Competing Again at Age 50

At a Glance: Laurie Foote

Age: 50

Occupation: Salesperson & Co-Owner at Equal Exchange- a fair trade, organic food organization; Certified Personal Trainer and Group Exercise Instructor

Current Residence: Doylestown, PA

Family: husband, Jeff Celia (he’s also an amazing stage manager, keeping me organized and sane on show days!)

Years training (total): 30

Height: 5'3"

Weight: Off-Season: 130, Contest: 114

Favorite Bodybuilding Meal: Organic grass fed beef & asparagus

Favorite Supplements: UMP is a staple; I rotate between flavors for variety, but Rocky Road is my favorite. Lean Out and 7-Keto MuscLean are essential precontest!

What would you recommend to someone who has never used Beverly supplements before? Lean Out and 7-Keto MuscLean really helped me to jump start my fat loss; if you plan on competing, get both of them, now!

Music: 80s rock and singer-songwriter classics

Most Inspiring Book: My Stroke of Insight by Jill Bolte Taylor

Hobby or Interests outside bodybuilding: Gardening, going to farmer’s markets, vintage dress shopping, making cheese, mission work with my church, knitting

Words to live by: Gratitude is the cause of happiness

Contact: Email: lauriefootefitness@gmail.com, Instagram: @lauriefootefitness

 

At almost 50 years old, it wasn’t the first time I stepped onstage in a Figure competition, but it was certainly the first time I stepped onstage with a clear sense of who I really was. I last competed in my early 40s, and did pretty well, including winning Ms Natural Illinois Figure. At the time, I was a successful Real Estate Broker in Chicago, living on Michigan Avenue and enjoying philanthropic and social events in the city.

But a lot has changed over the past ten years. Depression, chronic headaches, a thyroid condition, and a failed marriage led to some serious soul searching.

So I sold my condo, gave up my business and moved to a farm in Pennsylvania where I milked goats, made cheese and yogurt, and sold my products at a local farmers’ market! At first, I had no idea what I was doing, but it felt right to be working with animals and the land. Through my contacts at the market, I eventually wound up working at an organization that partners directly with farmers to grow and market fair trade, organic products. The pieces fell into place.

My husband (who I also met at the farmers market!) and I have similar values. In addition to my work with food, I am also a personal trainer and group exercise instructor. Finally, I feel like I am working for the health of the individual (myself and those I teach and train), the community (here in my town at the YMCA, at my church, the farmers and communities my company partners with), and the earth (by growing my own food, eating organic and local when possible, and bringing fair trade, organic food to consumers).

Last Christmas, my sister Jenny, who is a triathlete, asked me if I would ever compete again. I laughed and said no; it was fun, but it was really hard! But the more I thought about it, the more fun I remember having, and the more I realized that “because it’s hard” is a really dumb reason not to do something! So, I made up my mind to compete once again. In January of 2019, I started as a “normal”, if fit, 130lb 49-year-old. I knew the hard work and dedication it takes to compete, and as a Certified Personal Trainer, I followed my own training and nutrition strategy to prepare for competition.

I have always been a natural athlete, and competed in drug-tested shows, so I knew I needed high quality, clean supplements to support my diet and training. Beverly International was the first - and only - supplement company I turned to. Beverly products are clean and natural, and their company values match mine. Unlike some supplements I had tried in the past, Beverly products made my body feel strong and healthy in a natural way. I felt good mentally and physically about what I was putting into my body, just like the foods that were now part of my everyday diet. Beverly products have become an integral and natural fit into my diet, training, and lifestyle.

By mid-May, I was ready. I competed back-to-back in 2 OCB shows, came in 1st in the Masters Figure category, won my pro card, and came in 2nd in the Open Figure A Class - in both shows! Many people have been asking me how I did it. In this article you will find example plans that I followed leading up to my competitions.

Presentation Tips

If it’s your first contest, go to as many shows as you can beforehand, and study what works and what doesn’t! YouTube is also a great resource; you can find videos of competitions at your level, and really study the posing. Then, practice, practice, practice! Take videos of yourself practicing, and watch them. Find a posing workshop (in person is best, but online can work, too), and use the leader’s guidance & expertise to improve. Then, practice some more!

When you do compete, get all the information you can from the judges. At some shows, you will get copies of the actual score sheets, or have a mix-and-mingle with the judges afterward. Sometimes the truth is tough to hear - but the feedback they give you can be invaluable to your future success! Also, scrutinize photos and videos from your shows. Your strengths and weaknesses will be clear, and you will gain insight into what the judges are looking for.

Besides exercise, nutrition, and supplementation, there are several things that I believe have been crucial to my competition success. One is sleep. It’s my other secret weapon! It is like a drug for making changes in your body. Sufficient sleep is essential for fat burning, cellular repair, and muscle growth. The mental and emotional benefits of sleep are key for competition prep, too. I like to be in bed before 9pm every night, so I can get at least 8 hours of quality sleep.

The other necessary component of competition prep is your mindset. You have to make up your mind that this is something you are going to do - and that’s it. You can do it; you will do it!

Diet

We eat pretty clean at our house; my husband even more so than I - he preps and packs his food every week, just like a bodybuilding competitor! I’m lucky that I have the flexibility to work from home, so I can keep my kitchen stocked with good, clean food and the Beverly supplements I need to make my nutrition plan a no-brainer. Every Saturday we go to the farmer’s market in our town, and stock up on fresh, local vegetables, and there is a local heritage livestock farm where we get all of our meat. As a rule, I don’t eat sugar, even in the off season, and I get most of my carbs from vegetables – but I eat LOTS of vegetables! I also drink 1.5 gallons of water a day.

 

Here is a sample contest prep meal plan, which I follow anywhere from 8-16 weeks prior to competition:

Meal 1: Breakfast “Smash-UMP”
1 scoop Vanilla UMP and 1 scoop Glutamine Select mixed into 5oz nonfat Greek yogurt - then I add a variety of 2 or 3 of the following ingredients: 1tbsp almond flour, 2 tbsp hemp protein, 2tsp coconut flour, 2 tsp organic cocoa, dash of cinnamon, 1 tsp of peanut butter or almond butter, 10-12 frozen blueberries… and lately, believe it or not, grated cauliflower for bulk and texture without lots of calories! I mix it all up like a batter, and it’s a real treat.

Meal 2: 3-4 cups raw veggie mix*

Meal 3: 3 free range eggs scrambled with spinach, peppers, mushrooms, and hummus OR a big salad with greens, veggies and herbs from our garden, 5oz tuna or salmon, 1tbsp olive oil and 3tbsp balsamic vinegar

Meal 4: UMP Rocky Road shake, blended with cold brew coffee, lots of ice, and 1/2 teaspoon each of vanilla and almond extract. Frosty mocha deliciousness!

Meal 5: 3/4 cup low-fat cottage cheese, 3-4 cups raw veggie mix*

Meal 6: 4-6oz grass fed lean beef (London Broil and liver are my favorites, but I know liver isn’t for everyone!), and 3 cups fresh asparagus or green beans OR stir-fry of scallions, eggplant, zucchini and 4-6oz chicken or pork loin

*My raw veggie mix is my secret weapon! This is the one thing I ALWAYS have prepped in my kitchen. My current mix is 2 bunches celery, 2 fennel bulbs, 2 large cucumbers, 3 bunches broccoli, 1 head cauliflower, and 8 bell peppers (different colors). Cut everything up into bite-sized pieces and mix together, then divide into Tupperware containers. It usually makes 10-14 good-sized portions. I typically eat 2 portions per day. Also, if I am really craving something I know I shouldn’t have, I will tell myself that I can have it AFTER I eat a container of veggie mix. Then, 9 times out of 10, once I eat the veggie mix, I’m full and don’t have the craving anymore!

When I’m not competing, my diet is similar to the above, with the addition of cheese and nuts, and more volume - I can eat a LOT of steak! And once in a while, I do allow myself an order of onion rings or a glass of wine, but not too often.

What I will implement for my next contest prep:

1 or 2 high carb days per week, to see how my body responds. Also, I will rearrange my schedule to eat before I work out. I know it will benefit me to fuel up prior to lifting, but this is tough, since I have a thyroid condition and have to take medication 1/2 hour before I eat, so I will need to get up REALLY early to eat before that 6am gym time!

Supplements

UMP: In my Breakfast Smash and in a shake for my afternoon Favorite flavors are Vanilla and Rocky Road. I love coming up with different shake combinations, like a scoop of vanilla with 1tsp orange extract blended with lots of ice for a creamsicle. The extracts add flavor, and help to emulsify the shake so it’s really smooth and creamy.

Lean Out: 1 capsule

7-Keto MuscLean: (2 capsules) and Energy Reserve (1 tablet) – before meals 1, 3, and 5.

Glutamine Select : 1 scoop after workouts and in my Breakfast Smash with UMP

FitTabs: 2 tablets in the morning and 2 with my evening meal

What I will implement for my next contest prep:

Quadracarn: Starting with 2 tablets at breakfast and 2 tablets before bed

Cardio Schedule

I teach Group Exercise at the local YMCA, so I either teach or take some type of Group Exercise Class for 60 minutes, 5 or 6 times per week, year round. For me, first thing in the morning is the best time for cardio; it helps me get my day off to a good start. A typical week of cardio training will look like this:

 

Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday: Indoor Cycling

Tuesday & Thursday: Kettlebell, TRX or Interval Training Class

Sunday: Off (from cardio)

Once or twice a week, if the weather is nice, I will walk during lunch with a friend. I also love yoga, and sometimes take a yoga class instead of cardio, especially if I need the stretching and recovery; it’s a great counterbalance to intense cardio and lifting.

What I will implement for my next contest prep:

Sprints! I strained a hamstring several months ago, so I’ve had to work around that, but it’s finally healed.

Training Schedule

Here is a typical workout plan that I follow in order to add or maintain muscle mass as I go into contest prep mode. I do some form of abdominal or core work every day:

 

Sunday: Shoulders & TricepsAmount 
Handstand Pushups against a wall50 total (as many sets as necessary; usually 4-6)
Superset
Dumbbell Press4x10
Bent-over DB Rear Delt Raises4x10
Kettlebell Upright Rows 4x10
Triceps Pushups4x10
Triset
180 degree Lateral Raises (lift arms laterally all the way overhead) 4x10
Triceps Dips4x12
Front Raise with Plate4x10
Cable Lateral Raise3x10
Cable Lateral Raise 3x10
Hanging Toes-to-Bar Leg Raise 3x6-10

Monday: Off

Tuesday: Legs (heavy, lower reps)Amount
Barbell Squats4x8-10
Superset
Kettlebell Swings4x10
Kettlebell Sumo Squats 4x8-10
High Box Step-Ups4x10
Banded Side Steps4x10
Sissy Squats 4x10
Glute/Ham Raise4x8-10
1-Leg Calf Raises4x10 each leg
Decline Crunches3x15
Wednesday: BackAmount
Pullups 50 total, as many sets as it takes! *
Superset
Reverse Rows hanging under a fixed bar4x10
Reverse-Grip Pulldowns4x10
Bent-Over Kettlebell Rows 4x10
Swiss Ball Hyperextensions 3x15
Swiss Ball Reverse Hyperextensions3x15
Kettlebell Windmills3x10 each side

* Start with assisted pullups, and gradually lower the assistance weight until you can do them It might take time - but that’s OK! It took me about 8 months of training until I could do all 50 unassisted - and now I’m doing weighted pullups! I love watching the jaws drop when I do those.

Thursday: Legs (light, higher reps)Amount
This workout will be similar to my Tuesday or Saturday leg workout;
with lighter weights and 100 reps total per exercise.
Superset
Kettlebell Swings4x25
Kettlebell Sumo Squats, going parallel or below4x25
Romanian Deadlifts 4x25
Walking Lunges4x25 each side
Cable Rear Leg Raises4x25 each side
Swiss Ball Glute Bridges4x25
Swiss Ball Pull-Ins4x25
Single Leg Standing Calf Raises 4x25 each leg
Ab Superset
Swiss Ball Pikes3x15
Swiss Ball Stir-the-Pot3x15 each way
Friday: Chest & BicepsAmount
Superset
Incline Barbell Bench Press 4x10
Incline Dumbbell Bicep Curls4x10
Decline Barbell Bench Press4x10
Cable Flyes4x10
Cable Bicep Curls4x10
TRX Triset
TRX Chest Press4x10
TRX Chest Flyes4x10
TRX Bicep Curls4x10
Swiss Ball Crunch Combo
Crunches throwing & catching medicine ball50
Quick Pulse Crunches 50
Crunches, Pause Halfway50
Saturday: Legs (heavy, lower reps)Amount
Sled Leg Press 4x8-10
Single Leg Romanian Deadlifts 4x8-10 each side
Walking Lunges 4x8-10
Smith Machine Glute Bridges4x8-10
Single Leg Swiss Ball Pull-Ins4x8-10
Leg Extension 4x10
Seated Calf Raise4x10

What I will implement for my next contest prep:

Planned recovery time. When training at a high intensity, it’s important not to overtrain, so I want to be more conscious of that. Symptoms of overtraining include trouble sleeping (and I LOVE to sleep!), headache, exhaustion, joint & muscle aches.

Posted in 2019 Collection.