Since the age of 14, training with weights has brought me tremendous satisfaction over the years. The physical benefits are evident, but the time I’ve spent with weights has been just as productive mentally. Over the last 38 years, training with weights has been my companion as I’ve challenged my mind earning multiple degrees in the field of music, and later, a degree in exercise science. The traits of consistency, patience, and perseverance that are key to success in bodybuilding are also keys to succeeding in life.
The great old-school bodybuilder and former Mr. Universe, Dave Draper, has had a profound influence on my approach to bodybuilding. He is an extremely entertaining writer and I highly recommend his Brother Iron, Sister Steel book. Those of you who are familiar with his style will acknowledge that he is strictly no-nonsense, very thoughtful and witty with words, and not swayed by fitness trends. I try to emulate his approach to my work and in my own training.
Here is some advice I can offer:
If you keep this up for several years, there will come a time when people will start noticing you – in a good way. Always have a smile and positive demeanor.
- My diets come from the Beverly International Pre Contest Bodybuilding Workshop Manual – Diet and Supplements section. One of my favorite off-season diets is:
- PHASE 1 GAIN MUSCLE / LOSE FAT NUTRITION PLAN (A):
- Meal #1: 2 whole eggs + 4 egg whites; 6 oz. very lean meat; ½ cup oatmeal
- Meal #2 (Choose one option):
- Option A: Protein Drink with two scoops Ultimate Muscle Protein; two tbsp healthy fat source (olive oil, flax oil, almond butter) or heavy cream
- Option B: 8 oz. lean beef or chicken or 2 cans tuna, one small apple or orange
- Meal #3: 8 oz. lean meat (chicken or other lean protein source); 6 oz. sweet potato or 2/3 cup cooked brown rice; 2 cups vegetables (broccoli, etc.) or green salad with 4 tbsp vinegar and oil dressing
- Meal #4: (same options as meal #2)
- Meal #5: 10 oz. very lean meat (chicken breast, fish, turkey breast, lean beef – sirloin, filet, etc.); 2 cups vegetables; salad with 2 tbsp vinegar and oil dressing
- Meal #6:
- Option A: Protein Shake or Pudding: 2 Scoops Ultimate Muscle Protein, add enough water to make a shake or pudding the consistency you desire
- Option B: 8 egg whites + 2 whole eggs or 6 oz. beef; 1-2 cup vegetables
- When I am preparing for a contest, I like to follow Beverly’s:
- PHASE 3 CONTEST PEAKING NUTRITION PLAN (3-A):
- Meal #1: 5 oz. lean beef or turkey, 6 egg whites, 1 whole egg, ½ grapefruit
- Meal #2:
- Option A: Protein Drink: 2 scoops Ultimate Muscle Protein, 1 tbsp healthy fat or heavy cream, 4 strawberries (optional), 16 oz. water
- Option B: 6 oz. can tuna or 5 oz. chicken, 3 egg whites, 1 whole egg, 1 tomato Meal #3: 8 oz. chicken (weighed prior to cooking), 4 cups salad (lettuce, tomato, carrot, cucumber, green peppers, etc.) 2 tbsp cider vinegar and 1 tbsp olive oil (or other vegetable oil) for a dressing
- Meal #4:
- Option A: 6 oz. can tuna or 5 oz. chicken, 3 egg whites, 1 whole egg, 1 tomato
- Option B: Protein Drink: 2 scoops Muscle Provider, 12 oz. water (if post training), or 2 scoops Ultimate Muscle Protein
- Meal #5: 8 oz. lean meat (chicken, turkey, fish or 93% lean beef, etc.), 2 cups vegetables Monday and Thursday: Add a 6th meal: 1.5 cups oatmeal (precooked) or cooked rice, 10 oz. sweet potato, 4 oz. banana, 1 cup vegetables, 1 tbsp butter, almond butter or oil at the end of the day.
Ultimate Muscle Protein (UMP) – I like to stick to the basics with supplements. Being a personal trainer and art model with a tight schedule often means that I rely quite heavily on Beverly’s UMP. It’s a great on-the-go choice for the times when I can’t prepare a meal and I find it works well to sip on during workouts.
Muscle Synergy powder is my all-time favorite. I mainly like it for its arginine ingredient which helps increase blood flow. It also helps with sexual performance and maximizes the pump when taken about 30 minutes prior to a workout.
I use Glutamine Select morning and night to help with recovery. There is never a time when I’m not sore somewhere and Glutamine Select helps keep me anabolic.
In order to make sure I always have the full spectrum of amino acids in my body throughout the day, I use Mass Aminos and Ultra 40’s religiously. Follow the recommendations on the side label to dose the right amount throughout the day. One interesting Beverly supplement for men my age is Quadracarn. This product takes a few days to build up in your system. I take six per day and have noticed overall benefits in energy and general anti-aging effects. As I come closer to competition, about 8 weeks out, I make some additions to my supplements with Density, Lean Out, and 7-Keto MuscLean, all taken according to their side panel instructions.
Instead of using a treadmill, elliptical, cycle, or other piece of cardio equipment, I opt instead for an hour-long R.I.P.P.E.D. class three days per week at my local YMCA. I am also one of the instructors for this class. The acronym stands for Resistance Interval Power Plyometrics Endurance and Diet. This class can get your heart rate up to 80% max multiple times. You will not be able to talk during many moments of the class if you are doing it right.