Here is the Bodybuilding Nutritional Strategy

I used to gain 15 lbs of Lean Muscle Mass

By: Mark Ritter
2002 NPC Aloha Muscle and Collegiate Nationals MW Champion
Magazine 8 #2

My favorite thing about working at Beverly is that I get the opportunity to help our clients find solutions to their bodybuilding challenges. It's my job to make sure that each client gets the maximum benefit from his or her Beverly program at the least expense. Better yet, I get to learn a lot from our clients, too.

Seeing firsthand the progress of our Beverly clients has inspired me to set higher goals. And not a minute too late. I was just about ready to resign myself to the assumption that I’d reached my genetic limit. Gains were hard to come by. In fact, I was stuck at the same level of muscular development for more than two years.

Long-time readers of the No Nonsense Magazine may remember me from my 1999 article. In 2000 I continued my contest success winning the Lightweight class at the NPC JR USA. Then I spent another year trying to gain more size. But, it just didn’t happen. Then, upon completion of my Exercise Physiology degree I went to work at Beverly.

Mark Ritter
Proper nutrition accounts for at least 80% of my bodybuilding success. I gained 15 lbs. in one year following the nutrition and supplement strategy described in this article.

Everything changed. Even though I’d been a Beverly client for three years and had experienced all kinds of success with the Beverly program, I really only followed it when I was getting ready for a show. Now, I was able to track the progress of our various clients and analyze how and why they were making the kinds of gains that I wanted to make. One day it hit me. All I had to do was apply what I was teaching my clients to myself. It’s not just precontest where nutrition is important, the Beverly clients who made the greatest progress year in and year out didn’t rely on training and a haphazard nutritional approach. They concentrated on their nutrition and supplement program all year round.

In addition, I’ve learned the science behind each particular Beverly diet and supplement. Every day I discovered something new about one of the Beverly supplements. As my knowledge increased, so did my supplement program. For example, I’d never used GH Factor, even for my previous contest preparation. Now I was stacking it with Muscle Mass during an off-season hardening phase. I took 6 GH Factor 1st thing in the morning and last thing before bed and 25 Muscle Mass during my training. In six weeks I dropped 4 pounds of fat and gained 3 pounds of muscle. Believe me, I’d never gained that much muscle in such a short time before. And now I did it while losing 4 pounds of fat!

Another Beverly supplement that I hadn’t tried until I started working at Beverly was Ultra Size. I’d always used Muscle Provider and 100% Egg for my shows and just didn’t pay that much attention to my supplements in between shows. I quickly learned that Ultra Size was not just another meal replacement. Its formula is structured to provide the very best protein species and macronutrient ratio for muscle growth and fat loss. So, Ultra Size became a staple of my nutrition plan.

I’m almost ashamed to admit this but until working at Beverly, I hadn’t even used Mass and Ultra 40 regularly in the off-season. Now I know why my progress had been at a halt for more than two years. It was simply a matter of supplying my body with the correct nutrition it needed to make muscular gains.

I’m sure you’ve heard that training breaks down muscle tissue and that you build it back as you rest, that is if you feed your muscles enough of the right fuel (in this case protein.)

Now, make no mistake, I ate a lot! And although I’ll have some junk food now and then, I always made sure that I got plenty of protein in. What I learned at Beverly is that there are certain types and mixtures of protein that are better for gaining muscle than others. A good example is Mass Aminos. Research has shown that the type of protein used in the Mass formula (high-nitrogen casein hydrolysates) is 1600% more effective for muscle synthesis (Muscle growth) than the whole food proteins that I was depending on.

The first six weeks at Beverly I was trying to lean out and hold muscle with GH Factor, Energy Reserve, Lean Out, Muscle Mass and the basics Mass and Ultra 40 - this accounted for a lean mass gain of 3 lbs. and fat loss of 4 lbs. as noted above.) During the next 10 weeks I switched my emphasis to gaining and really relied on just Mass Aminos and Ultra 40 with every meal, and Muscle Provider and Ultra Size shakes two or three times daily like clockwork. I gained an additional 5.5 pounds of lean mass during this phase. All in all during my first 4 months using an off-season supplement strategy (in contrast to my previous pre contest only emphasis) I gained a total 8.5 pounds of lean muscle mass.

Mark Ritter at 154 lbs
My winning condition at the NPC JR USA (weight 154). I was just about ready to resign myself to the assumption that I’d reached my genetic limit.

Already I’d made more gains in 4 months than in the previous two years, but it gets better still. Seventeen weeks out from my next contest, the Aloha Muscle in Hawaii, I started a new nutritional cycling plan that we at Beverly had been using successfully with our clients. The result? An additional 7 pounds of lean muscle mass! I gained a total of 15 lbs. lean muscle mass in less than a year!

Already I’d made more gains in 4 months than in the previous two years, but it gets better still. Seventeen weeks out from my next contest, the Aloha Muscle in Hawaii, I started a new nutritional cycling plan that we at Beverly had been using successfully with our clients. The result? An additional 7 pounds of lean muscle mass! I gained a total of 15 lbs. lean muscle mass in less than a year!

Mark now at 169 lbs
The NPC Collegiate Nationals (weight 169). I credit my year round Beverly supplement program for a 15-pound gain after having reached a 3-year sticking point.
Here is the exact Nutritional and Training Strategy that I used during this 17-week phase

Gaining Phases: Weeks: 1-4, 6-8, and 11-12

The Gaining Phases Supplement Program

  • Super Pak with Meal 1
  • 4 Mass Amino & 4 Ultra 40 per meal
  • 25 Mass Aminos during training and 6 scoops Mass Maker immediately after training
17-week Nutrition
Meal #1
2 whole eggs + 4 egg whites
5 oz. lean beef
3/4 cup oatmeal before cooking
Meal #2
Ultra Size Mix: 3 Scoops Ultra Size,
4 tablespoons heavy cream, 18 oz. water
Meal #3
8 oz. chicken (before cooking)
6 oz. sweet potato, red potato or 1 cup cooked rice
2 cups vegetables or salad with 2 tablespoons. Low Cal Dressing
Meal #4
Ultra Size Mix: 3 Scoops Ultra Size,
4 tablespoons heavy cream, 18 oz. water
Post Training: (training days only)
6 scoops Mass Maker in 16 oz. water
Meal #5
12 oz. sirloin steak
2 cups vegetables or large salad
Meal #6 same as Meals 2 & 4

Hardening Phases: Weeks: 5, 9-10, and 13-15.

I did no cardio, in either phase. If you have a slower metabolism, or like cardio (I don’t), increase cardio by 25% during the Hardening Phases (if you are already doing 3 days add a 4th or if your weekly cardio caloric expenditure is 1000 calories increase to 1250.)

If you are worried about the loss of any lean muscle during this time be sure to add Muscle Mass BCAA’s during your training. This will preserve muscle while actually helping you to harden up still more.

My Hardening Cycle Supplement Plan
1 Super Pak with meal #1
6 Ultra 40 liver per meal
4 Mass Aminos per meal
2 Lean Out per Meal
25 Muscle Mass BCAA’s during training (training days only.)

The meal plan during my Hardening Phase is very similar to the gain phases.

In fact, there are just two changes:

  • I eliminate the cream (reluctantly) from my Ultra Size Shakes at meals #2, 4 and 6. During the final 4 weeks I substitute 2 scoops Muscle Provider (I love the chocolate) and 1 scoop 100% Egg Protein in place of 3 scoops Ultra Size
  • I eliminate the Mass Maker shake post training. The Muscle Mass BCAA’s allow me to hold my lean muscle tissue during these weeks

Believe it or not these minimal changes account for an 1100-calorie deficit from my gaining phase plan.

Two Weeks Out:
Two weeks before the show, I continued with the hardening plan but eliminated oatmeal and sweet potato while substituting 99% lean turkey breast for red meat. I also added a Monday and Thursday carb meal as a 7th meal during these final two weeks.

Additional Supplements

There is no doubt in my mind that Muscle Synergy played a large part in holding all my muscle during the final 5 weeks. I wish that it had been available during the gaining phases. I totally believe I’d have been at the very top of the Middleweights.

At 5 weeks I took 3 Lean Out and 1 Energy Reserve with each meal, and then increased it to 2 GH Factor, 4 Lean Out and 2 Energy Reserve with every meal for the final two weeks.

Training Strategy

I trained at 6:00 P.M. on a 3 on / 1 off system at Fit Works in Newport, Kentucky. The first three days were heavy days (but I still kept the reps very high on some exercises), and the next three were lighter workouts with less rest between sets. Some of the rep ranges below may look like typographical errors, but they are not. At first, I was at the lower end of the recommended rep ranges but actually worked up to 225 in the Bench Press for close to 30 reps and tried for 35 reps in the squat at 225.

Whenever you can reach the high rep number in the range add 10% more weight for that set the next time you do that particular workout.
Day One: Chest/Shoulders/Abs
  1. CHEST: Bench Press:
  2. 135 x 15
  3. 155 x 10
  4. 205 x max reps (18 – 30 reps)
  5. 275 x max reps (10 - 15 reps)
  6. 295 x max reps (3 – 5 reps)
  7. 225 x max reps (15 – 25 reps)
  8. 185 x max reps (whatever you have left)
*Try to increase by a rep or two each time you go through the cycle. When you reach the top rep number increase by 10% the next time through. Adjust your starting weights so your reps fall in the above ranges.
  1. Incline Barbell Press
  2. 135 x 10
  3. 185 x 6
  4. 3 – 5, 205 lbs. x 3 sets x max reps
  5. Incline Flyes: 3 sets x 15 – 18 reps
  • Seated Front Press: 4 sets x 8 – 12 reps
  • Behind Neck Press 4 x 20 / 16 / 12 / 8 all as heavy as you can go
  • Standing Laterals: 4 x 20 / 15 / 12 / 12
  • ABS: 200 reps total
Day 2: LEGS:
  1. Squats:
  2. 135 x 20
  3. 185 x 15
  4. 225 x max reps (15 – 30)
  5. 255 x max reps (10 – 25)
  6. 225 x max reps (15 – 25)
Hack Squat: 3 x 12
Leg Curl: 5 x 12 – 15
Leg Extension: 3 x 15
Hyperextension: 3 x 20 Bodyweight only
Calves: Donkeys Supersetted with Standing Raises: 5 x 20 each
Day 3: Back / Arms
  • BACK
  • Heavy Row: Warm-Up, then 5 x 6
  • Front Pulldown: 5 x 25 / 20 / 15 / 10 / 10 (all heavy as you can)
  • Cable Row: 3 x 12
  • ARMS:
  • Dips: 4 x max reps – no weight
  • Triceps Pushdowns: 4 x 12 – 15
  • Curls: 6 x 20 / 16 / 12 / 8 / 8 / 15 max weights
  • Alternate DB Curl: 4 x 12 – 15
  • ABS: 200 reps total
Day 4: OFF
Day 5: Chest / Shoulders / Abs
  • Incline DB Press: 4 x 12 – 15
  • Bench Press: 4 x 20 / 16 / 12 / 8
  • Flat Flyes: 4 x 8
  • Laterals 6 x 12 Superset with Bent Laterals 6 x 12
  • Upright Row: 3 x 20 / 15 / 10
ABS: 200 reps total
Day 6: Legs
  • Squats – Raise Heels – Bar High Up or Front Squats: 5 x 12
  • Leg Extensions – Slow Strict: 4 x 15
  • Leg Curls: 4 x 15
  • Medium Weight Deadlifts – Semi Straight Legs: 3 x 20 / 15 / 10
  • Standing Calf Raise: 4 x 12 Superset with Seated Calf: 4 x 12
Day 7: Arms / Back / Abs
  • ARMS (first)
  • EZ Bar Curls: 5 x 12 – 15
  • Pulley Curls (Standing) 5 x 10
  • Lying Extension: 4 x 12 – 15
  • BACK
  • Chins: 4 x as many reps as possible
  • Pulldown Behind Neck: 5 x 20 / 15 / 10 / 10 / 15 as much on each set as possible
  • Straight Arm DB Pullover: 3 x 20
ABS: 200 reps total
Day 8: Off, then begin at Day 1 and repeat.

Mark Ritter: Pointers

Favorite Supplements: I’ve tried them all. I was always looking for that "magical a quick fix". But, I can honestly say that the only supplements that have worked for me are Beverly. If I had to choose my favorites they’d be Ultra 40, Muscle Provider and Muscle Mass. I do think Mass Maker has had a significant impact on lean muscle gains as well.

Favorite Recipe: Muscle Provider Pudding: Mix 3 scoops Muscle Provider, 2 tablespoons heavy cream, cinnamon, and add just enough water to make a pudding consistency.

Lately I’ve been mixing Muscle Provider with Diet Code Red (from Mountain Dew) and a lot of ice blended to make a Slushee. Recommendation: I recommend Ultra Size as a meal replacement and supplemental source of protein, Ultra 40, Mass and Muscle Synergy to anyone who wants to go on a top-notch supplement program.

A Few Personal Tidbits:
Goals: To have a happy life, start a family, Financial Freedom, Win my class at Team Universe or place top 5 in the Nationals. Favorites: Movies: Pulp Fiction, Movie Star – The Rock, Contest – Aloha Muscle, Drink – Diet Dr. Pepper, Food – Gold Start Chili, Bodybuilder – Flex Wheeler, Hobby – Mountain Biking, Music Limp Bizket.

Closing Comment:
The average gym member just does not put enough emphasis on nutrition. Proper nutrition accounts for at least 80% of my bodybuilding success. Go into any gym and year after year you’ll see a lot of the same people lifting the same weights they lifted the year before and looking pretty much the same as they did. I’ve seen it first hand on myself, my clients at Beverly and my personal training clients – if you want to make gains in the gym, you simply must put as much importance on what you eat and your supplements, as you do your training. And don’t think I’m some kind of diet freak. I came from the same place a lot of you are coming from. My bodybuilding diet used to be a bowl of cereal for breakfast, then a protein shake, lunch was McDonalds or other fast food, then another shake, and then dinner with my family. I took supplements too! Everything from Dibencozide and Cybergenics to pro hormones and thermogenics and about everything in between. But, I made average gains at best. And by average, I mean the same kind of gains that everyone else is getting – in other words – not much.

The Evolution of a Bodybuilder
Mark once weighed 100 pounds dripping wet

So when I say Beverly Nutrition has made a huge difference in my bodybuilding gains, I mean HUGE!

Volume 8 #3

»  Ron Ashbaugh
My Pillar of Support in an Unpredictable Life

»  Dennis B. Weis
Secrets of Gaining Maximum Muscle Bulk & Power!

»  Beth Simpson
Bodybuilding – It’s Part of Living Life to its Fullest