It’s a Sunday evening on the Fifth of October 2014. I’m seated in the Bellevue Ballroom at the Perth Convention Centre waiting for the IFBB 2014 WA State Championships to enter final judging. It’s a huge moment. Emotions run hot, tensions simmer beneath heavily muscled surfaces and the countdown begins. For many men and women months of dedication and sweat is about to count for something.

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It’s an eclectic crowd. I look around and see entrepreneurs, fitness coaches, lawyers and directors. There are models, there are doctors, and there are fashion designers. There are countless supplement and fitness companies advertising their products. Style is a blend too, with sports tracksuits and dinner jackets scattered across the floor. It’s a turnout of those who lift big, those who spend big, and everything in between. Tattoos adorn skin, snapbacks are more common than not and fake tan marks out contestants across the ballroom.

I’m sat on Dmitri ‘Dynamo’ Bezuglov’s table. He’s a Perth bodybuilder, IT Specialist and the face of men’s jewellery label Eclipse Man. He fell in love with the bodybuilding and has reached great successes in the sport over the last few years. He joins us briefly, but only long enough to pose for a few photos, and for a quick toast to his journey to make it this far. And then he vanishes backstage to prepare to defend his Men’s IFBB WA Classic 2012 and 2013 titles.

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Dmitri (centre) with bespoke fashion designer Terence Borgioli (left) and entrepreneur and Eclipse Man managing director Arna Jade (right).

Time passes quickly and Dmitri’s category is upon us. He is the last contestant called onto stage.

‘I’m sick with these nerves,’ fashion designer Terence Borgioli says as Dmitri completes a half turn to the right on stage and flexes a tricep and quad. But I’m more relaxed. The cheering from the crowd shows that they’ve chosen ‘Dmitri Dynamo’ as their favourite. And the judges think so too as they call out his name in first place. And maybe I spill a little wine as I jump up to cheer.

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Dmitri (centre) with Sean Jonsson (left) in third and Luc D’Avray (right) as runner up.

I catch up with Dmitri later in the night, trophy in hand and a huge smile on his face.

‘Congratulations Dmitri, how does it feel?’

‘Fantastic,’ he says. ‘Amazing. My goal was to exceed my previous level of conditioning, to be bigger and leaner than last year. I feel like I’ve set a new benchmark for myself. It’s a good feeling.’

‘How did you approach training for this competition?’

‘Training was, and is, a huge part of my life,’ he says. ‘Every day, every meal, everything to a plan. It’s all about finding that balance between training, working and having a social life.’

‘Has being a champion bodybuilder made looking good any easier when you’re all covered up with clothes?’

‘Of course,’ he says. ‘Bodybuilding has changed my style. I wear tighter cuts, show more skin and am not afraid of a more rugged look. Having a beard definitely set me apart tonight, and I think for the best.’

‘The beard definitely matches the pink bikini bottoms.’

He smiles and looks down at a pair of giant thighs and the pink posing trunks he is sporting.

‘Well,’ he says with a smile on his face, ‘it is much harder to find a pair of pants that fit.’

‘So what’s next for you?’

‘The Nationals in Sydney in a few weeks,’ he says. ‘I just need to keep up this conditioning. After a big breakfast tomorrow, of course.’

Dmitri competes at the National IFBB Championships in Sydney on October 18 and 19, and is the face of Eclipse Man.
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