While most teenagers are busy at soccer practice or trying their hands at rugby, Jordan Truong spends all his free time in the gym, as an amateur bodybuilder with dreams of more.
The Grade 10 student at Charles Hays Secondary School (CHSS) discovered his passion for the weight room in December 2015. He started lifting weights just for fun, but it wasn’t long before the gym became his top priority.
“When I first started, I was just doing it for fun but after the first couple of times going to the gym, I knew it was for me. It was just a way for me to release stress,” Truong said.
It’s hard for him to explain exactly why he loves bodybuilding. It allows him to be himself, but it took him a minute to express his passion through words.
“It’s the fun in my life — that’s what I look forward to in the day. I love going to the gym and lifting weights. It’s almost like a second home,” he said.
Bodybuilding is somewhat of a non-traditional sport but Truong explained how it works. Much of what he has learned from the bodybuilding community in Prince Rupert, especially local bodybuilder Mike Sheffer, and fitness buddies Jack Ferlaino and Adam Durnford.
“You make sure you follow a training split and then you follow a diet. My split is I’ll go the gym six or seven days a week and have a pretty strict diet,” he said.
The Gym on Second Avenue is Truong’s haven of choice. He’ll spend an hour-and-a-half to two hours there each day and portion four to five meals a day to make sure he is getting the right mix of protein, carbs and everything his body needs.
It’s a 24/7 process, which is the main reason it differs from say, basketball or soccer.
“It’s not just a sport where you play a game and then you’re done. You’ve got to make sure you’re eating enough meals, you wake up and do your cardio and then get a workout in. It’s not just where you might play a game for a couple of hours and then you’re done for the day,” Truong said.
He hasn’t participated in any competitions yet, but that’s been on his mind for the future as well as other goals.
“My goal is just to keep lifting. I do have Instagram and I post fitness photos on there so my one big goal is to try and get sponsored but honestly just try to keep lifting and see where it takes me,” he said.
The past year-and-a-half have already taught Truong a lot, specifically about making sacrifices.
“What’s my priority? If I want to do something in life, I have to know when to do it and how to manage my time better. Just follow your route, not just take every opportunity that comes to you,” he said.
Some of those sacrifices he’s made for bodybuilding has been dropping other sports. The athlete grew up playing badminton, and became quite good at it. Starting in Grade 4, he travelled around B.C. playing in tournaments but had trouble finding good competition for his age category in the north. He realized if he wanted to continue further and go pro, he would have to move to Prince George or more likely Vancouver for training centres.
Truong also played rugby. In the fall, he was the co-captain of the senior sevens and also captain of the junior team. The senior sevens are going to provincials in June, but he says he won’t be on the team anymore.
“My coaches and teammates want me to go but I told myself I have to make sacrifices if I do want to do anything with bodybuilding,” he said.
Even without badminton, rugby or other sports he’s played around with, bodybuilding keeps him happy and content, his eyes set firmly on the future — on progress.
“The best part of bodybuilding for me is just seeing results. If I see results in my body, then that’s what keeps me going.”