- Name: Mark Kimble
- E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Age: 40
- Where: Vancouver, Washington
- Height: 6'4"
- Weight: Before 1st Contest 220lb, 1st
- Years Bodybuilding :7
- Favorite Bodypart: NA
- Favorite Exercise: My favorite exercise seems to vary depending on where I feel strongest.
- Favorite Supplements: ON Whey, Animal Stack, Gaspari Size-On
How Did You Get Started?
In the summer of 2000 my wife (now Ex-wife) met the manager of a local club and was able to get me a great price on a membership. We had a friend that worked out at the club too, and so I started lifting with him. It wasn't long before I saw significant improvement and over the years have just gotten more serious about improving myself.
What Workout Plan Worked Best For You?
I enjoy reading articles in magazines, picking up hints from other gym go-ers, and discussing strategies with the hard working people in BodyBuilding.com's BodySpace. With so much information available, I admit to using a ton of different workout plans and exercises over the years and I believe they all helped improve my physique.
I believe the most important part of a workout plan is change. I know, we read this all the time but, I have found it to be accurate. If we stay in a workout rut, our bodies plateau....keep it guessing, and it keeps growing. My current plan is a 3 day cycle with each workout lasting about 75 minutes.
Day 1 - Chest & Back (Superset fashion)
Wide grip chins,
bent over barbell rows,
seated machine rows,
pullups and lat machines all find their way into my workouts. For chest, I incorporate
decline DB and BB, lots of flyes with cables and DB. I'll never do the same group of exercises on consecutive bodypart days, but rather do 3-4 sets of 3-4 exercises chosen from my repertoire.
Day 2 - Arms & Shoulders (bi/tri superset, 2 exercise shoulder supersets)
I do a little bit of everything for arms...standing, seated, BB, DB, isolation, cable, hammers etc. for biceps and french press, overhead DD and BB presses, narrow grip bench, cables and dips for tris. My favorite "advanced" technique for this bodypart is drop sets. I like the pump I get with this technique.
I include traps with my shoulders and include DB and BB presses, DB and cable laterals, BB and DB and reverse shrugs. Like I wrote in Day 1, I use a lot of exercises overall, but I only pick 3-4 to do at any one session. Reps on both days 1 and 2 run between 8 and 12 and vary as much as the exercises.
Day 3 - Legs (Concentration on Quads)
Squats! I have skinny legs and have been working hard to improve them and squats have been at the top of my list. I always start with them (after light warmup) and usually use an increasing weight, decreasing rep type of approach, with a higher rep finish off.
I follow with leg press, hack squats, or walking lunges. I'll usually try to work leg extensions hard and finish off with leg curls (concentrate on hams on next leg workout). Like most, I hate leg day because it completely drains me but worst of all, causes me to cramp up at my desk later in the day.
Day 4 - Rest (Us "Old" guys need a lot of rest)
Day 5 - Repeat Day 1
Day 6 - Repeat Day 2
Day 7 - Legs (Concentration on Hamstrings)
Stiff leg deadlifts, sumo squats, leg curls (lying and seated) all find their way into the workout. However, my favorite hammy exercise is hooking my heels under the hold-down pad of a lat machine with my knees on the seat doing leg curls.
Again, my legs are way too skinny so anything I do on legs is going to help me. :)
I know I didn't spell out an exact plan, but I believe that using a variety of exercises and rep ranges help in my overall progress. I do want to make it clear however, that my workouts are focused and "intense" even though I don't do the something two times in a row.
What Nutrition Plan Has Worked Best For You?
Let me answer this by saying I believe the 3 most important things (in order) in achieving a great physique (still working on mine) are Desire, Diet, & Workout. You have to want it badly enough to go through the hell that is a diet.
No matter what your workout, you can't get the physiques I see on BodyBuilding.com without a lot of attention to diet. Fortunately for me, my tastes run to the bland side (ketchup is too spicy for me), and variety is not all that important. However, contest dieting tried even me.
I am a believer in the low carb diet. That's not to say the Atkins style, because I also believe you have to eat low fat. I also believe in one concrete dieting axiom: If you burn more calories than you eat, you will lose weight and if you eat more calories than you burn, you will gain weight.
Now determining whether that weight is fat or muscle is a little trickier. For me, I found that on a "Macro" scale, eating about 15% fat, 30% carbs, and 55% proteins (that's 100% right?) helped me go from somewhere around 12.5% bodyfat to somewhere closer to 6% as I was preparing for my first contest.
I also made sure that none of my carbs were "manmade" (i.e. bread, pasta, etc), and minimized my simple sugars (sugar, fruits). I did, however, up my green vegetable intake and used them to curtail my hunger pangs. I like beef, but hate to worry about cooking a steak, so I ate a lot of 96% lean ground beef. I also ate chicken breast (boring) and tuna (more boring).
In order to get the high quantity of protein, I used Optimum Nutrition's 100% Whey Gold Standard. The last tweak of my diet that I think made a big difference is eating my last carbs (except for the few in some green veggies) at least 3 hours before I went to sleep.
Once the show was over, I went back to a more leisurely ratio of 15% fats, 50% carbs, and 35% proteins but still trying to keep to a limited number of manmade carbs and simple sugars. Staying clean should make contest prep easier in the future.
What Supplements Have Given You The Greatest Gains?
When I first started lifting, I was completely unaware that I even needed to use supplements. A guy I was lifting with told me try creatine. I cycled on and off for the first year and took my weight from around 190 (skinny and not strong) to around 215 (not as skinny, and not much stronger).
Each time I cycled off, I lost about 1/2 of the weight I had put on in that cycle....the thing was, I still hadn't looked at my diet. The more I got into bodybuilding, the more important I decided diet was. At some point (can't remember exactly when) a protein supplement came into my diet.
It was with this protein that I started to notice true strength gains and the muscle seeming to be more "dense". A multi-vitamin has been a staple for a long time and when I started trying to cut, a "fat burner" became important. For me, Nutrex's Lipo 6 is my fat burner of choice.
I have found that it boosts my energy significantly, and believe it or not, improves my mood. I have used it for its "attitude" adjustment qualities almost as much as for its energy boosting ones. I have always been a hardgainer, so I have used various weight gainers over the years.
My current weight gainer is Universal Nutrition's Real Gains. This product has a high level of complex carbs, minimal sugars, good protein content and even tastes pretty good.
I use a serving a day to help boost my calories during my "bulking" (that term is being used in a relative manner here) phase, and will cut it out during a cut phase. There are lots of products available, the hard part is trying to figure out which ones are worthy, but those are my current choices.
Why do you love Bodybuilding?
It might have been easier to ask what I don't like about bodybuilding...that answer would be very short. I started lifting as something to do, but bodybuilding has invaded my life. It started slowly, and has gained momentum over the years.
My favorite part is seeing the changes in my body. Each summer I think "I'm in the best shape of my life" and by the next summer, I look even better. It is fun to set goals, work hard to achieve them, and then enjoy the success. Another important part for me is staying "young".
I know a lot of younger people won't understand, and some older folks will say I still don't completely grasp the importance, but I look around and am fearful of the decay I see in some people.
My years are going by too quickly and there are too many things I want to do for me to give away my health and ambitions because of laziness. I am proud of what I've accomplished in my life and bodybuilding is a cornerstone of that success.
What Are Your Future Bodybuilding Plans?
Wow, what a difference a year makes. Last year at this time I was debating on entering my first contest and now I'm not sure. It started out pretty simple, I was turning 40 in September of '06, the NPC Vancouver Natural was scheduled for late March of '07, about a year away, why not set a goal and challenge myself?
Well, the contest came and I found myself having a blast. Sure, the prep was tough, but I function well under the discipline required pre-contest and I found myself saying "I was a little weak here, if I work on it, I can improve". That is why I am getting prepared for another contest in August.
So, in the short term, I am trying to add a bit of size and working to improve my posing and stage presence for the upcoming contest and in the long term......well, we'll see. There are a lot of contests advertised, and it looks like I'm available for some of them.
What One Tip Would You Give Other Bodybuilders?
To be honest, I am not experienced enough to give "bodybuilders" tips. I see the size and shape of the people on this website and I am the one that needs to be asking advice.
But, here goes: For those younger than me....push hard, you'll never have more time to get huge, for those older than me....may I be fortunate enough to have your desire and commitment and finally, to everyone on this site....kudos for trying to improve (oh yeah, and for those in my class in the upcoming contests....don't the donuts look good).
Who Are Your Favorite Bodybuilders?
I like'em all. The freaks, the nats, the tall guys and the short guys. The only ones that piss me off are the ones who don't re-rack their weights.
Check Out Mark's BodySpace Here.