|2011 Sheru Classic Report
Go to: CONTEST RESULTS
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The first ever Sheru Classic in India was a great success and saw a virtual repeat of the results from the 2011 Mr. Olympia contest in terms of the order of the bodybuilders who competed in both contests. I was very happy to see a professional bodybuilding contest in India and I hope that there will be many more in the future as India's economy continues to grow thanks to the expanse of global free markets.
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2011 Sheru Classic - RESULTS!
WINNER: PHIL HEATH
2. Jay Cutler *
3. Kai Greene *
4. Victor Martinez
5. Dennis Wolf
6. Toney Freeman
7. Michalis Kefalianos
8. Alfonso DelRio
9. Mohammed Touri
10. Ntuk Ntuk
11. Manuel Lomeli
11. Varinder Singh
*Note: Top three qualify for 2011 Mr. Olympia contest.
Now I will make detailed comments below for each bodybuilder:
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1st: Phil Heath
The first ever Sheru Classic had results which mirrored those of the 2011 Mr. Olympia. Phil Heath managed to maintain his conditioning from his Olympia win and that was enough for Phil to win again and take home the prize money of $50,000. I have also heard that MuscleTech matches all prize winnings which would put Phil's total purse at $100,000 for this contest and $400,000 with the bonus and Mr. Olympia prize earnings putting Phil's total earnings between the two contests at a cool half a million dollars. Phil is only 31 and does not appear to be slowing down in any way. It is quite possible he wins many more Mr. Olympia titles over the next decade as many bodybuilders don't reach their best until their late thirties.
2nd: Jay Cutler
Jay Cutler placed 2nd at the Mr. Olympia contest last weekend where his left biceps looked somewhat suspicious which many people make accusations of Jay using synthol. His trainer Hany Rambod said that Jay suffered from a biceps tear when he was picking up a 120 pound dumbbell for a MuscleTech photo shoot. Regardless of what the truth is, his biceps did appear bruised last weekend at the Olympia and while it did not have a huge impact on the shape of his left arm, it did draw unwanted negative attention to the area. While his arm appeared to be a little more healed this time out, it was still noticeable. Also, Jay did not improve his conditioning in any significant way and with Phil repeating his look from last week, Jay did not stand any viable chance of winning this contest. In fact, some would argue that 2nd place was a gift for him. Perhaps Jay Cutler's nickname should be "The Gift" instead of Phil's after this contest's results. In any case, Jay still did look good and perhaps it is a little unfair to compare him to previous versions of himself. However, only a very good version of Jay would have been able to beat Phil this year at either the Olympia or this time out at the Sheru Classic in India. I think Jay's slightly off [but still well looking] version of himself could have won, but anything shy of that would not have and since Jay did not replicate this look from 2010, he did not win. I don't know what Jay's plans are for the future but I think that he could make just as much money in bodybuilding if he retired. I think it may be a good idea for Jay to come back in 2012 to win the Arnold Classic or another show and then retire, still on top in a way, and stick around the industry to make money through appearances at various expos, selling his DVDs, and so on.
3rd: Kai Greene
Kai Greene's nutritionist George Farah said that Kai dropped 10 pounds for this contest since the Olympia which I believe was the right idea because Kai already has enough muscle to be competitive with anyone in the bodybuilding world. It is correct for a bodybuilder to believe that bigger is better but there does come a point where more size is not necessarily conducive to greater success and Kai is at that point. The reduced body weight worked well for Kai as it allowed him to display greater conditioning and was a definite improvement. Some would say that Kai deserved to beat Jay Cutler at this contest and I would have to agree with that. Jay looked roughly the same as he did at the Olympia last weekend and Kai was very close to him then but has since improved. As a result of this improvement, there were definitely some people who were disappointed that Jay beat Kai again and while I am not hugely disappointed, I definitely think Kai could or should have placed 2nd. It wasn't a horrible decision to put him in 3rd but I do believe that Jay as not as much better than Kai as some judges may think. I think Kai Greene may full well be Mr. Olympia one day if he can consistently nail his conditioning.
4th: Victor Martinez
Victor Martinez was somewhat of an X-Factor since around 2008. In 2007, Victor placed 2nd to a noticeably off Jay Cutler and many felt that Victor deserved to beat Jay, with myself being one of them. While he placed outside of the top five at last year's Olympia, he redeemed himself last weekend where he placed 4th and proved that he could stand next to the best bodybuilders in the world and give them all a run for their money. This weekend in India, Victor placed 4th again and was placed after the same three men and in the same order. Victor looked very good although did not post any significant improvements which could have seen him improving his placings. Some think that the order of the contest results should have been  Phil Heath,  Kai Greene,  Victor Martinez, and  Jay Cutler, but no matter who you talk to, very few people felt that Victor should have been higher than 3rd. That said, that is still an amazing result and at 38 years old puts Victor back in the mix to potentially even win the Mr. Olympia contest. Of course Branch Warren did not compete due to injury so with him in the mix, it may have put Victor in 5th but no matter what, Victor impressed this time.
5th: Dennis Wolf
Dennis Wolf has been fairly consistent lately and this contest was no exception. People said that Dennis showed up "flat" in 2008 at the Olympia where he placed 4th but I think that is not really the case. He was 4th and a major driving force behind that placing was his rock hard conditioning which required him coming in a little lighter than usual which then drew comments of him being "flat". So the next year he carbed up too much and spilled over which placed him outside the top 10 and many thought he was done. But at the 2010 Mr. Olympia contest Dennis proved to everyone once again that he could be in the mix again where he placed 5th. He repeated his outstanding performance at the 2011 Arnold Classic where he placed 2nd to Branch Warren and has basically been consistent at all of his recent contests with this one here in India being no exception. However, going back to the original point about Dennis being criticized as being "flat", I did feel he looked a little flat in his front lat spread where I know I have seen his pecs and shoulders looking fuller in that pose. I think it may be an issue with colour or oil though as Dennis looked very light and I think a darker tan would have helped him. People do suggest that Dennis bring up his lower back and calves but I feel that at this stage in the game that may be difficult to impossible for him to do. He has been competing at least since 1999 and I think lower back and calves are both weak points for Dennis and even if he does bring them up they will still be weak points in relation to his stronger areas such as his shoulders and chest. Also, Dennis has a wide frame which is a structural advantage and just as a narrower competitor such as Phil Heath can never be as wide as Dennis, Dennis may never be able to have the lower back that Phil has, or even more notably, Kai Greene. No matter what though, I think Dennis will remain a top five competitor consistently if he shows up in conditioned. How much better he does than 5th will depend on what his competitors bring to the stage as well as what improvements he makes. But as it stands now, it was proven here at the Sheru Classic that Dennis is still in the running and most likely will be for some time yet.
6th: Toney Freeman
Toney is another very consistent competitor. It is interesting to note that Toney's first Mr. Olympia performance came at the 2006 Mr. Olympia contest when he was already 40 years old. He promised that it wouldn't be his last Mr. Olympia contest and proved that by competing every year since between 2007-2011. He only really had one "lackluster" showing during that time which was in 2007. Otherwise he was always in the top 10 and most recently, 7th last weekend in 2011. Since Dexter Jackson wasn't competing in India this time out, Toney was able to move up a spot to 6th place. Toney recently turned 45 [in August] and it is very impressive to see him compete again and again without showing any regression. Toney's best ever showing was in 2008 when he placed 5th at the Olympia and he is not looking too far off from that form even today. I have not heard of any plans for Toney to retire so I think we will be seeing him again at the Mr. Olympia contest next year and in years beyond that as well.
7th: Michalis Kefalianos
Michalis Kefalianos is a 40+ Greek bodybuilder who I had not heard much about before a year or two ago. He consistently brings in excellent conditioning and has incredibly thin skin which allows his conditioning to be presented as it is. I had walked by Michalis briefly at the 2011 Mr. Olympia expo at the Las Vegas Convention Center and he was looking very ripped and it showed at this contest. I think he is showing no signs of regression with age and although I have no idea how long he wants to compete, I think he will be able to do so for quite some time.
8th: Alfonso Del Rio
Alfonso Del Rio is a bodybuilder who I had not heard much of until recently and I would definitely say that he has some size and conditioning on his side. I think that Alfonso only needs to post general improvements from one show to the next and seek to get more exposure and he will improve in the rankings. bodybuilding judging is not necessarily consistent in the sense that simply making improvements [or conversely, regressing] from one show to the next can give a judge a certain impression and affect the scores as judges have a tendency to judge a bodybuilder based on previous versions of themselves, unfortunately. In Alfonso's case, simply making improvements from one show to the next will be beneficial for him.
9th: Mohammed Touri
Mohammed Touri looked good at this contest in terms of his overall size and fullness although I do believe he could have been in a touch better condition. That is not to say that his condition was in any way bad because I do not believe that it was but I also think that his physique has the potential to be even more ripped than what we saw here at the Sheru Classiv and that such an increase in performance would see Mohammed's placings improve.
10th: Ntuk Sunday
Ntuk Sunday looked good but I believe is a little too small in terms of his structure in order to compete at the highest levels of bodybuilding. He is narrow and that stands out for him when he is standing next to his wider competition but even when he is standing alone, it is noticeable. Ntuk was in good condition which was a good thing but lacked the overall size - and frame necessary to hold said size - in order to place higher at this contest. His best bet is to just make gradual improvements and always come into contests in condition because he will have his best chance of success that way.
11th: Varinder Sign
Varinder Sign is from India so I thought there might be a possibility of him placing well as a result of him being something akin to a hometown favourite. As it turned out, this did not prove to be the case. Varinder came in off and placed 11th at the contest. I feel that Varinder is a huge bodybuilder and his overall size includes his height which makes him a very imposing figure. I do feel that it is important for him to come in to contests in shape to display his muscle and even though he has a lot more room on his frame for mass he can still look very good if he nails his conditioning and I think he could do better. As it stands he is tall and huge and very popular in India both in the bodybuilding world and in Bollywood. I wish Varinder all the best in his future endeavours.
Overall this was a very good follow-up to the 2011 Mr. olympia contest which saw the same results for the top six competitors [with Toney Freeman placing 6th instead of Dexter Jackson because Dexter was not competing]. It is very exciting to see bodybuilding come to India as this was the first professional bodybuilding contest in the continent of Asia but hopefully not the last. I was happy with the quality of competitors at this contest and hopefully it was a success with the fans in India and will be here to stay.
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