The Big 5-0, Planning to be My Best
No Nonsense Magazine Vol 24, #4
By: Holly Fields
At a Glance: Holly Fields
Occupation or Education: College Professor, Gym Owner, Online Coach, Ph.D. Student
Family: Partner of 6 years, Luke; sons-Connor, 22 and Carter, 17
Current Residence: Salem. VA
Years training: 25+ years
Weight: Off Season 145-155, Contest 130-135
Favorite Fitness Meal: Chicken with egg whites, one whole egg, with “Everything Bagel” seasoning
Favorite Supplements: UMP Rocky Road made as a pudding at nighttime, sometimes topped with 1 tbsp of natural peanut butter or sugar-free Cool Whip. Right now, I am also loving Muscle Synergy and Up-Lift during my training!!
What would you recommend to someone who has never used Beverly supplements before? Start with UMP! It is THE most amazing protein and can be used not only in shakes but also in baked goods and pancakes and waffles. You can honestly trust Beverly for whatever goals you have in mind! I love them so much that I became a rep!
Music: Avenged Sevenfold, Metallica, and most 80s “hair metal” bands are my favorites!!
Most Inspiring Book: Girl, Stop Apologizing by Rachel Harris
Hobbies or interests: There are so many things I love to do, but summertime and water (especially the beach) are my favorites.
Words to live by: If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you. Every time you go through something hard, it makes you a stronger person. When you are dealing with significant struggles, just remember to hold on, and everything will get better-have faith In God; he will get you through it.
So… this is a BIG year for me, as you can see from my bio!! My goal in life has always been to be my very best. But to get a glimpse of my whole story, we must go back several years.
I played sports as a kid, mainly softball and basketball, and continued those in high school but also played volleyball during those five years (we didn’t have middle school-high school was 8-12). When I went to college, I had no idea what I wanted to do, so I decided to major in psychology. After my first year (it was rough-my grades were terrible), I found the PE department and major of “Commercial Fitness.” While taking my basic “wellness” classes, there were several sections, and one was strength training. I absolutely LOVED it!! I was determined to lift regularly, but the college fitness center was ALWAYS packed, so I convinced my dad to buy me a membership to the little gym in town. This was truly an “old school” gym with magazine pictures of the bodybuilding greats all over the walls!! I think my friend and I were the only female members.
Fast forward to six years after graduation-I had lifted that whole time, but never really with a plan or goal. My first son was born in March 1999, and after his birth, his dad was closing the local grocery store that had been in his family for years and building a brand new IGA supermarket in our town. I decided that the old “Mick or Mack” grocery store would be an excellent place to develop my first gym. We renovated the old grocery store, and in April 2000, my first gym opened. About the same time, I learned of a new bodybuilding category, Figure. It was just what I needed to push me to a new goal. Even with a new baby, I had the drive and determination (or maybe I was just a little crazy) and competed in my first figure competition that same year. At that time, there was still a one-piece and a two-piece round. I had no idea what I was doing but read as much as possible and became more knowledgeable for the next one. I competed again in 2001 and 2002, but nothing spectacular. That was SO long ago; I don’t even remember the exact dates and shows. Sadly, I had to close my first gym in 2002 and took a teaching position in Health/PE.
Luckily, there was a great weight room outside the PE office. A fellow teacher and I lifted together after school. That’s where I learned about Beverly International supplements. I began using UMP, Mass Aminos, and Ultra 40. WOW! All I can say is once I tried them, I have never found anything to compare. I competed again in 2004 with some real improvements to my body, primarily due to my Beverly supplement regimen.
In 2010, I competed in the NPC Northern Kentucky. That’s where I met Sandy and Roger in person. I also made the BIG decision to commit to reaching my goals and dreams by putting everything into my training, contest prep, and offseason! I have spent many years in competition, 2010-2012 was in Figure, then in 2013, I switched to Women’s Physique.
In 2015 after my husband suddenly passed away, I was literally in a fog for months. I was in a terrible place, but lifting weights kept me somewhat grounded. I kept training hard and eventually met my current boyfriend. He had just gotten into lifting, but his enthusiasm and support helped me set new physique and competition goals. I competed in the 2018 NPC Elite Muscle Classic and the 2020 NPC Max Muscle NPC, VA.
I have found that competing every other year allows my body to get a little better in muscle growth. As a natural lifter of over 25 years, it became tough to gain anything between shows when competing every year. Right now, I plan to do another competition in April 2022. No matter what, I know that I will always be chasing the gains, and I would never consider doing it without Beverly.
I tell people often that this IS truly a lifestyle! It isn’t something you can jump in and out of, or you will never see progress. Once you have been doing it a while,
it’s also hard to see a lot of progress, but do not QUIT! Consistency is the key!!
I am currently a professor at a local college teaching Fit for Life courses, and I also still run my gym as well as online coaching and personal training. I am also in the final phase of my Ph.D. and working on my dissertation.
One thing I have learned in being so busy is that you HAVE to make a plan (for everything), or it will likely get pushed aside-there is always something else to do; it is just about what you make a priority. In addition to training clients and teaching while also working on my YouTube channel and podcasting each week (Fit with Holly-YouTube, Women’s Body & Power Podcast). I love to interview competitors to talk about their experiences and just discuss fitness and nutrition.
Adding Muscle in the Off-Season
One of the most challenging components of gaining quality muscle, especially as a natural competitor, is consuming the correct number of calories while still focusing on quality nutrition.
Diet Plan (you need to be sure you are in a caloric surplus to gain lean muscle!)
I typically eat 5-6 meals year-round, typically 3 larger meals and 2-3 smaller meals. I focus on keeping about 50% of my total carbs (25% pre-workout and 25% post-workout) around my training.
I use a macros-based nutrition plan which allows me some flexibility in my food choices.
Top priorities are
- Hitting protein goals
- Having 3-5 servings of fruits and veggies daily
- Keeping processed carbs to a minimum. I follow the same principles in both off-season and competition prep; the calories are adjusted according to my goals.
Here’s a sample of what a day of eating might look like for me in the off-season. This is just a sample plan; I always try to have LOTS of variety, especially to get a wide assortment of nutrients every day.
My goal is to hit my daily macros-when building, I am typically around 2200-2500 calories and constantly working on increasing those numbers while keeping body fat gain to a minimum-however, some extra body fat is necessary (as opposed to being competition lean) to be at the best place hormonally to gain muscle.
1 egg, 100g whites, 2 slices turkey bacon or turkey sausage crumbles added to the egg whites, 2 slices flax (or high fiber) bread or 40g oats, 1 tbsp nut butter or plant-based butter, sliced tomatoes or berries
(about ¹⁄₂ cup of one or the other-usually I have berries with oats)
1 scoop UMP, 4 oz Greek yogurt or ¹⁄₂ cup cottage cheese
Plain Greek yogurt is excellent mixed with UMP Rocky Road or UMP Chocolate - tastes like chocolate cheesecake-this can also be done with cottage cheese if you have a bullet blender or immersion blender.
3-4oz chicken breast, large chopped salad
Meal Four (pre-workout)
¹⁄₂ c oats or 1 serving cream of rice, ¹⁄₂ scoop UMP mixed in (extra “toppings” like berries, crushed walnuts, or dry cereal for crunch)
Meal Five (post-workout)
1 scoop Mass Maker Ultra, ¹⁄₂ scoop UMP. Mass Maker Ultra is excellent for post-workout recovery during the building season.
4oz cooked lean ground beef or steak, sweet potato or baked potato, vegetables (broccoli, roasted brussels sprouts, etc.), whole grain bread, sourdough, etc. (I usually have more carbs left at night, and this is where desserts can often fit in as well)
Mass Aminos and Ultra 40 are the fundamental supplements for adding muscle in the off-season. I recommend 12 of each per day
(divided into servings of 3 or 4 at a time) for most women.
During this past off-season, my training plan consisted of a new hybrid training program I created and used for many months.
Full Body Push (Day 1)
I always begin with compound movements and include at least 1-2 warmup sets. Typically, I increase the weight on each set if possible, and reps will usually go down.
Squat variation (3-4x 6-10) try to increase weight each week on the final set
Bench Press or DB Press (3x8-12)
Front Delt Raise (3x12-15)
Overhead DB Extension or Tricepes Pressdown (3x10-12)
Leg Extension (4x15-20)
Calves (Standing or Leg Press Machine) (3-4x 15-20)
Full Body Pull (Day 2)
Deadlift variation (traditional, trap bar, or trap/deadlift machine) (4x6-10)
Pullups or Lat Pulldown (4x 10-12)
Cable Row or Machine Row (3x10-12)
Rear Delt (either Reverse Pec Dec or Rope Face Pulls) (4x15-20)
Upright Row (3x10-12)
Machine Curl, EZ Curl, or DB Curl (3-4x12-15)
Hamstring Curl (3-4x8-10)
Day 3 Off
Upper Body (Day 4)
Pullups (4x AMRAP) or Pulldowns (4x10-12) (alternate each workout)
Chest Flye or Pec Dec (4x8-15)
Shoulder Press (4x8-12)
Rope or DB Pullover (3x12-15)
Superset: Cable Curl/Reverse Triceps Pressdown (3x10-15 per exercise)
Lower Body (Day 5)
Leg Press (3-4x 10-15)
KB or DB Front Squat (3x10-heels on a plate)
Lying Leg Curl or Barbell Romanian Deadlift (4x8-10)
Smith Machine Split Squat (3x10-12 per side)
Lunge variation (2 Sets x 20-30) -usually walking or reverse alternating with DBs
Leg Extension (3x10-12)
Seated Calf Press (3x10-12, slow and controlled with fairly heavy weight)
*1-2 x per week-abs (2-3 varied exercises of 15-20 reps per set, 3 sets each)
Day 6 Off
Repeat, or if feeling particularly tired, take 2 rest days before repeating.
I will do 4-5 cardio sessions per week off-season, simply for heart health (often just 30 minutes of walking or the bike).
When contest prep time comes around, I increase my focus! I add interval sessions and total time as needed to make sure I am hitting my fat loss goals. Remember though; nutrition is the most vital factor in losing fat- you cannot out-train a bad diet!
My Contest Prep Supplements
3 servings of 4 tablets of Mass Aminos and Ultra 40 each day. At 4 weeks out, I switch to Density instead of Mass Aminos.
1-2 scoops UMP per day throughout my entire prep, typically post-workout and evening (favorite is Rocky Road made as a pudding at nighttime- sometimes topped with 1 tbsp of natural peanut butter or sugar-free Cool Whip)
7-Keto MuscLean and Lean Out stack; I also use Lean Out in the off-season, but I add 7-Keto when I am getting to the point where I am doing daily cardio as it really helps give me some added energy. I take two or three 7-Keto Musclean before cardio and maybe again at lunch or pre-workout. 1-2 Lean Out are taken before cardio and then again with each meal (at least 4 per day).
Also, Energy Reserve is invaluable during competition prep!!
The best advice I can give anyone trying to change their body is to be consistent! Even if things happen and you need to slow down, that is ok! You can adjust your workouts or make modifications, but just don’t STOP- think of pushing a boulder uphill- it might slow down, but it is way harder to get it rolling again if you let it come to a complete halt.