2007 Arnold Classic Predictions - Competitor Preview & Top 10!

The big question on everyone's mind is can Phil Heath win the 2007 Arnold Classic and stay undefeated? Heath won two pro shows last spring... Here is a brief competitor preview and who I think will be in the top ten. See if you agree!

The big question on everyone's mind is can Phil Heath win the 2007 Arnold Classic and stay undefeated? Heath won two pro shows last spring and opted not to compete in the 2006 Mr. Olympia and waited for this year's Arnold Classic.

Rumors have it that he's added even more size. If he comes in with the conditioning he exhibited last year, can he pull off another victory and defeat guys like defending champ, Dexter Jackson and Victor Martinez, the third-place finisher at the Mr. Olympia?


Gustavo Badell:

    Gustavo finished a disappointing sixth at his last competition, which was the 2006 Mr. Olympia. Being the sixth best in the world is not all bad, but Badell clearly was not at his best last fall and that might provide a little extra motivation to make sure things are done right this time.

Gustavo Gustavo Gustavo
Click Image To Enlarge.
Gustavo Badell.
View More Pics From The 2006 Olympia Here.


Mark Dugdale:

    Dugdale qualified for the 2007 Mr. Olympia by placing second to Toney Freeman at last weekend's Iron Man in Pasadena, CA. Mark's physique is symmetrical, balanced and has great shape. He'll need more size to win the Arnold, but if he matches his look he presented in Pasadena, he'll place well.


Click Image To Enlarge.
Mark Dugdale.
View More Pics Of Mark Dugdale From Pre-Judging Here.
View More Pics Of Mark Dugdale From Finals Here.
View More Pics Of Mark Dugdale From The Press Conference Here.

video
Mark Dugdale.

Windows Media (14.1 MB)


Toney Freeman:

    Fresh off his second pro win, Freeman's riding on momentum and is hoping it'll carry him to another win in Columbus. He's up against some really stiff competition and if the other guys come in smooth, there's an off-handed chance he could pull off a win and add the Arnold Classic to his string of victories.


Click Image To Enlarge.
Toney Freeman.
View More Pics Of Toney Freeman From Pre-Judging Here.
View More Pics Of Toney Freeman From Finals Here.
View More Pics Of Toney Freeman From The Press Conference Here.

video
Toney Freeman.

Windows Media (15.1 MB)


Marcus Haley:

    Haley looked good at the Iron Man, but it's doubtful he'll place in the top five with this group of competitors.


Click Image To Enlarge.
Marcus Haley.
View More Pics Of Marcus Haley From Pre-Judging Here.
View More Pics Of Marcus Haley From Finals Here.
View More Pics Of Marcus Haley From The Press Conference Here.

video
Marcus Haley.

Windows Media (13.0 MB)


Philip Heath:

    I love winning streaks and I hope Phil Heath continues on his. If this kid can pull off a win at the Arnold Classic, it'll bring a new dimension of excitement to the sport, much like Cutler's defeat of Coleman at the Olympia.

Mr. USA Phil Heath
Click Image To Enlarge.
Phil Heath.

    If Heath does indeed win, the only two guys standing in his way are Coleman and Cutler. Let's not get ahead of ourselves because I'm not sure The Gift has enough mass to shut down Jackson, Martinez and Warren.

RELATED ARTICLE
Gift Wrapped! Gift Wrapped!
Phil Heath is seven for seven from the field on a bodybuilding stage. Here I'll discuss the controversy at the New York show and where he might place if he competes at the big dance.
[ Click here to learn more. ]

    I think Heath can stand toe-to-toe with any of these athletes as far as conditioning, but he's a couple years away from achieving the mass necessary to match the other guys. If he's sharper than the rest of the pack, however, he might pull off an upset.


David Henry:

    Fresh off a frustrating sixth-place finish at the Iron Man, where he lacked his famous shredded conditioning this time around, Henry will pull it together once again and look like his normal, dry self. With the added size, he might bump up a place or two from last year.


Click Image To Enlarge.
David Henry.
View More Pics Of David Henry From Pre-Judging Here.
View More Pics Of David Henry From Finals Here.
View More Pics Of David Henry From The Press Conference Here.

video
David Henry.

Windows Media (11.1 MB)


Dexter Jackson:

    This two-time defending champion plans on making it three this year. He has a very good chance of succeeding too. The Blade always comes in sharp, but he has weaknesses. One weakness is that he looks almost identical in every show he enters.


Click Image To Enlarge.
Dexter Jackson.
View More Pics From The 2006 Arnold Here.

    He's been good enough to win the past two years, but he hasn't really shown any improvements. He's not bigger and he's not more ripped. He looks the same. Dexter also needs to work on his symmetry. His right arm looks to be at least an inch (or more) larger than his left arm and it's been that way for years.


Victor Martinez:

    If anyone has the best chance of dethroning Dexter it's Victor Martinez. When Victor is on, there are only two guys in the world who can beat him and neither one of those Mr. Olympia's are in this show.

Victor Martinez
Victor Martinez
IFBB Pro & 2007 Arnold Competitor.
Photo By SecondFocus.
Week #50 - 2/27/2007
1600x1200 - 1280x1024 - 1152x864 - 1024x768 - 800x600
480x640 - 320x240 - 240x320 - 160x160 - 160x120 - 128x128




Ronny Rockel:

    This guy is underrated. He won last year's Australian Pro Grand Prix where he defeated Lee Priest on his home turf. Rockel is one of the new breed of symmetrical and proportioned bodybuilders. He has a good deal of mass on his frame as well, but according to today's judging standards, he needs even more size.

Rockel Rockel
Click Image To Enlarge.
Ronny Rockel.
View More Pics From The 2006 Olympia Here.

    Rockel holds his own in many of the smaller shows, but I don't see him placing very high at the Arnold Classic. I hope he proves me wrong because a quality physique like his should be rewarded.


Markus Ruhl:

    While sitting in the nosebleed section at the Mr. Olympia, it looked like Markus Ruhl could have won the whole show. His peaked biceps were clearly visible even from that distance. Ruhl is a mass monster with accentuated muscle shape and he has clear separations between body parts. If he can get sharper, like he has been in the past, Markus could place in the top five again.


Click Image To Enlarge.
Markus Ruhl.
View More Pics From The 2006 Olympia Here.


Sergey Shelestov:

    The big Russian didn't fare too well in the placings at the Iron Man last weekend. Many fans thought he should have been in the top ten. If he sharpens up just a little, he might place well at the Arnold. His legs were sharp but his back and shoulders were a little smooth.

Sergey
Click Image To Enlarge.
Sergey Shelestov.


Vince Taylor:

    Good ol' Vince! He's in his fifties and still going strong. What can you say? This guy's been training longer than Phil Heath has been alive. That puts it into perspective, doesn't it?

Vince Vince
Click Image To Enlarge.
Vince Taylor.

RELATED ARTICLE
Vince Taylor Hits Columbus! Vince Taylor Hits Columbus!
He is a bodybuilding legend, he is 50 years old and he's back. He is Vince Taylor. The Masters Mr. Olympia made a comeback last year... Now he ventures back to the Arnold classic.
[ Click here to learn more. ]


Branch Warren:

    Branch Warren, who I like to call The Bulldog, came very close to winning the show last year.


Click Image To Enlarge.
Branch Warren.
View More Pics Of The 2006 Arnold Here.

    His granite-chiseled physique is the epitome of hard, heavy and brutal training. Everyone says he needs to bring up his back and arms to match those incredible legs. He admittedly messed things up by trying something new for the Olympia last. He vowed not to do that again. Warren will be a contender.

RELATED ARTICLE
An Interview With 2006 Olympia Qualifier, Branch Warren. An Interview With Branch Warren.
The following is an in-depth interview conducted with Warren as he relaxed in his Texan habitat minutes after one of his murderous workouts in the sweltering heat at Metro Flex gym.
[ Click here to learn more. ]


Predictions

Well, let's see Victor just beat Dexter, but Dexter has beaten Victor several times. Gustavo has beaten them both too. The guy who wins is the guy who comes in with the most definition. Dexter is more consistent in his conditioning than the other two guys, but Warren is consistent too (we won't count the last Olympia) and he gave Dexter a run for his money last year.

Phil Heath, however, has come in dry in every pro show that he's entered, but that's only been two shows and he hasn't went up against the big guns of our sport. I predict Martinez will not come in as dry as the Mr. Olympia and will be edged out by Heath, who has put on some added size, which will be just enough to sneak by Jackson.

RELATED ARTICLE
Video Posing Guide With Bob Cicherillo. Video Posing Guide With Bob Cicherillo.
It's not just about having a sculpted body. You need to know how to pose for the highest marks! These are the basic posing strategies that all competing bodybuilders need to know.
[ Click here to learn more. ]

So with no further adieu, let me pull the names out of a hat, stick my neck out and give you my random order of guessing which competitors will make the top ten.

  1. Phil Heath
  2. Victor Martinez
  3. Dexter Jackson
  4. Branch Warren
  5. Gustavo Badell
  6. Toney Freeman
  7. Markus Ruhl
  8. Mark Dugdale
  9. David Henry
  10. Ronnie Rockel

If Phil Heath does win this show, I'd suggest that he takes off another year, skips the Mr. Olympia and then defends his Arnold title again next year. He won't beat Cutler or Coleman so why risk his streak by stepping on the Olympia stage where he'll definitely face defeat?

WEBCAST
2007 Arnold Classic Webcast 2007 Arnold Classic Webcast!
View the 2007 Arncol Classic live on Friday March 2, 2007, and the Men's prejudging on Saturday afternoon, March 3, 2007.
[ Click here to learn more. ]

He should wait a year or two and grow into a huge threat for either Cutler or Coleman. He's got time on his side and he has the opportunity to do something no one else has done.

If he loses the Arnold Classic, Heath might as well go into the 2007 Mr. Olympia and see how he fares. He'll no longer have to pick and choose his shows carefully and can compete when he wants. Whether Heath wins or loses, however, one thing is certain, The Gift will be making headlines and winning titles for years to come.

RELATED POLL
Who Do You Think Will Win The 2007 Arnold Classic?

Dexter Jackson.
Victor Martinez.
Melvin Anthony.
Gustavo Badell.
Branch Warren.
Phil Heath.
David Henry.
Mark Dugdale.
Mustafa Mohammad.
Other.