Josh Isserow – International Fitness Model

Diabetic Muscle & Fitness > Interviews > Josh Isserow – International Fitness Model

Josh Isserow – International Fitness Model


Age – 23

Q: Where are you from?

Johannesburg, South Africa

Q: Tell us about yourself?

I am a biomedical engineering student. Got into fitness at the age of 18 and got serious about it with regards to dieting at the age of 20. I played competitive football from the age of 6 up until the age of 18 competing overseas twice. I am an extremely goal-driven and ambitious person, always setting goals for myself to achieve. I’m an animal lover. I enjoy hanging out with friends and family and they are my motivation.

I model on the side and finished top 20 for Men’s Health cover guy search 2016.

In 2014 I competed in my first show in the fitness model division of the WBFF Federation. This year I am hoping to step on stage again in a few shows.

Q: How long have you had diabetes for?

I was diagnosed at the age of 9, so for 14 years

Q: Pens or pump?


Q: How often do you check your blood glucose?

Before every meal and before and after training.

Q: Recent A1C?

6.6 mmol/l

Q: Tell us about your bodybuilding and fitness lifestyle?

I usually train 5-6 times a week depending on my schedule or how fatigued I am. I wake up every morning at 5 or 6am to do 30-40 mins of fasted cardio. I do this all year round. It usually involves a slow cycle or walk on the treadmill. I usually do my second session which is my weightlifting session around 5pm as I am still a full-time student and university only ends around that time. My weekly training schedule looks something like this:

Monday: Legs and calves

Tuesday: Back and triceps, abs

Wednesday: Chest and biceps, calves

Thursday: Shoulders and abs

Friday: Rest day

Saturday: Back and calves

Sunday: Shoulders and abs / rest day

I train back and shoulders twice a week as these are my weak points. I feel going as heavy as I can with regards to my legs and chest and as concentrated as possible with my back works best for me. I combine heavy lifting, mainly with the main compound exercises, with volume on the more concentrated exercises.

Example of daily diet. 

My diet changes fairly often depending on whether I am on a bulking, cutting or prepping diet. Currently I am bulking so my diet looks something like this:

Meal 1: 8 egg whites, 1 egg, 50g oats, sometimes 1 scoop whey protein

Meal 2: green apple, 100g steak and basmati rice

Meal 3: salad, 150g chicken, 1 cup sweet potato

Meal 4: 150g steak, 1 cup potato

Meal 5: salad, 200g chicken, 2 cups sweet potato

Meal 6: casein shake

I also have 2 cheat meals a week which includes a meal, dessert and cold drink.

Q: What aspect of diabetes holds you back the most?

I would say having to worry about whether I am high or low especially during prepping when each and every detail counts. I am pretty well controlled so this is just a  minor setback.

Q: Top 3 Tips for managing your diabetes?

  1. Regularly check your blood glucose
  2. See your doctor every 3 months
  3. Regular exercise

Q. What is the best piece of advice you could give someone newly diagnosed with diabetes?

Try to set up a weekly diet plan, as you can learn about your body and how much you need to inject with different meals and snacks. This can be your own type of diet with regards to your own goals.

Exercise as many times a week as you can to regulate your levels. Educate yourself with regards to the condition. Test your blood glucose levels multiple times a day.

Never use it as an excuse to limit the dreams you want to reach, use it as motivation.

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