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1996 IFBB English Grand Prix DVD Review


BodybuildingPro.com Bodybuilding Video & DVD Reviews 1996 IFBB English Grand Prix DVD Review

1996 IFBB ENGLISH GRAND PRIX - Dorian Yates Last Grand Prix Win (DVD) This was Dorian's last GP appearance and of course his final GP victory. He retired in 1997. BUY IT NOW 1996 IFBB ENGLISH GRAND PRIX - Dorian Yates Last Grand Prix Win (DVD)


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1996 Panatta Sport IFBB Grand Prix of England

Pump Room & Show

Presented by MET-Rx Weider Panatta Sport

Royal Centre Nottingham

September 29th, 1996

Pump Room...1996 English Grand Prix


Check out the full contest results below:

1996 English Grand Prix Contest Results

The DVD started off with some expo footage including autograph signing by Dorian Yates and then went into the pump room where the pros were working out before hitting the stage. I'm still uncertain as to whether or not steroids or eating a bodybuilding diet accelerates aging or not - as Nasser El Sonbaty looked older than he was at the time (30), where Kevin Levrone looked younger (at 31), and to this day, still looks as young as he used to be.

Nasser El Sonbaty at the 1996 English Grand Prix Backstage

Nasser El Sonbaty at the 1996 English Grand Prix Backstage

Kevin Levrone at the 1996 English Grand Prix Backstage

The mid nineties was perhaps the most competitive timeframe in the history of bodybuilding competition. I think a possible reason for this is because the long term effects of such high doses of anabolic-androgenic steroids was unknown at the time. Two deaths caused by fat loss drugs took place in around this period - it should be noted that these deaths were NOT due to steroids or bulking (muscle building) drugs. In fact, I have never heard of such deaths. But it is extremely dangerous to overdo diuretics. In any case, it is possible that bodybuilders have slowed down these days to focus on long term health. Either that, or the genetically elite just happened to be competing during that time frame.

Jean-Pierre Fux at the 1996 English Grand Prix Backstage

Dorian Yates at the 1996 English Grand Prix Backstage

J.D. Dawodu at the 1996 English Grand Prix Backstage

The bodybuilders continued to pump and oil up in the pumproom and were all in fantastic shape. When I saw these guys backstage I thought about how Dorian Yates never lost a competition and realized how ridiculous it is that a reigning Mr. Olympia champion can't win. Dorian obviously always looked the best from behind - no question about that. But towards the end of his career he was simply a mess of injuries from the front as well as being blocky with a distended stomach - yet he would consistently beat guys who were overall more balanced. Dorian's arms looked like crap! (No offense if you're reading this diesel, but remember "crap" is relative to the other pros on that stage with you that day). From the front, Dorian was nothing special, although his conditioning was good of course. From the back he was head and shoulders above all the rest - leaps and bounds. So I suppose you can argue that he should have won based on that, but to me it's about more than just that. Dorian killed Paul Dillett from the back but Paul Dillett killed him from the front - so why is the back always more important than the front in bodybuilding? It has been - since Samir Bannout won the Mr. Olympia in 1983. He set the trend which has kept up ever since then.

The pump room overall was a great feature on this DVD. It is similar to the poolside posing that GMV features in some videos, but to me, it's better because the bodybuilders are seen in competitive action, rather than just posing in front of a pool for everybody to see.

Prejudging...

The lineup was called on stage and it was obvious that this was a powerful lineup - all at a dinky Grand Prix event in 1996 with little prize money - why? Even at top contests today, this caliber of contestants don't show up.

Dorian Yates, Nasser El Sonbaty, and Paul Dillett appeared to be the inevitable top three. Kevin Levrone came out to pose with them and he looked great. His delts and arms blew Dorian's away, but when they turned around, it was Dorian's strengths that blew Kevin away. Dorian also had outsized him overall so I can see why he would have been placed ahead of him. Dillett was similar in that he had Dorian from the front, but from behind it wasn't even close. Dorian was also extremely thick from the side.

Paul Dillett, Nasser El Sonbaty, and Dorian Yates at the 1996 English Grand Prix Prejudging

Ronnie Coleman came up to pose next with Vince Taylor and J.D. Dawodu. Vince was 40 at the time of the show, and it should be noted that he continued to improve as time went on - up until his last contest in 2002 at the age of 46 (2002 Masters Olympia). He also won the 2001 Masters and placed 13th at the 2001 Mr. Olympia Contest. Very impressive! He's 49 this year and at the 2005 Arnold Classic he said he planned to compete in the fall, but never followed through. My guess is he will be back.

J.D. Dawodu, Ronnie Coleman, Jean-Pierre Fux, and Aaron Baker at the 1996 English Grand Prix Prejudging

The prejudging went on, and one comparison featured Chris Cormier, Charles Clairmonte, and Aaron Baker. What I admired about the physiques of these guys is that they have HEIGHT. To be truly large, you need size AND height. You can't just have one or the other. These guys were big - and Charles Clairmonte looked like he jumped right out of a magazine cover. He had the height (6'0), as well as the looks and mass. He would have a lot of mainstream appeal, just as Gunter Schlierkamp has.

Individual Routines:

Eddie Ellwood (UK)

Eddie was big everywhere. His arms were perhaps a wee bit small for his huge upper body muscularity, but he looked good. He had shredded glutes and a huge back - with hamstrings slightly out of proportion with that back. I had never heard of this guy before watching this DVD, so maybe I'm not as much of a fan of bodybuilding as I thought I was. But this was also before I started following bodybuilding.

Lutz Wilke (Germany)

Lutz had perfect colour which acted to highlight his tremendous detail. You could see every fiber in his back twitch as he flexed as he was particularly lean in that area. He had good proportions and a streamlined physiques.

Charles Clairmonte (UK)

Perfect in the front double biceps pose. He looked good everywhere - no major strengths or weaknesses since everything was in harmony. The crowd seemed to be a fan of Charles. He had a very impressive physique as well as the perfect tan, colour, and abs pose.

Check out the Charles Clairmonte DVD below:

Charles Clairmonte DVD

This is a classic GMV feature from the 1980s.

Chris Cormier (USA)

Chris Cormier was the same old Chris. Hard to pick a flaw as everything balanced well and his condition was good. The detail in his back was among the best in the show and calves looked to be in shape as well as they had the diamond look to them. This legs showed good separation and his abs and thigh pose was a winner.

J.D. Dawodu (UK)

J.D. was thick all over. His arms were so big it was sick - probably the biggest on stage, or way up there. His glutes were shredded and his back double biceps was thick as hell. This is another guy who I haven't heard about for quite some time. I wonder what he's up to these days?

Ronnie Coleman (USA)

What Ronnie looked like in 1996 compared to what he has looked like post 2000 is night and day. This guy was nowhere near as big for one (although his arms were as big as they were ripped and he still had a great back). Secondly, his waist was small as anything. To this day his waist to shoulder and waist to chest ratios are still among the best around (if not THE best around), but at the time his waist was probably under thirty inches. It was easily the smallest waist on the stage. His back was detailed as can be and his stomach showed no sign of distention whatsoever. Which Ronnie version you prefer is largely a matter of personal preference. I think he is more competitive today, but some would definitely disagree with me. He looked very impressive at this show and had a classic look to him - and guess what? He was way underrated at the time. Ronnie did what he had to do to place high at the shows (become a mass monster). Don't blame Ronnie - blame the judges. Ronnie's calves at the time were a decent size, but always have, and always will, lack the diamond shape seen in the calves of some like Dorian Yates and Jay Cutler, among others.

Jean Pierre Fux (Switzerland)

Jean Pierre was huge but I think his condition or colour / tan was lacking. I'm not exactly sure which one as he appeared to be ripped, but the details weren't as prominent as I think they could have been. He was one of the thickest pros on the stage.

Aaron Baker (USA)

Aaron seemed to have the same problem as Jean Pierre. I think his condition was better than the oil / tan would allow. He looked to be in condition with cross striated triceps and a shredded chest and delts. His legs looked good and he was huge. His calves were monstrous with very low insertion points. The last competition Aaron was in was the 2003 Ironman:

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Nasser El Sonbaty (Yugoslavia)

Great condition and good size. Clearly ahead of Dorian from the front and even the possessor of a good back, but not enough to beat Dorian. Too bad it seems that Nasser will never get back to this level. My suspicion is he cannot afford the drugs required to do so. His training has always been sloppy from clips I've seen of it and I doubt his nutrition has changed too much. It's either natural aging or lack of drugs, or a general lack of effort which has caused his fall from grace. HOWEVER, I must stress that my opinions are just that, and nothing more than sheer speculation. He should throw in a towel and leave with whatever he still has.

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Dorian Yates (UK)

Nothing special from the front. He was in shape with a good tan, but so were a lot of guys at the show. Now from the back this was another story. He blew everyone away with his size and thickness, as well as condition. He was also very thick from the side.

Dorian Yates at the 1996 English Grand Prix Prejudging

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Paul Dillett (Canada)

Although the DVD had Paul listed as being from the USA, he was originally from Canada. Just a minor error I thought I would point out. The only area Paul was lacking in was the back. Not to say this is a minor thing, but everything else was huge and in shape. His calves were low and full and he was huge and vascular all over. If his back wasn't so weak, I could see him winning this show, but with what might have been the worst back on the stage that day, it's difficult to declare him the winner.

Paul Dillett at the 1996 English Grand Prix Prejudging

Paul Dillett at the 1996 English Grand Prix Prejudging

Vince Taylor (USA)

Huge arms and a thick cut back. For 40 years of age, this is remarkable. Even more remarkable is that Vince continued to improve for the next six years until his quasi-retirement from bodybuilding. Very impressive.

Vince Taylor at the 1996 English Grand Prix Prejudging

Vince Taylor at the 1996 English Grand Prix Prejudging

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Kevin Levrone (USA)

Kevin looked fantastic. It's hard to fault him. His back was a strong point - maybe not so much as Dorian, but still way up there. From the front he looked great. Big arms and he was just big all over. From the side he was less thick than Dorian, but his conditioning was great and he looked very good.

Kevin Levrone at the 1996 English Grand Prix Prejudging

Kevin Levrone at the 1996 English Grand Prix Prejudging

CLICK HERE TO BUY KEVIN LEVRONE ON VIDEO & DVD

Next the comparisons between the top guys took place with the bodybuilders hitting the mandatory poses. Kevin and Dorian went toe to toe on the poses and where they both looked great alone, Dorian definitely had him beat side by side in the rear double biceps (and also the rear lat spread but not by as large a margin). Dorian's thickness from the side was also prominent. His taper was not good compared to Kevin and Nasser though. Nasser was a lot bigger than Ronnie, but eventually Ronnie went on to outside him by a longshot. Nasser had a small waist, and Ronnie's was even smaller - smaller than Levrone's as well who also had a tiny waist.

The lineup continued to pose and there wasn't really anyone in the show who had any major weaknesses. Nobody was totally off or anything like that, although some were in admittedly better condition than some others, although the gap between quality was not as high as I've seen in some contests.

Paul Dillett and Kevin Levrone at the 1996 English Grand Prix Prejudging

Chris Cormier and Jean-Pierre Fux at the 1996 English Grand Prix Prejudging

Evening Show

Eddie Ellwood (UK)

The possessor of a great most muscular pose and the evening show lightning worked well to highlight his cuts. He looked good.

Eddie Ellwood at the 1996 English Grand Prix Evening Show

Lutz Wilke (Germany)

The lighting also worked well to show Lutz' condition. He looked good and very hard and grainy in his posing routine. His back was detailed and his skin looked very thin. He posed to some slow music and followed it up with some hip hop beats. He looked very good, but not top five material in the show.

Lutz Wilke at the 1996 English Grand Prix Evening Show

Charles Clairmonte (UK)

At this point it was clear that the lighting was helping every guy to look at his best at this show. His posing routine was good and he highlighted his physique well during the pose. While Charles was extremely massive, I would take his physique because he had height as well as great proportion.

Charles Clairmonte at the 1996 English Grand Prix Evening Show

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Chris Cormier (USA)

It was interesting to see that almost 10 years ago Chris had been posing to hip hop just as he does today. I tried digging up the song online but was out of luck. I hadn't heard of it before though. Then again, at the time of this contest I was 14 years old.

Check out some more Chris Cormier DVD features in our video library

Chris Cormier at the 1996 English Grand Prix Evening Show

CHRIS CORMIER VIDEOS & DVDS

Chris is said to have some of the best genetics in bodybuilding right now, and even compared with some of the greats in bodybuilding history.

J.D. Dawodu (UK)

J.D. was thick all over and in good condition. His posing was good and he had a very impressive front double biceps pose. J.D. started out with slow posing then posed to hip hop and sped up the posing a little.

J.D. Dawodu at the 1996 English Grand Prix Evening Show

Ronnie Coleman (USA)

Has Ronnie always posed to the same music? He used the music in the 1996 Mr. Olympia, as well as the 2003 and 2004 shows. Ronnie looked great. It would have been hard to fault him other than the fact that he was smaller than the size he eventually reached. He was posing to Tupac music after the powerful opening music ended.

Ronnie Coleman at the 1996 English Grand Prix Evening Show

Ronnie Coleman at the 1996 English Grand Prix Evening Show

Ronnie Coleman at the 1996 English Grand Prix Evening Show

Ronnie Coleman at the 1996 English Grand Prix Evening Show

Ronnie Coleman at the 1996 English Grand Prix Evening Show

Ronnie Coleman at the 1996 English Grand Prix Evening Show

Check out all the great Ronnie Coleman features on video & DVD below:

RONNIE COLEMAN VIDEOS & DVDS

Any workout DVD featuring Ronnie Coleman is a good bet. The only one of his I haven't seen yet would be his first DVD. As soon as I get it, I will write a review and put it in the bodybuilding video & DVD reviews section.

Jean Pierre Fux (Switzerland)

Jean Pierre posed to Batman music and was huge as hell. He was a trifle boxy but had a heck of a lot of upper body muscularity. He looked great in the most muscular pose which he jumped off stage to perform close up to the crowd. He posed to "Queen of the Night" by Whitney Houston then followed it up with a slower song.

Jean Pierre Fux at the 1996 English Grand Prix Evening Show

Aaron Baker (USA)

At the age of 36, Baker looked great. He continued to compete until he was almost 43 at the 2003 Ironman. Not too many pros are competing into their forties like he did. Very impressive. He was also definitely underrated. He looked great.

Nasser El Sonbaty (Yugoslavia)

Nasser started off by posing to some slower music. I noticed how huge his thighs were in his posing routine. They were always a strong point for Nasser - as was pretty much every muscle, other than his back, which was not in the same league as Dorian's. Nasser's gluts were hard and his conditioning overall was spot on.

Dorian Yates (UK)

His arms looked tiny at te opening of his routine. Now this may have been only in comparison to his immense upper body, but I DOUBT THAT. They looked far smaller than arms of the other guys in the show - and how do you even win a show to begin with having only ONE arm at that? He was blocky and his chest looked flat. From the back he owned everyone in the show by a country mile so I guess it's possible to declare him the winner if you put a lot of emphasis on his strenghts - back and calves. But everything like that was so far behind some of the competition it wasn't even funny. Some of his Mr. Olympia wins during this era were a joke. I'm pretty sure every other Mr. Olympia had at least ONE clear cut victory. Did Dorian have any where he won by a country mile though? For example, had Ronnie not won in 1998 or 2003 it would have been absurd. Some of his victories were controversial, but not those ones. Did Dorian ever clearly win by a longshot? I'm not sure.

Paul Dillett (Canada)

Big, and if not for his weak back could have taken the show.

Vince Taylor (USA)

Great poser. Amazing to see him continue to improve at age 40. vince posed to Barry White's "Practice What You Preach" which was a great choice. Vince always has the posing part down and I think it helps him in his placings since the judges notice his physique through his excellent posing. He then changed his posing to a more robotic one - one which seemed similar to the one he used at the 1989 Mr. Olympia Contest. He next posed to the Macarena which was a popular tune at the song, and he posed to it well.

Kevin Levrone (USA)

Looked good. Kevin was a good poser and highlighted his physique well during the pose. He had a proportioned and aesthetic physique but lacked the size required to beat Dorian since mass was the name of the game.

Top Six Posedown

The top six consisted of Dorian Yates, Nasser El Sonbaty, Paul Dillett, Kevin Levrone, Vince Taylor, and Ronnie Coleman. Quite a strong top six.

The posedown doesn't really do much to affect the judging I don't think, but it is entertaining nevertheless.

The top six was announced:

6th: Vince Taylor
5th: Ronnie Coleman
4th: Kevin Levrone
3rd: Paul Dillett
2nd: Nasser El Sonbaty
1st: Dorian Yates Winner 1996 English Grand Prix

Kevin received his award from John Citrone. This guy is quite amazing. Check out his DVD:

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Overall Review:

Contest DVDs are definitely among my favourites from GMV since that is what the highest level of bodybuilding is all about (competition). If not for GMV, this title wouldn't exist because it wouldn't have been produced by anybody else, so I'm grateful to GMV for that. I quite enjoyed this DVD and enjoy watching the many other Grand Prix events that they have produced. Stay tuned for more reviews! I will have 5-10 new GMV reviews up every month.

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1996 IFBB ENGLISH GRAND PRIX - Dorian Yates Last Grand Prix Win DVD 1996 IFBB ENGLISH GRAND PRIX - Dorian Yates Last Grand Prix Win (DVD)
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Take care,

Matt Canning
webmaster@bodybuildingpro.com

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1996 IFBB ENGLISH GRAND PRIX - Dorian Yates Last Grand Prix Win DVD 1996 IFBB ENGLISH GRAND PRIX - Dorian Yates Last Grand Prix Win (DVD)
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