Amateur Bodybuilder of the Week: Herb Nordheimer

Amateur Bodybuilder of the Week: Herb Nordheimer! - Pics and info and more!
  • Name: Herb Nordheimer
  • E-mail:
  • Age: 39
  • Where: Chicago, Illinois
  • Height: 5' 8"
  • Weight: 215 Lbs., contest: 195 Lbs.
  • Years Bodybuilding :21
  • Favorite Bodypart: Back & Shoulders
  • Favorite Exercise: Military Press & Bent Over Rows
  • Favorite Supplements: NO-Xplode

How Did You Get Started?

I was an athlete in high school (Soccer, basketball, baseball) and moved to Chicago from Vermont in 1985; right after high school. I tried to play in some soccer leagues but couldn't find the right fit. A friend of mine invited me to join him at the gym and I tried it. That was all it took and I was hooked.

A couple of months later one of the guys at the gym asked if I ever competed (had no idea what he was talking about), four months later I was on stage. Over the years I have moved up from a 140lb bantamweight to my current light heavyweight class.

What Workout Plan Worked Best For You?

I guess I have always stuck to an old school philosophy: low reps heavy weight. This year I changed it up and did a more high volume training pre-contest regimen and the results were amazing. I added some leg size and my condition and definition (all-around) was much improved. I will continue to incorporate high volume to bring my over all package to a new level. I use to follow a four day split:

Arrow Sample Split (old):

But I have found a six day split gives my body the rest I need and allows me to have the intensity in the gym to just concentrate on one body part. my routine now:

Arrow Current Routine:

This was a hard adjustment at first... seems like you are undertraining, but as the intensity level rises it all falls into place. I find my recovery is much better and my energy levels are much improved. I do 14-16 sets for each body part and stay in the 8-10 rep range. I will drop to 6-8 reps for the last set if weight is on the higher end.

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What Nutrition Plan Has Worked Best For You?

This is an area I was lacking in the most; training was always strong and I got enough rest. But my nutrition off season was less than par. Pre contest is never a problem as I am very dedicated and do not sway from my contest diet. My off-season diet has been more of a hit or miss situation.

This year I am following a true off-season diet of six meals a day. Before was more like 3-5 depending on the day. A good friend of mine asked me for my diet to give me some pointers and we found this was the area I needed the most improvement in. I have a good metabolism so I am lucky that I can eat pretty much anything and not gain too much fat (I know, I know I'm cursed). But for me to gain substantial weight has always been difficult. After actually looking at what I eat, it was apparent that more calories were needed on a consistent basis.

Arrow Sample Diet:

My diet going forward will look somewhat like this:

Am: 10 egg whites and oatmeal
Mid am: protein shake
Lunch: 10-14 oz of meat (chicken, steak, fish), baked potato or rice, veggies or salad
Mid afternoon: same as lunch
Dinner: same as lunch
Evening: protein shake

I know it seems simple but for me it's the menu I need to be constant and on track. The flexibility of my three mid day meals allows me to change up what I eat while keeping the caloric and nutritional values fairly consistent. With this off-season plan my caloric intake is between 3800-4500, which is where I need to be to gain properly.

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What Supplements Have Given You The Greatest Gains?

I am not huge on supplementation, because of my fast metabolism I find most things are not too effective. I take my Animal Pack daily vitamins every day, I use glutamine (10g a day), BCAA's (10-15g a day), and my pre-workout drink is NO-Xplode. I will be incorporating a post work out drink soon, which will be Vitargo CGL.

Why do you love Bodybuilding?

I love the sport for many reasons; the first is the mind over matter ideal. If you think you can do it you probably can. I feel the power of the mind is just as strong as the power of the muscle and when used together almost anything can be achieved. I like the fact at 39 I still feel like I did in my early 20's (minus the morning snaps and pops the body makes).

I love the fact being in shape allows me to play with my two young boys and not be out of breath before they are. I love the friends I have made over the years through the gym. I like the feeling when people compliment you on the years of hard work you have put forth.

What Are Your Future Bodybuilding Plans?

My plans are to do Jr. Nationals here in my hometown of Chicago and depending on the outcome either National or Masters Nationals.

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What One Tip Would You Give Other Bodybuilders?

The one tip I would give to aspiring bodybuilders is consistency and Perseverance. While genetics play a role, not all great bodybuilders were necessarily genetically gifted. What all the top-level people do have in common is the will to succeed, the determination, perseverance and the constant strive towards their goals.

If you do the best you can, stay the course you may raise to that upper level of the pro ranks. Even if you never reach that level while giving it your all you can still hang your hat at the end of the day and be proud of all you have accomplished!

Who Are Your Favorite Bodybuilders?

My all time favorites are Kevin Levrone, Shawn Ray and a new favorite is Phil Heath. None of these men were giants but their overall shape and symmetry is the kind of physique I aspire for.

I would be remiss without thanking my wonderful wife, without her support none of this would be possible. Also my kids for giving me the renewed drive to finish my dream. I also have to thank my great friends in the gym (you guys know who you are).

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