Congratulations to PHUEL ambassador Ki’anie Brooks on his impressive performances at this year’s NANBF Natural Iowa competition! Ki’anie placed 1st in Open Short Class and 2nd in Men’s Physique. We caught up with the athlete, trainer and coach to talk about the competition, learn more about the sport of natural bodybuilding, and find out what he’s up to next. Ki’anie also shared some great bodybuilding tips and training secrets for building lean muscle.

Q: What were your goals going into the Iowa competition, and how do you feel about the way you performed?
A: As a competitive athlete, my #1 goal is to win! But I also just wanted to outperform myself from the previous year. With this sport, you cannot get into the habit of worrying about the athletes who are going to show up. You can’t control that, but what you can control is how you present yourself on that day. I feel that I accomplished all the things I wanted to, and I was proud of the physique I built and displayed on stage.

Q: If given the chance, would you go back and do anything differently that day?
A: I would have to say no. I laid it all out there. Time, energy, sacrifice—all to bring my best. I did just that, and I’m satisfied.

Q: For our readers who don’t know, NANBF stands for North American Natural Bodybuilding Federation. Can you tell us how “natural bodybuilding” differs from other types of bodybuilding?
A: The difference between natural bodybuilding and other forms of bodybuilding is that in natural bodybuilding, you’re not using any type of performance enhancing drug. Many bodybuilding federations are not testing athletes to see if they’re using these things, but the North American Natural Bodybuilding Federation and the competitions I participate in do drug screenings on competitors. My health is far more important than a “temporary” enhancement. Therefore, I choose to compete alongside other athletes who share that same passion and mindset, and I will continue to build a better me the natural way.

Q: So what does “a day in the life of Ki’anie” look like when you’re training for these physique competitions? Can you share one of your most intense workout days?
A: Man oh man! Are you ready for this…

3 a.m. Wake up
4:30 a.m. Client
5:30 a.m. Client
6:30 a.m. Client
7:30 a.m. Cardio (followed by meal 1)
8:30 a.m. Client
9:30 a.m. Strength training session (followed by meal 2)
12 p.m. Home, online program coaching, answering emails
1 p.m. Meal 3
3-5 p.m. Coach track practice
6 p.m. Client
7 p.m. HIIT (high-intensity interval training) cardio
8 p.m. Meal 4
10 p.m. Meal 5
10:30 p.m. Bedtime

I would have to say one of my most intense workouts is my lower body training session, plus the sprints I end with. This is when PHUEL becomes my best friend!

Q: How did PHUEL help you with your training and recovery when you were gearing up for Iowa?
A: It saved my life, LOL! Once you are deep into prepping for competition, the aches and pains begin to take over. But with PHUEL in hand, to be honest, I didn’t miss a beat. Recovery was optimal, my muscle aches were minimal, and I felt amazing the entire time. So, I guess I would have to say training wasn’t so bad with PHUEL in my back pocket!

Q: For us non-bodybuilders—what are your top 5 tips for building lean muscle fast?

  1. Always consume the appropriate amount of protein daily (1 g per 1 lb of body weight to start).
  2. Know what you are eating. If you have no idea what and how much you are consuming on a daily basis, how are you supposed to progress?
  3. DO NOT BE AFRAID TO LIFT THOSE WEIGHTS AND LIFT HEAVY! It doesn’t matter if you’re a man or a woman. Both men and women can have fairly similar training frequencies. The weights are your best friend! The more lean muscle you have on your body, the more calories you will burn at rest — and as a result, the higher volume of food you can consume. So let that be your motivator, ha ha!
  4. Carbs are your friend. Have a healthy % incorporated into your daily diet, and prioritize them to benefit your performance in the gym.
  5. HYDRATE! This is a key component to a healthy and efficient lifestyle when it comes to nutrition and training. Make sure you are consuming at least 90-120 oz of water daily.

Q: What’s up next for you?
A: Well, I am becoming a father in August 2019! It’s a true blessing, so for now, my priorities have shifted as I’m focused on my son entering this world, and me being the best example I can be as a great father and an even better husband. I plan to continue the growth of my personal training and coaching business, and I hope to maybe see the competition stage again sometime in the fall of 2020!

To keep up with Ki’anie and get a closer look at his day-to-day training, follow him on Instagram and Facebook.

Note: As a PHUEL ambassador, Ki’anie received free product in exchange for this blog post.