THE EVOLUTION OF A BODYBUILDER
The erudite English biologist, Charles Darwin, explained life as a constant struggle, a plastic adjustment and permutation made by all species, both the best of natural selection and survival of the fittest. It goes on all around us even today.
Indeed it does. For example, Mark Ritter once weighed 100-lbs dripping wet, dined on sugary cereal for breakfast and worked out using the Weider Haphazard Principle. Now, some 6-7 years later, Mark has mutated into a symmetrical 170-pounds lean and mean National Physique Champion. You could say that our Body Muscle cover man has evolved into a real bodybuilder. Bodybuilding really is survival of the Fittest -- literally. And so, even Darwin would have been proud.
Now a National middleweight bodybuilding champion, Mark, like almost everyone with 18" biceps-stars in their eyes, grew up idolizing the massive guys in the bodybuilding magazines. Indeed, Mark started iron pumping at a precious 14. His early workouts though, were not precious, done in his uncle's crowded garage; they consisted of just a couple chest and biceps exercises.
But, by the 5-year mark, Mr. Ritter was a powerhouse at the local Powerhouse Gym. So much so, that at 21, Mark decided to compete in the Northern Kentucky Bodybuilding event. Mark notes that about 80 percent of the gym suggested I must go see Roger and Sandy Riedinger well before competing."
Mark did, and adds, "As I was arriving at their Beverly International Nutrition Center, I was eating a bowl of cereal for breakfast, a protein shake for my second meal, lunch at Skyline Chili, a mid-day second protein shake and for dinner, I ate whatever mom prepared for dinner." (This was just about as haphazard as his training was some years earlier, especially goofy for someone doing a competition).
At any rate, Mark went on a "Beverly Plan" 11-weeks out from the Northern Kentucky. It worked, and he won both the Novice lightweight and the Open lightweight class. A week later Mark entered the Battle of Champions and won Novice lightweight, Open lightweight, Junior Overall and Novice overall. A few weeks later at the Cincinnati Mark won the Juniors and the Open lightweight. (1999 was not particularly a good year for anyone else competing in the lightweight class in the Southern Ohio/Northern Kentucky area)!
Looking back, Mark says, "I really evolved. I knew nothing about performance or body composition nutrition before I came to Beverly. I learned from Roger that muscle is not built on good intentions, but frequent quality protein and my diet contained about 25 percent of the daily protein I needed and currently eat."
Mark had to become a master of muscle-building menus, with the expertise worthy of an honorary Doctorate in fat burning and muscle building. (Mark is now even a Beverly nutritional counselor). Mark has an incomparable depth of experience now in real world eating and supplementation. In fact, in order to broaden his nutritional education, Mark has earned his bachelor's degree in Exercise Physiology from the University of Cincinnati. Mark understands the biological and physiological processes behind training and nutrition to apply both on a daily basis with a multitude of trainees. As Mark's competitive bodybuilding career has progressed his expanded nutrition knowledge has been crucial.