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One of the staple principles of good weight training is to emphasize compound (multi-joint) exercises, and to supplement those movements with some isolation (single-joint) oriented exercises. Interestingly, rarely do you see the principle of using compound movements utilized when it comes to training the core – in that, many of the most popular and commonly use core exercises are isolation-oriented.

However, a study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research sought to determine whether integration (i.e., compound) core exercises that require activation of the distal (away from the center of the body) trunk muscles (deltoid and gluteal) elicit greater activation of primary trunk muscles in comparison with isolation core exercises that only require activation of the proximal trunk muscles. The results of this study indicate that the activation of the abdominal and lumbar muscles was the greatest during the exercises that required deltoid and gluteal recruitment.

The researchers of this study concluded that, “An integrated routine that incorporates the activation of distal trunk musculature would be optimal in terms of maximizing strength, improving endurance, enhancing stability, reducing injury, and maintaining mobility.” In other words, a comprehensive core training routine, like every other muscle group, should emphasize compound exercises and supplement with some isolation moves as well.

Since you’re already familiar with traditional isolation exercises, the goal of this article is to provide you a comprehensive list of compound core exercises you can immediately use to build a stronger and more functional core.

Compound Core Training

Contrary to popular misconception, the “core” is not just your abs and lower back; it’s all of your torso muscles (shoulders, glutes, abs, mid-back, lats, etc.) minus your extremities (arms and legs). The compound core exercises we’ve included, although each trains and strengthens the body in a slightly different manner, all have one thing in common: They require a high activation of your core muscles in order to resist unwanted movement at your torso, maintain your posture and body position while your extremities create movement by lifting the load.


Angled Barbell (aka Landmine) Rainbow

Setup: Place one end of a barbell in a corner or into a Sorinex landmine device (from Hold the other end of the barbell with both hands at roughly your eye level with your elbows slightly bent. Stand tall with your feet roughly shoulder-width apart.

Action: Move the barbell from side to side in a rainbow-like fashion while you rotate, without allowing your hips or shoulders to rotate.

Coaching Tips:

• Maintain a tall posture throughout this exercise.

• Do not allow your spine to bend sideways or flex forward at any point.

• The farther you extend your arms away from your body, the more difficult you make this exercise.

• The closer you keep the barbell to your body (i.e., the more you bend your elbows), the easier you make this exercise.

• It’s best to use weight plates 25 pounds or less to add load to the bar, as larger weight plates restrict your range of motion in order to prevent them from hitting your body.

• Perform 2-4 sets of 10-15 reps per side.


One-Arm Dumbbell Farmer’s Walk

Farmers Walk 300

Setup: Stand tall holding a heavy dumbbell on the right side of your body by your right hip.

Action: Walk up and down the length of a room, keeping the dumbbell by your hip and maintaining your strong, upright posture. Then switch hands and repeat by holding a dumbbell on the other side.

Coaching Tips:

• Use a weight load that you can carry on one side for no more than 45-60 seconds. Rest roughly 30 seconds if needed before switching hands and carrying the dumbbell on the other side for another 45-60 seconds.

• Grip strength as well as core strength can be a limiting factor in the weight you’re able to carry, which also makes this exercise a great tool for improving your grip strength as well.

• Perform 3-5 sets.


Cable Chop (Low to High)

Cable Chop 300

Cable chop 2 300

Setup: Stand perpendicular to a cable column that is on your left side, holding the handle with both hands that’s attached to the lowest position. Your feet should be slightly wider than shoulder-width.

Action: Squat down and simultaneously shift most of your weight to your left leg while your arms are at a downward angle reaching toward the origin of the cable. Stand up while simultaneously shifting your weight towards your right leg as you also drive the cable at a diagonally upward angle across your body. Finish at the top with your arms above your head on your right side. Reverse the motion back to the starting position and repeat.

Coaching Tips:

• Your torso should remain fairly perpendicular to the cable column. Do not rotate your torso away from the cable column as you reach the top of the range of motion of the exercise. Doing so greatly reduces the tension on your torso muscles.

• Perform this exercise both eccentrically and concentrically in a smooth and coordinated fashion between your weight shift and the cable moving across your body.

• Be sure to keep your spine in a neutral position throughout the exercise and to set your hips back at the bottom position.


DB Plank Rows

Plank row 300

Setup: Holding a dumbbell in each hand, assume a push-up position with your feet roughly shoulder-width apart.

Action: Pick up the dumbbell in your right hand and row it into your body. Slowly lower it to the floor and repeat this action using your left hand. Continue to alternate hands until you’ve completed the reps indicated.

Coaching Tips:

• Keep a strong and stable body position with a neutral spine throughout this entire exercise.

• Do not allow your body to shift from side to side as you perform each row.

• Do not allow your hips to rotate as you perform each row.

• Perform each row in a controlled manner by slowly lowering the dumbbell to the floor on each rep.

• To ensure the dumbbells do not roll, make sure you place your hands directly underneath your shoulders when performing this exercise.


Pike Rollback


Pike roll back 300

Pike roll back 2 300

Setup: Hold yourself in a push-up position with your feet on a Swiss ball that’s between 55-65 cm in size. (To make the exercise easier, move the Swiss ball towards your belly button.)

Action: With your body in a plank (straight) position, keep your legs straight and push your hips towards the ceiling while keeping your back flat. After straightening your hips and coming back to the start position, push your body backwards on the ball until your arms are fully extended in front of you and your legs are fully extended behind you. Reverse the motion and repeat.

Coaching Tips:

• On the pike aspect of the exercise, lift your hips up until they are almost above (but not directly above) your shoulders. Once your hips do get directly above your shoulders the tension is greatly reduced on your abs, which you don’t want.

• Do not allow your lower back to sag toward the floor.

• If you feel pressure at your lower back as you perform the roll-out aspect of the exercise, you’ve gone too far beyond your strength threshold. Therefore, simply reduce your range of motion so you can perform the exercise in a pain-free manner.

• To decrease the difficulty of the exercise, you can modify the action by performing a knee tuck (instead of a pike) by bending your knees and pulling them into your chest.

• Be sure to transition through each position of each rep in a smooth manner using deliberate control.

• Perform 2-4 sets of 8-15 reps. Pause for 1-2 seconds at each end (i.e., the top of the pike and the outstretched part of the rollback) of the exercise.


Romanian Deadlift 

Roumanian deadliftat 8.11.33 AM 1

Screen ShRoumanian deadlift 2 2021 08 13 at 8.12.29 AM



Setup: Stand tall holding onto a loaded barbell with your hands placed just outside of your hip width.

Action: Keep your knees bent at a 15- to 20-degree angle. Hinge at your hips and lower your torso toward the floor as you slide the barbell down your thighs. Once your torso reaches parallel to the floor or you can no longer maintain the neutral spinal position you started with, reverse the motion by driving your hips forward and returning to the standing position.

Coaching Tips:

• Do not allow your lower back to “round out.”

• Keep the barbell as close to you as possible.

• Lift the barbell by driving your hips forward, not by extending at your lower back.


Offset Dumbbell Lunge (Reverse or Walking)

Offset Lunge 300

Setup: Stand tall holding a dumbbell in your right hand in the “racked” position by your right shoulder.

Action for the “Reverse lunge” version: Step backward with your right leg and slowly lower your body in a controlled manner, allowing your right knee to gently touch the ground. Reverse the action by stepping your right leg back underneath you to return to the tall standing position. Repeat all the reps, stepping back with your right leg. Then switch the dumbbell to your left hand and perform all the lunges stepping back with your left leg.

Action for the “Walking lunge” version: Step forward with your left leg and drop down into a lunge position, allowing your right knee to gently touch the floor. Step forward with your right leg, standing tall, bringing your right foot next to your left foot. That’s one rep. Perform all the reps on the same side, stepping forward with your left leg in, bringing your right leg up to meet your left. Then place the dumbbell by your left shoulder and perform all reps stepping forward with your right leg.

Coaching Tips:

• Both lunge variations described above have the dumbbell being held on the opposite side of the forward leg. This is done to create a cross-body loading pattern that stimulates the glutes on one side and the shoulder on the other. There is not as much activation from the gluteal muscles if the dumbbell is being held on the same side as the front leg. This will become very obvious if you experiment with this yourself.

• By holding a dumbbell on one side and not the other, much like in the single-arm farmer’s walk exercise described previously, your torso muscles have to increase their activation in order to counteract the offset load and maintain your posture in the center.

• Be sure to maintain good knee alignment on each rep.

• If you normally perform lunges holding 45-pound dumbbells in each hand, try this variation holding one 70- to 80-pound dumbbell.

• Perform 3-4 sets of 6-10 reps each leg.



Integration core exercises elicit greater muscle activation than isolation exercises. Gottschall JS, Mills J, Hastings B. J Strength Cond Res. 2013 Mar;27(3):590-6.

Photography by Jaclyn Gough

Photos taken at the BB3 Training Center in Davie, FL

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By: Nick Tumminello
Title: Compound Core Training
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Published Date: Fri, 13 Aug 2021 12:28:31 +0000

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Mens Health




495713365 hi tech cognisport 60ct bottle 768x1024 1

By Bryan Hildebrand

Senior Editor, Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals

CogniSport® is a unique combination of botanical extracts and nutrients that support cognitive function, mental focus, and overall visual health. The ingredients in CogniSport® are well studied and have been found to provide tremendous benefits, including support for concentration, motivation, mental focus, and reaction time. In addition, CogniSport® can enhance mood and well-being as well as lower cortisol levels to reduce the effects of stress. There are also several ingredients found in CogniSport® not found in any other focus or electronic gaming product.

With the addition of Visual® 2020 to the formula, CogniSport® provides support for optimal visual performance by supporting the ability of the eyes to filter high-energy blue light – from laptops, cell phones, and other blue-light sources. Visual® 2020 also supports visual function under bright light conditions such as the basketball court, gym, football field and other outdoor pursuits.

The alkaloid profile in Thermo-Rx® is unmatched by any other Senegalia species due to its phenylethylamine content, as well as numerous other alkaloids and amines. Phenylethylamine is a sympathomimetic amine found in the leaves of Senegalia Berlandieri. Phenylethylamine also naturally occurs in chocolate, and is responsible for its effects on mood, appetite, and sense of well-being. Researchers believe that Phenylethylamine may be the cleanest stimulant ever studied. Its ability to stimulate the central nervous system without causing a nervous feeling or the “jitters” is remarkable. Phenylethylamine acts on alpha-receptors in the brain, as do norepinephrine and ephedrine. It is also believed by chemists and scientists in the industry to cause the release of dopamine in the pleasure-sensing areas of the brain.

While the idea of providing concentration may seem potentially foreign to bodybuilders and fitness athletes, nothing could be further from the truth. Winding down a day’s training and you still have a few exercises left. Plus, cardio. Plus, the drive home. Plus, dinner for the kids. The energy from pre-workout products have proven they can only take you so far. The clean, long-lasting focal energy found in CogniSport® provides a much longer source of energy and motivation to power even the hardest working athletes, moms and dads through the remainder of their day without that dreaded jitters and impending neurological crash associated with so many high-caffeine pre-workouts and weight-loss products that many use for energy in the gym.

The researched ingredients in CogniSport® have been found to provide huge benefits, including support for concentration, motivation, mental focus, and reaction time. The other side of this is the mood-enhancing properties it exhibits. Gamers, athletes, and students who have used it say it provides reductions in stress and an overall sense of well-being. There are also several ingredients found in CogniSport® not found in any other focus or electronic gaming product!

• Maintain a Mental Edge With High Demand, Rapid Sequencing

• Supports Mental Agility in Fast-Paced Sports

• Improve Reaction Times in Rapid Movement Environments

• Helps Reduce Stress in Physical Situations

The researched ingredients in CogniSport® have been found to provide huge benefits, including support for concentration, motivation, mental focus, and reaction time.

For more information, visit

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Title: CogniSport®
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Mens Health

Get a Beach Body: 8-Week Plan



498473081 screen shot 2023 05 08 at 4 53 01 pm 1024x591 1

“Spring forward” is a mnemonic meant to help us remember that in accordance with Daylight Savings Time, we move the hands on our clocks forward one hour in an instant time change designed to provide one additional hour of daylight. But there is nothing “instant” about gearing up for fat loss to get a beach body. It’s not a process that should be rushed into, for both physical and psychological reasons. Just as it’s not wise to walk into the gym and go right to your heaviest weights without a thorough and proper warm-up featuring several sets of gradually increasing resistance, losing substantial amounts of body fat is a process that should also be eased into for best results.

The Case for Making Haste Slowly

Both mentally and physically, our bodies don’t respond well to sudden, drastic change. It’s better to gradually adjust variables so you have time to acclimate. It’s not a good idea to go from eating whatever you want to a strict type diet in one day. Going from having done no cardio at all for months to hitting it for 45 minutes every day is a brutal punch in the face to your system that typically has negative results, similar to someone who hasn’t squatted in months getting under 405 and expecting to do a good set. If you’ve been gorging on things like fried foods, desserts, pizza, and alcohol, going cold turkey will probably have you craving the bad stuff again soon. Not to mention the fact that sudden and drastic reductions in overall caloric intake force the body into survival mode in which the metabolism is slowed down in the body’s effort to do the one thing it’s designed to do – stay alive! And because cardio involves a certain amount of repetitive stress on your knees, ankles, and feet, it’s smarter to start off with lower intensity, volume, and frequency to rebuild strength and endurance in those areas. Otherwise, you increase your odds of incurring tendinitis, bursitis, stress fractures, and muscle strains (minor muscle tears). What we are going to do to make this transition smooth is the following:

• For several weeks, your calories will still be well above maintenance level, thus facilitating muscle gain.

• The transition phase both psychologically and physically allows you to adjust to the changes with less trauma.

• Because your diet will become stricter over a period of a couple of months, you will begin losing body fat and have a head start once your official “cut” begins.

• Cardiovascular training will be ramped up gradually, giving you a chance to rebuild your stamina and thus be better prepared for a more demanding cardio regimen as summer nears.

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Nutritional Spring Cleaning

First off, don’t feel like a failure because you went off the wagon there for a while. Nearly all of us do once the weather starts getting cold. The gluttony begins for many Americans at Halloween, a holiday marked mainly by the wanton consumption of candy, which provides few nutrients but loads of sugar and fat. We buy enough for a theoretical battalion of trick-or-treaters, yet ultimately wind up eating most of it ourselves when they don’t show up at our door because parents in this era don’t allow their children to leave the house. Then along comes Thanksgiving, where we celebrate and honor the Pilgrims by force-feeding as much turkey, gravy, stuffing, candied yams, and pie as possible before passing out on the couch in a food coma after watching football. This is immediately followed up by the Christmas/holiday season. Even if your workplace has a PC non-denominational holiday theme, you can rest assured there will still be plenty of delicious foods rich in sugar and saturated fat to feast on: trays of cookies, pastries, and doughnuts – for free! There will also be home parties and dinners where food and drinks flow as freely as something out of an afterlife promised to the supremely faithful. If the host is either Italian or Latin, bet on an even greater abundance of decadent dining. The year ends with New Year’s Eve, where we ring in a new year by imbibing as much alcohol as we are able to without vomiting. Though the next day is typically marked by some form of grand resolution where eating better and losing weight often figures prominently, we don’t all act on this noble goal right away. And here we are.

As I said, we are going to progressively ease you into eating cleaner, a little bit more every week. By doing it this way, we can comfortably make these changes without shocking your system or feeling deprived and awake at night with cravings. Here’s how you will do this over eight weeks.

Weeks 8-7

Eliminate starchy/complex carbohydrates from final meal of the day.

Cheat meals should be a maximum of four per week. This means meals where you eat whatever you want, in any amounts you want. Note this is one meal, not an entire day of eating crap.

Reduce the amount of bread and dairy you consumed in the off-season by one-third.

Regarding the bread, you should never eat white bread. Opt for whole wheat or whole grain. Ezekiel Bread is very popular with fit people and competitive physique athletes. This brand is sprouted, made from whole grains and legumes, and contains no refined flour or sugar. This is purely an unpaid testimonial, but it also has a lot more flavor than any white bread I’ve ever tried.

Week 6

Cheat meals should be a maximum of three per week. All other variables remain the same.

Weeks 5-3

Eliminate starchy/complex carbohydrates from final two meals of the day.

Bread and dairy consumption should be reduced to half the amount you were eating previously, during the rest of the year before your 8-week fat-loss program began.

Week 2

Cheat meals should be a maximum of two per week.

Reduce your bread and dairy so that it’s roughly a third of how much you consumed during the rest of the year.

Week 1

Cheat meals are still allowed this final week at two for the week.

Eliminate starchy/complex carbohydrates from final three meals of the day. Ideally, two of your meals with carbs should be the meals before and after training.

Bread and dairy should either be fully eliminated or reduced to two servings of each per week. 

Week 0 – Cutting Diet Officially Begins

498473096 screen shot 2023 05 08 at 4 53 06 pm

Complex carbs should be eaten with no more than three meals per day, though this is an individual matter. Some people can lean out while still taking in ample carbohydrates, while others must consume very low carbs to lose fat. Again, the two meals where your carbohydrates will be utilized best will be your pre- and post-workout meals, so plan accordingly depending on what time of day you train. If you train in the evening, your carb meals will be eaten later in the day as opposed to someone who trains in the morning.

You should not have more than one cheat meal per week, and some who have a tougher time dropping body fat should not have any cheat meals.

All bread and dairy products should be eliminated.

Easing Back Into Cardio

Though you may feign ignorance, you are doubtless aware of the benefits of cardio. Yet even knowing it’s necessary for both maintaining good cardiovascular conditioning, i.e., a strong and healthy lungs and heart, as well as keeping body fat in check, many people drop cardio from their program the minute they decide they have kicked off their off-season. And trust me, I get it. Cardio is something most of us never signed on for. Personally, I started lifting weights at age 13-14 and didn’t begin doing any type of cardio until I had already been competing as a natural bodybuilder for three years. Even then, I did it grudgingly, holding it in contempt as a necessary evil if I wanted to shed the layer of blubber I’d accumulated via force-feeding at least double the amount of calories my body required in the form of 2-pound baked potatoes, bowls of rice large enough to use as helmets, and the sugar-laden mega-calorie weight gainers in vogue at the time. I did what many bodybuilders still do today, which was to take my cardio from zero to 60 overnight. I was able to get away with this shock to the system back then as I was just a whippersnapper in his early to mid-20s. By the time I was on the wrong side of 30, I was alarmed to find how badly I would suck wind if I returned to cardio after more than a month or so away from it. That’s when I realized it would behoove me to keep a certain amount of cardio in my program year-round.

Unless you are one of those rare metabolic freaks who stays lean without any conscious effort, or you have a physical job that keeps you breathing heavy and burning calories, you too should strive to include a bare minimum of three 20-minute sessions per week. But let’s assume you’ve done what so many other lifters do and stopped all cardio as soon as the leaves changed color. Here’s a reasonable schedule to ease you back into a level of cardiovascular fitness so that when it’s time to drop the hammer and enter full cutting mode, you’re more than ready.

Weeks 8-7

3 x 20 minutes, moderate intensity

Perform three sessions of 20 minutes per week, moderate intensity. That means it shouldn’t be so easy you can type clever comments on Instagram posts and stories, but you shouldn’t be gasping for breath like a fish on the dock either. You should have a light sweat by about halfway through. When you do these three sessions, as with any time you’re getting your cardio in, is up to you, your schedule, and your availability. We can all argue the relative benefits of fasted cardio versus doing it after your weights, or even in a fed state on days off from weight training. No studies have ever proven superior fat-burning results, though many people have verified over the past 20 or so years through their own experience that fasted morning cardio does seem to burn more body fat than doing it at other times. This seems particularly true once your body fat is already low. Since we’re not trying to get shredded in this transition phase, don’t fret if you can’t do fasted cardio. You can do it after your weight-training workout, though I would save your post-workout shake with carbs until after the cardio, so you don’t have that shake sloshing around in your belly. You can eat breakfast before heading off to the gym or to your own cardio machine at home; just give your body a good hour or more to digest it first.

I can say that I felt physically better and more energetic performing cardio with a meal in me. Those of you who follow Dr. Layne Norton know that he has effectively debunked the need to do your cardio in a fasted state. So long as you get it done and burn the calories, it really doesn’t matter.

Weeks 6-4

4 x 20 minutes, moderate intensity

We are adding another cardio day now, which takes you to four 20-minute sessions per week. For those of you grumbling about that, try to look on the bright side. In the old days, you had only your Sony Walkman and a cassette to keep you going during cardio, which eventually became a CD and a Sony Discman. MP3 players and iPods were the next evolution. Now, all of you own smartphones with access to almost unlimited text, audio, and video content.

Weeks 3-1

4 x 30 minutes, moderate intensity

For our final three weeks of spring training before it’s time to jump into full-fledged cutting, we’re keeping the frequency at four cardio sessions per week, but the duration bumps up from 20 to 30 minutes. Do the math and this has you hitting a total of two hours of cardio a week. That’s enough to make a real dent and melt away some of that winter hibernation fat you put on. Don’t be surprised if you start seeing the biggest difference in your body fat at this stage.

Weight Training

By now, the more detail-oriented among you might be asking, what about the weight training? What should I change, if anything? You may know from some of my previous articles that I believe in utilizing more intensity techniques such as drop sets, supersets, and giant sets in the off-season rather than in the cutting/prep phase as most people prefer to. This is because anything that ramps up your workload and intensity also takes a higher toll on your recovery ability. It makes sense to work harder and longer with the weights when your body has more resources to apply toward recovery. That’s why you should put those techniques into practice when you are in a surplus of energy and calories rather than a deficit.

Assuming you are doing this, the spring training period should see you gradually scaling back toward more straight sets. If you’re doing drop sets or supersets at every workout for every body part, start limiting them to just two exercises per body part, then one. Try to match the rate you transition back to straight sets with your increasing cardio frequency and your decrease in carb meals per day and cheat meals per week. Think in terms of overall energy expenditure, or energy in (food) versus energy out (weights and cardio).

As you can see, there’s no need to ever drastically jump into or out of fat-burning mode. Work your way into the summer cutting phase gradually with this “Spring Forward” spring training program, and you’ll be in an excellent position to launch your successful shredding regimen.

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Stop Buying Foods You Shouldn’t Eat

Unless you share your living area with junk-food junkies (or children), you’re in full control of what you stock your refrigerator and cupboards with. You can’t eat crap like cookies, muffins, or frozen bean burritos if they aren’t in your home in the first place. Try to do your food shopping on the perimeter of the supermarket where they stock the healthier basics like fruits, vegetables, fresh meat, fish, eggs, and poultry. Stay the hell away from the aisles full of cereal, snacks, soda, and candy. They can be very tempting, especially if you spy some sweet two-for-one deal. You’re better off leaving those aisles alone.

Start Meal Prepping

It’s always easier to eat cleaner when you have clean food already made that you just need to heat up in the toaster oven or microwave. Meal prepping is something a lot of people only start doing after Memorial Day when they panic and realize it’s going to be beach weather in a few weeks. Don’t wait that long! Start taking one day a week, maybe Sunday, to grill, fry, and bake batches of chicken, ground turkey or beef, and fish to freeze so you won’t have to cook the rest of the week. Otherwise, if most of us must choose between cooking fresh, clean food every day if not several times a day or going for fast food, the easier option often wins out even if it means we know we aren’t eating right. We are all busy in 2023, so use your time wisely. Be prepared to eat clean, and it won’t be an excuse not to.

Take a Break From Social Media

I confess I stole this one from four-time Classic Physique Olympia champ Chris Bumstead. Like me and most of you, he has no love for cardio. One way he makes the time pass by faster for his fasted cardio is to not even check his texts, emails, or messages on social media until he’s on the treadmill or StepMill. If you’re even a remotely busy person, answering those should take up a good chunk of the time you’re huffing away burning calories. Before you know it, you’re done!

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By: Ron Harris
Title: Get a Beach Body: 8-Week Plan
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Published Date: Wed, 24 May 2023 14:38:01 +0000

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Mens Health

The Keys to Success: Determination, Consistency and Desire



WADE 47 600

Relentless Pursuit

By IFBB Pro Josh Wade

Sponsored by ALLMAX

Weight training changed my life, kept me out of trouble and gave me a sense of accomplishment I never had before so I immediately fell in love with the sport of bodybuilding and after about eight years of serious training, I wanted to show my hard work and compete on a bodybuilding stage. At that point I was all in and even as a first-time competitor I ate, trained, and studied like a pro, reading articles in Muscular Development magazine about how the pros trained, their reps and sets and the splits they used and what their meals looked like.

From 2006-2014 I was as consistent as anyone could be climbing from a middleweight to a super heavyweight and finishing top five at multiple national level shows and narrowly missing my pro card multiple times. In 2015 I had two surgeries (shoulder scope and triceps tendon reattachment) and missed the whole season, which had me in a depression with self-doubt that after all the years of grinding and complete devotion to the sport I love, I couldn’t compete again and fulfill my dream of becoming an IFBB Pro! After that season I got a message from Dante Trudel, whom I highly respected, but I had no idea he knew who I was saying, “Hey man, I didn’t see you at the National shows this year and you are so close I hope you didn’t hang it up.”

The realization that people followed me and were rooting for me and supporting me lit a fire under my ass and my self-doubt (weak mind) turned off and I found the drive to push harder than I ever have – and from that point on my mind would never again be my limiting factor to seeing how far I could go – and that’s why I work so hard every day in the pursuit of my dreams and goals, which had taken me as far as making the Olympia in 2018.

I’m writing this the day after Samson Dauda won the 2023 Arnold Classic in Ohio. He is a true testament of Determination, Consistency and Desire to accomplish your goals and dreams. I met Samson and his wife Mel in 2019 as he was just coming on to the scene and competed with Samson a few times that year where I bested him in those shows. His humbleness and character are what immediately drew so many people to him, but you could see he had the desire to be Great! Every time I think of Samson’s rise, I think back to when he was quarantined in a hotel room getting ready to compete at a show using only bands to train. He was away from his family, secluded from the world in pursuit of his dreams; that’s sacrifice. The point is Samson has determination and desire, but his consistency is what’s allowed him to climb to the top so fast and already be one of the (if not the) best bodybuilders in the world! Like my late friend, coach and mentor John Meadows always said, “You never know what you are truly capable of unless you give it your all”!

WADE 47 600 1

Better Sleep, Growth and Recovery

Q: I work a lot of night shifts, and I know sleep is crucial for growth and recovery. Do you have any tips?


Honestly, I think no matter what your work schedule is, it’s the consistency that matters the most so your body gets used to what you want it to do and when. During the week, I’m lucky if I get six to six and a half hours of sleep nightly with a few extra hours on the weekends, and I feel rested because again that’s what my body is used to. Calories and rest are the most important things for recovery and growth but a lot times it is hard to get the recommended eight hours of sleep, so then it becomes even that much more important to get enough calories and protein at frequent intervals to keep your body in a positive nitrogen balance – so make sure to eat every three to four hours while you are awake and have a protein shake after your workout to keep consistent calories to allow your body to grow. Supplements around training are a super beneficial and easy way to make sure you are getting adequate nutrients to support recovery and growth.

To aid in recovery and growth I use a lot of intra-workout nutrition, making sure to shuttle the nutrients I need into the muscle I’m training, which is another thing I learned from John Meadows. Carbs are super important for growth and recovery so even people on lower-carb diets can benefit from intra-workout carbs to make sure their workouts don’t suffer.


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.

ALLMAX is now selling directly to the consumer. For a great discount on all your Allmax Nutrition products, go to and use code JOSHWADE15 for 15% off.

For questions you would like answered in my column or coaching inquiries, please email






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Title: The Keys to Success: Determination, Consistency and Desire
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Published Date: Thu, 11 May 2023 21:09:00 +0000

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