Branko Teodorovic is a Serbian professional WFF bodybuilder and president of WFF Serbia and Balkan who won many medals from Balkan competitions as well as European championships. He is also a model, writer, and fitness trainer based in NYC, New York, USA.
His success in many fields allows him to seek knowledge on a daily basis and to pass that knowledge on to everyone who strives for a healthier lifestyle.
As a multiple medal-winner, he doesn’t plan on stopping. His next big goal is to win the WFF Mr. Universe title, and the competition will be held in Thailand this year in June.
In today’s article, I will introduce you to the bodybuilding world along with the Balkan champion who built an empire with nothing but his motivation and his lust for becoming a better version of himself.
I’m sure that his story will motivate most of you and make you believe that anything is possible if you work hard for it and never give up.
Keep reading to find out about his daily life, diet, and goals for the future. This is his story.
1. Who Is Branko Teodorovic?
Q: Hello Branko and welcome to the blog, I am extremely humbled that you decided to share your story with the rest of the world by partaking in this interview. You are a master trainer and the president of WFF (World Fitness Federation) Serbia as well as a WFF pro yourself, so tell us, how did your journey begin, how did you get motivated to start in this field of work?
A: Hello my dear friend Tose. First, I would like to start by thanking you for this great opportunity and to tell you how honored I am to speak for your blog.
When I was starting I never even dreamed that one day, I would have the life I have today.
My story starts in the middle of the war in Yugoslavia during the early 90s. War and UN Embargo brought great poverty in Serbia so young people like myself had two options, to be educated on the streets of Belgrade or to try and find an escape from everyday life in sports.
Being one of the lucky ones that chose sports which kept me away from everything bad that was happening during that time.
As I started running track & field in the early 90s as a kid and continued through high school and later college. I was a National Champion multiple times in all age groups, won medals at Balkan Championships, European Champions Clubs Cup and had been a member of Serbian National team both as junior and as a senior.
It was very difficult to travel during those times so I missed several big competitions that I qualified for because our visas were denied.
But what could a 14-year-old boy do to not to be able to travel and compete at the contest that he qualified for? After that, I realized that life was too short to pay for someone else’s mistakes so I decided to leave Serbia and take the opportunity in the USA since I was offered a full athletic scholarship.
Being among the first Serbian track & field athletes who went to the US to study and compete. I signed for Idaho State University, where in the next couple of years I became Big Sky Conference Champion and also a part of the team that won 2 consecutive Conference Championships in 2005 & 2006 as a Team Captain.
As I wanted to pursue track & field after college but unfortunately, I suffered a career-ending injury in 2006 so I had to quit.
Years of recovery followed and it wasn’t until 2008 when I was finally able to start training again. I met a few guys at the local gym that were into bodybuilding and soon started training with them.
I felt better and better, my strength was increasing and soon I was able to train hard. Since I started competing very young, I needed that feeling of competition and my biggest wish was to be and feel like an athlete again. I started feeling like I was ready to step on stage and I entered my first fitness competition in November of 2011.
Starting to progress greatly as an amateur, being ranked as Top 5 NPC (The National Physique Committee) athlete in the US in Men’s Physique in 2013 & 2014. I missed my pro card several times (being placed 3Rd or 4th at National Level shows).
Over time, I learned how political these pro card decisions were so I left NPC and joined IBFF (International Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation) in 2014. At that time, NPC had 50-60 athletes in my class at Nationals and only 2 would go Pro. If you didn’t have one of the top profile coaches, judges wouldn’t even look at you. I was ready and deserved it on more than one occasion but I simply never “played the game”.
In IBFF I started winning immediately at 2014 Mr. Universe and later becoming Overall Winner at 2015 & 2016 World Championships which gave me a status of IBFF Pro.
I always had a great relationship with IBFF people and it was a hard decision to leave in 2016 since the only Pro event that IBFF offered was Pro BodyBuilding.
I joined NABBA (National Amateur Body-Builders’ Association) & WFF (World Fitness Federation) in late 2016 and won NABBA US Nationals in 2016, Overall Title at NABBA/WFF Balkan Championships in 2017 and finally Overall Title at WFF World Championships in 2017 when I became WFF Pro.
Moving to New York late 2016 to pursue my career as a pro fitness athlete and from that point as a pro, I won 3 consecutive WFF Pro World Titles in 2017, 2018 & 2019 and two consecutive WFF Pro European Titles in 2018 & 2019.
In 2020 I was elected as WFF President for Serbia & Balkans.
2. How Did You Achieve the Top?
Q: What were some of your biggest challenges when starting out, what does it take to become a WFF pro in today’s competitive industry?
A: It was beyond difficult as an amateur. Athletes have no support from the government and basically, it is up to them to finance their preparation and competitions.
We all know our economic situation in Balkans so as a new President it is my main goal to make WFF Serbia & Balkans self-supporting and to be able to help amateur athletes.
A lot of work is ahead but I have a clear vision and detailed plan on how to proceed.
You know me as someone who never quits so I will never give up until we are successful.
In my opinion, a federation should serve its athletes, not the other way around. It is the job of federation leaders to provide opportunities for athletes and not to misuse government funds (if any) and make money for athletes.
We have gathered the best people from the Balkans region and I believe that with our effort we can improve the situation and create better training conditions for our athletes.
As you well know, we never lacked talent, so hopefully, we will be able to close the gap with the rest of the World in future years.
Truth to be told, Asian & Middle Eastern Fitness Markets are exploding. Pro shows offer prize money north of $100,000. Just in the last few years, I competed in Kuwait and China among other places and I was able to witness the quality and quantity of athletes at these competitions.
It is a myth that IFBB Pro shows pay a lot. Mr. Olympia does pay pretty much for Open Men’s Bodybuilding and for Arnold Classic (again only for Open Men’s Bodybuilding) but people should ask what a winner of NY Pro or Chicago Pro makes…
I know – because I train every day with IFBB (International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness) Pro athletes. However, people in Balkans only see [on TV] lights of Olympia stage thinking that in the US everything is perfect.
Fact is that WFF is booming in the rest of the World, it is a Federation where every athlete personally knows our World President, Mr. Graeme Lancefield.
Any athlete can address any issue, we are always there for each other. There are no “trainers” that an athlete needs to hire for $5,000 in order to go Pro. There is no favoritism of anyone based on who their coach is or where they come from.
On the other side, being a PRO athlete is something completely different. I live from my Pro status. Everything I got over these years, every contract, endorsement or photo in magazines is because of my pro career.
But the PRO lifestyle is not what many people think. Most mornings I get up at 4AM, I prepare my food and carry it with me always.
As you know, I am in good shape all year around. I don’t take vacations or free days.
I train tired, sick, injured…
The biggest secret of my success is that I never miss the planned workout. If it’s planned IT MUST BE DONE. There should be no: “I’m tired, I don’t feel like it, I’m sore, it’s too hot or cold…I train regardless if it’s New Year, Birthday or any other holiday. Because being a PRO is not a title, it is a way of life.
3. What Does Your Daily Life Look Like?
Q: As a trainer, you probably have a lot of satisfied clients and uprising talents, so tell us a little bit about how a day in the life of Branko Todorovic looks like, and how you usually train and prepare yourself, or someone else, for a competition.
A: Last year I shifted my business focus to Technogym and Skinny Chocolate NY.
I don’t train clients as much, maybe 10-12 sessions per week. I stayed mostly with my friends and with clients that have been with me for years.
At Technogym, I design training programs and train Company VIPs. I write a lot, I have been published in most prestigious Fitness and Wellness Magazines such as Men’s Health, Fitness Rx, Well + Good Magazines…
My day starts very early (4AM) when I prepare my meals and leave to train clients.
I usually train 2-3 clients in the morning and try to finish by 9:00. After a short rest, I do my writing, either from home or on certain days I am at the Technogym Showroom in SoHo New York. In the afternoon, at 16:00 is time for my training which usually takes about 2 hours.
After training, I prepare training programs for my clients who are traveling or live around the World.
4. What Is Your Diet Lifestyle?
Q: What do you usually eat, do you have a nutritionist or have you figured out how to properly eat by yourself?
A: For me, being a pro is a lifestyle so I stay in shape 365 days a year. Here’s how my typical daily diet looks:
4:30 – Meal 1:
- ⅓ Cup Oats with Protein Powder & Teaspoon of Almond Butter
- 8 Egg Whites & 1 Yolk
- 1 Piece of Skinny Power Chocolate (160mg caffeine)
7:00 – Meal 2:
- Protein Shake 50g Protein
- ⅓ Cup Oats with Raspberries & Teaspoon of Almond Butter
10:00 – Meal 3:
- 8 Egg Whites & 1 Yolk
- 1 Skinny Day Bar (25g Protein, 24g Carbs, 5g Fat)
12:00 – Meal 4:
- 300g White Grilled Meat (Chicken Breast, Turkey)
- 1 Cup White Rice
15:00 – Meal 5:
- Protein Shake 50g Protein
- 3 Rice Cakes
16:00 – Workout
18:00 – Meal 6: (Immediately After Workout)
- Post-Workout Drink 50g Protein 25g Fast Carbs 4g Fat
- 1 Piece of Skinny Chocolate (contains all aminos, antioxidants & probiotics)
19:00 – Meal 7:
- 300g White Grilled Meat
- 1 Cup of Rice
- Green Vegetables (Asparagus, Green Beans, Zucchini, Brussels Sprouts…)
22:00 – Meal 8:
- Matrix Protein Shake (Blend of Fast & Slow acting Protein) 50-60g Protein
I carb load once per week, usually on Friday nights since I train heavy chest on Friday and Heavy Rows on Saturday Morning.
I train myself so I prepare my diet personally as well. No one knows my body better than me and after all these years of completion on the highest level, I believe that I have figured out what works best for me.
5. What Is Your Advice to a Healthier Lifestyle?
Q: What advice would you give to people who want to seek a healthier lifestyle, especially when it comes to their meals?
A: The best advice I give to my clients is that it is all about achieving balance.
Diets only work for a certain period of time and after they are over, most people usually end up worse than before they started.
Now, if a person can make small changes and eventually adopt their new eating and training regimen into their daily routine, they will be more likely to balance their new lifestyle with their family, social and professional life.
It is all about consistency and about small steps that eventually yield big results.
I often say “Every Rep – Every Bite” to my clients referring to small steps and the importance to focus only on the next step regardless if in the gym or their kitchen.
6. What Are Some of Your Interests, Other Than Fitness?
Q: If you had to pick another industry to work in, what would you do?
A: My huge passion is writing. Luckily, I was able to incorporate my writing into the job I have today.
Writing for fitness magazines and portals is fun but I am definitely planning to write and publish my own book. Hopefully in the near future.
7. Are You Satisfied With Your Current Results?
Q: Do you see yourself more as a student, or as a master, do you carry on to learn and improve on your skill and knowledge to this very day, or are you satisfied with your current results?
A: That’s a great question Tose. I am truly a student of the game (or sport in my case), always learning daily from interactions with my clients.
Also lI am lucky that a good part of my job with Technogym is the creation and development of new training exercises, sequences, and routines on a machine called Kinesis.
All of my new exercises and sequences I immediately try on myself and after I perfect them, I include them in my client’s routines.
I am never satisfied with the current results. As you well know, it can always be better. Winning is always great but this sport is way more than simply winning trophies and titles.
The search for perfection is what moves us and that search never ends.
8. What Are Your Plans for the Future?
Q: What do you plan on doing in your future, are there any competitions you have an eye on and want to dominate in, tell us a bit more about your future plans and projects.
A: As far as my pro career, I am definitely aiming to win WFF Pro Mr. Universe Title in June 2020 in Thailand and win the 4th consecutive WFF Pro Title.
The WFF World Championships will be held on November 8th & 9th in Bali, Indonesia.
As far as my business goals, we are launching Skinny Chocolate in China and growing rapidly in the US Market.
After a big success with Men’s Health Magazine feature, my agent Salim Kuri and I will continue with our work in Mexico City.
We are currently working on several big projects but let’s keep those a secret for a bit longer.
9. Why Did You Choose the Fitness Path?
Q: Why did you decide to become a trainer and share your valuable skills and knowledge with the rest of the world, what motivated you to give?
A: I find it extremely rewarding to motivate others, especially those who simply haven’t figured it out how to motivate themselves yet.
Working with a pro competitor is great but it does not compare to working with a woman that is not even comfortable to step into the gym. I find that the total transformation process is far more rewarding, at least to me.
Working daily with people who lack motivation and courage to make a change is very difficult but also extremely rewarding.
Watching them develop and defeat their fears and demons and grow into a completely new person and lifestyle in a true reward to me.
10. What’s Your Message to the World?
Q: If you could send one message to the entire world, both to the new and inspiring young fitness enthusiasts, or to an older generation that wants to give fitness and bodybuilding a shot, what would you say?
A: Consistency. It is all about it. Being disciplined with your training and meals is the key. It is about every bite you take and every rep you make. Small things do add up.
With consistency we create habits and creating good habits is a key to success.
Also, never miss your scheduled workout. If you planned it, DO IT. There are million excuses and distractions why not go and train. Promise to yourself and never back out of that promise – It is that simple.
Thank you Branko for taking the time to answer all my questions in-depth. You are an inspirational person in the fitness world and I wish you even more success in all competitions about to come!
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