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

The Scoop: Recently Reported: Winner of the 2009 World's Strongest Bodybuilder Powerlifting Challenge, IFBB Pro Johnnie Jackson has announced that he will not defend the title at the 2010 Joe Weider's Olympia Weekend in Las Vegas in September (where IFBB Pro Jay Cutler will defend the Mr. Olympia title against the likes of IFBB Pro Dexter Jackson, IFBB Pro Phil Heath, IFBB Pro Branch Warren and more) . The strength challenge awards cash prizes for the highest lifts: bench press ($2,500), deadlift ($2,500), and combined overall total ($10,000).

The "So What?": Supposedly Johnnie Jackson has offered training assistance to 2009 Strongest Bodybuilder Runner-Up IFBB Pro Ben White, who he defeated last year. "Nothing is concrete, but teaming up with Johnnie could definitely happen," says White, who will face-off in a liftoff with IFBB Pro Stan Efferding, who earned his IFBB Pro card by winning the Super-Heavyweight Class and Overall title at the 2009 NPC Masters National Bodybuilding Championships (which was won in 2007 by IFBB Pro Andy Haman, another powerlifter-bodybuilder). In a recent phone interview, Efferding said, "As far as those two working together goes, it's just one loser helping out another loser."

Meanwhile, White claims to better exemplify the literal title of World's Strongest Bodybuilder, retorting, "Stan is a powerlifter who occasionally competes in bodybuilding shows, usually placing somewhere in the Top 17, if he's lucky...I'll be victorious."

Andrew Oye's Verdict: As far as I know, the bold banter among these super-strong IFBB Pro League athletes is still all in fun, bringing a little brashness to the hybrid of physique sports and strength sports. Retired IFBB Pro Tom Platz, a Golden-Era, IFBB Hall of Fame bodybuilder nicknamed the "Golden Eagle" and "Quadfather" -- who possessed leg development that inspired later nicknames like "Quadzilla" and "Quadrasaurus" -- was known for incorporating his powerlifting background into his bodybuilding training.

As I reported in my MUSCLE INK Magazine feature on multi-sport athletes, former Director of Talent Development for WWE CEO Vince McMahon's WBF World Bodybuilding Federation, Tom Platz placed 3rd to 1981 Mr. Olympia winner IFBB Pro Franco Columbu, yet another powerlifter-bodybuilder who competed in the 1977 WSM World's Strongest Man contest, along with TV's "Incredible Hulk" and 2-time Mr Universe IFBB Pro Lou Ferrigno. (The WSM contest was won in '77 in by Pro Strongman Bruce Wilhelm and a record five times by [non-pro] bodybuilder and now MMA Fighter Mariusz Pudzianowski between 2002 and 2008). It will be more interesting to see if more powerlifting bodybuilders emerge and eventually disrupt the three-way battle between White, Efferding and Jackson (who placed 12th at the Arnold Sports Festival's IFBB Pro Arnold Schwarzenegger Classic Bodybuilding Championships).

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