His name couldn’t be more precise. On Instagram Daniel Berger calls himself Bicepsberger, and the name says it all. He has just finished his arm workout. Biceps and triceps are pumped. But in his case not only mass matters. Striking defintion and popping veins lead to aesthetics. Daniel Berger is 23 years old, hails from Neufahrn near Munich, Germany, works as a purchasing agent of a medium-sized company and is a passionate bodybuilder. In the interview with AnyGains he talks not only about bulking and fighting spirit, but also about health, goals and the effect on women.
Daniel, a lot of people want to know whether you have a special arm routine.
I work my arms after my chest and back workout. I do one to four exercises, mostly combined in super sets oder drop sets. I switch things up to vary the load for the muscle. But the exercises are not special.
How long have you been lifting?
For about six years.
Why did you start bodybuilding?
After a tendon laceration of hip I changed from soccer to bodybuilding.
What fascinates you about bodybuilding?
A lot of guys start lifting because they think they can more easily impress women with a well-toned physique. If you don’t stop shortly or don’t work out only infrequently, you will realize, what benefits this sport brings along. As a teenager I was often ill, above all with a flu. That’s over, since I’ve been hitting the gym regularly. Over time training and my changing look became my signature feature. Suddenly people respect you more. They ask you what you have changed and how you have achieved it. You ask yourself how much is even possible and how the environment will react. Bodybuilding is not only a sport, it’s a life style. It’s ungrateful, if you do it half-heartedly. But it’s richly rewarding, if you stay focussed. That’s why it’s so interesting for me. You can’t buy it; you have to earn it.
What is typical for your nutrition when you are bulking?
I eat much, above all much! I have a good metabolism. This means that I have to eat a lot when bulking. When I started with this sport, I weighed about 143 lbs. Meanwhile my weight averages 210 when I am dieting.
What is typical for your nutrition during your diet?
It’s clean and regular. I have learned that diet and sufficient sport do not mean that you have to hunger. On the contrary, during my diet I eat every two hours a small meal, too. Sometimes a little bit bigger meal around my workout. The main point is that the muscles get enough protein and you feel good.
What supplements do you take?
I am not a fan of commercial boosters with extremely promoted names and pitched by athlete X and Y. This doesn’t mean that I don’t take any supplements. I mix my booster. Currently I take before my workout: creatine, citrulline, arginine, glutamine, BCAA and EAA. And after the workout again glutamine. The background of BCAA is simply that they bring the flavor. Everything else is tasteless.
Do you have any tips and tricks for gaining muscle mass through nutrition?
My tip for beginners: watch out for your nutrition and include always enough protein. But mind that you don’t eat too little and come into a calorie deficit. And my tipp for advanced athletes who, for example, have reached a plateau: eat more protein, but drink enough, too. I scaled up my protein from 0,3 to 0,6 lbs per day. My strength shot up during my diet. Important: drink enough and don’t scoff the quantity of protein within two meals. Instead many small meals distributed throughout the day to provide the muscle optimally.
What helps to gain muscle in the workout?
Die trying in each workout! With every good session you’re going to build muscle and to proceed. Don’t have some kind of extra breaks. Schedule your training days and stay the course. And concentrate on the last reps. If you can’t any more, do a drop set and add five reps.
How often in a week do you work out?
Currently six times a week. Before the Fibo expo in Cologne, Germany, even seven times a week.
What split do you use?
For now I use a four-day-split: chest and tricep – legs – shoulder – back and bicep. Abs/obliques/body tension in turns daily. Warm up cardio before every workout, and 10 to 15 minutes running/cross trainer/Spinning, during my diet optionally more.
Do you have a favorite exercise?
Hard to say, but I think the bench press belongs to my favorites.
How much muscle in which time have you built?
Within three years I’ve gained weight from 143 to 220 lbs. Afterwards during my diet down to 203 lbs. Since then I’ ve been at around 209 lbs and I’m pretty happy.
And what’s your goal?
My next goal is 220 lbs, clean after the diet. We take it from there.
What muscle groups are you most proud of?
I am most proud of my chest and shoulders, because I regarded them – above all my chest – as my weakest points. But the mass of my arms is definitely the feature I get most compliments for.
What muscle groups are you still dissatisfied of, and why?
My legs unfortunately have not reached the level of dryness during my diet like the reast of my body. They are not slim or weak, but a lot has still to happen to see the muscles and the veins there.
Why are you into the bodybuilding lifestyle?
You always have a goal and you pursue it. But you have actually never finished with it. It’s principally a neverending pursuit of success.
In what way do you have difficulty doing the bodybuilding lifestyle?
To deny myself special things. Fast food and alcohol of course are the deadly enemies of the sport. It’s not always easy to do without them.
What motivates you?
The will to succeed and the well-practised routine. I have a goal in my mind and I want to reach it. Perhaps I will be rewarded sometime. And apart from that I enjoy very much being told that I induce by my motivation and spirit other people to exercise, to slim or simply to live a healthier life.
Do you have idols?
I am not very knowledgeable in the fitness industry, but I really admire Andrei Deiu and Jo Lindner. I was talking with both of them at the Fibo, and they are my absolute role models as far as sticking at it is concerned. Only if you run after the best, you can become the best some day.
Is there time for other hobbies?
In my leisure time I enjoy playing soccer or volleyball sometimes. Apart from that I meet my friends and we hang out. I love to attend festivals, too.
Would you like to turn your sport into a career?
Anything related to the sport would be awesome. Everyone probably dreams of earning money with his hobby. And if nothing arises, I at least look fit at it (He is smiling self-ironically).
Daniel, than you for this interview.
Daniel Berger on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bicepsberger