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Fitness Education

Expert Interview Series: Brandon Carter of Bro Laboratories On Fitness, Training, and Discipline

Fitness Celeb Speaks on Motivation, Weight Loss, & Personal Commitment

Brandon Carter is a YouTube fitness celebrity with a following of over 2,000,000 fans online, and his videos have eclipsed over 100,000,000 views. He has trained professional athletes and bikini models, and he owns his own supplement company called Bro Laboratories. We recently caught up with Brandon to hear his thoughts on working out, eating properly, and maintaining the discipline to achieve your goals in fitness and in life.

Tell us a little about yourself. How did you become a fitness trainer and model?

I got into fitness because I was bullied a lot as a kid. I actually was sent to military school right around my teens and was the only black kid in the class. I was skinny and frail, and I got into a lot of fights where I consistently got my butt kicked.

So after one particular bad ass kicking, I decided to read up on everything I could about fitness. I went through every book and workout routine imaginable. Interestingly, when I went back to school, even though I hadn’t put on much size, nobody messed with me anymore. Without realizing it, I had been carrying myself differently due to the newfound confidence I had from training every day.

What are some of the most common questions you get asked by people who have seen your fitness videos or who come to hear you speak?

One of the most common questions I get from those who watch my videos is, “How do you stay motivated?” The truth is I don’t. Perpetual motivation is a myth. Most of the time, you are not going to “feel” like working out.  I don’t rely on motivation. I rely on discipline, which can be defined as doing what you’re supposed to do regardless of whether you feel like doing it or not.

As an experienced fitness model, could you tell us how training for that discipline differs both from conventional workouts and from traditional bodybuilding?

What makes fitness modeling different from conventional bodybuilding is you need to stay both jacked and lean at the same time year round. A lot of bodybuilders will look out of shape during a certain time of the year (when they’re bulking) and then peak during their competition time. But for the average joe who watches my videos, generally they want to look great year round. So they need to be more disciplined with their nutrition and cautious about bulking and cutting. This is why I encourage my fans to cut first to how lean they want to be, and then go on “Micro Bulks” for two 2 weeks and then cut again for two weeks, and so on. Since you can’t burn fat and build muscle at the same time, the optimal way to add muscle and burn fat is incrementally in these types of mini cycles.

Finish this sentence: “When people are trying to work on getting ripped abs, the one thing that I see many of them doing wrong is…”

 When people are working on their abs, one thing I see them doing wrong is focusing entirely on abdominal exercises (such as on machines or doing crunches) as opposed to burning off the fat on their bellies. The majority of people don’t have flat stomachs and just need some abdominal workouts to sculpt their abs. Instead, they have far too much belly fat for the ab exercises to make much difference, so it would be wiser to do HIIT cardio to burn off the fat first and mix that in with abdominal exercises once the fat is gone.

When training clients, what is your philosophy when it comes to designing nutrition and diet plans for them?

When it comes to designing meal plans, my philosophy is pretty simple. If you want to lose weight, you must burn more calories than you consume. To guarantee this, I’ll design a meal plan in which the number of calories the client will eat equals their body weight in pounds times 10 (EX: 150 pounds =1500 calories). If they’re looking to gain weight, they must consume more calories than they burn. To help ensure this, I’ll design a meal plan in which the number of calories the client will eat equals their body weight in pounds multiplied by 20 (EX: 150 pounds = 3,000 calories). For those cutting, a healthy dose of protein with carbs (post-workout only) is the general rule. For those bulking, eating carbs with pretty much every meal is the game plan. It get’s much more specific with each plan, but that’s the crux of it.

How do the concepts and goals relating to fitness training carry over to achieving success in business and in life?

When you work out every day, you are following through on a commitment to yourself. You made yourself a promise and you kept it, which increases your confidence in getting things done.  Furthermore, no matter how long you exercise, each lift will be challenging and there will be days where you won’t want to do it. When you do it anyway, you cultivate discipline which carries over in business, relationships, and all aspects of life.

Those who have done my HIIT workouts on YouTube always hear me say, “This will be the hardest thing you do all day.” And it’s usually true: if you can get through a grueling 20-minute workout with me, that office project will be a piece of cake.

For someone who is searching for a gym or fitness center to begin a training regimen, what are some of the traits and qualities he or she should look for?

When looking for a gym or facility, I would actually say people overthink where they should go. The answer is to just find a place and start ASAP. If you don’t like the gym’s services, you can always switch or get a home workout set.  People spend too much time thinking or waiting for the perfect scenario to attack their fitness goals, when in reality they should’ve started three months ago. Most gyms aren’t that different from each other. Some are fancy, some aren’t. If one of those crappy hotel gyms was near my house, I’d get a membership there over the facility with the TV in the locker room. Just give me some weights and I’m good to go.

Adopt this mindset, and don’t waste your time agonizing over the gym you choose. You’ll need to reserve that pain for the bench press.

How do you see the fitness training industry evolving in the future?

I think the fitness industry will eventually evolve to be mostly digital. Generation Y and Z get most of their fitness advice online through blogs and YouTube videos, not personal trainers or fitness conferences. This isn’t to say that personal trainers are obsolete, but it’s certainly a profession that is much harder to scale which is why I don’t do it anymore. All my clients are now online, and I think those who fail to adapt to this trend will find themselves struggling in the future.

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