On Saturday May 6th, 2017, I competed in my second Men’s Physique competition! The day could not have gone any better. I met so many amazing competitors and heard some awesome stories along the way, which is my favourite part about competing.
I was thrilled to accomplish my goal of making the Top 5, finishing 4th place in over 24 competitors in my height class and came home with qualification spot to the BC Cup, which is the Natural Provincial Championship!
Show day Thoughts
For 2017, I had no plan on competing. I was solely focused on getting my career started after just finishing university in December. I have been applying to a ton of positions but the economic downturn here in Canada is especially tough for Geologists and related careers right now. So, I have only been working part time and have had the time to put into competing. For the last 10 weeks, I have been dieting and prepping for the Kelowna Classic, in Kelowna, British Columbia, about a 4 hour drive inland from Vancouver.
Being a tested, all natural show, I was not expecting such a large and competitive field of athletes. Although, less competitors than my last show which was untested, you can read more about my expience last time here: Road to Men’s Physique – Show Day
The competition was stacked with 24 competitors just in my height class of over 5’ 10” (Men’s physique goes by height, not weight). The caliber of athletes was top notch, significantly more competitive than I thought which makes for a very competitive and fun show!
Although competitive, most competitors were relaxed and friendly, a completely different experience than my last show. Making it much more enjoyable by getting to hear everyone’s story, making tons of new friends and hanging out backstage.
Show Day Break-Down
If you’ve never competed before, it goes a little like this.
You meet up for an athlete meeting the night before and get your first base coat of spray tan. You usually lay low for the night because you will not be getting much sleep. The spray tan does not breathe and your skin feels suffocated. That along with the pre-competition nerves and sleeping fully clothed so you don’t smudge your tan makes for a miserable night. I woke up at 5 am Saturday partly because I was too excited to sleep and I wanted to get a few good meals in before pre-judging.
In Men’s Physique and other classes of bodybuilding, you go out on stage in the morning for pre-judging where the judges initially place you followed by a 4-5 hour break before heading back out for the evening show.
I ate a moderate sized meal of 2 whole eggs, egg whites and oatmeal, something I know is easily digested and will not bloat me around 5:30am. Before I headed to the venue, I ate another meal of white potatoes and egg whites again. I only had sips of water when needed because you do not want to have to use the bathroom on stage or look watery. Being dehydrated for a few hours is not going to kill me since I drank over 6L the day before.
I was at the venue at 8am and got my second coat of tan. I always get asked why do they make the spray tan so dark? Competition spray tans are dark to show the muscle definition better and the lights on stage are very bright so you need a dark colour. No, the spray tan does not look good anywhere other than on stage when you are that dark. I was embarrassed to go out in public because I looked like an alien or Oompa Loompa that escaped from Charlie’s Chocolate Factory.
I ate a few rice cakes and peanut butter to hold me over while waiting backstage to go on around 10am. A lot of waiting around later, 15-30 minutes before going out, I drank some water that I mixed with 1g of sodium from pink Himalayan sea salt, prior to pumping up. The reason behind this is that you need sodium for muscle contractions, giving you a pump. Sodium also helps with vascularity as well.
There is a pump-up room backstage with some light weights and bands. You frantically do some push ups, side raises and curls to get some blood in the muscles to make them appear vascular and full. When the sodium started kicking in, my veins started coming out of everywhere. Coming up my lower abs, biceps, even shoulders and chest. Seeing veins in places I’ve never seen them before. My muscles looked hard, full and dry, showing every striation and vein creating a look I have only seen once before when I competed two years ago, it was awesome!
I went out on stage in groups of 8 until every one of the 24 competitors in my height class of over 5’ 10” was out on stage in 3 separate lines. They call up each line of 8 to do comparisons then send them to the back of the stage before making the first call outs which is usually composed of the Top 5.
I made the first call outs! This was a big relief. For some reason, they called out 6 guys which I have never seen before, maybe because it was such a large class because they always call out the Top 5. I was second in from the judges left usually meaning I was sitting in second or third spot, with first place in the middle when there are 5 competitors. I was on stage for around 5-7 minutes and flexing my abs as hard as I could the whole time.
I left the stage feeling exhausted but absolutely thrilled about making the Top 5 because usually the judges have already made their decision at the pre-judging unless you completely screw something up during night show.
I picked my mom up from the airport who flew out all the way to Kelowna just to come watch me compete at the evening show! A special thanks to my parents and especially my Mom for making the trip for emotional support, it was too nice of her.
I took some photos on the deck of our hotel, grabbed a quick nap and another meal and headed back to the venue for 6pm. I ended up watching the Men’s and Women bodybuilding with my mom because they were on stage before me. She was grossed out the whole time but persevered. 3 hours of bodybuilding was a lot to handle before I went on stage around 10pm. I went out for about 5 minutes and was called to the front of the stage in the Top 5 proceeded by the official placings and ended up with a 4th place medal and a qualification spot to the Provincials in 2 weeks!
After the long day I was finished around 11, there was not a lot open so I split half a small pizza and called it a night. Sunday morning, we checked out and made the 4 hour drive back to Vancouver followed by a 2 hour ferry ride back to the island.
Heading to the BC Cup!
Conveniently Provincials are held two weeks after the Kelowna Classic in Vancouver on May 20th, 2017. I am signed up and am going to see what I can do at Provincials!
A few people asked what is the point of competing in Provincials when I got 4th. Well, I only dieted for 10 weeks which was much shorter than most other competitors who did 12, 16 or 20 week preps to get them ready for the stage. I nailed peek week, you can read about it here: Road to Men’s Physique 2017 – Peak Week Update
I was very impressed with how I looked on stage but I know with two more weeks of dieting I know I can tighten things up and come in more striated and sharper for Provincials. Personally, I think my abs and obliques came in great but I could lean out my shoulders and arms a bit more, showing better definition. I think this will make the difference and make them pop.
Men’s Physique is a subjective sport and it all comes down to what the judges are looking for that specific day. I am unsure if there will be different judges for Provincials but I will come in improved and bringing the best possible package I can.
My goal was to make Top 5 at the Kelowna Classic and I accomplished that. Whether I get first or last at Provincials, I will more than happy with what I’ve accomplished. I am doing it for a personal accomplishment and self gratification not gratification from anyone else. I want to show what is possible with Crohn’s and keep pushing to become a better version of myself everytime I step on that stage.
I promise to keep the updates coming! Wish me luck at the BC Cup held in Vancouver on Saturday May 20th, 2017!