INTERVIEW - BRANDON LIRIO
Name: Brandon Lirio
Place of living: West Hartford, CT
Occupation: Professional Fitness Coach
Category you compete in: Bodybuilding
Accomplishments: 2015 AINBB Mr Physique, 2016 INBA European Overall Champion, 2016 INBA Natural Olympia Bodybuilding Open Overall Runner up
Motto: Everything you dream of is right on the other side of your fear…
Why did you choose natural bodybuilding?
When I was growing up I had a horrible anxiety disorder and no outlet for my anxious nature. I couldn’t leave the house without feeling sick and I would lock myself in my house for days. I knew I needed to push myself or I`d die, so I joined the military to force myself out of my home and comfort zone and force change. After I joined, I knew I had to step outside of my comfort zone or crumble under the weight of my disorder. When I found lifting, it balanced my hormones and gave me an outlet to change my feelings of anxiety and fear. Lifting didn’t just give me my next career… it saved my life.
How many years have you been competing and what was your first show like?
I have been competing since 2012 but I didn’t take it seriously or really put my mind to it 100% until 2013. Since then, I`ve never slowed down, usually doing 4-6 shows a year. My first show was something I`ll never forget. I saw the best this sport had to offer and made such amazing friends. That is the one major thing I still take away from every show. The incredible people you meet and connect with for life. From the competitors to the staff to the crowd… these people will fuel your passion and support you for years to come. Don’t let them down!
What do you consider to be your biggest achievement in the sport and why?
My biggest achievement was opening my personal training and contest preparation business because it connected me to what really makes this sport great. The ability to help and inspire people. Helping hundreds of people see their true potential. Helping everyday people who doubted themselves see the extraordinary potential… having people with disabilities like multiple sclerosis to amputees to sickness like cancer… I have had the pleasure to have them all on my roster and push them to their best, winning their shows. My greatest achievement is helping others, and I hope to continue to achieve for years to come.
Is there anything you would like to achieve in the sport?
I one day would love to stand on the top of the podium at the PNBA Natural Olympia and become the worlds Mr. Natural Olympia. It would be the personification of all my hard work realized.
How many times a week do you work out and what is your favorite work-out?
I workout about 6 days a week and LOVE working chest the most, although my favorite individual exercise is Deadlifting. Even as a bodybuilder I have a fairly high Deadlift weight at 515 pounds with a bodyweight of 163 lbs.
What does your ordinary day look like?
Wake up and hit my cardio, come home and meal prep for the day, answer my client emails, update a few client plans, then… train people in person. By lunch I have several posing sessions via skype which takes me to my training in early afternoon. Shortly after that I will film some content for my clients on facebook or IG to help them with form or fitness knowledge, which brings me to dinner with my wife and relaxing with my family. I usually try to visit my mother a few times a week for dinner as well so we can remain close as her and my father have always supported my bodybuilding dream. Much of the time in between these sessions is spent planning and building my new training facility opening this year in CT, Battleground Fitness!
Is there anything you would like to recommend to young people who would like to start with lifting weights?
Never give up. You are going to constantly second guess yourself because you are comparing yourself to someone bigger or leaner. Only problem is that’s their chapter 30 when you are on chapter 3. Look at your chapter one and then compare your current self to that. If you are even 1% better… you are winning and you should be proud. Never give up, because you’ve fallen down, with regards to diet OR lifting. We all fall down and every one of us hits a rut or difficult time. The will power and ability to work through that and get back to the bar is what you’ll tell others about when you are champion… and you’ll appreciate it that much more. Never give up, because failure is temporary, but regret is permanent.
Sportsman: Flex Lewis, 5 time Mr Olympia 212 champion. I`ve met him several times and he`s nothing but humble and continues to improve even when hes at the top of his game.
Sport besides bodybuilding: American Football… GO NEW YORK GIANTS!
Food: Sweet potato!! I have no idea why ANYONE doesn’t!
Junk food: Burger King… it’s a shame but I absolutely love it!