Welcome to the Gym Heroes Podcast, Josh Stoneking! Same name as me (but not the last name of course). Could you go ahead and introduce yourself and your background in fitness and health real quick?
Josh Stoneking: Absolutely. So, my name is Doctor Josh Stoneking. I am a pharmacist by training. That’s why you see the doctor. Also, I have an exercise physiology degree. what I am today is I’m two things in the fitness world as I’m still an active competitor. I’ve have 11 professional victories in the natural men’s physique world. Just finished my season maybe three weeks ago so the spray tan is finally off and I’m actually launching my first natural bodybuilding show here in Florida on April 29t. So, I’m still an athlete 9 years later and just started to get into the promotion next year will be year one.
Josh Peacock: Awesome. So, I’m curious to know what is your nutrition and workout schedule look like as a natural bodybuilder. How long did it take you to build your winning physique?
Josh Stoneking: Well, I’m still building it, my friend. It’s not a joke.
Josh Peacock: Yeah.
Josh Stoneking: I got in the natural bodybuilding around 25 and I’m 35 today. It took me 4 to 5 years to turn pro in the natural world so it was a long process, frustrating process. I actually got second seven times before I could get the first place to turn pro. Fortunately, I was an athlete, football, baseball, basketball. So, I had a base but I’m still flawed, right? The perfect physique is very hard to develop. So, even 10 years later, I’m still chasing that perfect physique but I I can honestly say probably around 2018, 2019 is when I really started to win and fortunately you know how it is in bodybuilding when you’re kind of the hot ticket, right. Your physique is what the judges are looking for. I had a good run where you know there’s two years, I won four out of 6 shows back-to-back each year. So, you just kind of keep going, you collect your little check and you just keep carrying on. This is actually the first season out of 6 shows I didn’t win any in my professional career. so, we place top five a lot but the game has changed so that’s why I said I’m absolutely still in build the perfect physique mode.
Josh Peacock: Yeah. Cool. So, I’m curious to know like how often a week do you work out because I’m sure it’s pretty intense.
Josh Stoneking: Yeah, so and not knocking any other type of athlete. Nutrition for us is number one, we can’t miss, right. Your macronutrients or your meal plan, however you have it has to be damn perfect for you to make those changes. I love when I see the Motors and they tell you the day of the show like, hey, you did everything. Just relax, nothing can go wrong. In the natural world, everything can go wrong with too many rice cakes, etcetera, etcetera because you’re so sensitive to the foods. But as for the working out, for me, I’m a morning cardio person on the bike, here at the house which I like to get started. It’s kind of just gets me going and then I’m hitting every body part roughly 2 to 3 times per week which would be 6 days of working out. I’m kind of old school when it comes to, I take Sundays off. I like to golf and I use that as kind of an active rest day and use that as kind of the refocus relax but every body part gets beat up about two to three times per week just depending on the split.
Josh Peacock: Interesting. Cool. So, switching gears a little bit. So, your big thing is supplements.
Josh Stoneking: Yes.
Josh Peacock: That’s what you’re, if I remember correctly that is what your doctorates in.
Josh Stoneking: Correct. In pharmacy, right? So that aligns perfectly with over-the-counter supplements as well as prescription medications. So, those are the two things that I feel really comfortable talking about of course.
Josh Peacock: Yeah. So, I’m interested. I know this is kind of a broad question so you can narrow it down as much as you need to.
Josh Stoneking: Sure.
Josh Peacock: What should we be watching out for with supplements because I know it’s a black hole.
Josh Stoneking: So, you nailed it, right? So, without getting too in-depth, all everybody needs to know is the FDA, right? Which oversees the drugs that you take by prescription does not oversee the over-the-counter supplements. What that means is as you alluded to, it’s a black hole. The FTC overseas it which just make sure there is no curative claims on the bottle’s label which means if you take this, you’ll be cured of cancer. So, as long as you have gray information on your label, you can put any ingredient you want inside of the bottle, okay? So, what that means is we can have an over-the-counter supplement that’ll say you have vitamin A and B in it, okay? But we can throw in there if we want to and there’s nobody to oversee that, okay? So, you have to be extremely careful with the supplements and brands that you put in your body especially in the natural world.
Josh, unfortunately, we see this. We see true natural competitors fail urine tests for, let’s just stay with the clenbuterol example, and they actually truly did not know they were taking the product. Because they passed the polygraph test stating I never took clenbuterol, but it was accidentally taken because the label did not list a banned substance, okay? I’m not going to put any supplement companies on blast but we can identify with a quick Google three major companies that have been exposed for putting performance-enhancing drugs in their over-the-counter supplements, because obviously, Josh, those supplements will work better. So, it’s great for your gross profited margins but if you’re a natural competitor. You have to be extremely vigilant in your research on what products you select from a manufacturer to ingest and use.
Josh Peacock: Excellent. So, what should we be looking for? Are there supplements that are usually pretty good? Like that are useful?
Josh Stoneking: Yeah, so when looking at the validity, let’s go there first before what supplements are actually the best that will work with clinical data. You always want to look on the label for third party testing. URAC is or excuse me you I’m in pharmacy mode. USP is a great third party, let’s call them quality control company that’ll ensure what is on the label is in the powder. That’s the key, okay? And they do hold up to a standard where basically, if you would test positive, you can go back on them for one of those substances. There’s also without plugging any supplement companies, I want to keep this vanilla. There are many supplement companies on their website that’ll show you their third-party testing facilities and where they get any bulk ingredients. If they’re not manufacturing themselves, some of these manufactures them themselves very proud of that process and we’ll put that quality seal on there stating hey these are water approved right, he Olympic drug testing company.
So, those are just some great indicators to look for and here’s what makes it tough is anybody can lie these days, right. me and you can build a website for whatever. So, it’s always best to ask around to when you see a new supplement company one thing, I like is the trusted brands who have been around for 30 or 40 years, right. Usually when you see and I’m not going to name any names again, a new company of two years and they’re generating more revenue than anything and they got girls at the Arnold and bikinis dancing at their booth, probably a bad idea to buy those products.
Josh Peacock: That’s a very good recognizable rule of thumb.
Josh Stoneking: Yeah, probably a bad idea, Josh.
Josh Peacock: If they’re balling at the at these events, probably not a good idea.
Josh Stoneking: Yeah, and they’ve only been around for less than 5 years. There’s probably something fishy going on there.
Josh Peacock: Cool So, what would you recommend overall for general use? Because not everyone does bodybuilding. I do more of just like a general strength training program myself. So, what do you think is the most effective for general use building muscle?
Josh Stoneking: Yeah. So, general use, there’s a lot of things that you have to get right before you can build muscle and it’s the same when you have to lose fat, right? The problem is you have to get your body internally prepared to grow muscle. So, if you have an imbalance of your basic vitamins and minerals, you’re not going to grow either, right? So, we know Creatine is clinically proven. It takes time, but that is basically the secret sauce for a natural athlete, okay? Creatine is naturally occurring. We don’t have to argue that. We have the clinical data on dosing and the growth rates over time, it does take time but it does work, okay? But if your insides are not healthy, so you’re not, I was going to say malnourished but basically, your vitamin and mineral balance and your electrolyte balance is off. You’re not going to be able to grow muscle.
So, there are arguments around multivitamins and we see absorption rates even in the 30 to 40% but guess what? For the average American, that’s fantastic. So, honestly, you want to ensure your multivitamin is there to get your body where it needs to be to supplement those deficiencies in your nutrition, okay? I’m a big advocate of fats, okay? You need to be taking a fish oil. We have seen numerous things that goes above and beyond the synovial fluid in your joints to make it more lubricated to where it even helps your brain activity, okay? We’ve seen some great results within attention deficit disorder to help you focus. So, multivitamin, fish oils where I like to see vitamin D is another must if you want to grow muscle, okay? The dosing looks scary on it because you’ll see 5,000-to-50,000 IUs. That is the normal dose guys. That is not scary.
Okay, I have a lot of patients that come in and say it’s way too much. It is not. So, multivitamin, fish oil, vitamin D to get yourself basically prepared internally to grow, okay? Then, that’s when you can absolutely add your Creatine. We know the dosing. Please don’t necessarily follow the instructions on the bottle. You want to follow the weight-based dosing that we have proven. Um the next and we know this works really well. We have a lot of people out there with their protein powders. Please do your research on those products as we have plant based. We have basic whey. We have other ways that come from milk, from meat, from human. There’re all different types. You want to make sure you find the right one for your body because that’ll help you easily hit your macronutrients on top of your meals. And basically, other than that, right, is what’s going to get you going into the gym, alright? And this is one thing that I get a lot of push back on is I’m a big advocate, okay? I work 60 hours a week probably like most people. I don’t walk into the gym feeling fantastic, okay? I need a little something.
So, I’m a big advocate for a cup of black or two before the gym. I really like the caffeine basically is where I’m going with this. A dose of caffeine however you decide necessary to walk into the gym and then on top of that, I like nitric oxide boosters, right? So, your basic naturally occurring amino acids that’ll help you boost your nitric oxide production, so you can have some fake energy from caffeine. And then, of course, help elude that pump because when you get that blood flow to the muscles, we’re taking the vitamins and mineral and protein and creatine that we have internally to the places that it needs to go to help you grow.
Josh Peacock: Excellent. That’s really good information. I didn’t really think about how it be difficult to absorb those supplements if you don’t have your vitamins balanced out. I think I’m going to add, I used to take fish oil and I stopped taking it. I do take vitamin D.
Josh Stoneking: Yeah, the more you look at fish oil, the more you see the benefit within the body building and lifestyle world on top of decreasing triglycerides and things of that nature. But what we used to state is right is going to help lubricate your joints with your Synovus, but now we’re seeing even better and better data that shows it has even more significant value to your mind as well as the muscle. So, it’s cheap, right. You literally can go to Costco and it has the USP logo on it and you get buy one get one free for twenty dollars. There’s no reason you should not be taking that every day.
Josh Peacock: Yeah. I’m going to add that to my rotation for now.
Josh Stoneking: Awesome.
Josh Peacock: Okay. So, I know testosterone replacement is a really, it’s not good for young men, I don’t think, and of course, it’s banned across sports. You can’t be taking that because its performance enhancing. How do you feel about something like DHEA?
Josh Stoneking: Right, so we have some data on that that shows okay results, right? It depends on, so here’s what’s crazy about the natural organizations and I’m saying that floral, okay? I’ve in the NPC and the WBFF on tested events, right? And we know where they funnel into up top, right? But in the natural world, I’ve competed in different 7 different federations, okay? As a professional and I can say this, the majority of them have different testing protocols and different banned lists. I do know one organization that will actually allow TRT and they monitor your levels which mean you could have a whole another podcast on that conversation.
Josh Peacock: Yeah.
Josh Stoneking: Keep those thoughts to myself but others will list DHEA’s ban and others will nod it and that’s why there is a lot of controversy within the natural worlds, right? So, anything that’s naturally occurring and can supposedly help you increase your natural production of testosterone which that’s another podcast we can argue if there is truly anything out there or not is okay with me. The reason I state that is, as long as you’re following the guidelines of your federation says, what you can take and what you can take, I’m all supportive of.
Josh Peacock: Awesome. Cool. So, what would you, are there specific supplements you would recommend to bodybuilders that goes beyond fish oil and creatine?
Josh Stoneking: Yeah. So, you want to get yourself again in that state, right? Where you can grow muscles. So, bodybuilders take all kinds of things, right? I mean, we’ve seen colostrum being taken, right? That’s what we seen the bulls take where they grow exponentially. We actually have some pretty good data on it which it depends on what your goals are as a bodybuilder. We’ve seen the different type of fat burners which doesn’t exist but has extracts in there that can increase thermogenesis, right? To help you kind of sweat and get in that state of fat burning. The only thing that takes chunks of fat away is clenbuterol that hasn’t been joke about, right? And Adepex works really well. But back to the supplement stacks that you want to take, okay? It’s a very dangerous world out there today because there are peptides and SARMs, right? And those get Bumped into the supplement world and you see a lot of men and women take those in bodybuilding because guess what?
The data’s pretty good and they work but those are all on the band list. So, it depends if you would like to stay the natural route or the unnatural route, okay? Because over the counter, you can get some SARMs and peptides and guess what? They work, okay? Maybe not as good as the injectables, but they work well enough for a young body builder to get some pretty good results. So, if you’d like to stay the natural path, creatine is the secret to all-natural bodybuilders, okay? It’s not a secret. Everybody takes it. I love the funny memes around it, but we know it takes time, okay? And we know it’s weight-based dose and we know you have to keep your body saturated. So, it’s almost like a vitamin where you take it daily even on the days you don’t lift. The loading phase has been disproven. I remember 10 years ago, we thought we had to take 5 to 10 times the dose for X-amount of weeks to get your body saturated that’s been removed.
So, of course, your supplements actually look like this. Have your multivitamins as we alluded to. Have your fish oil, have your vitamin D, have your protein powder that you feel comfortable with, some form of caffeine pre workout. You also want to have what we just said, creatine. There are many companies out there that produce good creatine products. Some are even PH balanced to where you can absorb more. We’ve really advanced in that field, and those are basically your 6 staples. Branched-chain amino acids obviously we see the data there. That’s kind of a waste for a lot of us and that’s just where you want to stick and then, you want to go around that to see basically what your goals are if you can start to add any other products, right?
We have some pretty good data on boron, okay? Boron is something that can help increase production of natural testosterone. If you’re looking to grow, maybe you can add that, right? We understand some of these tea extracts which we have multiple of them show a pretty decent thermogenesis response, right? You can add those as you want to start to cut a little bit because it will have you sweating your ass off, which we know that’s a good sign to increase your cardiovascular output. Hence, put yourself in a fat-burning state. So, just kind of depends on which direction you like to go and then just do your research on those products or reach out to me. I’m happy to help. I designed stacks for many different athletes.
Josh Peacock: Awesome.
Josh Stoneking: Yeah.
Josh Peacock: So, you do a lot of consulting for guys. You do it on the fitness, the body building but also the lifestyle. Tell me more about the lifestyle aspect of your coaching. What does it look like?
Josh Stoneking: Yeah. So, I’m really big on, I’m trying to think how to say this. Balance, okay? Because basically, when I first got into bodybuilding, there wasn’t balance. There just wasn’t. I was all in, right? You see the videos online, there was an Instagram even when I started, that’s how old I am but I will look at Frank Zane in magazines, a guy looked up to out of California, one of the legendary bodybuilders with Arnold I actually got to meet Frank, okay? And this was kind of the catalyst and I was fortunate enough to go out and train in his home for three days and it’s right outside of San Diego and it changed my life. I was easily 7, 8 years ago.
We would workout. Okay, we were doing leg extensions and we’re hammering it right and this is like dream come true and he’s like, alright Josh, hey, we’re going to take a break and we’re going to meditate. I’m like, what? I mean, my brain is in this state of aggression and testosterone driven and let’s be this and then he helps Comment down. He also taught me, the mental connection that we all know well with the mind, the muscle, right? Where he was really focusing on his mentals on top of what he does physically. That’s why Frank is still alive and well and doing fantastic in his late 80s. I mean, you’ve seen him at the Arnold. He looks fantastic. I just saw him at Mr. America. I mean, he’s incredible.
So, that’s when I decided like, hey, with the people that I help, we got to go in the lifestyle. What do I mean by that is, Bodybuilding can be your life and it doesn’t have to be, right? And you can take any approach you want. Obviously, the Olympia is coming up and you’ll read what these guys say, I’ll die for this and do anything. And I love that approach. It’s just not my approach, right? We all have our differences, okay? And that’s obviously why I’m not an IFBB Olympian, right? Maybe I don’t take it as serious as some of them do. But that’s why I get a lot of clients, right? Is there are ways for you to have some of the foods that you would like, okay? There are ways for you to incorporate travel and things that enjoy doing while still being a body builder, a bikini athlete, etcetera and those things all basically just come down to numbers, right? Whether it’s your macronutrients, your calories burned. When you can get in and kind of how you can do that.
One of the secrets I always have with my clients is we ensure that they have a meal prep bag that they can carry with them just about anywhere, right? No excuse, take your meals wherever, don’t just sit at home, right? If you have X, Y, and Z to do, you can take your meal. It’s not problem, right? Or there’s always a gym or a treadmill anywhere. Don’t cancel that trip. I had a lot of people like, hey, I got a trip coming up, not going to go because of this. Please go, right? Flying on a plane is not going to change your body that much. We know that but that’s where we look at it and a lot of things is I’m big on fruits, okay? And that’s one thing that a lot of my clients just can’t believe because every other coach cuts out fruits and we understand why but we also understand why I incorporate them, right? There are things that we cannot put into a tablet or a capsule that are inside of fruit that are beneficial to your body. So, just little things like that which kind of keep their mentals in a better place moving forward.
Josh Peacock: Absolutely. Yeah, I got into the whole carnivore thing and I’m not really carnivore anymore, but I realized there’s a lot of guys in the carnivore community that are like, hey, you should have Fritz back in. Because the electrolyte imbalance is kind of a problem if all you need.
Josh Stoneking: Could get nerve wracking on your internal organs. I mean, if you only knew what can do to the human body, you’d be shocked, right? I’m telling you.
Josh Peacock: Yeah. So, bananas and oranges and things like that. Those are definitely good things to have especially after a good jiujitsu session.
Josh Stoneking: Yes.
Josh Peacock: It’s pretty depleted.
Josh Stoneking: Absolutely. Nothing better than that. You’re not kidding.
Josh Peacock: Yup. Alright. Well, I appreciate you coming on, man. It’s been really, really action packed. Where can people reach out to you if they want to know more info or they want to know about your coaching?
Josh Stoneking: Sure. So, for me, basically, it’s Instagram @TheOnlyStoney. My last name is Stoneking, so most people call me Stoney. So, @TheonlyStoney on Instagram is the best way. You can just type in my name Josh Stoneking. It is listed on there. That’s what I check the most. I don’t use Facebook much and LinkedIn is for my pharmacy world. So, anything body building or fitness related. I’m happy to help. And you can just find me on Instagram @TheOnlyStoney or Josh Stoneking.
Josh Peacock: Excellent. Thanks for coming on man and we can do this again sometime.
Josh Stoneking: Yeah, let’s do it again for sure Josh. Thank you so much for having me, man. Greatly appreciate the opportunity. Thank you.