Here’s How I Won My First Competition
At 42 Years of Age, after 25 Years of Training, and 15 Years since My Last Competition
By: Jeff Dunn, NPC KY Muscle, 1st place MW Novice
No Nonsense Newsletter Volume 13 #1
I began working out in 1983 with the guidance of some of those muscle magazines you buy at the newsstand. I learned a lot about professional bodybuilding from those magazines, but as a beginning weightlifter it sure wasn’t what I needed. I stuck with the basic exercises for those first years and tried to build some sort of muscle on my very thin frame.
Ten years later (1993) I had my first experience with bodybuilding. I started working out with this guy at the gym who was preparing for a local competition. My first reaction was, "No way could I ever get on stage in front of a crowd of people". However, I did ask him if he’d put together a diet plan for me just to see what kind of condition I could get in. I followed the diet and competed in my first bodybuilding competition that year. I learned two things from that experience: (1) Not every bodybuilder knows what they are talking about and (2) I needed to add a lot more conditioned muscle to be competitive.
In 2003 I decided to compete again. Another ten years had passed, my body had matured and I wanted to see if I could do better this time. But 3 months into my training I tore the bicep tendon in my right arm and ended up with two screws in my shoulder. I was told that I may not be able to train heavy again and I assumed I would never compete or lift heavy again. After I was released to train again I began to gradually work my way back up making sure to warm up thoroughly before every workout.
I came across the Beverly International booth at a bodybuilding competition in 2006. I had heard their name before, but had never used their products. By this point in my lifting career I had become very skeptical of all supplements. I’d tried so many products over the years. Big promises, but little or no results. However, I didn’t dismiss Beverly outright. I started asking around the gym about Beverly International. The most hardcore lifter in the gym spoke up. He said, "Beverly supplements are for real, you should give them a try."
I started cautiously and signed up for the free subscription to their No Nonsense Newsletter magazine. While I waited for my first issue to arrive I went back and read the NNN I had picked up from their booth at that 2006 contest. I found it was full of helpful contest prep information. Next, I went on the internet to www.bodybuildingworld.com to learn more. I checked out their product info and read a number of the articles posted. My next step was attending the 2007 Northern Kentucky Bodybuilding Championship in March. That contest inspired me to compete again. And this time I would give Beverly a try.
So I placed my first order of Beverly products as part of a special offering that also included Beverly’s Precontest Workshop Handbook.
I ordered Muscle Provider, Ultra 40, Mass, Muscle Synergy, Creatine Select, Glutamine Select, Lean Out, 7-Keto, Energy Reserve, Muscularity, and Super Pak. Quite a list for a first order isn’t it? But, I’d been in this for 25 years and knew what I wanted to achieve. I had done the due diligence and determined those were the supplements that would help me succeed where I’d failed in the past.
With my first order of Beverly products I received a copy of the Workshop Handbook. The information inside was golden in preparing for competition, including different nutritional plans. I decided on one of the nutrition plans and followed it through the entire 16 weeks of my training and diet. I had to make only small changes to the diet plan, such as lowering the amount of carbs in each meal because of the way they affect my body.
I set up a daily plan based on the workbook plans. Here’s what it looked like.
16 weeks out daily schedule:
5:30am: 5 egg whites and 1 whole egg for breakfast
6:00am: Arrive at work. Then I did 30 minutes of cardio at work first thing in the company gym.
8:00am: ½ grapefruit for a snack
9:00am: 2 scoops of Muscle Provider and 1 scoop of Creatine Select
11:00am: 10 oz chicken breast and 4 cups salad with olive oil and flaxseed oil
2:00pm: ½ grapefruit for a snack
2:30pm: 2 scoops of Muscle Provider and 1 scoop of Creatine Select and Glutamine Select
5:30pm: 10 oz chicken breast and 4 cups salad with olive oil and flaxseed oil
8:30pm: I had a third protein drink if I felt hungry before bedtime
Supplements for the day
4 Ultra 40, 3 Muscularity, 2 Lean Out, 3 Mass Amino, 2 Muscle Synergy with each meal.
3 7-Keto with meal #1, 3 Mass Amino, 2 Energy Reserve 30 minutes before each workout.
3 ZMA before bedtime. I also used 6 grams of Vitamin C spread throughout the day.
I continued with this diet and supplement plan until 4 weeks out. At that point I purchased fresh chicken breasts because of the lower sodium content and I added 3 more 7-Keto prior to my workouts. The added 7-Keto kicked my metabolism into overdrive and gave me the energy I needed to make it through the grueling superset/triset workouts as well as burning the extra body fat.
I prepared all my meals for the day each morning. This saved me time and with my evening meals already prepared it cut down on the temptation to eat out. My lined cooler is an essential component to my pre contest prep.
Like everyone else I know, "I hate cardio". However, I do think in most cases it is needed to get a shredded physique. I am pretty fortunate that the company I work for has a small gym which contains several elliptical machines and treadmills. Starting at sixteen weeks out I began to walk on the treadmill 30 minutes each morning. Just to change things up I’d use the elliptical machine once a week for 30 minutes instead of the treadmill. I found with the diet, supplement plan, and my metabolism, cardio once a day was all my body required to get results.
At 8 weeks out my training program changed to supersets and trisets which was a huge shock to my body. I found out exactly how in shape, or better yet how out of shape I was. It took a little time for my body to get used to, but it really helped with bringing out my cuts and dropping body fat.
My training schedule looked like this:
I followed a three on/one off split. With my injury history, I always made sure I warmed up first.
Day 1: Chest and Back
Bench Press 4 sets 5-9 reps, using 225, 275, 295, 315
Chin-ups 4 sets 10 reps, using my bodyweight
Incline Press w/DB 3 sets 10 reps, using 75, 85, 95
Bent Rows 3 sets 10 reps, using 135, 185, 225
Pec Deck 3 sets 10 reps, using 180, 200, 220
Cable crossovers 3 sets 10 reps 75, 85, 95
Day 2: Legs, Calves
Leg Extensions 3 sets 10 reps, using 160, 180, 200 (I found that if I point my toes out it really hits my lower quads.)
Leg Press 3 sets 10 reps, using 450, 540, 630
Hack Squat 4 sets 10 reps, using 225 for all four sets
Straight leg deadlift 4 sets 10 reps, using 135, 185, 225
Leg Curls 3 sets 10 reps, 80, 90, 100
Lunges 3 sets 10 reps, using 135 for all three sets
Standing Calf Raises 4 sets 15 reps, using 180, 270, 360
Seated Calf Raises 4 sets 15 reps, using 100, 120, 140
Day 3: Shoulders, Arms
Shoulder Press Machine 4 sets 6 reps, using 70, 80, 90, 100
Side Lateral Raise 3 sets 10 reps, using 40, 45, 50
Rear Lateral 3 sets 10 reps, using 60 for all three sets
Side Cable Raise 3 sets 10 reps, using 45 for all three sets
Concentration Curl 3 sets 10 reps, using 35 for all three sets
Tricep Pushdown 3 sets 10 reps, using 120, 130, 140
DB Curl 3 sets 10 reps, using 50, 60, 65
Lying Tricep Extension 3 sets 10 reps, using 75, 95, 115
Preacher Curl 3 sets 10 reps, using 75, 85, 95
Dips 3 sets 15 reps, using bodyweight for all three sets
I did abs three times per week at the end of the workout.
Incline crunches 3 sets to failure
Leg raises 3 sets to failure
A training program is only as good as the effort you put into it. You must have the drive and intensity in any program to succeed. I would also highly recommend the Beverly Contest Workshop Handbook to everyone interested in competing (especially someone new to competition). This book was awesome in helping me prepare for my contest. I followed the diet, supplement, and training programs with only a few changes. It is an excellent book.
Posing is just as important as your diet and supplement plan. I found out how important practicing posing really was when I got on stage at the KY Muscle this November. There were about 15 people in my class and we were up there a long time. Standing there for nearly 20 minutes staying fully flexed was very difficult. It is a lesson learned the hard way and you can bet I’ll be practicing as much as possible the next time around. PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE. I would recommend to everyone to practice the mandatory poses for 30-45 minutes a day from 6-8 weeks out from the show.
I tan pretty much year round so this was easy for me. I tanned up to the Wednesday before the show. On Thursday and Friday I applied 2 coats of Pro tan each day. On Saturday morning I used a tanning solution called Dream Tan. Dream Tan really brought out my color and maintains a good shine even after it has dried. It is important to find the right color for your skin, a poor tan or skin color can take away from a perfect body underneath.
Everyone is a winner! When I first started training for competition my goal was to place at least in the top 5. As my training progressed and my body began to change, my expectations also changed and I wanted to win. I worried about everything from my training, my weight, my diet, and my routine. At that point I decided in my mind that I was going to do everything I could to go into the show with the best body I could and stop worrying. I didn’t just want to place anymore, I wanted to win. This mind set also improved my intensity in my training and caused me to push myself even harder. You can do anything you put your mind to. You can do it!!
The week of the show was a tough week trying to take in 2 ½ gallons of water Monday-Thursday, but I found that it was a necessity to reach my goal on Saturday.
Friday I dropped my water intake to ½ gallon to help shock my body and deplete as much water as possible. I made sure I took 6 potassium tablets on Wednesday, 12 tablets on Thursday and Friday. The potassium really helped to pull the water out.
Saturday morning I was about 2 lbs from my goal weight of 187 lbs, the weight needed to enter the Novice Middleweight class, so I didn’t eat or drink until after the weigh-in. As it turned out my scale was wrong and I actually weighed in at 181 pounds so I immediately ate 8 oz of turkey and four rice cakes. This gave me the protein and carbs I needed to feel full, increase my energy level, and get pumped before getting on stage. One more thing I think really helped me reach my ripped condition was the Lite Morton salt that the workshop manual recommended for the morning of the show. With the sodium/potassium blend it was perfect for pushing extra water into my muscles. Also, I took in a scoop of Creatine Select straight out of the bottle with just enough water to wash it down, 6 Muscularity, and 6 Muscle Synergy about 30 minutes before pumping up.
At 42 years of age, with 25 years of training, and 15 years since my last competition, I’m in the best shape of my life. My dreams came true November 2007, when I took first place in the Novice Middleweight Class. I won’t ever do another competition without using Beverly International products and the Workshop Handbook. Beverly products definitely made it possible for me to come into the show in top condition. Thanks again for all you do for the bodybuilding world. I would also like to say thanks to my girlfriend (Stacie), my daughter (Devon), and my workout partner/trainer (Glen) for all the support and help making my dream come true.