“We don’t sponsor athletes. We are athletes.” This quote perfectly captures the core philosophy of Purus Labs and the mindset of its CEO Brandon Smith. Smith is one of those alpha athletes who thrives on competition — with himself, with the other guy, with the weights, you name it. And that may be what ends up setting Formulife apart from the other brands that line the shelves at your local Vitamin Shoppe. You see, Smith doesn’t care about fancy, colorful labels as much as he cares about what’s inside that jug you’re spending your hard-earned money on. As an athlete — he still plays semipro football in Texas and is training to be an MMA fighter — he wants for you what he wants for himself: high-quality supplements that help you perform at your best. When it comes to training, whether it’s yours or his, this 32-year-old exec is all business.
Tell us a bit about your background in fitness.
I was an avid high school athlete, participating in baseball, basketball, football, track and powerlifting. And I had an immense passion for sports nutrition and how it relates to physiology because I was always searching for an edge over my peers. I can remember choking back the original vanilla Met-Rx meal replacements when I returned home from middle school. At that very young age, researching and applying supplements to my various workout regimens became an incessant passion. In fact, by my senior year, the coaches were letting me design and write our powerlifting workouts.
After high school, I played two years of college football before hanging up my cleats for bodybuilding. I moved to Lubbock, Texas, to attend Texas Tech University, where I majored in business marketing and began my full-time bodybuilding mission. I took a job at a supplement store, of course, and met many people who helped teach me the game. I competed in my first bodybuilding show while a senior and placed in the top five despite how green I was with my diet and regimen.
Upon graduating, I moved to Houston and became a personal trainer. I was disgusted with people’s lack of commitment and dedication, so I moved to Dallas to work for the sports-nutrition distributor Lone Star and competed in another NPC bodybuilding show, taking second in the open heavyweights. That’s where I met many contacts and networked with the right people to stage my later career moves. Here is where I launched Purus Labs full time and then, a few years later, a full contract manufacturing facility.
How do you keep fit these days? What are your workouts like?
I play semipro running back for the Texas United Football League champion the North Texas Longhorns and box because I’m training for my first MMA fight. Needless to say, my workouts are completely different. I had to undo 10 years of training and completely retrain my body from being a stationary hypertrophic-focused athlete to a highly agile, multidiscipline explosive athlete. There were many injuries, and many pulled muscles, but I think I’m finally over the hump. I still do strength training in between boxing and track workouts, but now I focus more on keeping my heart rate up and blood flowing to all muscle groups by doing compound sets of strength exercises with ancillary or agility exercises during so-called rest periods. At the track, I focus on power, explosiveness and agility, doing many traditional plyometric, sprint and cone drills along with pulling my four-door F-150 across the parking lot and flipping tractor tires. For boxing, well, it’s boxing, and they’re definitely the most brutal workouts of the week because my coach doesn’t believe in rest, period.
What’s your take on supplements and how they fit into a healthy lifestyle?
They are integral. But I only take supplements that fully disclose right on the label what’s contained within, and I only take supplements that have human, orally efficacious research validating their usage and results. This is why I founded Purus Labs and, as far as I know, we are the only company that does this. I was tired of seeing “marketing companies” instead of performance companies. Currently, we offer natural testosterone boosters, a lipolytic/thermogenic, preworkouts, blood glucose management and an overall antioxidant.