Ryan Propst & Beth Muntean started training together
What comes to mind when you think of a dynamic superhero team? Batman and Robin, Superman and Wonder Woman, the Wonder Twins? We may not have super powers or be famous, but at Buckeye Gym in Tallmadge, Ohio we are known as Team B&R.
I have been blessed to have the love of my life as my training partner for the last eight years. Sharing our passion in life has been incredible for us. So how did this all begin? My first experience with weight training came in the form of a Christmas present when I was 10. My parents gave me a plastic water weight set, two dumbbells, a barbell and a few plates. Yes, they were hollow and designed to be filled with water to add resistance; however, whenever I was thirsty I would just open up a dumbbell and take a drink. It was like a thirst quenching drop set.
I started weight training in earnest during my freshman year of high school hoping to put some weight and muscle on my skinny 5′9″, 135 pound frame. I wanted to participate in football and track. I also desired to stop getting picked on by upper class-men. I didn’t know a lot at the time about bodybuilding, but I admired the one and only Arnold Schwarzenegger and would read anything about him I could get my hands on. By the beginning of my sophomore year I had gained ten pounds, and had begun to transform my physique. So began my love of bodybuilding.
As a high school athlete, Beth stood out in basketball and volleyball, but had no prior experience with bodybuilding before meeting me. When we started dating she became interested in working out and started going to the gym with me. It took a few months and countless requests for spots, before she started hinting around that maybe we could become training partners. At first I was skeptical. I had never had a female training partner and never known anyone who had successfully trained with their significant other. I was quite wrong to be worried!
We clicked as training partners from the first moment, feeding off each other’s energy and instinctively knowing how and when to push one another. We started training together in 2006 and by 2007 we were getting ready for our first show.
We have competed in ten shows together. We’ve both earned our NGA and WNBF pro cards, Beth in figure and me in bodybuilding. She is coming off a great 2013 season with an overall win at the INBF Cardinal Classic and a class win at the NPC Natural Northern. I have won my weight class in all but one tested show. That loss was to the eventual overall winner and it fueled me to train even harder. More importantly, it compelled me to maintain consistency with my supplementation and nutrition regimen. Since then I have been undefeated in tested shows. I have four overall wins: NPC Monster Mash, NGA Fall Classic, INBF Cardinal Classic and NPC Natural Northern. My most memorable achievements are the two competitions where Beth and I took the overalls together. The feeling of us as a team on stage together at the end of the night is something I will cherish for a life time.
We encourage you to study them, adapt them to your own programs, or follow them exactly and see if you can get the same results that we achieved.
During our contest prep, Beth and I eat the same foods except for the portion sizes. This makes it much easier for us to shop and prepare our meals together. We’ve noticed that we lose fat and our strength in the gym actually increases when we start on the diet and supplement plan listed below.
- Meal 1 Pancake made with UMP, egg whites, 1 whole egg, uncooked plain oatmeal, blueberries and/or blackberries. 1-2 cups coffee or green tea, roughly 1 liter of water.
- Meal 2 Chicken breast or ground turkey breast, brown or white rice, green beans or broccoli.
- Meal 3 Tilapia, sweet potato or brown or white rice, green beans or broccoli or asparagus.
- Pre-workout meal 1 scoop Muscle Provider or UMP and ½ cup uncooked oatmeal. I either blend this in a shake or cook it as oatmeal. Either way it’s delicious and digests very quickly. We put 2 scoops of Glutamine Select plus BCAAs in our water bottles for the gym.
- Post workout meal Blend together unsweetened almond milk, water, spinach, 6 oz. pasteurized egg whites, 1 scoop Muscle Provider and ½ cup uncooked oatmeal. I also take my Creatine Select at this time.
- Meal 4 Any combination of the above, one food from each category, protein, carbohydrate and vegetable.
- Meal 5 Chicken breast and a large mixing bowl size salad, consisting of red and green leaf lettuce, tomatoes, mushrooms, red and green peppers. Dressing consists of 3 tablespoons Bragg’s unpasteurized apple cider vinegar mixed with a little mustard and a packet of Sweat Leaf natural Stevia. It tastes like honey mustard and is healthy. (No complex carbs at dinner.)
- Condiments Mustard, hot sauce and anything we can find that is sugar free.
- Water We drink when we are thirsty, at least 4-6 liters a day. Usually a little more if the temperature is high. However, I don’t believe in drinking gallons and gallons of water a day. This just flushes out your sodium, electrolytes and may tax your kidneys.
- Meal 1: Multivitamin, 3 Quadracarn, 4 Ultra 40 liver, 4 Mass Amino Acids, 2 Lean Out
- Meal 2-3: 4 Ultra 40, 4 Mass Amino Acids, 2 Lean Out
- Meal 4: 3 Quadracarn, 4 Ultra 40, 4 Mass Amino Acids, 2 Lean Out
- Meal 5: 3 ZMA 2000
Our training remains relatively constant whether we are in the off-season or preparing for a contest. As mentioned above, we actually get stronger at the beginning of our contest prep phase even though we are losing weight. I believe this is due to the strict, clean eating and regimented supplement program. It is not until the last few weeks that we start to see a decrease.
Beth and I perform the same exercises, repetitions and sets. Although she is aware that women’s figure demands a certain look that may require over-developing certain muscle groups, her goal, like mine is to develop a well rounded, proportionate physique.
Here are some key points regarding our training:
- You have to check your ego at the door and focus on the form you are using over the weight people see you moving.
- Practice the mind-muscle connection. Squeeze the working muscle on each rep.
- You are only as strong as your weakest muscle.
We add an intensity element after completing the last set on many exercises. It may be any one of the following:
- 2 assisted forced reps after completing our scheduled 8 reps.
- A drop set to failure (starting with the same poundage as our 1st set)
- A set of negatives to failure – we are strong advocates of using negative reps in our training. It is a great way to tear down muscle tissue without beating up one’s joints.
- An asterisk (*) on the final set of an exercise means that we usually incorporate one of the above intensity techniques
- Monday – Back/Traps:
- Wide-grip Pull-ups 3x12-10-8 (*) increase weight using dip belt
- V-Bar Close-grip Pull-downs 3x12-10-8
- Behind the head Wide-grip Pull downs 3x12-10-8 (*)
- Wide-grip pull-downs 3x8 with a 5 second negative to failure
- DB Shrugs 3-4x10-15
- Tuesday – Chest/Calves/Abs:
- Flat Bench Press 3x12-10-8 (*)
- Incline DB Press 3x12-10-8
- Incline Flyes 3x12-10-8 (*) or 3x10-10-10 depending on energy that day
- Pec-Deck 3x12-10-8
- Cable Crossovers 3x12-10-8 (*) or 3x10-10-10
- Calves Pick your favorite 2 exercises and do 4 timed sets, 30 seconds for as many as you can do.
- Wednesday – 1st Leg Day:
- Squats 7x12-10-8-6-4-2-2
- Leg Extensions 3x12-10-8 (*)
- Leg Curls 3x12-10-8 (*)
- Leg Press 3x12-10-8 Walking Lunges 3x15-20
- Thursday – Bicep/Triceps:
- Bicep Standing French Bar Curls 3x12-10-8 (*)
- Triceps Rope Press-downs 3x12-10-8 (*)
- Bicep Seated Incline Bench DB curls 3x12-10-8 (*)
- Triceps Behind the head DB Extensions 3x12-10-8 (*)
- Bicep Standing DB Hammer Curls 3x12-10-8 (*)
- Triceps Seated Dips 3x all to failure
- Friday – Off
- Saturday – Shoulders/Traps/Calves:
- Seated DB Presses 3x12-10-8 (*)
- Front DB Raises 3x12-10-8 (*)
- Side Lateral Raises 3x12-10-8 (*)
- Pec-Deck Rear-Delt Laterals 3x12-10-8 or 3x10
- Barbell Shrugs 3-4x12-10-8
- Standing Machine Calf Raises 3-4x12-10-8 2*
- Seated Calf Raises 3-4x12-10-8
- Sunday – 2nd Leg Day:
- Leg Extensions 3x10-10-10
- Squats 5x10-10-10-10-10
- Leg Press 3x15-12-10
- Leg Curls 3x15-12-10
- (*) On final set incorporate one of the 3 intensity techniques listed above.
Beth does three days of HIIT training and two, 30-45 minute low intensity sessions. I do not do cardio during contest prep. I feel it drains me and I look stringy. I rely on the foods I eat and not getting too far out from my contest weight in the off-season.
Be consistent! There are endless approaches to eating plans, contest preparation, training strategies and supplementation. The key is to find what works for you. Once you develop a working strategy, stay with it and give it time to work.
I have come to realize after competing in my first two shows that these competitions were not a destination for me. Instead, they are just part of the journey. I think it is important for every person to look at life that way, and to never settle or be satisfied with what you have accomplished. I believe you need to embrace new challenges and continue to set goals for yourself.
- Ryan Propst & Beth Muntean at a Glance
- Age: Ryan 39, Beth 31
- Occupation or Education: Ryan is a University of Akron graduate of the Radiology Technician program and currently a student at The Ohio State University working for his Masters in Exercise Physiology.
Beth recently graduated from the University of Akron with her Masters in Nursing with a specialty in Nurse Anesthesia and is employed with The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center as a Nurse Anesthetist.
- Family: Engaged, no children
- Current Residence: Columbus, Ohio
- Years training (total): Ryan 25 years, Beth 14 years
- Height/Weight: Ryan 5′9″, 190 off-season/160 contest; Beth 5′10″, 150 off-season/135 contest
- Favorite Bodybuilding or Fitness Meal: Grilled chicken, sweet potatoes and green beans
- In your music player: Pandora radio during training sessions with stations
ranging from Marilyn Manson to Little Wayne.
- Most inspiring book: Ryan Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding by Arnold Schwarzenegger, Beth As A Man Thinketh by James Allen
- Hobbies/Interests: Hobbies/Interests: Snowboarding, mountain bike riding, free running, hiking, volleyball, boxing, watching movies, and spending time with our new puppy.
- Words to live by:
You must be shapeless, formless, like water. When you pour water in a cup, it becomes the cup. When you pour water in a bottle, it becomes the bottle. When you pour water in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Water can drip and it can crash. Become like water my friend˜ Bruce Lee
- We take this quote by Bruce Lee to mean whatever your passion in life is, engulf yourself in it. Surround yourself with it, become it fully. Be at peace and restful when you can, but also commit fully and forcefully when necessary. Goals are only reached through dedication, discipline, sacrifice and HARD WORK.
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