I was lucky enough to win my very first bodybuilding contest, the Midwest Open, held in Merrillville, Indiana. Although I was very happy with my victory, it was definitely a struggle both mentally and physically. I started dieting for the show in respectable condition but by the time I stepped on stage I had lost more than 30 pounds, a lot of it lean muscle mass. I vowed that despite my fast metabolism and physically demanding job, I would find a way to hold on to more of my hard-earned muscle the next time that I competed.
After that contest, I ate fairly well for about three months. Then, I set my sights on the 1999 NPC Indiana State show. The first thing that I did differently this time was to contact Ed Cobb for help with my diet. Ed is a friend of mine who has both knowledge and experience in helping competitors
dial in for their show.
Ed and I discussed my goal of retaining more muscle through the dieting phase and then he devised a nutrition plan that emphasized specific Beverly International Supplements. Ed explained to me that using Beverly supplements would allow me to come in to the show ten pounds heavier, harder and leaner than before. He then gave me the details as to how Beverly supplements work during dieting (as well as in the off season) to maintain hard-earned muscle mass. Ed assured me that by following the diet and supplement program I wouldn’t have to struggle so hard to get into contest condition and I’d end up at least ten pounds heavier.
It wasn’t long before I saw why Ed was so insistent on using Beverly supplements. I was amazed at my energy levels. My previous contest preparation had left me “half dead”. Now, and Ed said it was the Ultra 40’s, I felt great with no dip in my energy whatever.
Each month, Ed met with me to discuss how I was feeling as well as my training progress. Soon Ed had me consuming 4200 calories just before beginning final preparations for the upcoming show. I had never been able to eat that many calories, even from clean foods and stay within ten percent bodyfat. But, with Ed’s diet and the Beverly supplement program I continued to stay lean. Ed’s plan was working perfectly.
With less than twelve weeks left before the Indiana State show, Ed thought it would be a good idea to enter the Indianapolis show as a warm–up. Some warm–up, the Indianapolis is one of best and most competitive shows I’ve seen in this area. Nevertheless, I began to mentally prepare myself for it.
The Indianapolis approached very quickly. The night before the show, I was very pleased with my condition. I was 4.9% body fat and eleven pounds heavier than the previous year. I was fuller, harder and leaner. I was ready to do battle, or so I thought.
After the pre–judging, Ed took me to meet Roger from Beverly. I asked him what I could do and he suggested that I go back to the hotel and shower off the bad tanning job and reapply one of their products. Once again Beverly came through for me. This was just the right advice.
When I came back for the evening show, all were amazed at the condition I was in. With my new tan and positive attitude, I was ready to go at it once again. But unfortunately, after calling out the top five for a second grueling round of mandatory poses, I was awarded third place. I was disappointed, but I realized that you can’t punish the competitors who didn’t make any mistakes during the pre–judging and award me with a place I did not deserve because of my mistake.
With just three weeks to go until the Indiana State, I was more fired up than ever to do what I should have done at the Indy. Ed increased my protein calories for the next two weeks – I was taking an added Muscle Provider drink at the end of each of my food meals, and I weighed in at the show three pounds heavier than at the Indy looking harder and even more cut. Ed and Roger weren’t kidding when they said if you eat correctly after a show, you can increase your muscle while becoming leaner. When the night finally came, it all paid off. I won first place in the open light–heavyweight class – a full fourteen pounds heavier than I had competed the year before!
I want to say thanks to Ed and Roger at Beverly for all of their help and encouragement. They kept me positive through all of the discouraging times. I will never be convinced to follow anyone else’s advice from here on. I was fortunate to find excellent help early in my bodybuilding career. Beverly put me on the right track from the start.
I also need to thank my girlfriend Carissa. She has been the backbone of my life through all of this. I want her to know how much her support really means to me. You don’t realize how much you really need someone until you can sit back and finally start thinking about others instead of yourself. That is what happens in this sport. We become so consumed with ourselves and sometimes take for granted the people that help us. Thanks also to anyone else I may have forgotten. 1999 Light–heavyweight Indiana State class winner and firm believer in Beverly International – Chris Oman.
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