The British Bodybuilding Scene - Part Two!

British guys didn't really come close to the American pros. In part two you will find out what then best overlooked UK bodybuilders are!
Reprint From Gear UZR Magazine - Jan 2001.

NOTE: This is Part 2, click here for part one.

Okay then Giles tell me about the guys currently with pro cards at the moment over in the UK.

CT: Right, well as you know the only Brit's I'm sure you are aware of making any impact in this past year are J.D.Dowadu and new face Eddie Abbew. J.D. is I think the most under-rated physique in the IFBB. Who matched him on thickness this year at the Arnold and Iron Man? Apart from Cormier there was no-one! I don't understand that one at all, you were there Trevor, wasn't it bullshit? Over here J.D. is considered the man, he's really held on a pedestal, if only the judges would give him what he deserves.

Eddie Abbew is a name you will definitely be hearing more of in the future. He's got the best personality you could hope for and he's a real clued-up guy. Even pre-contest he's always full of energy and cracking jokes and he's very approachable which is important I feel. Some of the pro bodybuilders have got their heads stuck up their f*cking asses. He's also one of those bodybuilders either that isn't shy about showing people his monstrous arms. The only other guy I've seen with bigger arms is Coleman. Apparently when he was on a trade stand at the Hungarian Pro show last year in a t-shirt, people were asking for his autograph mistaking him for Ronnie Coleman!

I'm telling you Trevor, watch that guy, 9th place in last year's Night of Champions was just the start. It's literally impossible nowadays to find a guy like Eddie who competes at around 270lb with such a tiny waist and that's what the IFBB are looking for at the moment. Then there's Shaun Davies. There's a guy with all the potential in the world. He's got the freaky mass, massive arms, back, but his delts hasvn't improved for years. He's big into his partying and enjoying life and that's great but that doesn't win you pro shows unfortunately does it?

TS: What's happening with Ernie Taylor at the moment, has he disappeared altogether?

GT: Ernie suffered some serious shoulder problems last year and it took him off the scene for a while. He had the surgery and it was successful and is back looking freaky again. He did some guest posings and looked smooth but really, really big.

He's another under-rated guy and I wish everybody would stop going on about his f*cking triceps. He's massive everywhere, not just his triceps you know. Ernie will be back next year bigger and better than ever before I promise you that. I honestly feel that he has the potential to make top 6 at the Olympia in this next few years.

TS: What about all these dudes in the last couple of years that have been handed pro cards on a plate?

GT: Well there's quite a few of them. The Chemical Grand Prix last year saw the emergence of most of them. I'll start from the highest placed to the lowest at that show. Pete Brown got 8th that year behind Nasser in 6th and Ruhl in 7th and to be fair the gap between 7th and 8th was pretty easy to see.

Pete's a big, big guy with some crazy bodyparts like well... his whole body, his thickness is incredible but needs more finish, a bit of a diamond in the rough. He's another Dillett really, loads of size but needs to sort out his posing and detail. Then there was Colin Wright who my company sponsors. In a way, his physique reminds a bit of Shawn Ray in some front poses, but without that level of sharpness. He rarely get's really cut but with a wider back he could definitely do some damage I reckon.

Then there's Jamo Nazzar. The only thing I'll say about Jamo is that he's a great poser, I don't particularly care for his prima donna attitude which he has displayed at the British for the past 5 years. Anyone who walks off stage every year when they don't like their placing should get a suspension in my opinion. It's f*cking damned disrespectful and when I've seen him place second it has detracted from the winners moment of victory.

Then there's John Hodgeson, the British Lee Lebrada and the only middleweight I've seen that could ever hope to get a decent placing in a pro show. The condition he get's himself into is incredible, check that guy's rear double biceps, wow! I've seen the pics of him in comparisons with Milos Sarcev and he annihilates Milos from the back. John's a great poser as well which is rare at the moment. John's doing the Canada Cup and Night of Champions this year, I hope he get's a look in I really do.

TS: Okay, so who in your opinion has the most potential in the UK, who's the next Dorian Yates?

GT: You'll be shocked by this but my two favourite bodybuilders not just in the UK but in the world are Kevin Levrone and Grant Thomas.

TS: Are you serious, but Grant didn't even make the top 15 when he did the Night of Champions in '99. How the hell can he be ‘The next big British hope'?

GT: It was his first pro show, he hadn't had a break from competing for a long time and he basically went over there not knowing what to expect. He came in hard, but small for him. The last time I saw Grant on stage was at the 1999 Welsh Championships where he was guest posing. He looked huge and he's got the most amazing, freaky shape. Few bodybuilders have triceps, quads and delts like it. Over here in Britain Grant was undefeated at all the big shows.

At 25 years old he won the Nabba Wales, Britain and Universe all in the same year. Then he easily won the EFBB British overall as a light-heavyweight which was only the second time that had ever been done. Right from the start I've had faith in Grant's potential and he's never disappointed. He's still young so he's got time on his side, I just hope to God he doesn't fade away, that would be a real shame. As for not making the top 15 at the NOC, well didn't Nasser not make the top 15 for a couple of years?

TS: How about the amateurs in Britain, are there any decent physiques floating about?

GT: Shit yes! There's quite a few with star potential. I'm well known over here for my predictions of winners and this year I promise you one of the big names will be Simon Cohen. I've seen Simon at around the 300lb mark with abs, he's totally massive. The 1998 Universe overall should have been his no question. He just lost the overall to Gary Lister which was bullshit although Gary has completely transformed himself since then. The reason he didn't compete this year was because he completely detached the tendon on his knee doing 600lb hack squats. He was nearly in tears when he rang me, I really felt for the guy but it's healed completely with no visible scarring which was lucky.

He'll walk the British this year and if he does the Grand Prix will definitely pose a threat to the yanks. Then there's Hunni Glanville who's is literally a smaller version of Ronnie Coleman. His shape is almost identical, tiny waist, freaky arms, amazingly detailed back and still so young at 25.

He won everything as a junior, then as a novice and then walked the Mr UK, the Mr Scotland and a load of other shows. I think Hunni may well take his pro card this year and if he does I would recommend that he takes a couple of years off and just trains. He's going to be one of Britain's best mark my words. Another guy I'm looking forward seeing back onstage again this year is Scotlands Stuart Cameron.

He walked the Nabba World Juniors in 1998, he totally destroyed everyone and he is massive at the moment walking around at about 270lb at about 5'9". It should be interesting to see how much he has improved when he diets down.

I've already told you about Stumpy so I won't go over that one again but I loved to see the IFBB judges overlook that mass freak. If they did he probably jump off the stage and chew their arms off or something!

TS: Any other big guys at the British this year?

GT: I almost forgot, there was a guy called Zack Khan who got 4th place at the British in the heavyweights this year and quite unbelievably just two years ago was competing in the natural federations as a friggin junior! I saw him stroll on stage at the British qualifier with Gary Lister and he blew Gary away on sheer thickness, my jaw dropped. When I saw his muscle bellies all I could compare them to was Flex Wheeler. His arms are just phenomenal, totally, totally huge. A bit more polish will see this guy right up there in the next couple of years.

TS: Have you seen any decent juniors competing worth mentioning?

GT: Only one instantly springs to mind, you've probably already heard of him, Stuart Core. He recently won the overall men's at a fairly big show in California, I think it was the Tournament of Champions. I don't think there's ever been a better junior, the last one of this caliber was Ian Harrison but that was over ten years ago so Stuart is pretty exceptional. He's got the best of both worlds, size and shape, I think his arms measure about 21 inches cold. Although I've never seen him turn up shredded who cares? He could go all the way that kid.

TS: What about the UK supplement market, is it as bad over there as USA in terms of he who has the biggest advertising budget wins?

CT: Well having worked in the supplement business for a few years you get to know how it really does work and believe me it's a cut-throat industry inhabited by some real low-life's and conmen. I won't mention names but I've been amazed at how these f*ck-wits are allowed to carry on breathing, let alone trading. With the size of the industry as it now stands I'm simply amazed at how there still seems to be no policing or governing body that prevents companies from their bullshit claims in their advertising or on their labels.

I know of one company that used to send out their products to gyms and distributors with the labels separate because the products were total shit and the law states whoever puts the label on the product is libel for it if it get's tested and reported.

Another one was putting literally one teaspoon of whey isolate in the product and stating it's contents on the label and ingredient listing. Of course there is no mention of it's quantity and they aren't exactly breaking the law but they are blatently misleading the consumer to gain sales. Motherf*ckers! I see these young kids spending all their allowances on these steroid replacement kits just like I did when I started and I feel so angry.

TS: What about the American companies?

CT: Most decent American companies seem to do well over here like Met-Rx, Prolab, AST, Biotest.

As well as the usual shit that can't fail because it's rammed down your throat on every page of mag's like Musclemag. Yeah, I'm sure Kovacs got that way using creatine mixed with sugar!

But as far as UK companies of any real size are concerned that are any good, there are three I can feel comfortable recommending. Chemical Nutrition, Reflex and the company I work with, Peak Body. That's not a shameless plug by the way, I know all the ins and outs of that company and I wouldn't even mention it and certainly not involve myself with it if I thought it was crap.


Conclusion

I did that once in the past and was majorly shafted by a company that used my reputation to improve it's own which was in tatters at the time. I was neive and it cost me badly so it was after that I decided to thoroughly research any supplement company I associated myself with in the future.

Even though Nuclear Nutrition isn't the biggest company, I'm more than happy to do what I can to help you because I like your honest approach which is such a breath of fresh air and it deserves supporting. I hope Nuclear does eventually become the biggest in America, it sure deserves to be. All these massive companies never seem to stay the biggest for long, they grow to multi, multi-million pound companies then they sell out.

In the future I think with so many companies popping up all over the place seemingly all the time I honestly feel all these cowboy companies no matter how big will disappear which will leave huge opportunities for good companies like Nuclear. By the way, to anyone reading this, I'm not on the payroll, I say it as I see it...

NOTE: This is part two, click here for part one!

Be sure to check out the exclusive
Trevor Smith Interview!

You can contact Trevor with your questions and comments at trevor@nuclearnutrition.com

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Thanks,