The most important bodybuilding lesson I’ve learned to date is that although training is important, nutrition is key. Adding muscle is a difficult task by itself. But, adding muscle and losing body fat at the same time is a far greater challenge.
My interest in bodybuilding oddly came about while I was training for Karate. I’d competed in Karate since the age of six and had some success winning four national titles in various weight classes. Now I was sixteen and it was time to go up another class. This time I thought I’d consciously add some muscle as I gained the weight. I started a basic lifting regimen and stuck to it faithfully. One year later, I was still lifting and karate was taking a backseat. At age seventeen I did my first bodybuilding contest winning the lightweight teenage class at the N.P.C Midwestern States. Now five years later, I’m still lifting and have done seven competitions including the NPC Collegiate Nationals. My best showing to date was at the NPC Hoosier Classic where I won first place in the Novice and Men’s light heavyweight class.My goal during my first year in bodybuilding was to just keep the scale moving forward. Back then I didn’t think of weight in terms of good weight (muscle) and bad weight (fat). All weight was good – or so I thought. Then I dieted down for my first show.
All of sudden I wasn’t so fond of
all that weight. I quickly realized
that the more body fat carried in the
off-season, the more I would have to
work to take it off in my pre-contest
phase. Huge fluctuations in weight
are probably not that great for your
health, but I can tell you for sure that
the more fat I have to lose for a
contest, the harder it is to retain
muscle mass. Keep your nutrition
under control in the off-season.
Remember, you can’t flex fat.
Now, I stay lean in the offseason.
Twenty pounds over my
competitive weight is my limit. By
staying lean in the off-season, I find
I do not lose strength as I get closer
to a contest. Not only that but I
actually gain lean muscle while I
lose body fat due to my high
protein intake and the right
supplementation. I actually have a
higher energy level throughout my
workouts. Here’s the lesson –
maintain low body fat levels in the
off-season to maximize muscular gains.
Leg day – heavy squats are a must, Squats stimulate the quads, hamstrings and glutes like no other exercise. Your leg muscles are used to carrying your body-weight all day, every-day. To make them grow you must stimulate them with heavy squats using a full range of motion. As a precaution, I do perform light leg extensions to pump blood in the knees and I stretch for at least five. minutes prior to squatting. Don’t kid yourself by using more weight than you can handle. Use as much weight as you can squat to parallel in perfect form – and no more.
For chest, my favorites are incline bench presses and dumbbell movements. I switch them up weekly to avoid stagnation. Dead lifts and chins are the mainstays of every back session, because I believe these are the two best exercises for building a wide, dense back. I stick with military and dumbbell presses for delts and incorporate front, side, and rear laterals. Curls and close grip benches are my favorite arm movements.
When putting together a program, you must take a hard, honest look at your self and use the muscle prioritization theory. Basically this means allotting the most time and energy to your weakest muscle groups. Your personal training program requires individualization. Your weak areas won’t be the same as mine. A good place to start is to take a look at some of the training splits in Beverly’s No Nonsense Magazine and Body Muscle Journal.
Another great resource is your own past training experiences. Take notes of your workouts – especially your good ones and use them to draw up your new "game plan".
Keep in mind that you need to continually improve in your training sessions in at least one of these three areas – the amount of weight lifted, reps in a set, or shorten your rest between sets..
A common mistake that many people make is training a body part when they are not properly recovered from their previous training session. This is like taking two steps forward and three steps back. Your training tears down the muscle, it repairs itself during rest days and that is where the growth occurs. Remember, your body grows outside the gym not in it! If for example your chest is still sore but it is time to hit it again in your weekly rotation, I advise taking one more day of rest; you will allow your body to recover, therefore allowing more time for growth. Overtraining is all to common, no matter how bad you want to train, you have to listen to your body and respond accordingly, that is smart bodybuilding.
I’ve been working with Beverly for four years now. I am plain and simple a Beverly athlete. I wouldn’t have had the success I have had and learned as much as I have about competing if it wasn’t for the experience of the Beverly team. Every Beverly team member I have worked with has been not only an expert in bodybuilding nutrition, but also an accomplished athlete.
With Beverly’s help I went from
a lightweight my first show to a
middleweight the next year and now
to a light-heavy weight, scoring
wins in each of the respective
weight classes. I gained eleven
pounds of competitive weight from
last year to this year while coming in
leaner using Beverly products. This
year I plan to compete in the
Collegiate Nationals. I’m working
with Mark Ritter who has been a
national champ a couple times over
including winning his class at the
collegiate nationals a couple years
back. With such great people in your
corner how can I go wrong! The
bottom line is that Beverly products
and their staff are the best out there.
Are great when I am on the run, I know I am getting the best-utilized form of quality protein quickly and easily. I also like to take Mass tablets while working out to maintain a positive nitrogen balance in the body while dieting.
Is a great product, this product gives me great strength, energy, and awesome pumps during my training sessions.
Is a must all the time, I know I am getting all the vitamins and minerals I need to support my body.
In conclusion, whether you are striving for a national title or just want to look good by the pool, proper diet and supplements is key. Why waste your time training if you do not improve your nutrition? Year after year I see the same people in the gym putting in time and effort and forging little to no change in their physiques. If you are going to invest time and effort into training, do yourself a favor and be sure you have the proper nutrition and supplements to garner the best results.
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