The fitness model lifestyle is definitely not for everyone, but bodybuilder Joey Berry thrives on the intense demands of his career. What it takes to succeed in the fitness industry and to stay paramount isn’t easy, but with all of the hard work, dedication and passion Joey Berry has put into his career, he definitely deserves it. Joey is a 25 year old Natural IFBB Pro, 7x Undefeated Champion, Personal Trainer & Cover Model. Not only is he good at what he does, but his passion shines through his work. He recently shared with Faces what it really takes to live the life of an IFBB Pro— from the strict dieting to the intense training regime, Joey brings his A game every single day, no matter what.
Faces: When did you first get into the health and fitness industry?
Joey: I got into the health and fitness industry at 18 years old when I won my first competition, then I got into modelling at 19.
What does a typical training week look like for you? How many rest days do you take and do you ever incorporate active rest days into your training?
I don’t take any days off! I love training, I’m not going to cut something out of my day that I love doing so I will train from Saturday to Saturday. I rotate between different exercises each day, some weighted and some not. When I am prepping for either a shoot or a show, I incorporate 20 minutes of medium high intensity cardio first thing in the morning, as well as jumping rope in between each set during my training. My training splits are:
Monday: chest, tri’s and ab’s with delt detailing.
Tuesday: back/ bi’s and ab’s
Thursday: Shoulders, traps and ab’s
Friday: Chest, bi’s and tri’s
Saturday: Abs and Back
Sunday: Legs or Intense HIIT circuit
Aside from all that, I also do 100 reps of abs every single day.
So, no days off at all?
I never really take any days off! I listen to my body and if I truly feel like a rest day is needed, then I’ll take it.
What is your favourite training day and specific exercise from this day?
My favourite day is always leg day. My favourite exercise lately has been walking goblet lunges– I’ll even wear a weighted vest with it. It’s something that really kills the legs, skyrockets the heart rate through the roof, and burns like no other.
Are there any training days you absolutely dread?
I hate arm day, it’s so boring, it’s just flexion-extension over and over.
I understand you work closely with Nutridirect Meal Service. What does a typical day of eating normally looks like for you?
My regular diet and my diet while I’m prepping are similar, but when I am prepping for a show or a shoot I am super strict with my diet, whereas when I’m not I have more playing space, at least that’s what I call it. I eat every 2 and a half hours on the dot, no matter what. I consume more red meat than anything else, which everyone’s always shocked about because they think you need to eat more egg whites and fish to get shredded. It’s always a big ‘oh my god’, but I do that because I cut my carbs so low when I’m prepping for a show or shoot so the high fat in the red meat helps my energy levels. I go for a fast shred where I drop 35lbs in 6 weeks. I bring my carbs all the way down to 60g’s a day, whereas most people do that per meal. When I’m not prepping, my diet consists of 3-4 clean meals a day, whereas when I am on prep it’s usually 5-6 a day. During prep, I only have one cheat meal a week, whereas when I am on not, I’ll have 2-3 a week, being pizza and donuts or a shawarma or something.
What is your go-to meal after you’ve finished an intense leg day?
If I’m in a shred mode, I’ll take one and a half cups ground beef, 3 plain rice cakes and crunch them up like little popcorn, sriracha sauce, chopped up kale, and mix it all up so it tastes like a taco salad. That’s if I’m staying lean, if not, pizza, always!
Besides when you’re in prep, do you track macros or calories, or do you eat intuitively?
No, I know generally how much my portions should be. I didn’t even weigh food during prep for my last show, I only measured carb count, and that show was my best conditioning and where I won my pro card.
What do you recommend for your clients? Tracking calories or tracking macro’s?
Here’s the thing with tracking: it all depends on your personality. A lot of people tend to over-obsess and then fall off track, and when they fall off track, they fall completely. If they’re not hitting the right count, they think their entire day is done. I don’t find that is a way to live as a lifestyle. So no, I don’t recommend counting like that. I recommend eating wise foods and having meals that have a good protein, a complex carb and a healthy veggie. If you want a pizza and a glass of wine, go ahead on the one day that you can, just don’t do it every day.
Talking bout cheat meals, what is your go-to spot in Ottawa for a cheat meal?
It used to be the works, but if you want the best bang for your buck, go to dominos and get the large, 3 topping walk in special. I always get double pepperoni and feta cheese. Then I go to mavericks donuts and get 6 donuts, Mavericks donuts is #1!
What does your supplement routine look like?
200mg caffeine OR 1 serving of HEAT fat burner, 5-10g BCAAs, 1 serving of Carne Diem carnitine, 1 CLA before each meal, and 1 Primer
multivitamin pack after meal #1
2 scoops of Magnum’s PRE4, 1 serving of Big C creatine, 1 serving of Volume pump product, 1 serving of Carne Diem carnitine product, 1 serving of DNA strength product
1 serving of OPUS, 10g BCAA’s or 1 scoop HI5 Magnum BCAA’s
2g Glycine, 10g BCAA’s, 1 serving of Big C creatine, 5g of Glutamine
1 serving of Carne Diem carnitine product, 5g glutamine, 1 serving of After Burner fat burner
What about protein powder?
I don’t rely on protein powder for any meals, but when I feel like changing things up I’ll make ‘proats’ (Protein and oats) for a meal.
Aside from the aesthetic and the obvious health benefits, what is the greatest reward you have gotten from fitness?
I’d say the most rewarding thing is being able to lift so many people up with fitness, who felt like they were falling apart and didn’t have a ‘purpose’, and training changed that for them!
Cover Photo: @joey_berry
By Julia Solimine