Rafael Brandao Diet Plan and Workout Routine

Rafael Brandao is a professional bodybuilder hailing from Brazil, competing in the Open division of the International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness (IFBB).

Despite facing financial and personal challenges, he began his career at 20 with a solid determination to succeed. Rafael Brandao made a name for himself through dedication and hard work in the Brazilian bodybuilding circuit.

In 2016, he won the junior and senior categories at a competition, which helped him secure his Pro card.

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Rafael Brandao’s success continued as he placed 8th in his debut at the 2017 San Marino Pro. He took 6th in his next competition and finished third at the IFBB California State competition.

Rafael Brandao Diet Plan and Workout Routine
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In 2019, Rafael Brandao finished 7th at the Arnold Classic Ohio and was the runner-up at the Arnold Classic South America Pro

He recently earned third place at the 2020 European Pro, which earned him a spot at the 2020 Mr. Olympia, where he placed 16th in the Men’s Open Bodybuilding.

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At the 2022 Olympia, Rafael Brandao placed 10th in the Men’s Open Bodybuilding division, and he is currently training, intending to win the title of Mr. Olympia in 2023.

Rafael Brandao Diet

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Rafael Brandao, a professional bodybuilder, maintains a strict and dedicated approach to his nutrition to achieve his physique. His diet comprises 6 meals, prioritizing protein, vegetables, and clean carbohydrates.

While Rafael Brandao’s diet plan may be challenging to adhere to, it has undoubtedly contributed to his success in bodybuilding

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Both fitness enthusiasts and professional bodybuilders attest to the crucial role that his diet plays in achieving his physique, surpassing even his mental strength and physical fitness.

Rafael Brandao Meal Plan

Rafael Brandao’s diet consists of five meals daily, focusing on protein, complex carbohydrates, and vegetables.

Here is the complete meal plan of Rafael Brandao:

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Rafael Brandao Meal 1

Rafael Brandao typically has poached eggs or an omelet with potatoes, oatmeal, and a protein shake for breakfast. His mid-morning snack is usually chicken breast with white rice and potatoes.

  • Poached eggs or omelet
  • Potatoes
  • Oatmeal
  • Protein shake 

Rafael Brandao Meal 2

Rafael Brandao typically has chicken breast with brown rice and broccoli for his second meal. His mid-day snack is often steak with white rice and green beans.

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  • Chicken breast 200 g
  • Brown rice 300 g
  • Broccoli
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Rafael Brandao Meal 3

Rafael Brandao enjoys grilled salmon with brown rice and steamed veggies like broccoli and green beans for dinner.

  • Grilled salmon
  • Brown rice
  • Steamed veggies (broccoli, green beans)
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Rafael Brandao Meal 4

His evening snack is typically chicken breast with white rice and potatoes.

  • Chicken breast 200 g
  • Rice 300 g 

Rafael Brandao Meal 5

Rafael Brandao typically has chicken breast with brown rice and broccoli for his last meal. 

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Rafael Brandao’s diet plan gives him the energy and nutrients he needs to fuel his intense training and competition schedule by prioritizing lean protein, nutrient-dense carbohydrates, and fiber-rich vegetables.

Rafael Brandao Supplements

Rafael Brandao is a professional bodybuilder who has been competing since 2014. He is known for his impressive physique and dedication to training and diet

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Rafael Brandao is also a vocal advocate for the use of supplements, and he often shares information about the supplements he uses on his Instagram account.

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Some of the supplements that Brandao uses include:


Creatine is a naturally occurring substance in the body that helps to provide energy for muscle contractions. Rafael Brandao uses creatine monohydrate, which is the most common form of creatine.

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Protein Powder

Protein powder is a convenient way to increase protein intake. Rafael Brandao uses a whey protein isolate, a fast-digesting protein form.


BCAAs are branched-chain amino acids, essential amino acids that the body cannot produce independently. Rafael Brandao uses a BCAA supplement to help with muscle recovery.


Glutamine is an amino acid that plays a role in muscle recovery and immune function. Rafael Brandao uses glutamine powder to help with muscle recovery after his workout in the gym.

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A multivitamin is an excellent way to ensure you get all the essential vitamins and minerals your body needs. Rafael Brandao uses a multivitamin supplement to help with overall health and well-being.

Rafael Brandao also uses several other supplements, including fish oil, vitamin D, and pre-workout supplements. He is open about the supplements he uses and believes they are an essential part of his training and diet.

Rafael Brandao Workout Routine

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Rafael Brandao, a powerhouse in the bodybuilding realm, is renowned for his dedication to pushing the limits of his physical prowess.

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His training philosophy revolves around not just lifting heavy weights but cultivating a profound mind/muscle connection.

This intricate relationship ensures that every repetition is a symphony of muscle contraction, a key element in his extraordinary muscular development.

Let’s delve into the details of Rafael Brandao’s rigorous workout routine, a carefully crafted symphony of strength, form, and longevity.

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Mind/Muscle Connection: The Cornerstone of Brandao’s Success

Rafael Brandao attributes a significant portion of his success to the years spent honing his body consciousness, often termed the mind/muscle connection. =

This connection ensures that each lift isn’t merely about moving heavy weights but about eliciting maximal contraction from each muscle group.

This meticulous approach not only stimulates muscle growth but also safeguards against injuries by emphasizing proper form.

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Rafael Brandao Training with Flex Lewis

A pivotal moment in Rafael Brandao’s journey was the opportunity to train with the 7-time 212 division Mr. Olympia champion, Flex Lewis, at his famed gym,

The Dragon’s Lair in Florida. This experience not only accelerated Rafael Brandao’s physical development but also enriched his knowledge.

The insights gained from training alongside a champion like Flex Lewis played a crucial role in Rafael Brandao’s rapid progress.

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Rafael Brandao Workout Breakdown

Rafael Brandao Back Workout

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  • Wide-grip Lat Pulldown: Targeting the lats, this exercise emphasizes the width of the back.
  • Single-arm Machine Row: Isolating each side of the back ensures balanced development.
  • Two-arm Machine Row: A compound movement for overall back engagement.
  • Seated Cable Row: Focusing on the mid-back, this exercise aids in thickness and detail.
  • Pec Dec Rear Delt Fly: Engaging the rear delts for a well-rounded back appearance.
  • Chest-supported Machine Row: Supporting the chest minimizes cheating, isolating the back.

Rafael Brandao Chest Workout

  • Standing Cable Chest Fly: Emphasizing chest isolation through controlled cable movements.
  • Kneeling Cable Chest Fly: Altering body position for a varied chest workout.
  • Incline Dumbbell Press: Targeting the upper chest for a balanced physique.
  • Machine Incline Press: Utilizing machines for controlled resistance and safety.
  • Smith Machine Floor Press Superset w/ Push-ups using Handles: Combining compound and bodyweight exercises for intensity.

Rafael Brandao Shoulder Workout

  • Lateral Cable Raises: Focusing on lateral deltoids for shoulder width.
  • Lateral Dumbbell Raises: Isolating the lateral delts with free weights.
  • Reverse Flys on the Bench: Targeting the rear delts for 3D shoulder development.
  • Front Raises: Emphasizing the front deltoids for symmetry.
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Rafael Brandao Leg Workout

  • Leg Extensions: Isolating the quadriceps for definition.
  • Lying Leg Curls: Targeting the hamstrings for balanced leg development.
  • Sumo Deadlift: Engaging multiple muscle groups for overall lower body strength.
  • Leg Press: A compound movement for building leg mass.
  • Walking Lunges: Incorporating dynamic movements for functional leg strength.

Rafael Brandao Triceps Workout

  • Triceps Pulley: Isolating the triceps through cable resistance.
  • Rope Extensions with Bench Support: Ensuring stability while working the triceps.
  • Triceps Dumbbell Overhead Press: Engaging the triceps with free weights.
  • French Press: Targeting the long head of the triceps for fullness.

Rafael Brandao Biceps Workout

  • 21’s: A specialized bicep exercise involving partial reps for intensity.
  • Alternate Seated Biceps Curls: Focusing on each arm individually for balanced development.
  • Zottman Curls: Incorporating a twist in the grip for comprehensive bicep stimulation.
  • Rope Hammer Curls: Engaging the brachialis and brachioradialis for forearm development.
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Rafael Brandao also integrates cardiovascular exercise into his routine, favoring treadmill running or walking to complement his resistance training.

His mantra, “You have to overcome yourself, you have to do it better than you did yesterday,” encapsulates the relentless pursuit of improvement that defines Rafael Brandao’s approach to fitness

Aspiring bodybuilders can draw inspiration from his holistic philosophy, emphasizing not just the journey’s intensity but the mindful connection between the mind and muscles.

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