Striking a Balance

At a Glance: Johnny Dotson

Age: 31

Occupation: Army Social Worker Officer, United States Army

Current Residence: San Antonio, TX

Years training: 3.5 years

Height: 5'5"

Weight: Off Season 167, Contest 152

Favorite Bodybuilding Meal: Grilled chicken breast, sweet potatoes, raw spinach & avocado

Favorite Beverly supplement: Muscle Synergy. I use Muscle Synergy twice a day during contest prep. The pumps are insane and beyond any other supplement I’ve tried in the past. I look harder and fuller. I appreciate the size of the canister as I’m able to travel with my supplements without taking up too much space in my luggage.

Favorite Music: I create playlists from different genres and artists. Some of my favorites are J. Cole, Young Jeezy, Bruno Mars, Kendrick Lamar and Sia!

Most inspiring Book: Hillbilly Elegy: A memoir of a Family and culture in Crisis.

Hobbies or Interest outside bodybuilding: I enjoy rollercoasters, beach volleyball, jet skis, sight-seeing and buying sneakers to add to my collection.

Words to live by: Dream big, work hard, make it happen!


I started competing 3.5 years ago at the urging of a friend. I was no stranger to exercise. My senior year in high school I ran lead off on the South Carolina state champion 4x100 meter relay team. And as a soldier in the Army, I continued to maintain a high level of physical fitness. One day while exercising in the gym, a stranger came up and asked me if I competed. My answer was “no”, in fact I had no idea what he was even talking about. He went on to explain a little bit about it and suggested that I could be great in the Mens Physique division.

After doing some research, I decided to give it a shot. Mens Physique seemed like the way to go. It would be an easier transition into the competition world than trying to be a top bodybuilder right off the bat. My symmetry was decent, but I’d need to focus on building muscle and getting into top condition to be successful. Over the next 3 years I continued to improve as I entered the world of competition. Last year I won a major title! Athletes from the U.S., England, Canada, and the Cayman Islands competed for the Drug Free Athlete’s Coalition World Titles and I won the Professional Mens Athletic division. This division is judged on three elements – muscularity, symmetry, and presentation - kind of a hybrid between the mens physique and classic physique categories.

I’ll get into my preparation for this show in a minute, but first I want to tell you a little about my Army career. I always knew I was going to be a Soldier, even from an early age. It wasn’t a family tradition; no one in my family before me had served. I take the utmost pride in being a Soldier. A little known fact is that less than 1% of the nation’s population serves in the U.S. Army. Every morning I wake up feeling as though I have specific tasks to complete. Some are easy, and some are hard, but I give 100% to each. When my day has concluded, I know that I have done my best for the Army and myself.

In Closing

In addition to being an active duty Soldier, I am a full- time student in the Army-University of Kentucky Master of Social Work Program. I’ve completed my academic requirements for the degree and am now working toward completing the required practicum hours. Nonetheless, I plan to continue competing, striking a balance with my Army career.

My Pre-Contest Diet

It usually takes me 12 weeks to fully prepare for a competition. I have to watch my diet closely and stay disciplined to eat my meals on a regular schedule and make sure not to eat too much or too little. I keep accurate records of my weight and body fat and use the BodPod to make sure I’m losing fat and not muscle. Here’s a sample of my daily pre-contest diet.


0600: Fasted Cardio on the Stairmaster for 30 mins, then 1 scoop of Muscle Synergy to ensure I preserve muscle

Meal 1: 5oz grilled chicken, 4oz sweet potatoes, bowl of spinach leaves

Meal 2: Protein Shake

Meal 3: 5oz grilled chicken, 4oz sweet potatoes, bowl of spinach leaves

Meal 4: 5oz grilled chicken, 4oz sweet potatoes, bowl of spinach leaves

Evening Workout:
1 scoop of Muscle Synergy,
1 scoop of Creatine Select

Meal 5: 5oz grilled chicken, 4oz sweet potatoes, bowl of spinach leaves



I was first introduced to Beverly International products by a mentor and fellow competitor. I didn’t just take his word, I conducted some personal research to find out all I could about the company and products. The more I learned, the more convinced I was that Beverly was a company which was aligned with my personal values and their products would take me to the next level.

The product I like the best is Muscle Synergy powder. I recommend that all natural novice and veteran competitors should invest in Muscle Synergy. It yields phenomenal gains in muscle size and strength. With Muscle Synergy I packed on 5 pounds of lean muscle in 3 months while losing 6% body fat (BodPod measurement). In addition, I have seen amazing improvements in my physique. Moreover, my strength has increased drastically. I am lifting heavier than ever and am more motivated to go to the gym.

My Pre-Contest Training


Sunday: Rest Day

Monday: LegsSets Reps
Goblet Squat420
Stiff Leg Deadlift415
Hamstring Curls415
Leg Extensions415
Leg Press520
Tuesday: Chest, TricepsSets Reps
Bench Press515
Incline Bench Press410
Machine Pec Deck415
Dumbbell Flyes415
Triceps Pushdown425
Triceps Dips410
Push Ups50 total
Wednesday: BackSets Reps
Lat Pulldowns412
Close-grip Pulldown412
Barbell Shrugs410
One-arm Cable Row410
One-arm Hammer Row410
Thursday: ShouldersSets Reps
Lateral Raise515
Bent-over Rows412
One-arm Cable Laterals410
Dumbbell Press410
Barbell Shoulder Press410
Friday: Triceps, Biceps, Abs Sets Reps
Triceps Pressdowns420
Triceps Pulldown420
Triceps Dips410
Dumbbell Curl410
Preacher Curl410
Cable Curl410
Hanging Leg Raises210
Saturday: HIITSets Reps
Stairmaster30 min
Jacobs Ladder5 min
Run1 mile

Cardio & Presentation

In addition to my Saturday HIIT workout, I try to get in 4 or 5 mornings of fasted cardio on the StairMaster.

Two nights a week I focus on posing and practicing my routine. I make sure I record myself weekly to assess my progress and see what I need to adjust.

Posted in 2019 Collection, Men's Bodybuilding / Classic Physique / Physique.