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The Headline: ANDREW OYE'S IFBB PRO ATHLETES ROUNDUP + IFBB PRO CARD REPORT: ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER CLASSIC CHAMPION SHAWN RHODEN, IFBB PRO BRANCH WARREN, IFBB PRO CEDRIC MCMILLAN, IFBB PRO KEVIN LEVRONE, IFBB PRO SHAWN RAY, IFBB PRO FRED SMALLS, IFBB PRO JOSE LUIS RODRIGUEZ OYOLA, IFBB PRO NICK TRIGILI, CBBF CANADIAN NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS' NEW IFBB PRO LEAGUE ATHLETES

The Item: Career Updates, Special Appearances, Andrew Oye's IFBB Pro Athletes Roundup, Contest Preparation, Contest Results, New IFBB Pro League Cards

The Scoop: Recently Reported: IFBB Pro League athletes had career updates or made recent guest appearances at various sports, bodybuilding, physique and fitness events. The latest "Andrew Oye's Pro-Muscle Report" Pro Athletes Roundup includes new additions to the pro ranks of the International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness, pros promoting amateur-level contests for aspiring pros, and a pro Olympia contender saving his best for September.

The "So What?": Over the weekend, the NPC Branch Warren Classic Championships in Houston, Texas, was hosted by IFBB Pro Branch Warren (2-time winner of the Arnold Sports Festival's IFBB Pro Arnold Schwarzenegger Classic Bodybuilding Championships). Warren's National Physique Committee amateur bodybuilding contest was staged with a strength and fitness expo that also included strongman, powerlifting, CrossFit, and armwrestling events, as well as vendor booths. U.S. Army Sergeant IFBB Pro Cedric McMillan hosted a seminar and meet-and-greet event at the NPC Louisiana State Championships in Lafayette.

IFBB Hall of Fame retired bodybuilders IFBB Pro Shawn Ray (1991 Arnold Classic Champion) and IFBB Pro Kevin Levrone (2-time Arnold Classic Champion) were joined by IFBB Pro Fred Smalls (winner of the recent Dallas Pro Championships) for a "Business of Bodybuilding" Training and Nutrition Seminar in Columbia, Maryland, where an attendee had an opportunity to win a free trip to the 2015 Joe Weider's Olympia Weekend (a.k.a. the "Super Bowl of bodybuilding.")

IFBB Pro Shawn Rhoden (2012 Arnold Classic Europe Champion), IFBB Pro Jose Luis Rodriguez Oyola (2014 Arnold Amateur Brasil Champion) and IFBB Pro Nick Trigili (2014 NPC USA Champion) guest-posed at the 35th Anniversary NPC Southern States Championships in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where Rhoden held a "Flex with Flexatron" Seminar at a local gym, discussing his competitive journey from NPC amateur competitor to IFBB professional bodybuilder. IFBB Pro Sadik Hadzovic (2015 Arnold Classic Physique Champion) and IFBB Pro India Paulino (2013 Arnold Classic Bikini Champion) also made appearances at the Southern States event, whose past winners include: 2008 Mr. Olympia IFBB Pro Dexter Jackson (1994), IFBB Pro Marcus Haley (2000), IFBB Pro Pablo Arevalo (2002), IFBB Pro Rafael Jaramillo (2004), IFBB Pro Jason Huh (2006), IFBB Pro Manuel Romero (2007), and IFBB Pro Ryan Pateracki (2009).

At the Canadian Bodybuilding Federation CBBF Canadian National Bodybuilding Championships in Edmonton, Alberta, amateur competitors qualified for IFBB professional status and the ability to enter IFBB Pro Olympia Qualification Series contests: new IFBB Pro Paulo Almeida (Super-Heavyweight Class and Overall winner) and new IFBB Pro Ron Partlow (Masters Overall winner). Also in Canada, IFBB Pro Henderson Thorne hosted the (Ontario Physique Association) OPA Henderson Thorne Classic Championships in Ancaster, Ontario.

Andrew Oye's Verdict: As I mentioned last week, Shawn Rhoden posted a contest-prep training video with an eye on Olympia Weekend in September. Apparently, he his tactic is to rely solely on his high (3rd place) finish at last year's Mr. Olympia Championships as his automatic qualification for this year's big contest and focus all efforts on the end goal. In 2015, thus far, Rhoden has not competed in any IFBB Pro Qualification Series contests. As a top contender, it isn't necessary (or required) to use any pre-Olympia contest as a "test run" for his preparation to challenge reigning 4-time Mr. Olympia IFBB Pro Phil Heath (along with other Sandow-trophy chasers IFBB Pro Dennis Wolf, IFBB Pro Roelly Winklaar, IFBB Pro Mamdouh Elssbiay, a.k.a. "Big Ramy," IFBB Pro Ronny Rockel, a.k.a. "The Rock," and Branch Warren, a.k.a. "Quadrasaurus"). Fans who want to see more of him throughout the year have to make due with guest appearances -- or perhaps, like in 2014, Rhoden will also choose to compete at several of the post-Olympia international-circuit contests.

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