|2010 Australian Grand Prix Bodybuilding Contest Report
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REVIEW OF THE CONTEST
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1st - Kai Greene
After winning the 2010 Anrold Classic just last week it is not really a surprise that Kai would show up in Australia and win this contest as well, especially given that both Phil Heath and Branch Warren were not competing - Phil and Branch came 2nd and 3rd place at the Arnold respectively. The only viable threat to Kai at this contest would have been Dexter Jackson and only on the condition that Kai regressed and Dexter improved. As it happened, both of those things did take place but the reduced differential in quality between the two was still not enough to allow Dexter to edge out Kai and the end result was another victory for Kai Greene. I am pleased to see Kai win and once again firmly establish himself as a top contender in bodybuilding and a definite threat to the Mr. Olympia title. As it is, very few bodybuilders will be able to beat Kai and only on the condition that they show up at their personal best. Dexter Jackson may still have what it takes to beat an off version of Kai, but I think Kai is currently the better of the two with both at their best. Jay Cutler, Phil Heath, and a somewhat forgotten Dennis Wolf [after a lackluster performance at the 2009 Mr. Olympia contest] are all threats to Kai as far as I am concerned, although some would take Dennis out of that list and put Kai as a perpetual top three performer.
2nd - Dexter Jackson
In my opinion, Dexter was much improved at this contest and with the combination of Kai coming in slightly worse than he did at the Arnold, the gap between the two closed significantly. In fact, I would say that it was so close that had the judges chosen to give the win to Dexter, I would have no problems with that. Having said that I do agree with the decision to give the win to Kai and I think that while Dexter's conditioning was excellent at this show, he has still come in sharper before and his chest and hamstrings looked particularly shallow in comparison with Kai's monstrous development in these areas. Dexter has never had a particularly thick chest and hamstrings and these are areas where Kai shines so the difference in size between the two is clearly noticeable. In my review of the 2010 Arnold Classic I was perhaps too harsh on Dexter as I stated that age seemed to be the major driving factor in Dexter's decline to me when in reality Dexter proved at this contest that being over 40 did not stop him from showing up in absolutely spectacular shape. His striations in his most muscular pose were possibly as clear as I had ever seen them and his back double biceps looked to be about as good as ever as well. Two areas which I believe did show regression would have been Dexter's chest as I mentioned above and this seemed apparent to me in Dexter's front lat spread and side triceps pose where his chest did not seem to pop as I remember it doing in the past. Having said this, I retract my stronger sentiments about Dexter's aging being a major factor before and will summarize my thoughts by stating that age is impacting Dexter's physique quality - as it impacts everyone - but that this is not happening at the rate that I previously implied.
3rd - Roelly Winklaar
Roelly Winklaar is bodybuilder who has been talked about quite a lot on the message boards in recent times and it is pretty obvious to see why judging by his physique. More than once I have read of comparisons between Roelly's physique and the physiques of Kevin Levrone and Phil Heath - or even a combination of both. While Roelly is slightly shorter than the two aforementioned bodybuilders [Roelly stands around 5'6 and 1/2] it is true that he does share strengths with both of these champion bodybuilders. These similarities are most notable in the front and poses, in particular, the most muscular variations. Roelly has standout triceps which really draw attention and almost prevent me from analyzing other areas in poses where they are on display. Roelly's hands clasped most muscular pose is incredible and his arms look tremendous in this pose where they are thick, shredded, and full of detail. Roelly's side chest pose at this contest was amazing and his shoulders were so thick that my attention was more focussed on his shoulders than on his chest in that pose. To point out two flaws, I would say that Roelly's chest looks slightly thin in the front lat spread [this may be able to be improved simply through changes in his posing techniques] and I would say Roelly could stand to improve the width of his back. As a result of placing in the top three at this contest Roelly is officially qualified to compete at the Mr. Olympia contest. If his 7th place finish at the Arnold Classic this year is any indication, I think it is safe to say that Roelly will finish in the top 10 at the Mr. Olympia even if everyone shows up in shape. If a few of the top bodybuilders show up off, it is even possible that Roelly bumps up his placing as high as the top 6-8. This is of course assuming that Roelly shows up in shape and anything can happen between now and the time of the Mr. Olympia contest. There is no doubt in my mind that Roelly has a bright future in bodybuilding.
4th - Michael Kefalianos
Michael Kefalianos is a bodybuilder I had not heard of much before his performance at the 2009 Mr. Olympia contest. In that showing, Michael already proved himself to be one of the best bodybuilders in the world and this contest simply confirmed that yet again. Michael's strength in my view is his conditioning - his dryness and his thin skin really highlight the low body fat and overall great conditioning that he brings to the contest. In fact, I would say that he could show up a little bit off but that his thin skin would still make him appear more shredded than some of the other competitors who show up in shape. Although that is a moot point because he showed up looking very shredded at this contest. He displays great striations in his chest in the most muscular pose and his shoulders really jump out at you when he hits that shot. In the front double biceps pose his biceps show a clear split and his abs are still clearly visible. His thighs are huge and cut and are also a highlight of that pose, even though for other competitors they often are not. In his back double biceps pose, his back is both wide and thick and almost seems to be the back of a much larger competitor - this is possibly as a result of being on top of his short legs which seem small by comparison. In his side triceps pose, his triceps are cross-striated which is amazing as some bodybuilders do not even have clearly separated triceps to begin with, let alone definition within definition as Michael does. Placing in the top four is not good enough to grant Michael a qualification to the Mr. Olympia although to my knowledge the IFBB still has a rule which grants the fourth place finisher a qualification to the Mr. Olympia on the condition that the top three are already qualified. Since only Kai and Dexter were already qualified and Roelly was not, this rule does not apply to Michael unfortunately. Perhaps Michael will be granted a special invitation to compete at the Olympia or perhaps he will compete in another professional show and qualify and we will see him in Las Vegas later this year.
5th - Melvin Anthony
I do not quite understand why Melvin only placed 5th at this contest as he just won the Phoenix Pro show two weeks ago and although he was off at the Arnold Classic last week he was improved at this contest and looked closer to how he did in Phoenix. Perhaps at 40+ years of age it is becoming more difficult for Melvin to peak week after week and Melvin's physique may require nothing short of his best conditioning in order to win a contest or place in the top three. I felt that Melvin's chest looked good in the side chest pose but appeared to be rather flat in the front lat spread. So much so that it didn't even appear to be the chest of the same person to me. I'm not sure if this flaw can be attributed to posing and I noticed the same problem arise at the Arnold Classic this year. His arms also looked good in the side chest pose but lacked that impressiveness in the front lat spread which made that pose a weak one overall for Melvin. I have seen Melvin's side triceps pose look more impressive in the past but this year his shoulders, triceps, and chest all looked to be lacking in this pose. Melvin's back double biceps looked pretty good which is in large part due to his small waist. I have seen his back look thicker and wider in the rear lat spread although once again, Melvin's small waist was a help for this pose. His glutes were lean although not as shredded as some of his competition but I am unsure if simply coming in sharper would be the solution for Melvin to increase his rank. I believe that with an increase in conditioning would come a loss of fullness which I am not sure that Melvin could spare. With that said, I think Melvin looked pretty good and is proof that sometimes very slight improvements can go a long way to changing a bodybuilder's placing. I am also not sure that Melvin even at his best would have been able to beat the top three at this contest and he is a bodybuilder whose placings depend both on his shape and his competition coming in at less than his best. In any case, Melvin remains one of the best bodybuilders in the world. If he is "only" top 12 in the world, is that really so bad?
6th - Grigori Atoyan
Grigori looked good at this contest although I have seen him look better in the past. For example, in his hands on thighs most muscular pose, I have seen him look just as shredded but even more full. His conditioning was very good though as he was certainly hard and dry, just perhaps not as full as he has been in the past. From behind, his glutes and hamstrings were conditioned, but have been even leaner in the past. I would say Grigori's front double biceps pose is one of his best, or at least one of his bests in this showing. His hardness and dryness in that pose were excellent and both his arms and legs were thick and shredded in it. It's hard for me to really pick a particular flaw about Grigori and suggest for him to improve it - overall I think that he has been making steady gains over the years and obviously knows what he is doing. If he continues to train hard and diet properly I think he will continue to make even more gains in the future. He has a decent structure in my opinion and carries his mass well. The fact that he could place in the top six at this contest in less than his best condititioning leads me to believe that he has what it takes to eventually qualify in the Mr. Olympia and compete among the best in the world. I wish Grigori the best of luck in the future.
NP - Adorthus Cherry
I think that Adorthus has the type of structure people always talk about when speaking in terms of bodybuilding ideals - i.e., the slim waist and the pronounced V-taper. Having said that, an X-taper is more preferred still and while Adorthus has a very tiny waist, his legs can stand to be brought up quite a bit in my opinion. His conditioning was also off at this contest and I am pretty sure that he is well aware of that. If he brings his conditioning up, which I am sure he is full capable of doing, he would still need to do that while bringing up his legs to be a viable threat for the top positions of any given contest. But upon bringing up his legs, he would still need to deal with his chest tear. His right pec is torn and this is obviously noticeable - Adorthus wisely presents his side chest pose on the opposite side so as to not highlight this flaw. Unfortunately even his uninjured pec is not very strong and the side chest pose is a weak one for him. I seem to be incredibly critical here, but the only major flaw that I think Adorthus would have the most difficulty changing would be his chest. I think that will remain a major flaw and would have to be dealt with medically, if at all. Other than that, I think that in order for Adorthus to be at his very best he would have to  bring up his legs and  improve his conditioning. Both of these can be accomplished and it is quite possible that with his incredible V-taper [under those conditions, transformed into an X-taper], he would be able to place in the money in professional bodybuilding contests. His small waist is a huge asset which makes his back double biceps very impressive and I think that if he chooses to compete in the 202 class he will see great success, even without bringing up his flaws to the extent that I have suggested above.
NP - Daniel Hill
Daniel is a rather young bodybuilder who only recently turned 24 years old. Professional bodybuilders who are 30 years old would still be considered young and so Dan has quite some time to improve if his goals are to reach the Mr. Olympia stage. Dan is one of the taller bodybuilders at a height of around 5'11 and this comes with unique challenges and requires the attainment of a lot of mass in order to place highly at contests. Right off the bat, at the most basic level, Dan must improve upon his conditioning in order to perform well in pro shows. It was obvious to me that he had a film of water under his skin which he would need to remove in the future in order to place higher. Secondly, his arms. Dan's arms are not big enough and he has been getting a great deal of flak for this on the boards. The funny thing is that I would be willing to bet that Dan's arms are no smaller than 19" and are quite possibly 20.5". It's just that his arms are so long at his height that they do not look as big as they would on a shorter bodybuilder with a shorter upper arm. I would say that adding an inch on his biceps - WITHOUT the use of synthol - and improving his conditioning would be a dramatic change. Lastly, I think that it is possible that Dan has gyno which he should try to correct if possible and again, be very careful in his selection of a surgeon for this if this is in fact the issue. I do have positive things to say about Dan - even though his stature is not helping him at the moment, as he packs on more mass in the future it will become one and it will allow him to dominate over shorter bodybuilders who have as much mass and thickness but lack the stage presence that comes with stature - to put things in perspective, Dan is about as tall as Lee Haney, Dorian Yates, and Ronnie Coleman and we all know how well they did in their respective bodybuilding careers. Dan also has tremendous legs and while his glutes and hamstrings could have been sharper, his quads were pretty ripped and very close to the point of having cross-striations - or I should say that they did, not that those cross-striations could have been sharper [for reference, check out Dexter's cross-striated delts]. Final analysis? Dan should take his time slowly but surely improving in the areas that I have listed above and I think that he can do well as a pro and get contracts in the industry and make a living from bodybuilding, something that very few people in the world have been able to do.
NP - Eddie Abbew
Eddie is another tall bodybuilder and one who has done very well, even competing in the Mr. Olympia contest in 2007. Eddie stands at 6'0 and 1/2 and despite this, has built the thickness necessary to rise to the top of the bodybuilding ranks. Eddie looks very good in my opinion although he was not at his best at this contest. He could have been a little bit sharper but still had some notable good poses in my opinion including his hands clasped most muscular pose and his back double biceps pose. His side chest pose looks good, but his chest has been thicker in this shot before. It's hard to pick on a specific area for Eddie, since he would stand to make general all-around improvements as all bodybuilders would as well as to come in sharper. His biceps look great in my opinion although his V-taper looks more like a T-taper due to his high lats. He is a huge bodybuilder and has stature above and beyond the average bodybuilder and looks very good. Eddie should simply try to continue to improve and perhaps follow a different cutting diet next time so that he can adequately display his strengths in the future.
NP - Fadi Zaazaa
Fadi is another bodybuilder who I had not heard much about before this contest and I think he looked pretty good but could stand to improve in certain key areas - the most obvious one to me is his back, which could stand to improve in all areas in terms of thickness and width. His rear double biceps pose looks alright but I would say his rear lat spread looks far too small as it is not wide nor thick enough. I think it is quite possible that with improvements he will gradually be able to move up the pro ranks. Dropping a little water for his next contest will be a good place for Fadi to start and from that point we can reassess his potential as a competitive bodybuilder.
NP - Grant Pieterse
Grant Pieterse is around what I would expect Fadi Zaazaa to look like had he made the improvements which I outlined above. The fact that Grant did not place at this contest would indicate to me that Fadi would not have placed in the top six at this contest even with the improvements I suggested. I felt that Grant displayed pretty good conditioning and decent size. Keep in mind that Grant is 24 right now and will turn 25 on March 25, 2010. For his young age I think that Grant looks very good. He has a lot of time to improve, much like Dan Hill who I discussed above. I think by the time he is 30 he can be a viable threat in the professional ranks and quite possibly qualify for the Mr. Olympia contest if that is his goal.
12th - Ivan Sadek
Ivan was one of the bodybuilders at this contest who did not place who I feel was closer to placing in the top six than a lot of the other bodybuilders who did not place. Ivan definitely has some size and his conditioning was pretty good as well. Yes - he could have showed up a little harder and some areas were holding more water than others, most notably his midsection, but overall his conditioning was pretty good. It appeared to me that he had gyno which is a point against him, especially in the pro ranks where every detail is under inspection. His chest and arms showed great vascularity in the most muscular pose where his hardness was displayed well with softer areas of his physique largely hidden, with the exception of his thighs which did not show the level of cuts as his upper body did. His abs looked more shredded in the abs and thigh pose than I thought they would when Ivan was standing relaxed. In that pose, his legs still did not show the level of conditioning as his upper body did in the most muscular pose. Ivan's back was wide and thick although this is an area of a bodybuilder that can never be too big. Ivan's glutes and hamstrings were not lean in his back poses and he will have to bring this area up if he wishes to achieve success in professional bodybuilding. His back double biceps pose was pretty hard and lean and once again you could see the disparity in the level of conditioning in Ivan's upper body in comparison to his lower body. Ivan's chest looked a little thin in the side chest and side triceps poses but did not look quite as thin in the front lat spread and front double biceps poses. Overall, I would recommend that Ivan fix the gyno if he does indeed have it and focus on general improvements and I think he can gradually improving on his ranking in the professional bodybuilding world.
NP - Michael Kingsnorth
I am a huge fan of Michael's physique but I will attempt to be biased in my assessment of his performance nevertheless. The reason why I like his physique is because he has a physique on the border between competitive bodybuilder and ideal - yet seemingly attainable - physique. In reality, his physique would be next to impossible for most everyone to attain and could only be done by a select few over years or even decades of hard training and respect to the other components of professional bodybuilding. Michael Kingsnorth was a Mr. New Zealand champion and has competed in this contest before and hopefully will again. Michael has made some significant improvements to his physique most notably in his arms and lats. His arms came in thicker and easily just as shredded as the last contest he competed in and his lats appeared to have greater sweep and thickness in the front double biceps pose. Combined with his small waist, his V-taper is on display and Michael has good thickness in his quads although I do not think they displayed the conditioning of his arms. As I said, I think Michael's physique looks great so it is hard for me to suggest that he put on more mass because I don't think it would necessarily make him look better, but I must be realistic and state that more mass will help his placings improve in pro contests. His back is pretty good although in his back poses his hamstrings do not have the impressiveness his quads do in the front poses. His hamstrings and glutes tie-in could stand to be a touch leaner as could his hamstrings. If he could even maintain the size in these areas while bringing up his hardness I think he would improve his rank. Michael's serratus is razor sharp, even if his abs could stand to be a touch leaner in the abs and thigh pose. In the hands clasped most muscular pose, his left shoulder displayed remarkable hardness and vascularity as did his traps. His hardness was also on display in his side chest pose and while some would say his arms are "small", I see them as being no less than 19". It's just that at his height and with his long arms, they are going to look "small" even if they are big. Michael's previous contest weight was around 205 but it seems to me that he has added some mass, so I would not be surprised if his body weigh is over 210 coupled with improved conditioning. In fact, these are the exact kinds of improvements Michael needs to make to see continued success in professional bodybuilding. As I said, I think he has quite the ideal physique at the moment so this really depends on what his goals are. Perhaps Michael will want to pursue bodybuilding to the top of the field and will thus want to put on more muscle, or perhaps he will remain content with the physique he has now which I believe would far more manageable to maintain [and far healthier] than pros who are the same height and over 100 pounds heavier in the off-season.
NP - Rusty Jeffers
Rusty Jeffers is another bodybuilder whose physique I like. I also think that Rusty has a great time competing as he had said so himself and will be turning 46 this year and is still going up on stage giving it his best. I think Rusty has a great structure - he is 5'10 and competes at around 230 pounds. His triceps look great in the side triceps pose and he has great muscle bellies in his upper arm. His abs look great and he is a fantastic poser. Rusty's thighs are huge and his back is thick and wide. While Rusty had low body fat in this contest, he was still holding a film of water which blurred his conditioning and prevented him from showing up at his best. Sometimes small details make a big difference. For example, Rusty's quads were large but not as conditioned as they have been in the past. His quads were cross-striated, yet still off - holding water. They were faintly cross-striated, but without the film of water under his skin I believe that Rusty would have displayed very impressive condition in this area. Rusty has a good genetic structure for his abs, although they could have been leaner as well. I think it is possible that Rusty sustained an injury to his right biceps as it seems to be apparent in his front lat pose. Otherwise, Rusty's physique looks quite healthy. I hope to see Rusty compete in the future as he gives me motivation knowing that a person can still be over 40 and look great.
NP - Wong Hong
Wong Hong is another bodybuilder who I believe would have been closer to the top 10 had this contest been placed beyond the top six.Wong's conditioning was very good and his legs were particularly dry and shredded in my opinion. His upper body was conditioned as well but his arms lacked size in the front double biceps pose [this shortcoming was not as noticeable in other poses]. From the back, his hamstrings were big, but not as big as his quads and his conditioning was very good. His glutes and hamstrings were both cut and his hardness extended to the back poses as well. I believe that Wong's back looked more impressive in the rear double biceps pose than in the rear lat spread. In the side chest pose, Wong's arms looked very hard and conditioned.
Overall I felt that this was a pretty good contest and I felt that the top three were definitely Olympia worthy. One could even argue that 4th place finisher Michael Kefalianos was good enough for the Olympia stage based on his performance at this contest. A big thank you needs to go out to show promoter Tony Doherty who puts forth a huge effort to make sure this show takes place without a hitch. Tony is one of the more respected show promoters in the business and I have only ever read favourable reviews about Tony and his show. I think the Australia show is a contest where I would like to see Ronnie Coleman compete in again should he choose to do that, although I am not sure if Ronnie has genuine intentions about competing again. I look forward to watcthing the top three at this contest compete in the Mr. Olympia contest this year and I hope that some who were unable to qualify here compete in another contest and make their way to Las Vegas later this year where I expect to be so I can meet them and expand my networking within the bodybuilding world. All in all, this was a very good contest and I was pleased with the results. To make one criticism, it would have been nice if more competitors were placed, outside of just the top six. In any case, I look forward to seeing the contest again next year.
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