Truly, the last three years has been a fantastic and surprising journey! After twelve years of working out I thought I would try my hand at a physique competition. Since my first contest in November of 2012, I’ve had quite a few successes sprinkled with some setbacks. I’ve competed in six contests. I placed first or second in all but one including two overalls for my age group. In this article I’d like to share with you what has worked for me. (Editor’s note: Mark did such a great job in answering our pre article questionnaire that we decided to present the rest of his article in its original form).
Did you have a problem that other readers can relate to? When I started down this competition road, I was a bit older than the average competitor (50 years young!) which made building muscle mass a real challenge.
Tell why you could not solve it previously.
Before being introduced to BI products, I was not following a supplement plan or a competition diet. Brian Wiefering (Wiefit.com) taught me the quality and importance of Beverly International products and how they work together to get the results desired.
Tell what you did to solve the problem. The training and nutrition program developed specifically for me by Brian Wiefering (Wiefit.com) including my arsenal of BeverlyInternational (BI) products including UMP, Muscle Provider andthe BCAA’s in the Muscularity helped me build and maintainmuscle mass. Four weeks after starting the diet and BI supplementprogram designed by Brian, I had already dropped from 15% body-fat to 10.9 percent. By competition time I had dropped to 3.9% while still retaining all the lean muscle mass I produced during myoff-season training.
Can you describe your meal plan in detail? Meal Plan: Days 1-9 Low Carb/higher fat:1st thing in the morning upon awakening: 25 oz. of water mixedwith 1 scoop Beverly Glutamine Select and ½ scoop BI MuscleProvider to help quickly hydrate and fill muscles and stop catabolicmode from 8 hours of no food or fluids. Take with 6 GHFactor and 2 Fast-Up.
Meal Plan low carb
Meal Plan: Days 1-9 Low Carb/higher fat:
1st thing in the morning upon awakening: 25 oz. of water mixedwith 1 scoop Beverly Glutamine Select and ½ scoop BI MuscleProvider to help quickly hydrate and fill muscles and stop catabolicmode from 8 hours of no food or fluids. Take with 6 GH-Factor and 2 Fast-Up.
(Breakfast, 30mins following the my upon awakening supplements): 6 egg whites and 1 whole egg, 1 cup omelet veggies(spinach, broccoli, onion, mushroom, green peppers), ½ tablespoonOlive Oil, 4 Muscularity, 3 Ultra 40’s, 2 Fit Tabs.
(Mid-morning) 1 can tuna (5 oz.) or tilapia or 5 oz. of whitechicken breast meat, 3 EFA Gold, 4 Muscularity, 3 Ultra 40»s.
(Lunch) 5 oz. chicken, 2 servings of spinach, ½ tablespoon oliveoil and 2 tablespoons of vinegar, 4 Muscularity, 3 Ultra 40»s,2 Fast-Ups.
(Mid-afternoon) 5 oz. of white fish (tilapia) or tuna, 3EFA Gold, 4 Muscularity, 3 Ultra 40»s.
(Dinner) 6 oz. 90-95% lean beef (sirloin, flank, etc.), 2 servings spinach, ½ tablespoon of olive oil and 2 tbsp of vinegar, 4 Muscularity, 3 Ultra 40»s, 2 Fit Tabs.
1st thing in the morning upon awakening: 25 oz. of water mixed1st thing in the morning upon awakening: 25 oz. of water mixed with1 scoop Beverly Glutamine Select, 1 scoop Creatine Select, and 1 scoopBeverly Mass Maker Ultra. Take with 6 Beverly GH Factor.
(Breakfast, 30mins following the awakening meal) 5 egg whites, 1cupomelet veggies (spinach, broccoli, mushroom, green peppers), ½ cupoatmeal, ½ cup blueberries (any berry is fine), 4 Muscularity, 2 FitTabs,2 Fast-Ups, 3 Lean Out, 3 Ultra 40’s.
(Mid-morning) 1 scoop Ultimate Muscle Protein (UMP) mixed with coldwater, 1 medium size apple, 3 Muscularity, 3 Ultra 40’s.
(Lunch) 5 oz. of chicken, 2 servings spinach, 2 tablespoons raspberry vinegarette dressing (low fat/fat free)—any fat free, low sugar dressing is fine for now. 1 medium sized apple, ½ sweet potato (4 oz.), 4 Muscularity, 2 Fast-Up, 3 Lean Out, 3 Ultra 40’s.
(Mid-afternoon) 1 scoop Ultimate Muscle Protein with cold water, 1 medium apple, 3 Muscularity, 3 Ultra 40’s.
(Dinner) 5 oz. chicken (or any very lean meat), 2 servings spinach, 2 tbspraspberry vinaigrette dressing (low-fat/fat free)—any fat fee, low sugar dressing is fine for now. 1 cup of strawberries or 3/4 cup of blueberries (add to salad). ½ sweet potato, 4 Muscularity, 2 Fast-Up, 3 Lean Out, 3 Ultra 40’s.
(Evening) 5 egg whites, 1 cup steamed broccoli or any lower glycemic veggie, 3 Muscularity, 3 Ultra 40’s, OR Protein pancake!! 1 scoop Ultimate Muscle Protein, 2 egg whites, 1 tbsp baking powder and enough water to make a pancake batter consistency. Bake in a nonstick pan.
Right before bed:
6 GH Factor. (Keep these on the night stand to take before bed and in themorning FIRST THING!)
After day 10, I would go back to the 9-day plan. I stayed on this planuntil three weeks out from competition. The plan was then changed todays 1-5 low carb and days 6-7 higher carbs. I stayed on this plan until the week prior to the competition.
Start of his program
My job consists of 12 hour swing shifts plus a lot of overtime which in turn zapped any days off, so I didn’t have much time to train, prepare and eat meals, or even attend to life’s other responsibilities. I prepared my meals biweekly, usually Sundays and Wednesdays if my work schedule allowed. I would cook 4lbs of tilapia and 3lbs of chicken at a time storing all in large plastic containers and measuring as I went. I realize it was unconventional but due to my crazy schedule it’s what worked best for me. Anybody who has the desire to compete can find a way to make it happen. He/she has to find what works best for them. There were some days I didn’t leave the gym until after 9:00 pm, by the time I got home, ate, showered, and prepared my meals for the next day; it was time for much needed sleep only to be back up at 4:30am to be ready for the days work load.
Muscularity was taken throughout the day to prevent catabolic (muscle breakdown) mode.
I took Fast-Up in the morning and at lunch to keep fatigue at bay and provide energy and focus.
Fit Tabs were taken (2) each morning and (2) each night. This is a time release formula that provides vitamins and minerals to maintain proper health.
Ultra 40, this was taken at lunch and dinner for its muscle and blood building benefits.
EFA Gold was taken 3 times a day on low carb days to provide essential fatty acids.
Lean Out was taken 3 times a day on high carb days. To decrease fat, increase muscle mass and reduce fatigue.
GH Factor, mostly taken first thing upon awakening for general health and fat loss benefits. This was also taken at night on high carb days.
Glutamine Select and Creatine Select were taken in a pre-breakfast drink, as well as during and after workouts for muscle recovery and muscle fatigue during high intensity workouts.
Ultimate Muscle Protein was taken as a meal replacement and as the last meal of the day in the form of pancakes! (YUM!) You’ll find protein pancake recipes and more at BeverlyInternational.com.
Muscle Provider is a fast digesting whey protein from hydrolysates and isolates which is absorbed quickly into muscles. I used Muscle Provider first thing in the morning, as well as before and after workouts.
Mass Maker Ultra was taken on my High days pre-breakfast, and before and after workouts to aid in weight management and muscle growth.
Muscle Synergy was taken during workouts to encourage muscle size and strength.
What general diet and supplement guidelines would you recommend for the older person who wants to get in shape?
Portion control!! Follow the recommended portion sizes. Eat as clean as possible, the less processed the better for your body and mind! Reduce or eliminate sugar and salt intake. Eat six meals a day. Incorporate the following on a daily basis: 1-1 1⁄2 grams protein per pound of body weight, never more than 2 grams of carbs per pound of body weight, and 1⁄2 gram of healthy fat per pound of body weight (i.e. peanut butter, almonds, olive oil, etc.). Try to get in 30mins of cardio 5 times per week. These simple guidelines will put anybody on a road to good health.. who wouldn’t want that!!s
What type of cardio and training program did you use during your contest preparation? For cardio, Brian recommended 45 minutes, 4 days a week, at a moderate to low intensity. He explained that once you go past 20-30 minutes at a higher intensity your body could begin to eat away lean muscle mass. I didn’t have any extralean muscle to spare so I kept my heart rate between 110-120bpm.
Here’s a summary of my training program.
Day 1: Chest, Triceps, and Abs. (3 different exercises for chest, 3 for tri’s and 2 for abs)
Day 2: Back and Biceps (3 different exercises for back, 3 for biceps)
Day 3: OFF
Day 4: Quads, Calves (seated) and Abs (3 different exercises for quads, 1 for calves, 2 abs)
Day 5: Hamstrings and Calves (standing) (3 different exercises for hamstrings, 1 for calv
Day 6: Shoulders and Traps (1 exercise for front, sides, top and rear, 1 for traps) Day 7: OFF
Week 1: I did 6 sets of 8 reps on all exercises.
Week 2: 4 sets of 25 reps on all exercises.
Week 3: 5 sets of 15 reps on all exercises
After week 3, go back to week 1 and start over. I didn’t list the exact exercises I used because I vary which ones I do for each body part from workout to workout.
Do you have any general suggestions for training and cardio for the over 50 who is starting out or trying to get back in shape? Start out at a slow pace with lighter weights for a couple weeks, then steadily increase intensity and weight as your body allows. Slow gains are the best gains.
Any final words? Preparing for a contest takes a lot of determination, dedication and support from those who love you. They can and will help you through those difficult times that come with the competition life. Remember, it was YOUR choice to travel down this road, so don’t make others suffer because you can’t have that piece of chocolate cake or pizza! Enjoy the ride while you can, life is way too short not to!!
Mark Rhoades at a Glance
Occupation: Chemical Operator for Ashland Specialty Ingredients
Current Residence: Paducah, KY
Years training: Steadily for the last 14 years, but on and off prior to that.