Flex Magazine Interviews The Champions Before The Big Show!

FLEX Magazine speaks with the men who will compete for bodybuilding's biggest title - The 2007 Mr. Olympia. Get the latest from greats such as Ronnie Coleman, Jay Cutler, Dexter Jackson, Mark Dugdale, and many others. Check it out!

Olympia Countdown Part 1

FLEX Magazine speaks with the men who will compete for bodybuilding's biggest title. Today, Melvin Anthony and Dexter Jackson.

Starting today and leading up to the 2007 Mr. Olympia September 28-29 in Las Vegas, FLEX Magazine will be bringing you interviews with the combatants. Today, it's last year's fifth-place finisher Melvin Anthony and 2005-2006 Arnold Classic champ Dexter Jackson.

-> Melvin Anthony:

    "I put myself in position to win every show, including the Mr. Olympia. This year, my focus is to take myself from fifth, where I was last year, to the top three, and the way to do that is to take out guys who beat me last year.

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Melvin Anthony At The 2006 Arnold Classic.

    Specifically, that means Dexter Jackson. This year, it will be more obvious that I should do that. Bodybuilding is about comparisons pose-to-pose, and my package will be better from top to bottom. If you have five poses that you're winning out of the eight, you beat that guy, and I beat Dexter in a lot of shots.

    I beat him in the rear lat spread, front lat spread, rear double biceps, and we're pretty even in the side chest, so I think I should push past him this time. I think the only way he beat me last year was because his glutes were a little more striated. This year, I'm looking to improve my condition, which will catapult me up into the top four, against Jay, Ronnie and Victor, and go for the title.

Olympia: The Series Episode #7: Melvin Anthony
Date: 8/3/2007

    "Victor will be a different story. He has a pretty complete package, lots of size and lots of condition that I have to get past. He, at his best, will be very hard to beat, but I can do it. I want to be in that top-three mix-up.

    "Ronnie is in a league by himself; it all depends on how he comes in. This year, he had a good off-season, so he'll be tough.

    "Jay has his work cut out for himself. Not only will Ronnie try to get his title back, but every guy behind him will try to take it, too. It's easier to win the Olympia for the first time than it is to repeat it. But Jay's a good guy; he knows what to do.

    "What I have that Ronnie doesn't is that my symmetry is a little bit better, but Ronnie has so much muscle, and his symmetry is not bad. Jay also has a lot of muscle, but he's a little bit on the blocky side. It all depends upon what kind of conditioning package guys bring into it. The top five spots will be a dog fight."

Guest: Melvin Anthony
Date: 08/01/05
(Radio Show 7) - mp3 (13.0 MB)

-> Dexter Jackson:

    "I won't make predictions, but I'm going to be me. It's hard to beat the champ, but I'll be right there in the top four, that's for sure. I'm pretty much the same, about 228, and my conditioning is crazy, as usual. It'll be crazy. It won't be off, like it was for last year's prejudging. I won't make that mistake.

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Dexter Jackson At The 2007 IFBB Australia Pro Grand Prix.
View More Pics Of Dexter Jackson Here.

    This will be either my best condition or close to it. Melvin Anthony says he's going to beat me, but that's not going to happen. Everybody says he's going to beat me - Toney Freeman, too. I'm the marked one. They never say, 'One day I'm going to beat Ronnie.' It's always 'Dexter.' They're not worried about who's ahead of them.

Dexter Jackson (Arnold Classic Report)
Date: 03/06/06
(Radio Show 30) - mp3 (14 MB)

    You have guys who are way back in eighth and ninth place saying, 'I'm going to beat Dexter,' but they have to beat seventh, sixth and fifth first. It's good to be a marked guy, because it pushes me, and it pushes me even more to shut their mouths. I'm not worried about any of those guys behind me; I'm only worried about those in front of me."

Olympia: The Series Episode #17: Dexter Jackson
Date: 9/19/2007

Olympia Countdown Part 2

FLEX Magazine speaks with the men who will compete for bodybuilding's biggest title. Today, Jay Cutler and Mark Dugdale.

Today, it's reigning Mr. O Jay Cutler and 2007 Ironman runner-up Mark Dugdale.

-> Jay Cutler:

    "This year, my confidence is sky high. At this point, I'm trying to dial myself in for distancing myself from everybody else in a pretty convincing fashion. Behind me, I still see Ronnie as a contender for second, then Victor and Dexter, but from then on, it's a mish-mash. I haven't seen any of the guys lately, but we all know bodybuilding is how you look on the day of the competition.

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Jay Cutler At The 2006 Olympia.

    Even with myself, I'm definitely bigger than last year, and I'm using every single day to my advantage. In the past, I said, 'I want to be at a certain point two weeks out,' but not this year. From several weeks out, I've had a goal every day, and in each one of those I'm really pushing my body to see just how far beyond the envelope I can go.

2007 Men's New York Pro! Topic: Special 75th Show with Jay Cutler!
Date: 05/21/07
(Radio Show 75) - mp3 (14.9 MB)

    People say, 'I can't imagine you being more focused than you were last year,' but I am definitely more focused. A championship brings either less focus or more focus to an athlete, and after knocking at the door for so long, you can understand that I don't want to give up those years and years when I was right at the edge for so long and finally broke through.

Olympia: The Series Episode #12: Mr. Olympia Jay Cutler!
Date: 9/04/2007

    I realize that I have some very tough competition, and I realize there are some odds stacked against me, but I've added a couple of new things - not things that are going to drastically change my physique now but things that I've incorporated through the year that led up to now.

    The outrageous things are done. Now, I'll just roll with what I have and see how big I can win. At two weeks out, I think I'm right on schedule - I think I am - but no one really knows, because no one knows what I'm going for. I'm really hard on myself this year. I'll definitely be strong enough to win, but how big will that win be? That's the question."


[ Click here to learn more. ]
Working Out With 2006 Mr. O Jay Cutler!
I was at the Junior California NPC competition in Pasadena CA on Saturday. Jay was in town... Here is my experience of working out with Mr. O Jay Cutler.

-> Mark Dugdale:

    "If I get the right callouts, I can stand toe-to-toe with any of the guys in the fifth to 10th range, but that's only if I get compared. By my standards, I could be in the top five, but I'm realistic. This is the Olympia, and the Olympia has always been about mass, and I'm not the biggest guy. I think there should be a balance between mass and aesthetics, but that's not usually the case at the Olympia.

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Mark Dugdale At The 2007 IFBB Arnold Classic.
View More Pics Of Mark Dugdale Here.

    The top six from last year can pretty well be predicted to be back in the mix, with a few new guys, such as Toney Freeman, who are right on the bubble. Dexter Jackson has an aesthetic physique; I think he represents Mr. Olympia well. He probably won't win, but I'd stand a better chance against a guy like that than against Ronnie, because there's nothing remotely similar between Ronnie's physique and mine. I think it's Jay's show to lose, and I don't think he's going to lose it.

Olympia: The Series Episode #14: Mark Dugdale
Date: 9/11/2007

    "How I think the judges will judge the top six is: Jay, Ronnie or Victor, Dexter, Melvin, and for sixth, it's a toss-up between Gustavo Badell, Toney Freeman and several others who are right on the bubble.

    "How I would judge them is altogether different. I think aesthetics has been thrown out the window. Lots of these guys are big, but they're big proportionately, which means they're also big in their midsection. There are a number of guys who have beaten me in the past and who will probably beat me at the Olympia who, if I had to look like them to place well, I'd quit.

    I guess I've accepted the fact that I won't beat them, because I never want to look like them. But there's something wrong with that. It's like asking guys if they'd like to play as good as Michael Jordan and half of them saying, 'No way.'

    To me, the Mr. Olympia is the gold standard, and that's what everyone should look like, but when you put mass on a pedestal, everyone chases it, and it ruins half of those people's physiques.

Mark Dugdale Guest: Mark Dugdale
Date: 07/16/07
(Radio Show 81) - mp3 (13.0 MB)

    "I'll be conditioned, I'll be aesthetic, I'll be proportionate, but I won't be the biggest guy. Neither am I a defeatist. The goal of every bodybuilder is to go into the Olympia. First place or last place, or anywhere in between, I consider an honor. It's rare that you have two Mr. Olympias on stage at the same time, so history is going to be made, and it's jam-packed with a lot of good competitors. It's going to be a good Olympia this year."

Olympia Countdown Part 3

FLEX Magazine speaks with the men who will compete for bodybuilding's biggest title. Today, it's Toney Freeman and Quincy Taylor.

Today, 2007 Iron Man Pro and Sacramento Pro champion Toney Freeman and 2007 Montreal Pro runner-up Quincy Taylor.

-> Toney Freeman:

    "I looked at what I brought to the spring shows, and I was missing a little size; I'd focused on conditioning, and I accomplished that. At 6'2" and 275, I placed good with conditioning, but to win, I had to complement that with size. So this year, I took a different approach: I decided I needed to get in shape with more carbs.

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Toney Freeman At The 2007 IFBB Arnold Classic.
View More Pics Of Toney Freeman Here.

    I also changed my training to add size without injuring myself. I began my Olympia diet weighing 290, and I haven't been below that since. Right now, I'm 295, with body fat in the high 3 percent range. When I turned pro, I said I wanted to be competing at 295 with a 31" waist, and that's what I'll be bringing to the Olympia stage.

    Ronnie has always had size, proportions and conditioning, so when you add the numbers, he's had the most of everything. Cutler, who took advantage of Ronnie not being at his best, is also improving himself, but I don't see anyone coming in with a whole lot more than they had last year.

Olympia: The Series Episode #4: Toney Freeman
Date: 7/24/2007

    Victor is hoping to repeat his conditioning performance with a couple more pounds. Jay will be close to the same weight with hopefully better conditioning. Ronnie can't come in big like he was, or his physique will be distorted; and he can't come in smaller, because he'll then be too small.

    Everybody will have to be close to what they've always brought, so I don't see anybody bringing in anything new, other than myself. I was 275 at the Arnold Classic; I'll be 295 here - for real - and size carries a long way in the Olympia.

    I was 286 at last year's Olympia, but I was conditioned. This year, I'll have the same or better conditioning; plus, I've been working on my glutes, I've brought up my arms, I brought my chest up a lot, my legs are even more improved - they're the biggest they've ever been - so I think people are going to be really shocked at my unveiling.

    I measured my waist the other day at 32 1/2". I also measured my quads, and they're 32. I don't think that's ever been done. I can't wait. I have the media behind me, and I'm ready to go."

Toney Freeman Guest: Toney Freeman
Date: 02/19/07
(Radio Show 63) - mp3 (14.6 MB)

-> Quincy Taylor:

    "If I could have won the Montreal Pro Show as I expected over the weekend, my spirits would be a little higher, but this is bodybuilding, and you never know. I just hope I'm in the top five - I'd be happy with the top seven or eight. I don't know what to expect, but I'm going to come in the best I can.

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Quincy Taylor At The 2007 Europa Super Show.
View More Pics Of Quincy Taylor Here.

    My body's been feeling really good, nothing hurts, and on top of that, I'm getting bigger, so you'll be seeing more as I go along. I've been working on my weak points: the chest, the quad sweep. I've had to find the right exercises, and everything's falling together.

    When you get up against these guys, it comes down to just that one thing that throws your whole physique off. It could be glutes, it could be calves. You have to have everything, and I've now structured my physique so that there's really nothing missing.

    Olympia: The Series Episode #8: Quincy Taylor
    Date: 8/7/2007

    "Johnnie Jackson is a great bodybuilder, but he's missing some fundamental body parts, like legs. But the thing about Johnnie is that he has to stop drinking that de-caf coffee. That de-caf coffee is f-----g him up.

    "I've beaten Darrem, but I know he'll come in with that beautiful package. There's nothing missing on the guy. The only thing is that he needs to be 30 pounds heavier, and he'd make me look like a toothpick.

    "Frankly, I'm a top-five guy, because many of those guys are shallow in the glutes and shallow in the hamstrings. They're being ranked high, but they're really not that good. It's a name game, but it's bodybuilding, dude, so I can't complain about it.

    I'm still disappointed; I wanted to go to the Olympia, but more than that, I want to win. On the other hand, I now get to stand up there against Jay and Ronnie, and that's something I'd love to do. My physique is so different from both of theirs that it would come down to apples and oranges. Ronnie's back is incredible, but in a lot of the other areas, I'm just as big as he is, especially when I hit my most-muscular.

    My most-muscular, my lower back and my traps are the best there is, and my hamstrings are second to none. My goal is to be compared with those two guys, because there are certain poses where no one can beat me. That most-muscular crab pose of mine is scary. It scares my girlfriend. It even scares me. I had no idea my traps were that big. It's beautiful, man."

Quincy Taylor Guest: Quincy Taylor
Date: 07/30/07
(Radio Show 83) - mp3 (13.9 MB)

Olympia Countdown Part 4

FLEX Magazine speaks with the men who will compete for bodybuilding's biggest title. Today, it's Darrem Charles and Will Harris.

Today, 2007 Montreal Pro champ Darrem Charles and 2007 Europa Super Show runner-up Will Harris.

-> Darrem Charles:

    "This year is one of the toughest lineups, but I'm giving it my best shot. Just to crack the top 10 will be extremely difficult for everybody, but I'm going to focus and come right in and keep my fingers crossed. Just this last weekend, I won the Montreal Pro Show, and you always think that such a victory this close to the Olympia will get you a better look, but for some strange reason, it never works that way with me in the bigger shows.

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Darrem Charles At The 2007 IFBB Colorado Pro/Am Classic.
View More Pics Of Darrem Charles Here.

    I'm not bitter or anything; that's just the way it is. Nonetheless, I don't go in there thinking nothing will happen. I'm always confident, and I always do the best I can.

Olympia: The Series Episode #5: Darrem Charles
Date: 7/27/2007

    "I've told people, and people have told me, that this will be my best showing in at least a couple of years. I know that from what I've seen going on in my body. I did a couple of different things this year, and I had thought that, come Saturday morning (September 8) at the Montreal show, if it works, I'm going to be in extremely great shape. It did work. Some people told me it was my best shape ever. Others said it was my best shape in a long, long time. That's what I'm planning to bring to the Olympia.

    "Predictions, though, are difficult. We're all so good that one slip can be the difference between finishing third and finishing ninth. If I have to make predictions, I'll say that Jay and Ronnie are shoo-ins, but either could win it.

    I believe Dexter will be in the top five, but after that, I don't know which Victor will show up, I don't know if Freeman will be in there, and I don't know if I should make a big, drastic jump and throw Dennis Wolf in there. There are too many different other guys. We do know, though, that those first three are going to come in ready. They're always consistent. After that, it's fair game for everybody else."

Guest: Darrem Charles
Date: 07/11/05
(Radio Show 4) - mp3 (8.0 MB)

-> Will Harris:

    "I think I'm the only athlete going into the show without being sponsored, so it's a good thing I'm not a 'leave-and-give-up' person. I've recently added seven pounds of solid muscle, which will put me at about 260 on stage, so I'll be vying for one of the top spots.

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Will Harris At The 2007 IFBB Colorado Pro/Am Classic.
View More Pics Of Will Harris Here.

    Whoever is not in the top three, I'll be right there. The more they compare me, the more they'll realize a lot of other guys' faults. I'd say it'll be Jay Cutler and Victor Martinez for the first two, but Ronnie Coleman, I can't say.

    It all depends upon how he recovers from his back injury. Last year, it was so blatant that I don't see how you can cure that. It's like a pec tear: I don't see how you can put it back and make it look better. Ronnie is known for his lat spread, but if he can't hit it, there's a problem; but that would be the only thing that would keep me from putting him there.

    As for the others, I don't think I have anything that Victor doesn't have, but this is a show where everybody has to bring his A-game. It's a year where lots of X-factors are coming in, so it's going to be one of the most exciting Olympias ever.

    You have Jay, who's defending an outstanding win; you don't know how Ronnie is going to recover from his injury; Victor, who they say could be the man this year; Dexter Jackson, who's looking quite bigger and better for Dexter; and all those other guys who are always in the top five.

    Plus, you now have guys like Toney Freeman and Dennis Wolf, and I'm throwing myself in right there. It's going to be fun. I'm loving this. I'm having a great time getting ready, and I'm going to ride it all the way to the Super Bowl of bodybuilding. Look for me in the big time."

Olympia Countdown Part 5

FLEX Magazine speaks with the men who will compete for bodybuilding's biggest title. Today, it's Silvio Samuel, Johnnie Jackson and Bill Wilmore.

Today, 2007 Europa Super Show champion Silvio Samuel, 2006 Montreal Pro champ Johnnie Jackson, and 2005 NPC Nationals overall champ Bill Wilmore.

-> Silvio Samuel:

    "I won't say I'm going to win, because I'm still very fresh and new. After only a year as a pro, I don't see myself winning. I'm putting on more size, and next year will be different. This time around, I see myself in the top eight. I'm not the kind of guy who says he will beat certain people, especially in this show.

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Silvio Samuel At The 2007 IFBB Ironman Pro.
View More Pics Of Silvio Samuel Here.

    It's a show not like any other. Anybody can win it. I'm going to prepare myself so well that I will be a big surprise. I'm really looking forward to it, and I'm going for it with all the focus in my power to make a breakout appearance. I want to shock the judges, so I will be given a higher number next year. I'm not going just to be in the Mr. Olympia lineup; I'm going to really make an impact."

Olympia: The Series Episode #3: Silvio Samuel Saviour
Date: 7/20/2007

-> Johnnie Jackson:

    "It's an honor being on the Mr. Olympia stage, again, and competing against those guys. I'm coming in late, after qualifying at the Montreal Pro Show last weekend (NOTE: Johnnie was third). Now, I'm on target for perfection in the Mr. Olympia. People are saying it's not going to happen, and I can't wait to shut everybody up.

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Johnnie Jackson At The Keystone Pro Classic.
View More Pics Of Johnnie Jackson Here.

    Once I step on stage, that's going to do it. This will be for the haters, those who say I can't do it, and I can't wait to prove 'em all wrong. I'm going to shove it down their throats. I won't say who's going to win, because you can't predict these things.

    Of course, I'd like to be the one, but top five would be a victory for me. I'm quite a bit bigger than in the past, and that comes from switching around my workouts now and then; heavy some times and light some times. I get a good mixture of the two.

Olympia: The Series Episode #10: Johnnie O. Jackson
Date: 8/17/2007

    My best-in-bodybuilding size of certain body parts comes from extremely heavy lifting and powerlifting, but I don't do that all year 'round all the time. I mix it up. That works for me.

    Some guys are afraid to go heavy and think that's not for them, or that they're going to get hurt or whatever, but if you think you're going to get hurt, you're going to get hurt. If you're scared of going heavy, then - oh, well - you shouldn't be in the business."

Johnnie Jackson Guest: Johnnie Jackson
Date: 09/17/07
(Radio Show 88) - mp3 (15.3 MB)

-> Bill Wilmore:

    "Top 10 would be a nice, big step up for me, but not yet; all in due time. The house doesn't come up right away. I have everything for the house: The foundation is laid, I have the cement trucks coming in, but it's not finished. You'll have the usual guys, like Ronnie and Jay and Toney and Victor and the others up to the seventh spot, but from there on up to 12th, it'll be a dog fight.

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Bill Wilmore At The 2007 IFBB Europa Super Show.
View More Pics Of Bill Wilmore Here.

    Others, like Silvio Samuel and Johnnie Jackson, will be in the first and second tier, but I feel I can hang with all those guys. Other than making the top 10, my goal is to beat some people I'm not expected to beat. That's how you move up. Dennis Wolf's in it, for example, and he has some momentum, so I'm looking to come in at my best shape, get some good callouts and see what happens.

Olympia: The Series Episode #18: Bill Wilmore
Date: 9/21/2007

    "This Olympia is a little different. Right after finishing the Europa, my weight wouldn't go up. I had to let myself fill out more, before pulling it back down, which I'm doing now. Before the Europa, I hadn't competed since last year's Mr. Olympia, and I feel that was a really good move for me; I was able to make some major improvements, especially with my legs. My arms are still a work in progress, but they're coming along.

    I've learned that if I don't take those breaks and keep competing, it's very hard to make those improvements. It's a catch-22: If you constantly compete, you get your name out there, but you don't improve as much. Even though I admit my physique is not where I want it, I'm grasping beyond my reach, and that's the only way to improve. I'm not thinking of guys in the Olympia I've already beaten; I've set my sight on those I haven't."