The Item: Career Updates, Strength Sports, Strongman, Andrew Oye's WSM Pro Athletes Roundup

The Scoop: Recently Announced: This weekend, former World Champion Professional Strongman Hugo Girard makes the transition from strength competition to physique competition, stepping on the competitive bodybuilding stage for the first time at the Association des Physiques Quebecois (APQ-IFBB affiliate) 2012 Quebec Open in Canada (March 31).

"It's a challenge that I look forward to accomplish," says the over 300-pound Girard. Hugo is "getting huge," training intensely in the gym as he sets his sights set on eventually becoming an IFBB Pro League athlete. "It is a radical change coming from the strength world to [bodybuilding], but it's also a nice transition to a new lifestyle."

The "So What?": A former bouncer and Quebec police officer, Hugo Girard was a 6-time consecutive finalist in the WSM World's Strongest Man contest from 1998-2004, finishing as high as 4th place in 1999. His pro strongman career highlights include becoming Canada's Strongest Man Champion from 1999 to 2004. He was the North America's Strongest Man Champion in 2001 and 2002. Girard won the 2002 Strongman Super Series overall title, as well as the World Muscle Power Championships four times (1999, 2001, 2003, 2004). He also placed 9th at the 2005 Arnold Strongman Classic at the Arnold Sports Festival (where IFBB Pro Dexter Jackson won the IFBB Pro Arnold Schwarzenegger Classic Bodybuilding Championships). As reported in "Andrew Oye's Pro-Muscle Report," Girard will host The All Ontario Strongman Challenge at the 2012 IFBB Toronto Pro SuperShow (June 2).

Andrew Oye's Verdict: The prestigious stage at Joe Weider's Olympia Weekend is a lofty goal (already reached by Mr. Olympia greats like IFBB Pro Ronnie Coleman, IFBB Pro Lee Haney, IFBB Pro Dorian Yates, IFBB Pro Jay Cutler, as well as IFBB Pro Franco Columbu -- a powerlifter who competed in the first-ever World's Strongest Man contest in 1977, alongside TV's "Incredible Hulk" IFBB Pro Lou Ferrigno); hence, obtaining pro status in the International Federation of Bodybuilding & Fitness to enter the IFBB Pro Olympia Qualification Series is the first challenge on the horizon for the Canadian powerhouse. Maybe Pro Strongman Hugo Girard's new sport endeavor will influence 5-time WSM Mariusz Pudzianowski, who transitioned to MMA fighting, to also try bodybuilding. Throughout his strongman career, many fans were convinced Pudzianowski (recent MUSCLE INK Magazine cover athlete for the "Game Changers" feature about multi-sport athletes) could also do well in physique competition.

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