My name is Dean Lester and Vanguard Bodybuilding is my personal blog where I share my thoughts and opinions as I pursue my dream of becoming the best natural bodybuilder I can be. I believe I offer a unique perspective as someone who started this journey a bit later in life than most. I hope that by sharing my journey I can show people it is never too late to get in shape and to work towards a fitter and healthier version of themselves.
Email Dean at [email protected]
In 2011, at the age of 46 and spending over 10 years not doing any kind of physical activity, I was asked by my daughter Grace to participate in the parent child dance at her dance studio. After seeing myself on video from the performance it made me realize just how out of shape I had become.
This inspired me to go on a diet for the first time in my life and I lost 15 lbs but was still not happy with the results. I was just a slightly smaller out of shape guy. Determined to change this I started a bodyspace account on bodybuilding.com as Vanguard1965 and started working out.
The results were dramatic, not only in the physical changes but also in how I felt. Prior to this I was always feeling tired and old but after getting over the initial couple of weeks of starting a new routine I quickly found I had way more energy and felt so much better. Resistance training truly is the fountain of youth and I encourage everyone to do some type of resistance training to help mitigate the effects of aging.
In my youth I had dreamed of being a bodybuilder, inspired by Arnold Schwarzenegger in Conan the Barbarian. I tried lifting weights a few times but never really stuck with it. In October 2011 I went and watched my first natural bodybuilding competition and vowed to compete in the same show a year later. As an avid PC gamer I had run several fan sites for the games I played and it seemed logical to start a new one covering my own journey to the stage, so in March 2012, Vanguard Bodybuilding was started.
In 2012 I competed in my first bodybuilding show, the IDFA Western Canada Classic, and I placed second in both Men’s Novice Heavyweight and Men’s Masters. My results only encouraged me to continue training and to be even better the next time I stepped on stage.
Two years later I competed again, this time in the Men’s Open Heavyweight class and again did well. The improvements from the first time I competed to the second time continued to reinforce that I had potential to do well in bodybuilding, especially when you consider I had only been training for three years.
With the INBF I was able to do my individual posing routine as a barbarian warrior paying tribute to Arnold and the movie Conan the Barbarian. At 17 the movie sparked my imagination as I dreamed of having a muscular body like Arnold one day. I also had a photoshoot with Ron Sombilon to capture the moment.
2014 – INBF Canada National Championships – Men’s Bodybuilding Open Heavyweight – 3rd
2014 – INBF Canada National Championships – Men’s Bodybuilding Masters – 2nd
2014 – NPAA Canada Classic – Men’s Bodybuilding Open Heavyweights – 4th
2012 – IDFA Western Canada Classic – Men’s Bodybuilding Novice Heavyweight – 2nd
2012 – IDFA Western Canada Classic – Men’s Bodybuilding Masters – 2nd
I have had a few setbacks since 2014 but I am continuing to pursue my dream of being the best I can be at natural bodybuilding. I had been working with Alberto Nunez of 3D Muscle Journey with the goal of competing again in May of 2020 however with COVID 19 shutting down the springs shows I have decided to stop prep and will try again in 2021.