By IFBB Pro Josh Wade
Sponsored by ALLMAX
Q: How do you know if you are ready to compete? I can’t decide if I should keep building or start cutting.
Let me ask, what are you waiting for to compete? If you are waiting to look like a pro before you ever compete, then you are completely unrealistic and will never be what you expect to be! We all must start somewhere and then constantly improve to become the best version of ourselves. For my first show I started a 15-week prep at 220 pounds and felt like I was big, but I had no idea how much I really had to lose to get in “show shape.” I was never worried about weight, but I knew I wanted to be shredded and was willing to suffer and sacrifice to make that happen. When all was said and done after those 15 weeks, I ended up weighing in at 175 pounds, so I lost 45 pounds when I didn’t think I had that much fat to lose, but guess what, I ended up winning the novice and open middleweight class because I was in better condition than all of my other competitors. At 5-foot-9 and 175 pounds I didn’t feel big at all but if I had waited to compete, I don’t think I would have made it as far as I did in the sport. I found out you grow the most after a show when you are crazy lean, metabolism going crazy and primed to eat and grow! I always made the most improvements after a show because I was hungry to challenge myself to see what I could do, and how hard I could push myself to be the best version of myself each time I stepped onstage. This sport is all about constant improvement.
So, the bottom line is, you are never ready and just have to commit and start. Being indecisive is probably the worst thing you can be as you will never improve if you can’t commit to a goal and stick to accomplishing that goal! Ben Pakulski signed a picture to me once that said, “set a goal and break through walls to get it”!
If you want to be the best at anything you must set your mind to it and then the body will follow!
Change Workout or Tempo?
Q: How often do you change your workout routine or tempo?
If you find exercises that work for you and you feel good doing, why would you need to change them? Ronnie Coleman never changed his routine because it worked for him and his goal of being the best bodybuilder of all time. I think some people change their routines just for the sake of changing things or they see someone doing something and think they need to do that. There is plenty of research and science behind progressive overload, which as a beginner I think is the most beneficial way to grow muscle tissue as the muscle must adapt to the new stress (load) you put on it and will get bigger and stronger from it, but then what? At what point does that have diminishing returns, meaning when is more load going to cause an injury, which in turn will set you back and you will lose what you’ve worked so hard for? That answer will vary from person to person but let me tell you, I don’t think anyone that has truly pushed themselves can say it’s never happened. Now what do you do?
To answer your question, I always push hard and heavy with the number one factor always being effort, but effort is in the eye of the beholder. So, you can go with a slower tempo on the eccentric and concentric at times to cause an intense burn and stress on the muscle where it will respond and get super sore from the different tempo, which is what I’ve been doing a lot lately as like I said, injuries can force you to train differently and usually smarter because of it – and that tempo will force an intense mind-muscle connection as when you go slow and focused and the burn is like “fireballs” in the muscle, therefore there is no way you won’t feel the muscle working!
Training explosively to initiate the type 2 or fast-twitch muscle fibers is always the goal as they can grow the biggest, but explosive doesn’t mean ballistic. Control is always the primary focus when trying to build muscle and prevent injuries, so sometimes slowing it down is a much-needed change of pace and a way to recharge the mind and not the ego. When I feel aches and pains is usually when I incorporate this style or tempo from the normal control down and explode up type of tempo, and just slow down both directions so there is no jerking or loss of tension on the muscle so it’s ultra-focused and controlled to where I’m not trying to go symptomatic or feel the pain and only feel the muscle. When things feel great, I forget about that tempo and train “normally” but then boom, it happens again and that’s the life of a bodybuilder and the way you have to train to be your best – you have to push yourself to see what you are capable of and beyond!
It’s hard to tell yourself every workout “I’m going to push myself to my limits” without occasionally getting sloppy, but then you have to catch yourself before it’s too late and an injury happens – but if it does, it’s kind of like a reset where you take that one step back to take two steps forward, all while not having to stop training and just change tempo, speed or style!
Hope this helps and gives you some thought of what to do when you feel things hurting, instead of taking time off from the gym!
For questions you would like answered in my column or coaching inquiries, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
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