Building on his results
Harbour Grace man wins provincial title
Harbour Grace native Andrew Dove has overcome a serious injury to win at the 2015 Newfoundand and Labrador Amateur Bodybuilding Association competition last month. While recovering last year, he made an appearance on the stage to ask his then girlfriend to spend her life with him.
When Harbour Grace native Andrew Dove began competing in bodybuilding competitions, it was for the love of the sport.
But over the past few years, it has become a lifestyle.
In fact, it was at the Newfoundland and Labrador Amateur Bodybuilding Association (NLABBA) he solidified his love for bodybuilding, but also for his fiancée.
Dove began dating Candace Critch at the NLABBA competition in 2010. She has also competed for years. He proposed to her on stage at the 2014 competition last November.
“Competing and fitness being such a huge part of our lives, I knew proposing to her on show day would be the perfect moment,” Dove recently told The Compass. “She walked out on stage for her mandatory walk. When she hit her first pose I had the DJ change the music to ‘Marry Me’ by Train, and when she turned around I was on one knee.”
It was more nerve wracking for Dove than the competition.
“It was perfect,” he said. “And thank god she said yes, because there was over a thousand people in the audience.”
He has competed at five separate NLABBA competitions, placing in the Top 3 each time. But last year’s event, when he didn’t compete, may have been his most memorable time at the NLABBA competition.
When he’s not winning over hearts, Dove is a tough competitor. He took first place in the light heavyweight division this year. His runner-up was fellow Conception Bay North native Bobby Blundon, who also took the first place finisher position in the men’s junior division.
After an injury sidelined him last year, he was determined to get competition-ready this year.
Dove often uses social media to show his progress, but it shocked many of his followers when he posted a photo last March on his Facebook account. Some of those who posted even explained the injury, which left three-quarters of his chest muscle detached from his body.
“I had eight weeks rest and no training,” he explained. “The muscle just (had scar tissue grow) over and healed, but now I have a hole in my chest.”
But that setback didn’t prevent Dove from getting back at his passion.
It caused a lot of physical problems for him, including imbalances and a range of motion issues. But after months of massage therapy, physiotherapy and osteopathy, he was in a position to fully train again.
“I was ready to give up working out because it was a never ending problem,” he admitted.
But he didn’t give up, proposed to Critch that same year and went on to win this year’s competition.
Dove said he could write a book on the amount of knowledge he could bestow on others interested in participating in the sport.
It’s not something competitors take lightly. It takes months of preparation, and sometimes years to get ready. And Dove encourages people to do it for themselves, and not think about others.
“For someone who is just starting out, hire a coach and get correct guidance,” he said. “Never get caught up or intimidated by other competitors. The only thing you can control is how you look onstage.”
For the past few months leading up to the competition, it was a lot of work. He would be at the gym at 7 a.m. each morning for cardio and his first workout of the day. He would train his own clients in between workouts, meal preparation and eating, which he would do every twoand-a-half hours.
After a day of hard workouts, training and making programs for his clients, Dove would go to bed at 1 a.m. just to repeat it the next day. It’s not a lifestyle for everyone. “I’m so happy to win my class this year,” he said. “This was one of the hardest contest preps I have ever had to do.”
Dove said he is in the best shape of his life, all thanks to dedication and determination.
“If you bring the absolute best that you can to the stage, you’re already a winner,” he explained. “Follow your passion and love the process… because it is one amazing journey.
“Just remember, ‘what the mind believes the body will achieve.’”
Andrew Dove poses with his trophy after winning the light heavyweight division of the 2015 NLABBA provincial competition.
Andrew Dove proposes to Candace Critch at the 2014 NLABBA provincial bodybuilding competition.