Branch Warren - Unchained Raw-Reality (DVD)
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Pictures from the 2004 GNC Show of Strength Finals Bodybuilding Contest Results GNC Show of Strength 2004 GNC Show of Strength - Contest Results Pictures from the 2004 GNC Show of Strength Finals

Go to: 2004 GNC Show of Strength Contest Scorecard!

Go to: 2004 GNC Show of Strength Contest Results

All photos are Copyright and reproduced with permission. Please check out their section here on BodybuildingPro by CLICKING HERE.

CLICK HERE for the complete thumbnail gallery of the photos below!

I will post the pictures from the thumbnail gallery in this thread with my comments on them below. Overall it was a suprisingly high quality line up. Surprising because the prize money dropped down to $20,000! Previously it had been one of the higher paying shows in the pro circuit. I'm quite surprised so many pros showed up to the show. I think it is possible the promoters of the show knew full well that the athletes would show up to the show as a last chance effort to qualify for the Olympia. Personally, if I were competing in the show, I would ONLY show up with such low prize money if I was pretty certain that I would be one of the top three to qualify for the Mr. Olympia. Another reason to show up is possibly some athletes already qualified for the Olympia and figured they would be in shape for the show as it is and thought to show up for exposure or possible prize money. Other than that, I would not compete in the show with prize money that low. This is a serious issue in the sport and has been addressed by Shawn Ray and Bob Cicherillo among others. Something should be done.

Darrem Charles
Darrem Charles See Darrem compete in the 2004 Mr. Olympia Contest:

2004 Mr. Olympia 2004 Mr. Olympia Finals & Prejudging (DVD)
Retail Price: $49.95 Our Price: $39.95

Darrem Charles looks great in this pose. The conditioning of both his upper and lower body is incredible. His shoulders are showing some great cuts, and if you look at his quads, you can see that they are cross striated. Obviously Darrem works hard, but something should be stated: getting into condition that is THAT good is the combination of hard work AND genetics. Some (perhaps like Markus Ruhl would not be able to get that shredded no matter what, simply because it isn't genetically possible. On the other hand, Darrem Charles may never be able to get as huge as Markus Ruhl, so it's sort of a trade off.

Gustavo Badell
Gustavo Badell See Gustavo in the 2004 Mr. Olympia prejudging:

2004 Mr. Olympia Pumproom Prejudging-tn.jpg 2004 Mr. Olympia Pump Room - Prejudging (DVD)
Retail Price: $49.95 Our Price: $34.95

Gustavo Badell looks good in this pose. Not too many pros or people in general who bodybuild can look great in this pose, mainly because the resulting look has a lot to do with genetics. For example, Arnold Schwarzenegger looked far better than Ronnie Coleman ever did in this pose, at any body weight. Whether big or small, Arnold always looked better. The key is having lats which originate near the waist. If you have that, you present that flaring look, which Gustavo seems to have in this pose. Gustavo's conditioning is good for this show, but he improved much more for the 2004 Mr. Olympia Contest which took place after the GNC.

Branch Warren

Branch Warren is obviously a competitive machine. If he shows up in this shape I don't see why he shouldn't be able to compete against the biggest and best of the sport. Branch is short but as thick as I've ever seen on a bodybuilder. He is way up there with Bertil Fox in terms of thick muscularity. Once again, this is something that requires both the genetic predisposition for thickness as well as hard training, proper nutrition and scientific supplementation to do so well at. Branch is also still very young and has a big future ahead of him. I think he is a fairly complete bodybuilder, perhaps even too thick. He is stacked, at 5'7, and appears stocky as a result. In any event, I'm certain he will be a top competitor in the near future.

Troy Alves
Troy Alves See Troy in his new training Video:

Titans Part 4 - Troy Alves (DVD)
Retail Price: $49.95 Our Price: $32.95

Troy Alves looks great in this pose. Not quite up to Darrem Charles as far as I'm concerned, but he does look good. Troy has a classic body. Great lines and symmetry. If I were Troy, I wouldn't focus on adding more mass at this point. If he comes in harder and in keeps improving his condition, he should have no problem placing in the money at any show. It would be a shame to me if Troy added more and more size and ended up sacrificing some of his great shape for it. Between Branch and Troy, I would say Troy has the superior shape, but Branch's muscularity gets him ahead. If Troy takes that route, he will likely place higher, but bodybuilding isn't only about placing as high as possible, but about making improvements and having a body you want. In any case, I think Troy looks great and hope he keeps that shape. My only other hope is that he has the same assessment of himself.

Craig Titus
Craig Titus See Craig in his training Video:

Craig Titus - The Video -tn.jpg Craig Titus - The Video v.2.0 (DVD)
Retail Price: $39.95 Our Price: $29.95

Craig Titus looks good in this shot, but he wasn't quite as good as he wanted to be. Craig was hoping for a last minute qualification to the Mr. Olympia, but didn't get it. I think Craig has the potential to qualify for the 2005 Mr. Olympia if he stays in the shape he's in now and improves his conditioning and fullness. He has enough size to place well, but the overall package is what he will need to get the Mr. Olympia qualification he's seeking. Only time will tell, but I wish Craig the best of luck and hope to see him on stage in 2005.

Johnnie O. Jackson
Johnnie O. Jackson See Johnnie O. Jackson's new training DVD:

Johnnie Jackson - All American Workout - The Next Level (DVD) Johnnie Jackson - All American Workout - The Next Level (DVD)
Retail Price: $49.95 Our Price: $39.95

Now Johnnie O. Jackson is just a freak! But unlike many pros who are freaks in terms of massive size or conditioning, Johnnie is a freak when it comes to amazing hardness and density. Johnnie is by all counts as strong as an ox, and his powerlifting and bodybuilding backgrounds combined ("powerbuilding") has created the amazing density you see in the picture above. It's unfortunate that Johnnie doesn't have the freaky size or conditioning needed to place higher, because by all means I think he should have placed higher than he did here. Craig may have been bigger but Craig didn't have that freaky density that Johnnie had at the show. As time goes by, and Johnnie makes more improvements, his placings should increase accordinly, but we'll have to wait and see.

Toney Freeman

Toney Freeman is a big bodybuilder with a tiny waist. The only reason I see him placing so low is due to his height. Like shorter bodybuilders, it's difficult to put on the size required to be competitive and takes a lot longer to do so. With that, Toney lacks some thickness needed to place higher at this level of competition. But you can't fault him for taking it this far and doing as well as possible. Also, for a tall men, Toney's legs are great! It's all that much harder to develop large legs on a tall frame, but Toney does it, and does it well at that.

Ahmad Haidar
Ahmad Haidar Buy Ahmad Haidar's Training DVD:

Ahmad Haidar - Florida's Prince of Muscle (DVD)
Retail Price: $39.95 Our Price: $24.95

Ahmad Haidar has some of the best abs in bodybuilding but it didn't seem to place him in the money at this show. I don't have much to say about Ahmad. He clearly knows how to get into great condition and he hasn't been playing the size game. I hope he just keeps doing what he has been doing. At his current size (considered small by elite bodybuilding standards), he will be unable to place towards the very top (top 5), but consistent top 10 finishes should do him well. Shawn Ray managed to consistently place in the top 5 at a low body weight, but Shawn...well, simply put the guy is a legend in the sport of bodybuilding and his overall package would be able to handle any mass monster from any era.

Jason Arntz

Good for Jason Arntz for rounding out the top 10. That would be a great achievement to me. One very consistent finding in Psychology is that it's always more satisfying to barely make it then to easily make it. For example, a bronze medallist at an Olympia sport will generally feel happier than a silver medallist. The reason being because the person getting the bronze barely qualified and could have easily missed it, wheras the thoughts going through the head of the silver medallist is usually "I was so close!". Jason looked good at the show. Good lines and he was pretty dry. He's short, and like every other short bodybuilder in the sport of bodybuilding, he will lose placings for that. The ideal height for bodybuilding seems to be around 5'9. Jason's shoulders are too developed for his biceps and chest though, and he could stand to lose a bit of water on his midsection, which is surprising given that the rest of his conditioning is great. Overall a good showing from Jason.

Frank Roberson

Frank looks good, especially in this pose. What I can say about him is that he is "on the right track." More size and more conditioning will do the trick for him.

Here are the remaining pictures of the collection. Great shots for fans of the sport:

Troy Alves, Craig Titus

Darrem Charles, Victor Martinez

Troy Alves

Branch Warren

Darrem Charles

Craig Titus, Victor Martinez

Victor Martinez, Branch Warren

Victor Martinez, Gustavo Badell

Darrem Charles, Victor Martinez, Gustavo Badell

Victor Martinez

Troy Alves

Darrem Charles

Gustavo Badell

Branch Warren

Frank Roberson

Go to: 2004 GNC Show of Strength Contest Scorecard!

Go to: 2004 GNC Show of Strength Contest Results


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