In the case and of the Bernardo Breed it was both nature and nurture that played a role in establishing the Bernardo’s into the family and the people that they are today. Bernardo Breed was cultivated over many years of making fitness part of their family lifestyle. Growing up in the Bernardo household there was a focus on being the best of the best and achieving your dreams.
Their dream began in Derrick’s early years’, when he was picked on and ridiculed as child. He was a late bloomer and suffered from social anxiety and poor self-image, which resulted in him not having friends or any kind of a social life. The change for him began in his last year of high school when he joined a gym and started to learn about fitness, nutrition and weight training. His years of learning and developing himself soon paid off as he started to work in gyms by the age of 18 as a fitness instructor and trainer.
In the early nineties he joined his first bodybuilding competition and developed a passion for sculpting the human body. He was accepted into University and with his never give up attitude was able to earn his bachelors of Science Degree, his BScN Degree and his Master’s in Business Administration. His confidence level soared and he began dating. By the late nineties he married Jill and soon after had 3 boys, Devin, Nathan and Brandon.
Jill was always a fitness buff and it became her career as a fitness instructor and personal trainer. She used fitness as a coping mechanism to deal with life stressors especially while raising three high energy boys. She exercised to the end of each of her pregnancies, and as early as 5 days after giving birth to each of her boys she was back in the gym teaching her high impact aerobic classes.
Both Derrick and Jill ensured that their boys grew up in a household where fitness and proper nutrition was part of their life. Throughout the kids elementary school years they grew up watching their parents compete in bodybuilding competitions and putting themselves through extreme training and dieting. They can remember screaming and cheering their parents on from the audience and even sometimes falling asleep in the seats and could be heard asking- Is it time to go home yet??
As brothers, there was a huge focus on sports and athletics. Their parents instilled the importance of conditioning and training and eating right. All three boys played high level basketball and it wasn’t long before their parents were also training their sports teams.
The boys always had a passion for sports, fitness and nutrition, it was naturally engrained in them. They can remember going to the gym with Jill as babies and watching her teach and work out. Basically, they grew up at the gym. As soon as they were old enough, they too started weight training, they caught the fever and never looked back. Derrick would take time after work to bring the boys and their friends to the gym where he spent hours teaching them about proper weight training and lifting. This passion grew and the boys would spend at least 3 hours in the gym, pumping iron every night. Derrick and Jill saw how genetically gifted their kids were and made a deal with them, that as long as their school did not suffer they would support them in their dream of competing in bodybuilding.
Devin joined his first competition at the age of 18, where he won 1st in Junior bodybuilding, 1st in open men’s lightweight bodybuilding and then finished the competition with winning overall for the show. Nathan joined his first Physique competition at the age of 18. He won 1st in Novice Physique, 1st in Junior Physique and killed it by winning 1st in the Men’s Open Medium Physique category. Devin and Nathan had the opportunity to compete in the same competition together as brothers where they competed in the CPA Natural National Competition where Devin won 1st in the National Junior Bodybuilding Division and Nathan won 1st in the National Teen Division. It was a great experience for the whole family to be able to support and cheer each other on during this journey.
Brandon just recently turned 17 and is a Division 1 basketball player. He just entered grade 12 this year and is chasing down the dream of a basketball scholarship. He is just as dedicated as his 2 brothers are at the gym and has the same passion for basketball as his brothers have for bodybuilding. Although, while watching his brothers compete in the Nationals, he was heard telling his mother that she will see him on this stage soon. Genetics Baby! Their journey now begins…