From Start to Finish: Conquering the Course and the Stage

I have always exercised in one form or another.

When I was younger, raising kids, and building a practice, I was limited to quick trips to the gym or a workout in the basement. Once my children were grown and my practice was more established, I had more time to devote to my fitness and became really involved in endurance sports. My first 5K led to a half marathon, which led to a full marathon and before I knew it, I had completed over 60 full marathons, including one in every state. I finished a hundred mile run from Key Largo to Key West.

I became interested in triathlons and worked my way up to a full Ironman. Training at that point consisted of 100-mile bike rides in the morning, 2-mile swims in the Detroit River in the evening, and running as often as I could. I snuck in some cross-training with weights a couple times a week, but for the most part my exercise was aerobic in nature.

That all changed when my wife, Sandy, convinced me to attend a bodybuilding show with her. She had undergone a recent transformation, losing over 40 lbs with weight training and macro-focused dieting. Her gym was sponsoring the show and I reluctantly agreed to go. I was inspired by the dedication and commitment of the athletes that competed. I told my wife “next spring we are going to be on that stage”.


As a runner, my philosophy regarding nutrition was that I could eat and drink whatever I wanted, and I would just run it off. My weight was good, but I didn’t always look or feel the greatest, and as I got older my blood work was not so great. My cholesterol was climbing, and my blood sugar was bouncing around. I knew some disciplined eating would be good for me. I hired a coach, who gave me some starting macros. Because I was still running and cycling while I was training for my first show, my macros were pretty generous. I ran four marathons while I was training for my first show, so I was really putting my coach to the test. But with a solid nutrition plan and supplementation with Beverly products I was able to drop from 162 lbs to 147 lbs and still maintain lean muscle mass. The 2019 ANBF 3D Fit show went well for me. At the age of 55, I took first in four of the six divisions I competed in, and earned a pro card from the ANBF in Classic Physique and in Master’s Physique.

I had been using UMP for years and recommending it to my patients and training clients. However, when I started competitive bodybuilding, I researched the rest of the Beverly products line by reading prior issues of “No Nonsense” and I even made a few phone calls to the Beverly Advisor Team with questions. Don’t hesitate to reach out to them for advice, they are very helpful and knowledgeable with sports nutrition.

Supplements

When training for a contest I use an array of Beverly Supplements.

Strength and Growth Factors

I take Mass Aminos, Ultra 40, and Quadracarn
pre and post workout, as well as with each meal.

Pre-workout and Recovery

Up-Lift, Glutamine Select, and Muscle Provider

Fat Loss

Lean Out, 7-Keto MuscLean, and Energy Reserve

General health and Vitality

Multiple Enzyme Complex, EFA Gold, FitTabs
or Super Pak, and ZMA 2000

I take Multiple Enzyme Complex with every meal because it helps make nutrients more bio-available and helps minimize digestive disturbances associated with a high-protein diet. I also try to consume 1-2 gallons of water per day.

Favorite Recipe

Chocolate Mousse with Berries

1 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
¹⁄₂ cup low fat cottage cheese
¹⁄₂ scoop chocolate UMP
¹⁄₂ cup strawberries
¹⁄₄ cup raspberries

Combine yogurt and cottage cheese and mix UMP in slowly to prevent clumping. Top with berries.

Macros: Protein 46.9, Carbs 25.5, Fat 3.2

Training Schedule

I lift at home in the mornings 6 days a week with a three-day split:

Chest/Triceps
Back/Biceps
Shoulders

I sneak to the gym at lunch a couple days a week to do legs and abs. Being a runner, I have skinny legs, so I’m trying to spend some extra time working lower body.

I do 15-20 total sets for large bodyparts and about 12 sets for biceps and triceps.

Favorite exercises include DB Bench Presses (incline, flat, and decline), Pushups, Pullups, Shoulder Presses
(DBs, Arnold Presses), and Kettlebell Presses.

For legs I pre exhaust with Leg Extensions, then do Squats, Deadlifts, Leg Presses, and Leg Curls.

I run 3-5 miles a couple of days per week after weight training and do a long run or a race on Sunday.

Recovery Advice

Training 6-7 days a week at any age requires focused recovery:

Chiropractic care: Get regular adjustments, it’s huge!

Supplementation: Give your body what it needs to rebuild- adequate protein with UMP or Muscle Provider. Amino acids from Mass Aminos and Glutamine Select. Nighttime recovery with ZMA 2000.

Sleep: Your body needs adequate rest to grow.

Soft tissue techniques like massage therapy, Graston technique, and even Epsom Salt baths. If pro athletes are using this stuff, you probably should too!

Biggest Challenges

I love weight training and natural bodybuilding, but I’m not ready to give up endurance sports. When my calories start dropping during show prep, it can be difficult to have enough carbohydrates to fuel a long run. Timing is critical, so I try to consume most of my carbs pre- and immediately post workout so that they are a source of fuel and glycogen replenishment. If you are going to consume any high-glycemic carbs it is important to do it during this window. At any other time try to consume low glycemic carbs so your insulin is not spiking later in the day. I also try to take most of my supplements around this window. I feel like my body is like a sponge during and after exercise and much more likely to absorb macro and micronutrients.

Timing of workouts can also be a challenge. I need to put enough training days between a hard leg day in the gym and my long runs or speed days. Heavy leg days need to be avoided for about 5 days before a race.

Future Goals

Now that I completed my 50-states goal, I am going to try to run a full marathon on every continent, so races in South America, Africa and Antarctica are on the horizon. In between I want to focus on adding some muscle to my legs and shoulders (not an easy task for a runner in his fifties!) so I can better compete in the classic physique bodybuilding category as a pro.

Posted in 2021 Collection.