Bodybuilder Josh Wade Share’s His Most Important Offseason Tips

Learn where an IFBB Pro focuses his energy and time during the offseason — and what he always avoids.

Josh Wade’s 2018 season was highlighted by his first career appearance on the Mr. Olympia stage. Not being one to settle, he knew he had to make the most out of his offseason so that when he returns to the stage in 2019, he will have a better physique and rise in the ranks of the biggest stars in bodybuilding. He is recently coming off a productive offseason, weighing over 260 pounds, and is now preparing for the New York Pro in May.

Wade doesn’t just want to improve himself but as a trainer and ambassador to the sport, he wants to see others improve as well. So if you want to make the most of the time you’re committing to grow then you might want to heed the advice he’s sharing of what to do as well as what to not do.

Josh Wade

Age: 39
Height: 5’9”
Weight: 242 pounds
City: Sacramento, California
Instagram: ifbbprojoshwade

Bodybuilding Offseason Do’s

1. Have a Plan and Follow It

Some bodybuilders don’t focus as much on a routine and planning things out. The great ones do and Wade obviously wants to be among the best in the sport. “I plan my meals and prepare them in advance. If you don’t and then miss a time to eat or have to resort to eating something you shouldn’t, that can affect your potential. So I plan everything in my offseason just like I would when I’m in prep. I also plan my training so I know what I’m doing when I get to the gym.”

2. Slow Positives and Negatives

It isn’t just about completing the workouts. How you do the reps matter, too. That doesn’t only mean taking the negatives slow. Wade likes to control the entire rep. “Doing a slow concentric as well as a slow eccentric takes the pressure off of the tendons and ligaments and keeps the focus on the muscle. I squeeze the muscle on the way up and feel it working when I go back down too.”

He feels this not only helps him build muscle but increase the density of that muscle as well.

3. Focus More on Stretching

Big muscles are great, but what’s the point if you can’t use them, right? The offseason needs to be about show and go. Wade has realized this himself and is doing more stretching.

“It’s not good to struggle when you try to tie your shoe. You also don’t want to stress the ligaments when you’re lifting. That flexibility and stretching helps with the health of the muscle and relieves the tendons and ligaments of stress while you’re training.”

Bodybuilding Offseason Don’ts

1. Don’t Get Up to Eat in the Middle of the Night

Taking in an excess amount of calories is paramount for a bodybuilder to grow. One mistake Wade has seen athletes make is setting an alarm and getting up to have a meal.

“That affects your rest which is vital for recovery. I’d rather eat a big meal before bed and sleep throughout the night. Waking up and then going back to sleep can affect your recovery and training.”

2. Don’t Eat Less Calories on Non-Training Days

Another mistake that is common, especially among amateurs, is that they will eat less calories on the days they don’t train because they’re afraid that they will be converted to fat. Wade feels they are missing a prime opportunity to grow. “The days they’re not training is the time they are recovering from the previous workouts as well as preparing for future workouts. Those calories can be put to good use so don’t be afraid to have them on your off days.”

3. Don’t Do Cardio

One topic that has been up for debate when it comes to offseason programs is whether or not to do cardio. Wade believes that it isn’t necessary if you’re training hard enough and eating the right foods. “You shouldn’t be going and eating a bunch of junk. But as long as the food you eat will help you grow and support your workouts, I don’t feel cardio is necessary and will burn calories that can be used to help you grow.”