Over 40 Bodybuilder of the Week: Lori Wadsworth

Over 40 Bodybuilder of the Week: Lori Wadsworth! - Pics and info and more!
  • Name: Lori Wadsworth
  • Age: 53
  • Where: Cornish, NH
  • Height: 5'5"
  • Weight: 115 lbs
  • Years Bodybuilding :15
  • Favorite Bodypart: Shoulders and Calves
  • Favorite Exercise: Donkey Calf Raises and Weighted Bench Dips
  • Favorite Supplements: Creatine, L-Glutamine

How Did You Get Started?

At the age of 38 I was starting to get out of shape for the first time in my life. I had high cholesterol and high blood pressure, carpal tunnel syndrome, and had always had asthma since a child. I needed an exercise that didn't set off my asthma.

I joined Golds Gym in New Bedford, MA and started weight training. I read Muscle & Fitness, Flex, and the Golds Gym Encyclopedia and watched the guys at the gym to see how they did it. I loved it because I could workout and not wheeze! After lifting for a few months and losing weight I found that light cardio was ok also, and soon I became slim and fit again, around 120 lbs.

I also started learning about nutrition at that time. I didn't count calories back then; just made sure I ate at least 100 grams of protein a day, low fat, and moderate carbs. I really loved muscle! I liked the muscular athletic look rather than the skinny look.

I did try to bulk up enough when I was in my 40's to do a bodybuilding show, but I didn't do it right, I just got very toned and lean, but no size, no cuts. I never tried to do the show. So, for years I just lifted for the fun of being stronger and staying lean.

But I had no real goal anymore, and as time went on, things happened, and I slacked off. By the time I reached age 50 I was out of shape and weighed 150 lbs. The day came when I weighed more than my husband! That's what it took for me to get serious about fitness again.

We had recently moved to NH and I joined a gym. But of course I went too heavy too fast, ended up with acute Achilles tendonitis in both legs! By now I was so scared and depressed, thinking I was doomed to be out of shape and old, full of aches and pains.

Then I read an article in a muscle magazine about handicapped bodybuilders, guys with no legs who were in awesome shape and actually competed, and I thought, "What do I have to complain about?"

So I asked my physical therapist to tell me every exercise I could do that wouldn't hurt my tendons, and I went for it, pain and all. In a 2 year period I met my goal of going from a size 10 to a size 4 and all my old clothes fit again. Then I needed another GOAL to keep me going, so I called a trainer at my gym and asked him to get me ready to do an amateur bodybuilding show.

This was in January 2008. I also went to the Cathy Savage Fitness Camp. I did my first show on April 19th, 2008. Although I only placed 4th in Novice it was a victory for me as I was very shy and getting up on stage was something I really feared! But I managed to do it, not forget the poses, and lose the stage fright. So, although I still have a lot to learn, I will try again.

Lori Wadsworth Lori Wadsworth
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Lori Wadsworth.

What Workout Plan Worked Best For You?

I have found that lifting 4-5 times a week works best for me. I make no gains with 3 and more than 5 I get too tired. Using 8-12 reps per set seems to help me get stronger and stay fit and put on some size but the workout plan that gave me cuts and vascularity was the high rep plan my trainer put me on in January to get ready for the competition.

This plan was like a miracle for me! It was a plan that varied every few weeks, but I will never forget the 1st week when I went from doing squats with 225 lbs to hack squats with JUST THE PLATFORM, no extra weights. My first thought was that I would look like a total wimp!

But then I had to do 20 REPS, 3 sets in a row with only 30 seconds rest. Talk about a BURN! This plan worked! I lost weight, kept my muscle, got a six pack for the first time in my life, and every time I got new veins showing up I felt SO excited. And there was very little cardio involved as the lifting sessions were also functioning as cardio.

This may not work for everyone but it worked for my trainer and it worked for me. The workouts varied so often I cant really put it all down here, but in essence we did high reps (20, 30 even 60) with no more than 30 seconds rest between sets. I did discover some new lifts that made a difference and I will explain them:

Chest: seated incline bench cable flyes really helped my upper chest!

Biceps: cable preacher curls gave me veins!

Abs: use weights!! I love leg raises lying on a bench with the cable attached to my ankles, keep on crunching.

My typical exercise split goes like this:

Exercises that are helping me get bigger this time around are Deadlifts, Weighted Bench dips, and incline bench press.

Lori Wadsworth
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Lori Wadsworth.

What Nutrition Plan Has Worked Best For You?

1. To Get Ready For The Show:

2. Building Muscle Nutrition Plan:

    Similar to the above, 6 meals a day, but add back more fruit like strawberries, ½ banana in my oatmeal, no sugar added applesauce with lunch. A slice of cantaloupe with dinner.

    Also, substitute the chicken snacks with whey protein in the am. For lunches I will eat more processed things like a lean cuisine now and then, or even a cheat meal burger. Much more variety at lunch! I stick to my egg whites for dinner usually as I love them.

    At this point I am eating between 2000 and 2200 calories a day, up to 200 grams protein, more complex carbs. For healthy fats I have fish oil in the am, coconut oil or almond butter on my Ezekiel bread, and a serving of almonds every evening.

    For supplements during this phase I also use Creatine and BCAA's in the AM, before workout I take Creatine. I use regular BCAA's between meals.

Lori Wadsworth
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Lori Wadsworth.

What Supplements Have Given You The Greatest Gains?

Creatine and L-Glutamine. I am also finding the BCAA's to be very beneficial.

Why do you love Bodybuilding?

It has made me strong, helped my self esteem and shyness, and has made an amazing difference in my health. I rarely suffer from asthma, and it's never exercise induced anymore! I no longer need blood pressure meds and my cholesterol is fine. It also keeps me young, physically and mentally.

You just don't feel OLD when you can bench your own weight, leg press 500+ lbs and young guys come up to you in Home Depot and say "Wow, do you workout?" Heehee, what's not to love about it? My awesome husband loves it that I body build and stay in shape and he supports me all the way, he even cooks my chicken for me every week.

What Are Your Future Bodybuilding Plans?

To keep competing, and to place 1st someday in a Natural competition. This year I am going to do another show in October as I want to keep practicing. I really need to learn to pose better. I was afraid to wait a whole year as I didn't want to lose my enthusiasm or start feeling afraid of the stage again.

Next year, I will leave 8-12 months between shows in order to put on more size. Some guys told me that at my age (53) it's too late to get bigger and I should just settle for getting more ripped. Well, that made me stubborn and I plan to prove them wrong! As I am all natural and not genetically big, I have my work cut out for me, but that's what it's all about, the CHALLENGE!

What One Tip Would You Give Other Bodybuilders?

Just do it! If something isn't working, get a trainer and try something NEW. Don't give up, set a goal. It's all a matter of DECIDING, not just TRYING.

Lori Wadsworth
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Lori Wadsworth.

Who Are Your Favorite Bodybuilders?

Men: Arnold, Shawn Ray, Flex Wheeler, and my trainer Karlen Thyne.

Women: Corey Everson, Lenda Murray, Laura Creavalle, Monica Brant (she is perfect)