The Champ Remains the Champ
In my prior article, I wrote my thoughts on the top 10 bodybuilders who I believed would place. Well, some were on the mark, and some were way off the mark. It wasn’t really hard to predict Heath and Flex Lewis as the winners. They have to best genetic make-up of the competitors in their respective classes. Not to mention, only once in the history of the sport has the incumbent champion been defeated, that was Jay Cutler way back in 2008. Although people speculate that Shawn Rhoden pushed Heath, he is still the best guy there is bar none. Same with Flex Lewis, these guys are just better than the others.These two will only lose when they beat themselves. That means coming in out of shape and someone else very good being spot on. These guys at 90% are just better than anyone else at 100%. Phil is kind of an unlikable champion. Its either his arrogance or lack of charisma, or a combination of both that hurts him in popularity. So we will revisit the top 10 and discuss in order.
Men’s Open Bodybuilding
- Phil Heath- Many felt he wasn’t his best but he doesn’t have to be to win. He often gets compared to his 2011 form which really isn’t fair. He is far and away the best of this era.
- Dexter Jackson- Huge surprise here. 45 yrs old and still getting better. The Blade was bigger than ever and still very crisp. He may have given up some symmetry, but he was amazing.
- Shawn Rhoden- Many natural gifts. Best shoulder to waist taper in the sport. He still needs more muscle and detail in his back. His time will come.
- Dennis Wolf- Wolf is a huge man. He made these other guys look small in comparison, but he was just off condition wise, especially at Fridays pre-judging. If Dennis pulls it all together, he can do serious damage.
- Big Ramy- Rumored to weigh 310 onstage, he was massive, but failed to show elite conditioning. I still don’t like his physique. Jut something I can’t put a finger on. The rumor is he dropped George Farah in favor of Chris Aceto. A good move I think.
- Branch Warren- A mass of sinewy muscle. This guy has muscle for days and conditioning, His problem is structure. He just doesn’t have great lines. He brings the best he can bring, but it isn’t good enough now to beat the guys above him.
- Roelly Winklaar- A true freak. This guy has more muscle per square inch than anyone. He got his waist tighter and to finish this high was doing well. He is crazy too look at but lacks elite symmetry. Great showing!
- William Bonac- He is a tank. A ton of muscle that was also highly conditioned. He was on the money for this show. His posing is also very solid. He has mild structural flaws like naturally narrower clavicles, but he makes up for that with monsters delt caps. Great showing to make the top ten.
- Victor Martinez- Victor is still an amazing bodybuilder. He has the frame, but I believe his age and personal life issues have caught up with him. Having to take time out a few years ago seems to have really cost him. greta showing all in all.
- Essa Obiad- This guy always comes in hard as nails. He has some structural issues, but he is spot on almost always. A top ten finish is a great showing against this field.
Final Thoughts and Feelings
I was off on a few predictions. John DeLaRosa is a great bodybuilder. Perhaps he peaked too often late in the season and was unable to be his best. He will be back in 2016 and show better than 16th. Steve Kuclo is a friend of mine os I was bummed out for him, He wasn’t his best though. He came in watery and soft. Steve just started with Neil Hill this year so it may take time to work out the bugs in the process.He still has all the tools to be Mr. O one day, but he is going to need to sharpen up quickly with a pack of young guns like Compton and McCarver on their way up. He is a great person and I wish him the best. Next year should be more entertaining. Is the pack closing in on Phil Heath or will he continue to keep the wolves at bay? We will see one year from now in Las Vegas!