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2001 Masters Mr. Olympia Contest Report and DVD Review Bodybuilding Video & DVD Reviews 2001 Masters Mr. Olympia Contest Report and DVD Review

2001 Masters' Olympia (DVD) The World's Best Over 40 bodybuilders as they battle it out in Virginia!! The whole event from the Pump Room, Prejudging to the Evening Show!! BUY IT NOW 2001 Masters Olympia (DVD)



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2001 IFBB Masters Olympia

Lynchburg, Virgina, USA,

Pump Room
Prejudging & Show

The DVD started out with some brief footage of the contest and followed the bodybuilders into the pump room where they were training with weights to get ready for the competition ahead. The camera went to highlight Don Youngblood who looked fantastic. He was big and shredded but was also full and very hard. He was no doubt the best conditioned bodybuilder backstage (and subsequently on stage). Robby Robinson was back there looking very sharp as well - and at the age of 55! Robby is very bitter towards bodybuilding these days and demands that all internet websites remove his pictures from their database. Honestly, there is no other way to keep his legacy in bodybuilding alive than to keep his pictures kicking around the websites and discussion forums. He doesn't want people to profit on his image, but his actions make it so that no bodybuilding fan of today can even have an opportunity to remember the excellent bodybuilder that he was.

I personally really like watching these masters contests by GMV. To see all these older guys in the shape of their lives is really inspirational. It's proof that longevity in physical fitness is quite possible. These guys have physiques that would easily be envied by guys 20 or 30 years younger. Very impressive. I must have watched the GMV production of the 2002 Masters Olympia 10 times so far. It was a great contest, and one of my favourite bodybuilding DVDs in my large collection:

Seeing Don Youngblood pump up backstage it was obvious that he could have taken the show. At many bodybuilding contests, who wins is largely a matter of the preference of the judges. Usually when you have a reigning champion such as Ronnie Coleman at the Olympia contests or Vince Taylor at this particular contest, he will win as long as he is top three material. It can be argued that both Ronnie Coleman and Dorian Yates probably didn't deserve all of their victories, but they certainly would have placed top three at every show regardless of anything else. That having been said, it isn't a terrible injustice that somebody who is second or third best wins. Based on the pump room action in this DVD, I felt that the show could have gone either way between Vince or Don. Don Youngblood is somebody who I plan to write a future article on regarding his career in bodybuilding. He didn't compete to get rich or get laid as he had always spent his lifetime providing security for his family with his multi-million dollar trucking business in Arkansas. The prize money at the masters contest was probably less than what he was making in a week with his business. He found bodybuilding through love and nothing more, and after reading various interviews with Don, I knew him to be one of the most humble and down to earth people I had ever learned about. I'm always impressed when people who have achieved so much can remain so humble.

Back to the pump room, the pros were looking sharp. Lee Apperson is somebody who appears thing in relation to some of the mass monsters competing today - and at this particular contest he would have been dwarfed by Vince and Don. However, off the stage, Lee has a physique which many would want. For starters, he is 6'2 which is a fantastic height to be. Not too short, not too tall - of course in bodybuilding, the ideal height is probably 5'8 or 5'9 and anything 6'0 or higher makes it difficult to be competitive. Aside from this, Lee was muscular, without being grossly overmuscled. While I admire the physiques of the mass monsters, I would prefer to look like Lee myself. And to think this guy is turning 48 soon (in 2006) and still looks amazing, and is married to a beautiful woman who is over 40 and also looks years younger.

The Contest

The contest itself began, and based on the initial callouts, Don Youngblood and Vince Taylor looked like they would definitely be the top two finishers. Vince had superior proportions and bigger arms, but Don had incredible fullness and muscle density (hardness) that made Vince look smooth. Basically it was a matter of deciding which physique you prefer, and at this show the judges later went on to pick Vince.

Stan Frydrych was in the lineup and won the Over 50 title at the 2002 Masters Olympia. He looked extremely big and cut and reminds me of an old juicer at my gym who is still just as involved with bodybuilding now as when he started over 25 years ago (in 1980).

The individual routines were up next and pretty much everyone looked respectable. When Don Youngblood went up his size and condition really stuck out. His front lat spread was definitely one of the most pleasing I had ever seen. His delts looked thick in the side chest pose and his back was crazy in thickness and detail. His hamstrings and calves were cut and even his glutes were in condition.

Vince Taylor posed after Vince and his arms were even bigger than Don's, and his chest looked thicker too - something to note is that Don was able to bench press 600 pound singles on the incline when he was training. Vince looked very good and definitely impressive at the age of 45. Vince looked very wide in the rear lat spread but I was still more impressed overall with Don Youngblood from the back due to thickness and overall condition.

It's hard to say exactly why I am such a huge fan of GMV's masters videos. Of all the videos I watch produced by them, I always look forward to the contests the most, and in particular the masters shows. I guess it has a lot to do with the fact that I would like to stay as young as possible for as long as possible. When I see guys like Lee Apperson who are pushing fifty and could pass for 20 years younger, I always wish that it could be me in that position in the future. Lee has a full head of hair, good skin, and a great physique that many young men would be enviable of. It is more motivating for me to watch masters contests than any others. And EVERYONE who appeared in this contest looked respectable, and many looked respectable not just for their age, but for any age. That is what impresses me the most I think.

Stan Frydrych posed after Lee did and he was very big. I'm not sure of his age, but I read on one online source that in 2002 he was "on the wrong side of fifty" - so I would presume he was over 55. Could you imagine a grandpa looking this jacked? This is one of those things which will forever impress me.

Nicolae Giurgi from Hungary was another guy who impressed me in the show. He looked young both in body and in face. Although he wasn't as big or conditioned as the top two of the show, he had some very impressive size which stood out at this contest. You could also tell that he quite liked being up on stage competing.

As the show went on, the quality kept coming out on the stage. All of these guys were at least 40, and some of them were considerably over that age. The eventual top two were aged 45 and 47 years respectively. I think that the IFBB should definitely continue to include a masters event in the roster since it means big business and promoters are businessmen after all. A lot of the people who want to change their bodies the most are the ones who are middled aged and have a lot of money to spend on supplements and training advice. That said, it makes economical sense to include a masters event, and it is just cool to have at least one show where the top older guys come out to compete. I'm a bit selfish to say this because of course I am a big fan, but certainly I'm not the only one.

Hans Hopstaken posed and was looking thick and in great condition. He passed away in 2002 of heart disease and of course the media wanted to turn it into a steroid related death. Maybe it was related to bodybuilding or maybe it wasn't. What I do know is that people get heart attacks at age 45 who have never touched a steroid in their life. My cousin's husband died or one at the age of 35. Some people are born with defective hearts and die young - it happens. Trying to pin the death on one specific risk factor is ignorant at best and downright offensive at worst. But that is the conservative media for you, always looking to scare the masses with low tactics and never looking to science and investigation to get the answers (well, a lot of the time anyway). But that is a separate rant. My point is that Hans may or may not have died from the bodybuilding lifestyle and that he looked great on stage.

The comparisons in the mandatories were up next and Don Youngblood and Vince Taylor were side by side. As mentioned earlier, Don had a superior condition, fullness, and hardness, while Vince had a larger chest and bigger arms. His proportions were a bit more pleasing as well, but Don looked good from head to toe.

Next up, Robby Robinson (55), Stan Frydrych (over 50), and Lee Apperson (43) posed. These guys all looked very good and I was impressedw with all of them in basically every pose.

Hans Hopstaken was in the next posing comparison and eventually finished fifth at the contest. This picture below was taken backstage. Sad that both of the men in it have since passed away, and although I don't want to totally take the blame off the bodybuilding lifestyle, it would be ignorant to say it was solely that.

Hans Hopstaken & Don Youngblood


The comparisons went on, and I wasn't sure which contest I was more impressed with. At the time I watched the 2001 DVD, I had only watched the 2002 Masters DVD, and no other ones. Both are excellent DVDs and probably my top two favourite. I am the type of guy who likes almost every DVD that I watch that is related to bodybuilding and I do admit I'm easily pleased when it comes to bodybuilding productions, but these two were still my favourites. My only theory is that what makes the masters collection so impressive is the age of the competitors.

The individual posing routines started next with Vince Taylor beginning with a slow song. I checked the internet for the lyrics as I usually do and couldn't find them online. Supposedly lyrics sites may face lawsuits by putting the lyrics online so they may have since been removed. It was a fitting song in any case, and Vince went on to perform a robotic routine once that song was over than posed to some hip tunes. Certainly Vince has a posing routine which helps his placings. It is also incredibly impressive that Vince continued to improve his physique with age - at age 40 he was just beginning and improved during each successive year. By the time of his last contest at age 46 in 2002, he was at his best.

When Lee Apperson posed, he did so to the song "Back At One" by Brian Mcknight, which was a perfect choice to display his physique. After he posed to that song for a while, he upped the speed by posing to a faster song and did a good routine with it.

Stan Frydrych posed to the same song Ronnie Coleman has been using since at least 1996 - at least until the beginning until the music changed pace.

Robby Robinson also posed to the same song Ronnie Coleman frequently uses. It's a very powerful song and makes for an entertaining posing demonstration. It is extremely fitting that Ronnie would use such a powerful song. For the age of 55, Robby looked incredible too, and it should be acknowledged that he looked almost as good as he ever had, proving once again that age is just a number.

The over 60 winner was Honore Cironte:

Honore Cironte
Over 60 Winner
2001 Masters Olympia

The over 50 winner was Robby Robinson:

Robby Robinson
Over 50 Winner
2001 Masters Olympia

It was close between him and Stan Frydrych, but Robby won it.

Vince Taylor received a posing award from Ed Corney, one of the greater posers in bodybuilding history.

Vince Taylor
Ed Corney Award
2001 Masters Olympia

The top five bodybuilders then posed down:

2001 Masters Olympia Top Five

2001 Masters Olympia Top Five

2001 Masters Olympia Top Five

2001 Masters Olympia Top Five

Don and Vince both had their respective strong points and I would say Vince had Don beat from the side, and Don had Vince beat from the back and in the front lat spread. Vince looked more like a cartoon than Don did. When Vince went on to lose the 2002 Masters Olympia to Don, the look of disappointment on his face was almost scary. He seemed extremely depressed, shocked, and disappointed. It probably ruinde his day, and also put an end to his bodybuilding career. Don was a hard trainer and worked for a long time to compete in the best masters show on earth, and I really don't lose much sleep knowing that Don dethrowned Vince. Vince entered the contest every year because it was a guaranteed $10,000 paycheck. He figured he could come in, hit a few of his favourite poses and that would be that, and he would walk away the winner again. He was very complacent as the champion and probably a little too certain of himself. Don Youngblood was definitely a lot hungrier.

The top five were then announced:

5th - Hans Hopstaken
4th - Robby Robinson
3rd - John Hnatyschak
2nd - Don Youngblood
1st - Vince Taylor

The difference between Vince and Don was only two points, and Vince should have been less surprised when Don won the following year. Even Geir Borgan Paulsen probably should have vaulted ahead of Vince at that show. I personally would have had Vince in third with Geir Borgan Paulsen or Don Youngblood winning it.

The DVD then showed some footage of Vince Taylor posing and the credits rolled.

Overall Review:

Overall, I suspect that I will watch this DVD as many times as I watched the 2002 DVD. It was an excellent contest and well shot by GMV. If not for GMV, who would have shot these smaller contests for us to enjoy years later? Where would the contest footage of Don Youngblood be? It would be non-existent. That is why I'm grateful for GMV and productions like this made to DVD. I look forward to next watching the 2000 Masters Olympia!

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2001 Masters Olympia (DVD) 2001 Masters Olympia (DVD)
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Take care,

Matt Canning

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