Ever wonder how fitness celebrities like Brandon stay lean year round? We interviewed him about his 20+ year fitness journey to find out what it takes to maintain such low-body fat levels year round.
Hint: it takes a lot of experimentation and tracking. "The only thing that works for everyone, is to actually start tracking and measuring things."
Laila: Hi Brandon, good afternoon.
Brandon: How's it going?
Laila: Hi. How are you?
Brandon: I'm doing great, how are you?
Laila: Good, thank you. So thank you so much for joining me this afternoon here in New York City. So my name is Laila, I'm from Fitnescity, and today we have with us Brandon Carter.
Laila: So I'm just gonna take a minute to introduce you a little bit, tell our audience a little bit who you are. So Brandon is a fitness model, trainer, nutritionist, best selling author, social media celebrity, literally reaches millions of people around the world, and also an entrepreneur I should say owner of a supplement company based here in New York.
Laila: So welcome. Thanks for joining-
Brandon: Great to be here, thank you so much.
Laila: Thank you. So let me start by saying how I got to know you. So at Fitnescity you used one of our tests I think for body fat.
Brandon: Yeah [inaudible 00:01:07]
Laila: Yeah. So one thing that I do every month at the end I just look at a report of the results. And so I was doing it I think in April, and then I saw something a little bit. I was like, hopefully this is not a reporting error, so I went there and I looked and it was your results.
Laila: And the reason why I said that because it was really low, like way below everything that I've probably seen in the recent months or years.
Laila: Yeah, and then I went there and I looked at the full report and it's actually like really, really low, so you barely have any fat. And most importantly the results actually for this test, the body fat test, it actually compares you to a reference population, and you were like really outside of the scale. You're not even there.
Brandon: Better than almost everyone in the world is what you're trying to say.
Laila: Yeah, yeah.
Brandon: Yeah, yeah one of the best in the world, like elite, like cream of the crop crème de la crème. That's what you're saying, I'm not saying it.
Laila: Yes, well that's what the data says, so numbers don't lie I guess.
Brandon: Hey, it's just the data.
Laila: All right. So not to mention you're a social media celebrity, so we're very, very excited to have you here with us.
Brandon: Thank you so much, I appreciate. Now this is a surprise, you know?
Laila: All right. So first of all I would like to start out by knowing a little bit more about your story. So how did you even get to this level? To fitness level-
Brandon: To this level of body fat percentage, this low level of body fat percentage?
Laila: Yeah, fitness in general. The fitness industry, and to this level.
Brandon: Yeah, no problem. I started working out when I was in high school like around 16 years old. And I didn't really know what I was doing at first. I was struggling a lot trying to figure it out, and then one summer a friend of the family, he was like a mentor to me, and ... Chicago that's where I'm from.
Brandon: Best friend in Chicago, he's actually Steve Harvey's trainer now. He trains a number of other celebrities, and he kind of took me under his wing for a summer just like, "Let me train you for free," because he was a friend of the family.
Brandon: I made a lot of progress, and I just kind of fell in love with it. Let me back track, I started doing it because I was getting beat up in school, maybe like bullied a little bit.
Brandon: Yeah, yeah, I was a skinny little kid, and I thought I could fight better if I got into shape. It wasn't like for vanity, or health, it was for violence.
Laila: Okay. Survival.
Brandon: Then when I got back to school nobody messed with me. It was weird, it wasn't because I got so big, it was just more I think working out, training, dedicating yourself to something, and focusing, I think it molds your personality it changes things. My confidence was a lot higher after that. Not necessarily for the size, I just think that sort of dedication to something, it builds character, like kind of character that can't really be replicated, you know? Like you gotta make these little promises to yourself every day that you're gonna eat right, you're gonna work out, if you don't get enough sleep, you don't drink enough eater.
Brandon: Once you make these little promises to yourself every day, and you keep them. What happens is you begin to like, trust yourself. Because one of the definitions of confidence is firm trust in a dictionary, so it's like, now you start to believe in yourself, and you start thinking, "Man what else can I accomplish?" That air, that kind of confidence, people can detect that. And bullies, they're like predators, predators look for prey, right? Lions don't eat other lions. I wasn't presenting myself as prey anymore, and I think it was just a different air.
Brandon: And what happened was, those kids instead of trying to fight me, they were asking me for advice. What happened was, I started like kind of training them, and they became less jerks, right? Because they felt better about themselves, and I just saw how it changed their personality, and I kind of fell in love with training as well at that age, like 16.
Brandon: I went and got certified when I was 17, because I went and started college at 17, so that was my job on the side, and yeah, I've been a trainer for almost 20 years now.
Laila: Wow, okay.
Laila: So that's a long journey.
Brandon: Yeah, but that's how it started.
Brandon: I've been a [inaudible 00:05:24] for literally thousands of people, pro-athletes, teen models, to regular guys, all across the board, yeah.
Laila: Okay, perfect. So a lot of people look at you as an inspiration, so in this section what I would like to do is I would like to hear a little bit more from you about some of the things that you have applied over the years, and that have worked for you. And I'm gonna break it down in a few sections.
Laila: So let's start maybe with intermittent fasting.
Laila: I'm a big fan. So if you could tell me a little bit more about ... First of all for our audience, how does it work? And then for you specifically, how do you apply it? What works best in your case?
Brandon: Yeah, yeah, so intermittent fasting there's a few different protocols to do it. There's this one protocol, some people will just fast for a full day, like a 24 hour fast, and how that works is let's say tonight I have my last meal at seven, and maybe I don't eat again until seven tomorrow. 7 p.m. tomorrow, right? And that's one form, it's like the 24 hours fast.
Brandon: Some people extend that to up to 36 hours I've heard of, a week or something.
Laila: Yeah, that's crazy.
Brandon: That's a little excessive, but I've done 24 hour fasts when I need to, and what I notice when I do that is I don't really lose muscle, but what happens is I just get lean. I just notice my fat loss starts to increase, like I start to lose fat a little faster when I'm doing it, but that's an aggressive protocol.
Brandon: What's a little milder is the daily fast where many people ... A typical protocol would be to eat only within an eight hour feeding window.
Brandon: So for example, maybe your first ... Seven or eight hours or whatever. So you wake up, you don't eat anything with calories until two or three, and then you have your last meal at 10 or 11, right? Something like that.
Laila: There's a window.
Brandon: Yeah, the feeding window when people do that daily. And a lot of people have success with that, and I guess I can go into how it works. It does a number of things. For one, your body runs off glycogen, or glucose, right? And when you fast that long you use up all your glucose, right? A lot of it, right? And your body has no choice but to dip into the fat reserves for energy, so that's one of the things. But also, it makes you more insulin sensitive. Insulin is the anabolic hormone, right? So it's building ... More insulin, the more muscle you build, but also insulin is indiscriminately anabolic, right?
Brandon: So basically when you get a flush of insulin in your body it'll grow your muscle cells, but also grow your fat cells as well. It's like the opposite of testosterone where testosterone only grows muscle, and it's detrimental to fat cells, does that make sense?
Brandon: So when you're more insulin sensitive, your body uses insulin a lot more efficiently, right? The problem comes when most people when they're eating all day, especially a lot of like, high carbohydrates, or even like, too much protein. What happens is that those nutrients are converted into glucose, and when your glucose levels go above 110 in your blood you have an insulin spike, and when your insulin is spike, you're actually ... Your body's not in like, a fat burning mode. Your body doesn't want to burn fat.
Brandon: However, you'll still burn more calories. Even if that's happening, if your calories are lower, if you're burning more calories than you consume, you can still lose fat. And this is probably where daily intermittent fasting has its biggest benefits is because it's harder to eat too much in an eight hour window.
Brandon: Right? It almost automatically puts you in a deficit unless you're eating like crazy food during that time period.
Laila: Yeah, in that short window.
Brandon: I did both forms of intermittent fasting. I did the daily intermittent fasting with the seven, eight, or nine hour window. I wasn't too strict about it, but around an eight hour window. I did that every day for about three years straight, and when I was really trying to get cut for something what I would do was I would do one 24 hour fast in addition to that per week.
Laila: Okay, that's for a photo shoot or something?
Brandon: Yeah, if I have to get ... Yeah. If I want to put my foot on the gas.
Laila: Yeah, okay, got it. Perfect. That's great. And now, same question for something else, keto diets.
Laila: I know there are a lot of ways of doing it, cyclical, targeted. So what is your take on it? How do you apply it if you do? And just yeah, tell us more.
Brandon: Well, intermittent fasting kind of led me down the path to keto. I've been doing keto for over two years now. And initially I was doing intermittent fasting, and was kind of just focusing on my calories, and the macros, the macro nutrient ratio wasn't a big deal to me. But I'm older now, I'm like 35, and ... I'm not like 35.
Brandon: And I went for just a routine checkup for my insurance, and they said my cholesterol is actually like, really high. Like so much so that they wanted to put me on statins, you know, statins drugs, and I have a history of that in my family. So it's hereditary. But I didn't want to go on those drugs because they have a lot of side effects.
Brandon: Dementia, lower testosterone, just a ton of side effects that are not advantageous to my goals. So because I had been a trainer for so long, I've trained people with ketogenic diets before. I basically put everybody through every protocol. Vegans, you know, everything. I'm pretty well versed, 20 years you should ... You do something for 20 years, you should have-
Laila: Yeah, you start to know ...
Brandon: Yeah, so I was familiar with it, and I knew that there was a lot of compelling research to suggest that it can help lower cholesterol. So I said, let me give this a try instead of some drugs. I mean, you use food instead of drugs.
Laila: That's a great choice.
Brandon: Yeah, and much to the chagrin of my doctors, however, in one month my cholesterol dropped over 100 points.
Laila: Yeah, wow.
Brandon: And my good cholesterol actually went up.
Laila: The HDL?
Brandon: The HDL.
Laila: And the LDL went down? Wow.
Brandon: Yeah, yeah. But what's even better was I just noticed ... Initially it sucked, like the first two weeks. It felt weird, you know?
Brandon: But then after I got used to it, your body acclimates to the ketogenic diet.
Brandon: And I just had so much more energy. I had so much energy, my skin was clear, it seemed like I didn't need as much sleep. Like I used to have to try to get nine hours of sleep. Now I'm like, literally fine with five or six, it's weird. It's a weird thing, and I'm not saying everybody's gonna get those same results, but that's me.
Laila: Yeah, everybody's different.
Brandon: So much more energy, and so much more like, I don't know, clarity. And then I started training more people with it, and they were like getting similar results. I've had multiple people I've trained, and put on keto, and they've lost over 100 pounds.
Brandon: Now any diet will get you ripped, right? But they were getting all these other benefits as well. It wasn't just about getting ripped, and one thing I noticed was that my ... I just looked leaner man, I was holding less water weight. Just way less water weight because carbohydrates make you store water.
Brandon: That's known, every body builder who goes on the stage, they cut carbs before they go on stage to bring down water weight. And I was like that all the time, and it was a different kind of feeling, and I just kind of fell in love with it, and I've been doing it ever since.
Laila: Wow, and so is there a way you should do it, like for example if you have a heavy workout today, right now. Would you have some carbs before we do some targeted thing?
Brandon: So there's three main different forms of the ketogenic diet.
Brandon: There's the strict ketogenic diet, that's when you just basically have a macro nutrient ratio where it's 75% fat, 20% protein, 5% carbohydrates. Now you do that all the time, that's strict ketogenic dieting.
Brandon: If you do the targeted ketogenic diet, what you're referring to, a lot of athletes, this is like what athletes do this when they're on keto. They'll have maybe 40 to 50 grams, kind of depending on your body weight of fast digesting carbohydrates 30 minutes before the workout to get just a little more of oomph, you know?
Brandon: More energy, and potentially some people will have some after as well to help recovery, potentially people do that.
Brandon: For me, I've tried that, and I'm trying to experiment more, maybe there's a way where ... I just haven't found the benefits. I'm so used to just a regular, my body's so well adapted.
Laila: The regular one, okay.
Brandon: Yeah, my body's so well adapted that I don't need to do that. And there's a third way too, where it's cyclical where you'll do strict keto maybe five days a week, then one or two days you'll have carbohydrates. If you're doing it right it should be like, 60% carbohydrates on those days, maybe your protein the same, or maybe you can bump your protein up, and you actually keep your fat relatively low on those days. Like do it right.
Brandon: One of the problems with that is I just I start to feel lethargic on those days. You know when you eat a big meal-
Brandon: And tired.
Laila: With carbs, yeah.
Brandon: Yeah, and I really think that carbohydrates have a lot to do with that, and it comes from the insulin spike. Right? The insulin spike, that's what causes the food coma, or the crash after you eat. It's the insulin spike, but when you're doing keto, you don't get that insulin spike, so that feeling you have after, tired, I don't get that anymore.
Brandon: And that was one of the main reasons I liked keto ... I'm sorry, intermittent fasting daily at first because during the fasting window, I had so much more energy. Have you noticed this?
Brandon: More clarity? But what happens after that first meal?
Laila: You just want an excuse not to work, or not to-
Brandon: Yeah, yeah, my work day was done at three.
Brandon: You know, after that first meal. What helps is to eat small, like ease your way back into eating a lot. So that kind of helped, maybe start with something light when you break your fast. But I just noticed with keto that that feeling that I had during the fast, I had all day but without being hungry.
Brandon: I still do intermittent fasting sometimes still, you know, if I feel like it. They worked hand in hand, it's not binary. In fact, one of the easiest ways to get into ketosis is to fast. Did I even tell them what keto is? Or should I?
Laila: No, I think ...
Brandon: They know what keto is?
Laila: Yeah. I just realized yeah, we haven't mentioned it. Okay. High fat, low carb.
Brandon: Yeah, high fat, low carbs. Basically how it works, it's called ketogenic diet because like we said before, your body usually runs on glucose or glycogen, and that's high amounts of protein or carbohydrates will convert into glucose and give your body energy.
Brandon: But in the absence of those macro nutrients what happens is your body has to convert fat, in your liver it converts fat into something called ketones, and your body will run on that instead, right? So that feeling you have, that energy, that focused feeling when you're doing intermittent fasting. If you tested your ketone levels you're probably in ketosis during that time.
Brandon: Yeah, so in keto you have that all day once you get used to it.
Laila: Yeah. You just made me think of another question, which is, so are you more like the type of person who gets, or uses small meals throughout the day, or the window of the day during which you eat? Or more like a heavy, or two heavy meals. So what's your personal take and preference?
Brandon: For me, for years I did daily intermittent fasting, and I noticed even then for me it was better when it ramped up. So my last meal's usually always my biggest, and it's usually post workout. So even now where I do intermittent fasting or not now, I still kind of ramp it up slowly. I kind of ramp it up, and that just works best for me because food slows you down, digesting food just takes a lot of energy, and I just want to eat enough where I'm not hungry, and I'm able to move.
Brandon: And then at the end of the day I'll probably have to ... I have certain macros that I'm trying to hit, and certain calories that I'm trying to hit. So at the end I just make sure that I hit everything. So the last meal is usually pretty big, and it's also after I've lifted weights. So my body uses those nutrients more efficiently.
Laila: Okay cool. So you know, [inaudible 00:19:00] this is very inspired, and I have other followup questions. So what do you think about like in your case, exercising in a fasted state or not? So is that something that you do? Or do you feel like-
Brandon: No, it's cool. I'm not confident that it burns like a whole bunch more fat potentially, because there's conflicting research on that.
Brandon: What I'll do is I'll take branched chain amino acids right before if I'm working on an empty stomach, so I'll have like 10 grams of BCAAs, and I made BCAAs to my own company, we have one called Revolt BCAAs, and I take those. I take 10 grams of that for training if I'm training fasted just because I'm gonna prevent muscle break down. There's no protein then you run the risk of losing some muscle during that time.
Laila: Okay got it.
Laila: All right, so another thing that you talk about I think is full body workouts.
Laila: So do you want to tell us a little bit more about your take on that?
Brandon: Yeah. I think full body workouts are the number one thing that a natural weight lifter can do to increase to make more gains faster. And I get a lot of pushback on this from people because a lot times we've been taught to do like, split workouts, split routines. However, these split routines were literally invented for guys who were on steroids. Like before steroids were invented, almost everybody did full body workouts.
Brandon: And there's a few reasons why it's better for a natural. One, when you lift weights, your muscles are in a state of what's called protein synthesis. A fancy word for muscle growth, right? For about 48 hours at most. So if you're doing some sort of split routine where you hit the body part once a week, now you're missing out on five days of muscle growth. That's fine if you're taking anabolic steroids, right? Because the protein synthesis is extended on steroids, right?
Brandon: So what they do is they just one day just chest, and they just pound the chest, and like wait until they're sore, and in too much pain they couldn't lift anymore if they wanted to. And it's okay because that's kind of really very effective for someone who's on steroids. But if you're natural, if you're doing a full body workout, and say you're working out every other day, well now you're getting ... Those muscles are in a state of protein synthesis throughout the whole week.
Brandon: And that's one reason. But also, if you're just a regular guy and you're not trying to step on stage, and compete. I don't really think isolation movements are very effective, basically like a chest fly's an isolation.
Brandon: Bench press is compound movement. Compound movements are where we're gonna get the most size, the most bang for your buck. So if you're doing a full body workout, then most likely it's gonna be primarily just compound movements. The same amount of compound movements you're probably doing a split, right? It's just you're not fatiguing the muscle with all these extra isolation movements.
Brandon: And they're so much more effective for building size. It almost makes the other stuff just not worth it, so not only am I getting more volume throughout the week, I'm hitting them a bunch more times, I'm doing bench press. Like if I want to grow my chest for example. I'm hitting bench press three or four times a week instead of once, right? Even if you're doing a split routine, you're probably only doing bench once, but then you're doing flies, and pec decks, and all this other stuff that I don't really think that it's that effective, but you're getting the most effective workouts more frequently.
Brandon: Yeah, like I can go deep into that-
Laila: No [inaudible 00:22:59]
Brandon: Honestly I really think that's where ... Either a full body, or you can do upper, lower split, like do upper body, lower body every other day. 20 years of training I have yet to put someone through that who is doing a split before and not see them get better results.
Brandon: I'm sure there's individual variance, like some people-
Brandon: They'll obviously ... But you know, just in my experience on average. Nothing's set in stone, right? Everyone's different.
Laila: Yeah, yeah, I know.
Brandon: Some people you know, the guy watching this who probably would die if he ate a peanut, right? So we're all different.
Brandon: But on average this has been my experience training thousands of people.
Laila: That's a perfect actually transition to my next question because I want to ask you about experiments. I'm a big fan of experiments, like I love measuring everything I can, not just body fat, but also glucose, cholesterol, and just see what happens.
Laila: It's just sort of like something I like to do. So I know you do a lot of that. I mean, you've done it over the years for many years. So could you walk us through, for someone who has just starting. So how do you run an experiment, so to speak? So how do you actually know that something works? How do you set it up? And how does it work?
Brandon: Okay. So this is the only thing that works for everyone, is to actually start tracking things. Like measure things. So you want to have weighing yourself, if you have a workout, a nutrition log whether that's on your phone or something, but you want to log everything you eat, and log all your training. And then on a weekly basis, maybe on a daily basis you might want to weigh yourself, and see what happens, see what the trends are, and maybe once a week I like to take my measurements.
Laila: Tape measurements?
Brandon: Yeah, tape measurements. To really see, and you won't see crazy progress from week to week but after a few months of this you should be able to see trends, right? And then if you're making progress you'll know why. You can go back and look at the log, you can go back and look at the training, and nutrition log, and you should be just tracking everything you're doing. And say okay cool, and if you're not, this is not working, then you can go back in the log, and see, "Oh yeah, I was eating those cookies and cakes on Thursday."
Brandon: That kind of shows you what's working, and what's not, and then you can make adjustments accordingly. I mean, that's what you do.
Brandon: You pick what you want to measure, then pick whatever variables you are doing it, and track those variables, and then look at the results, and make the adjustments based on the results you get.
Laila: Absolutely. At some point you start to see patterns, and then you learn something new about yourself.
Brandon: Yeah, and if you're not tracking man, some people brag about not tracking.
Brandon: I just ...
Laila: I don't believe in that.
Brandon: I just eat healthy. I just eat healthy, and that's cool, but that doesn't mean anything, right? In terms of ... I mean-
Laila: You're missing out a lot if you don't.
Brandon: Yeah, you're just missing all the data.
Brandon: If I didn't track my expenses in my business, or I wasn't doing the accounting. "No man we just spend wisely." Man you gotta track it, yeah.
Laila: Exactly. So another thing also I know about you is that you did a two week ... Recently a two week diet challenge. Can you tell us more about that?
Brandon: Yeah. Okay, so back when I was ... I haven't done a lot of fitness modeling lately, but that used to be my full-time job at one point out here in New York, and I was [inaudible 00:26:29] sometimes they would just hit me out of the blue and say, "Man, we booked you this magazine shoot," or something. And it would be like a week or two from now and I'm like, "Man I don't know if I'm magazine shoot shape," you know?
Brandon: Now we're talking about single digit body fat, you know? And I usually hover around 10, 11, 12, very, very low teens, but to go into single digits to get to like ... I mean, that's what you want to be for a magazine shoot, right? Unless you want to get embarrassed. So I would have a week or two to lose a few percentage points of body fat, which is not easy. And I would try all these different things, and this went on. First I would just try doing a bunch of running, but I noticed that I would lose a little bit of muscle it felt like, or at least the appearance of it.
Brandon: But then I tried HIIT cardio, high intensity interval training, and I had better results on that, but I was just tired all the time. It was too much.
Brandon: Even running a mile. If you run a mile, on average you burn like, 100 calories only, right? So like even if I ran 10 miles, we're talking about 1000 calories, but I don't want to run 10 miles. Or I can't run 10 miles every day.
Laila: Yeah, it's hard on the-
Brandon: I gotta figure out how to burn enough calories in ... I mean, they say you need to burn about 3500 calories to burn a pound of fat, right? I think that number changes as your body fat percentage gets lower. I think that's average, but if you're low body fat you're on a different ... You're not average, right? So I think that number's a lot higher actually. So it's like, I have to burn thousands of calories to do that.
Brandon: So over years I can up with a protocol to do it right. [inaudible 00:28:20] protocol, and it's how to like, drop some percentage points of body fat in two weeks. And it's very difficult, and it's extreme, and it's not for everybody, but it was working for me as a model, and I recently put it into a program. That's why I'm with you guys because I never got the data on it, so me and my buddy Brian, I put us through the program, we did [inaudible 00:28:44] before, [inaudible 00:28:45] after.
Brandon: And I dropped one body fat percentage, which is a lot to go from 10 to nine.
Laila: That's a lot.
Laila: Especially at this level it's very hard.
Brandon: It's very hard. Some people will say, "You only dropped one body fat percentage," because you've never been 10, you don't know how hard it is to lose fat. Your body wants to keep muscle.
Brandon: I mean, it wants to keep fat. The more overweight you are, the faster you can lose fat.
Laila: Exactly, if you're at 30 it's easy to go to 29.
Laila: You're at 10.
Brandon: How do you improve upon already like, almost elite levels? How do you improve on ... That's where it gets hard.
Brandon: So my buddy Brian, he had even crazier results. He lost six pounds of fat in two weeks, fat, according to your [inaudible 00:29:29] scan. And he went from 16% body fat to 13.
Brandon: And I can tell how I did it, I can tell you guys how I did it if you want.
Brandon: All right, so it took me like 10 years to put together, and I never released it to the public because I thought it was-
Laila: It's not for everyone.
Brandon: It's not for everyone, it's too difficult, you know? In the past I didn't want to put out anything that people couldn't do, right? I didn't think people could do it, so I put out a lot of programs, and I gave a lot of advice, and I got like, if you see my Instagram, keto, it's like full of transformations, it's literally hundreds of transformations people send me on my Instagram.
Brandon: So I have enough confidence then to put out something, all right, this is extreme.
Brandon: All right. So it's three steps, it's three pillars. This is the holy trinity of rapid fat loss, all right?
Brandon: It's burn, fast, freeze. Okay?
Brandon: Burn fast freeze. Now with burn, instead of doing regular cardio or HIIT cardio, we used a protocol where we utilized what's called non-exercise activity thermogenesis, or NEAT, right? And what NEAT is, is basically the calories we burn when you're not in the gym, not working out, right?
Brandon: So if you're in the gym and you're working out, you'll burn a few hundred calories at most. But that's like, one hour, 90 minutes maybe, you know? But what about those other hours of the day? All those other hours that you're awake. So NEAT, non-exercise activity thermogenesis means all the calories you burn throughout the day.
Brandon: So we set a protocol where we would wear some sort of fitness tracker, or use our phones, or pedometer or something to track our movement throughout the day and we set goals based off your ... In the program you set goals based off your body fat percentage, and your body weight and everything. So it's kind of individualized.
Brandon: But what we did was we had these aggressive goals for movement throughout the day, not just in the gym. So what that looks like is my office is here in Manhattan, it's right by Central Park. But I like in Queens, an area called Forest Hills, so instead of just getting on the train by my house I would walk like, three or four train stops. Then maybe even stand on the train, or move around on the train a little bit where it was tracking.
Brandon: And then when I get off the train, I mean, I get off like three or four stops early, right? And then instead of ... This penthouse office, so we take the stairs. I'll take the stairs instead of the elevator. I'm standing right now. This is my desk, I have a standing desk, right? When I go to lunch I'll walk to a restaurant that's too far, and walk back. Then when we had meetings, instead of having meetings in office we would walk around the block, like the way Steve Jobs.
Brandon: Then go home, go for a walk. Like I tell my clients, walk your dog a little bit more, or walk with your girlfriend, play with your kids, but track it though. Don't just do it haphazardly, like track it with either a pedometer, some sort of tracker. I use my Apple watch. Brian just used an app on his phone, and what happens was when we tracked it, and how many calories we burned, I was burning like over 2000 extra calories a day just from the-
Laila: Just from-
Brandon: Outside of the gym.
Brandon: Including ... I still went to the gym though. So I was burning a ton of calories throughout the day, right? And it's more than you can do with just an hour cardio. You can just burn more if you focus-
Laila: Yeah, and it's natural and healthy.
Laila: I mean, that's how our ancestors used to live.
Brandon: Yeah, and you have an Apple watch, right?
Brandon: I just saw you have an Apple watch, so yeah.
Brandon: Yeah, so I just use this app right here, work out.
Brandon: And I would just track it, and this one tells you how many steps you took each day.
Laila: And the stairs also I think.
Brandon: Yeah, so I'll set like an aggressive goal for steps based off my body fat, and it's just aggressive. It'll track your calories too. I just went really hard, so that's burn. So we're already burning 2000 extra calories a day, and it was fast. But we didn't use intermittent fasting. We did an extreme version.
Laila: A two week fast?
Brandon: Two weeks intermittent fasting. No, no, I used a diet called the protein sparing modified fast. It's like an extreme version of keto. It's next level, but it was developed by doctors like in 1970 when they had obese patients, and they needed operation. They gotta lose some weight before they got the operation or it's a lot of complications. So they would put them on this, and initial studies man, the patients lost like 30 pounds of fat in like two weeks. What was notable was they didn't lose any muscle, right? That's why it's called the protein sparing modified fast. So it mimics the effects of long-term fasting while sparing the muscle.
Brandon: The problem is, is like very difficult to adhere to. This is the hardest part. It is awful.
Laila: How do you do that?
Brandon: It's awful. So basically you set the macros up based ... It's really only one macro. Basically you set a protein goal based off your body weight, and your body fat percentage, and you try to hit that. You try to hit that protein goal every day, and that's it. You try to get almost no fat, and almost no carbohydrates. It's very aggressive.
Laila: All protein, okay.
Brandon: Yeah, it's not sustainable. It definitely would've be healthy to do this for an amount of time. It's not something you can do. But see, my thing is, I don't think that a diet should be sustained anyway by definition. Some people want just something easy that's normal, and they can just take forever to do it. But with this plan it's the difference between the person who like dips his toe in the pool, and he gets in slow in the pool, and they're all cold, then their waist when they get in.
Brandon: That's like a normal diet. This is someone going ... Into the pool, right?
Brandon: Our goal with a diet like this is yeah, it's kind of a crash diet, right? But we teach you how to maintain your new body fat percentage after. So the reason people fall off, or crash that, or gain the weight back is because they go back to what they did. Yeah, of course you go back to what you did, but we teach you how to go into maintenance, how to sustain-
Laila: How to from there sustain it.
Brandon: Exactly. But a normal diet it's like 12 weeks. 12 weeks that's a whole season right? So if you start that now you'll be dieting all summer.
Brandon: You really want to do that, or you want to enjoy the summer? You can do this for two weeks, and then learn how to calculate maintenance, how to maintain it. You get to enjoy your summer, I want people to stop dieting at all. I want people to stop dieting, let's get you to where you're gonna be fast. But some people ... But it's aggressive.
Laila: Yeah, and it's not for everyone.
Brandon: It's not for everyone.
Laila: It's goal oriented, if you have an event that's great. Yeah.
Brandon: Yeah, if you have like, a wedding, or like an event to go to.
Laila: Something on camera, or ...
Brandon: It was made to be on camera for photo shoots, so I still do this protocol before fitness expos, because we have like, [inaudible 00:37:11], like the Olympia, or the Arnold, and I have a booth and I have to have my shirt off, and I need the extra shredded, this is what I do for that. But it's not something you want to do all the time.
Laila: No, yeah.
Brandon: This is like-
Laila: I can completely relate-
Brandon: Taking the emergency break glass.
Brandon: And it's probably not healthy long-term, but you can do almost anything for two weeks.
Laila: yeah, two weeks is not even that long, so ...
Brandon: yeah, but it's very hard. It's very hard. The first day, I do this every time the back of my eyeballs start to hurt.
Brandon: Yeah, it goes away, but I think it's just like the withdrawal, it's very difficult.
Laila: It's hard to pick the food also, like you have to eat ...
Brandon: It's so restrictive.
Laila: And no social life obviously, like you can't.
Brandon: I mean, like you gotta ... Yeah, you can't go out and eat. It's basically instead of peeling the bandaid we're just ripping it off.
Brandon: Then you can go to maintenance, and then it's freeze. And this is the last part, is where we use cold exposure thermogenesis. So basically you're a warm blooded mammal right?
Laila: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Brandon: Yeah. And most people watching this are warm blooded mammals, I'm sure there are not too many reptiles watching right now. Because we're not reptiles, they're cold blooded, they have to warm themselves up by the sun or whatever. Warm blooded mammals, humans, our body maintains a core temperature of 98 degrees no matter what environment we're on.
Brandon: However, when the environment is very cold, the body takes a lot of work to maintain that core temperature of 98 degrees, and it burns a ton of extra calories to do that, like it takes a ton of calories to do that.
Brandon: For example, some studies show that three minutes of cryotherapy where you get in the cold chamber, and it's like minus 52 degrees, you can burn between 400 and 800 calories, right? Which is crazy, just three minutes. But you'd have to run between four and eight miles to get that same amount of calorie burn.
Brandon: So what we do is we utilize cold exposure. There was also a study, I don't remember the name of it, but it was done in Europe, and they had two groups of dieters. They had the exact same diets, exact same nutrition plan, everything was the same. The difference was, one of the groups stayed in a cold room all day, basically just kind of chilly all day, not crazy like, 52 degrees maybe. And at the end of the ... I forget the duration, but at the end of the study that group lost twice as much fat everything being equal just because your body has to work really hard to maintain that core temperature of 98 degrees.
Brandon: So we take advantage of that with the freeze part by doing either ice baths or cold therapy twice a day. And then even in my office I keep it cold in here. I would keep it cold, so almost shivering a little bit. It's painful.
Laila: Yeah, but your body has to work hard.
Brandon: Yeah, it's hard to track. I don't know exactly how much extra calories my body's expending doing this, but I know it's not nothing, right?
Brandon: All three of these combined you get the results like you said. What did you say, the results are like, the top ever in the galaxy?
Laila: I know.
Brandon: Like better than almost all humans is what you told me.
Laila: Yeah, and you did it between two scans. Like your manager I guess did it between two tests, right?
Brandon: Yeah, one at the beginning, and one at the end yeah.
Laila: Okay, wow. All right, so we have just a little bit of time left. I want to talk about the supplements, because you are an entrepreneur obviously.
Brandon: You want to know more, the program is on sale now.
Laila: Yeah, yeah.
Brandon: Go to Terminator2week.com.
Brandon: With the 2, Terminator2week.com this week only we're giving away $1000 worth of bonuses, and it has a ... I'm so confident, it's a double your money back guarantee. If you get the program, try it for two weeks, doesn't work, just show me a training log and stuff. If it didn't work for you then I'll give you twice what you paid for it. No other fitness people offer that, none of them. First time I've ever heard it.
Laila: And it's based on experience, so-
Brandon: Yeah, I know the work you actually do. But I also know most people won't do it, so probably actually shouldn't buy it unless you're like really hardcore.
Laila: Yeah. All right, so one last thing about supplements. So you have a supplement company, you're a fitness entrepreneur. So tell us more about it very quickly, and also what is your take on that, and what's your advice on someone who is new to supplements.
Brandon: Yeah, so I think when it comes to getting the shape you want, getting the body you want, supplements are ... I own a supplement company, right? It's literally the last thing that you should worry about. It's not negligible either, right? So I think your diet's most important, that's like the foundation. Then once you have that then you're training. That's the next thing, and then supplements.
Brandon: Unless your dieting and training's on point I don't think supplements will have much ... They won't help that much.
Laila: You can't take that shortcut, right?
Brandon: It's not a shortcut. It won't do the work for you, but it can help you put in the work.
Brandon: For example, we have a fat burner. It's called a fat burner, but I don't even know if that's what you should call it. What it does do, it can help give you energy when you're in the low calories. Like I couldn't have done this without ... That diet without that, with the low calories. It helps give you some energy, but also it's an appetite suppressant so you're not as hungry.
Brandon: All this does is help you diet better. You still have to diet, you know what I'm saying? It has some things in it that kind of helps with your mood while you're dieting so you're not so hangry. But calling it a fat burner, I just do it because that's what the industry calls it. Really misleading, it helps you diet better, right? You still have to diet. It's not gonna do it for you.
Laila: Yeah, it's not gonna ...
Brandon: I try to be clear about that with people who buy my stuff, you know?
Laila: Perfect. So one more thing. So you obviously inspire a lot of people who follow you. So my question is, what inspires you?
Brandon: What inspires me. I can show you. So like I said, I've been a ... Like sometimes it's hard for me to get up, and I'm already kind of rich, so like the money is not a ... I mean, a lot more money won't really help me that much, but it's like in my inbox I get stuff like this. Like this kid. I got this today man, he's 14, he lost 40 pounds. I helped him lose 40 pounds, and I just know what that does for a kid, you know?
Brandon: Another guy, this kid he did keto, lost a bunch of weight. He did my keto program. Like I literally get ... This guy lost 100 pounds, you know?
Laila: Oh my god.
Brandon: Yeah, I have more of these than I can post on my Instagram, and I don't know, at this point I care about this stuff, you know? It's very inspiring me just because I know what it did to me.
Laila: So making an impact on people's lives?
Brandon: Yeah man. I don't know what a stone is, but he lost a bunch of stones. I don't know, like here's another, 140 pounds this guy lost.
Brandon: Or this guy built a bunch of muscle and he lost fat. I can do that all day, right? I don't know, you saw my office, got two walls just lined up with them. That's what makes me ... I don't know, that's how I judge my success is how many emails I'm getting, that's how I judge. That's it to me now, like I'm not very materialistic. There's not anything I really want to buy, I don't even want at car. I just ride Uber and take the subway, and I prefer that.
Brandon: I don't care to dress well. Like more money wouldn't really change anything for me right now, but that makes me feel-
Laila: Bringing happiness to people's lives.
Brandon: Yeah. Also my employees though too, right? The only thing I care about money for it's like, I have like 15 employees, and they're all like pretty young, and most of them are under 25, and just to be able to facilitate them with their goals, to help them accomplish things, and you know, my assistant he just moved out of his mom's house, got his first apartment. Little stuff like that. If I want money, it's more for that, right? Because I gave them a raise, that kind of stuff is exciting to me. I don't know, that's where I'm at now.
Laila: That is inspiring actually.
Brandon: Thank you.
Laila: So last thing, rapid fire questions, and we're gonna close it there, okay? Ready? What's your favorite food? Or we can call it cheat meal, I don't like that word, but what's your favorite food?
Brandon: Okay. I like ... When I go to a restaurant, if there's lobster on the menu I'm probably gonna order it, you know?
Brandon: And it's almost all protein, and then for keto I dip it in the butter and I'm good. And it's almost a mental thing I'm definitely compensating for growing up really, really poor. It's like, oh man I'm not poor. I'm not poor, I just ordered a whole lobster. I can. I don't know, it's a weird thing I got going on.
Laila: It's a psychological satisfaction.
Brandon: Psychological thing, yeah.
Laila: Perfect. So what were you like in high school?
Brandon: Man, I was a little skinny, scared kid man. Just scared kid, and I got picked on a lot, and ... Back in Chicago I used to get robbed because it was the south side, it was a very, very awful place to grow up, and my parents sent me to military school, and I used to get picked on there just because kids are jerks.
Brandon: So I was in south side training when things kind of changed, and I got more confident, you know? And life became better. Yeah.
Laila: Cool. One more thing, so what is your favorite book?
Brandon: My favorite book, I think it should be taught in high school is, How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale-
Laila: Yeah, I have it actually in my home. It's there, yeah, it's just there like I grab it every now and then.
Brandon: Yeah, it's by far I think the best book ever written, and most helpful for anyone, yeah.
Laila: Exactly. What is your all time favorite workout song?
Brandon: Favorite workout song? I like power by Kanye West.
Laila: Perfect. Best time ... One more. Best time of the day to work out?
Brandon: Best time of the day to work out?
Laila: Like the best-
Brandon: The best is probably first thing in the morning, but my favorite is probably afternoon.
Brandon: Like late afternoon because I like to have my biggest meal after that, and I feel good about it because it's like okay, this is when you actually get the biggest meal. But the best is obviously probably get it out of the way when you have the most energy.
Laila: In the morning.
Brandon: In the morning, yeah. Honestly yeah.
Laila: All right. Well thank you so much. Thank you Brandon, this was very helpful, it was very insightful. I'm sure a lot of people are gonna be inspired, and learn a lot from this, so thank you.
Brandon: Awesome, thank you so much.