The Secret to 40 Years of Bodybuilding Success

At a Glance: Richard Knight

Age: 63

Occupation: Retired Aerospace Technician

Family: Wife of 34 years

Current Residence: Anaheim, CA

Years training: 39

Height: 6';

Weight: 203 (off-season), 198 (contest)

Favorite Bodybuilding Meal: My off-training day lunch of 6oz Boars Head London Broil roast beef with a slice of horseradish cheese on Milton’s Multi-Grain bread. It’s like eating a Prime Rib sandwich.

Favorite supplements: Muscle Provider and Provosyn for proteins, Quadracarn, Density, and ZMA 2000.

What would you recommend to someone who has never used Beverly supplements before? UMP is a great-tasting all-around protein that works well as an extra meal, especially before bedtime, to repair and build muscle. Muscle Provider digests faster and is best before and after training.

Music: Electronica

Most Inspiring Book: Education of a Bodybuilder by Arnold Schwarzenegger

Hobby or interests: Road cycling, beekeeping, and falconry.

Words to live by: “The results you get out of training depend on the work and nutrition you are willing to put in.”

The first time I had the opportunity to train at a gym was when I moved from Iowa to California in the summer of 1980. At Jack LaLanne’s Health Spa in San Diego, I met a competitive bodybuilder and became interested in weight training to gain muscle size and strength. While visiting a store that sold Olympic barbells and a wide variety of weight lifting equipment, I purchased Arnold Schwarzenegger’s book, Education of a Bodybuilder, and was inspired by his story.

Fast forward two years, and I was back living in Iowa due to some tough economic times. I realized that I needed to learn a skilled job to be successful in life. Since I enjoyed and was good at working on cars, I felt I could apply those same skills on aircraft. I devised a plan to join the Marine Corps as an aircraft mechanic to gain experience, and then when I got out, I could land a job at one of the many aircraft manufacturing plants in Southern California. During my time in the Marines, I made a point of consistently lifting weights. I added 10 pounds of muscle during boot camp - just from all the physical activity and good meals - I wanted to keep progressing. I even purchased 180 pounds of plates and dumbbell handles to take with me on deployment to the Far East.

Upon leaving the service, everything worked out as planned, and McDonnell Douglas hired me in Long Beach, where I worked on the MD80 program. When Boeing bought them in 1997, the commercial airplane production line was phased out, so I moved over to work on the C-17 Air Force cargo plane for my final years. After 25 years at Boeing, I was laid off and then got hired at SpaceX, where I worked on the F9 Falcon rocket for the first few years and then the Dragon capsule. After six years at SpaceX, I retired at the age of 62. During my years at McDonnell Douglas/Boeing, I worked the swing shift, which was perfect for me.

I was able to train in the morning when my energy level was highest, and the crowds at the gym were minimal. However, while working at SpaceX, it was mandated that we work 10-hour shifts, so the only time I had to train was on the weekends (and only then when they didn’t make the Saturdays mandatory too!) Despite being limited to just training one day a week, I was still fortunate to maintain the physical condition I did. The best thing about now being retired is training any day I choose.

My competition journey began after leaving the service in 1986. I joined a Gold’s Gym in Orange County and trained for two years before entering the Southern California Bodybuilding Championship. I won the Tall Novice Division and Overall Novice. A couple of weeks later, I entered the Orange County Muscle Classic and placed fifth. I was pleased with this placing since it was a National qualifier. I trained for another year and gained more size before entering the Ironman (now called Excalibur) and placed near the back of the pack in the heavyweight class. I just couldn’t compete against guys at that level who had 20-30 pounds of lean mass over me. I became discouraged and gave up thoughts of further competition.

As I’ve grown older, I am very fortunate that my metabolism has stayed very high. I am never more than a few pounds away from contest condition, which gives me an advantage in Masters competitions. It is much easier for me to achieve the level of conditioning needed to be competitive.

In 2020, I planned to go back to the Southern California contest I won as a Novice and attempt to win it as a Master, but the show was canceled due to COVID. Instead, I entered the NPC Iron Games Classic Physique over 45 class (the highest age class available) in November and won overall. That qualified me for the Masters USA event in December, where I could earn a Pro Card. At the Masters USA, I won the over 50 C division but not the overall title, thus missing my goal of earning a Pro Card. I’m currently contemplating entering the NPC Teen, Collegiate, and Masters Nationals this year. It has an over 60 class and could offer me a better chance at earning a Pro card.

Workouts

For many years I trained Monday - Friday and then took the weekends off but now that I am retired, I train four days on and one day off. I start each exercise relatively light and increase the weight until the final two or three sets are at my top weights for the day.

Day 1: Shoulders, Chest

Cable Lateral Raises 5x10-15

Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press 5x10-12

Rear Deltoid Machine 4x10-12

Pec Deck 5x10-12

Incline DB Flys 5x10-12

Incline DB Press 4x10-12

Cable Crossovers x10-12

Day 2: Back
I have two mildly herniated discs from an injury sustained over 30 years ago and spinal stenosis at three locations in my back, so I can’t do anything bent over. I use machines that have a chest pad for support for all rowing movements.

Warm-up with elastic band-assisted Pull-Ups 4x10

Lat Pulldown 4x10-12

Seated Machine Rows 4x10-12

Seated Machine Rows Low Position 4x10-12 (This machine duplicates the range of motion that I would get from T-bar rows if I could do them.)

Straight-Arm High Cable Pulldown 4x10

Shrugs 4x10-12

Day 3: Legs

Leg Extensions 2x15-20 (as a warm-up for my knees)

Leg Press 5x10-15

Lying Leg Curls 4x10-12

Leg Extensions 5x10-15

Seated Leg Curls 4x10-12

I do some Hamstring and Quad stretches to finish up.

Day 4: Biceps/ Triceps

Triceps Pushdown 4x12-15

Skull Crushers or Seated Machine Triceps Extensions (depending on which gym I am training at) 4x12-15

Machine Dips 4x10-12 (I position myself forward on the seat to put more emphasis on my triceps)

Lying Biceps Curl 4x10-12 (Connect a short cambered or straight bar to the cable of a seated row machine, lay back on the seat pad, put your feet on the footrests as you would for rows, keeping your elbows pinned to your sides, curl the bar in strict form and really squeeze at the top.)

Machine Preacher Curls 4x8-10

Seated Hammer Curls 4 drop sets (I do 10-12 reps with 30 lb dumbbells to failure, 6-8 with 25s, and 6-8 more with 20s. I get great pumps with this exercise.)

Cardio

For different periods over the last 30 years, I have ridden mountain or road bikes at least once a week. I currently get in a 28-mile road ride about every six weeks when my off training day falls on a Sunday. For contest prep, I did 30 minutes on a treadmill at a fast walk every morning starting ten weeks out from the Masters USA.

Nutrition and Supplements

Although many pro bodybuilders recommend eating six meals a day, my system just can’t process food fast enough to achieve that even with an excellent digestive enzyme like Beverly's Multiple Enzyme Complex. That means the three meals a day I consume have to be very nutrient-dense and supplemented with Muscularity, Mass Amino Acids, Density, and Ultra 40.

Regular Daily Meal Plan

Soon after waking, I have a quick snack of four Belvida breakfast biscuits with organic almond butter before setting off on my morning dog walk with ReMax, our German Pinscher.

Meal One

(Training Days) One scoop Muscle Provider, 1 scoop Provosyn, 1 tbsp MCT oil (Parrillo CapTri), and one banana mixed in 12oz pineapple juice. I have used this delicious combo for many years as an easily digested pre-workout meal.

(Non-Training Days) Three scrambled eggs with either a bowl of oatmeal, pancakes, or French toast.

Meal Two

(Training Days) One scoop Muscle Provider, 1 scoop Provosyn, 45 grams powdered sweet potato and oats (5% Nutrition Real Carbs) mixed with 8oz pasteurized egg whites, 4oz cold water, and 1 tbsp flaxseed oil.

(Non-Training Days) 6oz Boars Head London broil roast beef and one slice of horseradish cheese on two pieces of multi-grain bread.

Meal Three

6oz chicken (white and dark meat), 4oz Calrose rice, 2¹⁄₂ tbsp honey sesame sauce.

Daily Supplements

Density 5 tablets upon waking

Muscle Provider and Provosyn with meals 1 and 2 Mass Aminos 6 with each meal

Ultra 40 liver tablets 6 with each meal

Quadracarn 3 tablets with each meal

ZMA 2000 3 capsules before bed

Pre Contest Adjustments

Meal 1: 12oz pasteurized egg whites, 1 tbsp MCT oil, 45 grams powdered sweet potato and oats.

Meal 2: One scoop Muscle Provider, one scoop Provosyn, 16oz cold water, and 1 tbsp flaxseed oil.

Meal 3: 6oz white meat chicken, 3.2oz (uncooked) Calrose rice, and 2oz honey sesame sauce.

Pre Contest Supplements

Muscle Provider and Provosyn (meal 2)

Density 5 tablets upon waking and 5 with each meal

Ultra 40 liver tablets 6 with each meal

Quadracarn 3 tablets with each meal
ZMA 2000 3 capsules before bed

Closing Thoughts

It’s very gratifying to have someone approach me in the gym, ask my age, and be surprised when I tell them. They usually come back with, “I hope to look as good when I reach your age.” I encourage them never to stop training and be consistent.

Posted in 2021 Collection.