Reigning Natural Olympia Classic Physique Champ Derek Joe Interview: Favorite Chest Exercise and Quest to 4k+ Calories


2021 Classic Physique Natural Olympia champion Derek Joe answers questions regarding his diet and workout plan. 

Derek Joe shares his preference for leg exercises, his favorite chest exercise to sculpt a chiseled upper chest, and how he’s aiming to eat past 4k calories/day. Plus, his meal plan in a Generation Iron (GI) interview. Derek Joe is the reigning Classic Physique Natural Olympia champ and a signed multi-media contracted athlete with Generation Iron, INBA PNBA, and Iron Man Magazine. We were able to get some insight into the champ’s favorite exercises and diet after some questions (Q) and answers (A).

Derek Joe Q and A

Derek Joe gave us an overlook of his training and nutrition regimen. He told us his favorite exercises and shared how a typical meal plan looks for him. Below are some questions GI asked Derek Joe and his responses.

Q: What are your favorite exercises? 

A: Barbell Squatthis is the first exercise I ever learned to do in the weight room and is one of the most foundational.

Bulgarian Split Squat: I like to incorporate single-leg movements as much as possible.

Hammer Strength Incline Chest Machine done with cross-body single-arm press: I’m focusing more on my upper chest this season, so I started doing these. They hit that area well and let me concentrate on contracting/isolating the muscle where I need it.

Q: How does your nutrition look in-season and off-season? 

A: I’m a little more flexible and intuitive during the off-season while keeping the same framework as being in prep. I eat more fruit, vary my carb and protein choices, and have periodic cheat/refeed meals as I feed. 

Things tighten up big time when I start in-season prep and even more so as I get closer to a show. My coach and I keep everything simple, eating the same daily foods. I’m communicating with my coach more frequently, so if my body feels like it needs something, we discuss it together before making any changes.

Q: What meals and nutrition targets do you have? 

A: Right now, my coach has me at and will be pushing me past 4,000 calories daily, eating 210g protein, 530g carbs, and 95g fat.

Meal 1

  • 1 scoop protein shake (plant-based)
  • 2 tablespoons of chia seeds
  • carbs of choice to fit macro (e.g., 2 cups of oatmeal)

Meal 2

  • 1 cup of quinoa
  • 24 whole almonds
  • 1 cup of green veggie (spinach or green beans preferred)

Meal 3

  • 6 oz. tofu (organic baked tofu sriracha flavor, or comparable brand)
  • 1/2 cup of quinoa
  • 1 cup of green veggie (spinach or green beans preferred)

Meal 4

  • Protein bar of choice or 1 can of tuna.
  • carbs of choice to fit macro (e.g., 2 cups of rice or 1.5 cups of oatmeal)

Meal 5

  • 8 oz. salmon
  • carbs of choice to fit macro (e.g., 2 cups of rice)
  • 1 cup of green veggie or super greens (spinach or green beans preferred)

Derek Joe will be looking to defend the Classic Physique Natural Olympia title. Also, 3x Men’s Physique champ William Long is off this year to train for the Classic Physique division.

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