Bodybuilding.com Fit Employee Spotlight: Niranh Saniranh


Niranh Saniranh was a skinny, acne-prone kid who felt alone in the world and awkward at school. Then, at age 17, he started lifting weights. The change was immediate and positive. With each bit of muscle and strength gains came matching gains in confidence, but also in spirit. Whereas he’d once lived in a dark, isolated mental spot and was an easy target for other kids, Saniranh quickly came into his own.

By 18, he had transformed his body and was already prepping for his first competition, and he hasn’t stopped since. A classicist at heart, he follows the exact programs of iconic, 1970s-era bodybuilders. He likes their simplicity, technique, and of course, their results.

But it’s more than just technique and momentum driving him forward. Saniranh and the weights have “become one,” he says.

Today, Saniranh is one of our brilliant customer service representatives, a first responder to the calls for supplement guidance and training and nutritional help. Here’s what he had to say about working with his Bodybuilding.com team, working out by himself, and learning alongside our customer base.

Snapshot: Niranh Saniranh

  • Height: 5′ 11″
  • Weight: 175 lbs.
  • Occupation: Customer Service Representative
  • Location: Boise, Idaho

Contest Highlights:

  • 2015 NPC Idaho Cup: Men’s Physique, 4th place
  • 2018 NPC Idaho Muscle Classic: Men’s Physique, 3rd place, and Classic Physique, 4th place

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When did you get into fitness?

I was athletic when I was a young kid, playing basketball all the time, but when I got to high school I had a hard time with my physicality for a while. I was really skinny, I had bad acne, and people made fun of me, so of course I became introverted and shy, which made everything worse. I had a really hard time socially. I didn’t fit in, and I didn’t like what I saw in the mirror every morning. Things were rough.

But when I was 17, a junior in high school, I had a friend encourage me to work out. He told me that gaining muscle would change a lot of what I was dealing with, that it would make me feel better about myself and would also put my mind in a better place, and he was right. I started going to the YMCA with him, using his guest passes and then buying day passes, and I got bigger really quickly. After a few months, I joined a Gold’s Gym and I haven’t stopped working out since.

Has your fitness regimen changed over the years?

It hasn’t much! In the first few months of working out, my arms got really big and people at school were like, “Dude, your arms are huge, like a bodybuilder.” Because people were saying that, I would go home and look up bodybuilders on the Internet. I found Ronnie Coleman, and I was just fascinated by the lifestyle. I started watching videos nonstop. I fell in love with the sport, and was kind of addicted. I’ve been doing what bodybuilders do ever since.

Maybe one thing that’s different today is that I really like to work out by myself. I put in my headphones, clear my thoughts, and it’s just me. It releases all the stress.

And there’s a sort of next-level connection I have with the actual weights themselves. Something happens when I pick them up. It’s hard to explain, but me and the weights have a connection. I owe thanks to them because they saved my life, and I’m in touch with that when I lift them.

I don’t know if anyone ever says that, but it’s a spiritual experience, you know? It’s like Bruce Lee says, something like, “Empty your mind, be formless. If you put water in the cup, it becomes the cup.” That’s kind of how I feel when I pick up the weights, that the weights and I are one. 

Fit Employee: Niranh Saniranh

When did you start competing?

I signed up to do my first show at age 18, actually. I’d gotten really big in the past year. I weighed 185 pounds, so I had to diet down. I actually got under 150 and was pretty shredded, but I got scared. I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to win, and if I couldn’t win then I didn’t want to do it. I don’t know what that was about. Just fear and nerves, I guess, so I backed out.

Then, when I was 23, in 2015, I finally did my first show, the NPC Idaho Cup, and I placed 4th in the Men’s Physique class. This year, I did my second show, the NPC Idaho Muscle Classic, and placed 3rd in Men’s Physique and 4th in Classic Physique.

What’s it like working for Bodybuilding.com?

It’s awesome man, because you see pretty ripped and jacked people walking around, and it motivates you. Since I’m on the phones, I’m talking about fitness, nutrition, and supplements constantly, so it helps me stay on the right path, and to stay with my regimen. It’s a really good environment.

What are your co-workers like?

My co-workers are like friends and family, to be honest. It’s one of the few places I’ve worked where everyone has a really good vibe and aura, and we all just mesh really well. Nobody freaks out when you’re eating tilapia every day, stinking up the kitchen, because everybody just gets it, and it’s nice to be somewhere people really get you.

Fit Employee: Niranh Saniranh

What’s your favorite feature on the Bodybuilding.com site?

I like the articles. When I’m working with a customer and they ask me something I don’t know off the top of my head, like maybe they want a product to help with shuttling or nutrition partitioning, I’ll look it up on our site and find an article and learn about it with the customer. I actually learn a lot that way, from customers needing to know something I might not know, and we have all the articles that help with that.

What’s in the big picture for you?

When I was younger, like I said, I wasn’t happy with my image, and I got made fun of. When you’re that young and you don’t feel like you fit in, you go to a really dark place. But bodybuilding improved my confidence and improved my personality, and I just want to support that message and use my influence to tell people that living a healthier lifestyle really does help your overall life. It really does improve a lot of things. I want to spread that message.

Fit Employee: Niranh Saniranh

Also, I want to compete as a professional men’s physique and classic physique bodybuilder. I’ve got a long way to go, but I think there’s only one road for me right now. I think that I just want “Plan A,” you know? So, all the way to the end on that one, for me.

What’s your diet and supplement regimen?

I’ve been doing intermittent fasting for about three years now and it has been effective for helping me build muscle and maintain low body fat. Alongside this, my body reacts really well to carb cycling. So, I will normally fast 4-5 days out of the week with carb cycling. I fast for about 16 hours and have an 8-hour feeding window. If I have more fat to lose, I like to up my fasting time to around 18-20 hours with an eating period of 4-6 hours. I keep protein intake to around 200-250 grams, carb intake to 50-100 grams on low carb days, 150-200 on moderate days, and up to 400 on high carb days. I tend to keep fats at under 100 grams.

My main sources of protein are chicken, tilapia, salmon, lean ground turkey, and eggs. My main sources of carbs are white rice and brown rice. I like to get my fats from places like peanut butter, almonds, avocado, and coconut oil.

I don’t take too many supplements, as I believe more in perfecting my diet. However, I do like to take creatine and a whey protein, and I like the Bodybuilding.com Signature supplements for those.

What’s your training split like?

I’m really into following the old-school bodybuilders. Right now, I’m big into Serge Nubret, a French bodybuilder who was in his prime back in the 1970s. His training split is a little different than what’s considered normal today. Basically, I work out six days a week. The first day is mainly chest and quads, the next day is back and hamstrings, then shoulders and arms the next day. And then it’s a repeat, with a rest day breaking it up on the seventh day.

Fit Employee: Niranh Saniranh

I’ve been doing it like this for the past five or six months, but even before Serge Nubret’s training, I have always liked to do opposing sides of the body in one workout, like chest and back on the same day or quads and arms.

Nubret’s main goal was to force as much blood into the muscle as possible for as long as possible. I try to do moderate weights, and, with every workout, I’ll do 3-4 exercises for each muscle group, 6-8 sets, and 10-12 reps. Since I’m working with moderate weight, my rest time is cut down to 30-45 seconds.

Here’s a breakdown of my week:

Monday and Thursday: Quads, Chest, and Abs

1


+

6

more exercises

Sunday: Rest (abs only)

On ab day, I will do sit-ups, bicycle crunches, and leg lifts for 30-45 min



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2019 Bodybuilding.com Awards: Podcast Episode of the Year


Article of the Year | Main | Influencer of the Year

Our podcast is the perfect way to inject fitness inspiration and information into your commute, cardio time, or whenever you need a boost. Here are the year’s standout conversations!

“Weight gain” and “weight loss” tend to dominate fitness and nutrition conversations. But what if you want—or your sport demands—that the number on the scale doesn’t change all that much? Doug Kalman, Ph.D., RD, a researcher and dietician who has also competed in boxing, talks with Nick and gives him a no-BS lesson about how to eat for maximum strength gains and body re-composition. Listen up if you participate in a weight-classed sport, or just want to change your body without having to buy a whole new wardrobe!

Runners-Up

Pauline Nordin: Lessons from 20 Years of Hard Training

Pauline Nordin, fitness icon and creator of the Fighter Diet, tells the story of her fitness journey.

Fergus Crawley: Squatting 132 pounds 7,600 times in 24 hours

Fergus Crawley On Squatting 132 Pounds 7,600 Times In 24 Hours

What does it take to squat 132 pounds, 7,600 times, in 24 hours? And why in the world would you want to? Fergus Crawley reflects on lifting and depression in men.

Alyssa Ritchey: From the Farm to Weightlifting on the World Stage

Alyssa Ritchey: From The Farm To Weightlifting On The World Stage

Team Bodybuilding.com athlete Alyssa Ritchey went from farm girl to skateboarding to Olympic weightlifting (with a few more stops in between). This is her story, in her own words.

Finance to Fitness: How Brian DeCosta Made Incremental Changes to Yield Big Results

Finance To Fitness: How Brian DeCosta Made Incremental Changes To Yield Big Results

Brian DeCosta left his finance career behind and chose fitness instead, but he found financial wisdom to be applicable in the gym, too.

Article of the Year | Main | Influencer of the Year



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2019 Bodybuilding.com Awards: Clothing Item of the Year


Protein Bar of the Year | Main | Workout Accessory of the Year

Lifters are more discerning about their gym clothes than ever before. Here’s what you keep picking first out of the closet—or even right out of the drier!

These gym tights are an obvious standout among the Bodybuilding.com Collection and are here to stay. We aimed to create leggings that tick all the boxes for performance and style, so you can get rid of that drawerful of ill-fitting tights you hate to wear and just stock up on one thing that works.

This staple is simple but made with everything you need: durable fabric with four-way stretch, pockets for your phone and keys, a just-right fit, and a high waist that keeps you covered during squats.

Runners-Up

JYM Supplement Science: JYM Tee

The official uniform of the JYM Army, we see this tee all over the gym and on the street, too. Show your allegiance.

Animal: Animal Iconic T-Shirt

Animal: Animal Iconic T-Shirt

This classic tee lets you show the world who you are. It does not come in size small.

Bodybuilding.com: Endurance Jogger

Bodybuilding.com: Endurance Jogger

These are possibly the most versatile pants a guy can own. They look (and feel) amazing whether you’re lifting, doing cardio, or riding the couch. You’re going to want to stock up.

Bodybuilding.com: Est. 1999 Coin Tee

Bodybuilding.com: Est. 1999 Coin Tee

The Bodybuilding.com Collection keeps coming out with the best gym clothes that don’t look like gym clothes. This one’s so wearable, you’re going to want a spare.

GASP: #1 Mesh Shorts

GASP: #1 Mesh Shorts

It’s the little things that make a good pair of shorts, like flexible mesh and functional pockets. As Craig Capurso says in a short and effective review, these shorts are a “durable product made to be beaten up in the gym,” but rock it on the street, too.

Hylete: Men’s Vertex II Flex-Knit Zip Pocket Shorts

Hylete: Mens Vertex II Flex-Knit Zip Pocket Shorts

These shorts fit great, but the best part is the pockets. They’re zippered so your stuff doesn’t fall out when you bench. Sold!

Better Bodies: Astoria Curve Tights

Better Bodies: Astoria Curve Tights

These perfectly smooth tights stay out of the way when it’s time to go to work. The seamless design feels light as air and shows off your natural curves, and the length is just right.

Kaged Muscle: The Standard Tee

Kaged Muscle: The Standard Tee

Become a master of understatement. Remind yourself, and those around you, to rise to the bar in this simple shirt.

Protein Bar of the Year | Main | Workout Accessory of the Year



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2019 Bodybuilding.com Awards: Video of the Year


Transformation of the Year | Main | Article of the Year

These are the most-watched, most-shared videos on our channel. And given how many videos we publish and how many people watch them, that’s saying something!

Video of the Year: Lift Life, Michele Clark High School

At the end of the day, we do what we do out of love. Bodybuilding.com is all about changing lives. We know that not everyone is lucky enough to have access to good equipment, and that’s where Bodybuilding.com’s nonprofit organization Lift Life comes in.

This year, Lift Life built a deluxe new weight room for Chicago’s Michele Clark High School, which was in dire need of a better space for students to train. Our documentary shows the process of making it happen—and the reaction when lives were changed.

Runners-Up

Kingmaker: The Mike Rashid Story

One of the most ambitious videos we’ve ever published, this absorbing 40-minute documentary on the man behind Kingmaker will stay in your head for days. Rashid’s incredible metamorphosis showcases the power of sport and training like nothing else.

Meet the Powerlifting Grandma

A little old lady walks into the gym and shows everyone up. Spoiler alert: She’s not really that old. But she’s definitely that strong.

The Impossible One-Take Workout

One take. Six minutes. Unreal volume and agility. Jay Maryniak shows what “ready for anything” really means.

6-Foot-9 Bodybuilder Beach Workout

There’s nothing quite like watching larger-than-life athlete Ike Catcher going through a high-energy bodyweight workout on Muscle Beach.

Transformation of the Year | Main | Article of the Year



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9 Reasons to Join Bodybuilding.com BodyFit Elite in 2019


By now you’ve probably heard about our All Access programs and community. Simply put, people the world over are discovering comprehensive fitness plans offered by some of the biggest names in the fitness industry, including Hannah Eden, Kris Gethin, and Jim Stoppani, Ph.D.

In case you’ve already come up with excuses as to why you can’t make it happen in 2019, here are nine reasons why you can, and all the knowledge you need right at your fingertips.

Reason 1: Because Everyone Loves a Hard-Ass Trainer with a Heart of Gold

If you easily grow bored with training, you need to find your reason. And FYR: Hannah Eden’s 30-Day Fitness Plan offers a damn good one. Combining cardio, strength training, bodybuilding, athletic drills, and so much more, Eden puts you through brutally intense 30-minute workouts that keep your body guessing and burning fat. And her no-excuses training style and hardcore mentality won’t let you slide from meeting your goals.

“Work out for 30 minutes a day, give 150 percent, and leave your body on the floor,” Eden says.

That’s not too much to ask for the body of your dreams, right?

Reason 2: Because the Best Plan Is One That’s “Tailored” for Your Body

Aaron Marino, aka “Alpha M,” is all about men having the “total package,” meaning a solid mind, strong relationships, and lean body. If you’ve been neglecting one or even all three of these, Alpha M’s Tailored will be your guide to restructure it all. So, along with six weeks of workouts to help get you ripped, you’ll have videos with Marino that cover style and grooming tips, as well as how to increase your confidence. Being the buff dude in the gym or in your daily life is cool, but these details matter too in order to be all-around healthy.

Reason 3: Because We ALL Have the Right to Be Strong

Barbells were once intimidating for many women, but not anymore. With Uplifted and your strong, strong friend Meg Squats at your side, you’re going to make some crazy strength gains and become BFFs with the squat, bench, and deadlift.

But you don’t have to have your sights set on powerlifting to follow this program. These three compound lifts add serious all-over strength, and muscle mass, too. Maybe you’re simply hungry for gains—you wanna be jacked and strong.

“I’m taking the focus off of the scale and onto what your body can do,” Meg Squats says.

And anyone is capable of doing that no matter your age, gender, or size.

Reason 4: Because You Want a Body That’s as Much “Go” as “Show”

Andy Speer is known for training some of the most successful working professionals in Manhattan. They pay big money to look good and move well, and he has to deliver for them. Now he’s here to deliver the same for you, with Total Fitness with Andy Speer.

For eight weeks, you’ll be put through a series of workouts that encompass exactly what the name implies: building athleticism and putting the muscle you build to good use. You will see progression in your performance and appearance through four phases, each with a different focus:

  • Bodyweight and general physical preparedness
  • Hypertrophy
  • Strength
  • Athletic power

If you’re tired of basic weight training and desire a taste of what it’s like to be an athlete, Andy Speer has got your back.

Reason 5: Because It’s OK to Have Abs. No, Really.

Abs are made in the kitchen, but it definitely doesn’t hurt to work them in the gym, too. Fitness expert Abel Albonetti is a proponent of targeted ab work. He insists that you put in the time, effort, and intensity if you really want to see those babies pop. Just one look at Albonetti’s abs makes it tough to argue. They’re a testimony of his work ethic, as well as to what his workouts can do for you.

The beauty of 30-Day Abs with Abel Albonetti is that it can be attached to whatever program you’re currently running. Albonetti even gives you a suggested split so that your goals won’t conflict, allowing you to get the most out of this trainer. Each session is only 15-30 minutes long, so throw it on after your deadlift sessions, or on active rest/cardio days.

Reason 6: Because You Must Master the Essentials First, Grasshopper

Let’s be real: Nutrition is often more confusing than working out when you’re a newb in your fitness journey. Many people make the mistake of assuming what/how they should eat or not paying it any mind at all.

Foundations of Fitness Nutrition was created to educate you on all things food and supplement-related so you can avoid the pitfalls of fad diets and misinformation. With so many questions out there about calories, macronutrients, and supplementation, you can be assured that you’re absorbing expert information. The two experts both have Ph.D.s and RDs after their names!

Reason 7: Because Your Fitness Shouldn’t Depend on Gym Access

Just starting out? Saving money on a gym membership? Too lazy to leave the house? No reason you can’t still achieve the body you want…you’ll just have to take the first step and get up off the couch. Turn off the reality TV and IG scrolling for less than an hour, five days a week, and you’ll be well on your way to a home-built body in just eight weeks of consistency and heart-pounding sweat sessions.

In Home Body, Kym NonStop brings her instructor A-game and upbeat attitude to keep you on your toes and breathing hard as you cycle through strength workouts, full-body intervals, and circuits.

“Whoever said working out from home was easy, never did this program,” she says.

Reason 8: Because Dumbbells are a Smart Alternative to Barbells

While compound barbell movements are touted as the best way to build overall strength, don’t brush off dumbbell workouts. In The Total-Body Dumbbell Fix, Bodybuilding.com spokesmodel contest finalist Rickey Jasper II coaches you through each workout, showing you exactly how to perform the movements. All five workouts are 20 minutes or less, allowing you to combine some of them if you’d prefer a longer workout or less training days per week.

“The Fix” is set up with timed intervals as opposed to counting sets and reps. This allows you to design the workout to produce the results you want by way of how much weight and the number of reps. The choice is yours, but whatever you do, go all out! Total-body transformation doesn’t happen without total effort.

Reason 9: Because…Arms, Bro

Admit it, on the very first day you stepped into a gym, you envisioned arms the size of your torso. Somewhere along the way, you stalled, lost the fire, or flat-out weren’t consistent with the right movements. That all changes now with 30 Days to Your Best Arms.

So how exactly does the plan work? “With precise blends of heavy weights, crazy pumps, and just the right amount of volume,” says your trainer, Julian Smith.

The most common mistake that Smith sees is in the programming that people follow, and 30 days with his methods is the antidote to those dreaded soft noodle arms. Even if you’re midway through another program, you can add in these three arm routines each week to help those biceps and triceps reach new dimensions.



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2019 Bodybuilding.com Awards: Article of the Year


Video of the Year | Main | Podcast Episode of the Year

Out of all the useful guides, workouts, and other articles we published this year, our readers loved these ones the most.

If you’re trying to make sense of everyone’s favorite macro by turning to the internet, the sheer volume of articles and conflicting opinions will give you paralysis by analysis.

So, we took everything you need to know about protein—based on science, not opinions—and put it in one place. This mega-article is a great example of our commitment to being an authority on sports nutrition, and the only rabbit hole you need.

Runners-Up

What Female Lifters Need to Know about Strength and the Scale

It’s common for women to shoot for strength while trying to keep their weight low. This important article explains how that approach can sabotage your goals, and how to take a better approach!

Back Workouts for Men: The 6 Best Routines for Bigger Lats

Back Workouts for Men: The 6 Best Routines for Bigger Lats

Our ultimate guide to back training lays out routines for every goal, from mass to detail to pain-proofing. Your back is one of the most important muscle groups in your body, and this comprehensive guide tells you everything you need to know to treat it with the respect it deserves.

What You Can Do to Stop Sexual Harassment in Fitness

What You Can Do to Stop Sexual Harassment in Fitness

Sexual harassment has been a problem in the fitness industry for a long time, but only recently has it begun to be addressed. Here’s what you need to know to be part of the solution, not the problem. This is crucial reading, especially for guys.

The Self-Made Bodybuilder: How Brian DeCosta Unlocked His True Strength

The Self-Made Bodybuilder: How Brian DeCosta Unlocked His True Strength

Brian DeCosta’s incredible life makeover has had an unexpected benefit: providing a lifeline for men in the fitness world who struggle with the same problems he did.

Video of the Year | Main | Podcast Episode of the Year



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