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Amateur Bodybuilder of the Week: Joe Barker

Amateur Bodybuilder of the Week: Joe Barker! - Pics and info and more!
  • Name: Joe Barker
  • E-mail:
  • Age: 29
  • Where: Harmony, North Carolina
  • Height: 6' 2"
  • Weight: 275 Lbs.
  • Years Bodybuilding :9
  • Favorite Bodypart: Chest, Back & Quads
  • Favorite Exercise: Leg Press
  • Favorite Supplements: Optimum Nutrition L-Glutamine, Diesel Nutrition Ready4War, ISS Vitamin Paks, MusleTech Thermo-Gain, Optimum Nutrition Glucosamine-Chondroitin (double strength).

How Did You Get Started?

I got started as a teenager getting ready for my junior year of football in High School. I would hit the gym for 5-6 hours a day (LITERALLY) in the summer and would train for at least 2-3 hours during school. I was lucky enough to have my 1 hour lunch right before my weight training class, so I would take my chicken and rice to school with me, eat it as fast as possible, and hit the weights for almost 2 hours then.

Then I would train for about another 45 min. - an hour either before or after football practice. This was a lot easier when football season was over. Basically in the first year of my serious training I gained 50 lbs. of muscle and had only taken in food and the original creatine monohydrate as a supplement.

After that, I figured after seeing Kevin Levrone on the cover of a Flex magazine that summer... if he could do it then why couldn't I? After that I jumped on the bodybuilding train and have never looked back on my quest to be the biggest, best bodybuilder I have the possibility to be.

What Workout Plan Worked Best For You?

In the past I've done almost every type of training and splits. From drop sets to compound to supersets to straight sets and too many and too little sets and exercises. Now I've pretty much figured out what works best for my body.

Right now I stick to a least two basic movement exercises per body part plus one or two isolation exercises with it. It seems to be working great so far, so if it ain't broke I'm not going to try and fix it.

arrow My current training schedule is as follows:

What Nutrition Plan Has Worked Best For You?

I've also done almost every diet in the past possible, off-season and pre-contest. I can't tell you my newest secret (how I'll dial it in diet wise next year for nationals), but I can tell you I know what works for most, what works for a few and what works for me now.

Next year I'll be able to show everyone that I know my business as much as I preach it. I found for a solid gain and for constant progress you need to know your body. I don't go with the 40-30-30 or any of that stuff, but I have come up with my own calculation that seems to work very well.

If you want to lose weight (body fat), you get your current weight and your goal weight, average them and you have your target protein intake to start. Divide that in half and you have your target carb intake. I honestly don't worry about the fat intake b/c if your diet is of clean food then calculated intake will only be good fats that your body will need and use. Too many people try make dieting and gaining too scientific. It's like training, just stick to mostly the basics, they're called the basics for a reason - they work.

What Supplements Have Given You The Greatest Gains?


In the past, my favorites were: EAS Creatine Monohydrate, Ripped Fuel, Whey Protein, Andro 100 Poppers, Hydroxycut, and Nor-Andro. Since most of those good working supplements are gone, I get my best results now from Thermo-Gain, Optimum Nutrition L-Glutamine, ISS Vitamin Paks, Optimum Nutrition Glucosamine-Chondroitin (double strength), Diesel Nutrition Ready4War, and Red Bull energy drinks.

Why do you love Bodybuilding?

When I started bodybuilding I knew it was my love, my passion. I love the fact that I have control over my destiny and my physique. I love the way being onstage makes me feel especially when I peaked just right and everyone in the entire building can see it.

It's an awesome feeling to hear people 100 feet away yelling how awesome you look and their expressions of your condition and size and symmetry in their own explicative ways. I love meeting the people that actually look up to me and ask for my advice on anything, especially diet and training. Knowing that I can help someone in a good way makes me love the sport more every time.

What Are Your Future Bodybuilding Plans?

My future plans are obvious - To Turn PRO! And hopefully to follow up that with a very satisfying and lucrative career in bodybuilding. I would love to win the Mr. Olympia in my career, who wouldn't? But if I can't, then I hope one day at least, that someone will look back at me and say I was one of the greats that never won a Sandow. That of bodybuilding.

magnifying glass Click Image To Enlarge.

As for my other plans, I hope to get married to my beautiful and supportive girlfriend Tammy and have at least one little trainee running around. After that we plan to open our own gym and hopefully do very well in the industry with that in a gym like no one has ever seen before.

Trust me, not even the super gyms in Cali. will have the cool things we have planned for our gym. We're looking for land now, so the process has begun. Look for updates on it on my web site.

What One Tip Would You Give Other Bodybuilders?

Never give up on your dream. Here is a quote I live by: "I'm more afraid of being nothing than I am of dying." Even if it's a dream only you can see, at least you can see something to work and live for.

Who Are Your Favorite Bodybuilders?

Arnold (obviously), Lenda Murray, Cory Everson, Jay Cutler, Mike Matarazzo, Mike Francois (BEST BODY EVER!) and last but definitely not least, good friend Mat DuVall.