My All-Time Best Condition At Age 50

By: Robb Rickmann
Magazine Winter 1998

Ed. Note: Robb Rickmann has lived quite an interesting life... far more than just in bodybuilding. We have learned as much about life in general from Robb, as he has learned about bodybuilding nutrition from us. If you ever have the chance to talk to Robb please be sure that you take the opportunity to do so. Robb tells a little of his bodybuilding past and his exact preparations for the 1998 North American Championship in the story that follows. Roger and Sandy

Prologue:Competing in the 1991 National Masters and coming in 2nd place (one point from Number 1) was very hard for me to swallow. One Point???? You’ve got to be kidding! Although many would be satisfied with that high a placing, I still had a point to prove.

I decided to make the 1993 Mr. Michigan Natural my focal point. First, it was at home. All my family and friends who had not had the opportunity to travel to my earlier competitions would have the opportunity to see me compete. This was also an opportunity for me to compete in a natural contest. Because of my success at the Nationals, there were many who doubted that I was a drug-free bodybuilder. This was a drug-tested contest that would prove them wrong! It was my way of identifying myself to everyone that I truly was a natural bodybuilder. Coming in 1st place overall, this time was an easy pill to swallow. Now, with that business taken care of, and having competed every year since 1981, I thought it was finally time to take a break.

Bodybuilder Robb Rickman
Robb Rickmann, 50 years old, in the best shape of his life on stage at the ‘98 North America

Fast-forward to January, 1998!! Five years later, and my 50th birthday. I set a goal to be in the best shape of my life. There was only one way to achieve it, pick up the posing trunks and compete again.

I set my sights on the 1998 North American Bodybuilding Championship. Wow! Wow! Wow! Well. Here I go again.

Having made my decision, there was only one place to go to for guidance and support, the watchful eyes of Sandy and Roger Riedinger of Beverly International. I gave them a jingle in April, four months out from the show. As usual, Sandy answered the phone. I told her my plans and she said I should come down to Kentucky to meet with her and Roger. My consultation included a body-fat analysis and an evaluation of my dietary and supplement needs in order to reach my goals. Even though my body fat was 14%, not bad for a 50 year old... not bad for any year old, I was certainly in no shape to put on those posing trunks again.

Sandy said, "Oh God, Robb! You have to be at 3 or 4% body fat to compete in a contest like the North America." I said to myself, "You’ve got to be kidding! I’ve never been that low!" But then Roger and Sandy went to work on me. They gave me the specifics I needed to follow to reach this 3% bodyfat goal from14% in only four months.

My program was very regimented. My diet and training had already been at a strict level, but they set even higher standards of measured food portions and precision supplementation techniques, well beyond what I was already doing. Based on my already intense nutrition and workout daily routine, I could see this was really going to be a challenge.

However, I knew it was doable because Roger, Sandy, and their line of Beverly International products had always been there before and I knew they wouldn’t let me down now. I had already been taking the Beverly line of supplements for all my successful competition appearances. I always recommend them to all of my clients as the one supplement line where you always get what you pay for. And now, once again at 50 years of age, there was no room for error. I needed the best out there! Since I’m already speaking of supplements, Here’s my exact daily schedule:

4 AM: 6 GH Factor, 4 Lean Out, 1 EPH, and 2000 mg L-tyrosine (before cardio)
5 AM: 1 hour cardio
7 AM: 6 Ultra 40, 5 Mass Aminos, and 1 SuperPak 1st Meal: 5 oz. turkey breast, 5 egg whites, 1 yolk, ½ grapefruit

11 AM: 6 Ultra 40 and 5 Mass Aminos
2nd Meal: Protein Drink: 2 scoops Muscle
, 1 TBS Flax Oil, 1peach, 12 oz water

Before training: 1 EPH, 10, 1 Ultra C, and 2000 mg L-tyrosine After training: 3 Energy Reserve, 10 Muscle Mass, and 1 Ultra C

3 PM: 3 Tsp. of Beverly International Creatine Monohydrate
(the best creatine on the planet,
I might add. You know the kind that works.) 6 Ultra 40, 5 Mass Aminos, 4 Lean Out,
3rd Meal: 6 ounces chicken (weighed prior to cooking);
4 cups salad (lettuce, tomato, carrot, cucumber, green peppers, etc.); 2 TBL Cider Vinegar and
1 TBS Sunflower Oil (or other vegetable oil) for a dressing

6 PM: 6 Ultra 40 and 5 Mass Aminos
4th Meal: 6.5 oz can tuna; 3 egg whites; 1 tomato

9 PM: 6 Ultra 40, 5 Mass Aminos, and 4 Lean Out
5th Meal: 6 ounces lean meat (usually filet mignon); 1.5 cups vegetables

[Every Monday and Thursday: I ate: 2 servings Cream of Rice or 1 cup cooked rice,
a 10 oz. sweet potato (after cooking), a 4 oz. banana, 1 cup vegetables, and
1 TBS butter (Roger told me not to take the Ultra 40 or Mass Aminos with this meal.] Before bedtime: 6 GH Factor and 3 Energy Reserve

Wow! Wow! Wowwww! I’m thinking... How am I going to do all of this? The diet, the supplements, the training, the cardio? Am I going to have time to do anything else on the planet? This is the real deal. This is Holyfield. How did I ever do this before? Have I been away that long?

But, I knew Sandy and Roger would not lead me in the wrong direction. With all this ammunition it was time for me to do what I do best...TRAIN. My workouts were never the same. Monday didn’t always mean chest and triceps. Mondays may have been back and bi’s or shoulders, tri’s and bi’s. Tuesdays could be quads, or hamstrings and glutes. Wednesdays were abs and calves and lower back. Thursdays were a repeat of whatever Monday was.

I did 1 hour of high intensity cardio every morning. I prefer riding the stationary bike at 85% max heart rate, 147 beats/min for me. As the competition neared, I had to ride at the highest level on the bike (level 30) to achieve this heart rate. I rode for one hour before breakfast (5AM) and burned (according to the bike’s read out) 2,000 calories each time.

Now, my caloric intake varied from 2,060 calories on non-carb meal days to 2,635 calories on carb meal days. So when you do the math on this you know I was virtually calorie free. So it all began to make sense now. The Mass aminos, Muscle Mass BCAA’s and Ultra 40 liver tabs worked with my high protein diet to preserve and rebuild lean muscle tissue, while my body burned my own stored bodyfat as its preferred fuel source. Everything was beginning to come together – the diet, supplementation, cardio, and training.

I went back to Kentucky 3 weeks later and my body fat had dropped to 10%. It was no longer, Oh my God how am I going to do this anymore ... it was Oh my God, this is doable. It was Oh my God, this is what has to be done!

I realized that 14 years of competing had still not prepared me for what was ahead. I was overwhelmed that a 5-year layoff had put me this far behind. But, now I was seeing results.

My goal was now reachable... the best shape of my life at 50 years old... put on those trunks once again in front of my hometown, Detroit, at the North America.

Fast-forward, August l998.. the North American Bodybuilding & Fitness Championships

As promised, I have no secrets, here’s exactly what I did the final week to achieve my dream:

  • Sunday: Water – I had to drink 3 gallons. Posing 30 min. Diet: the same.
  • Monday: Water – 3 gallons. Posing 45 minutes. Diet: No carb meal tonight.
    Training - light, just for pump
  • Cardio: 30 minutes at level 22 vs. the usual 30.
  • Tuesday: Water - 3 gallons. Posing – 45 minutes. Diet: Same. Training – light, just for pump.
  • Cardio: 30 minutes at level 15 vs. 30.
  • Added 1 tsp. of creatine before every meal. Potassium:
    1 – 99 mg tab every hour. Sodium still the same – no restriction.
  • Wednesday: Water – 2 gallons. Posing: 45 minutes. No cardio or training.
  • Thursday: Water – 1.5 gallons. Posing: 60 minutes (4 times at 15 minutes) after meals.
  • Diet: 1st five meals were the same as usual, but added a 6th meal as a carb meal
    (3 servings cream of rice, 15-oz. sweet potato, 8-oz. banana, no veggies, 1 tablespoon Butter.

Training: none; Cardio: none.

Evening: 1-tsp. creatine before each meal, potassium: 2 – 99 mg tab each hour.
Sodium: to taste at 3 meals instead of at all 5. No EPH Thursday or Friday.

(I have to say at this time I was just a little bit jacked up out of my mind.
I was looking so good and couldn’t wait for Saturday!

Rob side bicep
Rob from Body Muscle Journal

Water: 1 gallon – I want to talk a little bit about the water. You have no idea how hard it is to drink 3 gallons of water. Some people don’t even drink water. You are 70% water. Now how important is water to you? But drinking it was even hard for me, and I already realized how important water is. You cannot believe how happy I was to hear the reduction of the intake of my water. Posing: 60 minute (15-minute intervals following meals). Meals: 1st 4 meals were the same as usual, but my 5th meal was another carb meal as follows: 2 servings cream of rice, 10-oz. sweet potato, 4 oz. potato, no veggies., 2 T. butter.

I accomplished my goal – the best condition of my life at age 50. I placed 3rd at the show and was so close to winning that I’ve set a new goal, a second voyage to the 1999 North America. This time the goal is not only to be in the best shape of my life, but also to win the 1999 IFBB North America at age 51! My motto for 1999 "Perfection is my goal, Excellence will be tolerated."

Bodybuilder Robb Rickman
I’ll be back in 1999 with the help of Beverly International!

I’m looking forward to accomplishing this goal together with Beverly International once again in 1999. I’d like to say that this has been one heck of an experience – beyond words or imagination.
Thank you again for everything you’ve done for me. Love, Robb

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