Brankica Underwood, creator of Muscles and Marketing, strives to make the fitness industry more accessible to business professionals looking to make a name for themselves.
[Editor’s Note: Since the publication of this article, Muscles and Marketing has no longer exists. You can still check out Brankica’s website here.]
A native of Serbia, Brankica’s past experience with the special police force has shaped her vision of fitness. With the offer of a 5-week fitness marketing bootcamp, she combines her loves of fitness and business savvy to help fellow professionals achieve their goals.
Tell us about your journey into fitness and your creation of The Fit Chick Project.
I was doing some sort of sports as a kid all the time but never committed to anything fully. When I joined the police and decided I wanted to be a part of a special unit, I realized it will take much more than occasional training here and there to be able to fulfill the requirements.
So I started working out like a manic. After I was accepted to the unit, I liked the feeling the workouts and that accomplishment gave me so I continued working out.
After a traffic accident and getting more and more busy with work, I took a long time off but decided that I should at least get education in that area so once I am fully able to workout, I would know what to do.
So I started the studies at Sport Trainers and Medical College in Serbia. After graduation, I moved to USA, got totally serious about lifting weights and decided not to rely on doctors about my injuries and just go for it.
It worked. Somewhere between all that, I decided to start the blog and share some of the tips I learn along the way.
Do you feel like the time you spent in the special police force encouraged or hindered a healthy lifestyle, and how have your views toward fitness changed since then?
It worked both ways. The part that helped was that you need to stay in shape to pass the tests every year (twice, actually).
At the same time, I was a competitive shooter in IPSC, so I had to keep the explosiveness and speed in my body but not get too muscled up since that usually caused me to lose flexibility as much as I needed it to get good results.
The bad part was that my lifestyle at the time (12 hr shifts at the unit, going to college every day, training for the competitions and going to the gym) added a lot of stress to my body.
Pair that with the knee injuries after the traffic accident I was in, and you have someone always battling fatigue and pain to keep afloat.
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My views have changed a lot. It also had to do a lot with food. My diet back home in Serbia was “a normal Serbian way of eating,” which was still a very optimized diet for an athlete. Never gaining unwanted weight or anything.
However, once I moved to USA, “the normal diet” in South Georgia is very different and I learned the hard way that I can not eat the same amounts of foods as I did back home.
I put on a lot of weight in the first year (probably about 20 lbs) before I realized what was happening.
So now, I optimize my diet for lean muscle gains and the sport of physique I hope to compete in one day.
Any supplements you’re loyal to?
All the standards, whey and casein protein, BCAAs, glutamine, fish oil and piles of vitamins.
From time to time I will use creatine and that is about it.
What is your favorite sport?
Even though I absolutely love bodybuilding and what iron has done for my looks, my number one sport is practical shooting under the IPSC. It puts together everything I love, shooting, being fast, thinking fast, and precision.
What would you tell a woman who believes that in order to be fit, you must be thin?
To change her mind 🙂 I was what you would consider thin once in my life, last year. I actually had the build of a bikini competitor. Low body fat, abs, and the whole nine yards.
So even though most women would think that is how they want to look — honestly, my entire family thought I was sick or something. And I didn’t like myself that thin either.
I am 15 lbs heavier now and happy as I can be. I don’t look too thin, I am fit and everyone around me don’t think I am sick either, lol.
It isn’t a question of scale or how thin you think you should look. Just look at the top cross fit competitor. They are as fit as a woman can be, yet you can hardly find any thin ones.
They just look really healthy. In order to be fit, you need to workout and eat right — and your perfect body will form itself and when that happens you will know that is how you are supposed to look. Don’t chase someone else’s ideals.
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