Interview With Brigita Brezovac

Q&A with Brigita Brezovac, IFBB Pro Bodybuilder.

Author: Jonathan.L - owner Models Observer
May 2012

1. Brigita, how are you?

Brigita Brezovac: I'm pretty good, thanks. Preparing for Ms. Olympia and doing my off-season right now.

2. So, how and why did you start bodybuilding?

Brigita Brezovac: I started with bodybuilding very young, was only 14 years old.

Brigita Brezovac.

My first goal was to get stronger in karate, my first loved sport. I had an older boyfriend who was lifting weights in the small garage gym and there I saw the photo of Cory Everson and I immediately knew I want to build the body she had.

3. Bodybuilding is a tough, demanding and expensive sport. What was the biggest obstacle you've had to overcome in the journey?

Brigita Brezovac: The biggest obstacle I had to overcome was to find a way to compete in IFBB federation. Our country didn't care about the IFBB and finally I managed to pull things together with the big help of Balkan IFBB president, Nenad Vuckovic and then represent my country at World Women's Championship 2009.

4. You won the Tampa Pro and one week later won another important show - the Europa. The next station was placing 10th at the 2010 Olympia. What is it that made you so successful?

Brigita Brezovac: It's hard to expose just one thing because success doesn't come over the night and Rome was not build in a day. First I'm thankful to have good genetics; then it comes down to the discipline. Consistency and hard work is the key, I was working for that success for many years, keeping my biggest goal, step to the sacred Ms. Olympia stage, before my eyes. At the beginning of my career it was only the big dream which seemed almost impossible to reach. But we have to have our dreams and I believe if we work hard for them, one day they become reality.

5. What do your meals consist of (ingredients, calories), and how do you preserve muscle while cutting?

Brigita Brezovac: I'm a typical meat-eater and I have my meat in every meal except in post workout shake. I also eat decent portion of egg whites, rice and vegetable. Just simple clean food which fits me best. While keeping my diet clean I feel good and I look good. And it's pretty easy because I don't like pizza or pasta, I prefer steak. I'm careful to buy organic food, especially the meat and vegetable. I'm lucky to have parents with huge garden and chickens, so I get the best eggs too. Regarding that I burned down some muscles for the Arnold maybe I'm not the best person to ask for preserving muscles while cutting. Let me try again for Ms. O, this time I'm doing everything different and I'm sure it will work out as my body needs a change.

6. What is your training routine like?

Brigita Brezovac: Most of the time I train in Maribor, Slovenia where I don't have many options to choose machines; we don't have good old free weight machines but more fancy stuff which I don't use. So I play around with barbells and dumbbells most of the time. I always do basic exercises and add more exercises when preparing for contest. I love to train alone so I can focus more and maybe have a watcher for heavier sets of bench press or shoulder press just to squeeze out the max rep.

7. How much and how long can your muscles lift and train in various exercises - dumbbell curls, leg extension, abdominal crunch, bench press - before the fatigue hits?

Brigita Brezovac: With dumbbell curls I don't go that heavy anymore because I try to keep focus on my biceps and not the front shoulder doing half of the job. I was using 20kg per arm but I'm not a weight lifter anymore. Right now I'm doing more isolating exercises. Leg extensions are one of my best exercises where I can move big weights and do many reps. I don't see the point about mentioning weight as every leg extension machine is different but I can move 90kg for min. 10 reps. First set of abdominal crunches lasts forever that's why I rather start with leg lifts and pre exhaust them. I do crunches as last exercises for abs. I usually start my pectoral training with incline bench where I go up to 80kg and then work on a flat bench. So no new records in bench press, doing both exercises with same weight.

8. What is a typical day in the life of Brigita Brezovac like?

Brigita Brezovac: There is nothing interesting in my typical day but I like my routine; still I feel best at home where I have 6 meals and a workout. While traveling I'm not always on 6 meals but I usually always find a decent gym. I spend plenty of time in my kitchen as I like to have my meals prepared fresh. I work with clients in the gym and on line, I get plenty of fan mail to reply, I have to study and work with computer, I have to cuddle with my black cat…always plenty to do.

9. How has your childhood shaped the woman you have become today?

Brigita Brezovac: As a small girl, climbing trees all day I was a real tomboy, had all the guys in our street under my command. I have an older brother and we were fighting at home so I knew how to handle the boys. I was also pretty strong. I need couple of years to realize that it's much better to be a girl. I'm grateful to my parents who gave me the best examples by themselves. Besides that they were always buying books to me and my brother so we are still big bookworms. Along the way I had plenty of different great experiences and I must say I'm very happy that I had and still have the opportunity to live my life the way I want to. I don't like limitations and I love freedom.

10. Which differences do you find between competing in Europe and competing in the United States?

Brigita Brezovac: I don't find any big differences competing in bodybuilding in Europe or US for female bodybuilding. Rules are the same. The only thing I've noticed that bikini and figure category is judged more by conditioning. Girls over here are harder and cut, little more muscular, sometimes too much. I was just doing the test for IFBB judge at European Championship and had the best opportunity to see competitors on stage. Also in Europe there is plenty of different bodybuilding federations, who reward more hard physiques.

11. Suzanne MacKeith mentions that female bodybuilding is conceptualized by many as a subversive tool to challenge existing entrenched notions of sexuality, desire and domination and a way of challenging patriarchy by inscribing the surface of the female body in apparently non-feminine ways and resisting restrictions on bodily movement. What do you feel Brigita? To what extent is bodybuilding a sexualized performance?

Brigita Brezovac: I don't see the female bodybuilding in that way; personally I don't see it as sexualized performance at all. Sure there are fans who have fetish on muscular body think, but that's not our perspective. I would call bikini category the sexualized performance, competitors have hot bodies and interesting poses. Female bodybuilders are not trying to challenge anything except themselves.
I've reached my goal to become IFBB pro and got my Olympia medal and I'm more than happy with that. I proved to myself that everything is possible and that's enough for me. This sport is very hard for women and it's really dying. We don't have many competitions, no sponsors, no promotion; almost nobody cares for the sport. Unfortunately judges always awarded bigger and harder competitors, so female bodybuilding became grotesque and unnatural. I really loved bodybuilding when Cory Everson and Lenda Murray were winning the shows and I personally don't like the sport which developed to such an extreme. You know that Ms. Olympia show in NYC was sold out back in the 90's! What about now?

12. What are your contest plans for 2012? Are there any weak parts you will be trying to improve? If so, how?

Brigita Brezovac: I have only one, the most important contest in my plan, Ms. Olympia 2012 on Sept 28th and my biggest goal is to beat Brigita 2011 shape. I cannot say I have any weak parts but there is still plenty of work to do. I work on the details and I'm trying to keep the focus and good pump on the muscle working and make her grow. I wanna be in better shape than last year so there will be some changes my pre contest diet but I cannot tell you all the secrets here :) All I can say I'm working with George Farah this year. I'm always trying to improve and bring the best physique I can. I feel I didn't reach my best shape yet so I'll stay in the game for maybe 3 more years.

13. How do you like to spend your leisure time?

Brigita Brezovac: I love reading educational and inspirational books that help me to see things in a different light, lift me up, and take me somewhere extraordinary… Descartes wrote, “The reading of all good books is like conversation with the finest men of the past centuries.” I also love shopping, especially clothes and shoes. All I need is a bottle of water and I can shop all day, especially in Dubai or New York. I like yoga which keeps me flexible, balanced and calm, I like running outside (I don't count moving on a treadmill a good run) and I like swimming because I'm weightless and I get a decent workout for the whole body in the pool.

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