When bodybuilders raise a glass, it's usually at end of a workout, with some sort of protein concoction sliding down their gullet and into their welcoming muscles.

But what happens when alcohol fills the glass, and it's consumed at all hours of the day, because the man in question simply can't help himself anymore?



Ben Booker knows. He started drinking alcohol at age 13 and continued until 2005. The drug drowned his body with toxins and nearly destroyed his marriage. Ben's future looked destitute.

His wife Erin, exasperated, told him she wasn't happy with the life they were leading.

Not every guy chooses the loving, lovely wife. That's how powerful and insidious this disease is.

Yet Ben chose to change for the better. He kicked the booze and eventually dedicated himself to the gym, lifting weights, and taking supplements. When he found Bodybuilding.com and its Bodyspace community, he was able to finally fill a void left by alcohol. His transformation was such that he became the 2010 BodySpace Spokesmodel contest winner.

Winning the 2010 contest helped him secure a position as the Spokesmodel for Applied Nutriceuticals.

Today, Ben sticks to his blue-collar roots, working with his father's family business, supporting his wife with CrossFit and helping to raise their three children.

Father figure: When Ben isn't lifting weights, he hoists son Logan for reps.

"It's so important to tell your story, no matter what it is," Ben said. "No matter how little you think it is, there might be someone out there who needs to hear it."



Build Like Ben

You've heard Ben's story and seen his incredible results, but can you keep up with him in the gym? If you want to get built like Book, you'd better be eager to bring it. Ben's training is no-holds-barred, based on taking each and every set to failure. Ben encourages long rest periods and heavy weight. He wants to recruit every possible muscle fiber and force his body to grow.

Ben's tip? "Push yourselves." Keep it safe, but "lift heavier than you thought possible. It's all about absolute failure."

Day 1
3 minutes rest between sets.
1
Seated One-arm Cable Pulley Rows
3 sets, 10-12 reps
2
Incline Dumbbell Press
3 sets, 10-12 reps
3
Barbell Curl
One set equals about 6 full range to failure and then finish set doing halves to failure.
3 sets, 10-12 reps
4
Standing Calf Raises
3 sets, 10-12 reps
Day 2
1
Standing Military Press
3 sets, 10-12 reps
2
Single-Arm Cable Pushdown
3 sets, 10-12 reps
3
Barbell Squat
3 sets, 10-12 reps
4
Barbell Floor Wiper
3 sets, 10-12 reps
Day 3
1
Flat Bench Cable Flyes
Alternate Option: Fly Machine
3 sets, 8-10 reps
2
Back Reverse-Grip Pull-Down
3 sets, 8-10 reps
3
One Arm Dumbbell Preacher Curl
3 sets, 8-10 reps
4
Standing Barbell Calf Raise
3 sets, 8-10 reps
Day 4
1
Arnold Dumbbell Press
3 sets, 8-10 reps
2
Dumbbell Lunges
3 sets, 8-10 reps
3
Reverse Grip Triceps Pushdown
Reverse-Grip One-Arm Cable Pulldowns (shown two-handed)
3 sets, 8-10 reps (per arm)
4
Crunches
3 sets, 8-10 reps (hold 3 seconds at the top of each rep)
Day 5
1
Dumbbell Bench Press
Pack on that weight with a spotter.
3 sets, 5-7 reps
2
Seated Cable Rows
3 sets, 5-7 reps
3
Concentration Curls
3 sets, 5-7 reps
4
Standing Calf Raises
Machine Calf Raises
3 sets, 5-7 reps
Day 6
1
Superset
Dumbbell Shoulder Press
3 sets, 5-7 reps
Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown
3 sets, 5-7 reps
2
Triceps Pushdown
Straight Bar Cable Pushdowns
3 sets, 5-7 reps
3
Barbell Deadlift
3 sets, 5-7 reps
4
Decline Weighted Sit-Up
3 sets, 5-7 reps

Look Like Book

To look good, Ben eats well. If you wanna look like Book, you'll need to dial in your nutrition.

Below is his average Monday through Friday meal plan. His breakfast is always consistent: Ben eats a solid breakfast religiously, believing it to be the most important meal of the day.

He changes lunch and supper occasionally, depending on what his wife cooks or if the family is having leftovers. The protein bar meals and the protein shake meals rarely vary. Occasionally Ben trains late in the evening, instead of immediately after work. When doing so, his last meal is often a whey protein shake.

Meal 1
Whole Wheat Bread
2 slices
Eggs
5-6
Oatmeal
1 cup
Meal 2
Protein Bar
1-2
Meal 3
Chicken
7 oz.
Yogurt
1 serving
Apple
1
Banana
1
String Cheese
1
Meal 4
Protein Shake
1
Meal 5
Pasta
1 1/2 cups
Fish
10 oz.
Vegetables
1 serving
Meal 6
Protein Bar
1
Meal 7
Casein Protein
40 g

About the Author

Contributing Writer

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