Last month, I wrote: “Mark my words: This year’s lineup will be the most competitive group of Tier 1 Pro men’s bodybuilders to ever grace the Physique Canada stage.” That was written in reference to the upcoming 2015 Physique Canada Canadian Championships event, which was held on October 17. All I can say now is: Wow, what an understatement that was! It didn’t just end up being the most competitive Physique Canada Tier 1 Pro men’s bodybuilding stage ever, but the most competitive stage any Canadian organization has displayed in years!

In that article, I mentioned that Alexandre Villeneuve, Frédérik Therrien, Tony Muto, Jorge Martinez, Mathieu Roy, to name only a few, were scheduled to show up. Those gentlemen were all there, and in outstanding shape. What I didn’t know when I wrote the article was that Erik Alstrup would be competing as well. Anyone who knows who Erik Alstrup is, will probably also know he’s a pretty big deal in bodybuilding – he’s competed in Canada and the United States extensively over the last five years, almost always placing or winning.

For those who don’t know who Erik is, I’ll briefly say that he began his bodybuilding career in the 1990s, and in no time at all became a pro in the IFBB. However, Erik’s pro career there was short-lived. Disillusioned by the insane drug abuse by most of the competitors, which has only worsened today, he left his first pro show halfway through, swore off drugs forever, and disappeared from the bodybuilding scene for almost ten years. He wanted nothing to do with it, and took up marathon running, as well as other endurance sports. When he came back to bodybuilding competitions about five years ago, he did so as a natural athlete and has spoken candidly about his past experiences; in fact, I made a video with Erik about four and a half years ago where he discusses that period in the 1990s, detailing what prompted his departure and his subsequent return. You can view it on YouTube.

Tier 1 Pro comparisonsComparisons: Alexandre Villeneuve, Mathieu Roy, Frédérik Therrien, and Erik Alstrup

Had Erik not shown up at the 2015 Canadian Championships, the competition would still have been great, since the top competitors were all very good. But his presence really inspired his fellow competitors and they stepped up their games and lit the place on fire, with comparisons that lasted over 20 minutes, followed by an impromptu posedown that ignited the enthusiasm of the audience. The excitement was reminiscent of 2013, when Denis Pedneault competed and won the Canadian championships, but here there were more than twice the number of competitors and even higher energy.

When all was said and done, Erik was declared the winner, Alexandre took second, and Mathieu third. Pretty much everyone there concluded that it was the best men’s bodybuilding competition that they’d seen in a long, long time. But that wasn’t the end of competing – at least not for Erik.

Tier 1 Pro top 3Top three: Alexandre (second), Erik (first), Mathieu (third)

Right after Erik picked up his trophy and the doping-control procedures were completed (Physique Canada has in place the strongest drug-testing measures of any organization in Canada), he hopped into his car with his family to drive back to his home in Toronto, which is about five hours away. Once there, he grabbed a few hours of sleep, then showed up at 9 a.m. to run in the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon. That’s right – a marathon! Unbelievable!

Why did Erik do that, particularly when most competitors would be content to spend the day after a competition just eating and sleeping? Probably two reasons. One is that he’s a bit of an extremist, so he likes the challenge that competing in two disciplines in such a short time entails. Another has to with what he told me backstage after the posedown was completed, but before the awards were given out: he wanted to demonstrate that a topflight natural bodybuilder doesn’t have to restrict himself to doing just one sport. Obviously, he’s living proof!

Alstrup at marathon

Erik Alstrup’s win at the 2015 Canadian Championships was a real achievement for himself, as well as for the Physique Canada organization. He, along with the top-drawer crew of competitors beside him on the stage that day, created a men’s bodybuilding showdown that will be remembered and talked about for years to come. It also further solidifies Physique Canada’s position as the country’s preeminent physique organization for truly clean competitors. Wow, what a day!

Next month: 2015 Tier 1 Pro Women's Muscular Physique Champion, Nichole Alex.

Doug Schneider Founder and Publisher