Get Back in the Game!
By: Mike Francois, 1995 Arnold Classic Champion

My 6 tips for success to get back in the game
  1. Set realistic goals
  2. Don’t overdo it
  3. Exercise correctly
  4. Recuperate properly
  5. Commit to nutrition and supplementation
  6. Seek advice and support

When beginning your new program, keep in mind that it’s a marathon, not a sprint. The extra weight wasn’t gained overnight, and it will not be lost overnight. The goals you set need to be challenging without being overwhelming. You want to be able to visualize yourself reaching the goal. It’s also important to have a plan:
Set specific goals: Goals such as ‘lose weight’ can be too vague and usually lead to frustration. Be precise!
Have a time-frame: It is important to have a target date. This will help you stay motivated and give you something to work toward. Mark it on your calendar!
Measure your success: As you go through this journey, measuring the little victories along the way are critical, especially for your mental state. This can be done in several ways such as monitoring your weight, bodyfat, and how your clothes fit. Take the time to record your successes!

Many people tend to be overly motivated in the beginning and think doing more will help them reach their goals sooner. It won’t. What usually happens is you become both mentally and physically defeated. Frustration is the mental component and injury is the physical component. Start slowly and reintroduce your body to exercise the right way. After a few short weeks, you will be ready to increase the intensity.

Your program must consist of weight training and cardio! Too many people rely on cardio alone when trying to lose weight, which is a big mistake. As we age, our metabolism slows down each year and we tend to put on bodyfat. One of the best ways to combat this slowdown is to increase our muscle mass. Muscle is very metabolically active and the more we have of it, the faster our metabolism is. This is why weight training is so important, especially as we grow older. For the first four weeks, I recommend weight training no more than three times per week. As you progress, you can add a 4th day and increase your workload and intensity level by incorporating new exercises, decreasing rest time, and adding additional reps and sets. For the cardio component, start with at least 20 minutes 2 times per week. See Get Back in the Game Workout Schedules sidebar for sample workouts.

Many people think they are building muscle when they hit the weights. However, you are actually stressing your muscles and tearing them down during training. The growth phase occurs when you are resting and recuperating. This is what allows the muscles that you have broken down to grow, and why rest days are vitally important. Make a point to schedule them into your program. Your rest days are just as critical as your training days! Other components of recovery are: Sleep: Your body releases its biggest surge of growth hormone during REM sleep, so aim for at least 8 hours a night. Nutrition/Supplementation: The materials we give our body through food and supplements are critical for rebuilding and recovery. Hydration: Make sure you stay hydrated before, during and after exercising. Being dehydrated can delay the recovery process and lead to other issues, some serious. Drink up!

Food! This always seems to be the most difficult piece of the puzzle. Face it, we all love to eat. But, we must learn to enjoy healthy foods. I haven’t had junk food in literally 30 years, but I love the food I eat, and I have found creative ways to make great-tasting healthy meals. You must make this a lifestyle. Having a great ‘day’ of eating won’t get it done. We need to string together day after day and week after week of doing things the right way. The key to all of this is preparation. If you have your meals planned and ready to go, you will be less inclined to hit the fast food joints during lunch or grab the first thing you see when you get home.
I am not going to get into specifics on what foods to eat and how much. There are a million and one diets out there and most actually do work. The key is to choose one that fits your lifestyle and is sustainable and healthy. Commitment and consistency is key! You’ll find sample meal plans for a number of goals on Beverly’s website, Click on the BevSolutions button. Supplementation is also an integral part of getting the most out of your body and its natural functioning. What I mean by that is there are supplements that can use your body’s normal functions to increase recovery between training sessions and therefore raise your energy for increased fat burning.
The following are the Beverly supplements I encourage my clients to use, especially those who are trying to gain muscle and lose body fat:
Glutamine Select: Helps stop muscle soreness and enhances recovery between workouts.
UMP: Helps with recovery, muscle building & preservation and fat loss.
Super Pak: Supplies your body with super doses of essential vitamins and minerals, food concentrates, enzymes and more.
Lean Out: Creates a metabolic environment that is optimal for getting lean.
7-Keto MuscLean: The benefits include fat loss and it helps to preserve lean muscle during a calorie restricted diet.
Density: Intensifies protein synthesis for muscle building and retention.
It is important to remember that no matter how many supplements you take, none of them will do you any good if you aren’t eating the right foods and following your nutrition plan! Supplements are important, but they are exactly that, supplements. Meaning, they supplement your nutrition. They do not take the place of eating the right foods.

If you don’t know where to start or have trouble staying the course, seek the help of a professional trainer. They can merely help you get started on the right track or be with you every step of the way. Having a support system in place can be critical to your success as well. It doesn’t really matter where the support comes from. It can be family, a close friend, social media platform or your personal trainer. It’s important to have people around you that can not only motivate you, but keep you accountable!
Reclaiming your physique can seem like a daunting task, maybe even impossible at times. However, making this a reality is completely within your grasp. Get back in the game starting today!

Weeks 1-4: Do 3 full body workouts a week, ex: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Do 1 set of each exercise for the first week, 2 sets the second week, and 3 sets the third and fourth weeks.

Weeks 1-4 full body workout
Exercise Sets Reps
1. Bench Press 1-3 8-15
2. 1-Arm DB Row 1-3 12-20
3. DB Press 1-3 8-10
4. Lateral Raise 1-3 10-15
5. Alternate DB Curl 1-3 10-15
6. Triceps Extension 1-3 10-20
7. Squat or Leg Press 1-3 10-20
8. Calf Raise 1-3 15-25
9. Crunch 1-3 10-25
10. Straight Leg Deadlift 1-3 12

Weeks 5-12: Workout 4 days per week, ex: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday
Days 1 and 3: Chest, Shoulders, Triceps, Abs

Exercise Sets Reps
1. Bench Press 1, 1, 4, 1 15, 10, 8, 12

2. Incline DB Press 3 6-10
3. Seated DB Press 3 8-10
4. Lateral Raise 2 8-12
5. Front Raise 2 8-12
6. Triceps Extension 2 10-12
7. Triceps Pushdown 2 10-12
8. Crunch 3 15-25

Days 2 and 4: Legs, Back, Biceps, Abs

Exercise Sets Reps
1. Squats (or Leg Press) 1, 1, 4 20, 15, 6-10

2. Bent-Over Rows 3 8
3. Lat Pulldowns 3 8-12
4. BB or DB Curls 3 8-12
5. Leg Extension 2 8-12
6. Leg Curl 2 12
7. Hyperextension 2 10-20
8. Leg Raise 3 15-25

Cardio: Do 20 minutes cardio after your workouts on Monday and Thursday, and a 30-minute session on Wednesday.

One of my favorite recipes for a healthy, great tasting, muscle building meal!
Italian turkey meatloaf
1 pound ground turkey
1 egg
¼ cup bread crumbs (as healthy as you can find)
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1 tsp minced garlic
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper (or to taste)
¼ teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1½ cups no-sugar added marinara or pasta sauce (divided: ¼ cup and 1½ cups)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and prepare a loaf pan with cooking spray. I like to use olive oil or avocado oil spray.
Mix the turkey, egg, ¼ cup of the marinara/pasta sauce, bread crumbs, Italian seasoning, garlic, black pepper, and salt in a large bowl.
Place into prepared loaf pan.
Bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes. Carefully drain any fat from loaf pan. Pour the remaining 1½ cups of marinara/pasta sauce over the meatloaf and return to oven for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let rest for a couple minutes. Slice and serve! 
Note: Thermometer inserted into the center should read at least 160 degrees F.
For a quick side dish, slice up some sweet potatoes and onions, coat with olive or avocado oil, add salt, pepper and Italian seasoning and bake along with your meatloaf. Enjoy!

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