What I Have Learned From Beverly

Wisdom from 10 Years of The No Nonsense Magazine, Body Muscle Journal

By: Steve Colescott

Magazine 10 #3

"So you wanna be a bodybuilder?"

I had heard this kid’s spiel countless times. Gyms across the country, probably around the world, dealt regularly with wide-eyed teens, inspired by the newsstand mags and dreaming of a pro bodybuilding career. In their naïve eyes, they see themselves traveling the US, being adored by fans, flocked by groupies, and paid huge bucks just to train, appear in ads and give guest posing exhibitions. If only they could see just a slice of the behind-the-scenes lives most of these pro card "winners" experience. For 90% of them, it’s a scavenger lifestyle in which "past due" notices are more prevalent than Humvees.

With a slight waver in his voice, Paul a tall, lanky 6’2" 160-pounder reaffirmed his desire for bodybuilding glory, his voice resonating more deeply as he continued to speak. He assured me that it had been his life’s dream and he would do whatever it took to make that dream materialize.

The reality of the situation though, was that I was working a sixty-hour week running a World Gym, putting in five intense workouts a week (I had my own outlandish dreams to chase), and was spending at least an hour a day on my food prep. There was only so much time and energy that I could devote and after going through this a few dozen times, I found it was best to test the convictions of my new charges before investing too much energy into them. The test was two-tiered. Both stages involved pain thresholds.

"So you’re ready to get serious?" I said, trying to disguise the smirk that was threatening to take over my face. "Lets jump into things. We’ll start with legs!" My standard intro "Trial by Fire" leg workout was simple: 1) a warm-up, 2) two sets of heavy twenty-rep Breathing Squats, 3) two supersets of Leg Extensions immediately followed with Frog Leg Presses, with 3-4 forced reps at the end of each set of presses. It wasn’t a great deal of volume but it was definitely grueling.

As I mentioned, this test was actually on two fronts. First, how well would they "hang" during the workout. This was the easy part because masculine pride will take one far into the pain zone as long as you know it’s a temporary thing. The second aspect of the test took place over the following three to four days, when the constant throbbing agony of muscles, yanked awake from years of sedentary grogginess, feel as though they have been turned inside out, sautéed in a light butter sauce and then gently diced into bite-sized cubes before being forcibly jammed back into roughly the same place they previously slumbered. This was where most starry-eyed neophytes fell off the grid.

So I was caught off guard the next day when tall, lanky Paul came slowly walking into the gym for our second appointment. He was strutting like a saddle-sore roughrider, desperately trying to keep his inner thighs from accidentally grazing against one another and sending another wave of pain through his traumatized body. This kid had some heart.

I don’t think there is a better
source of bodybuilding info than
the articles in the No Nonsense

Having earned a certain level of my respect, I felt Paul was ready for detailed guidance. We sat down and I charted out a workout split. We talked about a basic meal template and his basic supplement needs. Last, but not least, I gave him the guidance he would need to take things beyond the beginner’s level. As I handed him the short stack of info, he looked puzzled.

Aram Hamparian Drugfree Champion
Aram Hamparian
Drugfree Champion

"Therein lie the answers to all of your questions." (Fortunately, I left off the corny-sounding "my son" from the end of the sentence.) He flipped through the pages, trying to soak it all in.

Getting a bit carried away with my mentor role, I continued on with my proselytizing. "Avoid the newsstand muscle mags, ignore Internet bodybuilding sites. This is real in-the-trenches info written by normal people that have succeeded at doing the very thing you are trying to do." I gave him the three most recent issues of Beverly International’s No Nonsense Magazine and showed him how to sign up for his own subscription. I felt Paul was well on his path.

Since then I have made the same recommendation countless times. I can honestly say I don’t think there is a better source of bodybuilding info than the articles in the No Nonsense Magazine (and its Irish twin the BodyMuscle Journal). If you are new to these publications, you will see that they are an ideal blend of inspiration, information and practical real world info. I jokingly refer to the collected issues as The Summa Hypertrophica, in reference to Thomas Aquinas’ famous religious text of a similar name.

A thorough review of all of the back issues will cause a lifechanging leap in your level of bodybuilding knowledge similar to a Masters degree in "Muscleology." The shared life experience of hundreds of successful lifters can save you years of effort. As pro fitness competitor and Beverly disciple Liz Maurice said,1 "Now I’ve been taking Beverly so long, following their plans and reading their literature, that I’m the gym guru." You can use these invaluable references to become an expert too. Here are just a small handful of the basic principles that I have learned, relearned, discovered and had reinforced through the Beverly magazines. Enjoy the recap.


The Beverly publications have always espoused hard, basic training. While there may be a number of flashy, complex training programs in the monthly muscle magazines, basic gut-busting effort is universally effective at causing growth. Aram Hamparian may have said2 it best. "Train hard, provide extra time for recovery and focus on perfect exercise form on the basic compound multi-joint movements." J.R. McKinney expands 3 upon this, "I always use basic compound exercises year round; the fundamental movements that develop muscle mass."

The Beverly Publications were strong proponents of powerbodybuilding — mixing bodybuilding and powerlifting techniques to increase strength in basic exercises. In one issue, Greg Daniels recounts,4 "I was again reminded how much fun deadlifts, dips and military presses were and how much more powerful I felt doing multi-joint exercises versus moving a weight stack up and down via an attached cable."

"I believe in ‘controlled heavy training." Shane Smith says,5 "I train with the heaviest weight I can control through the fullest range of motion." Brenda Smith (no relation) concurs,6 recommending that lifters "... maintain high intensity levels with [their] training in order to incite new muscle growth."

The very core of size and strength building involves a slow, steady increase in poundages or, as Roger Riedinger says,7 "continuous incremental improvement." Joe Fogarty echoes this philosophy when he says,8 "... trying to beat my previous best in perfect form encouraged me to get stronger every workout." Forcing the body to constantly adapt to greater poundages in basic exercises would have to be considered the number one priority. After all, this is the stimulus that sets everything else in motion.

"Believe it or not, for most people, 50% Protein, 20% Carbohydrate, and 30% Fat is optimal."


When it comes to muscle-building nutrition, there is little doubt as to the importance of protein in the diet. Roger Riedinger (in an article written with Dr. Eric Serrano9) said, "Believe it or not, for most people 50% Protein, 20% Carbohydrate and 30% Fat is optimal." While this skewing of the macronutrient rations seems somewhat ‘protein heavy’ the accounts of successful bodybuilders seems to bear out its value.

"I’ll consume 450 grams of protein divided equally seven meals, 64-65 grams every meal," says J.R. McKinney3 (competing at 225 pounds). An article on heavyweight competitor Dave Uhlman shares an almost identical recommendation."His off-season diet is very high protein, up to 500 grams a day, made possible by Beverly Muscle Provider, Mass Maker and Ultra Size. In addition to whole food and powdered protein sources, he supplements with beef liver tabs, amino acids and glutamine." High protein is also important for power athletes. Champion bodybuilder and powerlifter Todd Jackson talks about the strict eating plan his powerlifting team followed,12 "Daily food intake consisted of high protein (up to 50%), a blend of complex and fibrous carbs, and healthy fats." He goes on to say that, in addition to whole food protein and protein shakes, "Dr. Matt [team coach] had everyone base their supplement program around Ultra 40, Mass Aminos and Creatine."

In addition to providing the raw building blocks for new muscle tissue, a high protein diet encourages leanness. Aram Hamparian says,2 "The more constant and elevated you keep your protein intake, the less carb cravings you will have. You will actually begin to enjoy ‘eating clean.’ The blood sugar stabilizing effects of protein foods is a key factor in achieving shredded contest conditioning.

Rachel mixes Muscle Provider

Almost all of the profiles involved at least two protein shakes a day, particularly in the early morning and immediately following a workout. Morning protein shakes were most often mixes of fast whey protein blends (Muscle Provider) and slower milk and egg protein sources (Ultimate Muscle Protein or Ultra Size), provided a quick, convenient healthy meal before heading out the door. Post-workout shakes were more often higher in whey protein and may have contained some carbs (depending on the goals and individual metabolic type of the lifter). These were often Muscle Provider with Mass Maker sometimes added during the off-season or gaining phases. Older articles featured earlier discontinued or upgraded proteins like (100% Egg Protein or Complete Muscle Protein) but the basic nutritional concepts, while being slightly tweaked over time, have changed remarkably little.

Marc Sanguiliano

Beverly staff members wellknown for keeping a close hands-on contact with their clients, shared the following story,7 "Marc [Sanguiliano] is always ripped and has won a lot of shows, but this time even while twelve-pounds heavier than just a year ago, he was razor sharp and shredded! Marc swore that the only thing he did differently this year was to take either Muscle Provider or Ultra Size, Mass and Ultra 40 around the ‘waking clock’ — with meals, as a meal, in between meals, etc." This is very similar to some of the daily protein consumption techniques used by Vince Gironda, Rheo H. Blair and the top bodybuilders of the sixties and seventies. It is obviously still an effective strategy.

Supplementation with additional amino or liver sources is also an important recurring theme in all of the stories. Adding 4-6 Ultra 40 liver tabs and Mass Aminos with each meal seems to improve muscle size and hardness, as well as assisting in the prevention of muscle loss while on a fat-loss diet. Darren Salmons mentions another interesting use for these musclebuilding tablets,13 "For any meal where I am a little short on protein I merely pop the number of liver or aminos I need to bring my protein grams up to the precise level I desire." It is precisely these types of common sense ideas that make the Beverly publications so useful.


With protein providing the musclebuilding foundation for a bodybuilder’s diet, properly handling carbohydrate intake is the best way to regulate leanness and to assist training in causing the desired metabolic changes. In almost every article, this strategy is mentioned as the key to changing appearance. For example, Al Short says14 that, "By carefully regulating my carbohydrate intake we were able to ‘fine tune’ my appearance." Subtle changes can cause immediate physique changes.

Roger Riedinger relates that,15 "I gained weight while increasing muscularity. The key was limiting carbohydrates to sixty to seventyfive grams daily, using 1 1/2 to two cups of protein powder daily and two cups of cream daily." Low carbs are the key to this type of gradual fat mobilization.

"Eat your heavier carb meals
ealier in the day."

Timing of carbs is also important. By concentrating your carb intake early in the morning and near the workout, there is enough glycogen (blood sugar for muscular performance) for the workout while providing an optimal fat-burning state. Steven Wade says,16 "I was losing weight daily. I was taking in about 2800 calories at this point. No carbs were consumed within three hours of going to bed." Mike Milas was among the many others that agreed with this strategy when he said,17 "Eat your heavier carb meals earlier in the day."

As a contest diet progresses, it is common to gradually replace carbohydrate calories with protein calories, depending on the aesthetic needs of the particular athlete. Steven Wade shared his tried-andtrue technique for this,16 "My general rule of thumb was if I cut carbs by more than 75 grams one week, I would add that amount in protein."

Brenda Smith learned that proper nutrition is 80% of the successful figure contestant equation.

Brenda Smith good bad carbs with
respect to Glycemic index
"The twice weekly carb-up meals did wonders to immediately speed up my metabolism."

Proper carbohydrate consumption is not only based on timing of consumption but serving size and composition. Kristina Henn touches on this when she says,18 "I»ve learned the difference between good and bad carbs (with respect to Glycemic index), and what one serving of carbs really is. It’s much smaller than what I was used to!" Mike Matson explains his carb choices in more detail,19 "The carbohydrates were of the low Glycemic variety consisting of grapefruit, strawberries, red beans and salad vegetables." Many other athletes, such as Brenda Smith, explain how this fits into their holistic eating approach,6 "I began eating five to six smaller meals containing quality protein, green vegetables, slow burning carbohydrates and essential fats."


Over the course of my Beverly education, the most interesting nutrition revelation for me was Team Beverly’s exacting techniques of cycling carbohydrate intake while dieting. This is the type of fine-tuning that can only come from working with (and closely following the feedback from) thousands of motivated, driven athletes. For most bodybuilders and fitness competitors a basic reduced carb 50/20/30 (calories from protein, carbs and fats) diet is adequate. Those on more stringent or extended diets (such as those competing in multiple shows), tend to find that, at a certain point, the body refuses to respond. The body’s feedback mechanisms readjust themselves to your lowered carb intake and your metabolism eventually slows.

Anaerobic exercise requires the use of large amounts of muscle glycogen. If we restrict carbohydrates on a consistent basis, we run the risk of limiting our muscle growth (displayed by a lack of muscle pumps and muscle fullness). This causes inadequate recuperation and a state of overtraining. Cycling your carbs is a simple solution to this problem.

Beverly clients are familiar with the benefits of scheduling periods of additional carb intake. Scott Griffin explains20 the basis of his diet, "No complex carbs except Monday and Thursday as the famous Beverly carb-up meal." Shane Smith5 and numerous other top competitors found that adding in the carb meals kick-started fat burning when their metabolisms begin to adapt to the diet.

Dan Johnson also experienced great results from a twice-weekly added carb meal. He tells21 us, "Monday and Thursday: I added a sixth meal: one and a half cups of oatmeal, ten-ounces sweet potato, one banana, one cup vegetables, and one tablespoon butter." These types of adjustments seem to be universally successful at stoking the fat-burning furnace for those on extended diets. Sean Andros says,22 "The twice weekly carb-up meals did wonders to immediately speed up my metabolism."

In addition to added carb meals throughout the week, alternating gaining and hardening phases has proven to be very effective for allowing bodybuilders to come into a contest ripped and big. As Dave Diana relates23 when outlining his contest prep, "Six weeks later the results from these two cycles of training were fabulous. I didn’t experience the cravings I had while dieting in the past. Not only did I look and feel great but I was able to maintain all my strength in the gym."

"By cycling carbs, you can rev up metabolic production temporarily..." says24 training expert Scott Mendelson. "You get a rebound ‘stuffing’ of the muscles/liver with glycogen." The result? ...Full, strong muscles, higher levels of recuperation and an optimized metabolism that is almost permanently in fat-burning mode.

In addition to keeping the metabolism operating optimally, loosening your carb restriction has mental benefits. "I allow myself one cheat meal a week so that I don’t feel I’m missing out on what life has to offer," says drug-free pro Mark Dal.25 "But I go back on my diet the very next meal and sometimes even do some extra cardio just to be safe."
One of the best aspects of the No
Nonsense Newsletter and
BodyMuscle Journal is that they
allow us to learn from the
mistakes of others.


One of the best aspects of the No Nonsense Magazine and Body Muscle Journal is that they allow us to learn from the mistakes of others, allowing us to have a much easier, faster path towards our goals. One excellent lesson that Beverly has taught us is the proper place for cardio work in our program. Since most of us tend to hate cardio, the news is good. They have found that proper eating and hard training should be our focus, with minimal cardio work as a "finishing touch." Jason Theobald tells us,26"...like many first-timers, I got nervous at the end and added a bunch of extra cardio, causing too much weight loss."

Jacqueline Frere enforces this conclusion when she states,27 "I did just three 30-minute cardio sessions per week and let my diet and Beverly supplements do the rest." Trainer Adam Wotherspoon found the same while dealing with his clients. While describing the program he designed for client Kevin Koshuta, he says,28 "Kevin’s cardio consisted of just two to three sessions per week at 15-20 minutes a sessions. With his strict dieting and intense training he didn’t need anymore."

The correct strategy, and one championed by the Beverly Training and Nutrition System, is to be strict enough in your off-season program so that you have a proper starting point for a diet. "I found that if I keep my bodyfat in check by improving my nutrition, I do not need to do endless hours of cardio to get ready for a contest," says Dave Diana.23 "I ate double the amount of calories this time around and cardio was not even an issue."

The trick here, it seems, is to make your cardio work short but intense. Scott Griffin explains how he worked up to higher intensity levels as he progressed but did not spend a lot of time with cardio.20 "Before starting my Beverly International program I ran three to five miles five days a week; now three or four 20-30 minute sessions did the trick," he recalls. Mark Dal shares a similar story.25 "I was killing myself with cardio, starving to death and my progress had come to a dead stop."

Shane Smith describes his 20- 30 minutes cardio sessions,5 "My goal is 400kcal per session. I vary the activity so I don’t get bored... I try to maintain my heart rate at 75- 85% of my predicted maximum heart rate."
Shane Smith symmetry conditioning muscularity

Using calories burned as a gauge for volume is a simple and workable solution, but needs are going to vary from individual to individual, based on their metabolism, goals and fitness levels. Perhaps the most helpful piece of cardio advice came from a standard Beverly staff member, when they describe their logical system for building to the proper volume.

Record the calories expended at each session for a week. As an example go 200 calories a day the first week for a total expenditure of 1400. For the following weeks, set a goal to increase by 10%. Get into the high intensity realm by keeping the time constant and increasing the intensity level each week. Add 10% per week to your total calories expended for the entire eight weeks, like 1400, 1540, 1700, 1870, 2100, 2300, 2530 and 2800 in week eight. This is about 400 calories each session for 7 days and this is what most bodybuilders peaking tend to do.

The profiles in the Beverly
magazines contain numerous
practical ideas on how to
arrange your life so that training
and nutrition fit easily into your

Increase your calories burned [by cardio] each week. This means you will have to increase your intensity, intervals or duration each week to reach a higher rate of calories burned. Continue this regimen until you reach your goal and then find a cardio point that will allow you to maintain your results."

Mark Dal points out that high intensity interval training holds other benefits over the long, slow marathon type of work once popular by lifters longing to lose bodyfat.25 "Roger instructed me to do intervals, as well to run hills and sprints. It has done wonders for my leg separation."


Reading stories about top professional bodybuilders can quickly become depressing when their advice includes double-split training, cost-prohibitive eating plans and techniques that require a support team beyond the time and financial restraints of the average lifter. This is what makes The No Nonsense Magazine and Body Muscle Journal so useful. The profiles in the Beverly magazines contain numerous practical ideas on how to arrange your life so that training and nutrition fit easily into your lifestyle.

With the hectic pace of our world, it is not easy. When comparing the fitness lifestyle to other sports, Greg Daniels says,4 "Bodybuilding, however, requires that you live it both on and off the field." This level of commitment is not for everyone but the rewards are exceptional. While trying to fit contest training into his rigorous collegiate schedule, Sean Andros concluded,22 "It probably was not the best time, but there may not be a best time." Sean, Greg and the other athletes that have appeared in the magazines made the time and enhanced their lives in the process.

Even if bodybuilding is your top priority, the necessities of survival in the modern world often require work, family and other obligations to come first. As Liz Maurice says,1 "Since I don’t have the luxury of planning my life around my training, I plan my training around my life." Planning that time intelligently may be the difference between success and failure.

Being maximally efficient with your time and pre-planning is the key to making bodybuilding work in your life. "Another time-saving technique is preparing my food early in the week," Says Roger Schei.29 "I usually pick Sunday evenings and cook in bulk." Once or twice weekly food prep sessions will ensure that your clean, musclebuilding foods are always available when needed.

Professional fitness competitor Julie Lohre adds,30 "When you prepare your own food, you pay closer attention to what is in it." This guarantees that hidden chemicals, sugars or other additives don’t derail your otherwise clean eating. In order to avoid fast food, Julie simply makes sure that she is never stuck in a situation in which bodybuilding is known as a very isolated avocation, I have rarely seen anyone succeed at it without a strong support team. This is as it should be, for why endeavor to great ends without people with whom to share your success?

The lesson of this is to appreciate those people in your life now (don’t wait until you’re being profiled in an issue to let them know). If you currently do not have that type of support network, consider exactly what you are missing out on and the enrichment to your life (and, by extension, your bodybuilding) from developing those type of deep meaningful relationships.

These are just a handful of the most commonly repeated and interesting lessons I noticed in my review of the Beverly library of publications. If you’ve read even two or three issues, certain patterns emerge. Take these seriously as these are the very strong indicators of areas that can help you reach your bodybuilding goals.

1) Liz Maurice. "Liz Maurice Wins Her Pro Card" NNN Vol. VIII #4.
2) Aram Hamparian. "How I Took My Physique (and Life) to a Higher Level." NNN Vol. IX #1.
3) J.R. McKinney. "How I Increased My Competition Weight Eight Pounds Yet Still Came in Harder." NNN Winter 1996.
4) Greg Daniels. "Advanced Muscle Mass Plateau Buster." NNN Vol. VIII, #4.
5) Shane Smith. "Advice to the Bodybuilder." NNN. Vol. IX #1.
6) Brenda Smith. "Making a Dream Come True." NNN. Vol. IX, No. 1
7) Roger Riedinger and staff. "BodyMuscle Forum." BMJ Vol. #5
8) Joe Fogarty. "I Turned My Dream Into Reality with Precision Nutrition and Training." NNN. Vol. IX, No. 3.
9) Roger Riedinger and Dr. Eric Serrano. "Building Muscle Faster" NNN Vol.7 #2
10) J.R. McKinney. "How I Increased My Competition Weight Eight Pounds Yet Still Came in Harder" NNN. Winter 1996.
11) Dave Uhlman. "Blast Workout for Herculean Muscle Quality" BMJ Vol. #5
12) Todd Jackson. "Matrix Revisited for Maximum Power and a National Championship." NNN. Vol. IX # 2.
13) Darren Salmons. "Straight Up: Supplementing Can Facilitate Faster Results with Quality Muscle." NNN Summer 1996)
14) Al Short. "Teaching an Old Dog New Tricks" NNN Summer 1996.
15) Roger Riedinger. "Protein and Whipping Cream?" NNN Fall 1995)
16) Steven Wade. "Guaranteed Formula for Fat Loss and Muscle Preservation." NNN Fall 1995
17) Mike Milas. "Putting It All Together—My Best Year in Bodybuilding." NNN Vol. IX #3.
18) Kristina Henn. "Dedication, Commitment and Desire — My Recipe for Success." NNN Vol. IX #4.
19) Mike Matson. "A Different Approach to Contest Dieting." NNN Fall 1995.
20) Scott Griffin. "Timeline to Bodybuilding Success." NNN Vol. IX #1.
21) Dan Johnson. "Three Shows, Three Wins in a Row" NNN Vol.7 #2.
22) Sean Andros. "Finding the Way with Beverly" NNN Vol. IX #4.
23) Dave Diana. "Countdown to Bodybuilding Success" NNN Vol. VIII #4.
24) Scot Mendelson. "Cycling Nutrition: Rapid Muscle Growth, Rapid Fat Loss" Body Muscle Vol. #5
25) Mark Dal. "Mark Dal, Drug Free Pro Bodybuilder" NNN Vol. IX #4.
26) Jason Theobald. "First to Fourth in Less Than a Year... Beverly Style." NNN Vol. IX #2.
27) Jacqueline Frere. "Beverly by Accident — Winning by Design." NNN Vol.7 #2
28) Adam Wotherspoon. "INTENSITY Spells success for Kevin Koshuta." NNN Winter 1996
29) Roger Schei. "Training and Nutrition Tips for the Time Challenged." NNN Vol. IX #2.
30) Julie Lohre. "Childbirth to Figure Champion in just Five Months." NNN Vol. IX #1.

10 issue 3

› Justin Swinney
My Training, Nutrition, and Supplement Strategies

› Back To The Basement
Brian Wiefering: Squats Superset leg extensions curls

› Mike Fransen
Post-show Light Heavyweight, diet 6 meals 4000 calories 50% protein 30% fats 20% carbs

› Tara Darland
From Size 14 To Size 6 First Figure Competition

› Scott H. Mendelson
Power Pyramid Training, Modifying workout parameters