Two days before the Arnold Classic, we gathered some of the biggest names in the industry at the Greater Columbus Convention Center to break down the lineup and offer some predictions in a video preview of Saturday's 20th Arnold Classic.
Check out the video as eight-time Mr. Olympia Ronnie Coleman, six-time Arnold Classic runner-up Chris Cormier and Dennis James preview one of the biggest contests of the year.
And be sure to check out the Flex Forums for the Arnold prejudging on Saturday, beginning at noon EST, as Coleman and Cormier comment on the competitors.
Jay recently went to do an appearance at a nutrition store named All Stars. Jay also gt the chance to hook up with a good friend of his named Kevin which made the trip much more fun.
Here's a few pics from the trip.
About a month ago, we traveled down to Venice to shoot Episode 4 of our Life in Venice Video Series. The episode features female bodybuilder Cathy LeFrancois. Since Cathy wasn't competing until the Ms. International on February 29, we decided to hold the video and run it as part of our week-long buildup to the Arnold Classic Weekend.
In these pictures, Cathy is weighing in at a shredded 131 pounds. The pictures were taken at Gold's Venice on Thursday, February 21, a little over one week out from the Ms. International.
It's been a while, but we figured it was time to start showing the women a little love - not that kind of love - by beginning to run more training articles featuring your favorite fitness and figure pros. First up, fast-rising Gina Aliotti. When we shot Gina on Sunday, February 16, she was two days under two weeks out from the Figure International on Friday, February 29.
Now entering her third year as a pro, the 23-year-old Aliotti has been on a tear recently, as evidenced by her runner-up finish at the 2007 Olympia. The Olympia placing came just weeks after her win at the Tournament of Champions Pro Figure, which was the third pro win of her young career. Aliotti finished sixth at the 2007 Figure International, and is one of the early favorites to take home the title next weekend.
Look for Gina's article in the June issue of FLEX.
Jay recently went to Jon and Desirae Meyer's Max Muscle in Placerville, Ca. It was a great time and as usual, many fans came to see the Champ including many parents with their kids. Jon and Desirae have a little one of their own (what a cutie!)
Silvio's good friend, Joel Stubbs just arrived late last night in California to spend a month and train with Sil and Charles Glass at the Mecca.
Today was Joel's first day at Gold's ever and he loved every minute of it. Of course being so close to the Ironman, many pros were at hand again which made Joel's first experience at Gold's even sweeter.
Joel is being greeted by all including IFBB Pro rep Bob Chick
Joel and Paul (C Glasse's assistant)
Joel and Master Glass
Joel is being watched by Paul while Charles is keeping an eye on Sil behind them
Gustavo Badell is so consistent with his updates, we can't even keep up with the guy. These latest photos were taken on Saturday, Feb. 9, exactly one week out from the Ironman. Gustavo is weighing 258 pounds and looking like he is tightening up right on schedule.
Gustavo just sent us some more pictures, from today that is (Fri, Feb 8th, 08). At 8 days out from the IM 2008, Gus is weighing 257 pounds. As he said in his email, the pictures are "FOR THE FANS". Gustavo is really keeping his fans informed on what he's bringing to the table this year, and it is great to see a pro who isn't afraid to put himself out there to generate interest leading up to a contest.
Until next time...
Keep checking the FLEX BLOG leading up to the show, much more to come.
I just love when the Pro season starts, Venice starts crawling with FBB Pros and brings the city of Bodybuilding back to its old glory days. It's AWESOME!
It the past 2 days we have been treated with the nicest possible weather and Gold's Venice is seeing Pros from all around the globe. Bob Cicherillo has been shooting the new "Road to the Ironman" Series that can been seen on Bodybuilding.com right now.
Here's a few of the guys we've seen so far.
Mel is training at Gold's for the upcoming Arnold, he's looking big.
We then took a walk to Firehouse and ran into the Real Deal finishing his lunch.
Branch Warren joined us for lunch with Mel, his wife Yvette, Bob and his wife Toscha.
Mel and Branch chatting
Beautiful California sun, even in Feb. I LOVE IT!
Big Armin Schults is now training in Venice under Charles Glass's supervision, here he is with Paul, Charles's partner.
CC and sil chilling at the store
This morning we ran into Omar Deckard at Gold's, he's also doing the Ironman and looks real lean.
Big Armin is chlling in the couches with Sil and Armin's buddy.
Big Will came in also and said hello, he's also gearing up for the Ironman and looks real big too,
One last pic as Sil ran into John Cena at Gold's today. John signaled him over and invited him to go see John at the Staples Center on the 16th, Sil said, if I wasn't competing, I'd go John, LOL. Raincheck. I guess you have a new fan Sil.
Gustavo Badell one week out from the Ironman Pro. These pictures were taken yesterday, February 6. In them Gus is weighing 256 pounds and looking like he means business. Should be an interesting start to 2008.
Got a call from one of our favorite American Gladiators today - Stealth, or the athlete previously known as Tanji Johnson. Tanji is very excited about the success of the show and is gearing up for the filming of Season Two, which is tentatively slated to begin filming in late March or early April. She's on her way to Los Angeles next week for the LA Fit Expo, but first she's making an appearance that has most of us at Weider Headquarters a bit envious, at the Playboy Mansion on Thursday night for a kickoff party for NBC's upcoming remake of Knight Rider.
For those looking to meet Tanji at the Fit Expo, she will be working the Power/Balance booth at the expo. She will also be giving seminars - Saturday at 3-4 p.m. for American Gladiators and again from 5-6 p.m. for Pro PTA, and then on Sunday from 1-2 for American Gladiators.
As for her competitive future, Johnson has plans to compete in the Houston Pro Fitness on July 4-5 and then at the Fitness Olympia on September 27.
"Everything depends on the schedule with American Gladiators," Johnson said. "If everything works out perfectly that's when I'll be competing."
Today Stone Cold Steve Austin came to Venice to pick up some egg whites at Jay's Max Muscle Venice. He brought a couple of 8 by 10 for a friend of mine's newphew as well as some tickets for Monday Raw coming up in Anaheim on Feb 18th for him as well. Unreal how some of these celebrities still find the time and care enough to please a friend and make a little boy happy. That speaks volume to me. Thanks a lot Steve, Phil and his newphew Austin really appreciate your kindness and so do I, you are a true gentleman.
He stayed a bit and we discussed the Lesnar/Mir fight as he was right there ringside with a lot of his wrestlers buddy who all came to cheer and support Brock. He was really impressed with Lesnar's performance and even though he lost, Steve said that he only need experience, the talent is there and it's raw, with a few more matches, he'll get there.
We agree Steve, we agree!
Thanks for stopping by buddy and please come back again
Steve signing the photo for Austin (I had to take a pic so he'd believe it's real, lol)
At 2 weeks out, Sil is really getting that trademark paper thin skin couple with added mass that should really earn him top spots this year, no doubt he'll have some formidable competition but as Silvio always says "I'm going in to make an impact and shuffle the numbers, not just to be there" We can see that Sil.
Here's a few training shots taken 2 weeks out. More pics are to follow with Silvio's interview on the contests coming up.
Britan's Troy Brown - now Canada's Troy Brown - sent us these pictures from two weeks out of the Ironman Pro as he prepares for the third professional contest of his career. Brown, who won the heavyweight class and overall at the British Nationals in 2006, competed in the Montreal Pro and the Santa Susanna Pro in 2007. Brown finished 15th in Montreal and 6th at the Santa Susanna.
Hey Folks- Shawn Perine here saying "Whatup" to all my homies out there in Muscleland (not to be confused with Iceland, which is apparently a country).
I thought I'd give everyone a glimpse into the goings-on here at Weider HQ. I'm guessing not many of FLEX's readership has gotten the chance to visit our offices (although I hope each of you does get the chance one day). They are pretty spectacular, if you hadn't heard.
As I sit here typing to you the calming patter of water cascading down our two-story in-house waterfall lulls me to sleep. I mean awake! Yeah, awake.
As Joe Weider is an avid collector of art, particularly Western-themed sculptures, I'm surrounded by an impressive array of depictions of charging cowboys, stoic Indians and burdened horses. There's also a gallery of life-sized portraits of many of our Mr. Olympia winners and some seriously cool bits of strongman memorabilia scattered about.
In short, the place is a veritable museum with a decidedly masculine bent. of course, being an equal-opportunity employer here at Weider we hold the gorgeous portrait of Betty Weider now hanging in Dr. Stoppani's office in very high regard too.
My cubicle is a panoply of stuff, ranging from my LeRoy Neiman Ali-Holmes poster to a Sergio Oliva that was given to me by Sergio's longtime friend Jack Merjimekian. I also have here my collection of vintage muscle mags, ranging back to a 1910 Physical Culture, Bernarr McFadden's magazine of which Upton Sinclair was a frequent contributor.
I'll see if I can get some photos to support my outrageous claims about this place, but assuming you believe me, it is truly amazing. And yes, I do feel a distinct sense of pride each time I enter this hallowed building.