I got that burning desire to step back on stage again at an inopportune time. I was working 50 hours per week on 3rd shift at my "day job", while finishing my Associates Degree in Electronics. Kim, my wife, and I were heavily involved in building our new dream home. My daughters, Paige and Taylor, were involved in several activities including softball, soccer and basketball. Time to dedicate to bodybuilding was really at a premium.
But when the bodybuilding bug bites it’s hard to ignore. Kim was supportive as always and told me to go for it. So, with my family’s full support, I knew my next step – call Beverly International for an appointment.
I must confess, at 38 years old I thought the best I could hope for was to get back to my original competition condition. To improve would be tough. Remember, I’d competed for almost a decade so I knew what worked... right? Yes, I was pretty sure I knew what worked. I had followed the best nutrition, training, and supplement principles that exist. However, in the past, I had only followed the supplement part of the equation pre contest instead of year around.
I’d read about staying on Beverly supplements year round, and it inspired me to give year-round supplements a try. What a difference it made!
I scheduled my appointment at Beverly International ten weeks out from my show. My appointment was with Steven. He took my body composition and to my surprise I was 6.1% body fat. That was terrific for me. I’d read an article about Mark Ritter staying on Beverly supplements year round (BodyMuscle Journal Vol. 4) and it had inspired me to give year-round Beverly supplements a try. What a difference it made!
I live 4 hours from Beverly so after the initial visit, Steven and I consulted via e-mail. I sent pictures every two weeks and Steven sent back changes to my cardio and diet as needed. My pre contest cardio consisted of 30 minutes on the stair stepper 4 to 5 days a week.
I received a very encouraging email from Steven after he showed Roger Riedinger a few pictures I’d sent at 4 weeks out from the show.
"You’re looking good, Mike. Roger said that is by far the best he’s seen you this far out from a show. I want you to go two more weeks on your current plan before we change anything. We want you to eat as many calories as possible for as long as possible. You are ahead of the game – especially in your upper body. As soon as we cut out the carbs, your lower body will change quickly. Train your butt off these next two weeks! (While you still have a good amount of food on your diet)." "Let me know if you have any questions."
In the past I started my contest prep at 12 weeks out and out of shape like everybody else. Then I’d crash diet to get in shape. This time it almost felt like I wasn’t dieting. When contest day arrived, I weighed in at 153 lbs. I couldn’t believe I was a lightweight, but I was shredded! This was the first time in my life I’d been all the way in shape. I finally achieved that condition you see on guys in the magazines. All day I was on cloud 9 because I was getting so many compliments from competitors backstage about how ripped I was – a totally new experience for me.
I placed second, but had competed against one of the top competitors in Indiana named Scott Canatsey. Scott had placed 2nd in the NPC Junior Nationals that year so I didn’t feel bad at all. After the show I asked head judge Ed Sanders what I had to do to improve my overall physique. Ed replied "You’re conditioning was right on, now you need to get bigger and put on some quality muscle." Steven concurred. He told me that since I was as ripped as possible it was definitely time to start putting on some serious muscle. But, we both agreed, we would not sacrifice the level of conditioning I’d reached just to come in heavier.
I used Beverly’s principles for building muscle and losing fat at the same time. My post-show mass diet was 6 meals; 3600-4000 calories; 50% protein, 30% fats and 20% carbs. Here’s my supplement list. It may seem like a lot – but it worked for me and was worth every penny that I spent over the next year and a half.
- 6 Ultra 40’s every meal
- 6 Mass Aminos every meal
- 1 Super Pak daily
- Multiple Enzyme Complex
- 1 with each meal
- My personal favorite: 2 scoops of Creatine Select mixed with 2 scoops Glutamine Select. I would drink this cocktail during every drive to the gym. I cycled off the Creatine Select every 3 months for a period of 3 to 4 weeks then would start back up again.
- I took 8 Muscle Synergy tabs when I woke up at 3:30 pm (I was working second shift) and my workouts normally started at 4:15 pm.
- I drank 2 more scoops of Glutamine Select during my training session.
- After my workout (5:45-6:00 pm) I took 8 more Muscle Synergy tabs, 10 Muscle Mass BCAAs, and 3 Antioxidant tabs and washed it all down with 3 scoops of Ultimate Muscle Cookies and Créme. Man do I love the Cookies & Créme flavor! I couldn’t wait to workout just so that I could get to my post workout shake!
I followed my supplement program religiously and had some of the best workouts of my life. The pumps I got were unbelievable! Not only was I vascular and lean, but my energy was abundant and I fully recovered from every workout.
I cycled my workouts every six to eight weeks. I did heavier workouts consisting of 5-8 repetitions for six weeks and then switched the next six weeks to reps of 8-15. I tried the "Add 7-lbs of muscle in 70 days" routine found in BodyMuscle Journal Vol 3. I copied it straight from Beverly’s website at www.bodybuildingworld.com. My strength went through the roof! This quickly became one of my all time favorite workouts.
In the first twelve months I went from my previous contest weight of 154 lbs to 178 lbs still really lean. During the next six months I went up to 204 lbs. I still kept my body fat in the 8% range by sticking to my diet and doing at least 30 minutes of cardio 4 days a week. I personally dispelled the myth that you can’t do cardio and build muscle at the same time.
Even though I’d be moving up two weight classes I was ready to get back onstage. I zeroed in on the Indiana State show in July held this year in my hometown of Fort Wayne, IN. I got in contact with Steven and he revised my diet. The plan he sent upped my calories even further, but I’d have to stop eating a few things that weren’t on the diet like peanut butter. I was worried that my weight wasn’t dropping, but Steven kept telling me, "Don’t worry about your weight just concentrate on your conditioning. And by being this lean, this far out † it gives you a huge advantage. You can eat more food, and you’ll end up bigger and harder in the end."
At 12 weeks out I started a very intense posing regimen. A good friend of mine and a close neighbor, Bob Fisher (another successful Beverly disciple) was going to compete in the same show. We posed together every day when I got home from working 3rd shift. We had no mercy with each other. Our posing became as grueling as our workouts!
There was minimal change in my diet except cutting out some whipping cream from my shakes at 14 weeks out. My first significant diet change came at 8 weeks out. Steven changed my diet to a rotation diet consisting of Diet A (more calories) and Diet B (very strict) listed at the end of this article. I would follow Diet A for 2 days then Diet B for 1 day, and repeat. This was new to me, but worked like a charm.
Three weeks later at 5 weeks out we reversed the rotation to 2 days strict (Diet B), and then 1 day on Diet A, then repeat. Supplements were a little more intense too by adding Energy Reserve on the two low calorie days (Diet B). I couldn’t believe my conditioning with all this new size! Every time I looked in the mirror I’d see that my hard work and dedicated supplement programs were paying off.
When the show date arrived I was a nervous wreck, as usual. I’d had my body fat checked the day before the Indiana State show and it was 4%. I was as good as I could be at that point, in fact by far the best shape of my life. I weighed in at 184 lbs, which put me in the novice middleweight and the open lightheavyweight divisions. There were 14 competitors in the middleweights and the open light-heavy had 9 of the best physiques in the state. These guys looked phenomenal. I wanted to get a good pump so in the competitors meeting I started eating the famous Beverly "Goo" and took a handful of GH Factor caps plus a handful of Muscle Synergy.
After the pre-judging I knew I was on the right track when several competitors asked me how I became so ripped and hard. I told them just two words "Beverly International".
We were told two of the classes were so close that the judges would have to rejudge the classes live at the night show. As my luck would have it, it was my two classes! That posing practice Bob and I had been doing began to pay dividends. That night as I went through my mandatory poses for the 4th time that day, I was able to stand poised and confident while other guys were doubling over in exhaustion.
I couldn’t wait to perform my 90 second routine. My wife, daughters, brother and sister-in-law, and several friends were in the audience. As my name was announced, I heard my daughters yell, "Come on dad!" Man, that was an emotional moment, but one of the best feelings in the world.
I placed 3rd in both weight classes. I was proud and satisfied with my 2-year journey from lightweight to light-heavyweight. I didn’t just measure my success onstage, but in the progress I’d made both physically and mentally. I made more progress in two years during my late 30’s than I had in all the years of training during my 20’s and early 30’s. Heck, I gained more muscle in the past two years than I had the previous ten!
After writing this I realized I owe thanks to all the people that are involved in my life when I’m preparing for a bodybuilding contest. First of all, if it wasn’t for Jesus Christ in my life, I would never have the strength and ability to perform the tasks it takes to be competitive bodybuilder. I must thank my parents for never getting too upset with me and always supporting my dreams to be a bodybuilder. Next, I would like to thank my lovely wife and children who have always been supportive of my bodybuilding passion. Plus – their patience to put up with me during my pre-contest mood swings. God love them!
I’d also like to thank the following people who have helped me during the past years: Monica Braun, Charlie and Denise Chapman, and my mother-in-law (Verna Suder) who has been a great inspiration to me in putting Jesus Christ in my life. I’d also like to thank Spiece Fitness in Fort Wayne, IN where I’m currently training. Their staff was very helpful throughout my contest preparation. And I’d like to mention the late Jon Charleston who was a great bodybuilder and a true inspiration to me and several other Beverly followers.
Furthermore I need to thank the entire Beverly staff and a special thanks to Steven Wade. Steven always had time for me and his detailed diet plans and patience were magnificent.
By using Beverly supplements, and sticking with their tried and true guidance, you can’t go wrong.
To anyone thinking about competing I strongly recommend using Beverly supplements year round and not just for pre-contest preparation. I discovered a mountain of benefits by doing this myself. By using the finest supplements on the market and sticking with their tried and true guidance you can’t go wrong.
Editor’s note: Here’s an email we received from Mike Fransen after asking him to write a story about his success over the past few years. His email was dated August 12th 2005 at 1:07 am!
Great! You just made my day. As you know I have been a true Beverly person for over 7 years now. I will be glad to help you out in anyway. Plus I will never forget all the help that Roger and Sandy have given me over the years. It seems no matter where I go I continually have people asking me "How do you stay so lean". For example when I was on vacation a couple of weeks ago in Virginia Beach I worked out at a gym called Iron Bound. The owner asked me what supplements do you take. (I think he still regrets asking me this question).
Since I saw NO Beverly products on any of his shelves I was going to let him have an ear full. Of course I had my Beverly gym bag with me stacked to the top with all my supplements and several Beverly supplement guides. You gotta love it!
I think the owner was pretty shocked when I pulled out my Liver tabs, Mass Amino»s, Glutamine Select, Muscle Synergy, and my UMP Cookies and Créme. So if you happen to see an order come through from Iron Bound Gym you know who sent them your way. Take care!
- Michael Fransen
- Supply Chain Engineering
- ITT Industries Aerospace