Going for it Kentucky Women’s Bodybuilding Championship

By: Ann Thornberry
1998 NPC Mid East Regional and Kentucky State Champion
Spring 1999

When I first began weight training at the age of 30, I didn’t realize that three small words go for it would become such a big part of my life. As you follow my story you will see how important these words are to me.

My goals were similar to most other women my age. I wanted to firm and tone, especially my lower body. I also wanted to lose body fat and increase my cardiovascular endurance.

female bodybuilder ann thornberry
Female Bodybuilding NPC Mid East Regional, Kentucky State Champion Champion Ann Thornberry

I knew that I was hooked on weight training from my first workout at a local gym. I loved the feel of the weight as I pushed it through space! I could hardly believe how my body responded to the hard, heavy training. I added muscle and shape to my upper body, and slimmed my legs. After 11/2 years, the other gym members encouraged me to enter a bodybuilding competition. Although I had made some definite progress, I was reluctant to compete, after all, I was a long way from looking like my hero Cory Everson!

Nonetheless, I decided to go for it! Back then, I thought that I knew how to diet for a bodybuilding competition. You simply cut back on calories (regardless of the source of those calories) and increase the aerobics for extra fat burning. Right? And supplements? What supplements? I trained hard with weights did my aerobics and thought that was all that was necessary. I got some help with posing and before I realized it, I had won my first two contests (they were small). But still, winning encouraged me to continue.

For the next few years I continued to compete and work on improving my weakpoints – you guessed it, fat and lack of shape in my lower body. I moved back to Kentucky with my husband and two children and joined the local gym, Dynabody Fitness Center in Mt. Sterling. Here, my hips and thighs could get a real beating from the gym’s diversity of equipment.

Still, I had difficulty getting my lower body cut (even though my upper body was shredded!). I thought I might as well be resigned to the fact that I had reached my potential and was limited by my “lower body genetics”. But, in June of 1996, I met Billy Nickell, a personal trainer and successful competitor. He adjusted my exercise program, instructed me in proper dieting for gaining mass and added supplements. Billy refused to accept that I had reached my potential. I adopted his attitude and started to train with renewed determination.

My goal for 1998 was to compete in a National Qualifier, the Mideast Regional in Louisville on September 19. I started my precontest diet twelve weeks from the show. A typical day’s diet consisted of 5-6 small meals a day, each meal having a lean protein, a fibrous carb (green beans were my favorite, and a starchy carb. (I eliminated the starchy carb from my last meal of the day). I also increased my fat intake in the form of nuts, peanut butter and safflower oil. On some days I would have as much as 80-100 grams of fat from these sources but I continued to lose body fat. Supplements included a protein drink mixed with maltodextrin immediately after my workout, creatine, chromium, branched chain amino acids and multi-vitamins with extra vitamins C and E.

I made my customary call to Beverly International at about six weeks out to order my tanning supplies and a new competition suit. Roger asked about my contest plans and if he or Sandy could help in any way. I mentioned that I was a little worried about holding on to my muscle size and that I was still interested in reducing the fat on my legs. Roger gave me some suggestions over the phone and recommended some minor revisions to my diet. On August 8, 1998, approximately three weeks before the contest, I visited Sandy for some last minute contest preparations. Sandy calculated my percentage of body fat (8.8%) and took another look at my precontest diet and supplementation.

Her suggestions concerning my diet and supplementation were as follows:
Calories: 1,615 – Non carb meal days; 2,250 – Carb meal days
Protein: 220 grams (55%)
Carbs: 54 grams (13%)
Fat: 58 grams (32%)
Super Pak with meal #1,
4 Ultra 40 and 4 Mass Aminos with every meal
9 Muscularity (special BCAA’s with added co factors) and
1 Ultra C (3450 mg) pre and post training
4 Lean Out (special fat catalyst) with meals #1, 3 and 5.
Meal #1
3 oz. turkey breast
4 egg whites, 1 yolk
3 large strawberries
Meal #2
Protein Drink: 2 scoops Muscle Provider,
1 Tbsp. Flax oil, ½ banana or 6 frozen strawberries or peaches, 12 oz. water
Meal #3
5 oz. chicken (weight prior to cooking)
2 cups salad (lettuce, tomato, carrot, cucumber, green peppers, etc.)
1 Tbsp. Cider Vinegar and 1 Tbsp. Sunflower Oil (or other vegetable oil) for dressing
Meal #4
3.25 oz. can tuna or 3-oz. chicken or turkey breast
2 egg whites
1 tomato or ¼ cantaloupe
Meal #5
5 oz. lean meat (strip sirloin, lean beef, etc.)
1 cup vegetables
2 tsp. Flax Oil
Monday and Thursday: I added a sixth meal: 6 level Tbsp. Cream of Rice (before adding water) or 1 cup cooked brown rice, 6 oz. sweet potato (after cooking), 4 oz. banana, 1 cup vegetables, 1 Tbsp. butter – no supplements with this meal.

Sandy further recommended running sprints instead of a cardiovascular workout to increase thigh definition while helping to preserve muscle. I adhered to the program and with some final week adjustments by my trainer, Billy, I won the overall women’s title at the Mideast Regionals in the best shape of my life (up until then – I was about to improve even further.)

Roger and Sandy convinced me to compete in the Kentucky State Bodybuilding Championships to be held three weeks later. They felt I had still not reached my potential. This made me curious to see what further improvements I could make. I decided to "go for it" once more. (And, after 12 weeks of dieting, what were three more weeks!) With their expertise, I knew I would be ready for the challenge that lay ahead.

I stuck to Sandy’s precontest diet recommendations and continued to use the Beverly International supplements that had already made such a big change in my muscularity and lower body conditioning.

I weighed in for the Kentucky Show at 144 pounds, a full six pounds heavier than for the Mideast Regional, My muscles were fuller and I had more definition than ever! Hard work and the right combination of diet and supplements really paid off. I’m now not only the Mid East Champion, but also the 1998 overall Kentucky Women"s Champion.

As I look forward to entering my first national competition this year, I’ll be depending once again on my trainer, Billy Nickell and Beverly International. This combination has given me the added confidence and help I need to strive for bigger and better things. Thanks Roger and Sandy. Once again I will Go For It!


Ann drank a protein drink mixed with maltodextrin and creatine immediately after her workout. Beverly International has just formulated the highest quality post workout drink available, Total Recuperation. Each individual bottle contains a 50 / 50 mix of Muscle Provider and Carb Out II (maltodextrin with electrolytes) and a 5 gram dose of Creatine Monohydrate. Just add water, shake and you have a delicious post workout recovery drink containing the highest-grade ingredients anywhere. Ask your gym to order it for your convenience.

I weighed in for the Kentucky Show at 144 pounds, a full six pounds heavier... my muscles were fuller and I had more definition than ever!