Amateur Bodybuilder of the Week: Josh Phelps

Amateur Bodybuilder of the Week: Josh Phelps! - Pics and info and more!
  • Name: Josh Phelps
  • E-mail:
  • Age: 32
  • Where: Winchester, Virginia
  • Height: 6'
  • Weight: 185 Lbs.
  • Years Bodybuilding :2
  • Favorite Bodypart: Shoulders
  • Favorite Exercise: Dumbbell Military Presses & Shrugs
  • Favorite Supplements: Whey, Casein Drinks, & BCAA's.

How Did You Get Started?

I'd been lifting since I got out of college just to stay in shape. I had a few people tell me they thought I could do well as a bodybuilder because of my frame and naturally lean build. A good friend of mine had done a few shows and won and he inspired me also. So I got some pointers on the diet and made some changes in training and 12 weeks later got third in my first show. I was hooked. This was at age 31 and I really wish I'd started sooner. But now I know what it takes to win and am focused on doing just that very soon.

What Workout Plan Worked Best For You?

I've had the most success doing each body part once per week. I like a schedule that works with the rest of my life so I lift M-F and take weekends off. I lift at 5:30am so it's done before work and I have the evenings for the other tasks that life requires or in-season that's when I do cardio.

Right now it's chest on Monday, legs on Tuesday, shoulders on Wednesday, back on Thursday and Bi's/Tri's on Friday. I usually stick with something in the 8-10 rep range doing 4 sets per exercise and about 4-5 exercises per body part.

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To keep it interesting I'll throw in drop sets or negatives and then throw in a super light week from time to time. I also change my exercises every 6 weeks or so, maybe switch the order (incline d-bells before flat bench then reverse that next cycle) etc. I believe in simple but quality workouts and focus on compound movements.

What Nutrition Plan Has Worked Best For You?

I spread my nutrition over 9 or 10 meals daily. I concentrate my carbs in the morning around my workout and try and have my daily carb requirements done by lunchtime or no later than about 2pm. I get as much whole food as possible in the form of rice, oats, sweet potatoes, chicken, fish, steak. I'm a hunter and put venison in the rotation as my success each fall allows. I use supplements for post-workout recovery and to fill in once or twice throughout the day.

What Supplements Have Given You The Greatest Gains?

I use EAS Myopro for my whey protein source and Optimum Nutrition's casein for my shake before I go to bed. I throw in some Xtend from SciVation pre and post-workout especially while training and have seen the difference in muscle retention from that.

Why do you love Bodybuilding?

I love a challenge and I love discipline. Both exist in this sport. Plus the only person who can win or lose is you. No reliance on others and no others relying on you. What drives me is wanting to look better each time I step on stage, move more weight every time I hit the gym, just the personal drive to do better and achieve more. Knowing that I'm part of an elite group of people who take their training to the level of being able to step on a stage and be competitive is a great feeling.

What Are Your Future Bodybuilding Plans?

I'm just completing this year's season of competing and know I need some size and thickness to progress. So I plan to re-evaluate my training and diet and do just that. I'm working through a few injuries also and have to heal those. I'll be on stage again either late in '07 or the spring season of '08 and plan to go for my pro card. From there, who knows, I just know I'll keep doing it as long as I can.

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What One Tip Would You Give Other Bodybuilders?

This is not something you can do halfway or "just try." It takes complete commitment. All of us who've done this know there's sacrifice and hard work involved. But the satisfaction of seeing what you can do to your body is worth it all. Be smart and do your homework.

Get advice from different places but the best is to talk to other bodybuilders. I also would say get started sooner, rather than later. Train smart and avoid injury, concentrate on the diet more than anything. If possible have somebody train for the same show with you, it really helps knowing that support is there.

Who Are Your Favorite Bodybuilders?

I like some of the past heroes of the sport, Lee Haney, Dorian Yates and Arnold for example. My friend Brian Whitacre is a past amateur of the week on this site and I think is still in the beginning of a great natural pro career.

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