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Bodybuilder, avid hunter, and former hoops player Brian Yersky bagged the biggest trophy of his career with a 2012 NPC Nationals overall victory. Armed with this biceps and triceps workout, he’s now leveling his aim at the pro ranks – and FLEXOnline has the exclusive info on his winning training split and arm workout!

“For my first exercise I usually prefer the EZ-curl bar, actually, because it’s easier on the wrists, but I’ll do the straight bar sometimes, too,” Yersky says. “No matter what, though, I try to stay as strict as possible. It doesn’t do any good to flex your shoulders or shift your hips. Think of your elbows like a hinge—the only movement in your body should be there.”

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His hammer curls aren’t textbook style but arguably just as effective. He holds the dumbbells at his sides to start, palms facing his hips, but instead of bringing the weight forward on its ascent, he brings it in across his torso toward the opposite shoulder on each rep. “I get more of a squeeze in the bi’s when I go cross-body,” he says.

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Yersky incorporates high-pulley cable curls, or as he memorably refers to them, headbangers. Snapping D-handles onto the loop at the end of each cable, he takes one in each hand and settles into a staggered stance in the center of the apparatus, elevating his upper arms so they are parallel with the floor. Breathing in, he bends both arms, which immediately tense against the weight. Slowly and under control, he brings the D-handles to within an inch of each ear, then holds the peak contraction for a beat before lowering.

"For a competitor, it’s a unique opportunity to do the front-double-biceps mandatory pose against resistance. I picture that, and I tense my whole body when I’m doing them,” Yersky says.

“Every arm day is different,” he says. “Every week, I switch of between triceps and biceps as the lead. If I do tri’s first, I may start with 21s with my partner instead of standard heavy curls. I’ll also incorporate preacher curls or single-arm preachers. It’s wide open.” 

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This exercise targets the medial head of the triceps, making it a valuable alternative in the training arsenal.

“You can’t use as much weight with this exercise as you can with palms down, of course, but that doesn’t matter to the results,” Yersky says. “Go for a hard, tense contraction on each rep and lock that upper arm in place.”

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“I treat this as a heavy, all-out movement,” Yersky says. “I’ll do four to five sets total, pyramiding up to the full stack, and then beyond. I’ll either add a plate to the stack, or I also had special pins made that I can use to add weight to it.” The key to getting the most out of pressdowns, he stresses, is form. “Your upper arms don’t move, they stay at your sides. You pivot only at the elbow joint, and stop the upward motion when your arms are parallel with the floor.”

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“I’d love to be the biggest guy on stage five years down the road but still be in the shape I was at Nationals. But for now, if I can get to 262 to 265, I’m not going to complain. At this point, I have to hang my hat on conditioning.”

Breon Ansley
Per Bernal

■ Birthdate: Jan. 13, 1982
■ Birthplace and Current Residence: Brookfield, OH
■ Height: 5’10”
■ Weight: 257 lbs contest; 307 lbs off-season
■ Occupation: MET-Rx–sponsored athlete
■ Marital Status: Married (to Jordan), with a 1-year-old daughter
■ Competitive Highlights: 2012 NPC Nationals, super-heavyweight and overall champion (earned pro card); 2011 NPC Nationals, super-heavyweight, 3rd; USA Championships, super-heavyweight, 3rd; 2009 NPC Junior Nationals, super-heavyweight, 3rd; 2008 NPC Junior USA, super-heavyweight, 3rd; Junior Nationals, 4th; 2007 NPC Collegiate Nationals, super-heavyweight, 1st; 2007 NPC Junior California, heavyweight, 1st.
■ Website: brianyersky.com, facebook.com/Probrianyersky