elitefts™ Sunday Edition

Jay didn't regain his Mr. Olympia title by whipping Phil’s ass last night? Kai didn't finally beat Phil after losing to him so many times that I….can’t keep track? Ramy? Rhoden? Weird. So many predictions across the Internet that it seemed the only person that was NOT going to win the Olympia this year was Phil.

I don’t have a problem with people having favorite bodybuilders or being fans and wanting their guy to win. That makes the sport fun and builds hype for the show by getting everyone riled up and involves some emotion into what is, essentially, a pretty anti-climactic beauty pageant. Don’t get pissy with me for not considering it a sport. Sport takes skill. Standing on stage flexing your muscle isn't exactly a skill no matter how hard you try to argue it.

Everything that goes into the preparation for the show is clearly incredibly difficult to do and even more difficult to do correctly. I kind of get that considering I am a competitor myself and I work with a lot of bodybuilders all over the world. Just because it is difficult and incredibly demanding on the psyche, still doesn't make it a sport. When you stand on stage and people look at you and score you based on how you look, there is no denying that this is the definition of a pageant.

There is a big difference between having a favorite bodybuilder and thinking your guy is the best and will win. Even though everyone is entitled to their opinion on who will win and why, it really does get a bit laughable when you read or hear the reasoning behind the predictions.


Photo courtesy of Dave Liberman | www.daveliberman.com

I saw a picture of Kai standing next to Phil at the competitor meeting on Thursday–two full days before the show—and both were fully clothed and covered and one response was, “Phil’s arms are tiny next to Kai’s. He is going to get swallowed up by Kai this year." Another one said that Phil "looked tired and stressed and there was no way he was going to win." Umm…I guess there IS a way because he won and it wasn't anywhere near as close as Kai fans or Jay fans or anyone else might want to think it was.

I think what a lot of people don’t understand is that a lot of these guys at the pro level really aren't making dramatic changes to their physiques anymore. When you get to that level it is very hard to make any real changes that can make for huge leaps in placings. Sure, condition is the exception, but I am talking about the total package of size, condition, roundness, structure, etc. For someone like Kai that has not beaten Phil for a very long time, every time Kai gets beaten by Phil again, it makes it that much less likely Kai will ever beat him. As a Kai fan, I get why you want to burn my house down for saying that but it is the reality of the situation. The same applies for Jay. Phil beat Jay when they were both at their best. Phil slowly and patiently took over the champ’s spot and it is incredibly unlikely that Jay will ever beat Phil again.

Before I get death threats and hate mail about how my kids must be retarded and my wife is a fat bitch, please understand that I LIKE Jay and I think Kai has an INCREDIBLE physique. Jay is probably one of the best people to represent bodybuilding that I have ever met. In fact, I would say that he probably has had more of a positive impact on the face of bodybuilding than any other pro out there–at least from a humble, approachable, personable standpoint. Kai has probably one of the physiques that I would personally want to have if I was forced to have to trade physiques with anyone on the pro circuit (though I would probably rather have a 212 physique but that is another story all together). All of that being said, neither can beat Phil and likely never will again. This was proved last night.

Photo courtesy of Dave Liberman | www.daveliberman.com

Will the outcome from last night truly shut anyone up? No, probably not. A few months down the road we will start to see off-season pictures of some of these guys and the comments will start again about how so-and-so is jacked as hell and growing so much that 2014 will be the year so-and-so wins it all. See, every pro looks like a badass standing alone because…well…they ARE badasses. They are pros so they are supposed to look like freaks. It only becomes apparent when you put them next to each other and judge them in comparisons that you see who is better. Most people can’t put aside their biases and truly judge a competitor based on how they look and how they match up. Most tend to judge based not only on how they look but they judge on emotion because they LIKE their favorite bodybuilder and they want their favorite to win.

I am not all that biased. I call a spade a spade and most people appreciate that from me. The ones that don’t will light me up in the comments section after this article is posted. I can tell you that Phil will win the O as long as he wants to and as long as he doesn’t get bored with it and as long as no one cuts off one of his legs. He is one of the very few that not only continue to improve but CONSISTENTLY improves from year to year. He has only shown up out of condition once and that was due to being sick.

I have known Phil since 2003 when I competed against him in his second show so I do suppose I could be a LITTLE biased. He is a straight shooter and he is good for the sport. He is far more humble than Generation X portrays him and he always has time for his fans whether he is standing in front of them, on Twitter answering questions, or on Facebook posting pictures. Still, there was no cameo in Generation X for me so I couldn't care less if he wins or not.


I lied. I won’t be on a plane to Jamaica until Sunday and I am writing this on Friday, one day before the Olympia. While everyone has a prediction based on who their favorite is, those that know the sport can say with quite a bit of certainty how it will all go down. Sure, some will come in flat, some will come in watery and some will over diet. However, it won't be Phil. Congratulations on winning the Olympia, Phil. You deserve(d) it.

Just Sayin'.