Over 40 Bodybuilder of the Week: Allen Smith

Over 40 Bodybuilder of the Week: Allen Smith! - Pics and info and more!
  • Name: Allen Smith
  • E-mail: asmith8690@charter.net
  • Age: 46
  • Where: Simpsonville, SC
  • Height: 6'2"
  • Weight: 210 Lbs
  • Years Bodybuilding :1
  • Favorite Bodypart: Abs
  • Favorite Exercise: Crunches, Leg Raises, and Side Sit-Ups
  • Favorite Supplements: Protein Powder

How Did You Get Started?

I've been "lifting weights" since I was sixteen with varying results. I was pretty ignorant in the areas of nutrition, supplementation, and cardio. I was the typical "gym rat" or "weight-lifter". However, five years ago I was diagnosed with Squamous Cell Carcinoma, a potentially fatal form of cancer. My doctor told me I'd never be able to lift weights again like I once did because he had to remove a nerve in the shoulder and trap muscles (along with a multitude of other things, i.e. tonsils, saliva gland, and lymph nodes to name a few) because they were "ate up" with cancer.

After an approximate ten hour surgery to remove the cancer and six weeks of radiation (every day during lunch-five days a week) I'd gone from 265lbs down to 215lbs. For the first year, I was weak all the time and could barely work. The second year I still wasn't back in the gym because 1. I figured I wouldn't be able to make any gains anyway because of the trap and shoulder, and 2. I'd been used to "lifting weights", so I wanted to enjoy being a "couch potato" for a while.

During my third year of recovery, I'd gained back up to approximately 260-265lbs, of mostly fat and I decided to get back to the gym and give it a shot. For the first time ever, I decided that I wanted to learn more about the proper nutrition aspect and not just be a "gym rat".

As I began eating better, taking in the proper supplements, doing more cardio, and having a plan for each body part, my body started responding. The gym owner, Mike Apps (Greenville Athletic Club) told me I should consider competing. After all, he has seen a few bodybuilders in his day.

He competed at one time and Lee Haney and James "BoBo" Eason trained there on a regular basis at one time. I was going to try to compete this time last year, but certain "personal issues" derailed my training.

However, I competed June 12th 2010 in my first bodybuilding event ever. It was the Carolina Super Naturals in Spartanburg, S.C. (a drug free, drug tested event). I placed 1st in the Open Heavyweight class and 2nd in my age group.

Allen Smith.
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Allen Smith.

What Workout Plan Worked Best For You?

I believe there's a lot of misinformation out there that young "weight lifters" are exposed to that states one should work a body part 2-3 times per week. I believe, as a Natural Bodybuilder, one can work a body part once per week and get great results without overtraining.

Rest days usually come on Fridays or Day 5, however once I was 16 weeks out from the show, there were no off-days. Although I believe the body does need time to recover, I believe it can endure most anything for a short time. Therefore every day was used to train some body part. Because of my shoulder, I can't hold a barbell behind my neck so I don't do squats.

Cardio: I'd alternate HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) 20-30 minutes one day a steady cardio for 25-30 minutes the next and take third day off ( I usually would try to make sure my cardio days were not same day as legs ).

Drop Sets - Also known as strip sets, drop sets involve the immediate reduction of weight between sets with no rest. This will thoroughly burn out a muscle.
Failure - That point in an exercise at which you have so fully fatigued your working muscles that they can no longer complete an additional repetition of a movement with strict biomechanics. You should always take your post-warm-up sets at least to the point of momentary muscular failure, and frequently past that point.

Day 1: Quads/Abs

Day 2: Chest/Obliques

Day 3: Back/Calves

Day 4: Hamstrings/Lower Back

Day 5: Shoulders/Traps or Rest

Day 6: Biceps/Triceps

Day 7: Begin Day 1 Again

Allen Smith.
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Allen Smith.

What Nutrition Plan Has Worked Best For You?

Nearly any "Muscle" magazine one may pick up will tell them about the protein requirements ( 1-1.75 grams of protein per lean pound of bodyweight- depending on what one reads), however, for me, getting info on the "correct" amount of carbs I should take in to get in "competition" shape wasn't as readily available. And although carb requirements may vary from person to person, and depending on the amount of cardio one does, what worked for me was to try and take in one gram of carbs per lean pound of bodyweight.

I'd eat the six to seven meals per day (including pre and post workout shakes) however, I'd try to get all my carbs in before 7:00 p.m. (I have a theory on why this is, but not enough room here to expound on it).

Meal 1: 7:00 AM Breakfast

Meal 2: 10:00 AM Mid-Morning Snack

Meal 3: 1:00 PM Lunch

Meal 4: 4:00 PM Mid-Day Snack

Meal 5: 7:00 PM After Workout Snack

` Meal 6: 9:00 PM

  • 10-12oz tilapia or tuna

Meal 7: 11:00 PM

Note: A lot of people may ask "where do you get your fats?" I get them from my supplements. I take CLA, Fish Oil, and Flaxseed Oil and found that I had plenty of energy and the cardio I did was used burning up previously stored fats and any excess carbs I may have taken in during the day. I started this diet 20 weeks out from my show.

Allen Smith.
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Allen Smith.

What Supplements Have Given You The Greatest Gains?

I believe the obvious answer here is protein shakes. It's hard to sit down and eat every 2-3hrs, however, I keep my protein powder with me most everywhere I go and it's easy to mix in a little water in a "shaker bottle" and go.

Why do you love Bodybuilding?

I love the "new life" I've been blessed with. The Lord healed me from the cancer, but also gave me the motivation to be more than a "weight lifter". The true bodybuilding lifestyle is more than just going to the gym and lifting weights. It's also about educating oneself on proper nutrition and supplementation and applying that, along with a proper amount of cardio, to be as "fit" as one can possibly be.

What Motivates You To Follow A Healthy Lifestyle?

The results I've seen in the past two years motivates me to find my weak areas and do my best to improve those. The alternative of sitting around being a "couch potato" and the excess weight that accompanies that lifestyle isn't for me.

What Made You Want To Achieve Your Goals?

I've had relatives and friends get diagnosed, and even die with cancer. But until someone has a doctor tell them "You have cancer and if we don't do something quick, you may not be here in six months to see your children grow up" then, and only then, does the word "cancer" have as much meaning and scare one like it did me in 2005.

Initially, after the doctor told me I'd never lift like I use to; I took him at his word. But I had to get back in the gym and try. One day led to the next. One gain led to the next, and finally after combining the "weight lifting" with proper nutrition, supplementation, and cardio I began achieving miraculous results.

What Are Your Future Bodybuilding Plans?

I want to compete in other Natural Bodybuilding shows. I'd like to find a sponsor that supports "Natural Bodybuilding". Eventually, I'd like to become a personal trainer; I believe I have something to offer to beginners.

Allen Smith.
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Allen Smith.

What One Tip Would You Give Other Bodybuilders?

Keep your eye on the prize. It's not the "win" or the "trophy". It's being the best we can be. And probably more important, it's being grateful for what we have. There are a lot of people of have disabilities, diseases, and deformities that would love an opportunity to be "normal" for a day and we, at least I know I have, take so much for granted.

Who Are Your Favorite Bodybuilders?

James "BOBO" Eason. An all Natural Champ who proved it can be done "naturally". And Lee Haney. I train at the gym where both "BOBO" and Lee began their careers.

What Features Do You Use On Bodybuilding.com?

Store, BodySpace, Forums.