Safe Haven – How Bodybuilding Saved My Life

My bodybuilding journey began late in life. I was 38. Below, my daughter goes into detail about my life’s journey and how the course of events, shortened the competition chapter of my life. When I was no longer able to compete, I enjoyed the bodybuilding world through my “bodybuilding” family. Since 2003, I have helped them prep for shows (posing, tanning, planning for the events, etc.). In 2007 my daughter, Cydney joined our bodybuilding family which added even more joy to my life. Cydney in now Ms Figure Olympia for the past two years. Once I entered the bodybuilding world, I never left- couldn’t leave. I realized this is the world I loved! Cyd takes it from here.

Superficial is a word that comes to the minds of many individuals who hear the word bodybuilding. But, those who do not seriously compete will never know the true impact that bodybuilding can have on one’s life, an impact so strong that lives change.

At the age of 34, my mom, Tangelea found herself extremely unhappy and overweight. She had become sedentary and desk bound by her job as an architect. As she saw the pounds mounting up on her 5 foot 1 inch frame, she knew something had to change, but she did not know where to start. One day she and her husband stumbled across Bill Phillips’ twelve-week, Body For Life program. They both embarked on the program and Tangelea went from a size 16 to a size 8. Her health journey had begun.

In 2001, Tangelea entered her first bodybuilding competition by a fluke. She had no desire to compete but made a deal with one of her husband’s personal training clients – “I’ll get on stage if you do.” Then the client pulled out of the contest, but Tangelea, despite being very scared about going it alone, decided to honor her word and enter the contest. She placed last in that show but her fire was lit. She was determined to be her best and one of the first obstacles she had to overcome was her natural shyness. Standing onstage, in front of strangers, preparing herself to be judged, was a leap for which she would need to be prepared.

Over the next two years Tangelea made steady improvements and began winning almost every show she competed in. Then she had to put what had become her new found joy on hold. At 40 years old, Tangelea was diagnosed with breast cancer while she was preparing for her next bodybuilding competition. Cancer was not going to stop her. She told the doctor to “wait on the surgery because I have a show coming up.” It was unknown if she would be able to ever compete again. She did not want the months dedicated to this one day, stripped from her because of a disease that no one could control. She took fate into her own hands, stepped on stage at the Atlanta SNBF (Supernatural Bodybuilding and Fitness) organization show, and won every category she entered. She earned an 8-foot spear trophy that she used to symbolically fight her condition.

Tangelea feels that “bodybuilding saved her life.” Without being in the physical condition she was in prior to competition, she would have never seen the lump that had formed on the side of her breast. Without bodybuilding, she would still be the meek, young girl who was too shy to eat in public; without bodybuilding, she would not have known how mentally and physically strong she was; without this sport, she would not be the woman she is today. Ten years later, Tangelea stepped back on stage to the tune of “Woman on Fire” by Alicia Keys, and that she was.

In 2013, I started competing again after taking 10 years off. There had been a revolution in physique competitions, new divisions and a new level of conditioning. As an amateur I was accustomed to winning or placing in the top 3 of every show, winning over women my age and much younger. As a Natural pro, and being 56, I find myself losing more often than winning. Age and being a woman has made it very difficult to truly lean out. I now have to work harder and smarter during every prep, dieting from 5 or more months out. With that being said, I am on a mission in 2019. I plan on bringing my best physique to the stage this year. This new body will be better than my best physique in 2003 where I placed 2nd at the NPC Georgia and won every bodybuilding category at the SNBF show including the overall (my last show). It is a challenge; the journey bitter-sweet; however, I won’t stop until I achieve my personal goals.

Contest Prep

Diet: I have used the “16 week out” up to the “4 weeks out” meal plans and the “final prep week” from Beverly with great success (see training and diet plans on the following 3 pages). A couple of years ago I decided to try counting macros. Loved the flexibility but hated measuring everything I ate. This year I combined the macros and the last four weeks from Beverly’s program. When in prep, I usually prepare all my meals for the day. This decreases my stress. I know I get tired as the day progresses, so there’s one less thing to worry about.

Supplements: I use Density, EFA Gold and Lean Out year round, regardless of whether I am in contest prep mode or not. This year I have added in my old staples, Mass Aminos and Ultra 40. When I started using Beverly products in 2003, Mass and Ultra 40 allowed me to maintain muscle while I got leaner. Prior to that time, when I did not use Mass and Ultra 40, I would get leaner and leaner from my diet, but also smaller and smaller. Other supplements I rely on during contest prep are Muscularity, 7-Keto MuscLean, Quadracarn, UMP (graham cracker, vanilla, chocolate, cookies & crème, and strawberry).

I divide out all my supplements for the day (including protein shakes) into sandwich bags. That way, regardless of what happens during the day, I have what I need. I also carry water and usually an emergency protein bar in case I don’t get a chance to eat a scheduled meal (off season only).

Cardio: I find that morning cardio works best for me. I prefer intervals, normally on an incline (up to level 15 on my treadmill). I also do steady state at a fast pace to help with my glutes. Off season, I try to get in 2-3 times a week for 15 – 20 minutes. (Muscle has memory, cardio does not.) I increase time, days per week, and intensity as a contest approaches.

This year my daughter Cyd, had me implement her cardio regimen. She explained that I had to do different types of cardio, since I have been training for so long, my body had just stopped responding. I did a lot more HIIT than I would do on my own. She also got me away from relying on the treadmill incorporating battle ropes (which I hate), stair master, bike, arc trainer, elliptical and rowing machines.

Training: Pre contest I work my entire body twice a week (over 8 days), 3 days on, rest, 3 days on, rest (see sidebar). Day 1- Chest and Arms, Day 2- Legs (Quads and Calves), Day 3- Back and Shoulders; the routine is the same during the next 3-day cycle except on Day 2 (Legs) I focus on Hams and Glutes, rather than Quads. I don’t use momentum to get the weight up. In fact, I slow my cadence so that that the reps are harder.

This off season, I decided to work 1 body part a day (except arms which are usually biceps and triceps together), working out 1.5 hours on most days and 2 hours on leg days (focusing on my glutes).

Conclusion

Bodybuilding, I embrace the journey. You can never truly “lose” when you prepare for a show and have the right mindset. I always say building the body is art and science in sync; the fountain of youth; the way to staying healthy and fit. It is a lifestyle.

Sample 3 Days On – 1 Day Off Workout Routine

Goal: To improve your muscularity, muscle tone, and separation while developing an athletic looking physique.

Progression: After a warm-up, use the same weight for all sets of an exercise. Start at the low end of the suggested rep range. Gradually increase the repetitions, usually adding one rep each workout until you reach the top number of suggested reps for each set of a particular exercise. Then add weight and start over at the lower end of the rep scheme.

Use as much weight as you can with perfect form for the target amount of reps. If you can do more reps than the target on your last set, add weight. If you can't get at least the lower recommend amount of reps, then lighten the weight slightly. Go pretty quick between sets. You should not rest more than 90 seconds between sets.

 

Day Four and Eight: Rest, Day Nine: Start over at Day 1

Day One: Chest and ArmsSets Reps
Incline DB Press46-10
Flat Dumbbell Press48-12
Pec Deck38-12
Barbell or EZ Curl36-10
Incline DB Curl38-12
Concentration Curl210-12
Close Grip Bench Press36-10
Triceps Pushdown38-12
Lying Triceps Extension38-12
Abs (use any variety of exercises you want)825-50
Day Two: Legs (Quads and Calves)Sets Reps
Leg Press310-15
Squats38-12
Hack Squat Machine*310-15
Stiff-Legged Deadlift310-12
Leg Extensions312-15
Calf Raises615 reps on any
combination of
machines

* do the Hack Squats as One and One Half Reps. This means go all the way down below parallel with your quads, then come half way up, then all the way back down, and then all the way up. This equals 1 repetition.

Day Three: Back and ShouldersSets Reps
One Arm DB Row38-10
Pulldowns38-12
Seated Cable Row38-12
Straight-Arm Pulldowns310-12
Shoulder Press36-10
Upright Row38-10
Lateral Raise310-12
Bent Over Laterals310-12
Abs (do tougher exercises than Day 1)
615-25 reps
Day Five: Chest and Arms
(same as Day 1)
Sets Reps
Incline DB Press46-10
Flat Dumbbell Press48-12
Pec Deck38-12
Barbell or EZ Curl36-10
Incline DB Curl38-12
Concentration Curl210-12
Close Grip Bench Press36-10
Triceps Pushdown38-12
Lying Triceps Extension38-12
Abs (use any variety of exercises you want)825-50
Day Six: Legs
(Hamstring and Glutes emphasis)
Sets Reps
Romanian Dead Lift
(superset with next exercise)
310-15
Wide Leg Press310-15
Leg Curl
(superset with next exercise)
36-8
Walking Lunge312-15 steps with each foot
Leg Extension (superset with next exercise)312-15
Smith Machine Squat310-12 (non-lock)
Calf Raises615 reps on any combination of machines
Day Seven: Back and Shoulders
(same as Day 3)
Sets Reps
One Arm DB Row38-10
Pulldowns38-12
Seated Cable Row38-12
Straight-Arm Pulldowns310-12
Shoulder Press36-10
Upright Row38-10
Lateral Raise310-12
Bent Over Laterals310-12
Abs (do tougher exercises than Day 1)
615-25 reps

Cardio: The best times to do your cardio are in the mornings, after your weight training, or in the evening before bed.

Bonus Exercises: It is very beneficial for the Figure Competitor to perform push-ups and chins as often as possible. It can be as part of your cardio, interspersed throughout the day, or at the end of your workout. To progress - just try to go for a greater cumulative number each week. If you do ten pushups at the end of each of your workouts the first time though, that’s 60 cumulative reps; next week – beat that total. On chins you might start as low as 3 per day. (It’s not where you start, it’s where you finish.)

Diets and Supplement Programs at 16 Weeks Out

 
16 Weeks Out Diet:
It’s okay to adjust portions or add or decrease a meal as needed to maintain progress. Do not worry about the particular order of your meals, if you want to eat Meal 1 as your last meal of the day, go ahead, it’s OK. Just make sure that you eat something or have a protein shake about every three hours.

 

Diet Program at 16 Weeks Out

Meal #1: 1 whole egg + 3 egg whites, 3oz very lean meat, 1/2 cup oatmeal - before cooking

Meal #2: (Choose one option)

Option A: Protein Drink with two scoops Ultimate Muscle Protein, one tablespoon healthy fat source (olive oil, flax oil, almond butter) or heavy cream.

Option B: 1 can tuna, one small apple or orange

Meal #3: 5oz lean meat (chicken or other lean protein source), 1/2 cup cooked brown rice or 4oz sweet potato, 1 cup vegetables (broccoli, etc.) or 2 cups green salad with 2 tbsp vinegar and oil dressing

Meal #4: Two scoops Muscle Provider in 12-16 oz water

Meal #5: 6oz salmon or very lean meat (chicken breast, fish, turkey breast, lean beef - sirloin, filet, etc), 1 cup low carb vegetables, salad with 2 tbsp vinegar and oil dressing

Meal #6: (This is an option if you reduce meal #4 to one scoop protein; you add meal #6 below. Which is better? – Whatever works better for you.)

Option A: Protein Shake or Pudding: 1 Scoop Ultimate Muscle Protein, add enough water to make a shake or pudding the consistency you desire

Option B: 6 egg whites with 1 cup of vegetables

Supplement Program at 16 Weeks Out

Take 2 FitTabs and 3 EFA Gold at meals 1 and 5.

Take 2 Mass Aminos and 2 Ultra 40 with each meal.

Take 2 Density (and/or 2 Muscularity) and 1 Lean Out with each meal listed above. (Lean Out is the most important supplement you can take with this nutritional plan if your primary goal is to lose fat. Lean Out helps your body burn stored fats, not your hard-earned lean muscle.)

 

Optional
Glutamine Select – take 1-2 scoops during training to preserve muscle during precontest dieting.

ZMA 2000 – 2 capsules before bed to aid recovery and sleep.

If you have any questions about Beverly supplements be sure to call them at 1-800-781-3475. The Beverly Team will help you get the best results possible.

Final Four Weeks Out Diet for Maximum Fat Loss

 

Diet Program at 4 Weeks Out

Meal #1: 3oz chicken breast or turkey breast, three egg whites, one-half grapefruit.

Meal #2: (Choose one option)

Option (A): Protein Drink with one scoop Ultimate Muscle Protein or Muscle Provider, one teaspoon healthy fat source (olive oil, flax oil, almond butter).

Option (B): Three and one-half ounces chicken breast or tuna, three egg whites, one tomato.

Meal #3: 5oz chicken breast, two cups salad (lettuce, tomato, carrot, cucumber, green peppers, etc.) or two cups low carb vegetables, one tablespoon “Newman’s Own” dressing ( or make your own with one tablespoon cider vinegar and one tablespoon olive oil).

Meal #4: Protein Drink with one scoop Ultimate Muscle Protein or Muscle Provider and water. If this is the meal preceding or just after training, Muscle Provider is the optimal protein at this time.

Meal #5: 5oz chicken breast, turkey breast or 96% lean beef, two cups low carb vegetables or salad.

Monday and Thursday:
Substitute the following for your 5th meal at the end of the day:

  • 3/4 cup oatmeal, or 3/4 cup cooked brown rice
  • 5oz sweet potato
  • 4oz banana
  • 1 cup vegetables
  • 1 tbsp butter or almond butter

Supplement Program at 4 Weeks Out

Meal 1: Super Pak

Meal 1 & 5: 3 EFA Gold

Each meal: 2 Density, 2 Muscularity, 2 Lean Out, and 1 Energy Reserve

Training: 2 scoops Glutamine Select plus BCAAs

 

7-Keto MuscLean: 3 capsules upon arising and 3 capsules mid afternoon

(Optional) GH Factor: 6 capsules immediately upon arising and six more before bed (or if you eat right before bed, take six GH Factor thirty minutes prior to your last meal.

GH Factor is ideal if you’ve hit a fat loss plateau. Especially valuable for stubborn thigh and abdominal fat. You’ll take six capsules upon arising and six more before retiring.

Posted in 2019 Collection.