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Introducing               Natural Bodybuilder                        

                                               Brad Riekkoff

Local Athlete using  Our Velvet Antler



 Brad Riekkoff, 27, placed first recently in the light heavyweight division of the Naturalmania Nationals. Sponsored by the International Natural Bodybuilding Federation (INBF), the competition consisted of 15 mens and womens' bodybuilding and fitness classes; the more than 100 competitors came from across the nation and several foreign countries. The competition was held in New York on Sept. 21.

Accompanied by family and friends, Riekkoff earned his pro card at the competition. As the winner in his weight class, he qualified for the Pro World Natural Bodybuilding competition to be held in November in New York. After placing seventh in the same competition last year in the middleweight division, Riekkoff came back this year with more than nine pounds of muscle, bumping him up to 182 pounds and into the light heavyweight class.

By training hard, never missing a workout and eating right, Riekkoff developed the quality muscle mass that made the difference this year. "The hard work paid off," said Riekkoff. "It was a great feeling to be able to stand on stage with a world-class group of athletes and know that we achieved this level of competition without the use of drugs." The "Natural" in the Naturalmania Nationals means the competition is a drug-free sanction. All winners are drug tested and undergo a polygraph to ensure adherence to the drug-free status. Riekkoff, who has been training for ten years and competing for five years, is a life-long drug-free athlete. In preparing for the national competition, Riekkoff began training five months ago. His daily workouts consisted of weight training and cardio exercise; he also ate upwards of eight meals a day to increase body metabolism and to ensure the proper intake of proteins and other nutrients. As a result of winning the INBF light heavyweight title, Riekkoff will be featured in an upcoming issue of Natural Bodybuilding as well as Exercise for Men. Given his growing reputation in the sport of bodybuilding, he was recently asked to pose for a cover photo for potential use by TIME magazine. While the resulting photo was not used, the exposure and opportunity to work with noted TIME magazine photographer Howard Schaltz was worth the experience along with the trip to New York for the photo shoot. Riekkoff is the son of Wayne and Rose Riekkoff and Ann and Ike Roell.Riekkoff attended Kewaskum High School; he is a heavy equipment operator for Jansen Construction, Milwaukee. He currently trains at Pleasant Valley Gym in West Bend.


Click Here to SEE BRAD  IN THE FEBRUARY ISSUE OF " Exercise for Men Only"

Brad's November Update    I am now full speed ahead with my off-season training, which consists of lots of heavy intense training and my favorite part eating more calories. I am now eating 7 meals a day instead of 8, since I am eating more calories 7 meals is enough nutrition to help me grow. The extra calories may add a little unwanted weight but I feel very strong during my workouts, that is a key factor to gaining size.

My goal is to gain at least enough lean muscle to get me into the next weight class up from the middle weight which I now compete in. In order to reach that goal I must gain 3 Ĺ lbs. by next years competition. I am confident that I can reach that goal since I gained over 6 pounds of lean muscle last year. Check out the new photo's we posted they show my progress while dieting from 16-weeks to the week before the 2001 nationals. 

16 Weeks Out 8 Weeks Out Week of Competition

Velvet Antler Feedback

First off I made an unbelievable recovery from a nasty sprained ankle that I injured while jogging on a hiking trail behind my condo. I was jogging in an attempt to stay some what lean for one last photo shoot for the magazines. Well  - the jog didn't get me very far,  just got me a spot on the injured bench. I was very discouraged and I immediately iced my ankle and doubled my dosage of velvet antler. Amazingly after one week the swelling went down to almost normal and I could walk without a limp.

My next bit of feed back is from a co-worker of mine who had pains in his upper chest due to arthritis. After taking velvet antler for just 3-weeks he claimed that his pains were completely gone and was making some amazing gains on the treadmill.

The last bit of feedback is from one of my trainers clients, he experienced some noticeable energy gains while using the oral velvet antler spray. Well that's about all I have for now take care,

INBF National competitor Brad Riekkoff




Brads September 23 Update

Well, as you most likely already read from the latest update,

I am now nationally ranked #7 

in the International Natural Bodybuilding Federation's Middle Weight Division.        

My class consisted of 16 men from all over the nation, mostly U.S. citizens. Every competitor was in excellent shape and had a great physique, which made the competition unbelievable. I came off the stage wishing I had placed higher but proud of my placing and ready to start my off season training for next year. OH YEAH! Did I forget to mention I also walked off the stage ready to eat?! No worries I was prepared for that way ahead of time! I had a bag packed full of goodies to warm me up for the pizza that was waiting for me at a restaurant close by.

I was fortunate to meet some very unique people from all over the world and made some new ties and connections to the fitness industry. It's always exciting to hear other people=s opinions and goals. I also had two photo shoots for the following magazines: Natural Bodybuilding and Fitness, Men's Exercise, and Exercise for Men Only. It looks like I may get some coverage and possibly a cover shot! I will let everyone know when I hear back from the publishing company.

I would like to give thanks to my family and friends, Meadow Creek Elk Farms, my trainer- Ian Mcaskall, and my WNBF Pro friend, Corey Wheir for all their help and support!

I also better thank my two good buddies Andy Reichert and Chad Rochwite for putting up with me on those critical days before the show. Even though they had fun testing my will power by stopping at McDonalds just to go to the bathroom. YEAH sure! as I waited by the car for them they both came out smiling each with a big bag of food that I was fortunate enough to smell and drool over for the rest of the ride as we drove from Andy=s home in Mass. to New York City........... Thanks Guys!!!

Well the show was over and we were scheduled to fly out Tuesday at 12:30. We had plans to leave the city and return Tuesday to fly out, but the photo shoot lasted longer than planned so we stayed in the city for the remainder of the trip.

Tuesday morning came and I was down in the Harbor Cafť, feeding my face with some cheese cake (fat &calorie free of course!) when the HORRIBLE World Trade Center disaster occurred! I was less than six blocks away and witnessed the whole thing what a disaster! I took lots of photos which I wouldn't have needed to take a single one to remember that day. I think the sound of the buildings exploding and crumbling to the ground will be imprinted in my head for life! Well I now need to quit eating all the goodies and get back to my training. I write back again soon.            Brad




Brad takes 7th Place in Middle Weight Division at Naturalmania Nationals in New York City............

but what he saw on Tuesday in lower Manhattan will forever be remembered as a frightening day for him and Chad Rochwhite as they witnessed the devastation caused by the terrorist attack on America.

A complete report and Bradís results from Naturalmania Nationals will be posted later this week when Brad returns to Wisconsin.

In a phone call on the evening of Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001, Brad stated that he was safe in New Jersey, but told of the dreadful ordeal of the twin towers destruction that he witnessed from his hotel, located only six blocks away.

Brad told of the panic and fear as he eye witnessed thousands of people flee the city on the Brooklyn bridge, running for their lives.

Brad and Chadís plans to depart, by plane, at 12:30 from New York changed as the morningís events unfolded. During the first few hours after the attack took place, there was mass confusion as to what to do or where to go. By early Tuesday afternoon, they boarded a ferry to Jersey where they met a woman who invited them to accompany her to her home in New Jersey. After a bus and subway ride they finally reached their destination and felt relieved that they had arrived safely to the residential area.

Brad and Chad will be returning by automobile to the West Bend area in the next few days, and additional reports will be posted at that time.



Follow Brad as prepares for the Naturalmania Nationals in New York on September 8, 2001.

Editor's Note: As Brad enters his last few weeks of contest training for the International Natural Bodybuilding Federation's(INBF) Naturalmania Nationals in New York on September 8th, we want to congratulate him on his dedication and determination which he has shown during his pre-contest training. We thank Brad for sharing his progress during the past 16 weeks of his training regimen and wish him continued success as he competes for the championship. We also are proud of Bradís personal accomplishments and achievements he has received, and commend him for choosing to be a natural bodybuilder, free of steroids and drugs, using self discipline and hard work to accomplish his goals. Youíre a winner already Brad, and good luck in obtaining the title you deserve.                                     Bob and Diana Susen

                              Bradís August 25th update

With three weeks left until competition, this maybe my last update until after the show. We will see how hectic my schedule is. Itís actually 2 Ĺ weeks until I leave for New York with a lot of training, planning and packing to do!

As afar as my condition - we are real close to being on schedule. Although I guess itís normal to be nervous, I am a bit nervous that my legs wonít be lean enough. If things go as planned it should be right on schedule. I hope!

You canít target fat loss and as I mentioned in recent updates - I carry my last bit of fat in my legs. With no fat left in my upper body, the fat I loose in the next three weeks should all be off my legs. At 1 Ĺ lbs. a week, we should come in right on target. Another individual could have a higher body fat content and look leaner than I because their body fat could be more evenly spread throughout their body - this makes the competition very tough!! I just have to stick to my diet and training and survive for the next three weeks.

Iím still on the same dosage of velvet antler and I believe the glucosomine in this product is benefitting me, as my joints feel great. You see when your bodyfat is so low your joints suffer a bit. Your body uses fat as one of the sources of lubrication and support for your joints. So this is a very important time to consider the nutrition support for the structure and function of your joints.

Well, I have a lot of food to prepare and a lot of training to do talk to you soon.




Well my cheat meal and carb up days are gone for a while. The next two weeks are going to be brutal. For weeks 7 & 8 I get is one serving of a complex carb for breakfast and that=s it!! Now is when you really need will power, specially when there is a bake sale full of pastries and torts right next to the job that I=m working on and in the same day a co-worker buys pizza for the whole crew because it=s his birthday. Everyone is indulging while I pull a tupperware container out of my lunch pail with plain tuna and broccoli! That takes a lot of dedication let me tell you!

                                                                                       COREY WHEIR  AND BRAD RIEKOFF


One thing that has really given me drive the past few weeks is the opportunity I was given to work with NBF Pro Corey Wheir. Corey is a nationally known, life long Drug Free Bodybuilder. Corey is incredible, he has more drive behind him to succeed , and at the same time helps others to succeed, more than anyone I have ever met! He is known across the country from coverage such as being on the cover of Time magazine to being sponsored and spokes person for Nature=s Best supplements. Corey is featured in the current August issue of Natural Bodybuilding & Fitness magazine. Having this opportunity to work with Corey on weight training, conditioning and posing has given me that extra push to make it through another week of hard training and dieting. It gives you a mid set that is unstoppable!!

This last week my dosage of velvet antler changed. I decided to add one more capsule. My dosage is now 5 a.m. and 5 p.m. I felt as through I needed more. I won=t kid you I started to feel pretty low on energy the last two weeks. Even with the mind set from Corey and the velvet antler behind me, I could still use a kick in the butt every once in a while.

Well, I made it through the hardest part of the diet and now coming into week 6 I have a whole new tri-phase diet and workout. I will have three days of low carbohydrates, two days high carbs, and two days of moderate carbs, plus two 45 minute cardio sessions morning and evening Monday thru Wednesday, off Thursday and Friday then one 45 minute session morning Saturday and Sunday along with six days of weight training, all in one week. That will put me on my way to a great physique.

I made the decision to take off work Friday and travel to Evansville Indiana to compete in the Mid-American Muscle Classic. I will not be at my target weight or as lean as I could be, but it will tighten up my condition and help me brush up on my posing. You can spend so much time on diet and training, but if you can=t pose properly you will not finish as well as you deserve! So proper posing is very important. I haven=t been on stage for over a year, so practice will do me good. You never know the outcome, but if I would win my weight class and the whole show, I could possibly be invited to compete in the Pro-Division in New York this September. We shall See. - I=ll keep you posted in two weeks.



At the start of week ten, my trainer instructed me to drop another one of my complex carbs out of my meal plan. So for the next two weeks, 2 of my 8 meals will have complex carbs in them. In exchange for the serving of carbohydrates we added a dressing made of different fats and oils. My body will use that for energy when it uses up my carbohydrates. If you don=t raise your fat intake when you lower your carbohydrates this low there is more of a chance you will burn muscle instead of fat! And we don=t want that!

I am currently at the same dosage of velvet antler since my energy levels have been bearable, so it must be helping some! We=ll see how that changes from week 8 to 6 when we lower to one complex carb per day!

My weight loss is still on schedule. This part of the diet is real crucial to keeping your protein levels high, as you need everything you can get to repair and maintain that hard earned muscle. The rule of thumb for a natural body builder is 1.5 to 2 grams of protein per lb. of body weight. I take in approximately 37 grams per meal of protein.

I suppose this lifestyle doesn=t sound real exciting! I won=t kid you, it gets to me once in a while, but you have to keep pushing!! You have to remember someone else out there is working just as hard as you, and if you back off and just ease through it all that=s exactly what you will get in the end. You=ll finish at the end! If you stay persistent and work hard the finish line will be the most exciting part! I did have some excitement at the end of week 9. I got to cheat on one meal and then I loaded up with carbs for the next two days. I looked forward to that special meal all week, and it was great. For now it=s back to tuna and lettuce!!



I am approaching 11 weeks out and everything is pretty close to be on schedule. I lost 3 Ĺ to 4 lbs. in the last two weeks. I am now 12-15 lbs. off my target weight. The target weight is always a guess because you donít know how much muscle you gained since you dieted last. The best way to tell is melt the fat off and weight yourself. Sounds easy! I wish it was that easy! A natural bodybuilder gains 5-10 lbs. a year with a lot of hard work and dedication to their diet and training. If someone tells you different, theyíre either full of it or they gained fat or water weight, not muscle! Remember I said an average so give or take a few lbs.

The last two weeks my trainer had me lower my intake of complex carbs and Iím feeling the effects, since complex carbs (rice, potatoes, oatmeal & breads) are your bodies main source of stored energy. Iím now eating complex carbs three out of my eight meals. Next week my trainer will lower that to two meals and then one meal depending on my progress. Gee, I canít wait!! My meals are all precisely planned before each week, so Iím lucky if I get to eat off the same menu all week long! (Almost as god as going to McDonalds, well almost !

I havenít cheated yet, knock on wood. Weíll see how long I hold out before I grab a cookie right out of someone hand and inhale it!

Since I was feeling that I had a little less energy, I increased my dosage of velvet antler this week, hoping to squeeze everything I can out of this nifty product of nature. Iím now taking four capsules in the morning and five capsules before my P.M. workout.

Now I need to get some sleep! I always short myself in this department and itís crucial that I get my sleep at this point. You will hear from me again in two weeks. I will then be approaching 9 weeks out at that point.



As of today, I am three weeks into my contest training with thirteen weeks to go until the show in New York. Training is going good, and my diet is just getting started. So far a few small changes in my diet and cardio sessions has lead to 9-10 lbs. of weight loss (we hope that=s all fat loss.) The reason for dieting for such a long period is so we can save as much muscle as possible. You always loose muscle when you diet, so we try to minimize the muscle loss by slowly peeling off the fat. The first 10 lbs came off fairly easy, maybe I=m just saying that cause I know what=s yet to come. The first 2 - 4 weeks you usually loose the most weight as you get closer to your target weight it gets harder and harder to carve off the fat. I started my diet at a lean 208-210 lbs. and my target weight is around 176lbs. Which is the top of the Middle Weight Division.

Sounds crazy, but within one month after the show, unless I=m staying lean to do another show or photo shoot, I=ll be within 10 lbs of my starting weight again!

 This week my training consist of 4 weight training sessions 60-90  minutes long and 5 cardio sessions50 minutes long. As the contest date creeps closer everything will get more intense. Cardio sessions will multiply and the diet will change slowly until about 6-8 weeks from the show depending on my condition. At that time I will start to cycle carbohydrates. This is where I will drop the carbohydrates to basically none and then introduce them back again. This part of the diet get=s really hard!!


Velvet antler will really take it=s part at this time. Supplying my muscles with blood that has increased oxygen carrying capacity which helps my strength and endurance. The velvet antler will also help my muscles to repair themselves after intense training.

I have been taking velvet antler now for about 2 2 months. Before I started taking velvet antler I had a cold I could not shake. The cold now hasn=t come back. I have also noticed that I have been in better moods and the soreness after training seems to have lessened. Besides the many advantages velvet antler has to offer the greatest part of the supplement is that it is all natural. In order to compete in the International Body Building Federation (INBF), you must be 100% drug free. In the past two years the Federation has even banned over the counter testosterone boosters and many of the supplements that you can buy at a health food store. All INBF athletes are polygraphed tested before the show and after the show the top 3 placers are urine tested. So velvet antler being all natural adds to the list of barely any supplements that I can take to boost my performance and recovery.

You will hear from me again in two weeks for another update.


Background - From Kewaskum Wisconsin, Brad is a heavy equipment operator. When not driving bull-dozers, Brad is pumping iron in preparation for the Naturalmania Nationals in New York on September 8, 2001. In 1998 Brad became interested in bodybuilding and became one of the increasing popular athletics who are dedicated to a completely drug-free lifestyle and joined the International Natural Bodybuilding Federation. Competing for the past three years, Bradís impressive records includes the following:

1999 NPC Wisconsin Junior Championships 3rd place light heavyweight

1999 NPC Pan Am Qualifier 2nd place light heavyweight

1999 NGA Wisconsin State Championships 3rd place middle weight

1999 NPC Southeastern Wisconsin Open 2nd place middle weight

2000 INBF Wisconsin State Championships 4th place middle weight

2000 INBF Wisconsin Pro-Qualifier 3rd place middle weight

Exercise and Nutrition Training Regimen- Intense training which includes mountain biking, cardiovascular, weight and strength training. Nutrition supplementation with multi-vitamins, including vitamin C and velvet antler.

Pre-Contest Training - On May 26, 2001, Brad will start his 16 week pre-contest training. Working with his personal trainer from Montreal Canada, Brad will intensify his training and supplementation in preparation for the INBF Naturalmania National Competition in New York on September 8, 2001. Visit our website often as we follow Bradís pre-contest training.