|2004 IFBB English Grand Prix & EFBB Amateur Grand Prix DVD Review
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2004 IFBB English Grand Prix
Wembley Conference Centre
7th November 2004
Prejudging & Show
The DVD started off with some cool footage from the expo before quickly going into the show.
Ramon had good balance and proportions and was in good condition. No major strengths or weaknesses which is something which seems to keep a lot of pros down these days. He had shredded glutes and very lean legs. He had good size. He was no Ronnie Coleman but was still quite large.
Chris looked good. Still not even close to Ronnie Coleman and will never be in his league because at this point he is too old to catch up with Big Ron. Chris is a genetic freak and his motivation is questionable. To say something exceedingly positive about him he has some of the greatest genetics in the history of bodybuilding, and he did look good - just not as great as he probably could look.
Chris Cormier's DVD - Real Deal - Destination Olympia 2004 - Click Here for a Complete Review.
Click Here to Buy a Copy of Chris Cormier's Real Deal DVD
Paul was one of the smaller guys. He was very tanned and also very shredded. The tanning worked very well to highlight his cuts. He looked excellent. His great conditioning couldn't really make up for his lack of size though, but he was ridiculously shredded.
The crowd chanted "Rooool" when Markus stepped out on the stage. He was huge! Soft though - compared to some of the others at the show and compared to his previous best. The audience pulled out the air horn when Markus hit the most muscular pose. Talk about a huge thick guy at 5'10.
Fabrizio came in soft. Fairly big, but still too soft for a pro show. He really looked like a human being though, as he was not too big or too shredded so he qualified. I would be curious how big this guy was in person as he looked small compared to other pros, but that doesn't mean all that much - he is probably still a big guy when seen face to face. He was cut too, just not contest ready.
The clear winner as always. Big and hard as nails. The ironagers can say whatever they want about this guy but he is no doubt one of the BEST, if not THE SINGLE VERY BEST bodybuilder of all time - and his competitive record and fan response proves it - ha! I'm not the only one who thinks this way. This guy came into this show at 5'11 and 300 pounds! Ripped to shreds by the way. Need I say more? Even if stomach, a notorious weakpoint, was well under control. His calves were shredded but lack the diamond shape of some of his fellow competitors. His back was softer than usual and you could argue his glutes are too developed. But all in all he was still the obvious winner in my book (and the fans and judges agreed). The audience pulled out the old air horn during Ronnie's most muscular - it was a crazy sight indeed!
Check out these other awesome Ronnie Coleman features - the most recent "On the Road" is a fantastic movie studio quality production made by GMV:
Arnaud looked ok but was neither big or cut enough to make an impact at this show. His tan would ok but he would need to work on adding more size and on general contest refinement to make a dent, even at these grand prix events. He had a physique that I would surely take though.
Jose Jorge Alves
I thought Jose looked a little bit like Claude Groulx at the beginning - in fact I thought it was Claude Groulx, LOL. Jose looked ok, and have good vascularity in his arms, but wasn't big or cut enough to make an impact. I think his conditioning was ok, but he would need added size to place better at these shows. His abs were in great shape though and his most muscular was very full.
Harold was a pretty big dude in that he had an enormous frame to put muscle on. He hadn't filled that frame nearly as much as he could have so I could only imagine how huge he would look if he did. He was kind of like Arnold in that a big reason he looked to have a lot of size was that his frame itself was so huge. He could stand to improve his arms and fill out his frame in general, but he did look very good.
Tommi looked decent. He had good flaring lats in his front lat spread post and was in decent shape. His tan could have been darker and he could stand to make general overall improvements - chest is still a weak point, but overall seemed happy to be at the show and has a good future in bodybuilding if he keeps at it. Striated glutes were present on Tommi at the show, but his back wasn't as conditioned as I had previously seen it.
Kris is always one to come in to a show in great condition and this was no exception. Huge lightning bolt triceps and a full round chest - Kris definitely has some strong points - although some have said he uses synthol in his triceps. His back lat spread was wide as hell. Especially for a shorter guy (around 5'6). He had some skin folds on his lower back but was otherwise in great condition. He had brought up his legs since the 2004 Mr. Olympia Contest.
Ronny improved in 2005 greatly, but still looked decent at this show. His tan was good but even that improved in 2005 (or maybe it was just the brightness on my TV screen!). In any case, Ronny looked good and will likely continue to qualify for the Mr. Olympia Contest for years to come. His most muscular had some crazy striations present - much like Bertil Fox's at the 1983 Mr. Olympia Contest and Dexter Jackson's at any contest.
Great diamond shaped calves and a good overall package in good condition. Nothing special, but definitely a respectable showing.
I haven't heard of too many bodybuilders from Montenegro and I wonder about Emro's competition history. He was a pretty small guy but came into the show in good condition and had some great detail. His lack of size definitely held him back though.
Migger was a big guy with a great tan (sometimes the sunless tanners really work wonders!). He had a fair size frame and would have definitely been a freak to see in person. His conditioning was good and he was hard although slightly soft from behind in the arms. Big back and upper body and seemed happy to be in the show.
This guy had a TINY waist! It was so small it almost looked silly. His taper was strange much like Dexter Jackson's, but he did have a small-as-hell waist. His was shredded and striated all over. His back had some great detail just prior to hitting his rear lat spread. His most muscular was very striated.
This guy kind of reminded me of Johnny Fuller who recently passed away (January 2006). He was big and hard and looked like the traditional bodybuilder / strongman. My guess is that he was as strong as he was muscular. He had an enomous back and a thick waist, which is especially unusual for a black bodybuilder. Given his back and traps thickness and overall size (plus larger waist), I would assume he hits some heavy strength exercises to build his physique (like deadlifts) and that he is as strong as he is big.
Big guy but lacked size, conditioning, and tan - at least to the degree required to perform well at this show. His legs lacked somewhat compared to his upper body but he looked ok - just not compared to the eventual top five.
The entire lineup then went on stage and hit the quarter turns. Ronnie was the obvious winner by a country mile and Chris Cormier, Markus Ruhl, and Kris Dim all appeared to be part of the top five as well. Ronnie was so huge and shredded it looked silly. He was not the tallest man at the competition but was easily the best, at least in my opinion. Ronnie Coleman quite obviously and easily dwarfed Chris Cormier. Myth: Chris Cormier has better genetics than Ronnie Coleman. If this is true, we sure as hell have never seen a shred of evidence to prove it!
At this point the announcer seemed to be quite a jerk insisting that the men keep their hand on the side. This made no sense to me, because all I could see from the footage was that the men did have their hand on the side. How the hell can you possibly screw up this instruction? I would like to know which bodybuilders were having this problem and where on earth there hand may have went. Maybe the announcer was just being a jerk though, I have no idea.
Markus Ruhl was dwarfing Chris Cormier almost as much as Ronnie was. Markus made Chris' arms look small.
Next up the pros hit the mandatory poses. Ronnie looked frightening as usual. Chris Cormier looked ok, but was so puny and fat compared to Ronnie - ok, maybe that is a bit of a stretch, but he was probably 85% of the size and conditioning that Ronnie was. At the same height, Ronnie outweighed him by about 40 pounds and was far more shredded - and Chris even came in in good shape! That really speaks for Ronnie's conditioning. Ronnie killed him from the back, but then again, Ronnie killed him everywhere. I really don't see how anyone can argue that Chris is better than Ronnie.
The next group hit their mandatory comparisons and looked very good. The first batch definitely contained all the top finishers though. A lot of the second and third tier pros at the show looked pretty good - if you are a pro competing at pro shows you basically have to look good. They might not be Ronnie Coleman, but they looked good. I like these bodybuilding contest gems from GMV because you never know which pro will have their best ever showing at one of them. MANY pros had their best appearance ever away from the Mr. Olympia stage. I think Ronnie looked better at this show than at the 2004 Mr. Olympia Contest. Sometimes the condition of a bodybuilder will change ever so slightly as the days go by leading into another contest. This was definitely one of those times where Ronnie did improve after the Olympia was finished.
Ramon used his posing routine to his advantage and showed off his well developed and proportional physique. He seemed to be very much involved in his posing routine which sped up slightly towards the end. Overall a respectable showing and good posing routine. At the end he posed to the song "Shut Up" by the Black Eyed Peas.
Chris posed to the song "Slow Jamz" by Kanye West. He had the usual pleasing physique but would need to work on the usual weakpoints to come in at his best. His posing routine was a plus as always.
Ultra shredded but not as big as he would have needed to be to place high at the show. He was definitely well tanned and in excellent condition. He was even quite full looking, but just not thick enough to do any damage. He hit his share of classic poses and did it quite well.
The beast from Germany - Markus was huge as always. He is so thick it's sick. Wide as hell and just popping with muscles. His delts were as big as his head lol. His conditioning could have been better, but he definitely had the size to do some serious damage at this show. Markus went on to pose to the song "Thunder" by AC/DC and looked huge once again.
Fabrizio posed to the song "Why can't this be love" by Van Halen. Great song to pose to and Fabrizio looked ok but was lacking in the condition necessary to do well at this contest.
Ronnie was the clear winner by a country mile. Need I say more? Just go check out my other reviews and reports on the site and you will see my constant praise for this man. Granted I am honest in my writings about his flaws, but he looked great at this show. He posed to the song "Game Over (Flip)" by Lil' Flip after starting off with a more powerful song. The obvious winner. I won't say more and shouldn't have to. 5'11 and 300 pounds shredded speaks for itself! One drawback of his routine: he "raised the roof" from the side again exposing his one major weakpoint - his stomach distention. His posing routine was even longer than it was at the 2004 Mr. Olympia Contest! At the end of his routine Ronnie did the front splits! Very impressive for a man of his size. Freaky.
Arnaud had another great physique that I would take for myself. If I could snap my fingers and look like Ronnie Coleman I wouldn't do it because he is way too big and freaky to the point where it is just plainly too much. Arnaud is more moderate in all areas and he probably walks around in public just as a big cut dude and not as a freak. That said, Arnaud's physique will not win in a contest which Ronnie enters. That's just how it goes. I can look at his physique and vastly prefer it over Ronnie's as a physique I want for myself, but that is not to say I would place him higher at the show. There are many factors to consider when discussing bodybuilding judging, and it would take too long to get into it here. Arnaud posed to robotic music and followed it up with some metal. Good routine with a lot of energy to highlight his physique
Jose' Jorge Alves
This guy still looked a bit like Claude Groulx to me. His delts were standout and his biceps looked balanced with his overall muscularity. His posing routine was full of energy as well and his conditioning was on. His tan looked healthy and not overdone, His taper looked solid and his abs were chiseled. Great physique!
Harold posed to the Star Wars music. He was another guy who would probably be a beast in public, but without being pro bodybuilder freaky. He had a fairly big frame to fill out and a long way to go before completely filling it, but he was quite muscular and also sported a good tan, taper, and good abs. He posed to "X Is Gonna Give It To Ya" by DMX. He looked to be a taller guy so he is probably pretty imposing in person, but would look small compared to Ronnie - which really speaks for Ronnie's size!
Tommi came out onstage wearing a full costume but took it off shortly into his posing routine. His conditioning was good but Tommi seems to lack muscle density. If you have seen Tommi in the Battle for the Olympia 2002 tape you would realize how INCREDIBLY strong this guy is. The same goes for his training DVDs - this is one strong guy! You would expect that if he doesn't have the Ronnie Coleman muscle size to go along with that strength that he would have thick muscle density, but he seems to lack there too. At least, relative to what you would expect from a guy who is on the Smith Machine squat rack doing about 700 pounds! This was even while nursing a small injury. Tommi continues to impress but will need to continue to improve to place higher at shows.
Much improved in the lower body than when he competed at the 2004 Mr. Olympia Contest. Kris is short, so his physique is less than ideal in my mind since part of a physique includes HEIGHT. Going back to the old school judging standards, pros would have been judged on muscularity and conditioning, as well as height, posing, shape, face, and even personality! Yep, it was to some degree a personality contest back in the day. Ivan Dunbar said so himself when he was explaining why Bertil Fox got the screwjob at the 1983 Mr. Olympia Contest. Not to go too far off topic, I want to make the point that shorter bodybuilders need to compensate for their lack of dominance (height) through other factors. Kris does it pretty well and looked great for a bodybuilder of the "giant killer" variety. He posed to "The World's Greatest" by R. Kelly shortly before his routine ended. For this song used as a complete routine, check out the 2004 Mr. Olympia Contest:
The man who eventually qualified and competed in the 2005 Mr. Olympia Contest looked good at this contest. He looked to be every bit the classical sculpture, and he was muscular, conditioned, well tanned, and possessing great shape. He is another short bodybuilder but one who will know doubt do very well in the future. There is a certain balance that bodybuilders can achieved that is in between being too small and too big but still looking somewhat cartoon like and larger than life. I think Ronnie has achieved it. If he was only 3-5 inches taller he would have the stature required to quickly make it to the top of the bodybuilding ladder.
Mike put on a powerful posing presentation before posing to "In Da Club" by "50 Cent". He reminded me somewhat of Heiko Kallbach, but possessed a denser physique from what I could tell (similar hairstyle and face though, that's for sure!).
Although nothing stood out in particular about Emro, he had a very respectable physique and came to the stage in condition and ready to compete with the others. I have to say, this lineup was very strong for a Grand Prix contest (with little prize money), and impressed me a lot in that regard. I think a lot of these bodybuilders would be doing this anyway whether they competed or not and that is why they do it for so little money! They want to be jacked and shredded anyway, so why not just jump on stage for some kicks and recognition?
Migger posed to the song "Belfast Child" by Simple Minds. As such his posing was very fluid and classical and slow. Migger was a thick dude and had a good tan and overall conditioning. He was hard, but of course nothing compared to the hardness of somebody like Rich Gaspari - but then again, how many pros can claim that?
Alberto had another one of those moderate physiques that I am striving to have myself. Sure he has to be pretty dedicated to bodybuilding to look the way he does, and no doubt steroids are a part of his life. But his level of muscularity just seems to be healthier than walking around under six feet tall at over 300 pounds. He appeared to have a slight case of gyno, but I could be mistaken about that.
Peter also possibly had a slight bit of gyno, or maybe I'm just seeing things. It's amazing how few bodybuilders actually do show any signs of gyno when in competition. Paco Bautista at the 2002 Mr. Olympia supposedly had a horrible case of gyno and I honestly didn't much notice in most poses - so gyno is noted too easily by a lot of fans. Peter posed to the song "License to kill" by Gladys Knight and was very big. He looked somewhat like a mini-Coleman.
Click Here to see Pictures of Paco's "Horrible" gyno at the 2002 Mr. Olympia Contest courtesy of Ron Avidan
Ian was another moderate in the show. He was balanced overall but his lats were very high. They seemed to start about 60% of the way up between his waist and his armpits. This hurt his symmetry somewhat in an another quite balanced physique. He could stand to bring his arms up as well and improve overall thickness in order to place better at shows. But he looked damn good regardless - he just wasn't a cartoon character like most of the pros who win pro shows today.
Next up the entire group hit some poses. It was amazing how huge Ronnie, Markus, and Chris were compared to some of the second and third tier pros at the show - they really stood out! They almost made them look like amateurs at the show, it was crazy. The top six then posed down:
6. Michael Sheridan
5. Ramon Gonzalez
4. Markus Ruhl
3. Kris Dim
2. Chris Cormier
1. Ronnie Coleman
This is pretty much exactly how I would have placed the contest with the exception that I would have put Markus ahead of Kris. Kris had just placed 12th at the Mr. Olympia with Markus Ruhl in fifth at the same show. I know it only matters how you look the day of the show, but it didn't seem to me that Markus looked any different at this show than at the Olympia and Kris may have improved, but only really improved his leg size, which didn't go from strong to stronger, but from weak to ordinary. Was this really enough to take out Ruhl? Not in my opinion. But Markus wasn't without his flaws and bodybuilding judging is subjective so I guess the judging wasn't too bad.
2004 EFBB Grand Prix
English Amateur Grand Prix
Wembley Conference Centre
7th November 2004
The DVD opened with some footage from the expo showing the merchandise table of our very own GMV productions! I suggest if you are at any expo and see this table to buy as many DVDs as you can. Maybe there will be some specials and GMV is always guaranteed to impress.
The amateur bodybuilders lined up and it was interesting to see the caliber of pros in this lineup compared to professional bodybuilders. These guys looked good but almost all of them essentially looked to be amateurs on the way up. Some of them definitely showed pro potential though. These days it takes years to become a pro bodybuilder, with many not making it until they are well into their thirties. As I said, there were some quite impressive physiques in this lineup. It takes so many years to put on the dense and cut muscle it takes to be competitive these days that I don't even know if becoming a pro is even worth it. Even if you do make it that far, it's not like there is any money in pro bodybuilding - unless of course you are in the top five in the world.
The amateurs continued with the quarter turns are were looking great. Basically all of them came in to the show in great conditioning, and some really stood out better than others. Some were lacking in some areas, but few were totally off, if any. Of course this wasn't like a pro show, but was still impressive given the quality you would expect from amateur bodybuilders. My expectations were definitely exceeded.
The amateurs then hit the following poses as part of their routine:
- Front Double Biceps.
- Front Lat Spread.
- Side Chest.
- Rear Double Biceps.
- Rear Lat Spread.
- Side Triceps.
- Abs and Thighs.
Dave posed to the song "Live And Let Die" by Guns N' Roses. He looked good and was somewhat reminiscent of Joe Meeko in some poses.
Brett put a lot of energy into his routine and looked very good. Good thickness and conditioning.
Simon was a little light on the tan, but it looked healthy and fairly natural. His triceps were like lightning bolts and his glutes were hard. Overall he looked good. His elbows stood out quite noticeably though.
Richard's physique was excellent in my opinion. His tan was great and highlighted his cuts and his hardness and vascularity was quite impressive.
Tony looked ok but will need to do more of the same in terms of improvemsnts to make a dent in the pro ranks (or even turn pro to begin with). He looked
Marius posed to the song "Poison" by Alice Cooper which was a pretty cool song and one I hadn't heard of before. His tan was spot on and he had the energy and personality to take him far in bodybuilding.
I wonder if James is any relation to Bill, the popular author of Anabolics 2006? In any case he was mighty impressive - his arms were just sick. Dare I say too big? At least compared to the rest of him and his huge frame.
Good condition and size for his height, but Nana just didn't have the stature to be competitive. Maybe sometime in the future he will be able to put on the size required to do so. Fairly wide back for a smaller guy.
Ian had some pretty good muscle density for an amateur. It was either that or some thin looking skin which was impressive to me.
Zack had a good tan and a striated physique. His chest displayed good thickness and he hit the Sergio Oliva "Myth" pose fairly well. He posed to the song "Smash Sumthin'" by Redman. His posing routine was short, much like the rest of the guys at the show. Too bad, because a longer routine would have helped tos how his physique.
Chris had a pretty huge upper body. He was one of the thicker guys at the show. His glutes and his back were very cut and he seemed to have striations everywhere. Chris posed to the song "'Ttwisted" by Keith Sweat. It was quite a chore to dig up these lyrics in google. LOL.
Daniel posed to the song "Light Your Ass on Fire" by Busta Rhymes featuring Pharrell. He had a good physique but was possibly a bit too soft or a bit too tanned. Like everyone else at the show though, he appeared to have a great deal of potential.
Hunni looked damn good. He posed to the song "U Got It Bad" by Usher. His triceps looked like lightning bolts and were damn dense. He is probably quite the freaky site to see in person.
Gilbert posed to "Anytime You Need a Friend" by Mariah Carey. His glutes reminded me of Ronnie Coleman's given how low they inserted into his hamstrings. His most muscular looked powerful but it appeared that he injured his left pec.
Victor posed to "Muscles" by Diana Ross. He was also well muscled and in decent condition, and a little bit more of each will make a huge difference. He looked very good and had a large frame to fill.
I wonder if Dave is any relation to Harold Poole? He posed to the Terminator theme music and had a very thick chest in the most muscular pose! Very impressive, as that pose alone made for a pretty good showing.
Next up, the whole lineup received their competition medals. You know why these guys all bust their balls to get on stage for little to know money? Because they want to be jacked and shredded anyway and would do it with or without bodybuilding competition. They love getting up on stage and showing off and the recognition and medals they get make it worth it. If it wasn't worth it to them, why would they do it?
The Top 3
3. Simon Morgan
2. Hunni Glanville
1. Ian Morgan - Winner: EFBB English Grand Prix Amateur & Pro Card Winner
Leave it to a guy that hard and shredded to win his card. I think he will do well as a pro. He's got the legs for sure, he just needs to improve his upper body a bit to go with it.
This was another great contest by GMV! I will have to create a section on the website specifically featuring their contest DVDs and my reviews as well as photos from the shows, clips, and other features. This two disc set is well worth the money for fans of bodybuilding, so go ahead and pick up a copy if you like seeing well photographed competitive bodybuilding at its finest (I know I sure do). The bonus photo galleries and Amateur contest feature was also an excellent addition. Did you know that GMV has over 1,000 bodybuilding videos and DVDs for sale? Wow...Talk about impressive!
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