Some people see a photo of IFBB pro Jeremy Potvin, and their first comment is, “Right, pal. Show me a picture of him that’s not Photoshopped.” So dramatic is Potvin’s waist-to-shoulder ratio that his body seems like, well, fake news.

But as fans of the IFBB Pro League physique division know, Potvin is for real. In an era when some bodybuilders are criticized for thick midsections and protruding bellies, Potvin displays the type of aesthetically stunning proportions that built the sport of bodybuilding in the Golden Age. As the growing popularity of the men’s physique and classic physique divisions prove, the Apollonian contours of the chiseled, tight midsection under flaring lats and cannonball delts are what most guys want to create for themselves. And this look becomes more desirable as summer kicks into high gear and bodies are on display at the beach and pool.

Army Strong

Potvin’s journey to pro bodybuilder is one of those unlikely success stories that begins with a skinny, shy teenager. Potvin weighed only 116 pounds (at a height of 5’6″) when he graduated high school. Afterward, he joined the Army, following in the footsteps of his father, who is career military. After surviving boot camp, Potvin was deployed to Iraq. He began weight training—not to build muscle but as a coping mechanism. While stationed in Iraq for a year, he served in 183 missions, including some major operations.

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“We did quite a bit,” he says. “I saw my share of excitement over there.”

The training helped keep Potvin centered.

“In Iraq, I started working out as a way to relieve my stress,” he says. His body responded in a way that surprised him. “I kind of fell in love with the results that I was getting from it and just kept at it.”

He began eating seriously, upping his protein and overall calorie intake, until his body started to take shape. Remarkable shape.

“The more I trained, the more I found out I had the genetics, in terms of shape, for men’s physique,” he says. “I was hooked.”

As difficult as his experiences were in Iraq, Potvin believes that his Army training, as well as growing up in a military family, helped him stay structured and disciplined. This mindset has carried over into his civilian life and bodybuilding career.

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“It’s a good way to grow up quick,” says Potvin about serving in the armed forces. “The drive to never quit is there in me because of the military.”

Eyes on the Olympia

True to character, Potvin has worked hard and found quick success in the pros after earning his IFBB pro card in 2014. He’s finished in the top five of the Physique Olympia the past two years (third in 2016, fifth in 2017) and is determined to place higher. Potvin is planning on competing 10 pounds heavier this year (165 pounds), but not at the expense of his trademark flesh-and-blood Photoshop look.

“I’m still trying to create the craziest shoulder-to-waist ratio you’ve ever seen,” he says. “Trying to grow wider up top and keeping my waist as small as possible.”

His potential is limitless, but for now, he has no intentions to move up from the physique category.

“My plan is to always progress within bodybuilding and keep growing,” he says. “If I ever outgrow physique, then I’ll definitely make a move.”


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