It was a high-scoring weekend for a number of area residents at the BC Amateur Bodybuilding Association’s Western Canadian Championships in Kelowna on May 17.
Four Salmon Arm residents and two from Sorrento spent months training in order to compete and for all of them, it paid off.
For one of the competitors, Shalon Guilbault, it was her first competition and she was able to place fifth in the figure category.
“It’s been something I’ve always wanted to do,” she said, noting she was inspired by watching friends compete in past shows.
Eating up to six meals a day and working out six days a week for a total of five months, paired with a sense of dedication and motivation, was what gave Guilbault the physique to place well.
“It was tough,” she said. “Probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done.”
Guilbault said that the most challenging aspect of her training was giving up social activities in order to keep a strict healthy diet.
“As hard as it was, as soon as I got up on stage and saw what it was all about, I felt really proud,” said Guilbault. “The biggest thing is the people you inspire along the way.”
Sorrento resident Heinz Nussbaumer took first place in the grand master category and Raymond Walkerdine, from Salmon Arm, wasn’t far behind with his second-place win. Both men qualified for provincials in June.
Nussbaumer began competing in bodybuilding in Switzerland in 1982, but the show in Kelowna was his first in Canada.
“It was really, really good,” he said. “I think I did amazing.”
Nussbaumer became attracted to bodybuilding when he was 12 years old and saw a photo of Arnold Schwarzenegger. Tired of being rough-housed by his older brothers, he became determined to become strong and healthy. He has since opened a gym in Switzerland and competed in 14 championships, earning seven first-place wins.
Since the very beginning, Nussbaumer has constantly incorporated working out and healthy eating into his lifestyle. He wakes up at 4 a.m. every day to work out before heading out for a long day at work, and is constantly monitoring his food intake.
“It’s my life,” said Nussbaumer. “It’s a lifestyle.”
Bryce Chaddock scored first place in the Junior Men Category, Brenna Nakazawa placed eighth in the figure short category, and Tiffany Roy took second in the bikini category.