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The Item: Career Updates, Contest Preparation, Andrew Oye's IFBB Pro Athletes Roundup

The Scoop: Recently Reported: IFBB Pro Silvio Samuel was spotted training in the gym again. With hopes of stepping on stage during the 2011 IFBB Pro League contest season, Samuel is back under the wing of his coach, pro trainer and retired IFBB Pro Charles Glass. "We've been working hard lately, trying to put things together," said Glass, while training Samuel at Gold's Gym in Venice Beach, California, this week. "This man is on the right path. He's going to make it happen this year."

Samuel added, "We had a break, but we're back gain. The break was quite okay for me, and I'm back fully recovered, looking forward to April, which will be my first [bodybuilding] show of the season."

The "So What?": This news comes after Silvio Samuel's hospitalization last year and a long layoff from serious training. As reported in "Andrew Oye's Pro-Muscle Report," in 2010, sudden illness had caused the 5'7", 223-pound Samuel to axe plans to compete in the IFBB Tampa Pro Bodybuilding Championships (won by Powerlifter, IFBB Pro Ben White). At the time, some had even speculated that the 35-year-old bodybuilder would give in to early retirement. Evidently, this is not yet the case.

Andrew Oye's Verdict: Among the set of non-super-massive Open Division IFBB Pro League athletes (like IFBB Pro Ronny Rockel, IFBB Pro Hidetada Yamagishi and IFBB Pro Troy Alves), Silvio Samuel has a standout physique. While the intense dieting and training required for competitive bodybuilding can sideline an athlete who is not operating at 100%, the hope is it won't derail a recovering pro who must catch up with his competition, which only gets tougher every day he stays away from the game.

Samuel is getting comeback advice from Charles Glass, who last took 4th place at the 1995 IFBB Masters Olympia (won by IFBB Pro Sonny Schmidt), possibly seeking to recapture the momentum he had been gradually building in 2008 -- when he secured 5th placed at the Arnold Sports Festival's IFBB Pro Arnold Schwarzenegger Classic Bodybuilding Championships (won by 3-time Arnold Classic Champ IFBB Pro Dexter Jackson) and took 7th place at Joe Weider's Olympia Weekend (where Jackson defeated then 2-time Mr. Olympia IFBB Pro Jay Cutler).

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