Matthew Johnson won first place in the light heavyweight open bodybuilding division and second place in the open bodybuilding masters division at the Northern Classic in Fort St. John, B.C., on May 19. (Submitted/Twixpix Photography)

Whitehorse bodybuilder wins at B.C. competition

‘We encourage each other’

Yukoner Matthew Johnson was on the podium twice at the Northern Classic Bodybuilding and Fitness Show in Fort St. John, B.C., on May 19.

Johnson finished first in the light heavyweight division, 79 kg to 90 kg, in open bodybuilding and second in the open bodybuilding masters division, open to athletes age 40 to 50.

Bodybuilding for four and a half years, this was Johnson’s second competition.

“Bodybuilding has actually changed my life in many ways,” said Johnson. “What brought me to it was consideration for my health.”

He said he was a typical 40-year-old.

“I was overweight, things were declining in my health, I had high blood pressure,” said Johnson.

Those changes made him start working out.

“I fell in love with the sport and it’s helped me understand proper nutrition and all that entails,” said Johnson. “Right now, all I’d like to do is bring that sense of community to the North.”

Johnson said the bodybuilding community is very supportive.

“We encourage each other,” said Johnson. “It’s nice to meet like-minded people who want to lead a healthy lifestyle.

Following his last competition in September, Johnson was immediately back into training in preparation for the Northern Classic.

“I knew I wanted to do an early spring show,” said Johnson.

He said he had a clean bulking season for a few months and started to cut weight — restricting calories and upping cardio exercise — in preparation for the show in mid-January.

“You’re really following your macronutrients,” said Johnson. “Your diet is so important. Your sleep is so important.”

Johnson’s performance at the Northern Classic was good enough to earn him a spot at the Canadian nationals next year in July 2019, and he said he’s already back to training.

“That’s my main focus right now. I’m back in the gym, hard at it. I’m not taking any time off and it’s time to get big,” said Johnson with a chuckle.

Johnson said he’ll be documenting his journey to the nationals on his Instagram account, mattjohnson71.

Currently, the bodybuilding community in the Yukon is small but he hopes to see it grow. That was part of the reason he chose the Northern Classic.

“It’s a northern community in British Columbia,” said Johnson. “I wanted to try to stay closer to home and have a little bit more [of a] community-oriented show.”

Contact John Hopkins-Hill at john.hopkinshill@yukon-news.com

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