David Robson's 2007 New York Pro Review!

Loud, vociferous and keenly aware of what is up as far as pro bodybuilding is concerned; the New York crowd was not disappointed on Saturday... Here is my review of the top 5 with a worthy mention of sixth place Kai Green!

This year's IFBB New York Men's Professional Bodybuilding Championships was big on excitement and quality, as per usual. As expected the New York Pro showcased some of the sports best and brought with it an atmosphere that is uniquely New York.

Loud, vociferous and keenly aware of what is up as far as pro bodybuilding is concerned; the New York crowd was not disappointed on Saturday as they witnessed what could only be described as the most competitive pro men's line-up in recent New York Pro bodybuilding history.

Such was the quality of physique onstage that, when the top contestants were finally announced, very few could have guessed the correct order in which the top five would be placed.

As usual there was the customary New York booing (you can't please everyone), which was probably justified on this occasion as there was very little to separate the top guys: any of them could have been a deserved winner and, of course, everybody had their favorite.

When overall champion Branch Warren was announced some agreed with the decision, some did not. What cannot be argued though was his usual conditioning along with the added size he brought this time around. The first of two Dennis's, Dennis James was second and in the minds of many the winner. Disappointment clearly showed on the big mans face as he accepted his placement.

Third was Dennis two, Germanys Big Bad (Dennis) Wolf, another who, on another day, could have won this show. He too was visibly disappointed as he accepted the news. Newcomer, and pro debutante, Desmond Miller, a very well balanced athlete who will be winning shows soon, came in fourth followed by the consistently conditioned Silvio Samuel.

The remainder of the field showcased some great talent also. This contest could have, in fact, been called the Mass Monster Pro. With newcomers Leo Ingram and Lionel Brown along with Paco Bautista (who can match size with anyone), and, of course, the top three (Warren, James and Wolf) the hardcore fans must have been in heaven.

The best legs and arms awards, won by Branch Warren and Kai Greene (the shows most improved competitor) respectively, served to underscore the importance that is increasingly placed on otherworldly development in the pro ranks. This years New York Pro will go down in history as being quite literally the biggest yet.

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The Top Five


Branch Warren:

    From the moment he stepped onstage at the pre-judging, the Massive Texan, Branch Warren, was in contention for first place. With added size (at his level how on earth does he do this?) that literally swelled off his body at unimaginable angles, giving him an even freakier appearance and the same ultra-hard conditioning he is famous for, Branch was out to break his recent chain of bad placements. And break it he did, in the process sending a message to his fellow Olympia competitors that he is indeed back and that they better do their homework.


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Branch Warren.
View All Pics Of Branch Warren At The 2007 IFBB New York Men's Pro Here.

    Although some were speculating that Branch appeared to be down on his usual sharp conditioning and that his back development seemed a little "off", from where I was sitting he was packed with muscle, typically grainy and worthy of first place. At the pro bodybuilding level it is all about trade-offs.


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Branch Warren.
View All Pics Of Branch Warren At The 2007 IFBB New York Men's Pro Here.

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    Some may be more aesthetic, whereas others might have an additional 30 or so pounds of hard muscle - the final outcome is based on a subjective assessment anyway. Given Branch is shorter he appears, pound for pound, larger than his next closest rival. At the pro level conditioning is always a factor. Branch had that covered also. Well-done Branch and welcome back to the winner's circle


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Branch Warren.
View All Pics Of Branch Warren At The 2007 IFBB New York Men's Pro Here.

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Branch Warren.

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Dennis James:

    One of the fan favourites going into this show was Dennis James. Displaying his usual immense size (arguably the widest guy onstage) Dennis was possibly in his best shape ever and showed no obvious weaknesses.


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Dennis James.
View All Pics Of Dennis James At The 2007 IFBB New York Men's Pro Here.

    The most complete guy onstage, he would have won this show had it not been for Branch's added hardness and detail. Dennis also had some difficulty controlling his mid-section at times and his calf develop (although in balance with the rest of his physique) was not up to par with Branch's.


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Dennis James.
View All Pics Of Dennis James At The 2007 IFBB New York Men's Pro Here.

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    Given Dennis beat Branch at last years Olympia - making the top ten (9th to be exact) compared to Branch's 12th place - it will be interesting to see what happens at this years big dance.

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Dennis James.

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Dennis Wolf:

    Just missing the cut at last years Montreal Pro, Dennis was looking to prove his worth at this show. He did that and signalled his arrival as a future threat. The largest man onstage in terms of height and weight, Dennis brought the type of physique people had been expecting from him since he turned pro.


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Dennis Wolf.
View All Pics Of Dennis Wolf At The 2007 IFBB New York Men's Pro Here.

    Massive shoulders, near-perfect V-taper and huge quads gave him a formidable presence onstage. If he can bring up his calves (high and narrow) and lower back (lacking width) along with a little more overall size, all of which is possible given he is only 28, Dennis could place top three at a future Olympia.


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Dennis Wolf.
View All Pics Of Dennis Wolf At The 2007 IFBB New York Men's Pro Here.

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Dennis Wolf.

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Desmond Miller:

    Another refreshing discovery is Desmond Miller who, along with Dennis James, presented some of the best balance onstage. To be really picky Desmond did, in some poses, seem a little small through the chest and back but his legs and arms were among the best.


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Desmond Miller.
View All Pics Of Desmond Miller At The 2007 IFBB New York Men's Pro Here.

    Desmond was very confident at the night show and his attitude suggested he was expecting to be number one and for good reason: he had prepared well and displayed great conditioning and a physique that will win future events once he is better established (he may have been sightly overlooked).


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Desmond Miller.
View All Pics Of Desmond Miller At The 2007 IFBB New York Men's Pro Here.

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Desmond Miller.

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Silvio Samuel:

    Speaking of overlooked Silvio Samuel is one man who has it all: the best conditioning onstage, wonderful aesthetics, great size, and near-perfect balance. For some reason he probably will never be properly compared to the James' and Warrens' of this world but he should be.


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Silvio Samuel.
View All Pics Of Silvio Samuel At The 2007 IFBB New York Men's Pro Here.

    It is hard to find fault with his physique and could have placed third, or better in this show. If he keeps doing what he is doing eventually he will not be denied.


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Silvio Samuel.
View All Pics Of Silvio Samuel At The 2007 IFBB New York Men's Pro Here.

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Silvio Samuel.

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Six Place & Worthy Mention:

    Kai Greene was another (along with Branch) who has made great strides since his last show. Seemingly around 15-20 pounds bigger, Kai strode the stage like he owned it and posed as one of the sport's best physique artists. Had there been a best poser award he would no doubt have won it such was the variation in his routine, which was at once dramatic, soulful, upbeat and classical.


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Kai Greene.
View All Pics Of Kai Greene At The 2007 IFBB New York Men's Pro Here.

    He combined all the aspects of physical display and had the crowd on there feet. Ripped to sheds, winner of the best arms (beating Dennis James!) and 6th place finisher, Kai is another who had signalled his arrival in the pro ranks.

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Kai Greene.

Windows Media (13.0 MB)