Where it may seem that people who get up on stage and open themselves up to be judged may have all the confidence in the world – they don’t.
Carl White is a 50-year-old bodybuilder who is just beginning to feel like he can open himself up to the scrutiny of competition.
His arms are like pistons and bulge from under his T-shirt. You can tell he is fit. This comes from a tremendous amount of hard work, discipline and dedication.
(Inset photo: Brendan Budd, Yvonne Champion and Carl White at the gym. Pirjo Raits/News Staff)
White is beginning his training for the provincials taking place in July. His regimen is a tough one. Each day he concentrates on a part of his body that needs work. It could be his calves, his arms or his chest. He spends 12 to 16 hours per week and more as he gets closer to competition.
“An average person spends one hour four times a week in the gym. For us, we have to ramp it up,” said White.
That’s pumping a lot of iron but it is because White has something he wants to prove to himself and to his father.
As a toddler, White was taught weight training by his father.
When his dad died in 2015 from a rare form of lung cancer, he witnessed his father shrink and endure the pain of his illness. During that time White started building himself up to enter his very first body building competition.
It was as though he was proving to his father that he could do it and get up on stage, something he had avoided all the years he trained.
White is no stranger to discipline. He spent the last 40 years training in Tae Kwon Do, judo, jiu-jitsu, Muay Thai kickboxing, yoga, weight training and surfing. He also trained others in those disciplines.
White placed second in his first Victoria Cup competition in August 2015 in his category, Grand Master.
His hope was for his dad to be able to attend as he was his biggest fan and was very proud of White.
“I trained very hard, unfortunately he never made it. It made me even more determined to do the show on behalf of him and myself,” said White.
In his corner, he has his old friend Chris Parker who is there to help psychologically.
“Without him I would have collapsed in the show, you need someone there to put you back on track,” he said. “It is naked judgment, the ultimate exposure.”
Now he is striving for the provincial competition in July.
Helping White as well are sponsors Brandon Budd and Yvonne Champion. They own Reflex Supplements and are also bodybuilders aiming to go professional.
White considers them extended family. They’re particularly helpful when it’s time to begin to take on a strict diet for the 18-week lead-up to a competition. It’s necessary to gain that chiseled, lean look.
It means no sugars, alcohol or “anything good,” they jest. It can be difficult both physically and mentally.
Supplements, of course, are also a key part of the regimen. That’s where Budd and Champion come in. Both are educated and certified in nutrition and training. Protein powder is key, with the amino acids and multi-vitamins that help the body heal, build muscle and regulate stress.
“We’re all striving to be the best version of ourselves,” said White.