3x Natural Olympia Champ Brandon Lirio Interview: Complete Macronutrient Breakdown

Brandon Lirio

In a Generation Iron interview, Brandon Lirio breakdowns his macros and how bodybuilding helped him overcome panic attacks. 

Generation Iron received some insight into Brandon Lirio’s workout plan, diet, and how bodybuilding became an outlet to prevent panic attacks after some questions (Q) and answers (A). Brandon Lirio is a Professional Natural Bodybuilding Association (PNBA) 3x Natural Olympia champion of the Classic Physique division. Also, he’s got a multi-media contract with Generation Iron, the International Natural Bodybuilding Association (INBA)/PNBA, and Iron Man Magazine. Read more about Lirio’s natural bodybuilding background, favorite exercises, and macronutrient breakdown below. 

Brandon Lirio Q and A

In a GI Q and A, Brandon Lirio told us his workout pan, favorite exercises, and complete carbs, fat, and protein intake. Plus, what led him to natural bodybuilding. 

Q: What got you into bodybuilding, specifically natural bodybuilding? 

Lirio: “I’m an 11-year AF veteran who was tired of being the small guy. Then when I started having bad panic attacks in the service, it allowed me an outlet to balance those attacks and my hormones.”

Q: What’s your training routine like?

Lirio: “6 days a week, and I’m a bro split guy on-season. Off-season, I go straight to powerlifting and strongman to build size and density.”

Q: What are your favorite exercises? 

Lirio: “Chest day and leg day are tied for favorite with heavy incline cable flyes and cross-chest press for fullness, and then in legs, belt squat and leg press are my favorite for sure.”

Q: How does your nutrition look in-season and off-season? And what nutrition targets do you have? 

Lirio: “This changes yearly, but I’m a huge proponent of overfeeding protein on-season to keep me less hungry and keep as many amino acids around for repair as possible. So I do 1.75g/lb of bodyweight year-round for protein. And 1.5g-2.25g carbs/lb off-season (more depending on how close I am to a strength meet), with it varying between 35g and 150g on season and fats on-season would be 40-55g with it only going up to maybe 70g off-season.”

World’s Strongest (Every) Man 

Besides natural bodybuilding, Brandon Lirio has another project he’s been working on–World’s Strongest (Every) Man. You might have heard of the World’s Strongest Man (WSM)–where giants standing 6’6” tall and weighing nearly 400 pounds compete in a multitude of strength events, including pulling a bus and lifting Atlast stones to decipher who the strongest man on the planet is–Tom Stoltman was the 2022 WSM

Brandon Lirio wanted to mimic this clash of behemoths event. Except one more suited for the “everyday” man–someone who’s an average guy but still possesses strength. That’s why he created the World’s Strongest (Every) Man. Lirio stated:

“WSEM came about when my kids were just born, and I was training in my basement. I watch videos constantly of Giants Live and WSM, and I thought… how close could a strong but regular guy come to this level of strength if they learned from the pros.

I was infected with the idea that not only would it be compelling to watch. but it would show people that a lot of their weaknesses could just be missed training cues.”

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Terry Ramos
As a personal trainer and writer, Terry loves changing lives through coaching and the written word. Terry has a B.S. in Kinesiology and is an ACSM Certified Personal Trainer and ISSA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. He enjoys playing music, reading, and watching films when he's not writing or training.