Physique Canada was formed in the province of Ontario in 2011, but it wasn’t long after the first contests began in 2012 that a trend started developing – more competitors than originally expected were coming from the province of Québec. Then, in 2013, something became startlingly clear: most of the top winners were from Québec. In fact, at the 2013 Physique Canada National Classic, which was held last June, every Tier 1 Elite winner was from Québec. At the 2013 Physique Canada Canadian Championships in October, two out of three were!
That trend certainly wasn’t a problem for Physique Canada – on the contrary, everyone in the organization welcomed the influx of Québec athletes because growth, no matter where it comes from, is a very good thing. Plus, with all those winners coming from Québec, it became apparent that the province is home to top-quality athletes. It was simply surprising that Physique Canada gained so much traction among Québec athletes so quickly.
There are likely many factors why this happened, but I think that one of the main things is that physique sports in general are very popular in Québec. I also believe that despite there being a large number of drug-using competitors who enter in non-tested competitions, there are just as many drug-free bodybuilders keen to compete in drug-tested competitions, which is what Physique Canada offers.
Another reason for the popularity in La Belle Province is that from the get-go the organization has had the support of some important Québec-based athletes, including Denis Pedneault, who is now Physique Canada’s 2013 Canadian Champion. Prior to joining Physique Canada, Denis was an extremely successful CBBF and IFBB competitor. He also was, and still is, influential in the drug-tested scene. Denis joined Physique Canada immediately after it was formed, because he was eager to compete with an organization that promotes only drug-tested competitions.
And now Denis and those in his circle, including legendary Canadian bodybuilder Serge Moreau, are helping to make Physique Canada’s presence in Québec even stronger by putting on a competition on July 12: the Concours Xtreme Physique Naturel (XPN) du Québec. It will be held in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, which is about 40 kilometers from Montreal, and will feature Tier 2, Tier 3, and Masters categories. This is their first competition in Québec, but their goal is to make it an annual event.
Obviously, Denis and Serge’s event is exciting news for Québec-based competitors and the success of it will ensure Physique Canada remains the dominant force in drug-free bodybuilding in the province. It will undoubtedly also bring even more Québec-based competitors into the Physique Canada fold. All good news. So I contacted Denis, who is already working on the logistics and promotion of the event with Serge, to get his present-day thoughts. Here is what he said:
Doug Schneider: Is this competition part of a bigger plan to build drug-free bodybuilding in Québec?
Denis Pedneault: This competition is an attempt to put bodybuilding back on the right track, where it belongs, where it came from. We want to share Physique Canada's goal to give back to the sport its appeal to the public by promoting a clean sport with fair judging. We could say it's indeed a part of a bigger plan to build drug-free bodybuilding in Québec.
DS: Men's bodybuilding has been on the decline in North America in recent years, which likely has to do with the rampant drug abuse that goes on in the non-drug-tested competitions and many people not wanting any part of it anymore. Do you think drug-free bodybuilding can make a sizeable comeback?
DP: Serge and I have always believed in drug-free bodybuilding. This is, in fact, why Serge has supported me for years in my attempt to go to the IFBB's world championships as a clean athlete, despite the fact that we both knew others would not be drug free. We both believed in the impact of an important, clean athlete (me), even in a drug-filled scene – and we proved it!
It's also a fact the public is more and more exposed to the consequences of drug abuse and is concerned about their health more than ever. So, of course, we believe drug-free bodybuilding can grow now more than ever. That is why Serge decided to go on his own and start a new contest with me.
Serge Moreau congratulates Denis Pedneault at the 2013 Physique Canada Canadian Championships
DS: You used to compete with the CBBF and the IFBB very successfully, but you came over to Physique Canada the moment it was created, largely because of the drug-free stance the organization has. Are you happy with the progress that Physique Canada has made with the first two years of competitions?
DP: I'm more than happy to have joined Physique Canada, and I did so because we share the same values and same views about bodybuilding. My only hope is that the organization gets the chance and the support it needs to grow to its full potential and gets the respect it deserves from the public and athletes.
DS: Are people excited and talking about the July 12 event?
DP: Since we advertised the contest on Facebook, a lot of people have showed interest and shared the information. We hope to make a big impact in 2014!
DS: What's your goal for the number of men and women who compete at the event?
DP: We don't have a specific goal regarding registrations, although Serge’s ambition is to hit 100. We will put all our efforts into it and see what happens. I know Serge has done a great job promoting the show at over 300 gyms and fitness centers in Québec so far!
DS: Incredible work, Denis, which I know will transfer into an incredible event. Thank you very much. Also, please tell Serge his efforts are greatly appreciated.
DP: Thank you, Doug. Let’s make drug-free bodybuilding grow!
DS: I agree!
SeriousAboutMuscle.com Founder and Publisher
To learn more about Concours Xtreme Physique Naturel (XPN) du Québec and Physique Canada, visit www.PhysiqueCanada.ca.