From a judge’s perspective, there is nothing like a guy with broad shoulders. Why? Because shoulders immediately establish a sense of size, strength, and symmetry (or not) – especially when judges are typically looking at contestants at an upward angle from the judging table. The old adage, “shoulders make the man” still rings true, and the widest guy often gets the first look.
Even the ancient Greeks admired strong shoulders as evidenced by the famous statue of Atlas , the primordial Titan of Greek mythology who held up the celestial spheres. Old Atlas owned a mighty physique overall, but his shoulders still carried most of the weight.
Aussie physique champ Joshua Sinclair seems to be setting a shoulder standard of his own. The rising young star has taken the stage by storm with a string of impressive victories and shoulders as wide as a house. Some people are understandably just born with good genes, and Josh, 23, is the first to admit that his “shoulders are largely a genetic blessing” but, he insists, “I still train them hard. They receive an incredible pump from almost anything I do to them while ever experiencing much fatigue.”
A relative newcomer to the physique stage, Josh is undefeated in physique competition so far since sweeping the field in his very first contest – the INBA North Coast Classic in May 2014 – against a field of veteran contestants followed by first place in the INBA Overall Australian National Championships (class 2) and the INBA Muscle & Model Super Show. He capped the year with impressive victories in both Novice and Open Physique at the INBA/PNBA Natural Olympia in San Diego to earn his pro card in November.
“I’ve had a fascination with weights since the age of eleven when one of my childhood friends got a dumbbell set for his birthday,” recounts Josh, “but it wasn’t until the age of fifteen I actually got a set for myself. I played with them on and off for a couple of years, but I didn’t join a gym until the age of 19 just after I finished high school. That’s when my training really began.”
“At first, I just wanted to be big and strong, but gradually, instead of raw power, I began to fall in love with what the iron could do on a deeper level, to hone, control, shape and craft something more. Bodybuilding as it’s called, was just that – something to build, something to figure out and learn a lot about yourself along the way. It was a sport that if done right turned cats into lions, but if done wrong could leave you battered and broken. Building a body had its secrets and challenges and that fascinated me.”
A second-year student at the University of Newcastle Callaghan and Ourimbah Campuses), Josh is studying for a degree in Exercise & Sport Science. He plans to graduate and then progress directly into a Masters program with intentions of becoming an exercise physiologist and, perhaps, “make a dent in the diabetic, pre-diabetic and obesity epidemic that seems to plague our world.”
For now, Josh is focusing only on physique competition. “I love the aesthetic, athletic and desired V – taper look that the category is known for, and I also feel as though my body is much better designed if not genetically made for the division. I have always been more athletically built and lean rather than heavy and dominating like a bodybuilder anyway.”
“Bodybuilding is incredible,” he says passionately, “and I hope to compete in bodybuilding by the end of my development but, for now, I seem to be drawn to the unique combination physique brings. Bodybuilding is raw and powerful in its posing and presentation, yet physique is aggressive but graceful.”
“But, I will absolutely make the transition to bodybuilding at some point,” he insists. “Bodybuilding is the pinnacle of our sport and individual development, but I feel as though Physique is where my heart and soul is and know it will be for a long time. Physique to me is young and unique and brings something completely different to the sport; I feel as though I am playing heavily to my strengths in this category and wish to build the division up as much as I can. Both for the crowd and competitors!”
At 5’11”, Josh competes at 170 lbs (180 – 185 in the off-season) and follows a strict training regimen of three days on/one day off with the first and fifth days double sessions AM and PM. “I try to keep it the same as much as I can in competition season,” he explains, “but due to many fluctuating factors that occur in a negative energy balance, if a day has to change in order to adapt or an extra day has to be given or removed, then I simply adapt as it goes, avoiding over training as much as possible.”
Among his favourite natural physique champions include Brandon Stewart, Jason Hansen, Andrew Mcdevitt Luke Houlihan and Brad Tik . “And, now that I have a few contests under my belt, I’ll be gunning for all of them,” he laughs.
His competition schedule for the coming year? “At this point in time It will depend on when I sign for my pro card, but the likely plan of attack I have for this year will be doing my last amateur show at the end of May; stepping on stage for my PNBA pro debut at the Dubai World Championships in June, if I can make it there; defending my Australian title; and going after the current Pro Natural Olympia Physique Champion Mr. (Anthony) Prignano in Las Vegas in November!
Josh already knows that he is going to need some very big shoulders – and a lot more – to knock off Prignano and the rest of his favourites, but he is looking forward to the challenge. So are they. And he knows it.