Bodybuilder and Sponsored Athlete Brandan Fokken Talks with

(Last Updated On: September 25, 2018)

How did you get started in bodybuilding/fitness?

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.

Brandan Fokken

What is your favorite body part to train?

I like training arms the most. It used to be chest but that’s a body part that has developed easily for me, so I take pride in the fact I have been able to build a decent set of arms. It used to be one of my weaker points.

Can you give us a sample of your routine?

When I was younger all I wanted to do was lift as heavy as I could and be strong. I didn’t care about balance or longevity, and due to that suffered many injuries. Now that I am older I try to balance my workouts and lift far lighter, but with the same intensity as I did when I was younger. I believe you have to listen to your body and push it when you can, and hold back when it’s giving you signs of wear and tear. Sure I train tired, and sore just like anyone else, but when I’m injured and know that I am I take some time off to recoup and take care of myself. In the past I would have tried to push through and would make things worse.

On season:

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


Day 1: Chest 8-20 reps


•Barbell Incline: 5 sets 20,12,10,10,8

•Machine Flies: 4 sets 15,12,10,8

•Decline Hammer machine press: 4 set 15,12,10,8

•Flat barbell: 5 sets 15,12,10,8,6

•Standing Cable flies: 4 sets 15,12,10,10

•Abs- pick 3 exercises- 3 to 4 sets per movement/ 25-50 reps per set

•10-15 mins on bike or treadmill


Day 2: Arms


•Standing dumbbell curls: 4 sets 12,10,8,8

•Standing cable rope pull downs: 5 sets 15,12,10,10,8

•Standing hammer curls: 4 sets 12,10,8,8

•Standing Triceps push down: 5 sets 15,12,10,10,8

•Standing straight bar arm curls: 4 sets 10,10,8,8

•Dips on bench: 4 sets of at least 20 reps 20,20,20,20

•Seated concentration curls or seated machine curls: 3 sets- failure

•Single arm reverse cable pull downs: 3 sets of at least 20 20,20,20

•10- 15 mins on bike or treadmill


Day 3: Legs


•Leg Extensions: 4 sets of 25 – 50 reps 50,40,35,25

•Smith Machine or regular Squats: 5 sets 25,20,15,10,10

•Leg press “will sometimes incorporate into a workout, depends on energy”

5 sets 50,40,35,25,20

•Lunges: 4 sets 20 “10 per leg” reps

•Seated Leg Curls: 4 sets 25,20,15,15

•Seated Calf Raises: 4 sets of 25

•Standing Calf Raises: 4 sets of 25

•Abs- pick 3 exercises- 3 to 4 sets per movement/ 25-50 reps per set

•10-15 mins on bike or treadmill


Day 4: Shoulders/Traps


•Dumbbell Lateral Raises: 4 sets 15,12,10,10

•Smith Machine or seated db Shoulder Presses: 5 sets 15,12,10,10

•Dumbbell front Raises: 3 sets 15,12,10

•Dumbbell Shrugs: 5 sets 20,20,15,12,10

•Upright rows: 4 sets 15,12,12,10

•Seated rear delt machine, cables, or dumbbells: 4 sets 15,12,12,10

•10-15 mins on bike or treadmill


Day 5: Back


•Wide-Grip Pull ups: 4 sets 15,15,12,10

•Seated hammer reverse grip pull downs: 4 sets 12,12,10,10

•Seated Cable pull backs: 4 sets 12,12,10,8

•Machine Lat pull downs: 5 sets 15,12,10,10,8

•Standing front pull downs: 4 sets 20,20,15,12

•Hyper extensions: 4 sets 20,20,15,15

•Abs – pick 3 exercises- 3 to 4 sets per movement/ 25-50 reps per set

•10-15 mins on bike or treadmill


Day 6: touch ups


On my 6th day I will pick 2 to 3 body parts I think that are lagging and do a touch up. I may do a circuit, or I may pick 2 to 3 exercises for each group. I really focus on the muscle and take time to make sure I’ve worked it effectively. These days I normally lift very light, strict form, high reps.

Brandan Fokken

What are your 3 favorite exercises?

Bench Press

Leg extensions

Db lateral raises

Brandan Fokken

What kind of music do you listen to when you are working out?

I don’t use an Ipod.  I don’t usually care about what I listen to in the background 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.

We all have at least one, what is the most embarrassing song on your iPod?

Since I don’t listen to music I don’t even own an IPod…yea….im behind the times lol

Brandan Fokken

What does your diet look like when you are trying to get lean?

Without nutrition I wouldn’t be where I am at today. So it is the foundation that everything else is laid upon. Depending how I want to look, or if I have a contest coming up, it’s through nutrition that I make those changes.

I eat about every 2.5 to 3 hours. I also have a shake and a banana after my training session. In my on-season diet, I taper my carbs down as I go into the show. I also have carb cycled in the past but for my next contest I will do a gradual deplete.

Brandan Fokken


•Meal 1: 5 egg whites 3 oz. 96% lean ground beef and ½ cup oats

•Meal 2: Two pieces of P28 bread and a table spoon of Nuts ‘N More Almond Butter.

•Meal 3: 5oz. chicken or 99% lean turkey – 1 cup veggies – 1/2 cup brown rice.

•Meal 4: 5oz. chicken or 99% lean turkey -1/2 cup brown rice – a tbs. of Nuts ‘N More Almond Butter.

•Meal 5: 6 oz. 99% lean turkey- 1 cup veggies – 5oz. sweet potato.

•Meal 6: Casein protein shake 40g and 1 tbs. Nuts ‘N More Almond Butter



List the top 10 foods we would find in your kitchen

-99% lean turkey
– 96% lean beef
– Nuts n more
– p28 bread
-sweet potatoes
– brown rice
– tilapia

Brandan Fokken

What kind of cardio do you like best and why?

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 periodically, or do intervals on the treadmill. My big thing right now is doing multi session stair stepper routines. 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.

Brandan Fokken

If you could give somebody only one fitness tip what would it be?

I don’t believe I could offer just one.

You need to first of all be ok with yourself at whatever you are involved in or what level you are at in anything you are doing “workout routine, diet, etc.” When you are ok with yourself and love yourself, you will make more of a commitment to the betterment of you. You also won’t get discouraged when things don’t go exactly how you want them to. You will have the strength to carry on and continue to try to achieve the results you are striving for.

Everything takes time; it took time to put on the weight so it will take time to take it off. Set some realistic goals and then set a big goal at the end. Enjoy each incremental goal that you have achieved on the way to your big goal and celebrate those victories on the way to a better you.

If you are having a hard time with the plan you are on, take a step back and reevaluate what you are doing and make sure the plan is right for you. 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.

Surround yourself with positive people and people that help you along the way. Negative people will just bring you down and make it that much harder for you to achieve your goals. The people that bring you down are afraid of change, and feel that you’re positive attitude and hard work somehow makes them have to make those changes too, which scares people, so they will become your worst critics.

Rise above that and work on you, you are the best investment you can make. Use the resources you have and educate yourself. Make sure you are doing a routine that is right for you and you have a good diet plan in place too, nutrition is 80% of the equation. If that doesn’t work, consider hiring a trainer.

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.

Brandan Fokken

Tell us about your biggest bodybuilding/fitness influence?

I admire anyone that has self-confidence, someone that goes against what others tell them they have to do to do what they feel is right. You can be inspired by athletes that are total beginners to the most advanced. You just have to open your eyes and be open to it. If I picked one person though, Arnold Schwarzenegger is my all-time favorite bodybuilder. 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.- Favorite cheat food?

Do you take any supplements?

I wouldn’t be where I am at today without supplementing my diet. There are a lot of products on the market, and some great ones, but for myself I recommend Force Factor supplements, their entire line is GREAT! They are also priced right and offer a lot of knowledge/science that backs up what they sell. If I were to recommend any other company I would recommend looking at and reading the reviews on and go through them for your nutritional needs. You can also purchase Force Factor through, so you get the best of both worlds.

“Force Factor FORCE FACTOR, 120 Capsules”

Force Factor 2

Body rush

Men’s multi vitamin

Omega 3



Ramp up*when dieting*

Performance protein


Amino Recovery



Vitamin D3

What does the future hold for you?

I have recently started working with Kim Oddo. With his help I am hoping to bring in a new and improved physique from past competitions. I am looking at two national shows right now where I hope to get my IFBB pro card. I as well will be competing in the Muscle & Fitness challenge at this year’s Olympia expo. I won the Muscle & Fitness online portion of the contest for the second year in a row, and am going back to hopefully better my last year’s placing of fourth. I am also working with many competitors as a coach and trainer helping them with their show prep, and am having a great time doing that! I couldn’t be more proud of my clients.

Brandan Fokken