Build­ing on his re­sults

Har­bour Grace man wins provin­cial ti­tle

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY MELISSA JENK­INS Melissa.jenk­

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.

Over­com­ing in­jury

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.

En­cour­ag­ing oth­ers

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.

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