2010 IFBB Pro New York Men's Bodybuilding Championships Top 6 Preview!

The 2010 IFBB Pro Championship Event in New York gets bigger and the competition more intense every year! Get the inside scoop on who is up for a spot in the Men's Bodybuilding top 6 before the action happens on May 8th.
Article Summary:
  • The IFBB New York Pro has become one of the most contested shows on the East Coast.
  • The potential for an upstart to hit a top 3 placing is very good!
  • Size will be a factor especially for Roelly Winklaar and Dennis Wolf fighting for the win.
  • As well as being famous for it's baseball, 24/7 fast paced environment and hot dogs New York can now be considered without a doubt Eastern USA's bodybuilding capitol with it's own bodybuilding Mecca in Bev and Steve's Powerhouse Gym in Syosset and the premier event the couple annually host, the IFBB NY Professional Men's and Women's Bodybuilding and Pro Bikini Championships.

    Held this year on May 8, the New York Pro Championships open men's event will feature probably the strongest line up of competitors ever to shake the floorboards of its highly regarded, and strongly reinforced stage.

    As a show that continues to grow year by year, the New York Pro Championships has become an attractive event for both pro bodybuilding's top tier established elite and those working their way toward the summit. Winning it secures prestige and with the caliber of athlete posing down in its final standings, an accurate gauge of where one sits in the world pro bodybuilding rankings.

    In 2009, the New York Pro hosted yet another stellar line up of formidable competitors, the top three being Markus Ruhl, Dennis James and eventual winner Evan Centopani. Even considering these athletes will not make the trek this year, the field is of an extremely high level with no less than Mr. Olympia hopeful Dennis Wolf, the age-defying Toney Freeman, 2010's breakthrough athlete Roelly Winklaar, established threat Gustavo Badell and recent Europa Show of Champions winner Hidetada Yamagishi in the mix.

    Evan Centopani At The 2009 New York Pro. Evan Centopani At The 2009 New York Pro.
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    Evan Centopani At The 2009 New York Pro.
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    With these men and a host of up and coming champs, including several making their professional debuts competing, this year's event will be extremely hard to win. Here is my pick for the top six.


    Mike Kefalianos: Sixth Place

    Breaking through to the big time at this year's Australian Pro Grand Prix with an excellent fourth place finish in esteemed company, Kefalianos attracted scores of new fans with his thick and ripped physique and could be the next Australian export to make equally gigantic waves in the USA.

    Not blessed with the most aesthetically pleasing physique - the grace of a Flex Wheeler in his prime or a modern day version of this look best exemplified in the form of Phil Heath - what Kefalianos does however have is Ronnie Rockel-like mass with arguably better conditioning and superior back and leg size and shape compared to the German champion. If Kefalianos can bring the conditioning he showed in Australia while maintaining his muscle fullness, he is likely to be in line for another top-six finish.

    Mike Kefalianos At The 2009 Australia Pro Grand Prix IX. Mike Kefalianos At The 2009 Australia Pro Grand Prix IX.
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    Mike Kefalianos At The 2009 Australia Pro Grand Prix IX.
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    Gustavo Badell: Fifth Place

    Just when we thought we had seen the last of Gustavo Badell after a string of lackluster performances in 2008, he clawed his way back to win the 2009 Atlantic City Championships only to miss his mark at the Mr. Olympia later that year with a 13th place finish. Now it seems the inconsistent Badell - who in 2004 and 2005 was considered the third best bodybuilder in the world - is back on track, as recent pictures attest.

    With a degree of added thickness and extra lean conditioning four weeks out from the 2010 New York Pro, Badell is looking very good and could place as high as third in New York. However, he would definitely need to maintain his conditioning while bringing further improvements for the judges to really take notice, such is the level of competitor he will be up against.

    But with his imposing degree of overall size - one of his real strengths - great width - he will, excluding of course Dennis Wolf, probably one of the widest men onstage - and tremendous fighting spirit, Badell will again show that while his form may at times be off, he is always in the hunt for gold.

    Gustavo Badell At The 2009 Olympia. Gustavo Badell At The 2009 Olympia.
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    Gustavo Badell At The 2009 Olympia.
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    Hidetada Yamagishi: Fourth Place

    One man who has maximized his genetics to their fullest is Hidetada Yamagishi, the Japanese champion who recently won his first pro show, the Europa Show of Champions, and who placed a respectable ninth at the 2009 Mr. Olympia.

    In looking positively ripped and as full as he has ever been at the recent Europa show, Hide has positioned himself nicely for the remainder of 2010 as a competitor to beat and, despite what his size may indicate, a man you cannot take lightly.

    Considering the inconsistency with which the 2010 New York Pro's top elite - Toney Freeman and Dennis Wolf, in particular - have hit their peak in previous outings coupled with the consistently good form Yamagishi has shown over recent months, it is possible that Hide could place in the top three at this show, especially given the competitive momentum he has generated since the beginning of this year.

    However, if he misses his peak by the slimmest of margins his structural deficits - notably his weaker back development and compact frame - could count against him.

    Hidetada Yamagishi At The 2010 Europa Show of Champions. Hidetada Yamagishi At The 2010 Europa Show of Champions.
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    Hidetada Yamagishi At The 2010 Europa Show of Champions.
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    Toney Freeman: Third Place

    With a moniker like the X-Man you know that Toney Freeman is no slouch in the width department. This attribute combined with his naturally small waist and flaring quads - some of the best in the business - has helped him to secure six professional wins and many close calls (where the decision could have gone either way).

    The one caveat with Freeman's physique, however, is that it must be in top shape for him to stand a chance of success, as his look dramatically changes whenever the slightest layer of water obscures the density of his muscles.

    When he is on, though, his record shows that he is tough to beat. His posing skills and overall stage presence are also top notch. Look for Freeman to push Roelly Winklaar and Dennis Wolf hard for the top spots but ultimately settle for third due to the latter two men out-massing him.

    Toney Freeman At The 2010 Phoenix Pro. Toney Freeman At The 2010 Phoenix Pro.
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    Toney Freeman At The 2010 Phoenix Pro.
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    Roelly Winklaar: Second Place

    In Roelly Winklaar pro bodybuilding has a new size monster as evidenced with his recent seventh place at the Arnold Classic and Australian Grand Prix third place finish where he out-sized much of his competition.

    From the front, Winklaar has an obvious size advantage over much of his opposition, though he does look a little awkward in some poses due to his high lat development and a slightly blocky shape. However, when he turns to the side it is evident that few can touch him in any of these poses.

    With triceps and hamstring/quadriceps development that redefine the term muscle thickness, along with chest, shoulders and biceps that are up there with the sport's best Winklaar should go far in the pro game if he makes necessary improvements throughout his progression. Recent photos confirm that Winklaar is on point to challenge the best this weekend. Look for the Beast to place a career-best second in New York.

    Roelly Winklaar At The 2010 Australia Pro Grand Prix X. Roelly Winklaar At The 2010 Australia Pro Grand Prix X.
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    Roelly Winklaar At The 2010 Australia Pro Grand Prix X.
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    Dennis Wolf: First Place

    The highly touted German Dennis Wolf will need to launch a blitzkrieg attack on his fellow pro athletes this coming weekend if he is to keep his name relevant in the pro bodybuilding ranks. As one who has not lived up to his enormous potential in recent times, Wolf has been both criticized and castigated by those who believed he was a legitimate contender for the Mr. Olympia title.

    Coming in well off his peak and displaying a dramatic drop in muscle size compared to 2008 (where he placed 5th at the Olympia; many felt he deserved much higher) Wolf contested the 2009 Mr. Olympia in the worst shape of his career, placed 19th and promptly lost scores of fans. However, those who have kept the faith should be rewarded this weekend as the German giant will want to regain the momentum that had him among the best in 2008.

    If he can recapture the conditioning he displayed in 2008 and show new improvements in size there should be no question as to whether he can claim victory at the 2010 New York Pro Championships. With his width, overall size, shape and sheer onstage dominance the show is his to lose.

    Dennis Wolf At The 2010 Pittsburgh. Dennis Wolf At The 2010 Pittsburgh.
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    Dennis Wolf At The 2010 Pittsburgh.
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