Myprotein writer Brian Kudler had the privilege of interviewing Vitruvian Physique. With over 143,000 YouTube subscribers and over 60,000 Instagram followers if you don't know about Vitruvian Physique then you should!
First of all, thanks for taking part in this Interview with Myprotein. Please tell us about yourself.
My name is Igor Opeshansky, but I go by “Vitruvian Physique” on YouTube and other social media. There are two reasons why I went with that name:
1. My goal is to represent a physique and lifestyle which is in perfect proportion. The term “Vitruvian” comes from the famous painting by Leonardo Da Vinci called The Vitruvian Man which in addition to being a work of art, is a representation of the “perfect” man in terms pf physical proportions. My goal has always been to build a physique which echoes this philosophy and is a combination of size, shape, symmetry, proportion, etc. In addition, I wanted to take this beyond simply physical development and apply the philosophy throughout all aspects of life such as my channel, business, education, and even my relationships.
2. It sounds cooler than a Russian 10-letter last name which is virtually impossible to pronounce, let alone spell.
I am Russian by birth and mother tongue, but I immigrated to Canada when I was 4. During school I naturally drifted towards the sciences, graduating from the University of Western Ontario with a double major in Human Physiology and Economics. I landed a job right out of school working as an analyst for a financial investment company on Bay Street (like the Canadian version of Wall Street), but immediately the 9 to 5 cubicle lifestyle started wearing me down.
I found myself inspired by the words of men who had an unbelievable work ethic, advocating sleeping only 6 hours a day because you can use every second of the remaining 18 hours and work towards a goal you are passionate about. I decided to emulate that mentality and put everything I had into my goal of creating an informative and motivating YouTube channel different from what everyone else was doing at the time. I slept 6 hours, worked about 9 hours, and spent every remaining second either in the gym or making videos about the gym until people finally started to take notice and my channel slowly started to take off.
I thought it would be best to talk about your fitness journey through YouTube, but first, what was an indicator in your life that made you think, “hey, maybe I should incorporate fitness into my lifestyle”.
Unlike with most people where there is a sudden “ah-ha!” moment where they decide to incorporate fitness into their lives, I always knew it would happen even from a young age. Like most young boys at that age I was obsessed with heroic TV characters such as Goku from Dragonball Z, Superman, etc. Some people like to watch a show or a sporting event and leave it at that, but I have always wanted to LIVE it.
My favorite episodes were never the “popular” season finales where there would be some earth-shattering final battle, but the mid-season episodes where the characters would train relentlessly in preparation for the final battle. I started casually training when I was about 11 or 12 with nothing but basic bodyweight exercises in my basement and joined the local community center gym on my 14th birthday (the minimum age you had to be to sign up).
What prompted you with the idea to start a YouTube channel?
I started to watch more and more YouTube fitness channels during university seeing it as an excellent source of information, entertainment, and most importantly: motivation. I was starting to get frustrated with the corporate life I had because I felt like I wasn’t creating anything. I wore a suit and tie to work, walked around with a briefcase containing a protein shake and an apple, spent 8-9 hours every day moving numbers around in spreadsheets which earned the company money, but I never MADE anything or had an impact on ANYONE.
I felt that even if my channel doesn’t go anywhere, it would be something worth putting my time and knowledge into because I can finish a video and say I MADE this and SOMEONE out there watched it and hopefully enjoyed it. There was a physical manifestation of what I put my energy into. You can click on it, watch it, rewind it, show it to your friends, whatever you want. In addition, I watched other fitness YouTubers like Matt Ogus, Christian Guzman, Steve Cook, Kinobody, etc. and like I said earlier, I would much rather LIVE it as opposed to watch it.
We would love to hear some of your thoughts on the current state of the “fitness industry” in today’s social media. Any thoughts on it?
There is so much good, but unfortunately there is some bad as well. The good is the growth of the industry and this its ability to reach new people, inspiring them to make positive improvements to their lives in terms of fitness and health. There is also a growing appreciation for science in the community which is fantastic. Some of the “essential” practices from 10-20 years are now considered archaic and useless. You used to have guys terrified to go more than 3 hours without eating in fear of going catabolic and missing out on potential muscle synthesis whereas now you have people eating 2 meals a day and their development isn’t hindered at all.
Eating clean “bro” diets consisting of 99% chicken breast and rice was the norm if you wanted to be lean back in the early 2000’s but YouTubers like myself and many others have proven you can lose fat just as effectively whilst eating a variety of foods including some that aren’t “clean”. Social media is connecting people and filtering information. Anything which is backed by scientific evidence and personal experience survives. Everything else fades away into the abyss of the internet.
The bad would be the somewhat unrealistic examples fitness social media sets for the general public. Girls with 22-inch waists and guys with 22-inch biceps are not realistic, nor are they healthy. The 280 lbs bodybuilders we see at 4% bodyfat are no longer a representation of the ultimate physique. Cool to look at, but not a lifestyle I want to live or display to my viewers, especially those who are newer to fitness and looking to life a healthier life.
What does your training and nutrition currently look like and what are you trying to do next to better your physique?
In terms of nutrition, I follow the principles of flexible dieting and IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros). Essentially, I am able to eat whatever I want (within reason) as long as I track the calorie and macronutrient profile of the foods I eat and ensure they align with the targets I set for myself.
Currently, I am leaning down from around 15% bodyfat to a target 7% bodyfat.
My daily macronutrient/calorie targets are as follows:
? Protein: 200g
? Fat: 60g
? Carbohydrates: 220g
Total Calories: 2220
Cardio: Optional (I go for a 20 minute jog about 3-4x per week for cardiovascular health reasons)
I switch training styles when I transition from lean bulking to cutting. When I lean bulk there is a much higher emphasis on low-rep, high intensity training with heavy compound exercises (bench/squat/deadlift/overhead press) whereas when I cut down, I increase reps and decrease weight and training volume just a bit to avoid injury. I follow a Push/Pull/Legs/Rest split where I work out each muscle group almost 2X per week.
Which Myprotein products are your favorite and how has MyProtein changed your life?
My favorite product is Impact Whey. I believe protein is the most important supplement because unlike carbohydrates and fat which is relatively easy to consume in a 21st century diet, protein is somewhat difficult to consume in the quantities I require to grow and maintain muscle mass (200g+).
Myprotein has given the opportunity to travel and see places/meet my fans from all over the world such as next month when I am flying over to the UK for a photoshoot for their next campaign.
Most importantly, Myprotein has allowed me to represent them whilst never compromising on my morals. My channel initially gained popularity because I stood up to and spoke out about some of the BS in the fitness/supplement industry as a whole. Every Myprotein product I have ever endorsed on my social media has genuine scientific evidence backing its efficacy and I would gladly consume myself.
Follow Vitruvian Physique
You can subscribe to Vituvian Physique's YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/user/VitruvianPhysique)
Follow him on instagram @vitruvian_physique