Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The IDFA Western Canada Classic

It seems like lately a string of friends, male and female, have entered the world of competitive weightlifting or bodybuilding as the next step in their fitness journey. Photos are popping up all over Facebook (yes, I admit to creeping a little bit) and it's hard not to be impressed and inspired by the hard work that goes into prepping for these events. It really is an all-consuming pursuit, and if the competitors in this weekend's competition are any indication, it usually takes a whole team of professionals as well as the support of friends and family. I find it so fascinating to see how hard work can really transform someone's body, not only into a healthier version of itself, but truly a sculpted prime specimen. The kind you could learn anatomy off of. So when the opportunity presented itself to attend the IDFA (International Drug Free Athletics) Western Canada Classic Bodybuilding, Fitness and Figure competition, I jumped at the chance. 

I suppose it's easy to misunderstand competitive bodybuilding. For every person who can watch a video of Ronnie Coleman, or Arnold in his prime, or any Mr. Universe competition and respect them for pushing the limits of the human body, there are those who would write them off as posing fake'n'bake roid monkeys (like the poor woman in the video below - one can only assume she didn't survive her encounter with the Governator).

Sure, sometimes the tans are a few shades closer to turkey than they are to Tahiti, and the oil and the posing can seem a bit comical, but they all serve a purpose. Everything acts to amplify the body beneath the oil and the tan. And what a body too. It's one thing, and not an easy one, to lean out and aim for the dangerously thin swimsuit model physique. But hitting the body fat targets, muscle definition, symmetry and size that bodybuilders are judged on is another ordeal entirely. These guys often had to hit a pose, essentially flexing as hard as they can, and hold it for what seemed like over a minute before rotating and hitting another. We tried it ourselves, just sitting in the crowd, flexing alongside the competitors and tired ourselves out pretty quickly. The competition took over four hours to run through all the contestants and poses, so you can imagine, that is a lot of flexing.

I took photos during the competition (not bad for an iPhone, but I still wish I had brought a better camera), so you can see for yourself how impressive they were. 

These competitors were from the Transformation Challenge. Some of them had lost over 100 lbs!

The middle height ladies fitness class. Some serious abs and back going on in this division.

 Top 5 in the mens lightweight bodybuilding division.

Third Place, Lightweight division.

Fourth Place, Lightweight division. We all thought he was top 3 for sure. I even thought he would win it all. Our guess is that he simply didn't look like he was trying hard enough in his poses. Largely because...

This guy won first place in the lightweight division. In all of his poses, he was flexing so hard, he was shaking. 

Top three, Mens heavyweight division. The winner? The Breaking Bad look-a-like in the centre. He also hit his poses hard, usually turning red from lack of oxygen. And badassness.

At the end of the day, as silly as it sounds, Arnold was right. It looks better with the oil. 


  1. Lam bam thank you mam

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