Each year, thousands of competitors step onto the physique stage, many for the very first time; however, of those thousands, few have the genetics to really go far and make a lasting impact. When I’m talking about genetics, I’m talking about the inherent makeup of their bodies; in other words, what they’re born with. If I had to guess, it’s one person in 100 who has the kind of genetic potential to become truly great in physique sports. In my opinion, 20-year-old Virginie Roy, a university student from Sherbrooke, Québec, is one of the few who has what it takes.
Virginie stepped onto the physique stage for the first time at the 2016 Physique Canada National Classic (June 11) and wowed everyone there with her wide shoulders, super-tiny waist, miniscule joints, perfect proportions, ideal symmetry, and natural beauty. In women’s physique sports, those qualities make for a lethal combination that becomes very hard to beat. Virginie’s height is 5’ 3” and her weight on contest day was 102 pounds, which was 13 pounds less than her usual off-season weight.
For her age, Virginie displayed good muscular development with no glaring weaknesses, but this is one area she will undoubtedly continue to improve as she trains longer – that and her posing, which wasn’t as good as it could be with more practice and stage experience. But these latter points are nitpicking, because those who know physique sports were slack-jawed with how good Virginie looked in her first competition and the kind of potential she displayed. I can’t say that Virginie has better potential than any woman I’ve seen – I’ve seen a few genetically superior competitors in the decades that I’ve been going to competitions – but she is certainly more gifted than most, and if she decides to really dedicate herself to competing, she could become unbeatable in just a couple of years and be remembered for long after she stops appearing onstage. In short, she has what it takes to be truly great.
It came as no surprise to anyone there that Virginie not only won her class, but also garnered unanimous first-places votes. Furthermore, her shape and symmetry were talked about long after the competition ended, so I knew that she is someone who our readers need to hear a lot more about. As a result, I contacted Virginie in mid-July to ask her what brought her to Physique Canada, how she felt competing for the first time, and where she plans to take things from here. This is what she said:
Doug Schneider: You won the Tier 3 women’s athletic physique competition at the 2016 Physique Canada National Classic – obviously, a complete success for you. What drew you to Physique Canada in the first place?
Virginie Roy: At first, I was not sure if I was interested in competing. In November 2015, I went to see the Physique Canada Coupe ProGym competition because some of my friends and colleagues were competing in it – Olivier Jacques, Raphael Proulx, Sophie-Ann Parent, and Sebastien Léger-Picard – and I wanted to cheer them on. Also, in August 2015, my coach, Yves Montmarquette, asked me if I wanted to compete at that show. I said no, because I was just entering university and I didn’t want the prep to interfere with my studies and my job. I think I was just not mentally ready for competition and was stressed about starting university.
After seeing the Coupe ProGym event, I told myself that I wanted to do this too! It was the first time ever I was seeing a competition live. I felt I was going to love it; I am passionate about everything to do with the gym life and health. So, at that point, I decided I was going to compete at the next Physique Canada competition: the 2016 National Classic. I did not need to worry about balancing study and prepping to compete because the competition date was during my summer vacation, which was a long time after my final exams. When I told to my coach about my decision, he was really happy to team up with me and I think he already saw the potential in me for these types of competitions.
DS: Did any other Physique Canada competitors, past or present, influence your decision to choose this organization?
VR: Sure! My friend Julie-Christine Cotton, who is actually Physique Canada’s reigning Canadian Champion in women’s athletic physique, is an inspiration for me. I have strong admiration for her, and for how she has been balancing studying and competing. She also coached me for posing – I can say that we had lots of fun practicing!
DS: Physique Canada has strict drug-testing rules. How important was that in your choice of where to compete?
VR: This definitely had an influence on my choice to compete in Physique Canada. I think I found my place in this organization. The values of the organization connected with me at the beginning – the judging criteria are fair and I do not use any drugs to enhance performance in my sport. It was also an honor for me to compete in a federation that recognizes natural bodybuilding.
DS: Beforehand, did you have any idea how well you’d do in this competition?
VR: Yes, I had a small idea, but I didn’t want to think about it too much. At the beginning of my prep, some people around me – friends, family, my coach, people at the gym – told me that I was going to perform well. But I kept doing my thing just like everybody else. I took every aspect of preparation very seriously, never cheating on my diet and skipping my training. I wanted to show my best condition and was simply hoping for first place.
DS: Your genetics are ideal for physique competitions. When did you realize that you were well suited for these types of competitions?
VR: I started to realize it about six weeks before the show, when I was really starting to see my shape changing and getting primed for the competition. My body responded very fast to the diet, because I have a fast metabolism. At this time of my prep, I was already very lean and I had never seen my muscles like that – I loved how my body’s lines turned out. At that point, I knew it was just the beginning.
DS: Do you have any fitness role models?
VR: Yes. Like I said earlier, my friend Julie-Christine Cotton is a role model for me. When I started training at the gym three years ago, Michelle Lewin was my role model – I wanted to get the same muscular mass and definition as her. I thought she was just perfect.
DS: Did you take a training break after the competition?
VR: Yes, but not directly after the competition. But I think I should have. I restarted training hard two days after the show, hoping to use the post-competition rebound to gain lean muscle mass. However, my training became less and less effective. The adrenaline of the show was gone and I was overtraining. Right now I’m taking a two-week training break, just enjoying the summer and hoping to restart stronger than before.
DS: What are your future competitive plans?
VR: For the moment, I have decided to be back for the 2017 Physique Canada National Classic – and for the 2017 SAF Summer Spectacular!
Top 3 Women's Athletic Physique (Short): Rachael Smith (3rd), Virginie Roy (1st), Shana Rotstein (2nd)
Amazing genetics, youth, and a good head on her shoulders – Virginie Roy appears to have many things going for her. But will she fulfill all the potential she has? We are certainly looking forward to learning what the future for this new star brings in the years to come.
SeriousAboutMuscle.com Founder and Publisher