Exclusive Interview with Natural Bodybuilder Joe Wilson

Overall winner of the 2010 Arkansas Classic and Twinlab Fuel fan Joe Wilson discusses training, nutrition and what it takes to make it as a natural bodybuilder.

How long have you been into bodybuilding?

I’ve been bodybuilding for 16 years and competing for 12 years.

What got you interested in the sport?

When I saw pictures that my mom took from when I was on the swim team. I was 15 years old and I was the best "in shape" guy on the team. My swim coach introduced us to weights and I’ve never stopped since.

Last year you won the Arkansas Classic to become Mr. Arkansas. What’s next for you?
I want to become a huge positive impact in my local NW Arkansas community by promoting the best natural bodybuilding/figure competition here in Arkansas and organizing one of the best fitness and health expos along with one of the best events - the NWA Pump N Run.

What differentiates a natural bodybuilding competition?

At natural bodybuilding competitions, competitors are tested for banned substances such as pro hormones, estrogen blockers, prescription diuretics, steroids, etc. So, a natural bodybuilder focuses on good nutrition and high quality dietary supplements, like protein shakes, amino acids and basically any vitamin or protein supplement that you can get at a grocery store or nutrition center. I think that a natural bodybuilder has to work a little bit harder.

What made you decide to go the natural route?

I realized that I had the potential when I won my first NPC show as a natural athlete. I believe God has blessed me with wonderful genetics to grow muscle easily, but with the difficulty of burning fat. This is where my true discipline and knowledge gave me the advantage over my competition.

What kinds of supplements have you typically relied on?

Multivitamins Twinlab® DualTabs, protein powders (Twinlab 100% Whey Protein Fuel®), L-Glutamine (Glutamine Fuel®®), amino acids (both complex and BCAAs), creatine (both Twinlab Creatine Fuel® Stack and Twinlab Creatine Nitrate3 Fuel ®), and now nitric oxide (Twinlab Nitric Fuel®). When it’s fat burning time, I rely on Twinlab Ripped Fuel® 5X, Twinlab CLA Fuel® and Twinlab CoQ10.

What is the most valuable supplement in any bodybuilder’s gym bag?

It's a toss up between Twinlab® Nitric Fuel® and creatine for pre-workout, and BCAAs and protein powder for post-workout.

What is your philosophy on nutrition?

During the off-season I eat clean – going for good fats, avoiding sugars and processed carbs and making sure to get enough protein – with the proper ratio of fat/carbs/protein for six days, and then have a cheat day. During my pre-season I manipulate the unprocessed carbs (200-150-100-50) on a four-day split and make sure to get six meals in with 30-50 grams of protein per meal.

When it’s been a long day, how do you get pumped up for a workout?

I remember why I'm there and the goal that I'm trying to reach as a winner. I’ll talk to a few people and get the encouragement from them to get my focus back.

What’s the best piece of advice you could give to someone looking to put on serious size?

Focus on your goal and don't ever give up. Understand and know how to reach your goal through determination, commitment, patience and application. Don't be afraid to ask questions and ask those who look like they know what they are talking about. I look at it this way: It's hard to trust a skinny chef and to listen to a fat, out-of-shape trainer.


The views and opinions expressed in this article or blog are strictly those of the author. The contents of this article or blog and any reference herein to any specific commercial product, process, or service whether by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, does not constitute or imply its endorsement or recommendation by ISI Brands and ISI Brands assumes no legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, product, service or process disclosed or referenced herein. All information is provided on an as-is basis and is provide for information purposes only. Always consult your physician before beginning any diet or exercise program.


For the best results, fit in at least two strength training sessions a week. The same body part should not be worked two days in a row, however.
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