Got two items of news from Isaac Hinds, aka The Lifter–his top 10 predictions for this weekend’s season opener, and the announcement that he has created Muscle Phone, a text messaging service for bodybuilding fans.
“Muscle Phone breaks new ground for bodybuilding fans and I’m excited to launch with the start of the 2008 NPC and IFBB contest season,” said Hinds, owner of LIFT Studios and also renown as the second most notable part of “The Experts,” a stunningly accurate prediction team. Behind me, of course, and ahead of Ron “Yogi” Avidan, who wussed out on his IM picks, claiming to be out of town, finishing up on his three-month public speaking course. He flunked the first time around. Guess mumbling wasn’t accepted.
Anyway, back to Muscle Phone. “Those who sign up for the service will receive the 2008 IRONMAN PRO results via text message immediately after they are announced,” said Hinds. Gee, that means I better get them right, since I’ll be announcing them.
“Bodybuilding fans no longer have to be glued to their computer or rely on friends for the latest contest results, or industry news and gossip, ” Hinds explained. “Muscle Phone allows fans to be connected to the industry at all times.”
Fans can access Muscle Phone by texting the world MUSCLE to 64274, or by visiting the website at www.musclephone.com. Standard text messaging rates may apply. Currently the subscription is not available outside of the United States, but Hinds assures that plans are in the works to expand globally.
I applaud Lifter on his creative idea, and for having the guts—hear that Yogi? —for putting it on the line with his top 10 pics for this weekend, in order: Phil Heath, Gustavo Badell, Silvio Samuel, Toney Freeman, Will Harris, Johnnie Jackson, David Henry, Desmond Miller, Troy Alves and Armin Scholz. Picking this one ain’t easy; as you know The Swami’s video has proclaimed this to be the deepest line-up in the 19-year history of the event.
As the emcee, of course, it would not be professional for me to give my picks, so I’m telling you in advance not to whine about that point.
Top ranked NPC Welterweight competitor Alex Azarian also wasn’t afraid, like Yogi, to put it on the line. Azarian is going with Heath to win it, with Freeman in second, Samuel in third, Badell in fourth and Henry rounding out the top five. “This show is way too deep for me to try and pick the top 10, ” Azarian admits.
By the way, check out our training video with Alex on the site; the former USA Lightweight champ looked great as a welter as the Excalibur in December, and is definitely moving up a class at this season’s Nationals in Atlanta.
Additionally, Alex got some great news this week: MuscleTech is giving him a one-year contract, and will take care of his expenses for the Nationals, as well as supplying him with $500 a month of supplements. And, he says, it could lead to even better things. If Azarian turns pro, he’ll get $1500 a month from the company. Congrats! Not bad for a “little” guy, eh?
On Friday, Jay Cutler, in town, per usual, for his appearance at the IM, including a Sunday seminar at the FitExpo, is putting on the first of three “Train with Mr. Olympia for Charity” sessions at Gold’s in Venice.
For $600, you can have breakfast at the Firehouse with the two-time Mr. Olympia, train at Gold’s, go back to the eatery for lunch and end the day with a question and answer at Jay’s Max Muscle store down the street from Gold’s.
This is a great opportunity to not only spend a few hours with the world’s greatest—and one of the industry’s most down to earth physique star, but to also support a wonderful cause. Half of the proceeds will go to the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Greater Los Angeles.
For ticket info, contact [email protected]. Also, Jay will be back on April 18 and June 20 for an encore performance, so there’s no excuse not to get on board for this one. By the way, I’ll need some of you folks to attend the session in June; Jay will be guest posing at my Junior Cal the following night and I want to make sure he gets there on time…
Sad news came last week via Getbig Headlines—former NPC star Eric Fromm was found dead at his Wisconsin home. Cause of death for the 36-year-old Fromm, nicknamed “The Viking” was not known at press time.
I emceed Eric at several of his National level appearances; he placed third in the Superheavyweight class at the 2003 USA. A year later, he would make his final appearance on stage at the 2004 Nationals.
Our deepest condolences to the Fromm family.