Doug SchneiderAt almost every bodybuilding show at least one competitor emerges who can be a future star. The IDFA’s Novice Classic on May 28 in Toronto was no exception – the moment Winston Johnson walked onto the stage in the heavyweight class, I knew there was a 99 percent chance of his not only winning that class and the whole show, but future IDFA titles as well. He had good size, excellent definition, and very pleasing shape. When he hit the first pose I knew that the judges could see it no other way. Winston is featured on our "cover" as well as in our "Iron Shots" section this month.

Given that I’ve covered the Canadian scene for more than 12 years and have seen more events in this country than anyone, I was surprised that I’d never seen Winston before, even just hanging out at a show. So, during the intermission, I rushed backstage to find out more about this brand-new, potentially up-and-coming star; in particular, I wanted to know how a guy of his calibre winds up in a novice show! Winston didn’t look like some beginner to me.

I learned during that conversation and a follow-up phone interview that 35-year-old Winston isn’t brand-new to competitive bodybuilding. Winston is originally from Jamaica and had competed there several times, winning Novice Mr. Jamaica and Junior Mr. Jamaica titles. But Winston moved to Canada as a permanent resident six months ago and he’s never competed here. Since he is a natural competitor, he and his wife were focused on finding a drug-free organization that would allow Winston to pursue his passion of competing – this is what led him to the IDFA, the only credible choice in Canada for serious natural bodybuilders.

Winston JohnsonSince Winston had no competitive track record in Canada, he knew it would be best to start at the bottom and move up, which is how he wound up at the Novice Classic. His main goal with competing is “fun,” but Winston has the very serious intention of attaining an IDFA Pro Card to compete with the likes of Erik Alstrup and Dickens Lambert, two of the IDFA’s biggest stars. Winston’s next competition is the IDFA National Capital Classic, held on July 16 in Ottawa, Canada. If Winston hits the stage on July 16 the way he did on May 28 – he weighed 179.2 pounds at a height of just under 5’7” – he’s obviously got a good chance to take the whole show and earn pro status.

As I mentioned, at almost every competition there is at least one competitor who stands out as a potential star. But whether that person takes the next steps to make it happen is another story. We enjoy being the first to discover new talent and report it here on, but time and time again we’ve seen competitors who could have really become something not amount to anything at all, usually fading away as quickly as they appeared.

But from talking to Winston, I believe he’s the real deal and will stick around and be a force in the IDFA this year and in years to come. Now that we’ve introduced you to Winston Johnson, let’s sit back and see if this potential new star rises to the very top! We think he will, but time will tell the whole story.

A photo gallery featuring Winston Johnson competing at the 2011 IDFA Novice Classic came be found here.

. . . Doug Schneider, Publisher

Doug Schneider is the publisher and chief photographer for