Josh Wade’s Road to the Olympia – Q&A
Coach Eric Broser interviews Team ALLMAX athlete Josh Wade as he makes his way towards the Olympia 2018 stage.
Many of you may only now recognize the name Josh Wade because of the stellar 2018-contest season he has put together, but the truth is, this incredible athlete has been around for quite a while! Josh was certainly not an “overnight sensation,” as he competed in nearly twenty shows before finally earning his pro card in 2016. This is simply an indication of his “never quit” attitude, and a level of dedication and passion for the sport that is held by very few.
One look at Josh’s physique and you can tell it was constructed through relentless, gut busting and fearless workouts and a discipline for diet and supplementation that is as rare as a snowstorm in Southern California! When onstage Josh personifies the words “conditioned,” “hard,” and grainy! His rock solid appearance is reminiscent of men like Gaspari, Munzer and Yates – a look that is sorely missing in most IFBB pros competing today.
I recently sat down with Josh to get the scoop on how it all started for him, what it took to get where he is, and exactly what direction plans on going.
EB: How many years have you been training and what got you started bodybuilding?
Josh: Weight training changed my life, as a teenager I was a punk kid lacking confidence badly so I did things like fighting and acting out in class to get noticed by the “cool kids” to fit in and got in lots of trouble at school and the police. When I found weight training I starting feeling a sense of accomplishment where I actually belonged and felt good about myself to the point that I know longer cared about what people thought of me.
If they didn’t like me for me, what I did and believed in then I didn’t care! That started in 1998 when I was 19 years old and I fell in love with the iron and the internal challenge to push oneself and improve every workout! Fast forward to 2006 when I was 27 years old and met a guy named Faramarz Aghazada who finished 2nd to Phil Heath at the 2005 USA’s. His physique was something I truly admired and after getting to know him, he helped me get ready for my first bodybuilding competition – the 2006 SACRAMENTO bodybuilding championships, where I won the novice and open middleweight class at 173 pounds.
EB: How many shows did you do before you turned pro? What show did you get your pro card at?
Josh: I did 18 regional and national shows from 2006-2014 then had 2 surgeries in 2015 (scoped right shoulder and left triceps tendon reattachment), which sidelined me for that season. When I returned, I had to re-qualify for National shows so I competed at the 2016 Northern California championships and won the overall. Then, just 4 weeks later I won my pro card at Team Universe in the Masters (over 35) class.
EB: What was your first IFBB show and how did you place?
Josh: My pro debut was at the IFBB Golden State in Sacramento, California in August 2016, just six weeks after earning my pro card. I was thrilled to finish 5th in my pro debut!
EB: 2018 has been you best year yet! What shows have you done and where have you placed?
Josh: To date for 2018 I placed 4th in the New York Pro, 4th in the Cal Pro and 3rd at the Vancouver Pro!
EB: I understand you work with a prep coach. Who is it and how long have you been working together?
Josh: John Meadows (“Mr. Mountain Dog”) is my coach and has been since September of 2015. After I recovered from my surgeries I contacted John to help me return to the stage and the first thing he said to me was, “Let’s go win Team U” – and we did!
EB: What makes him the right coach for you?
Josh: Physiologically we are so similar from the dry, grainy body type to the way we respond to foods – and even down to our lab work, which always checks out amazingly healthy! He knows my body, I trust him 100% with my physique and my health. I consider him a mentor, friend and brother!
EB: Lets talk a bit about your training. Briefly describe what you overall philosophy is for training. Are you high or low volume? Do you tend toward higher reps or lower? Do you use many intensity techniques? Etc.
Josh: I’m definitely a volume trainer by nature. I usually get ten weight training sessions in every week and usually stick to the “hypertrophy range” of 8-12 reps per set. I always utilize shock intensity techniques at every workout – mainly using drop sets or partial reps.
EB: Do you change how you train during off-season vs. contest prep?
Josh: No, my training never changes and I always push as hard as I can, while focusing on the squeeze/mind muscle connection, rather than just moving the weight (especially as I get older). My “density” has been created by training the same way whether off-season or during prep.
EB: Switching gears I want to discuss diet. Your conditioning for shows is absolutely incredible. You hit the stage dry, hard and full every time. Can you talk a little about how your diet runs as you prepare for a show?
Josh: First, I always eat clean, so my off-season weight/condition is never too far off my stage-ready physique. This makes it far easier on me come prep time, allowing to do less cardio and keep calories higher. This keeps me full and allows me to focus on slowly stripping the fat by gradually reducing carbs/calories without having to ever go so low that I lose muscle.
EB: Everybody and every coach has his/her method of peaking the final week. Do you do anything special in the final few days to make sure you are at your very best on contest day?
Josh: No by the final week or weeks before I’m literally fat free and no manipulations major are necessary. All we do is find my best “look” by slowly increasing carbs until I hit the perfect amount. Then my diet remains the same till show time, while my water intake comes down just a bit to dry me out just a bit more without losing muscle fullness. If I wake up the day before the show looking the way I want to onstage, then why change anything?
EB: What is next for you Josh? What goals do you have in the years to come as an IFBB pro bodybuilder?
Josh: Right now I’m top of the point-leader-board for the Olympia qualification series, so I’m hoping what is next for me is my first Olympia in only my second year as a pro! This has been my dream since I was a kid! At 39 years old I know I might not have a lot of time left, but I’ve improved dramatically over the past two years with no signs of slowing down, so for me I feel the sky is the limit! I’m not saying I’ll ever be Mr. Olympia, but of course I will train and diet with every intention of making it happen! DREAM • BELIEVE • SUCCEED!
**Part II with more specifics about Josh’s training, diet and supplement program coming soon!