2014 Olympia Qualification Series

/ Posted 10.05.2013

PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA, October 2, 2013 – The IFBB Professional League, in conjunction with Joe Weider’s Olympia Fitness & Performance Weekend, announces the 2014 Olympia Qualification Series, a points-based system that determines qualifiers for all eight
Olympia divisions.

The Olympia Qualification Series awards points to competitors placing 2nd to 5th at Pro League events. At the end of the Olympia qualifying season, the five competitors with the highest point totals in the Olympia Qualification Series qualify to compete at the Olympia.

Since the winner of each competition automatically qualifies, no points are awarded for first
place. Additionally, competitors placing in the top 5 at the Olympia automatically qualify for the
following year.

Points and qualifications in the 2014 Olympia Qualification Series are awarded as follows:

2nd – 8 Points
3rd – 7 Points
4th – 6 Points
5th – 5 Points

2nd – 6 Points
3rd – 5 Points
4th – 4 Points
5th – 3 Points

2nd – 5 Points
3rd – 4 Points
4th – 3 Points
5th – 2 Points

2nd – 4 Points
3rd – 3 Points
4th – 2 Points
5th – 1 Point

To view the Olympia Qualification Series standings, as well as the current qualifiers
for Olympia Weekend, visit www.ifbbpro.com, www.mrolympia.com or www.npcnewsonline.com.

Filed Under: IFBB

Heath Nabs Second Sandow

/ Posted 10.03.2012

Kai Greene gets second; Flex Lewis tops Henry to Win 212

For those who paid attention, I watched the Olympia Weekend from the best seat in the house–my home office. Yup, missed the festivities for the first time in 21 years; decided to view the webcast produced by Bodybuilding.com and tweet and post on my Facebook page in blow by blow reports. Since all my comments are still there for your viewing pleasure, will not repeat what I wrote. You’ll just have to check it out yourself. And, while your at it, check out the results, and Roland Balik photos, on this site.

On the subject of the webcast, thumbs up to the crew that headed up the production; first rate to say the least. The picture was clear, and the angles plentiful.

Now, back to the show. You all know by now Phil Heath won his second Sandow in a row, taking home a check for 250K. I didn’t think Heath was better than 2011; he looked to be a tad heavier, and not quite as sharp. That said, a 95% Heath is still an amazingly “gifted” bodybuilder. And, according to the judging panel, a fairly easy winner with straight ones. Although Kai Greene returned to the form that won him back to back Arnold Classic titles in 2009 and 2010, Phil’s superior “flow” of his body (best arms in the game to start with, great calves, matching thighs, back width, et al) was more than enough to prevent the upset, although I do think this battle was, as they say, closer than the score indicated. Thumbs up to Greene for making a legit run at the champ. A champ, by the way, who, at 32, could rack up several more Sandow’s before he hangs up the posing trunks. Oh, by the way–as you know, I did pick Heath to go one-two in my pre-Olympia predictions. Thank you, thank you very much.

The two biggest surprises of the contest were Shawn Rhoden, the new age Flex Wheeler, who moved all the way up to third (I pegged him for fifth in my Olympia preview), and almost-43-year-old Dexter Jackson, who looked his best since winning this show four years ago en route to a fourth place finish. The Blade, who copped the Masters Olympia a year ago, becomes even a bigger favorite to repeat in Miami Beach in December. The biggest disappointment–at least aocording to the prognosticators, was Branch Warren, who fell all the way to fifth after winning his second consecutive ASC in March. Branch gets a chance to redeem himself, againsst basically the same field, this weekend in India at the Sheru Classic. I’ll go with Heath again, with Rhoden possibly moving up a slot into second if Kai doesn’t come in the same shape he did in Las Vegas.

In the 212, David Henry returned from a year’s deployment to look great. Just not great enough to take the title away from James “Flex” Lewis, a guy I felt should have won this division a year ago. I remember meeting Lewis at World Gym, Marina del Rey, several years back. Bill Comstock filmed us going calf against calf. I lost. Now Lewis is doing likewise against people like Henry, Eduardo Correa and Jose Raymond. And still winning. You’ve come a long way, baby.

Filed Under: IFBB, Mr Olympia

Mr. Olympia Qualification Series Standings

/ Posted 09.13.2012


1. Toney Freeman, USA, 11 points
2. Ben Pakulski, Canada, 10 points
3. Hidetada Yamagishi, Japan, 7 points
3. Balto Abbaspour, Iran, 7 points
5. John Delarosa, USA, 6 points
5. Fred Smalls, USA, 6 points
7. Grigori Atoyan, USA, 5 points
8. Sergey Shelestov, Russia, 4 points
8. Steve Kuclo, USA, 4 points
8. Mohammad Ali Bannout, Lebanon, 4 points
8. Robert Piotrkowicz, Poland, 4 points
12. Fouad Abiad, Canada, 3 points
12. Flex Lewis, England, 3 points
12. Omar Deckard, USA, 3 points
12. Feras Saied, Italy, 3 points
12. An Nguyen, USA, 3 points
17. Darryn Onekawa, New Zealand, 2 points
17. Vaughn Ettienne, USA, 2 points
19. Eduardo Correa Da Silva, Brazil, 1 point
19. Luke Timms, Australia, 1 point
19. Christopher White, Canada, 1 point
19. Renaldo Gairy, Canada, 1 point
19. Adorthus Cherry, USA, 1 point
19. Lee Banks, USA, 1 point
19. Ed Nunn, USA, 1 point
19. Todd Jewell, USA, 1 point

*Top 5 qualify for the 2012 Mr. Olympia
**In the event of a tie, the competitor with the best top five contest placings will be awarded the qualification

The following competitors have qualified to compete in the 2012 Olympia
Phil Heath, USA
Jay Cutler, USA
Kai Greene, USA
Victor Martinez, Dominican Republic
Dexter Jackson, USA
Ronny Rockel, Germany
Lionel Beyeke, France
Branch Warren, USA
Dennis Wolf, Germany
Evan Centopani, USA
Michael Kefalianos, Australia
Johnnie Jackson, USA
Cedric McMillan, USA
Bill Wilmore, USA
Juan Morel, USA
Essa Obaid, UAE
Shawn Rhoden, USA
Roelly Winklaar, Netherlands

Filed Under: IFBB, Mr Olympia

Henry’s Dynamic Return

/ Posted 08.20.2012

David Henry was missing in action last year, but not by his choice. As a member of the Armed Forces, he received deployment papers and fulfilled his duty. David made his return to the stage a dynamic one in Dallas, Texas, over the weekend by dominating the 212 division at the Europa Super Show, and setting up another great battle with Kevin English in that category at the Olympia next month in Las Vegas.

In the main event, Shawn Rhoden made it two wins in a row, but Hidetada Yamagishi edged past Toney Freeman for the runner-up slot. The X-Man finished third, with Roelly Winklaar finishing in fourth and Ed Nunn in fifth. In judging how good Winklaar looked, needless to say it was a very good line-up. The question now, of course: can Rhoden become a top six guy at the Olympia? Certainly has one of the most pleasing physiques in the game today–as does Henry.

Filed Under: 212, Europa, IFBB

Rhoden Takes Tampa

/ Posted 08.13.2012

It was the best line-up ever at Tim Gardner’s Pro Bodybuilding Weekly Championships, held over the weekend in Tampa, Florida. And, it was the best ever physique displayed by Shawn Rhoden that pushed him to the top of the elite field. Rhdoen topped second place finisher Toney Freeman and third place winner Hide Yamagishi to earn the $10,000 first place prize money. Roelly Winklaar, considered by some as the pre-contest fave, finished fourth, with Lee Banks rounding out the top five.

Filed Under: IFBB, Tampa Pro

IFBB Evl’s Prague Pro Bodybuilding on October 26 & 27, 2012

/ Posted 06.13.2012

The IFBB is returning to the Czech Republic this fall when the EVL’s Prague Pro Bodybuilding and Bikini Championships come to Prague on October 26-27.

Nearly $200,000 in prize money will be awarded at the event.

Named after promoter Eva Sukupova, a former IFBB Pro bodybuilder, the EVL’s Prague Pro will
be the IFBB’s first event in the Czech Republic in 14 years. The event will feature IFBB Men’s Bodybuilding, 212 Men’s Bodybuilding and Pro Bikini, in addition to the first-ever Amateur
Bikini Olympia, the overall winner will turn pro.

Sukupova, a three-time winner of the World Championships, participated in seven Ms. Olympia
competitions during her pro bodybuilding career. She retired from competitive bodybuilding at
the 1998 Ms. Olympia held in her hometown of Prague.

“I have bodybuilding deep in my heart; I always have and always will,” Sukupova said. “To bring
an IFBB Pro contest back to Czech after 14 years means a lot to me and more importantly to the
bodybuilding community. We are ready and proud to host what we know will be one of the
best pro events on this planet and to hold the very first Amateur Bikini Olympia in our city.”


Men’s Open ($135,000 total)
1st place – $60,000
2nd place – $30,000
3rd place – $20,000
4th place – $10,000
5th place – $ 6,000
6th place – $ 5,000
7th to 10th place – $1,000 each

Filed Under: IFBB

New Olympia Qualification Series Announced

/ Posted 03.16.2012

PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA, March 13, 2012 –  The IFBB Pro League, in conjunction with Joe Weider’s Olympia Weekend, announced the creation of the IFBB Pro Olympia Qualification Series, a points-based system that will help determine qualifiers for all six IFBB Pro Olympia divisions.

The IFBB Pro Olympia Qualification Series will award points to competitors placing in the top 2 to 5 of all Pro League events. At the end of the Olympia qualifying season, the five (5) competitors with the highest points totals in the IFBB Pro Olympia Qualification Series will qualify to compete at Olympia Weekend.

Since the winner of each competition automatically qualifies, no points will be awarded for first place. Additionally, competitors placing in the top 5 at the Olympia automatically qualify for the following year.

The IFBB Pro Olympia Qualification Series will be effective immediately, and point totals for all 2012 contests will be included.

“We think this is a great way to expand the number of Olympia qualifiers beyond those who win contests and to build excitement for all IFBB Pro League events throughout the course of the year,” IFBB Pro League Chairman Jim Manion said. “It ensures that the best of the best will be competing on the Olympia stage.”

Points and qualifications in the IFBB Pro Olympia Qualification Series will be awarded as follows:

2nd – 8 Points
3rd – 7 Points
4th – 6 Points
5th – 5 Points

2nd – 6 Points
3rd – 5 Points
4th – 4 Points
5th – 3 Points

2nd – 5 Points
3rd – 4 Points
4th – 3 Points
5th – 2 Points

2nd – 4 Points
3rd – 3 Points
4th – 2 Points
5th – 1 Point

To view the IFBB Pro Olympia Qualification Series standings, as well as the current qualifiers for Olympia weekend, click on the links below.

Men’s Bodybuilding

212 Showdown

Women’s Bodybuilding




Any questions regarding IFBB Pro Olympia Qualification Series should be directed to the Olympia office via email at rchang [at] weiderpub.com



NPC Celebrates 30 Years of Excellence with Site Relaunch

/ Posted 02.28.2012

PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA, February 28, 2012 – The National Physique Committee was created in 1982 with one goal in mind: giving amateur bodybuilders the opportunity to compete in an organization that put bodybuilding and its athletes first.  Now, we are proud to announce that the 2012 competitive season will mark our 30th Anniversary. In conjunction with our 30 Years of Excellence campaign, the NPC News Online (npcnewsonline.com) is undergoing a facelift in order to keep up with the growing demand for bodybuilding-related news, results and information, from both the National Physique Committee and the IFBB Professional League.

“The NPC News has been covering all aspects of the bodybuilding industry for 25 years,” NPC Chairman Jim Manion said. “We felt it was time to redesign and relaunch our web site in order to keep up with the growing number of NPC competitors and their family members, friends and fans looking for news, coverage, results, announcements and information on all of our seven divisions.”

Three decades after opening our offices in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the NPC continues to grow, setting participation records at all of our pro qualifying events in 2011 – led by the National Bodybuilding, Figure, Bikini and Physique Championships in November (943 competitors) and the USA  Bodybuilding, Figure, Bikini and Physique Championships in July (689 competitors).  This year, the NPC will award a record-setting 284 IFBB Pro cards.

Lee Haney, Ronnie Coleman, Jay Cutler, Dexter Jackson, Phil Heath, Cory Everson, Lenda Murray, Kim Chizevsky, Iris Kyle, Susie Curry, Adela Garcia, Davana Medina, Jenny Lynn, Nicole Wilkins, Sonia Gonzales and Nicole Nagrani are just some of the past and present stars of the IFBB Professional League who got their start with the NPC. In all, NPC athletes have gone on to win a combined 24 Olympia and 38 Arnold Classic titles.

NPC athletes are regularly featured in and on the covers of international publications such as FLEX, Muscular Development, Muscle & Fitness and Muscle & Fitness Hers, Fitness Rx for Women, Ironman, Oxygen and Musclemag International.

For more on the NPC and for coverage of the IFBB Professional League, go to www.npcnewsonline.com.



Filed Under: IFBB, News, NPC

“Experts” Divided on 2012 ASC: Wolf, Warren and Jackson Get Top Votes

/ Posted 02.24.2012

On paper, the 2012 version of the Arnold Schwarzenegger Classic could be among the most balanced in the 24-year history of the Schwarzenegger/Jim Lorimer produced event. Four of last season’s top five return to Vets Memorial Auditorium in Columbus, Ohio on March 3; one of them is the 2011 champ, Branch Warren, who would have entered the show as the pre-contest favorite under “normal” circumstances. But, for those who even remotely follow the industry, you know that Warren tore a quad a month out from last year’s Mr. Olympia, and had to pass on the chance to chase the Sandow eventually won by Phil Heath.

How will Warren, the 5’6 1/2″, 245 pounder–a five-time winner of the “Most Muscular” award in Columbus–bounce back from the accident? When I talked to Branch a couple of months ago he assured me he would be as good as new. And Yogi Avidan believes it, because that’s who Avidan is picking to walk away with the $130,000 grand prize.

“I think Branch is going to dominate again!,” says Yogi, who then added that “none of us are talking about Evan Centopani, who is the dark horse. My five-year-old son, Adam, is predicting Evan will win!”  Hold on Yogi–a lot of us feel Centopani, fourth last year, is definitely in the hunt for the title. The 5’11”, 265-pounder is a great bodybuilder, and I have the 2007 NPC Nationals champion actually nipping Warren for second. Not a popular pick, according to many.

So, who am I going with as the name I will announce from the podium as the latest ASC winner? Big, bad Dennis Wolf, the 6’0″, 262-pounder from Germany (now living in Las Vegas), who gave Branch a good run  for the top slot last year, then followed that up with a strong fifth place showing at the Olympia–a single digit behind fourth place finisher Victor Martinez. With Branch an unknown factor due to the August surgery, this is a great opportunity for Wolf to finally jump into the winner’s circle. Dennis combines size and shape, and, even though he has a couple of flaws (calves, lower back), should have enough of the total package to win the show…..IF he shows up in his all-time best shape. As Elvis once sang, “It’s Now or Never”, big guy.

The bravest pick of the group? Isaac Hinds, who is giving his props to the Blade. Yup, Lifter is going with Dexter Jackson, fifth last year, to move up four places this time around and earn his fourth ASC victory, which would tie him with Flex Wheeler as the all-time record holder. Dex, coming off that 100 grand win at the Masters Pro World in December, is still going strong at 42-years old. “Dexter is a wiley vet,” counters Hinds. “He’s been there before, and his showing at the Masters proves the Blade is far from rusty…in fact, I’d say he was at his sharpest ever.”

Another cat I think can cause some trouible is Brandon Curry, who will be stepping on the Vets stage for the first time. After a slow start in 2011, Curry put his name back in the headlines with an impressive eighth place finish at the Olympia. If the  former NPC USA overall champ, who carries about 235-240 pounds or so on his 5’8″ frame, can continue to improve, Curry will be in a hurry to land in the top five.

Lionel Beyeke opened the new season with a victory at the FLEX Pro on February 18; can Beyeke challenge for the title in Columbus? I say not yet, although he does have great shape and looks awesome from the front. Lionel needs more calves and back crispness to battle the big boys at the ASC, but I think he can challenge for a top six finish.

I’m also interested to see how Matthias Botthof fares. Matthias dominated the Arnold Amateur last year, and has the muscle to be in the tussle at the next level.  Also aiming for top six finishes–and it won’t be easy–are Ben Pakulski and Fouad Abiad, who finished behind Beyeke in second and third, respectively,  at the FLEX Pro. And, both guys had their fans who felt they could easily have won the show. Pakulski is a freak, with the best calves in the game, and Abiad has a nicely balanced body who can hang with the top fella’s when he’s in prime time condition.

Ditto for Shawn Rhoden, the modern day Flex Wheeler, who was not at his best at the FLEX Pro, but has another two weeks to dial things in. Now, how about Eduardo Correa? The 5’7″, 217-pounder was so detailed at the FLEX show he could have been placed the cover of a “Shredded Wheat” cereal box. I felt he could have actually won the contest…but finished a surprising fifth. My only guess is Correa was considered too “small”. Well, he ain’t that small, and he was the best conditioned man in the line-up. Okay, he needs more size on his quads, and his color was off at prejudging, but who doesn’t have a weakness here or there? Seeing where Eduardo finished in Santa Monica doesn’t portend well for his chances in Columbus, with a vastly tougher line-up, but you never know. One thing I will predict–the fans will go nuts over the peeled  Brazilian physique star.

Perhaps the most interesting competitor is veteran Gustavo Badell, at one time of the sport’s shining stars, who is making a “comeback” at the ASC after not taking the stage for three years. At 39, does Badell still have what it takes to be a top contender? Ask me March 3.

Make sure to check out the Arnold Classic prediction video I did with Dave Palumbo last month at the LA FitExpo. It’s tough picking the top folks even if you see them the week of the show. Not seeing any of them, and going on record, a month out, is even more difficult. But, it’s fun, and it helps promote the show. So, right or wrong, let’s get ready to rumble.

The “Experts” Pick the 2012 ASC

Lonnie (“The Swami”) Teper
1. Dennis Wolf
2. Evan Centopani
3. Branch Warren
4. Dexter Jackson
5. Brandon Curry
6. Lionel Beyeke

Isaac (“Lifter”) Hinds
1. Dexter Jackson
2. Branch Warren
3. Evan Centopani
4. Dennis Wolf
5. Lionel Beyeke
6. Brandon Curry

Ron (“Yogi”) Avidan
1. Branch Warren
2. Evan Centopani
3. Dennis Wolf
4. Dexter Jackson
5. Brandon Curry
6. Gustavo Badell


Thumbs Up for New Olympia Qualifying Standards

/ Posted 10.17.2011

A year or so ago I wrote in the News & Views that the current qualifying standards for the Olympia should undergo a facelift. With so many pro events on the calendar now, the line-ups in Las Vegas have become really watered down. This results with shows with less qualify and that run too long.

The Olympia should be the best of the best…perhaps 15, max, in each division. And, to refresh the theme of my viewpoint in 2010, I said everyone should have to requalify. Yes, even the current Olympia winners. This would obviously be of tremendous aid to promoters of "smaller" shows, who must have really deep pockets by continuing to produce their events year in and year out with three-quarter empty venues.

So, I was happy to see the press release, written by Jim Manion, NPC Prez and Chairman of the IFBB Professional League, on September 21 addressing the exact same issues I had written about in the past. Of course, the new rules regarding qualifications certainly didn’t come about due to my comments, but it doesn’t matter. Although they didn’t go nearly as far as I would, the latest changes will definitely be a plus.

Beginning in 2012, the following competitors will qualify for the Olympia:

1. Top four (4) in each division at the Olympia 9 (instead of top 6);
2. Top three (3) in each division at the Arnold Classic/International (instead of top 6);
3. Top two (2) in each division at the New York Pro (instead of top 5);
4. First place (1) at all other competitions (instead of top 3).

The top four (4) in each division at the 2011 Olympia will qualify for the 2012 Olympia. The remaining 2011 competitions will not be affected.

Again, not as far as I would go; okay, I could see giving a pass to the Olympia winners, and perhaps the champions at the Arnold. Or, guess I could be talked into the top two at the 0 and the top three at the Arnold. But, it’s a vast improvement over past standards. Thumbs up.

Filed Under: IFBB