How I added 14 pounds of lean muscle in 16 weeks

By: Mark Perry
Magazine 7 #4

My lean body mass increased 14 lbs. from July 28 to November 16. Just 16 weeks – 14 pounds! Incredible? You better believe it. I competed in the best condition of my life at the NPC JR Nationals (where I missed 1st place by one vote), then attained my best placing ever at the NPC USA at 194 lbs. At the NPC Nationals in November I was in even better condition at 208!

If I had to choose just one Beverly supplement as my favorite it’d be Muscle Provider. For the Nationals I took one scoop with 6 oz water every hour the day before the show. My favorite though is Muscle Provider mixed in my oatmeal.

You know what’s even more remarkable? During this same time period I continued to run two full-time businesses, my home construction business and my gym, Total Fitness in Columbus, Indiana. But that’s not all: I also married my fiancée Amanda (complete with church wedding and reception just three weeks before the Nationals) and we adopted our son, Joey. So you see I didn’t have the luxury of following the training, eating and resting only lifestyle of many who compete at the national level.

For a beginner bodybuilder pound a week gains are not so uncommon. But, because of all my experience – eight years training and competing – I’d reached a point where I thought my days of big gains were a thing of the past. I pretty much accepted the fact that I’d already maxed out my potential for muscular growth and just needed to take my conditioning to a new level.

My first competition was in 1993 and I’ve competed in shows at every level of the NPC including overall wins at the Indiana State Championship and Battle of Champions. My only limitation seemed to be when I entered shows at the National level where a 5th at the JR USA was the best I could manage.

Mark Perry
At 5 weeks out I was already better than I’d been in previous contests. Here I’m guest posing at 213 pounds five weeks out from the Nationals.

Strict adherence

I’d used some Beverly products at different times for past competitions, but never really gave the Beverly supplement program 100% strict adherence. I had never achieved 100% of my potential either. This year I decided to follow every nuance of the Beverly program right down to its finest detail.

I’d already put the Beverly plan into play by keeping my weight and bodyfat percentage lower throughout the previous winter. At 14 weeks out from the JR Nationals, I received my first structured diet plan: 55% carbs, 35% protein, and 10% fat. It was very simple, and easy to stick to. For me simplicity was a key factor, due to my daily schedule.

I’d get up early and by 7:00 a.m. was outside pushing Joey in his stroller for a 20 – 30 minute cardio session. Next I went to the gym for 15 minutes of abs and 15 minutes of posing. Due to the insistence of Amanda, I spent quite a bit more time posing this year than in the past.

Now, with cardio, abs, posing and tanning completed I go to work at my home construction business, building and remodeling houses all day. After working a full day I go back to the gym to train, then take care of gym business for the rest of the evening. After closing the gym, I go home to spend some time with Amanda and cook my meals for the next day.

Diet Adjustments

Every three weeks we’d adjust my diet – lowering the carbs by 50 - 75 grams while increasing total protein for the day by 25 – 30 grams. The diet progressed and the ratio of nutrients slowly reversed so that by five weeks out, I was already better than the previous year’s contest condition. My diet was now structured at 55% protein, 35% carbs and 10% fat.

I found one of the most convenient ways of keeping a busy schedule and staying on my diet was to mix Muscle Provider or Ultra Size with oatmeal. As the ratio changed I just adjusted the quantities of Muscle Provider and oatmeal that I used. It got to the point where I rarely actually drank Muscle Provider or Ultra Size, instead I ate it. This way I could have more satiety and could savor the awesome taste!

Mark at the Nationals
My morning posing sessions paid off. At the Nationals they ran through 36 guys in my class and I had to make sure I was showing them my best physique from all vantage points.

The gains I made this year relying on Beverly products 100% were nothing short of incredible. In my previous competitions I just didn’t realize what a difference Beverly supplements made in my size and condition.

My diet really didn’t get rough until the last 3-4 weeks. The structure and precision of the meal plan made a difference, but I credit the Beverly supplements for the huge difference in my size and conditioning compared to past shows. No matter whether it was protein powder, vitamins, creatine, or aminos, I went 100% Beverly this time. And the results were well worth it.

Supplement Program

At its strictest for the JR Nationals and for the entire 14 weeks leading up to the Nationals my supplement program consisted of:

Vitamins: Super Pak with meal #1
Lean Mass Support:

  • Ultra 40 - 6 with each meal
  • Mass Aminos> – 4 with each meal
  • Muscularity BCAAs – 4 with each meal
Fat Burning:
  • 2 GH Factor, 2 Lean Out and 1 Energy Reserve prior to each meal

Training Recovery:
  • 20 Muscle Mass BCAAs during training
  • 2 Energy Reserve and 6 Muscularity before and after cardio
  • 4 Antioxidants after training

Protein Supplements

  • Primarily Muscle Provider, Mass Maker and Ultra Size

One Point Away

When I arrived in St. Louis for the JR Nationals, I couldn’t have been happier. I was in my best condition ever, with added size and muscle quality. At the weigh-in I received a bit of a shock – 27 in my class! I’d have to be my absolute best if I wanted to stand out and keep from being overlooked. (Remember those early morning posing sessions.) I posed all afternoon Friday and into the night trying to squeeze out that last bit of water for a harder, crisper appearance.

Saturday afternoon my class took the stage and I made the first call out! All the hard work and discipline paid off. To be in a class of 27 guys at the National Level and get called out immediately in the top three was incredible. In the finals I received 4 first place votes eventually missing 1st place by just one point!

A week after the JR Nats I decided, what the heck, I’ll try the USA in Las Vegas. I got back on my diet but was a little bit lost trying to juggle my food intake. This time I wanted to come in at the top of the light heavies. (I really needed to just concentrate on being in my best condition and let my weight take care of itself.) As it turned out the dry desert air did a number on me and I weighed in at 194 and just a little off from my JR National condition. I achieved my highest placing to that point in the USA but knew I could do better. I wasn’t finished yet.

The Road to the Nationals

After the USA I made another call to Beverly and asked Roger what he thought about me continuing on to the Nationals – 14 weeks away. I was surprised at the simplicity of the plan we worked up. We raised the caloric level from the diet cycle for the Juniors by 10% because I was already so lean. Then I basically followed the same diet cycle as before at an increased calorie level. The only other change I made was to maintain the peak level Beverly supplement program throughout the entire 14 weeks, rather than cycling up as I had previously.

I was uncertain as to whether to try to make weight as a light heavy again or come in fuller as a heavyweight. Roger gave me some advice that turned out to be excellent. He said, “Mark, now’s the perfect time to put on some pure muscle. You should just follow the diet, take your Beverly supplement schedule up another notch and see where you end up.” It turned out to be the best advice all right. I went back to a diet very similar to the one I started with in March. But now I was 3% lower body fat and was able to actually add muscle, at the rate of nearly 1 pound per week all the way to the Nationals.

Another shock. At the nationals there were 36 of the best heavyweights in the nation. I started having self-doubts. Only 15 would make it into the finals. Even though I was in the best condition possible for me at this point in time, I was still one of the smaller guys at 208. But, I had already achieved a goal I’d been pursuing for the past three years – to come into a contest as a true heavyweight – in the best condition of my life. As it turned out I did make the finals in the NPC Nationals Heavyweight class. Next year, I’m going for top 5!

Diet at 14 Weeks Out

Here’s the diet I used at 14 weeks out from the JR Nationals. For the Nationals I increased the caloric level by 10% and followed the same basic food plan.

Meal # 1
2 scoops Muscle Provider or 10 egg whites
1 1/3 cups oatmeal (prior to cooking) 
Meal # 2
1 scoop Muscle Provider
5 scoops Mass Maker
16 oz water
Meal # 3
6 ounces lean meat (chicken, turkey or fish weighed prior to cooking)
2 cups cooked rice
1-cup vegetables
Meal # 4
1 scoop Muscle Provider
5 scoops Mass Maker
16 oz water
Meal # 5
6 oz lean meat
10 oz potato
½ cup cooked rice
1-cup vegetables
Meal #6
2 scoops Muscle Provider or 10 egg whites 
1½ cups oatmeal prior to cooking
or
4 scoops Mass Maker
1 scoop Muscle Provider

From 14 weeks out to 5 weeks ... I gradually added protein and reduced carbs until my diet was approximately 55% Protein, 35% Carbohydrate and 10% Fat at 5 weeks out from both the JR Nationals and Nationals. Food portions and caloric values were about 10% higher for the Nationals.

Meal #1
2 scoops Muscle Provider or 10 egg whites
5 oz turkey or chicken breast
¾-cup oatmeal or 1½ serving grits
Meal #2
3 or 4 scoops Muscle Provider + 2 scoops Oatmeal
Meal #3
9 oz lean meat
¾-cup rice or beans or 5 oz red potato or 5 oz sweet potato
1-cup vegetables
Meal #4
3 or 4 scoops Muscle Provider + 2 scoops Oatmeal or Mass Maker
Meal #5
9 oz lean meat
¾-cup rice or beans or 5 oz red potato or 5 oz sweet potato
1-cup vegetables
Meal #6
8 egg whites or 2 scoops Muscle Provider
5 oz turkey or chicken breast
¾-cup oatmeal or 1½ serving grits

Training

With Quads like Mark’s, we thought you might be interested in seeing his leg workout in detail. No Frills or Fancy tips – just Back to Basics hardcore training.

Day 1 – Chest and Triceps
Day 2 Legs

  1. Squats Very Deep on Smith Machine 3-4 sets of 10-15 reps – occasionally as low as 8 repsHack Squats – Feet high/ shoulder width apart 3-4 sets of 10-15 reps
  2. Leg Extension – 3-4 sets of 10-15 reps
  3. Lying Leg Curl – 3-4 sets of 10-15 reps
  4. Walking Lunges – Dumbbells for 26 paces
  5. Stiff-leg Deadlift – 95-125 lbs with straight legs and back arched – stretch and squeeze on every rep. (this is not an ego exercise!)
Day 3 - Back and Biceps
Day 4 - Shoulders

Mark and son Joey
My son Joey was as tired of waiting around at the Jr. Nationals as his Dad.
For cardio, I’d often push Joey in his stroller early mornings.



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