Muscle-Munch talks with Team Bodybuilding.com Athlete : Brandan Fokken

Muscle-Munch talks with Team Bodybuilding.com Athlete : Brandan Fokken

How did you get started?

I first started lifting in high school, I was 6 ft tall as a freshman and very skinny. I was a great athlete, but had no size and couldn’t even bench press 100lbs! I got a lot of crap from friends which just made me push even harder in the gym. Results came relatively quickly and I loved seeing the changes that my body made with the short duration of training that I had put in. I  haven’t looked back since!

What your diet consists of and why?

My diet usually consists of all the same foods, I eat a lot of lean meats e.g. steak, turkey, chicken, fish and my veggies are usually broccoli, or asparagus. My carbohydrate selection consists of oats, cream of wheat, sweet and white potatoes, brown and white rice and a periodic rice cake. I don’t mind eating the same foods all the time; I just like food in general so I never get sick of anything I eat. I do like to use a lot of spices though e.g. cayenne, paprika, pepper, and Ms. Dash Sodium free seasoning!

What supplements do you use?

I am a sponsored athlete with SEI Nutrition so most of the products I take are from them. I am also locally sponsored by Jon and Deb Petersen at Max Muscle, so the rest of what I need I get there.

SEI Max protein, SEI-max amino, SEI-Excellean (when dieting), SEI-Methylhex (when dieting), SEI-Max AR7 – pre workout, SEI-Max NO- pre workout, and SEI- Max RSQ- post workout.

Max Muscle: I take Vitamin D, Magnesium, Vitamin C, ALA, L- Carnitine, Glutamine, B complex, men’s multi, fish oil, High 5 Casein Protein, and Max Pro Whey Protein.

Example of diet?

Currently it looks like below, but as I get closer to show time I will do a carb rotation usually consisting of 4 low days and then 1 high day- repeat.

  • Meal 1: 10 egg whites ½ cup of oats.
  • Meal 2: Protein shake 50g and a piece of fruit “apple of banana”.
  • Meal 3: 8oz. chicken or 99% lean turkey- 1 cup veggies- 1 cup brown rice.
  • Meal 4: 8oz. chicken or 99% lean turkey-1/2 cup brown rice- a tbs. of natural peanut butter.
  • Meal 5: 8 oz. sirloin or flank steak- 1 cup veggies- 4-6 oz. sweet potato.
  • Meal 6: Casein protein shake 40g and a tbs. of natural peanut butter.

What does your current work-out routine look like?

My workouts change everyday based on how I feel, look, and the goals I am going after at that time. Since I am in my off-season, I am currently lifting a bit heavier than I have the last year. I will list my standard split:

  • Monday: Chest/Abs.
  • Tuesday: Arms.
  • Wednesday: Legs/Abs.
  • Thursday: Shoulders.
  • Friday: Back/abs.
  • Saturday: I will usually do a touch-up workout and hit parts that I feel I need to bring up I will usually do abs this day also.
  • Sunday: off.

What are your max lifts?

  • Bench Press: 200kg
  • Squat: 280kg
  • Deadlift: 230kg
  • Bicep Curl: 90kg
  • Barbell Rows: 136kg
  • Overhead Press: 145kg

What’s your opinion on the run of the mill “Bulk & cut” way of training?

This is how I trained for many years when I competed as a bodybuilder. Now that I am a physique competitor gaining all that size limits what you can do in the offseason. If you want to do modelling etc. it would take you too long to get back into shape if you did the “bulk and cut” method. I try and stay about 15- 20 lbs at most from my stage weight as opposed to the 40 or so that I would normally put on. I have a fast metabolism so I can get the weight off when I need it off and it only takes a few weeks instead of 2 or more months.

Free Weights vs Machines, what are the pro’s and cons and which do you prefer ?

I prefer free weights but will add in machines at the end of a workout when I am fatigued. I believe I get a better range of motion with free weights and use more stabilizer muscles with free weights. I feel the weight more and feel that I get a better squeeze and pump with free weights. I like to use machines when I am tired because there is less chance of injury and I feel I can push out a few extra reps without working having a spotter. I believe that a lot of the newer machines on the market today really do hit and target the areas that they are supposed to work far better than the ones of the past so I have no problem adding them in periodically to a workout.

What music do you listen to when you’re training?

I don’t usually care about what I listen to as long as it has a beat. I’m normally thinking about the exercise I am currently doing, what I’ll be doing next, and thinking about goals, etc. that I have set for myself and how to achieve them. You could say I literally get lost in a workout and that’s my main focus. So music or no music I try to be at a 10 the whole time, if I had to pick a song that gets me going however it would be 30 Seconds to Mars “The Kill”.

Who is your favourite bodybuilder, strongman or powerlifter?

Arnold Schwarzenegger would be my all-time favourite. His physique was out of this world, and that was 30-40 years ago. 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 able to speak English, went to school and got a degree. He has 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 you don’t see people walking around today looking like he did way back then.

If I chose someone from today’s era it would be Phil Heath. Phil looks like a cartoon character! His proportions are unmatched and he is only going to improve.

If you could give someone any advice, what would it be?

If you want something in life, go get it-period! Don’t let people tell you that you can’t do something, you decide that. Work hard, set goals and achieve them. You can be anything you want to be in life and you are ultimately responsible for your own success. A strong mind makes a strong body, so educate yourself and be the best you that you can be.

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