Battling For Supremacy: Dennis Wolf Predicts Arnold Classic Success

Dennis Wolf consistently nips at the heels of the biggest events in bodybuilding, but this year he is bigger, more mature and surely ready to surpass his competitors in 2012.

There is no overlooking Dennis Wolf, regardless of the pro bodybuilding lineup. Wolf is one of the more physically imposing IFBB pro athletes competing on today's circuit. Dennis, by virtue of his formidable size and flowing lines, steadily worked his way up the rankings to become an established fan favorite, a contender among contenders.

Born in Tokmak, Russia, Dennis moved with his family to Germany in 1992, where he dedicated himself to a hobby that became his life calling and full-time vocation: bodybuilding. The 2011 Arnold Classic runner up and defending Australian Pro champion subsequently discovered he had genetics perfectly suited to packing on slabs of muscle. He entered the business of building it.

Dennis Wolf at the 2011 Sheru Classic & 2011 Mr. Olympia.

After winning the 2005 IFBB bodybuilding World Championships, Dennis burst onto the pro scene with a seventh place finish at the 2006 Europa Pro. The next two years Wolf placed in the top five in the prestigious Mr. Olympia showdown. He consistently improves as an athlete. He's blessed with the DNA necessary to beat the best. Dennis is a Muscular Development-sponsored athlete. He credits this reputable company for enabling him to be at his best.

Dennis may be poised to win his first major professional title at the upcoming Arnold Classic. He is a perennial top five contender, as large and complete as he has ever been. He concedes that the Arnold Classic hosts the world's best pro bodybuilding champions, but he is equally confident that he has the package to reign supreme. One thing is for certain: fans and judges alike cannot miss him when his form casts its shadow on the biggest stages.

Interview With Dennis Wolf

How are you feeling this far out from the 2012 Arnold Classic?

Everything is coming to an end and all I have to do to be at my best is happening right now. I have felt pretty tired for the past 2-3 weeks, but I am a lot of heavier than I usually am this far out, so I look forward to bringing my best package onstage. I hope to be a lot rounder and fuller this time.

What improvements have you made to your physique since competing in the 2011 Arnold Classic?

I have brought out my hamstrings a bit more and have worked hard on my back. I want to show people that my back double biceps looks better than it did last year.

Compared to previous Arnold Classic prep periods, how has this one been for you?

We started 12 weeks out, but for the last ten weeks I have been in pretty good shape, so I have had to be careful not to lose too much weight in the last two weeks. I have eaten a little more carbs to fill up and so as to not lose too much mass, too early. I have always lost too much weight toward the end [of a pre-contest prep period] and what I want now is to avoid this.

What changes to your training and nutrition have you made since the 2011 Arnold Classic and how have these changes influenced the way you look?

With training, I do a lot more high-quality work, focusing on feeling the weight. For chest I always did 12 sets and now I do eight, just to bring all the muscle groups up. It is looking pretty good. I no longer train using my previous style. For back, for example, I train more with feeling. I don't use too much weight; I just want to feel my back and my hamstrings because they were my biggest problems. If you are not feeling it in the gym, this makes it very hard to show it onstage.

In the gym I used to just pull the weight, and that's it. But now I squeeze more with my back; I no longer simply lift heavy for the sake of lifting heavy; it is now just concentrated training. I have found that this works pretty well, so I will keep it. You cannot get your poses right if your training is not right and this is what I am working on. I practice mandatory poses every day for a couple of hours; this is the hardest work.

Being onstage doing the comparisons and in the third round, you have to be ready. I practice posing more often as I get closer to the show. My wife looks at me in the morning and again in the evening. My posing has also improved and this time around I will bring something new. Now most people know what my poses are so this time I would like to do something different.

What nutritional changes have you made since 2011?

I use a lot of different supplements now. I used to take BCAA capsules and tablets; now I take Amino X from BSN and it's great. I always drink it 20 minutes before training and it provides 10 grams of BCAAs. It is rapidly absorbed. Then, 20 minutes after training, I drink my shake. I think it has helped me a lot because if you do not have enough BCAAs in your blood you can lose muscle pretty quickly. For whole foods I no longer eat fish toward the end of my contest prep. I have heard from others that if you eat too much fish you can lose muscle. There is something about beef and chicken.

Right now [12 days out from the 2012 Arnold Classic] I still have one steak a day; tomorrow will be the last one, and then I will cut the steak out and switch to chicken and rice all the way up to contest time. Note: Dennis Wolf exclusively uses BSN supplements.

You are known for your ability to bring full and shredded muscular development each time you hit the stage. How do you consistently achieve this look?

I try to stay focused. I want to reach my goal of winning a big show. The only big show I have a chance to win right now is the Arnold Classic. The Mr. Olympia is hard to win because we have a great Mr. Olympia [Phil Heath] right now and he will be hard to beat. Now is the opportunity for me to win the second biggest show in the world, the Arnold, and everyone on that stage is a great champion.

Muscular Development athletes have traditionally experienced a great deal of success in pro bodybuilding competitions. How has being a Muscular Development athlete enabled you to be at your best?

Honestly, they are one of the best sponsors I ever had. Steve Blechman has always been a big fan of bodybuilding. If I ever need any help or have any problems I can call him. I was with FLEX for one year and he took me back. He believes in me and he believes I can do well in my shows. I'm thankful for that.

At the 2011 Arnold Classic, many picked you to win the whole event over eventual winner Branch Warren. What advantages, or edge, do you think you will hold over your major competition, including Branch, come the 2012 Arnold?

This is pretty hard to answer. I guess everyone will be in shape. Branch will be in shape, as will be Evan Centopani, I'll be in shape I hope. I think if I bring more roundness and thickness onstage there is a good chance that I can beat everyone. People like my height and lines. When you stand me next to the top guys you will see the difference. Bodybuilding is all about illusion. When I am onstage I always look much bigger than the other guys, and rounder. I don't feel this way, but every time I see pictures or video content I always look bigger than the other guys. I think it is because of my height and wide shoulders.

But [the best competitor onstage] is hard to decide; Branch is short, I'm tall. I'll probably be the biggest and tallest guy onstage. As far as being at my best ever, it is a little hard to tell because I see myself every day. Most people who know me, all my friends have over the past 10-12 weeks, said I look really good and probably my best ever, but at the end we will see when it is time to go.

I hope everything will be perfect and then I'll be happy. I always try to avoid placing too much pressure on myself. If you are a contender and have a chance to win the show there is already pressure because people expect you to win. I just try to be cool, calm and not think too much about it.

What is it about pro bodybuilding you love most and what keeps you motivated to compete at your best year after year?

This is what I do for my living and I've always wanted to be a pro bodybuilder. I'm just living my dream and am happy that everything has gone so well. That keeps me motivated. If I jump up a few more places at the Olympia that will be nice, but regardless, I will continue to get better.

What is your current bodyweight and what do you hope to weigh onstage at this year's Arnold Classic?

For the past two years I was about 265 pounds. My weight right now is 273 and I will be around 268-and-270 [at the 2012 Arnold Classic]. Right now I'm 33-years old and I think the best time to achieve the best muscle maturity is between the ages of 33-and-38.

You see Dexter Jackson and he is complete. He trained 20 years to get that way; same with Jay Cutler. Their muscles look different, more mature and harder. If you don't have that quality, it is harder to win the big titles. Most of the champions had most of their big wins after their middle 30s. Like Kevin Levrone, Branch, Gunter Schlierkamp, who was at his best at age 35-36. So I'm really looking forward to the next couple of years and we will see.

Where do you realistically hope to place at the 2012 Arnold Classic, and why?

I want to win. I think it is time to move forward. I am always in the top five or top three at the big shows, but I want the title. This year everything looks good and I'm really excited to get onstage and see, and just to be involved in such a big show. See more of Dennis Wolf at:

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