Arnold Classic 2010 Results Bulletin
On March 6, 2010, at the Veterans Memorial Auditorium in Columbus, OH, IFBB Pro Kai Greene was crowned the overall winner of the 22nd Annual Arnold Classic Bodybuilding Championships, making it two in a row. Young phenom Phil Heath placed 2nd in the tough show. Massive Branch Warren finished in 3rd place.
ARNOLD CLASSIC PREJUDGING
At Veterans Memorial Auditorium on Saturday afternoon, the IFBB judging panel had a difficult task at the Arnold Classic prejudging event, which is the only time during the bodybuilding competition that all the competitors appear onstage at the same time. This year's field of 13 hungry competitors was scrutinized by the judges to decide who would advance to the finals that evening.
The judges mixed up the lineup during the group "call-out" rounds to compare and contrast the physiques performing the compulsory poses and to determine the best physique in terms of muscular bulk, balanced development, muscular density and definition. A couple of years ago, I grouped these physical elements into an easy-to-remember acronym -
(Symmetry, Conditioning, Aesthetics and Mass).
Early predictions rotated names like
Kai Greene, Phil Heath, Dexter Jackson
as top contenders. So it was no surprise that these athletes comprised the first call-out group. All of these competitors, and them some, were in remarkable shape. So the ultimate winner would simply be a good selection from among a good selection.
was lean and mean with freaky mass and a defending champion's swagger on his side. He had deep-valley cuts to go with his strut, which he uses to his advantage to show off the house that hardcore bodybuilding built. He is a living, breathing comic-book character that is all real champion, and the champ would not go quietly.
bulldozer physique was marked by mounds of round, pumped muscle. He was a pre-show favorite and it is apparent why. He seemed to pose the biggest threat to Greene, if only on popularity alone; although, the few areas he lacks physique-wise become apparent when standing next to Greene and others with broader upper-body width.
was who Branch Warren always is - beastly in size, dry in condition, but not overwhelmingly exquisite. He seems to be riding the wave of his 2009 Olympia runner-up spot, but its unclear if his brand of bulk translates to an Arnold Classic 1st place trophy.
looked okay, but the man called "The Blade" has come in more peeled on previous occasions. Jackson "needed" this victory more than anyone to solidify a legacy that is seemingly teetering on a trajectory that is no longer rocketing upward at the same rate it once was.
The second call-out group consisted of
Toney Freeman, Ronny Rockel, Roelly Winklaar, Hidetada Yamagishi,
. Toney Freeman is simply a behemoth, but a behemoth with fine lines and a pleasing shape. Has been more peeled in the past? Sure, but his height alone made him a fearsome presence. Ronny Rockel presented an ever-improving physique, refining, his symmetry, shape and size, but he still needs some sort of physical siren to get even more of the growing attention starting to come his way. Roelly Winklaar made a commendable pro debut, bringing a shape (along with cuts and density) that is prime for the top tier but not quite yet, even if only out of respect for the vets.
looked fairly crisp, yet at certain angles he needs more 3-D work to display the full dimensions of the Mack trucks near the top of this pack. Melvin Anthony looked, well, almost normal, in the sense that not much about this athlete who was widely regarded as part of the Aesthetic Bodybuilders Club was standout enough to bump him to the top.
The third call-out group consisted of
Robert Piotrkowicz, Tarek Elsetouhi, Johnnie Jackson
. Robert Piotrkowicz needs more time and space to get the product on par with the top-shelf guys, beginning with his wheels. Tarek Elsetouhi has mass, but the composition needs work, i.e., crispier balance will be key to advance. Johnnie Jackson was rolling on the rip tide, with ripped cuts that couldn't, however, overcome a lower body that needs targeted development to contend. Sergey Shelestov has brawn but needs additional overall muscle dimension to get a second glance.
One physique the judges didn't have to consider was that of Silvio Samuel, who finished in 5th place at the 2009 Arnold Classic but withdrew from this year's contest, deciding instead to use this time to refine his physique for the later part of the IFBB pro contest season.
On another note, it's surprising that there is no 202 Division in the Arnold Classic. Granted, it was only last year that the 202 Division was added to the Olympia main stage. Step by step the smaller giants are getting their due at other pro contests throughout the year, and they may eventually get a chance to shine in the future at the ASF as well.
ARNOLD CLASSIC BATTLE
On March 6, 2010, the emotion and enthusiasm in the auditorium was palpable as the lineup of 13 athletes at this prestigious. invitation-only competition were announced. IFBB Pro and 2009 Arnold Classic Champ Kai Greene returned to the Veterans Memorial stage in Columbus to defend the title. After a 4th place finish at his Olympia debut, where he was favored to win, Greene was ready to revisit the stage where he had actually tasted the 1st place cake.
"This is the 22nd year of the Arnold Classic and each year the level of competition gets better and better,"
said Arnold Classic co-producer Jim Lorimer.
Greene went toe-to-toe with 12 other top bodybuilders also fighting for one of the largest prizes in pro bodybuilding - a $130,000 check, a $20,000 luxury watch, a Tony Nowak Arnold Classic jacket, and the 1st place Arnold Classic trophy. Greene was crowned the overall winner of the show, making it two in a row. Young phenom Phil Heath placed 2nd in the tough show. Massive Branch Warren finished in 3rd place.
During the evening finals, the scores from the afternoon prejudging event are thrown out and the top competitors start from zero, which is good for Greene who actually trailed Heath by three points in the pre-judging scores. The finals kicked off with the first of two rounds - the individual posing routines set to music. While this free-posing round is not scored and factored into the final decision, it represents the entertainment that draws many fans.
For the second year in a row, Greene was rewarded for his stage presentation with the Best Poser Award and an additional $10,000. Moving a 255-pound physique like liquid stone, Greene's set came complete with his famous headstands and flip tricks. Posing is an aspect of the game he seems to be dominating, much to Melvin Anthony's chagrin.
The second of the two rounds - the side-by-side comparisons of eight compulsory poses - represents the battle for the placings and, ultimately, the crown.
With the crowd in his corner, the champ took to the stage. Greene posed with style, displaying round muscle bellies that bubble from top to bottom, such as big, low lats and full pecs sitting atop flared quads. Even though the Top 6 competitors were all in phenomenal shape, Greene came in drier than he was in the morning. And there is just something about the way the various muscles fit into the puzzle of Greene's body that draws the eye's interest and the judges' favor.
Phil Heath had dropped in Olympia placings last year (from 3rd to 5th). While he skipped the ASF last year, this year he was hoping to improve upon his 2nd place at the 2008 Arnold Classic. His prejudging scores had him headed toward his first win, but is he the future of the sport as many suggest? It seems a little more time will tell the story.
Heath was massive looking, with etched abs, monstrous biceps and meaty legs, but landed in 2nd place in the finals once again. The guy looked pretty darn amazing, so it's no wonder only centimeters separated him from Greene's 1st place title. His overall flow, while commendable, doesn't read quite as sweeping as Greene's does, but his build is undeniable. With his crowd-revving wildebeest facial expressions on stage, Heath is pumped-up, electric youth. Greene is thick, oil-slick symphony. Both styles can win shows.
Although Warren was the runner-up to Jackson in his Arnold Classic debut in 2006, he won the Most Muscular Award back then - the first time in ASF history a non-winner was given the award. Ironically, Wrren has never won the Arnold Classic, but he had won the Most Muscular Award three times before this weekend.
Three seems to be the not-so-magic number for Warren. While it-s undoubtedly a respectable placing in any contest, in this show, it doesn't represent advancement for the big Texan, who also finished in 3rd place at last year's Arnold Classic. Warren is burly personified, evidenced by winning his fourth Most Muscular Award at this year's show. The brute never fails to bring the beastly thickness, particularly in the beef-layered quads, hamstrings and calves, and gradually widening back, which may bring him the balance his body needs.
Former Mr. Olympia and 3-time Arnold Classic champ,
was extra hungry for some 1st place cake. He lost the Olympia title in 2009, falling back to 3rd place and breaking the long string of multiple, back-to-back Olympia winners, If Jackson had won this past weekend, he would have tied Flex Wheeler’s all= time Arnold Classic record of four wins. But alas, one of the most consistent physiques in the game is not the most overwhelmingly massive. Again, the vet "needed" this win more than anyone, but he had to settle for 4th place and consider that some shift will need to occur in his body to thwart guys who came into the game after him but are gradually outshining him.
The adrenaline-pumping posedown is the athletes' last chance to give the judges and crowd a look at how they stack up against the other athletes. The remaining athletes ranked as follows:
5th Toney Freeman, 6th Ronny Rockel, 7th Roelly Winklaar, 8th Hidetada Yamagishi, 9th Melvin Anthony, 10th Robert Pietrkowicz, 11th Tarek Elsetouhi, 12th Johnnie Jackson and 13th Sergey Shelestov.
After his victory, Greene nipped the already buzzing Olympia talk in the bud. "Before we even start thinking about the future. I want to digest this evening first. And realize that this was a long time coming and it definitely didn't happen overnight," said the champ. "This is about work and tireless effort and having the right people who are just as focused and committed as you are."
is a steppingstone. At the root of this experience is my self-mastery. I'm developing myself. There's a much deeper meaning going on here than just the physicality of getting onstage with great arms," Greene went on to say. "These are tremendous athletes who have worked hard over the years to distinguish themselves with the things they have standing to their credit."
Ever the gracious winner,
stated, "I don't want to celebrate this accomplishment tonight in a way that minimizes the better efforts of the other men who came here and represented themselves as best they could. I want to thank the other athletes who came in tonight. It makes me bring my best in order to be rewarded."
accepted his overall award, present by Governor
, departing with words of gratitude and an encouraging message goal-setting and the possibly of achievement. Hmm, achievement. There seemed to be a lot of that going at the Arnold Sports Festival this past weekend.
The 2010 Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to action-movie star
by his buddy, event host and fellow action-movie actor
. Decked in dark shades and speaking with his signature raw-dog drawl, Stallone accepted the award to a standing ovation for his contribution to the world of bodybuilding and fitness via his muscle-fueled action flicks.
prides itself on putting on a great show, and the 2010 edition did not disappoint.