Friday, September 27, 2013

Last Scenario: New Champ On His First Attempt

The last scenario I've got for y'all is Big Ramy winning the whole thing on his first try. Not even Phil Heath did that. Or Arnold. Or Ronnie. Larry Scott, the first Mr. Olympia did it back in 1965. So it would be really, really cool for someone to come in to the Mr. Olympia and win the whole thing.

Big Ramy qualified for the Mr. Olympia by winning the IFBB Amateur Olympia last year. He made his pro debut in May at the New York Pro and pretty much shocked the bodybuilding world. He won that competition and even knocked off Victor Martinez in the process.

This guy has only been training about 3-4 years. I believe he's only 25 and he is HUGE! He has decent conditioning and a small waist to boot. Can he win the Mr. Olympia this year on his first try? Maybe. But his win will depend on all the other guys not being on target. I think he could win in this situation, but it isn't likely. Big Ramy needs more separation and refinement to take it all this year.

Personally, I would have liked him to wait a year or two to compete in the Olympia like Heath and Evan did. With two more years of training and dieting and figuring out how his body reacts, he could dominate the field just like Ronnie did. I'll go out on limb and predict MORE than Ronnie, but that's if Ramy stays healthy and keeps making stellar progress. With youth on his side, Ramy has a very bright future ahead of him.

Judging is tonight and only about 12 hours away! I'll give you a clue as to who I think is going to win it this year: I am wearing a black shirt that has a design on the front that looks like the Obama Hope poster... but it isn't Obama and it doesn't say HOPE.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Movie Review

As promised here is my review of "Generation Iron" after watching it last night.

First of all, it wasn't showing at any local theaters so I had to search for a theater that was showing it. The closest was in Monterey Park, which is more than an hour away down in Los Angeles. My buddy Mike Harris and I went down to watch it with me.

Both Mike and I enjoyed the movie. It sort of had the look of the original movie "Pumping Iron" but it didn't have the same feel. "Generation Iron" seemed a little darker than "Pumping Iron" in the way it told the story and Mickey Rourke's gravelly voice attributed to that as well. I think another voice would have been better.

I did enjoy the training sequences. They were shot in a more artistic way than the hundreds of online videos of pros training. The cinematography did a great job of capturing the effort and the blood, sweat and tears of workouts. They aren't always pretty and the productive workouts do not look like posed magazine photo shoots.

The storytelling was good and most of the editing was top notch, but a few scenes were a bit awkward in the way b-roll was used. It seemed choppy and out of place at times.

The documentary was slanted towards Kai being the underdog much like Big Lou Ferrigno in the original. I guess you could say Phil Heath reprised the role of Arnold in this film. Heath was shown to be sort of an arrogant guy who thinks his natural talent goes further with hard work and because of that he won't lose to Kai or anyone else. My guess is that footage was edited in order to portray that more than what Phil intended. I'm pretty sure much of it was taken out of context.

Speaking of out of context, in the final match-up at the Mr. Olympia when Phil and Kai are waiting for the emcee to announce the winner, the emcee made a joke that there was only one point separating...  fourth and fifth place in an earlier division before the men's Mr. Olympia. The movie made it sound like there was only one point separating Phil and Kai. The actual scores reflected that Phil had almost all straight first place votes from the judges and it really wasn't that close. But that's a documentary for you. They try to build up drama and present a view that might not be accurate. Lots of documentaries do that.

I liked the personal side of the bodybuilders that the movie revealed. They were shown as real people instead of super heroes like the magazines portray them sometimes.

If the movie wasn't more than an hour away, I'd go see it again. It gets a thumbs-up from me. I will definitely buy the DVD when it comes out. Actually I'll probably pick up the Blue-Ray, which will finally give me an excuse to buy a Blue-Ray player.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Generation Iron

I'm going to see it tonight. I'll have my review here in a couple days.

Scenario #3: Kai Dethrones Phil

Many fans thought Kai won last year's Mr. Olympia. When he was announced in second place the message boards and forums lit up with disapproval. If you were AT the competition, however, the reaction wasn't the same. From my seats it was obvious that Phil was going to win. Kai deflated like a balloon and Phil came on strong. I was surprised to see how many conspiracy theorists popped up and thought Kai blew Phil away because I thought Phil won fairly easily.

Compared to his 2009 AC showing, Kai looked skinny and flat. Yes, I thought Kai looked good, but I didn't think it was enough to outmuscle Phil. And yes, Kai pushed him until the last minute with a good challenge, but Kai's deflated look and lack of traps were the deciding factor for me. Heath rightfully won.

Bu this is bodybuilding and not everyone sees the same thing. Lots of people thought Kai was good enough to win. (I won't even get into the ridiculous "stepping over the line" argument. I've never seen anyone DQ'ed for that... ever.)

With all that being said, Kai does look like he'll be coming in with added size this year and if his conditioning is on par with his best, Kai could place ahead of Phil --  if Phil is off.

This scenario has a strong possibility and having a new champ this year would be exciting. I do think Phil will pull off another win, but Kai winning is my second guess. 

(As an added note: I've never been one to spout off about  politics this and politics that in bodybuilding. Many times guys with no basis or knowledge spout this stuff off all the time. An example would be one year people claimed a competitor won because they were under contract by MuscleTech. That was the year MuscleTech wasn't even a sponsor and didn't have a booth at the expo either. So I don't put too much stock in the political arguments.)

Monday, September 23, 2013

The Comeback Kid... Again! Scenario #2

Okay, technically Jay Cutler has turned 40 and really is no longer a kid, but I liked the title so therefore Cutler is the kid. And if he were to come back and win the Mr. Olympia a second time after losing it, that would again make bodybuilding history. He will become the only man to do it twice. No one else besides Jay has ever done it.

After sustaining a severe bicep injury shortly before the 2011 Mr. Olympia where he ended up placing second to Phil Heath, Jay took a year off. The injury required surgery and it sidelined him for the 2012 Mr. Olympia. With the go-ahead from his doctors earlier this year, Jay committed to another run for his fifth Mr. Olympia title. He has steadily added mass in the past few months and looks much bigger than his "recovery look" of 2012. Judging from pre-contest photos, he looks lean, but not quite as big as in previous years.

Jay has had some symmetry issues in the past. His right leg and arm is noticeably smaller than the left side's. His lower lats seem to vanishing a bit more each year. And, of course, there's the bicep mentioned earlier.

In 2009 Jay did something to minimize his symmetry issues and came in huge, full and shredded. If he can somehow pull that off again, he could win the title back, but that would mean Kai and Phil both need to be off and that isn't too likely. Not impossible, but most likely improbable. It did happen, though, in 2009 to Phil and 2010 to Kai.

Can Jay do it? Can he win his fifth and with a second career comeback? Yes, it could happen. Jay has a way of making himself look better on stage and controlling and commanding the mandatory round. I've seen him do it several times now. The crowd gets behind him and all attention is on him, including the attention of the judges. (Photos never reveal those sort of things!) Jay is the Vegas hometown boy and the crowd loves him.

Although I don't think Jay will pull off his fifth win, I would love to see him do it. He's one guy you can never count out or write off.

Scenario #1: Dynasty

I spoke with Phil Heath at the Fit Expo earlier this year. He was charged up and pumped up to win his third Mr. Olympia and therefore give himself a dynasty (three straight wins). He repeated the word dynasty several times in our brief conversation; it was obviously important to him. It would establish him with a couple of the Mr. Olympias from decades ago. Frank Zane and Sergio had three straight wins each. (Cutler won two, lost, and then won 2 more.)

Can Phil Heath hold onto his title? The short answer is yes, but the longer answer involves a few variables. If Heath comes in looking just like he did in 2011, he will win. If he improves on that 2011 form, he wins. It will not matter what anyone else looks like or what kind of shape they show up in. A 2011 or better Heath beats everyone.

If Heath comes in looking a little smoother like he did during the judging...
And Kai shows up in his 2009 AC form, Kai might knock him off the pedestal.
And if Cutler comes in looking like he did in 2009, Heath will place behind Cutler.
And if Rhoden comes in his best ever form (one we still haven't seen) I think a 2012 smoother Heath will still place ahead of him.

Personally, I think this scenario has a strong possibility and with these variables, it is probable that Heath will win his third Mr. Olympia and gain his dynasty.

Olympia Week!

This Friday, September 27, the judging for the 2013 Mr. Olympia gets underway. It is was one of the most highly anticipated competitions in years and the line-up is totally stacked!  Unfortunately I will not be attending this year's event. 2004 was my first year of making the September trek to Vegas, but this year my schedule didn't allow it. There have been too many things going on this month.

But I'm still a fan and I am very excited to see how things pan out and find out the last men standing on the Olympia stage this year. I've looked at previews and predictions from various sites and the opinions are varied. The top five guy I see in predictions are Heath, Greene, Cutler, Rhoden and Big Ramy.

Across the boards I've seen predictions by fans for their favorites. Die-hard Cutler fans think he will make his second big comeback just like he did in 2009. They believe he won't lose and he'll blow every guy off the stage. 

Kai has a big following after last year's second place performance and many still think he was the rightful winner. The Predator's fans think, of course, he will dethrone Phil. Fans of the Phil "The Gift" Heath, however, think he will win the Mr. Olympia title again this year.

I like records to be broken, set and tied. I  like champs to win a gain and champs to be dethroned. Comeback wins are great and so a first-time victories. In the next few days before the big event, I will write out a few of the scenarios that could take place this year. Lots of fun stuff could happen and, thankfully, we only have a few more days to wait until it is in the history books once again.