- Name: Christopher Bohn
- E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Age: 45
- Where: Caledonia, Michigan
- Height: 5'8"
- Weight: Off-season-250 lbs, Contest we
- Years Bodybuilding :5
- Favorite Bodypart: Arms
- Favorite Exercise: Flat dumbbell press
- Favorite Supplements: Protein, Creatine, Multivitamins
How Did You Get Started?
My parents gave my brother and me an old plastic covered weight set when I was just 10 yrs old. They thought it would help build self esteem and confidence. And it did!! We fooled around with the weights for a couple of years and then added a bench and curl bar to our set of weights. In high school we replaced the old cement set with a used olympic weight set we found for sale locally. Although I didn't have the knowledge back then that I do now, both my brother and I built a pretty decent bodybuilding base with what we had.
Back then bodybuilding was often seen on network television. This was long before cable was available. There was something about looking powerful that appealed to me. I wanted to look and feel powerful just like the bodybuilders I saw. Could I be a competitive bodybuilder someday?
As time went on, and the hustle and bustle of everyday life took over, bodybuilding was given a much lower priority. I continued to lift and pursue other forms of exercise such as; racquetball, biking, skiing, and running. But it was weightlifting that I enjoyed the most. I kept lifting on and off throughout my adult life. It wasn't until I was 40 years old that I contemplated competing in a bodybuilding competition.
I decided to go a step further and join a gym rather then lift in my own home gym. This turned out to be a good move. Although I built a decent physique on my own using my equipment, working out with other like minded people has been a great motivating and learning experience. I would not have been as successful in competition had I not joined a gym.
When I turned 40 I thought, "If I don't give it a try now, I never will". As I grow older, I realize that I only have one life, and I had better make the most of it while I still can. Following my dream to step on the bodybuilding stage was one thing I really wanted to experience.
My goal in the beginning was to prepare to compete, and hopefully, take home a trophy or two to put on my mantle. Of course, the competitive bug hit me, and now I want to earn my IFBB pro card. I first competed in 2005 as a middleweight. And then in 2006 and 2007 as a Light Heavy Weight.
In 2008 I will compete as a solid Heavyweight. I've competed in 9 competitions in 3 seasons earning more then a dozen trophies in both masters and open classes. However, it wasn't until my last competition in Sept of 2007 that I finally had my conditioning near perfect and won an overall at an NPC National Qualifier, the Western Michigan Bodybuilding competition.
I have worked with a couple of different trainers and have learned from them. But I found that to have success, I had to learn for myself how my body responds to the many different aspects of contest preparation. Frequent competitions allowed me to hone my preparation to fit me.
What Workout Plan Worked Best For You?
I had good growth working all body parts twice a week until I reached a weight of about 205-210 off season. I found that as my weights and intensity increased I was not recovering between workouts. I then switched over to working each body part just once a week but giving each workout the most intensity I possibly could. I continue to see steady growth with this current workout plan.
Sundays: Quads, Hams & Calves:
- Leg press
- Hack Squat
- Stiff Leg Deadlift
- Lying leg curls
- Seated leg curls
- Seated calf raises
- Standing calf raises
Keeping the reps in the 20-30 range has really helped put size on my legs. I had been pushing heavier weight in the 10-12 rep range but growth in my legs was slow. When I changed up my rep range this last year, my legs have really taken off.
Tuesday: Bi's, Tri's & Light Shoulder:
- EZ bar curls
- Heavy dumbbell curls (standing with a twist)
- Preacher curls
- Concentration curls
- Push downs
- Skull crushers
- Machine dips
- Side, front and rear lateral raises for some light shoulder detail work
I try to keep my rep range at 10-12. You will notice I do not have an isolated shoulder day. Since chest day hits shoulders as well, I will perform some heavy shoulder work then. On arm day I stick to some laterals to bring out the detail. My shoulders continue to develop well under this program.
- Heavy wide grip pull downs
- Narrow grip pull downs
- One arm dumbbell rows
- T-bar or bent over rows
- Cable rows
- Occasionally - Very heavy rack deadlifts (up to 700 lbs)
I always go heavy on back, but still keep my rep range in the 10-12 range. The only exception is Rack Dead lifts. On those I will go for as little as 3 reps at the heaviest weight. I don't do the rack lifts every week as they are very taxing on the body. In the off season I will perform them ever 2 weeks. As I write this, I'm 6 weeks out from my next competition and I have taken the rack deads out of my lifting program. If you need to put some beef on your back try heavy rack deads.
Saturday: Chest, Heavy Shoulder:
- Flat bench dumbbell presses
- Inclined dumbbell press or incline hammer strength press
- Decline press
- Seated overhead press in smith machine
My chest workout is pretty simple, but it works for me. I stick to the 10-12 rep range. In the off season I will occasionally drop to 6 reps on my heaviest lifts to stimulate the muscle. I've tried many different pressing movements for shoulders, but I have found the seated overhead press best isolates my shoulders. My shoulders are nice and warm after chest and doing some heavy shoulder work then best suites me.
What Nutrition Plan Has Worked Best For You?
Diet is critical for building a good physique. In the off season I focus on getting my 2 grams of protein per lb of body weight first. I can't do this easily without taking in whey protein. I will usually take in 30-50 grams of whey first thing out of bed. Then I eat my breakfast. I will get in 4 solid meals and at least 2 more shakes to get the protein I need.
As bodybuilding competitor I want to keep my bf% low without sacrificing my gains. Eating clean is the best way to do this. Limit your carbs to low GI sources such as: oatmeal, brown rice, and sweet potatoes. I use Splenda sparingly to sweeten in place of a sugar. I try to steer clear of concentrated calorie sources like fat and sugar as much as possible. But, I gotta live! A little ice cream and even an occasionally beer are consumed in the off season.
My pre contest diet for my upcoming competition at the 2008 IFBB North American is as follows:
Starting weight: 250
Current weight: 227 (7/19/08)
Competition date: 8/30/2008
- 1/2 lb orange roughy
- Brown rice (50 grams of carbs)
- 1/2 lb orange roughy
- Brown rice (50 grams of carbs)
What Supplements Have Given You The Greatest Gains?
Post workout nutrition is so important that I would have to say Vitargo is one of my favorite supplements. Vitargo is a carb source that is more rapidly absorbed then any other carb including dextrose. I use vitargo post workout along with my whey protein, creatine, glutamine and BCAA's. The vitargo helps to shuttle the other supplements into the muscle. The vitargo doesn't bother my stomach like dextrose can.
Why do you love Bodybuilding?
Bodybuilding is one of the most challenging sports. It takes years of consistent dedicated work to build muscle mass. A diet must be followed whether adding mass or preparing for an upcoming contest. If I had a nickel for everyone that told me they could never follow such a strict pre-contest diet, I would be a rich man. How bad do you want it?
The physique you build in the gym is a direct result of; the research you've put into the sport, the intensity you put in the gym, and the diet/supplementation plan you're following. You earn your physique. You can't buy it or cheat to get it.
What Are Your Future Bodybuilding Plans?
I will compete at my first national show, the IFBB North American this August 30th, 2008. I'm taking this very seriously. I've been working hard this past year to gain quality size and bring up weak points. Win, lose or draw, I will bring my best physique yet to the stage in August.
I feel like I'm just getting started in bodybuilding. As I've progressed my goals have grown. My top priority is earning my IFBB pro card. I will continue working towards that goal. And then I will compete as a pro.
Bodybuilding is NOT a young man's sport. It takes years to build a championship physique and great resources to compete at a higher level. There have been some great bodybuilders competing at the professional level who are older then me. There is no reason why men in their 40's can't become decent bodybuilders.
What One Tip Would You Give Other Bodybuilders?
Seek out help. Bodybuilding is a complex sport. It's important to learn as much as you can. Knowing how to lift properly and consuming the right foods is imperative to your success. If you have a good gym in your area, see if there are any trainers who work with competitive bodybuilders. And, research the internet.
I've garnered so much valuable information on all aspects of competitive bodybuilding from Bodybuilding.com. Knowledge is key in bodybuilding. There are many pieces to the bodybuilding puzzle, and if just one is missing, you will not enjoy all of the benefits that you could be from bodybuilding.
Who Are Your Favorite Bodybuilders?
If you look at a line up of today's popular bodybuilders you will notice that they each have their own unique look. They are often grouped into categories such as: mass monsters, X-men, or classic physiques, but they still are unique. I appreciate all of the top bodybuilder's physiques.