Body Transformation: Joseph Edwards-Hoff Wins 2012 MusclePharm Live Shredded Challenge!

The 2012 MusclePharm Live Shredded Challenge ended on the day Joseph left for Thailand. He couldn't ignore the opportunity to show off his ripped physique!

Joseph Edwards-Hoff Joseph Edwards-Hoff
216 lbs
182 lbs

How I Did It

"Heart, discipline, training ... be relentless!"

Those were the words on the wall of the wrestling room when I was in high school. They have stuck with me ever since. I began lifting weights then in high school and kept at it ever since, with about a 2-year break after college due to an injured shoulder. After some healing, I decided that God gave me the gift to be able to put on muscle. I intend to use it!

I've always bounced back and forth between powerlifting and bodybuilding. Though I've never competed, winning the MusclePharm Live Shredded Challenge may have been the motivator I needed to start.

I feel closer to my long-term goals than ever before. For strength, I'd like to see my bench reach twice my bodyweight and my deadlift reach three times my bodyweight. For physique, I am shooting to get back up to 220 pounds, but this time at less than 10 percent body fat. Last, I hope to continue motivating my family, friends, and the high school students I teach. It's a thrill to be able to coach, teach, and inspire those around you to reach their goals.

Congratulations on winning the MusclePharm Live Shredded Challenge! What inspired you to enter the challenge?

Joseph: I looked at some of the challenges last year and thought about entering, but just didn't feel motivated enough to go for it. This year, I was on a lazy streak. I wasn't eating well and didn't lift for about a month when I saw the advertisement for the challenge. If I entered that weekend, my 12 weeks would end the same day my wife and I would be leaving on our dream vacation to Thailand!

So, I had two motivators. First, if I went in and didn't win, I'd be looking good for my beautiful, pregnant wife as we relaxed on the Thai beaches. Second, I have always felt like I had some unfinished business after my wrestling career ended much sooner than I desired. This challenge was a way to prove that I still had it in me to do something amazing.

How surprised are you at the extent of your transformation?

Well, to be honest, I wasn't that surprised. I truly went into this with the intention of reaching a state that would be in contention of winning the competition. I did the math to figure out what I would have to do to reach those goals. Though I wouldn't call it a surprise, it was definitely a great feeling to know that I did what I set out to do. I will say that my wife was surprised!

You obviously stayed motivated throughout the contest. Any tips for our readers?

I had everything planned out to where I knew what
results I should be seeing. If I saw those results, it really motivated me to know that I was succeeding. If I didn't see what I wanted, I made adjustments and stuck with it until I was back on track. Also, I did keep people involved with my transformation: my wife, my carpooling buddy, my pastor, as well as other friends and family. It helps when people are checking up on you.

Were there any moments you wanted to give up? If so, how did you push through them and continue training?

Every time my shoulder starts to act up I get discouraged. It reminds me of the two years that I just quit lifting because of how much it bothered me, probably more mentally than physically. But at the end of the day I pushed through. Sometimes it came down to working hard but praying harder.

What was the single hardest aspect of your transformation?

I'd definitely say the diet became the hardest part, especially at the end. I kept lowering calories the last few weeks of the diet to make sure I was on track. Toward the very end, I cut my sodium intake, which made food pretty bland. By that time I was counting down the days for the challenge end, but looking back, I am glad I stuck with it.

Any helpful tips for readers who might be struggling with the same issue?

Choosing a diet that has some kind of cheat meal to look forward to is essential. I did a cyclical ketogentic diet, so I had carb-ups, where I got to eat a lot of calories and foods that I had been craving all week. It let me feel like I wasn't stuck with the same old thing every day.

A lot of people are going to read this and think, Nah, I couldn't do this. Not me. Tell them why they're dead wrong.

It may seem odd, but knowing the science and math of nutrition makes a big difference. Doing a transformation could easily be described as a math formula. If you do A, B, and C for X weeks, you WILL end up at where you want to be. Then you KNOW that all you need to do is just A, B, and C. If you can focus on that, then you can reach any goal. So many people just "diet" without having measureable goals. If you set a goal that you can measure, it is easy to see your progress or where you need to make changes. Stick to that routine and you WILL see progress.

Now that you've tackled this fitness goal, what's next? Want to get shredded like cheese, ripped like paper, or climb Mount Olympus? Fight pirates? Build a fitness career, perhaps?

I think I am going to try to start building muscle again. I really want to see my bench hit twice my bodyweight this year. I also would like to see my deadlift get back up to three times my bodyweight soon thereafter. I plan to go back to a regular mixed diet, but I will be monitoring my total calories and protein intake. I want to eat just enough over maintenance so that I can gain about 1/2 pound a week. Then, maybe I can do another cut next spring to be ready for summer.