Brandon Morrison is a powerlifter, nutrition enthusiast, trainer and founder of the popular strength training website Lift Big Eat Big. When not pushing himself in the gym, the dynamic and personable Morrison can be found in the kitchen or in the field exploring creative and delicious recipes as he, like most weightlifters, recognizes to make big gains, one has to also maximize nutritional goals.
Lift Big Eat Big has become a key resource for many in the weightlifting community, as Morrison and his site are a comprehensive outlet for anyone that is looking for training, nutritional and lifestyle guidance. While many bodybuilding and strength training websites and communities can feel intimidating to newcomers, Brandon and LBEB pride themselves on being inclusive and offer great insights for all levels of fitness and strength enthusiasts.
We have been longtime fans of both Brandon and his company, we even went as far as to develop a custom protein blend with Morrison as he is enthusiastic about the no BS approach and unrivaled quality that True Nutrition puts into all of its products. We recently caught up with Brandon to talk about starting LBEB, running an inclusive business and what’s next for both Morrison and his company.
What inspired you to start Lift Big Eat Big?
I was inspired to start LBEB after sitting in nutrition class. I was perusing the internet (like a good student), and ran across some photos of Strongmen from the early 90’s like Bill Kazmeier. I suddenly realized that I had a big 6’5” frame, and plenty of empty real estate on me and that I wanted to fill it out as quickly as possible. I was very skinny my whole life, and when I started LBEB in 2011, I was 165lbs. I have been about 274 lbs for a little over two years, and those who follow LBEB have followed me on that journey, every step of the way.
Was it clear from its inception that it was going to have traction, or did it take awhile for you to start building an audience?
It did take me a few months to build an audience. It was a difficult first few months, writing an article almost every day, getting a handful of likes (if I was lucky, a comment!) and repeating that week in, week out. The fan base started to pick up speed when I began making shirt designs, and sponsoring some great athletes, to help spread the word.
What is it about Lift Big Eat Big that resonates with your community? How do you feel it differs from other websites?
One thing that I think separates LBEB from other lifting-based websites is that LBEB is a big proponent of the life that occurs outside the gym. Whether it’s cooking segments, survival videos, outdoor trips, or traveling out of the country, LBEB acknowledges that while lifting is very important in our lives, it’s important to keep living when you aren’t lifting. Live Big, as I often say.
A lot of times bodybuilding can be intimidating to newcomers, but it seems like Lift Big Eat Big is very inclusive. Is that intentional?
Yes, it is very intentional. I think inclusivity is very important for the future of the strength world. Originally, I treated the site much more exclusively because I was ignorant to the fact that exclusivity is a turn-off to most people who aren’t already in the strength world. I quickly learned after the first year, that for a brand to grow, you need to be welcoming. There are plenty of other exclusive-type websites that other folks can go to, if they aren’t the type to be open to new lifters.
What does your daily routine look like with running the site, your job and maximizing your own workouts?
My days start at 3:50 AM. I take my two pups for a short walk, and then head to the gym to work out, mostly Bodybuilding movements, until 5:15 AM. I head home, shower, drink two coffees with our protein blend, along with some breakfast, then drop my pups off at their camp and head to the gym to coach my clients. After I coach them, I get in some barbell work, or something similar with Strongman movements. Then I head home, process orders, write programming, film cooking videos, have a few Skype calls with the overseas clients, and wrap up every day with a few massive dinners, a glass of champagne and head to bed to read. I love reading in bed, it’s one of my favorite parts of the day.
You’re a longtime True Nutrition supporter. What are your go-to products?
My first go-to product is, of course, our official TN blend. I love the combination of grass-fed whey, maltodextrin and waxy maize, to give me a little carb pickup that I need to get me through the day. I also love to add Modcarb to my protein drinks, because in the game of calories, you eat or you die.
You’re obviously passionate about nutrition and food in general. What inspires you to eat big?
One of the biggest things that inspires me to eat big, as you can see on the cooking segments, is finding the best possible way to make any given meal. I spent 5 months making biscuits 3-4 x a week just to figure out the best possible method of cooking, best ratio of ingredients and the best surface to cook it on (it’s a pizza stone, for inquiring minds). I want to make the best possible version of something, so I can eat it as often as I like, knowing that I’ve done the best job I could do.
How did you get into creating your own recipes?
I got into my own recipes because I have a very inquisitive mind, and I like to have a bit of a scientific approach when it comes to cooking. I don’t really follow recipes. Instead, I learn techniques, and then try to apply those techniques to other recipes I have written. For example, instead of simply adding vegetables and meat to a broth to make Icelandic stew, I discovered that it brings a lot more flavor profile to the stew if you first cook the lamb in a little water with Julienne onions and roast the carrots in the oven with shallots, THEN add them to the broth. Things like that make me smile.
What can we expect for Lift Big Eat Big in 2016 and beyond?
You can expect some pretty big things from LBEB in the upcoming year. I can’t give out too many specifics, but you might see somebody you know on your TV in July. I am also expanding the outdoor and survival trips, they have been attracting a good deal of attention. The next big one I’m working on is taking out only Neolithic-era tools (actual tools found in archaeological sites), and surviving with them. Should be a good time!
What’s one piece of advice you would give to anyone who’s just getting into working out or taking their fitness seriously?
I think the three most important things that any new lifter should keep in mind are as follows:
- Enthusiasm is great, but don’t become so enthusiastic that you lose sight of where you actually are in your strength progression.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for coaching. Every sport has coaches, and lifting is no different. The best athletes in the world have coaches, or someone providing an extra set of eyes. Don’t let your pride get in the way of actually getting better.
- Make lifting an important part of your life, but don’t make it your only focus in life. Some of the happiest athletes I know are athletes that have a life outside of lifting. It’s good to have extra hobbies for those times when you need a break. Stay happy, and get big!