Interview With Bodybuilder Brian Yersky as told to CriticalBench.com by Ben Tatar
Normally when Critical Bench does interviews we like to give a little background about our bodybuilders so you'll know a little bit more about them. However, there is an old saying "a picture is worth thousands of words." If you just look at the 5'10, 290lbs Brian Yersky you already know that you're talking to an amazing bodybuilder. Critical Bench brings to you-- BRIAN YERSKY!
1) Critical Bench: Brian, tell Critical Bench readers about yourself?
My name is Brian Yersky. I am 25 years old. I'm 5'10 and I'm 290lbs during the off-season and 252lbs when I compete. I'm just a small town country boy who appreciates the simple things in life. I love anything that has to do with being outdoors! When I'm not training, I'm hunting, camping, or fishing. For more information about me, check out my websites: www.Byersky.com
2) Critical Bench: Brian how did you get involved with bodybuilding?
I got into bodybuilding; call it weight training at this point, early in junior high school. I'd call it that because we all know it starts with training only chest and arms. I just wanted to be the biggest kid in school, plain and simple. Training took precedence over sports. I was training during practice and even before games. As I got more educated in the sport of bodybuilding I began to train all muscle groups.
After I graduated high school I didn't play any college ball, I just continued to train; pretty much just for size and gaining weight. I trained with my high school football coach for 2+ years. We trained religiously every day, and by everyday, I seriously mean everyday, there wasn't a day we weren't training. I established a good base and gained about 45 pounds in that time, I was 20 yrs. old and weighing in at 215.
I left Brookfield, OH in 2002 with my wife, Jordan, to move to Columbus while she attended dental school at OSU. This is where the bodybuilding career began. I started training at World Gym and got more interested in competing as time went on and I met more people in the sport. I trained for the next 2 yrs. continuing to grow and weighing in at around 250. This is the point in which I began getting ready for a couple of shows in the spring of '05.
3) Critical Bench: Very cool. Brian, tell us about your bodybuilding career from the start up to this point? Give us your bodybuilding resume!
2nd Novice & 4th Heavyweights
John Seif Classic
1st Novice Heavyweights/Novice Overall & 1st Super-Heavyweights
Ohio State Championships
Mid-Atlantic Grand Prix
1st Junior Division & 1st Super-Heavyweights
Mike Francois Classic
Ultimate Bodybuilding Showdown
1st Super-Heavyweights & Overall
Los Angeles Open
Ohio State Championships
Jr. California (June 23)
Collegiate Nationals (July 21)
4) Critical Bench: Wow! That's quite the resume! What have been the 5 best high lights of your career?
-Winning the Novice Overall in'05
-Winning a very competitive super-heavy class at the '05 Ohio Championships
-Winning the Overall at the '06 Ultimate Bodybuilding Showdown
-Shooting with the best photographers in the sport
-Having photos and articles published in the top bodybuilding and fitness magazines.
5) Critical Bench: What has been your favorite moment in your bodybuilding career so far?
I'd have to say winning the overall title at the Ultimate Bodybuilding Showdown.
6) Critical Bench: Brian, what are the funniest responses people give you when they see someone as huge and shredded like you walk down the streets?
It never fails; everywhere I go someone has to ask me if I'm Batista, the WWE Superstar. I've been asked that numerous times from walking through the airport to standing in line at the auto parts store. The funny thing is he is 6 or7 inches taller than I am.
7) Critical Bench: Hahaha, you weigh about the same as Batista while being 6-7 inches shorter and you also have the same body % as him! That's funny, you do look like you could be a great WWE wrestler. Would you want to be a WWE wrestler?
I guess it would be a great opportunity, however it's just not for me. I've been approached with offers and even contracts but I just want to make it as a pro bodybuilder in the IFBB and stand amongst the great ones. I'm a pretty reserved person, and the characters portrayed in the WWE are too flamboyant, to put it nicely.
8) Critical Bench: I see. In general, what is it like walking down the streets being one of the most muscular and larger than life 5'10 figures in the world?
First off, thanks for the compliment but I still look at myself and feel as if I'm that 165 pound 15 year old I was when I started training. Back to the question though, I get the stares, people pointing and whispering, and just outright comments, people with camera phones always wanting a picture and tons of nutritional questions, especially grocery shopping. I try not to pay to much attention to it but Jordan gets a kick out of it. If it's a compliment everything is cool, but don't let her hear something negative, she's ready to set them straight right there. Like I said, once you've decided to take this all the way I guess you got to take the good with the bad.
9) Critical Bench: Well, it's nice to see that you remain humble at all cost in your quest for size. So, tell us about your diet, supplements and training routine?
My diets are pretty simple; there are basically two versions, contest and off-season. The contest is high protein, low carb, low fat and the off-season in high protein, high carb, low fat.
My training now consists of a 5 day a week routine, but on the 2 off days I'm still hitting cardio, abs and calves. I'm probably going to switch it up this off season and start a 2-a day routine and take it to the next level.
For '07: win the Jr. Cal, win Collegiate Nationals, and receive sponsorship.
For '08: Be bigger, harder, and more complete, top 3 at Jr. Nationals and top 5 at USA's
Beyond that just keep improving and earn pro card at either USA's or Nationals.
11) Critical Bench: Good luck with that! Speaking of the quest to victory, what do you think separates the champs from chumps?
I'd have to say desire and dedication. You need to be hungry in this sport, make numerous sacrifices and be consistent, that is if you want to go all the way. Sure you can be a mediocre amateur and still drink and party, not diet hard, skip out on some cardio here and there, but if you want to join the best you need to make the sacrifices. There is always someone else out there better than you, doing 10 more minutes on the stepper, forcing out the last couple reps, so you need to push yourself beyond your limit knowing you my face him one day.
12) Critical Bench: What exercises do you feel are the most effective when it comes to making gains?
I love the heavy compound movements, such as dead lifts and squats. These exercises are what give you the thick dense muscle and that's what I'm looking for.
13) Critical Bench: Before competing how do you choose posing trunks and psychologically deal from bulking to cutting? (and which phase do you prefer, cutting or bulking?)
To be quite honest, I just have my wife pick a color and/or cut that she feels best fits me. Also working with Miles-of-Fitness on a personal level helps, Craig and Lisa are very knowledgeable, both being national competitors themselves.
As far as dealing with the weight fluctuation it's not really a big deal, I've come to terms with it being part of the game. However it is hard for me to see the hard earned mass come off so quickly when it seems like it took forever to put on. I personally don't prefer a phase; I like being shredded at 260 but love being a monster at 293 with abs and striations in my legs. Standing on stage at 275 pealed one day is a goal that would be nice to reach.
14) Critical Bench: Oh yeah, we've interviewed Craig Miles before. He's a great man! So, Brian when you are on stage what goes through your mind?
On stage, not too much goes through my mind, I just focus on posing from the floor up. Got to make sure the legs are in before you hit your pose. Prior to going on I just think about hitting and holding my poses and once I step off its all about finding a sip of water.
15) Critical Bench: Have you ever had a let down in bodybuilding that changed you for the better forever??
As odd as this may sound, it was last season at Jr. Nationals where I placed 13th. That was the most disappointing and yet the most powerful moment. I was expecting to place at least make the cut, 5th or better, it was very humbling and motivating. That moment pushed me through my off-season training and is fueling my desire for this year. I guess some would say it was a blessing in disguise.
16) Critical Bench: Brian, what has been your craziest moment in bodybuilding? What moment has changed your life the most? And have you had any serious injuries?
The craziest moment I'd have to generalize and say when people approach me and say they've seen my photos in magazine articles, want pictures taken with me and ask what pro show I'm preparing for. Hopefully soon, I will have an answer for that show question.
The moment that changed my life the most was the move to Columbus, I probably wouldn't have found my way into competitive bodybuilding if we hadn't moved.
I've been lucky, haven't had any injuries (knock on wood) and I have such a supportive wife that allows me to put training first. She knows that this has to be priority if I'm going to make it.
17) Critical Bench: Brian, I am going to name a few topics. Tell me what comes to mind.
Your favorite bodybuilder is?
Biggest mistake other lifters make is?
FORM, when training to be a true bodybuilder its not about just moving the weight but getting full contraction of the muscles you are training.
The best advice you were ever given was?
If you are trying to make it to the top you need to treat bodybuilding as a business as opposed to a sport.
If you could hang out at the Arnold with one athlete/Lifter it would be?
Your favorite and least favorite part about bodybuilding is?
Favorite part is training. It is a place of peace, nothing matters except moving some weight. There is no excuses, no distractions, and no nothing, just you and the iron. I honestly don't have a least favorite part. I love every aspect of this sport and this is why I am pursuing it as a full-time career.
How do you see the future of bodybuilding?
I see it becoming more mainstream, or at least more recognition given to the athletes. We are talking about the best physical and nutritionally minded athletes there are. Health and fitness in general society is the so called "in thing", so it's only a matter of time till it gets back to its roots.
18) Critical Bench: Brain it has been great talking to you! In closing is there any message you would like to give the IRON world and anyone who you would like to thank?
There are two things you need to remember, patience and consistency.
First off, I would like to thank my loving wife Jordan, she is my biggest supporter and #1 fan, also my parents, for all their support and traveling all over the country with us. I thank Mike Davies for all his time and encouragement and for his humbling ways to keep me grounded. Also, Mr. Ed Connors for all his support and advice. I have to thank Miles-of-Fitness for their posing trunks and spray tanning services and everyone else at World Gym North in Columbus.