Newfound passion for bodybuilding turns 53-year-old into an unstoppable sensation
No Nonsense Magazine Vol 23, #4
By: Stevie Stevonovich
At a Glance: Stevie Stevonovich
Occupation: Quality assurance senior manager in the food and beverage industry
Education: Business related degrees but I am really proud of my newly accomplished certification as a Primary Personal Trainer
Family: I am fortunate enough to have my mother, Rita Blue, living nearby in San Bernardino with her husband Frank. My aunt Pat, my brother Monte, and my cousin Shawn also live locally in Southern California.
Current Residence: Beaumont, CA
Years training: 2 years focused on bodybuilding
Weight: Off Season: 130-135 ideally; Contest: 113lbs with 13% body fat
Favorite Bodybuilding or Fitness Meal: Oatmeal with whole eggs
Favorite supplements: 7- Keto MuscLean and Lean Out stack is great for burning the fat. Quadracarn helps me with mood and energy and when I put them all together, they create a winning situation.
What would you recommend to someone who has never used Beverly supplements before? I spent plenty of time researching which supplements would help get me to my goals and Beverly International’s products had consistently high ratings so I tried them. I would definitely recommend FitTabs for someone looking for a high quality multi-vitamin and the 7-Keto MuscLean and Lean Out stack for fat burning.
Music: My playlist includes a little from every genre. I listen to alternative rock, rap, rock, 80s music, disco, and a little pop. Korn is my favorite band and always with me at the gym.
Most Inspiring Book: Pumping Up! Super Shaping the Feminine Physique by Ben Weider & Robert Kennedy
Hobby or interests outside bodybuilding: I am an award winning, published photographer. I am passionate about architectural photography and nature photography. What is strange is that I am not so keen on insects; however, I find their details to be fascinating in photographs. I also love to cook, concerts, mountain biking and road cycling.
Goal for 2020: Put on some size, and compete in another competition or two. I want to get a few more training and coaching certifications and start training people so I can help them feel good and get healthy.
Words to live by: It’s never too late to be your best self.
My fitness story started with one simple goal in mind - I just wanted to see my abs.
Being a bodybuilder was never in my plan.
This unexpected chapter in my life began at the age of 51 years old. It was 2017, I had lost loved ones and found myself at the end of a rocky relationship. The break up was emotionally brutal. My self-esteem was dragged down and the confident woman I once was had vanished.
I had developed an emotionally toxic connection with food and did not recognize the person looking back at me in the mirror anymore.
My biggest why is that I wanted to never feel so low again. I had reached a weight of 170 pounds. I had developed high blood pressure and was taking medication daily. A surgery on my right knee left me with little to no cartilage so my added weight made walking excruciating. My outward appearance did not reflect who I really was, nor did my spirit, and the time was now to make a change.
I lifted my spirits by setting new goals and not giving up on my ultimate goal- to live a happy, healthy and active life! I had started dieting and continued my weight loss efforts by switching to a Keto diet. I realized that I could optimize my weight loss by taking the right supplements so I did some research and found Beverly International. I started taking the 7-Keto MuscLean and Lean Out stack. In September 2018, I was able to start working out again and by this time I had lost a total of 30lbs.
As all good things go, I hit a plateau.
Then I saw Cindy Lane Ross on the cover of Beverly International’s No Nonsense magazine in April, 2019. Cindy had an amazing story about rising from loss and I wondered if she could help me. Finding her training business online was easy so I reached out and asked if she would coach me. We started in May, 2019.
The decision to call Cindy was certainly one of the most rewarding in my life because it led down a path to self-discovery in finding what has now become my true passion — fitness and bodybuilding.
I knew nothing about bodybuilding but decided I would like to compete in the Women’s Physique Division. I picked a show to be held in Hollywood, CA in December, 2019. I thought that would allow enough time to really perfect my form and I got to work.
Cindy sent a diet and workout plan to me and I dove right in. I found an awesome posing coach, Karma Schopp, and never missed a scheduled posing practice.
I began seeing major changes in my shape by July, 2019. Cindy contacted me one day and encouraged me to compete in an impromptu bodybuilding competition as a “warm up” before my big show in December. She said she would be there with me and I was excited to have her on board for my first show. Little did I know it would be one of the best days of my life.
I signed up and competed in the OCB “Battle On The Beach” in Gulf Shores, AL. I placed 1st in Women’s Physique Debut, 2nd in Women’s Physique Masters, and 2nd in Women’s Physique Open. When I arrived back in California after the competition, I continued my contest prep and managed to get to 13% body fat and weighed 113 pounds by the time I hit the stage at the OCB Hollywood Natural! I came in 1st in all 3 Women’s Physique classes I entered; Open, Masters 40+, and Masters 50+. This show was special because my mom was able to come and see me compete and win.
Presentation and Team Tips
Physique competitors - practice and learn all your mandatory poses. Listen to your coaches! You honestly need to trust your coaches and do what they instruct you to do. Of all the people that have made an impact on my life, Cindy has been the most encouraging and supportive during my time of transition.
Carrying the Torch
My next chapter includes more competition, more fitness certifications, and the opportunity to provide a unique experience for someone as their personal trainer. Who knows, maybe I will help someone make their ultimate transformation?
I can identify with people who are struggling with weight, poor confidence, or self-esteem. I get it, I’ve been there and it’s something I won’t forget. Also, I want everyone to know that your age should not be a limiting factor because it’s never too late to start living your best and most healthy life.
The one thing that I cannot stress enough to the reader is that my physical transformation took a couple of years, and I had setbacks. I never stopped trying and never gave up on myself.
Just keep going! It’s so worth it!
My Nutrition Advice
The biggest obstacle I had to overcome was my diet. I developed a routine of getting my weights and cardio workouts in each day, but the contest prep style of eating was a shock. I found that eating the same thing every day was a real challenge at first.
My diet consisted of fish, seafood, some chicken, oats, eggs and some veggies. Additionally, weighing my portions and eating every two hours required extreme discipline. But it was not long before I noticed my body begin to take shape and the mirror began reflecting the results that I wanted to see.
Here is a sample diet:
Meal 1: 150g egg whites, 1 cup veggies (spinach, onions, etc.), 1/2 cup oatmeal measured dry, 75g berries, 1 piece gluten free toast (on non-training days I cut out the toast and take 1 scoop vegan protein in water immediately after training)
Meal 2: 4oz salmon, 1/2 cup jasmine rice , 1 cup vegetables
Meal 3: 4oz white fish, large iceberg lettuce salad with veggies, 2 caramel rice cakes
Meal 4: 2 whole eggs, 75g egg whites, 2 plain rice cakes, 75g avocado, 1 cup vegetables
Meal 5: 4oz cod or Mahi Mahi, 1/2 cup brown rice, 1 cup broccoli or asparagus
Meal 6: 150g egg whites, 3oz fish or 1 scoop vegan protein
I consume at least 100 oz of water per day
The diet is strict, so getting creative is a must. I am a home gourmet chef so I experimented with spices and preparing my foods through various cooking methods, like grilling, smoking, sauté and steaming - you will find that variety does help and a good grill pan is very handy.
When my nutrition and exercise habits changed, the medications I was taking to treat hypertension were no longer necessary. I monitor my salt with every meal, and use healthy fats while cooking. I would recommend opting for seasonings that do not contain salt as the main ingredient.
Also, every calorie really does count while you are in contest prep so I even stopped adding creamer to my coffee. After competition, I found that I did not like the taste of creamer anymore and my flavor pallet changed for the better.
My Favorite Beverly International Supplements
I currently am slowly adding more calories into my diet and working on muscle development. (Yes, even at my age.) The 7- Keto MuscLean and Lean Out stack are a favorite. When I take those two supplements, I burn more fat. FitTabs are a staple for me. I noticed a big difference when I wasn’t taking them. I also added Quadracarn for mood and energy, GH Factor for speedy muscle recovery, Density for leaner and thicker muscle, Muscle Mass for BCAAs, and Creatine Select to help feed my muscles.
3 Quadracarn, 2 FitTabs, and 3 7-Keto MuscLean with breakfast and dinner
2-3 Density, 2 GH Factor, and 2 Lean Out throughout the day with each meal
1 scoop Creatine Select and 5 Muscle Mass before training
My workouts usually include supersets or giant sets so I can be as efficient as possible while maintaining proper form and posture each rep. For example, when I am doing a superset on day 1, I do an exercise that will work my quads then immediately go into an exercise that works my glutes.
I will lift heavy with low reps and slightly longer rest periods when trying to add muscle size. When leaning out, I use lighter weights and get 12-15 reps per set. I find that performing slower negatives (lifting the weight at a normal speed but returning the weight very slowly) is easier on my joints. I can use a slightly lighter weight and still keep the muscle under a load for a longer period of time. I love to lift! Here’s my normal schedule.
Day 1: Legs & Glutes
Day 2: Back & Biceps
Day 3: Shoulders & Calves
Day 4: Legs & Glutes
Day 5: Chest & Triceps
Day 6: Back & Biceps (every other week switch out with Shoulders & Calves)
Day 7: Active Rest
I do 20-30 minutes of cardio at least 6 days a week. Although I have knee problems, I am able to use certain types of stair climbers and the elliptical is really good for range of motion and minimal impact. I love taking the mountain or road bike out and can guarantee a much longer cardio session when I’m riding. Hiking is another good option. There are plenty of hills with trails near me and I target a pace that will keep me in my cardio zone and an incline that is kind to my knee.