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.
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
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..
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.]
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
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
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 Tbl. Butter. Training: none; Cardio: none.
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.
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!
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.
Added 20 Muscle Mass aminos to this final carb meal for added hardness. No Training or Cardio: 1 tsp. creatine before every meal. Potassium: 3 – 99 mg tabs every hour. Sodium: no added salt.
Saturday: 4AM: 6 oz steak, 3 whole eggs, salt to taste. 1 grapefruit . 5 Mass Aminos, 6 Ultra 40
Water: sip as needed. Potassium: 3 – 99mg tabs/hour
7 AM: 6 oz steak, 4 oz sweet potato, 5 Muscle Mass Aminos, 6 Ultra 40
10AM: 6–oz steak, 4–oz sweet potato, 5 Muscle Mass Aminos, 6 Ultra 40
1PM: same as above
Sunday/Monday: be sure to taper off the potassium to avoid post contest water retention.
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.
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, Roger and Sandy. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you again for everything you’ve done for me. Love, Robb