I started working out as a freshman in high school. A friend of mine down the street had a little weight set and was already into working out. He persisted that I work out with him and when I finally did I was nowhere near his level. Of course back at school the next day he had to tell everyone I was “weak” and I got teased the rest of the week. I decided that I wasn’t going to have that happen anymore and wanted to better myself, so I started working out in the high school gym, and eventually got my first gym membership.
As a newbie it was all about the bench press. To a 14 year old kid in high school, this was an immediate reflection of your strength, your athletic ability, and where you stood in the hierarchy of your friends. I would bench press and work chest just about every day to every other day. This of course changed as time went on, but that’s how I started.
I also had no clue about supplementation, or diet in general. I knew to gain you had to eat- that was about it. So as I got more serious I ate a lot, but nowhere near the amounts, or what I should have been eating. I started to understand supplementation more as I got older and took a job at a nutrition store. I was lucky because I had a high metabolism and lifted hard so I never really gained a lot of fat. It took me a lot longer to get the diet part down, but eventually I did. I’m still learning even now, and will continue to I’m sure till the end.
Sit down and assess your goals. Look at all your positive behaviors and where they will take you, and where all the negative ones will go. Then create the best path for you. Set some goals for now, midterm, and long term. Focus on what you have to do now to be productive and take it one step at a time. People tend to set an end goal such as lose “X” amount of pounds, but don’t take the step necessary to get there. They get overwhelmed with it because they aren’t enjoying their small victories along the way.
I would also suggest journalizing workouts, and their diet. This will keep them accountable for what they are doing and help keep them motivated. I would also recommend taking the time to schedule out their week in advance, this will help give them the time needed to cook, workout, etc. They can also find a workout partner, or someone to help keep them accountable, a trainer, life coach, etc.
I don’t really listen to anything. I may have music going in my car on the way to the gym, but when I’m lifting music can be a hindrance. I’ve tried using an iPod in the past and found that I’m easily distracted and my train of thought gets derailed. I like to think about what I’m doing and focus on the workout. I get lost in what I’m doing and I find that works best for me. I don’t mind music in the back ground with a good beat, I can use that preparing for a set, but beyond that I’m perfectly content with thinking about my goals, the next set, or how the exercise feels as I’m doing it.
It could be numerous things. I’ll sometimes have quotes pop into my head, which usually consists of quotes from Arnold Schwarzenegger. Or if I’m getting ready for a show, I’ll tell myself that the other guy isn’t quitting, he’s already done two more than I have, so if I want to beat him I’d better suck it up and get it done.
I personally like free weights the most. I feel the weight more and can hit the muscle at angles that a machine just can’t duplicate. If I had to choose in order of what I would use in a gym, I would say free weights, cables, and then actual machines. I do incorporate machines for a different feel and at the end of a workout when I am fatigued and don’t have the ability to keep strict form with free weights. I feel when I add them to the end of a workout I can get more reps out, and reduce the chance of injury because the machine keeps me aligned.
If you would have asked me this when I first began working out, I would have told you I was proud of my size and strength. The word strong has changed its meaning to me. I used to think of it as physical strength and standing alone, not needing anybody. Now I see it as more complicated, mental, physical and spiritual. Real strength means giving back and also asking for help when you need it. Strength is still a word that I respect and aspire to be. I know I look strong to others, but I want to be more than that – I want to help others inside and outside of the gym. I’m proud to say that I have been able to give back to a lifestyle that has given so much to me. I have been able to coach, and instruct others on proper diet, exercise, and educate them on a healthy lifestyle. I’m truly blessed to have the opportunity to work with others and pass on the knowledge that others took the time to pass on to me.
When I was in bodybuilding I would bulk and cut. I then got into men’s Physique and kept lean in between shows, which made it easier to go into the next. After my last show I went back to my roots and bulked back up. I gained like I would have as a bodybuilder and put on a lot of size. I was planning to take an extended break after having a long year of competing. I ended up becoming a bodybuilding.com bodyspace spokes model contest finalist and had half the time I would normally have to prep for a show. Of course I took on the challenge, but learned my lesson. I dropped 40 lbs. in 6.5 weeks. I lost a lot muscle, and looked like a shadow of my previous competitive self. I came in at maybe 70% of what I am capable of. It was a humbling experience and definitely a lesson learned. I wouldn’t change it for the world though. I met a lot of amazing people and learned a lot about myself and what my capabilities are, and are not. As a result of the competition, I am happy to say I am a TEAM bodybuilding.com athlete! I will NEVER let this happen again and plan to keep myself closer to show shape. I’m currently adding back on all the size I lost and when and if I get a chance to do something again, I’ll be ready!
I do a variation of cardio; it also depends on where I am at in my season. I will do a fast paced walk on a very high incline *not holding on*. I may do the elliptical, or do intervals on the treadmill. I like to change things up and may do an all-out HIT workout to keep my heart rate up and run sprints after, or even jump rope. I believe you need to keep your body guessing or you will plateau and not make the changes you want to make.
Morning fasted cardio- 30/ 45 mins 5- 6 days a week
I’m usually lifting heavier at the beginning of show prep and taper the weight down and take the reps up as I get closer.
This is an example of my last diet. I have listed my low carb day.
LOW DAYS (on high days meals 1-4 have the carbs) 4 low days one high-repeat
High days are 50 grams carbs in first 4 meals.
6:30 Meal 1:
8 oz. chicken/turkey or 12 egg whites no yolk, just under a cup of oatmeal
9:00 Meal 2:
8 oz. turkey, one table spoon natural p. butter, 1 cup spinach
11:30-12 Meal 3:
8 oz. turkey, one table spoon natural p. butter, 1 cup spinach
2:30-3, Meal 4:
7oz. Tilapia, 3 pieces of Ezekiel bread
5:30-6, Meal 5:
7oz Tilapia, 1 cup broccoli
8-8:30, Meal 6:
8 oz. chicken, 1 cup broccoli
10:30-11, Meal 7:
40 grams WHEY ISOLATE protein, 2 table spoons p. butter
Bodybuilder: Arnold Schwarzenegger
Arnold is my all-time favorite. His physique was out of this world. Arnold in my opinion is the father of modern bodybuilding, and is an example of what I try to follow. Arnold truly is the American dream; he came to America barely even able to speak English. He succeeded in everything that he went after, bodybuilding, acting, real estate mogul, Governor, etc. I think that Arnold had a great understanding of what the human body is capable of and knew that with a strong mind he could achieve, and has achieved everything he set his sights on. He was able to be the best in an era where the nutrition, supplementation, and overall knowledge of the sport was in its infancy, yet even today you don’t see people walking looking like he did way back then.
Fitness model: Jamie Eason
I think everyone knows she has a great physique, but that’s only part of why she’s inspiring to me. She’s a true example of health and she truly takes the time to educate and help people. After meeting her multiple times, I can say she’s a totally down to earth, charming, and a total sweetheart. She practices what she preaches, and lives a clean lifestyle which is evident when you look at her.
I use whey and casein protein. A multivitamin, arginine, glutamine, vitamin c, b complex, ala, cla, l-carnitine, magnesium, vitamin D and various pre workouts
1. Don’t try to be just like someone else - that’s a recipe for failure. It’s ok to look up to, learn from, and be inspired by others, but don’t put yourself below them and assume they are better than you, be you. Blaze your own trail! You can accomplish anything you want with a strong mind, strong goals, and hard work. So if you want something, go get it.
2. Set clear, concise, and measurable goals. Set present, mid-term, and a long term goals. I recommend writing them down. Without clear goals you will never really know where your path is leading you and you will get frustrated and possibly give up on your fitness journey.
3. Make sure your diet and workout routine fits in accordance with your goals, diet being the most important. If you’re not eating for results you will never have the success you want.
Facebook: Brandan Fokken
Bodybuilding.com Sponsored Athlete
Weight: 220 off season, 195 stage
Year of birth: 1979