Dan Dufresne is one bad little big man. He may only be 5'5 but he carries a whopping 200lbs on that small frame. Just last season he came very close to earning his pro card by finishing 1st in the light heavyweight division in the 2002 Canadian Nationals. Rearmed, along with his training guru, IFBB professional bodybuilder Tom Prince, Dan is ripped, roaring and ready to destroy the stages and earn his pro card in 2003.
Name: Dan Dufresne
Height: 5'5 1/2
Weight: 260lbs OFF Season - 204 IN Season
Born: Calgary, Alberta
Lives: Calgary, Alberta
Status as an athlete: Amateur
- 2002 Nationals light-heavy wt 198.5-1st
- 2001 Nationals light-heavy wt 198-3rd
- 2000 Nationals light-heavy wt 196-3rd
- 1999 Nationals light-heavy wt 196-7th
- 1998 Alberta Provincials light-heavy wt 186-1st
- 1996 Nationals teen class wt 176-1st and overall 1st
- 1996 Alberta Provincials middle wt 176-1st
- 1996 Alberta Provincials teen wt 176-1st
Zachary Marcy: Oddly enough I happened to come across thinking I had Kris Dim's email address. To my surprise I found out it was you. When I emailed you it was like you completely downplayed your status as an amateur. Has it not set in that you are one of the top amateurs in the world right now?
Dan Dufresne: No, not at all Zach. I keep on thinking that it was just a fluke, even though Tom had me in the best shape of my life, it just seemed to good to be true to win my class at the Canada's. I am a firm believer that just because you win your class one year, doesn't mean that you will win again. You have to understand that I have wanted to be a pro since I was twelve. My whole life has been structured around becoming a pro. When you want something that bad, for that long, after a while it doesn't seem real anymore.
Zachary Marcy: You've referred to yourself as an average guy with average genetics. How does someone overcome such obstacles and accomplish the level of success you have had thus far?
Dan Dufresne: I just believe that if you truly want something that bad and you put your mind to it, that eventually you will achieve your goals. This idea in my head of becoming a pro isn't going to go away. I can't help it, it just seems to be in my blood. I think that this is the easy part, the hard part is having the support and the family structure and the lifestyle that can make it all work.
Zachary Marcy: In 2001 you came in .5lbs lighter than in 2002. The scale can't be the only indicator of the changes you made in order to take the light heavy title. What other improvements did you make to your physique in order to destroy all other competitors in 2002?
Dan Dufresne: It's funny that you ask that because since 1998, I have only trained my legs 3 months out of the year. This was because I was very bottom heavy and thick waisted. In 1999, at the Canada's, I weighed 198 with 18 inch arms, a 34 inch waist and 32 inch thighs. This did not look proportioned, so in 2002, I was 198 with 19.5 inch arms, a 30.5 inch waist and 28 inch thighs. So I basically had the same amount of muscle, I just moved it around a bit to make my physique more esthetically pleasing.
Zachary Marcy: You are a protégé of IFBB pro Tom Prince. How long have you been with Tom as your corner man and how much of a difference in your training and physique has it made?
Dan Dufresne: I have been working with Tom since 2001. I knew that I wouldn't be able to take my physique any further without help from a pro. Not just any pro, but one who really knew what he was doing when it came to his own physique. So I guess you could say, I have learned more about getting ready for a show, from the off-season all the way up to the last final minutes before I step on stage than I ever could have possibly fathomed that someone could teach me. The experience and knowledge that Tom has given to me, is the most valuable thing I own.
Zachary Marcy: You have a nickname of Dan Ram, what's going on with that? How did you get it?
Dan Dufresne: I have no idea where that came from. If anyone knows what it means, please let me know.
Zachary Marcy: What do you see the future holding for you? What are you goals for this upcoming year?
Dan Dufresne: I have no clue what is going to happen this year. All I can control is my physique, coming in bigger and harder than before, baby steps man. Obviously, I compete because I want to win, but I try not to get to worked up over it. I guess this year, I am aiming for top five in the heavy weight category.
Zachary Marcy: Let's say you could go back and correct any of your wrong doing with bodybuilding in the past. If you could make changes to the way you prepped for contests or the way you worked out, etc. what changes would you make and why?
Dan Dufresne: I'm pretty happy with the way things have gone so far, no regrets, I wouldn't change a thing.
Zachary Marcy: What made the 5'5 Thunder Dan start bodybuilding? What motivates you to keep on keeping on?
Dan Dufresne: My Mom actually got me into working out when I was twelve or so, I think to keep me out of trouble. Well, it worked, soon I was hooked on training and began to read every book on bodybuilding I could get my hands on. What keeps me going? Never being satisfied, never settling for anything less than what I set out to do. What can I say, I'm obsessed. My wife also spurs me every day, making sure that I have eaten enough, eat on time etc...
Zachary Marcy: How would you like to see bodybuilding evolve? And, if you could make any improvements, what would they be?
Dan Dufresne: I don't think that I would change anything. This is the way it has always been done. We all have to pay our dues and persevere in tough times.
Zachary Marcy: This is the end of the interview, would you like to give some shout out's and waz up's to your peeps?
Dan Dufresne: I would like to thank my wife, for without her, I would be calorie deprived and living in a cardboard box. I would also like to thank Tom for being the mastermind behind it all. Also, thanks for talking with me, I was surprised that you even knew who I was.
This is one humble brother. It's very refreshing to see such a killer attitude and humble respect for the industry that such a top notch guy has. There truly needs to be more guys like him in bodybuilding. More people like Thunder Dan both physique wise and attitude wise. You guys can next check Dan at the Canadian Nationals as he moves up to the heavyweight division and goes for it.
About The Author
Zachary Marcy has a BA degree in Psychology from Georgia State University. He has been involved in the fitness industry since 1990 as a personal trainer, a motivational speaker, and as a life success coach. He now uses his numerous years of experience to continue assisting athletes, bodybuilders, and fitness conscious people internationally. You may email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or read his Body Blog at http://www.bodyblog.com//BodyBlogs.asp?id=24.