I purchased the domain name www.bodybuildingpro.com in 2002 and started to actively create the site in the summer of 2003. During that time, I've written many reviews, most of which were done by watching DVDs or by seeing photographs of various contests and expos and without having actually gone to the events myself. In general, I find that these sources of media reveal a lot, but it wasn't until I went to Columbus, Ohio for the 2007 Arnold Classic that I realized exactly what I was missing out on.
I arrived in Las Vegas at around noon on Wednesday. At first I had no interest in Vegas outside of seeing the Mr. Olympia contest and didn't like that my friends organized a longer trip. Once I hit my first buffet I quickly changed my mind and found that the food and the weather were both perfect and the night life was exciting.
Other than expecting tips for everything (including handing out catalogues for call girls), I found the people in Las Vegas to be friendly. I'm not a gambling man, but my friend did play a few games and ended up taking home $120.
My friends and I went to Gold's Gym Sahara and were pleased to see Shawn Perrine and the FLEX magazine crew training with Phil Heath and Peter Putnam! I went over to strike up a conversation with Shawn and myself and my friends ended up going out to supper with them at Black Angus!
It was a great time and both Phil and Peter were great people (and of course bodybuilders). Peter will turn pro at the Nationals very soon and he was a very friendly person. He was down to earth and from what I can see so far, his recent success has not yet gone to his head.
On Friday the expo was nice and slow and it was possible to walk around to every booth without having to fend off huge crowds. I managed to speak with a lot of booths displaying the product lines I had an interest in. I would hand out business cards for my website and explain what it is all about.
Many of the people at the expo knew who I was and for those who did not, they got the picture after I gave them a brief spiel. On Saturday, I expected a zoo at the expo reminiscent of the Arnold Classic, but it didn't happen... thankfully.
Even at the peak of the expo's popularity on Saturday, the crowds were reasonable and walking around was not difficult. At the Arnold, it was pretty annoying to walk from one part of the expo to the other. There is a huge difference between an expo with 100,000 people versus an expo with 25,000 people.
On Saturday, I handed out more business cards and walked away with thousands of dollars in free supplements which I split amongst my two friends who were with me. Talk about a score! Stay tuned to the updates page to see complete reviews for the supplements which I came home with. Yum.
I met a variety of bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts at the expo, some of whom I previously met. Phil Heath was looking huge and shredded at 5'9 and 265 pounds! Not exactly light, and by no means soft. Had Phil competed in the Mr. Olympia this year, he would have done very well!
Rebecca Dipietro is one of the most beautiful women I saw at the expo. She entered the MET-RX model search and I'm not sure of the results yet. I'm sure she did very well!
Christina Lindley is another of the most beautiful women I saw at the expo!
Joel Stubbs, the biggest human beings I've ever seen!
Champion female bodybuilder, Betty Pariso:
Branch Warren was looking huge at the show, and also a lot healthier than he does during contest time:
With Garraeth of Getbig.com:
I've often heard people say that you have to have been at a particular show to understand the outcome. Honestly, I don't understand comments like these at all. At the prejudging my seats were close up but off to the side and the camera filming the contest blocked my view much of the time.
It gave me a good idea of the condition of the bodybuilders who were competing, but ultimately I ended up watching the show through the giant televisions available at the show. At the finals, I had better seats which were in the top 10% for viewing distance and even then I found myself watching the large television screens.
From my vantage point, I would have had Dennis Wolf winning after the prejudging but possibly giving that to Victor Martinez. I think Victor had filled out his frame more than Dennis and although Dennis had a better midsection, Victor was very close in terms of conditioning, and wasn't exactly lacking in the aesthetics department.
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Dennis Wolf & Victor Martinez.
View More Pics From The 2007 Olympia Here.
I felt that Ronnie looked somewhat odd during the prejudging as his muscles didn't pop out as they used to. He was hard and conditioned but his left side was down in size and very noticeable. By the prejudging I would have had him in fourth, but Jay only really beat him on the basis of size and having a superior back. At this point, I didn't have either in first place.
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Ronnie Coleman & Jay Cutler.
View More Pics From The 2007 Olympia Here.
Melvin looked incredible as did Silvio Samuel. Dexter Jackson who was said to have put on some major size for the show, didn't look any different from any other year in my opinion and I don't see how he later ended up in third place. I had him around seventh at the prejudging. World class for sure, but not quite third in the world.
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View More Pics Of Dexter Jackson Here.
By the finals, things changed a little. I think Dennis Wolf slipped very slightly in his conditioning while Victor Martinez held his peak perfectly and Ronnie Coleman and Jay Cutler both improved. Ronnie's muscles had more life to them at the finals, although his left side was still down.
Jay had brought up his conditioning which was apparent in his glutes which he attributed to "last minute adjustments" in his victory speech, AKA, running even MORE dangerous "supplements" in his hotel room on Friday night. What other "last minute adjustments" could be done? It's not like a special workout or meal will do much at this point, so it all comes down to consumables, and by consumables I don't mean Flintstones chewables.
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View More Pics Of Jay Cutler Here.
When the results were announced, I couldn't believe that Dennis Wolf placed fifth. In my opinion, neither Dexter Jackson nor Ronnie Coleman had any business beating him and only beat him on name recognition alone. Also, let's be honest, while Dexter looked good, it didn't hurt that he was sponsored by MuscleTech, the title sponsor of the 2007 Mr. Olympia contest.
Dexter looked good, but he definitely did not beat Melvin Anthony, and I think a good argument can be made that he didn't beat Silvio Samuel either. I would have had him seventh, although sixth would be perfectly reasonable too.
Any higher than sixth would be debatable, and third was just plain injustice in my mind. When I saw Melvin Anthony at the expo, I asked him if he predicted a top six finish and he replied with "top four." I had him in fourth. Here is my top ten:
- Dennis Wolf
- Victor Martinez
- Jay Cutler
- Ronnie Coleman
- Melvin Anthony
- Silvio Samuel
- Dexter Jackson
- Gustavo Badell
- Johnnie O Jackson
- David Henry
All fantastic world class bodybuilders. Is it so hard to actually judge bodybuilding contests based on who is the best on that particular day? Why must the reigning champ always win again? Other than Samir Bannout in 1984 and Ronnie Coleman in 2006, the champ always remains the champ and I think it's more than a little silly.
I also think that judges have to start tallying their scores on computers and not with pencils so that they can't go back and change their scores later. The fact is, once a score is calculated, it should be set in stone and not open to change later if the result isn't what the judges hope for, and let's not be naive to the fact that MuscleTech putting up over a million dollars to sponsor the event doesn't work positively in Jay's favour.
I would love to pretend politics don't exist in life, but to suggest that Jay Cutler's affiliation with MuscleTech doesn't work in Jay's favour in regards to his contest placings his absolutely ridiculous. In my take, from both being at the show and reviewing pictures, Wolf owned Jay most of the time. It's no wonder he received 32% of the vote in the People's Choice award based on an online poll.
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Dennis Wolf At The 2007 Olympia.
View More Pics Of Dennis Wolf Here.
They say that money doesn't buy happiness. Actually, in life money and good looks buy just about anything, and that includes a top contest placing, although in my opinion there are far more marketable bodybuilders out there, but as far as mass monsters are concerned, Jay is very impressive.
It's hard to be a complete mass monster and have any degree of marketability and very few bodybuilders in the professional ranks have done so - another good example of a bodybuilder (who is even more marketable than Jay) would be Gunter Schlierkamp. As much of a freak as he was at 300 pounds in contest shape, he still managed to keep his good looks and charm and appeal to a wide ranging audience and by some accounts he even routinely gets stalked by women at expos.
At the Arnold Classic, I have to say that I noticed that myself. I'm not sure if Gunter has a lot of desire to carry on with professional bodybuilding since he seems to want to make the move to Hollywood, but he is still young in bodybuilding terms (37) and has time left should he wish to pursue it.
After the Olympia was complete, myself and my friends still stuck around Vegas to check out more of the scenes, and although I'm not a gambling person, there are casinos everywhere you look in Vegas and they are hard to avoid. I didn't gamble myself, but I can't say the same for my friends and this time they got lucky - word to the wise: avoid casinos like the plague, as they are a sure way to lose.
Although Vegas was a vacation, I still wanted to spend time at the gym and the same could be said of my friends. We trained at the Gold's Gym in Sahara which is the same gym Jay Cutler trains at in some of his DVDs. The staff was very friendly and let us train for free since we were visiting!
One of my friends had a membership to Gold's which can be used anywhere in the world, but myself and my other friend both trained without being charged and I send out my props to Gold's Gym Sahara for letting me do so. It was an excellent facility with dumbbells that go up to 205 pounds!
As I mentioned above, I got more free supplements than I could shake a stick at! I was not updating my website much in the past few months, but after going to see the 2007 Mr. Olympia bodybuilding contest and expo in Las Vegas, I have renewed motivation to try harder than ever to make my website succeed!
I found out that I am Bodybuilding.com's 25th highest ranking affiliate partner out of over 8,000 partners and I plan to get as high up on that latter as possible and become their top partner! I think it's definitely possible and I'm going to try harder than ever to make that a reality! I know that if I will it to happen that it will. I know I can and I will and I will keep everyone here updated with the results as they come in!
In addition to all of the supplements that I received, I also received 14 DVDs from Mitsuru Okabe for review! I now have the complete "Battle for the Olympia" series and will be reviewing them all shortly! In 2006, I would review approximately one DVD per day, but my new goal is to review one DVD per week and to focus primarily on supplement reviews. Expect to see a lot of reviews in the time to come!
Overall Review Of The Experience
I went to the 2007 Arnold Classic and had no idea what to expect. While the expo had a lot to offer, I didn't like that the contest was in a separate venue and required travel to get there.
There were SO MANY people attending the Arnold that it turned into a zoo. On Friday things were reasonable, but on Saturday it was so packed that it made the experience a little less enjoyable. The long lines for the buses were annoying at times, and even being one who is used to cold weather, I found Columbus to be cold at times... LOL!
At the Olympia, things were a little different. There were only 25,000 people attending and virtually everyone there was there for bodybuilding and not for other fitness experiences so it was a very specialized crowd. The show was said to have been sold out but I still saw plenty of empty seats.
I would say the auditorium was operating at 80% capacity. I was able to walk around leisurely and I enjoyed my time. At the Arnold, I flashed my business card for my website to get some free supplements, but at the Mr. Olympia I did that far more and got a lot more free supplements!
Stay tuned to the supplement reviews section of the website for tons of new supplement reviews coming soon! I plan to get on it right away and I plan to make some major gains in the process. Frankly, I can't wait!
I'll see you at the 2008 Arnold!