Interview with Magnum Nutraceuticals Vice President: Bert Neibergall

Magnum Nutraceuticals is constantly looking to market new, innovative and highly effective products. Get to know the man behind their strategies a little better. Meet Magnum’s Vice President, Bert Neibergall.

  • Hometown: Prince Rupert, BC, Canada
  • Current Location: Vancouver BC
  • Height: ‘5 9”
  • Weight: 225 lbs
  • Age: 46
  • Favorite Clean Meal: Barbecue Salmon and Quinoa
  • Favorite Cheat Meal: Big Juicy Hamburger with Great Bacon and Strong Aged Cheese
  • Social Media:  Instagram, Facebook  and Linkedin

For those unfamiliar with you, can you tell us a bit about your background and how you got involved in the fitness industry?

I started working out in high school to add some size and strength for hockey season. Once I started getting results, I was hooked and have been lifting weights ever since. I worked my way through college at gyms and health food stores and made the transition to wholesale supplement sales in 1996.

For 10 years I worked for a large Canadian manufacturing and wholesale company called Fit Foods; ultimately I became Director of Sales. When I left Fit Foods, I worked for industry giant MuscleTech as Canadian National Sales Manager. From there I started my own sales, marketing, and operations consulting company in the supplement industry and worked with many current distributers and brands.

How did you become involved with Magnum Nutraceuticals and how long have you been working for them?

I ultimately decided to purchase a brand and grow it in the direction that I felt would best serve consumers and one that was missing in the industry, a high-end brand that focused on science based formulas and only utilized Pharmaceutical Grade raw materials to offer the best possible user results. In my search to purchase a company and transform it, I met Markus Kaulius, the founder of Magnum Nutraceuticals and the rest is history! We’ve worked together since 2009.

A great thing about our partnership is that while some of our skills overlap, we also both have our strengths that differ from one another. Markus is a great leader and someone who pushes the boundaries of what’s possible. He’s always asking, “Why can’t we do that” and then pushing through. It’s a great position to operate from and with him being such a visionary; it allows me to dig into other areas such as “How are we going to do that”?

The supplement industry is very competitive, what do you feel sets Magnum Nutraceuticals apart?

Our integrity and commitment to our vision is unmatched. We are unwavering in our belief that everything we do should be done with integrity. When we say we’ll make our consumers the best, most effective supplements in the world, we live to do that and do everything in our power to deliver on that promise.

A promise like that cannot be fulfilled if profitability is the sole driving force behind the decisions. Every single day we have to make a choice, buy the best raw materials in the world or buy less expensive, but also less effective, raw materials. This is where our integrity comes into play as no one but ourselves will call us out on our choices.

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We make supplements that we at Magnum want to use every single day and we want to use the world’s best supplements!

How do you come up with future formulations for Magnum products and what do you look for?

  • I look for the white space in a category, meaning we can slot a product in that won’t be a copycat, one that will occupy its own space in that category.
  • I look at the problems in a category and come up with a solution. A good example would be, water retention from creatine monohydrate or an upset stomach from pre-workouts.
  • I research absorption agents to improve the efficacy of the raw materials I am working with. Many ingredients are excellent at what they are purported to do, but in the real world they don’t work. Sometimes this is fixed by increasing the absorption or uptake through carrier molecules or secondary helper ingredients.
  • I look at market trends and new ingredient science coming down the pipeline. This is potentially the most exciting space to operate from, but also the hardest to create success in. This is because heavy marketing in our industry is generally not geared towards new breakthroughs; companies usually choose to repackage old ideas and remarket them to the public.

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It takes a special type of customer to see through all of that white noise and look for something really unique and new; luckily these tend to be Magnum customers.

What do you enjoy most about coaching and mentoring new employees?

I’ve been in the industry for a long time, and I take great pride in seeing so many of my ex employees excelling and growing into amazing human beings. I’ll never forget the opportunity that was afforded to me when I first started in the supplement industry and I love watching some of my employees grab that brass ring and run with it when that same opportunity is given to them. For these people I would do anything and am always available to train and mentor.

I live by a quote by Ralph Nader “I start with the premise that the function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers” and then every day I strive to inspire someone if I can inspire one person per day then that day is a success.

Everyone at Magnum seems to have a really good sense of humor, do you have a funny story that comes to mind you’d like to share?

It’s true, we love to laugh, and we do it often. At some point everyday at Magnum HQ the halls are filled with laughter, and it’s infectious. Laughter fills the soul and creates an amazing workspace for everyone. Do we expect work to get done? Of course we do, but a high stress environment is good for no one and really just leads to a less productive team.

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As for sharing a funny story, I think I’ll just leave that to the imagination or for people to experience for themselves at one of our tradeshow booths or other industry events.

What are your personal favorite Magnum products and why?

Opus – It’s amazing and stimulant free; I can train for hours when I take it and I recover better as well.

Mimic – Is a must for me, as I get older and still want to enjoy my carbohydrates; it is an amazing product for my cheat days or even just a cheat meal. I usually have two caps rolling around in my pocket at all times.

Hi-5 –This amino acid recovery drink is the most complete formula on the market and really provides me with amazing recovery from training.

Volume – This product is an excellent cell volumizer that allows me to train longer and harder and recover quicker. It also makes you look huge and ‘swole’ in the gym; it’s kind of a win, win; if you ask me!

Right now I’m in a fat loss stage and focusing quite hard on manipulating my hormone levels to ensure I hit my target body fat goals on schedule.

Bert’s Daily Supplements

Fat Incinerator Stack

Mimic – Helps balance my blood sugar levels and allows my body to efficiently burn fat for energy.

Heat Accelerated – This is an amazing thermogenic; I don’t feel all jittery or ‘off’ while dieting.

Acid – Is our CLA Isolate that helps me burn fat while I’m sleeping and blocks fat from being stored once my diet is over.

Natural Hormone Stack

G-Spring – Boosts my growth hormone levels naturally while I sleep and allows me to get the deepest REM sleep possible.

E-Brake – Helps lower my estrogen levels and allows my body to lean up quicker.

Thrust – Helps boost my testosterone levels and allows me to utilize a higher protein intake while dieting.

Health Stack

Quattro – A deliciously clean fast and slow releasing protein powder.

Performance Greens – Tastes amazing and is full of antioxidants; it supplies me with healthy energy and mixes great in Quattro.

Primer – This is my foundational go to supplement that includes so many essential ingredients for health and recovery.

How has your training evolved over the years?

I think I’ve tried every training program ever created; I kid you not! I started working out in high school over 30 years ago. I followed everything Arnold ever wrote about training and read his Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding from cover to cover.

I followed all of the Weider principles, and my routines were based solely around the supposed workouts of the pro bodybuilders of the time. As I got older my scope of research grew and my training evolved. I started using Bulgarian-style training, Power Factor training, Rest Pause training, German Volume Training, Olympic lifting, progressive overload, heavy-duty training, HIIT, FST-7, and much more.

Now I use a mix of whole body- high intensity training in a group setting such as Cross Fit. I also do some body part weight lifting sessions throughout the week. I try to minimize any and all steady state cardio, but I do realize that there’s a time and a place for this fat loss tool, especially as you target lower and lower body fat levels.

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Bert’s Training Schedule
Monday/Wednesday/Friday
 Full Body
  • Squats
  • Deadlifts
  • Cleans
  • Snatches
  • Burpees or Box Jumps
  • Sprints, Rower or Running
Tuesday
 Chest/ Back (Super Sets)
  • Incline Bench Press/Bent- Over Rows 4 x 12
  • Dumbbell Flys/Weighted Chins 4 x 12 - 15
  • Weighted Dips/ One Arm Dumbbell Rows 3 x 8 -10
Thursday
 Shoulders/Arms (Giant Sets)
  • Hammer Strength Shoulder Press/DB curls/Hammer Strength Triceps Dip Machine 3 x 12
  • Side Lateral Raises/Easy Curl Bicep Curls/French Press 3 x 12
  • Bent- Over Side Lateral Raises/Dumbbell Concentration Curls/Dumbbell Overhead Triceps Extensions 3 x 12
Saturday
 Cardio
  • Hill Runs or Trail Hikes for 20 minutes in the woods with my dog, Abby
Bert’s Weekly Diet

This is where I go off the rails a little bit compared to the average fitness enthusiast. I follow a fasting schedule each week and alter it, and my food days, depending on my goals. Currently I’m in a fat loss stage as I am working on getting very lean for the Mr. Olympia weekend in September. I fast for two 24 hour periods each week with three clean eating days, one moderately clean day, and one cheat/re-feed day.

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Monday
  • 7:30 am – Coffee
  • 9:30 am –1 Slice Multi Grain Toast, 1 Apple, 1 Quattro Protein Shake with Magnum Performance Greens and Water
Then I begin my fast for the rest of the day.This means nothing with calories, just lots of water, black coffee or tea, maybe a diet coke, but I try to minimize those and that’s all folks! It’s really not as bad as you think; hunger and cravings are on par with any diet and I end up sleeping for a big portion of the 24 hour fast anyway.
If anyone is interested in learning more about fasting, I strongly suggest reading Eat, Stop, Eat by Brad Pilon as he dispels all of the old fasting myths with excellent and factual science.
Tuesday
  • 7:30 am – Black Coffee
Then I break my fast at 9:30am with the exact same breakfast as the day before.
  • 9:30 am – 1 Slice Multi Grain Toast, 1 Apple, 1 Quattro Protein Shake with Magnum Performance Greens and Water
  • 12:30 pm – 1 Chicken Breast, ½ Cup Quinoa and 1 Large Handful Coleslaw
  • 3:30 pm – 1 Chicken Breast, ½ Cup Quinoa and 1 Large Handful Coleslaw
  • 7:00 pm – 1 Chicken Breast, ½ Cup Quinoa and 1 Large Handful Coleslaw
  • 9:00 pm – 1 Medium Size Barbecue Salmon and 1 Large Salad
Wednesday
  • 7:30 am – Black Coffee
  • 9:30 am – 1 Slice Multi Grain Toast, 1 Apple, 1 Quattro Protein Shake with Magnum Performance Greens and Water
  • 12:30 pm – 1 Chicken Breast, ½ Cup Quinoa and 1 Large Handful Coleslaw
  • 3:30 pm – 1 Chicken Breast, ½ Cup Quinoa and 1 Large Handful Coleslaw
  • 7:00 pm – 1 Chicken Breast, ½ Cup Quinoa and 1 Large Handful Coleslaw
  • 9:00 pm – 1 Medium Size Barbecue Salmon and 1 Large Salad
Thursday
  • 7:30 am – Black Coffee
  • 9:30 am – 1 Slice Multi Grain Toast, 1 Apple, 1 Quattro Protein Shake with Magnum Performance Greens and Water
Then I begin my fast for the rest of the day.This means nothing with calories, just lots of water, black coffee or tea, and maybe a diet coke.
Friday
  • 7:30 am – Black Coffee
Then I break my fast at 9:30am with the exact same breakfast as the day before.
  • 12:00 pm –1 Chicken Breast, ½ Cup Quinoa and 1 Large Handful Coleslaw
  • 2:30 pm – 1 Chicken Breast, ½ Cup Quinoa and 1 Large Handful Coleslaw
  • 5:00 pm – 1 Chicken Breast, ½ Cup Quinoa and 1 Large Handful Coleslaw
  • 7:30 pm – Sashimi Sushi and Tuna or Salmon Roll
I eat some extra carbs at this meal, but I don’t go overboard; Saturday is my cheat day.
Saturday
I kind of eat whatever I want.
  • Pizza, Dark Chocolate
At night, appetizers or wings and a beer or two if we go out to dinner with friends.
Sunday
I clean up my diet again but I’m not as rigid as the rest of the week.
  • Salmon, Salad and a Sandwich
My weekly caloric intake is pretty low when I am banking on days, but when I’m on a fat loss program for maintenance I’ll only fast once per week to maintain a good healthy body-fat percentage. My daily caloric intake works out to roughly 1,400 calories a day and about 10,000 calories per week; this is pretty low if I was to do it day in and day out, but I don’t. I’ll have 2 zero calorie days, 3 low calorie days, 1 moderate calorie day, and 1 high calorie day.
This allows me the ability to go out with my family or friends and stay on my diet and I am still able to enjoy all the fun foods on a vacation or a trip.

I know you’re very family oriented. How old are your children and tell us how you incorporate training, eating clean and living an active lifestyle into your own household?

I have four wonderful children whose age’s range from 20, 16, 12 and 7 years old. I figured out early how important it was to schedule workouts into my life. I also have a beautiful wife who makes fitness even more of a priority then I do; she teaches yoga, runs half marathons, lifts weights and participates in high intensity group classes.

Our children all participate in sports and various physical activities such as: Aikido, dance, soccer, basketball, track and field, weight training, distance running, yoga, and some I’m forgetting for sure. My wife is the rock that gets everyone to the places they need to be and still manages to schedule in at the least one training session a day, but usually two! We work it out so she trains in the early morning, and I train late after work; then I pick the kids up from their activities.

It’s busy but we get it done; it’s a priority and it’s a leadership position in our household that we take very seriously. Children need to see their parents participating in activities that keep them healthy. My kids get screen time (iPads, video games, TV), of course, but it’s all about balance.

I moved my oldest sons X-Box into our home gym and told him he had to do at least 30 minutes of each game while riding on the spin bike or walking on the treadmill. It’s a fair trade off and he still gets to play video games.
This same type of mentality infiltrates our food choices; my wife and I both eat clean, but we also both like to eat something more indulgent if we want it.

Just last night, my youngest son was pushing us after dinner for dessert and we had to explain that he already had his dessert in the middle of the day when he ate ice cream after being on the trampoline. It was a case of pointing out that food habits, like eating desert right after dinner, are only that, habits, they are not rules to live by. Eat most of your food for fuel and health but allow yourself some sense of life into your day or week, but it has to be limited or the pendulum swings and poor health can set in.

What are your hobbies outside of the fitness world?

I love to read. I read both fiction and non-fiction and I usually rotate between the two genres. Currently I’m reading Book 5 in the Dark Tower series by Steven King, Wolves of the Calla. Prior to that, I read Console Wars, Sega, Nintendo and the Battle That Defined a Generation; a great read.

I enjoy historical business books or autobiographies as well as anything else that I’m interested in. I fell in love with Cross fit last year and since then, I’ve read five different books on it. I get obsessive! I also enjoy great movies and we try to watch one or two every month. It’s tough to find a great movie, but when we do, it’s a real joy.

Finally, I would say my dog Abby is a real pleasure to be around. I love walking her in the woods by my house and letting her run and roam around. She makes me laugh and puts my whole day into perspective.

How many tattoos do you have and what do they represent?

I have five tattoos; they all have something to do with my family and wife. I have a large rib piece that was just completed that reads THE QUICK AND THE DEAD. This was a particular piece of advice that my dad loved to bestow onto me whenever I complained about the injustices of the world while I was growing up; “There are two kinds of people, the quick and the dead.” It was my dad’s way of saying stop complaining and go get it done; it’s something I’m sure my kids are sick of hearing from me by now. I’ve probably got a few more tattoos in my future, but I tend to get them when the inspiration strikes, so I don’t know what’s going to be next.

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