Are you willing to make a positive change? Join the thousands of individuals on the same fitness journey!

TESTMONIALS Start Your Transformation
English Macedonian

Are you willing to make a positive change? Join the thousands of individuals on the same fitness journey!

TESTMONIALS Start Your Transformation
English Macedonian

An Interview With Branko Teodorovic, Fitness Professional

Hello and welcome, everyone. Today, you’ll get to meet Branko Teodorovic, the president of WFF Serbia and Balkan and a professional WFF bodybuilder who has won many medals from competitions in Europe and the Balkans. Branko is also a model, writer, and fitness trainer living in New York City, USA.

In his early days as a kid, Branko began his career with running track and field. He won multiple National and Balkan Championships in this sport. He then moved to the US after receiving a full athletic scholarship at Idaho State University. After that, the awards started to kick in. Branko became the Big Sky Conference champion and also a part of the team that won 2 consecutive Conference Championships in 2005 & 2006 as a Team Captain.

But unfortunately, Branko suffered an injury, a turning point in his career. Branko switched to fitness, and his life changed significantly. He won the 2014 Mr. Universe award in IBFF 2014 and then became the Overall Winner in the 2015 and 2016 World Championships.

Afterward, he joined NABBA (National Amateur Body-Builders’ Association) and WFF (World Fitness Federation) in late 2016. Over the years, he won NABBA US Nationals in 2016, the Overall Title at NABBA/WFF Balkan Championships in 2017, the Overall Title at WFF World Championships in 2017, and multiple WFF Pro World Titles.

Branko Teodorovic’s difficult life path and success are great motivators for the younger generations. I am impatient, and probably you all are to hear about Branko’s formula for success and all the details about his life. So, let’s start the interview.

    Tose Zafirov

    Mr. Olympia Representative

    Hello and welcome, everyone. Today, you’ll get to meet Branko Teodorovic, the president of WFF Serbia and Balkan and a professional WFF bodybuilder who has won many medals from competitions in Europe and the Balkans. Branko is also a model, writer, and fitness trainer living in New York City, USA.

    In his early days as a kid, Branko began his career with running track and field. He won multiple National and Balkan Championships in this sport. He then moved to the US after receiving a full athletic scholarship at Idaho State University. After that, the awards started to kick in. Branko became the Big Sky Conference champion and also a part of the team that won 2 consecutive Conference Championships in 2005 & 2006 as a Team Captain.

    But unfortunately, Branko suffered an injury, a turning point in his career. Branko switched to fitness, and his life changed significantly. He won the 2014 Mr. Universe award in IBFF 2014 and then became the Overall Winner in the 2015 and 2016 World Championships.

    Afterward, he joined NABBA (National Amateur Body-Builders’ Association) and WFF (World Fitness Federation) in late 2016. Over the years, he won NABBA US Nationals in 2016, the Overall Title at NABBA/WFF Balkan Championships in 2017, the Overall Title at WFF World Championships in 2017, and multiple WFF Pro World Titles.

    Branko Teodorovic’s difficult life path and success are great motivators for the younger generations. I am impatient, and probably you all are to hear about Branko’s formula for success and all the details about his life. So, let’s start the interview.

    Tose Zafirov:

    Hello Branko, and welcome to the blog. I am extremely honored that you decided to share your story with the rest of the world by taking part in this interview. You are a master trainer, the president of WFF (World Fitness Federation) Serbia, and a WFF pro yourself, so tell us, how did your journey begin? How did you get motivated to start in this field of work?

    Branko Teodorovic:

    Hello, my dear friend Tose. First and foremost, I’d like to thank you for this wonderful 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 to escape everyday life in sports. Being one of the lucky ones who chose sports kept me away from everything bad during that time.

    I started running track & field in the early 90s as a kid and continued through high school and college. I was a National Champion multiple times in all age groups, won medals at Balkan Championships and European Champions Clubs Cup, and was a member of the Serbian National team both as a junior and senior. However, 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 be able to travel and compete in the contest that he qualified for? After that, I realized that life was too short of paying 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.

    I was among the first Serbian track & field athletes who went to the US to study and compete. I signed up for Idaho State University, where in the next couple of years, I became the Big Sky Conference Champion and also a part of the team that won 2 consecutive Conference Championships in 2005 & 2006 as a Team Captain.

    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 that I could finally 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 2011.

    I was starting to progress significantly as an amateur, being ranked among the Top 5 NPC athletes in the US in Men’s Physique in 2013 & 2014. Yet, I missed my pro card several times (being placed 3rd or 4th at National Level shows). I eventually realized how political these pro card decisions were, so I quit NPC in 2014 and joined the IBFF.

    At that time, NPC had 50-60 athletes in my class at Nationals, and only two 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 right away at the 2014 Mr. Universe and then became the Overall Winner in the 2015 and 2016 World Championships, earning me the title 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 then joined NABBA (National Amateur Body-Builders’ Association) & WFF (World Fitness Federation) in late 2016 and won NABBA US Nationals in 2016, the Overall Title at NABBA/WFF Balkan Championships in 2017, and finally Overall Title at WFF World Championships in 2017 when I became WFF Pro.

    I moved to New York in late 2016 to pursue a career as a pro fitness athlete, and since then, I’ve won three consecutive WFF Pro World Titles in 2017, 2018, and 2019, as well as two consecutive WFF Pro European Titles in 2018 and 2019.

    Finally, I was elected WFF President for Serbia & Balkans in 2020.

    Tose Zafirov:

    What were some of your biggest challenges when starting out? What does it take to become a WFF pro in today’s competitive industry?

    Branko Teodorovic:

    As a beginner, it was quite challenging. Athletes have no government support; it is up to them to finance their preparation and competitions.

    We all know our economic situation in the 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. There is a lot of work ahead of me, but I have a clear vision and a detailed strategy on how to proceed.

    You know me as someone who never surrenders; therefore, I will not give up until we succeed.

    I think 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 greatest people from the Balkans region, and I am certain that with our efforts, we will be able to improve the situation and provide 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 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 witnessed 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 this since I train with IFBB (International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness) Pro athletes every day. However, many in the Balkans simply see [on TV] the lights of the Olympia stage and believe that everything in the United States is great.

    The 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, and 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 hand, being a PRO athlete is a whole other experience. 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 4 AM; I always prepare my food and carry it with me. As you know, I have been in good shape all year round. I don’t take vacations or free days. I train tired, sick, and 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...” Whether it’s New Year, my Birthday, or any other holiday, I train. Because being a PRO is not a title; it is a way of life.

    Tose Zafirov:

    As a trainer, you probably have a lot of satisfied clients and rising stars. Can you tell us about a typical day in the life of Branko Teodorovic? How do you generally train and prepare yourself, or someone else, for a competition?

    Branko Teodorovic:

    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, and I have been published in the most prestigious Fitness and Wellness Magazines, such as Men’s Health, Fitness Rx, and Well+Good magazines.

    My day starts very early (4:00) when I prepare my meals and leave for training 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 some days from the Technogym Showroom in SoHo, New York. In the afternoon, at 16:00, it’s time for my training which usually takes about 2 hours. After training, I usually prepare training programs for my clients who are traveling or living around the world.

    Tose Zafirov:

    What do you usually eat? Do you have a nutritionist, or have you figured out how to eat by yourself properly?

    Branko Teodorovic:

    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 of 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 with 50g of protein
    - ⅓ cup of oats with raspberries & a teaspoon of almond butter

    10:00 – Meal 3:
    - 8 egg whites & 1 yolk
    - 1 skinny day bar (25g protein, 24g carbs, and 5g fat)

    12:00 – Meal 4:
    - 300g white grilled meat (chicken breast, turkey)
    - 1 cup white rice

    15:00 – Meal 5:
    - Protein shake with 50g of protein
    - 3 rice cakes

    16:00 – Workout

    18:00 – Meal 6: (Immediately After Workout)
    - Post-workout drink with 50g protein, 25g fast carbs, and 4g fat
    - 1 piece of skinny chocolate (contains all amino, 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 (a blend of fast & slow acting protein) with 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.

    Tose Zafirov:

    What advice would you give to people who want a healthier lifestyle, especially regarding their meals?

    Branko Teodorovic:

    The best advice I give to my clients is that it is all about achieving balance. Diets only work for a certain period, and after they are over, most people usually end up worse than before they started.

    Now, suppose a person can make small changes and eventually adopt their new eating and training regimen into their daily routine. In that case, they will be more likely to balance their new lifestyle with their family, social and professional life. It is about consistency and small steps that eventually yield big results.

    I often say “Every Rep – Every Bite” to my clients, referring to small steps and the importance of focusing only on the next step, whether in the gym or their kitchen.

    Tose Zafirov:

    What would you do if you had to pick another industry to work in?

    Branko Teodorovic:

    My huge passion is writing. Luckily, I could incorporate my writing into the job I have today.
    Writing for fitness magazines and portals is fun, but I plan to write and publish my own book, hopefully in the near future.

    Tose Zafirov:

    Do you consider yourself a student or a master? Will you continue to learn and improve your skill and knowledge, or are you satisfied with your current results?

    Branko Teodorovic:

    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, I am lucky that a good part of my job with Technogym is creating and developing new training exercises, sequences, and routines on a machine called Kinesis. I try all of my new exercises and sequences on myself. I include them in my client’s routines only after I perfect them.

    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.

    Tose Zafirov:

    What do you plan on doing in the future? Are there any competitions you have an eye on and want to dominate in? Would you please tell us a bit more about your future plans and projects?

    Branko Teodorovic:

    Regarding my pro career, I aim 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.

    Tose Zafirov:

    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?

    Branko Teodorovic:

    I find it extremely rewarding to motivate others, especially those who simply haven’t figured out how to motivate themselves yet.

    Working with a pro competitor is great but does not compare to working with a woman who is not even comfortable stepping into the gym. I find that the total transformation process is far more rewarding, at least to me.

    Working daily with people who lack the motivation and courage to change is difficult but extremely rewarding. Watching them develop and defeat their fears and demons and grow into a completely new person and lifestyles is a true reward to me.

    Tose Zafirov:

    What would you say if you could send one message to the entire world, both new and inspiring young fitness enthusiasts and older generations that want to give fitness and bodybuilding a shot?

    Branko Teodorovic:

    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 the key to success.

    Also, never miss your scheduled workout. If you planned it, DO IT. There are a million excuses and distractions not to go and train. Promise yourself and never back out of that promise – it is that simple.

    Final Words

    Thank you, Branko, for your honest answers and your time. I am glad you shared all of your life experiences and expertise with us.

    To learn more about Branko Teodorovic, you can visit his official website.

    For more inspiring stories, feel free to check the Interviews page. 

    Latest Interviews

    If you are willing to read more aspiring stories from both professionals and beginners, you can do so by joining the most powerful fitness transformation group. Famous or not, we all walk the same difficult path to success. Feel free to share your story, and get never-seen-before support and motivation!

    Learn More