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Judging the 2008 Mr. Olympia: Judges Provide Full Transparency and Complete Explanation of Results PDF Print E-mail
Written by Muscletime   
Tuesday, 14 October 2008 12:57
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The sport of professional  bodybuilding is allegedly scored according to the "IFBB Guide Book for Judges, Competitors and Organizers." The judging guide book outlines several objective criteria that are to be used as guidelines for assessing muscular development, symmetry and aesthetics. The guidelines attempt to minimize the amount subjectivity involved in the results of competitive bodybuilding contests.

The credibility of the sport of bodybuilding took a major hit in the aftermath of the 2007 Mr. Olympia contest where an undeserving Jay Cutler was announced the victor in spite of poor conditioning and inferior aesthetics when compared to his chief rivals whereas no less than three competitors should have placed ahead of Jay Cutler. The 2008 Mr. Olympia witnessed a new champion, Dexter Jackson, overthrow the reigning Mr. Olympia. But was this enough to salvage the legitimacy of IFBB judging where at least three additional bodybuilders should have defeated the reigning Mr. Olympia?

The justification for the results, then and now, is that the judging criteria was subjective and arbitrary such that there was no incorrect judging decision. However, based on the IFBB guidelines, judges must have clear rationales for their decisions based on specific criteria related to muscular development e.g. "size, shape, density, separation and definition, in relation to symmetry and natural aesthetics."

The judging can not be completely arbitrary when significance is placed upon "qualities of balance, proportion and the overall 'flow' of the physique," "balance between upper and lower body development, and harmony between the left and right sides of the body." There is little room for subjectivity when it is mandated that "distended abdomens and distorted muscles negatively impact... the overall physique" or "muscle size at the expense of symmetry and natural aesthetics will not be assessed favourably."

IFBB judges are not held accountable for their judges decisions nor required to explain why and how they scored a pro bodybuilding competition. This results in poor judging based on various factors completely unrelated to the physique competition on stage. If IFBB judges were required to give detailed analysis and reporting of their scoring, this would go along way towards cleaning up the sport and promoting fair competitions. No longer could judges hide behind the cumulative scores explaining away any controversy through suggestions of subjectivity. The scores AND individual judge's rationale for the scoring would be a matter of public record and could be used to create a higher standard of judging by eliminating incompetent, biased and politically motivated judges.

Muscletime proposes complete transparency and full disclosure behind the judges scoring decisions and the relationships, financial and other, between the judges, the athletes, and the sponsors of professional bodybuilding competitions. As an example, we would like to offer our own two judges for the 2008 Mr. Olympia as examples of the type of transparency and detailed judging we propose.

2008 Mr. Olympia Contest Results - Dexter Jackson is the New Mr. Olympia PDF Print E-mail
Written by Muscletime   
Saturday, 27 September 2008 23:54
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Dexter Jackson won the 2008 Mr. Olympia Saturday night in Las Vegas dethroning the reigning two-time Mr. Olympia Jay Cutler. Dexter Jackson realized that this was his best opportunity to win the long coveted Sandow trophy and stepped on stage in his best condition ever.  

Legitimacy of IFBB Judging at Stake - Three Competitors Should Place Ahead of Jay Cutler PDF Print E-mail
Written by Muscletime   
Saturday, 27 September 2008 01:17
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Jay Cutler, Dexter Jackson, Phil Heath at 2008 Mr Olympia Several questions have been answered with the conclusion of the prejudging portion of the 2008 Mr. Olympia. The most pressing question was whether or not one of the Olympia challengers would be able to end Jay Cutler's continued reign as Mr. Olympia. Just like last year at the 2007 Mr. Olympia, no less than three competitors should place ahead of Jay Cutler!

Jay Cutler is in better condition than last year but failed to bring a physique of the requisite caliber to overtake the much improved Phil Heath, Dexter Jackson and Dennis Wolf. Any one of these competitors deserves to end Jay Cutler's Olympia streak at two. All of them should place ahead of Cutler. If one of these challengers does NOT win the 2008 Mr. Olympia, the credibility and legitimacy of IFBB judging will be irreparably damaged.

Phil Heath is the clear winner of the 2008 Mr. Olympia after prejudging on Friday night. You would not believe how many people told Phil Heath as much backstage; this is particularly telling since backstage access was highly restricted to contest officials and bodybuilding insiders. There could be some reasonable justifications for declaring Dexter Jackson or Dennis Wolf as the new Mr. Olympia ahead of Phil Heath; we would be forgiving of such judging discretion due to the fact that they were 50 feet from the stage. But under no circumstances does Jay Cutler deserve to win the 2008 Mr. Olympia if judging in the sport of bodybuilding is anything but farcical.

Muscletime Predictions for the 2008 Mr. Olympia PDF Print E-mail
Written by Muscletime   
Thursday, 11 September 2008 08:58
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The reigning two-time Mr. Olympia Jay Cutler revealed his vulnerability at the 2007 Mr. Olympia when he narrowly defeated runner up Victor Martinez in a questionable and controversial judging decision. This set the stage for a highly anticipated "rematch" between Jay and Victor at the 2008 Mr. Olympia. Unfortunately, this did not materialize when Victor Martinez suffered a devastating knee injury that forced him to sit out the entire year. Two additional world class bodybuilders have subsequently withdrawn from the 2008 lineup after suffering injuries of their own. Branch Warren (with a torn tricep) and Kai Greene (with a hernia) were legitimate top six contenders. The withdrawal of top bodybuilders from the 2008 Olympia has not made Jay Cutler's goal of retaining the Olympia crown any easier.

Mr. Olympia Jay Cutler faces the greatest challenge of his bodybuilding career at the 2008 Mr. Olympia. He faces several obstacles embodied by Dennis Wolf, Dexter Jackson, and Phil Heath in his quest for a third consecutive Olympia victory.

The Muscletime Team previews the 2008 Mr. Olympia with our predictions. We are unanimous in our agreement that Jay Cutler is the favorite to win the 2008 contest. But we are divided on who we think represents the greatest threat to Jay Cutler's Olympia supremacy in the annual showdown of the greatest physiques in bodybuilding.

Muscletime Report: 2008 Tampa Pro Bodybuilding Contest PDF Print E-mail
Written by Muscletime   
Saturday, 16 August 2008 09:32
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The 2008 Pro Bodybuilding Weekly Tampa Pro marks the return of IFBB professional bodybuilding to the state of Florida. The IFBB and bodybuilding fans have Tim Gardner of the Body Tech Fitness Emporium to thank for organizing one of the most impressive and lavish pro bodybuilding contests on the 2008 IFBB calendar. Mr. Gardner's meticulous attention to detail was evident in every aspect of the show. This comes as no surprise to those who have had the privilege on knowing Mr. Gardner over the past several years including a client list with several IFBB pro bodybuilding and fitness competitors..

Almost fifty competitors travelled to Tampa for the inaugural 2008 PBW Tampa Pro show. This was an incredible turnout for a new IFBB pro show. The 202 & Under class accounted for approximately half of the competitors. Tim and Brandi Gardner and Dan Solomon of Pro Bodybuilding Weekly made it a thoroughly enjoyable experience.


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