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In the late 2000’s, Canadian bodybuilders appeared to be taking the sport by storm. Among those pros were Ben Pakulski, Fouad Abiad, and Mike Van Wyck. Unfortunately for Van Wyck, he had to call it a career early on. His only full contest appearance was the 2010 New York Pro, where he finished in 13th place. He entered the 2011 Toronto Pro, but he had to withdraw during the contest due to food poisoning. On this week’s episode of The Menace Podcast, Mike Van Wyck told Dennis James that he took an honest assessment of his potential as a pro.
“I sat back, and I’m really honest with myself in life,” Van Wyck said. “One, I’m not making a lot of money because the money I am making, I’m dedicating myself to the sport…The plan to take a little bit of time, get some money, and get my life going in a better direction.”
If there was any reconsideration of Van Wyck’s decision, it ended after the 2011 Olympia Expo, where he suffered an injury while attempting to incline press 200-pound dumbbells, a feat he had accomplished in the past.
“I did the 150’s as a warm-up, and there was nothing in between the 150’s and the 200’s,” he told DJ. He opted to take the 200’s instead of doing more warm-up sets. “I kicked them both up, and I never dropped a weight kicking them up in my life. I kicked them up and went to turn them out, and I dropped the right one. As soon as I kicked them up (again), I turned open with the right, boof, (the pec) totally blew.”
Van Wyck would have surgery to repair the tear, but he never competed again. While the former Canadian National Champion hasn’t had a spotlight on him, he’s still been connected to the sport of bodybuilding. He’s served as a trainer to several pros, including current Canadian stars Regan Grimes, Quinton “Beastwood” Eriya, and Antoine Vaillant.
“A lot of the guys I train, like I said before, my goal is to empower these guys because they have the drive and they have the willpower, and they want to be in the gym,” he explained. “I just want to give these guys the tools or some little input to take what you’re doing to another level.”
James and Van Wyck talk more about training athletes, themselves, and the differences in the sport between their eras and today. Catch the full episode, as well as all episodes of TMP over at the Muscle & Fitness YouTube channel.
0:31 – Younger Years
4:19 – Pro Career/Other Pros
7:42 – Why He Retired So Soon
10:58 – Pec Tear with 200 Pound Dumbbells
16:45 – Surgery
18:30 – Life after Bodybuilding
19:45 – Toronto Pro
23:35 – Training Athletes
32:50 – Social Media and Cameras
37:10 – How Much is Mike in the Gym?
40:03 – Regan Grimes
43:18 – Antoine Vaillant
45:20 – Difference Between Bodybuilding in His Time and Now
49:32 – What He Would Do if He Competed Again
50:21 – Health Update/Side Effects?
54:17 – Recent Deaths in Bodybuilding/How to Prevent More
59:18 – Accepting Clients Now/Responding on Social Media