Approach to Bodybuilding Success
It all started when I was a kid. I was in awe of the physiques and muscularity of the DC Comics superheroes – Captain America, Thor, Spider– Man, Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, and the Avengers. I used to sketch out these characters. Little did I know the impact it would have on the rest of my life.
Growing up, I was always conscious of my physical appearance. My cousins tell me now how I was quite the athlete then. Hockey, baseball, basketball, pick up tackle football games with the neighborhood boys, street hockey, ice hockey on the frozen pond down the street, bowling, golf, I played them all. To be honest, I had a lot of determination, but was always small for my age. I graduated high school at 130 pounds and 5′7″. I started lifting weights then and my weight shot up to 160 and I grew 2 inches. I was pretty lean and fairly muscular.
About 1982, I started getting more serious about body building. I was impressed with the bodybuilders in Muscle & Fitness at that time. Their physiques were perfectly proportioned, muscular, had decent size, definition and small waistlines. Very aesthetic. I learned all I could but there was quite a bit of misinformation out there. In 1988, I entered my first contest, the San Jose BB Championships, and placed 2nd in the light heavy novice at 188 pounds.
From 1988 to 2006, I stayed in shape by lifting weights and doing cardio regularly. My weight was in the 185–190 range. However, my main focus was on the business I had started, High Speed CNC, a precision machine shop.
From 2006 to present, I have competed nine times and have improved every year. Although I’m 52, I think I can still get better. I have been training with weights and doing some form of cardio for more than 33 years now. In that time, I have never taken more than a week off from training. People wonder how I do it. Well I am going to share my secrets with you.
Here’s how I do it:
- 1. Consistency (choose a path and stick with it).
- 2. Do sports/exercises/activities you like, otherwise you will not be able to sustain them.
- 3. Learn all you can about your sport (try things and determine if they work for you).
- 4. Learn how to eat properly and how to prepare your meals.
- 5. Do not be impatient (tortoise & the hare). Move forward continuously, rather than being a flash in the pan. Small gains/improvements each year, in your eating habits and training equal success.
- 6. Get in tune with your body, it is an amazing feat of engineering that never lies. Lift heavy when you can, rest when you are tired, learn to train around injuries. Eat according to your specific goals at the time.
- 7. Do some form of activity each day.
- 8. Stay positive. Learn to enjoy the natural high of a good pump, or the feeling of accomplishment when you give your very best to a workout. When you feel like quitting, remember how good you felt in the past when you took it to the limit. Think of it this way, “I want this feeling, and I’ll push myself to get there.” Push a little longer, the pain/burn will pass. Don’t cut yourself short and quit before the set or sprint is really complete. I’m constantly motivated by the natural high and the results I get. In fact, I believe that over the years, I’ve developed my subconscious to where it will never let me stray off course. Again, it all boils down to consistency. 9. There are very few things in life that you have control over. For me, my diet and training are in my control. I can stay on track with them, no matter what life throws at me, good or bad.
Diet and training are really very simple. People overcomplicate them. It’s almost like they want to confuse you. Well, I am going to simplify things right now. Your body is incredibly adaptive, so NOTHING needs to be precise, like macro ratios, counting calories, when to eat and when not to eat, how much to train, how many sets, how many reps etc., etc., etc. (I hope you get my point.) I start to get dizzy reading some articles; it makes me feel like I know nothing at times. Well, the truth is that I have realized over the years, I do know a lot. So here’s what I have learned about diet, supplements, cardio, and training.
- 1. Eat whole foods. The less processed, the better.
- 2. Try to eat equal amounts of protein, carbs, and fats at each meal. Don’t be a fanatic, +/–15 percent on the ratios is fine.
- 3. The best protein sources to eat are lean grass fed beef, chicken, fish, turkey, pork, and whole eggs.
- 4. Athletes need some starchy carbs. I recommend oats, rice, yams, potatoes, quinoa, and lentils.
- 5. Don’t forget to eat plenty of dark green veggies. You should also include fruits and berries of all sorts. Tip: Get yourself a blender and make smoothies using the veggies that you would not normally eat (see my
Super Foods Smoothiemeal below).
- 6. Fats should come from the naturally occurring fats in your meats, olive oil, flax meal, chia seeds, nuts of all kinds, avocados, coconut oil, and nut butters.
- 7. Eat at least 4 meals each day, if you can, eat 6 small meals.
- 8. Get a minimum of 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight and drink at least ½ ounce of water per pound of body weight. (My trick with water is to drink 12 to 16 ounces, 15 to 30 minutes prior to each meal.)
- A typical day’s food intake for me:
- 1. Two of my meals are my
Super Foods Smoothie. I make with 4 scoops of Ultimate Muscle Protein (UMP), 2 cups of water, and add kale, spinach, watercress, peeled lemon, cucumber, green apple, 2 tbsp flax meal, 1 tbsp chia seeds, and one cinnamon stick. I have one in the morning and another later in the afternoon. (What a powerhouse of super foods!)
- 2. Wild salmon over veggies.
- 3. Grass fed, 90% lean beef hamburger, 6oz steel cut oats, berries.
- 4. 4 egg whites, 2 whole eggs, 1 small avocado, 1 small yam or oats, with cinnamon and coconut oil.
- 5. Low fat Fage (Greek Yogurt) and berries.
- 6. 4 tbsp almond butter on Trader Joe’s fiber muffins. I typically eat ~3500 calories per day.
Key Point: Take incremental steps to impro ve your diet. Every year try to improve your eating habits from the year before. Over time you will be eating a very healthy and clean diet like the one I’ve listed above.
As a 50+ bodybuilder who is continually pushing my body to a greater degree of development, I require supplementation beyond what my daily food can provide. Below are the supplements that I currently take.
- Omega 3 fish oil (4 grams /day)
- Milk thistle & saw palmetto w/ pygeum
- Vitamin D
- Creatine Select (before workout)
- Glutamine Select (before & after workouts)
- Mass Aminos (to supplement and improve the amino acid profile of the food protein in my meals)
- UMP protein powder (4 scoops in my
Super Foods Smoothie)
My cardio is designed to improve my overall cardiovascular health during the off season. I normally do 3 to 4 sessions per week. Two are 30–40 minute interval sessions on a spin bike or Stairmaster, or hill repeats on my mountain bike. The other session(s) are easier like 45–60 minutes at an easy pace on the Stairmaster, or walking on hiking trails for as long as I feel.
I pretty much eliminate cardio as a contest draws near. Instead, I pose 3 times a week for 30 to 60 minutes. You only have so much energy. So, if you do cardio every day, work a full day, train with weights, while on calorie deficit pre competition diet, there can be only one outcome. You’ll end up with a burned out body that is feeding upon itself, eating up your hard earned muscle to satisfy its energy needs. Not to mention – the excessive cardio also makes you hungrier.
Key Point: Control your food intake to shed body fat. If you are a bodybuilder you need to pose, not burn up your quads on the Stairmaster.
- Train heavy for a while when you can. Use low reps and heavy compound movements.
- Train lighter using higher reps, 12 to 50 reps for a while.
- Mix up your exercises and increase your volume (lots of sets and reps for a while).
- Train each body part 1x per week for a while (5–6 day split), 2 x a week for a while (4 day split), and sometimes 3 x a week for a while (entire body 3 times a week).
- Don’t get hung up on how much weight you are using. Perfect form and time under tension are as important.
- Use full range of motion on all your exercises.
- If it hurts in a bad way, you are probably going to get injured, so change to another movement to work around the pain.
Legs are my favorite workout (nothing gets you more in the natural high zone). Here’s a leg workout for the advanced athlete who wants to take it to the limit.
- 4-5 sets step ups using the cable machine, go up in weight each set until you can only do 10 reps per leg. 1st 2 or 3 sets are 20 reps each.
- 4-5 sets of full squats (break parallel) slow on the way down, pause, then drive up. I like to do reps of 10 to 20. When I am feeling especially good, I do 10 sets of 10 reps.
- 4-5 sets of heel press on the leg press machine. I try to keep the reps at 20-30.
- 5-7 sets of lying leg curls, 15 to 20 reps.
Here are some things I have learned, especially as I’ve grown older, especially regarding leg training.
- I pre exhaust the legs with step ups or another movement that does not stress the knees, that way I do not have to go so heavy on squats and leg presses. Doing higher reps helps me stay injury free, while really stimulating the muscles.
- Slow controlled movements are safer and will alert you to any potential injuries before it’s too late.
- Time under tension, feel the movement and forget about the weight.
- DO SOMETHING EVERYDAY (MOVE YOUR BODY)
Key Point: There is no magic training routine, no magic set or rep scheme, just hard work & consistency (there’s that word again).
- Joe Munich at a Glance
- Age: 52
- Occupation: General Manager of High Speed CNC (Ultra Precision Machining)
- Family: 1 son and daughter, 1 step son and step daughter, 5 grand kids
- Current Residence: Los Gatos, CA
- Years training (total): 33
- Height: 5′9″
- Weight: Off Season: 200, Contest: 196
- Favorite supplements: Glutamine Select & Mass Aminos taken before & after workouts to prevent muscle catabolism & stave off hunger
- Favorite Bodybuilding Meal: 4 egg whites, 2 whole eggs, avocado, steel cut oats, coconut oil
- What would you recommend to someone who has never used Beverly supplements before? Use Creatine Select and Glutamine select at a minimum and do not be afraid to try out their other supplements. Beverly’s
Supplement Recommendation Chartis very helpful in choosing the perfect supplements to achieve your goal (available at BeverlyInternational.com)
- Hobby or interests outside bodybuilding: hiking, dining out, dogs
- Words to live by:
Fake it ’til you make it!(After a while you will realize that you are the real deal.)
- Brian Wiefering
Keeping Your Priorities Straight
- Brent Nichols
One Year 75 lbs transformed my body & mind
- Travis Winship
Bodybuilding on the Road