Interview With Gustavo Badell: Preparing For The 2012 Arnold

After a 2-year hiatus, Gustavo Badell is ready to tear it up at the 2012 Arnold Classic. Find out how he’s preparing!

Long-time great Gustavo Badell shouldn't ever be counted out of contention. With several pro wins and multiple top-3 placements (including three 3rd-place Mr. Olympia finishes) on his impressive resume, Gustavo has proven to be one of the IFBB's best. However a 2009 slump, which included a 13th-place finish at the Mr. Olympia he was predicted to win, convinced him to take some much-needed rest.

He has now recaptured the form that enabled him to beat many of today's top-tier pro champions. Gustavo is again ready to challenge for top honors in all his 2012 pro outings. His first priority is the Arnold Classic, where he routinely places in the top five. When he's at his best, "The Freakin' Rican" combines razor-sharp conditioning with great size with excellent proportions. These qualities make him one to watch at this year's Arnold.

Gustavo is ready to rev up the crowd in the 2012 season with his renowned high-energy posing and phenomenal physique.

Gustavo Badell at the 2009 Mr. Olympia.

Interview With Gustavo Badell

You last competed as a pro in 2009. What has been your focus since then? Have you maintained your usual off-season training schedule?

After my last show in 2009, I started focusing on some business opportunities I wanted to develop. That kept me really busy these last two years. I've been training to maintain good health, but I haven't had the pressure doing guest appearances or contest preparation.

Your fans have been missing you. Why haven't you competed since 2009?

The 2009 Mr. Olympia was my last show until now. I was disappointed with my placing and felt like I needed to give my mind and body some rest. Although it was a risky decision, I know it was the right thing to do, because my body has been responding very well to this new prep.

When did you begin training for the 2012 pro season?

I never stopped training; I just decreased the intensity of my training. When my team and I decided I was ready to go back on stage, I just increased the intensity of my training and reorganized my nutrition and supplementation. Like for any preparation, I started my game plan and have been steadily following it.

What improvements have you made to your physique since you last competed as a pro?

I think my best improvement comes from giving my body some time off. I'll come back looking refreshed and better than ever.

You are known for your size and conditioning. How do you feel you can further improve on the phenomenal development you have displayed in the past?

I believe I know my game. The way I see it, bodybuilding is just about eight compulsory poses. Each pose needs to be complemented with muscular size, definition, dryness and lots of detail. Having that strong package is what made me stand out and it's what I plan on bringing to the 2012 Arnold Classic stage... it's what I plan to continue bringing.

Have you made any adjustments to your training program to prepare for the 2012 Arnold Classic?

I adjust my training according to my needs. I'm always observing and adjusting according to the results I want to achieve. The important thing is to always keep my focus on achieving the best possible package: size, conditioning, lots of detail with great balance and a pleasant look.

How would you describe your current training style?

I'm doing double cardio sessions and double weight training most days. But, like I said before, I'm always adjusting depending on the direction my body takes.

Can you describe your current diet? Have you made any changes in this area since 2009?

I have always believed in greens. I've been eating lots of veggies since I started competing in 2004. And, I always use high-quality protein. Depending on the state of my body, I balance my carbohydrates as a power source: mainly brown rice and potatoes. I also may add some good fats when needed. The essential factor in having the perfect nutrition plan is to know your body and understand it; only then can you succeed.

What is it about pro bodybuilding you love most? What keeps you motivated to compete?

The changes that happen in my body during preparation are what I like most. I'm motivated by the challenges of bodybuilding: you need to have discipline and the balls to keep going against all odds. Only a few of us have what it takes.

What has been your greatest bodybuilding moment so far, and why?

It was definitely when I won the Challenge Round against Ronnie Coleman in 2005. That day I broke the mold. For the first time, a Mr. Olympia was beaten in his own show. Before that day, all Mr. Olympia winners just retired and gave way to a new winner, but they were never beaten on stage. For the Challenge Round all participants agreed to be challenged pose-for-pose, and the one with the best poses would win. Well, I won and that was pretty awesome. Even if I didn't win the Mr. Olympia, it was still awesome. I believe the sport started changing that day.

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

I'm currently weighing 256 pounds and hope to be in the Arnold at around 240-245 pounds with a smaller waistline. It will be interesting.

In the past, you compared well with current Arnold Classic favorite Branch Warren. Many people feel you have a better shape and are more balanced compared to Branch. What do you think you will need to do to beat him in this year's Arnold Classic?

I'm focused on my 'A' game; which means I need to bring the size, conditioning, and lots of detail so I can be perfect in every pose I hit. I don't know about the rest of the guys, but I'm sure I'll be ready to battle with anybody in any pose.

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

I believe bodybuilding is not about predictions because anything can happen. I'm an old school bodybuilder; I'm just working hard to secure those top places, like before.

What are your long-term bodybuilding goals?

Nobody can predict the future. I'm just trying to enjoy this moment. We'll see what happens.

What can 2012 Arnold Classic audience expect from you come show-time?

The same I have always delivered. I'll try to make the show interesting for the fans like I always do. One thing fans know for sure is that I'm real and I have great passion for this sport.

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