My Road to Becoming an IFBB Professional Bodybuilder,
a Goal Realized

By: Scott Foster, 2008 NPC National BW Champion
No Nonsense Newsletter Volume 14 # issue 1

"Setting a goal is easy. Deciding to start, proceeding on the journey, and then making the goal a reality is the hard part."

double bicep Scott Foster on stage pose
I achieved my goal of earning my IFBB Professional Bodybuilding card at the NPC Nationals in Atlanta, GA. In this article I’m going to give you my exact diet, supplement, and training program.

Yes, goals are easy to set, but the journey to reaching them is rarely easy. However, the journey is also the most rewarding part. I have learned this lesson time and time again, throughout bodybuilding, and in my career as a teacher.  There is no greater joy than feeling success, be it your own or helping someone else attain it.

 

My motto has always been "Never Give Up," and I also like the phrase "Actions Speak Louder than Words."  Living my life in concert with these sayings has helped me attain many goals in my life, not only in bodybuilding, but in everything I do. 

 

This year I achieved my goal of earning my IFBB Professional Bodybuilding card at the NPC Nationals in Atlanta, GA. In this article I’m going to give you my exact diet, supplement, and training program. But first I’d like to give you a brief history of my bodybuilding career.

 

I was a wrestler throughout high school and weight trained some, but I wasn’t introduced to the sport of bodybuilding until 2001. A close friend competed in a contest in Fort Wayne that year and it was the beginning of an awesome adventure for me. 


My first competition was the 2002 Mid-Western States where I placed second in the bantam class and 4th in the open novice. Here is the rest of my contest history:


• 2003 Mid-Western States 1st Bantamweight
• 2004 Mid-Western States
1st Bantamweight
• 2005 Northern Kentucky 1st Bantamweight
• 2005 Junior USA 1st Bantamweight
• 2005 Junior Nationals 1st Bantamweight
• 2005 NPC Nationals 6th Bantamweight
• 2006 NPC Nationals 10th Bantamweight

 

After much initial success I met my match at the NPC Nationals, not once, but twice. The new level of competition at the Nationals proved a tremendous learning experience. I could no longer rely on “what had got me there”. I needed to improve and luckily I knew where to go for help - my support and advisor system at Beverly International.

 

My next challenge would be the 2008 NPC USA championship. Roger at Beverly said that to be successful I would have to first reach a level of conditioning that I had never before attained. My nutrition program became paramount in my preparation. I started preparing for the USA five months in advance. I monitored my bodyweight every two weeks, looking for a one pound loss per week. I started at about 160lbs and ended up stepping on the scales five months later at 133lbs. As my weight dropped below where it had ever been for a competition, I became more and more worried. But, Roger kept saying I shouldn’t worry about my bodyweight as long as my condition continued to improve. As he says, “They don’t a bring a scale up on stage when you’re out there.”

 

My new level of conditioning paid off with a 2nd place finish at the USA. Next up was the Nationals in November, about 15 weeks later. The plan we came up with was to continue to diet and supplement to retain my conditioning, yet train for muscle gain.

 

I weighed in at 137lbs for the Nationals. Here I was in the bantamweight class and still not at the top of the class. But did it matter? No. I was in even better condition than at the USA and was 4lbs heavier. Was it enough? Yes! I won the bantamweight class and earned my IFBB pro card. Remember, it’s not what you weigh onstage, it’s how you look. The more conditioned you are, the more muscular you will look.

 

That was the greatest day of my bodybuilding life, but bodybuilding is not all there is to my life. My career is teaching. I’m currently teaching middle school social studies and science. I try to teach my students the same work ethic and principles I have used to achieve my success. I also try to instill in them that they can accomplish whatever they put their mind to. My family and fiancé are very important to my success. They’ve always been there to encourage me and are always there to support me when I struggle.

 

I promised that I’d give you the complete training, diet, and supplement programs that I used to attain my IFBB pro card. Let’s start with the most important aspect:

2008 Nutrition and Supplement Program

I have been very fortunate to learn how important it is to follow a complete nutritional program – DIET AND SUPPLEMENTS – to fully achieve the desired result.

 

I used the same nutrition plan for both the USA and Nationals. After my razor sharp conditioning at the USA Roger, at Beverly said, “Why change what works?”

 

And speaking of “what works”, let’s get one thing out of the way right now. I’ve used a number of various supplements throughout my bodybuilding career, but I did not get the results that I have gotten with Beverly International. Part of my contest preparation is budgeting in advance for the food and supplements I’ll need. Through the years I became a Beverly Gold Club member but the cost of my supplements and food is still a significant, but necessary expense both off-season and for contest preparation.

 

I’m going to list my supplement program and it is exactly what I used to attain my pro card. First, let’s start with the supplement program that I used for both the USA and the Nationals. There is one exception, Up-Lift was not available at the time of the USA, but came out in time to use for my Nationals preparation. And, it became one of my favorite supplements.

Most Muscular pose Scott Foster
It is crucial to follow a complete nutritional program – DIET AND SUPPLEMENTS – to achieve your desired result. I’ve used various supplements early in my bodybuilding career, but I did not get the results that I get with Beverly International.

Supplements:

Breakfast: 1 - Super Pak. Breakfast and dinner - 3 EFA Gold.

Each meal: 3 Ultra 40; 4 Density; 3 Muscularity; 1 Lean Out: and 2 Energy Reserve.

Twice daily (a.m. and afternoon) 3 7-Keto

Before Training: 2 scoops Up-Lift and 8 Muscle Synergy

During Training: 2 scoops Glutamine Select plus BCAAs and 10 Muscle Mass.

After Training: 5 Density, 8 Muscle Synergy

 

Diet from 12 weeks out to 4 weeks out

 

Meal #1

5 oz lean beef or turkey (I also started using buffalo and really liked it)

6 egg whites

1/2 grapefruit

 

Meal #2

Protein Drink: 2 scoops Ultimate Muscle Protein, water

or

6 oz can tuna

3 egg whites

1 tomato

 

Meal #3

6 ounces chicken (weighed prior to cooking)

4 cups salad (lettuce, tomato, carrot, cucumber, green peppers, etc.)

2 tbsp cider vinegar and 1 tbsp olive oil for a dressing

 

Meal #4

6 oz can tuna or 5 oz. chicken

3 egg whites

1 tomato

or

Protein Drink: 2 scoops Muscle Provider or Ultimate Muscle Protein, 12 oz water

 

Meal #5

6 ounces lean meat (chicken, turkey, fish, 96% or leaner beef, etc.)

1.5 cups vegetables

 

Monday and Thursday: In place of your 5th meal: 1cup oatmeal (precooked) or cooked rice, 8 oz. sweet potato, 4 oz. banana, 1 cup vegetables, 1 tbsp butter, almond butter or oil.

4 WEEKS OUT

The goal was to get really shredded, so I could hardly believe it when I received this email:

 

From: rogerr@beverlyinternational.net
To: mightymouse01@hotmail.com
Subject: RE: nationals
Date: Mon, 27 Oct 2008 10:47:23 -0400

Scott,

Man that’s the condition we’re looking for.

Keep cardio exactly the same.

This week go to fish and spinach as we planned, but add ½ cup oatmeal at meal one and another ½ cup oatmeal at meal 3.

 

All the best,

Roger

 

Meal #1

6 egg whites

½ cup oatmeal

½ grapefruit

 

Meal #2

Protein Drink: 2 scoops Ultimate Muscle Protein, water

or

6 oz can tuna

3 egg whites

 

Meal #3

6 ounces fish

½ cup oatmeal

2 cups spinach

 

Meal #4

6 oz can tuna

3 egg whites

Or

Protein Drink: 2 scoops Muscle Provider, 12 oz water (if post training)

 

Meal #5

6 ounces fish

2 cups spinach

2008 Training and Cardio Programs

I’m going to include two training programs here, the first was for the USA, and the second is the one I followed for the Nationals.

Scott Foster gym workout equipment
Here’s where I train, the Iron Attic gym. I know it’s hardcore, but that’s how I like it. It’s not what equipment you have that’s important in becoming a pro – it’s how you use what you have.

 

Program 1 Training for the NPC USA

 

Goal: The goal of my USA training program was to improve my symmetry, proportions, work each muscle from all angles, and to get into the best shape of my life.

 

Day One: Chest / Back / Abs / Cardio progressions

1.       Bench Press or Machine Bench Press: 5 sets: 12, 10, 8, 6 and 5 reps

2.       Incline DB Press: 4 sets: 12, 10, 8, 6

3.       Decline (or Flat DB Flyes) 4 x 12, 10, 8, 6 or Dips: 4 sets of maximum reps (This is a special form of dip that focuses on the pectorals rather than the shoulders or triceps. Chin on chest, shoulders rolled forward, back slightly rounded, elbows wide, and feet pointed down under eyes.

4.       DB Pullover (Chest / Back transition exercise): 4 sets: 10–15 reps (constant weight)

5.       Lat Pulldowns to front: 5 sets: 12, 10, 8, 6 and 5 reps or Chins: 5 sets: 10-12 reps per set.)

6.       Cable Rowing: 4 sets: 12, 10, 8, 6

7.       T Bar or Hammer Row: 4 sets: 12, 10, 8, 6

8.       Hanging Knee Up (or reverse crunches) 4 sets maximum reps

9.       Crunches (or Ab Machine Crunch) superset with #8 – 4 sets maximum reps

Although this appears to be a lot of work, it was necessary to train each muscle from every angle. And remember, the 12 and 10 rep sets were warm-ups; the 8 rep set moderately hard, only the 6 and 5 rep sets were close to maximum poundages.

 

Day Two: Lower Back / Thighs / Hamstrings / Calves / No Cardio

1.       Squat (Olympic style – bar high on the back, legs shoulder width, back straight) 5 sets: 20, 15, 12, 10, 8

2.       Hack Squat: 4 sets 12 reps (constant weight)

3.       Leg Extension: 4 sets: 15 reps

4.       Hyperextension: 4 sets: 10 reps

5.       Leg Curl: 4 sets 15 reps

6.       Straight Leg Dead Lift: 4 sets: 12 reps constant weight

7.       Seated Calf Raise: 5 sets: 15–20 reps

8.       Donkey Raise or Standing Calf Raise: 5 sets: 15–20 reps

 

Day Three: No Weights / Cardio progressions

 

Day Four: Shoulders / Biceps / Triceps / Cardio progressions

1.       Press Behind Neck (false grip – thumbs under the bar, don’t lock out your elbows at the finish of each repetition) 5 sets: 12, 10, 8, 6, 5

2.       DB Lateral Raise: (raise dumbbells to ear level, front bell slightly lower than rear) 4 sets: 12, 10, 8, 6

3.       Incline Rear Lateral Raise (lie facedown on an incline bench) 4 sets: 12, 10, 8, 6

4.       DB Shrug 4 sets: 12, 10, 8, 6

5.       Lying Triceps Extension to forehead: 5 sets: 12, 10, 8, 6, 5

6.       Tricep Pressdown: 4 sets: 12, 10, 8, 6

7.       1 Arm DB Extension: 4 sets: 12, 10, 8, 6

8.       Barbell Curl: 4 sets: 12, 10, 8, 6

9.       Incline DB Curl: 4 sets: 12, 10, 8, 6 or DB Concentration Curl: 4 sets: 12, 10, 8, 6

10.   Preacher Curl: 3 sets: 10, 8, 6

 

Day 5: Rest / Cardio 30 minute ride

 

Day 6: Start the training cycle over with Day 1.

 

Program 2 Training for the NPC Nationals

 

Goal: Maintain my conditioning, but add a little muscle before the Nationals. After the USA I adjusted my training to incorporate a little more rest, heavier weight and more sets to failure.

 

Day 1 – Chest / Cardio progressions

Dumbbell Press: 1x20 60#, 1x12 80#, 2x6-8 115#
Incline DB Press: 1x12 60#, 1x12 80, 2x6-8 105#
Decline Press 1x12 225#, 1x6-8 315#
Cable Crossovers: 7x8-12 40-50#
 
Day 2 – Back / Cardio progressions

Pullups: 1x20-30 body weight, 1x12-20 35# plate, 2x12 45# plate
Barbell Row: 1x20 225#, 1x12 315#, 2x 6-8 405#; sometimes we do a challenge set (to failure), one week before Nationals I did 225# 50 times
One Arm Row: 2x15-20 115#
Pullover with rope (standing): 7x8-12
Rack Deadlifts (from just under knee): 1x10 225#, 1x10 315#, 1-2x6-8 405#

Day 3 – Off / Cardio progressions

 

Day 4 – Legs / no cardio

Leg Extension: 3x20 100#  
Squats: 2-3 warm –up sets with 225# and 315#, then 2x6-8 405#, then 1x20-25 315#
Hack Squats: 7x8-15  360-450# 
Leg Curl: 1x10 60#, then drop sets of 5 reps from 70# to 20# 
Standing Calf Raise on Smith Machine: 3x20 225#-315#

Day 5 – Shoulders / Cardio progressions

Dumbbell Press: 1x20 50#, 1x12 70#, 2x6-8 80# 

Side Raise: 1 down the rack set 5x5 55#, 50#, 45#, 40#, 35#
Rear Delt Raise: 2x12-15 80#

Day 6 – Arms / Cardio 30 minutes bike

Alternate Hammer Curl: 1x20 40's 1x12 50# 2x6-8 70#-80#

Preacher Curl: 1x20 90# 1x12 90#, 2x6-8 110#
Incline Curl: 1x20 30#,1x12 30#, 2x6-8 40#-45#
Close Grip Bench: 1x20 135#, 1x12 185#, 2x6-8 225#
Dips: 1x20 bodyweight, 1x12 115#, 1x6-8 135# to 225# 
Tricep Pushdown: 1x20 100#, 1x12 115#,  1-2 x6-8 135#

Day 7 – No weights – Cardio 30 minute bike

 

Abs – various days and various exercises

 

Cardio:

I believe cardio is one of the keys to a winning physique. It doesn’t have to be fancy. I just use the bike most days and go for 30 minutes. I primarily do progressions (interval training) for 30 minutes, but some days I just do a straight 30 minute ride. I did more cardio for the USA than for the Nationals because I was attaining a level of conditioning that I had never achieved before. For the Nationals I tapered off cardio the last couple of weeks as my conditioning was already there.

 

Mental Aspects:

When I’m in contest prep mode, I feel that training and diet are paramount. The thought of winning or placing high keeps me focused. I know all that I have invested in competing, so I do absolutely everything I need to do in order to achieve the best possible result.

 

Hard work makes goals possible.  Working hard, having fun, and helping others, is what life is all about. 

In closing, I would like to thank Roger and Sandy, and everyone at Beverly, my parents, my sisters, "brothers" -- Andy Steiner, Jerry Hurst, and Chris Beer.  All these great people helped make my goal possible.  No one does anything great alone, no one.


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