When Sandy asked me to write an article about myself I thought how could I convey or talk about a life style that’s indicative of an old science fiction movie called, When World’s Collide.
I started bodybuilding at the age of 39. My age did not mean anything to me at that time because I came from a family that taught me not to put boundaries on myself. My family matured but was always young at heart and active. So starting bodybuilding at 39 and competing at 40 was something I didn’t even think about. Oddly enough I did not even start out to be a bodybuilder. Going to the gym was just taking me to a higher level of physical conditioning.
I had always considered myself an athlete. I was a sprinter in track and field, a swimmer dancer, cyclist and played a little tennis so this was actually just something else to do. I am now entering my 16th year in the sport and I could probably write a book about each year.
My bodybuilding resume is partially listed at the end of this article. As you can see I started out as a heavyweight and last year I competed as a middleweight in the Nationals. I have reconstructed my entire body during these 16 years. I am a natural bodybuilder and extremely proud of that fact. To me winning isn’t the only thing, how you win is just as important. I have always had good biceps and a very good back, however, it took an awful lot of sweat and tears to develop my legs and put on some shoulder width. When my quads and hamstrings finally came out hard and cut, I wanted to give a party. I started out competing at 138 lb. I now compete at 134. Not a big difference in pounds but a tremendous difference in appearance. My body is in balance now. My sprinter’s quads used to overpower me. My quads have now come down and my upper body has been built up. Oddly enough, I would now like to put half an inch back on my quads, yet keep them as hard and cut.
I am amazed every year when I arrive at a contest that I actually made it. My professional life has run concurrent with bodybuilding. I am on my third major career. I worked for TWA for 22 years, followed by 10 years at Sprint Communications, one year at Comcast Cablevision in Philadelphia, one year at Con Edison and now I am currently Senior Director of Customer Service for Cablevision of New York. I work 10 – 14 hours a day and obviously the responsibility is great, therefore I am always on call 365 days a year. All my positions have been in volatile growing industries so there is never any down time The pace is fast and every day is a major experience. I have worked extremely hard and I am very grateful for my successes.
Finding the time to put into bodybuilding has been very difficult. At one time I was training, at 4:30 in the morning. The last few years I have been training at night. I tell people I train from 8 -10 PM then go home and do my cardio. Well, I haven’t reached the gym at 8 PM recently but I do finally get there. It’s good that my gym stays open late and I am fortunate to have a stairmaster, treadmill, life cycle and Nordic track at home. By the time I arrive home from the gym then do my cardio and prepare for the next day I miss a very important element of training – sleep. During the week I average 4 ½ – 5 hours a night which is really not sufficient given my level of daily activity. On the weekends though I force myself to get 8 hours of sleep which is a double edged sword. After eight hours of sleep I could tackle the world and stay up for more than 24 hours.
My last few years in bodybuilding have actually been the most rewarding. I have competed in the Japanese Invitational earning 4th place and a week in Japan, then to Spain for the Masters World, two years in a row to the World Universe championships (Sweden then Brussels) and then in 1996 to Poland for the Masters World again. The experiences have all been fantastic. The Europeans are very serious about bodybuilding and their athletes are very warm and friendly. In each contest the sponsors and the athletes have gone out of their way to make me feel welcome.
During this same period of time I was blessed with two step grandchildren when my son married. (I have been divorced for years.) They are now 4 and 9 years old and I absolutely adore them. I am fortunate that they can stay over just about every other weekend. They love for me to take them roller skating. My grandson thinks he’s fast but I can beat him. My only fear is falling but so far, so good.
What I really need is a 32 hour day and a 8 day week but still I do find time for my wonderful friends and yes, I do get out.
Female Bodybuilder Linda Wood-Hoyte
There is a poem by William Ernest Henley entitled, Invictus, that has always driven me. The opening verse is:
"Out of the night that covers me black as the pith from pole to pole, I thank whatever Gods may be for my unconquerable soul."
It ends with this verse: "It matters not how stiff the gate, how charged with punishments the scroll, I am the Master of my fate, I am the Captain of my soul."
Contest Diet and Supplements
I follow the diet listed below throughout my contest preparation period. I eat only four meals per day instead of the usual 5 or 6 for I find that this is what works for me and fits my busy schedule. Note that at eight weeks out I cut out the starches at meals #2, 3 and 4, and eat mainly fish and vegetables.
Beverly International supplements are a major part of my contest preparation and I could not diet for a show without them. I’ve used them for years and have found no other brands that even compare.
Upon awakening in the morning I take 6 GH Factor capsules then follow this regimen.
Diet Supplement Outline
Meal #1 – ½ cup oatmeal, 1 cup thermogenic coffee, vitamins
Supplements – 2 Energy Reserve tablets, 3 Lean Out capsules, 4 Mass Amino acid tablets, 4 Ultra 40 tablets, Creatine Monohydrate
Meal #2 – 8 oz of white meat chicken,white meat turkey or fish. 1 ½ cups, rice, pasta, sweet potatoes or green vegetables. 8 weeks out I drop all carbs and switch to vegetables and fish such as cod, scrod, sole, haddock, flounder, red snapper, monk fish, halibut etc.
Supplements – 2 Energy Reserve tablets, 3 Lean Out capsules, 4 Mass Amino acid tablets, 4 Ultra 40 tablets
Meal #3 – (same as meal #2 and repeat supplements)
Meal #4 – the same as above and repeat supplements (boring, isn’t it?)
Gym. Train tor 2 hours Back home ––– 30 – 45 minutes of cardio, stairmaster, tread mill, bicyle or nordic track.