Saturday, November 21, 2015

Vancouver Pro/Am & Expo 2015 - Caitlin Bailie, IFBB Fitness Pro

Who walks on her hands at least once a day and sometimes as many as 50 times?

Who has an Instagram channel with nothing but handstand photos?

Who was once escorted out of a Vegas casino for doing handstands in a Superman shirt?

Even better, who makes it seem like this is normal behavior?

Done with strength and aplomb, that would be IFBB Fitness Pro Caitlin Bailie.

As she explains, "For many years I've done at least one handstand a day with few days missed. I love doing them in public and meeting other people who can handstand too! When people who are sometimes complete strangers put trust in me to teach them for the first time, it's a really great feeling.

"I like to be the little bit of random to add into people's days when they're walking or driving around town, busy looking at their phones and look up to see feet in the air -  heehee! I ride escalators on my hands, walk crosswalks on my hands and handstand down the stairs. I can walk on the treadmill on my hands too!"

Let's start with your stats.

I'm 24; 5-3; onstage 125 lbs; off-season 138 lbs.

Were you athletic growing up?

When I was younger my parents put me in swimming which I liked, and soccer and baseball; but I’m not very good at running after a ball, and I hate to be chased, so those didn't work out so well. When it came to more artistic outputs of my energy, like dance and gymnastics, I was very athletic. I went to gymnastics (non competitively) from ages 4-11. At that time I decided to take on dance more full-time and be at the studio about 15 hours a week pretty much until I graduated high school.

How did you get started competing in fitness?

I remember watching the Olympia about 10 years ago with my mom and seeing the fitness division. She suggested one day I might do that too, and so that day I added compete in a fitness competition to my already started bucket list. Five years later I found myself moving to Australia to work as a live-in nanny for a family whose mother was the three-time Best Body Champion in the WNBF. She got me started in my first competition in 2010.

Do you remember your first fitness show?

Of course I remember it! I did two competitions in Australia, but I joke that they were just practice shows because I didn’t have a very real understanding of what competing in this kind of show meant, and it wasn't my primary focus at the time. People who knew me in Canada didn't believe the few pictures I posted were me because of the tan etc, so I came back by saying, "Okay, watch this then, I'll do another competition!" That was the Western Canadians in Kelowna, May 2013. I competed in fitness and I won!

How old were you when you did your first show?

I was 19 in Australia and 22 in my first show in Canada.

Do you enjoy performing onstage?

To say that I enjoy performing onstage would be an understatement. I absolutely love it! It brings me back to my days of dance competitions and it's so great to be a part of a really very talented division of women who are incredibly inspiring. I do still get nervous right before I step onstage, but that only tells me I care about what I'm doing and how I perform. From the day I was born I've always been happy in the spotlight; but I'd prefer not to sing or give a speech. I'll just dance and do cartwheels!

Between the fitness routine portion and the physique portion, which one do you feel the most confident with on stage?

Routine! I choreograph my own, so I am always really excited and proud to perform that part and to watch all the other women's routines. The routines are what make us all so unique!

What are your goals as a competitor?

To improve my overall flexibility and to continue training my gymnastics to perfect some skills that I learned as a child but haven't practiced enough! I'm only 24, but the fear factor has started to sink in a bit! I want to come back to my next pro show with a top-three placing after placing 6th of 9 at my first pro show in Vancouver 2015. This year I am hoping to find a sponsorship opportunity to allow me to promote the fitness lifestyle to those around me.

Who are some of your favorite fitness competitors?

All of the ladies on the Olympia stage are extremely inspiring to me. I was honoured to compete with Tanji Johnson at the Vancouver Pro show this year, and Myriam Capes is a Canadian favourite of mine. I was grateful for her offer to chat with me and answer my questions over a phone call after winning my pro card.

From your vantage point as a fitness pro, do you see growth in fitness, or do you see a decline?

I am new to the pro league so can't speak to that too much as I haven't been around long, but it sounds to me that over the years there has been a decline. There will always be fewer fitness competitors than men's physique or ladies figure or bikini. That's because of the two-minute routine that makes the division that much more difficult because of the requirement of being more than visually fit, but also functionally fit and very, very conditioned, with a love for performing AND gymnastics skill. That's a lot to ask!

What do you think needs to be done to keep fitness growing in terms of number of shows, number of competitors and fan popularity?

Many people don't know what the fitness division is! There are so many talented athletes (dancers, cheerleaders, martial artists) out there who are skilled in the fitness aspect and capable of performing a routine of great difficulty, but we need to have more personal trainers who are interested in working with FITNESS COMPETITORS SPECIFICALLY to guide them in the routine choreography as well as making sure the athlete is very well conditioned to have the endurance to get through the performance.

People at a high level of sport are often so far into their specific world that they aren't aware of the opportunity to cross into the world of bodybuilding. They may have the talent, but not be interested in living on such a strict gym schedule or meal plan, but mainly I think there are fewer competitors because while the background of a fitness competitor can come from a wide range of performance and flexibility based sports, many of these athletes just aren't aware of the other divisions.

What's your profession?

I teach dance and acrobatics by day, serve in a hotel restaurant by night, and personally train clients to find better versions of themselves through fitness and handstands whenever I get the chance!

Where can we see more of you?

Instagram is @caitlinbailieifbb and @handstandsforhappiness is the new Instagram I made where I post only handstand pictures!

Vancouver Pro/Am & Expo, July 9/10 2016



See Caitlin on YouTube

Friday, September 11, 2015

Strength Challenge - Grip Squeeze

In conjunction with many of our shoots, we've been running an ongoing strength challenge for fun and bragging rights. One of these challenges is grip strength measured on a hand dynamometer. To date, we've done close to 90 squeezes on the grip tester. 

Those near 90 squeezes have seen women from a variety of backgrounds take up the challenge, including physique, figure, powerlifting, crossfit, bikini, lingerie football, bodybuilding, track and field and pro basketball. Notably absent from the mix - fitness.

The women have ranged in weight from 105 pounds all the way up to 195 pounds. 

One thing is clear: Breaking the 100-pound barrier on the dynamometer is a major accomplishment. To date, just six women have surpassed that mark. At the top of the heap, powerhouse physique competitor Shayla Turcotte. She went well over the 130-pound mark from both the right side and the left side. The closest to Shayla so far - physique competitor Heidi Dianne with a squeeze of 129.60 pounds from the right side. 

Following are the top twenty attempts to date measured in pounds. 

Shayla Turcotte6.00185R137.60physique
Shayla Turcotte6.00185L134.40physique
Heidi Dianne5.04138R129.60physique
Heidi Dianne5.04138L118.20physique
Heidi Dianne5.04138R118.00physique
Cassie Keeping5.08146R112.60crossfit
Heidi Dianne5.04138L103.20physique
Shannon Courtney5.02162R102.00physique
Wendy Lindquist5.03128R100.80bodybuilding
Tasha Wolf5.07138R99.60powerlifter
Chelsea Konechny5.04140L99.20figure
Cassie Keeping5.08146L98.60crossfit
Kristen Olychuk5.06130L96.40bikini, hockey
Kristen Olychuk5.06130L95.00bikini, hockey
Hanna Hallman5.02135L94.80physique
Kristen Olychuk5.06130R94.40bikini, hockey
Wendy Lindquist5.03128L94.00bodybuilding
Hanna Hallman5.02135R93.00physique

To see all the strength challenge video clips, join our site Athletic Women Magazine.

See a sample video of the grip challenge on YouTube

Please visit our NEW look blog here!

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Vancouver Pro/Am & Expo 2015 - Isadora Melo

Many people struggle to master a single language. Brazilian Isadora Melo can converse with you in her native tongue Portuguese, or English, or Spanish.  

Now calling Vancouver home, the 23-year-old bikini competitor entered the Muscle Insider model search at the Vancouver Pro/Am & Expo show. For her efforts, she walked away as one of the winners selected by X2X Clothing to represent them in the position of brand ambassador.

Let's start with your stats. 

I'm 23, 5-3, 115 lbs competition and 128 lbs off-season.

Do you enjoy performing onstage?

I love it. I really enjoy being on stage. It's the time to show all the work you put in for months; although I prefer the everyday grind in the training room. I do enjoy being on stage. It's like the end of a chapter and the beginning of another. You work so hard for that day. It's just magic. I love every second of it. 

How did you get started lifting weights and training? 

It all started in Brazil when I was 15. That's the age you're allowed to join the gym (at that time in Brazil). It's a warm country with beaches everywhere, so we really care about the look of the body. We grow up in this environment. I think that explains why Brazilians do very well in the bodybuilding world. We have direct contact with it and there is a gym every two meters in Brazil. 

Were you athletic growing up?

Yes very, very much. I practiced all kinds of sports - swimming to judo; indoor soccer to jazz dancing; but the one that I loved most was handball. I was on the team for three years, but when I graduated from high school I had to quit because I didn't have the time. That was when lifting weights became my main activity. 


What are your goals as a competitor?

Win the Olympia.

What inspired you to start competing?

I always loved to workout and get to the next level. Also I needed more discipline. To control the mind fascinates me. That's the only way to do well at this sport is controlling the mind. Once you've conquered it, the body will just follow. 

What is your profession?

I'm a personal trainer, athlete and college business student. 

More Isadora on YouTube:

Find Isadora Melo on the web: 



Vancouver Pro/Am & Expo - July 9/10 2016



Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Vancouver Pro/Am & Expo 2015 - Billie-Jean

If you've seen bikini competitor Billie-Jean on stage, you've probably noticed the tattoos - lots of tattoos. As she explains, "I'm hoping to bring more acceptance of tattoos in the bikini level competitions. You don't see many girls out there competing who are as heavily tattooed as I am."

With the tattoos, the 28-year-old hairstylist is also building a great bikini physique and one days hopes to earn her pro card. She competed at the Muscle Insider Model Search at the 2015 Vancouver Pro/Am & Expo show.

Your stats.

I'm 5-4, weight for the model search was around 113 lbs although for my BCABBA competition I am looking at coming in between 105 lbs to 110 lbs. 

Do you enjoy performing onstage?

I really enjoy performing on stage. That being said, I do experience a lot of nervousness before I hit the stage and sometimes even while on stage. But I believe that I get more confident every time go through it.

How long have you been training?

I've been training seriously since February 2014, so almost 19 months. 

When did you do your first show and how old were you?

My first show was the Sandra Wickham Fall Classic 2014. I had just turned 28-years-old a couple weeks before the show.

Were you athletic growing up? 

Not really. I played a bit of soccer and t-ball, but I was a bit more of a nerd. I enjoyed math and sciences and preferred to involve myself in academics rather than sports. A few years after I graduated high school I became more active.

Favorite competitor?

Favorite competitor would have to be Dana Linn Bailey hands down. She inspires me every day to love myself, accept challenges, be open about my struggles and to always keep pushing forward. If I have a dream and a goal, I CAN make it a reality. I just have to work for it. 

What inspired you to start competing?

I was inspired to start competing after witnessing a few friends in Calgary go through the transformation. I honestly believed for years that I was not capable of having a competitor's body; that I was just not born with such a build. I decided that I wanted to prove myself wrong - show myself that if I put in the work and dedicated myself to the process that I could make it happen, and I did just that! 

Billie-Jean on YouTube:

Find Billie-Jean on the web: 

Instagram @femmebilliejean



Vancouver Pro/Am & Expo - July 9/10 2016



Thursday, August 20, 2015

Vancouver Pro/Am & Expo 2015 - Erin Q Harding IFBB Pro

If you felt extra-safe sitting in the crowd watching the 2015 Vancouver Pro/Am & Expo show, it was with good reason. The women's side included not just one, but two pros who just happen to be police officers. For added safety, throw one of the judges into that fraternity as well. 

IFBB Figure Pro Erin Q Harding doesn't just step into any role when she exits the stage for her day job: Her profession comes with a gun, a badge an an oath to uphold the law. Along with the demands of being a police officer, she still finds time to train and be a mom.

Transitioning from figure pro to police officer is something Harding takes in stride. As she explains, "The way I see it is that they are each different aspects of my life. When I'm at work, my focus is work and whatever task I'm doing there; and when it's training time, or girlie stage time, my cop hat comes off. Being a police officer does not define me as a person; it is part of who I am. I think it's so important to have more than work in your life. Stepping on stage is truly important in keeping me well rounded!" 

Oh, and if you're wondering what the Q stands for, it's Quinn. 

What's your age, height, competition weight and off-season weight?

I'm 38, 134 lbs competition and 145 pounds off-season.

Were you athletic growing up? 

I was extremely athletic growing up playing almost every sport there was however, my main focus was competitive swimming and rowing. When I was born my mom owned a swim school so I was basically born right into the water and competitive swimming. I found the sport of rowing when I started high school. 

How did you get started lifting weights and training? 

I discovered the gym when I was about 21. It was my best friend who first introduced me to the gym and lifting weights. In the beginning, lifting weights seemed so crazy to me because I was so used to playing sports, but needless to say, it didn't take long for me to get hooked!

How long have you been competing and what inspired you to start?

I didn't start competing until about 11 years after discovering the gym. I'd always been interested in the competitive world, but didn't know much about it other than watching the fitness competitions on TV. I found those very intriguing given that I had a little background in dance, but alway wrote it off figuring I would never be able to do the diet. In 2010, my husband made an appointment with a local prep coach and I started prepping for a novice show. All I really needed was that last 5% push to commit myself.

Where and when did you turn pro?

I earned my pro card as a natural athlete in my own backyard here in Vancouver, July 2012, at the Canadian Nationals, 11 months after having my daughter via c-section.

What are your goals as a competitor?

I always strive to be better than what I was the last time I was on stage. Competing is a hobby for me as I have a full-time job that's far from the fitness industry. As a pro competitor, I strive to inspire amateurs to enjoy their process as competitors.

Do you enjoy performing onstage?

As I mentioned above, I have a dance background, so when I get to be on stage it feels very comfortable. So yes, I do enjoy performing on stage!

If you could change one thing about your physique, what would it be?

Ohhh that waist! I wasn't blessed with a teeny tiny waist!

What do you think is the strongest part of your physique?

I would have to say my delts. I was blessed with wide clavicles and the sports I played growing up created a fantastic foundation for the sport of figure!

What's one thing about you that people would be surprised to know? 

I was lucky enough to grow up with three moms! My mom came out as a lesbian when I was five-years-old, so I was fortunate enough to have a very liberal upbringing. I truly believe this has added so much to my personality; I'm more accepting and non-judgmental because of it.

Anything else we should know about you or that you would like to add?

I am a 100% natural athlete. Always have and always will be!

Was the Vancouver show the first time you've ever been on stage with a fellow police officer?

No, I have competed with other police officers in the past.

What's a typical day like for you when you have to juggle training and being a police officer?

It really comes down to being prepared. The start time of my shift really dictates when I can get my training in. I always try to get my training in before work because you never know what the day will hold. I always carry my food with me. I love my 6-pack cooler!

Have you ever arrested someone that recognized you as a competitor? 

No, thankfully!

What type of reaction do you get at work when other members find out they're working with a pro figure competitor?

They generally don't really understand what being a "pro" means. They generally respond with a "ohhh" kind of like "that's nice." The ones that do understand are super-inspired and generally want to hit the gym with me. I find that so inspiring!

Do you feel the extra weight training you do gives you a physical edge as a police officer?

Absolutely! When I'm in uniform I look small which I feel is an edge because I actually have a "boom boom pow pow" gun show happening that no one can see! I get to be secretly strong under my uniform while presenting as a small female officer!

How long have you been on the force and what motivated you to join? 

I've been a police officer for going on 13 years. It was my best friend who opened my eyes to a career in policing. She was preparing to become one and this piqued my interest. I was actually in university to become a kindergarten teacher!

Find Erin Q Harding on the web:



twitter @ErinHardingPro

Periscope @ErinHardingPro

Vancouver Pro/Am & Expo - July 9/10 2016



Monday, August 17, 2015

Vancouver Pro/Am & Expo 2015 - Faces In The Crowd

Ashley Joelle Wing

How long have you been competing?

I've been training for 6 years. I started getting into it after my daughter was born.

When was your last show? 

My last and only show was for the Inside Fitness Magazine Cover Model Search. I competed in fitness, but my goals and what I will compete in next is figure. Working my way to physique!

What's the longest you spent in line at the expo?

I waited in line for an hour to meet Dana Linn Bailey, but unfortunately I couldn't stay and meet her. I was very disappointed that I couldn't, but I had to catch a ferry to get home to my daughter.

What was your favorite moment from the expo?

My favorite moment - that's a tough one. I did get to see Dana Linn Bailey and snap a few shots of her and meeting Rich Piana was very cool! That guy is a beast! Also just meeting everyone that I have seen over social media. It was nice to see and meet everyone in person.

Why do you think Dana Linn Bailey is so popular?

Her hard work and dedication! She seems so down to earth, humble and just a sweet person, but when she trains the beast comes out and she gives it her all! Her physique is amazing! She definitely motivates me.

Who or what would you like to see at the 2016 Expo?

I can't wait for the 2016 Expo. I'd love to meet Arnold Schwarzenegger, Dwayne Johnson and I hope Dana Linn Bailey comes back!

Find Ashley Joelle Wing on the web:




Vancouver Pro/Am & Expo - July 9/10 2016



Monday, August 10, 2015

Vancouver Pro/Am & Expo 2015 - Leah Berti IFBB Pro

IFBB figure pro Leah Berti competed in the inaugural 2015 Vancouver Pro/Am & Expo show held in Vancouver, BC. Visit VancouverProShow for information on next year's show.
What's your age, height, competition weight and off-season weight?

I’m 31, 5'4" and compete around 122 to 124 lbs and off-season 132 to 135 lbs.

When was your first show?

I started off as a lightweight bodybuilder in 2004 in the Southern Alberta Bodybuilding show with the ABBA in Calgary. I won my lightweight class and the overall. I was a whopping 105 lbs my first show!

Where and when did you turn pro?

I turned pro in Laval, Quebec at the Canadian Natural National BodyBuilding Competition. One pro card was given for figure. I won the medium class and overall in 2011.

Do you remember what you were thinking and felt when you realized you had just turned pro?

It took me a bit to realize that they had just called my number. At first they said the number in French and then in English. I was shocked and it took me a few days to really believe I had achieved the ultimate goal and was a figure pro. I was honoured, proud and excited for the adventures to come.

Were you athletic growing up?

I was a pretty active kid. I played many sports growing up. Primarily I focused on volleyball, beach volleyball and track and field. I played club volleyball and being a bit vertically challenged, I was the team setter. I was on the university track and field team and competed in the long distance events outside and the 600, 800 and 1,000 meter indoor.

How did you get started lifting weights and training?

I developed a passion for weight training and cardiovascular training from a very young age. In junior high, I was a heavier set kid (I was Italian and I did love pasta!). I soon became very educated in nutrition and training. 

My father was a huge influence and a very fit police officer on the tactical team at the time. He would take me daily to the gym and we would both train and play beach volleyball league together. He truly inspired me to continue with my training and goals.

What are your goals as a competitor?

Being an IFBB pro has been an interesting and challenging journey. Going from the best in Canada to the rookie can really test your physical and emotional strengths. I am continually improving and have a few big goals for myself that I am working towards. This year my focus was on improving my shape; bringing up my shoulders; and shaping my legs. I also wanted a top-10 placing. I achieved all these goals and was very happy with my final show, the Vancouver Pro/Am & Expo show.

I still desire to be on the Arnold stage and the Olympia stage and will work towards these goals. I also would like to work on back width and glute improvements.

Above all, I always want to inspire others and enjoy the process!

Do you enjoy performing onstage?

I still get a bit nervous 30 minutes before stage and the initial lining up; however, once everything starts I love being on stage and showcasing my hard work.

If you could change one thing about your physique, what would it be?

I would have shorter muscle insertions and wider clavicles!

What's one thing about you that people would be surprised to know?

My jaw gets sore from chewing often and from a childhood jaw issue. I blend or food process a lot of my food!

What role does social media play for you as a figure competitor?

I would really like to attain a sponsor in the fitness industry and being active on social media, a good role model and representative is key.

Social media seems to be growing and growing. When I first started competing there was no Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Now it seems that if you're not Facebooking, status updating or tweeting you are not helping your image, brand or marketing!

I do admit that I need to be more proactive on social media and one of my goals is to continue to create my brand and image.

Learn how to Cheat Clean with Quest Bars By Quest Nutrition

What do you do for your "real" job?

I am a proud police officer in downtown Calgary as my "day job." Currently I am a member of the mountain bike team patrolling the city core. Shift work is challenging with training and at times the job can be stressful, but I'm lucky to have a great Sergeant, partner and team that supports my goals.

Was the Vancouver show the first time you've ever been on stage with a fellow police officer?

No. There are surprisingly more law enforcement and emergency workers than you would think at the pro level. Might be the tenacious type A individuals that policing attracts; however, it is always nice to see a fellow shift-worker achieving huge goals with the strenuous physical, emotional and mental jobs we have. Many times I work 48-60 hour weeks, all hours of the night, then train, prep food and fly across the continent to compete!

Have you ever been on duty where someone recognized you as a competitor?

No, that has never happened to me. Mostly my two passions do not cross. I have had people comment on my appearance or level of conditioning.

What type of reaction do you get at work when other members find out they are working with a pro figure competitor?

I do not tend to draw attention to my professional IFBB status at work. Many would not even know I compete or the level of achievement I have attained. However, many of the fellow officers find it very interesting and often are inspired or seek advice on nutrition and training. I have helped numerous officers reach personal goals as well as try out a competition. We also have the world police and fire games that has bodybuilding and figure divisions every two years.

How do you make the mental transition from strapping on a gun and uniform, and dealing with potentially life-threatening situations; to putting on heels, wearing a bikini, applying makeup and transforming to a glamorous figure pro?

HAHA! I sometimes think the same thing myself! It truly is a big transition from one mental state to another. When I'm at work, my focus and drive is geared toward public safety. I put on the “police hat” so to speak and take on that role and persona. Once work is done, I don't take the stressors home with me. When it's show time, it's show time! I switch gears, take off the police hat, put on the tiara and take on that role. I love both and they keep me a well rounded, humble and diverse person!

Do you feel that all the extra weight training you do for figure gives you a physical edge as a police officer?

I think it definitely helps my conditioning for the job. Sometimes all the extra training, conditioning and cardio can make a 12-hour shift on the mountain bike quite challenging mentally and physically; however, I think the extra training keeps me prepared and secure that I can deal with any challenges that I might encounter on the job.

How long have you been on the force and what motivated you to become a police officer?

I have been a police officer for six years now. I attained my degree in business and in kinesiology. After University, I travelled and tried out the business world; however, I realized quickly that a desk and confinement was not for me. I was always passionate about helping others and having my father as a role model and police officer helped make my choice.

I still do personal training, nutrition programs and contest prep programs on the side (Mzfits); however, my primary job is a police officer.

Can we look forward to seeing you at the 2016 Vancouver Pro Show?

It is on the list. I had a great experience and look forward to 2016!

Find Leah Berti on the web:

More about the Vancouver Pro Show:

Monday, August 3, 2015

Vancouver Pro/Am & Expo 2015 - Flex Lewis and Bert Sims

At any event, star power pulls in the fans. Part of the star power at the 2015 Vancouver Pro/Am & Expo show included reigning 3X Olympia 212 Showdown Champion Flex Lewis.

But have you ever wondered what happens behind the scenes when a guest appears at an event? Do they just show up, make an appearance and leave, or is there more to it than that? Once they hit town, are they left to their own devices, or does someone take care of them?

When Flex Lewis came to Vancouver, nothing was left to chance. Tasked with making certain all went smoothly for Flex’s stay, one of BC’s top bodybuilders, Bert Sims.

What do you say when you find out that you have the opportunity to hang with one of the best in the world for the weekend?

In Bert's own words, “Uhm, HELL YES!”

How did you end up in your role working with Flex for the weekend?

I was a volunteer in general and when it came to be that Flex would need a liaison so to speak, I was chosen as the individual to do so because the match up in personalities is very similar and I do pride self on being very professional in this industry. The powers that be thought I would be a good representative for BC in that role.

What specifically did your position involve?

In a basic sense, make sure he was happy. Really, knowing his schedule, where he needs to be, organizing what was being sold at his booth and keeping track of those items while he got to visit with his fans. I found out what his meal plan was ahead of time and made sure he had proper food for the duration of the weekend. I also secured a spot that would allow him to train as he needed to do so with being eight weeks out at that time.

Is there one highlight from the experience that you can pick out?

Training with Flex on the Saturday of the show was priceless to say the least, and it wasn't a go through the motions type session. I like how he made me feel equal to him. He wanted me to get a good quality session just like I wanted him to have a kick-ass workout. Seeing the intensity and manner he takes himself to and how he approaches his training was very insightful.

Did you have the opportunity to show him around Vancouver and if so, any highlights you can share?

Unfortunately I was not able to show him around much of Vancouver with how busy the schedule was, although he and some of the other pros did get a taste of the infamous Davie Street in the middle of the night when they invaded Denny’s for a post-comp pancake feast after the finals Saturday evening.

You mentioned being "taken to school" in a Facebook post about your weekend experience with Flex. Anything you can share relating to knowledge or tips you picked up from spending time with him?

I was referring specifically to when I threw up during the session and came back for more. I admit, I was not used to the pace and the volume we were going at and it took its toll on me.

We talked a fair bit and although it isn't going to sound sexy or anything, I found out at that level he still has to pay attention to the basics like someone at my level does. What foods does his body react to best that will assist him in getting results wanted? He's still concerned about health and longevity and paying attention to that is important as well.

I would also say in the short time I spent with him, I could see and sense he holds himself to a very high standard, not just in what he wants to present on stage, but to his fans, his business and his legacy.

Anything else you would like to add to this?

I personally am beyond thankful for having the opportunity to have been in the position to show Flex around and be the go to guy for him over the Van Pro Am weekend. So many times we regular citizens wonder how someone of celebrity status is behind closed doors and I can tell you in my experience the guy is as solid and full of character as they come.
He certainly has my complete respect and I would enjoy being in the same role anytime.

In the bigger picture, that never would have been possible if not for the vision and drive of Michelle Krack IFBB Pro to make having a pro show in our beautiful city of Vancouver a reality. She was able to bring our bodybuilding community together on the grandest stage ever seen in BC, contest, expo and all. Now the door is open to what will hopefully be an annual event that grows and grows and we who were all part of this can help BC shine on the world stage now.

Find Flex Lewis on the web:


More about Bert Sims

Tell us about your athletic background and competition history.

I played a variety of sports all through my younger years, mainly baseball, basketball, wrestling, football and track. I ended up playing collegiate football for a few years as a punter and running back before eventually transitioning what I consider late (age 30) into bodybuilding. To date, my competition history is:

2008 Emerald Cup 13th light heavy
2008 Sandra Wickham Fall Classic 4th heavy
2010 Sandra Wickham Fall Classic 3rd light heavy
2012 Emerald Cup 9th heavy
2012 BCABBA Provincials 6th or 7th, second callout so blah! heavy
2014 Krack Classic Heavy winner and Overall winner
2015 BCABBA Provincials 3rd heavy
2015 Idaho Muscle Classic 3rd heavy

What’s your occupation?

For past 15 years, I've been a personal trainer, athletic performance coach and sports nutritionist.

What are your bodybuilding goals?

Create the best possible artistic rendition I'm able to with the genetics I've been blessed with, earn my pro card and some day compete at the Olympia.

What's next for you?

Right now I am about to enter off-season and focus on growing where I need to for next year when I compete again. I will do a national-level show next year, but I'm not dead set on which one. Having qualified in both Canada and the United States, I have some options. Right now, I would say I am leaning towards North Americans because timing wise that suits me best.

Anything you would like to add?

I have a degree in Sport Science and I believe this scientific base, coupled with the array of athletic experience both personally and from athletes/clients I have trained, gives me a well rounded experience to draw from when devising effective plans for those who I work with.

Find Bert Sims on the web:

Facebook: Bert Sims

Facebook: Dynamic Physiques


More about Vancouver Pro/Am & Expo: