It was April 14, 2012 and I was at the Natural Buckeye Classic watching my two lifting partners Sean Young and Mike Caruso onstage, Sean in the pro division and Mike in the amateurs. They were in the best shape of their lives and there I was sitting in the crowd, 53 years old and weighing 265 pounds. During intermission we were joking around and I said I’d be up there with them next year. I meant it on the surface, but deep down I had reservations. I had watched Sean and Mike go through months of grueling dieting, training, posing and cardio sessions and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to subject myself to that kind of torture! I like to golf, eat, drink and have a good time. I thought I could clean up my diet a little, maybe do some cardio to and see how things go.
Things went well, at first. I lost a couple of pounds and was happy. "This isn’t so bad", I thought. So, I decided, "I’m going to go through with it." I talked to Sean about my decision and he suggested I get much stricter with my diet and cardio. He said, “It took a lot of years to put on the fat, and it was going to take a lot of work to take it off." Well, I had lost a couple of pounds on my own, so I thought I could just keep doing what I was doing and I’d be fine. Needless to say, that didn’t work out. Despite Sean’s multiple warnings, the summer came and went and I still had a long, long way to go.
Fall came and I knew I’d have to buckle down, now! Reluctantly, I told Sean to get me started with one of his "Impakt Lab" training and nutritional programs (Sean’s personalized nutritional and training system). He warned me that bodybuilding is not like other sports. When your workout is over you don’t go home to rest and relax. Instead, when you get home, you prep your food for the next day; you pose, wake up early, do cardio and start all over again. There is no down time during contest prep. It was time to begin. I had 20 weeks to go!
Sean started by imposing a strict diet and recommended a few targeted Beverly International supplements. Since I was new to meal planning and food prep Sean suggested that I substitute UMP shakes for a lot of the scheduled food meals. The shakes were so good that it didn’t seem like I was on a diet at all. My favorite meal was my "Beverly pancake"; I mixed together 3⁄4 cups oatmeal, 2 scoops UMP, and 2 egg whites, then cooked it like a pancake and topped it with sugar free syrup. I looked forward to that meal with a cup of black coffee nearly every day! My other supplements during this initial phase of my diet were: Quadracarn (3 tablets, 3 times a day), Mass Aminos (3 with each meal) and Glutamine Select (two scoops daily).
The Beverly supplements helped me maintain lean body mass while my bodyfat steadily decreased! At 12 weeks out, Sean said I was doing great, but still had a long way to go. He also added 7-Keto Musclean and GH Factor to my supplement program to accelerate results.
Here is an example of how my diet looked at 12 weeks out:
- 1.5 gallons H2O everyday!
- 3 Mass Aminos with each meal
- 3 Quadracarn 3 times per day
- 6 GH factor in the morning and 6 in the evening
- 3 7-Keto prior to a.m. and p.m. workouts
- Here is an example of how my diet looked at 12 weeks out:
- Prior to morning cardio: 8 tabs or 1 scoop Muscle Synergy; 1 scoop Glutamine Select, coffee
- MEAL #1 (Post cardio)
1 scoop Muscle Provider
- MEAL #2
- 9 egg whites, 1 whole egg; 2 cups omelet vegies *on leg day and back days, UMP pancake with ½ cup oats, 1 scoop UMP and 2 egg whites
- MEAL #3
- 6-8oz. chicken, or turkey breast; asparagus or green beans (2 cups limit)
- Pre Workout:
- 8 tabs or 1 scoop Muscle Synergy 45 minutes before workout, additional BCAA’s during workout; HIT cardio x30 minutes post workout 4x/week
- Meal #4 (Post workout)
- 1 scoop Muscle Provider; 1 grapefruit Non-lifting days – 8oz. Tilapia and asparagus
- MEAL #5
- 8oz. fish (Tilapia, tuna, cod, halibut); salad with vinaigrette; 2 tbsp almond butter
- 45 minutes prior to last meal:
- 1 scoop or 8 tabs Muscle Synergy
- 45 minutes prior to last meal:
- 1 scoop or 8 tabs Muscle Synergy
- MEAL 6:
- 2 scoops UMP; 1 scoop Glutamine Select
TRAINING CARDIO POSING
I began to workout with more focus and drive than I ever had in the past. The whole premise of Sean’s Impakt Labs philosophy is to stay heavy with compound movements. Stick with weights that will be a challenge, but use very strict form, as you are more vulnerable to injury the leaner you get. We did one bodypart per workout, 5 days per week, 4-6 exercises per bodypart, and 3-4 sets each. Rep range was usually 10-8-6 or 10-8-8-6.
- Cardio was tough, but mentally I was getting in a zone. I started with 3 morning sessions and 3 post workout sessions. I gradually built up to everyday cardio for the final 8 week stretch and it looked like this:
- AM: Moderate intensity on the stationary bike for 30 minutes, eventually building up to 40 minutes.
- PM or following workouts: High intensity interval training on the elliptical for 20-30 minutes. I’d do a forward motion fast for 60 seconds, then backward at a slow to moderate rate for 60. Sean suggested I perform the majority of the elliptical with legs only which really helped to bring in my quads, glutes and hamstrings. Occasionally, when I was feeling full of energy, I did a third round of cardio via spinning classes at our gym. Sean counseled, “If you have energy, you better use it up!" Luckily, I had a great support system to go home to at the end of each grueling day. My wife and kids talked me off the edge many times!
Posing practice focused on the mandatories. I had watched a lot of posing throughout the years at our gym, Gymbo’s, and now it was my turn. I always joked about the “dreaded double bicep" and now I was doing it! It was much harder than I thought holding each pose for 30 seconds as I worked through the quarter turns and mandatories. However, I knew it was something that had to be done if I wanted to be my best on stage. I eventually worked up to holding them for 90 seconds each.
Well, a year went by, and now it was my turn. I was on stage at the same venue, the INBF Natural Buckeye Classic on April 13, 2013. I weighed in at 190 lbs! I had lost 75 lbs and was now in the absolute best shape of my life. I placed second in the masters division and second in the novice heavyweight. I was very happy. You never know who is going to be at a show and the ultimate goal is to be your best. That day I was my best. I transformed not only my body, but my mind as well over those 12 months. In the words of Buddha, "to conquer ones self is a much greater accomplishment than to conquer another."
- Brent Nichols at a Glance
- Age: 54
- Occupation: Business owner
- Family: Beautiful wife, Julie, of 33 years. Son, Chaz, 27 and daughter, Megan, 24
- Years Training: 15 years
- Height: 6′1″, Weight: 265(Before), 190(Contest)
- Favorite Bodybuilding or Fitness Meal: Protein Pancake: 2 scoops of UMP vanilla, ½ cup of oatmeal, ¼ egg whites
- Favorite Supplements: My favorite Beverly product would be the UMP protein powder because it tastes great and you can use it in a variety of ways: pancakes, puddings, shakes/smoothies. My favorite flavor is Cookies and Cream, but all of them taste fantastic.
- What would you recommend to someone who has never used Beverly supplements before? UMP protein powder is a great place to start because it is easy to use and there are so many great flavors to try. Quadracarn and Muscle Synergy are other excellent resources that provide energy, strength and help with endurance during workouts. Lean Out and 7-Keto were great towards the end of my training to get me to my final fat-loss goals.
- In my iPod: I like to listen to classic rock like Van Halen, Bob Seger, and Bad Company when lifting.
- Most Inspiring Book: The Bible
- Hobbies/Interests: Golfing, traveling, spending time with my family at our home in Cincinnati
Words to live by:
Get busy living, or get busy dying.–Andy Dufresne, The Shawshank Redemption