On October 18, the Physique Canada Canadian Championships will be held, which is where this year’s Canadian Men’s Bodybuilding Champion will be crowned. Obviously, I look forward to finding out who that person is. And once I do, you’ll know too because they’ll be featured in SeriousAboutMuscle.com in the months and years to come.
But before we get too far ahead of ourselves, it’s rather fitting that this month we reflect back on October 19, 2013, when Denis Pedneault made his triumphant return to the stage, after he parted ways with the CBBF and IFBB several years ago, and became the 2013 Canadian Men’s Bodybuilding Champion. His four national-level wins with the CBBF plus that Physique Canada win combine to make him a five-time Canadian Champion – more national-level titles than any other Canadian male competitor has won in at least the last 20 years.
Yet those wins aren’t his only achievements. Denis has become an outstanding role model for up-and-coming bodybuilders, and he’s following a unique care path that few would every dare try. For example, parting with the CBBF and IFBB after such a successful career with them to join Physique Canada at the onset is something few others would have the guts to do.
Denis is also bringing to the stage things others haven’t; in fact, his performance at the 2013 Canadians was so unique, memorable, and inspiring, it’s still talked about today as if it were yesterday – and likely will be for years to come.
Denis arrived that day in the best shape of his life and presented his physique with one of the most impressive posing displays ever seen on a Canadian stage – to tango music, of all things! I’ve never seen any competitor perform that kind of music, but Denis did . . . very successfully. He picked it because he’d been taking tango lessons with his wife, and he thought that it would much different than anything that had been done before. Indeed. The audience loved every moment of his routine, which even had some people on their feet at the end of it. Then there was the showdown with Rob DeLuca, Physique Canada’s 2012 Canadian Champion. By the end of it all, most felt it to be one the most impressive bodybuilding competitions to ever happen in this country.
As a result, we saw it fitting to relive this unforgettable piece of history this month in two ways: through this article, and through a video that combines footage from the 2013 Canadian Championships with footage that we shot on September 27, at Pro Gym in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Québec. The video was produced by Physique Canada and will appear this month on the organization’s website, as well as here on SeriousAboutMuscle.com.
Shooting the video was fascinating for me because I learned things about Denis that I didn’t know before, including exactly why he stopped competing with the IFBB; why he jumped on board with Physique Canada the moment it started, even though he never knew if he’d even compete again; and, finally, what he believes the future of bodybuilding must be like in order to gain public acceptance. Denis also spent quite a bit of time talking about his thoroughly original posing routine, and even gave some valuable insight into some of the subtleties of it, including him replicating certain poses of who he considers the legends of the sport: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Frank Zane, Larry Scott, among others. Denis has proven to me that he’s not just a participant in the sport, but a true fan of it, and also someone who is taking a leadership role in terms of building and growing it properly.
I haven’t seen the final cut of the video yet, but I sense from the footage that true fans of the sport will absolutely love it. I also think some of Denis’s comments will turn some heads; after all, not many top contenders on the IFBB’s world stage turn their back on that and join up with a young organization like Physique Canada. But if there’s a few things I’ve learned about Denis, it’s that he’s a maverick, which I wrote about last month; he has integrity, which shows through and through with everything he does; and he’s a true leader, which he’s demonstrating by being at the forefront of drug-free bodybuilding and encouraging others to join him. It’s those things that make him a true champion, off the stage and on it. What I hope now is that whoever wins the 2014 Canadian Championships will follow in his footsteps and motivate and inspired others in similar ways. So let’s see what happens on and after October 18.
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