Rob DeLucaThis month’s cover features Ontario-based bodybuilder Rob DeLuca, now a two-time Physique Canada Tier 1 Elite men’s bodybuilding champion – first at Physique Canada’s inaugural event, the 2012 National Classic, held on June 16, and more recently at the Canadian Championships, held on October 20.

However, Rob’s October 20 win didn’t come easily, since right behind him was Simon Proteau, who is based out of Montreal. Simon was more ripped than Rob, but he didn’t display the near-flawless proportions that Rob had, nor did he have Rob’s muscle density, particularly in the legs. Still, the judges and audience seemed awfully impressed with Simon’s condition, making the contest tight to the end. But when all was said and done, it was Rob who won and continued his reign as Physique Canada’s top men’s bodybuilder, with Simon serving notice that he’ll certainly be a force to reckon with in the years to come. 

Five weeks before the Canadian Championships, Ontario’s Michele Steeves confessed to me that she was worried that she wouldn’t be ready to compete on October 20, because she had to leave town for three weeks for work, which she thought might mess up her preparations. She also didn’t want to get onto the stage and not be at least as good as she was on June 16 at the National Classic, when she won the Tier 1 Elite women’s muscular physique class. Like Rob, Michele came into the Canadians as the reigning champ.

Fears of her losing were laid to rest the moment an ultra-shredded and confident Michele took to the stage – in a split second, everyone could see that she was still the best. In second place was Quebec’s Karine Pilon, who had improved tremendously over her showing at the National Classic in June, and in third place was Marie-Chantal Di Guardo, who is originally from Italy but now lives permanently in Canada and was making her Physique Canada debut.

Physique Canada’s women’s athletic physique discipline doesn’t require the same kind of muscle mass as the muscular physique discipline, but it does require similar muscle tone and definition. Women who compete here are often sleeker looking, but highly conditioned. The October 20 Canadian Championships marked the first ever Tier 1 Elite women’s athletic physique competition, since the discipline is brand new and Physique Canada had only introduced it in the lower levels in June.

The showdown at the Canadians was between Kim Chartrand and Michelle Stevens-Manoll, two of Canadas most strikingly beautiful and well-conditioned female competitors in the scene today. They’re both from Ontario. However, there can only be one winner at any competition and on October 20 it was Kim Chartrand who went home with the distinction of being the nation’s inaugural winner in this exciting new physique discipline. Kim, like Rob and Michele, also received $1000 in prize money for her win (from the outset, Physique Canada felt it imperative to reward the top-level winners monetarily for their achievements, given the amount of work they put in to their preparations).

Kim Chartrand, Rob DeLuca and Michele Steeves

Kim, Rob, and Michele (shown left to right above) are Physique Canada’s 2012 Tier 1 Elite Canadian Champions in their respective disciplines, but there were also many other winners in the Tier 2 and 3 categories that same day – so next month I’ll write about them.

. . . Doug Schneider Founder and Publisher