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Amateur Bodybuilder Of The Week: Big Man Balaban

Teenage insecurities kept Brandon from realizing his potential early in life. Thanks to surgery and family guidance, he overcame those obstacles en route to fitness freedom!

Name: Brandon Balaban
E-Mail: extremefitness07@hotmail.com
BodySpace: hardworker1128
Facebook: extemefitness
Location: Omaha, NE
Age: 23  Height: 6'2"  Weight: 215 lbs off-season, 195 lbs contest
Years Bodybuilding: 4

Q
How Did Your Bodybuilding Journey Begin?

When I was 15 years old, I never took my shirt off, not even to swim. It wasn't because I was skinny; I was a skinny kid with gynocemastia. I didn't know why my chest was the way it was, but it made me very insecure about myself. It was torture to be at the lake with my friends and family swimming in the hot sun while I kept my shirt on. After a year of that, my parents caught on. They noticed I never took my shirt off and walked with an arch to cover it up.

Gyno had taken over my life. It was going to prevent me from dating girls. My self-esteem and confidence was so low, I couldn't imagine dating. So, we decided to get surgery done when I was 16. It was the best decision I ever made. After surgery, it was time for the next change: adding muscle. I started going to the weight room with my stepfather in the morning before school. When I was 19, I dedicated myself to a diet and the results came quick.

Now everyone knows me as the fitness guy to ask for advice. My confidence and self-esteem are 10-times what they were when I was a shy, skinny boy with gyno. In the past two years, I helped many friends and family members transform their bodies and lives. Some of them tell me I've been an inspiration to them. That alone makes me extremely proud of myself and the obstacles I overcame.

What Workout Regimen Delivered The Best Results?

I typically train each body part once per week and superset every workout. I like staying within 3-5 working sets, aim for 10-15 reps per set, and keep my rest periods short at 60-90 seconds. I'm not a huge fan of cardio, so I do high intensity work and implement supersets and drop sets. Once or twice a week, I'll do sprints or HIIT on the StairMaster.

Day 1: Chest/Back


Day 2: Legs


Day 3: Arms


Day 4: Olympic Lifts


Day 5: Shoulders/Traps


Day 6 & 7: Rest

What Nutrition Plan Fueled Your Body?

Calories: 3247
Protein: 277g
Carbs: 411g
Fat: 55g

Meal 1: Pre-Workout
Meal 2: Post-Workout
Meal 3
Meal 4
Meal 5
Meal 6
Meal 7
Meal 8: Before Bed

I have a very high metabolism, so I have 2-3 cheat meals a week and still stay around eight percent body fat.

What Supplements Gave You The Greatest Gains?

How Did Your Passion For Bodybuilding Emerge?

What our bodies can endure is fascinating. Lifting heavy weights and forcing the body to grow is amazing. When you start seeing the physical changes, you can't stop and want to see how far you can push yourself. My passion started when I saw the changes and got positive feedback from friends, families, and strangers.

What/Who Motivated You To Be A Bodybuilder?

My biggest motivator is the legend, Arnold Schwarzenegger. When I watched the film Pumping Iron, the dedication and passion he had for bodybuilding really hit me. I'm a naturally competitive person and always set the bar high. My passion and dedication to bodybuilding and healthy living is much like the Austrian Oak. I'm always striving to be better than I was the week before. Every time I see a new training video or a magazine interview, it makes me more motivated to be that guy. I'm always improving and willing to lend a helping hand to anyone who needs advice.

Where Did You Go For Inspiration?

Everyone has days when they're too tired to hit the gym and make excuses to justify it. I'm the wolf climbing the hill right now, so my motivation is always high. I like reading Arnold Schwarzenegger's commencement speech about the "6 Steps To Success." It's very inspirational and uplifting. It applies to every person on earth.

What Are Your Future Bodybuilding Plans?

I want to take bodybuilding as far as I can and make a career in the fitness industry. I'll continue competing as long as I can walk and hope to become an IFBB pro. My plan is to be a pro, start an online personal training business, and eventually open a gym. I want to help as many people as I can across the globe.

What Is The Most Important Bodybuilding Tip?

Eat clean. You can't expect to get the body of your dreams by stuffing yourself with greasy cheeseburgers and cake. The single biggest mistake people make is not eating clean. I was guilty of it for years. Once I changed my eating habits, my muscles came in faster, fuller, and bigger.

Who Is Your Favorite Bodybuilder?

Arnold Schwarzenegger is my favorite bodybuilder, and not just because of his physique. He was a very driven and disciplined bodybuilder at building a better body and creating an incredible resume.

How Did Bodybuilding.com Help You Reach Your Goals?

I found Bodybuilding.com when I was 16 years old and just starting to lift weights. I remember going to Google, searching "bodybuilding supplements," and stumbling onto Bodybuilding.com. I read every article you can imagine, created an account, and began messaging people with amazing physiques for advice. Some replied and some didn't, but I took all the information and applied it to my training. Over the years, I educated myself through countless hours of reading, and now people message me for advice. Bodybuilding.com is also where I get 99 percent of my supplements.

Credits

  • New Age Photography
  • I want to personally thank Sean Harley for preparing me for my first competition. I wouldn't have done it without him and look forward to continue working with him. Check out his online personal training site.
  • Thanks to New Dawn Nutrition for sponsoring and believing in me.
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Our Amateur Bodybuilder of the Week has the extraordinary qualities to endure the pain and discipline of bodybuilding. Of course, he/she also...

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tallil08

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tallil08

HUSKER POWER!

(even though we didn't show it the other night.)

Dec 3, 2012 5:17pm | report
 
imtheman14

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imtheman14

O-H-
Don't be confused, it's a buckeye nation!
#12-0

Dec 4, 2012 9:18am | report
Saltus

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Saltus

Chest and Back super-sets are the best.

Dec 3, 2012 6:21pm | report
 
cubstang14

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cubstang14

Nice physique, great motivation

Dec 3, 2012 6:45pm | report
 
hardworker1128

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hardworker1128

SKERS all day! Thanks everyone!

Dec 3, 2012 8:12pm | report
 
transformerchad

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transformerchad

inspiring! i dont know if i have gyno or just lower chest fat ... its a tough one (srs)

Dec 4, 2012 3:30am | report
 
GlassMoon

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GlassMoon

gyno of peace. mirin brah

Dec 4, 2012 7:07am | report
 
Sparky300

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Sparky300

Keep it up fellow Cornchucker!

Dec 4, 2012 7:37am | report
 
xMiiDNIGHT

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xMiiDNIGHT

After a quick google search of gynocemastia i see what you mean. That would suck going through that as a teen where image is so important for self esteem.

Dec 4, 2012 10:13am | report
 
mundosanchez

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mundosanchez

im not typically one for bashing people at all but to me stories aren't inspirational at all if I hear "I got surgery to get ride of my imperfections" In my opinion it isn't truly hard work unless you did it naturally. I had the same problem he had but I choose to work hard and it took me 7 months through various workouts such as Insanity Asylum Volume 1 and 2. That is what is called hard work and through time, dedication, and a excellent nutrition diet I was able to transform my body and turn these "man boobs" into fully developed pecks, I didn't cope out and get surgery. Sorry if it seems harsh this story just doesnt inspire me knowing that I worked harder

Dec 5, 2012 12:35pm | report
 
7mirin7

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7mirin7

Gyno is something completely different from having man boobs. Did you read the entire thing? He said he was SKINNY. It's a deformation that's normally caused around the nipple to make a mans look like a womans. This guy worked hard and had surgery to get something removed, not added. He's all natural and I give this guy made respect from turning shy to outgoing.

Dec 5, 2012 5:17pm | report
hardworker1128

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hardworker1128

Dude do what 7mirin7 did and google Gynocemasia. It's a medical condition, not flabby man boobs. It can't be reversed with diet and training

Dec 6, 2012 9:20pm | report
pseudobritchick

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pseudobritchick

Stunning!

Article Rated:
Dec 5, 2012 12:47pm | report
 
drewlago

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drewlago

Im very impressed with your hardwork and dedication. I agree with you with dieting being an important role in achieving your goals. To be successful you need to sacrifice....and it definatly shows with your finished product. Congrats and keep it up. You will inspire many.

Dec 5, 2012 2:18pm | report
 
kvfamily

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kvfamily

keep up the great work!!!

Dec 6, 2012 6:49am | report
 
rdemmer

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rdemmer

about how long was your recovery time after surgery?

Dec 8, 2012 12:55pm | report
 
Showing 1 - 16 of 16 Comments

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