Jaime Filer's 2008 Arnold Overall Experience.

The 2008 Arnold Classic took place this past weekend in Columbus, Ohio. The memories of this trip will last me a life-time. Here is what my overall experience was like at the Arnold.

Friday Afternoon

I won't be surprised if I never have to pay for another supplement gain in 2008. Or 2009. Maybe even 2010, after the stash I received today. Boy did I get a good haul this afternoon, as I'm sure did most everyone who attended.

I was working for Scivation at the Bulk Nutrition booth making their token green and black bags, and when I got tired (and wanted sustenance) I decided to walk around and see what the Expo was all about. Boy, did it live up to it's hype.

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The Bodybuilding.com Booth At The Expo.

I waited patiently in long line for MuscleTech athletes' signatures, ABB freebies, BSN bags and bodybuilding.com beanies. It was worth every second. I saw some old friends, made some new ones, and signed up for something close to 100 newsletters for different supplement companies just to get their free stuff.

In terms of the work aspect of my day (ie. Writing for bodybuilding.com), I covered the women's fitness, figure and bodybuilding prejudging in the VIP section, with the Editor in Chief of Bodybuilding.com (Kris Gethin). All in a day's work.

Friday Night

At 6:30, I headed to the Veteran's Memorial auditorium to cover the women's Finals. After watching the female bodybuilding routines, the TV that I was watching in the Press room back stage went off. I was afraid it was going to be a repeat of this morning when the lights went out.

Out of nowhere, when everyone was complaining about the televisions, all of the cameramen that were in the room with me were clustered around one man. I knew who it was. It didn't take a rocket scientist to figure it out; the namesake of this weekend, the Governator, the Man of the Hour, Arnold Schwarzenegger. Wow. Just, wow.


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Matt Weik

It was as though I closed my eyes and started a dream. At first, I was a little upset that I wasn't sitting front and centre with the judges, but then I realized that all of the competitors were in the same room with me.

I was literally in their pump up room. Gina Aliotti, Jen Hendershott, Mindi O'Brien, Julie Lohre, Yaxeni Oriquen…ALL OF THEM were walking around me (I was typing on the floor). Little super fun fact: Adela Garcia sat beside me during last hour of the show. I SAT BESIDE A MS. OLYMPIA/MS. INTERNATIONAL. AAH! Much buzz about Iris Kyle being pushed into 7th place.

Iris Iris
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Iris Kyle.
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Dennis James was also in the press room just chilling. I played it cool but was actually screaming inside so loud that I may have broken my ear drums. I love being backstage. On my way out of the auditorium, there was a huge line up to get out of the media room.

Arnold walked by the line of media, including myself, with his entourage and his beautiful wife, Maria. Luckily, I was sandwiched between Peter McGough and Mike Katz, so I got a VERY CLOSE look at the Governator, because he stopped to talk, at length, with both those gentlemen.

Saturday Morning

Pretty much a continuation of Friday night, which I'm sure it was for most people as well. My Scivation "posse" and I trained at a 24 hour gym from 11:45pm (Friday) - 1:25am on Saturday morning, then, we ate at Waffle House until 2:40am, and then we all went to sleep (not together) around 3:30am.

I woke up at 6:20am in order to be in the lobby by 6:45, eat and then help out at the Bulk Nutrition booth for 9am. After making approximately 100 BN bags, and drinking too many free samples of Vasocharge for someone my size, I was informed that I should have already been at Veteran's Memorial for Men's Prejudging, instead of the Convention Centre, to write my articles.

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So I ran as fast as my little legs could carry me (after squatting and deadlifting PRs that morning) to the Auditorium, and arrived just in the nick of time. After about a hour, a woman came up to me and said, "Could you please stand up Miss, a gentleman needs to get to his seat." So I looked over, and HOLY %^&*, I was face to face with Victor "The Dominican Dominator" Martinez in all his glory (and crutches).

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Victor Martinez And Lonnie Teper.

He decided to sit at the end up of the isle, which was literally the seat right next to mine. I think I died for a minute. I smiled like an idiot to myself for a long time, before I finally got the courage to tell him that I think he's friggin' awesome, and that the Olympia belongs to him this year. I then went back and finished out the rest of the Expo on cloud nine, before heading off to the men's night show.

Saturday Night

I arrived at the tiny little bodybuilding.com computer room to get myself pumped up before the night show. I was an hour early, but there was so much to be done.

I chatted with the Director of Web Content (Will Wiedenmann) and various other media personnel for what seemed like 10 minutes, but before I knew it, I had to get seated for the Finals. I watched intently as each of the men stepped back out on stage. I kept switching seats between the Auditorium, the little A/V room (Thanks Rex from Veterons Memorial for letting Bodybuilding.com utilize their sound room) and the Press/Pump up room.

I spent most of my time in the press room because that's where all of the athletes were, and I could chat with them while they were waiting. I conversed with Iris Kyle (super nice), Gina Aliotti (super pretty), Moe El Moussawi (super funny) and various other athletes who looked bored.

Gina Aliotti Gina Aliotti
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Gina Aliotti.
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The highlight though, other than having Iris Kyle tell me I could e-mail her anytime with questions about nutrition and training, was when they were gathering the past 20 years worth of winners for the Ms./Mr. International ceremony. We're talking Ronnie Coleman, Mike Ashley, Jay Cutler, Rich Gaspari, Kevin Levrone, Anja Shreiner, Laura Creavalle, Vickey Gates and many others all in the same room as me.

Jay Cutler
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Jay Cutler Being Recognized At The Arnold Finals.

I was so star struck, I almost forgot why I was there. It was actually like some crazy awesome bodybuilding dream. They announced the top 10, I finished the article and then went out to eat around 12:30am with my friends. No after parties, we had to be up early to train!

Sunday Morning

The Scivation team and I head out to the gym to get one final workout in before we all go our separate ways. The rollercoaster ride we were on was coming to an end, and we all acknowledged it was time to get back to reality. But not before a final meal at Bob Evans.

It's a shame I ate nothing but veggies, tuna and protein powder this trip (I'm dieting for a competition), because it would have been nice to partake in all the fancy restaurants we ate in. Mm…banana cream stuffed pecan waffles.

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Arnold Schwarzenegger And The
Winner Of The Arnold Classic - Dexter Jackson.

I got dropped off at the bus station by the owner of Scivation (SO COOL!), and commenced the 13 hours bus ride home. The memories of this trip will last me a life-time, or at least until I make new ones at the Olympia

Videos From The Expo During The Arnold Classic Weekenddot

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