TOPIC: Who Will Win The 2005 Arnold Classic?
The Question: This year's Arnold Classic will be exciting because the current champion, Jay Cutler, will not be competing. This leaves it wide open for the other competitors who would love to win what most believe is the second biggest IFBB pro contest.
Will Gustavo make it two in a row after his win at the Ironman Pro? Will Chris Cormier win after a second place finish last year? Or will it be somebody else?
The list of the competitors:
- Troy Alves
- Melvin Anthony
- Art Atwood
- Gustavo Badell
- Darrem Charles
- Chris Cormier
- Mark Dugdale
- Anthony Freeman
- David Henry
- Dexter Jackson
- King Kamali
- Victor Martinez
- Lee Priest
- Frank Roberson
- Idrise Ward-El
Give your opinion on who will be in the top three and give full details for why you believe it will go down that way.
Bonus Question: Have you ever attended the Arnold Classic Expo? If so, what did you think of it and how was your experience? Was it what you thought it would be? How could it be made better?
1st place - 75 in store credit.
2nd place - 20 in store credit.
3rd place - Free Bodybuilding.com hat.
1st Place - Ifrit
With Jay Cutler not competing in the Arnold Classic this year that leaves plenty of oppurtunity for others to take 1st place which leads me to what should be a more obvious pick for my 1st placing Chris Cormier who got second to Jay Cutler at last years Arnold Classic. Many people are beginning to call the Arnold Classic the new Mr. Olympia and gaining more attendees each year.
#1 Chris Cormier
Arnold Classic History: 2004 2nd, 2003 2nd, 2002 2nd, 2001 2nd, 1999 3rd, 1998 5th, 1994 4th.
As you can see Chris Cormier has placed well in all his visits to the Arnold and for good reason. He let's his body do all the talking and with the mass and conditioning that he presents he is practically screaming with each pose, not to mention his great symmetry which has obviously helped him in the placings he has gotten thus far.
A lot of people said that at last year's Arnold, Chris had the potential to beat Jay Cutler and you will find many people that still think Cormier should have won the 2004 Arnold Classic. Jay Cutler beat him by one point last year so it's fair to see their reasoning for believing in this not to mention what he brought to the stage.
Chris is training with Charles Glass. Charles Glass is using varied exercises to work around his lower back and knee problems. He is also working with Chad Nicholls on his diet this year. Chris believes he will come in weighing 260 this year and it is my opinion he will take the #1 spot.
#2 Gustavo Badell
Arnold Classic History: 2004 7th.
I picked Gustavo for second simply because of how he had changed from the 2004 Arnold to the 2004 Ironman, which was definitely more mass and a lot sharper. Gustavo got together with Milos Sarcev and it obviously has made a difference since he seemed to come out of nowhere from the placings he used to get.
Gustavo trailed Dexter Jackson in the Mr. Olympia but beat him in the challenge round to finish third. I think he will be coming off the high from the Ironman which will help mentally but Chris Cormier has placed so well in the Arnold and always looks great, I really don't think it will be enough for a win which is why I placed him 2nd.
It really was a tough decision choosing between Gustavo and Dexter for second place seeing as how Dexter has placed so well in his previous visits. I admit that although Lee Priest is my favorite, Gustavo did deserve to win the Ironman.
#3 Dexter Jackson
Arnold Classic History: 2004 3rd, 2003 4th, 2002 3rd, 2001 5th, 2000 5th, 1999 5th.
Dexter Jackson always comes in good conditioning but it is my "opinion" he will place third due to his previous placings in the Arnold and other competitions and comparable lack of mass to that of Cormier and Badell.
I think Dexter has great symmetry and always looks sharp he is "the blade" and I have always been impressed with him in that I have never seen him with a gut, he says he is always around 10 lbs different from his competition weight and his off-season weight. I still think Dexter has the best abs out there, sadly having the greatest abs won't assure 1st place in any competition, lol.
Dexter had switched his training from three days a week to five days a week. He is no longer working with Joe Mcneil who trained him for the 2003 Olympia and GNC shows because he has retired. Dexter said he is used to working by himself so he doesn't believe it will effect the outcome at all.
He is also eating his steak medium well rather than well done for those who really like personal information about the pros, lol. I really would have liked to place Lee Priest #1 because he is my favorite but I really don't see it and I was asked my opinion on who I think will win the 2005 Arnold Classic not who I want to win.
I would also like to add I think Troy Alves and Victor Martinez are going to be placing well and may prove my placings wrong.
Competitors Making My Decision Tough
Lee has always looked great and deserves better placings than he has gotten in the past. Many people say it's his legs and he doesn't have striated glutes but it is most likely due to his height working against him.
When I first started working out I saw him in the magazines a lot and it really helped me to get into lifting like I am today.
He has charisma and is known for telling the truth and how it really is and I really think he would be a great embassador for the sport. There are alot of shorter guys at gyms everywhere so it would be great for them to have someone to look up to, or eye level anyways.
Victor is always looking on point and I can't say anything negative about him or find anyone that does. Victor and Dexter have always been great examples of muscularity and symmetry and I have always been impressed with that more than shear mass.
He reminds me of the old school bodybuilders and I have always admired that look more so than what is popular today. I would still like to walk around at 260 pounds for one day though.
I've seen recent pictures of him and he really made my decision for third really tough. I think this will be one of the closest competitions I have ever seen.
Comparison Pictures Take a look for yourself and decide who you think should win.
- Lee Priest At The 2005 Ironman.
- Dexter Jackson At The 2004 Mr. Olympia.
- Gustavo Badell At The 2005 Ironman.
- Chris Cormier.
- Victor Martinez At The 2004 GNC Show Of Strength
- Lee Priest and Gustavo Badell Comparisonat the 2005 Ironman.
I have been on many bodybuilding boards and the difference of opinion who is going to win and who is going to place where is quite different from person to person but that is what makes competitions fun. There are always surprises and you never know if your favorite bodybuilder will finally get the attention they deserve.
Certain judges like certain things so just because someone is symmetrical to you and looks great doesn't mean they won't prefer someone with more mass and a little less conditioned. It's good to have knowledge about who you are talking about especially when you can visit the IFBB bodybuilding forums here on bodybuilding.com and chat with some of the pros.
Give them respect and they will give it to you. I know I can't wait for the results and after writing this I want to go even more.
Bonus Question: Have You Ever Attended The Arnold Classic Expo?
No, I have not attended the Arnold Classic Expo but I almost went this year. It is quite a drive from where I live and I hate planes so maybe when I have more time next year I will go. My friend Marty Lotito is going this year and said he will bring back some pictures and goodies so I am excited about that. I told him to visit the Bodybuilding.com booth there and talk to a guy who goes by the name of Layne (str8flexed).
I also met Gerarde Dente last week at my gym where I am a trainer because we sell MHP products, he will also be there so I would have liked to see him there in the midst of it all.
From what I hear there are alot of things to do there and everyone I asked about it said it was great so I can't think of any way it could improve nor could anyone I talked to. It sounds like Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory the way that people talk about the free samples so I have to admit I am pretty jealous.
For more info about the pro's go to http://www.bodybuilders.com/pros.htm and also http://www.bodybuilders.com/proweb.htm for a list of the pros personal websites. And for more info about the 2005 Arnold Classic go to http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/2005arnold.htm
-Matt Petersen ISSA certified
2nd Place - Uliqmadiq
Jay Cutler is out of the mix from the Arnold Classic, with the intention of preparing himself to grab the Olympia crown from Ronnie Coleman later in the year. And so with last year's winner out of the contest, the Arnold Classic promises some fresh results that could rock expectations.
After some careful deliberation, I came up with the following list of possible winners:
1 - Dexter Jackson
Dex is famous for bringing together one of the most conditioned physiques in the modern professional world, and being on the money with his conditioning every single time.
Although he was ousted by Gustavo Badell in the '04 Olympia, I think nearly everyone agrees that that was one of the few flaws of the new 'Challenge Round' that robbed him of his rightful third place.
The Blade was disappointed both at the Arnold Classic last year and of course the Olympia, which would understandably make him more ravenous than ever to grab the spot at the 2005 Classic.
2 - Lee Priest
The short, densely built and highly proportional Lee Priest has hopes of conquering bodybuilding titles in '05. I believe that so long as he can keep his size formidable while staying true to his strengths in proportionality and overall conditioning, the bodybuilding world's Crocodile Dundee can stake his claim to second place at the Arnold Classic.
If you have witnessed one of Priest's phenomenal posing routines, you probably agree that the sheer smoothness of his motions amplifies the fact that he can carry off traditionally tall-man poses with incredible ease, despite his height. No doubt he will showcase his talents this time around as well, and come armed with his secret 'wheatgrass' (fans of 'Another Blond Myth' will of course get the reference).
3 - Gustavo Badell
The Puerto Rican Gustavo surprised bodybuilding fans when he took third place at the Olympia from bookie's favorite Dexter Jackson. It was equally surprising to a lot of us that he snatched the 2005 Ironman from Lee Priest at a whopping 250 pounds and in spot-on competition shape.
He has the symmetrical build and aesthetic lines that could well place him above Chris Cormier, but it's doubtful that the Ironman results will recur this time around, and that he will be placed over Priest.
Although he has some very eminent strengths - an excellent combination of mass and aesthetics, and superb conditioning - he lacks the density Lee has in the arms and legs.
Onstage, I suspect Lee Priest will probably come out looking better.
Q & A
1) Why isn't Chris Cormier listed amongst my predictions?
It's a reasonable question given that Cormier has a strong history with the Arnold Classic, and missed out on his position last year by a mere point away from Cutler. With Cutler gone, certainly the odds are on Cormier to win. However, I don't believe he can pull off a placing this time, with Gustavo and Jackson in the shape they promise to be in, and have been in as of recent competitions.
While Cormier has flawless proportionality, he cannot hold a candle to the aesthetics of Dexter, the muscular density of Priest and the newborn combination of mass and aestheticism that Gustavo has been bringing to the stage.
2) Who will place higher than expected at the Arnold Classic?
Potentially Darrem Charles. He pulled in two wins last year along with a flurry of second-place finishes, and claims to have packed on still more mass this time, but the odds of his beating some of the bodybuilding heavyweights in the Arnold Classic line-up aren't calculated very high.
Yet I believe that with the hard conditioning he comes through with, not to mention potentially more mass, Charles will place a lot higher than the odds laid out seem to claim.
3) What should I look out for this year at the Arnold Classic?
Look out for a stellar posing routine from Darrem Charles, as usual. Both Lee Priest and Dexter Jackson are hungry for a win this time around, so expect both of them to show up in top form.
Watch out for the rumored (but nearly confirmed) Craig Titus - Ken Wheeler martial arts showdown. If you are going to the Expo, of course look out for the all the free samples!
Bonus Question: Have you ever been to the Arnold Classic Expo?
Unfortunately, no. But a friend of mine has, and he was immensely pleased with it last year. He came back with three gym bags full of supplement samples and a large grin on his face, so no complaints there.
Comparison Pictures: What's a list of predictions without pictures to compare odds-on winners? Here are the most recent pictures of the pros in competition shape that I picked for the top three.
- Dexter Jackson at the 2004 Olympia - Note the hard-as-nails conditioning, the overall aesthetic proportions and incredibly well-defined lines Dexter brings to the stage.
- Lee Priest at the 2005 Ironman Pro - You can really see his incredible muscle density here. The thick arms and chest coupled with the trim midsection and small wrists really push Lee up in the ranks of pro bodybuilders.
- Gustavo Badell at the 2005 Ironman Pro - This shot shows you the outstanding proportional development Gustavo has been bringing forth of late. With a very seamless combination of mass and aesthetic lines, it should be relatively easy for Gustavo to place this year, given his ability to appear in great condition.
- Lee Priest vs. Gustavo Badell at the 2005 Ironman Pro - A comparison shot that pits Priest and Gustavo against one another at the 2005 Ironman. Clearly, it's a very close run, but with the thick muscularity of Priest along with his flawless posing ability with which he masks any minor weaknesses, it's a strong bet that the Austrailian Blond Myth will be one up on the competition.
3rd Place - Martial-Artist
- Chris Cormier
- Gustavo Badell
- Dexter Jackson
- Victor Martinez
Dark Horses: Darrem Charles, Melvin Anthony, Lee Priest
With such a mega-talented lineup at this year's Arnold Classic, it will go down to the wire and the award will be given to the man who has the best conditioning. All men listed above, along w/ others, are potential victors. Here are the reasons, though, why I chose these particular champions in the order I did.
1. Chris Cormer
With his round muscle bellies, ripped to shreds striations, and huge bicep peaks, all Cormier has to do is bring in his best conditioning and Arnold will be handing him the trophy. (That and a desire to not be a bridesmaid in this show again.) Given that he's had the offseason to prepare, he'll be more than ready.
2. Gustavo Badell
Riding high after his win at the '05 Ironman, Badell is going to come into the prestigous Arnold Classic full of momentum. His conditioning is incredible, but he hit his peak for the Ironman and the past few weeks are wearing him down.
You can ask any bodybuilder, and they'll tell you how hard it is to diet and stay dieted down for a long while. Badell still has too much quality size and talent over the other guys which will bump him up to 2nd.
3. Dexter Jackson
Being the most ripped pro on the scene, having full muscle bellies, and a never say die attitude is what keeps DJ at the pinnacle of modern day bodybuilding. There is nothing he lacks, maybe only a tiny flaw and that's high lats, but he still consistently places high at every show he enters.
If judging went by pure symmetry, DJ would finish second to none. The judging however, will favor more of a combination of size and symmetry - similar to Cutler's past 3 Arnold performances - and the reward will go to a bigger man. What works in his favor though, is he's always conditioned.
4. Victor Martinez
He has an incredible physique, great size at 245, and excellent conditioning. Really the only thing holding him back is muscle maturity. He truly has the potential to win the Olympia in the next 5 years. His pics from 2 weeks out look phenomenal. Watch out.
When he does bring in his fantastic condition and combines that w/ his wasp waist, he can win almost any show and be a top 3 guy. He's looking to improve on that aspect at the Classic. Will make judging easy if he brings in conditioning. 'nuff said.
Best poser period. Super-conditioned period. Quite possibly a twin prototype of DJ, both having good size, freakish conditioning, while still not winning most shows. It will come down to how the judges favor conditioning/symmetry vs. size. He will bring both.
After getting a fantastic placement (2nd) at the Ironman, Priest plans on peaking for the Arnold nearly a month later. Priest is as huge as ever and his upper body vascularity was tremendous. He needs to pull some water from his back and his legs if he hopes to place high in this show. He will probably bring in the largest arms at the Arnold Classic, but if the rest of him doesn't show up, he'll be stuck w/ nothing.
Good luck to all, hope everyone has a blast at the Arnold. Support Arnold baby!