After a Lifetime of Lifting – My First Year of Competition

At a Glance: Eric Senter

Age: 39

Education: BA, Eastern Michigan University; MA, Marygrove College; Post Grad, Loyola Marymount University

Occupation: Teacher/Personal Trainer

Family: Married to Katie Senter

Current Residence: Linden, Michigan

Years Training: 23

Height: 5’11”

Weight: 195-200 (Off Season); 178-182 (Contest)

Favorite Bodybuilding or Fitness Meal: Eggs with beef sirloin and oatmeal with chocolate Beverly UMP (tastes like chocolate no-bake cookies).

Favorite Supplement: Muscle Provider vanilla. I look forward to taking a full scoop after my workouts. I take it dry with a little water and chew it up. People think I’m crazy but the Beverly protein tastes really good, it’s like a treat.

What would you recommend to someone who has never used Beverly supplements before: Speaking from experience, I can tell you Beverly supplements are effective if used the right way in correlation with a quality diet. I think Beverly has found a way to enhance competitors’ physiques and it shows when they step on stage. Even if you don’t compete, Beverly products improve your quality of life.

Music: At heart, I’m a country guy; however, I enjoy listening to all types of music as long as I can understand the words.

Most Inspiring Book: Coach Wooden One-On-One. I love this book because I coached varsity basketball and baseball for a number of years. John Wooden talks about doing things with purpose and passion. I’ve done my best to apply these principles to my training and lifestyle. Every time I step into the gym, I remind myself to train with a purpose and to be excited about being there.

Hobby or interest outside of bodybuilding: Fantasy Football (it’s addicting).

Words to live by: “Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome.” – Booker T. Washington

 

I grew up playing sports as a kid (football, basketball, and baseball). The desire to become bigger, faster, and stronger fueled me to be the best I could be in any athletic competition and led me to start weight training. I began to train consistently when I was a sophomore in high school and have stuck with it ever since. I have been training at the same gym, Fenton Powerhouse, for the past 17 years.

Last year, I competed for the first time at the NPC Great Lakes Ironman in the Men’s Physique division. I placed 1st Overall True Novice, 1st Overall Novice, 2nd in the Masters, and 3rd in the Open. Just recently I stepped on stage for only the 2nd time at the NPC Michigan State Championships and won the Masters while placing 2nd in the Open division.

I don’t take my initial success lightly. I continue to challenge myself with each workout because I’ve learned that my real competition is against myself. The only thing I can control is how hard I’m willing to work every time I step into the gym. I try to live by the principles of dedication, pride, commitment, and excellence each and every day. In the remainder of this article I am going to present my workout, my precontest nutrition plan, and the supplement program that helped me gain 10 pounds of muscle.

Training Schedule

I normally train each bodypart one time per week using 4-5 exercises per muscle group. I do each exercise 4-6 sets doing up to 20-25 reps on some and 8-10 reps on others. I’ll usually incorporate the time under tension (TUT) principle on one exercise per bodypart, and often superset two of the exercises. I try not to pick the same exercises two weeks in a row (ex: if I barbell bench press this week, I will use dumbbells the following week), and I never use the same order (ex: if I bench press first this week, I will do it last next week).
 

Of course my schedule can vary at any time, but for the most part this is what a typical week looks like:

Monday:
Back

Amount
Pull-ups5x10
Reverse Lat Pulldowns5x25
Bentover Barbell RowsTUT* 5x12
T-Bar Row6x8
Lat Pulldown5x10, superset with next exercise
Close Grip Chin Assisted Pull-ups5x10

*TUT: 2 seconds up, hold at top for 1 second, 4-5 seconds down

Tuesday:
Biceps/Triceps/Abs
Amount
Static Curls 5x10 (10 on each alternating holding opposite in a halfway curl position)
EZ Bar4x21's
Straight Barbell Curls:6x8 TUT
Spider Curls4x15
EZ Bar Overhead Extensions5x10
EZ Bar Skull Crushers4x21's
Single Cable KickbacksTUT 6x8
V-Bar Pushdowns 4x15
Ball Cruncheswith 10lb plate behind head 3x20
Oblique Cable Twists3x20
Hanging Leg Raises3x20
Lying Bicycle Crunches3x20
Wednesday:
Shoulders/Traps

Amount
Front Dumbbell Statics 5x10 (hold one dumbbell out while raising the other)
Lateral Raises4x20
Military PressTUT 6x8
Machine Rear Delt7x10 (30 second rest between sets)
Upright Row4x12
Barbell ShrugTUT 6x10
Smith Machine Reverse Barbell Shrug6x12
Thursday:
Lower Back/Calves/Abs

Amount
Deadlift6x8
Hyperextension5x20
Standing Calf Raise(2 toes forward, 2 toes out, 2 toes in) 6x20
Seated Calf Raise6x8
Decline Sit-upsTUT 3x20
Stick Twists3x100
Machine Crunches3x20
Dumbbell Oblique Raises3x20 each side
Friday:
Legs

Amount
Hack Squat5x20 (10 wide/10 close stance)
Leg CurlTUT 5x6 (1/3, 1/2, Full)=18 reps
Squat5x8, superset with next exercise
Lunges5x10 on each leg
Leg Press7x10 (30 sec rest between sets)
Saturday:
Chest/Abs

Amount
**Superset each chest exercise with pushups
Incline Barbell PressTUT 4x12 / 25 Push-ups
Barbell Bench Press8x8 / 20 push-ups
Wide Chest Machine Flye4x15 / 15 push-ups
Low Cross Cable Raise4x10 / push-ups to failure
Ab Roller3x25
Alternate Heel Touches3x20
Planks3x25
Hanging Oblique Rockers3x40
Sunday:
Calves

Amount
Seated Calf Extension6x20 (vary foot placement)
Standing Machine Calf RaisesTUT 6x8

Cardio Schedule

One of the reasons that I stay near contest weight year round is that I really don’t like cardio. When a contest is approaching I do include 20 minutes, 2 or 3 days a week on the Stair Stepper or walking at a high incline on the Treadmill.

My Diet Plan

I run a high/low diet (when I run high fats I go low carbs and vice versa). There is really not that big of a difference between my offseason and precontest diets. I prefer to stay fairly lean year round and rarely go more than 15 pounds above my contest weight. In the off season, I include more fats (especially peanut butter) and carb up more frequently (once every 3 days). I also have a cheat meal once a week when I’m not prepping for a show. I start my show diet 8 weeks out from the contest.
 

Low Carb Days (Days 1-4)

Meal 1: (6:00am) 4oz beef sirloin (93%), 1 whole egg, 6 egg whites

Meal 2: (9:00am) 8oz chicken breast, 12 almonds, 3 c baby spinach, 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

Meal 3: (12:00pm) 8oz chicken breast, 12 almonds, 3 c baby spinach, 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

Meal 4: (3:00pm) 8oz chicken breast, 12 almonds, 3 c baby spinach, 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

Meal 5: (6:00pm) 8oz salmon, 1 c asparagus

Meal 6: (9:00pm) 1 whole egg, 6 egg whites

High Carb Day (Day 5)

Meal 1: (6:00am) 5oz extra lean turkey (99%), 6 egg whites, 1 c oatmeal

Meal 2: (9:00am) 6oz chicken breast, 1/3 c brown rice, 1 c broccoli

Meal 3: (12:00pm) 6oz chicken breast, 1/3 c brown rice, 1 c broccoli

Meal 4: (3:00pm) 6oz chicken breast, 1/3 c brown rice, 1 c broccoli

Meal 5: (6:00pm) 8oz cod, 1 c broccoli, 8oz sweet potato

Meal 6: (9:00pm) 5oz extra lean turkey (99%), 6 egg whites, 1 c oatmeal

Supplements

I firmly believe that Beverly International products have helped with my success. I have always had a really fast metabolism and a hard time adding muscular size. My friend, Steve Robinson, an all-natural bodybuilder who has been competing for a long time, suggested I try adding Beverly International supplements into my nutrition program. He uses them himself and suggested a specific protocol to add muscle. I went “all in” taking Mass Aminos, Ultra 40, Creatine Select, Muscle Mass, Muscle Provider and UMP. The results were spectacular, in a year’s time I’ve added ten pounds of muscle to my competition weight. At 8 weeks out I add Density, Muscularity, Glutamine Select, Quadracarn, Lean Out and 7-Keto MuscLean in order to hold all of this hard earned muscle while I diet down for competition.
 

Off Season (Gaining) Supplement Protocol

Precontest Supplement Protocol (8 weeks out from a contest)

Mass Amino Acids and Ultra 40 with every meal

Muscle Mass with meal 1 and meal 4

Muscle Provider anytime that I don’t have a meal scheduled within 20-30 minutes following my workout

UMP sometimes between meals, in addition to a meal, or as a meal replacement

I continue with my “gaining” supplement protocol but also add the following:

Density throughout the day, 3 tablets halfway between each meal

Lean Out with every meal

Muscularity with every meal

Quadracarn with every meal

7-Keto MuscLean 30 minutes prior to meals 1 and 4

Glutamine Select with meal 1 and immediately after my workout

Creatine Select with meal 4 and immediately after my workout

It’s All About the Battle

At a Glance: Hondre McNeil

Age: 35

Occupation: HRIS Coordinator at Fairfield Medical Center, Gym Founder and Owner of SWET Fitness LLC

Education: Wofford College, Spartanburg SC (BA in Computer Science and Mathematics), ACE-CPT Personal Training Certification, TRX Level 1, CrossFit Level 1

Current Residence: Lancaster, OH

Height: 6'1"

Weight: 212lb (Off-Season), 197-202lb (Contest)

Favorite Fitness Meal: 1½ cup oatmeal mixed with 1 tablespoon butter and 1 whole banana.

Favorite supplements: I could say all the Beverly products I use, but I guess I have to choose. Here are my top four favorites.

UMP Protein. It tastes great and it’s quality protein!

Ultra 40, Mass Amino Acids, and Multiple Enzyme Complex. Bulk Season! This combination put 10 pounds of lean muscle on me. I use it in the off-season to take my muscle size to the next level.

For someone who has never used Beverly before: My one word to describe Beverly is “quality”. They mean what they say and say what they mean in this company. All the products I’ve used have done just what it says they will do on the label. With other supplement companies, you may not be positive that you’re getting what it says on the label. With Beverly, there is never that fear.

Music: In the gym, I need some “crunkness”. I usually go with Lil Jon, Lil Wayne, Meek Mill, or MGK!

Most Inspiring Book: This is easy, The Bible.

Hobbies: Reading fitness magazines of course!

Words to live by: Success is a journey, not a destination. Enjoy the ride!

Fitness has always been a major part of my life. Ever since I was a little kid, I’ve liked the way working out makes me feel. When I played Pop Warner Football I would wake up early every morning before school so I could do push-ups and sit-ups to get “strong and tough”.

My mom and dad also helped me make exercise a lifelong habit. Growing up in Lake View SC, there wasn’t a fitness center nearby, so my mom worked out at home. I would copy her as she did her routines. Every Sunday my dad and I would play a couple of hours of basketball at our local park.

In high school, I was a running back for the state champion, Lake View Wild Gators, and won all-state honors. After graduation, I accepted a 4 year football scholarship to Wofford College. At Wofford, I became interested in learning more about athletic conditioning and training. After college, I pursued a career as a fitness trainer and have been helping people reach their fitness goals ever since.

My personal workout focus had never been about developing my physique. It’s always been about improving my physical performance and putting my all into every workout. At my gym you’ll frequently hear one of us hollering, "Bout That Battle!” In other words, it’s all about the battle within yourself to keep pushing through a workout, pushing your limits when you want to quit.

My Introduction to Men's Physique

My journey of competing in Men’s Physique is different than most. It started when one of the trainers at my gym said he thought I would be a perfect fit for it. At first, I laughed it off. I told him I wasn't really interested in getting on stage. He explained the rules to me and said that basically it was just about being in tip-top shape. That caught my interest, but I still wasn't ready to say yes. It wasn’t until about a year later that I finally followed up with him.

At my gym we focus on HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training), core training, and strength work. The only mirror you'll find is in the bathroom. However, to compete in Men’s Physique, I needed to round off some of my rough edges and learn how to pose. So, I contacted Matt Packer from Healthier U, another gym here in town. I had just 4 weeks to get ready for my first show, the Natural Ohio Bodybuilding Association contest in Newark OH. Matt put me on a strict diet, and worked with me on posing. I continued to do my workouts at SWET during the week and met with Matt on Saturdays to get the poses down. With his guidance, I took first place in my class and second overall! I loved the adrenaline rush when those stage lights hit me! I had definitely caught the contest bug!

Next, I added some sculpting days at Healthier U to my normal workouts at SWET. At SWET, I kept working on strength, Olympic lifts, core work, and pushing myself to my anaerobic limit in our HIIT sessions. At Healthier U, I did more traditional bodybuilding exercises and focused on muscle development. This proved to be a perfect combination for me. I was able to feed my competitive energy and football background as well as catch a great pump all during a week’s workouts.

3 Beverly Supplements and a 10-lb Gain

I was introduced to Beverly International products at this time. The first products I purchased were Ultra 40, Mass Amino Acids, and Multiple Enzyme Complex. Wow! I'd been weighing around 195lbs for 10 years, ever since college. I could never break 200lbs. By taking Beverly supplements the right way, I gained over 10lbs of muscle at 34 years of age and found myself weighing 212lbs! Beverly definitely had my attention from that day forward!

My next competition was the NPC Natural Cincinnati presented by Rick Ruether and his team. I weighed in 6lbs heavier and leaner than at my NOBA competition. I took first place in my class and first overall! Then I went to Chicago for the NPC Jr. Nationals. Now here was a different breed! I recall telling my wife, "We're not in Kansas anymore." The results from this competition didn’t end close to where I’d hoped. I was in the 3rd call out! Even though I was in a huge class with extreme competition, I was not happy with myself about this finish. I’d have to go back to the drawing board before my next national contest.

For the IFBB North America, in Pittsburgh, I kept my off-season process of using Ultra 40, Mass Amino Acids, and Multiple Enzyme Complex. I also added Beverly UMP Protein. I have never had a better tasting protein in all my years of training. Another change I made for this show was to further tighten my diet. For the Pittsburgh show, I weighed 202lbs! This was still a lot more weight than my first ever physique show. Now 202lbs is my “light weight”! I have to thank Sandy and the Beverly team for that! Also, I went back to my normal split of Olympic lifting, HIIT, and body building being evenly dispersed through the week. For the Chicago show I had thrown off this balance. I did a little too much bodybuilding and not enough  conditioning. My results were better in Pittsburgh! I finished 6th in my class, just 4 slots away from getting an IFBB pro card!

A Lesson Learned

I learned a ton from this experience. The main thing was to just be myself. For Chicago, I had gotten too uptight. I broke my own rules and starting paying attention to other Physique guys on the web. That's not me. My motivation is internalized. When I stopped caring about what others were doing, my results were significantly better! I was much more relaxed and conditioned, and this reflected on stage at the North America. Let that be a lesson to you. Make a goal and go for it! However, whatever you do, don't worry about what others are doing or thinking. Everyone has their own opinions. You can't worry about that though. Take strategic steps to achieve your goals and never lose focus. Keep those around you that help motivate you and don’t pay attention to those who might discourage you.

Now, I'm beginning another year of competition. I'm 35 years old and feeling better than ever! I call this my sophomore year since it is only my 2nd year in the game. Whatever the results, I plan on being myself and having fun throughout. I am also making sure not to neglect my loved ones, my beautiful wife Jennifer, my son Gabe, and my daughter Grace. If my ambitions ever get in the way of my quality time with them, it's time to hang it up. It's up to me to be proactive and keep this balance. Also, I have to keep my eyes on the Man upstairs. God is the reason I'm here. With Him on my side, nothing or no one can be against me.

“Operation Shred” Meal Plan

 

This is my meal plan 4 weeks out from a show. I call it “Operation Shred”.

Meal 1: Protein Shake - 2 scoops UMP mixed with almond milk, 1 tbsp of flaxseeds

Meal 2: 8oz lean meat (chicken, turkey, or fish), 6 egg whites, ½ grapefruit

Meal 3: 8oz grilled chicken and a large salad

Meal 4: 1 can tuna, 2 egg whites, 1 tomato

Meal 5: 8oz lean meat (chicken, turkey, or fish), 2 cups steamed vegetables

Mondays and Thursdays: I add 1 and ½ cups of oatmeal, 1 tablespoon of butter, and a banana to meal 5 with the lean meat and vegetables.

Bodybuilding – A Life Changing Experience

At a Glance: Andrew Reilly

Age: 28

Occupation: I work for my family at F.N. Sheppard & Co. as a conveyor belting fabricator

Education: B.S. from Eastern Kentucky University in Dietetics

Residence: Villa Hills, KY

Years Training: 6

Height: 5’10”

Weight: (Off-Season) 210, (Contest) 192

What would you recommend to someone who has never used Beverly supplements before? I always say this; UMP is the best protein on the market. It has the best taste, the best mouth feel, and the best consistency to cook/bake with. To the people in the gym who are looking to improve their workouts, or looking to add more mass, I always recommend Muscle Synergy.

Music: Everyday by Logic

Hobby or Interests outside bodybuilding: I love to eat and try new foods. I also enjoy going to the zoo, the movies, or just staying inside and being lazy.

Words to live by: “Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.” Arnold Schwarzenegger

Instagram: I post one motivational pic a day on my Instagram. Follow me at harambe_fitness

 

 
My life changing journey into bodybuilding began my sophomore year at Eastern Kentucky University. I was working at the campus gym and many of the clients said that I should think about competing. So, after graduating, I decided to give it a shot. I stepped on stage for the first time at the NPC KY Derby Bodybuilding Championships and finished dead last! I’m sure many would have given up, but I only became more determined that the next time I stepped on a contest stage I would not only place, but win! The first step was for me to find a trainer to guide me in my quest.

After researching many trainers, I chose Dave Uhlman to guide my physique transformation at Team Elite. The first thing Dave did was make me take a good look at my nutrition. He explained that proper nutrition and supplementation would account for 80% or more of my ultimate contest success. Prior to working with Dave my meal planning and supplement intake was pretty random – whatever was being touted in the current magazines or internet posts. Dave also analyzed my workouts and created workout schedules that spelled out exactly what I needed to do. After working with Dave for 2 years I stepped on stage again at the NPC KY Muscle in 2017. This time I won my class! You can see a sample of my successful diet, supplement, and workout programs accompanying this article.

Facing Death!

This spring I was in even better shape than at the KY Muscle. I had created a physique package that I was extremely proud of. Going in to the show I thought I would win for sure. But when I stepped on stage I was dwarfed by two of the other competitors. I ended up third, but couldn’t get the size of those two guys out of my mind.

In my mind, I felt like a loser and this drove me to take a risk that I came close to paying for with my life. I started researching online steroid sites. Ultimately, I purchased growth hormone from an underground site.

Almost immediately after I started on it I noticed that I was having trouble swallowing. I went to Urgent Care, but two days later I was unable to swallow at all, and when I tried, the pain was so excruciating that it brought me to my knees. My girlfriend, Sarah, took me to the hospital and after four hours in the ER that included a CAT scan, IV fluids, and Tylenol, they diagnosed my condition as Epiglottitis. This is an infection of the epiglottis and an ENT was immediately called in.

But just fifteen minutes after I was diagnosed, my airway completely closed and I was rushed to the OR for an emergency tracheotomy. While heading to the OR I coded, so they had to apply CPR for five minutes. I then coded two additional times during the procedure. I literally died three times! After hours in the OR I became septic. The doctor told my mother and Sarah to call my family and loved ones because the chances of me making it out alive were slim. I was finally stabilized at 4:30am and moved to the SICU where I was placed in a medically induced coma with paralysis, and put into a hypothermic state as a last ditch effort to save my life. After 24 hours of barely clinging to life, my body began to respond and I slowly began my recovery.

I’m not sharing this story to tell you how I beat death and have been given a second chance at life. I’m telling it to encourage you to not make the same mistake. The underground growth hormone was the cause of my trauma. The drug was contaminated which caused an infection, and the growth hormone cells then attached to the infectious cells causing severe epiglottitis and closing my airway.

I know that during our fitness journeys we hit plateaus, or get frustrated and begin to question the process and ourselves. But I want to encourage you to keep pushing, and to keep working as hard as you can. Good things come to those who work hard and don’t give up. Be proud of who you are, and what you have accomplished. I should have been proud of being in the best shape of my life at that last show, but instead I focused on the judges’ placings and the two guys that placed ahead of me.

I am now playing catch up with my body and fighting to recover. The advantage I was seeking ended up nearly killing me. I am blessed to have a second chance at life, but someone else may not be as lucky. Through this battle, I saw the pain I caused my friends and family, and no trophy or victory is worth the heartbreak that they endured because of my decision. But through that I also saw the love and support of those same people during the toughest time of my life and for that I am forever thankful.

Meal Plan

 

Meal 1: Blend the following with water for an on-the-go breakfast shake – 2 scoops UMP, 2 cups blueberries, and 1/2 cup oatmeal

Meal 2: 1 cup oats, 3/4 cup egg whites, 1 tbsp peanut butter

Meal 3: 6oz chicken, 1 cup rice, 1 cup veggies

Meal 4 (Pre-workout): 2-scoop UMP shake, 4 rice cakes, 1 tbsp peanut butter

Meal 5 (Post-workout): 6oz chicken, 1 cup rice, 1 cup veggies

Meal 6: UMP Graham Cracker Pancakes: Blend together 1 scoop UMP Graham Cracker, 4 tbsp oat flour, 1 tbsp flax meal, 1/2 cup egg whites, 1 tsp baking soda, and add water until you get a pancake batter consistency. Cook as you would regular pancakes. Top with sugar free strawberry jam or syrup.

Supplements

 

Ultimate Muscle Protein (UMP): As noted in my diet plan, I use as a morning on-the-go shake, pre-workout, and in the protein pancakes I make for my last meal.

Multiple Enzyme Complex: 1 tablet with every meal to enhance protein digestion in order to fuel my body for growth.

Mass Amino Acids: 4 tablets with meals 1, 2, 4, and 5 (16 tablets total per day) for muscle growth in the offseason, and to reduce muscle catabolism pre-contest.

Muscle Synergy Powder: 2 scoops 35-40 minutes before workouts gives me incredible pumps and fullness.

To get ripped before a contest I add:

Lean Out: 2 capsules with each meal

7-Keto MuscLean: 3 capsules in the morning and 3 more with Muscle Synergy 35-40 minutes before my workout

Energy Reserve: 2 tablets before cardio and 2 tablets before my workout

Training Schedule

I train 6 days a week. I love supersets and tri-sets to keep the intensity high and hit every angle of the muscle.

 

Days 1 & 4:
Chest, Arms, Abs/Core*

Amount
Tri-set 1:
Incline DB Press,
Push-ups (to failure),
Concentration Curls
Tri-set 2: Swiss Ball DB Flyes,
Hammer Curls,
Pushdowns
Tri-set 3:Smith Machine Flat Press,
Standing Cable Curls,
Lying Skull Crushers
Tri-set 4: Underhand 1-arm Pushdowns,
Planks (45 seconds),
DB Kick Backs

*Reps are 15, 12, 10, 8 unless otherwise stated

Days 2 & 5:
Legs, Calves, Abs/Core

Amount
Superset:
BB Squats (12,10,8,6,6)
and Calf Raise (5x20)
Tri-set 1: Leg Extensions (20,12,10,8),
Leg Curls (20,12,10,8),
Wall Sits (1 minute)
Tri-set 2:Lunges (4x15),
Sumo DB Squats (20,15,15,15),
Swiss Ball Squats (4x20)
Tri-set 3: Adductor Machine,
Abductor Machine,
Seated Calf Raise
(20,15,15,15 on each),
Roman Chair Leg Raise
(4 sets of 15-20)
Days 3 & 6:
Back, Shoulders, Low Back

Amount
Superset:
Seated DB Press (15,12,10,8),
Seated Row (4x10)
Tri-set 1:Chin-ups (4x12-15),
Cable Laterals (15,12,10,10),
Front DB Raise (15,12,12,12)
Tri-set 2: DB Row,
DB Deadlifts,
DB Shrug (5x8 on each)
Tri-set 3: Close-grip Pulldowns (15,12,10,10),
Hyperextensions (4x12-15),
Cable Rear Delt (15,12,10,10)

Cardio 

I do 30 minutes of fasted cardio at 5am on my stationary bike or elliptical. Helpful tip: it’s great to be able to wake up and just hop on your own cardio equipment – check out FaceBook Marketplace for someone who is trying to sell their barely used equipment. You can usually pick up a great deal and the equipment is like new.

Purpose Driven Prep

At a Glance: Jesse Dale

Age: 40

Occupation: Co-Founder MacroMissionary & Gym Owner

Family: Wife, Erika Dale

Current Residence: Indianapolis, IN

Years training (total): 28

Height: 5’8”

Weight: 200 (off season), 185 (contest)

Favorite Bodybuilding Meal: Beverly UMP treats! (pancakes, brownies, ice cream), huge stir fry’s and salads

What would you recommend to someone who has never used Beverly supplements before? Read the No Nonsense magazine, order UMP, ask anyone who has been around for a while about Beverly

Most Inspiring Book: The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren

Hobby or interests outside bodybuilding: Music, travel, mentoring others to reach their goals

Words to live by: “If you want to make a million dollars then help a million people” and “people do not care how much you know until they know how much you care.”

 

I did my first show when I was 18 years old, the Teen Novice Michigan. I was able to win my class and like many others who catch the “competition bug,” was hooked on the sport! In 2003, I was introduced to Beverly International. I have been using Beverly products now for 15 years! But, not only their products, the foundation I gained from Beverly’s information and philosophy on training and diet have led me to many successful competition experiences throughout the years.

In 2011, I did a final series of shows and then decided to “hang up my trunks”. At this time, I owned a few gyms, promoted two drug free NPC shows (the Natural Indiana & Indianapolis), and had a number of nutrition counseling clients. I hadn’t really intended to “quit” bodybuilding, but my priorities slowly drifted away from competing. I still kept in shape and people would always ask when “The Shark” (a nickname I’ve had as long as I can remember) was going to return to the stage.

I half-heartedly planned on competing in 2013; however, due to poor decisions and too much ambition in business, I ignored my relationships, didn’t pay as close attention to family, and even got “too busy” to go to church. As a result this was a rough year of divorce, dividing and dissolving assets, and a time for inner reflection and needed council.

It was later that year that I met Erika. I coached her as she achieved her lifelong goal of competing as a figure athlete, and as our friendship grew, I found myself attracted to her work ethic and dedication to her faith. I was madly in love and didn’t even realize it. Luckily she felt the same and we got married in 2016. Erika shared my passion for health and fitness and using it as a platform to help as many people as we possibly can. She helped me rebrand our nutrition company into MacroMissionary and in late 2017 she declared that she was going to compete again.

Self Reflection Time!

Erika’s decision to compete really made me think. I stopped competing for two main reasons.

  1. I did not want to start using illegal drugs.
  2. I’d get too caught up in winning to where it would be messing with my head.

I made no commitment to compete, but set a goal to get in my best shape ever for my 40th birthday. I buckled down and got to work eating and training like a bodybuilder... and the thought of returning to the stage began creeping into the back of my mind.

About this time I read Rick Warren’s book, The Purpose Driven Life. The book inspired me to make the very best of the gifts that God has given me. And to honor not only Him, but also the people that He put in my life to help me foster these talents. Those who helped me the most in life and bodybuilding were my mom and dad, brother, and Erika. I decided I would compete again, not striving for ripped abs or a trophy, but for a much greater purpose - to honor these people who had meant so much to me.

Jump Back into the Contest Waters

I set my mind to compete in the same two shows Erika was doing -- the Indianapolis Championships, August 4th and the Indiana state Championships, August 18th. Unfortunately my dad has later stage Alzheimer’s so travelling to Indiana for the shows would be too hard for him and my mom. But on the 4th of July I was scrolling through the NPC site and came across a show in Michigan not too far from my parents’ house. The show was just 3 days away!!! I called my friend and leader in the NPC, Ed Sanders, and asked him his thoughts about my competing and he gave me his blessing. I’ve never believed in crazy changes the final week, and Erika was BEYOND supportive, so I entered the show and dedicated it to my dad.

Three valuable lessons that my dad taught me are:

CONSISTENCY - Dad didn’t chase the next new thing, or greener grass on the other side. He was loyal to his work at GM, never missing a day in 36 years. This taught me in bodybuilding & life to find the basics, follow them, and stay focused, not for days or years, but for a lifetime.

HARD WORK - My dad was not gifted with an Einstein brain or a Michael Jordan jump shot. He put in the work, period. His thought was “I work until the job is done.”

In bodybuilding, I’d get up before school and pay an older friend with a car to drive me to the gym, then hit it again after school. I started weeding gardens, cutting grass, and shoveling snow at 10 years old. Thank you Dad for teaching me to WORK.

FOLLOW THE RULES - Although we butt heads on this one, it’s probably the primary reason I choose not to do drugs illegally. My dad followed the rules, period! If he signed a contract he made right on it. His word meant everything. Thank you for your example dad!

As it turned out, I won the Masters and Open Classic Physique Overall titles, as well as 1st in the Open Bodybuilding LHW class with my dad and mom right there in the audience!

 

Midwestern States and Indianapolis

The next show was the NPC Midwestern States. This show’s purpose was to honor my brother Jason. He was always a positive role model and was the one who actually got me into lifting when I was 12 years old. He showed me how to do the exercises using old sand weights in my parents’ basement. He gently “forced me” to follow the workout routine 3 times per week and as I grew into high school I became known as “the lifting expert”. While other kids were experimenting with alcohol I was testing new lifting protocols, and when they were eating cafeteria food I was preparing meals and eating out of Tupperware. I never really told him how much I appreciated him until the day of the contest.

I won the Masters Bodybuilding Overall and the Open Men’s Physique Overall. My first overall victory in Indiana.

The next show was the Indianapolis Championships! Erika and I would compete together! I won the Master 40+ class and the Masters Overall at this show and Erika competed with amazing confidence having lost 23 pounds of body fat and reducing her bodyfat percentage by 17% in her journey to the stage!

Our final show was the Indiana State Championships. Ever since I was a kid I wanted to be Mr. Michigan or Mr. Indiana. It was my dream and at one point the only thing that mattered. As it turned out, I cracked top 4 in the open LHW and 2nd in the Masters Over 40, but the mission was much bigger and more meaningful than my placing. This show was dedicated to my mom! She inspired and motivated me in life through her example of overcoming adversity, societal bias and ALWAYS letting her light shine NO MATTER WHAT.

The journey back to the stage was incredible, but also the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. I gained an entirely new respect and empathy for athletes who compete, the hunger, the low energy, social events, and concentration which are really tough the last few weeks before shows. If it wasn’t for the PURPOSE behind the prep there is no way I would have followed through, NO WAY.

Looking for help on your nutrition? Email: coaching@macromissionary.com

Shark Nutrition

One of my more strict contest diets. Guaranteed to get you ripped.

I’m going to start this section with one of my most effective contest diets as a reference for anyone who would like an exact diet template to follow.

 

Meal 1: 8oz lean beef or turkey, 3 egg whites, 1 grapefruit

Meal 2: Protein Drink: 2 scoops Ultimate Muscle Protein, 1 scoop Muscle Provider, 1tbsp almond butter or heavy whipping cream

Meal 3: 8oz chicken or turkey breast (weighed prior to cooking), 2 cups vegetables

Meal 4: (same as meal #2)

Meal 5: 8oz lean meat (chicken, turkey, fish, 93% or leaner beef, etc.), 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 6: 4oz chicken or turkey breast; 6 egg whites; 1 cup omelet vegetables

Monday and Thursday: In place of meal #6: 1.5 cups oatmeal (measured before cooking) or cooked rice, 10oz sweet potato, medium banana, 1 cup vegetables, 1 tbsp butter, almond butter or oil at the end of the day.

Today, I vary my food choices more than in the past and constantly come up with new recipes. Here are a few recent favorites.

Breakfast: Egg white, ham & cheese omelet w/tomato, zucchini, and onion, and my Shark Supershake (kale, spinach, blackberries, strawberries), coffee

Lunch: Massive stir fry or salad (spinach or bok choy, mushrooms, riced cauliflower, red onions, and fish, chicken or ground turkey)

Post Workout: Protein Ice Cream (2 scoops UMP, 1 cup almond milk, 1 tsp xanthan gum - blend almond milk and ice gradually in a high powered blender, gradually add UMP and xanthan gum to an ice cream consistency. Top with a drizzle of Walden Farms no-carb chocolate sauce and Cool Whip free. Delicious!

Dinner: Sharkenator (I saw a commercial for a baconator burger with barbecue chicken from Applebee’s so I created my own healthy version): 6oz Laura’s Lean Beef, 3oz shredded chicken breast mixed with a little G Hughes barbecue sauce, a couple strips of bacon, 1 slice fat free cheese, tomato, and horseradish on a Healthy Life high fiber bun. I also slice a small potato into fries and cook them in our air fryer.

Supplements

I’ve been using Beverly supplements for 15 years. Over that time I’ve had great success with their supplements. Staples for my supplements this past year were:

UMP (Ultimate Muscle Protein) - We make AMAZING ice creams, brownies, pancakes, muffins and other delicious treats with UMP. This protein is an absolute MUST if you do not want to sacrifice flavor or quality. We have tons of recipes that you’d swear are straight from the bakery and yet they are nothing more than UMP, Cool Whip free, oatmeal, and maybe some Walden Farms calorie free sauce!

Super Pak and Vitality Stack (Protandim, probiotic, fish oil) – I take these supplements with my first meal of the day. The Super Pak provides my body with high levels of micronutrients for a full 24 hours to promote maximum growth and performance. Protandim is not a Beverly product but it is very good for reducing oxidative stress.

Lean Out and 7-Keto MuscLean stack - Lean Out is a great stimulant free addition to anyone’s fat loss strategy, it’s a perfect blend of well researched ingredients. It’s also great at controlling blood sugar levels. I take 7-Keto MuscLean in the morning and pre workout to keep my metabolism stoked and to aid the fat burning process.

Mass Aminos and Ultra 40 stack – I’ve used this stack to successfully add muscle in the off season, and to preserve muscle and keep my energy up pre contest.

Creatine Select and Glutamine Select pre workout – Beverly’s Creatine Select is the ONLY creatine on the market that does not bloat me and I get noticeable strength gains from it. I like Glutamine Select over other BCAA products because it contains the most abundant amino acid in skeletal muscle – glutamine – I consider it a MUST.

Shark Workout Terminology

In my workout I use a “Heavy/Light” method which I call “4:13’s”. It consists of using a heavy weight on a particular exercise for 4 reps, then I immediately lower the weight and perform 13 explosive reps of the same exercise. I rest for up to 4 minutes, and repeat 4 reps heavy, 13 reps light until a total of 4 sets of “4:13’s” are completed.

HATA is my abbreviation for (heavy as technique allows).

“Death by” exercises – start a new set every 2 minutes. 1st set use a very moderate weight and perform 10 reps. Add 1 rep each set until you can no longer complete the assigned reps for a set while adhering to the rule of starting a new set every 2 minutes.

 

Here is the split that I followed this year that made a huge impact in my muscularity and fullness.

Day 1: Lats & Hamstrings intense/heavySetsReps
Deadlift44:13’s
Weighted Bridge39
Neutral Grip Seated Row44:13’s
Wide Grip Machine Row49 (HATA)
Day 2: Chest, Shoulders, Arms intense/heavySetsReps
Floor Press44:13’s
Cable Crossovers47 (HATA)
DB Overhead Press44:13’s
Seated Side Laterals39 (HATA)
Tricep Cable Extension44:13’s
Seated DB Curls44:13’s
Barbell Curls39 (HATA)
Day 3: Legs (quad focus) volumeSetsReps
Box Squats
“Death by”
510
Leg Extensions5+10+
Walking Lunges3 20
Day 4: Back & Shoulders volumeSetsReps
Wide Lat Pulldown512
Close Grip Pulldown410
Wide Grip Bent Rows
“Death By”
312
Cable Overhead Press5+10+
Cable Laterals312
Wide Grip Upright Row217
Day 5: Chest & Arms (volume)SetsReps
Bench Press
“Death By”
410
Cable Incline Press5+10+
Pec Deck217
Overhead Rope Extension
“Death By”
412
Cable “V bar” Extensions5+10+
Cable Curls
“Death By”
510
Overhead Cable Curls217

Earning My Bodybuilding Pro Card

At a Glance: Jermey Holt

Age: 29

Occupation: Machine Operator

Current Residence: Alliance, OH

Years training: 15 years

Height: 6' 0"

Weight: 196lbs (contest); 220lbs (off-season)

Favorite Bodybuilding Meal: 10 egg whites, 2 slices of low-fat cheese and 6 slices of wheat toast

Favorite Beverly Supplements: Chocolate and Rocky Road UMP, ZMA 2000. UMP helps me keep my protein intake high. It’s definitely the best tasting protein powder on the market. I take 4 ZMA 2000 capsules before bed to aid in recovery and optimize natural testosterone production.

What would you recommend to someone who has never used Beverly before? Try UMP, you won’t regret it.

Music: Anything from classic R&B, to rap, rock, and country.

Hobby or interests outside of bodybuilding: I love spending time with my family, play competitive slow-pitch softball, and listen to weight training podcasts by Mike Israetel, Eric Helms and Austin Stout.

 

I have been interested in sports and fitness my entire life! At the age of 5 I was playing organized baseball. When I entered middle school, I ran hurdles for the track team and participated in baseball and basketball. I excelled at both in high school.

My Grandpa was my coach up until high school. To this day he is the biggest reason why I love baseball as much as I do.

I first started to work out with weights in high school to become better at sports. I focused on legs, core strength, and shoulder and arms so I could hit the ball harder and further. I remember even skipping class just to work out before practice.

After graduating high school, I decided to try out for a few professional baseball teams but didn’t succeed. After a few more years I decided to give up on my dream of professional baseball and turned to softball. Softball was actually better suited to my style of play – geared toward offense –the power I had accrued from my workouts certainly helped me in this endeavor.

In 2013, my mom asked why I had not attempted to compete in any bodybuilding events. I told her I had never really thought about it before but it was something I’d love to try. My mom actually picked out my first competition, the NPC Natural Northern USA in Cleveland, Ohio.

I won the junior division title at that show - it was a pretty amazing experience. From that moment forward I was completely hooked. The next morning, I talked with my coach, Phil, about competing for a pro card in IFPA (International Fitness Professional Association) the following weekend. I won the overall bodybuilding title and earned my pro card that same weekend.

At the beginning of my bodybuilding journey there was a lot I didn’t understand about the sport. But, as I learned from others who had years of experience, I started training more for aesthetics and put much more emphasis on how to eat properly. In six competitions over the ensuing three years, I garnered 6 class wins in the light heavies along with 3 overalls.

I took off a full year from competition in 2016. I knew that I needed to focus on my physique. Another big decision was to switch coaches. At first, I was scared I might never win again. I joined Adam Atkinson’s “Team See You Leaner” and from that moment forward everything seemed to click.

In 2019, I competed in 3 competitions winning 3 Open light heavyweight classes, 3 Classic Physique classes and overalls in both Open Bodybuilding and Classic Physique. It’s hard to believe but up to this point I was still doubting myself, but I finally started to gain confidence and stopped doubting myself.

However, my season did not end as I hoped. I had set my eyes on the NPC Universe. First, I would have to win the Indiana Pro, the Natural Ohio, and the Pittsburgh Pro. I succeeded in taking wins in both Bodybuilding and Classic Physique classes in Indiana; as well as both classes and the overall at the Natural Ohio. I also placed 1st in my Classic Physique class in Pittsburgh.

 
Everything was going according to plan. July 6th finally came and it was competition day for the NPC Universe. I felt confident that I was going to win but that day it was just not meant to be; I ended up placing 3rd in Bodybuilding. I was heartbroken- I felt like I had failed not just on stage but that I had failed my coach, the team, and most of all my family. I was sitting there in self-pity; but Adam then approached me and gave me a hug and said, “I’m proud of you”.

This prompted me to stop and really think about why I was so disappointed- 3rd place at Nationals is an amazing achievement. I still was a little heartbroken and called my mom and dad who always seem to make everything better. My parents were so proud I had placed 3rd- they have always been my biggest supporters.

I will continue to focus on growth, development and furthering my career in bodybuilding in the upcoming year. Bigger and better things are yet to come. In the rest of this article I will outline my nutrition and training in hopes that you too can emulate the results that I’ve achieved.

Nutrition

One thing I have learned is that I can tolerate carbs much better than many competitors. Wheat bread is a “go-to” for me, whereas for many competitors it is forbidden.

Here’s a typical pre contest nutrition day for me.

Meal 1: 10 egg whites, 6 slices of wheat bread

Meal 2: 6oz 96% ground beef, 2 tortillas and salsa

Meal 3: 6oz 96% ground beef, 1/2 cups of rice

Meal 4 (Post Workout): 2 Scoops of UMP Protein and 2 bananas

Meal 5: 10 egg Whites, 2 slices of low-fat cheese, and 6 slices of wheat bread

Before bed: I take 4 ZMA 2000 capsules to aid recovery

Training Tips

  • Experiment to find the training volume and frequency which results in your best gains. Study and try various methods.
  • Rest/recovery is a key element for muscle growth (that is why ZMA 2000 is such an essential part of my nutrition)
  • Each set should be performed so that you have 0-4 reps in reserve (RIR).
  • Take enough rest between sets to make sure that your recovery satisfies the following 4 limiting factors:
  1. 1. Has the target muscle recovered to do at least 5 reps on the next set?
  2. 2. Has the central nervous system recovered enough to remove it as a limiting factor to target muscle performance?
  3. 3. Has the cardiorespiratory system recovered enough to remove it as a limiting factor to target muscle performance?
  4. 4. Have the synergist muscles utilized in performing the exercise recovered enough to remove them as limiting factors to target muscle performance?

Note: If it takes more sets and reps to warm-up than you are getting on your work sets, you’re using too much weight on your work sets.

Monday:
Back / Delts / Biceps

Sets

Reps
Lat Pulldowns48-15
Bent-over Rows38-15
Pull-ups320
DB Side Laterals312
DB Rear Delt Raise312
Concentration Curls412
Tuesday:
Chest / Side Delts / Front Delts / Triceps

Sets

Reps
Incline Bench48-15
Flat Machine Press412-15
Cable Crossovers312-20
Cable Side Laterals312
DB Shoulder Press412
One-Arm Cable Pushdowns412
Wednesday:
Traps / Legs

Sets

Reps
Barbell Shrugs412
Rack Pulls412
45-degree Hyper Extensions220
RDL’s48-12
Hamstring Curls210-15
Squats58-20

Thursday: Rest / Recovery Day

Friday: Repeat Monday

Saturday: Repeat Tuesday

Sunday: Repeat Wednesday

Cardio is performed daily on the stationary bike or treadmill for a duration of 45 minutes.

15 Pounds of Muscle and an IFBB Pro Card with Beverly International

At a Glance: Jeremy Jones, IFBB Mens Physique Pro

Age: 42

Occupation: Air Force Health Administrator. Masters in Business Administration, NASM Certified Personal Trainer, NASM Fitness Nutrition Specialist

Family: wife - Laura; children - Jade, Jeremy Jr, Jaslyn

Current Residence: Washingtonville, NY

Years training (total): 27

Height: 5’10”

Weight: 210lbs (off season), 190 (contest)

Favorite Bodybuilding Meal: Beef & broccoli with brown rice

What would you recommend to someone who has never used Beverly supplements before? At a minimum, use UMP, Ultra 40, and Mass Amino Acids to aid the muscle building process.

Music: Rap/ R&B

Most Inspiring Book: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Hobby or interests outside bodybuilding: Continuous education and reading

Words to live by: When they say it can’t be done, they’re not talking to me.

I ’ve been working out or playing sports for more than 27 years. While serving on active duty in the Air Force, I played intramural basketball, football, and softball. I currently serve in the Air National Guard as a Health Administrator. I enjoyed lifting heavy, but didn’t focus on bodybuilding until I finished Air Force Squadron Officer School.

Even then, I never really thought about competing until several people at Gold’s Gym in Newburgh repeatedly asked me if I competed. The answer was always, “No that’s not for me.” Then about two years later I saw a picture of some of the NPC Mens Physique athletes and thought I could remain natural and compete in that division. April of 2015 is when I decided to start prepping for my first show. I did an insane amount of cardio. I’m talking a minimum of 60 minutes a day. I didn’t win, but I did finish in the top 5. One of the judges asked me who my posing coach was and I told him, “YouTube”. The judges liked my physique but my posing needed work. Anyway, that’s how bodybuilding started for me.

I weighed 177lbs for that first competition in June of 2015. Over the next four years, I’ve managed to gain 15lbs of muscle through consistent training, proper nutrition, and the use of Beverly International supplements while remaining 100% natural. I learned about Beverly International when I was in the House of Nutrition in Poughkeepsie, NY. Matt, the owner put a No Nonsense magazine in my bag. Later that day I had a chance to read the magazine and read that the supplements were designed for natural athletes. I did some additional research, talked to Matt in depth the next time I was in the store, and ended up making my first Beverly International purchase.

Competition Tips

  • Do your research. Learn the requirements for your division (weight, posing, suits, rules).
  • There’s no blanket time for how long each individual’s prep will be. Remember it’s how you look not a number on a scale. For in shape guys, I’d say 12 weeks would be a good target and for in shape ladies, I’d give them 20 weeks.
  • Give yourself an additional 4 weeks to experiment with peak week if you don’t have a coach. This will give you a chance to play with your water, sodium and carb intake. Remember for every gram of carbohydrate stored in the body you’ll retain 2-3 grams of water. I’ve found that gradually cutting water until it’s just sips the day of the show, reducing sodium to about 75% of your norm the day before, and carb loading the day before the show seems to be the most consistent way to help my athletes to avoid spilling over. How you look on show day will determine if you continue to carb load or not.
  • Along the way people will try to deviate you from your plan. It will seem like everyone in the gym is an expert. They’ll all have an opinion. Don’t let them distract you! Follow your plan all the way through.
  • Invest time in your posing. Having the best physique doesn’t guarantee victory. The last thing you want is to not place well because of poor posing. Practice! Practice! Practice! As you get closer to the show realize that your poses may need to change a little as new definition and striations appear. All the practicing will also help you be a little less nervous on stage. Remember, the judges and the crowd don’t know your routine so even if you do mess up keep going because they probably will not notice. Most importantly, have FUN out there!!!
  • A final word of advice - Know yourself! If you need someone to hold you accountable, I suggest you find a coach with your values and best interests in mind. If you don’t have a coach, give yourself another four-week cushion for your contest prep. This will allow you to play around with a few peak week regimens.

In Closing

I’ve always been and will always be a natural athlete. I’m also a NASM certified personal trainer, fitness nutrition specialist and prep coach. I’ve earned a pro card naturally in the IFBB using Beverly International products. As a prep coach, I have helped athletes win several shows as well. My goal is to inspire other athletes who want to achieve their ultimate level of fitness without compromising their health.

Contact Jeremy at: jeremyjonesifbbpro@gmail.com
IG: superj34_ifbbpro
Facebook: facebook.com/superj34
YouTube content coming August 2020.

Nutrition

Initially, I took Matt’s recommendation, but over time have developed my own favorite stacks. The core supplements I use both on and off season are Ultra 40 and Mass Amino Acids. My favorite supplement for muscle growth is Muscle Synergy. The increased strength and muscle pumps from Muscle Synergy are undeniable. During contest prep GH Factor really brings out my vascularity.

Here are my favorite off season and contest prep stacks.

Off-Season: Ultra 40, Mass Amino Acids, Glutamine Select, UMP, Super Pak, Muscle Synergy, Quadracarn

Contest Prep: Ultra 40, Mass Amino Acids, Density, Glutamine Select, UMP, Super Pak, Lean Out, 7-Keto MuscLean, GH Factor

Pre-Contest Diet

Meal #1: 1/2 cup steel cut oats w/ 1 scoop of chocolate UMP and a sprinkle of cinnamon

Meal #2: 1/2 scoops of UMP and 1 scoop Glutamine Select post AM workout

Meal #3: 8oz chicken, 4oz sweet potatoes, and 5oz broccoli

Meal #4: 1/2 scoops of UMP and 1 scoop Glutamine Select post 2nd workout

Meal #5: 8oz lean ground turkey, 4oz brown rice, 5oz asparagus

Meal #6: 8oz tilapia, 4oz sweet potatoes, 5oz Brussels sprouts

Supplement Schedule

Ultra 40: 4-5 tabs after every meal or shake (muscle growth)

Mass Amino Acids: 4-5 tabs after every meal or shake (muscle preservation)

Glutamine Select: 1 scoop after morning & lunchtime workout (muscle recovery)

UMP or Muscle Provider: 1/2 scoops after morning & lunchtime workout

Super Pak: With first meal (to avoid vitamin deficiencies during prep)

Lean Out: 1 capsule after every meal and before workouts (used to convert fat into energy)

7-Keto MuscLean: 3 capsules first thing in the morning and 3 capsules before lunchtime workout (increased caloric burn)

GH Factor: 1 capsule after each meal (increases nutrient delivery and blood flow to muscles)

Training

I train twice a day during contest prep – cardio or abs in the morning with my weights workout in the afternoon.

On Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings I do cardio - 30 minutes of low intensity stairs or walking on the treadmill at an incline (the greater the incline the more calories burned) – 2-minute warm up and 2-minute cool down for all cardio sessions.

On Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday I work abs and a little cardio:

Leg Raise on dip bar: 4 sets 12-15 reps, Decline Sit-ups: 4 sets 12-15 reps, Russian Twists: 4 sets 12-15 reps, Oblique Crunch with Cable: 4 sets, 12-15 reps plus 24-30 minutes of HIIT - 60 seconds sprint at 60-80% max speed followed by a 60 second walk (repeat cycle 12-15 times).

Sunday: Rest

Monday PM: LegsAmount
Squat4x10-12
Reverse Lunge4x10-12
Leg Press4x12-15
Leg Extension4x12-15
Abductor Machine3x12-15
Weighted Glute Bridge3x12-15
Calf Raise3x12-15
Tuesday PM: Chest & TricepsAmount
Flat Barbell Bench4x10-12
Incline Dumbbell Bench4x10-12
Decline Barbell Bench4x12-15
Cable Chest Flye4x12-15
Cable Triceps Extension W/ Rope3x12-15
Single Arm Cable Triceps Extension3x12-15
Triceps Kickback3x12-15
Skull Crusher3x12-15
Wednesday PM: Back & BicepsAmount
Wide Grip Pulldown3x10-12
Close Grip Pulldown3x10-12
T-Bar Row4x12-15
Straight Arm Pulldown4x12-15
Dumbbell Row3x12-15
Standing Barbell Curl3x10-12
Dumbbell Concentration Curl4x12-15
Dumbbell Hammer Curl4x12-15
Thursday PM: ShouldersAmount
DB Military Press4x10-12
Seated DB Front Raise4x12-15
Seated Lateral Raise4x12-15
Incline Rear Delt Raise4x12-15
DB Shoulder Shrugs4x12-15
Face Pulls w/ Cables4x12-15
Friday PM: LegsAmount
Squat4x10-12
Front Squat4x10-12
Walking Lunges4x12-15
Deadlift4x10-15
DB Straight Leg Deadlift3x12-15
Standing Leg Curl3x12-15
Seated Leg Curl3x12-15
Calf Raise3x12-15
Saturday PM: Chest, Back, ArmsAmount
Reverse Grip Flat Bench4x12-15 (2 Wide Grip/ 2 Close Grip)
Machine Cable Flye3x12-15
Reverse Grip Pulldowns4x12-15 (2 Wide Grip/ 2 Close Grip)
Barbell Row3x12-15
Hammer Curl3x12-15
Preacher Curl3x12-15
Reverse Grip Triceps Extension3x12-15
Parallel Bar3x12-15

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

Competing Again after 12 Years

At a Glance: Vince Shirey

Age: 37

Occupation: Fitness Consultant / Law Enforcement

Family: Lucky number 7 of us!

Years training (total): 30+ (I was literally 5 years old lifting in my dad’s garage gym!)

Height: 5'10"

Weight: Off Season: 185, Contest: 170

Favorite Bodybuilding Meal: Good old fashioned BEEF!!!

Favorite Supplements: UMP – taste, ease of use and ability to cook with it! Muscle Synergy – strength and stamina. Quadracarn, 7-Keto MuscLean, & Lean Out – fat loss. ZMA 2000 – better rest and recovery!!

What would you recommend to someone who has never used Beverly supplements before? I recommend different things to my clients depending upon their needs and goals. But the staples are UMP, Muscle Provider, Quadracarn, Lean Out, and Muscle Synergy.

Music: Ariana Grande

Most Inspiring Book: The GREATEST success book ever written!! The Bible.

Hobby or Interests outside bodybuilding: Weekly dates with the Mrs.! Family time, only hobby you need!

Words to live by: All things work together for your good!

 

When I tell people my goals, I usually get something like this: Wait a second… WHAT!? You haven’t competed since when? How old are you? You have how many kids? You work a fulltime job AND you’re running your own company? WHY AND HOW would you possibly want to step on stage again?

Or, even worse: “There’s no way you could ever accomplish that!”

For some, these questions will validate the questions we ask ourselves - Am I really willing to put in this work? Do I have the time? The energy? The support system? But, for a select few, it adds fuel to the fire! I can assure you, I was asked each of these questions! I asked myself some of them as well. For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Vince Shirey and I wrote my first article for Beverly International 12 years ago. My last body building competition was the Mike Francois back in 2008. Fast forward 11 years. I’m 37 years old, have five, count ‘em, FIVE kids! I also work a fulltime job and run a fitness consultation business called, ‘Skinny with Vinny.’

I was done bodybuilding. I was done competing. I stepped off the stage in 2008 feeling I was at the top of my game. I walked away, continued my career in law enforcement, met a beautiful woman and created an incredible family. But something inside of me wouldn’t let go. I knew how to get into shape and I knew there were people in the world that needed to get into shape. I couldn’t sit idly by knowing that
I could help. I had to be an example for other men and women who are ‘past their prime’ or in an unhealthy rut. I had to show them that they too could get into great shape! I wanted to demonstrate that regardless of age, regardless of time, regardless of the number of kids you have, regardless of the number of naysayers you have saying you can’t do it. I WOULD PROVE THEM WRONG. I WOULD PROVE MYSELF WRONG!

So that’s what I did! I stepped onto the stage at the Mike Francois Classic on May 11th, 2019. I entered the master’s physique and the open physique divisions and placed 3rd in both classes! Not too bad for a guy who had been out of the game for more than a decade.

Now, I know this sounds like it was easy breezy for me, but it took a lot of hard work! Thankfully, I have an AMAZING group of people to lean on. First and foremost, I get to read out of the GREATEST SUCCESS BOOK EVER WRITTEN,the BIBLE. This book fills me up daily! 2nd, I’m married to one AMAZING woman!! She was there cheering me on from the front row and supporting me in everything I do! I also had 4 incredible kiddos in the audience cheering me on, along with family and friends.

Hey wait a minute didn’t you say you had five kids? Well, yes I did, but one of them is not incredible… that’s a joke, ACTUALLY, my oldest son Noah competed with me in his very first show at the Francois. He was by far the youngest man to enter the show as he had just turned 18!! I would say he was probably one of the leanest too. I can’t begin to tell you how proud I am of him.

So prior to this prep, did I try anything that didn’t work? Uhhhh, haven’t we all? Yes, a few months prior to making the decision to
compete again, I had tried intermittent fasting, “counting macros”, and the Keto diet. None of these produced lasting results. I knew I had to return to my old school roots if I was going to be competitive on stage and get into the BEST SHAPE OF MY LIFE.

In Closing

I’m happy to be back!! It was surreal to compete with my oldest son. If you would have told me 12 years ago I would do that, I’m not sure I would have believed it! This process was one of the most challenging, yet rewarding I’ve ever completed. The fact that a 37 year old, husband and father of five could manage to jump back on stage should be reason enough for you! If you are motivated by a challenge then let’s do this together!! If you are frustrated, hardworking, teachable & ready to take action I would be honored to help you lose weight and become the BEST VERSION OF YOURSELF! Check me out at skinnywithvinny on Facebook, YouTube and Instagram. PS. If you mention this article you’ll receive 10% off when you join!

The Diet that Always Works

12 weeks out from the show I began to restrict my overall calories. I was eating carbs at meals 1 and 3 and seeing fair results, but the results weren’t coming fast enough like they did 12 years ago. So, five weeks out from the show, I happily transitioned over to my carb cycling diet and voila, RESULTS- CITY! I had my “carb” meal before bed on Wednesday and Saturday evening and would wake up lighter and leaner. Weird how that works!

 

Meal 1: 5oz turkey breast or chicken, 4 egg whites, 1/2 grapefruit

Meal 2: Protein shake – 2 scoops UMP, 12oz water, 4 strawberries (or 1/4 cup blueberries)

Meal 3: 6oz chicken or turkey breast, 2 cups salad with vinegar and oil dressing

Meal 4: (choose 1) Protein shake – 2 scoops UMP in 12oz water; Or: 1 package tuna, 3 egg whites (I add Miracle Whip and onion to help with the taste)

Meal 5: 6oz lean meat (lean beef, chicken, turkey, or fish), 1 cup vegetables

Carb Meal (Wednesday and Saturday before bed): 1 cup cooked rice (w/butter, salt, and pepper), 6oz sweet potato, and a 4oz banana with 1 tbsp peanut butter

Supplements

My supplement staples were of course UMP!! I love that protein powder!! Being able to cook with it makes all the difference. Next, Muscle Synergy and Glutamine Select. I took one scoop of Muscle Synergy along with Glutamine Select before training and another scoop of each mid-day. As the show neared I took multiple scoops of Glutamine Select throughout the day. My favorite was to nearly freeze it, but not quite. The ice chunks are INCREDIBLE, a treat throughout the day. I also took ZMA 2000 before bed to sleep more soundly, enhance my recovery and keep my testosterone at a good level. Lastly, for fat loss it was 7-Keto MuscLean, Lean Out and Quadracarn.

 

Training and Cardio

My training was consistent but never the same. I tend to get bored pretty easy, so variety in the gym matters. I was also bringing a couple dozen people along with me on the journey. They were completing the same workouts via my private Facebook group “Skinny with Vinny.” An example workout is included in this article.

For cardio, at 12 weeks out I was completing a lot of HIIT on the treadmill. As the show neared I added 20 – 60 minutes on the stair stepper. FYI, Sixty minutes on the stair stepper is NOT for the faint of heart.

Workout & Cardio Plan

Workouts vary – this is one of my favorites. I’ve included weights that I used during this contest prep. Some machines vary so much that no weight is listed for those exercises.

In this workout I super-set each pair of exercises listed below. Example: Bench Press with Weighted Pull ups

 

Schedule - Sunday: Off

Monday: Chest & Back (Heavy)Sets RepsWeight
Bench Press34-6(225, 250, 275lbs)
Weighted Pull Ups34-6(45lb plate)
Incline Press34-6(185, 225, 225)
Close Grip Pull Up34-6(25lb plate)
Pec Deck36-825
1 Arm DB Row34-6(75, 80, 85)
Cardio
(HIIT) Treadmill20 minutes
Tuesday: Legs (Heavy) & AbsSets RepsWeight
Squats (no superset)46(225, 275, 315, 315)
Leg Press38(360, 450, 540)
Leg Extension38(110, 120, 130)
Leg Curl38(85, 90, 95)
Calf Raise31025
Crunches325
Cardio
Arc Trainer30 minutes
Wednesday: Cardio & AbsSets Reps
Crunches SS Leg Raise425
Seated Twist1200
Cardio
Stairmaster60 minutes
Thursday: Arms (Heavy) & AbsSets RepsWeight
EZ Curls36-8(75, 85, 95)
Weighted Dips36-8(45lb plate)
Alternate DB Curl36-8(30, 35, 40)
Rope Pushdown36-8(60, 70, 80)
Hammer Curl36-8(45, 50, 55)
Cable Kickback36-8(75, 80, 85)
Concentration Curl (no SS)36-8(30, 30, 35)
Crunches425
Leg Raise425
Cardio
(HIIT) Treadmill20 minutes
Friday: Shoulders & AbsSets RepsWeight
Military Press (no SS)46-8(95, 135, 145, 155)
(after 4th set – burnout x 20)
(the next 4 exercises are performed as a giant set)
Plate Front Raise36-8(45lb plate)
Bent Laterals36-8(20)
Side Laterals36-8(20)
Upright Row36-8(45, 55, 65)
Crunches425
Leg Raise425
Seated Twist1200
Cardio
Stairmaster60 minutes
Saturday: Cardio & AbsSets RepsWeight
Ab Machine225(110, 120, 130)
Crunches SS Leg Raise425
Seated Twist1200
Cardio
Stairmaster60 minutes

Striking a Balance

At a Glance: Johnny Dotson

Age: 31

Occupation: Army Social Worker Officer, United States Army

Current Residence: San Antonio, TX

Years training: 3.5 years

Height: 5'5"

Weight: Off Season 167, Contest 152

Favorite Bodybuilding Meal: Grilled chicken breast, sweet potatoes, raw spinach & avocado

Favorite Beverly supplement: Muscle Synergy. I use Muscle Synergy twice a day during contest prep. The pumps are insane and beyond any other supplement I’ve tried in the past. I look harder and fuller. I appreciate the size of the canister as I’m able to travel with my supplements without taking up too much space in my luggage.

Favorite Music: I create playlists from different genres and artists. Some of my favorites are J. Cole, Young Jeezy, Bruno Mars, Kendrick Lamar and Sia!

Most inspiring Book: Hillbilly Elegy: A memoir of a Family and culture in Crisis.

Hobbies or Interest outside bodybuilding: I enjoy rollercoasters, beach volleyball, jet skis, sight-seeing and buying sneakers to add to my collection.

Words to live by: Dream big, work hard, make it happen!

 

I started competing 3.5 years ago at the urging of a friend. I was no stranger to exercise. My senior year in high school I ran lead off on the South Carolina state champion 4x100 meter relay team. And as a soldier in the Army, I continued to maintain a high level of physical fitness. One day while exercising in the gym, a stranger came up and asked me if I competed. My answer was “no”, in fact I had no idea what he was even talking about. He went on to explain a little bit about it and suggested that I could be great in the Mens Physique division.

After doing some research, I decided to give it a shot. Mens Physique seemed like the way to go. It would be an easier transition into the competition world than trying to be a top bodybuilder right off the bat. My symmetry was decent, but I’d need to focus on building muscle and getting into top condition to be successful. Over the next 3 years I continued to improve as I entered the world of competition. Last year I won a major title! Athletes from the U.S., England, Canada, and the Cayman Islands competed for the Drug Free Athlete’s Coalition World Titles and I won the Professional Mens Athletic division. This division is judged on three elements – muscularity, symmetry, and presentation - kind of a hybrid between the mens physique and classic physique categories.

I’ll get into my preparation for this show in a minute, but first I want to tell you a little about my Army career. I always knew I was going to be a Soldier, even from an early age. It wasn’t a family tradition; no one in my family before me had served. I take the utmost pride in being a Soldier. A little known fact is that less than 1% of the nation’s population serves in the U.S. Army. Every morning I wake up feeling as though I have specific tasks to complete. Some are easy, and some are hard, but I give 100% to each. When my day has concluded, I know that I have done my best for the Army and myself.

In Closing

In addition to being an active duty Soldier, I am a full- time student in the Army-University of Kentucky Master of Social Work Program. I’ve completed my academic requirements for the degree and am now working toward completing the required practicum hours. Nonetheless, I plan to continue competing, striking a balance with my Army career.

My Pre-Contest Diet

It usually takes me 12 weeks to fully prepare for a competition. I have to watch my diet closely and stay disciplined to eat my meals on a regular schedule and make sure not to eat too much or too little. I keep accurate records of my weight and body fat and use the BodPod to make sure I’m losing fat and not muscle. Here’s a sample of my daily pre-contest diet.

 

0600: Fasted Cardio on the Stairmaster for 30 mins, then 1 scoop of Muscle Synergy to ensure I preserve muscle

Meal 1: 5oz grilled chicken, 4oz sweet potatoes, bowl of spinach leaves

Meal 2: Protein Shake

Meal 3: 5oz grilled chicken, 4oz sweet potatoes, bowl of spinach leaves

Meal 4: 5oz grilled chicken, 4oz sweet potatoes, bowl of spinach leaves

Evening Workout:
1 scoop of Muscle Synergy,
1 scoop of Creatine Select

Meal 5: 5oz grilled chicken, 4oz sweet potatoes, bowl of spinach leaves

 

Supplements

I was first introduced to Beverly International products by a mentor and fellow competitor. I didn’t just take his word, I conducted some personal research to find out all I could about the company and products. The more I learned, the more convinced I was that Beverly was a company which was aligned with my personal values and their products would take me to the next level.

The product I like the best is Muscle Synergy powder. I recommend that all natural novice and veteran competitors should invest in Muscle Synergy. It yields phenomenal gains in muscle size and strength. With Muscle Synergy I packed on 5 pounds of lean muscle in 3 months while losing 6% body fat (BodPod measurement). In addition, I have seen amazing improvements in my physique. Moreover, my strength has increased drastically. I am lifting heavier than ever and am more motivated to go to the gym.

My Pre-Contest Training

 

Sunday: Rest Day

Monday: LegsSets Reps
Squat512
Goblet Squat420
Stiff Leg Deadlift415
Hamstring Curls415
Leg Extensions415
Leg Press520
Tuesday: Chest, TricepsSets Reps
Bench Press515
Incline Bench Press410
Machine Pec Deck415
Dumbbell Flyes415
Triceps Pushdown425
Triceps Dips410
Push Ups50 total
Wednesday: BackSets Reps
Deadlifts512-15
Lat Pulldowns412
Close-grip Pulldown412
Barbell Shrugs410
One-arm Cable Row410
One-arm Hammer Row410
Thursday: ShouldersSets Reps
Lateral Raise515
Bent-over Rows412
One-arm Cable Laterals410
Dumbbell Press410
Barbell Shoulder Press410
Friday: Triceps, Biceps, Abs Sets Reps
Triceps Pressdowns420
Triceps Pulldown420
Triceps Dips410
Dumbbell Curl410
Preacher Curl410
Cable Curl410
Hanging Leg Raises210
Crunches225
Saturday: HIITSets Reps
Stairmaster30 min
Jacobs Ladder5 min
Run1 mile

Cardio & Presentation

In addition to my Saturday HIIT workout, I try to get in 4 or 5 mornings of fasted cardio on the StairMaster.

Two nights a week I focus on posing and practicing my routine. I make sure I record myself weekly to assess my progress and see what I need to adjust.