Watch Out For Big Joe Barker!

Then the super-heavyweight guest poser came onto the stage and BAM!, he electrified the whole scene with his size, symmetry, proportion, and perfect guest posing routine...
It was April 24th, a clear and beautiful night, and I was traveling to Kannapolis, North Carolina from my home in Virginia. My destination was the 2004 Metrolina bodybuilding show hosted by Roger Morrison ( where I was going to see one of the competitors there I had helped in her pre-contest diet.

The show was going real well. The crowd was hyped-up by the fantastic shape of the competitors. Lighting, sound and organization of the show seemed to be running the smoothest I had ever seen. About halfway through the show I was getting tired, not from the show, but from the countless hours I had been putting into training clients, writing articles/training manuals, and training myself.

Then the super-heavyweight guest poser came onto the stage and BAM!, he electrified the whole scene with his size, symmetry, proportion, and perfect guest posing routine. In my over eight years on the scene of bodybuilding and fitness I have never once seen a young competitor with such potential for greatness.

This future pro was Joe Barker! As soon as his awesome guest posing routine was finished I went to speak with him about doing some training articles with him and to spread word about this new bodybuilding phenomenon! I will make sure to keep the bodybuilding world well informed and up-to-date on Joe Barker's future victories!

Below is some info from Joe Barker about Joe Barker. Stay tuned for upcoming training articles I will have about this up and comer from Harmony, North Carolina!

About Joe

Off-Season Stats

This year was 290-300lbs., next year I hope to get between 310-320lbs., and hold that weight for about 3 months before dieting down to approx. 265-270lbs. for the 2005 Nationals.

In off-season I don't do any cardio to very little, and train 4-5 days week with a 2-on 2-off, or 2-on 2-off 3-on training split. I basicly train the same way in the off-season as I do pre-contest, only changing a few to 5 or 6 exercises and doing 8-12 reps, but with more weight obviously b/c more calories and a little more fat and water retention can really push your strength levels throught the roof.

More or less I can train in the off-season by more of how I feel so I can get plenty of food in and be sure I train as heavy as possible to insure more muscle growth.

To be totally honest, my off-season diet can get pretty bad. It doesn't get as bad as say Lee Priests b/c I couldn't stand myself to get that fat and nasty, hehehe. Anyway, I basicly make sure I get in at the very least 400 grams of protein/day, and if I'm really hungry that day I'll shoot for closer to 550-600 grams.

The Growth Surge Project - Part 1: The Priming Stage!
The goal in this article is to prime the body for an intensive two week program of twice-a-day training and hardcore eating that could result in a shocking amount of new muscle!
[ Click here to learn more. ]

I feel like that is the time to eat whatever I want b/c I feel like in the off-seson you should never deprive your body of a craving, b/c my personal opinion is that if your body is craving it for some reason, then there must be something in the food that your body is needing or wanting at that time.

Whether it be pizza, ice cream, potatoes, chicken or whatever, in the off-season, it's time to grow, so feed your body so it can grow as fast as possible.


Pre-Contest Stats

This past year at the Jan Tana Classic I weighed in at 249 1/2 lbs., winning the Super-heavy class hands down and missing the overall by 3 points, but was using it as a warm-up for the Mountaineer championships in Boone, NC 6 weeks later.

I weighed in there dry and shredded at 241lbs. and took the Super-heavy class and went on to win the overal unanimously. Just this past weekend I weighed in at 244lbs. at the NC State show dry and shredded with striated glutes to take my weight class easily and yet still be denied the overall by only a mere several points.

But as in everything, you take the good with the bad and learn and move on to get better. I will be at the Jr. Nationals in 3 1/2 weeks and plan to come in about 5 lbs. fuller and drier to try and give my skin the "onion-peel" look, so to hopefully give the top runners a real run for their money and hopefully take my weight class there as well with a chance to redeem myself in the overall.

Right now like I said before,I train basically the same as in the off-season, but can't obviously use the same weight b/c of less calories and less actual bodyweight to help with strength and recovery. Really the only thing I change is a few isolation exercises to really squeeze the muscles and help give them a more detailed and chiseled look.

Contest Prep: All The Details - Part 1!
This article will consist of two installments with the main focus of this article on: diet for the last three weeks, workout protocols, and also the last week prep phase (which will be the main focal point).
[ Click here to learn more. ]

More attention to form is crucial at this time since I have a very low bodyfat percentage as to not cause an injury b/c it is so much easier to tear or pull a muscle when you have less bodyfat and water around the mscles and tendons.

For my pre-contest diet, I was able to acquire in my opinion one of the best trainers in the country to help with my diet and last minute contest prep. In the past, I have dieted on chicken, steak, fish, tuna, potatoes, sweet potatoes, even protein bars were subbed in for one of my meals every now and then.

But in the past 3-4 years I actually started really paying attention to what my body needed to drop bodyfat and retain more muscle. Luckily, this year, with the help of my trainer, we put together a diet that utilized both of those.

My diet basicly consists of turkey, chicken, steak, oatmeal, rice, potatoes, and broccoli. It's actually almost the most simple diet I've ever done with the best results, so it goes to show you that a lot of fancy switch around dieting may not be the best thing.

How I Got Started In Bodybuilding

I started training in high school as your typical high school kid does to get a little bigger for football. Then after football season was over, I saw that my body responded very well to very simple training.

The summer after my sophmore year I believe was the June or July cover of Flex magazine I saw Kevin Levrone on and was convinced that was what I wanted to do. I figured if he could do it, then why couldn't I?

Since I gained 50 lbs. of solid muscle my very first year of actual hard weight training I was obviously bitten by the "iron bug" and the rest is a whole lot of sweat, strain, and pain later from a 165lb. scrawny 6 ft. kid to a 300lb. behemoth in the off-season at 6 ft. 2 in. is what I have transformed into after 9 years.


Contest History

    1996 - Metrolina then in the fall, but can't recall to be honest - Teenage class-3rd
    1999 - Metrolina Championships - 4th Heavyweight
    1999 - NC State Championships - 3rd Super-heavy
    2000 - Metrolina Championships - 1st Super-heavy
    2000 - NC State Championships - 2nd Super-heavy
    2000 - Western Carolina Championships - 1st Super-heavy
    2002 - NC State Championships - 4th Heavyweight
    2003 - JanTana Classic - 1st Super-heavy
    2003 - Mountaineer Championships - 1st Super-heavy & Overall
    2004 - NC State Championships - 1st Super-heavy
    2004 - Jr. Nationals June 19th - 9th Super-Heavyweight


Height: 6 ft. 2 in.
Hair: Brown
Eyes: Green

Off-season: (To be honest I couldn't tell you, b/c all I try to do is grow, and as long as I'm growing, I'm happy)

Pre-contest: (chest-54", waist-31.5", arms-19.5", calves-19.5", quads-30")

You can contact Joe at

About The Author

David Gluhareff, CFT, lost over one hundred pounds from 1995-96 and became a Certified Fitness Trainer with the International Sports Sciences Association. David then built a fifty thousand dollar a year business, in a small town in Virginia, by the time he was twenty five years old. To contact David Gluhareff please go to