Training for 35 years total; for bodybuilding 15 years.
Lifting weights and running may not be the most compatible activities, but these are the activities I’ve enjoyed the most ever since high school. My lifting eventually led me to bodybuilding and my running eventually led me to compete in marathons. I’m not sure why, but I have made a routine over the past 15 years of alternating between these two hobbies.
I am proud to say I have used Beverly supplements not just for my bodybuilding shows, but for all of my running events as
well. Since 1999, I have competed in 15 bodybuilding shows, completed two marathons, five half marathons, two Ragnar Relays, two Arnold Pump & Runs and numerous 5K’s. Beverly supplements have been there every step of the way!
In August of 2013, it was time to switch back to bodybuilding.
I decided to hire Jason Theobald (scoobyprep.com) as my on line trainer. This turned out to be a great decision. While I have learned a great deal about contest prep on my own, having someone to help guide me through the process was well worth the investment. In the remainder of this article I’ll provide you with an outline of just what I did to attain my best ever condition.
Even though I’m always performing some type of exercise year
round, I still find it very difficult to lose body fat. I’m pretty
sure it’s a genetic thing. But I found a solution that you may also find helpful... ALLOW YOURSELF MORE TIME! This time around I started contest prep a full 8 months before my show. My proteins and fats stayed fairly consistent throughout the entire time. Proteins ranged from 170-200 grams per day and fats from 35-55 grams. One major difference this year was how I cycled my carbs. Training days were moderate carbs, non training days were low carbs and then leg day was my one high carb day for the week. My carb intake gradually decreased as the show got nearer. I also started to slightly decrease my protein and fats on the high carb day. Over the final 13 weeks, I had no cheat meals. My carb intake was limited to first thing in the morning and before/after my workouts.
Here are samples of my actual meal plans at 4 months out and again at 1 month out.
Typical Meal Plan – 4 months out
Meal 1: 1.5 scoops UMP; 2/3 cup oatmeal, 6
Meal 2: 8 egg whites, 1 whole egg
Meal 3: 5-oz. chicken thighs; salad or veggies w/
1 tbsp each oil and vinegar
In addition to allowing yourself adequate time to get into your best possible condition, another important factor to consider is meal planning. My wife and I are good at splitting up our to-do list. Since I actually enjoy grocery shopping and preparing our meals, I always use the weekends to prepare all of our meals for the upcoming week. This consists of cooking six dozen eggs, chopping all of the veggies to prepare 14 salads and stir frying 7 lbs of lean meat. This helps minimize stress during my work week and allows me to focus on my workouts and cardio.
Carrot Cake Recipe
1 cup liquid egg whites
1 cup carrots (blended with 4-oz. water until liquefied,
or use baby food carrots)
2 scoops UMP vanilla
2 scoops Muscle Provider vanilla (or just add
another 2 scoops of UMP)
1 cup oat flour (or grind 1 cup of oats in Magic Bullet
or food processor until flour consistency)
2 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp baking soda
¼ cup Stevia
1/8 tsp Nutmeg
Pre-Heat oven to 350 degrees
Mix wet ingredients with dry in large bowl
Pour into a sprayed 8x8 glass dish
Bake 25-30 minutes
Makes 4 servings – 30g protein, 25g carbs and
Year round: UMP, Muscle Provider, GH Factor, Lean Out, and Joint Care. I take UMP and Muscle Provider pre and post workout, or whenever I need a fast portable meal. I take six GH Factor, three Lean Out, three 7-Keto and three Joint Care the first thing each morning. These are the supplements that keep me focused and healthy enough to maximize my workouts and remain injury free.
During Contest preparation, I add the following:
Pre Workout/Cardio: three Energy Reserve, three Lean Out, three 7-Keto and
six Muscle Synergy
During Workout: 12 Muscle Mass
Post Workout: two scoops Glutamine Select, one scoop Creatine Select and 6
Beverly supplements are the best – you get what you pay for. It’s that simple!
After 35 years of weightlifting, I’ve been through enough trial and error to have found the workouts that work best for me. However, I still try to keep an open mind to new exercises, techniques and methods. I always try to bring intensity to the gym and a focus to always improve. One thing I learned along the way is if something hurts during your workout; always ice it as soon as you can. Then when all feels good again KEEP ICING IT. Continuing to ice it, even after it no longer hurts, may prevent it from becoming a chronic issue and will improve your chances that it doesn’t get worse.
A typical training week would go like this:
The program I used consisted of 3 different sets and reps schemes. The first week I would do 5 sets of each exercise starting with a weight I could do for 20 reps. Each set I’d add weight and drop the reps. By the 5th set I was using a weight that I could do for just 5 reps.
The next week (workouts 5-8), I did 4 sets per exercise using a 15 rep to 6 rep range. The final week (workouts 9-12), I dropped to 3 sets per exercise and a 12 rep to 8 rep range. After that I started over the next week with 5 sets.
Here’s a summary:
Week 1: 5 sets, 20 rep to 5 rep range
Week 2: 4 sets, 15 rep to 6 rep range
Week 3: 3 sets, 12 rep to 8 rep range
Something I included this year that really helped my muscles peak was adding a drop set at the end of my final set. For example, if I was doing lat pull downs for 5 sets I would start at 20 reps and increase weight each set ending my 5th set at 5 reps. Then with no rest I would immediately decrease the weight and try to squeeze out another 6-10 reps with the lower weight.
Barbell Bent Over Rows
Low Hammer Rows
Close Grip Pull-Downs
Cable Rows superset Shrugs
Dumbbell Preacher Curls
Seated Hammer Curls (back supported)
Curl Machine superset Hammer Curls
Incline Dumbbell Press
Decline Hammer Press
Low Incline Flyes
Lying Dumbbell Triceps Extension
Close-Grip Bench Press
Barbell Military Press
Dumbbell Lat Raise superset
Incline Rear Delt Laterals
Shoulder-Width Barbell Squats
Hack Squats superset Leg Press
Seated Leg Curls
It is a good thing I enjoy running and cardio because my body type requires a lot of it to achieve peak condition. As the show approached, Jason gradually increased both my cardio frequency and the amount of time at each session.
4 months out
3 days at 30 minutes on incline treadmill
1 day of HIIT for 20 minutes
1 month out
5 days at 60 minutes on the treadmill
2 days of HIIT for 30 minutes
The treadmill work was always completed first thing in the morning and the HIIT was usually following a weight workout.
I take pride in making sure I have a good posing routine prepared. At 2-3 months out, I have already decided on a song and most of the poses. Then it is just a matter of getting my timing down, deciding how long to hold each pose, and the best way to transition from one pose to the next. I like Christian rock and try to select a song with a positive message and some good drum beats. Whatever type of music you like, make sure you like the song and it is not something you will get tired of listening to when you hear it 100+ times while you practice.
While I like to work on my routine, I do have trouble motivating myself to work on my mandatory posing. I finally fixed this by making sure 20 minutes before my last meal of the day I would start my posing practice. I would alternate between mandatories one day and my routine the next. My posing coach (a.k.a my very understanding wife, Melissa) would call out the turns for me and have me hold each pose for 15-30 seconds. We would simulate the actual show and use the same order of the poses the first couple of times through. Then she would mix them up on me for a few more poses to make sure I was paying attention. This was very beneficial come show day. It made the prejudging seem like just another practice. I can’t thank Melissa enough for all of her help and support with my show prep.
Training for a bodybuilding show and marathon both requires a plan, focus and discipline. The main difference is that bodybuilding is a 24 hour / 7 days a week sport. Everything you do at anytime will have an impact on how you look on the day of the show. My main objective this year was to allow myself enough time to attain my best possible condition while staying focused on my meal plan and workout plan. On the day of the show, as I took some morning pictures I knew I had already secured the victory of being in the best shape of my life. The icing on the cake was my 8 month focus was rewarded again later that day with a 1st Place in the Masters 40+ at the Sun Valley Natural!
In conclusion, I would like to take a moment and thank God and my wonderful wife, Melissa. I would also like to thank Jason for his nutrition and training advice along the way. Finally, for the past 15 years Roger and Sandy have made me feel a part of the Beverly family. For however much longer I am blessed with the ability to run and lift, I will continue to let everyone know that Beverly is simply the best in the business.
Feel free to email me with any questions: irontad[at]yahoo.com