Congratulations to PHUEL ambassador Ki’anie Brooks on his impressive performances at this year’s NANBF Natural Southern States Classic! Ki’anie placed 1st in Tall Class Men Physique and 1st in Open Overall Men Physique. We caught up with the athlete, trainer and coach to talk about the competition, the challenges he faced while preparing, and the fitness goals he’s working toward now.

How did you prepare/train for the Natural Southern States Classic? For how long?
I trained for a total of 7 months. With COVID-19, I was forced to adapt and complete 3 of those months from my garage with limited resources. It all worked out for the best, and I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.

How was your progress different from last year?
My mindset was A LOT stronger. With what’s happening in the world and the adjustments that needed to be made, I had to dig a little deeper than I normally do during a typical prep. And with that, it brought to the surface a better competitor.

You won several awards. (Congrats!) How did you feel when your name was announced?
Thank you! It was first shocking and second amazing, and it all took place on my first Father’s Day weekend! Couldn’t have asked for a better result.

How did you use PHUEL to help you reach your goals?
The really tough training days, where my body felt like it couldn’t handle another session, is when PHUEL stepped in. My recovery was optimal, and I was able to complete vital sessions the way I wanted.

What fitness goal(s) are you working toward next?
Growth. Continue to become better within my craft and display an even better look the next time I step on stage as a Pro Athlete!

What is your drive/motivation for keeping on track through the year?
To not feel like the hardship I went through to be declared as a Pro was for nothing. I want to be a World Champ some day, so every year of training and improvements are dedicated to that—becoming better always.

What obstacles did you have to overcome along the way?
Nothing different from anyone else. COVID-19 shut the world down, and trying to adjust my business to virtual training and keep that running, supporting my family, and also trying to make sure my physical progress continued to head in the right direction was pretty hard at times. But I wanted it, so I did what I needed to do to get it done.

Any advice for someone working toward a goal?
Embrace all of the hardship and invite the adversity. It will build a mindset incomparable to anyone else around you. Don’t doubt yourself—understand this is your journey and no one else’s. You are winning regardless of the outcome, because you took the time to DO THE WORK.

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

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