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Who Will Win The 2006 Arnold Classic?

With a star filled line-up, the 2006 Arnold Classic will be one that will be remembered for a long time to come. But who will win? It is still very much in the air. Who do our forum members think will win the 2006 Arnold Classic?

TOPIC: Who Will Win The 2006 Arnold Classic?

The Question:

With a star filled line-up, the 2006 Arnold Classic will be one that will be remembered for a long time to come. The returning champion Dexter Jackson will be competing to regain his title. Can he be beat? With Lee Priest coming off a win at the Iron Man, can he hold his condition and beat out Dexter? Will Chris Cormier get his first Arnold win (after six times as the runner-up!)?

Give your opinion on who will be in the top ten and give full details for why you believe it will go down that way.

2006 Arnold Classic Men's Competitors

  1. Troy Alves
  2. Melvin Anthony
  3. Gustavo Badell
  4. Darrem Charles
  5. Chris Cook
  6. Kris Dim
  7. Tony Freeman
  8. Ahmad Haidar
  9. David Henry II
  10. Dexter Jackson
  11. Johnnie Jackson
  12. Dennis James
  13. Victor Martinez
  14. Mustafa Mohammad
  15. Lee Priest
  16. Branch Warren

  17. * Last updated (2/28/06)

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?

Show off your knowledge to the world!

The Winners:

      1st place - 75 in store credit.
      2nd place - 50 in store credit.
      3rd place - 25 in store credit.

To use your credit, e-mail Will @ for more info.

1st Place - Aussie LTD
Who Will Win The 2006 Arnold Classic?

This years Arnold is shaping up to be one of the most exciting Arnold Classics ever! From Badell to Ironman winner Lee Priest to Darrem Charles to Maritinez to Dexter, there are so many athletes who are serious contenders that anyone can come away with 1st place. As well as the above bodybuilders, there is the ever-improving David Henry who is just as good of a chance for a win as anyone else, as well as Melvin Anthony, Dennis James, Branch Warren and Troy Alves, all of which will no doubt do some serious damage.

Lee Priest:

    The question many are asking is can Lee Priest take home the double this year, winning both the Ironman, and topping it all off with a win at the Arnold?

    I believe he is a serious contender if he is able to maintain the immaculate condition he showed at the Ironman. Competing twice so close to each other can be very difficult though, so only time will tell.

Dexter Jackson:

    Then there is the return on Dexter Jackson. Everyone I speak to can't wait to see what kind of condition and size this guy will show up with.

    We haven't seen him for ages, and his incredible physique can really bring the house down.

Gustavo Badell:

    Then there are those who believe Gustavo Badell will take away the win.

    If he can match the kind of condition and size he was in at the previous Olympia, then Dexter, Victor, Lee, Dennis and the gang should be very scared.

Victor Martinez:

    Victor is another who will be one of the biggest on stage, if not the biggest. After coming off a 5th placing at the Olympia last year, people should keep their eyes on this guy.

    I seriously believe that when Ronnie passes on the Olympia torch, if Victor can continue to stay focused, he has a serious chance at being the next Mr. O.

Chris Cormier:

    Another bodybuilder with a possible Mr. Olympia winning physique is the "Real Deal" Chris Cormier. I think he has recently dropped out of the Arnold if I'm not mistaken, which is disappointing. Hopefully he can bring things together for his next show.

Darrem Charles:

    Darrem Charles will also be competing. He has proven several times in the past that is able to stand his ground against the "mass monsters" and beat them, so there is no reason why this can't be Darrem's year.

    It should be interesting to see how it all unfolds.

Top Ten:
Give your opinion on who will be in the top ten and give full details for why you believe it will go down that way.

This years Arnold Classic has a star-studded line-up. I will provide my predictions, but before I do them here's the line-up:

2006 Arnold Classic Men's Competitors:

  1. Troy Alves
  2. Melvin Anthony
  3. Gustavo Badell
  4. Darrem Charles
  5. Chris Cook
  6. Kris Dim
  7. Tony Freeman
  8. Ahmad Haidar
  9. David Henry II
  10. Dexter Jackson
  11. Johnnie Jackson
  12. Dennis James
  13. Victor Martinez
  14. Mustafa Mohammad
  15. Lee Priest
  16. Branch Warren

  17. * Last updated (2/28/06)

Here we go: my predictions for the 2006 Arnold Classic.

1st: Gustavo Badell:

    I think 1st place can really go to anyone, so I found it really difficult to choose a winner. I was swaying towards Dexter's Jackson, then Badell, then Martinez, and even Charles and Lee.

    Firstly, I had Dexter down because he is known to bring his A-game to the stage. Then I changed my mind to Martinez because I felt his size and the fact he placed so highly at the Olympia last year would inspire him to a win. And then there's Lee, who has got a streak going and Darrem who just looks amazing. After swaying from one to the other, I ended up choosing Gustavo Badell for first place.

    In the end I feel Dexters lack of time on-stage recently may work against him. Badell on the other-hand is coming off a win from last years Arnold, as well as a high 3rd placing at the Olympia, so it was that momentum that Badell has that swayed me towards choosing him over the others. But like I always say, you never know until it the day it happens.

2nd: Dexter Jackson:

    For second place, I chose Dexter. Like first place it was really difficult to secure him into 2nd when so many others could take 2nd. When you consider those like Lee, Darrem and Dennis, it can go to anyone.

    I chose Dexter in the end because of his superior shape. The fact he is rested will no doubt work to his advantage as well, where as many others have only just recently competed at the Ironman.

    Click Image To Enlarge.
    At The 2004 San Francisco Pro.

    Not only did the break give Dexter a chance to focus on packing on solid muscle, but a break from the pressures of competing can be like a holiday, and when Dexter hits the stage at the Arnold, he will be fresh and ready to go.

    I can't wait to see pics of Jackson, as well as others after the event. I'm interested to see if Dexter his gotten any bigger, and what sort package he brought to the stage. My guess is he will bring his A-game like always. Can't wait.

3rd: Victor Martinez:

    Third place was a close choice between a lot of guys: Lee, Darrem, Dennis and Henry. Lee is coming off a massive win at the Ironman and his confidence would be through the roof. When you're running on these sorts of emotions, you're capable of achieving anything. David Henry's confidence would be just as high; he knows his one of the rising stars in the IFBB, and will be out there to prove that he can match it against the big boys of the IFBB at the Arnold.

    In the end I chose Martinez for 3rd. To be honest, I don't know if I made the right choice. But Martinez does bring a complete package to the stage, nice shape and symmetry, as well as size. I feel the fact he placed 5th at the Olympia last year can work to your advantage too, so we shall see how it pans out.

4th: Lee Priest:

    Lee is on a high from his Ironman win, and will want to prove that the reason he won wasn't due to lack of competition at the Ironman. Lee has what it takes to place inside the top 3, the only thing holding him back is probably his height.

    He now sports a new pair of hamstrings he proudly displayed at the Ironman, and with the addition of legs that appeared very shredded, there really isn't much that Lee doesn't have now. All we do need him to do is retain the perfection he displayed at the Ironman.

    Click Image To Enlarge.
    Lee Priest & His Brand New Hams!

    I was just about to give 4th place to Darrem Charles, but I feel like Lee is the one with all the momentum at the moment, and there is a good possibility he'll place even higher.

5th: Darrem Charles:

    Trying to figure out who would place 5th was definitely the hardest placing to choose. There are so many bodybuilders that could take it: Darrem, Melvin Anthony, Dennis james, Troy Alves, Branch Warren, Mustafa Mohammad, Jonnie Jackson and Kris Dim.

    The hunger to crack the top 5 will be high, for placing sake. There's Melvin Anthony who brings a very pleasing physique to the stage and will be riding high for a win. Then there's the up and coming Branch Warren who has an incredible work ethic while he's a thick, well-rounded physique that might overthrow others.

    Dennis James can easily crack into the top 5 too, being one of the biggest, fullest guys on stage. Kris Dim is another; he has improved considerably, with a newly developed chest and wings, as well as those triceps, could surprise us with 5th if he comes in tip-top shape. Or it could go to the man with the biggest legs in the IFBB, Mustafa, or fan-favorite Johnnie Jackson.

    It was hard to decide, but I chose Darrem. If he comes in the ultra-ripped conditioning that he showed at the Olympia, where I feel he was unfairly placed, then the competition better watch out. When this guy is one, he is on.

    Click Image To Enlarge.
    Darrem Charles.

6th: Dennis James:

    Like 5th, 6th place really hangs in the balance. Dennis James, Troy Alves, Melvin, David Henry, or someone else?

    Troy will be fired up; he will be using his under-performance at the Ironman as motivation to do better here at the Arnold. David Henry will just as ready to go after placing 2nd in the 3rd biggest event of the year.

    In the end, I found it to choose; but I went with James. James is a "mass monster", and we know that look is being emphasized. He has one of the thickest, best developed backs in the game, broad shoulders and a full chest, and I think his size will be over-dominant on stage.

    Although some don't like his look, I think he will place 6th ahead of the others.

7th: David Henry:

    I under-predicted Henry's placing at the Ironman. Although I got the rest of the top 5 correct, I'd actually put Henry sitting outside at 6th. So I could just as well have under-placed him as 7th for the Arnold as well. He brings an incredible physique to the stage; smaller, but very aesthetical.

    Click Image To Enlarge.
    David Henry.

    Many others are predicting him to finish in the top 5, some top 3. The main reason I place him 7th was I found it hard to place him higher when looking at all the competition. But like I've been saying, it's really anyone's game because the competition is so tight.

8th: Melvin Anthony:

    Placing Melvin at 8th just doesn't feel right. He brings one of the more balanced physiques to the stage, and going by his track record he should place higher than this.

    The top 10 is going to be so close, that one small plus can bring someone from 8th all the way to 2nd or 3rd. On the other-hand one small fault and someone might find themselves dropping 6 or 7 positions. This really makes the Arnold all the more exciting.

    Melvin brings almost everything to the stage that a body builder needs. Not only does he bring a nice physique, but his posing is second to none and his routines are always uplifting. But it might be his height and size that mean that difference between 2nd and 8th.

9th: Branch Warren:

    Who will place ninth and tenth and round off the top 10? There are so many to choose from. Whoever doesn't, risks the embarrassment of having to place outside the top ten. There's Mustafa, Troy Alves, Ahmad haider, Johnnie Jackson, Tony Freeman, Chris Cook.

    But for ninth, it goes to Mr. Warren. Branch is just too damn big. He is becoming one of the biggest fan favorites in the IFBB too. He has been described as the "blue collar worker", and I think people respect this. Branch also brings to the stage what most hardcore bodybuilders strive for; a very dense, full look.

    I was so close to giving 9th to Troy Alves. He is going to hungry to outperform his Ironman showing, so he could place a lot higher.

10th: Troy Alves:

    There were a lot to choose from when selecting who would just sneak into the top 10: Could it be Johnnie Jackson? Troy Alves? Mustafa Mohammed? Ahmad Haider? Kris Dim? Tony Freeman?

    Tony Freeman was nothing less than impressive at the Ironman. He brought a perfect combination of size and symmetry, and brought a remarkably similar physique to the stage as Ronnie does, but smaller. Then there's Dim, who placed 4th at the ironman. He has a completely different package now, and is improving by the day. What about Ahmad and his incredible abs? Mustafa's tree-trunk legs? or ex-powerlifter Johnnie Jackson? Or even Chris Cook?

    Of these I find Alves being the man to take 10th. This might be an under-performance for Alves, but I feel he might be on a low from the Ironman. Although a lot of people like the package he bought to the Ironman, I felt he didn't hit the spot.

    Seeing who sneaks into the top ten should be almost as exciting as seeing who sneaks into the top 5. There are so many big names in the line-up that anyone could take it. Will it be dexter? Gustavo? Victor? Or can Lee take home a double?

    Bodybuilding is all about timing and conditioning, so if each competitor gets their timing right, and comes on stage in tip-top condition; it can really be anyone's for the taking. This is especially true for this year's Arnold, because the competition is so tight. Good luck to all competitors.

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?

Unfortunately, I haven't attended the Arnold Classic expo. However, I have attended the Australia Grand Prix Expo, and was it was quite good. From the free supplements to the opportunity to buy bodybuilding clothing, which are hard to purchase in Australia, it was something to satisfy all bodybuilding fans.

I have talked to people via the internet who have attended a few of the expo's at various shows in the states, including the Ironman and Arnold, and they found it more than enjoyable. At the Arnold it spans the whole weekend I think, with plenty of competitions, live bodybuilding seminars and broadcasts and free sups.

I'd love to attend the Arnold one day just to soak in the atmosphere, and meet some of the pro's, so a trip to the states is a must.

I do know I enjoyed the Australian grand prix, so I have no doubt the Arnold would be great.

Enjoy the show. Go Lee Priest!

Arnold Classic Preview!

Prepare yourself for the 18th Annual, Arnold Classic Weekend 2006 Bodybuilding Competition, featuring stars, such as:
  • Returning Champ Dexter Jackson!
  • Chris Cormier
  • Victor Martinez
  • Gustavo Badell
  • Lee Priest
  • Darem Charles
  • Melvin Anthony
  • David Henry
...and more - 16 bodybuilders in all!

WMV (7.28 MB)
MPEG (53.2 MB)

$100,000 in cash is up to grabs! Watch the Arnold Classic Live on Pay-Per-View, 7 p.m. EST on Saturday, March 4th 2006.

2nd Place - NoNameNecessary
The Arnold Classic...A Look Into The Competition.

What Is It?

The Arnold Classic is not only one of the biggest IFBB competitions of the year, but it is also one of the biggest and most important Fitness Expos of the year. In the bodybuilding world, it is the biggest event of its type, rivaled only by the Olympia.

Besides the four main events (The Arnold Classic, Ms. International, Fitness International, Figure International), there is a wide variety of other events, that range from Powerlifting to Tae Kwon Do to Table Tennis. This surely is an event for everyone.

Gracie Fighting Championship (GFC)
Preview Video:

Windows Media (5.11 MB)
MPEG (24.3 MB)

But let's get down to the event that really matters...the Arnold Classic Men's Bodybuilding Competiton...

What Is Going On This Year At The Classic?

This year there are many high caliber athletes who will be competing in the classic, all of whom, except one (Chris Cook), have previously been or are currently qualified for the Olympia competition.

All of these men are at the top tier of bodybuilding, and if they all come in looking their best, this will be one of greatest Arnold competitions in some time. The judges will have a very tough time deciding who to place where. With all of that said, I present to you...

The Returning Champion, Dexter Jackson:
The returning champion Dexter Jackson will be competing to regain his title. Can he be beat?

Dexter "The Blade" Jackson has been resting since the 2005 San Francisco Pro, where he was bested by Chris Cormier, just one week after winning it all at the Classic in Columbus. Instead, he chose to work on a project with his new sponsor, Met-Rx.

Since, he has taken a year off and given his hard work ethic, everyone is wondering whether or not he will repeat this year? He is certainly the favorite to be shaking Arnold's hand when all of the dust clears. His 230-pound frame brings a package that is sure to impress as soon as he sets foot in the arena.

An Interview With Dexter 'The Blade' Jackson. An Interview With Dexter 'The Blade' Jackson.
As he prepares for the upcoming Mr. Olympia, Dexter Jackson shared his thoughts on a variety of topics. Last years 3rd place finisher discusses Ronnie, Jay, the new judging format, and his chances of making another Olympia splash.
[ Click here to learn more. ]

Dexter says, "It will be game over for everyone else," upon his initial appearance on stage. His performance at the Classic should be one for the ages, win or lose. However, expect "The Blade" to come in with his infamous blend of mass and conditioning, and again leave in a new Hummer.

The Challengers

Who Won't Be Competing:

    Chris Cormier:

      The 5'9" 250-pounder is coming off of a horrible 13th place showing at the Mr. Olympia last year. Many people were looking forward to seeing if he could now win the Classic, after SIX consecutive second place finishes.

      However, he has chosen to sit out this year, looking to improve for the Olympia this year under the teaching of Dorian Yates, who himself is a six-time Olympia champion.

      But we will see Cormier in competition sometime soon, as he still needs to qualify for "The O." It's anybody's guess where we will see him competing next. All we can be sure of is that the competition won't be as stiff.

    Mark Dugdale:

      It was reported just before the 2006 Iron Man that Dugdale's daughter had fallen ill with food poisoning, however, it wasn't.

      Amongst other personal problems, Dugdale has contracted the flu, and had to be hospitalized due to hydration. When in the hospital, his preparation for the Classic was obviously thrown off, and thus, Dugdale chose to sit this one out.

Water, Water, Every Where: What Every Competitor Should Know! Water, Water, Every Where: What Every Competitor Should Know!
Everything was looking good for the 3rd show of the 2004 competitive season until a couple hours before pre-judging. Find out what happened and why all competitors need to read this!
[ Click here to learn more. ]

Who Will Be Competing: The Best of the Rest.

    Gustavo "The Frican Rican" Badell:

      Gustavo Badell will be the only one challenging Dexter Jackson for the prize at the Arnold Classic. These two have been battling it out over the past couple of years.

      At the Olympia in 2004, Badell placed one spot higher than Jackson (Jay Cutler was champion, with Chris Cormier finishing 2nd). However, earlier in that same year, Jackson beat him at the Iron Man and at this same competition, the Arnold Classic. And as we all now, in 2005, Jackson won the Classic and is looking to repeat again.

      But Badell is hot off a great finish in 2005. With his new cut, "streamlined" physique, he won the Challenge Round, where he beat the reigning Olympia champion, Ronnie Coleman.

      Click Image To Enlarge.
      The Challenge Round.

      He's looking to bring the complete package, the think, but balanced 245 pounds of muscle to the Classic, and that he indeed will. He can compete with any bodybuilder of our day, as he showed during the Challenge Round, and his looking to make a mark on the sport, a HUGE mark. Will it start at that Classic? There are many that think so.

    Lee Priest:

      Priest is fresh off of a well-deserved win at the Iron Man, where he took home a large sum of $15,000. He beat out David Henry, one of the top rising stars, not only in the votes of the judges, but by the fans as well. Will he be able to follow up with another impressive finish at the Arnold?

      Click Image To Enlarge.
      Lee Priest.

      It is undisputed fact that Lee Priest has the best arms in the game. Along with his arms, he brought along his legs at the Iron Man, although he lacked sweep in his quads. He is looking to improve on his fourth place finish in the Classic last year, and has a very good chance to do so.

      Click Image To Enlarge.
      Lee Priest & Gustavo @ The 2005 Ironman.

      If he can come in even more dry and lean than he did at the IM, he should be able to do so. It should be very entertaining to watch his routine, as he did win Best Poser at the Iron Man as well. He is one of the more threatening competitors that can be found in the lineup.

    Branch Warren:

      No one in the bodybuilding game is hotter than Branch Warren right now. The 5'7", 240-pounder is fresh off two wins in pro shows, the Europa Supershow and the Charlotte Pro Invitational, and in his Olympia debut, he made an impressive showing, and finished eighth.

      Click Image To Enlarge.
      Branch Warren @ The 2005 Europa Supershow.

      He could quite possibly have the best games EVER in the history of the sport. Each and every year throughout his professional career, he brings pounds of new muscle, while managing to keep it hard, dense, and veiny. Look for Warren to finish in the top five, with his best being a third place finish.

    Victor Martinez:

      Ronnie Coleman appointed Vic Martinez as his successor, not Jay Cutler, in the bodybuilding game. In the past, Martinez has shown that he can be great, and might be a top contender over the next few years.

      Recently, in 2003 he won the Night of Champions, and in 2004 won the Show Of Strength. However, in his appearance at the Classic last year, he finished seventh in a very disappointing showing.

      Click Image To Enlarge.
      Victor Martinez @ The Show Of Strength.

      He is looking to improve on his performance last year, and if he comes in at his best, he may need to be looked at as a potential upset.

    Troy Alves:

      A calf injury forced him out of the Olympia last year, but he is back and ready to rumble. Last year, he finished eighth in Arnold Classic, and is looking to improve upon that this year. With his additional time off, he has been hitting the gym hard lately, and showed his new mass at the Iron Man.

      Click Image To Enlarge.
      Troy Alves.

      He lacked cuts and definition, but he should come in much drier for this competition. With Alves looking to prove that he is a mainstay at the top of the bodybuilding world, he will challenge for a top spot at the Arnold this year.

    "Marvelous" Melvin Anthony:

      Anthony recently finished seventh at last years Olympia competition. He brings a blend of mass, and a small, twenty-seven inch waist. He should be a crowd favorite, as his posing routines are always well done and very entertaining.

      Click Image To Enlarge.

      He finished fifth here at the Arnold last year, and is looking to improve upon that this year. However, I don't know if he will, but he is a top ten finisher for sure. There is no doubt, however, that he will be the best poser of the night.

    David Henry II:

      David Henry, standing at only 5-5, is making a big splash in the bodybuilding world. He won the Wild-Card round at last years Olympia, allowing him to gain last minute entrance into the competition, in which he finished 14th.

      Click Image To Enlarge.
      David Henry II @ The 2005 Olympia Wildcard.

      Some, however, myself included, would have placed him in the top ten. He finished 12th at last years Arnold, but will improve this year, now that everyone knows this little man with the big reputation.

    Darrem Charles:

      Darrem has won six shows in the past four years. He is a seasoned veteran who has been competing since 1989, and finally earned his first professional title at the 2002 Southwest Cup. He is very well-rounded and has the entire package, and will bring one of the better posing routines of the competition, that will rival only that of Melvin Anthony. A lot of people will be routing for this fan favorite.

    A Conversation With IFBB Pro Darrem Charles. A Conversation With IFBB Pro Darrem Charles.
    After enjoying his best year in 2004, Darrem is looking to add to his list of 4 IFBB event championships. Typically a man of few words, Darrem offered up some candid comments on a variety of topics...
    [ Click here to learn more. ]

    Ahmad Haidar:

      Simply, he has the best abs in the game. He brings aesthetics to the stage that everyone else lacks. However, he needs to, because he will be one of the smaller guys up there.

      Click Image To Enlarge.
      Ahmad Haidar.

      He's hoping that 2006 will be a huge year for him, as he has worked on his physique to bring a little more size. However, I feel he lacks the mass to be a top contender, but he is still very fun to watch.

    Toney Freeman:

      Toney won the Nationals back in 2002, and had a weak performance at the 2005 Classic with a 10th place finish. He came in at a whopping 268 pounds on the day of the competition, but he missed his conditioning, and was far from his peak. However, with added mass, if he hits it this year, he might be hard to miss, both literally and figuratively.

      Click Image To Enlarge.
      Toney Freeman.

    Mustafa Mohammad:

      He took 10th at the Olympia last year, placing him as one of the top ten bodybuilders in the world. Mohammad brings mass that many people in the game lack, however, his conditioning never seems to be spot on.

      Click Image To Enlarge.
      Mustafa Mohammad.

      Many of his fans did not appreciate the ranking at the Iron Man, and you can be sure they will be disappointed again. His physique simply doesn't appeal to me, nor the judges. Weak finish for Mustafa.

    Johnnie Jackson:

      Last year, he was the runner-up at the Europa Classic, and he is finally starting to get some attention from the judges. He is one of the biggest young up-and-comers, and could make an impact here. Look for his chest, back, and delts (due to his powerlifting backround) to make an impression on the judges. He'll be fun to watch in the future.

    An Interview With The World's Strongest Bodybuilder, Johnnie O. Jackson. An Interview With The World's Strongest Bodybuilder, Johnnie O. Jackson.
    Now considered the world's strongest bodybuilder, Johnnie O. Jackson shares with us his story and how he is preparing for the 2005 Olympia.
    [ Click here to learn more. ]

    Chris Cook:

      The Arnold Classic is Chris's first major competition. He has a great track record on the lower levels, when in 2003 and 2004 he just barely missed a pro card at the NPC USA Championships.

      Finally, four months later, he won his pro-card, every bodybuilders dream. In 2005, he arrived on the scene, but didn't have much of an impact, where at the Toronto Pro he finished 10th and at the New York Pro he finished 6th. Lacks experience to do any damage here.

An Inside Look At Chris Cook. An Inside Look At Chris Cook.
Chris proved he knows a lot more than I do about what vocation to pursue. Not that there weren't bumps in the road along the way. Find out what they were and how Chris did it...
[ Click here to learn more. ]

Great, we have all the competitors, but who is gonna finish where?

Well..without further ado... drum roll ...

My Top Ten

1. Dexter Jackson:

    That's right, Dexter will repeat as champion and will again leave with one of the biggest prizes of the year. He has added muscle, around five pounds of it, and will come in completely cut, and incredibly dry, and will repeat as champion.

2. Gustavo Badell:

    A sure pick for either first or second place. He will come in with the whole package, he will be large, cut, and lean, but I feel Jackson's streamlined physique appeals to the judges more.

3. Branch Warren:

    He has the best legs in the game, and always comes in super tight, with great conditioning. A placing this high might surprise some, but it shouldn't.

4. Lee Priest:

    Lee will follow up his win at the Iron Man with a good showing at the Classic. If Branch has the best legs, Lee has the best arms. He will be near his best all-time, and will come in even more dry than he did two weeks ago. However, he still needs to show some improvement in his hamstrings and glutes. 3 and 4 could be flip-flopped.

5. Victor Martinez:

    The man touted as the Ronnie Coleman's successor will bring the size that he is known for, but will lack conditioning, which he is famous for. If he is on, he's on, but if he's off, he's off. He could drop lower, or could move higher, but for now, he looks good where he's at. He will barely edge out Troy Alves, and round off the top five.

6. Troy Alves:

    Troy will follow up on his Iron Man performance, and come in much more lean and dry. He will bring the complete package, but will just miss the top five. He simply does not have the pure mass to place that high.

7. Melvin Anthony:

    His unique blend of size with his small waist will place him inside the top ten. Also, his posing routine will push him ahead of the other three behind him.

8. David Henry:

    He is fresh off his Iron Man performance, where he placed very high. He will having another great showing at the Arnold, and his conditioning will push him ahead of Charles.

9. Darrem Charles:

    He will come in with great conditioning but simply lacks the mass to push ahead of Henry.

10. Ahmad Haidar:

    His conditioning and abs are the greatest in the game, so he will round out the top ten, but he simply lacks the size to place any higher.

There you have it folks, my top ten. It should be a great competition this year. The 2006 Arnold Classic certainly will be a classic, one for the ages.

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?

I have never attended the Arnold Classic Expo, simply because of the distance between me and Ohio. However, I would love to go, because it brings together many different worlds, with many different events for all different ages. It is certainly one of the great expos of the year.

The only negative thing I have heard about the Arnold was how crowded it got. That problem should be solved because they are moving it to a new venue for 2006. Should be fun to see how things pan out.

Well good luck to all the competitors, and safe travels for all those who are going. As always, thanks for reading.

God Bless,

3rd Place - ho_124
Who Will Win The 2006 Arnold Classic?

With a star filled line-up, the 2006 Arnold Classic will be one that will be remembered for a long time to come. The returning champion Dexter Jackson will be competing to regain his title. Can he be beat? With Lee Priest coming off a win at the Iron Man, can he hold his condition and beat out Dexter? Will Chris Cormier get his first Arnold win (after six times as the runner-up!)?

Dexter Jackson

To answer the first question, I don't think that Dexter Jackson can be beaten in this competition. First of all, Dexter Jackson has taken a lot of time off competitions to get ready for this competition, he didn't even go to the 2005 Mr. Olympia.

Because of this I think he is more than ready for this competition and I would assume he is in tip top condition and taken all the time he needs to prepare for this. Also some of the bigger names aren't there such as Jay Cutler who beat Dexter Jackson in the 2004 competition, so Dexter Jackson's chances of winning are looking quite good.

Lee Priest

I honestly don't think Lee Priest can hold out his condition and beat Dexter Jackson. You must understand preparing for a competition on a professional level is harder than you would think.

Not only is the training hard to bring lagging body parts up to par, but also they have to cut certain foods and supplements out of their diet for at least a month before entering to increase muscle definition.

For example, as you all know, creatine retains water and makes muscles look puffy, and you can't have that in a competition if you want to win. Everything must be monitored such as water intake, sodium intake and basically everything they do or eat.

On top of that they have to take diuretics to flush out all the water in their system so they look as cut as possible. Because Lee Priest just came out of a tournament and had to do all this, I would think it would be very hard for him to do it again.

It's very tough on the body and also hard mentally as well, and I don't think he can hold up that long without letting up a little bit. On the other hand Dexter Jackson only has to do this process once, and since he hasn't been in a competition for a while, he will probably prepare very well.

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Can Lee Hold His Conditioning For Two Shows?

One thing about diuretics is that when bodybuilders use them they take quite a few high dosages to flush out all the water in their system. This leaves them very dehydrated and is why some have to go to the hospital. As you can imagine being dehydrated like that is super hard on the body and I don't think Lee Priest's body will be able to hold up to that again.

Chris Cormier

I don't think Chris Cormier will get his first win after being the runner up six times. The first obstacle he has to overcome is beating Dexter Jackson and that probably won't happen because he already took time to prepare and cut for the 2005 Mr. Olympia while Dexter Jackson has been putting on mass through all these competitions.

Also in the 2005 Mr. Olympia he got beaten by people who are in this very competition, so his chances aren't looking too good. So unless he puts on a freakish amount of muscle mass, his chances of winning are very slim.

Top Ten:
Give your opinion on who will be in the top ten and give full details for why you believe it will go down that way.

1. Dexter Jackson:

    Like I said above Dexter Jackson has taken a lot of time off competitions to prepare just for this one so he is more than ready. This is a huge advantage since some of the bodybuilders competing have taken time to cut and prepare for other competitions while Dexter Jackson was busy putting on muscle.

    This means that Dexter Jackson had more time to pack on muscle. Also some of the bigger names aren't there and his main competitors like Lee Priest have already been in a recent competition and probably won't be able to get ready for this one.

    Dexter Jackson also is quite symmetrical especially in his arms and his chest. Although his abs aren't the best, they are still quite good, for example his abs are more tightly packed an well developed than other bodybuilders such as Ronnie Coleman.

    If you compare Ronnie's abs to Dexter's abs you can see that Ronnie's just look like they were messily slapped on, but Dexter's look compacted and well shaped which is a good thing. He also has freakish mass on his back but it isn't messy with muscles popping out everywhere.

    Click Image To Enlarge.
    Ronnie & Dexter.

    It's very symmetrical and well defined. One minor weak point might be his legs, because in my opinion they could use a little work to put on a little more mass, but remember he has taken time off to put on more mass so I might be wrong.

2. Gustavo Badell:

    Gustavo Badell is going to place very high in this competition, just look at the 2005 Mr.Olympia results, he placed 3rd and that's very good considering he was going up against Ronnie and Jay Culter.

    His main competition Lee Priest just came out of a competition and I don't think he will be as ready as he could be for this one since it takes a lot of effort to prepare for one and it's hard on the body as I said above.

    Gustavo Badell @ The 2005 Iron Man Gustavo Badell @ The 2005 Iron Man Gustavo Badell @ The 2005 Iron Man
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    Gustavo Badell @ The 2005 Iron Man.

    Also I think he has more mass than Lee Priest for example his chest is crazy and he when he flexes his arms at the same time he looks massive. His legs and abs also have a lot of muscle mass to them but one weak point might be that his back isn't up to par as the other competitors.

3. Lee Priest:

    Lee Priest is at a disadvantaged position because he already came out of a competition and like I mentioned above it is very hard to prepare for another right when you finished one because it is tough on the body and mind.

    But other than that his first place in the Iron Man just shows that he can place very high in competitions so he is very capable in placing in the top three. Also he packs a lot of mass, and more so than the other competitors.

    Lee Lee Lee
    Click Image To Enlarge.
    Lee Priest @ The 2006 Iron Man.

    His arms and especially his wrists are one of the best in the game and he also in my opinion has the best abs in this competition. His legs are also pretty good but his back needs a little more work. One thing that is very weak for Lee Priest is how his arms are probably the best and super huge, but his chest is small compared to his arms which makes him look somewhat disproportional.

    Click Image To Enlarge.
    Out Of Proportion?

4. Chris Cormier:

    Chris Cormier is definitely going to move up a few spots which can be seen in his poor performance in the Mr. Olympia. He lost to a few guys who are in this competition which puts him in a bad position.

    But other than that I think he was very well rounded with very good muscle mass. He packs quite a bit of mass in his legs and upper body which are quite symmetrical and defined.

    One highlight however is his back, which I believe is one of the best in the competition. One weak point is his abs are sort of sloppy because of GH use but he makes up for that with his massive arms that go well with his chest.

5. Dennis James:

    Dennis James is definitely a top contender in this competition since he did quite well in the 2005 Mr. Olympia placing sixth, and Ronnie Coleman or Jay Cutler aren't even in the competition.

    He has enough mass to place him in the top five and has a strong upper body and legs. His back is also one of the better ones in the competition and his only real weakness are his abs which are somewhat sloppy.

    He's probably got the best shoulders in this competition which go very well with his massive arms and chest. His traps also stand out with his shoulders.

6. Johnnie Jackson:

    Johnnie Jackson is probably the most well rounded guy in the competition and he will definitely place in the top ten in this competition.

    Click Image To Enlarge.
    Johnnie Jackson.

    He isn't the biggest guy there but he also packs enough muscle to get him to into the middle places. He's quite symmetrical and his body is quite proportional. There aren't really many weak points to him or anything truly outstanding.

    His arms, chest, and abs go well together and are very well shaped. His calves could use some work as well as his traps but other than that the rest of his body parts are looking quite good.

7. Darrem Charles:

    A very strong competitor but his only main drawback is that he doesn't have enough muscle to rise to the top places. But other than his muscles are good overall such as his upper body and abs.

    Click Image To Enlarge.
    Darrem Charles.

    His back is quite good but a weak point might be that his legs look quite small compared to some of the guys there. Also his muscle symmetry is sloppy and his muscle shape isn't the greatest which will also be a drawback for him.

8. Kris Dim:

    Definitely a strong competitor and has enough mass to make the top ten. He's got really good abs as well his chest and arms are looking very sharp.

    Click Image To Enlarge.
    Kris Dim.

    His legs although defined and symmetrical could use a little more mass. He also has a very good upper back but his lower back definitely is lagging and he needs to work on that. He also has great symmetry in all his body parts and his muscle shape is excellent.

9. Victor Martinez:

    Victor Martinez has doesn't have enough mass to get a high placing but probably make the higher spots in the top ten. His arms are great but I don't think his chest and abs look that great. His back is alright but his lower back needs work. One highlight are his legs, he's probably got one of the biggest quads in the competition which will definitely be a strong point for him.

10. Troy Alves:

    Troy Alves is one of the weaker competitors in the Arnold Classic for one thing he definitely doesn't have enough mass to make the top rungs.

    His chest and abs also aren't shaped very well and also his traps don't show that well. His arms are good but they don't go well with his chest and the abs. He does have an alright back though and his quads and his legs are his highlights.

Who Do You Think Will Win The 2006 Arnold Classic?

Gustavo Badell.
Dexter Jackson.
Troy Alves.
Darrem Charles.
Melvin Anthony.
Lee Priest.
David Henry.
Chris Cook.
Toney Freeman.

Review Of Other Articles
Or "Why Wasn't Mine Picked?"



  • Interesting and orignal.


  • Responses were a bit brief.
  • Comments: This writer was original and displayed good workman like discipline. A pleasant conversational style and a clear grasp of grammar and structure are evident Providing more content in future submissions will help this author's chances.



  • Well written and clear.


  • Not enough detail and discussion on the why of the picks.
  • Comments: There are some good points raised, but there could have been more discussion of why one competitior's advantages would place him over another.



  • Shows definite knowledge of the subject matter.


  • The Discussion of the top ten was coherent. Even though ten names were given and reasons were generally coherent and logical, we are given another list of names for the top ten. Less would have been more here. Some simple grammar errors. One example would be :rumors are proven, not approved.
  • Comments: This writer displays a definite knowledge of the subject matter and continues to improve with every submission. The second paragraph on Lee Priest could be several smaller paragraphs.