Faces of fitness: Brandon Hambric

Just a few years ago, Brandon Hambric thought he was doing what was required in order to be healthy. He stopped eating pork in 1999. He stopped eating beef in 2007. He went to the gym at least three days a week.

In 2011, he weighed about 275 pounds and wasn’t quite sure how that happened.

“When I look at that before-and-after picture, I couldn’t believe I was that big,” he said. “And no one told me.”

Hitting the gym wasn’t the problem.

“I was working out, but I never knew proper eating, the proper time to do cardio,” Hambric said. “I’ve made a lot of changes since then.”

Those changes included drinking more water and eating more lean meat and complex carbs, as well as not always using protein drinks as a substitute for protein-rich foods. Frequent meals also play into his regimen, so he brings his food along when he travels. Hambric found his rhythm by making evening trips to the gym when he had a bit more energy — making his workout one of his last errands before bed.

Now, as a trainer at Max Out Gym in Worthington, Hambric helps others shape their bodies. 

“When I train people, I don’t expect them to eat by the book every day,” he said. “I mean, I hope that they do, but I understand that they’ve got to enjoy their life.”

The next thing in Hambric’s sightline is competing in bodybuilding. Though he hasn’t won a competition yet, he’s received some constructive feedback on how to improve his physique for the next go-round.

“For me to get ready for that next show, for me to burn that muscle, I’m going to have to do a marathon-runner type of workout for cardio,” he said. “I know I’m going to hate it.”

What were you doing before?
When I was big, I would just eat crazy — and I think to myself, “Well, I’m about to go to the gym, so I can just run this off.”

 After straining your back working out, how does your doctor feel about bodybuilding?
He was just telling me that I don’t need to lift heavy and, “Be safe.”

Do you still lift heavy?
No. I really just practice my form and contractions. I lift way lighter than people would think — way, way lighter than people would think.

What’s your next fitness goal?
Become an International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness (IFBB) Men’s Physique Pro