Male Physique Athlete Brandan Fokken Talks With

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brandan fokken


Name: Brandan Fokken
Location: Sioux Falls South Dakota
Height: 6’1
Weight: Stage – 194 – Offseason 220
Occupation: Wellness Coordinator/Prep Coach/Sponsored Athlete

When did you get started with fitness?

I have loved sports my entire life and always had aspirations of being big and strong. I was a naturally gifted athlete and participated in baseball, basketball, and football. I was that guy that even went all out in gym class. When it came to weight lifting, I just wasn’t good at it, so starting my freshman year of high school I really put in the time and effort to make myself better.

I loved the sport of bodybuilding, and followed the sport through high school. All through my 20’s I did the same and always talked about doing a show, but didn’t really know where to begin.

My friend Trevor Larsen decided to do his first show and tried talking me into doing one with him. I talked to my friend Ned Sacipovic and asked for his help. Ned has more experience in the sport than anyone I know, so if anyone could help me it was him. He said he could get me ready, so I got started. I did my first bodybuilding show at the age of 30. I competed in light heavy and eventually made it up to the heavy weight class.

After my first and last heavy weight competition under the advice of my trainer Ned I made the switch to Men’s Physique and have done that ever since. I felt the class fit me better and I was ready for something new. Although at my core, I will always appreciate bodybuilding and love the sport, I am now putting all my energy into this new class.

I love the camaraderie probably the most about the sport. Getting to know other like-minded people, learning from others, and being motivated by but also motivating others. As a whole I love the fitness lifestyle. What I don’t like are haters. People that try to bring others down for trying to better themselves. Passing judgment on people assuming they know who they are and what they are about without knowing anything about them.
People assume too much based on limited information, how someone looks, what someone else says about them, etc. When in reality the people they are trying to bring down are probably very different than how they are being portrayed.

How do you stay so motivated? What drives you?

I look at and read a lot of positive quotes and literature, study people with drive and ambition, and try and better myself through their example.

I look to my family and friends for strength; they are always there for me and a great source of motivation.

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.

When I’m training for a contest and I feel like I can’t go anymore I will recite quotes in my head from Arnold Schwarzenegger. His words have pushed me through so many stalemates in my training. I have always looked up to Arnold and have tried to implement his training principals and mindset into my own training.
brandan fokken bodybuilding

What does your current training schedule/program look like?

I feel that the most effective routine for me is dividing my body into parts and hitting them hard once in the week and then touching them up later in the week. My reps, sets, and weight always changes and I incorporate different training methods into my workouts. I like to use a lot of different angles in my routine and hit whatever muscle group I can from as many angels as I can. That’s how I got my shoulders to develop, which I’m constantly asked about. This was a week body part, so I changed my methods until I found what works for me. For anyone else trying to get the most out of their workouts, If you feel it challenges you, then pay attention over time to the results that come from that workout plan. Over time you will know if you are going in the right direction, and if you’re not, it’s time to change your plan.

Day 1: Chest

• Incline Hammer machine press: 5 sets 20,12,10,10,8 (Rotate with barbell or dumbbell presses)
• Decline Hammer machine press: 4 set 15,12,10,8
• Flat barbell: 5 sets 15,12,10,8,6 with one light burn out/ 20-30 reps at the end
• Standing Cable flies downward motion: 4 sets 15,12,10,10
• Machine Flies: 4 sets 15,12,10,8
• Diamond pushup: 4 sets 20,20,15,15
• Abs – pick 3 exercises- 3 to 4 sets per movement/ 25-50 reps per set
• 20 Mins Stairmaster HR 135-150

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
• 20 Mins Stairmaster HR 135-150

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”
• 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
• 20 Mins Stairmaster HR 135-150

Day 4: Shoulders/Traps

• Dumbbell Lateral Raises: 4 sets 15,15,12,10
• Smith Machine or seated db Shoulder Presses: 5 sets 15,12,10,10,10
• Standing straight curl bar side raises: 4 sets 15,15,15,15
• Dumbbell front Raises: 3 sets 15,12,10
• Barbell 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
• Angled side raise with db to the side: 4 sets 12,12,12,10
• 20 Mins Stairmaster HR 135-150

Day 5: Back

• Wide-Grip Pull ups: 4 sets 15,15,15,15
• Seated hammer reverse grip pull downs: 4 sets 12,12,10,10
• Seated Cable pull backs: 6 sets 15,15,15,12,10,6
• Machine Lat pull downs: 5 sets 15,12,10,10,8
• Standing front pull downs: 4 sets 20,20,15,12
• Bent over barbell rows: 5 sets 15,15,10,8,6
• Hyper extensions: 4 sets 20,20,20,20
• Abs – pick 3 exercises- 3 to 4 sets per movement/ 25-50 reps per set
• 20 Mins Stairmaster HR 135-150

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 back

Give us a breakdown of your daily diet.

Meal 1 7-730
1 cup MuscleEgg Whites
½-3/4 cup my oatmeal flavored oats

Meal 2 10-1030
0.75 cup Brown Rice – cooked
6-8 ounce(s) lean protein

Meal 3 1230-130
1 cup Broccoli
6-7 ounce(s) lean protein
6 ounce(s) sweet potato

Meal 4 3-330
1 table spoon P28 almond butter
2 scoops Beast Whey protein
Periodically I will have a P28 bagel

Meal 5 630-730
4-6 oz. sweet potato
15 almonds
1 cup greens
6-8 ounce(s) lean protein- periodically I have a 8 oz sirloin

Meal 6 930-10
1 table spoon P28 almond butter
1 cup MuscleEgg

Do you take any supplements to reach your fitness goals

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 Beast Sport Nutrition 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 for products Beast doesn’t offer, I would recommend looking at and reading the reviews on and go through them for your nutritional needs. You can also purchase Beast products through, so you get the best of both worlds.

  • Beast Mode pre workout
  • Creature pre workout
  • Multi core with breakfast #1
  • Omega 3 with breakfast and last meal #1, #6
  • Glutamine post workout 5g
  • 2 Shredded or Amphetalean both by Beast*when dieting* upon waking and mid-day #1, #4
  • Beast Whey post workout- before bed #6
  • Aminolytes by Beast Sports – intra workout and post
  • L-Carnitine with breakfast and pre workout
  • ALA with breakfast and lunch #1, # 3
  • Vitamin D3 with breakfast #1
  • Mangnesium breakfast #1
  • B complex breakfast #1
  • Vitamin C breakfast #1
  • Adrenal Support breakfast #1

I have tried pretty much EVERYTHING out there. I’m not about gimmicks and the promise of quick results. The supplements I take I believe to help me recover and give me that edge I need in training as hard as I do. I have had great results with my supplement regimen and feel it works best for me. I think when you push yourself as hard as I do or any competitor for that matter having that extra boost that supplements offer keep you healthy, and help you recover to keep you moving forward. We restrict our diets when we diet down, so making sure to fill those gaps, which that’s what supplements are meant for, NOT to take the place but to add to a nutrition plan, helps me to reach my goals while always striving for new ones.
brandan fokken

What is your single biggest “Fitness” related accomplishment?

My lowest moment would be after USA’s last year I almost died. I spent 5 days in the ICU and am lucky to be here today. I was not feeling the best at the show and after it was over I became extremely cramped up. I went back to my hotel room and just lay there the rest of the night, with an occasional cupcake, or 5, and room service to keep all my post competition cravings at bay. I felt even worse the next day and by the time I got on my flight, my body wasn’t moving how it should and I was starting to feel numb all over. When I arrived home I needed help out of the car, but just told myself it was from the show and flying and I would be ok. I had dinner and decided to sprawl out on the floor to try and stretch myself out. I did that for a few minutes and when I tried to get up, I could not. That is when I knew it was time to go to the hospital.

The doctors could not figure out what was wrong with me, so they started an IV and kept running tests.

They found my potassium was at a 2.0 which normal range should be a 3.5-5.0. So, I was immediately admitted.

They ran tests on me all night. By morning I could not move my legs or my feet, I could not sit up by myself, and my arms barely worked. The doctor came in and told me that my potassium dropped below 2.0, my vitamin B1, D, Magnesium, and Phosphorus were all stripped from my body. My liver enzymes were very high, my blood pressure was 199/98, my resting heart rate was about 135, my blood sugar at one point was 356, I was paralyzed, and they were not exactly sure why.

By about 10:00 a.m. a priest was sent in to pray for me, which I promise is not something I wanted to see. The doctors kept telling me that they were working on it, consulting another hospital and working together to try and help me. At one point, I started to black out and honestly thought that was it. I did not think about money, or my job, or even competing, but that I was going to die right there and no amount of muscle, strength or anything else could change my fate. I thought about my family, my friends, that fact I have never been married and that I have never had kids. I saw a lot of my life pass by in my head all the way to the point of being buried, a true near death experience. I endured 5 days in the ICU, insulin injections, blood draws every two hours, I had to take a beta blocker, a PIC line was put in through my arm to my heart-which was the worst of it all, constant IV’s, a special diet was made for me, and I was given a lot of vitamins which were pills the size of matchbox cars.

The doctors attributed everything to re-feeding syndrome, which is where after dieting so long my body treated me almost like I was an anorexic, so when I was eating all those carbs and sugar after the show, my body was trying to store fat and was spilling the rest of the nutrients I needed to survive. Team that up with dehydrating myself for the show, my diet leading up to the show, flying which dehydrates you, breaking myself down to practically nothing for the show to keep my size down, and it was 105 or above the whole time I was in Vegas and was outside more than I should have been. All of it added up and almost killed me. To die due to an electrolyte imbalance is something I never even considered happening previously, but I am obviously far more aware now of the dangers of everything I did to myself. I was and am still very humbled by the situation and will be for the rest of my life.

The proudest moment in my career was proposing to my now wife on stage at the Oregon Seven Feathers show☺

From that, the moment that has surpassed that is seeing my clients and friends compete and do well…I couldn’t be prouder of them.

Other accomplishments that are at the very top of the list would be becoming a athlete and a Beast Sport Nutrition athlete. It has been a dream come true and I’m very blessed for the opportunity.

They are an amazing group of people and I love working with them. I feel that there is no limit to where our relationships can lead.

Having them encourage you and be there for you makes you truly feel you can take on the world. So to everyone at and BEAST – THANK YOU.

Is there anyone in the fitness industry you look up to?

First and foremost I would have to say Amber Dawn (Orton) Fokken, my wife. I am her biggest fan and cant thank her enough for all she has brought into my life.

Anyone else beyond her, that I have been a athlete for a few years now and have the pleasure to interact with the team, I would have to say the team as a whole. They all have very unique personalizes. They are motivating and inspire countless people from around the world every day. Some stand outs being Mike Ohearn, Craig Capurso, Furious Pete, Kizzito Ejam, Brandon Johnson, Brooke Erickson, and everyone else on the team including our fearless leader Danielle Hansen. These people set the bar high. They truly inspire me to want to work hard and do great things, but most of all to give back to others and help them reach the same heights that myself and the rest of my teammates have been blessed to achieve. And last but not least Arnold of course rates at the top of my list.

Name a fitness “Myth” that just isn’t true no matter how many times you hear it.

This is one that I have heard over and over and mostly from women. “I am afraid if I weight train I will get big and bulky”. It’s important to realize that the amount of muscle a woman can put on is limited by a number of factors. First, women don’t have the testosterone needed to build a lot of muscle, so if you switch over from the light weights which I like to call “pink weight syndrome” or start to strength train, you are in no danger of losing your neck and building quads so big you bust out of your jeans. Many women coming to strength training are eating at a deficit for fat loss, so they won’t be building much, if any, new muscle—the goal of strength training while eating at a deficit is to retain the muscle mass you already have and skew the percentage of weight loss towards fat and away from muscle. The fact is: “Looking like a bodybuilder” doesn’t happen accidentally. To look like or be a bodybuilder, especially for women, requires a phenomenal lifestyle commitment. So don’t be afraid to use weights, and if you are lifting don’t be afraid to go heavier. If strength training causes a female to look like a bodybuilder that would equate to me saying “I don’t want to swim laps today because I don’t want to win the 100m gold next week” and that my friends is not going to happen without an act of God and a boat motor on my back.
brandan fokken

Tips for our readers to achieve their fitness dreams

I can’t just give one tip. I think a lot goes into this lifestyle and you have to have a lot of things in order to be successful.

You need to first of all be ok with yourself in whatever you are involved in, or what level you are at in everything you do “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. If you don’t love yourself now and every step of the way, you definitely won’t be happy wherever it is you are going.
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. Also change up your plan. Your body adjusts to workouts etc rather quickly, so if you are always doing the same stuff your body won’t make the changes you want it to.

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. Also be open to advice. Ask questions and absorb what others pass on to you. However don’t make this information “truth” as many gurus out there believe they know it all and will pass on bad advice every chance they get. Do your homework and investigate the advice you are given and find which advice best works for you.

Use the resources you have and educate yourself, being a major one. 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 and proud of your own accomplishments. The people you admire were once not so different than 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

Favorite Quote

Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength. – Arnold Schwarzenegger

SPEACIAL THANKS TO MY SPONSORS: /Beast Sports Nutrition- I wouldn’t be where I’m at today without them

Other Sponsors I am grateful to for their support:

P28 Bread/ Quest/MuscleEgg/Fat Gripz/ My /Fitmark bags/ Tainted Industries/


Instagram: @brandanfokken
Twitter: @brandanfokken