Amateur Bodybuilder of the Week: Joshua Griswold

Amateur Bodybuilder of the Week: Joshua Griswold! - Pics and info and more!
  • Name: Joshua Griswold
  • E-mail:
  • Age: 28
  • Where: Binghamton, NY
  • Height: 5' 8"
  • Weight: 185-195 off season, 175 Show
  • Years Bodybuilding :6
  • Favorite Bodypart: Back
  • Favorite Exercise: Rope Pullups
  • Favorite Supplements: Glutamine, BCAAs, Arginine

How Did You Get Started?

I got started in weightlifting to get in shape for wrestling in 9th grade. I trained with my coach throughout the summer along side a senior at my school who, at the time in my eyes, was a monster. I have been blessed with great genetics for weightlifting and have always maintained a lean and muscular look. In 2003 I was approached by a few guys in my gym to do a natural bodybuilding show.

At first I resisted as I did not feel I was to the caliber necessary to compete. After months of badgering I finally gave into them after they dared me to do a show. I did my first show in March of 2003 in Rochester NY at the NGA Natural Northeast. I placed second overall in the novice division at middle weight. This was a blessing because I refuse to accept second place in anything I do.

This one show has turned into a lifestyle and a committed drive to become the best bodybuilder I can possibly be. I continued to compete placing second for the next two years. Then in 2006 I competed in a local show in the USBF sanctioned show. I won the novice middle weight and the men's open middle weight and lost the overall by one point. Again this pushed me to return in 2007 and win the overall at the USBF Liberty State Natural. Now I am hooked and can't stop.

Joshua Griswold Joshua Griswold
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Joshua Griswold.

What Workout Plan Worked Best For You?

My training approach is a conglomerate of styles. My training partner and I joke that we have the most unconventional approach known to man. If we think we can "make up" or create a movement that will benefit our physiques better than what is "established" or already known than we try it and if we see or feel results it's added to our arsenal. I stick to very basic philosophy. "More of what works and less of what does not"!!

Here is a basic break down of my training. Every 5 weeks I push my workouts up one day. For example if Legs are on Monday then after 5 weeks Legs are pushed to Tuesday's. My weight and rep range varies week to week. I truly stay in tuned to my body and listen to what it needs and wants to do. If I am feeling like I need a heavy and hard lifting session than that's what I do. If my energy or mental focus is down than I do medium weight with high contraction supersets. What this means is I do an exercise with 75% of my usual weight and while doing the exercise I flex as though I was flexing on stage to get the deepest burn with weight.

The supersets allow me to get a great pump and conditioning. Another thing is that I never do the same work out twice. I may keep to a muscle group on a certain day for 5 weeks but the exercises I do vary tremendously. One week may be all dumbbells while another week is all cables again keeping in tune to my body for the rep and weight needed. Finally I utilize a lot of old school training methods. I train legs bare footed to get a full burn.

Taking the padding from my shoes away allows me to drop the weight and focus on form and deep burn. I follow a lot of Arnold's and Franco Columbo's era of training methods for my training. Some of the exercises I do are from "back in the day" and are still very much a staple for me.

My current training split is as follow:

  • Monday: Quads and Calves
  • Tuesday: Chest and Hams
  • Wednesday: Back and Traps
  • Thursday: Shoulders and Triceps
  • Friday: Biceps and Calves
  • Saturday: Chest or Back (I rotate each week) with high intense reps
  • Sunday: Traps and Calves

I train abs every other day and do cardio four days a week for 40 mins in the off season and pre-contest I do cardio 7 days a week working my way up to two sessions of at least 45 mins each time.

Joshua Griswold Joshua Griswold
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Joshua Griswold.

What Nutrition Plan Has Worked Best For You?

My nutrition plan is another "unconventional" approach. In 2003 I read a book by Mauro Di Pasquale called the Metabolic Diet the Anabolic Solution. I was amazed at the simplicity of the program and quickly started it. I found it to be the best nutrition approach for me.

The basic approach is as follows. For the first 12 days you eat high protein and higher fat with a restriction of only 30-40 grams of carbs per day. After the twelve days you do a carb load. This carb load is necessary to refuel and to up the glycogen storage in your body. You carb load until you start to "smooth" out in appearance. Once you start to appear "smooth" then its back to the restricted phase for another 6 days with one day of carb loading.

The six days of restriction and one day of load is known as the maintenance phase and the current phase that I am in. This is no longer a diet but a lifestyle for me now. I have been following and adapting this lifestyle for almost 5 years now and I love the flexibility and results that I have gotten from this approach. Another approach to my nutrition is that I do not eat processed food. I found that utilizing whole foods and restricting processed bars and shakes to times of desperate need I was able to build and manage a physique that was stage quality.

I believe in quality of quantity when it comes to nutrition. I prepare all my meals myself and very rarely have shakes and bars in my diet. I eat chicken, fish, venison, Bison, along with every vegetable. My "starch carbs" come from oatmeal, baby food sweet potatoes (stage 3 jars), Kashi Pilaf, Organic rice cakes, Brown Rice pasta and Wild Grain Rice. I east every 2 ½ to 3 hours. My day starts meals go as follows:

  • Meal 1: 7:30 am
  • Meal 2: 10:00 am
  • Meal 3: 1:00 pm
  • Meal 4: 3:30 pm
  • Meal 5: 6:30- 7:30 pm
  • Meal 6: 9:00 pm

What Supplements Have Given You The Greatest Gains?

I am an advocate of:

I use the powdered form of many of my supplements because I feel like my body absorbs and responds more quickly to this form of supplementation.

I believe in more of what works and less of what does not. If I don't feel I am getting any results than I do not use or discontinue the use of the supplement.

Joshua Griswold Joshua Griswold
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Joshua Griswold.

Why do you love Bodybuilding?

I love bodybuilding because it's a competition with me and me alone. It's only me who can keep me from success. Transforming my body into something that people envy and aspire to is in my hands and no one else.

Finally there is no ending to this sport. No matter what level beginner or Mr. Olympia there is always another goal or accomplishment to reach. It's a sport that can raise you up while beating you down. I also feel that bodybuilding can and will bring me opportunities to better myself as a person on a variety of levels.

I love the fraternity of those competitors backstage then the snarling competition between us on stage. I just love bodybuilding and everything about it.

Joshua Griswold Joshua Griswold
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Joshua Griswold.

What Are Your Future Bodybuilding Plans?

My future plans are to take the natural pro ranks of bodybuilding by storm and make my mark. I want to establish a legacy that will live on long after I hang up my posing trunks. I want people to remember that I did it natural and was the best natural bodybuilder of my time.

What One Tip Would You Give Other Bodybuilders?

Everyone thinks what we do is easy. If it were easy everyone would look like me. Always push yourself to be the best bodybuilder you can be and utilize a variety of approaches. Read as much as possible and use what works and get rid of what does not. Quality of quantity is always the best approach no matter what level of a competitor you are.

Lastly stay true to your initial reason for getting into this sport. Do not allow others to steer you to be someone or something you do not want to be. Remember what brought you to the sport and embrace it completely everyday and love it.

Joshua Griswold Joshua Griswold
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Joshua Griswold.

Who Are Your Favorite Bodybuilders?

My favorite bodybuilders are Jay Cutler, Branch Warren, Stan McQuay, Dennis Wolf, Lee Priest, Arnold, Franco Columbo; Layne Norton is my natural inspiration.

The local bodybuilders in my gym who keep me hungry to stay on top of my game everyday I train. Everyone from the old school guys of the 80's and 90's to those who are competing along side me.