From Empty Nest To Natural Masters Figure Pro at Age 61
No Nonsense Magazine Volume 25 #1
By: Candace Moon-Carlson
At a Glance: Candace Moon-Carlson
Occupation: Life Enrichment and Transport Driver for the elderly; NESTA Certified Trainer.
Family: Married with three sons, a daughter (my number one supporter and encourager), and two grandsons.
Current Residence: Flint, MI
Years training (total): 13
Weight: Off-Season: 145, Contest: 123
Favorite Bodybuilding or Fitness Meal: Salmon with asparagus and roasted sweet potatoes.
Favorite Supplements: UMP and my new favorite GH Factor. I recommend GH Factor for anyone over 35. It helps with leanness in the lower body. I definitely saw more definition and muscularity.
What would you say to someone who has never heard of Beverly supplements? The guidelines Beverly gives based on your goals, and financial situation is spot on. Start with Super Pak or FitTabs and UMP and build from there.
Music: 70's Funk for Workout.
Hobby or interests outside bodybuilding: I Love the outdoors! Cycling, kayaking, snowshoeing. I enjoy adventures with my new grandson, Gunnar; "Gunnar and Grandmas Adventures."
Words to live by: "You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream" C.S. Lewis
I have always been an active person and have enjoyed playing all kinds of sports. When my children were younger, I ensured they were involved in activities and sports, making me-time less important. My enjoyment came through their accomplishments, and "to an extent," I became sedentary. It was not until my daughter's senior year in high school, when I went to her powerlifting tournament, that my interest was piqued to begin weightlifting and get healthier, so I joined the gym.
Some say it was how I prepared myself for my "empty nest." I started with three days of cardio and played around with the weights. I realized that was not enough to lose weight and get healthy, so I slowly started adding a few more days. One Sunday, a group of gym goers came in for competition posing practice. I watched with curiosity and knew if I had to put on a suit, I would work hard to lose the weight. At the time, I had no intention of competing. I hired a trainer and saw how my body was transforming into a more muscular me, a healthier me. Within seven months, I competed in my first bodybuilding show in both the masters and open categories. I mentally and physically felt invigorated with two first-place trophies, and my journey into bodybuilding was now solidified at the age of 49.
In my second year of competition, I was approached by a judge who discussed my strengths and weaknesses. He asked about my supplements and suggested I try Beverly International products. I felt well informed by the explanations of the product he gave me and did some additional research. I started with a few items and could see and feel the results. I now use Beverly supplements exclusively. (The UMP protein mixes so easily in bottled water. It isn't gritty, has no aftertaste, and the flavor is spot on.)
Now I have been competing for over twelve years. I started in bodybuilding, transitioned into physique, and am currently competing in figure. I continually brought a better me to the stage in those years with each subsequent show. I have been with my trainer, IFBB Pro John Simmons, for most of my journey. He keeps me on course and helps me reach every goal I set. I also became NESTA certified to educate myself and make a difference in others' lives.
I was fortunate enough to teach and train Silver Sneaker classes. The benefits of exercising were proven in many ways when working with my clients: from lowering blood pressure to being off certain medications to just feeling better, which has inspired me!
In 2015, I hung up my suits and was done competing. I felt it was time to enjoy other physical activities like kayaking, biking, and some fun CrossFit and running events. When COVID hit in 2020, everything changed. The gyms closed, my mental stress grew, and the fear of being a statistic overwhelmed me. I could let it take me over or change my perspective on life. I enjoyed the gym; I enjoyed having goals and dreams; I enjoyed being strong, and I enjoyed my friends and family. I wasn't about to quit. I wanted to be an inspiration to women and the elderly and practice what I preached. In late 2020, I decided to step on stage again and not set limits on myself because of my age.
In 2021 I qualified for a National Masters show. Since I do not use performance-enhancing drugs, I knew the odds were against me, and I did not come home a Pro. But I felt all my hard work
and diligence had paid off, and I came home with even more intensity and focus. Fortunately, I saw that the United States Bodybuilding Federation (USBF) was holding a drug-free show in my area, the Detroit Muscle. It gave me another chance to prove I was "independently strong" and go for Pro status on my terms. In October 2021, I became a Pro.
My journey, by no means, was empty. Family and friends surrounded me. The Lord blessed me with health, strength, and the ability to follow my dreams and passions.
I look forward to future contest seasons and plan to continue to use all the tools provided along the way, including Beverly International supplements. I also plan to continue to have dreams and goals and be an inspiration to all as a natural athlete.
Contest Meal Prep and Supplement Schedule
3 muffin omelets (1 egg, 3 egg whites, spinach, and mushrooms), ¹⁄₂ cup steel-cut oats with ¹⁄₂ scoop UMP
Fit Tabs, Ultra C, Quadracarn, 7-Keto MuscLean, Muscularity & Lean Out
UMP or 2 UMP Protein Pumpkin Muffins (see sidebar for recipe)
6oz of chicken breast, 1 cup rice
Quadracarn, 7-Keto MuscLean, Muscularity & Lean Out
6oz cubed chicken breast, 1 cup cucumbers, ¹⁄₂ cup cherry tomatoes
6oz salmon or white fish, 1¹⁄₂ cup asparagus or green beans
Quadracarn, Muscularity & Lean Out
UMP Protein shake or pudding
My meal prep is on Sundays and one day in the middle of the week. I cook my steel-cut oats, put them in muffin tins, and freeze them to save time in the morning. I also do this with my veggie omelet (no cheese).
UMP Protein Pumpkin Spice Muffins
¹⁄₂ cup almond milk
¹⁄₂ tsp baking powder
¹⁄₂ tsp allspice
¹⁄₂ tsp salt
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 tbsp honey
¹⁄₂ tsp cinnamon
¹⁄₂ tsp nutmeg
1 scoop UMP Vanilla
Preheat the oven to 350. Mix wet ingredients first, then add dry. Spray a muffin pan and bake for 25 minutes. Cool. For extra flavor, throw some walnuts on top before cooking.
My Training Schedule
I use fairly difficult weights on the last couple of sets but make sure that my form is spot on. As an older woman, I don't want to cause injury by emulating a young, foolish me and lifting too heavy. Recovery is more challenging as we age. I mentally focus on each set.
Monday: Chest & Abs
Bench Press 4x15
Incline Dumbbell Press 4x15
Incline Dumbbell Flyes 4x15
Decline Cable Flyes 4x15
Captain's Chair Leg Raises 3x20
Abs Mat Sit-ups 3x20
Russian Twist 3x20
Assisted Pull-Ups 4x10
DB Row 5x15
Wide Grip Pulldown 4x15
Cable Face Pulls 4x15
Straight-Arm Pulldown 4x15
Bent Rows 4x15
Leg Press 5x20
Sumo Goblet Squat 4x1-2 minutes
Walking Lunges 4x20
Leg Extension 4x15
Leg Curl 4x15
Thursday: Shoulders & Abs DB Press 4x15
Forward Raise 4x15
Lateral Raise 4x15
Upright Row 4x15
Incline (weighted) Sit-ups 3x25
Leg Raise 3x25
Plank 3x40 seconds (plus)
Triceps Kickback & Biceps Curl (warm-up) 4x20
Barbell Curl & Skull Crushers 4x20
Incline DB Curl & Triceps Pressdown 4x15
Preacher Curl & Bench Dips 4x15
Good Mornings 4x20
Calf Raise 4xmax
Reverse Hack Squat 4x20
Leg Curl 4x20
Sunday: Rest or Make Up Day
CardioI am one of those people who would prefer lifting over cardio. At the beginning of prep, it's always a challenge to get it in, and let's be honest, sometimes we are just too tired at the end of a work day. Off-season, I do 45 minutes; during contest prep, I do an hour. I switch my equipment from the stair stepper, treadmill, elliptical, and bike. (I have a trainer for my road bike that I use inside for the winter).
Practice, Practice, Practice. I do 5 minutes of posing early every morning. I have hired a posing coach in the past. I also go to local posing clinics. Even though I don't like watching myself, I will videotape myself, critique it, and run through it repeatedly until I feel I have everything covered.