum level supps for the final 4 weeks.
Personally, I went straight to the Maximum plan. I was competing in what I thought would be my final Pro show and wanted to be at my absolute best. Here is the complete supplement regimen that I followed leading into my first ever top 5 pro placing.
Essential: To maintain and gain muscle while dieting: UMP, Quadracarn, Creatine Select, and Glutamine Select.
• Ultimate Muscle Protein – As part of my daily meal nutrition plan
• Quadracarn – 3 tablets, three times daily (morning, pre workout, and evening)
• Creatine Select –1 scoop in the AM and 1 scoop preworkout
• Glutamine Select – 2 scoops mixed in 8-16 oz. water and sipped during training
Advanced: Lean Out and 7-Keto MuscLean took my fat loss to the next level, while Density ensured that I was completing the amino acid profile for all the foods I was eating.
• Lean Out – 2 with every meal
• 7-Keto MuscLean – 3 capsules, 2x daily morning and early afternoon
• Density – 2-3 with each meal
Comprehensive: Mass Amino Acids and Ultra 40 Liver tabs to preserve and gain muscle on a fat loss diet.
• Mass Aminos – 3 with each meal
• Ultra 40 – 3 with each meal
Maximum: The final step in achieving my best ever competition body was to add Muscularity and Muscle Synergy.
• Muscularity – 2-3 with each meal
• Muscle Synergy – 8 tablets 2x daily; on training days, make sure one dose is taken prior to your workout.
Ken Blunkosky’s Off Season and Pre Contest Training Programs
I started to use Beverly’s Pre-Contest Training manual as a guide in early 2018. I have made some adjustments along the way (more sets, lower reps, heavier weights). My workouts last from 45 to 90 minutes. Here’s an example of my training:
Off Season Training Schedule
One body part per day. On major exercises I do 5 sets of 5 reps heavy, and then repeat the same exercise with lighter weights for 3 sets of 10 reps to maximize my pump.
|Bench Press (pump)||3||10|
|Pec Deck (or Cables)||4||12-15|
|Standing Leg Curl||4||8-10|
|1-Arm Lateral Raise||4||8-10|
|Front Cable Raise||4||8-10|
|1-Arm DB Extension||4||8-10|
Pre Contest Training Schedule
3 days on, 1 day off, 2 days on, 1 day off. I go as heavy as I can to get the reps while keeping good form. I limit my rest between sets to the minimum required.
Here’s an example of my training: Day 4: Rest, Day 7: Rest
|Day 1: Chest, Shoulders, Triceps, Calves||Sets||Reps|
|Incline DB Press||5||12|
|Seated Calf Raise||6||10|
|Incline DB Flye||4||10|
|Military or DB Press||5||8-10|
|Weighted Triceps Dips||4||15|
|Close Grip Incline Press||4||10|
|Day 2: Back, Traps, Rear Delts, Biceps, Abs||Sets||Reps|
|Triangle Bar Pullups||3||15|
|Behind the Head Pullups||3||12|
|Curl Grip Pulldown||4||8|
|Bent DB Lateral||4||10|
|1-Arm Preacher Curl||4||12|
|Hanging Leg Raise||4||20|
|Day 3: Legs||Sets||Reps|
|Seated Leg Curl||4||10|
|Single Leg Deadlift||3||10|
*On Leg Presses I start with one plate on each side, do 10, add a plate to each side, do 10… keep adding until I can’t get 10 reps. That completes one set. I rest two minutes and start over at one plate per side.
|Day 5: Shoulders, Chest, Calves||Sets||Reps|
|Seated Lateral Raise||4||10|
|DB Round the World||3||16|
|Flat DB Press||4||12|
|Cable Extension w/Rope||4||15|
|Stair Calf Raises*||1||3|
*Start at the bottom of a set of stairs. Step up to the 1st step and do one calf raise, go up a step and do 2-3, add 1 or 2 reps on each step up until you reach the top. On the top step do 10 reps with toes straight ahead, step down and do 10 reps with toes pointed outward, step down and do 10 reps with toes pointed in, then step down and do 9 reps with toes pointed forward, and so on all the way back down.
|Day 6: Back, Traps, Rear Delts, Biceps, Abs||Sets||Reps|
|Incline DB Row||4||10|
|Reverse Pec Deck||4||10|
|V-Ups (for abs)||5||20|
|Weighted Plank||3||60 sec|
I typically do 30 minutes fasted cardio 3-4 days/week, usually treadmill with an incline of 15 and average speed of 3.2 (start slow and work the speed up as tolerated, because the idea is to NOT hold on). I occasionally would slow the speed to 2.7 and walk backwards for 60-90 second intervals. I am a firm believer in heart rate-based training, so this was the best form of cardio for me to regulate my heart rate (speed up and/or slow down).
The key here is practice, practice, practice! I suggest that you practice your mandatory poses at least once/week starting the day you decide to enter a competition. At about 8 weeks out, I usually start holding each pose for 2-3 sets of 10 to 15 seconds, 3 days/week. Then each week I add 5 seconds to each pose and do 3-4 sets. I have even used posing in place of my morning cardio. Posing can make you or break you. I have seen many “backstage winners” place lower than someone who didn’t look as good but knew how to present their physique through posing.
The best advice I can give to anyone who wants to compete is to trust and believe in the process and more importantly, yourself! You will find that everyone has “the answer”, they all have their opinions, but you can’t worry about them or what you see on social media. So, if you need a push, find one person who has been there/done that and has the credentials to guide you on this amazing journey. There’s no doubt that a good, reliable training partner is beneficial, but you’re the only one who can hold yourself accountable; dedication is doing the things you don’t want to do, when you don’t want to do them. Remember that the only one who can tell you that you can’t is you, and you don’t have to listen.
A strong support system goes a long way. These are the ones who build you up and give you that reassurance when you need it the most (when you’re carb depleted!). I can’t thank my wife and daughter enough for all their love and support. And I also want to give a huge shout out to Chuck and the rest of my Diamond Athletic Club family in Pittsburgh, PA.
I’m blessed, and I thank God every day for everything that happens to me. It’s a blessing to be able to do what I love to do.