high on life

New York trainer Branden Hayward on how a stuffed bunny got on his bedside table

Name: Branden Hayward, 33

City: The Big Apple (New York City for the uninformed)

Occupation: Physique coach. I provide an immersive coaching experience in which I guide each of my clients to develop better habits with their hydration+recovery+nutrition+exercise regimen. I also use my experience living with mental illness and addiction to help my clients develop more patience, belief, acceptance and pride in themselves. I am also a writer.

Favorite Gym: Probably the gym in Fire Island Pines, because it’s in Fire Island Pines.

Favorite Workout Playlist: My current workout playlist…

  • “Into the Blue,” “Get outta my way” & “All the Lovers,” Kylie Minogue
  • “Sexy Dirty Lover,” Demi Lovato
  • “Heart to Break,” Kim Petras
  • “New Rules,” dua lipa
  • “Delicate,” Taylor Swift
  • “Into You,” Ariana Grande
  • “Want to Want Me” & “The Other Side,” Jason Derulo
  • “Run Away with Me,” Carly Rae Jepsen
  • “Sax,” Fleur East
  • “Act My Age,” Katy Perry
  • “Party in the USA,” Miley Cyrus
  • “Marry the Night,” Lady Gaga
  • “Ooh la la,” Britney Spears

Favorite Workout Foods: Water and caffeine make the best pre-workout food for me. I don’t usually eat before workouts.

Related: Of Britney & tank tops: Philadelphia trainer Peter Danzig reveals his secrets to looking good

Favorite Workout Tip: Slow down your movement & eliminate your pauses in between reps.

How do you balance staying in shape and having fun?

For me, staying in shape allows me to have fun. They go hand in hand and are not two disparate things. I’ve also found a way to eat that lets me eat what I want every single day, but after I’ve consumed all the necessary protein and fiber for the day. My definition of fun is: having money in my savings account, dancing like there’s no tomorrow, feeling very desirable, having great sex, being on the beach, listening and laughing with friends, feeling like I’ve been of service to others, and proving to myself that I can make some pretty intense dreams come true. Lifting heavy weights and eating in a manner that supports my physique goals enhances each of those elements of fun for me. I still struggle with motivation from time to time, but I just think about how f*ckable I want to look, and that usually helps me push through that obnoxious set at the gym.

What do you keep on your nightstand?

Alarm clock, Armistead Maupin’s More Tales of the City, tissue, old porn DVDs from when I was in college because I got bored of internet porn the other day, a stuffed bunny rabbit, a question card game my cousin gave me for Christmas.

Bonus Pics:

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Doors close tomorrow! 40% OFF six training sessions, or six weeks of online coaching. DM me or send an email through my website. ?? Would you like to have a coach of your own walk you STEP BY STEP through your dream transformation? Would you like to get to your dream as fast and as safely as possible while sparing you any unnecessary stress? ?? Using two state of the art apps, synced together – one for nutrition, one for workouts- I have led people all over the world in transforming their lives. ?? THIS IS YOUR CHANCE to create and sustain a beautiful change in your strength, appearance, diet … and the relationship you have with yourself. My website is in my bio if you’d like to learn more about me. If this isn’t for you, please consider tagging a friend who may be interested. #fitness #bodybuilding #instagay

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One of the greatest and most sobering gifts I’ve gained from getting older is understanding that two things are often true at the same time. ? I struggle with mental health, a manic tendency, insecurities and anxiety, and those are all reflected in my relationship with my body (and other parts of my life)! I look at my body and see shoulders that aren’t broad enough, abs that aren’t ripped enough, and a quickly aging face. I don’t know if I can consistently eat the way I need to to get below 10% body fat. ? AND, at the same time: I believe I am one of the strongest, most empathetic and fun people I know. I am an exceptionally talented writer and am finishing a novel based on my young adult years that I’ve worked on for 4.5 years. I believe getting it published can be a game changer for my life and many others. I know I have a killer body, with a back, ass, chest and legs that most guys dream of. I’ve seen my body fat go down in the last few months, thanks in part to hiring @haletrains to help me get my diet better and reinvigorate my training. I’ve seen MAJOR progress in my diet, arms and cardio regimen just since hiring another professional to guide me. ? THE MORAL of this story is: the bad doesn’t cancel the good out or vice versa. There’s room for all of me — good and bad — at the table. I don’t have to pigeonhole myself as a perpetually grateful optimist or a jaded hardened pessimistic realist. Parts of each exist in me. it ain’t perfect. But it’s still a lot to be grateful for.

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