Jamal "The Machine" Bramble—aka Jdot5—earned his nickname for his stoic concentration in any challenging situation. When the 31-year-old husband and father is not connecting with fitness stars or chatting with fellow BodySpace members about their fitness programs, he is putting in serious time at the gym, paying his iron dues and building a stage-worthy physique for his next competition.
Snapshot: Jamal Bramble
- Height: 6'0"
- Weight: 211 lbs.
- Occupation: Recovery Coordinator at Capital One
- Location: Richmond, Virginia
- 4th place (novice) and 6th place (overall) at 2014 NPC VA/DC Cup
Tell us about the beginning of your fitness journey. What led you to this point?
My fitness journey started when I was 16 and my friends and I were training to make improvements for football. That hard training paid off, because I earned a spot on the football squad at East Carolina University.
After playing there for a year, I had to transfer back in state, which ended my football career. During the first semester at my new school, Old Dominion University, I didn't touch the weights at all, which led to some weight gain. The following semester, I got back in the gym and stayed there through graduation. I've been lifting weights ever since.
When did you first get interested in bodybuilding?
It wasn't until my senior year in college that I got my nutrition in check. Post-graduation and into my work career, I worked out and had decent nutrition. I even earned an ISCA personal training certification and started training clients at a gym part time. Unfortunately, I had to put that on hold and focus on my primary career, but I stayed active in the gym.
In 2014, after seeing one of my coworkers compete, I decided I wanted to compete myself in men's physique. I hired a trainer, Steve Poynter, which was one of the best decisions I made. He flipped my nutrition upside down and really got me locked in. He showed me what my body was capable of with solid training and pinpoint nutrition.
I ended up placing fourth in novice and sixth overall in the NPC VA/DC Cup. A month later I got married. Since then, I've been focused on adding size on my shoulders and would like to get back onstage next year.
How does BodySpace help you?
I've used Bodybuilding.com ever since college. This site always provided fast and efficient shipping on supplements at affordable prices. With BodySpace, there's an extra level of tracking and accountability, and I use that feature of the site in a couple of ways.
First, I use BodySpace to keep track of all my daily workouts. Even though I track my workout with pen and paper, I make sure to track it on BodySpace as well. I like the fact that it tracks weights on each lift so I can see the progress I have made on an exercise, along with my projected one-rep max. I also like that I can look back on progress I've made with my body and compare past photos to where I am currently to see if I'm progressing or regressing.
Second, I like the support I have received from my fit family here on BodySpace and on the forum. I enjoy interacting with other members and seeing workouts they do. I can always count on my fit fam to give me praise anytime I hit a PR or give me encouragement when I'm feeling down. I try to give that back to them as well.
I can also reach out to get feedback on my regimen, and if someone is doing a program that looks interesting, I can ask questions to see if it's something I might like to do. For example, I've had my eye on the "FST-7 Big and Ripped" since it was first released last fall. A couple of my friends on BodySpace gave it rave reviews, so I just started it this week to get ready for beach season.
With the forums, I can get recommendations from other members as well as pointers on exercises, like form cues for big lifts or substitution exercises to train around an injury. Also, I get a lot of advice on what supplements to take based on my goals. Now, I use the forum side to write reviews and logs on supplements to help other users see how effective a product is.
What keeps you motivated?
In addition to BodySpace, I use Instagram to keep me motivated and inspired and follow along with my favorite fitness celebrities. It's cool to see different workout clips from everyone I'm following. I'm also able to keep up with supplement companies online and see what new and exciting products they have to offer, which can be the extra edge I need if I'm in a rut.
Myself, I like to post workout videos from my daily workouts. Sometimes it's a PR or sometimes it's to introduce my followers to a different exercise to work the muscle. The ability for everyone, including myself, to share what they are doing is very inspiring. And, I like posting my cheat meals from Saturdays, especially if it's a unique meal.
What does your meal plan look like?
What does your supplement regimen look like?
- Dymatize ISO 100
- MyProtein Casein Milk Protein Smooth
- CVS fish oil
- Scivation Xtend Elite BCAAs
- Quest bars
- Animal Snak bars
Do you follow a specific workout plan?
I just started FST-7, so here's what my week looks like:
- Monday: quads, hamstrings, and calves
- Tuesday: chest and triceps
- Wednesday: 30 minutes of cardio
- Thursday: back and biceps
- Friday: shoulders, rear delts, and traps
- Saturday: back and triceps
- Sunday: rest