2003 Show Of Strength Review!

What a weekend this was. The GNC Show of Strength was one of the most impressive weekends I've ever had the pleasure of being a part of. Check out some awesome pictures and commentary from the show!
What a weekend this was. The GNC Show of Strength was one of the most impressive weekends I've ever had the pleasure of being a part of. Usually it's fitness, figure and bodybuilding. Instead, GNC showed the ultimate displays of strength in the world through the previously mentioned and the StrongMan, powerlifting, arm wrestling, teen powerlifting. It was sensory overload for the strength fans of the world.

The Expo

If you've been to one, you've been too them all, but you love them. The expos at most shows include pro athletes and their sponsors vying for new business. You grab a bag and stock up on the latest supplements that will take you months to sort through and finish.

This was the first time I've gotten sick from samples I've taken. The bad part, I've got no clue which one of the samples that made me ill. Sorry I can't warn you guys, but I toughed it through just to be available to catch all the action on photo and in person to deliver to you, the reader.

As usual, VPX Sports brought in the most beautiful women sporting next to nothing handing out their awesome line. They get both the Maria and Zach Marcy award for booth of the expo. If you guys are interested in cutting edge technology in bodybuilding supplements you need to check out their line of supplements.

Other Booths Of Note:

  • Bodybuilding.com as always accommodated the fans well. Russ Deluca and Idrise Ward-El worked most of the show. Idrise was a whopping 280lbs and loved talking with everyone that approached.

  • EAS handed out meal replacement drinks and bars galore. They've got a great new line of carb watchers bars and supplements to watch for.

  • Cytodyne's booth was manned by Kelly Ryan and Craig Titus the WHOLE weekend. Talk about an impressive couple that really gives their time to the fans. It's good to see athletes that truly believe in their sponsors products.

  • Muscletech had the big boys Jeremy Freeman and Ahmad Haidar along with a TON of new supplements. My wife is a huge Haider fan and he was very giving of his time to her and other fans. Their new bars have a funky taste, but they remain a top company in reliable supplements. I get flack for this, but I've been a fan of their Cell-Tech for years.

Pictures From The Expo:

From left to right: VPX Girls, Lee Haney & Zach Marcy, Jeremy Likness & Zach.

More pics from the expo, CLICK HERE!


In the first day of action we had a 135lb man squat 550lbs. We also had a heavyweight put up over 1000lbs on squats. It was a great day of powerlifting with the winners being announced the following day while the men's bodybuilding was going on.

A friend of mine, Brian Weston, was competing and had me enthralled in the action. Standing next to his wife, NPC Nationals bodybuilder Andrea Cloward, she managed to give me commentary that allowed me to understand the action much better. She will get me updates and I will have them to you soon.

Brian had a squat attempt of 905lbs that he barely stepped out on. Unfortunately the men's bodybuilding was going on while the finals of the powerlifting and I had to leave to cover the action.

Figure Competiton

There is one thing I've learned about the IFBB Figure division, "I've got no clue what the judges are really looking for." This isn't intended to put a negative twist on this sport. It's just that what the accepted criteria for what they are looking for is very subjective and puzzling.

As for Jenny Lynn over Monica Brant, or even Dina Al-Sabah, I'm at a loss. It's nothing personal against Jenny, but sitting on the FRONT ROW my wife and I had a better seat than even the judges and we were absolutely floored that Jenny beat Monica. Monica has such a beautiful physique with AWESOME separation in the legs that Jenny lacked. After the show IFBB pro Bob Chicerillo remarked that Monica should have won as well.

Former 4-time Mrs. Olympia (in bodybuilding) Kim Chizevsky looked AWESOME! Here is my take on why she didn't place. Kim was 2-3 inches taller and much more full in muscle than ANYONE on stage. She was against women in the 5'3 range with half the muscle of her.

  1. Jenny Lynn
  2. Monica Brant
  3. Dina Al-Sabah
  4. Mari Kudla
  5. Jaime Franklin
  6. Elaine Goodlad
  7. Sharon Kouvaras
  8. Christine Bergeron
  9. Kim Chizevsky
  10. Tammie Leady
  11. Sharon Christian
  12. Lesli Russell
  13. Adrian Chastain
  14. Debbie Kruck

These ladies are beautiful and have incredible physiques. This sport being in it's professional infancy it can only get better.

Pictures From The Figure Competiton:

From left to right: Top 6, Kelly Ryan & Monica Brant, Kim Chizevsky.

More pics from the figure competition, CLICK HERE!

Fitness Competition

There was one decision I had flip flopped due to the routine rounds. Stacy Hylton had such a dynamic routine that completely won over the crowd and displayed both athleticism, gymnastics, high energy, charm, and incredible dance choreography. This one I would have scored Susie Curry 1st, Stacy 2nd, Adela Garcia-Friedmansky 3rd, and Jen Hendershott 4th. Stacy really didn't get the placing she deserved.

This was Susie Curry's last show and did she dominate. It was great for her to retire in front of her home town crowd and they loved her for it.

Adela Garcia-Friedmansky was my and my wife's number 2 until she had a less than perfect routine. It was a small slip up, but it was a slip up all the same. Adela looked in stunning shape and really presented herself well. She remains one of the best conditioned fitness athletes on the stage.

The fan favorite was hometown girl Laura Mak(owski). Her ear to ear smile lit up the crowd and she really played to them.

Nicole Rollazo represented very well. She would have faired a bit better, but had a tough fall during her routine. She recomposed herself well and gets the toughest competitor award.

  1. Susie Curry
  2. Adela Garcia-Friedmansky
  3. Jennifer Hendershott
  4. Stacy Hylton
  5. Anna Level
  6. Tracey Greenwood
  7. Tanji Johnson
  8. Julie Palmer
  9. Laura Mak
  10. Julie Childs
  11. (tie) Nicole Rollolazo
  12. Laurie Vaniman
  13. Shannon Meteraud
  14. Kary Odiatu

Pictures From The Fitness Competiton:

From left to right: Top 6, Angela Mraz & Jennifer Hendershott, Hendershott with backup dancers.

More pics from the fitness competition, CLICK HERE!

Men's Bodybuilding

The best part of this contest was Flex Wheeler being present. He was very vocally supportive of the Muscular Development athletes on stage. Between ragging on Kevin for his antics, motivating and coaching Dexter (or as he says "Mini Flex"), and just pushing the other athletes to be better he added a real nice atmosphere of support.

Justice was served! Guys, I don't know HOW he did it but Dexter actually improved on perfect daytime conditioning during the evening. Here is some commentary and the overall results from 1-15:

1. Dexter Jackson:
Picture of perfection. NO ONE deserved this more. My wife and I managed to walk in the same time he was entering into the the building for the night show. We bee-lined directly too him and told him that "the show is yours, kick some ass." Dexter is so soft spoken and almost seemed like he didn't believe me.

The judges made Dexter work in prejudging. He must have been on stage being compared to EVERYONE for 25-30 minutes straight. After seeing the official scorecards it showed that Dexter won EVERY round and finished with a perfect score.

Guys, i've become a HUGE Dexter fan after seeing this class act in action. Humble and an awesome physique. Dexter has arrived!

2. Jay Cutler:
He came in a lot sharper during the evening too. Dropped some water and tightened up a bit. No one on stage had the legs he had. Simply awesome.

3. Kevin Levrone:
Flex was in the audience giving Kevin hell during prejudging. The master poser and entertainer looked on top of his game, even despite his lack in leg size. In spite of that I would flip flop him and Dennis James.

4. Dennis James:
Truly deserved 3rd or even 2nd. He was very distended in the morning and visably ill. He was a completely different athlete at night. He and Chad corrected EVERYTHING that was wrong with him. His belly came down a good inch, he looked like he had his electolyte health back, and was shredded down to his glutes.

5. Gunter Schilerkamp:
The absolute crowd favorite! He was a bit out classed by the others. He was on his conditioning, but a bit smaller than he was at the same show last year.

6. Darrem Charles:
It's hard not to like this guy. My friend, VPX rep Eric Brosen (aka BodyFX2), was raving about Darrems lines and hardness commenting that he had a chance to be in the top 4. He was close, I had Chris Cormier over him, but i'm also a fan of the larger guys with nice lines. He had the second best routine of the evening.

7. Chris Cormier:
He was off and a little small for him, but he was still one of the top athletes not at his best. A little watery and flat, but he still has some of the freakiest hamstring and quad tie-in's in the business. He got harder and harder as he posed. Had he been that tight and visably hard from the word "go" he probably would have placed higher.

8. Melvin Anthony:
THE BEST routine of the evening. How this guy can do the limbo at his size is amazing. Visably improved in his weak area, the hamstring and glutes, he still needs to keep coming down a bit and he will start cracking the higher spots.

9. Toney Freeman:
He ACTUALLY got the first call out of the prejudging! His weaknesses (lack of arm and chest size) were pretty obvious. Yet, his legs are simply awesome and his back is like the wingspan of a jumbo jet. Big things to come from him in the near future.

10. Johnnie Jackson:
Hard as nails, and big for a little guy. It didn't help him that Dexter and he are the same height yet Dexter was harder and fuller. Since they have the most comparable bodies it really made JJ look small. He will be a better pro once he stacks on a little more size.

11. George Farah:
Standing alone, George has a complete physique. It's being compared that he gets a little lost in the crowd. He is a short guys champion. His stomach scar aside, which he can use to his advantage, he doesn't have many visable weaknesses except the lack of height. This was an accurate placing for him.

12. Rodney St. Cloud:
He proved me wrong because he came in completely off his conditioning. I was saying how he opened some eyes this year and too watch him in this show. He will get better, but didn't hold his conditioning well at all. He is young and will be a top pro in a few years.

13. Aaron Maddron:
Mr. Intensity is a bit odd in proportions. He suffers from a lack of chest size, but has a good back and arms. This was an accurate placing for him.

14. Stan "Curly Top" McCrary:
The girls sure liked him shaking his butt on stage. He came in better than he's looked in a few years. He isn't the same bodybuilder that won the North Americans to get his pro card. His belly was the largest on stage and he needed to come down another 8-10lbs to hit his conditioning. He once had some of the best looking legs, but lacks the depth and separation he once had.

15. Claude Groulx:
OFF. Sorry Claude, i'm a fan, but you missed it here. The last three guys could be exchanged with one another, but the Masters Olympia champion didn't hit his mark. He still had impressive legs and has awesome delts.

Pictures From The Mens Competiton:

From left to right: Top 6, Melvin Anthony, Gunter.

More pics from the mens competition, CLICK HERE!

During the night show at the pose down section the athletes jumped off stage and went nuts through the crowd. The only person who stood on stage was the savvy Kevin Levrone KNOWING that the judges aren't big fans of the crowd rampage that has become common place. During this time Kevin put on a posing display for the judges, but finally gave in and dashed into the crowd as well. When this started I managed to catch a couple of pictures of the athletes working the crowd. I looked back at the judges to see they weren't amused in the least.

Bodybuilding great Rich Gaspari was shaking his head with an unhappy look on his face. I asked him if they did this in his day, his comment was "absolutely not." Times have changed and getting the crowd personally involved and the dance moves on stage have become a part of the sport. It's great for the fans!

There was one point where Jay jumped off the front of the stage and came right down in front of my wife and I on the press row. We managed to get a couple of good pictures very up close of Jay in contest shape.

Be sure to also check out Ryan Mackie's 2003 Show Of Strength Weekend Review.

Be sure to also check out out
2003 Olympia Weekend Coverage!