Winston JohnsonIt was only last May that Winston Johnson stepped onto the stage at the IDFA Novice Classic and absolutely stunned the audience with his pro-level physique. He obviously won that competition. About two months later Winston earned pro status with the IDFA at the National Capital Classic held in Ottawa/Gatineau, Canada. Then one week after that he entered his first IDFA pro-level show, the International Championships, and it was there he came up against Erik Alstrup, one of the IDFA’s most accomplished competitors. It was a good onstage battle between the two topflight competitors with Winston winding up in second place. However, second place in his first pro show was quite an accomplishment for Winston, particularly against a guy like Alstrup. Plus, it served notice that he was a contender for the crown.

Winston took his second-place finish graciously and then declared that he’d be back to compete in the next IDFA pro show in the fall, the Pro Universe, because he had some “unfinished business.” Indeed! Then things went quiet until November 5, the date of the big event.

I’ve already written up what happened at that show in my article, “The 2011 IDFA Pro Universe Men’s Bodybuilding Championships,” that was published a couple of days after November 5, but it’s worth quickly reiterating here. In a nutshell, Erik and Winston had both improved, but Winston had improved a touch more and, therefore, unlike in the summer when Erik was the clear winner, here the two were neck and neck in the heavyweight class. Ultimately, it was Winston who was declared this time, and then moments later Winston defeated lightweight winner Stephan Smith to win the overall title.

In the spring of 2011 Winston competed as a novice, but by the fall he had won what is currently Canada’s top professional natural-bodybuilding title, thus making him the country’s new bodybuilding king. What an accomplishment!

So what’s next for Winston? Time will tell, but from what I can see, he’s young enough that I suspect we’ll see him back on the stage in 2012 and likely winning plenty more titles in future years. Of course, he won’t be alone out there. As I said, it was neck and neck between him and Alstrup at the Pro Universe, so I suspect there could be another showdown between these two greats next year in the IDFA or elsewhere. At the Pro Universe, I also noticed a greatly improved Oge Robin, who wound up in third place. Oge has what it takes to win a top title, as do other great pros such as writer François Beauregard, who is vowing bigger and better things in 2012. Then there’s another member of the writing staff who is also considered to be one of Canada’s greats: Denis Pedneault. Denis has never competed out of the CBBF/IFBB stream, but he’s made it known recently that he might be entering other competitions in 2012. Of course, there could also be someone else I’m not even thinking of, or don’t even know of yet, who will make their mark. Remember, no one in Canada had seen Winston compete before May, including myself.

Erik, Winston, and Oge

Even though the 2011 season is only just now history, all eyes are on 2012 to see what surprises are in store and who the winners will be. What’s more, today there was a huge announcement – the new Physique Canada organization ( officially opened shop and is ready to put on some of the biggest and best natural bodybuilding events that this country has ever seen. The first competition is the National Classic to be held on June 16, 2012.

I’m pretty excited about Physique Canada and the potential it offers because I’m deeply involved in their media, marketing, and public relations. In my opinion, with the backing that Physique Canada has and the talent they currently have on board, they’ll be the number one physique organization in Canada by this time next year, and Canada’s new bodybuilding king for 2012 will be crowned on their stage. Of course, will be there to cover it all! Without a doubt, 2012 will be an exciting year.

. . . Doug Schneider, Publisher

Doug Schneider is the publisher and chief photographer for