Skinny Fat to Sculpted Physique

At a Glance: Crystal Buchanan

Age: 38

Occupation: Fitness/Supplement Advisor and Sales Stylist

Family: Husband-Todd, 3 beautiful children of my own and 2 amazing stepsons.

Current Residence: Gahanna, OH

Years training: 7 years

Height: 5'4½”

Weight: 135 (Off-Season), 120 (Contest)

Favorite fitness meal: I LOVE TACOS -- Baby romaine lettuce (shell) and ground turkey with jalapeno, avocado, tomato, onion, cilantro, lime and hot sauce. 🙂

Favorite Supplements:
1. UMP Cookies & Crème. It’s like a dessert. Todd and I do not go a day without our UMP pudding fix! My entire Family is hooked.
2. Quadracarn. This is my new favorite. I feel stronger, more energized and more vascular.

What would you recommend to someone who has never used BI supplements before?
Start with the fundamentals:
UMP: This will become a staple because of taste, quality, and all the amazing recipes you can use/create with this amazing protein.
Fit Tabs
Glutamine Select
EFA Gold

Music: I'm a sucker for old school R&B and when I train I listen to Fit Radio. There are motivating genres on there that my husband got me hooked on.

Most Inspiring book: The Purpose  Driven Life by Rick Warren

Interest outside of bodybuilding: I love music, writing songs and singing. Music has been a huge part of my life. Another love of mine is watching old movies.

Words to live by: "If the plan doesn't work, change the plan but never the goal" -Unknown


Growing up in small town West Virginia, fitness was not an important facet of my life. Although I enjoyed track and volleyball, church and school took precedent.

This changed when the youngest of my three children was diagnosed with a seizure disorder and mild autism.

To help combat the stress of my life’s constant uncertainty and changes... I joined a small gym.

The combination of weights and cardio gave me the stress relief I was looking for, and as an added benefit my body was beginning its transformation from “skinny fat” to “fit”. In 2008 I hired my first trainer, Joe Newland, at the local Rec Center. My progress accelerated under his expert guidance. Joe introduced me to my first Beverly International supplements. Adding Lean Out, Density, Glutamine Select and UMP to my nutrition program took my training and development to the next level.

Over the next few years I worked full time as a retail store manager and struggled through a painful divorce while raising my three children. The gym became a stress-free sanctuary for me. A couple of competitors there encouraged me to give competition a try. I competed in my first show in 2010. My first win as a Fit Body competitor was in 2012, and I eventually earned my INBF/WNBF pro card in the Fit Body division. My life was falling back into place. I met and married Todd, who is a main part of my support system. I am now focused and my next goal was to compete in the NPC Women’s Physique division. Although I had achieved a “lean” physique, I now had to add more lean mass. Todd and I devised a two-year plan to add needed size.

The challenge I faced was that it had become harder and harder to build muscle in the off season, and then holding on to it when dieting down for a show. Luckily, a simple recommendation from the Beverly Advisor Team solved my problem. I added Mass Aminos, Ultra 40, and Quadracarn, not only during the building phase, but also while cutting. Within two weeks I felt and saw a difference. My energy levels improved. I recovered from my workouts much quicker. And I attained a level of muscle fullness and hardness that I had never had before.

I felt confident as I stepped on stage for my first NPC Women’s Physique contest. I placed 2nd and was very happy with the progress I had made. My next competition was in the fall of 2015. I took 1st place in Class B in the Women’s Physique Open division at the West Virginia State/Mid Atlantic Grand Prix and 1st in the masters division.

Now, I’d like to share my nutrition, supplement, and training programs with you. Whether you wish to compete, or just add some lean, shapely muscle to your physique, I’m sure you’ll get great results like I did.

Women's Physique Nutrition Plans



Meal 1: 1 whole egg, 1 c egg whites, 3/4 c steel cut oats cooked with 1/2 c berries

Meal 2: 5oz salmon, 1/2 c brown rice, 1/4 avocado

Meal 3: 5oz lean ground turkey or chicken breast, 5oz sweet potato, 1 c green beans

Meal 4: 2 scoop UMP shake, 1oz almonds or cashews

Meal 5: 5oz ground bison or flank steak, 1 c cooked spinach, 1/2 c peppers and onions cooked

Meal 6: 2 whole eggs, 1 c egg whites, 1 c veggies

Post workout: 1 scoop of whey (Muscle Provider)

Contest Prep

I drink a minimum of 1.5 gallons of water daily. Upon awakening I have a cup of green tea and go right into a 20-minute cardio session.

Meal 1: 1 c egg whites, 1 c spinach, 1/2 grapefruit

Meal 2: 1-1/2 scoop UMP shake, 1oz almonds

Meal 3: 5oz chicken breast, 2 c salad mix, 1 tbsp oil/vinegar dressing with one packet of stevia

Meal 4: 5oz 99% lean turkey, 1 c green veggies, 1/2 c peppers and onion

Meal 5: 1-1/2 scoops of UMP made into a pudding with 1tbsp Just Great Stuff chocolate powdered peanut butter!!! YUM!

Meal 6: 5oz fish, 1 c spinach or asparagus

Wednesdays and Saturdays: I eat the following for meal 6. I call it my fitness "Happy Meal :)" 6oz flank steak or bison, 8oz sweet potato, 8 large asparagus spears, 1 tbsp coconut oil

Supplement Schedule


UMP: 1-2 times daily, my favorites are Cookies & Crème and Strawberry

Ultra 40: 2 tablets with each meal, total of 12 per day

Lean Out: 2 capsules with each meal, total of 12 per day

Quadracarn: 3 tablets with Meal #1 and #4. This is my new favorite supplement! Why wasn’t I taking this all along?

EFA Gold & Joint Care: 3 capsules each with Meal #1 and #5

Mass Aminos: 5 tablets pre and post training

Women's Physique Training Plan


Monday: Chest/TricepsAmount
Incline DB Press5x20/15/15/12/10 add weight each set
Cable Crossover5x15-20
Hammer Chest Press5x10-15, superset with next exercise
Pushupsto failure
Pec Dec5x20/15/15/12/10
Cable Extensions with rope5x20, superset with next exercise
Reverse Pushdowns5x20
Tuesday: Back/BicepsAmount
Wide Grip Pulldowns4x15
Reverse Close-grip Pulldowns4x15
Rack Deadlifts4x15/10/10/8
One Arm DB Rows5x10
Hyperextensions4x15, superset with next exercise
Cable Rows4x15
Barbell Curls4x20
DB Curls4x15
Reverse-grip Cable Curls3x15
Wednesday: LegsAmount
Seated Leg Curls4x20/15/12/10
Lying Leg Curls4x20/20/15/15
Glute Kickbacks4x15, superset with next exercise
Calf Raise4x40/30/25/20
Leg Extension3x30
Hack Squats3x20 non lock keeping tension on quads
Leg Press                                                                                                                                 (Ascending sets - the opposite of descending sets, instead of decreasing the weight within a set, I add weight after each 15 reps)
Set (1) 15x 3 plates/4 plates/5 plates
Set (2) 15x 4 plates/5 plates/6 plates
Set (3) 15x 5 plates/6 plates/7 plates
Walk20 minutes post workout at 3.0 mph
Thursday: ShouldersAmount
Hammer Shoulder Press3x20/15/12
Rear Delt Machine4x15, superset with next exercise
Plate Raises4x15
DB Shoulder Press4x15/12/10/8
Side Lateral Raise4x20
Friday: BackAmount
Wide-grip Pullups4x10
Single-arm Low Cable Rows4x10
Smith Machine Bent-over Rows4x15
Seated Close-grip Cable Rows4x15
DB Stiff-leg Deadlifts4x10
Saturday: LegsAmount
Leg Curls4x15
Leg Extensions3x30/20/15/30 – drop the weight every 10 reps on the final
Leg Press4x40/30/20/15
Wide Stance DB Squats4x20 add weight each set / focus on each rep/target that bootay!
Walking Lunges3x15, superset with next exercise

Cardio Schedule

Offseason cardio is 3-4 days a week for 20-45 minutes.12 weeks out from a competition cardio is bumped up to 6 days a week with a 20-minute morning session and 30-45 minutes in the early evening. Cardio sessions include Stairmaster, high incline on treadmill, HIIT and LISS training. My goal is to shed fat and hold on to as much muscle as possible. Truth is I love lifting, but cardio is a necessary evil to present a complete package on stage.



Offseason I hit key poses between sets when my muscles are full. Closer to the show I have a designated session just for posing! This helps me feel confident and look polished on stage. Always smile and have fun! Remember how hard you worked for that moment on stage and take that time to shine!!

In Closing

I started my fitness journey as a "skinny fat" mother of three with zero weight training experience. When I walked into the gym for the first time in 2008; I was intimidated by the machines and wouldn't even go near the free weights. Some of you reading this may be in the exact situation I was in - nervous, scared, and clueless. If you are uncertain where to begin, do what I did - reach out for help and ask for guidance. Soon you’ll be as confident in the gym as anyone. If you are more advanced and perhaps considering a competition, there are no better competition plans than those you’ll find in Beverly’s No Nonsense magazine. Page through some back issues or visit the “Articles” section at Beverly Find someone who is similar to you and your goals and simply follow her plan. Or, I’d be honored if you follow the plans that I have laid out in this article. They’ve worked for me and very likely will work for you too.

Posted in 2017 Collection, Fit Figure / Bikini.