Will Silvio Samuel Win At The 2009 Arnold Classic? Strengths & Weaknesses Will Tell!

Fresh off an impressive win at the IFBB Iron Man, Silvio Samuel is planning on making the 2009 Arnold Classic two wins in a row. Find out more about this gifted bodybuilder and how he can pull off an upset at prestigious pro show!

Fresh off an impressive win at the IFBB Iron Man, Silvio Samuel is planning on making the 2009 Arnold Classic two wins in a row.

Silvio Samuel is fast becoming the biggest nightmare for his fellow IFBB pro competitors. His meteoric rise to fame began less than three years ago in his rookie year when he placed sixth at the Europa and at the Santa Susanna where he placed fourth. Now in 2009, with four pro wins under his belt - including last month's Iron Man - he wants his opponents to fear him and dread that he's in the same contest with them.


IFBB Pro Beginnings

    Many fans were introduced to Silvio Samuel through the Bodybuilding.com webcasts in 2006. His ultra-ripped physique with full, sweeping muscle bellies was a big hit with his new fan base. At the 2007 Iron Man, the season opener, Silvio's announcement of fourth place brought a steady chant of boos from his fans that disagreed with the judges' decision. One guy even continued to yell, "Silviooooo!" throughout Toney Freeman's victory speech with Lonnie Teper.

Silvio Samuel.
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Silvio Samuel At The 2007 IFBB Iron Man Pro.
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Analyzing His Physique

    Does Silvio Samuel have a legitimate chance of winning the 2009 Arnold Classic? Will the momentum and confidence he's gained carry him through to victory? Let's take a moment and give this some consideration.

    Silvio's Strengths:

    • Age - He's only 33 years and, as long as he stays injury free, he might have another solid six or seven years of staying competitive.
    • Conditioning - He was the most peeled guy in last year's Olympia. You can't really get sharper than this guy. Not only is he the sharpest guy in every show, he's consistently the sharpest guy in every show.

Silvio Samuel. Silvio Samuel.
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Silvio Samuel At The 2009 IFBB Iron Man Pro.
View More Pics Of Silvio Samuel At The 2009 IFBB Iron Man Pro.

      Samuel has been blessed with a great metabolism that has the ability to burn off every ounce of visible fat on his body. Combine that with his lack of water retention and thin skin that hasn't been seen since Serge Nubret, and you have a winning combo that every bodybuilder dreams about.

    • Shape - His muscle shape is very good and he has great separation. He's added 10-15 pounds of muscle in the last two years. When some guys do this they seem to fill out and lose their muscle separation.

      For instance, the crisp little notch between the side delts and triceps sort of fills in as those muscles grow larger and thicker. This phenomenon plagued Craig Titus from the time he won the USA until his last competition in 2005. He got bigger and thicker, but sort of swelled up. This hasn't happened with Silvio. Somehow he has been able to keep his lines and detail without filling in the gaps despite adding more size.

    • Symmetry - He looks the same on both sides of his body.
    • Fans - This always helps. If he's got people cheering for him in the stands, the judges are going to hear it and it might just get him another look.

    Silvio's Weaknesses:

    • Back - High lats have been a weakness that is most evident in his front double biceps pose and it makes him look narrow from the front. It's strange that his lats don't really look that high from the back; his back lat spread and back double biceps look good.

Silvio Samuel.
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Silvio Samuel At The 2009 IFBB Iron Man Pro.
View More Pics Of Silvio Samuel At The 2009 IFBB Iron Man Pro.

      Charles Glass has worked with Silvio and they've brought up the lower lat area and his front double biceps has improved. Samuel has been doing countless sets of many exercises to specifically target the lower lats.

      Glass has him using an underhand grip on the Hammer Strength row machine and straight-arm rope pulls with his back arched to fully contract the back muscles. It's paying off because when Silvio pulls into a back lat spread, every muscle fiber and branch of the Christmas tree is visible.

    • Side Delts - Silvio's side delts have improved over the last couple of years also, but they are still too tiny in comparison to his arms. (Hmmm... maybe it's his arms that are too big, but Bob C. says that cannot happen.). Samuel's delts are full and capped and there is great separation between his arms. They have plastic wrap-like skin stretched over them too. If The Matador could build some delts like The Wolf, then we'd be looking at an almost unstoppable force.

Silvio Samuel. Dennis Wolf.
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Silvio Samuel At The 2009 IFBB Iron Man Pro
And Dennis Wolf At The 2008 IFBB Olympia.

View More Pics Of Silvio Samuel At The 2009 IFBB Iron Man Pro.
View More Pics Of Dennis Wolf At The 2008 IFBB Olympia.

    • Overall Lack Of Size - Even though a trend for smaller and aesthetic physiques might have begun with Dexter winning the Mr. Olympia, Silvio looks really tiny next to some of the big boys like Victor Martinez or Toney Freeman. The Matador is not very tall and a couple inches in height can make a big difference when someone outweighs him by 40-50 pounds.


The Way I See It

Silvio Samuel has made tremendous progress in the last few years. He has great shape and is blessed with a fast metabolism and paper-thin skin. He has a strong following and he lights up the crowd wherever he competes. People love him. His physique stands out because it has a different look than any of the others who are competing against him and that's refreshing.

So, do I see him taking top honors at the 2009 Arnold Classic? No, I do not. He just gives up too much size. He can't win a major show like this with conditioning only. Darrem Charles is in the same situation. He has won many shows and has superb conditioning, but Charles also gives up too much size when it comes to the big shows like the Arnold and Olympia.

If Silvio only had to squeak by one guy - Victor, Kai or Toney - just one, he might have a chance if the other guy came in smooth. The chances of all three of theses guys coming in smooth in the same show is not very good and that leaves Silvio in third or possibly second place at best.