Over 40 Bodybuilder of the Week: Shari Duncan

Over 40 Bodybuilder of the Week: Shari Duncan! - Pics and info and more!
  • Name: Shari Duncan
  • E-mail: shari614@comcast.net
  • Age: 44
  • Where: Brunswick, Georgia
  • Height: 5'
  • Weight: 100 Lbs.
  • Years Bodybuilding :1
  • Favorite Bodypart: Biceps And Triceps
  • Favorite Exercise: Dumbbell Press & Cable Flyes
  • Favorite Supplements: SciVation Xtend, Protein

How Did You Get Started?

I first stepped into a gym several years ago with a girlfriend. In our 30's at the time, we were serious about getting into shape but very naive about weight training. We read magazines, watched training videos, picked up a few exercises from the "serious lifters" in the gym and enjoyed our humble progress. It was all good healthy fun... for a while. Then my friend was diagnosed with breast cancer.

We continued training as best we could throughout her cancer treatments. She was determined not to let her illness take over, and wanted to maintain an active lifestyle. Her perseverance inspired me. I was determined to stay by her side. When she couldn't get out, we would train in a small mirrored room in her house, specially transformed into a gym. Tragically, the cancer won out and I stood by helplessly as my then 33 year old best friend succumbed. It was during the later months, when the realities of the inevitable set in that I made a commitment to her never to allow myself to get out of shape.


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I pressed on, faithfully working out three to four days a week. I considered myself fit making modest gains over the years, but looking back, I was really just going through motions. Then about six months ago, some friends at my gym finally convinced me to train for competition. Once I made the commitment to compete, I did not look back. I was once again inspired. During my preparations, I found that I was a source of motivation to others to push on towards their personal nutritional and fitness goals. And the energy that I received from these individuals propelled me to push forward.

Ironically, it was almost 10 years to the day from the date of my friend Donna's death that I stepped on the stage for the first time. At my second show, I made a special dedication to Donna. Only my husband and me fully appreciate the influence she had- and continues to have in my life. I have an angel; a driving force in my life that guides me to be all that I can be. I know she is smiling now.

What Workout Plan Worked Best For You?

My pre-contest training regimen consists of a general split allowing me to hit all body parts twice weekly. I vary my specific exercises weekly however, always changing things up from week to week. I never repeat the same workout twice.

Monday: Upper Body Circuit

Always start with a light warm up set. Then, 3-4 sets of 2-3 exercises each body part:, increasing weight with each set and working heavy to max reps. (approx. 8-10 rep range).

-> Monday:

-> Tuesday: Lower Body Circuit

-> Wednesday:

    Train Chest, Triceps and Abs

-> Thursday:

    Train Back, Biceps and Calves

-> Friday:

    Train Shoulders and Abs

-> Saturday:

    Train Legs
    *I am sure to incorporate different exercises than those trained during my Tuesday circuit. For example, if I did not do squats or lunges on Tuesday, I will work these in on Saturday.

-> Sunday: Rest:

    **Cardio consists of 1-2 days per week of high intensity interval cardio; usually sprints or stairs ~ 30 minutes and 2 days of moderate cardio ~ 20-30 minutes.


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What Nutrition Plan Has Worked Best For You?

I kept a food journal and was pretty strict about "hitting my numbers" as I readied for contest. Fitday.com is a valuable tool in taking the guesswork out of portion sizes. I choose fresh over frozen or processed foods as much as possible. Lean protein choices for me are fish and tuna, chicken, extra lean ground beef or flank steak, cottage cheese and eggs. Oatmeal, baked sweet potatoes, rice and rice cakes and fresh veggies are my carbohydrate staples. Pre-contest, I limit my fruit servings to 2-3 daily, which mostly consist of fresh berries, apples, melons or bananas. Additional fats come from almonds or peanut butter. I ate very little bread or pasta pre contest.

About 12 -14 weeks out, I began a five day carb cycling plan where I ate moderate carbohydrates for three days, followed by one day of high carbs, and one day of low carbs. I kept my protein intake between 150-180 grams and my fats between 30-40 grams daily. We modified the carbs, cutting slightly every 2-3 weeks or so as contest date neared. My water intake was a minimum of one gallon per day.

What Supplements Have Given You The Greatest Gains?

I take surprisingly few supplements; just the basics I guess you can say. Every day I take a multivitamin, Glucosamine for joint health, and omega-3 fish oil tablets.

As for supplements, Scivation Xtend is a must before and during every training session and my protein of choice is Optimum Nutrition extreme milk chocolate. I bake with Fitlynx natural vanilla high-protein baking mix. 2 scoops adds 29 grams of protein. Makes delicious protein pancakes!

I added a thermogenic, ALRA's Venom Hyperdrive 3.0 during the final few weeks. It definitely helped to curb my appetite cravings and provided me much needed energy for my intense training and posing sessions.

Why do you love Bodybuilding?

The bodybuilding lifestyle is a healthy lifestyle. The combination of hard training and clean eating has given me a whole new perspective. I look and feel better than I did years ago and as a result have a much better self-image. And there is no match for that feeling you get from stepping on the stage and sharing in the experience with others that have worked as hard as you have. I have fallen in love with the sport of bodybuilding and have utmost respect for others who display the determination and dedication it requires to embrace this lifestyle.


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What Are Your Future Bodybuilding Plans?

My last competition qualified me to compete at IFPA pro-level shows. I am still new to the competitive arena though, so I definitely plan to gain more stage experience first before stepping into this platform. Physique wise, I want to develop 3-5 lbs of muscle before my next show and continue to work on my posing and stage presentation.

What One Tip Would You Give Other Bodybuilders?

Set a goal and go for it! For the longest time, others encouraged me to compete but I didn't think I had the stuff to get on stage. Once I finally committed, I did not look back. I do not regret one minute of the journey. It is probably on of the most challenging things you will ever do, but oh what a sense of accomplishment!

Who Are Your Favorite Bodybuilders?

I guess I'm old school. Lenda Murray, Rachel McLish and of course Arnold to name a few.

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