My Figure Contest Training Preparation

By: Lee Ann Biesenthal
Magazine 14 #1

Thrilled placing 2nd with 250 competitors

First of all I would like to share a little about myself. I’m 37 years old, married and have two boys. I am a Certified Personal Trainer at our local Athletic Club. I’m very fortunate that my family shares in my passion for health and fitness. They are my biggest supporters.

I was a soccer player and a competitive gymnast growing up. I started working out with weights when I was 15 and even worked part-time at the gym my senior year!

My inspirations were Cory Everson and Rachel McLish. Even at that young age, one of my goals was to build a body like Cory or Rachel, and maybe someday compete.

I really didn’t know anything about competing and there was nobody I knew that could even point me in the right direction. So I started college and the next thing I knew I was married. A few years later, I was having my first child. I hadn’t forgotten my dream to compete, but let’s say it had gone into hibernation. I still trained when I could, but I’d have to say it was more of a recreational hobby, than anything else.

After having my second child, I decided to get back in the gym regularly and refocus. Who knew, maybe my competition dreams would actually have a chance at reality. Several months of consistent work brought me back to my pre-pregnancy weight. I was starting to feel and look fit again. At the gym, I noticed others who were training for contests. I was amazed at some of the transformations I witnessed. If they could do it, why couldn’t I? I decided to give my dream a shot.

Lee Ann figure contest front pose

Fourth in my First open Figure

A year and a half later I competed in my first show! I placed 4th in the open figure division. My family was there in the stands cheering "MOM" on! I felt they were right there with me on stage. What a memorable experience! I was hooked! My first competition was a dream come true. But, it was just the beginning. I wanted to be better. I wanted to be the best that I could be. With feedback from the judges in hand, I was on a quest to make those improvements. All figure athletes need to focus on building lean, shapely muscle, while reducing bodyfat levels. The question was, "What is the missing part in my preparation equation?" It seemed that I had the training down. Then one day, my husband, Jay was talking to his brother about supplements and Beverly International came up in the conversation. We didn’t have any experience with Beverly but sent for their No Nonsense Magazine and No Nonsense Supplement Guide (the guide is now online at their website,Subscribe). I was really impressed with the detail of both publications. In fact, I think I was so impressed that I ordered nearly one of everything. Seriously!

My first competition was a dream come true. But, it was just the beginning. I wanted to be better. I wanted to be the best that I could be. With feedback from the judges in hand, I was on a quest to make those improvements. All figure athletes need to focus on building lean, shapely muscle, while reducing bodyfat levels. The question was, "What is the missing part in my preparation equation?"

It seemed that I had the training down. Then one day, my husband, Jay was talking to his brother about supplements and Beverly came up in the conversation. I was really impressed with the detail of both publications. In fact, I think I was so impressed that I ordered nearly one of everything. Seriously!

I couldn’t believe the improvements I made by incorporating Beverly supplements. No, it wasn’t an overnight transformation, but small, steady lean muscle gains while I was reducing my fat levels. At this time I was in the process of getting my Personal Trainer Certification. I couldn’t wait. I knew that one thing I was going to do for my clients was recommend them from the get go. Why make them wait to get the results from a Beverly supplement program until they eventually learned about them on their own like I did. I’m happy to say that I am now a private distributor and can direct my clients to the highest quality and consistent result-producing supplements on the market.

I made a goal in late 2007 to compete in the 2008 NPC Northern Kentucky Bodybuilding & Figure Championship. I chose to use Beverly’s supplements and nutrition and training guide exclusively for this show. I was so excited about this show that my husband decided to do it with me!

We dieted together for a few months and then about six weeks before the show, Jay injured his knee and had to withdraw. I hated to go on and do the show without him, but he really wanted me to compete. His encouragement throughout the remainder of the preparation was key in keeping me focused and on track.

Figure Contest Training Workshop

Figure 2nd Place Lee Ann Biesenthal
2nd Place NPC Northern Figure

The first thing I did was was to stock up on my supplements and take advantage of the Pre Contest Figure Workshop Manual that came with my purchase.

I started my figure preparation 16 weeks out. Can you believe I actually started my diet two weeks before Christmas! I was thinking who’s going to eat those Santa cookies? You definately have to be dedicated, motivated, and self-disciplined. I like to remember this Bible verse: "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." (Philippians 4:13)

I just followed the their Manual diets as they were laid out. First was Figure "Lose Fat" Diet Plan A (pg 11) of the Figure Diet Section, then switched to Phase 2 Figure Competition Nutrition Program A (pg. 14) after six weeks.

Luanna 1st Figure Competiton

Finally, I followed Phase 3 Figure Advanced Rotation Plan (pg. 18) for the final weeks until the show. See Phase 1 and Phase 2 programs that I followed. Phase 3 was featured in Lu Oswalt’s article in the last No Nonsense Magazine (V 13, #4; ).


My supplement program was also just as it is laid out in the Pre Contest Workshop Manual. Throughout the various phases I used Ultra 4, EFA Gold, GH Factor, Muscularity, Lean Out, Glutamine Select, Energy Reserve, Ultra 40, Mass Aminos, UMP, Ultra Size, and Muscle Provider.

Meals: measured portions in advance

Meal preparation was a weekend affair. My husband, Jay and I cooked most of our meals for the week and rationed them out between the two of us. Meals as a family were not too difficult since my children eat close to the same things Jay and I have for dinner. Having my food measured out and in the right portions in advance saved time and helped me to eat at the appropriate times. It was also convenient to have them labeled in containers to grab if I had to be on the go. Hot or cold...it didn’t matter!

Training Schedule

Again, I followed the Figure Cardio & Training Program (pg. 25-26 of the Manual).

  • Monday & Thursday: Abs, Back, Biceps, & Calves
  • Tuesday & Friday: Abs, Chest, Shoulders, & Triceps
  • Wednesday & Saturday: Abs, Legs, & Calves

I also performed the BONUS EXERCISES which were push-ups and chins as often as possible. I usually did these after my cardio sessions.
I based my weight training and cardio around my family and my personal training clients. Everywhere I went, my cooler filled with food, water, and supplements went with me. Ziploc bags worked great to label and carry the supplements to take at appropriate meals.

By the time the show came around, I was in the best physical shape of my life. At The Northern I placed 2nd in the 35+ division. What an awesome experience! I’ve never been is such a show. There were more than 250 individuals competing. I know there were about 80 or 90 in the Figure divisions alone. Having competed in other shows, Beverly’s was by far the most organized, fair, and fun show that I have ever been a part of. I also got to meet their team personally, and it was such a warm and friendly atmosphere.

I was thrilled with placing 2nd, this was a big-time show. And, it motivated me to keep going and do another show closer to home 3 months later. I got advice from Sandy to take 3 weeks off and she suggested to then pick up right where I left off for the Beverly show.

My wonderful trainer, Damian Fisher, at Renaissance Fitness encouraged me to enter both the 35+ division and open figure at the Natural Atlantic Coast Bodybuilding & Figure show. This was a WNBF drug-free pro-qualifier show. I won first place and received my WNBF pro card! Dreams do come true!

I hope this article can be an inspiration to women and mothers to follow your dreams and that hard work and dedication pay off. I’ve competed many times and I can tell you for sure, you can keep improving each time. Focus and determination can help you achieve your goals no matter how big or small they are! Now with my experience, I can look forward to challenging myself to bring a better physique to the stage in each of my future contests. With proper nutrition, diet, exercise, and great supplements, anything is possible!

Phase 1: Figure Lose Fat Diet Plan-A:

Meal #1:

1 whole egg + 3 egg whites

3 oz. very lean meat

½ cup oatmeal – before cooking

Meal #2:(Choose one option)

Option A: Protein Drink with two scoops Ultimate Muscle Protein, one tablespoon healthy fat source (olive oil, flax oil, almond butter) or heavy cream.

Option B: 1 can tuna, one small apple or orange

Meal #3:

5 oz. lean meat (chicken or other lean protein source)

½ cup cooked brown rice or 4 oz. sweet potato

1 cup vegetables (broccoli, etc.) or 2 cups green salad with 2 tablespoons Vinegar and Oil Dressing

Meal #4:

Two scoops Muscle Provider in 16 oz. water

Meal #5:

6 oz. salmon or very lean meat (chicken breast, fish, turkey breast, lean beef – sirloin, filet, etc)

1 cup low carb vegetables

Salad with 2 tbsp Vinegar and Oil Dressing

Meal #6 (This is an option if you reduce meal #4 to one scoop protein; you get to make up the rest with meal #6. Which is better? Whatever works better for you.)

Option A: Protein Shake or Pudding: 1 Scoop Ultimate Muscle Protein, add enough water to make a shake or pudding the consistency you desire

Option B: 6 egg whites with 1 cup of vegetables

Supplement Program

2 FitTabs multi and 3 EFA Gold at meals 1 and 5

2 Muscularity and 1 Lean Out with each meal listed above (Lean Out is the most important supplement you can take with this nutritional plan if your primary goal is to lose fat. Lean Out helps your body burned stored fats, not your hard-earned lean muscle.))

Glutamine Select plus BCAAs 1-2 scoops during training

3 Ultra 40 and Mass Aminos tablets per meal

PHASE 2 FIGURE Competition nutrition program

Meal 1: Six egg whites; one-third cup oatmeal; one-half grapefruit.

Meal 2: Protein Drink with one scoop Ultimate Muscle Protein or Muscle Provider, one teaspoon healthy fat source (olive oil, flax oil, almond butter).

Option (B): Three and one-half ounces chicken breast or tuna; three egg whites, one tomato.

Meal 3: Five ounces chicken breast (weighed prior to cooking); two cups salad (lettuce, tomato, carrot, cucumber, green peppers, etc.) or two cups low carb vegetables; one tablespoon "Newman’s Own" dressing ( or make your own with one tablespoon cider vinegar and one tablespoon olive oil).

Meal 4: Protein Drink with one scoop Ultimate Muscle Protein or Muscle Provider – but no added fat to your shake. If this is the meal preceding or just after training, Muscle Provider is the optimal protein at this time.

Meal 5: five ounces chicken breast, turkey breast or 96% lean beef; two cups low carb vegetables or salad.

Meal #6 (A): four egg whites; one cup omelet vegetables (onions, celery, broccoli, peppers).

Option (B): Protein pudding – mix one scoop Ultimate Muscle Protein in a bowl with just enough water to make a pudding texture.

On Monday and Thursday Carb Load Meal: 1-cup oatmeal (before cooking); 6 oz. sweet potato (after cooking); 4 oz. banana; 1 cup vegetables; 1 tbsp butter or almond butter

Essential Supplements for Phase 2

Contest Countdown" Nutritional Plan
Meals 1 & 5: 2 Ultra 4 and 3 EFA Gold
Each meal: 3 Ultra 40; 2 Density, 2 Muscularity; 2 Lean Out; and 1 Energy Reserve.
Training: 2 scoops Glutamine Select plus BCAAs and 5-10 Muscle Mass.
Upon arising and before retiring: six GH Factor capsules immediately upon arising and six more before bed
Lee Ann At A Glance
Age: 37
Occupation: Certified Personal Trainer
Family: Married to Jay, 2 boys- Josh 15, Daniel 9
Current residence: Clayton, NC
Years training: for competition 5
Height: 5’2"
Off Season Weight: 115
Contest Weight: 103
Favorite cheat food: Bread & Wine. And, Believe it or not-BEVERLY GOO!
Favorite training meal: Carbload meal: Oatmeal w/stevia, banana, & almond butter.
On your Ipod: Top 40
Hobby or interest outside fitness: Reading, spending time with my family, and watching my boys play football!
Why do you recommend Beverly International? Quite simply, the products work. Beverly has a great team to answer any of your questions regarding supplements, training, and diet. They have a wonderful online supplement guide which explains each supplement in great detail. Beverly has been outstanding in customer service and their supplements live up to their reputation.

› Michelle Brown Comprehensive look at my first year in Figure nutrition, training program

› Karina Rhode, IFBB Professional Journey to an IFBB Figure Pro Card