Physique workout pre-contest nutrition plan

gained 10 pounds of muscle

By: Eric Senter
Magazine 21 #1

I grew up playing sports as a kid (football, basketball, and baseball). The desire to become bigger, faster, and stronger fueled me to be the best I could be in any athletic competition and led me to start weight training. I began to train consistently when I was a sophomore in high school and have stuck with it ever since.

I have been training at the same gym, Fenton Powerhouse, for the past 17 years. Last year, I competed for the first time at the NPC Great Lakes Iron man in the Men’s Physique division. I placed 1st Overall True Novice, 1st Overall Novice, 2nd in the Masters, and 3rd in the Open. Just recently I stepped on stage for only the 2nd time at the NPC Michigan State Championships and won the Masters while placing 2nd in the Open division.

After a Lifetime of Lifting My First Year of Competition

I don’t take my initial success lightly. I continue to challenge myself with each workout because I’eve learned that my real competition is against myself. The only thing I can control is how hard I’m willing to work every time I step into the gym. I try to live by the principles of dedication, pride, commitment, and excellence each and every day. In the remainder of this article I am going to present my workout, my pre-contest nutrition plan, and the supplement program that helped me gain 10 pounds of muscle.

Training Schedule

I normally train each bodypart one time per week using 4-5 exercises per muscle group. I do each exercise 4-6 sets doing up to 20-25 reps on some and 8-10 reps on others. I’ll usually incorporate the time under tension (TUT) principle on one exercise per bodypart, and often superset two of the exercises. I try not to pick the same exercises two weeks in a row (ex: if I barbell bench press this week, I will use dumbbells the following week), and I never use the same order (ex: if I bench press first this week, I will do it last next week).

Of course my schedule can vary at any time,
but for the most part this is what a typical week looks like:
Monday: Back
Pull-ups sets 5 x 10 reps
Reverse Lat Pulldowns 5 x 25
Bentover Barbell Rows TUT* 5 x 12
T-Bar Row 6 x 8
Lat Pulldown 5 x 10 superset with Close Grip Chin Assisted Pull-ups 5 x 10
*TUT: 2 seconds up, hold at top for 1 second, 4-5 seconds down
Tuesday: Biceps/Triceps/Abs
Static Curls 5 x 10 (10 on each alternating holding opposite in a halfway curl position)
EZ Bar sets 4 x 21’s
Straight Barbell Curls 6 x 8 TUT
Spider Curls 4 x 15
EZ Bar Overhead Extensions 5 x 10
EZ Bar Skull Crushers 4 x 21’s
Single Cable Kickbacks TUT 6 x 8
V-Bar Pushdowns 4 x 15
Ball Crunches with 10lb plate behind head 3 x 20
Oblique Cable Twists 3 x 20
Hanging Leg Raises 3 x 20
Lying Bicycle Crunches 3 x 20
Wednesday: Shoulders/Traps
Front Dumbbell Statics 5 x 10 (hold one dumbbell out while raising the other)
Lateral Raises sets 4 x 20 reps
Military Press TUT 6 x 8
Machine Rear Delt 7 x 10 (30 second rest between sets)
Upright Row 4 x 12
Barbell Shrug TUT 6 x 10
Smith Machine Reverse Barbell Shrug 6 x 12
Thursday: Lower Back/Calves/Abs
Deadlift sets 6 x 8 reps
Hyperextension 5 x 20
Standing Calf Raise (2 toes forward, 2 toes out, 2 toes in) 6 x 20
Seated Calf Raise 6 x 8
Decline Sit-ups TUT 3 x 20
Stick Twists 3 x 100
Machine Crunches 3 x 20
Dumbbell Oblique Raises 3 x 20 on each side
Friday: Legs
Hack Squat 5 x 20 (10 wide/10 close stance)
Leg Curl TUT 5 x 6 (1/3, 1/2, Full) = 18 reps
Squat 5 x 8 superset with Lunges 5 x 10 on each leg
Leg Press 7 x 10 (30 sec rest between sets)
Saturday: Chest/Abs
**Superset each chest exercise with pushups
Incline Barbell Press TUT 4 x 12 / 25 Push-ups
Barbell Bench Press 8 x 8 / 20 push-ups
Wide Chest Machine Flye 4 x 15 / 15 push-ups
Low Cross Cable Raise 4 x 10 / push-ups to failure
Ab Roller 3 x 25
Alternate Heel Touches 3 x 20
Planks 3 x 25
Hanging Oblique Rockers 3 x 40
Sunday: Calves
Seated Calf Extension 6 x 20 (vary foot placement)
Standing Machine Calf Raises TUT 6 x 8
(*TUT = time under tension)
Eric Senter front stance

Cardio Schedule

One of the reasons that I stay near contest weight year round is that I really don’t like cardio. When a contest is approaching I do include 20 minutes, 2 or 3 days a week on the Stair Stepper or walking at a high incline on the Treadmill.

Eric back development
Eric displaying his Back development

My Diet Plan

I run a high/low diet (when I run high fats I go low carbs and vice versa). There is really not that big of a difference between my offseason and precontest diets. I prefer to stay fairly lean year round and rarely go more than 15 pounds above my contest weight. In the off season, I include more fats (especially peanut butter) and carb up more frequently (once every 3 days). I also have a cheat meal once a week when I’m not prepping for a show. I start my show diet 8 weeks out from the contest.

Low Carb Days
( Days 1-4 )
Meal 1 (6:00 am)
4 oz. beef sirloin (93%), 1 whole egg, 6 egg whites
Meal 2 (9:00 am)
8 oz. chicken breast, 12 almonds, 3 cup baby spinach, 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
Meal 3 (12:00 pm)
8 oz. chicken breast, 12 almonds, 3 cumps baby spinach, 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
Meal 4 (3:00 pm)
8 oz. chicken breast, 12 almonds, 3 cup baby spinach, 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
Meal 5 (6:00 pm)
8 oz. salmon, 1 cup asparagus
Meal 6 (9:00 pm)
1 whole egg, 6 egg whites
High Carb Day
( Day 5 )
Meal 1 (6:00 am)
5 oz. extra lean turkey (99%), 6 egg whites, 1 cup oatmeal
Meal 2 (9:00 am)
6 oz. chicken breast, 1/3 cup brown rice, 1 cup broccoli
Meal 3 (12:00 pm)
6 oz. chicken breast, 1/3 cup brown rice, 1 cup broccoli
Meal 4 (3:00 pm)
6 oz. chicken breast, 1/3 cup brown rice, 1 cup broccoli
Meal 5 (6:00 pm)
8 oz. cod, 1 cup broccoli, 8 oz. sweet potato
Meal 6 (9:00 pm)
5 oz. extra lean turkey (99%), 6 egg whites, 1 cup oatmeal


I firmly believe that Beverly International products have helped with my success. I have always had a really fast metabolism and a hard time adding muscular size. My friend, Steve Robinson, an all-natural bodybuilder who has been competing for a long time, suggested I try adding BI supplements into my nutrition program. He uses them himself and suggested a specific protocol to add muscle. I went “all in” taking Mass Aminos, Ultra 40, Creatine Select, Muscle Mass, Muscle Provider and UMP. The results were spectacular, in a year’s time I’ve added ten pounds of muscle to my competition weight. At 8 weeks out I add Density, Muscularity, Glutamine Select, Quadracarn, Lean Out and 7-Keto MuscLean in order to hold all of this hard earned muscle while I diet down for competition.

Eric Senter at a Glance:
Age: 39
Education: BA, Eastern Michigan University; MA, Marygrove College; Post Grad, Loyola Marymount University
Occupation: Teacher/Personal Trainer
Family: Married to Katie Senter
Current Residence: Linden, Michigan
Years Training: 23
Height: 5′11″; Weight: 195-200 (Off Season); 178-182 pounds(Contest)
Healthy Meal: Eggs with beef sirloin and oatmeal with chocolate UMP (tastes like chocolate no-bake cookies).
Music: At heart, I’m a country guy; however, I enjoy listening to all types of music as long as I can understand the words.
Most Inspiring Book: Coach Wooden One-On-One. I love this book because I coached varsity basketball and baseball for a number of years. John Wooden talks about doing things with purpose and passion. I’ve done my best to apply these principles to my training and lifestyle. Every time I step into the gym, I remind myself to train with a purpose and to be excited about being there.
Hobby or interest outside of bodybuilding: Fantasy Football (it’s addicting).
Words to live by:
“Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome.” – Booker T. Washington

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