Beverly taught me how to combine weight training, cardio, diet and supplementation synergistically to increase my muscle mass while staying lean.
[Editor’s Note] Liz Maurice is one of our most fascinating Beverly clients. Her success story combines elements of profound sorrow, a slow climb to the top, and a climactic ending in achieving her IFBB Pro Card at the 2002 NPC Nationals.
She lives and works in New York City. She’d spent numerous summer afternoons at the (then) World Trade Center Plaza. She was in midtown when the 9-11 attack occurred experiencing the shock and grief (including the loss of a dear friend) firsthand.
The tragedy is still fresh in her mind, yet life goes on. Liz still lives and works in the city. This, in itself, poses a challenge that many of us do not experience. Try to imagine working long hours in a corporate office, with no car. If you want to go to train you take the subway or bus. Getting your meals in is always a struggle. And.. as you start attaining some of your fitness goals.. all of the experts tell you, you must use drugs or you will not make it to the top.
Fortunately Liz is living proof that you can overcome hardship, stick to your moral principles, and still achieve your goal. Liz is living proof that you do not have to take drugs to achieve your bodybuilding and fitness goals.
Liz’ article is part of the Fit Figure 12-week program for women Beautiful Shape Your Fit Figure
Besides attaining her IFBB Pro Card, Liz also won the overall title at the prestigious Monica Brandt BodyRock Fitness Classic. But don’t think that it came easy for Liz. Her dedication, hard work, and self-discipline were responsible for her incredible rise to the top. Just one year earlier she had failed to crack the top fifteen. A year before that she wouldn’t have even thought of entering a national show. Here’s Liz’ story in her own words. S.W.
I ran the 1500 meters, 800 meters and cross country from the seventh grade to post graduate in college. So you see I was never a stranger to staying in shape. But after college I entered the real world and started working nearly one hundred hours per week.
To give you a hint of how much faith Liz has in Beverly; she actually totes around a lucky Beverly towel in her gym bag.
Suddenly working out was nowhere near the top of my daily to do list. When one of my old college teammates beat me in a race for the first time ever I made a commitment to get back in shape. The fact that I had to keep buying larger and larger dress sizes for work was also a factor. In track, my focus had always been running first and weight training second. Now my training focus became weight training with running as a conditioning tool. Within a year I decided to enter my first fitness competition.
I learned of BI at the 1999 Tri-Fitness in Florida. Sharon Henderson was one of the top bodies there. I kept my eye on her to see if there was something I could learn. Finally, I got up the nerve to ask her for advice. She said she owed her conditioning to her diet and supplement program. She said she was using Beverly supplements. Sharon also said that Beverly showed her how to combine the products with proper nutrition to get the results she wanted. This sounded way too good to be true, but when I got home I called Beverly anyway.
I’d already tried about every other company out there. I was one of those people who believed everything they read in the magazines. What I found was a lot of useless products and too much conflicting information. I didn’t know how to separate the good from the bad or how to put the good components together (diet, exercise – lifting and cardio, and supplementation) and it showed in my physique. Even worse, there was certainly no one from whatever brand of supplements I was using at the time that would or could tell me.
Sticking to Principles to win IFBB competition
I’d already tried about every other company out there. I was one of those people who believed everything they read in the magazines.They showed me how to put it all together. They told me what supplements to take, what to eat, and why.
My Post USA Diet
12 weeks till Nationals
4 egg whites, 1 whole egg
3 oz. chicken or lean beef
1 cup omelet vegetables
or ½ grapefruit
½ cup oatmeal or
1 serving cream of rice
Protein Drink: 2 scoops Muscle Provider, 1 tablespoon heavy cream, 3 strawberries, 12 oz. water
6 oz. chicken or turkey breast (weighed prior to cooking)
1 cup vegetables or 2 cups dry salad
6 ounces red potato or ½ cup rice
Same as meal #2
6 oz. lean meat (chicken, lean
beef, turkey breast)
1 cup vegetables (green leafy is best here – spinach, asparagus)
Mondays and Thursdays:
Eat the following in place of your 5th meal at the end of the day: Or if you are hungry, you may add it as an extra 6th meal:
2 Servings Cream of Rice or
1 cup cooked rice, 7–oz. red potato,
4–oz. banana, 1 cup vegetables,
2 teaspoons butter or oil.
But Beverly was different. No question (and I have asked a whole lot of them) was too inconsequential or minimal to be answered. They showed me how to put it all together. They told me what supplements to take, what to eat, and why. This was a major help when trying to balance training for fitness competition with the demands of real life. Instead of spending every waking hour guessing, I just let them take care of it. They give me a plan, and then I just follow it and get the results I’m after.
Now I’ve been taking Beverly for so long, following their plans and reading their literature, that I’m the gym guru. People come to me, and ask me what to do. In my work environment there are a lot of corporate fitness junkies.
I try to help them by showing them ways that they can balance their jobs with a healthy lifestyle. For most of them, I find it’s as simple as cooking their meals in advance and finding a protein powder that they really enjoy taking. Muscle Provider has been a big hit at work, because even the most anti-fitness advocates love the smell of Provider in the office. Maybe one day I can put the vending machines out of business and get everybody on protein shakes!
Since I don’t have the luxury of planning my life around my training, I plan my training around my life. I do my weight training before I go to work. I usually don’t eat before I go to the gym, but I always take Muscle Mass BCAAs (precontest) or Mass aminos during my workout session. Besides coffee, the only other supplement I take before I train is Muscle Synergy for gaining or Energy Reserve and GH Factor when I want to burn fat. It all depends on what phase my training is in.
A typical day for me (which starts at 5:30 a.m. and ends sometime between 11 p.m. and 1 a.m.) looks like this:
First I head to Gold’s for a weight workout from 7-9 a.m.
It’s off to work I go from 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
If I’m getting ready for a contest I’ll go to various New York Sports Clubs at noon, to practice my fitness routine.
After work I go to Sutton Gymnastics to practice my jumps and routine from 7:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
This year I have stuck more closely to my diet, so I haven’t had to do a lot of cardio. I usually get enough from practicing my routine. I’ll start with two or three days per week for 20 minutes, and if my bodyfat is dropping then there’s no reason for me to do more. If I’m not dropping quickly enough, I’ll go up to as much as five days per week. When I do cardio, my favorite activity is sprint intervals at a track.
My goal has never been to just win, but to improve personally. I know that if I continue to improve in each area of the competition, winning will take care of itself. I’ve certainly found that it’s not an eight or even twelve-week sport like many people think. I start planning for shows a year in advance. I allot that much time to find the perfect music, choreograph it with a professional, and work with a costume designer, not to mention the actual training that’s involved.
Steven, at Beverly, suggested that I work on my shoulder width and lats for the 2001 contest season. This would enhance my shoulders to waist differential and give me more of an hourglass physique. So I started training back twice per week and often added pull-ups at the end of a leg day. Well it worked so well, that my leg development fell behind my upper body. I needed more sweep to my quads, so this year we focused on legs. I trained legs twice per week. The first day was heavy, and then three days later I would do a second workout using 85% of the weight I handled on the heavy day. I know this played a large part in my improved placings this year.
For Legs: Do a heavy day once per week and a light day in which you do the same number of reps that you did on the heavy day, but only use 80-85 percent of the weight you used on the previous heavy day. A good schedule would be Heavy day Monday and Light day on Thursday. Focus your leg workouts around the following exercises:
Do them in this order (pre-exhaustion for the quads)
Leg Press w/ feet low
Hack Squats with feet hip or shoulder width (1 ½ reps. Go all the way down breaking parallel and then come up half way, then go all the way back down and then come up all the way – this equals one rep.
Do 3 sets of 10–15 reps on all the above exercises.
Also, do calves three days per week. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday would be a great rotation.
Alternate a heavy and light day on this too. Do Standing Calf Raise, Donkeys, and Seated: 3 sets of 20–25 on heavy days, and 2 sets of 15 reps (with same weight as heavy days) on light days. Do them fairly slow, and squeeze at the top and come all the way down. Work the muscle, not the weight!
After improving from sixteenth place to third at the NPC USA, I felt I had a great shot to step up and take my Pro Card at the NPC Nationals in November. I didn’t want to waste this chance; so right after the Team Universe in August I consulted with Steven via email to find out what to do for the upcoming twelve weeks. I generally follow a low carb diet with a carb up meal every three or four days. This has always worked for me, so I stick with it. What we did this year though, was add in a small amount of carbs and calories every day while keeping the carb up meals. I also started taking Muscle Synergy. (See my diet at left and my Beverly Supplement strategy below.)
After all the hard work and dieting I did it! I finally realized my goal, and am now an IFBB Pro. And best of all, I’ve done it naturally. This is important to me, because fitness is just one part my life. It’s not the end all and be all – drugs are just not worth the risk. I’d like to thank my mom for all her faith and support, also Ken, Marie, and Dan, my friends and coaches for showing me balance in life and sports can equal excellence.