Myron Mielke's Review Of The 2010 Arnold Classic Weekend!

A couple years ago I wrote a wrap-up article about my adventures from my Olympia weekend. I took a few minutes to jot down some notes on this year's Arnold Classic Weekend adventures. Find out how things went this year at the 2010 Arnold Classic!

A couple years ago I wrote a wrap-up article about my adventures from my Olympia weekend. I took a few minutes to jot down some notes on this year's Arnold Classic Weekend adventures.

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Starting Things Off
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I waited a little too long this year to get my airline tickets and ended up having to fly all the way to Pittsburgh and then catch another plane to Columbus.

There aren't any non-stop flights, but I prefer to at least catch a connector flight somewhere between Los Angeles and Columbus instead of passed Columbus. Needless to say, it made for a very long day on Friday.

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Afternoon Judging
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After spending some time at the Expo Saturday morning and checking in with Kris Gethin and Richard Barnet from Bodybuilding.com, I headed over to Veteran's Memorial Auditorium to cover the judging and immediately write the review so we could post it as soon as the judging was over.

Let me tell you, getting one of those articles with some details and commentary in it cranked out very quickly isn't always easy, especially when the judging is relatively short, like it was this year.

It all worked out well and we had the article posted less than an hour after the judging was over. I still don't know how Richard gets those articles up so fast with all the photos and links added to it.

After the judging I was pretty confident Phil was going to take it. I asked Isaac Hinds and Ron Avidan who they thought was going to end up first place. Issac also went with Phil and Ron was pulling for Kai. I knew it was going to be close, but I was certain it was going to be Phil winning this year's title.

Kai Greene At The 2010 Arnold Classic, Ms. International, Fitness International & Figure International. Kai Greene At The 2010 Arnold Classic, Ms. International, Fitness International & Figure International.
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Kai Greene At The 2010 Arnold Classic.
View More Pics Of Kai Greene At The 2010 Arnold Classic.

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Family Time
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I was able to meet up with my brother, Brent Mielke. He brought his wife, Jan, and their two boys, Montana and Marshal. Brent drove with his family from Minnesota. One of his daughters, Miranda lives in Ohio and she is engaged to Joe Swartz, who grew up in Ohio. It was sort of like a quick family reunion.

We went to grab something to eat after I was done covering the judging and I remembered that both Brent and Joe were dieting for upcoming competitions. Each of them are watching there carbs closely.

It was then I realized we're not an ordinary family. All of the adults in our group are competitive bodybuilders. Brent, Jan and I were in competitions together in the mid 1980s. Brent got the itch to start competing again in Masters shows a couple years ago and Joe and Miranda were in the Ohio Natural Championships last spring.

Having one competitive bodybuilder in a family is sometimes unusual, but we had five sitting around one table at Chick-fil-A. I thought that was pretty cool.

I was done with the reviews immediately after the shows on Saturday night so I had Sunday to relax. Brent was leaving early Sunday morning so I slept in. At about noon Joe picked me up from my hotel over by the airport and we headed over to Urban Active Fitness to train chest and delts.

We had a great workout together. I had slammed down a SuperPump250 drink and some Myofusion before my workout. (Both were samples from the Expo, of course.) I really love the kick SuperPump250 gives me. Training in a different gym is always good for an added boost too.

Getting to train with Joe was the triple crown. Those 100-pound dumbbells we were using for incline dumbbell presses felt like 75's. We both got great pumps in our chests and delts from that workout. Man, I've been at this for more than 30 years and it never gets old! (My workouts have been great since my return too. I trained legs on Tuesday and they're still sore on Friday.)

We enjoyed a lunch at Logan's Roadhouse. I probably enjoyed it more than Joe because he was limited in his choices because he is dieting for a show. He had a steak, baked yam and some veggies on skewer.

Me? I had a chicken breast smothered in barbecue sauce, pepper-jack cheese and tomatoes with two sides - a baked yam and fries. Yum! Yum! I also had a couple of regular Coca Colas. I knew I would be starting a cutting phase soon so it was time to live it up for a few more meals.

It Was Sort Of Like A Quick Family Reunion.
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It Was Sort Of Like A Quick Family Reunion.

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Photo Ops
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If you've read my articles over the years, you might remember I'm trying to get my photo taken with all the Mr. Olympia winners. I've done really well so far. I've got them all except for Dickerson, Columbu and, of course, Arnold.

It seems that I've had many opportunities over the years to get my photo with him but something always seems to prevent it. For instance, years ago I was scheduled to get on the set of the movie True Lies because I worked with the wife of a guy who was an electrician for the studio.

It was all set for about one week. The morning of the big day, the production crew decided to have a shot done in New Jersey instead of Los Angeles. I got bullet shells from the set and an official Omega Sector cap, but no photo with Arnold.

Last year, despite my Media Pass for the Arnold, I couldn't get anywhere near him. Security is just way too tight backstage when he's there. When I got to the Expo last year, he had just left. This year, I had just left when he arrived.

This year I was determined to get a photo with him in some form or another. The couple sitting next to me during the finals humored me with my photo request. Arnold is on stage way in the background and I'm in my seat in the foreground.

He did a great job too for what I was requesting. I didn't get his name, but if by chance you're reading this, sir, thank you! I might not be shaking hands in the photo like the rest of the Mr. Olympia, but for now, I'll take what I can get!

Myron Misses His Chance To Meet Arnold Again.
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Myron Misses His Chance To Meet Arnold Again.

Lee Haney was in the pump-up room and I had my photo taken with him in 1985 when I competed at the Mr. Northern Star. Lee was the guest poser. I couldn't pass on the opportunity for Ron Avidan to take a quick snapshot with my camera to have an updated photo with the Totalee Awesome One!

Come to think of it, I saw six Mr. Olympias during the weekend. Jay, Dorian, Lee, and Dexter were all in the pump-up room on Saturday. Arnold was on stage and Frank Zane was at his booth at the Expo.

Myron Mielke And Lee Haney.
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Myron Mielke And Lee Haney.

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The Finals
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I was impressed with the finals. It was programmed very well. The show kept moving because there were no dead spots. The stage sets were spectacular and the stage crew was amazing. They set up the whole Strongman ramp and the heavy, wood, contraption thing during the amount of time it took to give Sly the Lifetime Achievement Award. Kudos to the stage hands and tech team! You did an incredible job.

Now, in all honesty, I was puzzled with the judging. I know. I know. Judging is all subjective and it's all in the eye of the beholder and stuff, but my eyes have beheld quite a few shows over the years and I'm still a little puzzled about the outcome of this one.

I'm not as bewildered as I was when Jay won the 2007 Mr. Olympia over Victor Martinez, but I really thought Phil was the deserving winner of the Arnold title this year.

You see, I look at Phil and I look at Kai and I try to be objective. Other than doing an interview once with Phil and talking to Kai last year after the judging at the Arnold, I have no ties to these two guys. They're both tremendous bodybuilders and I respect what both of them have accomplished.

They both have outstanding physiques. They both have a lot of muscle on their frames and they both have the capability to really come into a competition sliced. Those are the similarities.

Kai Greene At The 2010 Arnold Classic, Ms. International, Fitness International & Figure International. Kai Greene At The 2010 Arnold Classic, Ms. International, Fitness International & Figure International.
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Kai Greene At The 2010 Arnold Classic.
View More Pics Of Kai Greene At The 2010 Arnold Classic.

When you put the two together you have to compare their strengths, start nitpicking their weaknesses and declare a few things as equal. So I thought about it for a while and came up with a few arguments why I thought Phil Heath displayed a better physique than Kai did this year.

First of all we can throw the presentation round since that has nothing to do with the actual judging any more. Kai won the best presentation, but that doesn't mean anything toward the judging. Phil's routine had no impact on the outcome either.

Call me old school, but personally, I would have given the $10,000 to Hide because he had the best classic routine with fluid transitions and he really hit his poses well to show off his physique. Kai's was more of a dance routine I guess. I'm digressing now, but that comment was free.

Let's say that both Kai and Phil were in the same condition and dry as a bone. Then it would boil down to structure. It's been said that Phil is narrow; his shoulders aren't wide enough. Kai has wide shoulders, but he looks very compact because of his short torso.

I think a short torso disrupts the flow of the physique much more than short clavicles that make the shoulders less broad. Besides, if the delts are well developed it hides that. You can't hide a short torso.

From the back, Kai's torso looks even stranger. I know, some people were comparing Kai's back to Ronnie Coleman. (Such blasphemy should not be spoken out loud!) In a back lat spread, you cannot even see his erectors because his lower lats hang so low.

Sure his lats are full and round, but they have no detail and his whole upper back looks smooth. In the same pose his traps are underdeveloped compared to almost every competitor in the show - especially Phil Heath, Branch and Dexter. I'd place both Phil and Dexter ahead of Kai in that pose. He hits the pose sort of awkwardly too.

The back double biceps pose makes Kai's torso look strange too. He has an x-frame look and his shoulders look wide and his back is thick, but his torso needs to be longer in order to be balanced and in good proportion.

None of the other competitors have that look. I gave Phil the nod in this pose because he shows more complete development, better structure, and more detail. Phil's hams and glutes were sharp enough to beat Kai in that pose too.

Phil Heath At The 2010 Arnold Classic, Ms. International, Fitness International & Figure International. Phil Heath At The 2010 Arnold Classic, Ms. International, Fitness International & Figure International.
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Phil Heath At The 2010 Arnold Classic.
View More Pics Of Phil Heath At The 2010 Arnold Classic.

I listened to PBW on Tuesday morning and I heard Jim Rockell explain the judging process for the Arnold Classic. It seems that because Branch looked better at the evening show and that had the most impact on Phil slipping in the placings. I was also surprised that Dexter got some first-place votes in the final round. I thought he had a solid fourth. Oh well, that's the way subjective judging works.

One change I would like to see (and I think I speak for a large majority of the fans out there) is to see the scores from the judges made public while the judging is taking place. Each judge should be introduced and each of their scores should be made public during the event.

I've never understood why it's always shrouded in secrecy. Fans and competitors alike should know immediately how things are shaping up and how judges are scoring the competitors.

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New Breed Of Videographers
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I met Joel Barham and Mike Pulcinella in the pump-up room before the finals on Saturday night. These guys are producing the new crop of bodybuilding videos. For years that industry was dominated by one guy, Mitsuru Okabe, but these two guys have breathed new life into the pro bodybuilding videos.

Joel has done several of Mark Dugdale's DVDs and Mike Pulcinella recently did Kai Greene's new DVD. The videos they are producing are actual documentaries instead of the fly-on-the-wall approach with very little editing that many of us have become bored with. I told both Joel and Mike that their work is refreshing and I look forward to seeing their future projects.

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King Kahn
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I also talked with Zack Kahn briefly Saturday night. That guy is huge! Even among top IFBB pros he stands out. He cracked me up when he said he felt like a little boy at the zoo because he was so excited to be around the top IFFB at the Arnold Classic in the pump-up room. He plans on competing in first pro show later this summer. If he can dial it in, he'll be on the Olympia stage very soon

RELATED VIDEO: Arnold Classic 2010
2010 Arnold Classic Webcast Highlights Video!

View highlights from the 2010 Arnold Classic webcast. See some great footage of the best athletes in the bodybuilding business!
Watch More From This Series Here.

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Expo
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The Expo was very crowded when I was there on Saturday morning. It was even more crowded than the Olympia Expo. I'm happy to say the longest line I saw each day was the one for the Bodybuilding.com booth. There was a line stretching around the entire booth - and then some!

There are many companies selling some sort of protein, creatine, and energy drinks. I like to stroll around the booths looking for things that are unique. I saw a unique, blue, female alien from the movie Avatar.

She was spray-painted, had a latex nose bridge, and she was wearing cat-like contact lenses. The makeup was really well done. Several other people were also sprayed to look like aliens at the Jan Tana booth. (Washing that paint off must have been a pain.)

One product I thought was intriguing was called Fat Gripz. They are essentially grips that increase the size of the circumference of the barbell to improve your grip. The premise behind the product is increased forearm strength helps to strengthen the whole arm.

The other product they had, which I thought was way cooler than the grips themselves was a barbell that allows a 45-degree angle to grip the bar rather than keeping your hands straight while doing bench presses.

It's sort of like the barbell Branch uses at MetroFlex to do bench presses. This bar would be great for people with shoulder problems, like me, who find doing regular bench presses painful at times. It had three handles to vary the width of hand placement. I'm hoping they're successful marketing these bars.

The Bodybuilding.com Booth At The 2010 Arnold Classic.
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The Bodybuilding.com Booth At
The 2010 Arnold Classic.

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Conclusion
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I had great time in Columbus this year. The competitors were in awesome shape. I saw Derek Poundstone win the Strongman again and then propose to his girlfriend.

I had a great workout, ate some good food, saw Arnold and Sly on stage together, and I got to see some of my family. Life is good. See y'all next year!

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