The Candyman Can

Collegiate Bantamweight National Champion

By: Dave Candy
Magazine 9 #4

I’m a junior at the University of Pittsburgh, majoring in athletic training. No surprise there. I've been active in sports all my life. What’s surprising is that I’m a bodybuilder. If you told me ten years ago that I was going to win a national title in bodybuilding – I would never have believed you. However, due to a twist of fate (not to mention a lot of hard work), things worked out that way.

Here’s how it started. When I was ten my father brought home one of those plastic weight sets so that he could work out in the basement. I asked if I could lift weights to get stronger for wrestling and football, but my father said I had to wait until I was 12 ½. Well, six months to the day after my 12th birthday, we went down to the basement and I started my first three-day-a-week, full-body weight lifting routine. I went at it like I do everything else – full speed – and I refused to miss a workout for anything. As I grew older, I stopped playing football to specialize in wrestling. I read everything I could on training and nutrition (both critical factors when it comes to wrestling). By the time I graduated high school, I liked the weight training that went with it over the actual wrestling. So, when I entered college, I chose not to wrestle so that I could dedicate more time to my studies, lifting, and actually having a life outside of wrestling. However, there was still something in me urging for competition, so I decided to give bodybuilding a try.

Dave Candy Side chest
The photos and memories I got from winning my class at the Teen and Collegiate Nationals will last a lifetime.

From years of reading bodybuilding and fitness magazines and websites, I had amassed a fair amount of knowledge about training and nutrition, so I designed a diet and workout program, and a few month's later, I was onstage at my first show – Beverly International’s Northern Kentucky Open.

This was not the first time that I had heard of Beverly International. I actually first heard of Beverly two summers ago when I was toying around with powerlifting. I went to Terry Bryan’s Training Center near my home in Cincinnati, OH looking for some advice. This place was full of huge guys wearing Beverly T-Shirts and pounding Beverly supplements during their workouts and drinking Beverly protein drinks. Needless to say, I was intimidated and quickly got out of there, but I knew there must be something up with this Beverly stuff. I went ahead with my training and I managed to set a world record for the American Powerlifting Association for my age and weight, but I didn’t like the low-volume training with long rest periods, so I decided powerlifting was not for me.

Shortly afterward, I was working out at Pittsburgh’s student fitness center wearing the Beverly International T-shirt that I had received at my first show when someone in the gym approached me and asked if I knew where he could buy Beverly supplements around Pittsburgh – because they were the best. I was impressed that people around the country were vouching for Beverly. However, once again because I have a student’s supplement budget, I decided to stay on my own diet and supplementation program.

Then I decided to raise the bar and compete in the 2003 NPC Teen and Collegiate nationals. Since I was 19, I knew this would be my only chance to win the teen division, so with all of the good things that I was hearing about Beverly products, I concluded I’d be crazy not to go ahead and try Beverly.

The first time I went down to Beverly’s headquarters, I expected them to try to sell me their entire product line, but when I met with Jeremiah, he understood that I was a college student, so he recommended I buy only three supplements: Ultra 40, Muscle Provider, and Muscle Synergy. All three had a distinct effect. I’d tried other whey proteins in the past but I noticed a positive difference right away with Muscle Provider. I was skeptical about the Muscle Synergy, it seemed too good to be true, until I forgot to take it one day and noticed that I didn’t get near as good a pump as I do when I take it. However, my favorite product was Ultra 40. Yes, old school liver tablets. Within a few days of, I noticed that my muscles became harder and more dense. Even though my school budget won’t allow me to take of my precontest supplements year round, Ultra 40’s are certainly going to remain part of my supplementation program.

I liked Beverly’s products, but what really impressed me was their customer service. Beverly has generalized diets for mass gain, fat loss, etc., but they tweak the diets to fit their clients’ body types, goals, and lifestyle. I even specifically remember Jeremiah saying, "You’re doing what we generally tell people not to do [mixing fat and carbs], but it seems to be working well for you, so keep doing it." If that’s not personalized, I don’t know what is. I also received advice on posing that greatly improved my stage presentation.

I’m not going to say that Beverly International products are magic bullets (because nothing is) but they gave me results that I had never gotten before. It takes a lot of hard work in the gym, as well as good whole food nutrition and sufficient rest, but Beverly definitely gave me an edge at the Nationals.

I was in the best shape of my life. The photos and memories I got from winning my class at the Teen and Collegiate Nationals will last a lifetime (not to mention make a great story to tell my kids someday). I’d like to thank my parents for all of the support they gave me through the contest prep period, and really in everything else that I do. In addition, thanks to Jeremiah for all of his help, and to Roger, Sandy, and Steven for their support at the show.

So what does post-contest life hold for me? Well, I’ll be returning to school in a few weeks, where I’ll be taking 18 hours of classes plus working as a student athletic trainer for the women’s soccer team. I’m also going to try to make at least some time to enjoy the college experience (minus the drinking). However, I just started on a new diet and training program trying to add some lean mass, so hopefully next spring, I’ll be back on the stage – bigger and just as cut as I was for nationals.

Dave Candy side chest
Winning 2 NPC National Titles in one day.
My Diet (6-8 weeks out from Nationals)
AmountFood (unit)CarbsProteinFatCalories
Meal 1
5Egg Whites218077
595% Lean Beef (oz)0287173
0.5Oatmeal (cup)2653151
0.5Peanut Butter (tbsp)12448
4Ultra 4008032
Meal 1 Total486620635
Meal 2
8Chicken Breast (oz.)0536269
1Brown Rice (cup)4552215
1.5Green Veggies (cup)99073
4Ultra 4008032
Meal 2 Total54758589
Meal 3
2Muscle Provider (scoop)4322162
0.67Oatmeal (cup)3574201
0.67Mashed Potatoes (cup)3640160
Meal 3 Total79436545
Meal 4
595% Lean Beef (oz)0287173
4Chicken Breast (oz)0273134
2Green Veggies (cup)1211098
2Oil (tsp)00981
4Ultra 4008032
Meal 4 Total127420518
Meal 5
1Tuna (can)0332144
0.75Cottage Cheese (cup)6190103
0.25Peanuts (cup)3918207
1Green Veggies (cup)66049
4Ultra 4008032
Meal 5 Total157420534
1Tuna (can)0332144
595% Lean Beef (oz)0287173
3Oil (tsp)0014122
4Ultra 4008032
Meal 6 Total96922510
Grand Total216 grams401 grams96 grams3331
Avg. / Meal366716555


  • FitTabs – 1 w/ Meal 1, 1 w/ Meal 5
  • Ultra 40 – 4 per meal
  • Muscle Synergy – 8 in a.m., 8 before training
  • Glutamine – 1 tsp w/ each dose of Muscle Synergy
  • Muscle Provider – 2 scoops post–training
  • Antioxidants: Vitamin C and E post–training
  • Creatine select – 1 tsp in a.m., 1 tsp post–training
  • Added at 3 weeks out: Muscularity – 3 per meal
My Workouts
I worked each bodypart once per week according to the following schedule:
Saturday: Quads, Calves
Sunday: Hamstrings, Biceps
Monday: Chest, Triceps
Tuesday: Rest (a.m. cardio plus Abs)
Wednesday: Back, Calves
Thursday: Delts, Traps
Friday: "Rest" (a.m. cardio plus Abs)

I switched exercises each session, so I really don’t have any typical workout I can give you, but here are some basic guidelines that I followed:

  • 3–4 exercises per bodypart, 3–4 sets per exercise.
  • Cycled between 3–6, 6–8, and 8–12 reps per set.
  • Use a variety of different grips and angles.
  • Supersets and Tri–Sets, especially as the show approached. I especially liked tri–sets for shoulders: front DB raise, lateral raise, and bent–over lateral raise.


I started with 2 days of cardio per week, and increased to 4 as the show neared. I alternated between steady–state cardio and high–intensity intervals. 20–40 minutes, depending on intensity.
Muscle Provider Soft Serve:
4–5 ice cubes and enough water to make ¾ cup
2 Scoops Muscle Provider
3–4 frozen strawberries
Directions: Put ice and water in blender and pulse to coarsely chop ice. Add Muscle Provider and pulse to mix in powder. Add strawberries and blend until the consistency of soft–serve ice cream. (Note: Must use frozen strawberries; fresh ones still taste good, but they don’t give the right consistency.)

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