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Sault bodybuilder strikes all the right poses in big competitions

'I eat, sleep and breathe bodybuilding': Adam Alessandrini fell in love with fitness as a young boy when his nonna bought him a Hulk Hogan workout set
Bodybuilder Adam Alessandrini of Sault Ste. Marie (pictured with sister Katie Alessandrini) took first place honours in the Men’s Classic Physique B Division at the Sudbury Classic Open and Natural Championships, May 25, 2024.

The Sault’s Adam Alessandrini is continuing his winning ways in competitive bodybuilding.

His latest success was in Sudbury May 25 when he placed first in the Men’s Classic Physique B Division at the Sudbury Classic Open and Natural Championships.

“I won a beautiful huge medal and it weighs a ton. It’s beautiful,” Alessandrini said in a recent interview with SooToday.   

His win at that regional event means he’ll be competing at the 2024 Natural Canada Pro Qualifier - a national event - in Toronto in August.

Alessandrini’s career as a winning competitive bodybuilder began in August 1997 when, at the age of 17, he won as a lightweight at a regional event held in the Sault.

“When I first joined Northern Life Health and Fitness I found out there was going to be a bodybuilding event here in 1997," he said. "So I started to talk to some people and then my coach Kieran Foley was a big inspiration to me and he trained me for that first show in '97. I placed third and qualified for the Ontario championships. We drove down to Hamilton in October and I qualified for the Nationals at 17. That was huge for me.”

Though he qualified for the Nationals, he chose not to go.

In 2008 he placed first as a middleweight in another regional competition held in the Sault.

Now 44, the Algoma Steel employee decided to return to competition for May’s event in Sudbury.

“I pulled it off again. I had my notes from coach Kieran Foley that I was able to use, and with my own experience in bodybuilding and nutrition, I became my own coach. It’s been 16 years since I last competed and what really helped me focus and feel more calm and at ease was having my sister Katie backstage with me,” Alessandrini said.

“When I went up there I was nervous but I remembered what I was told about posing, making eye contact with the judges and smiling at them. I had such an adrenaline rush up there. I had seven family members there supporting me so when I heard them rooting for me it was absolutely amazing. It made me feel like I never left the competitive stage.”

Unlike weightlifting and powerlifting, which focus on strength, bodybuilding is all about displaying one’s muscular appearance.

“Posing is a skill. It’s an art form. The judges look for certain criteria. You have to make sure that your posing is on point and you’re professional, that you follow the judges’ cues when they ask you to do a certain mandatory pose. You have to practice your posing every day,” Alessandrini said.

"My father was a major influence for me," Alessandrini said of his father Danny.

"The reason why I got into bodybuilding was because when he moved his company from Queen Street to Gore Street (Danny Alessandrini being a licensed real estate and mortgage broker) he introduced me to Northern Life Health and Fitness (located nearby). He brought me in and introduced me to my coach and all the people there at Northern Life."  

He also credits his grandmother and two Hollywood icons for inspiring him to get involved in bodybuilding.

“My nonna meant a lot to me. She passed away in 2002 but when I was six years old my nonna bought me a Hulk Hogan workout set. I have a photo of myself when I’m about five years old and I’m flexing my muscles beside her. We used to watch Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone flicks together. I was very influenced by those two actors. I thought ‘man, these guys are big, they’re huge,’” he recalled with a chuckle.

When in training, Alessandrini’s diet includes egg whites, berries and lean meats.

He currently works out at GoodLife Fitness but intends to one day establish his own gym called Iron Life Gym and Fuel Bar (‘fuel’ meaning a nutritious snack or shake after workouts).

Looking forward to competing at the 2024 Natural Canada Pro Qualifier in Toronto in August, Alessandrini is more driven than ever.

“After the Nationals I want to see how far I can go and compete at the World level,” he said.

“I eat, sleep and breathe bodybuilding 24 and 7. I’m very passionate about it. It’s taught me so many things, about patience, time management, how to be consistent and I hope I can inspire other people through it.”

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Darren Taylor

About the Author: Darren Taylor

Darren Taylor is a news reporter and photographer in Sault Ste Marie. He regularly covers community events, political announcements and numerous board meetings. With a background in broadcast journalism, Darren has worked in the media since 1996.
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