I flew back home to LA to pack, then flew into Columbus with a connection in Cincinnati on a red eye. I got to my hotel at 1:30 in the morning, only to find out that all they had left was smoking rooms!
Unfortunately I am allergic to smoke, so I whipped out a phone book to do what I thought would be an impossible task, find a room at a hotel in Columbus during the Arnold that wasn't completely booked out for all three days.
It must have been my lucky night, because the second hotel I called was the Westin, it turned out to be available, and not only that, but nicer, cheaper, and better service than the hotel I was originally staying at! So I checked in at 2 am, and passed out. Thanks to everyone at the Columbus Westin for such great service! I will stay there from now on.
My Experience At The 2005 Arnold Classic
So back to the expo. I was really excited that they didn't start the first day until 11 am, which was a great move, because like me, a lot of people come in late the night before and can use the sleep! So I woke up, put on the first bodybuilding.com outfit for Friday, and went to the booth.
This year I noticed there weren't as many people on Friday, and I also noticed there weren't near as many beautiful girls at booths as the past years that I had worked the Arnold. Don't get me wrong, there were plenty of hot ones if you looked, but in the past every single booth was full of hot chicks, and this year you actually had to look for them.
Our booth had me, Bob Cicerello, Brenda Kelly, Laura Mak (who I met recently for the first time and really hit it off with, Hi Laura!), Valentina Chepiga, and Louis "Pud to Stud" Dorman (you have probably seen someone wearing his name on a bodybuilding.com shirt). Louis was a new fixture at our booth; he lost like 125 pounds, and was there at the Arnold telling everyone his amazing story.
Chris Slatt, Brenda Kelly, Bob Cicerello, Christina Lindley, Valentina Chepiga, Louis Dorman, Monica Brant
I swear I must have handed out fifteen cases of free t shirts with his name on them. If you haven't heard of him yet, you will. Bodybuilding.com is going to be all over TV with him, and in ads [See Ad], etc! Watch for him.
Whoah! I showed up at 9 am, and it was out of control slammed! This year
Ronnie Coleman signing as they just (smart move guys!) signed him to a contract, and the line for him alone was outrageous.
Saturday my friend Monica Brandt and her husband Scott came to sign at our booth, and of course that line was also insane. The crowds thinned out during prejudging, and afterwards were slammed again. There were so many different things going on that day, not just in our convention room. There was also tons of martial arts, etc, and I understand that Flex Wheeler actually fought and won in a match up.
Later that night, I had just enough time to change back at the hotel, and run to the men's finals. Normally I could care less about these things, but I had to go support my friend who was competing, Chris Cormier.
I enjoyed very much hearing at the end of the show the story of Jack Lalane, who had been pretty much the inventor of fitness as we know it today. The story of his life, and how his wife and he had been together over 50 years, was one of the most inspirational stories I had ever heard. If you have never heard of him, I would recommend learning his story.
The intermission show was also an amazing display of Cirque du soleil type gymnastics with merely two men performing unbelievable feats of strength. And even though everyone did give Arnold slack about supporting bodybuilding, he showed up.
Granted, he did make an anti-steroids speech, but lets face it, he kind of had to say something about it, even though anyone with half a brain can figure out that all the bodybuilders have taken something at one point or another.
I have to say, I am not a judge by any means, so I just listened to what everyone in the crowd was saying, I actually heard three different guys arguing over the placements, but no one argued who was first, Cormier, Dexter, then third was always debatable.
I don't know what happened, but Cormier lost. Whether that was justified or not, I know how hard he worked, and am very proud of him. A big group of us took him out afterwards for a nice dinner, and I am proud to say he kept his cool the whole night.
Again, 9 am call time, and back to the booth. Pretty much the same, more t-shirts, more Louis, more hot chicks, tons of people. I actually got a chance to walk around that day, and I even stocked up on some freebies.
It was really big this year, I think maybe more vendors than ever. I enjoyed seeing all the old faces, new people, and my friends. The weather in Columbus wasn't as windy as it had been the previous years, and everyone in Columbus was more than hospitable, as usual.
Later that night, I caught a flight out connecting in Cincinnati again, and half of the people from the Arnold, I swea,r were on my plane. It was pretty funny. The pilot made an announcement that Dexter, the Arnold classic champion, was seated on our flight.
Once we landed in Cincinnati, it was back to good old LA. I have to say, overall my experience was pretty fun, the weekend flew by, and I would highly recommend anyone who is a fan of fitness or bodybuilding to attend at some point in their life.