Five Ms Olympia Figure Titles and Fifteen Years with Beverly International
No Nonsense Magazine Vol 24, #4
By: Cydney Gillon, 5-time IFBB Ms Figure Olympia
At a Glance: Cydney Gillon
Occupation or Education: Professional Female Figure competitor, Ambassador for the IFBB, and Posing Coach (for all divisions)
Education: University of Southern California (Master of Arts in Strategic Public Relations), University of Pennsylvania (Bachelor of Arts in Psychology)
Current Residence: Douglasville, GA
Years training: 16 years
Height: 5’3 3/4”
Weight: 150s, Contest - 130s
Favorite Bodybuilding Meal: Ground turkey and rice cakes
Favorite Supplements: Density, Lean Out, 7-Keto MuscLean, ZMA2000
Hobbies or interests: Dancing, yoga, and eating
Words to live by: "If you want to succeed as much as you want to breathe….then and only then, will you be successful."
5x Ms. Figure Olympia
National and International Posing Coach NPC Promoter - Cydney Gillon Peach Classic
Certified Personal Trainer (IAFS)
Cydney Gillon Scholar-Athlete Scholarship
I can't believe it has been over five years since I graced the cover of Beverly's No Nonsense magazine. At that time, I was training for my first Ms. Figure Olympia title. Now, I'm defending my fifth consecutive title.
I started lifting at age 13 and began taking Beverly International supplements at 14. At that time, I was preparing for my first bodybuilding show. My mom wanted to make sure that my supplements were safe since I was so young; that's why she chose Beverly International. Now at 29 years of age, my journey with BI continues. Over these years, I have gained a wealth of knowledge about the value of training with proper nutrition and supplementation.
In the remainder of this article, I'd like to share with you the current state of my nutrition, supplements, training, cardio, and presentation plans.
In the beginning, I used Beverly's 16 weeks out diet plan. See page 4 to check out this plan in detail. It formed the foundation for my physique and nutrition philosophy. I tried the Keto diet at one time, but I don't think it is a viable long-term plan. I don't particularly like counting macros, so my preference is to be told by my coach what to eat. In general, I eat six meals a day every 2.5 to 3 hours. I also need to say that I love my "planned" cheat meals. I decided five years ago to watch my diet year-round. My coach, Damian Segovia, writes out my meal plans based on how much muscle I need to gain (or lose) and the amount of body fat I need to shed. The programs vary each year and for every competition. Hydration is also essential. I drink a minimum of 2 gallons of water a day.
7-Keto MuscLean for weight loss, Lean Out for fat loss, Density to maintain muscle while doing intensive cardio, ZMA 2000 for recovery, and the Super Pak to keep a healthy body. UMP protein pudding and pancakes are some of my favorites!
My training style is based on my track foundation and the basics that I learned from my parents. Today it varies. Now, my focus is overall maintenance, so I train to maintain and refine, not grow. I build muscle easily, so I have to be careful not to gain too much. Too much mass can take away from the look needed for my category.
I enjoy the drive needed for improvement, which also means overcoming the challenge of using different training techniques that may be foreign to me. Pushing myself to do my best relaxes me. In my years of training, I have learned to pay attention to my body and learn what works for me. I spend as much time as needed in the gym to achieve the goals I set for the day. Total time including stretching, warm-up, and cool down, averages 1.5 hours.
A typical leg workout might include squats, leg extension, lunges, and presses. Hamstrings might consist of standing and seated leg curls. (I have to avoid any direct glute exercises to ensure I don't overdevelop that bodypart).
My gym has a variety of equipment for each exercise, which allows me to hit new angles and work the parts of my legs I want to target.
I usually do cardio after my workouts. I like to change it up. I will walk, use the elliptical, bikes (different ones), and sprint. I try to keep my body guessing. There is no need to do excessive cardio if you are in shape. I never do hours of cardio. At a certain point, it starts to eat away at your muscle. 20-30 minutes is usually right for me, depending on whether or not I am sprinting, doing steady-state, or just getting my steps in. Sometimes I incorporate plyometrics.
Contest Countdown - 16 Weeks Out Nutrition Plan
The nutrition and supplement plan listed below is the nutrition plan that Cyd references in her article. It was the plan she followed as she began her quest to one day become Ms Olympia.
Prepping for Show Diet: 6 meals per day:
1 whole egg + 4 egg whites - 4oz very lean meat - ¹⁄₂ cup oatmeal
Meal Two (Choose one option)
Option A: Protein drink with two scoops Ultimate Muscle Protein (UMP), one tablespoon healthy fat source (olive oil, flax oil, almond butter, or heavy cream).
Option B: 4oz lean beef or chicken or one can tuna, one small apple or orange
5oz lean meat (chicken or other lean protein
source) - 5oz sweet potato or ¹⁄₂ cup cooked brown rice - 2 cups vegetables (broccoli, etc.) or green salad with 2 tbsp vinegar and oil dressing
Meal Four (same options as meal #2)
5oz very lean meat (chicken breast, fish, turkey breast, lean beef - sirloin, filet, etc.) - 2 cups vegetables - Salad with 2 tbsp vinegar and oil dressing
Meal Six (Optional)
Option A: Protein Shake or Pudding: 1 Scoop Ultimate Muscle Protein (UMP), add enough water to make a shake or pudding the consistency you desire
Option B: 6 egg whites with 2 cups of vegetables
Essential Supplement Program:
Take 2 FitTabs with meals #1 and #5
Lean Out - 1 capsule per meal during this stage to help regulate cravings and mobilize fats for energy.
Take 3 Ultra 40 tablets and 3 Mass Aminos (or 2 Density) with any four of the meals listed
EFA Gold - 3 capsules with meal #1
Practice, practice, practice! I practice my posing year-round, usually after my workout. Since I am a posing coach, I am ALWAYS thinking about posing and coming up with different ideas for my clients. I only practice posing 2-3 times a week since I've become fairly proficient, but your practice should be determined by the amount of work you need. Your posing needs to look effortless. You need to get a second set of eyes on you. I use my mom and video my routines. Please DO NOT WAIT UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE to perfect your posing.
You have to do what you need to do while competing, but you also have to make time for your family, friends, and fun. Living. That means having a cheat meal as needed and doing other things that bring you joy. Preparing for a show is tedious and sometimes grueling if everything isn't in sync. When it is time to cut everything out (those things that could be distracting to your prep), then and only then do you focus on YOU, your training, nutrition, and rest. Lastly, young athletes also need to understand that it is important to first build the best body you can with basic nutrition and hard work. Build YOUR foundation. Bodybuilding is not a quick fix. It takes time to transform.
If you want to succeed in your transformation/competition, it requires more than just training, nutrition, and the correct supplementation. You have to have the proper mentality. This is so important because many competitors do not. In addition, you need to be secure with yourself and stay on course. Don't let anyone deter you from your goal or keep you from staying on track. Stay focused. Life doesn't stop, so you need to be resilient and bounce back from whatever negative occurrences are going on in your life. Attaining a successful transformation requires mental strength, dedication, consistency, and passion. This is the mindset a competitor has to have to create long-term success.