Interviewed By Kyle Coleman
Josh Henkin is a conditioning specialist in Scottsdale, Arizona. He holds a Bachelor's of Science in Exercise Science. He has been a Bodybuilding.com writer for awhile now, and his amazing articles have helped thousands of people from around the world to gain muscle, excel in their sport, get in shape and much more. To learn a little more about Mr. Henkin, Kyle Coleman recently interviewed him.
Kyle Coleman: Josh thanks for taking some time to share your ideas about training. Can you tell us about your Training history?
Josh Henkin: Kyle, I always enjoy trying to share my viewpoints. I always like to say though that what I state in relation to my ideas are generally a combination of scientific theory and practical application.
My training really began when I suffered a severe ankle injury in high school basketball. I was told by doctors I might not be able to walk correctly and was on crutches for 12 weeks. The only thing I could do was lift, so my older brother brought me by the local gym and turned me on to strength training.
I carried the love for training for the next few years. I was fortunate enough to eventually return to basketball and found my time in the gym had given me a whole new edge in the sport. I was unable to jump or run as I once did, but my new found strength and power helped me remain competative and even walk-on to a major Division-I program.
After my basketball career I knew I did not want to go into anything, but athletics. Since I saw how much strength training did for my career I was intrigued to learn more and help athletes achieve their potential. From this time it has been an incredible adventure of learning. I have been fortunate to learn from great coaches of diverse backgrounds. Each person I have met has been able to provide me with new ideas, or better ways of understanding traditional methods. Some of my mentors include performance coaches like John Davies and Charles Staley. There are many others, but these men have truly helped shape the way I view training.
KC: At what age did you become interested in Sports Science?
JH: This is a good question because like many others that were interested in training I really started with a bodybuilding background. For years I trained as though bodybuilding methods were optimal for everything. It wasn't till I was 19-20 that I started learning from Charles Poliquin that there is a definate difference between body composition training and sports performance. With this knowledge though it is also important to notice this does not mean athletes can not achieve impressive physiques. It simply means the way we produce hypertrophy and strength is far different than bodybuilding. In sports performance we have to worry not only with body composition, but speed, range of motion, proprioception, agility, reactive ability and strength. To focus on only one aspect leaves the athlete underprepared.
KC: Who had the greatest influence in your life and why was it such an impact?
JH: Well, like I mentioned earlier there have been many great coaches that have stimulated my hunger for knowledge. I have also been fortunate enough to have basketball coaches and general friends that instilled important qualities in me. For example, never seeing things as black or white, don't believe you know everything, and character determines a lot of the desired outcome.
I don't think I can say one single person has impacted my life than others. I believe it has been a combination of knowledgeable and professional coaches and good people that have helped shaped my perspective on life and sport. It is amazing how many athletes, bodybuilders and scientists have bad attitudes and outrageous egos. Even though we have all been guilty of these qualities once upon a time, it is not recognizing that these will turn others off and ruin our abilities to reach our dreams that ruin individuals. If you don't give back your knowledge or experiences in one way or another then you are not playing a vital role in life. This is my honest belief.
KC: What advice would you give younger athletes like me?
JH: Drop the ego and open your minds. This is not only true with younger athletes, but I have been saddened by the amount of people on Internet boards that believe name calling and insults are the way to share and learn new information. We can generally learn from everyone from the beginner to the advanced. Sometimes when we have to teach a beginner it allows us to learn better ourselves and when we listen to the experiences of a seasoned veteran we often can gain new ideas.
The other thing is to realize the difference between marketing and science. If you really want to learn about training and sports science then you will have to start reading actual texts. It is rare to find a magazine that contains accurate information on training ideas or methodolgy. Even though the internet is a great tool, there is also a lot of garbage that goes around. It is important to see the source of information. Is it a bodybuilder so drugged that what they do is unreasonable to the average lifter, or is it a coach/scientist that has hours of working with many different populations with great results?
KC: Thanks Josh, I found what you had to say pretty interesting. I hope we will be able to do it again sometime.
JH: Definately. I always enjoy sharing my experiences and learning from others as well. I believe Curtis Schultz wrote a great article about not having tunnel vision when it comes to learning, that is SO true!