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

The Scoop: Recently Announced: IFBB Pro James "Flex" Lewis has decided not to compete during the 2010 IFBB Pro League contest season. "It was a hard choice because I'm a very competitive person," says Lewis. "But with the support of my wife, nutritionist Neil Hill and my sponsors, I know this is the right thing to do."

Citing the need to make physical improvements as the reason, Lewis says, "I didn't see myself winning the Olympia 202 [Showdown] in 2010. So I'm going to use 2010 to focus on improving my chest and back. One of the key words for me will be 'balance.' I will create better overall balance between my upper and lower body. When I step onstage again in 2011, the changes I've made will be noticeable."

The "So What?": Flex Lewis plans to return to the stage in 2011 at the inaugural IFBB FLEX Pro Bodybuilding Championships in Los Angeles, CA (February 26). As reported in "Andrew Oye's Pro-Muscle Report," Lewis debuted his new DVD titled "Welsh Dragon" at last month's Arnold Sports Festival (where Open Division athletes competed in the IFBB Pro Arnold Schwarzenegger Classic Bodybuilding Championships and there is not yet a 202 Arnold Classic contest). Lewis will use the rest of the year to launch his 40,000 square-foot gym in Tennessee.

Andrew Oye's Verdict: Training virtually non-stop since he was 19 years old, IFBB Pro Flex Lewis, now 26, realizes a break is in order to bump up in the professional ranks. A product of the UK bodybuilding scene that gave us 6-time Mr. Olympia IFBB Pro Dorian Yates, Lewis earned his pro card at the 2007 IFBB UK British Bodybuilding Championships. Balance is indeed the keyword if Lewis wants to remain competitive against top 202 Division IFBB Pro League athletes like IFBB Pro David Henry, IFBB Pro Kevin English and IFBB Pro Eduardo Correa, and truly have a shot at winning a title at Joe Weider's Olympia Weekend.

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