Brian Turner, popularly known in the fitness realm as HumerusFitness, has been a natural bodybuilder for eight years. Brian boasts 110K subscribers on his YouTube channel, 61K Instagram followers, and one hell of an awesome body. We caught up with him to talk what it means to train naturally, veganism and his YouTube success.
Let's get to know you a bit... what got you into bodybuilding?
The first event that pushed me into changing my occasional visit to the gym, which consisted of screwing around with light reps on whatever, into a fully dedicated body punishing workout was seeing my brother, Eric after just 2 months of lifting. Vascularity and striations were showing through his delts, and I was amazed at how much better it looked and how big he had appeared to have gotten! Of course I couldn't let my big brother get bigger and better than me, so I started hitting the gym with a weekly workout log printed from bodybuilding.com.
Why do you think emphasizing the aspect that you're a natural bodybuilder is so important?
There are SO many people out there with a great physique and a social media following, a lot of them are these MASSIVE guys. I remember looking up to certain guys when I started lifting because I wanted to eventually look like them, but if that goal is unrealistic because if "that guy" is on steroids then it’s skewing so many kids’ views of what they can achieve. I would hate for a kid to be massively discouraged because after 4 years of all-out dedicated lifting & dieting they don't look like the guy they had set out to look like, who also lifted for 4 years to get how he looked. In short, I think it's important for kids to know who is and is not on steroids so they can adjust their goals accordingly.
Can you go a bit more into depth about what "natural" means in the bodybuilding world, other than just avoiding steroids?
Natural refers to whether an athlete is using ANY PED's (performance enhancing drugs) to enhance the way their physique looks. This ranges from steroids like testosterone and tren, but also includes things like insulin, growth hormone, prohormone (pills) or even injecting synthol oil into your muscles.
You're vegan! That's so awesome. Why did you decide to adhere to this diet/how long have you been vegan?
I am, I've been vegan for roughly 12 months now and have no plan to switch back. I switched originally to help my acne stay clear, then fell in love with the ethical reasons after watching Cowspiracy and Earthlings.
I feel like a lot of people associate veganism with being weak, malnourished, elitist and having a relatively "hippie" lifestyle in general. What types of stereotypes do you encounter in the bodybuilding world as a vegan?
That's true, so many people associate veganism with hippies or women but it has nothing to do with any certain type of person or stereotype of person and I think that is becoming glowingly evident with social media. ALL food is vegan and then meat, dairy and by-products are added to it, so when I make a vegan meal I'm just making all the same things that other people do minus the animals. I've been vegan for a year now and I've seen no difference in how much muscle I am able to add or retain!
Can you share a favorite training recipe with us?
One of my favorite meals is a very simple one. Most people that know me, know that I require my meals to be large but also easy to prepare.
All you need is a burrito tortilla, a can of refried beans, beyond beef and optionally some replacement cheese like Daiya. Simply spread refried beans on on side of the tortilla, add beyond beef and daiya cheese, close the tortilla on itself (make like a sammich) then keep in frying pan until golden brown on both sides. Serve with ketchup, this is called the beandilla/mandilla and you'll see 1000's of references to it on my channel if you visit.
What made you want to start doing videos?
It's always been a huge passion of mine, I've been making videos since I was about 13-14 years old (on physical tapes, actually) and after starting YouTube I realized that I could follow my passion of cinematography while also forging a career for myself. Today I work as a professional cinematographer having now shot for a feature presentation movie, music videos and many other videos. I'm the main cinematographer for internet-legend CT Fletcher.
In what ways do you feel like people can benefit from watching you and understanding your way of life?
I think watching someone's life on YouTube can be grand for learning how they have come to whatever point in their life they are at. You can pick up on work ethics, tips or even subtle nuances in the way a person communicates that can be invaluable for yourself. When people want to learn how to lose weight they can watch me while I'm in a dieting phase and see the EXACT foods that I'm eating, I always hope that this spawns all sorts of ideas for the person!
Check out Brian's review of the Bear Mattress here, and his Beyond the Weak's website here.