2009 IFBB Atlantic City Pro Bodybuilding, Figure, & Fitness Preview!

There's only one IFBB competition left before the Olympia (two for figure competitors) and it takes place this weekend in Atlantic City. Who will snag an Olympia qualification? Let's break it down.

There's only one IFBB competition left before the Olympia (two for figure competitors) and it takes place this weekend in Atlantic City. Who will snag an Olympia qualification? Let's break it down.


Men's Bodybuilding - Open

There are twenty-four men on the final competitor list, but only a handful of them would be considered contenders. No disrespect intended, but here's how I see it playing out.


1. Melvin Anthony

    The Marvelous One will use this show as a warm-up for the Olympia. His conditioning has been questioned at this show in the past but he always finds a way to put it all together. He'll need to be sharp for this show or he could slip into second or third. One thing is for certain, he'll entertain the crowd when he performs his evening posing routine.

Melvin Anthony. Melvin Anthony.
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Melvin Anthony At The 2008 IFBB Arnold Classic.
View More Pics Of Melvin Anthony At The 2008 IFBB Arnold Classic.


2. Troy Alves

    Troy is hungry and has tasted victory once already this year. He's found a winning formula for his conditioning and the question on whether his glutes and hamstrings can get tight was put to bed in Orlando. Troy's preview photos posted online recently show him inching towards a dry, grainy look which suits him well. If Melvin isn't in condition Troy could find the winner's circle once again.

Troy Alves. Troy Alves.
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Troy Alves At The 2009 IFBB Europa Show of Champions.
View More Pics Of Troy Alves At The 2009 IFBB Europa Show of Champions.


3. Gustavo Badell

    Gustavo needs to finish in the top three or he'll be watching the Olympia in the audience. He has the potential to win a show of this size, but can he? His legs have been noticeably smaller and his conditioning off in recent outings. If he's on the money he'll be in the top callout if not you could see him slip out of the top three. Which Gustavo shows up this weekend will determine his fate.

Gustavo Badell. Gustavo Badell.
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Gustavo Badell At The 2009 IFBB Arnold Classic.
View More Pics Of Gustavo Badell At The 2009 IFBB Arnold Classic.


4. Hidetada Yamagishi

    Hide is on a mission. He's put his troubles behind him from last year and shown he can get in excellent condition. He was second to Troy Alves at the Europa Super Show and will look to battle it out with him again.

    Hide's conditioning carries him where he lags behind in mass. He was fifth in New York where he was out-massed. He can hold his own here but will need to bring the razor-sharp conditioning we've come to expect from him.

Hidetada Yamagishi. Hidetada Yamagishi.
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Hidetada Yamagishi At The 2009 IFBB New York Pro.
View More Pics Of Hidetada Yamagishi At The 2009 IFBB New York Pro.


5. Robert Piotrkowicz

    Robert put himself on the map at the 2009 Europa Super Show when he brought a very well conditioned physique to the stage. If he matches and holds on to the conditioning he brought to Dallas he'll be in the mix. If he doesn't he'll end up with a similar fate as Tampa where he finished 15th.

Robert Piotrkowicz. Robert Piotrkowicz.
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Robert Piotrkowicz At The 2009 IFBB Europa Super Show.
View More Pics Of Robert Piotrkowicz At The 2009 IFBB Europa Super Show.


Others To Watch

    Others who could be in contention for a top five spot are Leo Ingram and Craig Richardson. Leo packs a ton of muscle and is a straight up freak. He doesn't have the most aesthetically pleasing physique, but what mass monster is?

Leo Ingram.
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Leo Ingram At The 2009 IFBB Europa Super Show.
View More Pics Of Leo Ingram At The 2009 IFBB Europa Super Show.

    He's been in the top 10 his last two outings and will look to break into the top five here. Craig has the potential to be in the top five but hasn't nailed his conditioning to put him there yet, at least not this year. He was out of the top 10 in Tampa, but if he gets his conditioning right he could be in the hunt here.

Craig Richardson.
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Craig Richardson At The 2009 IFBB Tampa Pro.
View More Pics Of Craig Richardson At The 2009 IFBB Tampa Pro.


Men's 202

The men's 202 has become more interesting to watch than the open event as of late. Guys can win a show one weekend and if they miss their conditioning, slip out of the top five the next. It's a very competitive division and this weekend will be no different.


1. James Flex Lewis

    I had a chance to see FLEX a few weeks ago when he was at the Europa Super Show. He's been traveling quite a bit this year and the main reason why we haven't seen him on stage yet. Flex brought crazy conditioning to the stage last year that positioned him as a top competitor in this class.

    I see him bringing an improved physique with crazy conditioning once again. Along with that he'll take home a win and momentum going into the Olympia.

James Flex Lewis. James Flex Lewis.
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James Flex Lewis At The 2008 IFBB Olympia.
View More Pics Of James Flex Lewis At The 2008 IFBB Olympia.


2. Curtis Bryant

    Curtis showed he was the real deal last year when he went from the amateur ranks directly into the pros. I can't see Curtis placing out of the top three here but again he'll need to be in shape or any number of guys could pass him by.

Curtis Bryant. Curtis Bryant.
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Curtis Bryant At The 2009 IFBB Europa Super Show.
View More Pics Of Curtis Bryant At The 2009 IFBB Europa Super Show.


3. Jose Raymond

    Jose has put on a ton of muscle since he turned pro but it fits his frame well. He's been on the outside looking in on the Olympia qualifying spots thus far but this show is his for the taking. I don't see him winning the whole thing, but I'd be surprised if he doesn't qualify here.

Jose Raymond. Jose Raymond.
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Jose Raymond At The 2009 IFBB Europa Super Show.
View More Pics Of Jose Raymond At The 2009 IFBB Europa Super Show.


Others To Watch

    The rest of the field is a crap shoot. Flip a coin and any number of guys could end up in the mix. This is exactly why it is a fun event to watch as you never know who will wind up in the top callouts.


Women's Bodybuilding

This is one of the biggest and best female bodybuilding line ups of the year. Twenty-two women have entered this contest and it will be worth the price of admission for female bodybuilding fans. It will be a battle to finish in the money here and the little details will be the determining factor on who heads into the Olympia with a qualification.


1. Lisa Aukland

    This is Lisa's show to loose and I don't see her giving up her title this weekend. She's won this show three years in a row and has yet to finish outside of the top five of any show since the 2006 Olympia. She packs a ton of muscle and I'm certain she'll be in shape. The only way I see her losing this show is if the judges opt for a smaller physique.

Lisa Aukland. Lisa Aukland.
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Lisa Aukland At The 2008 IFBB Olympia .
View More Pics Of Lisa Aukland At The 2008 IFBB Olympia .


2. Nicole Ball

    Nicole has one of the more aesthetically pleasing physiques in female bodybuilding, but came up short at the Tampa Pro. According to her nutritionist, Dave Palumbo, they tried something different and it didn't work at that contest. She'll look to improve on the 4th place finish and should be able to do so at this event.

Nicole Ball. Nicole Ball.
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Nicole Ball At The 2009 IFBB Tampa Pro.
View More Pics Of Nicole Ball At The 2009 IFBB Tampa Pro.


3. Klaudia Larson

    She was 5th at the Tampa Pro and will look to snag an Olympia birth here. Klaudia has the freakiest biceps peaks of any female competitor and brings a smaller, tighter package than many others. I look for her to be in the hunt as she hopes to return to the Olympia stage.

Klaudia Larson. Klaudia Larson.
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Klaudia Larson At The 2009 IFBB Tampa Pro.
View More Pics Of Klaudia Larson At The 2009 IFBB Tampa Pro.


Others To Watch

    Rita Rae will be making her pro debut and a number of other very good female bodybuilders will look to snag a qualifying spot to the Olympia.

Rita Rae. Rita Rae.
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Rita Rae At The 2008 NPC National Bodybuilding & Figure Championships.
View More Pics Of Rita Rae At The 2008 NPC National Bodybuilding & Figure Championships.


Figure

This year's show is lacking any big "names", but it's not short on competition. Last year, eventual Ms. Olympia Jenn Gates won this show but will not be back to defend her title. That leaves the door open for a new champ. None of the 31 competitors are qualified for the Figure Olympia, which means three ladies will snag spots in the big dance. Here's my picks on how it will shake out.


1. Shannon Meteraud

    Shannon is a seasoned vet and while she is already qualified for the Olympia in Fitness, she will try her hand at the Figure scene. It's a smart move on her part to fine tune her physique and most likely pick up some cash along the way.

Shannon Meteraud. Shannon Meteraud.
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Shannon Meteraud At The 2009 IFBB Europa Show.
View More Pics Of Shannon Meteraud At The 2009 IFBB Europa Show.


2. Alicia Harris

    Alicia "Smiley" Harris has twisted and turned it for a few shows this year. She's come up just short of qualifying each time but I look for this to be her time to shine. The current Muscle & Fitness Hers Cover Girl is still finding her way when it comes to poise and presentation, but she has a physique that is coming into its own. If she can nail her posing and show up crisp, but not too hard, she should do well here.

Alicia Harris. Alicia Harris.
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Alicia Harris At The 2009 IFBB Europa Super Show.
View More Pics Of Alicia Harris At The 2009 IFBB Europa Super Show.


3. Nicole Pitcher-Scott

    Nicole showed promise at the Houston Pro and found herself in the midst of the top 10 again. She has the potential to be in the top five and make her way back to the Olympia stage again should she land in the top three. Her physique is a bit more streamlined now and will hold her own in this line up.

Nicole Pitcher-Scott. Nicole Pitcher-Scott.
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Nicole Pitcher-Scott At The 2009 IFBB Europa Show.
View More Pics Of Nicole Pitcher-Scott At The 2009 IFBB Europa Show.


4. Candice John

    We haven't see Candice on stage this year but she faired well on the East Coast last year. She was 8th at this show last year and moved up to 5th at the New York Pro. Keep your eye on this beauty from Trinidad as she could find her way back in the top five here.

Candice John. Candice John.
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Candice John At The 2008 IFBB New York Pro.
View More Pics Of Candice John At The 2008 IFBB New York Pro.


5. Tivisay Briceno

    Tivisay Briceno has been on the bubble the last couple of shows and will look to move up into a qualifying spot for the Olympia. She was 6th in Houston and could be as high or higher here.

Tivisay Briceno. Tivisay Briceno.
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Tivisay Briceno At The 2009 IFBB Europa Super Show.
View More Pics Of Tivisay Briceno At The 2009 IFBB Europa Super Show.


Others To Watch

    Ones to watch who could contend for the top five in this show are Darlina Brown, Marcy Porter, Larissa Reis and Sherlyn Roy. Cheri Lewis will return to the stage again after a couple years off. Marie Ann Newman is wasting no time in making her pro debut as is Elissa Schlichter. Both women turned pro just weeks ago and will look to make a name for themselves in the pros.

    Master's Figure I see Shannon Meteraud taking the win here as well. You can't rule out Melissa Frabbiele who has been on the Olympia stage before. There are more and more women over 35 competing in figure and I look for more Master's Figure events to get added to the schedule next year.


Fitness

This show is fairly small, and surprisingly so, considering it is the last chance for the women to make their way onto the Olympia stage.


1. Tracey Greenwood

    This is Tracey's show and it has been for the past couple years. She will perform the same routine she'll bring to the Olympia and it'll provide a chance to work out any last minute issues. Tracey has balanced her physique out quite a bit since earlier in the year and you'll see a new and improved Greenwood at this show. I don't see her having much trouble taking top honors here.

Tracey Greenwood. Tracey Greenwood.
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Tracey Greenwood At The 2009 IFBB Arnold Classic.
View More Pics Of Tracey Greenwood At The 2009 IFBB Arnold Classic.


2. Tanji Johnson

    Tanji may have a little something to say about that last sentence. Tanji has beaten Tracey before and she'll look to do it again this weekend. The nagging issue is that Tracey hasn't really brought her physique in the condition it needs to be to win shows. Since her injury we have seen her good, but not at her best. We'll have to wait and see what physique she brings to Atlantic City.

Tanji Johnson. Tanji Johnson.
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Tanji Johnson At The 2009 IFBB Arnold Classic.
View More Pics Of Tanji Johnson At The 2009 IFBB Arnold Classic.


3. Nicole Duncan

    Nicole has a great physique and a solid routine. She is one to watch as a woman on the rise. She could be as high as second in this show if Tanji is off and she is spot on. I like the energy Nicole brings to the stage and I look for her to be one of the women we're talking about in the top five at the Olympia in years to come.

Nicole Duncan. Nicole Duncan.
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Nicole Duncan At The 2009 IFBB Europa Super Show.
View More Pics Of Nicole Duncan At The 2009 IFBB Europa Super Show.


4. Bethany Wagner

    Bethany will be in the mix for an Olympia birth here if she brings her A game. Bethany has great shape and a beautiful physique which will position her in the running. Her routines show a great deal of gymnastic ability but lack the flow and continual energy needed to win shows.

    If her routine places her high enough she could make her way to the Olympia stage this year. If the top three go as I predicted, she could still go to the Olympia as the three mentioned women are already qualified.

Bethany Wagner. Bethany Wagner.
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Bethany Wagner At The 2009 IFBB Europa Super Show.
View More Pics Of Bethany Wagner At The 2009 IFBB Europa Super Show.


5. Laticia Jackson

    Laticia brings a ton of energy and an animated routine to the stage. It is almost over the top at times where you want to ask her where she gets all that energy. Her physique will be the portion that keeps her out of the top spots. If one of the top physiques is off she could sneak in and snag an Olympia birth.

Laticia Jackson. Laticia Jackson.
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Laticia Jackson At The 2009 IFBB Europa Super Show.
View More Pics Of Laticia Jackson At The 2009 IFBB Europa Super Show.


Others To Watch

    Michele Mayberry continues to improve and has a nice physique that positions her in the mix. We'll see how Safiya does in her pro debut as she competes against her sister Tanji for the first time in the IFBB.


Conclusion

Check out the Blog for photos, news and updates as they happen with the show. One of our main lense men, "Money" Mark Mason will be on hand snapping all the action.