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Thread: ((( Official 2017 MR OLYMPIA Thread , Sept. 14th - 17th )))

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  1. #11  
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    Dennis Wolf Competing in the 2018 Arnold Classic
    Matt Weik, August 14, 2017


    The Wolf, himself, made an announcement that despite a long layoff from neck surgery, he will be back on stage in 2018ócompeting at the Arnold Classic. Some people have weighed in on this and think that his return is a bad thing, that thereís no way heís going to be able to add back all the size he lost and get ready for the Arnold Classic in Columbus, OH. I, on the other hand, think this is a great move for Dennis Wolf.

    The wolf is looking to take a bite out of the competition in Columbus
    Letís take a look back at the last few Arnold Classicís. The line-ups have been maybe three to four deep. The remaining seven or more competitors donít even have a fighting chance of winning the show. Two years ago, Kai Greene and Cedric McMillan battled it out with Kai winning a very controversial decision. Many thought Cedric had the better physique, but I guess we missed something in person and in the live broadcast. That being said, Kai bowed out of the 2017 Arnold Classic and Cedric took home the win. With the 2018 Arnold Classic about seven months away, itís my opinion that the show will continue to dwindle away.

    Should Cedric decide to come back and defend his title, he would truly be the only person in my eyes who could beat Dennis on that particular stage. Some have mentioned that if Dennis decided to do the Tampa Pro or New York Pro that it would be a step backwards in his career. Honestly, thatís like saying a tennis player shouldnít play in any minor tournaments during the year, that they should only focus on the Grand Slams. Itís the dumbest thing Iíve ever heard.

    Have you looked at how much bodybuilders make these days? They probably get paid less money than you (unless they are one of the best in the world). So, why should Dennis cut himself short and not do other shows? Why should he only be focused on the Arnold and the Olympia in 2018? Bodybuilders need to make money just like you and I. And their lifestyle is a lot more expensive than the normal Americanís. Not every bodybuilder is able to secure a sponsorship that pays them to basically do nothing all year other than train and do a few meet and greet signings.

    Back to the Arnold talk. Whoís left that could defeat Dennis on the Arnold stage? You have Juan, but honestly, after he took a year off I truly didnít see much improvement with his physique on stage, so I wouldnít say heís a contender. The big names like Ramy, Heath, Roelly, Dexter, and Rhoden are all holding out until the Olympia. So, whoís left other than Cedric, if he comes back?

    This all comes back to a previous article I wrote where I asked what everyoneís thoughts were on all of the top bodybuilders (some not even top) sitting out the entire year just to show up at the Olympia in Vegas. Some of them havenít even won enough pro shows in my opinion to even consider themselves Olympia caliber. They should be entering at least three shows every year and itís my opinion that we need a better system in place for Olympia qualification. But I digress, we can talk about that in another article.

    Dennis (assuming he can add his size back) has a physique similar to Cedric in that they are both tall competitors, he has a great chest, boulders for shoulders, a thick back, large quads, and a tiny waist. Most of the other competitors on stage are doing just about everything they can to keep their midsections under control, which makes Dennis look more conditioned and ready. The only complaint that you really hear about Dennis comes from his lack of hamstrings.


    The question becomes, can Dennis put back on the size that he lost?
    In my opinion, yes. But, we really donít know what Dennis is and isnít feeling. What I mean by that is, what damage has been done prior to surgery and then after that could limit his ability to put on size? Does he have total feeling throughout his body? Does he have nerve damage that will prevent him from going heavy on certain exercises?

    Time should be the only thing Dennis can truly count on right now. He has a good seven months until he needs to step on stage. Figure if he preps and diets for 12 weeks, that takes away three months from his off-season to put back on the size that he lost. That now gives him four months to add back all that lean muscle. Itís safe to say thatís not going to be an easy feat. If heís a hyper-grower similar to a Kevin Levrone, itís definitely possible. However, I donít think Dennisí body adapts that quickly, so we might see a smaller version of Dennis on the Arnold stage next year.

    Is that good enough to win the show? I hate to say it, but yes. I donít mean it as a slap in the face to the other competitors, but letís call a spade a spade. No one has truly looked like the first and second place finishers at the Arnold for years. The third place through last simply canít hang. I donít see the 2018 Arnold Classic line-up being very deep and I can easily see Dennis placing first or second in his comeback show.

    Itís going to be a very interesting off-season for The Wolf, but I have high hopes that he will be back to his former self in 2018 (maybe not just at the Arnold in Columbus). I also wouldnít count him out on a couple other shows during the year, if not also the Olympia. This isnít any insider knowledge that I have, I just feel that after all that Dennis has been through the last year, that he is going to give his fans one heck of a homecoming party in 2018 and regain some of his fans who might have left during his absence on the competitive stage.

    I, for one, am excited to see Dennis come backóregardless of how he looks at his first contest back. Dennis has always had a physique that I believe many have admired over the years. He has great musculature without losing his midsection. He always brings a freaky physique to the stage with an amazing v-taper that many in the sport respect. I think 2018 will be a good year for Dennis if he can have a productive off-season. But, only time will tell.
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  2. #12  
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    Really hoping to see Rhoden dethrone Heath this year. Kind of sick of the same old arrogant attitude from Heath and he does sweet fuck all for the sport as a whole. When Jay was winning The O and the Arnolds he did gobs to promote the sport and reflected well on the whole scene in general. I really don't think Phil should have as many Os as he does anyways as Kai should have had the win at least a couple times
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  3. #13  
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    I've always liked Dennis and have been loosely following his comeback. I'd love to see him return to form even if he is downsized slightly to show well at the Arnold.
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  4. #14  
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    The Welsh Dragon Eyes His Sixth Olympia Win
    By: Christian Duque, August 31, 2017


    At 5’5, 212 solid pounds of muscle, the reigning 212 Olympia champion has a long history in the sport of bodybuilding, going back to the age of 12. Throughout his teen years, Lewis’ interest in the sport grew, especially once putting on size through playing rugby. Rugby, which is very similar to American football, is distinguished in that it uses less padding and is far more aggressive. Once Lewis met IFBB Pro Neil Hill and adopted his Y3T training methodologies, history was made. Since winning the Overall at the 2007 British Nationals and earning his IFBB Pro Card, Lewis became a driving force in the then-202 division.

    By 2012, when the inaugural 212 Olympia was celebrated, The Welsh Dragon won the title & has successfully defended it ever since! In just a few weeks, Lewis will be competing for his sixth consecutive title, but few are considered to stand in his way. Flex Lewis has grown the sport, he’s built the physique, and while his rivals have shown us very impressive packages – will they be able to do it when it counts? Few think anyone can topple reigning champ.

    Speaking strictly in terms of physique, Flex Lewis has built a perfect look. Each and every pose is flawless. Structurally, he’s complete and balanced. The muscle looks perfectly on him. From the very beginning, he did things his way. Unlike most bodybuilders who focus on chest and arms, Lewis developed wheels reminiscent of Tom Platz. His calves remain one of his best features. Calves, which are largely attributed to genetics, also happen to be among the most stubborn muscles to train and see results. One look at Lewis on stage and it becomes obvious this isn’t a man who’s rested on his laurels. He’s combined excellent genetics with brutal (yet sensible) training, resulting in some pretty amazing gains. His waist is small and his midsection is totally on point. His chest & delts are full, while his back commands respect from all parties involved. The only thing comparable to Lewis’s physique, is his absolutely perfect, artistic posing style. A lot of guys either have the body or have the posing skills; the Welsh Dragon has perfected them both – giving him the perfect edge to keep challengers at bay. When Lewis hits the mandatory poses, he makes it very easy for the judges to put him first. When Lewis does his individual routines and participates in the pose down, he delivers an undeniable entertainment factor that keeps audience members at the edge of their seats, as well as on their feet. Everyone wants to see the reigning champ!

    As this article is written, Flex Lewis’ biggest competition is himself. Each and every year, he’s either maintained the quality of the previous year – or – bested it! Unlike, 6x Mr. Olympia Phil “The Gift” Heath, Lewis has never come off. There was one year where Brazil’s Eduardo Correa was said to have tied the champ (per the fans), but as we all know with bodybuilding – the only way to topple a defending champ is to knock him out. What looks like a tie, just isn’t enough to get the job done. That having been said, Lewis also commands far more respect among his peers than Heath with his. There’s no Kai Greene type in the 212, there’s no Big Ramy type either. In other words, there’s no one who Lewis should fear and no one whom his contemporaries think can decisively beat him. That’s a far cry from the open. Moreover, the two chief rivals to Lewis, have yet to topple him – anywhere. Ashkanani and Correa are both very impressive looking athletes, but their best physiques have been in shows where Lewis is absent and/or social media.

    Physiques aside, the judges & federation also want a champion that will truly serve as an ambassador for the sport. Many times, the press and fans don’t give that aspect very much attention. Lewis guest poses around the world, gives seminars, and even opened a gym in Florida. In addition to working with BSN, a top tier supplement company, the Welsh Dragon keeps himself visible and approachable, year-round! This approach has undoubtedly grown the 212 and brought a great deal of positive attention to the IFBB.

    Although the 212 purse is drastically less than the open, you wouldn’t know it by how the 212 Olympia champion carries himself. Keep in mind that the 212 sells a great chunk of tickets and is very easily marketed by promoters & press, alike. Take the 2017 Arnold, for example. Many have argued that it was the 212 that sold a lion’s share of the tickets there, given the fact that the open wasn’t as deep as in previous years. These athletes are always in tiptop shape and always come to do battle. That having been said, there’s also a very strong sense of camaraderie among them and very little, if any, drama. Many old school bodybuilders have compared today’s 212 with the bodybuilding scene of the 1970’s and early 1980’s. Between Classic Physique & 212 Bodybuilding, fans are ecstatic with what they see & what’s to come!

    Despite the fact Lewis has dominated the division, fans remain excited. One of the problems that develops once a sport or division is dominated, year after year, by the same team or champion, is that things start to get boring. In Lewis’s case, this couldn’t be farther from the truth. The fans go nuts when he takes the stage and they love the fact that he has a commanding presence. There’s self-confidence and then there’s KNOWING you’re the best, because you’re undefeated!

    With the Mr. Olympia just under three weeks away, fans will descend on Las Vegas, while others will watch via Pay Per View. It almost seems as if both champions (Heath & Lewis) are unstoppable, but sometimes that’s just how the cookie crumbles. Neither champion is dealing with any injuries and neither has ever come in really off, so as long as Lewis brings the same look as in 2016, he’ll win again. Lewis is known as being a real go-getter and constantly looking to make improvements, so it’s very possible that Mr. Britain will once again reinvent his physique and successfully defend his title.

    In conclusion, this will be a very entertaining, cutting edge contest. Flex has his head in the game. His corner is ready and has kept him in optimal shape. As always, what really matters is what happens on the stage and for a guy with five titles under his belt, the stage starts to feel a little like home. I think it’ll be very unlikely for anyone to topple the Welsh Dragon. I’d keep my eye on Ashkanani and Correa, but save for a real shock, it’ll be six for six for Lewis in Las Vegas.
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  5. #15  
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    Flex Lewis always comes with perfect conditioning and dryness, I don't think anyone beating him this year, I like the overall look of the 212 division over any of the other divisions.
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  6. #16  
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    Kai Greene – Special Invite & Huge Blunder
    Christian Duque, September 13, 2017

    Perennial Mr. Olympia runner-up and Arnold Classic champion Kai Greene will not be doing this year’s Mr. Olympia – the biggest show in the sport of bodybuilding. This marks the third year that Greene, a so-called people’s champion, has let down – the people. The fan feedback has become so overwhelming, that it won over IFBB USA and NPC President Jim Manion to offer Greene a special invite. This gesture would have allowed Kai to bypass qualifying – a roadblock most Top 5 Olympians avoid each year, thanks to automatic qualification. Giving Kai this rare privilege, would have also ensured he wouldn’t have had to peak twice in one year and could’ve spent a nearly-full prep getting ready for the O. Not only did Greene not decline, but he snubbed Mr. Manion by not even having the decency to acknowledge the offer, publicly.

    Weider/AMI was also watching the time pass, scratching their heads as to whether a decision would ever come, and unable to include Greene in promotional materials without some kind of confirmation. Kai has a longstanding feud with the print/digital giant, which I personally don’t understand, but which is allegedly the main reason he won’t compete on their stage. The only semi-concrete response came from Aaron Singerman, owner of RedCon1, who also has a stake in Greene’s Dynamik imprint. Singerman, apparently, didn’t even give the news to Mr. Manion, rather, he gave it to Dave Palumbo on a show at RxMuscle. Life is all about cause & effect, action and reaction, and this ordeal will cost Kai greatly.

    Age is just a number – for many things, but bodybuilding is certainly not one of them. Age, particularly for male competitors, paints a very clear picture. Of course, detractors will point to Al Beckles or Dexter Jackson, who at 48, will more than likely maintain his Top 5 placing at yet another Mr. Olympia, but that’s not something most can do. At 42 years of age, one can only wonder why Greene is squandering away the last few, solid years left of his career.

    Something needs to be said on that last point. There’s a categorical difference between simply making money and achieving your life’s purpose. Is it shallow of me to try to figure Kai out? Is it shallow of me, to be so cocky, as to believe that the Mr. Olympia would be a crowning achievement in Greene’s life? Do I know Kai, personally? No. Have I hung out with him? No. That having been said, Kai has been competing since a very young age – achieving considerable success both as a natty and later, as a mainstream bodybuilder. He battled for and earned a pro card, battled for and won the Arnold, and took runner-up placings at the Mr. Olympia. Greene eats, sleeps, and breathes, bodybuilding. He wants to be #1 and he wants to earn that position by defeating Phil Heath. It’s not enough to be the best, he wants to win against the top guy. As The Gift prepares to earn his 7th Sandow – NOW – would’ve been the ideal time to re-emerge, denying him the chance to make history. Coleman was unable to get nine, because Cutler was relentless, always making him take it to 100%, and in 2006 when even at, arguably, 95%, Coleman just couldn’t hang on. If anyone could legitimately stop Heath, it’s Greene. So where is he?!



    won’t sit here and lie to you, like others might, to grab some popcorn headlines. Kai Greene has traveled the world, earned the allegiance of countless fans, and probably made a boatload of money for himself and his various business ventures. He has received the rock star treatment, even at a time when rock stars don’t. His entourage has been mobbed, in what could only be reminiscent of b&w reels from when The Beatles first landed in America. These travels are great for bodybuilding and truly present Greene’s undeniable ambassadorial qualities – a key component deliberated on, when crowning a Mr. Olympia. All the pleasantries aside, however, while Greene shaking hands and kissing babies is great for the sport, Phil Heath is back home, winning Olympia after Olympia, solidifying himself as the greatest bodybuilder (per # of Sandows) of all time. If Greene were to compete in 2018’s Mr. Olympia, it will be four years to the last time he got on that stage and at 43 years of age, no less. Those numbers don’t seem very good, and they get worse each and every year he sits out.

    In addition to not competing in the Mr. Olympia, Greene also opted not to compete at this year’s Arnold Classic, either. In fact, he didn’t compete at all in 2017, raising concerns that he’s either semi-retired or too scared to compete again. The longer he waits, the greater the risk of him not being able to bring the package of old. If Kai places less than 2nd at the Olympia, that hurts his business. If Kai hadn’t won the Arnold (e.g. losing to Cedric McMillan), that could’ve seriously hurt his popularity & sales. Even worse, if Kai decided to do another show (not the Olympia or Arnold) and couldn’t win at that level, then he’d be in serious trouble. Again, the longer he sits out, the harder it becomes for him to regain his past momentum and quality.

    From a business standpoint, Kai may be doing what needs to be done. The more he’s out there, with the fans, and traveling the world, the more products will be sold. Brick and mortar outlets in India, Pakistan, & China, have had a front row seat to just how popular Greene is in their own countries. Other companies and athletes can cite metrics and analytics reports. In Kai’s case, entire cities shut down upon his arrival! Stores & gyms will place big orders for his supplements, with re-order forms ready, and huge promotional campaigns – both from Dynamik and locally – ready to roll out. It’s a no-brainer and an easy way to make big money, with little to no risk. The question is, for how long will Kai’s legacy last, particularly without winning a Sandow? A better question would be, how much bigger & more popular could Kai be, even with one title (ala Dexter Jackson) to his name?

    From a marketing standpoint, it becomes frustrating to have the World’s Second Best athlete, because everyone will consciously or subconsciously wish they had the #1 guy instead. Sure, some could argue politics, others could argue injustice, but the reality is – he’s never had the title. He never toppled Jay and he never toppled Phil. He always came really close, but he never sealed the deal. I will say, I do agree with Shawn “Flexatron” Rhoden (and others), in that there were at least two years where Kai beat Phil – but failed to knock him out. Kai never knocked out Jay or Phil, and whether right or wrong – that’s the only way to strip a defending Mr. Olympia of his spot on top. There is at least one indirect exception I can think of, however.

    Phil is now in largely uncharted waters. In over 50 years, only 1 man has won 7 Sandows. Only 2 men have won 8. No man has ever won 9. As Heath enters the next level of his career, he’s now battling for his place in history. Perhaps now, he won’t win unless he’s 100% – totally perfect. That slight edge given to the reigning champ, in light of the monumental achievements that lay before him, may disappear into thin air. Without that slightest of slight edges present, it could certainly open the door.
    If there is a new Mr. Olympia and a new era begins, how sad would it be for Kai Greene to be away from the action, being a businessman and not a bodybuilder. The sport needs to grow and if toppling Cutler or Heath at his prime weren’t possible, I find it highly unlikely that Greene will be able to topple a new champion at 43 and four years removed from the Olympia stage.

    Maybe this is it for Greene – for now. Maybe the next time we see him competing, will be in a decade or more, for a Levrone or Wheeler like comeback. Maybe he’ll never announce retirement – like he never accepted or rejected Jim Manion’s special invite to compete at the Mr. Olympia. With Kai, who knows?
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