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

The Scoop: In Oxford, England, IFBB Pro Mike Sheridan is preparing for a comeback to the competitive stage at the 2010 IFBB New York Pro Bodybuilding Championships (May 8). The word is the British powerhouse has visited 6-time Mr. Olympia IFBB Pro Dorian Yates' Temple Gym in Birmingham, and Yates has given Sheridan's pre-contest physique a nod of approval.
 
The "So What?": Mike Sheridan obtained his IFBB Pro card, by winning the Light-Heavyweight Class at the 1999 EFBB British Championships. He made his pro debut at the 2001 IFBB Hungarian Grand Prix, and eventually competed at Joe Weider's Olympia Weekend in 2005 (when IFBB Pro Ronnie Coleman won his eighth and final consecutive Mr. Olympia title, tying IFBB Pro Lee Haney's record). On whether he foresaw himself ever stepping on the prestigious Olympia stage, Sheridan said, "I don't think anyone does really. But it was always a dream in the back of my mind, as I guess it is with any keen bodybuilder. Now it's a dream come true."

Back from a 5-year hiatus, 5'5.5", 39-year-old Sheridan makes his first appearance in the 202 Division at the New York Pro this week. A trainer and gym owner who has also participated in rugby, white-water canoeing and judo, Sheridan says his training philosophy of heavy, intense, brief workouts is motivated by "madness and insanity." With an off-season philosophy of staying fairly lean, he has said, "I used to bulk up off-season by a few stone. But now I'm a pro-bodybuilder I feel I always need to look like one all the time."

Andrew Oye's Verdict: Mike Sheridan returns to a different arena than the one he left with new IFBB Pro League athletes (like U.K. phenom IFBB Pro Flex Lewis), new weight classes and new rules. The reemergence of Sheridan's grainy, dense musculature is reminiscent of a smaller version of fellow U.K. bodybuilder Dorian Yates and should be an interesting addition to the mix of reigning Olympia 202 Showdown Champion IFBB Pro Kevin English and other 202 Division mass beasts like IFBB Pro Jose Raymond and IFBB Pro Charles Dixon, etc.

Sheridan says his contest prep is based on experience and trial-and-error and that motivation comes naturally. "I love training. Training is so embedded into me; it's part of my life. At my level, I can't afford to relax." There's no time to relax at the New York Pro (formerly known as the Night of Champions) which has been won in the past by the likes of IFBB Pro Flex Wheeler (4-time winner of the Arnold Sports Festival's IFBB Pro Arnold Schwarzenegger Classic Bodybuilding Championships), IFBB Pro Lee Labrada, IFBB Pro Gary Strydom, IFBB Pro Porter Cottrell, IFBB Pro Mike Francois, IFBB Pro Paul Dillet, IFBB Pro Orville Burke, IFBB Pro Markus Ruhl, IFBB Pro Phil Heath, IFBB Pro Branch Warren, IFBB Pro Evan Centopani and more.

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