Brandan Fokken’s view on life will change yours, too, if you do the work!
Nothing comes easy in life. If you’ve ever seen someone living large and loving every minute of it, chances are it wasn’t always that way for them. For Brandan Fokken, that’s definitely the case. One look at this man and you’ll immediately see the picture of fitness, success and happiness—but nothing was ever handed to him. In fact, Brandan shaped his career, personality and success in very much the same way as his physique: Hard work! Brandan Fokken is a product of his own understanding that living life with purpose, fitness, giving back and positivity brings about greater returns and overall health and happiness. Here’s how his life’s mission can shape yours and why his journey could be a mirror image to yours, too, if you put in the work and stay positive!
IRON MAN: How important was fitness for you growing up?
Brandan Fokken: I came from a really tough background. I moved around a lot, we didn’t have any money, etc. So for me, fitness was a way to belong, to fit in and to make friends. Along with that, due to my upbringing, from an early age I equated muscles to not being hurt, which was attractive to me because I was put through a lot. I looked up to Superman, Arnold and Hulk Hogan. They were all big and strong and in my mind couldn’t be hurt. So I wanted to be just like them.
IM: Tell us about your journey into bodybuilding competitions.
BF: I started weight training at the age of 14. I was tall and skinny and not strong whatsoever. Over the years I slowly improved and, by my 20s, I was really pushing big weights and physically was about as muscular as I could get. I, however, knew very little about diet and or competing. At the age of 30 a friend of mine who was a coach and longtime competitor talked me into doing my first show. I didn’t have a clue what I was doing, but took the things he told me and implemented it into my plan. I ended up competing and loved it and have been hooked on the lifestyle ever since.
IM: How important is giving back to the community for you?
BF: It’s huge and a big part of who I am. I say that positivity and good karma are cousins. The more positive you are, the more good karma comes back into your life. I believe that if you are able to help, you should. So, between working with many charities, speaking at school or corporations, bringing awareness to various institutions, mentoring and always looking for different ways to give back, I feel that I am paying back from an industry that has given me so much. As I mentioned, I didn’t grow up with much and now that I am where I am at in my life, I want to help others do good in our community, find their own “greatness” and show them that with hard work, positivity and the willingness to give back that they can accomplish anything they want to in life.
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