|By John Aiello|
I’ve always been a competitive athlete. From receiving the athletics award in middle school to competing at the national and international level in the World Tae Kwon Do Federation, there’s always been a competitive part of me that strives to be the best in whatever I do.
I attended St. Michael’s College School, a private all boy’s school in Toronto where the principles of goodness, discipline and knowledge were instilled in me. Being at St. Mike’s, I was exposed to a very strong academic and athletic community as well as a highly competitive environment (both in and out of the classroom). It was here that my foundation was built. Developing into a “St. Michael’s Man” gave me the determination to apply myself. I started weightlifting at the St. Mike’s gym and instantly became passionate about it.
Being at St. Mike’s, I was exposed to a very strong academic and athletic community as well as a highly competitive environment
I started bodybuilding under the guidance of Eric Franciosa. Eric took me under his wing and showed me the ropes of contest dieting and training. With Eric’s help I did my first four bodybuilding shows and placed top 2 in all of them.
Shortly after this I met who would become my future mentor, IFBB Pro Mike Van Wyck. Mike was the first to notice my genetic potential. It was his idea for me to take the year off and do the London OPA show and he also introduced me to his trainer, “The Canadian Guru” Darren Oliver.
For me, Darren is much more than a trainer. He’s my best friend – he’s family to me. We trained together every single day. He even gave up his Friday and Saturday nights to train me and we both agreed there’s nowhere else we’d want to be more than in the gym those nights anyway. He believed in me as an athlete but I also believed in him as a coach and that’s why we make a good team. Together we have proven to be unbeatable so far. We are very like-minded in that we both strongly believe you only get out what you put in. Training with Darren is phenomenal, I can’t stress enough that my Overall wins were a team effort. He really brings out the best of my potential. I am very thankful to train with Darren.
Darren believed in me as an athlete and I also believed in him as a coach – that’s why we make a good team.
It was also at my first sanctioned show that I met Alexandra Beyea. I’ll never forget that day, She was also competing and looked unbelievable! Her and I even ended up being on a poster together. I won the Overall at that show but to me the real win was meeting Alex. She was my trophy. She became a big part of my bodybuilding journey from the first time we met backstage and onward.
Alex was my motivation to do the Ontario Championships, where I went on to win the Overall title.
Alex was there for me every step of the way – the dieting, the training, the cardio…everything! She supported me and encouraged me even when I doubted myself. She was my motivation to do the Ontario Championships, where I went on to win the Ontario Overall title. Honestly that win was really all thanks to her support, I couldn’t have done it without having Alex in my life.
The Phenom At A Glance
Offseason Weight: 240 lbs.
Contest Weight: 195lbs
Bodybuilding Contest History:
2011 – Ontario Provincials at the Toronto
Pro Super Show
- 1st Light-Heavy Weight
- OVERALL WINNER – Mr. Ontario title
2010 – London, Ontario Regional Championships
- 1st Juniors
- 1st Light-Heavy Weight
- OVERALL WINNER
Q&A With The Phenom
Q. What do you do for a living?
A. I am currently a fulltime university student double majoring in Fine Arts and Multimedia. I am an honor student on the Dean’s list in the faculty of Humanities at McMaster University. At McMaster I was inducted into The Golden Key International Honor Society.
Q. How long have you been training?
A. I have been bodybuilding for three years. Prior to this I was training in Tae Kwon Do for 16years. I started weightlifting in at my high school gym. I’m a third-degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do with the WTF (World Tae Kwon Do Federation).
Q. What is your favorite body part to train?
A. My favorite body part to train is quads, which happen to be my best feature.
Q. What’s next for The Phenom?
I am now working with Hany Rambod along with my trainer Darren Oliver towards competing in the 2012 Canadian Nationals. The world has never seen a Hany & Darren collaboration. This is going to be BIG. My ultimate goal is to win my first pro show, something no Canadian has done before.