Deniz Yozkan
How I Choose Fitness over Martial Arts and Professional Fighting


We talked with Deniz Yozkan in September, 2019. Follow Deniz on Instagram
Country:
Bulgaria
Age:
18 years
Weight:
88 kg
(194 lbs)
Height:
186 cm
(6'1)

Hi! Tell us about yourself and your training

Hello, my name is Deniz Yozkan and I’m from Bulgaria. I’m 18 years old and living in Sofia. Next year I will be a medical student.

I’ve been training since I was a little boy. I started with wrestling. It was not really serious and I did it for approximately an year. Then I moved to karate Kyokushin.

I absolutely loved it, it taught me so many things… The main principles of this sport are the respect, the discipline and the dedication.

I started when I was 12 and I practiced it really intense until I was 17.

When I was 15 I also added in fitness. The reason back then was just to get some mass, some strength, I really didn’t know what I was doing.

After some months, I saw some progress in the mirror and with the time I loved it more and more.

I started reading about bodybuilding and fitness every single day. I was reading scientific researches, I was watching tons of videos of youtubers like Jeff Nippard, David Laid, Dylan McKenna, Layne Norton and a few more.

These guys really helped me get deeply into the fitness industry.

I was learning a lot. After 1-2 years of continuous studying I reached a level of knowledge that many “personal coaches” haven’t reached yet. Mainly because most of them are applying the old school bodybuilding principles.

When I turned 17, I had to choose a career. I started studying biology and chemistry intensely and I have to choose either the gym or the martial arts.

So I thought… I wasn’t going to become a professional fighter, I already knew how to defend myself and the people around me so I should go with the gym.

I also really, really loved the gym. The feeling when I step in there, the knowledge, the heavy weights and the sound of them… priceless. I never looked back and continued progressing.

I don’t have any sponsors, but when I start managing my time with the medical studies better, I will for sure start to work more on my social media and get things going.

Hopefully in the future I will be noticed. My goal is to have the medicine as a career, and the fitness as a “side-career” if you know what I mean.

I love them both, but going all in on the fitness won’t really secure me the future I want, and going all in on the medicine… I really love the fitness so I can’t abandon it.

The medicine helps me understand many biological reactions in the body that lets me get a deeper level of knowledge in fitness.

Describe a typical day of training


I absolutely love the atmosphere of training with strong ass guys

I’m a big believer in the high frequency training. You should do some research and you will see how much better it is to train a muscle group more than 1 time a week vs the typical bro-split with chest on Monday, legs on Tuesday etc.

Depending on the muscle group, you can do even 4 workouts a week for that muscle group. For example the biceps is a small muscle group so it recovers quite fast and you can do like 3-4 sets x 4 times a week and you should be good.

To learn more, you should check Dr.Mike Israetel’s research about hypertrophy.

I’m doing 4 workouts a week. They are two upper body workouts and 2 full body workouts with lower body being the emphasized body part.

Each workout takes me approximately two hours to complete (with the good warm up and the stretching after the workout).

In the full body workouts, I pretty much do some rear delts, arms, some back just to add in some weekly volume.

Overall the most important thing is the volume. There’s really nothing special about my program. I picked some good and favorite exercises, I calculated the volume, split them into workouts.

I tried to match them well with bench press and barbell rows and antagonist superset as I absolutely love that.

There are people who superset squat and biceps for example, I quite don’t like it, but if it works for you, go ahead. You gotta enjoy it!

I do love to train with others. I know pretty much all the guys in the gym so the atmosphere is amazing. It’s a local gym, so you can tell some heavy weights are being thrown. I absolutely love the atmosphere of training with strong ass guys and pushing the limits every single workout.

Before my workouts I take 200-400mg caffeine (The brand is MyProtein, top tier quality brand, so you won’t go wrong with it. You can also use labdoor.com to check the quality of other supplement brands).

I also do a scoop of a pump product (PEAK Epic Pump – it’s literally the best pump product with the absolute proper dosages I’ve seen. I can put my name on this product, well done PEAK).

Most people think pump products have 1-2 hour effect while you’re in the gym and then poof. It’s like you didn’t take anything, what a waste of money.

Pump products act by increasing your nitric oxide resulting in better blood flow (the main ingredients are citrulline malate and nitrates). Better blood flow means more nutrients being transported.

What that means? More growth… of course I mainly take it to get better pumps as it overall pushes me to do more, increases my dopamine when I see the amazing pump and makes my time there more enjoyable.

Examine.com is a good site if you want to check the effects of almost any supplement.

After my training I stretch reaallllll good and then eat some reaalllll food.

In my gym bag I keep my powerlifting belt, some wrist wraps, ear pods and water. Really important to stay hydrated!

How do you keep going and push harder?

Big Ron (Ronnie Coleman) once said… Everybody can workout when the motivation is high, but only the champions do what needs to be done when the motivation is low.

Honestly after some time it just becomes a lifestyle. When motivation leaves the room, discipline enters.

You gotta love what you do, that’s how you keep training for long, that’s how you keep pushing yourself, that’s how you find time for it. You just gotta fucking love it!

How are you doing today and what does the future look like?


I promise life changes hella lot when you have better physique!

I keep pushing myself at every workout. I do train smartly, do deloads and etc. It’s a long-term game.

My goals in the future are to keep progressing, keep getting a better physique and influence as many people as I can to get into this lifestyle or at least train any sport the love.

I just started bulking so my goal this winter will be to reach approximately 95 kg, do some PRs and then do a good cut for the summer, when I will probably release a 15-19 years old transformation video.

It’s important to stay fit and healthy! I promise life changes hella lot when you have better physique!

If I could start over in my fitness journey… I would not change anything. You learn by your mistakes, they are a crucial part of our life.

How do you recover, rest and handle injuries?

Injuries are really bad. You can avoid them by warming up properly, training smartly and safely, and stretching after the workout.

I see too many people going in, laying on the bench and going for their 6 rep max working set.

Like… what the hell? Do some static warm ups, move around, do some cardio (treadmill, bicycle, whatever you like), get in blood, break a sweat and then go on the bench.

Do 1 set with the bar, add a bit weight and work your way up to your first working set. To it steady. This also results in more power as you’re warmed up better, your muscles are ready to fire, your joints are warmed up well.

I try to sleep at least 8 hours. It’s crucial. That’s 90% of the time you’re recovering and growing.

When I go on holidays I lower the volume to a level that allows me not to lose muscle and not spend a lot of time.

If there are no gyms, I would do lots of push ups, pull ups if there are bars or even a tree and squats. All bodyweight to failure.

There was this holiday I couldn’t find a gym so I did max sets of push ups 5 days out of 7.

I was doing approximately 90 reps per set and I did like 3 sets per day. When I got back my bench had actually increased.

To recover properly all you need is real food and good sleep.

How is your diet and what supplements do you use?

I do IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros), check it out here.

I was cutting on 1500 calories and now I’m steadily increasing them back into maintenance and then I will start bulking. When I was at my peak bulk of 90 kg when I was 17, last year, I was eating like 4000-4500cal a day.

I track protein, carbs and fats. I use the app MyFitnessPal, helps a lot.

The supplements I take are pretty basic – some good multivitamins (Whole Earth and Sea – probably best dosed vitamins from high quality sources) , creapure creatine monohydrate (any brand that has creapure labeled, currently I have MyProtein and Weider), high quality omega 3s (MyProtein) and a crazy mfkin pre-workout.

As I do IIFYM I can have cheat meal every day. I try to keep it 80% good quality food (meat, fish, rice, oats, fruits, veggies, peanut butter and etc. You can check in Google, usually if you type best protein foods/best carbohydrate foods/best good fat foods and you see a list lol. Plus 20% “not so good” foods (pizza, burgers, doner – I absolutely love doners, pancakes) 🙂

I don’t drink coffee, I don’t like it. I do take caffeine pills tho.

The topic with alcohol and fitness is long. You can check it in Google but in short… just lower your carbs or fats or both for the day and up your protein a bit and drink safely 🙂

If your goal is to get drunk, which it usually is and I honestly don’t see why people drink “just to drink”, just take some shots, that’s the most calorie economical way.

Drink a lot of water the day after too!

What has inspired and motivated you?

The guy that inspired me when I started was Zyzz. Also I watched guys like Jeff Seid, Zac Aynsley, etc.

When I train, I listen either to 2pac/hardstyle/russian rap or some deep house.

Advice for other people who want to improve themselves?


It’s good to combine bodybuilding with martial arts

Read, read and read. Train smart! As it’s said … No brain, no gain.

I think the wrong thing most people do is that they don’t really know what they’re doing. They’ve heard from Josh this exercise is good for chest so they do it everyday.

They see some exercises on some magazine so they add them in. They end up with unbalanced, improper routine. The most important thing is to get on a good program and stay progressing. Be patient and trust the proces.

It’s good to combine bodybuilding with martial arts (to know how to defend yourself and the people around you), some yoga or whatever that helps you stretch and be more flexible and overall.

After every workout I stretch every muscle, that not only helps with muscle stimulus but helps in preventing injuries too.

There was this scientific research Jeff Nippard made a video about, that muscle stimulus is increased plenty by doing some static stretches on the muscle group you’re working out for like 20-40 seconds between your sets.

So if you’re doing bench press, you will stretch your chest, if you do biceps curls, you will stretch your biceps and etc.

Are you taking on clients right now?

I really love what I’m doing. I started by helping my closest friends by making them programs and teaching them some things so they can get a better physique.

I really loved helping out people change their life for the better, so I started taking on clients and doing some online coaching.

I spend a lot of time to think on my clients’ schedule, lifestyle, stress, sleeping and many more things so I can come up with the best program for that individual.

It usually takes 1-3 months to see some progress in the mirror.

Where can we learn more about you?

You can check my instagram @denko315


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I’m Mads Phikamphon, founder of Bulk Hackers.

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