The Arnold Classic draws competitors from all points on the compass, and some of those points are right here in our fair city. Two from among the chosen few have opened up their gyms to a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to compete among the best.
Ladies first. Constance Petot is originally from France. Arriving on our shores at the age of 8, she has long since lost any hint of an accent but remains proud of her European heritage. She works as a personal trainer at Hilliard’s Power Shack. Her friends and fans know her as “Cnstnce” or “C-Pop,” the name under which she blogs about her progress towards competition day.
Petot competes in ‘Figure’, which is a division of competition between ‘bikini’ (very little muscular development) and ‘bodybuilder’ (max development). Although her biceps and shoulders would intimidate most men (and/or make them jealous), there’s no mistaking her femininity—one objective of that particular division. Her YouTube channel contains video blogs about her progress at various points in her training cycle.
Andrew “Drew” Mitchell, 30, is also a personal trainer; his home gym is the Urban Active at Polaris. Self-described as a “runt” in his younger days, this man-mountain would give any past tormentors good reason to find the nearest bomb shelter. (However, as a devout Christian, he is not likely to burn up valuable time settling old scores.) He competes in the ‘light heavyweight’ division. Like so many others who have devoted their lives to achieving physical perfection, he is quick to tout the non-physical benefits: self-confidence, positive mental attitude, etc.
Like any other endeavor, being a bodybuilder requires a degree of dedication far above the norm. They’re up and at the gym for a couple of hours long before the sun rises, then they work at their paying jobs. When they get home from the office, most of the time is spent preparing the next day’s meals. Bodybuilders eat approximately eight small meals per day, usually consisting of specially prepared chicken or fish.
Although competitors work out throughout the year, they ramp up with a special regimen of exercise and dieting about 12-16 weeks prior to any competition. Likewise for Mitchell and Petot, although their respective programs are working towards different goals. The former is seeking bulk, symmetry, and development while the latter is gearing up for a balance between definition and femininity. Both compete in the NPC, and are trained by the legendary Columbus-based trainer, Mike Davies. (See accompanying articles)
Click here to see pictures of their workouts.
Click here to see an interview with Petot, here to see an interview with Mitchell, and here to see Mitchell's workout session.