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Home » Diaries » Linda Fredette
The inside story from the  Musclemania Canada Nationals 
By Linda Fredette

What an event, competitors pumping and oiling up, all in the midst of a small change room backstage. Everyone is sharing stories, personal and otherwise, to ease the stress and nervousness. We are all trying to scope out the competition without being too obvious yet trying to help each other out to show good sportsmanship and hopefully make new friends so we can share our experiences. Scattering around looking for some weights to pump up and see how the muscles around you grow. Many pose in the mirror trying to see what the judges will see. Nerves are twitching and so are muscles as the judging time approaches.

We have to keep our concentration and focus on the task at hand, which is to have fun and do our best because there is always next year. Everyone wants to win this year but what we must all realise is that just being there makes us a winner and we have to learn what we can from each other so we can improve for the next year. Looking on as the other weight categories are being judged, trying to figure out the reaction of the judges to certain poses and then practising what we see. We are now lined up in numerical order as we still try to flex to get that last bit of pump in our muscles so we look as big as possible. One by one they call our names to walk on stage with our painted smiles and painted bodies. First impressions are everlasting. Calling our names to step in front for the mandatory poses trying not to trip or slide on all the oil left on the floor from the previous weight category. The judges call out the poses and we execute them on demand. We all know when one of the poses was not well done but with all the disappointment we feel we must not show it. The judging takes a while due to the amount of competitors. Our muscles are continuously flexed as we all wait patiently in line for our turn. Moving ever so slightly, and trying not to make it look to obvious to relieve any strain we feel from being flexed and standing still so long. The judging is over and now the wait begins to see who will be in the top five and will perform their routine at the evening show. In the meanwhile, competitors embark on some fun challenges at the booths with the sponsors to unwind, others take a nap and some leave to check out the sights. 

Seven o’clock and it is time to find out who made the top five. All the competitors are brought out on stage and one by one the judges call the names of the top five. Hoping our name will be called, we all wait in anticipation. Finally, the top five have been chosen, I made it! Now it is time to change into our costumes for the routines round. The competitors who did not make the top five are disappointed but they suck it up and offer their congratulations and wish us luck. We all try to watch the other routines so we can see how the competition matches up to us, which may not be such a good idea because sometimes it can “psych” us out. All the routines are done, and done well, and it will be difficult for the judges to decide. Off the stage, we have to wait some more because we find out the winner only after all the weight categories are done. 

Finally, it is time. With fatigue setting in and adrenaline keeping us awake, once again we are all lined up. Out on stage we go, the fifth place winner is called up first and as they start to call out the placing we are all hoping to hear our names only at the end, hoping to place at the top. There are only two competitors remaining, thank god I am one of them. Who will take first place? As the announcer keeps talking, the anticipation rises and so does the adrenaline. Second place, I took second. Very pleased, I graciously congratulate the winner. It is now over for me but the overall is still to come. Good luck to all. The pressure slowly starts to release and fatigue sets in. It is time to go and thank the staff of the WNSO (World Natural Sports Organization) for a great job and a great event. Let's eat. Back to the hotel for snacking and sleeping for tomorrow is travel time. Back home to start preparing for the next year. 

Musclemania 2003, what a great event. So many top athletes, making this event challenging and a knowledge gaining experience. 

The WNSO federation works hard at keeping their events organized and fun. Well, they have succeeded once again. As one of the competitors I found backstage as well as on stage, a thrilling experience. All the competitors were so helpful and supportive. We all shared our experiences of dieting and competing, what works and what doesn’t. Some built new friendships and we all learned new ways to better ourselves for the next competition. 

The WNSO federation is a great place for bodybuilders who want to add a bit of theatrics and zip to there routine. Let the imagination and creativity sore and sore it did. The routines were out of this world. 

As my first year competing in bodybuilding, I found it to be an one. I competed in three major bodybuilding competitions and loved every one. I placed first in the Hull Quebec Regional competition with FCPAQ (Federation de Culture Physique Amateur Quebecoise), I took second place at the Eastern Canada show with the WNSO and I placed second at the Canadian Nationals with the WNSO. I’d have to say “not bad” for my first year of competing. 

To start at the beginning, I used to practice martial arts, “taekwondo, Judo, and Grappling”. My master was grooming me to compete. At most in house competitions, I won. I was strong due to my passion for weight training, flexibility, persistence, endurance and quick learning. As time went by, I found my knees where becoming overworked, I tried to adjust, but after three dislocations I had to hang up my gear. My search began. I needed to compete. I thrive on challenge and competition.

One day, my coworker at Lifefit Canada said I should try competing in bodybuilding. He told me I have a good head start as I am a trainer. Being in the gym all day long provided the means for training and I already had the knowledge. It didn’t take me long to decide. I was three months out from my first competition, the Hull, Quebec Regionals. My training regiment existed of one muscle group per day. Approximately four exercises per muscle group and three sets of 6-8 reps, 30 minutes of light cardio in the morning and most of the weight training was in the afternoon. Along with the training came the diet. I always followed a good eating regime. But now the belt had to be tightened. I started eating every three hours but instead of eating a peanut butter rice cake mid morning, I was eating a potato. For my snack before bedtime it was chicken, salmon or tuna instead of my usual cereal with raisins, bran and peanuts. The rest of the day was low carbs and high protein. I drank between six and seven litres of water a day, so I just continued with that routine. I followed this diet up to the last three weeks before the competition. Three weeks before competition I started to lower my salt intake no more tuna or salmon in a can and lower my carbs even more. I found this a bit difficult. I had to now remove my glass of red wine with supper, a practice I grew up with and looked forward, but we have to do what is good for the greater cause, competition. Two weeks out, I cut my carbs completely and added more fats like flaxseed oil to my diet. I also started eating every two hours. Two days before competition I started the dehydration process. This was the most difficult part of preparing for competition. The day of the competition I felt like I was looking kind of flat so I decided to load up on carbs. My husband has an excellent recipe for protein cookies, which is what I used for my carb load. The protein cookie consists of oatmeal, raisins, flaxseed oil, vanilla, milk, bran, egg white, soy protein, whey protein, and vegetable protein. Not very sweet, but to someone who has no sweets in their diet at all, these cookies were the best.

The morning of the competition was very nerve racking. I was so stressed out that I lost almost 5 pounds. I weighed in at 122 lbs. After prejudging, I ate and drank my fill and when I returned for the night show I was packing on at least 5 pounds more of muscles. My posing needed work, but my bulk was there. I placed first. 

The second competition, Eastern Canada WNSO was too close to the first, only a month away and I tried to stay lean and in doing so I was very ripped but I lost a lot of mass. I weighed in at 121lbs, but my muscles were not very full. The night show again was incredible, I ate and drank so that when I returned to the stage, I was full. I learned my lesson. The third competition, WNSO Canadian Nationals 2003 was also only one month away, but this time I loaded up directly after the second competition for a week. But in doing this I got a little scared and started to do too much cardio. I shredded the pounds. Again I weighed in at 120lbs and my muscles were flat. The weigh in for the last show was the night before the prejudging so that night I ate and drank and the next day I was full. It seems after a dehydration period, my muscles shrivel up and when I drink and eat instead of bloating, my muscles soak it all up. My posing was good and I was really happy with my outcome. Next year I hope to take first.

I enjoy the challenge of the bodybuilding competitions. It is amazing to see how you can mould your body into what you want. 

To be an achiever you have to want it and go and get it. It will never fall into your lap. 

I now have a dream and that dream is to be number one in Canada and the world. Nothing can stop me. Look out world – here I come!







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