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Battle for the Olympia 2003 - DVD Review


BodybuildingPro.com Bodybuilding Video & DVD Reviews Battle for the Olympia 2003 - DVD Review

Battle for the Olympia VIII 2003 (DVD) We are pleased to announce that The Battle for the Olympia VIII 2003 has just been released. The latest Mitsuru Okabe production was taped in October 2003 around the Olympia Weekend. Enjoy 339 minutes of hardcore training from bodybuilding pros competing in the Olympia. BUY IT NOW Battle for the Olympia VIII 2003 (DVD)


Go to: BUY BATTLE FOR THE OLYMPIA VIII 2003 ON DVD!

Go to: REVIEW - BATTLE FOR THE OLYMPIA VIII 2003 (DVD)

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Go to: DISC 2



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REVIEW - BATTLE FOR THE OLYMPIA VIII 2003 (DVD)
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DISC 1
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Melvin Anthony
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Melvin Anthony

Melvin Anthony in winning form at the 2004 Night of Champions.

Photograph © Ron Avidan of GetBig.com. Reproduced with permission.

Melvin Anthony trained at Powerhouse Gym:

Powerhouse Gym
Chatsworth, California
1-818-775-0300

In the sequence, Melvin explains that he had a good training season, putting on some serious muscle size and is looking forward to the Olympia. Stan McQuay appears towards the beginning of the video, and is seen briefly in some other sequences. Melvin introduces his trainer, Pano Fragoulis, who has been helping him with his prep. At the time of shooting, Melvin was 16 days out and currently weighing in at 240 pounds with a 28 inch waist! He was on medium / low carbs at the time, but his strength levels seemed ok given how close he was to the time of the contest. Melvin stated that he was doing cardio every fifth day. Many pro bodybuilders do cardio much more frequently, some doing it every day for over an hour in the time leading up to competition. It is quite clear Melvin was blessed with great genetics to stay lean without having to overdo the cardio. Melvin's workout looks like this:

BACK:

  • Warm up with low weights / low reps, doing rows for back, using applying the continuous tension principle.
  • Rows using the leg press machine (very unique way to do them). Similar to the action of machine rows. Doing 225 for 15 reps.
  • Cable Rows With Strap Handles, which help improve the range of motion. He does this while supersetting the movement with hyperextensions for the back.


As motivation, Melvin says "Top 3" during some of the sets. He is an excellent bodybuilder and it's obvious he is on a mission to beat himself and show his personal best on stage. Eventually during his back workout, Melvin takes off his shirt to train. He shows us that he has a 28 inch waist - his 28 inch belt is down to the last notch and there is still a little room left over. At 240 pounds and ripped, this is a remarkable achievement. One thing bodybuilding today gets a ton of flak for is the size of the waists of the current competitors. The price paid for bulking up so much is often seen in the form of a larger waist. Melvin proves that there are bodybuilders out there today who have not had this waist development happen to them yet. Melvin's training partner shows up - Ronny Camacho who came first in the 2003 NPC Tournament of Champions. Melvin tells us how hard Ronny has worked and Ronny's ambition to turn pro, stating that he has the genetics and the work ethic to do it. Melvin drinks a shake during his workout for energy, which contains no polyurethane. He states that drinking diet drinks will cause stomach pains and warns fellow bodybuilders to be careful with diet drinks.

TRAPS:

  • Dumbbell Shrugs


Melvin has a unique method for doing shrugs, similar to the 21s method for working biceps. He uses three target areas for the traps, for seven reps each (for a total of 21 reps). Melvin's target areas are back, side, and front dumbbell shrugs.

After the shrug workout is complete, Melvin hits the poses. He does the following poses (in order):
  • Left Side Relaxed
  • Back Relaxed
  • Right Side Relaxed
  • Front Relaxed
  • Front Double Biceps
  • Front Lat Spread
  • Left Side Chest
  • Right Side Triceps
  • Rear Lat Spread
  • Rear Crucifix
  • Rear Double Biceps
  • Abs / Thigh
  • Hand on Hip Most Muscular
  • Hands Clasped Most Muscular
  • Most Muscular
  • Right Side Chest (Modern Version)


After the posing, Melvin is pretty tired, stating that the workout itself is easier than the posing! No doubt, it does get tired to flex so hard for such a long period of time, and while the bodybuilders make it look easy on stage, it is only after a lot of time and effort that that illusion is possible.

Overall the Melvin footage was high quality. Melvin has a classic physique. Where bodybuilding today is about mass, Melvin manages "mass with class", maintaining a tiny waist and classic lines where still having enough muscle to do damage in top shows.

Troy Alves
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Troy Alves

Troy Alves at the 2003 Pro Ironman Contest.

Photograph © Ron Avidan of GetBig.com. Reproduced with permission.

Troy Alves trained on Thursday, October 9, 2003 at the following gym:

Fitness 1 Gym
Glendale, Arizona
1-602-504-3988

Troy starts by introducing himself and his training partner AJ - although as far as I know AJ is not a pro bodybuilder, he was in great shape! Honestly, many bodybuilding competitors have had or currently have a physique like him. No doubt he has the potential to become a pro bodybuilder if he ever decides on that. Troy didn't say too much about the ambitions of AJ, so I assume he trains recreationally. Troy said AJ was a great training partner, consistent, always on time, and a great help to motivate Troy in his training and contest prep. The workout started early in the morning, at 9:05 AM. His back / trap / biceps workout looked as follows:

BACK

  • Wide Grip Reverse Chin Ups (with Straps).
  • Machine Rows With Belt (Using 225, 315, 405 pounds for reps).
  • Dumbbell Rows (using a 150 pound Dumbbell) for three sets.
  • Machine Rows for Back (Using three plates per side for three sets).
  • Dumbbell Shrugs (Three Sets).
During the workout, between sets, Troy introduces his parents, John & Iris Alves, both of whom claim to have given Troy his great genetics for bodybuilding. Troy states that it was half and half. Troy takes off his shirt before doing a set of rows and looks fantastic. He claims he is on low carbs and looking flat, but it is clear his muscles and full and round. Maybe not as full as they would have been on a higher carb day, but he certainly looked good. His chest separation, in every possible way, was just incredible. His upper chest separation was really amazing, and I have seen few bodybuilders with that level of separation. Others who come to mind would be Markus Ruhl and Franco Columbu. AJ also took off his shirt during that sequence, showing his great shaped - good overall muscularity and good abs as well. Very lean for someone not nearing a competition. We also get the chance to meet Troy's beautiful wife Tara. Troy explains how she inspires him to get where he is, and encourages him to make continual improvements to his physique which allows him to show his competitive best on stage. He was 229 pounds during the time of the shooting, saying he hopes to make it on stage at 224 or 225 pounds. Troy explains that a large part of his appeal in bodybuilding competition is that he looks ordinary in clothes, but when he poses he comes alive. This is true when you consider Markus Ruhl - Although Markus is enormous, when he poses, he doesn't get all that much bigger. He is so huge as it is, that his muscles are already popping off of him - posing doesn't really change that very much. With Troy, he may look "ordinary" in street clothes (ordinary people have 22 inch arms?), but when he poses his muscle jumps out at you. For your information, Troy is also a great poser, very fluid and graceful in his movements and transitions from one pose to the next. Troy knows that he has a classic physique and that he needs to capitalize on that. Very few bodybuilders know what they should shoot for. Shawn Ray KNEW he had achieved near perfection with his physique when he turned pro. So since those days, he made it his goal to maintain his body weight while trying to improve things like conditioning. He knew he wasn't going to be able to play the size game and focussed on his strengths. Similarly, Troy stated on this DVD that he knows his strong points are his posing, symmetry, and balance. I do believe that Troy will not go overboard on mass, and instead, do what it takes to emphasize his symmetry. Next troy went into his traps workout:

TRAPS:

  • Dumbbell Shrugs (Three Sets).


Like Melvin Anthony in the previous sequence, Troy focussed just on dumbbell shrugs for his traps. A simple, basic movement to help build trapezius muscularity. He claims that his jaw is very tight and his face is thin due to the extreme dieting required for the show. He says it makes chewing difficult! You can tell by looking at Troy's face that he is very dieted down. Next comes Troy's biceps workout:

BICEPS:

  • Standing Alternate Dumbbell Curls (Two Sets).
  • Machine Preacher Curls (Three Sets).
  • Double Biceps Cable Curls (Three Sets).
Troy does some posing in between sets. He poses his biceps to show the pump, and states he has 22.25 inch arms.

This is followed by Troy hitting some poses. He does the following:

  • Front Relaxed.
  • Left Side Relaxed.
  • Rear Relaxed.
  • Right Side Relaxed.
  • Front Double Biceps.
  • Front Lat Spread.
  • Brief Front Most Muscular Variation.
  • Right Side Chest.
  • Right Side Triceps.
  • Rear Double Biceps.
  • Rear Lat Spread.
  • Abs / Thigh.
  • Hands Clasped Most Muscular.
  • Right Thumbs Up Pose!


The thumbs up pose seems to be standard in the world of professional bodybuilding.

Dexter Jackson
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Dexter Jackson

Dexter Jackson photo from the prejudging of the 2001 Mr. Olympia Contest

Photograph © Ron Avidan of GetBig.com. Reproduced with permission.

Dexter Jackson trained on Friday, October 10, 2003, at the following gym:

World Gym - Jacksonville, FL
1-904-821-5101
www.worldgym-jacksonville.com

Dexter pulls in in a really nice car, explaining that he needed to take a year off from bodybuilding, but now he's back. He says World Gym in Jacksonville is a great gym to train at, with new equipment and a staff that treats members with respect, saying that respect goes a long way. His training partner is Gabriel Lopez from PhatMuscle.com, and Dexter commented that he was going to help endorse his product line. Dexter also introduces us to Vince Pannozzo - the owner of the gym. Dexter then goes to work on the nice new equipment available at the gym starting with shoulders:

SHOULDERS:

  • Machine Front Military Presses - 135 pounds for warmup, followed by 225 pounds for working sets. Dexter supersets these with dumbbell side lateral raises. He then goes up to 275 pounds using the same superset scheme.


He takes off his shirt and trains with his tank top on between sets. He does a right set chest pose wearing his tank top. As well, when he is doing the side lateral raises, it is extremely clear that Dexter has a world class physique, but also world class conditioning. He delts are deeply striated. This is incredible for a guy who claims to not do cardio to get shredded!

BICEPS / TRICEPS:

  • Barbell Curls with Cambered Bar.
  • Triceps Cable Pressdowns Superset with Dip Machine Pushdowns and Reverse Curls with Long Cambered Bar


Dexter does four sets in drop set fashion. Followed by another three sets in the same fashion. Dexter is obviously a fan of the superset, supersetting his triceps as well as his shoulders. In fact, Dexter seems to be a fan of training intensity principles in general, as he employed drop sets for his biceps, as well as the supersetting he did. He does some right and left biceps posing in between his triceps sets. He follows this up with posing, doing the following poses (in order):
  • Hands Clasped Most Muscular.
  • Right Side Chest.
  • Rear Double Biceps.
  • Hands Clasped Most Muscular.
  • Most Muscular.
  • Front Relaxed.
  • Rear Lat Spread.
  • Right Side Relaxed.
  • Hands Clasped Most Muscular.


To me, the main appeal to Dexter's appearance on this DVD were his use of training intensity principles while working out, and also his stunning conditioning. He was the most shredded competitor on stage during the 2003 Mr. Olympia Contest, and if what he says is true (that he never performs cardio), it is amazing the kind of genetics he has. Rumour has it he did cardio for the first time ever at the 2004 Arnold Schwarzenegger Classic, where his conditioning was brought to a whole new level.

Claude Groulx
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Claude Groulx

Claude Groulx, 2003 Master's Mr. Olympia Champion with his Sandow and competitor medal.

Photograph © Ron Avidan of GetBig.com. Reproduced with permission.

Claude Groulx trained on the night of Friday, October 10, 2003 (15 days out), at the following gym in Miami Beach, Florida:

Idol's Gym
South Beach, Florida
1-305-532-0089

Four weeks before shooting for this DVD, Claude Groulx had won the 2003 Master's Mr. Olympia competition, where he got his body fat to a record low 3.5 - 4%. He said he did this by doing more cardio - as much as 1-1.5 hours a day for six weeks pre-contest. Then Claude started his biceps workout:

BICEPS:

  • Standing Barbell Curls.
  • Alternate Dumbbell Curls.


I liked Claude's biceps routine. Nice and simple. The biceps are a small muscle, and stimulating growth is does not require high volume, unlike some other muscle groups (chest, back, thighs). From there, Claude went on to perform his chest workout:

CHEST:

  • Machine Incline Press (Two plates per side, followed by three, then three plus a 25 pound weight per side for two sets).
  • Pec Deck Flys.
  • Cable Crossovers.
  • Machine Incline Press (Two sets).


The machine presses were not performed on the Smith Machine. He took off his shirt in between sets and hit some poses during the workout - a left side chest, and a right side triceps pose. After performing a set of flys, he did a hands on hip most muscular and some side posing. In between other sets of flys, he did a front lat spread, most muscular, and some other front posing. His conditioning and muscle quality looked excellent during shooting (there was very good lighting at this gym as well).

SHOULDERS:

  • Machine Side Lateral Raises (two sets).
  • Front Dumbbell Raises (both dumbbells at once - (two sets)).
  • Rear Pec Deck Flys (four sets).
  • Machine Shrugs (three sets).


Claude stated during the training sequence that he was planning on retiring in 2-3 years (2005 or 2006). He said that he had two or three bodybuilders approach him for help with show preparation for the Mr. Canada competition. He did some posing in between his sets, and said that he felt he had the experience necessary to help others with their show prep. He then did the following poses (in order):

  • Front Relaxed..
  • Front Lat Spread.
  • Front Double Biceps.
  • Left Side Chest.
  • Rear Lat Spread.
  • Abs / Thigh.
  • Most Muscular.


Claude mentioned during the posing sequence that he was available for propositions for contracts at the time of shooting (October, 2003). Claude can be reached at his website, www.claudegroulx.com, or by e-mail claude@claudegroulx.com if you are interested.

Darrem Charles
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Darrem Charles

Darrem Charles, at the 2004 Night of Champions Contest, where he placed 2nd.

Photograph © Ron Avidan of GetBig.com. Reproduced with permission.

DVD producer Mitsuru Okabe caught Darrem Charles on Saturday, October 11, 2003 - two weeks out from the show, where Darrem trained at the following gym:

Fitness First
Deerfield Beach, Florida
1-954-698-6495
fitnessfirstclubs.com

Darrem started his workout with the required right thumbs up pose, dominant in bodybuilding today (joking). He was helping train a local master's competitor who described Darrem as "Tremendously inspirational, and without a doubt, the best poser in the world of bodybuilding, past, present, and future." Then Darrem went on to start his triceps routine:

TRICEPS:

  • Triceps Pushdowns - Long Cambered Bar (four sets).
  • Triceps Cable Rope Pulls (three sets).
  • Triceps Kickbacks (three sets).


And his biceps routine:

BICEPS:

  • Seated Two Arm Dumbbell Curls (four sets).
  • Standing Cambered Barbell Curls (three sets).
  • Machine Preacher Curls.


After a hard set, Darrem joked "If anyone would have told me it would be this hard, I would have picked up golf or something."

Darrem followed his workout up with some posing, doing the following poses (in order):

  • Front Side Relaxed.
  • Right Side Relaxed (showing his front, then back).
  • Back Side Relaxed.
  • Left Side Relaxed.
  • Front Double Biceps.
  • Front Lat Spread.
  • Right Side Posing.
  • Back Right Biceps Pose.
  • Right Side Most Muscular.
  • Right Side Chest.
  • Rear Double Biceps.
  • Back Christmas Tree Shot.
  • Rear Lat Spread.
  • Left Side Relaxed.
  • Right Side Biceps.
  • Left Side Triceps.
  • Abs / Thigh.
  • Hands Clasped Most Muscular.
  • Most Muscular.
  • Front Right Biceps Pose.
Overall, Darrem proved to be a hard training bodybuilder in his sequence. He also has damn good taste in cars! A bit expensive for me, but an awesome looking ride, nevertheless.

Art Atwood
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Art Atwood

Art Atwood, looking large in a most muscular shot.

Photograph © Art Atwood of ArtAtwood.com. Reproduced with permission.

Art Atwood trained for this DVD on Sunday, October 12, 13 days from the show, at the following gym:

Flex Fitness Center
Racine, Wisconsin
1-414-633-FLEX (3537)

At the beginning of the chapter, Art showed us his office at his supplement store, Results, where he says business has been expanding, thanks in large part to his success as a professional bodybuilder. Art drives a big Chevy truck with the license plate "IFBB PRO". From there, art gets to the gym and starts his workout:

BACK:

  • Long Bar Lat Pulldowns to the Front (nine sets!).
  • T-Bar Rows Using Triangle Bar (seven sets - 4 plates, then 5, 6, 6, 5, 5, 4)
  • Partial Deadlifts (six sets - 225 pounds, followed by 495, 585 X three sets, 495)
  • Machine Rows (four sets, with 4 plates, then 4, 3, 3)
  • Triangle Bar Lat Pulldowns (three sets).


You read it right folks - Art did 29 sets for back! Wow...talk about volume training. Art was wearing a tank top for many of the sets, and looking amazing, huge and in good condition, before he removed his tank top for the remainder of the workout. Art used straps for some of his sets, and while he was doing T-bar rows, you could tell how thick and muscular his neck was. Art is a hard trainer and has one of the few backs that is right up there with Ronnie Coleman in terms of size and thickness. Although he is not up to Ronnie's level yet in the back department, he is one of the few top pro bodybuilders who is not completely dwarfed from behind by Ronnie.

Art Atwood's Back
Back Double Biceps Rear Lat Spread


During Art's back workout, he did some posing, showing us his right "bad" quad which had been injured recently and required surgery. Apparently, Art had slipped on some oil during a guest posing, which resulted in a sprained ankle, and damage to his right quad which required surgery. Initially Art was planning to sit out the Mr. Olympia due to injury, but decided to compete anyway. His quad looked fine on the DVD, Art having stated that it was only around a quarter of an inch smaller than his left quad. He was working out with a tank top at first, and then took it off. Art is a huge bodybuilder - his chest and back are very notable strong points. Next was Art's biceps workout:

BICEPS:

  • Machine Preacher Curls (four sets).
  • Hammer Curls (three sets).


Art did some posing after his second set of machine preacher curls, including a front double biceps pose and a pose showing his shredded thighs. Art followed up his hammer curls with posing his whole body for the DVD, doing the following poses (in order):

  • Hands on Hips Most Muscular
  • Front Crucifix.
  • Front Double Biceps.
  • Left Side Chest.
  • Rear Double Biceps.
  • Rear Lat Spread.
  • Most Muscular.
  • Front Double Biceps.
  • Hands on Hips Most Muscular.
  • Most Muscular.
  • Some Front Posing.


Art said that he made it his goal to be in the top 10 at the 2003 Mr. Olympia Contest, but unfortunately, he only placed 13th.

I was thoroughly impressed with Art's intensity during his workouts. I was amazed at the volume he did so close to a contest. His workout last a total of one hour and 40 minutes. What is incredible is that on such low carbs, most bodybuilders do less than normal volume in their workouts. It is difficult to give a workout your full efforts when you are dieted down and weaker than usual. But Art still managed to train hard and heavy, and very high volume. If I were Art, I would have sat out the 2003 Mr. Olympia and used the time to recover and commence training for the Spring shows or the 2004 Mr. Olympia Contest (which Art ended up not competing in). The reason why I say that is because in order to be successful as a pro bodybuilder, longevity is an asset. With so many bodybuilders getting injured these days, and some training when they should be recovering, I think it would be in every bodybuilders best interest to be safe (rather than sorry). In Art's case, he ended up going to the show looking great, in good condition and huge, full and hard, but his right leg did pose a problem; although the size wasn't too down (it was nearly as big as his other leg), being still in recovery mode, the leg gave him problems during his posing, as it was difficult for Art to put his whole weight on that leg. The posing ended up costing Art some crucial points which may have kept him out of the top 10. However, more recently, Art's leg is perfectly fine, and Art is back to his competitive best and should be able to do some damage at future Mr. Olympia Contests and other top pro bodybuilding shows. Appearing in the 2003 Mr. Olympia also probably helped Art's supplement business, which is certainly a plus.

Rodney St. Cloud
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Rodney St. Cloud

Rodney St. Cloud, in a front relaxed pose at the 2004 Night of Champions.

Photograph © Ron Avidan of GetBig.com. Reproduced with permission.

Rodney St. Cloud trained for this DVD at the following gym:

Bev Francis Gold's Gym
Syosset, New York
1-516-933-1111
www.bevfrancis.com

Rodney's personal trainer, Lance Calfe was present with Rodney during training, as well as Rodney's training partner Rudy Richards. At the time of shooting (October, 2003), Rudy was preparing for the 2003 Nationals. Rodney explains that he has been training for 14 years and all of that work has helped him build the package he will be presenting at the 2003 Mr. Olympia. Rodney was born December 3, 1973, and had started training at age 14. He has definitely put in his time as a bodybuilder. Rodney then started his chest training, performing the following workout for chest:

CHEST:

  • Right Pec Curls On Cable (three sets). Rodney calls this a "one arm cable crossover pec routine."
  • Incline Bench Press for four sets - 135, 225, 315, then dropset (315, 225, 135).
  • Machine Flat Presses for three sets - 225, 225, 225.
  • Pec Deck Flies with Strap Handles (three sets).


In between sets, Rodney does some poses. He follows up his half hour routine with the following poses in trunks (in order):

  • Front Double Biceps.
  • Front Lat Spread.
  • Rear Double Biceps.
  • Rear Lat Spread.
  • Left Side Chest.
  • Most Muscular.
  • Ab / Thigh.
  • Right Side Triceps.
  • Hands Clasped Most Muscular.
  • Front Lat Spread.


DISC 2
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Ronnie Coleman
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Ronnie Coleman

Ronnie Coleman, in a winning form in a "lights out lat spread" at the 2003 Mr. Olympia Contest.

Photograph © www.flexonline.com.

Ronnie Coleman trained for this DVD in his home gym, which he also trained in for the 2002 Battle for the Olympia video. He trained on Tuesday, October 14, 2003, 12 days out from the big show.

The sequence started out with Ronnie looking huge on the treadmill, watching television. He then went to the kitchen to eat, where he ate chicken and fries. The camera caught a glimpse of the the November 2003 issue of FLEX magazine - Three Men and A Sandow. Loud rap music was playing during Ronnie's workouts. If you've watched any of Ronnie's other training videos, you will notice Big Ron likes his rap. He does the following workout for legs:

  • Front Squats for four sets - 135, 225, 315, 405.
  • Hack Squats for four sets - 3 plates per side, followed by 4, 5, 6.
  • Lunges down the street - 135, 225 pounds (both for 20 reps).
  • Seated Leg Curls for Hamstrings (three sets).
  • Standing Leg Curls for Hamstrings (single leg at a time for four sets total).


What is interesting is when the camera pans up to a sign that says "If you always do what you've always done, you will always get what you've always got."

Afterwards, Ronnie vacuums the floor, stretches and does the splits, which he later did on stage at the Mr. Olympia contest itself as seen in the pictures below:

Ronnie Coleman

Ronnie Coleman

Photographs © www.flexonline.com.

Ronnie's flexibility, given his muscularity, is just incredible.

Ronnie also stretches and vacuums the floor on camera, and then states his weight - 294 pounds! And just about shredded enough to hit the stage. He follows it up with the following poses (in order):
  • Front Relaxed
  • Hands Clasped Most Muscular
  • Front Double Biceps
  • Front Lat Spread
  • Right Side Chest
  • Rear Double Biceps
  • Rear Lat Spread
  • Left Side Triceps
  • Abs / Thigh (showing Serratus)
  • Most Muscular
  • Hands Clasped Most Muscular
  • Most Muscular
  • Front Double Biceps
  • Front Lat Spread


Ronnie is looking out of this world in these poses. It's shocking that human beings are even capable of getting this massive. He is so far ahead even the closest competiton in terms of sheer size, that I think Ronnie has pushed bodybuilding further than many other greats before him, including Arnold Schwarzenegger, Lee Haney, and Dorian Yates, all of whom are known for their incredible work ethics and having had pushed bodybuilding to new heights. Even still, Ronnie seems to be dominating bodybuilding more than anyone. Most recent olympians agree that the battle for the Mr. Olympia is actually the battle for second place.

There isn't much more to say about Ronnie, but even though this is a very looong (5 hours, 40 minutes), 2-DISC DVD, the posing sequence of Ronnie along is worth the price, for the sheer out of this world freakiness of Big Ron. He's a hard trainer, and at the age of 39 (in 2003), it seems like his legacy was only beginning. Who knows how far he will push bodybuilding to in the future?

Dennis James
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Dennis James

Dennis James, in a front relaxed pose at the prejudging of the 2001 Mr. Olympia Contest.

Go To: MORE Pictures from the 2002 Mr. Olympia Prejudging.
Go To: Pictures from the 2002 Mr. Olympia Finals.

Photograph © Ron Avidan of GetBig.com. Reproduced with permission.

Dennis James trained for this DVD at the following gym:

Gold's Gym
www.goldsgym.com
1-310-392-6004

Dennis went on to do a leg workout, shown below:

  • Leg Press - 6 plates per side / Superset with Dumbbell Squats (holding one dumbbell) standing on two small plates (five or 10 pound plates).
  • Leg Press - 8 plates per side / Superset with Dumbbell Squats (70 pounds).
  • Leg Press - 9 plates per side / Superset with Dumbbell Squats (80 pounds).
  • Leg Press - 9 plates per side / Superset with Dumbbell Squats (80 pounds).
  • Hack Squats Facing Machine - 2 plates per side, then 3 plates and a quarter (25 lbs), 2 plates and a quarter, 3 plates and a quarter, 2 plates and a quarter, 3 plates and a quarter.
  • Vertical Leg Press (2 plates per side, 3, 4, then drop set using [4, 3, 2] plates).
  • Leg Extensions (three sets).
Robert Farag was helping train Dennis - Robert can be contacted at robert@charles-glass.com

Dennis said that at the time of shooting, his weight was around 260-262 pounds. He was clearly in condition and set to be in great shape for the show (which he was, placing fourth in contest). Dennis does some thigh posing during the shooting. Chris Cook is also seen briefly, making the required "right thumbs up pose". Dennis stretches during the sequence after his second set of leg extensions and looks very dry and hard, but unfortunately, had no time for a full posing session, saying that Mitsuru had shown up late and that as a result, Dennis was running late and needed to get a meal in. All in all, Dennis had spent just under an hour training, while not all of this is shown, Mitsuru was very consistent in recording the times so the viewer can get an idea of how long each bodybuilder spent in the gym

The vertical leg press Dennis did, was the same one seen here being performed by Jeff King:

Jeff King, Bodybuilder

Go To: Jeff King Photo Gallery

All in all, Dennis was a hard trainer as always. One thing which Dennis has unfortunately gathered a reputation for is peaking too early. For example, in the past he has been at his best a few days before the show, but once the show came up, he had lost some of his conditioning or fullness. But not this time - Dennis managed to peak just perfectly for the show and placed fourth. During the shooting it was apparent he was on the way to a successful showing, and the 2003 Mr. Olympia has been his best showing to date.

Gunter Schlierkamp
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Gunter Schlierkamp

Gunter Schlierkamp, in great shape at the 2002 Mr. Olympia Prejudging

Photograph © Ron Avidan of GetBig.com. Reproduced with permission.

Big Gunter was filmed Sunday, October 19 - six days out from the 2003 Mr. Olympia contest - at the following gym:

Gold's Gym
goldsgym.com
1-310-392-6004

Dennis James was training at the gym that day, and he appears briefly. At the time of shooting, Big Gunter was weighing a whopping 303 pounds and looking great! Huge and ripped. Gunter started at 10:11 AM and went on to do a chest workout as follows:

  • Incline Machine Press - 135 pounds, 225, 315, followed by a dropset with [315, 225, 135].
  • Flat Machine Press - 275 pounds, then drop set with [225, 135]. Then a [315, 225] drop set, followed by a [325, 275, 225, 135] drop set.
  • Seated Flat Presses - 1 plate per side.
  • Fly Presses (two sets).
  • Seated Flat Presses (three sets).
  • Chest Flys with Pads (three sets).


Gunter trains with a tank top on for most of the training footage. Gunter is extremely well known as a likeable personality in the sport of bodybuilding - he ends up taking two pictures with a group of three fans on their digital camera in between sets and looks happy to be doing it. No wonder Big Gunter is so popular. After some of his flat machine presses, Gunter does some front posing including a front double biceps. He also does a hands clasped most muscular in between sets. Gunter trains with Trainer of Champions Charles Glass - for more information on Charles, please visit his official website, www.charles-glass.com. Gunter continues to pose between sets, including a hands on hips most muscular pose - the same shot which made Ronnie Coleman look small at the 2002 Mr. Olympia Contest. After Gunter's set of chest flys, he does a hands clasped most moscular pose and a left side chest. He does more posing in between sets, including a hands clasped most muscular, most muscular, and hands on hips most muscular. After his second set on the seated chest press machine, Gunter does a hands clasped most muscular, a left side chest, and most muscular. Roland Kickinger shows up after Gunter's first set of chest flys with pads, and they exchange a few words in german. Roland calls Gunter the new Mr. Olympia and is very impressed with the improvements he has made. Gunter follows his 50 minute workout up with the following poses for his fans (in order):

  • Front Double Biceps
  • Front Lat Spread
  • Abs / Thigh
  • Hands on Hips Most Muscular
  • Most Muscular
  • Hands on Hips Most Muscular
  • Right Thigh
  • Abs / Thigh


Roland Kickinger predicts a new Mr. Olympia while speaking briefly at the end of the sequence.

Gunter looked extremely good during the shooting of his training sequence, and in my opinion, looked just as good as he did in the Battle for the Olympia 2002, if not better. He placed fifth at the big show once again, although many critics claimed that his shape was not as good as 2002. Overall, his training was high quality and he is very clearly one of the best bodybuilders in the world.

Backstage / Expo Footage
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The backstage / expo portion of the DVD was one of the best sequences. Mainly because we got a glimpse into bodybuilders backstage in excellent contest condition and interacting with each other, as well as other popular IFBB personalities. FLEX editor in chief Peter McGough from www.flexonline.com was there at the very beginning. 20 minutes before judging, Kevin Levrone is shown being oiled up, and Johnnie O. Jackson makes an appearance, doing a right biceps pose as well as a front lat spread and a front double biceps. He was looking dense and thick, and his powerlifting experience is clearly reflected in his muscle quality. Ronnie Coleman and Rodney St. Cloud are also getting oiled up - where Ronnie states that he is 287 pounds. Oil lady Cynthia "CJ" James and photographer Kevin Horton are present joking around a little. Art Atwood is around, looking huge, as well as IFBB official Josh Friedman, who gives a front double biceps for the camera (wearing a t-shirt). Next we see Jay Cutler, and his "abs of steel", as well as www.muscletime.com photographer shooting Jay. Jay does the following poses:

  • Front Lat Spread.
  • Front Double Biceps.
  • Right Side Chest.
  • Right Side Triceps.
  • Rear Pose (showing his lower back "Christmas Tree" separation).
  • Rear Double Biceps.
  • Most Muscular.


Jay claims he is 255 pounds, and he is looking hard and ripped to shreds with deep cut abdominal muscles and fantastic overall detail and conditioning.

Next we see Dennis James, Troy Alves, and Ronnie Coleman in the pump room. Ronnie Coleman does dumbbell curls for his left biceps, and is looking thick and ripped to shreds! Ernie Taylor does some poses for the camera from the left side. Gunter Schlierkamp and Dexter Jackson do some push ups to pump up, and Dexter gets oiled up while doing push ups. Lee Priest is also seen doing incline push ups, and Gunter pumps up with cable lateral raises for the shoulders. Darrem Charles, Jay Cutler and Ronnie Coleman are around next, and so is Dennis James - whose chest is looking HUGE. Darrem gives us a hands clasped most muscular pose as well as a traditional most muscular. Troy Alves hits a pose, followed by Melvin Anthony with a front lat spread. Kevin Levrone and Jan Tana are seen. This was actually Kevin's worst Mr. Olympia performance ever - he placed sixth. Incredible that his "worst" performance still put him in the top six. He is just a phenomenal bodybuilder as seen in the photograph below:

Kevin Levrone

Johnnie O. Jackson, looking extremely thick and full, does a most muscular pose, followed by a front double biceps. Melvin Anthony gets oiled up, and Gunter, Troy, Art and Johnnie O. Jackson are shown backstage. Art and Johnnie are both concerned that they will cramp up on stage, but Art gives some poses despite that - he gives a most muscular, then a front pose, with his left hand on his hip and a right biceps flex, and then a HUGE side chest. Art no doubt has one of the hugest chests in the history of bodybuilding. Rodney St. Cloud gives us a hands clasped most muscular and Joe Weider shows up with a few words. Gunter Schlierkamp, and Ron Avidan of GetBig watch Ronnie's posing routine on the television overhead.

Jay Cutler
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Jay Cutler

Jay Cutler, in a hands clasped most muscular pose at the 2002 Arnold Schwarzenegger Classic Contest.

Photograph © Ron Avidan of GetBig.com. Reproduced with permission.

Jay Cutler trained for this DVD at the following gym:

Gold's Gym
Lake Mead, Las Vegas
1-702-360-8205

Jay shows up in a white hummer, explaining that that is a benefit of bodybuilding shows. He trained chest and biceps on Sunday, October 26, 2003, one day after the Mr. Olympia contest where he came 2nd. His body weight was 267 pounds on Sunday, around 10 pounds heavier than his contest weight. He performed the following chest routine:

CHEST:

  • Flat Bench Press (135 pounds for three sets)
  • Incline Bench Press (225 for one set, 135 for three sets)
  • Seated Machine Presses (one plate for three sets)


Jay claimed that he was too dehydrated to perform very heavy weights during this workout. He was tired and thirsty from having competed in the Mr. Olympia the day before, and was preparing for the European Tour, winning both the Grand Prix Holland and the Grand Prix England. Cutler poses his ripped thighs between sets which are looking ridiculously shredded and cross striated. Classic bodybuilder and master poser Ed Corney was working out that day and talked to Jay briefly. This was followed by Jay's biceps workout:

BICEPS:

  • Standing Barbell Curls using Olympic Bar (bar alone for warmup, followed by 115 pounds for three sets).
  • Machine Preacher Single Arm Curls (three sets).
  • Standing Alternate Dumbbell Curls (three sets).


While doing the machine preacher curls, Jay jokes that his biceps are only 15 inches (they are actually 22.5 inches in contest shape, and even bigger in the offseason). Jay then takes off his tank top and does the following poses (in order):

  • Hands on Hips Most Muscular.
  • Front Double Biceps.
  • Front Lat Spread.
  • Right Side Chest.
  • Righ Side Triceps.
  • Most Muscular & Thigh Pose.
  • Left Side Relaxed.
  • Rear Lat Spread.
  • Miscellaneous Posing.


Chris Aceto shows up and talks with Jay briefly. Jay explains that he is very tired as well as thirsty. He states that he will be competing in the European Tour on Wednesday, and as I said, he ended up winning two of the three shows, only coming 2nd to Ronnie Coleman in the Grand Prix Russia

Jay's workout was short, only lasting a little over 20 minutes, but his dedication is definitely something to admire, being back in the gym only a single day after competing in the biggest bodybuilding contest in the world just the day before. Jay is definitely among the hardest working bodybuilders in the sport. He is very dedicated and we'll have to wait and see what his future holds.

Jonathan Davie
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Jonathan Davie

Jonathan Davie, in a hands clasped most muscular pose at the 2003 Mr. Olympia finals.

Photograph © www.flexonline.com.

Jonathan Davie trained for this DVD at the following gym:

Gold's Gym
West Sahara, Las Vegas
1-202-877-6966

Jonathan Davie started by giving a brief biography of himself, telling us that he was born in Canada, but only spent three months there, then moved to New Zealand and now lives in Australia. He was 33 years old at the time of shooting (October, 2003), and had been training for 13 years at that point. He qualified for the Mr. Olympia contest by placing 3rd at the 2003 Australian Grand Prix. He said that performing in the 2003 Mr. Olympia was one of the greatest highlights of his life, next to his marriage and the birth of his first child. Another point about Jonathan which is really reflects well on his work ethic is that he works a 9-5 job, while doing prep for bodybuilding shows. He works for a supplement company in Australia. His daughter's name is Isabella and he has a tattoo of her on his forearm. Jonathan weighed himself a while before the Mr. Olympia, and weighed in at 273 pounds (124 kilograms), and although he did not weigh himself the day of the show, he suspected he was around 260-262 on stage. At 6'0, Jonathan stated that he would need to weigh in at 275-280 on stage in order to be a contender, because there are guys out there on stage at the Mr. Olympia these days who are 5'8 and weigh 260 pounds. Jonathan worked chest and triceps with his workouts below:

TRICEPS:

  • Triceps Pushdowns Superset with Machine Preacher Curls (two supersets performed).


Jonathan then took off his shirt to perform his chest routine:

CHEST:

  • Machine Flat Presses, 2 plates per side (two sets)
  • Incline Machine Bench Presses (two sets - using 2 plates, 3 plates)
  • Pec Deck Flys (three sets)


Jonathan follows up his chest / triceps workout up with some leg extensions. Jonathan said that one of the greatest parts of being in the Mr. Olympia was getting a medal from Arnold Scwharzenegger. Jonathan also does some poses between sets:

  • Most Muscular.
  • Hands Clasped Most Muscular.
  • Right Side Relaxed Pose.
  • Right Side Chest.
  • Twisting Back Shot.
  • Right Biceps Shot.
  • Hands Clasped Most Muscular.


He says that two years ago (at the 2001 Mr. Olympia Contest), Jay Cutler should have won the Mr. Olympia. Here are two pictures from that show:

Jay Cutler and Ronnie Coleman at the 2001 Mr. Olympia
Jay Cutler Ronnie Coleman


Photograph © Ron Avidan of GetBig.com. Reproduced with permission.

Go To: 2001 Mr. Olympia Main Page

After finishing up his leg extensions, he did some more poses:
  • Leg Pose.
  • Right Side Chest.
  • Right Side Relaxed.
  • Back Relaxed.
  • Back Double Biceps.
  • Rear Lat Spread.
  • Right Biceps Shot.
  • Most Muscular Variation.
  • Hands Clasped Most Muscular.
  • Front Double Biceps.
  • Front Lat Spread.
  • Most Muscular (Variation).
Jonathan was a hard trainer and had huge arms and a great look. He may not have placed high at the Mr. Olympia, but he definitely has a supremely developed physique, and who knows what the future holds for him. we'll have to wait and see.

BONUS
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After the end credits, Mitsuru included some bonus material. The following was included at the end of DISC 2:

DJ's Pose

Wearing a tank top and track pants, DJ performed the following poses (without the pants for the leg poses):

  • Hands Clasped Most Muscular.
  • Left Side Chest.
  • Right Biceps Pose.
  • Hands on Hips Most Muscular.
  • Front Lat Spread.
  • Thigh Pose.
  • Left Side Chest.
  • Leg Posing from the side.


Dennis was looking very good during the posing - dry and hard, although he claimed to be flat. Here is a shot from him 11 weeks before the 2003 Mr. Olympia:

Dennis James

Roney's Guided Tour - Part One & Two

Rodney St. Cloud shows us the New York City Fire Department Headquarters in the Bronx, New York.

Color Coordination

In this sequence, Melvin jokes that his posing trunks match the colour of the tip of his socks (red), and takes them off before posing.

Kicked Out?

In this sequence, Dexter Jackson asks to use the Smith machine for his shoulder workout, when somebody else is using it. That person explains that Dexter rarely does that (only while being filmed).

Top Secret:

Mitsuru Okabe asks professional nutritionist Chad Nicholls what he did to get Ronnie Coleman in such fantastic shape (and size) for the contest. Chad explains that that is a secret, but that everything was completely changed.

Running For?

In this sequence, Gunter Schlierkamp jokes with Roland about running for president.

What's New?

In this sequence, we get to see Darrem Charles' beautiful home and family, including his dog "Snoopy." He shows us his medals, guest bedroom, son's room, family room, swimming pool, and fish pond (that he and his son built), as well as his three car garage and cars.

"If You Believe"

In this sequence, we get an idea of just how motivated Troy is by his beautiful wife Tara. He explains that he has to believe in himself if someone he loves and who loves him believes in him from the heart. It is quite obvious how happy they are together.

THAT'S ALL FOLKS!!
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Matt Canning
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