Over 40 Bodybuilder of the Week: Lewis Benevento

Over 40 Bodybuilder of the Week: Lewis Benevento! - Pics and info and more!
  • Name: Lewis Benevento
  • E-mail: Lbenevento@bodybuilders.com
  • Age: 48
  • Where: Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Height: 6' 1"
  • Weight: 230 Lbs., Contest: 199 Lbs.
  • Years Bodybuilding :20
  • Favorite Bodypart: Chest & Arms
  • Favorite Exercise: Cable Flyes & Bicep Cables
  • Favorite Supplements: Creatine, Glutamine & Vapor NO

How Did You Get Started?

Way back in high school, I was this skinny kid who had very little confidence. I messed around with those plastic weights bought from Sears, doing tons of bicep curls. I graduated from HS at 6'1" and I weighed a whopping 158 lbs.

I spent years trying to build my confidence with martial arts after high school, while still going to the gym 3 times a week to lift. I gave up martial arts after achieving a second degree black belt and then I got serious about lifting. It was the only thing that felt great and it started building my confidence. I read every muscle magazine I could get. I learned by reading and watching others over the years. I even went to the extent of getting my NASM personal training certificate just so I could gain as much as possible. It was like sculpturing your own body. I loved what I saw in the mirror finally.

What Workout Plan Worked Best For You?

As you can imagine, like everyone else that has been lifting for 20 plus years, I have tried so many workouts. The only one I have always gone back to and stuck with is the three day workout.

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As I have gotten older and as some of the pros have done, just hitting each body part really hard (to complete failure) once a week has given me the best results by far. This has allowed me to recover and grow. I wished I had figured this out long ago! I spent so many early years overtraining (once again like so many others). After finally giving up the cardio completely for a few years the muscle weight finally came on. I suppose I was addicted to the cardio feeling that left me depleted.

Arrow Sample Training Split:

So my training looks like this...

  • Workout One - Chest Shoulders and Tri's
  • Workout Two - Legs
  • Workout Three - Back and Bi's

*I do abs by themselves twice a week.

magnifying glass Click Image To Enlarge.

What Nutrition Plan Has Worked Best For You?

I firmly believe that what you eat is what you are going to look like. At least 75-80% of how you look is the diet. For years, I didn't even come close to eating enough protein. So what works best for me is to take in at least 1 1/2 grams per body weight. If I concentrate on this, then the rest is easy to fill in to get the right amount of calories. I keep an excel spreadsheet charting the foods I eat at each meal, what their breakdown is including; protein, carbs, fat, calories and sodium.

I have the spreadsheet calculate all of these for each day so I know where I am with each. Then base off of whether I am in a gaining phase or a cutting phase, I just change the foods along with its breakdown. This is the only way that I could actually see that I can gain and lose weight by the foods I choose.

I know from experience that I have to eat at least 200 calories a day above what will keep me at my present weight in order to gain. Of course I don't want to gain too fast then it will show up as fat gain instead. I am definitely referred to as a hardgainer with my "body type". But it still is possible for us to gain the muscle weight through the work outs, diet and proper rest (which I try to get 7 hours during the week and 9 hours on weekends).

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    Snack: Protein Shake, glucosamine and vitamins

    MEAL ONE: 2 serving of cream of rice, with 12 blueberries or 4 strawberries with w/ 1 Tbsp of glutamine and a dose of B-complex

    MEAL TWO: 6 egg whites, 2 whole eggs with 6 asparagus spears and take 1000 mgs of vitamin C and Hydroxycut

    MEAL THREE: 1.5 cup of fat free cottage cheese with 3/4 cup of diced pears, 3 plain rice cakes (unsalted) and a tbsp of glutamine and a dose of B-complex

    MEAL FOUR: 3 cups of romaine lettuce salad with almonds, cucumbers, carrots and raisins on it with a fat free dressing and 8 oz of steak and take 1500 mcgs of B-12

    MEAL FIVE: 8 oz of chicken with 1/2 cup of black beans and a heaping Tbsp of salsa with glutamine and a dose of Lipo 6


    SNACK: Drink a 50 gram protein shake with 1 Tbsp peanut butter with a Tbsp of glutamine

    MEAL SEVEN: 4 of steak, 4 oz of chicken and a 8 oz yam with 1/3 cup of apple pie filling atop it within 60 minutes of the shake

    Bed Time: Protein Shake

I also drink at least a gallon of water and try to get 1 1/2 gallons on most days.

And believe me, I couldn't eat like this and continue with my progress without the help and dedication of my loving wife.

What Supplements Have Given You The Greatest Gains?

I have tried so many different supplements over the years. I truly believe that creatine and glutamine really work. If you count protein as a supplement, then that would be my first choice by far. I could never gain a pound until I started using protein and creatine. New to the scene is this NO stuff and I really am getting gains and intensity from it. I really like the NaNO Vapor since I can just mix it in the locker room and then hit my workout.

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Why do you love Bodybuilding?

I love how it feels after you finish a great workout and I love how I feel the rest of the time when I am doing things at my age that people have given up on. Bodybuilding has given me something that I have needed all my life and that is confidence. I love that you have control of so many things about your body and why not do it? I am still learning each day.

magnifying glass Click Image To Enlarge.

What Are Your Future Bodybuilding Plans?

I have a contest in March 2008 that I will compete in. After this, I plan on going on my off-season diet for this year. Next year, I would like to look into competing in an out of state contest just to have more fun with it. I will never quit lifting and working out. I honestly believe, that is when I will get old. This has got to be as close to staying young that there is and I'm staying with that!

What One Tip Would You Give Other Bodybuilders?

You have to have fun at life no matter what. You are not going to get another shot at it so do what you want even if you have to break out of the norm. There are so many great resources to help with any question. Just have fun with what you actually have control over.

Who Are Your Favorite Bodybuilders?

I really have always liked Lee Labrada. He finished in the top 4 in 7 Olympia's. There are only 5 that have ever done that. He has great symmetry and was always at the top of his game even in the off-season. I also liked Shawn Ray for his symmetry. Now I like to watch Jay because he finished second so many times and stuck it out to finally make it on top. What great motivation.

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