From “Skinny Fat” to IFBB Pro

At a Glance: Lacy Green

Age: 40

Occupation: For 15 years I was a Registered Respiratory Therapist. I left my career early in 2018 to open a Virtual Gym called C323 Fitness. www.c323fitness.com

Family: Husband Andy, Mom to Jensen, Isaac, Lili, Karson, and Asher

Current Residence: Elida, OH

Years Training: 3

Height: 5’6”

Off Season Weight: 128, Contest Weight: 118

Favorite Fitness Meal: The “M3 Smoothie”: 1 scoop UMP Angel Food Cake, 2oz Plain Greek Yogurt, 4-6 whole strawberries, 6 ice cubes, and 4oz water blended. Reminds me of Strawberry Shortcake!!!

Favorite Supplements: UMP is number 1!! My first experience with a protein drink came from chocolate UMP. Nothing could compare after that! I am currently hooked on the Angel Food Cake UMP. It is smooth and delicious!!

What would you recommend to someone who has never used Beverly supplements before? UMP is an easy recommendation. The flavor and texture are like no other protein supplement I have ever used. It mixes and cooks beautifully. It is easy to digest and never leaves me bloated.

Music: When I workout I rarely listen to music. I listen to motivational speakers, sermons, and inspirational stories. If I were to listen to music, it would be Gospel or Contemporary Christian.

Most Inspiring Book: The Bible inspires all that I do!!!

Hobby or Interests outside of Bodybuilding: Talking to people. I love to go to the grocery to simply chat with people. I have the most fulfilling conversations with complete strangers. I look for opportunities to talk to people everywhere I go.

Words to live by: “The disciplined mind rooted in truth can do the impossible” ~Billy Alsbrooks

 

I was always what I call skinny-fat. You know – low bodyweight, with a lot of flab and hardly any muscle. Like a lot of women, I was careful about what I ate, but my physique did not change. I spent a few years running. I did several 5k races and ran several times a week for exercise. I enjoyed it, but again, my physique did not change. I thought that lifting weights might be the answer, but I had no idea what to do in a weight room, so I didn’t pursue it.

In 2011 my husband deployed to Afghanistan. While deployed he lifted weights daily. He came home a year later completely transformed! He had gained a large amount of strength and muscle mass. Unfortunately, that quickly went away when he quit lifting and began running for almost 2 years. He lost muscle mass and became very thin. He wanted to regain the muscle he had while deployed so he joined a local gym. Each day after work he went to the gym. I began to miss him. He is a law enforcement officer and I recognized the great value in fitness for his career, so that we could spend more time together, I started going to the weight room with him. At first, I kind of hung out with him while he worked out. After a few days I decided to try the exercises that he was doing, albeit with lighter weights. I could tell that it was just what I needed and started noticing changes in my body. We both loved it and our gym dates became routine.

I am an all or nothing kind of gal, so I wanted to know everything about weight training. I took an ISSA course and became a Certified Personal trainer. Even after learning the correct way to weight train, I ran into a brick wall with my fitness goals. I’d made great progress, but now I was stuck in a plateau. I could not lose fat off my body. I tried several diets and eating plans, none worked so I knew it was time to get some nutrition guidance. I hired Hammer Fit Coaching led by IFBB Pro, Mark Hummel. This was a game changer! Three weeks after beginning a bikini prep meal plan I barely recognized my body! In July of 2017, after 3 months of being on Hammer Fit coaching plans, I decided to compete in the 2017 NPC Natural Indianapolis as a Bikini competitor. I won 1st place Novice, 1st place Masters, 1st place Open Bikini, and the overall Bikini title! All of a sudden I was instantly Nationally Qualified!! A short 8 months later, in July, 2018 I competed at the the NPC Teen, Collegiate, Masters Nationals in Pittsburgh. This was my second competition ever and I earned my IFBB Pro Card!

During my training for Nationals, I decided to leave my career after 15 years in Respiratory Therapy to open a fitness business. I had developed a passion for fitness and wanted to share it with others. I recall a day during my training where I caught a glimpse of myself in the gym mirror and could not believe what I was seeing. I barely recognized my own fit physique. It brought joyful tears to my eyes right there in the gym. I vowed to learn all I could about fitness, so I could help others experience the joy I felt in that moment. I saw a need to help people “find their fitness”. We all have a personal level of fitness and I want to empower and inspire people to achieve their highest personal level. To continue my knowledge base, I completed my certification as a Fitness Nutrition Coach through the ISSA.

I currently work as a personal trainer and nutrition coach for Westwood Fitness in Lima, Ohio. I also work as an online competition coach for Hammer Fit. It is an honor to work for the coaches who changed my life by coaching me from a recreational gym junkie to an IFBB pro in less than a year. I love coaching novice competitors! My big project right now is C323 Fitness, my virtual gym. While talking to people, I recognized a huge need to bring a gym to the people, not ask them to come to a brick and mortar gym. I believe in meeting people where they are at in their fitness journey. For many, that is in the comfort of their own home. Most people that I spoke with could not get to the gym for various reasons. They want fitness, but are limited by things like child care issues, shame due to their current lack of fitness, fear of judgement, lack of time, and lack of motivation. I created a solution to these issues by providing people with a gym that comes to them through Wi-Fi to their smartphone, personal computer, and tablet wherever and whenever they choose. C323 has a variety of recorded content for all fitness levels that can be accessed around the clock and live one on one personal training with a variety of highly motivated personal trainers from all over the country. There is something for everyone!

I am often asked about the name of the gym. C323 is short for Colossians 3:23; Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men. I chose this scripture because as a business owner I am my own boss. I am the steward of the gym, but I work for Him to serve His creation. The members of my gym deserve my very best service!

Presentation Tips

In bikini, posing is very important. I practice it year-round. I highly recommend a posing coach who knows how to angle your body in the most flattering ways. Confidence is key! From the moment you step on stage you are being judged so make every step count. Show your personality and have fun!

My Diet

I carb cycle every 3 days. This is a typical day of my regular diet.
 

Meal 1: 3 egg whites, 2 eggs, 1 cup spinach (I make into an omelet), and 1 cup oats.

Meal 2: Strawberry Smoothie (5 strawberries, 2oz Greek Yogurt, 1 scoop Angel Food Cake UMP, 6 ice cubes and 4oz water blended)

Meal 3: 4oz cod, 15 almonds, 1 cup spinach

Meal 4: (post workout): 4oz sweet potato, 1tbsp chunky natural peanut butter, 1/2 banana (all mashed together), 1 scoop Beverly UMP Graham Cracker.

Meal 5: 5oz 90/10 ground beef, 1 cup green beans

Meal 6: 6 egg whites, 1 cup green beans

Supplements

Pre-Workout: 1 scoop Muscle Synergy, 6 Muscularity capsules

Fit Tabs – 2 tablets with Meal 1

UMP – for meals 2 and 4 (see diet schedule on the next page)

EFA Gold – 3 softgels with meal 6

I use Multiple Enzyme Complex with every meal.

If I want to have a leaner look or as a contest approaches, I take 2 Lean Out each meal and 3 7-Keto MuscLean in the AM and mid afternoon.

Training Schedule

 

Day 4: Rest

Day 1: Back/Legs

4x20 of each

Triset: Pull Up, Cable Straight Arm Pulldown, Seated Close Grip Pulldown

Triset: Leg Curl, Leg Extension, Leg Press

Triset: Banded Glute Kick, Lateral Banded Walk, Ankle Band Jumping Jacks

Day 2: Back/Shoulders

4x20 of each

Superset: Pullups, Standing Military Press

Superset: Seated Low Row, Face Pulls

Superset: Behind Neck Pull Down, Lateral Raise

Superset: Close Grip Pulldown, Front Raise

Day 3: Glutes (Dominant)

Barbell Deadlift 4x12-15

Cable Kickback 4x12

Dumbbell Sumo Squat 3x8-10

Superset: V-bar Cable Squat, Straight Bar Cable Deadlift 4x12

Superset: Smith Wide Deep Squat, Smith Close Deep Squat 4x8-12

Day 5: Shoulders/Arms

4x20 of each

Triset: Dumbbell Arnold Press, Wide Grip Upright Row, Lateral Raise

Superset: Bicep Cable Extension, Rope Push down

Triset: Dumbbell Curl, Skull Crusher, Lying Cable Row

 

Then I go back to day 1

Cardio Schedule

Off Season I do 20-30 minutes on the Step Mill every other day. During show prep I have done as many as two 40-minute sessions a day on the Step Mill.

The Beverly Brick Road

At a Glance: Michael Smith

Age: 47

Education: Bachelor Degree in Management and Economics

Birthplace: Dalton, GA

Years Training: 17 years

Height: 5’ 9”

Weight: 210 (off-season), 177 (contest)

Favorite Bodybuilding Meal: 2 scoops UMP chocolate with 1/2 cup oatmeal, 1/4 cup pecans, crushed ice, egg whites, and a tablespoon of sugar-free pancake syrup. (You’ll feel like you are cheating on your diet.)

Favorite Supplements:

  1. Lean Out: I notice that I lose stubborn fat faster while using Lean Out during my cardio sessions without the jittery effect that other fat burners have.
  2. UMP: Even though I am using it for the added protein and recovery source, the taste of the UMP actually keeps me sane. Most of your food is so lean and tasteless during show prep, knowing that your UMP shake is going to feel like you’re at an ice cream shop can sure lift your spirits.

What would you recommend to someone who has never used Beverly supplements before? I highly recommend the UMP Chocolate. As soon as you taste it, you are going to be hooked, not to mention you’re getting 20g of protein and only 4 carbohydrates per scoop. That is a win win!

Music: Creed

Hobby and Interests: Watching UFC with friends and family

Words to live by: Give 110 percent to anything that has your name on it.

 

I was that guy - the one who followed the major bodybuilding shows like the Olympia and its competitors - the one who was always talking about doing a bodybuilding show “One Day”, but never did.

In college, my studies took up much of my time and working out became a lesser priority. After college, I caught the money fever and making money was my new objective. Working late hours and weekends was the norm. Bodybuilding took a further step back on the burner and any thoughts of competing were fast fading. This trend continued from age 21 to 37, so 16 years had passed and still no competition in sight. Then one day I learned that a long-time friend, who was the same age as me, had a heart attack at work and passed away on the spot. Two months after that event my father was hospitalized with cirrhosis of the liver (from years of drinking) and Hospice came to his home. He died in front of my eyes a week later. At that point I no longer felt that I had plenty of time left in my life to do all the things that I had been putting off.

So, at 37 I started making some life changes. One thing I knew, if I was ever going to do a bodybuilding show, I needed to get started on it, NOW. And that’s what I did. I picked a show that was only 3 months away and immediately started my diet and cardio. Three months later I had lost 46 pounds (210lb to 164lb) and entered the open middleweight class. There were 12 competitors in my class and they broke us up into 3 groups during pre-judging, I wasn’t called for either the 1st or 2nd group. I thought, “There has to be a mistake, I did 2 hours of cardio a day, lost 46 pounds, and was here to honor those that had fallen in my life.” The night show came and the top 5 were awarded with trophies. Needless to say, I was not one of them! In fact, I was 12th out of 12. (Dead last!) That was my introduction to the world of bodybuilding competition. It also served as a wakeup call.

My introduction to Beverly International:

With my very disturbing dead last finish at my first show fresh in my mind, I realized I had the will power and desire, but not the “know how” or “knowledge” of contest preparation. At this point I felt a lot like Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz”. I realized that although I was not in Kansas, I was in a place just as unfamiliar. Working out, hours of cardio, and limited calories would not make me a successful bodybuilder. I needed guidance, but where should I turn? Once my fellow gym goers learned that I had competed, it seemed that every one of them was giving me advice, each person contradicting the other. Adding Google and YouTube to the mix quickly put my mind in overload.

Then, almost magically, a road appeared. I call it the Beverly Brick Road.

I still remember Googling “Contest Prep” more than 10 years ago and coming across Beverly’s articles “16 Weeks Out Contest Count Down” and “8 Weeks Out Contest Count Down”, by Roger and Sandy Riedinger. I saw right away that these articles were actual roadmaps of how to get from here (12th place out of 12) to there (top 3 or better). In these articles was an answer to every question I had.

  • What to eat.
  • What supplements to take.
  • What body part split to use.
  • When and how much cardio to do.
  • And my favorite, "what to do the last week before a show." (Priceless)

So just like “The Wizard of Oz” theme, I was given a road to follow. I printed out the articles, laminated them, and put them into a binder that I referred to over and over. My next show was exactly 17 weeks away. Just enough time to follow the guidelines exactly as written. I ordered the recommended Beverly supplements, UMP Chocolate, Creatine Select, and Lean Out and at 16 weeks out started the program just as it was written.

The program had me hold off on cardio until closer to the show and everyone kept telling me I needed to do it now. But I reminded myself that I needed to stay on the Beverly road. I had followed my own road before and knew where that ended. During the 16 weeks, I kept getting bigger AND leaner, and now those same gym gurus who were telling me what I should do were now asking me what I was doing to get so cut and lean. I would tell them to go to Beverly’s website and download the article. And don’t forget the recommended “Beverly” supplements. (Other supplement brands are not the same.)

Finally, it was Showtime. Pre-judging was once again very deep in competitors, there were 20 in my class to be exact. I started to get that same feeling as the first show (failure and stress), and the next thing I know they are calling my number out with the first group of competitors. When the night show starts they brought me out with the top 5 to receive awards. I knew that at least I got 5th place and felt very pleased that this time I would be getting something for my effort. Then they handed out the 5th place award and it wasn’t me. Well, 4th is better than 5th! After they awarded 3rd place, I looked down at my competitor number wondering if they had already called it and I just didn’t hear it. Then they called 2nd and it still wasn’t me. By this time I was really nervous, I was the only one left in line. Then they called my number. I had won, first place out of 20!

Since then I’ve gone on for 10 years, doing 2 or 3 shows a year, almost always coming in 1st or 2nd and even a few overalls. I was able to achieve my bodybuilding goals because I followed Beverly’s guidelines and supplement programs. I followed what I call, “The Beverly Brick Road”!

Nutrition, Complete Diet and Supplement Program

 

At 16 weeks I reference Beverly’s Contest Countdown 16-weeks out nutrition plan:

Meal 1: 2 whole eggs + 4 egg whites, 6oz lean meat, 1/2 cup oatmeal - before cooking

Meal 2: Protein Drink with 2 scoops Ultimate Muscle Protein (UMP), two tablespoons healthy fat source (olive oil, flax oil, almond butter) or heavy cream

Meal 3: 8oz lean meat, 6oz sweet potato or 2/3 cup cooked brown rice, 2 cups vegetables (broccoli, etc.)

Meal 4: (UMP shake, same as meal #2)

Meal 5: 10oz lean meat (lean beef – sirloin, filet, chicken breast, fish, turkey breast, etc), 2 cups vegetables, salad with 2 tablespoons vinegar and oil Dressing

Meal 6: Protein Shake or Pudding: 2 Scoops UMP, add enough water to make a shake or pudding the consistency you desire

As the contest approaches I modify the above plan into 4-week phases as follows.

From weeks 12-9 I alternate red meat one day with ground turkey the next, and start cutting down a little on the complex carbs.

Weeks 8-5 I drop the egg yolks, eat red meat one day, ground turkey the next, and grilled chicken the third, while reducing the complex carbs further

Final 4 weeks: grilled chicken or fish as primary protein sources (see sample meal plan below)

Sample Plan for the Final 4 Weeks:

Meal 1 (Pre-Workout): 2 cups egg whites, 4-5oz grilled chicken strips

Meal 2 (Post-Workout): 2 scoops UMP; I like the strawberry and chocolate flavors best

Meal 3: Salad: baby spinach, cucumber slices, 4-5oz grilled chicken strips or fish

Meal 4: 2 scoops UMP

Meal 5: 4-5oz grilled chicken strips or fish, 1/2c green beans

Meal 6 (Bed time): 1-2 scoops UMP

Supplement Schedule

UMP – At meals 2, 4, and 6 as a shake or pudding like a dessert

Quadracarn - 3 tablets 3-4 times a day (better pump, energy, recovery)

Creatine Select - 1 scoop daily (fuller look, energy, and recovery)

Lean Out – Starting at 8 weeks out from contest, 4 capsules per day (to lose that last bit of fat)

Training Schedule

In the off season I rotate upper body, lower body, off day - then repeat, sticking with 8-15 reps. At 16 weeks out from a show I up the intensity.

I have a full gym setup at home even though I also work out in a standard gym. The closer I get to the show I like to work out at home so I can flex and pose in the mirror between sets. I feel this allows me to see my striations and hardens me up while at the same time I’m training the muscles to pose on command.

Below is the Beverly International Contest Countdown – 16 Weeks Out Training program which I mentioned earlier.

 

Train 2 days on, 1 day off for weeks 16-13, then 4 days on, 1 off for weeks 12-9.

Day 1: Legs

Day 2: Chest / Triceps

Day 3: Off

Day 4: Shoulders/Biceps/Legs

Day 5: Back

Day 6: off

Start over

In this program you’ll use two basic progression schemes:

1. Pyramid Training: Add weight lower the reps each set.

Set 1: 12 reps with a very easy warm-up weight – not all you can do for 12 reps

Set 2: 10 reps still pretty easy

Set 3: 8 reps – use a weight you could get for 9 – 12 here but stop at 8

Set 4: 6 reps – use a weight you could get 6 – 8 reps with but stop at 6

Set 5: 4 – 6 reps – a max set. Once you reach 6 reps add weight to the final 3 sets and start back at 4 reps on set #5.

(Exercises using the Pyramid system are marked with *.)

2. Double Progressive System: Use the same weight for all Start at the low end of the suggested rep range. Gradually increase the repetitions, usually adding one rep each week until you reach the top number of suggested reps for each set of a particular exercise. Then add weight and start over at the lower end of the rep scheme.

(Exercises below where you should use the Double Progressive System are marked **.)

Day 1: Legs / CalvesAmount
Squat5 sets x 12 / 10 / 8 / 6 / 4-6 reps
Leg Press** or Hack Squat** 4 x 10 – 16 reps
(you may want to increase 2 reps per workout here)
Leg Extension**3 x 12-15 reps
Superset #4 and #5
Leg Curls** 3 sets x 10-12 reps
Lunge or Straight Leg Dead Lift** 3 sets x 10-12 reps
Superset #6 and #7
Seated Calf Raise** 5 x 10-12 reps
Free Standing (no weight) Calf Raises** 5 x 25-50 reps
Day 2: Chest, Triceps, CalvesAmount
Bench Press* 5 sets x 12 / 10 / 8 / 6 / 4-6 reps
Incline DB Press** 3 sets x 6-8 reps constant weight. First session do 6-6-6 and gradually
add reps until you get to 8-8-8 then add weight and start back at 6.
DB Flyes** 3 x 8-12 reps
DB Pullovers** 3 x 8-12 reps
Close Grip Bench Press* 4 x 12 / 10 / 8 / 5 -7
Superset #6 & #7
Triceps Pushdown**
Dips** 3 x 6-12 reps each – constant weight no rest between exercises, rest
only after both exercises have been performed.
Heavy Calf Raises** 4 x 8-12
Light Calf Raises** or Donkeys** 4 x 15-20 reps

Day 3: Off

Day 4: Shoulders / BicepsAmount
Military Press* 4 sets x 12 / 10 / 8 / 6-8 reps
DB or Machine Laterals** 3 x 8-12 reps
DB or Cable Bent Laterals** 3 x 8-12 reps
Barbell Curl* 4 x 12 / 10 / 8 / 6-8
Incline DB Curl** 3 x 8-10
Machine Curl or Preacher Curl** 2 x 8-12
Day 5: Back, AbsAmount
Chins** 4 sets up to 12 reps per set. (If you ever get to 12 reps on all 4 sets, start reducing rest periods or add weight.)
Deadlifts 3 sets 10 reps (add weight each set but stay at ten reps per set) Concentrate on perfect form and add weight very gradually in 5-lb. increments each week.
You can do a compound Deadlift and Shrug movement instead of regular Deadlifts if you wish to stress traps a little more.
Bent Rows* or T-Bar Row* 4 sets 12 / 10 / 8 / 6-8
Reverse Grip Front Pulldowns** or 1 Arm DB Row** 3 x 8-12
Straight Arm Pullovers** 3 x 10-12 (lie on a bench length wise – keep arms straight)
10 minutes of abs

Cardio

I start at 8 weeks out with 20 minutes on the elliptical machine, 4-5 days a week. Every 2 weeks I increase the time by 10 minutes until the week of the contest.
 

Presentation Tips

I begin working on my posing routine at 8 weeks out. The best tip I can give you on presentation is to practice and practice some more. I put my posing music in a loop with a break song in between. I let the loop play over and over; I do my routine, set myself back up during the break song, and then do it again, again, and again. It is sometimes easy to lose track of time and I’ve found myself practicing a routine for up to 2 hours without realizing how much time had passed. This type of practicing is a sure cure for stage jitters. It makes your presentation second nature when you take the stage.

Contest Preparation

The biggest mistake that competitors make is their refusal to reduce their carb intake as a contest approaches. They are dead set against sacrificing size for definition. I’ve literally pleaded with clients and friends to stick with their diet plan, but as soon as they start to lose a small amount of size they panic. That’s their excuse to add carbs. Consequently, they place 4th or 5th in their show and blame the judges. I personally follow the nutrition program in Beverly’s Contest Countdown at 16 weeks out article on the BeverlyInternational.com website and end up winning my class and sometimes an overall at the same show. Tip: Follow Beverly’s Contest Countdown Plan and use their products in the recommended manner because it works. Period.

Note: You can find Beverly’s Contest Countdown articles by visiting BeverlyInternational.com. Click “SEARCH” at the top left of the page and enter Contest Countdown.

My Natural Pro Figure

At a Glance: Wendy Doran, NGA Pro Figure Champion

Age: 50

Occupation: Preschool Teacher

Family: Mother of two wonderful children - Ashley (13) and Tyler (10)

Current Residence: Cincinnati, Ohio

Years training (total): 5 years

Height: 5’8”; Weight: 160 (off-season), 140 (contest)

Favorite Bodybuilding Meal: My Chewy UMP Granola Bars! Too delicious to resist!

Favorite Beverly Supplements: UMP is by far my favorite supplement! It’s very versatile! I use vanilla UMP in just about everything that I bake! It’s an easy on-the-go first meal of the day and a “must have” post- workout meal! Lean Out and Muscularity are also essential supplements during competition prep. Lean Out helps me with my conditioning and Muscularity aids in lean muscle mass maintenance.

What would you recommend to someone who has never used Beverly supplements before? Beverly International has a Supplement Profiling Chart that is a great reference. I recommend it for specific individualized goals. (You can find it on the home page at BeverlyInternational.com.)

Music: I like to listen to hard rock music, especially Rob Zombie and Marilyn Manson. It’s music that motivates me to lift heavy!

Hobby or interests outside bodybuilding: I enjoy spending time with my children; making posing suits for competitors; cooking healthy food; and landscaping my yard.

Words to live by: “It’s not how hard you hit. It’s how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.” (Sylvester Stallone, Rocky Balboa)

At the age of 44 I was rapidly gaining weight and didn’t know why. I went to the doctor for answers and was shocked to find out that I was going through menopause! I knew that I had to do something fast to get my weight back under control and live a healthier lifestyle.

So, I joined Beechmont Fitness Club and did cardio for an hour a day, three times a week for an entire year. My weight decreased and my confidence increased, but I still wasn’t content with my overall appearance. I needed more shape. To do this I needed to add muscle! That, however, required lifting weights and I had no idea what to do. I asked a friend at the gym, Tom, for advice.

Tom advised me to cut back on cardio, start lifting heavier weights, and start using Beverly International supplements. I did some research and found Tom’s advice for gaining muscle was right on the money. For inspiration, Tom also suggested that I attend a bodybuilding show.

When I saw the Figure competitors step on stage for the first time at the NPC Northern Kentucky show, I was amazed! I wanted to learn what they did to be able to get in that kind of shape! They had a lot of muscle, very little fat, and looked stunning! I later found out that it required as much mental as physical strength to attain their physique.

I think the “conceive, believe, achieve” mindset is essential for anything that you want to accomplish in life, including a competitive physique. You need to dream, visualize yourself in that dream, and strive to make it reality. There are times you might be the only one who believes in yourself with an image of how you want to look. If you can sustain that mindset, you can achieve your goals and grow stronger through the process.

Because of bodybuilding, I am mentally the strongest I have ever been in my life! I went on to become a Pro Figure competitor in the NGA, WNBF, ANBF and nationally qualified in the NPC. I own and operate Cutting Edge Posing Suits, LLC where we design custom made posing suits, write meal plans, and give posing classes. I also teach preschool and created the “Fit for Life” program at the Goddard School in Anderson Township, Ohio. My program introduces children to a healthy lifestyle with fitness and good nutritional decisions. Most of my achievements are due to the mindset that I learned through bodybuilding, which has been an ongoing journey that originated from a desire to lose weight and be healthy.

Here’s a look at how I achieved the following contest accomplishments:

2014:  NGA Kentucky Natural Classic – 1st Open Figure, 1st Masters Figure, Overall Winner;

2015: NGA Kentucky Bluegrass Bodybuilding Championships – 1st Pro Figure;

2016: NGA Kentucky Natural Classic – 1st Pro Figure; NGA Pro/Am Western Kentucky Natural – 1st Pro Figure, Overall Pro Figure; NGA Bluegrass Bodybuilding Championships – 1st Pro Figure, 1st Pro Masters

Nutrition & Supplements

 

Daily Meal Plan - In the off-season I eat many small “meals” throughout the day. Here is a typical meal plan I use between competitions to build muscle while keeping my bodyfat relatively low:

Meal 1 (7:00 am): 1 scoop of vanilla UMP, 12oz almond milk, blended with ice (tastes like a milkshake!)

Meal 2 (8:30 am): 2 brown rice cakes, 2 tbsp almond butter, and a small banana

Meal 3 (10:30 am): 1/4cup of nuts

Meal 4 (11:30 am): Salad with chicken, shredded cheese, and low fat dressing

Meal 5 (1:30 pm): Beef jerky

Meal 6 (3:30 pm): My Chewy UMP Granola Bars (see recipe below)

Meal 7 (5:30 pm): Burrito bowl made with venison, beans, shredded cheese, and plain Greek yogurt

Meal 8 (6:30 pm): Protein bar (during workout)

Meal 9 (8:30 pm): 1 scoop vanilla UMP, 12oz almond milk, blended with ice (it’s an essential post-workout meal)

Meal 10 (10:00 pm): Steak with broccoli

Water Intake: I drink about 1 1/2 gallons of water each day, because of my active lifestyle.

Meal prep tips:

Kai Greene (IFBB professional bodybuilder) said, “Plan and preparation prevents poor performance.” When I prep for the week, I like to cook multiple things at one time. I get more accomplished that way and it’s a lot easier. I’ll have something cooking in the oven, on the stove top, in the crock pot, and mixing in a bowl. Then, I stock my freezer and I’m set for the week! I make it fun by blasting music!

Wendy’s Chewy UMP Granola Bars

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cup oats
  • 4 scoops Vanilla UMP
  • 1 cup sweetened coconut
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup blueberry Craisins

 

  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 325°
  • Line 9 x 9 pan with parchment paper and spray with olive oil
  • Mix dry ingredients in a bowl
  • Stir in wet ingredients

 

  • Press down firmly in the pan (use a glass cup to roll firmly)
  • Bake for approximately 40 mins
  • Make sure to let cool in pan
  • Cut into bars, serve, and enjoy!

Supplement Schedule

Ultimate Muscle Protein - 1 scoop at meal 1 and 9 and also the main ingredient of my Chewy Granola Bars (meal 6). (Daily total: 3 scoops to maintain and build muscle, reduce body fat, and satisfy a sweet tooth.)

Lean Out - 1 capsule with meals 1 through 9. (Daily total: 9 capsules to reduce body fat.)

Muscularity - 3 capsules with meals 1, 4, and 7. (Daily total: 9 capsules to maintain muscle mass, during my strict dieting as the contest approaches.)

Density - 3 tablets with meals 1, 4, and 7. (Daily total: 9 tablets to improve gains and acquire that rock, hard, solid muscle look.)

Glutamine Select - 2 scoops with water after every workout for muscle recovery and growth, and/or for a tasty treat when cutting calories.

Fit Tabs - 2 tablets with meals 1 and 7. (Daily total: 4 tablets to ensure that I am getting the necessary vitamins and minerals that my body requires to perform at its best.)

Joint Care - 3 capsules with meal 5 as a precautionary measure to maintain healthy joints.

Weight Training

 

Monday LegsAmount
Squats5x10
Leg Extensions5x10
Kickbacks5x10
Leg Press Machine5x10
Tuesday ChestAmount
Bench Press5x10
Pec Deck5x10
Dumbbell Flyes5x10
Cable Cross-Over5x10
Wednesday Back Amount
Seated Rows5x10
Lat Pulldowns5x10
Reverse Pec Deck5x10
T-Bar5x10
Thursday Arms & Shoulders Amount
Dumbbell Curls5x10
Dumbbell Hammers5x10
Cable V-Bar Pushdowns5x10
Rope Pressdowns5x10
Dumbbell Raises(Forward) 5x10
Dumbbell Raises(Side) 5x10
Friday Legs (second time in the week
with lighter weights, higher reps)

Amount
Calf Raises5x12
Seated Leg Press5x12
Leg Extensions5x12
Glute Kickbacks5x12
Saturday CardioAmount
Yardwork “grass cutting cardio”for 2.5 to 3 hours

Sunday Rest

Abs (every other day)Amount
Hanging Leg Raises(to failure)
Incline bench sit-ups(to failure)
Ab wheel(to failure)

Cardio Schedule

 

I am a preschool teacher and move around all day. Because of that, I don’t need to do cardio until I’m 30 days out from a competition. I found that I tend to eat more when I do too much cardio, which defeats the purpose. I use the elliptical 3 times a week for 20 minutes each time on a moderate tension, steep incline setting. I rely more on yardwork as a means for conditioning. I live on one acre of land and cut my grass with a push mower. It’s a great workout that provides results, while also being productive.

 

Presentation Tips

When you first decide to compete, I believe you should seek out a posing instructor to help you understand the basic comparison poses. Then, do your research! Watch YouTube videos. Check out contest photos and online images of the top competitors in your category. Then, analyze everything they do. Try to emulate their positions/poses in front of the mirror and make minute changes to see what works best for your physique. Keep practicing and adjusting as your physique changes throughout prep. Also, make sure someone critiques you throughout the process. A second opinion is very important, especially when you don’t have the use of a mirror as an aid. Last, but not least, don’t forget to exude confidence on stage! It makes a huge difference in your overall appearance!

In Conclusion

Bodybuilding is a very difficult yet gratifying lifestyle. It will take you through a journey that will test your limitations, both physically and mentally. You must to be able to set yourself apart from others, especially in the way you think. Then, with a strong mindset, you can achieve your dreams not only in bodybuilding but in life!

A Strong Mind In A Strong Body

At a Glance: Brian Bourkland

Age: 52

Occupation: Personal Trainer, Group Exercise Instructor, Art Model at Indiana University Bloomington School of Art, Architecture, and Design

Education: Bachelor of Music Education, Master of Music Education, Master of Music History and Literature, Bachelor of Exercise Science, ACE Certified Personal Trainer, Certified R.I.P.P.E.D. Instructor

Family: Married to my wonderful wife Gail for 24 years, daughters Julia and Rachel, son Matthew

Current Residence: Bloomington, IN

Years training (total): 38 years

Height: 5’ 9"

Weight: (Off-Season) 215, (Contest) 194

Favorite Bodybuilding Meal: UMP Pancakes made with 1 cup of egg whites, 1 scoop of vanilla UMP, 1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese, and 1/2 cup of oats

Favorite supplements: UMP helps me meet my daily protein requirements and is a great lean protein choice that keeps me feeling full. I like to mix Muscle Synergy and Glutamine Select together in a shaker and drink pre- and intra-workout for a great pump and to maximize recovery. I take 1 tablet each per 10 pounds of bodyweight of Mass Aminos and Ultra 40 during contest preparation to ensure I always have the full spectrum of amino acids available in my body at all times

What would you recommend to someone who has never used Beverly supplements before? I would recommend a combination of UMP, Mass Aminos, and Ultra 40. This is a basic stack that will maximize protein availability.

Music: I have a huge music library. Depending on what mood I’m in, it could range anywhere from Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, to Rage Against the Machine, Radiohead, or Little Big Town or even James Taylor.

Most Inspiring Book: The Success Principles, by Jack Canfield.

Hobby or interests outside bodybuilding: Ballroom dancing, spending time in our national forests

Words to live by: “Strong minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, weak minds discuss people.” —Socrates

 

A Strong Mind In A Strong Body

Since the age of 14, training with weights has brought me tremendous satisfaction over the years. The physical benefits are evident, but the time I’ve spent with weights has been just as productive mentally. Over the last 38 years, training with weights has been my companion as I’ve challenged my mind earning multiple degrees in the field of music, and later, a degree in exercise science. The traits of consistency, patience, and perseverance that are key to success in bodybuilding are also keys to succeeding in life.

The great old-school bodybuilder and former Mr. Universe, Dave Draper, has had a profound influence on my approach to bodybuilding. He is an extremely entertaining writer and I highly recommend his Brother Iron, Sister Steel book. Those of you who are familiar with his style will acknowledge that he is strictly no-nonsense, very thoughtful and witty with words, and not swayed by fitness trends. I try to emulate his approach to my work and in my own training. Here is some advice I can offer:

 

  • Bodybuilding is best done by feel and gut I treat bodybuilding as a mind-body connection much like yoga—continuously analyzing the feedback I am getting from the muscle group I am working on and being in the present.
  • For a year-round nutritional plan, I recommend one of Beverly’s Gain Muscle and Lose Fat diet When you are ready for contest prep (or to just get into the best shape of your life), choose their Contest Countdown meal plan.
  • Whether you are going through a bulking or cutting phase, choose one or the other and stick with Don’t be indecisive and not give either phase enough time to be successful. Don’t think you’re going to maintain a chiseled look while bulking – with bulking comes some fat gain. There is no avoiding it. The key is to choose a nutrition plan for your current goal and stick to it. Avoid influences from internet forums.
  • Always be a gentleman (or a lady), be positive, and be as helpful as Especially be helpful to someone who is just starting out. Always be kind.
  • Competing is not for everyone and that’s Dave Draper talks about how he disliked competing and he went on to accomplishing something truly awesome with his life! I use competitions as sort of a checkpoint and like to meet other athletes like myself.

If you keep this up for several years, there will come a time when people will start noticing you – in a good way. Always have a smile and positive demeanor.

Presentation

My background in art, music, and bodybuilding has led me to view the human body as a work of art. This mindset influences how I approach training, contest preparation, and also posing. I can’t emphasize enough the importance of practicing posing early on in contest preparation. I setup a timer so that the pose lasts one minute with 10 seconds rest. Holding each pose for a full 60 seconds in practice will allow you to breeze through your time on stage while other competitors are struggling and winded. It also will help put the finishing touches on your conditioning. At many shows with a lot of divisions/classes the prejudging runs at a fast clip, so don’t take a long time getting into your pose, or you risk the judges going on to the next pose before you have even hit the previous one they called for! That will not bode well for you.

I can’t imagine what my life would be like if I had not started lifting weights 38 years ago. A lifestyle that does not include the gym seems so foreign to me, if not downright frightening! I have no regrets whatsoever and not for one second wish I were someone else. I just have the innate feeling and knowledge that I’m living the life I am meant to live, and Beverly International’s products have helped me greatly along this journey that is far from over.

Diet

My diets come from the Beverly International Pre Contest Bodybuilding Workshop Manual – Diet and Supplements section. One of my favorite off-season diets is:
 

PHASE 1: GAIN MUSCLE / LOSE FAT NUTRITION PLAN (A):

Meal 1: 2 whole eggs + 4 egg whites; 6oz very lean meat; 1/2 cup oatmeal

Meal 2: (Choose one option):

Option A: Protein Drink with two scoops Ultimate Muscle Protein; two tbsp healthy fat source (olive oil, flax oil, almond butter) or heavy cream

Option B: 8oz lean beef or chicken or 2 cans tuna, one small apple or orange

Meal 3: 8oz lean meat (chicken or other lean protein source); 6oz sweet potato or 2/3 cup cooked brown rice; 2 cups vegetables (broccoli, etc.) or green salad with 4 tbsp vinegar and oil dressing

Meal 4: (same options as meal #2)

Meal 5: 10oz very lean meat (chicken breast, fish, turkey breast, lean beef - sirloin, filet, etc.); 2 cups vegetables; salad with 2 tbsp vinegar and oil dressing

Choose one option:

Option A: Protein Shake or Pudding: 2 Scoops Ultimate Muscle Protein, add enough water to make a shake or pudding the consistency you desire

Option B: 8 egg whites + 2 whole eggs or 6oz beef; 1-2 cup vegetables

When I am preparing for a contest, I like to follow Beverly’s:

PHASE 3: CONTEST PEAKING NUTRITION PLAN (3-A):

Meal 1: 5oz lean beef or turkey, 6 egg whites, 1 whole egg, 1/2 grapefruit

Meal 2: (Choose one option):

Option A: Protein Drink: 2 scoops Ultimate Muscle Protein, 1 tbsp healthy fat or heavy cream, 4 strawberries (optional), 16oz water

Option B: 6oz can tuna or 5oz chicken, 3 egg whites, 1 whole egg, 1 tomato

Meal 3: 8oz chicken (weighed prior to cooking), 4 cups salad (lettuce, tomato, carrot, cucumber, green peppers, etc.) 2 tbsp cider vinegar and 1 tbsp olive oil (or other vegetable oil) for a dressing

Meal 4: (Choose one option):

Option A: 6oz can tuna or 5oz chicken, 3 egg whites, 1 whole egg, 1 tomato

Option B: Protein Drink: 2 scoops Muscle Provider, 12 oz. water (if post training), or 2 scoops Ultimate Muscle Protein

Meal 5: 8oz lean meat (chicken, turkey, fish or 93% lean beef, etc.), 2 cups vegetables

Monday and Thursday:  Add a 6th meal: 1.5 cups oatmeal (precooked) or cooked rice, 10oz sweet potato, 4oz banana, 1 cup vegetables, 1 tbsp butter, almond butter or oil at the end of the day.

Supplements

Ultimate Muscle Protein (UMP) - I like to stick to the basics with supplements. Being a personal trainer and art model with a tight schedule often means that I rely quite heavily on Beverly’s UMP. It’s a great on-the-go choice for the times when I can’t prepare a meal and I find it works well to sip on during workouts.

Muscle Synergy powder is my all-time favorite. I mainly like it for its arginine ingredient which helps increase blood flow. It also helps with sexual performance and maximizes the pump when taken about 30 minutes prior to a workout.

I use Glutamine Select morning and night to help with recovery. There is never a time when I’m not sore somewhere and Glutamine Select helps keep me anabolic.

In order to make sure I always have the full spectrum of amino acids in my body throughout the day, I use Mass Aminos and Ultra 40’s religiously. Follow the recommendations on the side label to dose the right amount throughout the day.

One interesting Beverly supplement for men my age is Quadracarn. This product takes a few days to build up in your system. I take six per day and have noticed overall benefits in energy and general anti-aging effects.

As I come closer to competition, about 8 weeks out, I make some additions to my supplements with Density, Lean Out, and 7-Keto MuscLean, all taken according to their side panel instructions.

Muscle Synergy powder is my all-time favorite. I mainly like it for its arginine ingredient which helps increase blood flow. It also helps with sexual performance and maximizes the pump when taken about 30 minutes prior to a workout.

Cardio

 

Instead of using a treadmill, elliptical, cycle, or other piece of cardio equipment, I opt instead for an hour-long R.I.P.P.E.D. class three days per week at my local YMCA. I am also one of the instructors for this class. The acronym stands for Resistance Interval Power Plyometrics Endurance and Diet. This class can get your heart rate up to 80% max multiple times. You will not be able to talk during many moments of the class if you are doing it right.

Training

I mainly train for hypertrophy, which for me means a large number of sets performed in slow, strict form- some would say to ridiculous levels of volume. Weights are relatively moderate to moderately heavy. I wasted 10 years using the “more weight is better” approach to training, but with very little development to show for it. Instead of doing a pyramid approach of say 4-6 sets, where the weights are increased at each set while reps decrease, I take a couple of sets to build up to my working weight, and then grind out 6-8 additional sets of at least 10 reps each for an awesome pump.

The following workout is not set in stone. I use an open approach and if I feel that I need to spend more time on an area, I will take whatever time I need and may move other exercises off to the next day. My routine is split up into 8 days as follows:
 

Day 1: Legs (focus on quads, abductors, and calves)

Leg Press:
6-8 sets, 10 reps with various foot placements

Barbell Squats:
6-8 sets, 10 reps

Leg Extension:
(while crunching abs to remove back as leverage) 10 sets of 10 reps

Abduction:
8 sets, 10 reps

Calves:
(I am blessed with large calves, so I use only bodyweight) 4 sets, 50 reps on a step

Day 2: Back

Deadlifts superset with Smith Machine shrugs:
8-10 sets x 10 reps for deadlifts, 8-10 sets x 20 reps for shrugs, 10 reps performed facing the bar and 10 reps performed with my back toward the bar

Pullups:
Performed using strict form for however many sets it takes to get to 50 reps

Assisted Pullups:
100 – 200 broken down into sets of 10 reps, concentrating on full range of motion

Day 3: Chest

Low incline dumbbell press:
6-8 sets, 10 reps

Dips, forward leaning with elbows out:
10 sets, 10 reps

Low Incline Dumbbell Flye:
6-8 sets, 12 reps

Pullovers, performed across the bench:
6-8 sets, 10 reps, keep elbows in

Decline Cable Flye:
6 sets, 10 reps

Day 4: Legs (focus on glutes, hamstrings, adductors, and calves)

Leg Press:
6-8 sets, 3 foot positions totaling 30 reps: 10 reps medium shoulder width, 10 reps high and wide, and 10 reps low and close together

Dumbbell Split Squats:
Performed with one foot extended behind on a bench 6 sets, 10 reps on each leg, try to get into the widest split possible

Dumbbell or Barbell Straight Leg Deadlifts:
6 sets, 10 reps

Glute Flexion (Kickback) Machine:
6 sets, 10 reps on each leg

Adduction Machine:
6-8 sets, 10 reps

Day 5: Back

Dumbbell or Barbell Rows:
6-8 sets, 10-12 reps

T-bar row, old-school style:
4-6 sets, 10 reps

Seated Cable Row with a very wide grip:
4-6 sets, 10 reps Elbows as even with the shoulders as possible to keep tension in the upper back

Lat Pulldown Behind Neck:
4-6 sets, 10 reps Weight light enough to focus on getting the most intense contraction possible

V-bar Pulldown to the clavicles:
4 sets, 10-12 reps

Straight arm pulldown:
4-6 sets, 10 reps

Reverse fly:
6-8 sets, 10 reps

Day 6: Shoulder Day Number One (focus on anterior deltoid and upper pectorals across the clavicles)

Arnold Press:
6-8 sets, 10 reps

High Incline Dumbbell Press:
6-8 sets, 10 reps; set the bench at a steep incline, maybe one or two notches from vertical, this builds the front deltoid/upper pec/clavicle area nicely

High Incline Dumbbell Flye:
6-8 sets, 10 reps, hands facing each other, then superset same number of sets and reps with hands facing forward

Day 7: Shoulder Day Number Two (focus on medial delts and posterior shoulder muscles)

Seated Smith Machine Press Behind the Neck:
6-8 sets, 10 reps, be sure bring the bar down only to ear level, no further

Seated Smith Front Press:
4-6 sets, 10 reps

Lateral Raises with dumbbells or cables:
One set start behind your back, the next from the front, 10-12 reps per set, do as many sets as you feel you need

Rear Deltoid Flyes lying face down on a bench:
(3 positions raise arms forward, out to the side, and to the rear), perform as a tri-set 4-6 sets, 10 reps each position

Day 8: Arms

Close-grip Bench Press:
4-6 sets, 10 reps

Skull Crushers:
4-6 sets, 10 reps

Triceps Pushdown:
As many sets as necessary using a variety of attachments

Pull-ups:
Strict form using 3 different grips for the biceps: a) close-grip with hands facing you, neutral grip to mimic the hammer curl, and slightly wider hands-facing grip just outside shoulder width to target the long head of the biceps, I do however many sets it takes to get to 50 reps, rotating through the grip variations

Low Pulley Cable Curls or Olympic Bar Curls:
6 sets, 10 reps

Preacher Curl:
4-6 sets, 10 reps

Various Dumbbell Curls:
Hammer, concentration, supine with wrist turned outward, etc.; as many sets of 10 reps as your heart desires

Being My Own Competition

At a Glance: Danielle Smith

Age: 51

Occupation: Stay at home mom

Family: Married 20 incredible years to my amazing husband Lee, mom to 2 fantastic kids Sam (17) and Lily (14)

Current Residence: Pickerington, OH

Years in Training: Weight lifting for 30 years, competing for 6 years

Height: 5’7”

Weight: 140-145lbs (off- season), 130-135 lbs (stage)

Favorite Bodybuilding Meal: Without a doubt it has always been UMP chocolate pudding mixed with 1 tbsp almond butter and fresh strawberries.

Favorite Beverly Supplements: UMP is my all-time favorite off-season and in-season supplement. I love ALL of the flavors and it is so incredibly versatile. I use it in everything from pancakes for the family to protein bars and shakes.

What would you recommend to someone who has never used Beverly Supplements before? First step, call Beverly’s incredibly knowledgeable Advisor Team at (800) 781-3475 and speak to their highly educated specialists. They are beyond friendly and helpful with never any pressure to buy. They will walk you through a program that suits your needs. Also, I tend to share samples of UMP with friends to try and it’s always a winner!!!

Music: I’m constantly listening to the Foo Fighters. My all-time fav!

Hobby or interests outside of bodybuilding: Family time, traveling, new adventures and riding and showing my horse.

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

It has been 5 years since my first article in Beverly’s No Nonsense magazine. At the time I had just won 1st place in the 2013 Arnold Amateur Tall division and 3rd place Masters overall. I was on cloud nine. After about a month I knew I needed a new goal. What was going to be my next step? I wanted to see how far I could push myself so I set my sites on trying to achieve my IFBB Pro Card by competing that year in the NPC Masters Championships in Pittsburgh.

That competition really opened my eyes to the incredibly conditioned top-level physiques who were vying with me for a pro card. I don’t think there was any way that I could have adequately prepared myself for seeing so many amazing competitors in every division. I competed in the 45 and over Masters Figure Tall class and was more than happy to place 6th. Once the competition was over, I knew I still had a good amount of work to put in. Specifically, I needed to increase my muscular development, as well as create a more symmetrically balanced physique. This would take time and formulating a smart plan would be essential. I gave myself 18 months off from competing to adequately put in the work and hopefully see the results I knew I needed to achieve. This could not be done without some serious outside expertise. I was lucky to retain Anthony Castore as my trainer and we started to work together immediately.

I decided that I was going to be my own competition. I would work as hard as I could and give it everything I had to bring my absolute best to the stage.

I knew my Beverly International supplement protocol was right on the money, and continued using the tried and true products that I had come to depend on. Anthony changed my training a bit to create a nice balanced split giving each muscle group its own day (see Weight Training sidebar) while I continued HIIT sessions with my long time trainer Brian Taylor. This time away from the stage was just what I needed and began to see the results I was hoping for.

Road to Pro

In 2015, I competed in the Flex Lewis Classic and placed 2nd in the 45 and over. I was certainly starting to see more muscle development, but was still needing more balance and symmetry in my overall physique if I was going to be a viable competitor going for my IFBB card. We continued to focus on lagging muscle parts, having fun and enjoying every challenge each session brought.

2017 was going to be my hardest push yet. I was determined that this was going to be “it.” I needed to qualify as well as get back on stage before going for my pro card. The Arnold in March would be a great opportunity to qualify with still enough time to improve before the Pro Qualifier in September. The Arnold was another amazing experience and I could not have been more grateful for the guidance and support I was given. Hearing and seeing your trainers, family and friends is more satisfying and humbling that any trophy. I placed 4th in the 35 and over division. Once again I was beyond happy and more determined than ever.

Since I turned 50 years old in November and was now qualified, I would be able to compete in the Masters 50 and Over category at the NPC North Americans Championships in September. I truly felt this was my time.

Trusting the Process

As fate would have it, I ran into a dear friend, Kelli McCall, in June. When she asked what was “next” and I told her what my goal was she immediately and without hesitation said, “let’s do it!” I know I needed posing work, an extra set of eyes and to see where the weaknesses were. She and Michael Moore were the most giving, enthusiastic, and dynamic pair of people I could be blessed enough to come to know and their support of my dream and goal was limitless. I felt they both wanted it as much as I did! The three of us battled hard the next 3 months to leave nothing behind, nothing undone. The two of them could see what I couldn’t and they could motivate and coach in a way that just made me feel incredibly grateful. Each week’s progress pictures really blew my mind as I was really starting to see it all coming together. The plan was working!!! This is where you just “trust the process.”

As any competitor knows, the training is fun, the meal prep and eating becomes routine, but the posing is…exhausting and hard!!! I could not give less than 150% in my presentation as this area can make or break any competitor on stage. I trusted both of them implicitly and by far this was the best prep EVER!

Hitting the Stage

Finally, it was competition time. In my mind and heart I knew I had done everything I could to have the prefect plan in place. Thanks to Beverly International, my supplementation was spot on (as always). Thanks to my long time trainer Brian Taylor – HIIT was spot on. Anthony Castore – muscle development training was spot on. Thanks to Kelli and Michael - training, posing, meal protocol – spot on. Thanks to Tamee Marie – my suit was spot on. Family and friends – love and support- AMAZING. I was really ready!

As determined as I was for that coveted IFBB card, when I hit the stage I knew that I had accomplished everything I had set out to do, regardless of placing. I had achieved my goals of muscle development and size, symmetry and shape, and sheer happiness along the way. The whole experience that day was surreal.

Prejudging had me in the middle but honestly you never know. I was my own competition that day – I beat the competitor that stood on that stage 4 years ago. Time seemed to stand still during the finals. The emotion that I felt as my name was called as a new “IFBB PRO” was indescribable. I accomplished my goal!!! My mind immediately went to thanking everyone who made this possible.

My love for this sport and the journey that got me to my goal was summed up that very day. I relied heavily on so many extraordinary people, their expertise, guidance, love and support. It’s a feeling that will always stay with me, remind me of their kindness, and knowing you can accomplish anything if you give it your all and surround yourself with greatness.

Meal Plan

 

Daily meal plan at start of prep – 12 weeks out

Meal 1: 1 whole egg, 3 egg whites, handful of spinach cooked in 1 tsp of coconut oil

Meal 2: Preworkout - 3oz chicken or turkey breast, 1/3 C oatmeal, 1/3 C green beans

Workout - Glutamine Select

Meal 3: 5oz lean beef or bison, 1/3 C rice, 1/2 C green veggies

Meal 4: 5oz Greek yogurt, 1/4 C blueberries

Meal 5: 5oz chicken or turkey breast, 3oz sweet potato, 1/4 C black beans

Meal 6: 1 scoop Beverly UMP w/water and add 1 tbsp PB2

At least 128oz of water a day. One “relaxed” meal on one of my upper body workout days.

Supplements

Ultimate Muscle Protein (UMP) – Used in meal plan, Meal #6

Glutamine Select – During training sessions

3 ZMA 2000 – before bed

Fit Tabs – 2 tabs with Meal #1 and Meal #5

Weight Training

 

A sample of some workouts

Monday: Bicep & Triceps, AbsAmount
DB Curls4x15
Seated Cable Curls4x15
Cable Hammer Curls w/Rope3x15
Single Arm Kickbacks3x12
Cable Pushdowns w/Rope4x15
Dips3x12
Hanging Leg Raises
Tuesday: Shoulders & ChestAmount
Push-Ups3x10
Incline Chest Press4x15
Flat Chest Press4x15
Standing Front Plate Raises3x12
DB Lateral Raises3x12
Upright Rows3x12
Rear Delt Raise3x12
Wednesday: Quads & AbsAmount
Step-Ups3x12
Leg Extensions4x15
Leg Press4x15
Squats4x15
Walking Lunges W/20lb weights15 paces down and back
Donkey Kicks3x15
Weighted Sit Ups
Thursday: BackAmount
Wide-Grip Pull Downs4x12
Seated Cable Close Grip Rows 4x15
Standing Cable Rows 4x15
Heavy Single Arm Row 4x10
Pullovers 4x15
Friday: Hamstrings & GlutesAmount
Lying Leg Curls4x15
Straight-Leg Dead Lift4x15
Good Mornings4x15
Weighted Hip Thrusts4x15
Ab Scooter and Planks

Saturday: Vinyasa Yoga

Christina Comparato

At a Glance: Christina Comparato

Age: 42

Occupation: High School Math Teacher for 19 years, Co-Owner of Total Nutrition for 13 years

Family: Mom, Dad, brother, sister-in-law, niece, nephew, & 3 fur-sons: Muscles, Oreo, & Zeus

Current Residence: Sylvania, Ohio

Years training (total): 19 years

Height: 5’2”

Weight: 130 (off-season), 116 (contest)

Favorite Bodybuilding Meal: Breakfast of Champions UMP Pancakes- 1/4 cup oatmeal (cook first), 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk, 1/4 cup Greek yogurt, 1/4 cup pumpkin, 1 egg white, 1/2 scoop UMP (any flavor), 1 tbsp flax seed, 1 tsp cinnamon & 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice. Cook into one large pancake or several small ones if desired. I top mine with 1 tbsp Chocolate PB2 & 1 tsp almond butter. Macros: 326 calories, 31 C, 28 P, 10 F

Favorite Supplement: UMP! I use it 24-7-- breakfast, as a snack, pre & post workout. You can even eat it off the counter if it spills. It’s that good! I also put it in my coffee as a creamer & sweetener.

What would you recommend to someone who has never used Beverly supplements before? Try UMP. It will not matter if you drink it as a shake mixed in 8-12 oz of cold water, or eat as a pudding mixed in just a little bit of water. You will NOT be disappointed.

Music: From Country to the Rocky soundtrack during tough workouts

Most Inspiring Book: “Until I Say Good-Bye: My Year of Living with Joy,” by Susan Spencer-Wendel

Hobby or interests: Giving back to the bodybuilding community by judging shows and volunteering at fit clinics & seminars

Words to live by: “Eat to Live, Don’t Live to Eat”

 

Working out has been a way of life for me for nearly twenty years. But, it’s not the only thing in my life. I started teaching high school math the same year that I started working out. This fall I’ll be starting my 20th year in teaching. Along with teaching and competing, I’m also co-owner, with Barry Gordon of Total Nutrition in Toledo, OH where I help others with their nutrition, supplements, and training. In the remainder of this article I’m going to touch on:

  • How I got started competing
  • A little about how my students relate to me
  • How I got started with Beverly
  • Some of my recent accomplishments (courtesy of Barry)
  • My cardio, training, nutrition, and supplement plans
  • Tips I’ve learned along the way

How I Got Started Competing

I’d been working out a couple of years when I moved to the Toledo, OH area in 2000. One of the first things I did was join a gym. After a short time the gym regulars started encouraging me and commented on my workout ethic and favorable genetics. They suggested that I give competition a try, “What the heck, at least try an 8-week diet, get tanned up, step on stage, and see how you do.” Barry Gordon was already a competitor and offered to go through my first contest prep with me.

We dieted together, trained together, and two months later competed and won our mixed pairs competition. And of course I was hooked.

How My Students Relate

My kids Google me a lot and I am known as the bodybuilder teacher. We don’t really talk about it but I feel that they respect me because of it. They seem to know when it is competition time, especially if I am gone on a Friday and Monday. When I come back, they somehow know where I’ve been and say congratulations. Throughout the year, I have numerous students ask me about healthy food plans, workouts, sport specific advice, etc. I also keep in touch with quite a few of my past students over the years. For example, just last week, one student inquired about me training him and his family, another asked for competition advice. One had a big hockey tryout coming up and asked me for training advice. It is very rewarding to say the least and I love it!

How I Got Started with Beverly International

About 15 years ago Barry and I opened Total Nutrition. We carried Beverly supplements right from the start. I used several of them during my first contest preps, was hooked, and have stuck with them ever since. I’ve always been impressed with their integrity and the incredible high quality of their supplements. Another plus is the ease of placing orders and that I am able to get any questions answered by a live person. I also like the information in their No Nonsense magazine both for me and our clients. I was actually featured in the magazine ten years ago (go to BeverlyInternational. com, click “Search” at the top left and type in Christina Comparato).

Recent Accomplishments

Barry Gordon here to give you a brief rundown on Christina’s latest accomplishments. After a 5-year hiatus from competition, Christina got the bug to step back on stage in 2014. Her Pro status had expired so the first order of business was to work her way back up the ladder. That summer she competed in 2 INBA shows earning her Pro status in the PNBA. That fall she competed in a NANBF show and regained her IFBA natural Pro status. She was also awarded Pro status in a newer natural organization, the DFAC. Christina closed out the year by taking 1st in bodybuilding at the PNBA Natural Universe and placing top 3 in DFAC Miami World’s Finals, and the PNBA Natural Olympia. She said how surreal it was to experience those 2 big World shows with athletes representing several countries. Yes, she was still working this entire time as a HS math teacher and running our nutrition/personal training studio (Total Nutrition) by herself in the evenings and weekends.

In 2015, Christina was back on the Natural Olympia stage and won first place and the Gold Medal for bodybuilding. In 2016, she was once again going for the Gold at the PNBA Natural Olympia. Not only would she defend her pro title in women’s bodybuilding, but she also entered Pro Master’s Physique and Mixed Pairs. It would be quite a feat to pull off 3 wins in 3 different categories. But with a fire under her that I had never seen before, Christina walked away with 3 first place wins, earning her 3 more Gold medals. Now, I am proud to say she is a 4x Olympia World Champion. And I couldn’t be more proud of her. - Barry Gordon

How I Did It - My Cardio, Training, Nutrition and Supplement Plans

 

Cardio

Two months out from the Olympia in 2016, I knew it was crunch time. My body was not dropping fat and I had a title to defend. That’s when I decided to hit cardio 7 days a week. 4 days I did 30 minutes of MISS (Moderate Intense Steady State) cardio keeping my heart rate at 130 BPM or higher. I mixed it up with the elliptical, stair stepper, incline fast walk, & P90X-3 workouts. On the other 3 days I did both HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) and MISS cardio: ten minutes of HIIT, consisting of 20 seconds full out as fast as I could, with 40 seconds of recovery. HIIT was usually on a stationary bike standing & pedaling as fast as I could or incline sprints on a treadmill or sprints outside my business in the parking lot. Immediately following HIIT I did 10 minutes of MISS, again keeping my heart rate at about 130 BPM.

Training

I train each body part twice a week. I use heavy rep ranges for one of the workouts (6-8 reps) and hypertrophy ranges for the other (8-12 or 15-20). Here’s how a typical week looks.

Monday (Heavy - Pull)

Back: Pull-Ups 3x8, BB Rows, 3x8, Hyperextensions 3x8

Biceps: Preacher Curls 3x8, Incline DB Curls 3x8, Wide Rope Curls 3x8

Abs: Leg Raise with DB 3x8, Machine crunches 3x8, Decline Crunches with plate 3x8

Cardio: 30 minutes Medium Intensity Sustained State done before workout (medium day diet)

Tuesday (Hypertrophy – Push)

Chest: Cable Crossovers 3x20, Decline DB Flyes 3x12, Smith Bench Press 3x20

Shoulders: Smith Press 3x20, Standing Wide Rope Raises 3x12, Rope Face Pulls 3x20

Triceps: DB Extensions 3x20 each side, Incline BB Skull crushers 3x12, Straight Bar Pushdown 3x20

Cardio: 30 minutes MISS cardio done before workout (medium day diet)

Wednesday (Heavy - Legs)

Quads: Smith Squats 3x8, Leg Press 3x8, Single Leg Extensions 3x8 each side

Hamstrings: Leg Curls 3x8, BB Stiff Leg Deadlift 3x8, Reverse Leg Curls 3x8

Calves: Seated Raises 5x8, DB Standing Raises 5x8

Cardio: 10 HIIT intervals after workout, followed by 10 minutes MISS cardio directly after (medium day diet)

Thursday (Hypertrophy - Pull)

Back: Close Reverse Grip Lat Pulldown 3x20, Single Arm Pulldowns 3x12 each side, T Bar Row 3x20

Biceps: BB Curls 3x20, Spider Curls 3x12, DB Hammer Curls 3x20

Abs: TRX Knee-Ins 3x20, Single Cable Crunch 3x12 each side, Roman Chair Plate Twist 3x20 each side

Cardio: 10 HIIT intervals after workout, followed by 10 minutes MISS cardio directly after (high day diet)

 

Saturday (Heavy – Push)

Chest: Bench Press 3x8, Incline Cable Flye 3x8, Decline Smith Press 3x8

Shoulders: Arnold Press 3x8, Reverse Pec Deck 3x8, Single Cable Side Lateral Raises 3x8 each side

Triceps: Skull crushers 3x8, Rope Pushdown 3x8, Cable Kickbacks 3x8 each side

Cardio: 30 minutes MISS cardio done before workout (medium day diet)

Sunday (Hypertrophy - Legs)

Quads: Hack Squats 3x20, BB Lunges 3x12 each side, DB Single Leg Squats 3x20 each Side

Hamstrings: DB Lying Leg Curls 3x20, Standing Leg Curls (with Cable) 3x12 each side, Good Mornings 3x20

Calves: Calf Raise on Leg Press 4x20, Calf Raise on Smith Machine 4x12

Cardio: 10 HIIT intervals after workout, followed by 10 minutes MISS cardio directly after (high day diet)

Nutrition

My diet consists of 4 Medium days (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday), 2 High days (Thursday and Sunday), and one Low day (Friday).

Meals

Meal 1: Omelet made with spinach, egg whites, and walnuts

Meal 2: UMP protein shake and almonds

Meal 3: Fish, 1 cup of veggies (broccoli, green beans, or Brussel sprouts), almonds

Meal 4: Chicken, sweet potato, almonds

Meal 5 (Pre-workout): Oatmeal pancake: oatmeal, UMP, egg whites

Meal 6 (Post-workout): Muscle Provider protein shake and a sweet potato

Meal 7: Salad with turkey, spinach, veggies, and almonds

  • My High day is approximately 1779 calories, Medium day is 1689 calories, and Low day about 1455.
  • Sample diet above is my medium day.
  • On high days, I increase the carbs. For example, instead of an 8oz sweet potato at meal 4, I would increase it to 12 oz, and instead of 1/4 cup oatmeal in meal 5, I’d increase it to 1/2 cup.
  • On low days, leave out the carbs (oatmeal and sweet potatoes) from meals 4, 5, and 6.
  • Water: The last 2 years my body seems like it is always asking me for water. So my water intake has increased to a consistent 2 gallons a day.

Meal prep tips

Make it as easy as possible on yourself. Personally, like everyone else when in contest prep mode and with multiple jobs, I need to have everything cooked on the weekends because my Monday- Fridays are super busy from 6 am to 8 pm. (That’s also the only time I have to clean my entire house.) I even cut up my pancake in pieces so it is ready to take with me each morning. And trust me, the pancakes taste the same on Monday as they do on Friday. I cook one or two meats for the week, usually chicken, ground turkey, or tilapia. Numerous sweet potatoes are thrown in the oven for about 90 minutes at 400 degrees. Not even I can mess them up. I just stick them in the oven while prepping everything else. I also throw in a few sliced white potatoes for a post workout carb a few days a week. I like fresh veggies and bulk shop once a week at Sam’s club. My usual veggies are green beans, Brussels sprouts, or asparagus.

Supplements

I consider my supplements essential to my success and longevity in the sport. Here is the supplement schedule I used en route to my Natural Olympia victories.

FitTabs - 2 in am & 2 in pm for all my essential vitamins and minerals

Lean Out - 2 with each meal helps ensure that fat is constantly being mobilized for energy

Ultra 40 - 3 with each meal to maintain my size

Density - 3 with each meal helps me get LEAN & HARD - love it!

Quadracarn - 3 twice a day, helps me lean out and maintain muscle

Muscle Mass - 5 pre & post workout, a great BCAA for recovery

Advanced Antioxidant - 2 post workout to recover from a busy lifestyle

Multiple Enzyme Complex - 1 a day helps me maintain optimal digestion and assimilation of nutrients (very important for a natural athlete)

Glutamine Select - 1 scoop near the end of my workout lets me finish strong, & recover fast

ZMA 2000 - 2 before bed, helps me recover from my workout and rest better

Tips I’ve Learned Along the Way

  1. Always, always, stretch & warm-up before your Get on the bike for 5 minutes and do some light DB exercises for the body parts you are going to be working. Also do some leg extensions on leg days to warm up your knees. Trust me; it helps as you get older.
  2. Focus on a goal and stick with ONE If you ask 5 people their opinion about a workout program or meal plan, you will get 5 different answers. Consistency is one of the key ingredients.
  1. I know everyone says it, but if you are competing you need to practice your Start off with a 10-minute session practicing your quarter turns and/or poses. Then increase your time each week by 5 minutes. The easiest time for me to practice my posing was after my workout while I ate/drank my post workout meal. Have someone who knows critique you so you can make changes. You may not realize that you are irritating the judges by bobbing your head or running your hand up and down your obliques (I have seen both).
  2. Be confident. Don’t have self-doubt and constantly compare yourself to Believe in yourself and focus on the hard work you have put into your weight loss or competition journey.
  3. To gauge progress in your weight loss journey, use 3 numbers - yes the scale, but also buy a caliper & test your body fat, and use a tape measure for a few hip & stomach Once a week or every other week is sufficient. When you see the changes in your body and/or your numbers, it is very rewarding.
  4. If you are a competitor, thinking about competing, unsure of a certain method, need a workout program, not sure which organization to compete with, or wondering which bodybuilding show to compete at, please please do not hesitate to reach out to me. I can be reached at thetototalnutrition@ yahoo.com.

How I Maximized My Fitness Level and Physique at Age 40!

At a Glance: LaRita Laktonen-Ward

Age: 40

Occupation/Education: Tru Life Fitness online certified weight management and competition prep coach, personal trainer, BS Kinesiology, Masters in Public Health

Family: Married to Tru Ward, 12 year old daughter, Ravenna

Current Residence: South Prince George, Virginia

Years training (total): 5 competitively, but have always exercised and learned healthy eating habits

Height: 5’10”

Weight: (Off-Season) 160, (Contest) 145

Favorite Fitness Meal: UMP Pancakes (see sidebar for recipe)

What do you love most about Beverly supplements? Beverly supplements are designed for the drug free natural athlete. The quality of the products will maximize your results. Find a stack that lines up with your goals and take as directed.

Music: Hard rock or rap while lifting

Most Inspiring Book: Anything on maximizing fat loss or muscle gain. I love reading peer reviewed research on exercise physiology and nutrition.

Hobby or interests outside bodybuilding: Family is my number one priority, so I strive to get my husband and daughter as many opportunities to fulfill their dreams and I also support them. I’m a dance mom and also invest many hours cooking to support the nutrition and energy needed for success.

Words to live by: Action proceeds motivation and it comes from you. You can seek motivation in others, but you can’t wait for it to kick in. Make an action plan and stick with it. Motivation will follow action and consistency.

The No Nonsense magazine used to have a tagline, “Amazing Transformations”. As a lifetime fitness learner and expert, I don’t have a huge transformation story to talk about, but I can tell you how I maximized my fitness level at the age of 40. Since my 40th birthday I have won overall at the OCB Pro Bowl in Professional Figure and 2nd at the prestigious OCB Yorton Cup in Professional Figure. I try my best to lead by example, and I’m a true believer that longevity in the sport of bodybuilding is increased by being steroid and drug free. It can be done and you can meet your desired goals through simply hard work and balance.

I lifted some in high school and as a college basketball player in the late 90’s, but not consistently until 2012. I was inspired seeing my husband compete and attending various shows with him. As a busy professional at the time and a mom, I did my first show while my husband was deployed with the Army. I won overall Bikini in my very first show. The prep was the hardest ever and I was so burned out after the show that I put on 15 pounds within a couple weeks. When you spend months focused on a big goal and invest your all, it can be an empty feeling when it’s over. Now, I have a better understanding of myself emotionally, mentally, and physically, so I am able to find balance after a competition.

Before I tell you about my diet and training, I’d like to leave you with this thought. You must have a goal. No matter how much you know about nutrition and training, your body will not take you there unless your mind has the destination. Goals bring an extra level of dedication and intensity.

Diet

In my very first competition, my diet consisted of 99 percent lean protein, starchy carbs, and green vegetables. As the first prep is always the toughest, I also suffered from many cravings due to not having essential fats in my diet.

Now, the focus is on whole foods, but supplementing protein powder for convenience. I cycle starchy carbs including them with most of my meals on some days and only before and after training on other days. On the lower carb days I will add in whole eggs or other forms of good fats like almonds to replace the calories. Carb cycling not only gives you a mental break, but helps bump up your metabolism.

My favorite starchy carbs are sweet potatoes, rice, and oats. My favorite protein sources are egg whites, 99% lean ground turkey, or chicken, but I also eat fish.

The meal plan below is a typical day for me:

Meal Plan

 

Meal 1: 1 whole egg and 1 cup egg whites scrambled with garlic, mushrooms, asparagus and 1 Ezekiel English muffin

Meal 2: 2/3 cup oats cooked with 2 scoops of chocolate UMP protein and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon

Meal 3: 5oz ground turkey, 4oz sweet potatoes, and steamed broccoli

Meal 4: 2 scoops UMP protein in shaker bottle with water or blended with 1 cup of no sugar added vanilla almond milk, with 16 raw almonds on side

Meal 5: 5oz grilled chicken, 1/2 cup rice, and mixed greens

Meal 6: 5oz ground turkey, 4.5oz baked potato, and steamed asparagus

In my diet, greens are always a go and unlimited! One quick snack that I enjoy is to add two handfuls of spinach into the blender with a cup of no sugar added vanilla almond milk and UMP protein powder! Vanilla or chocolate both taste amazing and it keeps you full! Adding the spinach may not sound good, but can’t knock it till you have tried it.

Supplements

My absolute go to’s are:

EFA Gold (3 with meal 1)

Joint Care (3 per day)

Creatine Select (1 scoop daily), or we substitute

Muscle Synergy (16 tablets daily) for the last month before a show

FitTabs (2 tablets with meal 1), although we use the Super Pak pre contest

Mass Amino Acids (2-3 with every meal for a total of 12-18 daily)

Lean Out (2 capsules, 3 times daily between meals) helps me during the last few weeks of show prep to cut cravings and burn that last little bit of fat.

Training Schedule

Natural athletes have to incorporate both volume and heavy weights. We often include drop sets on an exercise to get 10-20 more reps after failure. Occasionally, I will do 300-400 bodyweight lunges in addition to my weight workouts. Depending on what our individual goals are, we may push harder on certain days or go into that workout more determined and focused. A typical plan for the week would be like this:
 

3 Days On, 1 Day Off | Day 4: Cardio or full rest day

Day 1: Chest, ShouldersAmount
Smith Machine Shoulder Press1x15, 4x10
Single DB Press4x12 each side
DB Lateral Raise4x12 (superset)
DB Front Raise4x12
Push-ups4 sets to failure (start flat or incline,
as many as you can, then go to knees
and continue to failure)
Day 2: BackAmount
Heavy Single-arm DB Rows6x12
Assisted Pull-ups4x10 (last two reps are slow negatives)
Row Machine4x12
Wide Lat Pulldown4x12 (superset)
Reverse Grip Pulldowns4x10-12
Day 3: LegsAmount
Single Leg Extensions4x15 slow squeeze (Last set AMRAP
with both legs on single leg weight)
Leg Press5x10
BB Glute Press4x15 (heavy)
Step-back BB Lunges
4x30 (alternating)
Leg Extensions3x30 (both legs together)
Calf Raises100 reps any combo/exercise
Day 5: Chest, ShouldersAmount
Hammer Strength Incline Press1x15, 4x10
High Cable Pec Flyes4x12
Flat DB Bench Press 3x25
DB Overhead Press5x10
Cable Rope Face Pulls4x12
DB Lateral Raises(one set, 60 sec. AMRAP
with moderate weight)
Day 6: LegsAmount
BB Squats4x10
DB Suitcase Squats5x10
DB SLDL5x12
Deadlifts on Unilateral Hammer Strength or BB4x8-10
Seated Hamstring Curls3x15
Day 7: ArmsAmount
Single-arm Rope Extension4x12 (superset)
Single Handle Cable Extension4x12
Both-arm Rope Extension3x15
Machine Bicep Curls5x12
Machine Single-arm Curls3x10

UMP PANCAKES

In blender:
- 1 c of oats
- 1 scoop UMP vanilla
- 1/2 c egg whites
- 1 heaping tbsp baking cocoa
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract for flavor
Toppings:
- Walden Farms 0 cal syrup
- Fruit or unsweetened applesauce
Blend and add a little water at a time till it's the right consistency for pancakes

Competition suits, courtesy of Figure Suits by Jodi

Cardio Schedule

 

During prep, I prefer the stationary bike, as I have seen studies that show it preserves the most muscle, followed by incline walking. When going into a show, I will do a couple days of 30 minutes on the bike per week and also a couple days of HIIT (high intensity interval training) in the form of outdoor sprints for 45 seconds all out and 75 seconds walking in between for a total of 20 minutes. Off season, I like to hike or jog occasionally, but I don’t have a prescribed schedule for cardio.

Return of the Beast from Batesville

At a Glance: Jeff Williamson

Age: 50

Occupation: Cooperate Supplier Quality Manager

Current Residence: Batesville, IN

Years training (total): 30 yrs

Height: 5’9”; Weight: (Off-Season) 240, (Contest) 210

Favorite Bodybuilding Meal: Turkey, rice, olive oil – all mixed together (Greek Style)

Favorite supplements:

Muscle Provider - Post workout- this is the best protein powder on the planet. Quick acting protein that sets the muscle repair building mechanism in motion after training. This is a must after training – NOT AN OPTION.

Quadracarn! - I simply use it because it works! (3 tabs 3x/day) Quadracarn clearly makes a difference in the way the muscles look and “pop” when using this stuff!! Muscles look full and skin looks tight and younger…too many people have the same results to dispute this…not sure how it works but I cannot believe the difference in how my body, skin, and muscles look when I take this insane product.

What would you recommend to someone who has never used Beverly supplements before? I would recommend Ultimate Muscle Protein – it is a perfect meal replacement, and/or an excellent way to get more protein in the diet. UMP has essential fats the body needs and the blend of proteins which makes it a perfect protein to take any time of day or night, plus it will never upset your stomach because of the high- quality ingredients and it tastes so good - ESPECIALLY when dieting.

Music: Anything from Kid Rock to Nickelback

Most Inspiring Book: “The WAY of the SEAL” by Mark Divine

Hobby or interests outside bodybuilding: Fast cars and sport bikes

Words to live by: “Always be prepared”

Jeff Williamson wins a pro card at the NPC Masters Nationals

When we think of a beast, we imagine a muscular monster, fists pounding on chest, the loud sound of a deep window-shaking growl, before crashing through cinderblock walls and flipping vehicles over in anger. New IFBB pro Jeff Williamson keeps the Hulk-like anger inside, using his energy wisely to create an amazing and balanced classic physique... winning the open bodybuilding over-50 class at the national level and progressing to an amazing pro debut.

Jeff Williamson rates as an exceptional bodybuilder. With both of us fortunate enough to be longtime parts of the Beverly International family, I met Jeff around twenty years ago. A group of us shared a meal and talked training, laughed, and saw that each of us had different lives but similar interests. Jeff interested me because his answers were never predictable. He would pause, consider the question, and make a lateral cerebral exploratory reply that told me that he does not rattle off the typical answers we have all read or heard dozens of times. He replies honestly and wisely.

Back in April, my good friend Big E invited me out to a posing clinic with longtime NPC executive Gary Udit and a dozen IFBB pros. I know Big E through his training partner Brian Yersky, and the three of us have been to many gyms and events together. He knows that I enjoy catching a handful of top male and female lifters in all classes so that I can throw some deep video questions their way. This event was at Joe Mazzone's Powerhouse Gym in Berea, Ohio and had an obvious impressive gathering.

I stepped into the clinic room while Udit was wrapping up the bikini class segment. The room was tightly packed and I whispered a “Hey” and a nod to Brian Yerski and Big E when my peripheral vision caught someone wearing a black Beverly International hoodie. Even though it had been over a decade since we ran into one another, the familiar smile, Scandinavian shaped nose (unlike mine that resembles a poor-skilled boxer), and positive attitude was a common Jeff Williamson intro.

While we couldn't talk in that room, I caught up with Jeff, even shot some video interview segments, and shared some of the changes we both have had in our lives. Jeff had driven out from Indiana to help his girlfriend (an impressive female competitor named Rita George) get ready for some upcoming stage work, and modestly mentioned that he was going to get on stage again himself.

Much like bodybuilding icon Bill Pearl, Jeff takes long periods away from competing (years at a time), making people wonder if he has retired from the game, even though I am sure that his commitment to training is obvious to those who see him in the squat rack. This is not uncommon. For many bodybuilders there is a lifetime addiction toward gym battles in their future. This is because love of training might only be beaten by our love of friends and family (in Jeff's case this includes his two sons, nineteen and twenty years of age), with competition often coming to a conclusion.

In Bill Pearl's history, he earned a Mr. Universe trophy in 1953, 1956, 1961, 1967 and 1971. While most of his followers assumed Pearl was retired, he would shock them on stage with a new improved physique. Jeff Williamson has followed that same direction in his bodybuilding career. The difference is that on Pearl's final Mr. Universe wins, Sergio Oliva, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Frank Zane displayed a future stage of bodybuilding coming on the horizon. With Williamson, some may say he presented an improved futuristic physique, and stood on stage presenting an even better build to not only match the growth of the sport, but to lead this master's category.

History of the Beast

Jeff Williamson started lifting right out of high school. This involved lifting in the garage. When Jeff went to college to study engineering he joined Gold's Gym in Evansville. “It was my first exposure to a gym atmosphere and I was hooked from there on,” says Jeff who was just lifting and not even thinking about competing.

When he was thirty-years old, Jeff trained at a gym in Harrison, Ohio. “I think it was called Excalibur at the time,” Jeff recalls. “The gym owner asked me if I ever competed. He told me that I needed to talk to the people at Beverly International. One thing lead to another and I made an appointment and met with Sandy. She took a look at me and said that I should do the Tri-State Novice, which was coupled with the Mr. Kentucky. I won that show and did several shows since then. I’d do four to five shows, sit out for a while, do a few more shows, and then sit out for a few years.” Just like Bill Pearl.

Jeff won numerous titles in a number of organizations including the NANBF USA title. He also competed in the WNBF for a few years. But, one title had eluded him, so Jeff returned to the NPC and won the overall at the NPC Indiana State Championships in 2012. Five years later, he decided to go after the NPC Masters National title. In order to take things to a higher level, Jeff included some outside guidance.

The Importance of Adding a Coach

“I don’t think everyone that competes needs a coach,” says Jeff. “There are a number of National-level competitors who don’t have coaches, but I do think everyone needs a little help in one area or another (posing, diet, training, supplements, or pre-contest prep). Most importantly, most competitors need an external critique of their body guiding you to improve weak points and timing your contest prep. At a high level, you really need to dial in the diet. You can really screw things up the week before prep, the day of the show, between pre-judging and finals.” Top competitor and friend Todd Buchanan recommended that he consider hiring IFBB pro Brian Hoydic as his Vince Lombardi/Gironda.

“I learned a lot from my coach in the posing area alone”, says Jeff. “I have worked with a few of the best people in the sport and thought I had the posing down. I soon learned there were several things I had to change in terms of presentation. Brian Hoydic took me to the next level. NOT to take one thing away from my roots…Roger and Sandy both gave me more than a foundation in the sport. They have always been my rock and without them I would not have ever walked on a bodybuilding stage. I have used their techniques, nutritional advice, Beverly products and all their information to help countless others. I also work as a personal trainer working with clients, many of which are competitors, and almost 100% of what I do with them comes from what Roger and Sandy have taught me 'Beverly-style'…if you will. I owe any success that I may have to Roger and Sandy. Certainly my coach now, Brian Hoydic, played a huge role in me getting my IFBB pro card. I have worked with Brian for about a year and Beverly about twenty years, just to put things into perspective.”

I contacted Brian Hoydic to hear his views on the Batesville Beast. Okay, he had no idea who I was referring to until I added in, “I mean JEFF!”

“Jeff has no weaknesses,” says Brian. “He has full, round muscle bellies. He gets hard and dry. His shoulders and pecs are his strongest attributes. The first time I saw his pics I told him if he follows the plan he will be a pro. He didn't miss a meal or take an unscheduled cheat meal. He checked in on time every time. He never once complained or questioned anything. Most guys that are trainers add stuff or take stuff away. He did not. What's impressive is that he has a full- time job and trains clients 40 hours a week. I couldn't ask for a better client.”

“Funny story...” Brian says when discussing Jeff's athletic climb. “When he got together with me in Pittsburgh for Masters Nats six weeks ago, I had him meet me at the check- in room. I get there and tell him to strip down and let's see how he looks. I already knew he looked really good from previous pics he sent the day before. He [strips down] and hits one of the mandatory poses. I only needed two seconds and to see just the front of him to see that he was gonna easily win. I told him in two seconds, 'Get dressed. You've won!' He also collaborated with me and trained his girlfriend Rita George, who won her pro card. So not only did he win his first pro show, his girlfriend got her card on the same day."

Changes to The Beast's Training

Many of us have read (and reread) Jeff's articles on training and nutrition. These are areas he has put a great deal of thought into and a serious game plan. I recommend you get on the bodybuildingworld.com site and check these out. (There’s a search button at the top right of this page, just type in Jeff Williamson.) I, of course, had to ask him how his diet and training has changed in recent years."

I like the training the most,” says Jeff. “Going to the gym, getting a pump, and just training. That’s what I enjoy. I'm not big on getting on stage. That's why I take off two or three years at a time. I like the process of getting there. I like to win, but it is the gym and training that I love.” Jeff Williamson's training does not sound like it has changed much since his previous articles. Why change what works? (See Jeff's complete program on pg 6.) I asked him if there were any areas he felt needed a little extra work in order to maximize his symmetry. His overall positive traits that impress the judging panel include balance, fullness and condition. No one has perfect balance though. In an ideal situation, we choose one area to focus on that may be slightly behind and eventually make it a strong point.

“My legs are probably my weakest bodypart,” admits Jeff. “I hide them well. My legs get separated. The adductor area, the inner thigh, is probably my weakest area.” Now I didn't say anything, but this is an example of someone with far greater symmetry than 98% of us. A year from now, he may admit that his brachioradialis is slightly behind his biceps, triceps and brachialis or maybe the tibialis anterior on the front of his calves is a bit behind his gastrocnemius, soleus and peroneus brevis and peroneus longus. He still gave an excellent strategy on fixing a “weak” point.

“I have really focused on that over the past year and it has come up a lot,” says Jeff. “Even at 49 or 50 years old, I have made huge improvements in that area. Overall, legs have been my weakest area. My legs have always been really strong. I can lift good weights but the strength has not translated to hypertrophy,” says Jeff. “In my case, I put in more volume of work and went lighter. For two months, I would hit legs every [training] day. I had my regular leg day but during other training sessions I would train legs light. I would hit light leg extensions, light adductors or even some really light Smith machine squats on my toes, for maybe three sets. And I did this every day for about two months leading up to the show. You would think at 50-years-old that you are not going to respond, but I did. My legs, hamstrings... I brought up my glutes too, and in five years I had not had glutes with striations.”

“I think my leg development was the best it has ever been,” says Jeff (and the judges seemed to agree!). “Come showtime everything just came together. This may not work for everyone but it worked for me. More volume. Again hitting legs every day. When I say hitting legs every day, I'm talking about maybe three sets, not necessarily working super hard...maybe twelve reps, medium weight, squeezing hard.”

Something that has come up often when we discussed training was a focus on FEEL over training poundages. “When you are doing bent-over barbell rows and you are slinging the weight around, you might be building your arms and getting almost nothing for your back. You kind of let your ego get in front of you when you are younger. Looking back, I wish I wouldn't have been so much concerned with lifting heavy as feeling the target body part and giving it time-under- tension more. When I was younger, I went in and thought I was hitting the right body parts but really was probably only hitting it about half as much as I could.”

Nutrition, Complete Diet and Supplement Program

Like training, the wisdom has evolved but the basics of Jeff's nutrition have not changed a great deal (if it still works, you often can keep collecting the benefits). He continues to eat a diet that includes quality protein (lean meats, eggs and Beverly protein powder), limited carb sources, healthy fats, and adequate veggies. During the off-season he simply makes sure to eat six times a day and get protein in all six of those meals. “I'm not perfect with that,” says Jeff. “I eat junk food if I want it. If I want pizza I get it, but always with some protein.”

Contest prep eating has not changed too much either. “The only real change I have made is keeping carbs in as long as I can before a contest. The best way to describe it is that my diet is basically Beverly-style. The last two shows I kept carbs in as much as I could. I dropped them down a little bit two months out and then three weeks out, I cut carbs out completely. There is no question that Beverly International supplements propelled me to the next level. You need to take in some good, quality supplements to get into the type of condition required to get into and win some of these bigger shows.” (See Jeff’s exact nutrition and supplement plan.)

 

Nutrition

Meal 1: 6 egg whites, 4oz beef, 1.5 cup oats

Meal 2: 10oz chicken, 2 cups rice, 1/2 cup broccoli

Meal 3: 8oz beef, 2 cups rice, 4oz green beans

Meal 4: 10oz chicken, 8oz sweet potato, 1/2 cup broccoli

Meal 5: 10oz turkey, 1 cup any green leafy veggie

Meal 6: 4oz beef, 6 egg whites, 2 cups spinach

Meal 7: I drank a 2-scoop UMP shake in the middle of night - usually around 2 am, or whenever I woke up.

Pre workout: 2 scoops Mass Maker Ultra

Post workout: 2 scoops Muscle Provider

Note: Anytime I could not get a meal in, I always had 2 scoops of UMP with me as a substitute

Supplements

Super Pak with meal #1

Quadracarn 3 tabs 3 times a day (EVERY DAY)

4 Ultra 40 and 4 Mass Amino Acids with every meal (24 of each per day)

3 ZMA 2000 before bed

I added Density, Energy Reserve, Glutamine Select, and Muscularity as the competition drew closer.

The Batesville Beast's Impressive Debut

Winning an IFBB pro card is a lifetime goal that many competitive bodybuilders devote decades to, often letting the other aspects of their lives (such as their careers) dwindle, but still fail to win an IFBB pro card. Jeff not only won his pro card, but went on to step onto a pro stage and not only did well, but won at his first IFBB pro contest!

After winning the Masters, I asked Jeff what his future goals were and he told me that he planned to compete in the IFBB Pittsburgh Pro Championship. “I was not at my absolute best at the Master Nationals,” says Jeff (although obviously still better than the other oiled stage-guests). “I needed about two more weeks to really tighten up. The Pittsburgh Pro was six weeks after the Master Nationals so it gave me plenty of time to tighten up. It was my choice to make this show my pro debut.”

The Pittsburgh Pro Show runs in conjunction with the NPC North Americans, so the Batesville Beast's IFBB pro debut was actually held in the middle of the week (Wednesday). “I really like the idea of going on stage first and only having one class,” says Jeff. “All the judging is done in the morning and there is no posedown in the finals, so you pretty well know where you place at prejudging.”

“Competing at the IFBB level you need to compete within your bounds. I'm not going to compete against guys at the Olympia level. It has to be guys within the Masters level or maybe even the 212-pound class. I need to see how I stack up.” Winning his first IFBB pro contest shows that he chose wisely and progressed at an impressive rate.

“Everyone was a lot bigger than I anticipated and everyone was in shape,” says Jeff. I forced my humble friend to open up with a very honest explanation of why he won. “A very classy group of guys. I'm not huge. I'm not really that big. I don't overpower anyone, but I have the round, full look...the round muscle bellies. It comes down to me being in condition. If I am in condition and have the round full look, it makes me appear a lot bigger on stage. My conditioning and round muscle  bellies set me apart from the rest and from the back I have a 3-D type look that sets me apart.”

Brian Hoydic adds, “Honestly, he ended up looking better than I thought. He looked even better for the pro show than when he won the pro card. I think his posing really separated him from the rest of the pros. There were two really good guys in his class, but his overall balance and symmetry closed the deal.”

I ask Jeff Williamson how the Batesville Beast becoming a pro will affect his life and he let me know the change would not be dramatic. “I have a career in the corporate world but I do think it will help my side business (personal training/supplement sales). I just have not had time for everything to sink in and begin to capitalize on it yet.”

“I am planning on doing the Baltimore Pro on October 28th. This was not planned, but again I know I can make improvements in the next eight weeks. I feel like this is the year to do as much as I can since I am in condition and mentally and physically feel great! I really have no excuse why not to jump into the Baltimore Pro.”

If this longtime member of the Beverly International family collects a series of wins before going into a long term off-season, it does not mean he will not again be doing quarter-turns for pro judges in a few years. “Consistency and being prepared is what makes a champion,” says Jeff. “In other words, when you go to the gym you have to mentally and physically be prepared. You have to know you are on track. From the big things to the small things. Eating throughout the day. Make sure you are hydrated. Make sure you are ready for the workout. Be prepared for the workout. Know what you are going to do when you go in there. You don't have to know every set or every detail. You need to have a pretty good idea what your goals are in the gym. Be prepared and be consistent with it.”

Never expect the Batesville Beast to retire. Jeff Williamson breaks the retirement schedule that ends most bodybuilding careers. He does not even present an age- declining physique. I look forward to seeing his future title-collecting victories!

Training Program

I normally follow a 3 on – 1 off workout split. I do 3 work sets for each exercise (after warm-ups when necessary). My exercises and reps are listed below.

 

Day 1 Chest, Shoulders & TricepsAmount
Incline DB Press12,10,10
Cable Crossover12,12,12
Hammer Incline Press superset with Flat DB Flyes10,10,10
DB Shoulder Press15,12,10
Medium-grip Upright BB Rows12,12,12
DB Reverse Flyes30,25,20 (face down on incline bench)
Rope Pushdowns20,20,20
Machine Dips20,20,20
Close-grip Bench Press10,10,10
Day 2 Back, BicepsAmount
Front Pulldowns15,12,10
Barbell Row10,10,10
T-Bar Row10,8,8
Seated Row10,10,30
(Set of 30 is quick pumping style reps)
BB Shrug20,15,12
Close-grip Cable Curls40,30,20
Seated Alternate DB Curl2 sets: 20lbs to failure, 30 lbs to failure
Preacher Curls with EZ Bar20,20,20
Day 3 LegsAmount
Leg Extensions30,30,30 (get quads super pumped to start)
Seated Calf Raise(very strict) 20,20,20
DB Sumo Squats30,30,30
Hack Squats(feet shoulder width) 12,10,10
Smith Machine Squat(2 plates each side) 20,20,20 (this is tough)
Standing Calf Raise12,12,12
Leg Press20,20,20
Leg Curl30,30,30

An Aggressive Champion – Richard Acheampong’s Future Path

At a Glance: Richard Acheampong

Age: 26

Occupation: Security operation officer at Facebook Data Center New Albany, OH

Current Residence: Columbus, OH

Family: 4th child out of 5 siblings including 3 boys and 2 girls

Years training (total): 6 years, competing for 1 year

Weight: 205-210 (Off Season), 180-185 (Contest)

Favorite Supplements: It’s gotta be UMP. I mix 2-3 scoops and drink it sometimes as a shake and other times I make it as a pudding and add some fruits & almonds.

What do you recommend to your friends who have never tried Beverly: I let my friends try my ‘go to’ VANILLA UMP protein and their impressions after are priceless. Always great feedback!

Music: Hip-Pop from Jay-Z, Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole and many others! Always listen to music that pumps me up for my workout sessions.

Hobby outside bodybuilding: Family time, traveling if I have time, trying out new things.

Words to live by: “Every day is a true blessing from God. I’m always thankful.”

Richard Acheampong is a young bodybuilder that has only been training for a few years and just a year on stage. While his time in men's classic physique has not been long, the amount of contest prep experience, trophies earned, and (even more impressive) his well-shaped and lean balanced build, displays champion qualities. Most important, his mental attitude lists him as an athlete with future potential.

The fact that Richard was born in a west African country was always going to be a part of my interview, but I was learning that there was much more about this man that was going to be the major part of his story. His mental attitude, proper coaching, and driven nature definitely helped create him. So I had to look through his history to see how his growth as a person lead to this positive champion mindset.

“Ghana is not as developed as the United States, but it is a peaceful country,” says Richard who only lived there until his early teens. His father wanted a better place with less government corruption and greater career opportunities to provide for his family, so he chose to bring them to the U.S. After graduating from high school, Richard started going to a Planet Fitness near his house for something to do.

At six-feet tall, Richard weighed 160-pounds at the time. As the ancient lifters from my time learned from muscle magazines, when Richard started lifting, he learned as much as he could through YouTube videos. While I have seen some good and some TERRIBLE information in online videos, I always recommend this magazine, No Nonsense, for solid training and diet info from decades of successful bodybuilders.

After a couple of years, Richard moved to the more serious (and larger) Lifestyle Gym, where he currently acts as a popular trainer. A big change evolved two-years ago, by a meet-up with a well-known Buckeye bodybuilder named Todd Buchanan. Being someone that has always been impressed by Todd (both as a bodybuilder and a person), the first thing I noticed was a similarity in the physiques of both Todd and Richard. Having Todd as a coach, turned out to be a great decision.

Entering Contests

“Todd has been awesome. We talked, became very close and he is like a father- figure to me. He talked me into doing a show and told me that I have potential. He helps me if I have any question on training or items life-related. He also introduced me to Beverly products.”

This guidance led Richard into what it took to do so well in his first handful of shows. His first contest was less than a year ago, with him winning the overall in the classic physique division of the 2018 Natural Kentucky. He made an impressive follow- up by winning the overall at the 2019 Mike Francois Classic, and second-place in his class at the 2019 Northcoast Championship and the 2019 Natural Ohio. In other words, he was a rookie that has the feel of competing in a single year that most bodybuilders only accomplish after closer to five years.

I got the following information from his mentor, Todd Buchanan. “Richard's physique is pretty balanced and he has amazing muscular density for the short amount of time he has been in the fitness arena. He definitely has full muscle bellies, a small waist and the overall pretty look.” As a classic physique athlete, this is as impressive a judgement as possible.

Training

For Richard, training in the off-season involves at least five days a week in the gym and resting over the weekend. He trains at least two bodyparts a day. Monday is an upper-body push day, mostly chest and triceps. Tuesday is an upper-body pull day, directed towards back and biceps. Wednesday involves lower body training, posterior chain (hamstrings, glutes, lower back) being the main focus and wrapping up with some core work. On Thursday, he trains shoulders along with some more triceps work. Friday is a second back session with him using more machines and squeezing the lats while focusing on maximal contractions. Saturday is his second leg training session (heavier quad work in this workout).

“As I'm getting closer to a contest, I'm not focused on going as high in weight,” says Richard. “I go for higher reps, sometimes close to twenty. It is less about going heavy. It's about intensity and getting a good pump.” His sessions last only 45 minutes to an hour, but with short rest periods and some super-setting.

“I train every body part with equal intensity,” Richard adds. “I love training back and I love to train shoulders...but I'm not going to go in on leg day and not give it as much intensity.” “It burns like hell!” Richard adds as I question some of his training intensity techniques. “It's not every session but when I work out, I enjoy something where my muscle will be sore for a day or two, but that drives improvement!”

I dig deeper into Richard's training style, trying to hunt down some of his unique hypertrophy-based exercises. As we both get deep into a training conversation, he mentions lying cable lateral raises, some leg super-sets, with increased band resistance leg presses and tricks for greater back contraction. Many of these tricks came from his coach’s guidance.

As we spoke, I even mentioned an old training technique I learned twenty-five years ago from powerlifting coach Louie Simmons. This was from my first visit to an old version of his Westside Barbell Gym. It was a technique from when he trained bodybuilders Mike Francois and Jim Seitzer. Richard's reply said a lot. “Now that you told me, you have me visualizing and wanting to install that in my next workout. It's about thinking outside of the box and learning new things. It also keeps it fun to train!” His passion for pushing to another level again displays his champion mentality.

His Bodybuilding Future

“I want to be better,” says Richard. “I know it takes months of overtime work to see change. Like everyone else, I've got to sweat it out. Wanting to get better and putting in the work is what it's all about.”

To close the article, I ask coach Todd for his prediction of where this athlete is heading. “I see Richard definitely as a Classic Physique pro in the near future... as well as a top placer in whatever shows he competes in. Keep an eye out for him. He has a big future!”

Serious Nutrition

I asked Richard to go over his food intake with me. “I ate the necessary growth food when I started lifting,” he replies. “But when I started working with Todd, he gave me a more formal dieting plan. He listed what I needed to eat at each meal to get me prepared for the stage.”

 

Here's Richard's Base Diet

“My breakfast includes 4-6 whole eggs, adding some veggies (spinach, peppers and onions) and maybe a piece of toast sometimes. I train in the morning, so this is about an hour and a half before hitting the gym. When contest prep is closer, toast is not included and it is more egg whites with one whole-egg included.”

“After training, I have some fish or chicken, sweet potatoes, and avocado. I like to eat four or five times a day (post-gym) to help recovery. As the show approaches, I cut the carbs down.”

“My third meal will involve three-scoops of UMP protein, and I add raw almonds with it and unsweetened almond milk. If I don't have much of an appetite, UMP is even more my go-to. I like the Vanilla and Cookies & Crème flavors. Sometimes I throw some peanut butter in my shake. It is awesome! I always have UMP for at least two meals throughout the day.”

His coach (Todd Buchanan) adds to the discussion of Richard's nutrition. “What I love about Richard is that he communicates everything about his prep with me. No changes are made without discussing them, with the final decision always being his to determine.”

“Beverly supps are his base, but he uses only what we determine is appropriate at the time,” says Todd. “Beverly's Quadracarn, 7-Keto MuscLean, Lean Out, Mass Aminos and Ultra 40 are staples.”

Richard adds, “I use all of them. With Mass Aminos and Ultra 40, I take 2-3 with every meal. With Lean Out, I take two with each meal. I take three Quadracarn, twice a day, and the same with 7-Keto MuscLean. When a contest approaches, 7-Keto really helps me a lot. It gives me energy on a low-carb day.”

Todd describes their use of OMAD (One Meal A Day) fasting to wrapping up Richard's contest prep. This is done, “one time a week in the last two to three weeks of prep to get super-tight! On that day we take Beverly free form amino acids – 5 Density and 6 Muscularity every 2-3 hours, instead of food meals. The fast is generally 20-24 hours long, ending with a high-protein, high- fat meal and a large salad or large amounts of veggies. Training includes lots of volume for all body parts.” This seems to have been very successful to Richard's shredded, paper-thin, stage dominance.

Daily Meal Plan at 6 Weeks Out from a Contest

Meal 1: 1 egg, 1 cup of egg whites, spinach (cooked with coconut oil)

Meal 2: 2-3 scoops of UMP Vanilla with 1oz raw almonds

Meal 3: 6oz chicken and 1 cup green veggies

Meal 4: 2-3 scoops of UMP Vanilla with 1oz raw almonds

Meal 5: 1 cup egg whites, spinach

I will do a refeed on Wednesday after legs and a cheat meal on Saturday post workout. A burger and fries until about 3 weeks out then I stop. I drink 1-1.5 gallons of H20 daily

Supplements

Lean Out - 2 each meal

Mass Aminos - 3 each meal

Ultra 40 - 3 each meal

Quadracarn - 3 tablets twice daily

7-Keto MuscLean – 3 capsules twice daily

Glutamine Select - 2 scoops mixed in my water bottle (sipped during training)

UMP - used as part of my daily meal plan

Training

 

Monday: Chest & Triceps

Tuesday: Back & Biceps

Wednesday: Legs (hamstrings and glutes focus), Core, & Calves

Thursday: Shoulders & Triceps

Friday: Back (lighter weights with more squeezing and contracting) & Biceps

Saturday: Legs (quad focus) & Calves

Sunday: Off

Richard's Favorite Exercises for each Muscle Group

Chest: Barbell Incline Press, Flat Bench Dumbbell Press, Cable Crossovers and Push Ups to failure

Back: Deadlifts, Reverse Grip Bent Over Rows

Shoulders: Standing Barbell Press, Arnold Press. Seated Dumbbell Press

Biceps: Barbell Curls, Alternating Dumbbell Curls

Triceps: Weighted Dips, Dumbbell Kickbacks

Abs: Hanging Leg Raises, Decline Oblique Crunch

Quads: Squats, Narrow Leg Press

Hamstrings: Seated Hamstring Curls, Stiff-Leg Deadlifts

Calves: Standing Calf Raises, Seated Raises

If You Believe You Can You Will!

At a Glance: Angelia Craft

Age: 53 years old widow and suicide survivor

Occupation or Education: Earned Bachelor of Arts Degree in Health, Wellness, and Human Services from Ashford University in May, 2019; Active Advocate for American Foundation for Suicide Prevention; Registered Certified Medical and Podiatric Medical Assistant and Wound Specialist

Current Residence: Greenville, NC

Family: Son, Jamal and his wife, Heather are my biggest cheerleaders; Daughter, Sheila

Height: 5'5"

Weight: Off Season:150 (I have been over 200 in the past), Contest:125-130

Music: Oldies and Christian Music

Most Inspiring Book: The Bible. One of my favorite passages is Psalm 46 “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in times of trouble” (KJV)

Hobby or interests outside bodybuilding: I love running and reading a good book. I am also an avid couponer and I use this skill to purchase produce for those who are in need. I love helping others.

 

Exercise saved my life. When depression and adversities become too great, exercise is my refuge. It helps to clear my mind and allows me to focus more clearly.

My self-esteem was very low and had been since I was a young girl. Life was hard growing up. My mother’s boyfriend robbed me of my innocence and childhood. I grew up thinking I was weak, unattractive, and worthless. I married and finally found happiness with my husband, David, but then on June 11, 2009, my happy world came crashing down around me. I came home that day for lunch and found David had hung himself. I immediately called 911 and was instructed to cut him down, but it was too late. I touched him and his body was cold and lifeless.

His suicide came as a shock to me. I felt so alone. We were always inseparable. How was I expected to go on after this event? I wanted to die so badly in order to be with him. Pastor Flowers, who preached at David’s funeral, called me each day to make sure I was doing as well as I could. He, his wife, and my church family helped me deal with my grief every step of the way. He stated something in one of his sermons that really stuck with me. If God gives you a vision, he will give you the provision and connect you with the correct people at the correct time. That is how I feel about this opportunity to share my story. I am currently writing a book regarding my life story. I hope that my experiences can assist others in their life.

From 200 lbs to Natural Pro

I have been a personal trainer and group fitness instructor since 1999. I loved teaching. I was very overweight when I became certified, but this didn’t stop me from providing fitness goals and assistance to others. I was about 200 pounds when I started. At first, I couldn’t believe I was asked to do this, Me, are you kidding! It was held at Lenoir Memorial Hospital's Wellness Center. My class members and I helped motivate one another. The class was called Fitness Fun! We, as a class, worked out, shared our lives, celebrated one another’s accomplishments and often cried on one another’s shoulders.

Then, nearly twenty years later, I wanted to do something great to further empower myself. I decided to enter a bodybuilding contest before I turned 50. I went to Fitness by William and inquired how I could do this. Dr. William Ingram, the owner, asked a little about my fitness background and I explained to him I really wanted to become leaner and more muscular. I started working out at the gym. I loved it and everyone there was so encouraging. William said I could compete that November at the Crystal Coast Classic in Morehead City.

Contest Prep Diet and Supplement Program by Dr. William Ingram, Fitness by William

 

Here is the contest and supplement plan that William prepared for me.

Meal 1: 4-6 egg whites (boiled, no yolks), 1 sweet potato or 1 cup oatmeal

Supplements: I like to mix a scoop or two of Glutamine Select (Wild Berry is my favorite) in a large glass of water and use this to take my supplements - Super Pak, 5 Mass Aminos, 2 Quadracarn, 3 Lean Out, and 3 7-Keto MuscLean

Meal 2: Tuna or salmon pouch, 1 banana or a small box of raisins

Meal 3: 1-2 chicken breasts or 2-4 drumsticks, 1 cup of string beans, 1 medium sweet potato or brown rice

Supplements: 1 scoop Glutamine Select in water, 5 Mass Aminos, 2 Quadracarn, 3 Lean Out, 3 7-Keto MuscLean

Meal 4 (if needed): 2-4 egg whites, 2 plain rice cakes

Meal 5: 1-2 chicken breasts or 2-4 drumsticks, sweet potato, string beans or broccoli

Supplements: 1 scoop Glutamine Select in water, 5 Mass Aminos, 2 Quadracarn, 3 Lean Out

Before Bed: 2 ZMA 2000

Tips that helped along the way:

  • Drink 6-8 glasses of water daily
  • Use hot sauce, black pepper, vinegar or seasoning salt
  • Cut fruit, rice and drumsticks 2-3 weeks out from the show

My Favorite UMP Recipe

For meals #2 and #4 I sometimes substituted a UMP shake. Here’s a favorite recipe:

  • Blend 1 scoop of UMP Chocolate in 8oz chocolate almond milk
  • Place covered in the freezer for 2 hours
  • Eat it with a spoon as a sorbet type dessert---delicious.
  • UMP is very satisfying to my sweet tooth without the guilt!

Training Schedule

My workout was a three-day split performing 3 sets of 12-10-8 reps for each exercise.

 

Day 1: Chest & Shoulders

Flat Bench Dumbbell Press

Incline Dumbbell Press

Pectoral Fly Machine

Pushups

Seated Dumbbell Military Press

Dumbbell Side Laterals

Dumbbell Shrugs

Day 2: Back & Biceps

Lat Pulldowns

Seated Rows

One Arm Dumbbell Row

Standing Barbell Curls

Seated Dumbbell Alternate Curls

One Arm Preacher Curl

Day 3: Legs & Triceps

Leg Extensions

Seated Leg Curls

Squats

Lunges

Leg Press

Triceps Pushdowns

One Arm Cable Kickback

Seated Bench Dips

For Abs and Core I used some combination of ab machine crunches, 3-way planks, standing / lying leg lifts, plyometrics (every 2 weeks - my least favorite), burpees, jump lunges, jump squats, and static 1-2 minute squats.

Cardio included a 3-mile run 6 days per week, and the Stairmaster for 30 minutes 3 days per week, with stretching every day.