Everybody has their own routine, whether it's about taking care of the kids at home or going to work. Saskatchewan bodybuilder Roland Poitras, though, has a pretty special definition of a routine.
Every day, he wakes up at around 5 a.m., eats, goes to the gym, eats again and goes back to the gym. And sometimes he goes back to the gym again, in addition to eating a few more meals.
The francophone athlete admits his lifestyle can be rough sometimes, but he can't see himself doing anything else.
"It's a pretty great addiction I have," said Poitras.
The gym as a 2nd home
The gym may be a place where non-athletes try to go a couple of times a week. For Poitras, it's often more than a couple of times a day for strength and cardio training.
''My priority is going to the gym in the morning," he said.
"I regularly go three hours in the morning. I go again for an evening session."
He adds that since he also works at the gym, he sometimes works out between working with his clients.
More than 3 meals a day
As for the fuel for those workouts, Poitras is a big chicken fan.
It's a good thing, he says, since a bodybuilder's diet needs to include a lot of proteins.
He also says he needs to eat a lot of calories, since bodybuilders burn a lot of them.
A bodybuilder's diet is a very strict one, so it requires a lot of discipline.
Poitras's meals mostly consist of chicken, green beans, asparagus, brown rice, oatmeal and egg white.
He also eats more than most people. He says he eats six times a day: at 6 a.m., 11 a.m., noon, 3 p.m., 6 p.m. and 9 p.m.
1 goal in mind
All those efforts are meant to bring the athlete to a specific goal: being the best at different competitions.
Every year, the Saskatchewan Bodybuilding Association organizes competitions all around the province. Poitras, who already won a bronze medal in the past, wasn't able to participate in the last championship of the year in Saskatoon, on Oct. 14.
His plan is to double his efforts to come back stronger than ever next year.
The danger of the bodybuilding lifestyle
At first, a bodybuilding lifestyle might seem to be healthy. After all, it mostly consists of working out and eating as little sugar and fat as possible.
Bodybuilders like Roland Poitras need to be careful, though.
Olivier Perron, a Quebec kinesiologist, advises athletes who follow a routine like Poitras's to take breaks. He says it's not necessarily healthy to work out many hours a day, several days in a row.
''If we don't take time for recuparation, there's a danger of over-working out," said Perron, the owner of Kinéscio, a company that offers kinesiology services.
"Over-working out can be dangerous. It can cause chronic fatigue and cognitive issues."