First Hit The Stage At 45, And I'm Just Getting Started
No Nonsense Magazine 2014 Collection
By: Rachel Payne
At a Glance: Rachel Payne
Family: Ava 15 and Edwin 12
Residence: Ft. Thomas, KY
Years training: 4 years
Height: 5'1 3/4"
Weight: 115 (off-season), 109 (contest)
Favorite Fitness Meal: Breakfast! Cream of wheat and a burger made with ground sirloin (no bun). Second favorite: orange roughy and asparagus.
Favorite Supplements: UMP, 7 Keto and Lean Out.
What would you recommend to someone who has never used Beverly supplements before: Wait no longer, I have been pleased with all the products. Check the website or Beverly’s Supplement Recommendation Chart to coordinate your goals with the supplements.
Music: Pitbull, AC/DC, Aretha Franklin, Daddy Yankee, with a lot of Salsa and Reggaeton
Favorite Book: Charms for the Easy Life, by Kaye Gibbon
Hobby or interests: My children
Words to live by: “That’s how we do it.”
Shortly after I turned 45, I gave myself a hard look in the mirror and was very discouraged with what I saw. The size was ok and my weight was not a problem, but everything was soft and, very frighteningly, I could see the beginnings of “the mom butt.” The tush had most definitely begun to droop. It was a sad day.
I said to myself, “Is this it???? Is it just time to give up and let nature do its damage?” Turns out, it was not time to give up. Six months later I competed in my first figure competition, and came home with some hardware. That was a great day, and things kept getting better. Clearly, my fun as a figure competitor had just begun.
At the time of the sad day, I had recently been released to resume physical activity following 5 months of recovery from surgery. Prior to that time, as an adult, I had been very active with running, teaching group fitness and dancing. I did work out with weights as part of an overall fitness routine, but I was just guessing at what was right. I wanted to recover properly and see what I could do before I just totally gave in and invested in mom jeans. So, for the first time ever, I contacted a personal trainer.
My goal was very specific, lift the booty. From the first training session, I was loving it and learning more and more. Very simple instructions at first: eat more, lift heavier. It was not long before I was seeing changes that propelled me on. Since high school, when I would go in and out of working out, I had always admired the women bodybuilding pioneers such as Rachel McLish and Lisa Lyon. (Yes, this would have been in the 80’s). Their bodies were beautiful and muscular and symmetrical. Reaching that level was always a far, far away impossible dream, one that I certainly did not think was attainable at 45.
Then, three to four months into the training, sometime in August of 2011, my fabulous trainer turned fabulous friend, Brenda Gabbard, commented that we should work to get me on stage. I gasped and tears welled up in my eyes. It was one of the nicest things I had ever heard and I jumped on it! “Really?? Me??? You think I can do that????” Yes, said she. We teamed up with another fabulous trainer and fabulous friend, Marie Gibbon, to train for the competitions and for me to learn to pose. We were off with a diet and workout plan to get ready for the NPC Monster Mash at the end of October 2011.
My First Contest
Following a trail of chicken, tuna, sweet potatoes, broccoli, asparagus, four thousand gallons of water, Beverly UMP, Lean Out and 7 Keto, my trainer and I made our way to Harrison, Ohio, for the Monster Mash. So many amazing bodies, beautiful suits, fancy shoes, and the earrings!! My purpose there was to learn and to observe and to enjoy the process. Surviving the challenge of the pre-competition diet and
all the other contest prep was satisfying in and of itself. It was a personal challenge simply to do the competition.
I was not nervous, or so I thought, partly because my expectations were not high and partly because walking across a stage was not a new thing for me. Having been a Theater major and dancer in college and a lawyer for a profession, I have performed a lot and have been in the hot seat many times. So, walking across stage and doing a few key poses, with no lines to speak, no songs to sing, no choreography to remember, and no client to represent, I thought the stage presentation was the easy part. However, when I got to the middle of the stage, I forgot which way to turn and which hip to hike up! I was a bit befuddled, but I made it through and just laughed at myself for my boo boos.
I did not expect to place and certainly not to win. Did not even know what “first call out” meant until I was backstage and someone told me I was in the first call out. I had thought they were being nice to let me try again because I was so clumsy the first time. To make a long story longer, yes, I was in the first call out for all three categories in that competition. I placed second in Masters 40+, second in Pure Novice and fourth in Figure Open Class A. I smiled from ear to ear for days following that competition, and I was ready for more.
After the Monster Mash, I went on to compete in the NPC Kentucky Muscle in November, 2011. IFBB pros also competed at Kentucky Muscle, and that was amazing to see. Also, it was a much larger competition than the Monster Mash, so in my mind again, it was a learning experience. I was thrilled to carry home some more swords that day for first place in Masters 45+ and third place in Figure Open Class A.
The next round of competitions came around in the spring. I had just started a highly stressful job and was not sure I could pull the discipline needed to make it through. However, after I was written up for taking an extra break to get in my fourth meal of tuna and asparagus at some odd time in the afternoon, I was determined to see it through. After all this effort, I was not going to back out because of a can of tuna. The NPC Cincinnati Natural was first up in March. It was a smaller competition, but the competitors were fantastic. Giving much credit to my trainers, I was lucky again: First place in Class A Open and first Place in Masters 45+.
The Northern Kentucky and Derby Festival
The Beverly International NPC Northern Kentucky was a week later. This one was huge. From the size of the convention center to the number of competitors, it was a big one!! The competitors looked beautiful. By this time, I was seeing familiar faces which made the process even more fun. I was lucky again and placed first in Masters 45+ and second in Class A Open.
I was happy, more than happy, but exhausted. My dear sweet children were also ready for a break. The plan was to not compete for a while, and to eat, rest, and work out hard. That plan lasted for two weeks. My trainer and some other friends were planning to compete in the NPC Derby Festival on April 24 and watching them work got me jazzed to go again. Two weeks out, I jumped back on the diet and the 4:45 a.m. cardio train. Things worked out well, placing first in Masters 45+ and fourth in Class A Open. It was a great competition with positive people all round, which made the entire experience all the better.
Now, I am really on a break. Due to scheduling conflicts, I have changed trainers and I am currently working with Brian Wiefering and the folks at Wiefit. They have a wealth of knowledge and never let up, which is what I want.
Nutrition and Supplements
My nutrition and supplement program evolves depending upon where I am with training and how my body is responding. This is the basic pre-competition diet I have followed previously at about 4 weeks out.
1 serving cream of rice or cream of wheat, 3 oz chicken and 3 oz lean red meat
3 oz tuna, 1 tbsp peanut butter, 1 cup veggies
UMP protein shake, ½ apple
5 oz chicken, 4 oz sweet potato
4 oz white fish, asparagus spears
UMP or Muscle Provider protein shake, 1 cup berries, 3 oz sweet potato
5 oz chicken or turkey, 1 bell pepper, 1 grapefruit
2 gallons of water
At about 2 weeks out, the diet altered to the following.
5 egg whites, 1 cup green beans, 1 serving cream of rice
5 oz white fish, 1 bell pepper
UMP or Muscle Provider protein shake
3 oz tuna, asparagus, 1 cup green beans
3 oz tuna, asparagus, ½ grapefruit
3oz lean red meat, ½ grapefruit, asparagus and sweet potato
2 gallons of water at first, then dry out as directed a few days before competition
Supplements stayed the same through the competition prep until the last week or two prior. The staples of my supplements are always Beverly International products including 7 Keto MuscLEAN, Lean Out, Glutamine Select, GH Factor, Quadracarn, Energy Reserve, UMP and Muscle Provider. My favorite is vanilla UMP. That stuff is wonderful any time of day or night. I also include vitamin C, B-12, B-6, and a multivitamin.
As with the nutrition, my workouts would alter the closer I got to competition. The basic schedule included 30 – 40 minutes of morning cardio at least six days a week. I’ll alternate my morning cardio choices among step mill, walking and walking lunges on an incline, or 30 minutes of 2 minute sprints.
I lift four days a week; do high intensity cardio and/or plyos two days a week (later in the day in addition to my lower intensity morning cardio) and rest one day. Below are listed the various exercises I do. However, when I am working with a trainer, I do what they tell me. That can include some of the same, but often something entirely different and more challenging than what I do on my own. I am far from perfect; I follow the plan and do most of these exercises most days of most weeks. Much of the time I am able to get it all in as planned. However, there are some days family or work will claim my attention.
Cardio or Plyo and Abs
40-50 high intensity cardio or Plyos including Burpees, Man Makers, Mountain Climbers, Pop Squats, Box Jumps and Walking Lunges
200 reps for abs
Wednesday: Legs, Heavy
3-4 sets of 12-15 reps each
Weighted Split Lunges
Thursday: Back and Biceps
3 sets of 10-12 reps each, superset pairs of exercises (for example Push-ups w/ Dumbell rows, set of 25 abs reps in between supersets
Double Dumbell Rows
Bent Barbell Rows
Single Arm Row
Cardio or Plyo and Abs, same options as Tuesday
Saturday: Shoulders, Triceps and Lats
3 sets of 10-12 reps each, superset pairs of exercises, set of 25 abs reps in between supersets Wide Grip Pulldowns
Seated Row Machine
Cable Row - alternate close and wide grip Alternating
Front Lateral Raises
Bent Rear Delt Flyes
Leaning Side Lateral Raises
Overhead Triceps Extensions
Double Triceps Kickbacks
Barbell Shoulder Press
Sunday: Legs, high reps lower weight
3-4 sets of 20 reps each, superset 2-3 exercises together in between supersets
Walking Lunges, 30 lbs
Curtsy, 30 lbs
Jump Lunges, 20 reps
Split Squat, 30 lbs
Butt Blaster Machine Bev
I am looking forward to competing again in the fall in a few yet to be determined competitions. I don’t know what to do with myself if there is no diet plan on the front of my refrigerator. Even more so, I find that the discipline for competing carries over into the discipline to do my best with family and work. Once you become accustomed to that level of focus, it becomes a part of your life. I am 46 and with triceps as hard as a brick, I’m not going back.
Each competition was different and fabulous. By the time I would actually get to the competition, my objective was to enjoy the process, enjoy the people, and do the best I could. It is impossible to predict who is going to show up right next to you, so I saw no reason but to simply give all you’ve got and make it fun. I’m often the wacky one backstage, getting psyched and trying to make others smile with crazy dancing (as much as I can without disengaging the bikini bite!) and cracking jokes. Next time, join me, it’s good to smile and laugh before taking the stage.