46th Annual Joe Weider's Mr. Olympia - The Contenders!

With the 2010 Olympia coming up this weekend it's time to make your predictions for who will take the top prize. Check out Brian Bullman's Olympia stack-up and see how it compares to yours!

Article Summary:
  • Returning champ Jay Cutler is expected to be the one to beat.
  • Kai Greene is another top contender that could potentially take the title.
  • If Branch Warren comes to the contest in top condition he has an excellent shot.

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46th Annual Joe Weider's Mr. Olympia - The Contenders

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On September 24th the world's elite bodybuilders will take to the stage at the Orleans Arena to battle it out for $200,000, the Sandow trophy and the title of Mr. Olympia. Defending Champion, Jay Cutler is planning on making it title number four; Dexter Jackson wants to prove his victory was no fluke and earn his second Sandow. While Kai Greene and Phil Heath want to show the world that their time has come. This year's Mr. Olympia is shaping up to be the toughest lineup in decades.

There are 26 athletes from across the globe in the lineup; notable mentions include Germany's Dennis Wolf, Japan's Hidetada Yamigishi and Roelly Winklaar of Holland. Wolf is returning to the Olympia stage after a dismal performance in 2009 where he failed to make the top 10, and to think in 2007 this guy could have won the contest and was a hot favorite going into 2009. His conditioning left a lot to be desired and he looked a little smaller, he returned to the stage at the NY Pro and re-qualified, but it was also a disappointing performance from the big German. He will have to do something special to make the impression on the judges that is required to be elevated into the top 6. Hide, had to withdraw from the end of the spring season due to a leg injury which many had thought would see him out for the remainder of the year, but he showed his true samurai spirit and guarantees to be onstage in his best condition ever. Considering he took home his first pro win earlier this year, I expect big things from Hide. Roelly Winklaar, the new flexing Dutchman, had the dream rookie season: qualifying for the Olympia, winning a pro show and being hailed as having some of the best triceps in the sport. If he repeats his form from his last outing he could easily find himself in the posedown on Saturday night.

Dennis Wolf At The 2010 Pittsburgh. Dennis Wolf At The 2010 Pittsburgh.
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Dennis Wolf At The 2010 Pittsburgh.
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Now, it's all well and good giving props to guys like Hide, and Winklaar but do they really stand a chance of winning the Olympia this year? The answer is of course they do, because anybody can be beaten on any given day, that being said I don't see the big guns in this contest slipping up and giving up their claim to the throne any time soon. Going into the contest we have numerous athletes that are in contention for the win and the chance to go home with the Sandow. Phil Heath who in my opinion could have easily won last year, promises to come in fuller and harder. Kai Greene, now a two time Arnold Classic winner can match anybody in the size department, and when he is on is second to none when it comes to conditioning. Former Champion and the only man in this line up to beat Cutler, Dexter Jackson will be looking for a second Sandow. Ronnie Coleman predicted that Victor Martinez would be his successor as Mr. Olympia, Martinez has yet to fulfill that prediction and this could very well be his last chance. And of course we have defending champion Jay Cutler, without a doubt last year was his best ever conditioning on an Olympia stage, but can he repeat? So let's break it down, and take a closer look at the contenders.

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Phil Heath
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4th place in 2009 and 3rd in 2008, he wasn't 100% fit for battle at last year's Olympia, but he still managed to step onstage in tremendous condition. His muscle bellies are long and full, his arms are without doubt the best in the game. His back double biceps is probably the best I've seen since the days of Shawn Ray and Dorian Yates. His only real physical weakness is lack of pec development, his arms and delts overpower his pecs and he needs to bring them up to avoid us judges nitpicking. He is, in my opinion the most proportioned athlete in the Olympia.

Phil Heath At The 2010 Pittsburgh. Phil Heath At The 2010 Pittsburgh.
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Phil Heath At The 2010 Pittsburgh.
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Kai Greene
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5th place in 2009, not at his all time best and may have peaked for the Arnold. He competed and won the Arnold again this year, beating out Phil Heath for top honors. Kai's physique has changed dramatically since I first saw him compete in Denver in 2006. He has added some serious mass and his conditioning has dropped jaws. His balance is near perfect, but since adding the extra mass his waistline has suffered and it takes away from his symmetry. This guy can go toe to toe with Cutler for mass, and head to head with Heath for conditioning. He poses a real threat to the 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, Ms. International, Fitness International & Figure International.
View More Pics Of Kai Greene At The 2010 Arnold Classic, Ms. International, Fitness International & Figure International.

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Dexter Jackson
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3rd place in 2009, 1st in 2008. He earned his nickname 'The Blade' through coming in show after show shredded, a three time Arnold classic winner and former Olympia Champion he is a true veteran and champion. However, his weaknesses have become more apparent with time. His chest, shoulders, and arms are perfectly proportioned, and his abdominals used to be the best in the business, but since trying to play the size game he has lost some control over his midsection and it becomes bloated onstage. His calves are not what you expect to see on a Mr. Olympia, and taking his competition into account it could be the difference between 1st and 6th.

Dexter Jackson At The 2010 Pittsburgh. Dexter Jackson At The 2010 Pittsburgh.
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Dexter Jackson At The 2010 Pittsburgh.
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Victor Martinez
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6th place in 2009, 2nd in 2007. Martinez has great balance and symmetry, his muscle bellies are both round and full. However, he always seems to have that little film of water beneath the surface of his skin, and at this level of competition can be the difference between winning and losing. With some time to comeback after his injury of 2008 we might see the Victor of old onstage.

Victor Martinez At The 2010 Pittsburgh. Victor Martinez At The 2010 Pittsburgh.
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Victor Martinez At The 2010 Pittsburgh.
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Branch Warren
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2nd place in 2009, this guy is a fan favorite, one of the hardest working bodybuilders in the business. He carries the freakiest grainiest muscle on the Olympia stage, the like of which we have not seen since Dorian Yates. He pushed Cutler to the brink last year, and after yet another Most Muscular Award at the Arnold, without the victory, Branch will be coming to the Olympia with something to prove. His only weakens is his back, it's as wide as a barn door, but lacks detail. Should he bring up the detail in his back he will be hard to beat.

Branch Warren At The 2010 Junior USA Championships. Branch Warren At The 2010 Junior USA Championships.
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Branch Warren At The 2010 Junior USA Championships.
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The Champ, Jay Cutler
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1st place in 2009, 2nd in 2008. Cutler was at his all time best last year, his conditioning was great, for Jay, and of course he was as huge as ever. That being said his back was still very poor, probably the worst of any Mr. Olympia in recent history. But the rest of his physique is always full and bubbly, should he repeat his conditioning from '09 he will stand a chance against the young guns, but should he return to his days of old when it was hard to tell where the delts stopped and the biceps began he will no doubt be relegated to lower half of the top 6.

Jay Cutler At The 2010 Pittsburgh. Jay Cutler At The 2010 Pittsburgh.
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Jay Cutler At The 2010 Pittsburgh.
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Conclusion
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This contest is far too close to call, I am definitely weary of making a prediction because I know it will be wrong, any of the contenders stand more than a great chance of winning, should everyone turn up in top shape. I, for one, cannot wait for the winner of the 46th Mr. Olympia to be announced.

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