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An Interview With 2004 Mr. Ohio, Joey Decaminada.

Joey has set several records in strongman competitions and would have become a professional strongman had it not been for one single injury. Learn more right here!

[ DR ] What started you in the sport?
    JD: I started lifting in the eighth grade to get bigger for football and have been doing it ever since. I dabbled in bodybuilding off and on for years, as well as powerlifting, and strongman. I thought I was going to turn pro as a strongman. In 2002, I finished second in the NASS National Championships in the lightweight division.

    What Does NASS Stand For?
    North American Strongman Society. Click here to visit their website.

    I set 2 national records that day by deadlifting 400 lbs twenty-six times in a minute, and pressing a 200 lb 2" axle nineteen times in a minute. I was ranked third nationally at the start of 2003. Then while training for a contest in Boston, I ruptured my patellar tendon which ended my strongman career.

    What Is A Patellar Tendon?
    It's the tendon that connects your kneecap (patella) to the shin bone (tibia).

    I took a year off and just basically rehabbed my knee and trained my other body parts. I then decided that I still wanted to compete so I contacted Mike Davies, told him I wanted to be a bodybuilder, and a year later I'm Mr. Ohio!

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I Started Lifting In The Eighth Grade.

[ DR ] Who are your favorite strongmen?

    JD: Mariuz Pudzianowski from Poland. Mariuz is not only big and strong, but he is also an athlete. He's fast and explosive and is always in shape. All of the things I tried to be when I was competing as a strongman.

[ DR ] Who are the bodybuilders that you look up to now & why?

    JD: Growing up, of course it was Arnold, Lee Haney, and Dorian Yates. I guess now, I look up to Jay Cutler the most. Not just because Jay is a great bodybuilder, but for his business sense. I look at what Jay has done from a business stand point, through marketing and investments, and I would like to pattern my career in the same matter.

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    2004 Mr. Ohio.

    The physiques that I admire the most would have to be, Flex Wheeler, when he competed, and now Dexter Jackson, Darrem Charles, and Melvin Anthony.

[ DR ] Who is your favorite poser?

[ DR ] What marked your best moment in the sport?

    JD: Without a doubt, winning the "Mr. Ohio" title was my best moment. When I talked to Mike about competing, my goal was always to win that contest. So to do it my first time out, after only training like a bodybuilder for a year, I'm very proud of that.

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    I Competed Against The Best Of The Best
    From Around The Country.

    There have been so many great bodybuilders to hold that title, like Mike Francois, John Meadows, Dave Liberman, I mean the list goes on and on.

    And to be able to say I was Mr. Ohio, just like Mike and all the other past champions, is something no one can ever take away from me. I owe Mike Davies a big thank you for that one. Without his training and guidance, that victory would never have happened.

[ DR ] What marked your lowest moment in the sport and what did you do to overcome that setback?

    JD: That is kind of tricky, my lowest moment for me is still an accomplishment. I competed this year at the USA's in Vegas, which was great. I competed against the best of the best from around the country. So just to be on stage with all those bodybuilders is something not everyone can do. But I didn't make the cut in my weight class.

    I was in the heavy weights and there were thirty-seven guys in my class. To make the cut, you have to be in the top fifteen, and I didn't make it. I have never been in a contest where I wasn't in the first call-out or where I finished out of the top five. At the U.S.A.'s, I didn't even make the top fifteen. So that was very humbling.

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    "I Don't Train To Place,
    I Train For Overalls."

    But as the saying goes, "the humble improve." So that is how I plan to overcome this setback. Improve. Train harder then ever before and focus more on intensity and on getting better. Mike and I say this all the time, and it's a saying I borrowed from a good friend and great bodybuilder, Andre Ewing, "I don't train to place, I train for Overalls."

[ DR ] What has been your most powerful influence for a successful career in bodybuilding?

    JD: That's easy, Mike Davies. I could never have had the level of success that I have had without Mike. He is a selfless, tireless worker. Mike is my training partner, and he constantly puts my needs above his own.

    We always joke around and I'll ask, "What are we doing today?," and Mike's reply will be, "I don't know, let's see, where do you need improvement, because it's all about you."

    We may laugh, but its true, and not just with me, Mike is that way with all his clients. But for me, my relationship goes above and beyond trainer/client. Mike is my best friend and he has helped me in so many aspects of my life.

    He makes sure to always keep me humble and that I understand bodybuilding is just a part of my life and I need to balance bodybuilding, work, and above everything else family. Mike has been a powerful influence on me as a bodybuilder, but even more so as a person.

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I Understand Bodybuilding Is Just A Part Of My Life.

[ DR ] What has been your most negative influences to keep you from training or dieting? What do you do to overcome those obstacles?

    JD: There is negativity everywhere. You just can't let it bother you, which I try not to, but it is human nature to let it get to you. For me it is the haters. Those people that can't stand to see others be successful. It seems everybody hates a winner. This is an industry where you have to choose your friends very carefully; you cannot trust everyone.

    I had to learn this the hard way. But you just move on and become a little more cautious as to who you let get close to you.

    It took awhile for me to understand that no matter how humble you are or how nice to people you try to be, not everyone is going to like you and there will always be haters out there driven by jealousy and envy. I just choose not to let it bother me and just keep on succeeding because my success will drive the haters crazy.

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My Success Will Drive The 'Haters' Crazy.

[ DR ] What is your favorite cheat meal?

    JD: Donatos Pizza with pepperoni & banana peppers or McDonald's double cheeseburgers. If I eat them, it is usually 4 or 5 at a time.

    Cheating: Should You Do It? Cheating: Should You Do It?
    Incorporate a cheat meal into your plan. Regardless of what kind of cheat day you have, it is necessary. Today I am going to share with you some ways of incorporating the cheat meal. Learn more here!
    [ Click here to learn more. ]

    Below is my typical pre-contest training day: hour by hour. Some days are lighter depending on number of clients and number of teams I train.

    Typical Pre-Contest Training Day: Hour-By-Hour.
    Hour Activity
    4:30 a.m. Wake-up, take thermos (ECA stack).
    5:00 a.m. Cardio #1.
    5:45 a.m. Eat; 1 cup oats, 10 egg whites, 1 tbsp flax.
    6:00 a.m. Train football team.
    8:00 a.m. Eat tuna, asparagus.
    9:00 a.m. Train volleyball team.
    10:00 a.m. Eat chicken, apple.
    10:30 a.m. Train water polo team.
    11:30 a.m. Train client.
    Noon Eat protein shake with 1 tbsp flax.
    12:30 p.m. Train clients on track.
    1:30 p.m. Pre-workout snack (apple).
    1:45 p.m. Workout.
    2:30 p.m. Pose.
    3:00 p.m. Eat fish, yam, honey.
    3:30 p.m. Nap for an hour & a half.
    5:00 p.m. Eat 8 egg whites, asparagus.
    6:00 p.m. Cardio #2.
    7:00 p.m. Eat tuna, green beans.
    7:30 p.m. Train client.
    8:30 p.m. Eat turkey.
    9:30 p.m. Cook food, prepare for next day, relax.
    10:00 p.m. Eat chicken.
    10:30 p.m. Go to bed.

[ DR ] What is the biggest change that bodybuilding has occurred to your life?

    JD: My life has become more disciplined and more structured. I have to stay organized to get everything done. Bodybuilding is a very selfish sport and it is easy to get caught up in only thinking of yourself, which is fine if you're single.

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    My Life Has Become More Disciplined
    And More Structured.

    But I am married with two children who need their Dad around. So it is very important that I stay organized and on top of things so I don't neglect my family any more than necessary.

[ DR ] Does your family/loved ones/friends support you? How do they do that?

    JD: My family is definitely supportive. My wife helps cook my food, and she handles the e-mails from my website, which is Plug, Plug! By the way I just recently changed my website from my full name (, because no one could spell my name. It is now

    The '23' because I am the 2nd, and my son Joey is the 3rd. They come to my contests whenever they can and sometimes travel with me when I work the booth. My son loves to see me on stage, he is five.

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    My Family Is Definitely Supportive.

    And, yes, he does know how to hit all the mandatory poses and he's not afraid to show you if you ask, or even if you don't! My daughter Maria, two, has never seen me compete but she does like to see Daddy flex his muscles.

[ DR ] Who are your current sponsors?

    JD: I am currently sponsored by SCITEC Nutrition and I am a rep for I would really like to thank both of these companies for all their help and opportunities. Thanks Sia-Mack & Russ!

[ DR ] Favorite supplements?

[ DR ] What advice would you give someone?


    1. Legs and back! It's not just upper-bodybuilding... train those legs. Every one has arms and a chest. Train your legs! And don't forget you have to turn around on stage. Back wins. The only way to get a big thick back is to pull heavy. Do the basics, all forms of deadlifts, and rows. Remember there are variations to every exercise.

    2. Find someone you can trust and listen to them and them only. Everyone has their own way of doing things and everyone's way is a little different, not wrong, just different. However, you can't listen to everyone. So find someone, listen to them, and stick to the plan.

    3. Nutrition. Everyone knows how to workout, at least a little. Nutrition is the key. If you can't get it dialed in on stage, then it doesn't matter how much muscle you carry if the judges can't see it.

[ DR ] What would you like to do with your competitions? Where do you want to go in this sport?

    JD: I love competing. I love being on stage. I am a very competitive person and I enjoy the journey. I would like to take this sport as far as I can, and if that means being a top level national competitor, or if that means being a pro, then that's fine. I enjoy the sport and I also enjoy helping others succeed in bodybuilding.

    So if I can use my experience as a bodybuilder to help other up and coming guys and girls then I want to do that. I love training people.

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I Love Training People.

[ DR ] Where are you from originally?

    JD: I grew up in a small town on the east side of Ohio, called Uhrichsville. It is about two hours north east of Columbus, where I live now. I went to high school in New Philadelphia.

[ DR ] What is your best body part? What is your worst? Why?

    JD: My best body part is my back and my small waist. At contest time my waist measures twenty-nine inches. I have my parents to thank for that. I have my strongman days to thank for my back thickness, and Mike D. to thank for the detail. My worst body part is my left quad. Mainly do to my knee injury. Again I can thank my strongman days for that.

[ DR ] What are your favorite exercises? What are the ones you hate?

    JD: My favorite exercise is conventional deadlifts. I love to feel the heavy weight and it gives me a chance to be explosive. I love that feeling. I really love to train back & shoulders. So really any exercises that work those body-parts. But I also love training legs heavy, squats, leg presses, straight legs, are all favorites of mine.

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    I Love To Feel The Heavy Weight
    And It Gives Me A Chance To Be Explosive.

    What I hate are walking lunges. Way too much aerobic activity for me, but a necessary evil. Especially around contest time. My all time least favorite exercise is bicep curls. I hate to train my bi's. This would include any type curling exercise.

    Before I started training with Mike a couple years ago, I never trained them. I was a strongman so I didn't feel they were that important then. So if there is one body-part that I would love to skip each week, it's biceps.

[ DR ] Hobbies?

    JD: My hobbies and interests include watching movies at home, going to the movies with my son, playing with my kids, going to sporting events, going to dinner with my wife and friends (only in the off-season of course), and shopping for clothes and shoes.

[ DR ] Kids & family?

    JD: I have two beautiful, but very ornery children. My son Joey will be six and my daughter Maria just turned two. I have been married to my beautiful wife Barbara for seven years. I also have a seven year old boxer named Hammer.

[ DR ] What would you like to do with your sport? Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

    JD: I would like to turn pro and have a successful run in the IFBB. Every bodybuilder would love to be Mr. Olympia, but for me the greatest prize in this sport would be to win the Arnold Classic. It takes place in my back yard, in front of all my friends and family.

    What Does IFBB Stand For?
    IFBB stands for the "International Federation of Bodybuilding & Fitness". Visit their website at

    I've been attending the Arnold Expo since I was in college. I've always dreamed about standing on that stage. So to actually be up there and winning the Arnold, would be a dream come true. Ten years from now, I hope that I am successful in whatever I am doing, be it bodybuilding or business, and am living a happy life with my family, and that we are all healthy.

[ DR ] Anything else?

    JD: I would just like to invite everyone to visit my website, If anyone is interested in a meal plan, or a workout plan, training, or sponsoring me please contact me. Or if you just have questions or comments, hit me with an email. Thanks, Dr. Ryan, for the interview!