The Lithuanian import is gunning for Super-Heavyweight and overall honors at the 2009 NPC Nationals
November 16, 2009
One of the heavy (literally) favorites going into the 2009 NPC National Championships is Super-Heavyweight class contender Robert Burneika. Finishing third in the SH class at this year's USA's, the 31-year-old Burneika wowed the Vegas crowd with his overwhelming size, particularly that of his upper body. Tipping the toledos at a contest-ready 250-plus pounds while standing 5'9", Burneika plans to carry the same mass in Florida as he did Vegas, only with greater detail and conditioning.
"I'm ready right now," asserts the native Lithuanian who now resides in Las Vegas. "I was actually ready at three or four weeks out, so now my trainer (John DiLauro of Extreme Labs) and I have been working on getting me a little harder each day."
WEIGHT: 243 pounds
CAREER HIGHLIGHTS: 2009 USA, super heavyweight, 3rd; 2008 IFBB North American, super heavyweight, 6th; 2006 East Coast Championships super-heavyweight winner
Known as much for his incredible strength (he toys with 150-pound dumbbells) as his enviable size (he claims 24" arms), Burneika believes that the time is right for him to make a grab for glory at the Nationals and make a move into the pro ranks.
"I'm feeling very good. I can get the show, I think," he says. "I have enough mass now, so we have been working on detail. Every show I compete in I get a little better, so I think this could be the one for me."
Asked who he thinks will provide his toughest competition in the Super-Heavyweight class, Burneika responds, "I don't know. I don't think about the other people, only about myself. I need to look my best if I want to win."
Of course, guys like Steve Kucklo, Trey Brewer and Drew Jemmott might want to remind Burneika that any path to the pro's will have to lead through them, which means that this year's SH class should be the most competitive for a Nationals in a long time.