I love transformation stories, especially when it comes from the over 50 crowd! This post is in Jeanette Martin's honor, and all I can say is "Sugar, how'd you get so fly?" This lady is no slacker and has been fit and working hard in the gym for a while. But still - in about 5 months time she went from awesome to stellar. So of course, I had to ask: Woman, what did you do?!
A little refresher is necessary here because the pictures you'll see might not be in the proper perspective if you don't follow my blog. If you do follow it, you've already seen her (and I know you'd love to see her again!) and when you see the difference, you'll be curious about her metamorphosis as well. We were both in the NPC First Call-out Women's Figure Over 50 division in September 2017. She will be the first one on stage in the video:
Here are a couple of stills from the same show:
And now, check out the photos below from October 2017 (Jeanette is on the right):
Here's a side-by-side comparison (from left to right): July 2017, October 2017 and December 2017. What a change in 6 months! Jeanette shares that this was based on dietary changes and posing.
Even more dramatic are the next 2 photos:
Very impressive!!! Keep in mind that this is a 52 yr. old female. Accomplishing this level of physical conditioning at any age is not easy but aging and menopause bring additional challenges. It still blows me away when I hear the phrase 'Women are the weaker sex' tossed around so casually. Each of us deals with our own particular weaknesses but pound-for-pound, women are NOT the weaker sex. I believe this is a part of the reason women are still persecuted in many cultures, including our own, because that strength may be very threatening to many men. When a woman discovers her strength, and how to use it properly, she becomes a force to be reckoned with.
What exactly does it take to reach this level, particularly over 50? For Jeanette, it has been a journey of discovery and she says it well: "When I decided to compete again last year it wasn’t without some reservations – it had been a few years since I stepped on stage and something about being a “50+” competitor meant I had to take this seriously and work a little harder since physiology was working more against me than with me this time around. During my training last year, I learned several things, the most important being I needed to find a coach I related to and who was invested in my success as an athlete. Although I’m credentialed (MS/Ph.d.), I wasn’t looking for the degree or the magazine-cover type, I wanted a bodybuilder who understood what it took to win/place at my age competing against gals half my age in multiple categories. I found that coach in Libel Remedios.
"It took me 5 shows (on my own) to find him – then he incorporated his changes in my last two preps and voila…what a difference. The first change was nutrition. Although my eating was always clean, it wasn’t sufficient if my intention was to grow and come in more conditioned. All supplements were basically eliminated and reduced to only the essentials: DHEA, Glutamine, D3, Omegas, CLA, ZMA, Carnitine and increase in H20 to up to 2 gallons a day. Protein was also increased to 5 oz for all meals except last. Carbs were at 100 grams until about 6 weeks out then reduced with re-feeds in between as needed. At this time we added HGH via prescription since I was having issues recovering from the intensity of the workouts at my age…the HGH helped a lot. Also helped with sleeping. I was at 1 iu per day then up to 2 ius 4 weeks out. It really made a difference in being able to metabolize body-fat without sacrificing muscle. I plan on remaining on a low dose even after I stop this season – simply because it makes me feel great. There is a ton of research on the use of HGH in bodybuilding and for women dealing with post menopausal symptoms – and I can tell you from personal experience it is highly effective if not abused. Some women use too much of this stuff and you’ll see their 'abs' look like a turtle (HGH gut is what they call it) – giving them a bloated appearance.
"The great thing about HGH is you can get it via prescription from your physician and it’s fairly easy to tolerate with very little side affect. The best combination to date is what I’ve described above – avoiding meal replacement shakes and bars and always using real food. Another huge impact was lowering my cardio…less in duration and intensity was the secret sauce for the conditioning I was able to achieve in December. So, bottom line, there IS life on stage after 50!"
All great information and thank you so much for sharing Jeanette! I included links on CLA, ZMA and Carnitine and I encourage you to follow them - particularly Carnitine. Always keep in mind that what works for one person may not work the same for another. Jeanette also says that having the advice is great but you still have to put it to use. Remember that this is a sport that requires commitment, dedication and lifestyle adjustments. This is NOT for the weak-hearted, as it means showing up day-after-day to the training table. No slacking when you're having a bad day. You MUST keep putting one foot in front of the other on the same road, even when you are unsure of where the journey will lead. If you never intend to compete but still want the physique, the same level of commitment applies.
Celebrities are known for their use of HGH - this IS an injection - and it can be extremely pricey. The purported benefits of HGH include decrease in body-fat, improved sleep, better mood and cognitive functioning, increased muscle strength and recovery, improved libido, increase in hair growth, faster fracture healing, reduced cardiovascular disease risk and reduction of crepey skin. The links above on HGH will take you to 2 different places for further information.
As for protein intake, especially if you are vegan/vegetarian, and when eating a meal is not always possible, I can recommend Biotrust as a non-gritty, great tasting alternative and right now they are running a special. Click the link below to check it out:
What is the very best protein for your age and gender?
Reducing carbohydrate levels can be the most challenging part of attaining the lean physique we dream of. Jeanette used a reference of 100 gms during lean-out phase with further reductions from there. This equates to only 400 calories. If you start your day with the typical breakfast of a glass of orange juice and a bowl of cereal with 1/2 cup milk and a piece of fruit, you're most likely taking in close to that amount of carbs in just one meal! This is the main reason people struggle with getting lean - again, definitely NOT for the weak-hearted!