Take over 100 top NPC competitors, a couple of thousands fans, industry celebrities, a bunch of top sponsors, and what else do you need to put on a great show? Only two things; Steve McAdams and Monica Brant. And what happens is you get one of the best staged productions in the bodybuilding business.
An exciting entrance through vendors giving away record amounts of goodies led to an auditorium where the stage was filled with dancing colored lights and rising smoke backgrounds. Only the Olympia and the Arnold could top this for providing a more dramatic and exciting venue for competitors and fans alike. The Center of the Arts Concert Hall at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, never had it so good.
During the day pre-judging rounds went off like clock work while 1000 people filled the seats. And even more people circulated through the venue picking up samples, freebies, great heath information and following the sport. On the smaller stage our own Bob Cicherillo held impromptu interviews with Phil Heath, Adela Garcia, Marcus Haley and Gunter Schlierkamp.
Bob and Gunter even had a chance to do a little arm wresting; just check out the photos.
A bunch of tired but enthusiastic competitors started flowing back in for the evening show and by 5 in the afternoon the place was really filling up. Crowds jammed the vendor booths and those sponsors were loving it. There was nobody sitting around bored at this place. We had the pros handing out photos and getting their pictures taken with fan after fan. And some of the fans were some real hot bods too.
Inside the auditorium 1,200 seats filled up double fast and the show kicked off pretty much on time. The emcee was none other than Masters Pro World Champ Bob Cicherillo who strode out on the stage wearing his huge World Champ belt presented to him by Bodybuilding.com. Squatting that belt alone could give you world champion quads.
Following him out on stage was the hotter than ever Monica Brant who has shown us many times over that she is much more than just a pretty face and a great body but also one smart woman and business person. Later in the show, star personality and fitness business enthusiast Brenda Kelly kept up the commentary during the figure competitions.
But let's talk about those guest posers, WOW! Phil Heath was just too much, obviously having a great deal of fun and enjoying his new found celebrity. He flew through the crowd, up and down the aisles, flexing that physique that has gotten him so very far so very fast. And this guy is some athlete doing a standing vertical jump from the floor right back on to the stage pulling tremendous applause from the crowd. Maybe Phil will be the first IFBB men's bodybuilder fitness competitor.
Speaking of fitness, Adela Garcia came out and showed us that Superman does not have a monopoly on flying. It is difficult to imagine the conditioning that she must be in to maintain that much athletic ability. This is fitness on the pro level and you can see why not just anybody can compete at this level. Adela is truly at the top of her sport and it shows.
And to really show us the pro level, out came 335 pound Gunter Schlierkamp. You heard me, 335 pounds on his way to the Olympia to knock Ronnie Coleman off his throne. Gunter says he will probably compete at under 300 but either way this guy is huge. The only thing bigger than Gunter himself is that movie star smile of his that is always there.
This guy is a lesson in showmanship for guest posing. Not only is he a crowd pleaser to begin with but by the time he runs through the aisles jumping on the back of the seats there is not anything less than a smile like his on the face of everyone in the place. Gunter flexes for babies and babes alike and is ready to invite you to compare size next to him and squeeze a bicep or slap a pec.
This was exciting background for some of the best NPC athletes I have seen in one place all year. These competitors could not help but be at their best just because of the great atmosphere all the way around. Each one of them must have felt so very special on stage with the great lighting and electrifying staging. You could see it on their faces and you could see it in the way they performed.
No question here that every athlete gave their best for this one. The fitness competitors, though few in numbers were just great. They too flew across the stage faster than quarter mile dragster and leaped tall buildings in a single bound.
The figure competitors were outstanding and were greeted to their own special staging. These were amazing women with no question needed to be asked about the hard work they have put in to get their bodies and minds in condition enough to get this far.
It was the depth of the field with the men that was truly surprising. From bantam to super heavy, these were top notch people at this level and you could tell the judges had a hard time in some cases with some difficult decisions. Although the crowd was not happy at times and were vocal about it, there was no question these were tough calls. Very little difference, many times, made a big difference in standings.
In the end a lot of very deserving people walked away with trophies and every athlete at BodyRock 2006 had an experience they will not forget. This was a great show folks and Steve McAdams and his production staff at BodyRock deserve a great deal of applause for raising the bar this high in this sport.
I urge you all next year to go to BodyRock; you will have a great time at a great show. And keeping watching Bodybuilding.com for more coverage of great shows like this.