Military Bodybuilder Of The Month: Keith Vanderhoeven

Military life imposes restrictions on its service members, but it also provides men like Keith with the tools they need to succeed on the bodybuilding stage!

Keith took the lessons he learned from aerospace instruction in the U.S. Air Force to create a fitness regimen that transformed his body over two decades. His role in Strategic Command is classified, so just know he helped make the skies safer.

The bodybuilding stage accepts people from so many different backgrounds and physical denominations, but it seems like a military background prepares people differently for the rigors and discipline contest prep requires. Keith Vanderhoeven spent 20-plus years in the Air Force, working most recently as a Space and Missile Professional, so he knows what it takes to dedicate oneself to long-term promises.

Name: Keith Vanderhoeven
E-Mail: fat280lsc@yahoo.com
Age: 39  Height: 6'2"  Weight: 210 lbs
Years Bodybuilding: 17 years
Branch Of Service: Air Force
Years Of Service: 20 1/2
Rank: Major/O-4
MOS: Space and Missile Professional, currently assigned to the Joint Functional Component for Space, USSTRATCOM, Vandenberg AFB, CA.

Q
How did you get started?

As a young kid, I was obsessed with The Incredible Hulk and was memorized with the muscles Lou Ferrigno had. Ever since the 7th grade I've lifted weights, trying to pack muscle on my skinny 6-foot-2 frame. I was active in high school and had a metabolism like a racehorse, which made it hard to gain muscle. I was that guy who drank the weight gainer, took amino acids and tried anything the big guys in the magazines recommended!

Two years after entering the U.S. Air Force, I started to get serious about training. My work schedule and the facilities on base allowed me to focus on my training. During this time I focused on mass building exercises such as squats and deadlifts, and slowly started seeing the weight packing on!

After training hard for two years, I competed in my first competition in 1995 as a novice heavyweight and placed 2nd. After getting a taste of that good placing, I competed in my second and third competition the following year, placing 2nd and 3rd in the same novice heavyweight division. After that I didn't compete again for another 9 years. Then in 2005 I jumped back on stage again placing 3rd out of 15 competitors. This competition was a blast! After a 9-year layoff, I was afraid I was washed up and too old to compete anymore.

My last competition was this past June in the All Armed Forces and Southern California Championships in San Diego. To my surprise, and after another long layoff of 7 years, I placed 4th in both competitions in the heavyweight and novice heavyweight divisions. Once again, getting back on stage ignited a fire inside me to compete again next year with the hopes of winning my weight class!

What is the hardest part of making the transition from civilian life to military life?

I can't relate to the transition from civilian life to military life because I went into the military right after high school. The only civilian life I knew of was stocking shelves at the local grocery store and living in a 1-bedroom apartment. However, don't get me wrong, the moment I stepped off that bus at basic training I was scared to death! I never experienced a grown man twice my size screaming and yelling at me for 3 months. Looking back, I would never change a thing about going into the military, because it's like having a separate family and belonging to something special!

What is the biggest obstacle in leading a military lifestyle?

The biggest obstacle of having a military career is having limited control of where you go and what you do. What I mean by this is, the needs of the Air Force come first and they assign you where they need you most. This can either be a good or bad thing; you don't always get your first choice of location or job. Moving every 3-to-4 years takes its toll on the family, which is a huge part of any military career. If I step back and think about it, the pros outweigh the cons when it comes to military life. The camaraderie, benefits and job security are second to none! A military career is an awesome way of life!

What workout plan worked best for you?
Day 1: Legs
  • Stationary Bike Stationary Bike

    Stationary Bike

    20 minutes
  • Leg Press Leg Press

    Leg Press

    4 sets of 10-12 reps
  • Hack Squats Hack Squats

    Hack Squats

    4 sets of 10-12 reps
  • Squats Squats

    Squats

    4 sets of 10-12 reps
  • Dumbbell Lunges Dumbbell Lunges

    Dumbbell Lunges

    3 sets of 12 reps
  • Leg Extensions Leg Extensions

    Leg Extensions

    4 sets of 10-12 reps


Day 2: Hamstrings/Calves/Abs
  • Stationary Bike Stationary Bike

    Stationary Bike

    20 minutes
  • Lying Leg Curls Lying Leg Curls

    Lying Leg Curls

    4 sets of 10-12 reps
  • Seated Leg Curl Seated Leg Curl

    Seated Leg Curl

    4 sets of 10-12 reps
  • Standing One-Leg Curl Standing One-Leg Curl

    Standing One-Leg Curl

    4 sets of 10-12 reps
  • Donkey Kickbacks Donkey Kickbacks

    Donkey Kickbacks

    3 sets of 12-15 reps
  • Abductors Abductors

    Abductors

    3 sets of 12-15 reps
  • Adductors Adductors

    Adductors

    3 sets of 12-15 reps
  • Side Bends Side Bends

    Side Bends

    2 sets of 25 reps
  • Rope Crunch Rope Crunch

    Rope Crunch

    2 sets of 25 reps
  • Seated Calf Raises Seated Calf Raises

    Seated Calf Raises

    3 sets of 10-12 reps
  • Standing Calf Raises Standing Calf Raises

    Standing Calf Raises

    3 sets of 10-12 reps
  • Standing One-Leg Dumbbell Calf Raises Standing One-Leg Dumbbell Calf Raises

    Standing One-Leg Dumbbell Calf Raises

    3 sets of 10-12 reps


Day 3: Back/Biceps/Calves/Abs
  • Stationary Bike Stationary Bike

    Stationary Bike

    20 minutes
  • Pull-Ups Pull-Ups

    Pull-Ups

    3 sets to failure
  • Dumbbell Row Dumbbell Row

    Dumbbell Row

    3 sets of 10-12 reps
  • Pull-Downs Pull-Downs

    Pull-Downs

    3 sets of 10-12 reps
  • Reverse-Grip Pull-Downs Reverse-Grip Pull-Downs

    Reverse-Grip Pull-Downs

    3 sets of 10-12 reps
  • Barbell Curls Barbell Curls

    Barbell Curls

    3 sets of 10-12 reps
  • Alternating Dumbbell Curls Alternating Dumbbell Curls

    Alternating Dumbbell Curls

    3 sets of 10-12 reps
  • EZ-Bar Reverse Curls EZ-Bar Reverse Curls

    EZ-Bar Reverse Curls (shown with straight bar)

    3 sets of 10-12 reps
  • Leg Lifts Leg Lifts

    Leg Lifts

    2 sets of 25 reps
  • Dumbbell Side Bends Dumbbell Side Bends

    Dumbbell Side Bends

    2 sets of 25 reps
  • Weighted Crunches On Decline Bench Weighted Crunches On Decline Bench

    Weighted Crunches On Decline Bench

    2 sets of 25 reps
  • Seated Calf Raises Seated Calf Raises

    Seated Calf Raises

    3 sets of 10-12 reps
  • Standing Calf Raises Standing Calf Raises

    Standing Calf Raises

    3 sets of 10-12 reps
  • Standing One-Leg Dumbbell Calf Raises Standing One-Leg Dumbbell Calf Raises

    Standing One-Leg Dumbbell Calf Raises

    3 sets of 10-12 reps


Day 4: Chest/Triceps/Calves/Abs
  • Stationary Bike Stationary Bike

    Stationary Bike

    20 minutes
  • Dumbbell Press Dumbbell Press

    Dumbbell Press

    4 sets of 10-12 reps
  • Cable Flyes Cable Flyes

    Cable Flyes

    3 sets of 10-12 reps
  • Smith Machine Barbell Press Smith Machine Barbell Press

    Smith Machine Barbell Press

    3 sets of 10-12 reps
  • Decline Dumbbell Press Decline Dumbbell Press

    Decline Dumbbell Press

    3 sets of 10-12 reps
  • Nose-Breakers Nose-Breakers

    Nose-Breakers

    3 sets of 10-12 reps
  • Behind-The-Neck Dumbbell Press Behind-The-Neck Dumbbell Press

    Behind-The-Neck Dumbbell Press

    3 sets of 10-12 reps
  • Cable Push-Downs Cable Push-Downs

    Cable Push-Downs

    3 sets of 10-12 reps
  • Side Twist On Machine Side Twist On Machine

    Side Twist On Machine

    2 sets of 25 reps
  • Crunches On Stability Ball Crunches On Stability Ball

    Crunches On Stability Ball

    2 sets of 25 reps
  • Ab Roller Ab Roller

    Ab Roller

    2 sets of 25 reps
  • Seated Calf Raises Seated Calf Raises

    Seated Calf Raises

    3 sets of 10-12 reps
  • Standing Calf Raises Standing Calf Raises

    Standing Calf Raises

    3 sets of 10-12 reps
  • Standing One-Leg Dumbbell Calf Raises Standing One-Leg Dumbbell Calf Raises

    Standing One-Leg Dumbbell Calf Raises

    3 sets of 10-12 reps


Day 5: Shoulders/Calves/Abs
  • Stationary Bike Stationary Bike

    Stationary Bike

    20 minutes
  • Dumbbell Press Dumbbell Press

    Dumbbell Press

    3 sets of 10-12 reps
  • Front Raises Front Raises

    Front Raises

    3 sets of 10-12 reps
  • Side Lateral Raises Side Lateral Raises

    Side Lateral Raises

    3 sets of 10-12 reps
  • Rear Raises Rear Raises

    Rear Raises

    3 sets of 10-12 reps
  • Upright Row Upright Row

    Upright Row

    3 sets of 10-12 reps
  • Barbell Shrugs Barbell Shrugs

    Barbell Shrugs

    3 sets of 10-12 reps
  • Side Bends Side Bends

    Side Bends

    2 sets of 25 reps
  • Rope Crunch Rope Crunch

    Rope Crunch

    2 sets of 25 reps
  • Seated Calf Raises Seated Calf Raises

    Seated Calf Raises

    3 sets of 10-12 reps
  • Standing Calf Raises Standing Calf Raises

    Standing Calf Raises

    3 sets of 10-12 reps
  • Standing One-Leg Dumbbell Calf Raises Standing One-Leg Dumbbell Calf Raises

    Standing One-Leg Dumbbell Calf Raises

    3 sets of 10-12 reps


Day 6 & 7: Off

What nutrition plan works best for you?

I prepare my staple food on Sundays, such as chicken, lean meatloaf, etc. My meal plan is the same each day and consists of the following:

Breakfast
  • Egg Whites

    7 whites

  • Whole Egg

    Whole Egg

    1 egg

  • Whole Wheat Bagel

    Whole Wheat Bagel

    1 bagel

  • Coffee

    Coffee

    1 cup with creamer

  • Oatmeal

    Oatmeal

    1/2 cup

Mid-Morning Meal
Lunch
  • Chicken Lean Meatloaf

    Chicken or Lean Meatloaf

    6-8 ounces

  • Vegetables

    Vegetables

    1 cup

  • Baked Potato Cooked Rice

    Baked Potato or Cooked Rice

    4 oucnes or 1 cup

Mid-Afternoon Meal
Post-Workout
Dinner
  • Chicken Meatloaf Fish

    Chicken or Meatloaf or Fish

    6-8 ounces

  • Vegetables

    Vegetables

    1 cup

  • Salad

    Salad

    2 cups

  • Baked Potato Cooked Rice

    Baked Potato or Cooked Rice

    4 oucnes or 1 cup

Bedtime Meal

Which supplements give you the greatest gains?

Over the years I have used many different supplements. The supplements that give me the best results are products made by Myogenix. In my last competition, Myogenix sponsored me and provided all the supplements I needed. I took and still take the following Myogenix supplements:

What are your future bodybuilding plans?

My future bodybuilding plans are to compete in the NPC Excalibur Bodybuilding, Figure, Bikini and Physique Championships December 1, 2012. I will then compete again in the 2013 NPC All Armed Forces Bodybuilding Championships.

My overall plan is to stay as healthy as I can so I can continue to compete. Hard training and dieting can take its toll on the body, so it's important to make sure you take the right approach. I also look forward to sharing my knowledge and experience with others through my personal training business.

The leg press machine readies for its first flight. Blast off!
The leg press machine readies for its first flight. Blast off!

Who are your favorite bodybuilders?

Shawn Ray, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Lou Ferrigno, Flex Wheeler, Frank Zane ... all the old-school bodybuilders!

What one tip would you give other bodybuilders in the military?

Keep true to yourself; don't change anything about yourself for the sake of others. Keep your head up, lean forward and stay engaged. Hard work and determination pays off whether it's your personal or professional career goals!