After a Lifetime of Lifting - My First Year of Competition
No Nonsense Magazine Vol 21, #1
By: Eric Senter
At a Glance: Eric Senter
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
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.
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:
|Reverse Lat Pulldowns||5x25|
|Bentover Barbell Rows||TUT* 5x12|
|Lat Pulldown||5x10, superset with next exercise|
|Close Grip Chin Assisted Pull-ups||5x10|
*TUT: 2 seconds up, hold at top for 1 second, 4-5 seconds down
|Static Curls||5x10 (10 on each alternating holding opposite in a halfway curl position)|
|Straight Barbell Curls:||6x8 TUT|
|EZ Bar Overhead Extensions||5x10|
|EZ Bar Skull Crushers||4x21's|
|Single Cable Kickbacks||TUT 6x8|
|Ball Crunches||with 10lb plate behind head 3x20|
|Oblique Cable Twists||3x20|
|Hanging Leg Raises||3x20|
|Lying Bicycle Crunches||3x20|
|Front Dumbbell Statics||5x10 (hold one dumbbell out while raising the other)|
|Military Press||TUT 6x8|
|Machine Rear Delt||7x10 (30 second rest between sets)|
|Barbell Shrug||TUT 6x10|
|Smith Machine Reverse Barbell Shrug||6x12|
|Standing Calf Raise||(2 toes forward, 2 toes out, 2 toes in) 6x20|
|Seated Calf Raise||6x8|
|Decline Sit-ups||TUT 3x20|
|Dumbbell Oblique Raises||3x20 each side|
|Hack Squat||5x20 (10 wide/10 close stance)|
|Leg Curl||TUT 5x6 (1/3, 1/2, Full)=18 reps|
|Squat||5x8, superset with next exercise|
|Lunges||5x10 on each leg|
|Leg Press||7x10 (30 sec rest between sets)|
|**Superset each chest exercise with pushups|
|Incline Barbell Press||TUT 4x12 / 25 Push-ups|
|Barbell Bench Press||8x8 / 20 push-ups|
|Wide Chest Machine Flye||4x15 / 15 push-ups|
|Low Cross Cable Raise||4x10 / push-ups to failure|
|Alternate Heel Touches||3x20|
|Hanging Oblique Rockers||3x40|
|Seated Calf Extension||6x20 (vary foot placement)|
|Standing Machine Calf Raises||TUT 6x8|
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
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