Branden Nicholson – Male Fitness Model Statistics
- Name: Branden Nicholson
- Height: 6’2″
- Weight: 217 pounds
- Date of Birth: 9-2-1983
- Hair Color: Black
- Eye Color: Brown
- Location: Riverside, California
Branden Nicholson – Male Fitness Model Interview
How did you get started in the fitness field?
I have been an independent master trainer and CEO of B.Nick Fitness since 2009. I got started working at a neighborhood market in my community. I worked in the front, networking and advertised my business to every one that came in. In less than a year, I stepped out in faith and started with 15 solid clients for my business.
What is the #1 thing you like best about being into fitness?
It makes me feel very thrilled to be a part of my client’s lives, whether via the Internet or face-to-face. I love what I do and I always told myself, “If I can change one life a day, then this job is for me”. There is nothing better in life than to be able to get others up and going, from sick to healthy and fit. I do not consider myself a “trainer”, per say. I consider myself a life coach. What I do is NOT a phase, it’s a lifestyle. To God be the glory with every transformation I initiate. With Him anything is possible! With every life I continue to change, the more glory I will give Him.
What has been your biggest accomplishment in the fitness field?
My biggest accomplishment in the fitness field had to be establishing my own brand with ”B.Nick Fitness”. There’s nothing like being your own boss and building up your own brand.
What is the best way to get started in the fitness modeling industry? Should I just contact the photographers directly or should I use an agency?
I tell everyone that wants to start off in the fitness modeling industry to sign up on modelmayhem.com and that site will help build their portfolio up if they don’t have one coming in. That’s one way I got started in the fitness modeling world, along with many others. It helps you get the exposure that you need to jump-start your career.
Please describe a typical day for you. What is your daily routine like?
A typical day for me is to wake up at 4:30 am and give God the glory for letting me see another day that was not promised for me to see. I then get myself ready to head out to my 5:15 am home visit. I leave that home then off to 3 other locations to continue changing lives. From those three other locations, I then come home to eat. The majority of the rest of the day I have clients coming to my home for me to train them. I may have anywhere to 17-22 clients in one day. I later finish up training live on the Internet for my out-of-state clients using a webcam. I officially end my night around 11:30 to midnight and off to bed I go, getting some quality sleep for the next day.
I don’t have that much time during the day to workout, so I really want to burn major calories in a short amount of time. What is the #1 “bang for the buck” cardio exercise I should do to burn serious calories?
If rushed for time I always recommend a quick straight to the point home ”high intensity” workout. That’s anything from using your own bodyweight to additional weights. High intensity includes jumping jack’s, bodyweight squats, plyometric jumps, jump roping and standard on the floor push ups to simple running mountain climbers. These exercises will get your heart rate up and will definitely keep you burning calories for hours after!
How much weight (pounds) should I focus on losing every week? What is a safe amount to make sure I keep it off?
The fitness world is not about losing ”weight”. Muscle is more dense than fat and takes up less space (pound for pound), so the scale is not your friend when you’re toning up and losing weight. I have always trained my clients and others to go by measuring their body from week to week. With measuring you will find out how many inches you have lost all around, which is more significant than losing just weight!
What type of food or supplements should I take before and after my workouts to help me see results in gaining lean muscle and losing fat?
I always tell my clients that they have two choices on getting fuel before a workout. One, they can take a pre-workout supplement, which is to be taken on an empty stomach for best results. Or, be sure to eat some type of carbs prior to training because that’s the main source of fuel to make it through a workout session. Immediately after training, if you are doing a supplement, you must get a protein shake no later than 30 minutes after training with a scoop of 5 grams of glutamine powder as well for recovery purposes. For those that do not take supplements, I strongly recommend eating some type of carbs and lean protein right away. No longer then 30 minutes as well, whether it is grilled or baked fish or chicken with brown rice, yams or a bake potato. A carb and lean protein source will do the job to help repair and build muscle.
How do you deal with cravings for junk foods, sweets and salty food? I can stay on a diet for maybe a few weeks but I eventually get really bad cravings and binge on snacks and fast foods.
If you are one of those people who absolutely crave late night snacks and junk food throughout the day, you must drink more water than normal to suppress your cravings and appetite. For example, the average person should be consuming 9 glasses of water a day, but make an extra leap and consume 12 glasses. That will help keep you full and keep your cravings away. There is also a supplement that I recommend for anyone with a sweet tooth. Its called Chromium Picolinate (200mg) and its extremely important if you have a sweet tooth.
I’m trying to create a healthy shopping list to stick with. What are some of the main foods I should include to maintain a lean and muscular physique?
While grocery shopping, keep in mind to get a variety of fresh fruit and fresh veggies. The greener they are the better it is for your body. Also, pickup some lean meats including salmon and chicken breast that you can grill or bake. Also, 99% lean ground turkey patties or breasts are great for quality sources of protein. Nuts should also be in your cart for daily snacks. Unsalted Brazilian nuts, walnuts and almonds are perfect. With these main items you cant help but eat clean and gain muscle at the same time.
I’m about 35 pounds overweight. I have never started an exercise program and really don’t know where to start. What tips can you give me to get started on the right track?
If you are overweight and have never started any type of exercise program, first and foremost you must see your doctor to get checked and cleared to be able to proceed on. After that, I recommend starting off with walking around your neighborhood or local park with a friend for an extra push and motivation. Walk at least 3 days a week for about 45 minutes then build up to an hour as time goes on. Walking will help increase your stamina and cardiovascular endurance. After walking for a while, you should push yourself to a light jog or run and do this mixed in with walking (walk, jog, walk, jog). This is great for getting your heart rate up and then back down.
I tend to eat out most of the time and really don’t know what healthy foods to order from the menu. What tips do you recommend for eating out at restaurants to make sure my diet will not suffer?
I really don’t recommend eating out because you never know what they are putting into your food, ingredients wise and so on. But if you must go out, you can never go wrong with a fresh salad with a low-fat and low-sodium dressing or some baked fish or chicken with a plate of mixed steamed veggies.
What exercises do you recommend for getting a bigger, rounder and fuller butt?
There is nothing like old fashioned deadlifts, front and backward lunges, back squats, front squats, as well as running on an incline (up hills) which really works every muscle in your glutes and legs.
What is the most challenging thing you deal with about consistently staying in top shape?
The most challenging thing I deal with when consistently trying to stay in top shape is my cardio. If I don’t get up early at my set time, then I don’t get my morning cardio in. It’s a pain in the butt but hey, I have to get it done!
Please describe your normal diet. What do you eat in a typical day to stay in shape?
My typical diet is waking up and drinking 16 ounces of water to hydrate my cells, along with eating 3-4 egg whites, whole wheat toast and a mixture of fruit. An hour later or so I have a snack, which is usually more fruit or a variety of unsalted nuts. Two hours later I am taking my lunch which normally consists of brown rice, a mixture of veggies and a lean meat source. An hour or so later I have another snack which might be a 6 ounce container of fat-free Greek yogurt (add stevia), 3 blocks of dark chocolate or a whey protein shake (1 scoop). After this snack I will eat meal number three which might include a 6 ounce skinless, boneless chicken breast or some fish with a mixture of veggies. Two hours later I finish the night with dinner, which may include fish, yams or a baked potato with two servings of veggies. Every day is different depending on what I’m training for and how much time I’m consuming in and out of the house.
What type of exercises do you include in your routine to stay in shape?
The type of exercise I get in daily in my training consists of high intensity burning and shedding as much fat as I can each day, while keeping my heart rate up and pounding the weights with big muscle movements which includes super setting every set with a variety of different exercises.
What are the top 5 tips (specific exercises, diet advice, etc) you recommend for developing toned and defined arms?
1. Seated row machine.
2. Bodylastics, which is a band that looks like a jump rope. It is made from elastic and used for resistance training. I have this and it is great for the arms.
3. Biceps curl machine and tricep pulldown machine.
4. Standard body weight push ups.
5. Lateral shoulder raises.
What are your top 5 tips for losing unwanted body fat?
1. Wake up and do morning cardio. Best results are achieved on an empty stomach to shed and burn more fat.
2. Drink more water! Drink at least 1 ounce of water per 2 pounds of bodyweight a day (that is 100 ounces for a 200 pound person). Keep a 20-ounce water bottle at your desk, fill it five times a day, and you’re set.
3. Consume fewer calories than you burn.
4. Cut back and reduce starchy carbs (pasta, bread, etc).
5. Limit sugar consumption.
What are your top 5 tips for gaining lean muscle mass?
1. Eat meat.
2. Eat more and shoot for 5 to 6 small meals a day.
3. Work your biggest muscles like chest, back and legs.
4. Maximize muscle building. The more protein your body stores is a process called protein synthesis. The more protein you can assimilate, the larger your muscles will grow.
5. Focus on a lean protein source at each meal. This includes turkey, chicken, eggs and steak!
What are the top 5 tips you recommend for staying motivated on a fitness plan and truly making a healthy lifestyle change?
1. Change your perspective. Shift your thinking from a couch potato mentality to thinking like an athlete.
2. Set a goal.
3. Schedule a regular workout time.
4. Think fun and variety. By nature, humans need change and variety to stay motivated. We also need to have fun, even while we’re working hard. Do both!
5. Reach out to others for support.
What is your training routine like? (Please include a few details – training split, sets/reps, exercises, types of cardio, etc.)
My training routine varies from week to week. One week I train like a bodybuilder where I am contracting all my muscles, lifting very slow and really focusing on the muscle that I am training. When I train this way I normally do drop sets of 8-12 reps of 5-8 sets with 60 seconds of rest between sets. The second week I train more like an athlete where I’m doing a lot of bodyweight, speed and high intensity exercises to shed and burn more fat. I typically don’t rest until the workout is over which normally takes about 30-40 minutes. All my cardio is done at the end of my workouts to help burn more calories and fat. The three cardio machines I stick with that give me the best results are the Stairmaster, stationary bike, and the rowing machine!
What are the top 5 tips (specific exercises, diet advice, etc) you recommend for losing fat around the stomach and developing a toned and defined midsection?
1. Weighted crunches.
2. Hanging leg raises.
3. Weighted side bends.
5. Resistance training or weight bearing exercises are more important and far superior than cardio for fat loss and should be an essential part of your training program.
What are the top 5 tips (specific exercises, diet advice, etc) you recommend for toning the thighs, hips and butt?
1. Eat well.
2. Deep lunges.
4. Walls sits.
5. Step ups.