Brian Whitacre


About Brian

Home + Work

Current City:  Stillwater, Oklahoma

Hometown:  Winchester, Virginia

Occupation: Professor and Extension Economist, Oklahoma State University

Family: Wife, Jill and three daughters, including twin 2-year olds

Personal Stats

Age:  40    |    Height: 5’9” 

Competition/Off-Season Weight: 165 /190

WNBF Qualifying Event

INBF Natural Atlantic Coast

WNBF Category:  Bodybuilding

Over $20,000 earned as a WNBF Pro Natural Bodybuilder

Career Titles

2006 WNBF International – 1st LW, Overall

2006 WNBF Worlds – 2nd LW

2007 WNBF Worlds – 1st LW

2008 WNBF Worlds – 1st LW

2009 WNBF Worlds – 2nd LW

2010 WNBF Worlds – 1st LW

2012 WNBF Worlds – 1st LW

2013 WNBF Worlds – 1st LW

2015 WNBF Worlds – 1st LW and Overall

What got you interested in weight training/working out?

I began training with weights in high school to improve my performance on the soccer field. I was a pretty scrawny kid growing up, and was not overly athletic; but I overachieved in soccer out of sheer will. I hated to lose (and still do)! I continued to train with weights during my college years, and the first few years after college – but I had no idea about nutrition.

What sparked your interest to begin competing?

I didn’t know anything about competitive bodybuilding until I began graduate school. There was a pretty good gym at Virginia Tech that had some competitive bodybuilders, and they talked me into giving competition a shot. I still have vivid memories of the first time I sat down on the edge of the bathtub to shave my legs.

Who was the most influential person/group that made you want to excel in this sport?

In the early part of my career, it was Kurt Weidner.  Kurt was a WNBF pro when I met him, and we trained together for 2 years during my time at Tech. He redefined “work ethic” and “dedication” for me when it came to training and dieting. I soaked up every bit of knowledge I could from him during the time we trained together, and he was a big part of why I was successful as an amateur. When I first turned pro, Jon Harris was the epitome of a humble champion who served as a source of inspiration. Later on in my career, Layne Norton and Mike Zourdos’ science-based approaches changed the way I prepped and trained. And finally, Rich Gozdecki and Doug Miller have redefined what people thought was possible in natural bodybuilding.

Where do you currently train?

I train at the Colvin Center on Oklahoma State University’s campus.

How long have you been competing?

My very first competition was in 2003. I turned pro with the WNBF in 2005. So, 13 years in total and 11 as a pro.

How many competitions have you entered?

I competed as an amateur 9 times, including a whopping 6 shows during my final season as an amateur (2005). As a pro, I have entered 11 shows (9 with the WNBF). I have competed at WNBF Worlds a total of 8 times. I have 6 WNBF Worlds class wins, which I think is the most in WNBF history (for a male bodybuilder, anyway). I know several others have 3, including Gozdecki, Tennessen, and Cunningham.

What was your best placing and where?

Without a doubt the highlight of my bodybuilding career was the WNBF Worlds Overall win in Atlantic City in 2015.

What is your most memorable moment competing so far?

I will never forget the moment my name was announced as the WNBF Worlds Overall winner. To me that title is the absolute pinnacle of natural bodybuilding, and I had been working towards that moment for nearly a decade (and fallen just short many, many times).

What is your most surprising moment competing so far?

I still find it hard to believe that I have beaten 5 WNBF Worlds overall winners AFTER they won their title (Cordova, Daniels, Gozdecki, Cunningham, and Thomas).

What was the best workout/weight training or competitive advice you received?

I learned early on that there are always going to be people stronger than me or with better genetics than me. You have to find some way to set yourself apart from the pack. I tried to optimize every aspect of being onstage. Clearly that starts with the physique itself, but I put a lot of effort into what others might consider ‘minor’ things like posing tweaks, onstage stamina, and even color.

What advice, insight, or recommendations about natural bodybuilding/fitness, health, etc. would you like to share with our readers?

I love natural bodybuilding because I have not found anything else in this life that can challenge me so completely both mentally and physically. This is a long-term hobby, so use your brain to put together a plan on how you can improve. Then follow through with effort and patience.

What do you like most about the WNBF?

There are lots of things I like about the WNBF! I have confidence in their drug testing procedures; the backstage environment at shows is awesome; and the competition at Worlds is second to none. The leadership clearly cares about the sport and is dedicated to moving it forward.

Are you involved in any other parts of the sport (judging, promoting, etc)?  Do you currently prep or train clients?

I do try to help judge as much as I can, but I am not a personal trainer and I don’t construct diets for people (despite lots of demand!)

What are your 2017 competition goals? Long range goals?

I am sure at this point that I will not be on stage in 2017. I made a lot of sacrifices over the past 10 years to be able to accomplish what I have, and I simply don’t have that fire that drove me for so long. My family and job have always been much higher priorities than bodybuilding for me, but finally accomplishing my bodybuilding goal has allowed me the luxury of devoting even more time to my kids and career. I remain hopeful that I’ll be back on the WNBF stage at some point…but regardless, natural bodybuilding will always be a big part of my life.

What does being a WNBF pro competitor mean to you?

The WNBF has long been synonymous with excellence in natural bodybuilding. There is no other natural organization with a 25+ year history of offering prize money. Creating a name for yourself in the same organization that brought us legends like Hernandez, Goodin, Davis, and Hope (and Andrews, Rahe, and Myers on the ladies’ side) is something that all natural competitors should aspire to. Being a WNBF pro means that you are able to compete with the absolute best. Anyone who has been through polygraph tests in multiple natural orgs will tell you that the WNBF is the most thorough. I love the fact that the WNBF is passionate about delivering an even playing field, and that the overseas competitors keep improving.



Squats and deadlifts.


HIIT – sled, car pushes, sprints.

Body Part (Yours)?

I don’t really have a favorite body part. I have often made the argument that at the elite level, bodybuilding is NOT about having a couple of standout body parts. Rather, it is the lack of weaknesses that is more important. I pride myself on having built a well-balanced physique.

“Diet” Food?

My go-to pre-workout meal is lean ground beef, rice, and broccoli. With Red Hot of course.

Non-Diet Food?

I mostly crave a good burger during prep.

Non-Workout Activity(ies)?

Spending time with my girls is obviously #1. Other than that, I may be the biggest data geek in the WNBF! I honestly look forward to days where I can spend 10 hours crunching numbers, writing code, and running models. I would challenge any WNBF pro to match my 40+ peer reviewed journal articles.


I played soccer growing up but my competitive days are long gone! I still root for the U.S. National Team and also enjoy watching football and basketball.

College Sports Team?

OSU Cowboys and VT Hokies (employer and grad school allegiances go a long way)

Pro Sports Team?

I am still an OKC Thunder fan (even after Durant left) and pull for the Broncos and Redskins in the NFL.


I would like to thank my incredible wife Jill, my family, and all of my friends and natural bodybuilding followers for all of their support throughout my career.