Q: Hi Denis,
You looked great at the 2006 CBBF National World Qualifier. In particular, I noticed how balanced your physique is, and that you have no real weak points.
I would like to ask some questions. How tall are you? How does your off-season weight compare to your competition weight? Also, how long have you been training? Finally, what are your goals?
. . . Frank
A: First, I would like to thank you for your compliments. Although I’ve heard that kind of praise many times lately, especially after my performance at the 2006 CBBF National World Qualifier, I’m always grateful for any sincere comments about what I do. I have to admit that it is much more pleasant to my ears when it’s a good comment, but I’m always open to any constructive criticism, be it bad or good, as you can’t improve yourself if you’re not open to these things.
Back to your question. I’m about 5 feet 2 inches and weigh around 155 pounds in the off-season. As for my 2006 contest weight, I entered the CBBF National World Qualifier and the IFBB World Bodybuilding Championships at a bodyweight of a mere 135 pounds! It was in this condition that I won the Overall title at the World Qualifier (I was the lightest man in the show) and succeeded in placing seventh in my first appearance at the World Championships (another thing you don’t see every day). This proves that bodybuilding is not about building the "biggest" body, but the "best" body!
You mentioned how my physique looked balanced with no real weak points. This is precisely how you win big shows. In a regional show, you can get away without having a well-proportioned body. But to perform at a higher level, you’d better have done your homework, because everybody there is going to be in shape and it’s all about who’s got the "best package."
I’ve been training for nearly 15 years now, and ever since the beginning, even if I didn’t have a competition in mind at the time, I always tried to train the right way. So, I work like an artist struggling to sculpt a work of art that will bring admiration from the audience, and I carefully focus on every aspect of my physique that might need "re-touching," so that the result will have the same effect as a perfect sculpture.
Bodybuilding is about patience and dedication, and if you’re lacking either one of those two qualities, you had better choose another discipline or you’ll end up disappointed (or, perhaps, you’ll use drugs to make up for your lack of patience and dedication). To earn that kind of physique, you also have to be smart about how you train and respect your body, paying attention to the way it reacts to weight training. This is especially hard to do when you use drugs, since your body is not going to react the way it would normally (i.e., naturally). This is why a lot of competitors end up with what are called "weak points," that I like to call "missed spots," since that’s what they really are.
It is important to consider that bodybuilding (and weight training) is part-science, like medicine, and part-art, like dancing. As a lifetime, drug-free bodybuilder, I not only know the cost of "earning" a balanced and healthy physique, but also the rewards that come with it. As a bodybuilder, I consider it my goal and my duty to do my best to give the audience the finest performance I can offer them onstage for that special event which they paid to come and see. My objective has always been to see how far I could push my natural limits in terms of "body sculpting," and to see how high this could take me in the world of bodybuilding competition.
Therefore, I will continue to compete as long as I believe it is possible for me to be competitive. As for the weight-training aspect, I love it so much that I don’t think I’ll ever stop. Once you’re hooked, bodybuilding’s almost like a kind of a drug in itself!
Thank you for your questions.
. . . Denis Pedneault, Canadian Champion 2005, 2006