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Julie Drapeau Transformation
By day, Julie Drapeau is the Vice President of Sales for Purity Life Health Products, one of Canada’s largest distributors of dietary supplements, functional foods and beauty products. Her career demands that she lives and breathes a fit lifestyle, which of course includes testing out the latest sports nutrition supplements and following a strict diet and training program. In 2021, Julie decided to enter a figure competition, which would completely transform her body while providing her with a completely new challenge.
Julie has been training using a CrossFit style for almost 10 years. CrossFit aims to develop 10 components of physical fitness: cardiovascular/respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, coordination, agility, balance and accuracy when executing body movements. This gave Julie whole-body strength, power, flexibility and overall muscular conditioning. Training includes many overhead pressing movements, power cleans, deadlifts, overhead and front squats, which collectively develop the shoulders, rhomboids, traps, quads, forearms and obliques. One look at the top CrossFit competitors in the world and you’ll see these same muscle groups heavily developed. Unfortunately, the judging criteria for figure competitions requires one to have a small waist, toned but balanced arms, equal development of the gluteus maximus and gluteus minimus, tight hamstrings and low bodyfat without looking vascular. In looking at her physique, Julie was going to have to actually reduce muscle mass in certain areas of her body while gaining muscle in others. To help achieve these changes in the shortest time possible, she hired a number of elite coaches including Matt Pecile, who handled all aspects of her training.
At the start of her transformation, Julie weighed 149 pounds with a muscular physique from head to toe. By the end of her transformation, she stepped onstage at 136 pounds and brought her body fat level down to the lowest level it had ever been. She also gained a tremendous amount of lean muscle, which increased her metabolic rate and allowed her to eat more calories each day. By training with weights five days each week with each workout lasting 60 minutes, she was able to make noticeable gains with her glutes, arms, lats and arms. Her cardio consisted of six sessions per week, each lasting 30 to 45 minutes. As a natural athlete, overtraining would be almost inevitable for her, so Matt Pecile had to monitor her training closely.
Do too much and her body would enter a catabolic state. Do too little and she wouldn’t gain muscle. Her diet was high in protein, low in sugar, high in fiber and spaced evenly throughout the day. As the weeks progressed, Julie’s body fat lowered, which brought out definition in her shoulders, arms and midsection. She also added posing practice to her regimen, as posing is a critical aspect of the judging process. Her body was completely changing as her prep continued, and before long, she was stepping onstage at the Popeye’s Le Classic Naturel at 136 pounds. She presented a very aesthetic package with balance, definition and the confidence that goes with success. For a first-time competitor, Julie made tremendous changes to her body and was awarded two first-place wins—Master 45 Figure and Women Figure Class B—and one third place in the True Novice class.
“I love the discipline around competing and sharing my results with others. You can compete naturally and do so in a healthy way, which I was able to do. The inspiration my body transformation has given others really makes me feel proud of what I have achieved.”