Riku Hakkanen

riku1Riku Hakkanen
Nationality: Finnish

Why did you start working out?

I was quite a heavy drinker before and it was becoming quite evident that all the endless partying was ruining my body. One day I looked myself in the mirror and realized that I had gotten terribly out of shape; that’s when I decided to start working.

How long have you been working out?

About three and a half years

What are your goals?

I hope to win the Men’s Physique nationals of Finland and to motivate as many people as possible along my journey.

Do you feel you’ve had to make huge sacrifices in order to achieve your goals?

Yes. I’ve given up alcohol and partying, which has affected my social life.  However, I don’t miss that lifestyle. I enjoy eating clean and will never go back to unhealthy eating habits. I enjoy spending all of my time at the gym.

Have you seen or noticed any changes, health wise or physically, since you started working out?

Yes! Raised energy levels, more focus, and I feel much healthier. I haven’t been sick since I changed my eating habits. I’ve also lost a lot of body fat and gained a significant amount of muscle.

How much of a role does vanity play, in motivating you to exercise?

I’m not quite sure what the definition of vanity is, but I’m proud of my achievements and not afraid to show it off.

riku2How do the ladies react to your muscles?

They’re loving ’em gains.

You’re pretty shredded. What supplements do you take, if any?

Multivitamins, Fish oils, BCAA’s pre/intra/post workout, Whey protein, Creatine and Casein protein. When I’m cutting I might mess around with some L-carnitine and CLAs.

How often do you train?

I train twice a day, 6 days per week; in the mornings, I have a 45-60min weights session, followed by another session in the evening. I do cardio three times per week, with each session lasting about 30 minutes.

What routine has worked best for you?
The AM/PM double split has been the most effective for me.

What exactly is this AM/PM double split?

Basically, you work two body parts per session, twice a day (AM and PM). I do heavy, compound exercises in the mornings and isolation exercises in the evenings.

e.g Mon:Chest/Back, Tue: Shoulders/Arms, Wed: Quads/Hamstrings, Thu:Chest/Back,                 Fri: Shoulders/Arms, Sat: Quads/Hamstrings

Sometimes I just train one body part per day.

e.g.Mon: Chest, Tue: Back, Wed: Legs (Hamstrings), Thu: Shoudlers, Fri: Arms, Sat: Legs(Quads).

HIIT or slow, steady cardio?

I do 30 minutes of steady state cardio after my weight training session. On the running machine, I walk at a 15 degree incline or I use the Stair Master.

What’s your approach to nutrition?

When I’m cutting, I eat around 300-500kcals under my TDEE (total daily energy expenditure). My meals will consist of 35% carbs, 45% protein and 20% fats.  Most of my carbs are consumed in the morning and after my workout. I have one cheat meal per week.

When I’m bulking, my meals will consist of 50% carbs, 30% protein and 20%fats.  I don’t count my calories but I eat in the region of 300-500kcals above my TDEE.  I also try to avoid cheat meals. All nutrients come from natural food sources.

Can you give us an example of what you would eat when you are cutting?

Breakfast: Eggs and avocado with some oats.

Lunch: Broccoli and lean beef.

Dinner: Salad, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar, with chicken breast and a cup of brown rice.

Before bed: Protein shake, salmon or casein protein with almonds.

What do you usually eat for your cheat meal?


What advice can you give to those who want to be as ripped as you?
Do not ask how long you should train for, or how many sets/reps you should do, do it until your muscles are burning and begging for mercy. Do your research on the human body and proper nutrition.

What are some of the mistakes you made when you first started working out?

My diet was all wrong. I was eating as if I were in cutting phase, when I should have been eating to gain size.  So basically, I wasn’t eating enough.  Another mistake was that I used to train too long.  I would spend more than two hours at the gym, whereas now, I spend no more than an hour.

If you could only do 4 exercises for the rest of your life, what would they be?

Deadlift, squat, incline db press, olympic curls

Since you’re in pretty good shape, do you expect the same of your partner?

It is desirable.

People often have an idol or model fitness personality for inspiration. Who is yours?

Steve Cook


Instagram: riku_hakanen

Web: www.rikuhakanen.com

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