By IFBB Pro Josh Wade
Sponsored by ALLMAX
Weight training gave me a sense of accomplishment and something I could continue to improve on every day and that type of challenge drove me.
Q: Did you play sports as a kid? What got you into bodybuilding?
A: I, like most kids, played the usual sports like soccer and little league baseball and was athletic in those but what I really excelled in was BMX (racing bicycles).
I think a lot of my calf development came from that as even though calves are highly genetic, they grew during my younger years so I can attribute some of my development to that. I didn’t start playing football until high school and that’s when I started lifting weights and fell in love with it. Weight training gave me a sense of accomplishment and something I could continue to improve on every day and that type of challenge drove me. Although I enjoyed team sports, with weight training I was totally in control of the outcome, and it was just me against the weights and that took a mentality to beat myself and the logbook every day.
Before social media was out there, you had to follow bodybuilding in the magazines and that time in my eyes was more exciting because of the anticipation of how the guys were going to look and who was going to show up. They didn’t post pictures every day or get all the negative comments from haters or keyboard warriors, so to me it was more supportive and motivating during that era and that’s a big reason I liked and respected Dorian Yates; he was called “The Shadow” because he would work in silence, not being seen and show up to a competition and let his physique do the talking.
In 2006 I decided I wanted to try a show. I told my wife, “I want to do it at least once for pictures.” Well, that first show lit my competitive fire for the sport of bodybuilding. I won the novice and open middleweight class and after trying many sports as a kid and being OK at them, I felt bodybuilding I was good at and could be competitive in a sport that I learned to love for many years to come. As most people know, bodybuilding takes time; it doesn’t happen overnight and even if you place last you can, with hard work and dedication, eventually become a champion and that’s why it appeals to a lot of people. And even though some people are born with better genetics, shape and structure, others can do very well – plus to me, it gave me a sense of accomplishment with continuous improvement and something to keep working for! I feel you must be goal driven to be a good bodybuilder, otherwise you just go through the motions and won’t change.
I feel in the sport of bodybuilding you really must do it for the love of the sport, to push yourself to be your best and have pride in working as hard as you can on a day-to-day basis, building your body one block at a time. Anyone who thinks they are going to get rich is sadly mistaken; even as a professional it is still a hobby to me, and most pro bodybuilders have day jobs, but we compete because we are competitive in nature and love the iron that builds our physiques. If you have your priorities in order and do it because you love it, then you could do very well, remembering at the end of the day you are doing it for yourself and no one else!
Keys for a Dense Back
Q: I feel like I’m training hard and heavy but can’t seem to get the development in my mid-back. Any tips you can give me to help would be appreciated.
A: I have a great back workout I’ll provide but let me start off by saying heavy might not be what’s needed to build thickness in the mid-back.
I see people lifting way too heavy while training back and not being able to get their elbows back far enough to even squeeze the shoulder blades and get a contraction in the muscle, and that obviously won’t build muscle in the area you are trying to build!
We all know you must have a great mind-muscle connection to stimulate muscle but are you trying to feel each rep in the area you are focusing on? A lot of times when training clients, I have them lighten the weight and focus on squeezing the contraction very hard and controlling the resistance before we start increasing the weight again. This is a great thought for people to do occasionally on any muscle group to reestablish that connection, but I feel it’s most important with back instead of throwing around heavy-ass weights with no intent!
While I always try to go as heavy as possible while using proper form, this back workout if focused on squeezing and resisting it, should really light up your mid-back!
Wide Parallel-Grip Pulldowns – 5×12
Rope Pullovers – 5×12
Don’t bounce off; stretch and control the negative.
Reverse-Grip Pulldowns – 4×12
Arch back and pull to lower chest.
Bent-Over Barbell Rows – 4×12
Keep knees slightly bent and hips back, extend arms down fully before firing elbows back up forcing the contraction between shoulder blades, then control the negative back down.
Two-Arm Dumbbell Bench Rows – 4×12
Lying face down on bench, fire elbows up and squeeze mid-back.
Deadlifts – 4×8
At top, pull back with arch and squeeze shoulder blades for split second.
Hope it works as well for you as it does for me in building that-mid back thickness and density!
For questions to be answered in my column or coaching inquiries, please email me at email@example.com
1 scoop Impact Pump (helps increase blood flow and transportation of nutrients while significantly helping the focus for mind-muscle connection)
1 scoop Aminocore (prevents muscle tissue breakdown during training)
10g Glutamine (helps with DOMS, insulin sensitivity, gut health, and immune system)
5g Creatine (for that fast-acting, explosive power needed to push weights and helps with muscle hydration)
1 scoop Carbion (50g carbs) (really helps with energy and endurance during workout by giving your body carbs that don’t have to be digested, therefore they are readily available for fuel)
2 scoops IsoFlex (fast-digesting protein with essential amino acids to start the building or repairing process immediately)
10g Glutamine again (helps with DOMS, insulin sensitivity, gut health and immune system)
Give these a try and I can guarantee your energy, intensity and pumps will dramatically increase in the gym.
For more information, visit allmaxnutrition.com
Learn more about Josh Wade at https://allmaxnutrition.com/pages/josh-wade