Bodybuilding has been a major part of my life for the past 11 years. Like many of you out there, competition was never far from my thoughts. Yes, I wanted to compete – but not until I felt I was the best I could be. Finally, I said to myself, This is crazy. I just need to get on a good precontest diet and go for it.
1000 bodybuilding magazines
But, there was one problem. What was the perfect precontest diet plan for me? I’d read lots of bodybuilding magazines and books but I knew that many of the training and diet plans were targeted to steroid assisted individuals. Steroids were definitely not part of my plan. So, my quest continued... Next I went to the Internet and suddenly my exhaustive search came to a screeching halt.
Finding Beverly International was like discovering hidden treasure. The website was a virtual goldmine of bodybuilding diet and supplement information. I read of people who got into the best shape of their life with help from Beverly. I knew then there was no need to continue looking for answers elsewhere-I had found what I was seeking. It was like opening a door to a new world of knowledge. I literally spent hours soaking it up like a dry sponge. Once I emerged drenched from this pool of Beverly information I had dove into, I swear I accumulated more knowledge in those few short hours than I had reading 1000’s of bodybuilding magazines over the previous 11 years. I decided to save my impenitence of years wasted for another time and simply rejoice in the fact that I had stumbled upon something that ultimately changed my life...
It may sound like I was totally taken with Beverly right away, right? Not true. I still had my reservations. I mean, how could a bodybuilding supplement company care that much about the people it sells to? (Interestingly, I’ve found Beverly refers to every single customer as a client – not a customer.) I emailed them some questions and they responded quickly and enthusiastically. I found out also that they offer a free service where they can structure a diet based on your individual goals. Well I had plenty of goals, but one I felt they could help me the most with was earning my drug-free pro card. Obviously, though, I needed to get through my first competition. I emailed them and told them of my plans to compete later that year. What I needed now was a good off-season diet to follow until then. Once again the answers came quickly. They responded in detail and structured a specific diet for me to follow. “Wow,” I thought to myself, “this company is different.”
It was less than 8 weeks into my new diet and supplement program when I began hearing those magical words, Hey, Greg, you getting leaner, bigger, or what?– How about both! In fact, I had already gained 7 lbs. of lean muscle! The last time I made gains like these was the very first year I began training– and that would have happened no matter what I ate or took. I was hooked. Lesson learned: gains in bodybuilding are about diet and quality supplements.
I decided it was now time to compete. I chose two drug-free bodybuilding shows held in September; each in Atlanta a week apart. Again I contacted Beverly to help me with a proper pre-contest diet, which they gladly did.
Although I had not personally competed in a bodybuilding show, numerous friends of mine had. What I remembered was their total lack of energy and the “zombie-like” state that seemed to entrance them. I naturally thought I would suffer the same fate on my contest diet, but this was far from the case. To my surprise I felt great (ok... a couple notches below great) the entire time. My amazingly high strength and energy levels I credit entirely to the supplements.
I gained 7 lbs of lean mass my first 8 weeks on the Beverly program. The last time I made gains like this was during my very first year of training. Lesson learned: bodybuilding gains are 85% from diet and quality supplements after the first year.
September came and I placed 2nd in my first show. One week later, I won my class in the Men’s Open. That was all pretty exciting for me, but it actually gets better... fast forward 6 months. I had such a great time and learned so much in those first two shows that I was excited to compete again and prove to myself that I could be even better. Those shows whet my appetite, so to speak, and had me hungry for an overall victory. I decided to compete in another drug-free contest; this time held in Houston, Texas. This particular competition had more at stake than the prior two, as the overall winner would earn his drug free pro-card.. I desperately wanted that pro-card. With Beverly International on my side I knew I was part of a nearly unbeatable team and could make this a reality.
After my last competition I did not go on a binge-eating marathon. I wanted to stay lean in the offseason because I knew it would make my next pre-contest diet a piece of cake (figuratively speaking, of course). That seemed to be the key. At nine weeks out I began the diet. Beverly helped me get a diet together, but because I had kept my bodyfat below 6% after the show, only minor alterations were made to the off-season gaining diet I was following. On Tuesday and Friday only I was to cut out the cream in my shakes and egg yolk with meal 1 (I added 1 TBS flax oil instead), and replace 1 scoop of Ultra Size with 1 scoop of 100% Egg Protein. Additionally, the Ultra-40’s were bumped up from 4 to 6 per meal each day and 25 Mass Aminos were added during training days. When I began incorporating Mass Aminos into my workouts I immediately noticed an enormous difference including bigger pumps, more energy, increased fat loss, improved strength, and increased lean muscle. Beverly was right on the mark when they purported that adding Mass Aminos and Muscle Mass during training would do all of these things! I now use them during every workout – even off-season.
Seven weeks out
Two weeks later at seven weeks out I had my 9-site skinfold measurement taken and had a sum of 33 and a bodyfat reading of 4.9%. I was way ahead of the game with seven weeks to go. Everything was completely on track in my preparation. I had already gained 6 lbs in the four months since my last contest, (a total of 13 lbs since starting with Beverly) and because I had stayed lean and not had to drop my calories much, I felt I could continue gaining lean muscle, even during the pre-contest phase.
From seven to four weeks out the only thing that changed in my entire diet was Tuesdays and Fridays I switched from using Mass Aminos during training to using Muscle Mass in the same quantity. That was it. This was done because the higher BCAA content in Muscle Mass has greater effects on a lower calorie diet.
With only four weeks left to go I had my measurements taken again. My total dropped 3 points to 30 and my bodyfat dropped to 4.5%. Slight adjustments to my diet were made to get me dialed in perfectly for the show.
Here is how my diet looked up to the final week:
Every third day cut out carbs, including Mass Maker.
Add 1 TBS 100% Egg to shakes
Add ½ grapefruit to meals 1 & 6
8 egg whites
6 oz. chicken
2 flax caps
2 scoops Mass Maker
2 scoops Muscle Provider
1 flax cap
10 oz. cod
4 oz. sweet potato
2 flax caps
Same as 2
Same as 3
Same as 1
Superpak with meal 1
4 Mass Aminos, 4 Muscularity, & 8 Ultra 40 per meal
25 Muscle Mass during training
3 Antioxidants during training
2 GH Factor, 2 Lean Out, 2 Energy Reserve 30 minutes prior to each meal
1-Tsp creatine with each meal
3 Bev ZMA before bed
Showtime arrived and I was in the best shape of my life. Everything came together Saturday morning. I was 6 lbs. heavier, leaner, and fuller than I had been for my previous shows. Staying lean in the offseason made all the difference in the world. And opposed to my preparation for last year’s shows, this time I did absolutely no cardio and again took no thermogenics. The GH Factor, Lean Out, and Energy Reserve stack 30 minutes before each meal were all I needed to "stoke the fire." Also, my training regiment remained the same during my pre-contest preparation. I continued to lift heavy and intense on a four day split taking only Thursdays and Sundays off. I always practiced my posing several weeks out, which helps tremendously with hardness, vascularity, and overall stage presence.
I had the winning package contest day. I won both the light-heavyweight class and the Overall title, thus earning my drug-free pro-card. It was the realization of a 10-year old dream come true and the accumulation of years of hard work, and an inexorable pursuit of my dream. I was intent on achieving this dream and would not have stopped until I had done so. However, had I not discovered Beverly two years earlier, I may have still been sitting in the audience at bodybuilding competitions a spectator with merely a dream-and ignorant on how to achieve it. I credit a large portion of this achievement to Beverly, for without their unparalleled customer service and incomparable product quality, none of this would have happened.
Making it to this level does not mean that I don’t still require many improvements necessary to compete successfully with the other natural pros. But, as remarkably as I have improved already in this short time using nothing but Beverly supplements, I know I will continue to progress and hopefully remain competitive at the pro level.
Before I end, I would like to use this opportunity to say also that despite any physical limitations you think you may have, desire will always overcome. Perhaps by sharing the following information about myself, I may help others out there who have reservations about their own perceived physical imperfections or limitations.
I broke my right femur directly on the growth plate playing soccer as a teenager. As a result of this accident, I had 6 successive, yearly operations on that leg and one on the left. Plus, I tore my lateral meniscus in my right knee in an unrelated incident that required arthroscopic surgery. The initial break across my growth plate caused my bone to grow inwards. The doctors re-broke my leg, straightened it, and inserted bone taken from my hip to fill in the wedge left after straightening out my femur. A large L-shaped stainless steel rod was then inserted through my bone and four long bolts were drilled into it to keep it attached. During this same operation, the growth plates on my left leg were fused together to inhibit it from getting too much longer than my right. It was a major operation, which afterwards required the use of a wheelchair for a few weeks as both legs were in full-length casts until one could be fitted for a brace. Crutches then became my close friends to help me get around. To this day my right leg is ˜ ¼" shorter than my left and I wear a built up shoe when training in the gym to prevent damage to my lower back. My leg workouts consist entirely of one-legged exercises.
My workout split:
Day 1: Back / Calves/ Traps
Day 2: Chest / Shoulders
Day 3: Triceps / Biceps
Day 4: Hamstrings / Quads
Off: Thursdays & Sundays
Typical Leg Workout:
4-5 Sets 1-legged lying leg curls
3 Sets 1-legged stiff leg deadlifts
3 Sets reverse alternate lunges (stationary)
3 Sets leg extensions
3 Sets 1-legged leg presses
A concern I had when preparing for these competitions was whether this would be noticeable to the judges. I spent weeks learning how to hide this "flaw" in my front and rear poses by slightly manipulating the way I stood. I practiced my posing tirelessly leading up to my first two shows to ensure that I would remember how I was to stand when there was no mirror in front of me to help make corrections. The practice definitely paid off. Aside from that obstacle, I also worked two jobs six days a week the entire time I prepared for my shows. My point is not to surrender to excuses. Believe in yourself! Anything is possible when you have a dream!
If there is anything I can do please don’t hesitate to contact me at [email protected]
Some of Greg’s favorite recipes to try
– Beef, chicken, or turkey – Eggs – Oatmeal Take the meat portion of your meal #1 and cook it (ex: 8 oz lean beef). When done add this to a premixed bowl of the eggs and oatmeal called for in your diet (ex: 4 egg whites, 2 whole eggs, and ½ - ¾–cup oatmeal). Mix ingredients in a bowl and add salt and/or spices to taste. Pour mixture into a heated skillet and cook like a pancake on both sides. Depending on size should yield 3-4. This makes a perfect portable breakfast for those in a hurry. (Note: you may substitute ½-cup of cottage cheese for 2–oz. of meat. Either add in to mix or spread on after cooked.)
Put ingredients in a bowl. Add water until you get a thick-to-slightly watery pudding consistency. Freeze. Take out of freezer to thaw 45 minutes before eating or take out of freezer and put in fridge 2-2.5 hours to thaw before eating. Tastes just like banana ice cream! (Optional: instead of banana try strawberries, peaches, or other appropriate fruit) I used this to pump up for my show!
The Salad Everyone Comes Back For:
10–oz. Lean Ground Beef – 2 generous handfuls of Baby Leaf Spinach – Small handful of sliced mushrooms – Small handful of chopped yellow onions – Small handful of tomatoes – Generous sprinkling of Tony Cachere’s Original Spice seasoning – 1-TBS Flax Seed Oil – 1-TBS Apple Cider Vinegar Cook the beef in a skillet. Add to salad. Eat. Everyone I’ve made this for says it’s the best salad they’ve ever had. Try it for yourself.
Muscle Provider Pudding:
- 2 scoops Muscle Provider – 1 scoop 100% Egg – Generous amount of cinnamon – 4–5 TBS heavy whipping cream – 3–4 strawberries or blueberries Put all ingredients in a bowl except the fruit. Add just enough water to make a very thick paste or pudding. Lastly, add in the strawberries or blueberries and stir again. Put in the fridge to chill before eating. Eat.