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Bodybuilding is returning to is roots in 2011 when Ultimate Nutrition, FLEX magazine and the IFBB Professional League team up to bring Ultimate Nutrition’s FLEX Pro Bodybuilding and Figure Championships to Los Angeles, California. The competition is scheduled for February 26, 2011.

Ultimate Nutrition’s involvement in the FLEX Pro signifies a new standard in the industry as far as supporting the competitive side of the sport, as the supplement giant is now the title sponsor of two major IFBB Professional League events — Joe Weider’s 2010 Olympia Weekend and the FLEX Pro Bodybuilding and Figure Championships in 2011.

"At Ultimate Nutrition, we are entering our 31st year of being in the business," Ultimate Nutrition Marketing Director Eric Howard said. "The sport of bodybuilding has been our foundation for the last 30 years, and we plan on keeping it as the foundation of Ultimate Nutrition for many more years."

Ultimate Nutrition signed on as the title sponsor for Joe Weider’s Olympia Weekend in both 2009 and 2010. According to Howard, the success of last year’s Olympia played a large part in the company’s decision to expand their support of bodybuilding competitions in 2011.

"We had great success as the title sponsor of Joe Weider’s Olympia Weekend," Howard said. "It brought a great, great response to our brand both in the United States and globally — we had over 100 different distributors from around the world come to the event, and we were happy to have one of our athletes, Markus Ruhl, in the competition."

According to IFBB Professional League Chairman Jim Manion, keeping bodybuilding in Southern California was a top priority after losing the Ironman Pro from the competition schedule in 2010. The Ironman Pro had been a staple on the schedule for the past 20 years before it was announced that the contest would not be held in 2010.

"I’d like to thank Ironman promoter John Balik for all of the years running his show, and for all of his support during that time," Manion said. "Bodybuilding needs a show in Southern California. It has been the mecca of bodybuilding for many years now. Fortunately, American Media, FLEX magazine and Ultimate Nutrition stepped up, and the IFBB Professional League is very happy with their decision."

In its first year, the FLEX Pro will feature men’s bodybuilding and professional figure events. The total prize money for the event will be $40,000.

Since taking over the Olympia in 2004, AMI Chairman, President and CEO David Pecker has continually pledged to support the sport of bodybuilding, and the FLEX Pro — along with the increased prize money at the 2009 Olympia — is further proof of that commitment.

This past year, the total prize money for Olympia Weekend was raised to an all-time high. According to FLEX Editor-in-Chief Allan Donnelly, keeping competitive bodybuilding in Southern California — specifically the Los Angles area — was a top priority.

"In a lot of ways, Southern California is the birthplace of bodybuilding," Donnelly said. "Los Angeles has an incredibly passionate fan base, and bodybuilding fans come here from all parts of the world to experience and be a part of that history. Thanks to Ultimate Nutrition and their commitment to the sport, we are able to continue that tradition."

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