Dan Mangold First Year of Competition

Magazine 14 #4

I started working out 2 ½ years ago. I joined a small gym in my local community center but did not really take my training seriously.  On top of that, I knew nothing about nutrition or supplements.  Needless to say my results were disappointing. I was discouraged and probably would have just given up but for a turn of fortune.

A new training center opened up a block from my house. I decided to give it a try and joined even before it was completely opened.  I enlisted the help of an expert, Jim Collins. He straightened out my training and put me on a nutrtion and supplement program. In four months I was in the best shape of my life!

Now I was psyched. I asked what it would take for me to compete. Jim said I had a good start but really needed to build some solid muscle before thinking about competition. So for the next 18 months I trained hard and ate like a horse. Now, I was finally ready to lean out and see exactly what kind of muscle I had built.

I mapped out my journey. First up was the Northern Kentucky Show on March 14th, 2009.  The second show was the Natural Ohio on April 4th, 2009.  The third was Mr. Cincinnati on April 11th, 2009.

I started my contest diet 16 weeks out, about a week before Thanksgiving. That meant no Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner with my family. While they feasted, I sat on the couch, drank my protein and took my supplements.  Actually, this was not as hard as you would think.  I wanted to be ripped so bad, I was willing to do anything to get it. I remember telling my trainer, “If I can’t beat them on size I’ll beat them on conditioning”

Dan Mangold abs pose

Here is a typical day during my contest preparation:

I got up at 5:00 a.m. every morning, took six GH Factor capsules and drank a cup of black coffee. Then it was off to the gym for 45 minutes of cardio and 15 minutes of posing.  After that, I went home, ate breakfast and got ready for work.  After putting my 8 hours in, it was back to the gym.  I weight trained for an hour to an hour and fifteen minutes and did thirty more minutes of cardio.  After that, I drank a protein shake while still at the gym and then went straight to the tanning bed. Back home I ate dinner, practiced posing for another ½ hour, and worked on the house until it was time for bed.  Basically, the only time I sat down was driving and eating.

Contest Prep

Weight Training Schedule
Monday Legs
Tuesday Chest / Abs
Wednesday Back / Calves
Thursday Cardio only, no weights
Friday Triceps / Biceps / Abs
Saturday Shoulders / Calves
Sunday Cardio only, no weights


One hour and fifteen minutes per day.  I did 45 minutes in the morning; splitting the time between treadmill and elliptical.  Later in the day, post workout, I did an additional 30 minutes alternating between the treadmill and elliptical every other day.


Legs have always been a problem area for me.  I was one of those guys in the gym that concentrated on upper body and hitting legs light every once in awhile.  I had to play catch-up during the months leading up to competition. Here is a typical leg workout I used to build my legs:

1.Warm up on leg extensions, I like to pyramid every work out. I start light and warm up with as many reps as possible.  I then added weight over four sets, doing as many reps as possible each set.

2.Leg Press was basically the same. Start with a weight that I could do for 20-25 reps, add weight each set while continuing to do as many reps as possible each set.

3.5 sets of Sumo squats with dumbbells, again, pyramiding up to 70 pound dumbbells.

4.Five sets of stiff leg deadlifts or leg curls for hamstrings.

5.Four sets of walking lunges with as much weight as I could use, depending on the day.


Consistency with your diet is everything. People are so hung up on what food tastes like, you can get used to anything. Foods I didn’t care for at first, I really like now. I honestly don’t eat for enjoyment anymore as much as I do for the benefits provided to my body/ You can work out as hard as you want to, but without a proper diet and good supplements you will never achieve your goals.

I prepared my food for the entire week on Sunday night.  I cooked it, weighed it, and portioned it into individual containers.  I refrigerated the meals I’d be eating early in the week and froze the others.  This was very convenient. Instead of cooking every night I merely had to reheat my meals.

Meal #1: 6 egg whites; ½ grapefruit


Meal #2: 2 scoops Muscle Provider; 1 tbsp flax oil


Meal #3: 8 oz tilapia; 1 cup broccoli; ¼ cup cashews or almonds


Meal #4: 2 scoops Muscle Provider


Meal #5: 2 scoops Muscle Provider


Meal #6: 8 oz tilapia; 1 cup greens; ½ cup cashews


Note – Monday and Thursday cut out cashews from Meal #3 and replace Meal #6 with the following carb up meal:

5 oz sweet potato

½ cup oatmeal

1 banana

1 tbsp almond butter or real butter


I was surprised at how much of a workout posing is. The pros make it look so easy, but it’s not.  During the three shows I competed in, the people who didn’t practice enough or didn’t have proper instruction were obvious. Luckily, I wasn’t one of them. I took it very seriously, got expert help, and the more I practiced, the better I got.

Instruction tapes are good but you really need someone there to give you feedback.  There are no mirrors on stage so the way I prepared for this was to pose with my eyes closed, finish my pose then check myself in the mirror to make proper adjustments.  I also practiced in the stand-up tanning bed. This really helped me improve my endurance for the front relaxed stance pose, which is one of the most important poses on stage. You can win or lose a contest on posing alone.  It doesn’t matter how much muscle you have if you do not have a good presentation, the judges will not see you at your best.


One of the things I did that I’ve not seen mentioned in any contest prep article was to stay as active as possible. I took this to the extreme.  I figured that if I was sitting down, I was not burning calories.  I took on all kinds of home projects so that I was always up and doing something. I even cancelled my cable TV so I wouldn’t be tempted to sit down and veg out.

Here is a partial listing of some of the projects I completed. I repainted the entire inside of my house, redecorated my daughter’s room, built customized cabinets for my kitchen, cleaned out every room and closet from top to bottom (resulting in quite a few charitible donations), along with keeping my house cleaner than ever before. 

It definitely worked.  I went from 176 pounds to a contest weight of 133 pounds in 16 weeks.  I placed 1st in the bantamweights at two of the larger shows in the Midwest, the NPC Northern KY and NPC Natural OH.

Dan Mangold At A Glance
Age: 35
Occupation: I am currently a machine operator at a book bindery. I am getting ready to start my certification to be a Personal Trainer.
Current residence: Cincinnati, OH
Years training: 2 ½
Height: 5′ 7″
Weight: Off Season – 176-180; Contest – 133-135

Favorite Cheat Food: Anything Italian. Usually a large extra cheese pizza.
Favorite Bodybuilding Meal: My trainer, Jim Collins, had me do this meal every Monday and Thursday. We called it my carb up meal. This would be my last meal of the day. It consisted of the following: 5 oz sweet potato, 1/2 cup oatmeal, 1 banana, 1 tbsp real butter. I would mix all of this together and make cookies. I baked them in the oven at 350 degrees for 14 minutes on a cookie sheet. After being carb depleted for a few days, this meal was awesome.
Favorite Supplements: One of my favorite supplements is GH Factor. I was not really losing the fat like I should have so Beverly’s GH Factor was added along with additional cardio. No kidding, two weeks later my body comp indicated I lost four pounds of fat. I was blown away. Another thing I tried for the first time was Beverly’s Uplift. I love this product. It does not load you up with stimulants and dump you on your face a couple of hours later. It actually has a long list of aminos in it which is pretty useful when your body is in a weakened state from a hard core diet.

In your CD player: I love anything fast; mostly Rob Zombie, White Zombie, Ramstein and Black Label Society
Hobbies: I love to do woodworking in my work shop. I enjoy biking with my 10 year old daughter, Cierra. I enjoy making any home improvements to my house, which I have become obsessed with; and of course, going to my second home, The Gym.,

NNM 14 #4