Amateur Bodybuilder of the Week: Shannon Dykman

Amateur Bodybuilder of the Week: Shannon Dykman! - Pics and info and more!
  • Name: Shannon Dykman
  • E-mail: shannon.dykman@gmail.com
  • Age: 28
  • Where: Wichita, KS
  • Height: 5'9"
  • Weight: 160 lbs contest, 180 lbs off
  • Years Bodybuilding :1
  • Favorite Bodypart: Delts
  • Favorite Exercise: Squats
  • Favorite Supplements: Scivation Xtend

How Did You Get Started?

While in engineering school, I began lifting weights with a college buddy to maintain mental sanity. He taught me the basic movements and a year later I graduated and moved to Wichita, Kansas to begin my career. At that time, I was able to focus on my training and began educating myself.

Once I had money to afford higher quality foods (no more mac/cheese or frozen pizzas), I started to see significant results and the rest is history. With my type AAA personality, I strive for perfection in all facets of my life and I have always wanted to compete.

Upon graduating with my Master's degree in early 2010, I began working with Kurt Weidner, WNBF natural pro bodybuilder, on my diet and competed later that year in my first North American Natural Body Building Federation (NANBF) competition in Kansas City where I won the novice Overall.

Shannon Dykman
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Shannon Dykman

What Workout Plan Worked Best For You?

I believe that there is not one single "best" workout method. I am guilty of using the same workout plan for far too long and I'm learning the value in constantly changing and varying my techniques to constantly keep my body guessing and ultimately growing. Thus, whatever workout plan I'm currently implementing is what I've (and my coach) deemed as best for me.

While in preparation for a competition I stick to a more traditional 5 day split with a rest day mid week and on Sunday. I implement a lot of drop sets during contest prep to help bring out muscle separation and I always lift as heavy as possible while maintaining proper form.

While in the offseason, I'm focusing on building up my weak points (chest and lats) and I'm using a 12-day split to hit those body parts more frequently while adding more days in between my heavy quad and hamstring training sessions. I always use a full range of motion and have also found recent success in higher volume training.

Nothing burns more than a 10 x 10 set of squats! Whatever my routine, I bring my maximum intensity to the gym each day.

My typical competition preparation 5-day split is as follows with cardio performed in the morning for 30 minutes. Low intensity steady state (LISS) cardio is typically performed by walking on a treadmill (no hands) at an incline of 5 degrees at 4.0 mph.

High intensity interval training (HIIT) is performed on the step-mill at the maximum interval setting (40 second intervals) while skipping a step. Double drop sets (two drops in weight) are performed on most isolation movements on the final set to ensure maximum muscle fiber engagement and separation.

Day 1: Shoulders/Back/Abs/Lite HIIT
Day 2: Quads/Hams/Calves/Lower Back/LISS
Day 3: LISS Only
Day 4: Chest/Triceps/Abs/HIIT
Day 5: Back/Hamstrings/Glutes/Lower Back/Lite HIIT
Day 6: Biceps/Calves/Abs/HIIT
Day 7: LISS Only
Shannon Dykman
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Shannon Dykman

What Nutrition Plan Has Worked Best For You?

I live by the motto "you are what you eat"! Year round my food sources remain the same: eggs (mostly whites), chicken, lean ground beef, fish, oats, sweet potato, almonds, naturally more peanut butter, and protein powders. Year round I eat seven times per day and while in season, I will not consume a cheat meal.

While in the offseason I will allow myself typically one cheat meal per week. With that, I refrain from fast foods and processed foods, period. My cheat meal may include a sirloin kobe beef burger along with hummus and pita. I enjoy cooking and find great value in eating clean year round.

I also believe that nutrition timing is extremely vital and I eat every 2-3 hours. With that, while in competition prep, I only consume carbohydrates with meal #1, pre, and post workout. I do not allow for any fruit or dairy products while dieting for a competition. I also limit my fat intake and make sure that I total up each and every gram from all food sources and supplements.

My fats will usually be spread out across all meals with it only be left into non carb meals as time progresses. Regardless of which meal I'm consuming, I always include a clean protein source and eat 3-4 servings of green veggies per day.

Year round I implement carb cycling based upon my daily expenditures. I also utilize clean re-feed meals to boost glycogen stores as needed and keep my metabolism burning. In season or off, consistency is key! My carb cycles include the following plan with protein and fats held constant at 290g and 38g, respectively:

Meal 1: Pre AM Cardio
Meal 2: Post AM Cardio
Meal 3:
Meal 4:
Meal 5: Pre-Workout
Meal 6: Post-Workout
Meal 7:
Meal 8:
Shannon Dykman
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Shannon Dykman

What Supplements Have Given You The Greatest Gains?

Supplements are exactly what they say they are-supplements. People are always quick to ask what supplements I take or have taken. Again, I can't emphasize the criticality of one's diet but in opinion key supplements include: whey protein powder, creatine monohydrate, branched chain amino acids, essential fatty acids, multivitamins, and glucosamine/chondroitin (joint support blend).

While in season my supplements are as follows:

Pre-Cardio:
Intra-Cardio:
With Meal 1:
With Meal 3:
With Meal 4: Pre Workout
  • Scivation Quake 10.0: 4 scoops
Intra-Workout:
With Meal 5: Post Workout
With Meal 6:

I also sip on Scivation Xtend throughout the day year round.

Why do you love Bodybuilding?

The sport of competitive bodybuilding allows me to form a strategy and through personal actions achieve success. For me, bodybuilding is not necessarily about competing on stage but rather competing within myself to build a better physique based upon my personal actions.

I also enjoy the science and various theories behind bodybuilding but in the end, it's the sweat equity that keeps me coming back for more. The feeling of accomplishment, personal satisfaction, and living a healthy lifestyle cannot be understated!

What Motivates You To Follow A Healthy Lifestyle?

I can't say it any better than my coach, Kurt Weidner, who has made it evident that his pursuit for a healthy lifestyle stems from a fear of being mediocre. I too can't imagine my life without a healthy mindset. No matter what day of the week, in season or off, I am intently focused on making sure that I'm eating and living a healthy lifestyle to ensure the best possible results from my time spent training.

Now that I'm educated and know better, unhealthy is not an option for myself. With that, I find great satisfaction in educating others to follow a healthy lifestyle, too. My continual motivation results from my fear of missing an opportunity to build a better physique and ultimately, I want I live a long and prosperous life. Take it for what it's worth, but I am a firm believer that a majority of the illnesses and health related problems are a result of eating (overeating) processed foods.

What Made You Want To Achieve Your Goals?

I have always found personal satisfaction from achieving goals that I've set for myself-it's just how I'm wired. I want to live my life knowing that I did something worthwhile and that I was the best that I could have been. Each day is an opportunity to seize and I don't ever want to look back and realize I missed out on something that could have made me a better person.

I implement the same mindset for bodybuilding. I do not allow myself to cheat and I push my body to the extreme limit because I want to know that when I step on stage and I'm judged against my peers that I did everything possible to be my very best.

What Are Your Future Bodybuilding Plans?

I foresee many years of learning and growing for myself. I'd like to follow the beliefs of many natural pros and only step on stage when I feel I'm ready and built solid progress from my last contest. For 2011, I'm contemplating on competing in the Kansas City Natural Classic in September for a shot at an IFPA Pro Card. If not this year, I'll step on stage in 2012.

I also plan on becoming an NSCA certified personal trainer in the near future with a future goal of owning my own training studio. I aspire to follow in the foot-steps of IFPA Pro Doug Miller who has successfully developed his own supplement company, training studio, competition coaching services, and retail supplement store.

Shannon Dykman
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Shannon Dykman

What One Tip Would You Give Other Bodybuilders?

My advice is to follow your passion! If you currently don't compete but have the desire, take a leap and go for it! I cannot overstate the value of hiring a seasoned professional bodybuilder to help while in the beginning stages. Find someone that you can trust and only follow their command.

Everyone has a different approach to dieting and training and you'll become lost and confused if you try to utilize a bit of everyone's advice. I am also a big believer in self educating to continually build a better physique and an overall better person. Finally, never forget that you are what you eat and in the words of WNBF Pro Brian Whitacre, "No ego, no juice, just train".

Who Are Your Favorite Bodybuilders?

Without a question, my favorite bodybuilders include my coach, Kurt Weidner, as well as Brian Whitacre and Doug Miller. All of which are top natural professionals that have found success through hard work while remaining very humble. I admire these guys and their ability to continually develop their physiques without the use of drugs.

What Features Do You Use On Bodybuilding.com?

The main features that I used on Bodybuilding.com include the store and articles.

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