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The 2006 Ironman
The contestants of this year's Ironman came in the form of the Davids versus the Goliaths. That is, some came in the form of 290-lb monsters hoping to tower their way to the front runner's pole, only to be slingshot by their compact counterparts and finish looking as intimidating as Big Bird from Sesame Street. In a battle for victory, it was clearly between the Muscle of Lee Priest and the condition of David Henry. Don't get me wrong, Priest was in shape but Henry possessed the diced and diagonal lines and crevices that looked like they could hold a credit card within and pay out $ bills if you had bet on him to win. On this day it didn't happen, as muscle seemed to be on the judges' menu. But had the judges been on a completely fat-free diet, the Henry would have had the Ironman trophy sitting in his cabinet. It was that close! Priest was in the best shape he has ever revealed on US soil, but I had seen him tighter at the Australian GP last year. His lower body was tighter than past showings but unfortunately his back still suffers the shallow depths of muscularity needed in the larger shows. On this occasion, however, his overall package took home the spoils to notch up his third Pro win. If Priest has a weakness in his back, then Henry sure knows how to exploit it. When he pulled his arms back prior to his rear lat spread it looked as though the crowd had previously thrown lumps of diced meat onto his frame to harvest a mountain of muscle. Look out for this kid in the future. In third came pre-contest favorite and the guy many thought should have won last year. Troy Alves. The evening prior to the show Troy looked full and ready to rock the Pasadena house. But a day later he looked a little soft and considerably flatter, looking ready to exit the house. Suffering the same condition as Dennis James, Troy always seems to have enough mass and shape in his pre-contest photos to suggest that the target he is about to hit has # 1 written all over it. Unlike last year, though, there was no doubting that he didn't deserve a higher placing. Troy has such a pleasing frame that the letter X fits him perfectly and his potential to get in shape has yet to be tapped, but coming into the Ironman with soft glutes and hamstrings is no way to get the judges to grade favorably. Kris Dim was another of the shorter competitors that managed to squeeze his large lats into the top four. Although Kris's quads haven't quite got the flare of a pair of Levi's from the seventies his tear drops on his inner thigh look like they have been whimpering from many agonizing, leg-torturing workouts. His waist is so small that I have to question whether he in fact wears a corset in his spare time, and his lats are so wide and thick he looks like he could repel bullets from those wings of steel. I really like the shape and foundation that Kris has developed, but he needs a little more overall depth to create the illusion of added thickness. Also, a greater quad sweep could extenuate the V taper this amazing athlete holds. During the weigh-in, I took a close-up picture of Mark Dugdales' quads. I did the same on the day of the show. Unfortunately the latter photo was less impressive. Looking back, it seems that the stomach virus he was to suffer the next day was already settling in and starting to hold water under the skin. However, Mark was still sliced and full and freakish. Stand-out poses were the crab shot, which gave amazing effect to his roundly capped shoulders, and his side chest pose, which resembled that of a certain Governor of California. With his flawless presentation, Mark Dugdale rounded out the top five perfectly. In sixth place was the huge Jordanian Mustafa Mohammed who was definitely bigger than the contestants standing in his way. The mass he carries sits upon him perfectly. He has a thickly solid and rugged shape that looks very pleasing in its presentation and posing. Judging by the cheers Mustafa received, he is certainly a crowd favorite and he gladly soaked up every minute of it. But this wasn't enough to move him up a placing and many thought that based on his soft appearance, sixth place was a little too generous. His size alone cannot be ignored and in no way, shape or form has this spoilt his physique. Yes he was off, but every time he flexed those quads, striations were apparent from top to bottom and the crowd loved it. It was very hard to judge Mustafa because of his condition but it seems that he has put on some size since we saw him last. View More Photos Below