2016 POPEYE'S FALL CLASSIC: ATHLETES PHOTOS AND INTERVIEWS

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On Nov 12, 2016, the second annual Popeye’s Fall Classic completed the BCABBA 's competition season at the prestigious Queen Elizabeth Theatre, Vancouver BC. The promoter, Tarik Rahiman, and his dedicated team delivered an incredible show by making the athletes number one priority.  I had the honour of meeting and photographing some amazing athletes backstage during the show, and to learn about all the challenges they faced throughout their respective journeys to stage. My mission in backstage photography is to discover inspiring athletes, and to share their amazing stories with others who are walking the same path, and hopefully to make a difference.

 

The promoter, Tarik Rahiman, and his dedicated team delivered an incredible show by making athletes number one priority.

Congratulations to all the athletes who stepped on stage and showcased their hard work. Thanks to the BCABBA for all they do to make sure we all grow stronger and healthier together. Thanks to all the volunteers, promoter, sponsors, media crews and everyone involved for all the endless support and dedication. I'm looking forward to 2017.

Please check out this lineup of amazing athletes whom I photographed backstage and learn about their experiences doing competitions:

ATHLETE PROFILES

ATHLETE NAME: Leah Krichelle Owen

How did you get started in Fitness Leah, and what’s the best part about being a fitness competitor? I always enjoyed going to the gym, it's when I started college for massage therapy that I took fitness to the next level 2 years ago. I started competing to keep me distracted from the stress of school. The best part about being a fitness competitor, for me, is the rush of excitement you get on stage and all the friends made in the process.

What was the reason you decided to compete at The Popeye’s Fall Classic, and what category did you compete in? I had a goal to do a show in 2016. I set my mind to it, and did just that. I competed in figure and just 4 days out from the show decided I was going to compete in women's physique as well. It was stressful learning all the new poses and the routine. I love pushing myself outside of my comfort zone.

What was the highlight of the show for you? My highlight from the entire show was having such a supportive group of girls in the dressing room, and successfully completing my goal in both categories, qualifying for BC provincials in July 2017.

Who did you train with? I trained with my great friend Riley Kaiser.

How did you stay motivated during prep? My motivation started with having a goal and my stubborn personality wouldn't allow me to let myself down.

Any advice for those who are going to compete for the first time? Listen to your trainers: they know what their talking about. It gets hard and there will be times you want to give up, just remember your goal and don't let yourself down. Be sure to reverse diet post show - it's very important.

What are you most proud of in your journey? Conquering my fear of performing my last minute physique routine on stage. Most proud of all the support I had to get there.

What are your short and long term fitness goals? My short-term goal is to improve my physique for BC provincial stage in 2017, taking it one day at a time. My long-term goal is to continuously inspire others wanting to compete for their first time. As well, I can't wait to see where the BCs in 2017 takes me.

What is your favorite motivational quote? “Everything happens for a reason,” and “Your body can withstand almost anything; it's your mind you have to convince.”

Are you on any Social media? If yes, how people can find you there? Facebook: Leah-Owen,  Instagram: @leahkrichellefit.

Who would you like to thank? I would like to send my thank you to my great supportive boyfriend Tyler Acker that woke me up every morning for my dreadful am cardio, and all his love and support. To my amazing mom and number one supporter. To Karey Fiege for the posing training. To my wonderful training facility Fitco, and trainers Kim, and Riley Kaiser. Couldn't have wished for a better support team.

ATHLETE NAME: Alejandra Martinez

How did you get started in Fitness Alejandra, and what’s the best part about being a fitness competitor? My fitness journey began in 2012. I was in a dark place in my life. I lacked direction, purpose and had low self esteem. I was in a toxic relationship and found myself turning to bad vices to numb my reality. A friend of mine at the time had recently embarked on a new career path as a personal trainer and asked to use me as a Guinea pig to try out new workouts and diet regimes. She encouraged me to try a 12 week challenge, which would mark my 1st competition prep ever. The best part about being a competitor is the confidence that comes with knowing you completed a large task, the pride you take in the changes made to your body and the energy that you seem to find in abundance for other aspects of your life.

What was the reason you decided to compete at The Popeye’s Fall Classic, and what category did you compete in? I decided to compete in the Bikini Category at this year's Popeye’s Fall Classic because a few months ago, I realized that fitness and inspiring others is my biggest passion. I believe that a fit life is the best and cheapest therapy you can find today! Every time I have faced hardship, being active and focused on bettering myself at the gym has undoubtedly been the best remedy.

What was the highlight of the show for you? Ironically NOT placing was the highlight of the show for me. In the past I feel I made less of an effort and placed higher. This year with only a short 7 weeks prep I gave it 200% and didn’t place at all. It was very humbling. At first I was overcome with disappointment but when I looked back at the amount of progress I was able to make in that short 7 weeks I felt more motivated than ever, and knew that with more time and preparation I would be back to dominate that stage.

Who did you train with? I trained with an amazing friend, mentor and personal trainer Reggie Bradshaw of Rize Fitness. He is based out of Vancouver, BC. He has never taken on a competitor before but I knew he was the man for the job! I have complete and utter trust in his knowledge and expertise and I cannot wait to train with him again.

How did you stay motivated during prep? I knew the odds were stacked against me! Most people give themselves 12-16 weeks to prepare for a show, in some cases even longer! Only having 7 weeks I knew every meal, set & rep was crucial to my success. Giving up or giving in to my excuses was absolutely not an option.

Any advice for those who are going to compete for the first time?  YES. This is an exciting journey! You are not only transforming your body but your mindset, your habits, and therefore your life! Understand and embrace that there will be challenges to overcome, but with each one that you do, you become stronger, mentally, physically & emotionally. Also know that not everyone will understand you. They will think you are obsessed, or sometimes vain because only we understand what it means to track our progress, only we understand the sacrifice and dedication that goes into a full prep. Don’t be disappointed if you lose some friendships, be grateful for those that stand by you regardless of your changes. True friends want to see you change and evolve. Those you lose were never your true friends. Lastly HAVE FUN!!!! Yes you will feel run down at times, maybe even question why you started this crazy journey in the first place, but it will all be worth it! So enjoy it all! The highs and the lows.

What are you most proud of in your journey? That I never gave up.

What are your short and long term fitness goals? Short term I would like to compete again in May, another Tier 1 show, place and take 1st overall. I would like to make it all the way to nationals and eventually go pro! I would like to continue building my Dance-Fitness Bootcamp! A fun, intensive class I run on a weekly basis, geared towards women called GetBodied Bootcamp.

What is your favorite motivational quote? “There’s no time like the present.” I find that often people are best at finding excuses or reasons why they can’t take action. Overcoming the fear of failure, and having complete belief in yourself is what this quote means to me. “Live the life you love & love the life you live.” Whether you choose to take life by the balls and make it your own, or whether you choose to be complacent with your situation, recognize that you CHOSE that life! Therefore, you should never complain about where you are.  Be grateful for everything you have, and be willing to fight for the things you want.

Are you on any Social media? If yes, how people can find you there? I am very active on social media. I run my personal account @Schmartinez on IG along with my bootcamp’s page @GetBodiedBootcamp. I am also currently working on the launch of our website www.GetBodiedBootcamp.com and the launch of my Youtube channel which will be announced on IG very very soon!

Who would you like to thank? I absolutely need to thank Reggie Bradshaw my trainer first and foremost. The amount of progress made would’ve never happened without him in such a short time span. Of course, my close friends & family, especially my ride or dies CBC, thank you for the unconditional support, words of encouragement & patience during my cutting phase!! Hahaha! But above all else my one and only God, for keeping me healthy & whole and giving me the inner strength each day to push through any mental or emotional limitations and reminding me daily that he put me on this earth to inspire & add value to others' lives even if just in the smallest ways. Thank you, for all my blessings. I am eternally grateful.

ATHLETE NAME: Jordan Barth

How did you get started in fitness Jordan, and what’s the best part of being a competitor? I've been an active weight lifter and sports enthusiast since high school, however, it wasn't until about three years ago when I was training at the gym one day and my buddy Jordan Gladman approached me and suggested I train for an upcoming bodybuilding show.  Little did I know he was planting the seed of hope and determination. At first I wasn't too into it, but after a series of life events I gained a new appreciation and motivation towards bodybuilding. I had lost a good friend of mine named Tyson Smith from a senseless crime which made me look at life a little differently. He was stoked when I told him I was going to enter my first contest and his loss gave me a new reason to change my lifestyle and channel my energy into my training. I would have to say the best part of being a competitor is the feeling I get after accomplishing a goal that I had trained so hard for.  I love how bodybuilding is as much emotional as it is physical. It takes extreme dedication and willpower to succeed and the challenge is what I strive for.

What was the reason why you decided to do the Popeye’s Fall Classic and what category did you compete in? I didn't have any expectations, however hoped that my dedication and hard work would be recognized by others. These competitions always bring out crazy  talent, therefore, winning first place in my class for men's physique made it that much more of an amazing experience.

What was the highlight of the show? Definitely the highlight for me was having my family out in the crowd supporting and cheering me on. My mom has been one of my biggest supporters and her being there made the show that much more memorable.

Who did you train with? While prepping I had a few training partners including Tyrone Ashmeade (my coach), Marcus Hamm (Gold's gym partner),  and Ken Gauthier (downtown cardio sessions).

How did I stay motivated during prep? I would have to say music is my life and not going to lie, without music I'm not sure if I could do it! Thank goodness for head phones lol. All jokes aside though,  I surrounded myself with positive individuals that believed in me.

Any advice for those who are competing for the first time? I would have to say for anyone competing for their first time, remember to do it for yourself and of course have fun!

What are you most proud of in your journey? Throughout my journey, one of my greatest achievements would  have to be the launch of my fitness company, Playboiz Physique Fitness Apparel. Making my dream become a reality has been one of my proudest moments and gives me motivation to continue killing it in the world of bodybuilding.

What are your long term and short-term fitness goals? My short-term goals are to succeed in every competition I enter. It's going to be tough with no days off, but I truly believe my dedication to bodybuilding will amount to something big for me.  My long time goal is to compete on a national scale, promote my brand, and meet and connect with new people from all over the world while doing it.

What is your favourite motivational quote? "I have a dream."  - Martin Luther King.

Are you on any social Media? I sure am. I use Facebook, "Jordan Barth", Instagram "@Newb_physique” and “@playboiz_physique_fa”, and  Snap Chat “ Jordan.Barth. Feel free to give me a follow if you want, I'll give you a follow back if I’m not busy I promise.

Who would you like to thank? I would like to take the time and thank my coaches Tyrone and Dar for getting me this far and for believing in me and my goals. My Mom for coming out to all my competitions and being my biggest fan! My brother Jay for helping me out with everything in life, my bros Remington and Rojay Nicholas. Jameson Claypool who has helped me out so much during this prep, my sisters Jacquelyn and Jayne who have cheered me on since day one. I could not have done this without you guys!  Thank you so much!

ATHLETE NAME:  Olga Chekoy

How did you get started in Fitness Olga, and what’s the best part about being a fitness competitor? I’m originally from Russia, from the beautiful city Vladivistok. Popeye’s was my first experience being on stage as a bikini competitor. My fitness journey started 2 years ago when I decided to lose some post pregnancy weight. And after a couple of gym sessions I fell in love with fitness. The idea to compete came when my goal of losing weight was completed. I suddenly started looking at "muscly girls" and I liked the way they looked! Then I started to look for a personal trainer.

Who did you train with? My trainer was Yelena Yermolenko. Now, she is an owner of Team Fitness in North Vancouver. She is a great trainer and person. I really enjoyed working with her.

What was the reason you decided to compete at The Popeye’s Fall Classic, and what category did you compete in? As soon as I found her we started prep for competition. I didn't have any preferences, which show to go to, but I have heard about Popeye's a lot so I thought it would be fun! And it was.

How did you stay motivated during prep? It was a tough time to me. I’m still shaking when I recall about my prep! I had school, two preschoolers, 3 hours of gym everyday, 3 hours of meal prep (because I cooked all different meals for everybody in my family) , beside that I had a beauty pageant prep going on (I was supposed to compete in December but I couldn't handle it and quit), and my posing classes on Wednesdays and kids' sport activities also... How did I stay motivated? I was so concentrated on my goal that everything was put aside. I don't know if it's right or wrong but my kids and husband didn't like seeing mommy so busy.

Any advice for those who are going to compete for the first time? My advice is to be ready to feel miracle changes that are going to happen during prep. Be ready to take it over! Be ready to do a reverse diet after ! And enjoy every step to get your dream body .

What are your short and long term fitness goals? I'm still thinking of my goals. Now I am just enjoying my time and waiting for my family coming from Russia to visit me. I am thinking of competing in Kelowna but as I said I'm not sure. My long-term goal is to get my personal trainer diploma and jump start my fitness career as a trainer!

Are you on any Social media? If yes, how people can find you there? Yes, people can find me on FB and also on Instagram as chekoyolga.  

Who would you like to thank? I would like to say a big thank you to my husband. He never liked me spending hours in a gym instead of spending time with our family; however, he put up with my decision to compete. He quietly digested all my mood changes, my tiredness and tons of chicken breast in our fridge. I love him so much for his matureness in our relationships! My mom was the only one who supported me even though she always thought that I was so skinny and "those girls who compete are on steroids". I could feel through the hundreds of kilometers how she was caring for me and it gave me more power and boosted my self-esteem. I am so happy to have my family as my supportive team not only in my tough bikini prep but also in my real life.

ATHLETE NAME: Cassie Sonia Keeping

How did you get started in Fitness Cassie, and what’s the best part about being a fitness competitor? I fell in love with fitness when I was just a little girl. It all started with gymnastics when I was three years old and then evolved into becoming an NAIA track and field athlete. Track and field introduced me to the weight training and working out and from the moment I grabbed a barbell I never looked back. For me the best part about being a fitness competitor is the constant challenge and healthy lifestyle. I enjoy leaving the gym feeling good about how hard I worked, the gym keeps me sane and on track! I've always felt that training and exercise is a priority. 

What was the reason you decided to compete at The Popeye’s Fall Classic, and what category did you compete in? I competed in the bikini category and I decided to compete because of Cara Roberts. She told me that she thought I could do really well and gave me the confidence to enter! I love working out and spending time in the gym so I thought I'd challenge myself, listen to Cara, and step it up in the gym. 

What was the highlight of the show for you? The highlight of the entire show for me was definitely winning my division. I really wanted to do well at the show because I worked my butt off, but I never thought I'd win my division! It was an amazing experience and I am 100% hooked to competing, I cannot wait for provincials in July.

Who did you train with? Most of the time I would train by myself at GoodLife but if I was lucky I'd be able to do my cardio sessions with my teammate Amy Rasmussen.

How did you stay motivated during prep? I was able to stay motivated throughout prep by always staying on top of my nutrition and making sure I was always prepped and ready to just grab and go out of the fridge. Also, BCAAs and coffee were a huge help.

Any advice for those who are going to compete for the first time? My advice for someone competing the first time is to train hard the entire time and never skip a workout, even when I felt dead tired and wondered how I would get through a workout, I would always feel better after leaving the gym. Also, DO NOT SLACK ON MEAL PREPPING. The worst feeling during prep is feeling unprepared when you have no energy. Prep was so much easier when the meals were in the fridge ready to go.

What are you most proud of in your journey? Throughout this whole journey I am most proud that I was able to spend the entire weekend with my family. I felt I had the best support system the entire weekend and there is no way I could have done it without them. 

What are your short and long term fitness goals? One of my short-term fitness goals is to stay lean and in great shape throughout the off-season, I want to continue to live a healthy and sensible lifestyle with nutrition and continue to work hard in the gym. One of my long term goals is to come top five at provincials! My plan is to bring my A game at provincials by working really hard on my posing and killing it on stage!

What is your favorite motivational quote? My favorite motivational quote is actually tattooed on my leg. It says, "Believe in yourself and all that you are. Know that there is something deep inside of you that is greater than any obstacle."

Are you on any Social media? If yes, how people can find you there? I am on social media! You can find me on Facebook at Cass Keeping or Keeping Fit Personal Training and instagram @casskeepingfit.

Who would you like to thank? I would love to give a huge thank you to my coach Cara Roberts for giving me the courage to believe in myself to give competing a shot. She showed me how to believe in myself again and to become a strong woman in and out of the gym, it was almost as if she came into my life at the perfect moment. I cannot thank her enough for believing in me and guiding me not only through my first competition, but to my first competition and a first place finish. 

ATHLETE NAME: Mary Elizabeth Postles

How did you get started in fitness Mary, and what is the best part about being a fitness competitor? What really got me started into fitness was a moment of self realization, that I wanted more out of my life: to be more, to do more. It was no longer enough for me to sit idly by while my life rolled forward, I needed to be in the driver’s seat. So, I completely broke routine, I changed my career path, and I surrounded myself with positive and inspiring people. The best part about being a fitness competitor is the challenges, both mental and physical, that you face along the way.

What was the reason you decided to compete at The Popeye’s fall classic, and what category did you compete in? In all honesty, I had intended to compete in the Iron Ore Classic in October, but as time fast approached I didn’t feel quite ready yet. I realized soon after that I was never going to feel “ready”, so if I didn’t commit and register then I was never going to. In the end I felt it was meant to be; I met so many wonderful people that day!!

What was the highlight from the entire show for you? Backstage! Being surrounded by and meeting such mentally focused and positive men and ladies was boss level. We came and we conquered together.

Who did you train with? I trained with my coach, friend and co- worker Dave Jung.

How did you stay motivated during prep? My biggest motivation during prep was working with my clients. In taking on the role of being the challenger and motivator for them, sharing their successes and pushing past their limitations, served as a daily reminder that we are all striving working towards our best. 

Any advice for those going to compete for the first time? My biggest piece of advice that I could offer to first- time competitors is to rock the stage and have fun with it!!  It is about giving it max effort and achieving your personal best with the knowledge and tools you have available. Then reflect on how you can do better-- how you can be better next time.

What are you most proud of in your journey? Throughout my journey, I would say that I am most proud of my perseverance. There were so many times where I faced the mental obstacle of “today, I just don’t want to”.

What are your short and long term fitness goals? My short-term fitness goal is to focus my attention on developing key areas that I need to improve upon for my next competition and Posing!! I can’t stress enough the importance posing, it will make or break you. My long-term fitness goal is a continuation of becoming more in tune with my body and perfecting the process. In the future, it would be a great personal accomplishment to compete at the National level and achieve my Pro Card.

What is your favorite motivational quote? This is going to sound a little cheesy, as I work for Goodlife Fitness, but I carry the mantra “Life is Good” wherever I go. It is a gentle reminder that I have much to be thankful for, and spurs me on continually seek out opportunities where I can go from good to great. It is simple, unforgettable and it works.

Are you on any social media? If yes, how can people find you there? Yes, my Instagram handle is @Marzilaan. Look me up!

Who would you like to thank? I would really love to give a shout out to my family at Goodlife Fitness, they have been so uplifting and supportive through the whole process. My coach Dave Jung who aided me from start to finish and always pushed me past my boundaries. Michelle from Buttercream Bikini for making me the most stunning royal blue bikini in a pinch. The ladies at Absolute Touch who turned me from a little duckling into a swan. I feel blessed to have such supportive, positive and inspirational people in my lives. Much love!

ATHLETE NAME: Anna Frizen

How did you get started in Fitness Anna, and what’s the best part about being a fitness competitor? I wanted fitness and sport become part of my everyday life; in a way, I was looking for a lifestyle change and decided to start training. The best is being in your best shape and being able to maintain it long-term.

What was the reason you decided to compete at The Popeye’s Fall Classic, and what category did you compete in? My trainer Yelena Yermolenko motivated me to compete. Your commitment to hard work and diet rises to a whole different level when you are prepping for a competition – it is a real goal with a deadline and you are working towards it. I entered as a bikini competitor.

What was the highlight from the entire show for you? Well organized event at the great venue – thank you BCABBA for giving athletes the opportunity to experience the show. I enjoyed the friendly and professional atmosphere on and backstage.

Who did you train with? The best trainer in the world, national bikini competitor - Yelena Yermolenko - ACSM Certified Fitness Trainer, owner of the One of North Vancouver’s Best Boutique Style Personal Training Studio “Team Fitness”. http://youtu.be/-d2fWyRC10k, www.teamfitness.ca, www.alphaclub.ca, www.bthq.ca.

How did you stay motivated during prep? Visualizing myself on the stage helped plus ever improving body shape proves it is worth all the hard work.

Any advice for those who are going to compete for the first time? Start prepping early and keep going, don’t give up even if you feel like it’s too much.

What are you most proud of in your journey? I have never done dieting before, so sticking to a very strict food regimen was a learning experience that I fully embraced.

What are your short and long term fitness goals? Short-term, maintaining good post-comp shape, and for long term, to continue competing when I reach master and grandmaster ages (I am now 33).

What is your favorite motivational quote? 'You can do better.' 

Are you on any Social media? If yes, how people can find you there? I keep my fitness activity very private but I’m open for communication on Facebook (Anna Frizen).

Who would you like to thank? My trainer Yelena Yermolenko, nutritionist Leanne Babcock, fellow athletes in our team who competed with me (great team spirit!): Olga Chekoy and Sadaf Imanian who took the 1st place overall. Also, I was very pleased with the services provided by Absolute Touch team – thank you!

ATHLETE NAME: Sheri Bentley

How did you get started in Fitness Sheri, and what's the best part about being a fitness competitor? After having my first son 16 years ago, I was the heaviest I had ever been at 210 pounds.  I knew that I wanted to be a good role model for my son, to be healthy, fit, and set a good example.  As a female police officer, I am expected to maintain a high level of fitness, which could save my life, my partner's life, or a member of the public's life one day. I hired a trainer and instantly fell in love with weight training.   Seeing changes, not only in my body, but my stress level decreased and I became happier overall in life.  The best part about being a fitness competitor is that it pushes you not only physically, but also mentally.

What was the reason you decided to compete at The Popeys's Fall Classic, and what category did you compete in? I went through personal challenges, and I wanted to take my hurt and change it into something that was positive.  I didn't want my children to see their mom as someone who sat on a couch depressed, but as a strong woman who would get out there and give it everything she had for something positive and life changing.  I competed in the Figure category.

What was the highlight from the entire show for you? Meeting people that had the most incredible stories, such as losing 100 pounds, or overcoming health issues, and taking the negatives in life and turning them into strengths and seeing how proud they are on stage smiling and only trying to be their best and not worrying about  the person next to them.

Who did you train with? I trained with Mark Allan, owner of Performance Fitness.

How did you stay motivated during prep? There were some days that I wanted to quit, and I didn't want eat one more piece of fish.   My coach would encourage me, telling me how proud he was.  It was very tough balancing shift work and two kids while training, but seeing the changing in my body fueled my drive to take me to the end.

Any advice for those who are going to compete for the first time? Take each week as it comes, don't look far ahead. Listen to your coach; they are there for you. Be honest, if you have a bad day, or if you cheat on your diet, don't beat yourself up.  This is a learning experience and no one is perfect. 

What are you most proud of in your journey? I managed to train hard, eat clean, all while balancing the life of a single mom, parent to 2 children and, working shift work.   I never let my family life suffer during my journey, and would rather give up sleep and drink more coffee to train while they slept in order to have a balanced family life.

What are your short and long term fitness goals? I plan to continue my training, as well as keeping to a clean diet. I would like to compete in another show in the future, and strive to do even better than my first show.

What is your favorite motivational quote? 'There are no excuses, just choices.'

Are you on social media? If yes, how people can find you there? Yes I am on Facebook.

Who would you like to thank? I would like to thank my coach, Mark Allan, as without him, I would have never thought I was able to be someone who could stand on stage and be physically ready to compete.  Mark gave me the confidence, and the drive to make myself always want to improve each week.  Never a day went by, where Mark didn't encourage me with kind words and uplifting feedback with my training progress.

ATHLETE NAME: Chris Wyndham

How did you get started in Fitness Chris, and what’s the best part about being a fitness competitor? I started working out and lifting weights when I was 14.  I did a lot of Martial Arts and stuff like that.  I wasn’t really that into team sports; I liked individual sports better.  What I love the most is the fact that you are only really competing against yourself.  There are others around to compare to, but ultimately you are only trying to be the best possible version of you.

What was the reason you decided to compete at The Popeye’s Fall Classic, and what category did you compete in? I competed in the Bodybuilding category.  It was my first show.  I decided to jump in 3 weeks out.  It was crazy, but I was already on a leaning down program, and some of my friends were doing shows, so I thought ‘hey why not’.   I’m a personal trainer so I have maybe a greater base knowledge to work from, and I already knew I wanted to get into competing, and doing shows and such.  So this one was to get one under my belt while I was still 36.  My Birthday was the next day so it was really neat to be able to get one under my belt before I turned 37.  Now I have a solid 4 years to really come in swinging to the Master’s category.

What was the highlight from the entire show for you? It was the people. Being backstage and talking with everyone.  It was such a pleasure for me to see all the physiques and muscular people.  And I learned a ton from them, just by asking some questions and listening to some of the conversations.

Who did you train with? There are a couple guys at my gym, and we all train together.  Because I’m a trainer and work in a gym, I sometimes hire a coach, sometimes we workout together.  It’s really important to have a workout partner.  That’s one of the things I’m going to do differently next time.  Make sure I always have a workout partner, especially 3 months out.

How did you stay motivated during prep? At that point you don’t really need motivation. I mean, it’s kind of beyond that.  Now you are in the realm of commitment.  I’ve committed to this thing, and now it kind of takes me along with it. It’s like anything in life, you must have a vision, you have to have a goal.   Then surround yourself with others that are doing it too.

Any advice for those who are going to compete for the first time? Make sure you have a plan.  Believe in yourself and go all out.  Don’t hold back, and don’t listen to others who say you can’t.  It’s a competition anyone can try.  It’s open to all, and at the end of the day, you can start to learn and make connections.

What are you most proud of in your journey? Having a high-paced full-time job at the same time.  I mean I was managing a gym at the same time as being behind 1500 calories a day, with no carbs whatsoever AND working out.

What are your short and long term fitness goals? Short-term is to get into a tested show.  I personally don’t touch steroids or anything, I mean I wouldn’t want to because the of the health effects, but when competing with others who have, well it’s not an even playing field.  I’m going to switch divisions.  I made the mistake of going into the highest most experienced level first – bodybuilding, with all the seasoned vets.  This time I am going to start in the Physique division.  This is more watered-down, more basic. I feel I could do well in a tested physique show a year from now.  Long-term is to keep developing. Do more shows, videos shoots, photo shoots and what not.  Keep developing my Fitness Managing Career…and down the line, way long term, would be to do Professional Acting, and investing in my own gyms. 

What is your favorite motivational quote? 'Strength doesn’t come from winning.  Your struggles develop your strength.  When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.' – Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Are you on any Social media? If yes, how people can find you there? I’m on Facebook and Instagram now.

Who would you like to thank? My Girlfriend Brittani, who has stuck by my whole time, and been always super supportive and enthusiastic, and enjoys the process with me.  My Mom and Brother who also supported me and encouraged me.  Next it would be my fellow trainers and training partners, who all contribute to my success.

ATHLETE NAME: Jessica Bechard

How did you get started in Fitness Jessica, and what's the best part about being a fitness competitor? My girlfriend got me started with a 12 week challenge, and I got hooked. The best thing is watching yourself transform into a stronger healthier version of you. I remember about 4 weeks into prep, I was out jogging and I blew past all the spots where I used to walk. There were 3 of them, and I didn't need to slow down at all. I actually added an extra block just for the heck of it, and I was amazed at how much stronger I was. That's a great feeling.

What was the reason you decided to compete at The Popeye's Fall Classic, and what category did you compete in? I had a friend who was competing at Popeye's, and she motivated me to make the decision to join her on stage. Her excitement and vitality was contagious, I had to have a piece! I entered in Open Bikini.

What was the highlight of the entire show for you? When I was on stage, there was a moment when I could hear my family's and friends' voices cheering for me. That moment was when it really hit me, “I'm actually doing this!”. Definitely the best moment of the show.

Who did you train with? I trained with the amazing Rachel Cornell at 4cor Fitness. Women empowering women, it’s an incredible thing.

How did you stay motivated during prep? During cardio when I was tired or bored, I imagined that a serial killer was after me and quitting would mean death by bow and arrow…. I'm serious. It worked. Food was my greatest challenge; all the planning, the cooking, the cravings… It was all a struggle for me. I just took it one day at a time, and slowly but surely it became a familiar routine. Patience and persistence.

Any advice for those who are going to compete for the first time? Practice your posing and surround yourself with encouraging people!

What are you most proud of in your journey? I'm proud of myself! Getting the fittest I've ever been in my life and getting on stage was a huge leap out of my comfort zone. I've never challenged myself that way before, and I feel pretty bad ass.

What are you short and long term fitness goals? There might be another show or two in there, but long term goals are to keep eating healthy and lifting weights with a bit more balance in my life, no more excuses! And I want to keep the butt.

What is your favourite motivational quote? “Do or do not, there is no try.” – Yoda.

Are you on social media? Yikes I am somewhat behind the times there, but instragram @jessica.bechard. Next goal; get on top of social media!

Who would you like to thank? Of course my trainer Rachel Cornell and my wonderful 4cor family, you ladies rock my world! To mom because you're you, Chris for putting up with me, and all my wonderful family and friends. I am truly blessed to be surrounded by all this awesomeness!

ATHLETE NAME: Chandhi Khera
 

How did you get started in Fitness Chandhi, and what’s the best part about being a fitness competitor? When I was younger, I used to struggle with healthy eating and made poor decisions, eating fast food and not being health conscious. When I was promoted at work, my job became a very active job, working 5 - 10 hour days a week, while completing my Business degree at Kwantlen College. I lost 40 lbs and became a vegetarian and started feeling good about myself. My husband Suraj influenced me to join the gym and start lifting weights with him. I knew nothing about weight lifting, but with his help I learned a lot and loved it. At the end of 2015, I decided to compete after being influenced by my friend Catherine at my gym. I reached out to my coach Dawn Alison for assistance, and she motivated me to get where I am today. The best part of being a fitness competitor is challenging myself everyday to be better. 

What was the reason you decided to compete at The Popeye’s Fall Classic, and what category did you compete in? I competed in Open Class C Bikini at the Popeye's Fall Classic. There were 22 beautiful ladies in my class. I decided to compete at Popeye's two weeks prior to the show as I had finally made arrangement at work to cover me for the day. I competed at Knight of Champions and went to Europe in between the two shows. I needed to challenge myself to lose the extra weight I had gained in Europe and get myself back on the stage.

What was the highlight from the entire show for you? The highlight for me would be that I was able to get myself in shape in two weeks and stepped on stage. I gave it my all and I'm very happy with the results. 

Who did you train with? I train mostly at Gold's in Langley by myself and with my husband once a week. My coach Dawn Alison assisted me with my meals during my prep. 

How did you stay motivated during prep? The results kept me motivated to keep pushing myself at the gym.

Any advice for those who are going to compete for the first time?  Just have fun! Enjoy the stage and BE YOURSELF.

What are you most proud of in your journey? I am most proud of overcoming my fear of socializing and interacting with other people. I would struggle at speaking as I am an introvert and after starting my fitness journey I feel that I have overcome my fear of people and have become more confident in myself.

What are your short and long term fitness goals? My short-term goal is to keep on my meal plan throughout the busy Holiday season. Long-term goal is to keep challenging myself to better myself everyday and bring my best to my next show.

What is your favorite motivational quote? My favorite motivational quote is "Where there is no Struggle, there is no Strength.” 

Are you on any Social media? If yes, how people can find you there? Yes, I'm on Facebook and Snap Chat as Chandni Khera, and my Instagram name is Chan_d_ni 

Who would you like to thank? I would like to thank my husband, Suraj for introducing me to the lifting world and for being so supportive especially on those low carb days.  Thank you to my coach Dawn Alison for assisting me with my meal plans and for believing in me. Thank you to my family and friends for all their love & support. Thank you to Laura for getting my Bikini ready on such short notice and Andrea for tanning me at my house late night Friday.

ATHLETE NAME: Avery Murray

How did you get started in Fitness Avery, and what’s the best part about being a fitness competitor? My fitness journey, like many, all started with a good ol’ bucket-list.  Among the varied list, between “master bread-making” and “fly a plane”, sat “compete in a fitness competition”. Well, after a few life-altering events, moving to a new region for a new job, starting school again, and turning 30, I decided that this was the year I was going to do it. I researched an amazing coach, hired him, and started my journey!

The best part about being a fitness competitor is a tie between two things, myself and others. On the subject of ‘myself’, I have not only recognized, but embraced a greater love and admiration for myself along the road. I have learned self-love, self-respect, self-determination, self-accomplishment, and self-growth. Not only am I appalled at what I have already accomplished and what I plan to accomplish, I also feel that every day, I am better than I was the day before. When it comes to ‘others’, it is in reference to the people I meet and interact with throughout my journey. Being part of the bodybuilding community is empowering, it is encouraging, and it is inspirational. I am proud to say that I am part of a positive group of people who are understanding, driven, motivating, and helping one another out, both on and off the stage.

What was the reason you decided to compete at The Popeye’s Fall Classic, and what category did you compete in? I competed in Bikini. I decided on Popeye’s Fall Classic for two reasons. Firstly, it started as my light at the end of a tunnel, it was 6 months away from my start date and was my drive to do better and work harder each and every day. And secondly, it was going to be a large show and typically brings forth tough competition. I have always believed that the bigger the show and the harder the competition, the more enriching, inspiring, and influential the experience will be. Popeye’s was most definitely that.

What was the highlight from the entire show for you? The highlight for me was the feeling I experienced when I realized that I had actually made it up on that stage, followed by the empowerment and inspiration that followed when I walked off the stage. Looking back to the beginning, I never would have thought that competing at Popeye’s Fall Classic would have become such an influential and life-changing experience; it changed my ‘6 month goal” into a lifestyle overhaul and laid the foundation for my current aspirations to compete in 2017.

Who did you train with? Graham Chan, Team Genetx

How did you stay motivated during prep? This was a challenge. Being new to the sport, I had to try to find some method to the very unfamiliar madness of prep. I found at the end, that making small weekly goals or daily goals were a significant help. Time between meals seemed to crawl at best and the actual eating of food seemed to fly by, so I also found keeping myself distracted with hobbies (riding horses, reading books, and going on hikes with my dog) between meals assisted in the process. Lastly, my coach, who, despite how my week was going and where on the emotional rollercoaster I was riding, always supported me and helped to keep me motivated and driving forward in right direction from day one.

Any advice for those who are going to compete for the first time? Do your research and HIRE A COACH! Coaches bring with them a vast wealth of knowledge, experience, and more. You and your coach work together to create a plan that is best suited to your body, your wants, and your needs. Next, make REALISTIC/RATIONAL goals; do not expect to spend only 6 months at the gym and then to walk up on stage and win an enormous show first time out - that is unrealistic and can elicit negative feelings. Be realistic and make personal goals such as perfecting your posing while on stage, walking out onto the stage with confidence, and having fun! Finally, discuss and have a POST-SHOW PLAN set up in advance with your coach that has a wholistic approach which involves mind and body… I thought prep was the hardest part, until I started my post-show plan, thankfully my coach had me already prepared mentally and physically for that beast of a journey.

What are you most proud of in your journey? I am most proud of my personal development, my love for myself. I entered into the fitness world as a nervous and self-conscious woman that was uncomfortable in my own skin – that girl is long gone and has since been replaced with a body-positive, confident woman who is continuing to develop and evolve every day.

What are your short and long term fitness goals? My original objective was to compete in one show, and draw a line through the goal on my bucket-list. Little did I know, walking off the stage at Popeye’s Fall Classic has only driven me to work harder and has caused me to add a few more goals and milestones to my list. Currently I am in off-season, working on strength training and building mass, but I fully intend on getting back up on stage in 2017 and look forward to continuing on this journey.

What is your favorite motivational quote? “Dare to be great.” David Goodsole, an equestrian hunter/jumper coach and trainer.

Are you on any Social media? If yes, how people can find you there? Yes, I am on facebook under my name, and on Instagram as Rimlak125.

Who would you like to thank? To my amazing coach, Graham Chan, who has been and continues to be pivotal in my transformation and development. To my partner, Aron, who cooks for me, encourages me, supports me, spots for me, and keeps me sane and grounded even at the hardest of times. Finally, to my teammates and family who are always there, pushing me, and supporting me through the journey as well.

ATHLETE NAME: Marie Craig


How did you get started in Fitness Marie, and what’s the best part about being a fitness competitor? I have always been active my entire life, but seriously started weight training August 2016, never really saw change in my body, and knew I needed a lifestyle change. I met Rachel Cornell and my life changed so much for the better.    Best part about being a figure competitor was how it changed me mentally and physically into a better person.

What was the reason you decided to compete at The Popeye’s Fall Classic, and what category did you compete in? I just wanted to push myself, do something for me and not care about what other people thought. Gain confidence in myself.  Love myself again. I've wanted to do this for 5 years, and found every excuse not to. Something snapped the day I went to Rachel's open house for her gym; the energy and people was amazing. I was all in. It was my time to live out a dream and compete. Based on timing of meeting my coach, Popeye’s was perfect for me to just go for it. I competed in figure.

What was the highlight from the entire show for you? The whole show blew me away. I have never been to a show first off but the highlight was stepping out on the stage.  It's a rush, the emotions you feel are empowering.  I can't explain you just gotta do it.

Who did you train with? I trained with the tribe at 4 cor fitness in South Surrey once a week. Many inspirational wonderful women there they have become like my second family all with the guidance of our amazing coach Rachel Cornell.  The other 6 days I trained on my own at Fitness Unlimited Langley. Most of my cardio was done through running with my pup! 

How did you stay motivated during prep? It was my daughter that kept me going. I wanted to show her if you want something bad enough you have to work hard for it and one day you will have it.  Your dreams can be your reality. Work hard for it! I really did enjoy prep. Eating clean, learning how to properly eat and train really excited me daily. I looked forward to my class with the girls the most because we were always pushing each other harder. It was always an awesome time. Jessica and I were doing the show together so it was awesome to have someone to talk to if a day didn't go as planned. We would bring each other up if down and push each other. Solid friendships kept me going!

Any advice for those who are going to compete for the first time? Trust the process!! Crank the tunes while you meal prep.  Don't think too much. Listen to your coach. It's not easy but it's worth it!! Honestly just have fun and enjoy!

What are you most proud of in your journey? Being able to control my mind. Because really your body will do whatever you want it's the mind that's the devil.

What are your short and long term fitness goals? This was my first show and my goal was to get on stage. Live outside my comfort zone! For my next show I would like to make 1st call outs. Ill be working harder then ever to bring a better package 2017. My other goal I've committed to right now is getting ready for the ride to conquer cancer in August.

What is your favorite motivational quote? “If it doesn't challenge you it won't change you.”

Are you on any Social media? If yes, how people can find you there?  Yes I’m on facebook and instagram. Just search my name.

Who would you like to thank? I would like to first off thank Danielle for putting the bug in my ear about Rachel Cornell, Jessica, and Jodie for getting me to come to Rachel and Troy's open house for their gym called 4cor fitness. Thank you to all the women at 4cor who have helped me along the way. To my friends and family who supported me over the past few months. Travis thank you for helping me make this all possible. Most of all, to my daughter the one little person that keeps this momma going.

ATHLETE NAME: Robyn Allen

How did you get started in fitness, Robyn, and what’s the best part about being a fitness competitor? I have always been an active body since a very young age, I was a competitive dancer from the age of 5 until the age of 18. Highland, ballet, tap, hip hop, you name it I had at least given it a try. There was great potential with my dance career but I had an equal love for the sport of soccer, coming from a British background it was huge in my family, especially with my dad who inspired me the most when it came to my training and wanting to further my skill set with the sport. I found a balance between both soccer and dance, but once high school ended it seemed they did too, that’s when I discovered weightlifting. I played on a women’s soccer team after high school and if I wasn’t on the field I was in the gym lifting weights trying to put on mass. A few years later I was training in a gym in Campbell River, West Coast Muscle, where I truly discovered the sport of bodybuilding and I said “I am going to compete.”  The best part about being a fitness competitor is being able to change your body. The effort that you put in shows 100%, our bodies are capable of so much and it is fascinating to watch it grow and change over time just by simply manipulating what we eat or how we train.

What was the reason you decided to compete at the Popeye’s Fall Classic, and what category did you compete in? I competed in the figure category and ended up placing second in my class, which was very exciting for my first show. I chose the Popeye’s Fall Classic mainly because of the time frame; I felt that I would be a lot more prepared for the show since it was later in the year. My coach had also competed at the Popeye’s Fall Classic in 2015 and had nothing but good things to say about it. Also living on the north end of Vancouver Island I wanted to make sure I chose a show in Vancouver so I wouldn’t have to travel as far.

What was the highlight from the entire show for you? Definitely the people I met and the friendships I made. Everyone was so kind and encouraging, which was surprising for me. Being my first show I didn’t know what to expect when it came to behavior from a bunch of women essentially competing against each other, but everyone was more than supportive and I am lucky to have shared the experience with so many inspiring beautiful women.

Who did you train with? Living in a small town I had limited access to equipment and being able to meet and train with my coach. So my coach and I did everything online and I would meet with her every couple weeks for check ins and sometimes we would be fortunate enough to train together.  For the most part I trained alone, my boyfriend was supportive enough to stay home from the gym and cook most of my food for me while I was training. We were both working full time jobs through my entire prep so finding time to fit everything in was nearly impossible.

How did you stay motivated during prep? I knew that prep would be hard physically and mentally when I made the decision to commit to competing. I also knew I would have to give up whatever social life I had in order to make it possible. Whenever I was feeling down about myself during prep, or felt like I wasn’t going to be ready in time, not lean enough, too skinny, not muscular enough… I just kept reminding myself that I chose to do this for me, to prove to myself that I was disciplined enough, that I could do it. I’ve always been very goal orientated so those thoughts didn’t come too often, but when they did it was rough. Another thing that kept me going was the amazing support of my family and friends! I knew that prep wouldn’t last forever, and that I would be back to normal with time. Making a list of all the treats I was going to enjoy post show seemed to help too!

Any advice for those who are going to compete for their first time? Make sure you have a good support system, and don’t commit if you’re hesitant. Prep takes 100% of your time and energy, so if you want to make it work you will, but if you’re unsure I would suggest waiting until you’re in a position where you’re ready to fully commit. And more time only means more muscle anyway right?? I’d also say to enjoy and trust the process, it can get tough but it is a one of a kind experience.

What are you most proud of in your journey? Definitely my discipline, I have to admit that earlier on in my prep a couple on my cheat meals turned into mini binges… I mean we’re all human and we all make mistakes right? But as soon as I would have one of those binges I would feel like absolute garbage, so it was shortly after that I started to realize it wasn’t worth throwing all the hard work away for some extra food. So cheat meals shortly just became cheat meals, one meal a week, then one every two weeks, and then closer to show I even asked my coach if we could take them out before she told me to. I had my blinders on, the only thing I saw in front of me was the stage and nothing was stopping me.

What are your short and long term fitness goals? Long long term I would love to own and run my own gym one day and train people. Long term I plan on competing at the BC Provincial Championships in 2018 and hopefully Nationals shortly after if I qualify. Until then I just plan on exploring different types of training and working on my strength. I would really love to start incorporating some powerlifting and crossfit into my exercise regime and as they say expand my horizons!

What is your favorite motivational quote? “The worst thing I can be is the same as everybody else. I hate that.” – Arnold Schwarzenegger. I don’t want to be like everybody else, I want to be different, I want to be me.

Are you on any social media? If yes, how can people find you there? Yes I am on Instagram and YouTube. My username is robyneallen for both.

Who would you like to thank? I would like to thank the Popeye’s family and BCABBA for putting on an amazing show, Status Fitness for this wonderful opportunity, Michelle Jeanpierre and the Beauty N Bronze team for making sure I looked gorgeous for the show. I would also like to thank my family and friends for all their support, but most of all I would like to thank my coach Sally Anderson for believing in me, I will definitely be working with her again for my next show. She was so supportive and always there for me whenever I had questions or needed anything and I couldn’t have asked for anyone better! 

ATHLETE NAME: Tara Anderson

How did you get started in Fitness Tara, and what’s the best part about being a fitness competitor? I was always athletic through school; I  joined just about every sport my small town had to offer, and once I went to university I no longer had sports and missed the physical activity and the practices so my friend and I would go to the gym and wing it, I think we found workouts on Pinterest, and eventually started taking tips from her brother who lifted weights, and I started dating a guy who taught me how to squat and I’ve been hooked to the gym ever since! My favourite part about being a fitness competitor was feeling a part of something bigger than myself, it truly takes a team to get to stage and also getting you ready, I loved being surrounded by people who were driven and chasing after big goals.

What was the reason you decided to compete at The Popeye’s Fall Classic, and what category did you compete in? The reason I decided to compete at the Popeye's Fall Classic was because I knew it would be a fun one to compete in. I follow Terik on Instagram and you can just tell the guy is so passionate about putting together a great event for the athletes. I competed in Figure A.

What was the highlight from the entire show for you? The highlight from the entire show for me would have to be sharing one of my proudest moments of my life with my biggest supporters, that meant the world to me, I cried the happiest tears.

Who did you train with? I trained mostly on my own but sometimes I got to train with my boyfriend.

How did you stay motivated during prep? Staying motivated during prep was challenging and I had a lot of days it was just pure dedication, I wasn’t motivated every single day but I had a goal to achieve, I followed people on social media who inspired me, I would watch youtube videos, listened to podcasts, and read every night before bed and reminded myself of my  why and used a lot of affirmations, I practiced a lot of positive self talk, yup I talked to myself! With that being said it was a practice and I say practice because it didn’t always happen easily but I knew it was necessary.

Any advice for those who are going to compete for the first time? My advice to someone wanting to compete would be to first do some research and watch someone else go through prep and learn the struggles before hand so you can mentally prepare yourself, secondly believe whole heartedly in yourself, remind yourself that you will be really proud if you don’t give up this time.

What are you most proud of in your journey? I’m most proud of overcoming all the obstacles that came during my prep, and the mindset I achieved.

What are your short and long term fitness goals? My short-term fitness goals are to be diligent with my reverse diet every day, and my long-term fitness goals are for one to squat 200lbs, and two, to inspire as many people as I can to lead a healthy abundant life.

What is your favorite motivational quote? My favorite motivational quotes (because I can’t choose just one because I love quotes) “It's like there’s a voice in my heart telling me there’s nothing to fear, in the things I am afraid of “- Tove lo. “ What would the person I wish to become do?”

Are you on any Social media? If yes, how people can find you there? My fitness Instagram page is @tenacious_tara.

Who would you like to thank? I would like to thank my mom for being by my side through every step, and for always encouraging me to chase my dreams and believing in me, your words and pride mean more than you will ever know. I would also like to thank my boyfriend and sister for all they did for me too, I appreciate you so much. Also a huge thank you to everyone who reached out to me during my prep and after my show for all your kind words, likes and comments, I can’t even express how grateful I am to have so much support, just know that no kind words, like or comment went unnoticed or unappreciated.

ATHLETE NAME: Maroussia McRae

How did you get started in Fitness Maroussia, and what’s the best part about being a fitness competitor? I had become quite overweight, I was in an unhealthy relationship and a recovering addict and I used to food as a coping mechanism, I guess you could say it was my new addiction.  I was so depressed because of the way I looked and felt.  I decided enough was enough I left the relationship and started walking every day. I was much too shy to enter a gym and suffered from severe anxiety and PTSD.  At first I could only make it half a block and little by little I increased that until I was walking up to 20 blocks at a time and going faster and faster. I eventually joined a gym started going to all the classes and I was hooked. I was able to get off my anxiety medication and my panic attacks no longer took over my life. I think one of the best parts of being a competitor is the people you meet - everyone has a story and when you're back stage for the most part many of the women you are going to share the stage with share their stories, share their fears and hopes for what next for them. There is so much laughter back stage even through all the nerves and jitters. And there is an endless amount of Peanut butter!!!! Huge bonus!!!

What was the reason you decided to compete at The Popeye’s Fall Classic, and what category did you compete in? I competed in Grandmasters Figure. I decided to compete in this show because Tarik Rahiman, and his team do such a great job with taking care of the athletes. And it was my first show I had ever done, so I wanted to compete in it again.

What was the highlight from the entire show for you? I got to meet some pretty outstanding women, I prepped and competed with a close friend and had the best cheering squad out there!!! ! And I got a selfie with Shawn”Flexatron” Rhoden.

Who did you train with? Tyrone and Dar @ash2nutrion and my husband Charlie Jones. I have an amazing team building me up I feel so fortunate to have this great team. Tyrone and Dar have so much knowledge and share so much of their experience with me. I love that I have them both guiding me and always looking out for my health and well being. My husband is my rock and kicks my ass at the gym. I don’t know the word rest sometimes so my husband makes sure that I take a step back when needed and get that much needed break.

How did you stay motivated during prep? I am a fighter I don’t know how to give up, but I also had a lot of support and people who believed in me. And I have something more than motivation; I have drive and purpose. Motivation is good but it doesn’t always last, motivation is easy to lose, there were several times that if I was going on motivation alone I wouldn’t have made it. I learned how to fight mental battles, I have to fight - if I didn’t I wouldn’t be where I am now. We have choices; we can be survivors or we can be warriors in our lives. I was tired of merely surviving so I fight to push my self every day to do better, to grow stronger, physically and mentally.

Any advice for those who are going to compete for the first time? Trust the process. Stay open to learning, and remain kind. When you finally make it to show day and you're backstage keep yourself open and really take in the experience. If you do you will make wonderful memories and you may walk out with some powerful friendships. And if someone is back stage and is scared encourage them; be scared with them, Uplift the women around you; don’t tear them down.

What are you most proud of in your journey? I am proud of every part of my journey. Each part played a role that brought me to the stage. It’s helped me to grow in so many ways. And become a stronger woman. I went through so many traumas in my life I didn’t think I would ever be ok, or be able to feel like I can walk in a room with my head held high. But today I can, I STOOD ON A STAGE IN FRONTS OF HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE!!! I held my head high and I did it.

What are your short and long term fitness goals? I didn’t qualify for Provincials so I will try again. And keep trying until I do. I am planning on doing some powerlifting. I am concentrating on my legs, working on building and conditioning them. It’s been hard to get my legs tight after 4 kids and major weight loss. But I guess it just means that I have to train harder and stay leaner off-season.  And I also want to use my story to help other women seek out their strengths, and to be able to find it in themselves to start on their journeys.

What is your favorite motivational quote? I have a lot that I love but one that comes in mind is Maya Angelou's “My mission in life is not merely to survive but to thrive and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.”

Are you on any Social media? If yes, how people can find you there? Yes I am on Instagram @keepingupwiththejones and FB.

Who would you like to thank? My coach Tyrone, and his wife Dar, who both provided me with so much more than just a meal plan or training. They both believed in me and pushed me, and like I stated earlier they shared so much of their knowledge. Tyrone didn’t just tell me to eat certain food and how much but he also would explain why. Dar always was there when I was freaking out about something, with a smile and a nod that would make me realize that, ok, I am not crazy and I am not the only one going though this!! My husband Charlie put up with my rollercoaster moods.  And loved me at my craziest times and put up with me being sweaty and makeupless and tired for months. And still he managed to find me beautiful. My dear friend Sher Wilson got me through some crazy moments, and just loved me through them helped me to laugh at myself and always reminded me to love myself through it all. The amazing women on my team, that offered so much encouragement. My friend Em Middleton who would check in with me every day morning and night to see where my head was at LOL. And listened to my whining and reminded me why I was doing this!!    Jan LeBlanc and Shelly Lessard  and of course my training partner Kutrina Chapman-Blake that pushed me when I was all out of squats LOL.

ATHLETE NAME: Leanne Bodnar

How did you get started in Fitness Leanne, and what’s the best part about being a fitness competitor? I have been involved in competitive sports my entire life. I swam competitively for 14 years and played basketball and field hockey. When all of my sports came to an end I completely fell in love with being in the gym and lifting heavy. The best part about being a fitness competitor is that there is always room for improvement and the incredible community of people that you meet along the way.

What was the reason you decided to compete at The Popeye’s Fall Classic, and what category did you compete in? I have always admired other competitors. I am a competitive person. I love having a goal to work towards. I wanted to prove to myself that you are capable of anything you put your mind to. I competed in figure.

What was the highlight from the entire show for you? Placing first in my category with it being my very first show! And just being a part of the show and meeting all of the other amazing competitors backstage and hearing about their journeys to the stage!

Who did you train with? I mostly train on my own and am coached by Tamara Knight.

How did you stay motivated during prep? Watching youtube videos of other competitors always got me through fasted cardio. And just seeing daily changes and not wanting to disappoint myself kept me motivated!

Any advice for those who are going to compete for the first time? Trust the process, trust your coach and enjoy the whole experience. Take it one day at a time and don’t give up.

What are you most proud of in your journey? I am proud of myself for not giving up and giving it my all! I was in school full time and working a couple different jobs while on prep. Anytime I hit a wall I powered through and never gave up. I never skipped a meal or missed a workout or ate off plan.

What are your short and long term fitness goals? Right now my plan is train my butt off and make the most of this off season so I can bring my best to BCs 2017 and hopefully qualify for nationals.

What is your favorite motivational quote? “The fears we don’t face become our limits.”

Are you on any Social media? If yes, how people can find you there? Instagram @leanne.bodnar.

Who would you like to thank? A huge thank you to all of my family and friends who encouraged me and supported me on this journey. And the biggest thank you goes to my coach Tamara Knight for believing in me, for her incredible amount of knowledge, wisdom, guidance, encouragement and support and for being there for me no matter what the issue was. She is truly incredible at what she does and she continues to inspire me every single day.

ATHLETE NAME: Brittney Ward

How did you get started in Fitness Brittney, and what’s the best part about being a fitness competitor? Throughout elementary to high school I was always an athlete. But I first found my love for lifting weights and training at the gym in the fall of 2013. When I began training I met my mentor who introduced me to the sport of powerlifting and in the spring of 2015 I was ready to compete in my first of three BCPA powerlifting competitions. And finally, in the fall of 2016 after I finally graduated I decided to commit to bodybuilding, which was an opportunity I had long anticipated.

What was the reason you decided to compete at The Popeye’s Fall Classic, and what category did you compete in? I have wanted to compete as a bikini athlete since when I first started training in 2013. I remember the first time I picked up a fitness magazine and to my surprise found lots of women in there! They all looked stunning, happy, and healthy, which really caught my interest. Since then I have always dreamed of seeing myself in a magazine. Another reason why I decided it was time to commit to a competition was to prove to others that I could present myself how I wanted to. A lot of people had opinions about my body, especially because I come from a powerlifter background, and I just wanted to finally put everyone’s comments to rest and prove to them that I could be a bikini girl if I wanted to.

What was the highlight from the entire show for you? It’s honestly so difficult to pick just one highlight from the show! I think the absolute best part for me must have been being up on stage, feeling super nervous and excited at the same time, and all I could hear was friends, family, and supporters cheering for me. I mean, I didn’t even have a hard time holding my smile because I felt so overwhelmed with happiness hearing everyone’s voices! Love you guys xx.

Who did you train with? During my prep for Popeye’s Fall Classic I did a lot of training by myself. I remember at times feeling disappointed and a little discouraged because I was so low energy and everyone was always training something different. So, when I did have others join me I was super excited! I am thankful for when my partner Landon Kaetler joined in on back day, the times when my teammate Karl Wodtke put me through a workout, and I especially enjoyed when Meaghan Geddert joined in on my HIIT cardio day. I mean, who wants to do cardio alone?!

How did you stay motivated during prep? A huge source of motivation for me will always be my family and the friends I consider family. I don’t need to actively have everyone’s attention, but I am always working my butt off to make sure those individuals are proud of me! Besides this, another way I stayed motivated was through my commitment to myself. I knew how badly I wanted this and so I didn’t quit on myself no matter how hard things got! I like to challenge myself and always see the potential for growth in the most difficult of obstacles.

Any advice for those who are going to compete for the first time? I advise first time competitors to commit and do it for themselves. Don’t worry about any outside stressors. Life is hard and there are always going to be challenges. But giving up on yourself, on your dreams, or something you badly want to accomplish will never be the right decision. You need to force yourself to find your potential and sometimes that means less spare time, less time with friends, less sleep. But how badly do you want to see yourself shine?

What are you most proud of in your journey? I am most proud of all the ways I have grown throughout my journey. There’s no specific way to describe because it’s been a huge learning process. I learned a lot about how my body responds to different diets and different forms of training. I could see my body change and find appreciation for myself in those different stages of change. I learned how to listen, how to follow directions and be disciplined instead of being naïve. Yet, I also learned how to be more independent and more focused on myself. I think that is huge growth for me as I often expend so much energy on others and at times neglect my own needs. Overall, I think I’ve grown to find a healthy balance in the places I was lacking such.

What are your short and long term fitness goals? I can happily say that I have accomplished all my short-term fitness goals. I mean, I have now competed in both a powerlifting and bodybuilding association! In powerlifting on May 23rd, 2015, I broke the BC provincial records at the time which was something I really focused a lot of my energy and efforts on. And now maybe I can set some new goals towards bodybuilding, guess you’ll have to wait and see! But otherwise, my long-term goals are more directed at the public and those I can reach out to. I really want to motivate and inspire as many as possible.

What is your favorite motivational quote? I’ve never actually had a quote that I considered my favorite. But a quote that really goes along with my attitude and thinking would be by Theodore Roosevelt, “Believe you can and you’re halfway there.”

Are you on any Social media? If yes, how people can find you there? Instagram: @ bb.brit.fitness,  Facebook: bb.brit.fitness,  Bio at: www.reflexsupplements.com/teamreflex-brittney-ward.

 Who would you like to thank? A special thank you to my partner Landon for sharing this experience with me. At the beginning of prep we both committed to different competitions (BCABBA Popeye’s Fall Classic for me and BCPA Fall Classic for him) and honestly half of the excitement for me was thinking how much we could grow together and test our potentials! Not only this, he inspires me and motivatea me to be my best every single day! Thank you to my coach Ram Fit for sharing your knowledge and giving me the confidence I needed in myself. You always met me with positivity and good energy, which left me feeling refreshed and ready to push harder! Thank you to my posing coach Cassidy McKeown for bringing out the best of my personality so that I was ready for stage presentation. Thank you to my family at Reflex Supplements, especially Kyle and Jennilee, who continue to support me in everything I do. And lastly, I would like to extend my thanks to everyone who has reached out to me during my prep. I share my journey in hopes of inspiring and motivating others, but in the process, I find lots of those people are the ones motivating me to keep working harder!

ATHLETE NAME: Nichelle Ryan

How did you get started in Fitness Nichelle, and what’s the best part about being a fitness competitor? I grew up in a healthy nurturing environment, started soccer at the age of four and began highly competitive sports at age twelve. I placed first in Alberta for the 100-meter sprint at the age of 16. I competed at the national level in soccer and attended a NCAA division 1 school on a full ride soccer scholarship for my first year of university. I decided to turn my attention to my studies and stopped playing soccer and that is when I discovered a passion for weightlifting and training in the gym on a regular basis. I worked with a lady who was a fitness competitor. I was so impressed with her commitment and dedication that I wanted to pursue a similar lifestyle, so I got in touch with her coach who later became my first coach. The best part about being a fitness competitor is providing motivation and guidance to those around me. Being a role model and someone that other people can look up to for support is such an amazing feeling.

What was the reason you decided to compete at The Popeye’s Fall Classic, and what category did you compete in? I am traveling to France for 4 months on exchange, as part of my university degree in January 2017. I wanted to set a challenge and goal for myself to achieve before I left. After months of training and working hard in the gym, I decided to push my limits even further and prove to myself how dedicated and disciplined I can be. The Popeye’s Fall Classic gave me enough time prep for a competition and was a fantastic opportunity for me to further grow as an individual, motivate my family and friends and meet other like-minded individuals in the fitness industry.

What was the highlight from the entire show for you? The biggest highlight for me was meeting a ton of other competitors and feeling like part of a family and community. All the competitors were so welcoming and it was such an amazing feeling standing on stage beside other competitors who all took their own, unique journeys to get to the stage. It was very a humbling and motivational day to see everyone at his or her best.

Who did you train with? I trained with Christine West, a Magnum sponsored athlete and a national level qualifying bikini competitor.

How did you stay motivated during prep? I stayed motivated with the help of my family and friends! Surrounding myself with people who were encouraging and pushed me to stay on track even though it meant hiding the peanut butter from me (thanks sis).

Any advice for those who are going to compete for the first time? Discover the real reason why you want to compete and keep that at the center of everything you do. Continuously remind yourself what your end goal is and surround yourself with people who will push you and motivate you to reach that goal no matter the circumstance.

What are you most proud of in your journey? I am so proud of myself for being able to competitively compete while maintaining a full time job and being able to enjoy a social life. I believe that balance is key in life and if someone truly has a passion for living a healthy lifestyle, they will be able to obtain that regardless of the situation.

What are your short and long term fitness goals? Short-term goal is to reverse properly after the competitions and maintain a lean physique while building muscle and enjoying life. My long-term goal is to become a successful businesswoman in the health and fitness industry and hold an IFBB Pro Card. I would also like to continue to inspire and motivate other men and women in my community to be the best they can be.

What is your favorite motivational quote? “Wherever you are, be all there.”

Are you on any Social media? If yes, how people can find you there? Yes. Instagram: nichelleryanfit, Twitter: niichelleryan, Facebook: Nichelle Ryan

Who would you like to thank? I would like to send a huge thanks to my family and my friends who have supported me throughout my entire prep. They have helped encourage me during times of stress and I would not have been able to do this without them. I also wanted to extend a huge thanks to Christine West for being so supportive and an amazing coach. I would also like to thank Reflex Supplements (Brandon Budd in particular) in Victoria BC for helping support me and providing amazing products at great prices.

ATHLETE NAME: Jordan Gladman

How did you get started in Fitness Jordan, and what’s the best part about being a fitness competitor? I had been lifting recreationally for about 5 years and decided to diet for a trip to the Caribbean. A week before my trip there was a Bodybuilding show and some friends at the gym encouraged me to enter. I decided to give it a try and fell in love with competition. I love watching my body change going into competition, the sheer difficulty of diet prep and how it challenges your will and ultimately the payout of stepping on stage and competing with like minded people. 

What was the reason you decided to compete at The Popeye’s Fall Classic, and what category did you compete in? I have competed in the Fall Classic 3 other times before. I love the timing of the show for prep, it's a good time of year to spend lots of time in the gym and kitchen. I appreciate how much the promoters put into this show and how it brings out the best competitors. I competed in Heavyweight BodyBuilding and Classic Physique. 

What was the highlight from the entire show for you? My overall win in Classic Physique. Aside from the win, I love being backstage and getting to meet and know new people. The community is so full of great people.  

Who did you train with? I usually train with another BCABBA Bodybuilder, Dave Malubag aka @last.rep, but spent most of my time training alone for this show. I like to really focus on my training and a training partner can be a distraction. 

How did you stay motivated during prep? You have to keep the end goal in sight. I wanted to quit many times but visualizing the stage and the competition kept me on track. Also verbally committing and telling people my goal is a huge accountability, I don't like to let people down or go back on my word. 

Any advice for those who are going to compete for the first time? Enjoy the process, but put your relationships first and don't sacrifice what is important for what is ultimately a hobby. With that said, enjoy the process, take lots of photos (especially with a professional near the end) and work as hard as you can to make it all worth your while. 

What are you most proud of in your journey? I'm proud of my win but I'm also proud to be able to do all this while maintaining my family life, business and personal health; mentally and physically. 

What are your short and long term fitness goals? My short term goal post show is simple, to get strong. I've actually set a goal to finally bench 405 unassisted by the end of the year. My long term goal is to add 5-10 lbs of muscle and compete at the BC Provincials and win overall in the Classic Physique category.  

What is your favorite motivational quote? 'Do or do not, there is no try.' - Yoda

Are you on any Social media? If yes, how people can find you there? You can find me on Instagram as @the.quad.father

Who would you like to thank? Special thanks to my Wife, she is the strength behind me. Also to my sponsors Ballistic Labs, and Muscle MLK Canada. I chose these companies and pursued them because of the products they offer and really appreciate them taking a chance on me.

ATHLETE NAME: Graciela Ramirez

How did you get started in Fitness Graciela, and what’s the best part about being a fitness competitor? I always liked to work out but I was never happy with my body so I decided to hire a coach and for the first time in my life I was finally satisfied with how I looked. I never thought of competing. I was just living the lifestyle but all my friends noticed how truly passionate I am about fitness and even people in the gym that did not know me stopped and asked me if I was competing. After so many people’s compliments I realized that this industry is totally for me and decided to compete. I’d say the best part about being a fitness competitor is all the compliments I get for motivating others and that motivates me even more as well.

What was the reason you decided to compete at The Popeye’s Fall Classic, and what category did you compete in? One of my very close friends took me for my first time to watch the show which was Popeye's and I really enjoyed it and here I was a year later competing in bikini in the same show I watched and was just wishing to be on stage at that time.

What was the highlight from the entire show for you? All the people I’ve met in the industry because we all share the same passion and have the same mindset and drive.

Who did you train with? I had a coach and was on a meal and workout plan but I trained by myself in the gym.

How did you stay motivated during prep? I wanted to go through this and compete in this show no matter what and even though I had to face lots of difficulties during my prep but I just couldn’t give up because I always remembered the reason why I started. This was a goal, I set my mind to it and I did it.

Any advice for those who are going to compete for the first time? When you reach something in life that you’re proud of you get too excited, you’re more driven and just want to keep going and achieve more but it’s very important to learn to be patient and not let your excitement ruin the whole experience. I’ve heard of many cases where people were doing too many shows back to back without taking a break and considering their health and I am no exception either. My mistake was the same so I’m talking from experience. Competing is a lot of fun and definitely something you’ll never forget but find that balance so you can only have good memories;it is the key.

What are you most proud of in your journey? My strong mindset. No matter how hard it got at times I still never gave up on my goal. I got very sick a couple times during my prep where I even had to be hospitalized and wasn’t able to train for 2 weeks, missed out on my own birthday, family events, friends’ parties, holiday parties etc…. but it didn’t let me break down. I can say that I am a very determined person because if I set my mind to something I don’t walk away from it.

What are your short and long term fitness goals? I will always be a fitness enthusiast. I am on a journey of keeping my physique while building my health back up and staying at that level whether I compete or not.

What is your favorite motivational quote? “A river cuts through rock, not because of its power but because of its persistence.”

Are you on any Social media? If yes, how people can find you there? Instagram: @Graciela_Dulce

Who would you like to thank? My biggest thank you goes to my boyfriend who’s been there for me good and bad. He really helped me get through the hard times and always did his best to make me feel better when I was feeling down. He’s my biggest fan and supporter and I am so fortunate to have him by me. I also want to thank to my amazing coach, all my friends and family members who showed me support and care. Overall, I am truly happy with the people I am surrounded with and all the good feedback I get from people.

ATHLETE NAME: Pamela Di Lorito

How did you get started in Fitness Pamela, and what’s the best part about being a fitness competitor? I have always been a big fan of working out. I truly love spending time in the gym and trying new training techniques. This was my very first competition. The best part was being part of an amazing team of motivated people that I had met over the last few months.

What was the reason you decided to compete at The Popeye’s Fall Classic, and what category did you compete in? My colleagues encouraged me to participate, and after much consideration I decided to take on this endeavor.  Being that I was already an active member of Dynamic Fitness, the motivation was already there. The more I researched and looked into this area of physical fitness, the more I fell in love with the process. Thus, enrolling in Popeye's fall classic Bikini division.

What was the highlight from the entire show for you? The positive energy that I've felt from people, and all the volunteers, where just amazing! Everyone was smiling and happy to be there.

Who did you train with? Grace Bukowsky & Andrew Bukowsky  @Thefitlife24/7.

How did you stay motivated during prep? I was following many different bloggers online, and people that have gone through the same in-depth process. Not to mention the support I felt from the girls on my team. Also the encouragement from my Eclipps work team being my cheerleaders helping me strive for my goal.

Any advice for those who are going to compete for the first time? Enjoy every single moment of your prep. The challenge and difficulty levels encourage growth and a healthy prospective that influence many areas of ones life.  When it's time bring your best YOU to the stage and shine. Have fun.

What are you most proud of in your journey? Achiving my goals in such a short period of time. I've learned so much through this entire experience. I will definitely sign up again in the near future.

What are your short and long term fitness goals? Improving my overall performance at the gym, I would love to be a sponsored Athlete for an amazing company out there. Being an inspiration for women improving a healthy life style.

What is your favorite motivational quote? 'Just do it!' -NIKE. And 'Hard work pays off!'

Are you on any Social media? If yes, how people can find you there? Instagram: pam_loveforhairandlife, Facebook: Pam Ela.

Who would you like to thank? My coaches Grace and Andrew Bukowsky, BCABBA, all the Popeye’s Fall Classic team, all the volunteers, my boyfriend, and friends. My salon team and everybody else that contributed to this event.

ATHLETE NAME: Arial Dalpre

How did you get started in Fitness Arial, and what’s the best part about being a fitness competitor? Ever since I was little, I’d dreamed of being muscular. I used to secretly look at the fitness magazines at the grocery store wishing I looked like those ladies. It was only about four years ago when someone told me that I “jiggled while I walked” did I start doing something about it. At first, I followed one of those apps that was all body weight then I joined the gym. There was a man who we all called Big B who took me under his wing. Right from the beginning I was in the weights and jumped right into it. The best part of being a competitor is the confidence that it gives you. You work so hard to sculpt yourself both physically and mentally, then you get on stage and say, “Hey, I pushed myself beyond my limits. This is what my hard work looks like and I am proud of myself.” I went from skipping every day of gym class and avoiding any and all activities that could possibly make me sweat, to slathering on Sweet Sweat to make myself sweat even more!

What was the reason you decided to compete at The Popeye’s Fall Classic, and what category did you compete in? In 2015, my best friend and I decided that we wanted to compete in 2016. But before we set a show date, we wanted to see what the shows even looked like. The next show that was scheduled was the 2015 Popeye’s Classic. We saw how beautiful the ladies looked on and off the stage, and said, 'We’re doing it.' I had, at first, intended on competing in Bikini but at that show I knew I wanted to be a Figure gal. And I did. Figure Class A.

What was the highlight from the entire show for you? The amazing ladies that I met backstage made the whole experience special. just absolutely amazing, and positive ladies. Hearing their stories and why they started competing was so inspiring. I don’t think anyone left that room without feeling the positive energy that was flowing.

Who did you train with? I train with an amazing group of women at Bombshell Fitness. More specifically, Coach Tatum and Coach Tara. They’re my life lines because without them pushing me 110% of the time, I never would have been able to step on stage.

How did you stay motivated during prep? My fiancé has been my main motivation. He never once complained about dropping me off at the gym at awful times in the morning or picking me up well past his bedtime. He pushes me and makes me want to do better for him. We joke about how when I make it to the Olympia, he’s quitting his day job.

Any advice for those who are going to compete for the first time? Make your first show fun. Go in to it with positive feelings and just have fun with it. If you leave with hurt feelings or disheartened, you might not want to step on stage again. Our first show, I said, “My goal is to NOT be last.” I had so much fun at that show, I couldn’t wait to get back on stage. Actually, I think I was more excited to be back stage getting to know the other ladies.

What are you most proud of in your journey? When I walked into my workplace and my coworkers, some who I never told I was planning on competing, began to congratulate me. I found out that my mother had been showing off my photos to everyone. The fact that I made her proud is my proudest moment.

What are your short and long term fitness goals? Short term, hamstring definition. They are stubborn little things. Long term goal is to be an Olympian Figure competitor, even if that mean being in the fourth call-outs. I’ll know I’ve made it when I step on that stage.

What is your favorite motivational quote? “You can eat all the Reese’s Peanut Butter cups you want AFTER the show.”

Are you on any Social media? If yes, how people can find you there? Instagram: buggydalpre, Facebook: Arial Dalpre

Who would you like to thank? I want to say thank you to my fiancé Scotty for putting up with me, Michelle for being my partner in crime, and my mom Arlene for being so amazingly supportive of my dream. Love you guys.

ATHLETE NAME: Miranda Mae Lundrigan

How did you get started in Fitness Miranda, and what’s the best part about being a fitness competitor? I’ve always been drawn to the fitness industry because I’ve always admired fit individuals; it’s been a long time dream of mine to compete. The best part of being a competitor is looking and feeling incredible.

What was the reason you decided to compete at The Popeye’s Fall Classic, and what category did you compete in? I decided to take the plunge because my weight was getting out of control, I nearly reached 200lbs Jan 2016, and I told myself “it’s now or never”. I competed in the Bikini category.

What was the highlight from the entire show for you? Being around so many like-minded, inspiring and empowering women, and having the opportunity to network with them and others.

Who did you train with? Chris T. www.fitformtraining.com

How did you stay motivated during prep? Honestly, my coach. He was such a motivating gem throughout my entire fitness journey. Him and the book “willpower for dummies” – yes that’s a real book, and yes it really did help. Haha.

Any advice for those who are going to compete for the first time? Stay away from the scale on a daily basis - it will drive you nuts. Also, don’t let any small cheats or setbacks define you, stay consistent and it will even out. Have trust in the process.

What are you most proud of in your journey? Making it to the finish line and actually crossing it this time, and doing so in an all- natural and healthy way. No fat burners or any other sort of weight loss assistance.

What are your short and long term fitness goals? I want to be a fitness star, a woman very prominent in the fitness industry. I’m currently working on a YouTube channel displaying all the incredibly healthy tips and recipes I came across throughout my journey, it’s very “niche” and exciting, so stay tuned! I will be posting details on my social media soon. And I will compete again next year.

What is your favorite motivational quote? "Don't live with regret, learn with experience." – Miranda Mae

Are you on any Social media? If yes, how people can find you there? IG: @mirandomworld,  FB: Miranda Mae.

Who would you like to thank? I cannot thank my coach enough for sticking by my side so solidly throughout this entire process. He’s been so supportive, understanding and motivating. He believed in me from day one. I will never forget that.

BCABBA EXECUTIVE & JUDGES

I would like to thank Tarik Rahiman for always always giving back to the athlete community by putting on such an amazing event. Make sure to mark down the next Popeye's Fall Classic on your 2017 Calendar. 

Special thanks to the BCABBA for helping this community grow bigger and stronger. My gratitude also goes to all the amazing volunteers for their unconditional support. Last but not least, thank you to the sponsors, media crew, the make-up and tan crew for all their generosities and services.

To learn more about the British Columbia Amateur Bodybuilding Association and the various avenues for competing please check out their website: www.bcabba.org

About Ali Sohrab

Holding a Masters degree in Lighting from University of British Columbia, with years of directing performances, the Vancouver based fitness photographer, Ali Sohrab brings his broad artistic expertise into the fitness world.

Ali has captured the beauty and the true personality of hundreds of athletes with his creative touch. In his world, every model possesses a unique gift and it’s the job of the photographer to discover that gift and manifest it through professional imagery. He believes that the work  of the artist should speak for itself.

Ali’s passion for lighting, story telling, body language, mood creating, and forms manifest though all his work, and has put him under many spotlights.