Jordan Duchesne often starts his mornings by going straight from his bed to his treadmill, running for half an hour, followed by eating a dozen eggs.
Before he goes to bed at night, he’ll have consumed more protein, including 500 grams of steak and three chicken breasts, lifted weights for up to two hours, followed by another half an hour of cardio.
“At first it was hard,&” he said of his work to improve his physique and muscularity. “Just like anything, I had to gradually introduce it into my lifestyle.&”
But his work as a bodybuilder is paying off – on Feb. 25, the 19-year-old won first at the Alberta Winter Classic in two categories, junior men’s bodybuilding and men’s middleweight. The win qualified him as a competitor in bodybuilding provincials on June 17, and nationals, July 1, both to be held in Edmonton.
“It felt really good when I did win in both categories – that wasn’t something I was expecting,&” he said.
A panel of eight judges assessed all the competitors side by side, as they held a number of poses. Competitors then had one minute to do freestyle posing, accompanied by music. Bodybuilding judging is subjective, but is based on certain criteria, said Duchesne.
“You don’t want to just be big, you want to have a body that flows and looks symmetrical, that’s appealing to the eye,&” he said, adding judges complimented him on his well-developed physique.
Duchesne said he’s had an interest in weightlifting from a young age; growing up watching Arnold Schwarzenegger movies and playing sports were part of it.
“When I was seven, I remember asking my grandfather for a set of dumbbells,&” he recalls.
As Duchesne got older and started playing football with the St. Paul Lions, and basketball for his school teams, he began working out.
“I have quite a small frame, so the idea was to add some size to my frame, and get stronger for those sports,&” he said, adding, “I started to really love working out; I started to have a passion for it.&”
After talking to some gentlemen that did bodybuilding, he decided to try his first competition last year in Red Deer, and began working more diligently towards competing. With the help of a coach based in Ontario, who has been an Ontarian provincial champion, he put together an exercise plan to work out each part of his body each day, and a diet plan that involves a lot of “clean food,&” with sugar and eating out ruled out of his regimen.
When he first started working out at the age of 14 or 15, he weighed about 120 lbs. Now, at between 5’9 and 5’10, he’s added about 80 lbs. of weight and muscle to his frame.
“I think as my body improves, I started to feel better about myself,&” he said, adding that achieving his goals is also satisfying. His next goal is to win at provincials, which will mean adding a few more pounds of muscle and lowering his carb intake, and competing well at nationals.
There are a limited number of bodybuilder competitors in the Lakeland, he notes, adding it would be nice to see more people try the sport.
“I think everyone should do some sort of exercise; if they really enjoy exercising and improving their body, then maybe bodybuilding is for them.&”