One year ago the thought of training for and winning a contest was the farthest thing from Gary Hagl’s mind. In fact, he would have been happy to just eat a conventional bodybuilding meal without doubling over with abdominal cramps.Gary Hagl experienced the biggest thrill of his 32 year life when he won his class at the NPC Drug Free Mideast Championships. Two weeks later he topped it – a win at the Indianapolis, one of the toughest NPC national qualifiers in the midwest.
But, just one year earlier the thought of winning a contest was the farthest thing from his mind. In fact, he would have been happy to just eat a conventional bodybuilding meal without doubling over with abdominal cramps.
I’d known Gary as an acquaintance and saw him from time to time when he accompanied other aspiring bodybuilders to the Beverly Center. But, it wasn’t until he’d exhausted all other avenues – not in his quest of a bodybuilding title, but just to get his health back on track that he became a Beverly client.
Starting in January, 2000 Gary started experiencing severe abdominal cramping everytime he drank a protein drink. Soon the discomfort came whenever he ate anything resembling a bodybuilding meal. He went from doctor to doctor trying to find the cause. The diagnosis was always – “we can’t really see any disorder.”
That’s when he requested our help. One day Gary came in and asked, “Have you ever seen this with any of the other guys you work with?” I answered his question with a number of questions of my own relative to his food intake and supplements. I found Gary was eating pretty much along the lines of what most bodybuilders eat, drinking a number of caffeinated beverages, and using a single species whey protein concentrate for a large portion of his protein intake. I asked him to go home and check out the whey product he was taking and let me know what was in it. He was shocked to find that one of the ingredients in his bargain whey protein supplement was wood resin. So the inherent high lactose content was bad enough, but wood resin?
It appeared to me that Gary was suffering from an acquired food allergy. He’d have to make some dietary changes. We recommended Beverly Multiple Enzymes with each meal and a switch to Muscle Provider for his protein supplement. We also cautioned Gary about the high amount of caffeinated beverages he was drinking each day.
Gary began to improve. Slowly at first, then more rapidly. Finally, he deemed himself ready to pursue a contest nutritional program.
Phase One – Gaining Muscle and Losing fat
Gary’s first nutritional program was designed to cut his bodyfat down to the 5-6% range. Progress was a little slow at first and I had to do some probing. I found he’d follow his diet fine during the day but he’d get up in the middle of the night and satisfy his sugar cravings. This in turn, would keep his body from using stored fat as his primary food source and cause blood sugar swings during the day.
Once he learned the damage these late night binges were causing he corrected them and great things began to happen. Each time he came in for a body composition analysis a new spark was fired. His metabolism was turning around and all of a sudden he was becoming an eating machine. Every time his body fat dropped a percentage point we increased his calories. The calories kept creeping up and up while his body fat continued to drop.
Just six months earlier Gary was unable to eat one meal without doubling over in pain, now he was an eating machine – building muscle and burning fat.
- Gary’s Gain Muscle – Lose Fat Diet: Meal #1
- 2 whole eggs + 4 egg whites
- 8 oz. 93% lean beef
- 1-cup oatmeal before cooking
- 1 tbsp Flax Oil
- Meal #2
- Ultra Size – Cottage Cheese Pudding (see below)
- 6 oz. chicken breast and 1 cup cottage cheese or 6 oz. beef, 1 apple
- Meal #3
- 10 oz. chicken (before cooking)
- 8 oz. sweet potato or ½ cup cooked brown rice
- 2 cups vegetables (broccoli, etc.) or salad with 2 tbsp Low Cal Dressing
- Meal #4
- Ultra Size – Cottage Cheese Pudding (see below)
- Protein Drink: 3 Scoops Ultra Size, 6 tbsp whipping cream (3 oz.), and 18-oz water
- Meal #5
- 10 oz. 93% lean beef, chicken, turkey, fish, or sirloin steak
- 2 cups vegetables
- 1 tbsp Flax Oil
- Meal #6 2 whole eggs + 4 egg whites, 8 oz. 93% lean
Phase 2 – Time for a ContestNow, with stomach problems a thing of the past, he decided to get started toward a dream that had followed him for the past 13 years. It was now or never. One day he came in and said, “Let’s start a contest preparation phase and see what happens.”
Gary’d been athletic all his life with exceptional prowess in soccer and on the baseball field. But, the bodybuilding mags kept taunting him, images of what could be burned in his mind and heart.. At 19 he joined Gold’s. From then on bodybuilding took precedence.
Gary trained intensely and ate like a typical bodybuilder. He supported a lot of buddies while they prepared for contests while he kept his own training vigil. He paid attention to his nutrition, made sure he consumed enough protein but just did not realize what QUALITY nutritional supplements could do for him. Now, nutrition became his prime focus. Where in the past he thought all supplements were pretty much equal, he now used Beverly supplements in a targeted method that allowed him to lose fat, and retain lean muscle.
From January to mid March he’d gained 7 lbs lean mass while keeping in bodyfat in the low 5′s. Even Roger and I were skeptical. It turned out Gary had upped his Ultra 40 to 6 per meal and started taking 30 Muscle mass BCAA’s at every workout. He also started training each bodypart twice per week using supersets and lowering his reps while continuing to add weights to the bar.
Training split: Monday/Thursday: Chest & Shoulders; Tuesday/Friday: Back, Biceps & Triceps; Wednesday: Legs. Each bodypart was worked with 3 – 4 exercises. Always 4 sets each. Weight increased each set. Reps were usually in the 6 – 12 range.
Everything was on track with 5 weeks to go and uh oh... a set back – an injured achilles tendon. No cardio – no legs and very minimal upper body training. If this had happened to most people they would have given up completely. Not Gary. He watched his diet closely and supplemented wisely. Gary continued to take the supplements critical to lean mass acquisition and retention – 5 Mass Amino’s, 6 Ultra 40, 2 Lean Out per meal. Two weeks later, he was able to train again full bore with no loss in lean mass or bodyfat increase.
Three weeks later Gary entered and won his class at the NPC Drug Free Mid Eastern States Championship. Elated and thrilled but not satisfied, he knew he could still be better. Now he set his sights on the Indianapolis, a very tough NPC national qualifier.
Gary’s credo was, “Take it to a new level.” “Challenge your body.” “See just what I can achieve.” And that’s just what he did. He knew his ab structure was such that he needed more development and refinement. Well, if it could be done, Gary’d do it. He worked so hard that one day when I saw him his lower back looked like someone had beat it black and blue. “No, it’s just where I rubbed all the skin off doing crunches.”
- Here’s a sample of his one hour / 7 day a week ab torture session:
- Tri set: lying cable knee ins 15 sets (that’s sets, not reps!)
- Hanging leg raises- 15 sets
- Medicine ball to…annihalation – ( defined as a partner throws the 12 pound ball onto your ab muscle as you sit up take the hit)
We cut most of the fat from Gary’s already strict diet. Muscle Provider, egg whites, chicken and turkey breast became his only proteins. And oh how the change came on!! His legs looked like road maps with 3d valleys and peaks.
It’s amazing. As Gary’s condition improved from good to fabulous people started coming out of the woodwork (or should I say “wood resin”) to give him advice. But Gary’s mind was made up. He’d come this far with Beverly and there was no way he was going to change anything we told him. He came to the Indy in fantastic shape from head to toe. Weighed in 2 1⁄2 pounds lighter than at the Mid East, snacked on Ultra Goo with M&M’s prior to pumping up, walked on stage and took home the first place trophy in a class of nine guys all vying for NPC national qualification. Gary even held his own in the posedown which included the eventual winner, Mark Perry. (Read Mark’s story)
Gary said that his 18 months on the Beverly program transformed his life. He can now take the lessons he’s learned in bodybuilding and apply them to all areas of his life. The two most important lessons: set goals and achieve them through the application of self discipline.
He’s currently getting ready for another round of contests this year while he plans his new personal training gym. He wants to help others achieve their dreams and extend his Beverly knowledge to his clients.
Here is a recipe that Gary used in his contest preparation:
Ultra Goo – Contest Pump Up:
2 scoops Ultra Size, 2 scoops Peanut Butter, 2 scoops Honey, 2 scoops M&M’s. Mix together in a tupperware bowl and eat 1 tablespoon full every 20 minutes from 3 hours prior to stepping onsatge until competition. [more recipes bevnut.com/recipes/]
Gary Hagl’s Training Split
Monday & Thursday: Chest & Shoulders:
Incline DB Press: 90 x 8-10; 95 x 6-8; 95x 6-8; 95 x 6-8 Flat Flyes: 60 x 10-12; 70 x 8-10; 80 x 8-10; 90 x 6-8 Flat DB Press: 90 x 8-10; 95 x 6-8; 100 x 4-6; 100 x 4-6 Cable Crossovers: 90 x 10-15; 100 x 10-15; 100 x 10-15; 100 x 10-15
DB Shoulder Press: 70 x 10-12; 80 x 8-10; 80 x 8-10; 80 x 6-8 Side Lateral Raise: 40 x 8-10; 40 x 8-10; 40 x 8-10; 50 x 6-8 Machine Shoulder Press: 100 x 8-10; 110 x 8-10; 120 x 6-8; 120 x 6-8 DB Shrugs: 110 x 10-12; 120 x 10-12; 130 x 8-10; 140 x 8-10
Tuesday & Friday: Back, Biceps & Triceps:
Parallel Grip Pulldown to Front: 220 x 12; 230 x 10; 240 x 8; 250 x 6-8 Wide Pulldowns Behind Neck: 160 x 12; 170 x 10; 180 x 8-10; 180 x 8-10 Machine Rows: 100 x 12; 110 x 10-12; 120 x 10; 130 x 8-10. DB Curls: 50 x 8-10; 50 x 8-10; 55 x 6-8; 55 x 6-8 Preacher Curls (Close Grip): 80 x 8-10; 90 x 8-10; 100 x 6-8; 110 x 6-8 Preacher Curls (Wide Grip): 50 x 8-10; 50 x 8-10; 60 x 6-8; 60 x 6-8 Triceps Pushdown (On Crossover): 160 x 10-12; 180 x 10-12; 200 x 8-10; 210 x 8-10 Machine Dips: 140 x 10-12; 160 x 10-12; 180 x 8-10; 200 x 8-10 Rope Pushdowns (Lat Machine): 40 x 10-12; 40 x 10-12; 40 x 10-12; 40 x 10-12
Leg Press w/ feet together: 700 x 10-12; 800 x 10-12; 900 x 8-10; 1000 x 6-8 Leg Press w/ toes out and feet apart: 600 x 8-10; 600 x 8-10; 600 x 8-10; 600 x 8-10 Leg Extension: 130 x 10-12; then 3 sets with 140 for 8-10 reps Leg Curl: 140 x 10-12; 150 x 10-12; 160 x 8-10; 170 x 8-10 Seated Leg Curl: 140 x 10-12; 160 x 8-10; 180 x 8-10; 180 x 8-10 Standing Leg Curl: 90 x 10-12; 100 x 10-12; 110 x 10-12; 110 x 10-12
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