It was in late 2011 that Physique Canada was created, and it wasn’t long afterwards that one of Canada’s true bodybuilding legends joined the competitive team: Denis Pedneault. Denis had been a competitor in the CBBF and IFBB starting as far back as 2005, accumulating four national-level titles (including two overall wins) and placing as high as second at the IFBB’s Arnold Amateur in 2009 and fourth in the IFBB’s world championships later that same year. He’s also one of the country’s top trainers and therapists. What’s more, Denis even plays music and draws. Talk about a diverse guy!

But despite having a successful competitive career in those organizations, when Physique Canada was born Denis knew that it was time to make a move. There were probably a few reasons for him to throw his hat in a different ring, but I knew that there was one thing that trumped all: drug testing. Denis is a lifetime drug-free competitor who has freely offered himself up for drug testing 365 days a year. As a result, he wanted to take part in an organization where other competitors are required to do the same, which is precisely what Physique Canada was offering.

The organization, under the leadership of Brian Robitaille (another former CBBF champion who represented Canada at the IFBB’s world championships), vowed not only to drug test their competitions, but also to do out-of-competition testing, which, until Physique Canada came along, was basically unheard of in Canadian physique competitions. And the organization has followed through – several top-tier competitors have already been tested out of competition, including Denis in the fall of 2012.

But even though Denis had found a new home for competing, he still hadn’t done what other great champions such as Rob DeLuca, Michael Martinez, Alexis Brien-Fontaine, and Simon Proteau have done: step on the Physique Canada stage. That’s because after his last IFBB world-championships experience in 2011, Denis needed to take a break from competing to concentrate on his business and his personal life, including getting married in June of this year. But now that the break is over, Denis is scheduled to make his debut on the Physique Canada stage on October 19 at the 2013 Canadian Championships as a Tier 1 Elite athlete, which is why he’s featured on our cover this month (the cover shot was taken in late 2011, a couple of weeks prior to the IFBB’s world championships). In short, Denis’s return is a really big deal.

Denis Pedneault

I was lucky enough to be in Montreal at the end of August at the same time that Denis was there, so I had a chance to meet with him, take some pictures, and ask some questions about his return to the stage. Here is what was said:

Doug Schneider: Why Physique Canada?

Denis Pedneault: It’s the only federation that I believe embraces the same values I do and it’s the most faithful to the roots of bodybuilding – it’s not to build the biggest physique, but the most complete physique.

DS: What would you say to someone contemplating the use of drugs to compete?

DP: You can compete successfully without using drugs. My goal has always been to prove that if you know what you are doing, you can go a long way – even to the world level. The key is that you must know what you are doing.

DS: Whom do you admire in Canadian bodybuilding right now?

DP: Erik Alstrup is really good. I admire his condition at competitions, as well as his dedication to competing. He is also always in shape. Alexis Brien-Fontaine is really good also. Alexis has the genetics to be an elite bodybuilder, if not the best bodybuilder. And Rob DeLuca, because he has such great muscle density and is always in shape.

DS: Will you show an improved physique on October 19?

DP: I feel that I have already achieved a properly proportioned physique, so now it’s about refining. I believe on October 19 I will show the judges better muscle maturity and density. Oh, and I want to do an amazing posing routine.

The last question that I asked Denis was whether or not he planned go to the WBPF’s world championships in Hungary in November to represent Canada. Surprisingly, he told me he had no intention of going; rather, his goal by competing in October is to win Physique Canada’s top title and prove that he’s the best bodybuilder in the country’s most strictly drug-tested organization. I believe that’s an admirable goal for a competitor of Denis’s stature and will help to solidify his place in Canadian bodybuilding history as one of the country’s greatest.

Doug Schneider Founder and Publisher