Full Name - Darren Jack Toma
Born - November 23; St. Boniface, Manitoba
Height - 5’ 10 ½”
Off Season Weight - 280 lbs
Contest Weight - 250 lbs
Favorite Cheat Food - anything chocolate and Pizza
Favorite Meal - Moms home-made Chicken Paprika and Vera’s Burgers (chain in Vancouver)
Favorite Car - Aston Martin-DB9
Favorite SUV - Porsche Cayenne
Favorite Music - Hip Hop, Rap and Rock
Favorite Vacation - warm, tropical beach resort
Favorite Sports - Soccer, Hockey, Football

I started training as a bodybuilder at the age of 22 but before that I had always participated in all types of sports. Growing up and throughout my school years, I was very athletically motivated and involved in team sports and track and field, but my main focus was soccer. In soccer I excelled in the rep division and later at the National and World levels. At the age of 17 I was selected for a team that represented Canada at the Junior Soccer World Cup in Sweden.

After a couple years away from soccer and at the age of 21, I started to practice for a tryout to play soccer at the professional level. At the time I weighed only 154 lbs. I was advised that if I wanted to be successful at this level I would have to gain about 10-15 pounds of muscle and become bigger. So I headed to the gym to start a weight gain/training program. I had lifted weights before but nothing serious. I had always enjoyed the experience of lifting weights and my body seemed to respond well to it.

The gym where I trained was "hardcore" and there were signed 8x10 photos of top IFBB pros on the walls. I had never before seen athletes that looked like that. I started to ask questions about the whole bodybuilding scene and what someone needed to do to develop a physique like those in the photos. I bought my first "Flex" and "Muscle&Fitness" magazines and started to read everything I could on the lifestyles and training techniques of athletes like Dorian Yates, Lee Haney, Gary Strydom, Bob Paris and Rich Gaspari - all the top pros of the early 90s. At about the same time there was a local bodybuilding contest being held in Vancouver and I decided to go check it out. I was amazed at how the competitors looked. At the show was an IFBB Pro named Berry Demay who was a guest poser. Berry Demay was one of the bigger pros competing during this time weighing 270 lbs in the off season and standing 6 ft tall. I couldn't believe my eyes that someone could even look like that!

I continued to train for 3 months that summer with the goal of gaining weight for soccer and managed to put on 15lbs. I returned to soccer but also continued training at the gym, but the weight gains I made over the summer soon started to fade as a result of the 3 intense soccer practices each week. It was then in 1990 that I decided to end my dreams of a soccer career - my heart was no longer in it. It was a decision that would set a new course in my life.

Fast forward to 2002. I was training hard and competing at competitions and achieving good results and success, but I knew it was time to step it up and get serious if I was going to compete at the National level. So, I began to travel frequently to Venice California to train at The Mecca of body building - Golds Gym. This gave me the opportunity to start hooking in with the best Bodybuilders and trainers in the world and to learn from them. Over the next couple years I absorbed all the information I could and was training at a much higher level of the sport. Then in 2004 I was introduced to Hany Rambod (The Procreator) who is trainer to some of the best Pros in the world, such as 4 time Mr. Olympia Jay Cutler, Phil Heath and many others. We soon began to work together.

Two years later in 2006 I returned to the Canadian Nationals, 15 lbs heavier and in amazing condition, and won my IFBB pro card.I was given a great contract by PVL for 2 years and was there first Mutant Athlete. I was prepping to the sacramento pro in ocy 2007 and it was cancelled only 4 wks out. So I decided to then travel to Spain for a contest at the end of 2007. The twenty two hour trip to Spain took its toll on me and a number of things went wrong before the competition. I wasn't happy with the results so I was determined to train even harder over the next year under Hany's guidance to prepare to compete in 2008. Then, one week before my contest preparation was to start for upcoming contests in the US at a bodyweigt of 290lbs I was involved in a serious car accident.

This derailed my training for almost 2 years and due to the injuries I couldn't train properly. I lost a considerable amount of size and my 290 lbs off-season weight went down to 250 lbs. I went from being at my all time best ever off season where I was training with my trainer Hany Rambod to a state of mind that I wasn't even sure if I would ever be able to compete again. From that point on I wasn't training, eating or supplementing like I was before and I lost my contract with PVL because I could not train properly to be the bodybuilder I was and compete. Everything in bodybuilding that I had worked years for was slipping away.

Then in March of 2011, I wanted to give competing another go as my injuries were all gone and I felt good. One month into my training I sustained a muscle tear in my left triceps long head, which required surgery and I had to pull out. The surgery went ok and it healed up quickly but my tricep would never look the same.

In Jan of 2012 I decided that I wanted to give competing one last go after being away from the stage for 5 years and then retire completely. My choice of a show to do was the Toronto pro show in June. I had 6 months to try to get myself back into shape and I had a lot of work ahead of me. Even though my physique wasn't at its best and I could have been in much better condition. I stepped on stage and I did my last show. 3 weeks later I guest posed at the BC Provincials where I officially retired. It was in the same auditorium that I watched my very first bodybuilding show and saw my first IFBB pro. So, to me, it was a perfect setting for an ending to my bodybuilding career.

With different goals and focus I am now enjoying and doing more with my new free time without having to worry about eating 7 meals a day and training 6 days a week. I can now put more emphasis on my supplement store and my Custom Built Training and other business ventures.

I would like to thank everyone who has been there for me and played a huge part in my 20 years of competing. I will continue to pass my many years of knowledge to others and give back to the bodybuilding and fitness industry.

Darren Toma

Contest History

1990 Okanagan Classic 3rd Middleweight- contest weight - 173 lbs
1993 Golds Classic 2nd Heavyweight - 208 lbs
1994 BC Provincial Championships 2nd Heavyweight - 213 lbs
1995 NPC Western Washington Championships 1st Heavyweight - 217 lbs
1998 NPC Oregon State Championships 1st Heavyweight - 225 lbs
2000 NPC Emerald Cup 2nd Heavyweight - 229 lbs
2002 NPC Washington State Championships 1st Super Heavyweight - 232 lbs

2002 Emerald cup 2nd Super Heavyweight 235 lbs
2002 Canadian Nationals 5th Super Heavyweight - 245 lbs
2003 Canadian Nationals 5th Super Heavyweight - 235 lbs
2004 Canadian Nationals 5th Super Heavyweight - 236 lbs
2006 Canadian Nationals 1st Masters Super Heavyweight Overall-Winning IFBB Pro Card - 249lbs
2007 IFBB Spanish Pro Grand Prix (Spain) 15th place - 250 lbs
2012 Toronto Pro Show 10th Place 255 lbs