|Muscletime Report: 2008 Tampa Pro Bodybuilding Contest|
|Written by Muscletime|
|Saturday, 16 August 2008 09:32|
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.
1. Toney Freeman
Toney Freeman the X Man has returned! Toney deserved to win. Many people had written off Toney Freeman after his disappointing placings since his overhyped appearance at the previous Mr. Olympia. We were beginning to wonder if Toney still had the ability to get into that type of condition. His physique was not quite as impressive as it was at the 2007 IFBB Iron Man Pro show. But his overall size, muscle shape and structure put him ahead of the field.
2. Dennis James
Dennis James has been absent from the competitive stage for some time. He returned with a much different physique that was missing about 20 lbs. However, Dennis' physique unanimously looked infinitely better in the 240s than the 260s. Yet, like Toney Freeman, his best package escaped him at this contest. He was not quite as good as he was in 2003. He still deserves much credit for his substantial improvements from recent showings.
3. David Henry
David Henry has one of the best physiques in the business. His upper body is practically flawless. And his conditioning, with the notable exception of his Iron Man Pro early this year, has been great throughout his career. Similarly, there has been very little change to his physique throughout his career. While he may have one of the best bodies in competitive bodybuilding, the lack of change may "bore" the judges a bit. While the judges rewarded him with a victory in the 202 & under class, they were not so willing to place him higher in the "open division" in spite of his excellent conditioning.
4. Darrem Charles
Darrem Charles was off at the 2008 IFBB Houston Pro show. He clearly wanted to redeem himself in his home state of Florida at the Tampa Pro Show with a unanimous victory. Darrem was much better than Houston. Still, Darrem has appeared onstage in "harder" condition in the past. Perhaps, he will be 100% at the 2008 IFBB Europa Super Show the following weekend. Most notably, Darrem Charles has NOT yet qualified for the 2008 Mr. Olympia contest.
5. Fouad Abiad
Fouad Abiad was overlooked at the 2008 Houston Pro show. His physique was full and hard at Houston and may have lost a little sharpness in Tampa. Fouad has a very nice physique and promising career. He was reward with his first top 5 placing in the pro ranks and deservedly so in Tampa. He just missed the hardness and fullness for a top 3 finish in Tampa.
6. Tarek Elsetouhi
Tarek was the most obviously overlooked bodybuilder on stage in Tampa. He should have placed within the top five without a doubt and perhaps within the top three. He was the hardest man onstage. His weakness is his posing and physique presentation. He is a very big and full bodybuilder yet he often hides himself through poor posing in the majority of his poses. We would humbly suggest that Tarek review the classic bodybuilding documentary Pumping Iron to listen to Arnold Schwarzenegger offer his didactic on posing. Arnold explains perfectly how a bodybuilder should avoid posing in a manner that hides his muscles or makes him look small.
Notes from Tampa
The 202 & Under Class winner was David Henry with James "Flex" Lewis as runner-up and Jaroslav Horvath in third place. James "Flex" Lewis placed a strong second place in his pro debut; Flex was in incredible condition proving that the importance of excellent conditioning has not been forgotten by the younger generation of bodybuilders. His conditioning was refreshing in a year where conditioning among top pro bodybuilders has noticeably slipped. The pro debut of Clarence Devis was disappointing as his conditioning was off; this was understandable after later learning from his manager Jeff Arrendt that Clarence was stranded in the Chicago airport for 48 hours in the days before his appearance in Tampa.
We really enjoyed the 2008 IFBB Tampa Pro show. The extravagance and professionalism of the event was the talk of all the competitors. IFBB pro Marcus Haley could not say enough nice things about Tim Gardner and the efforts he put into the show. IFBB legend and Mr. Olympia Chris Dickerson spoke highly of the event throughout. Backstage, the competitors struggled to focus on the contest at hand due to the catered buffet that was provided to competitors, judges, media and staff.
While we had hoped more fans turned out for the inaugural Tampa show, we were thrilled to learn from Tim that the show did well enough that he is already hard at work planning the 2009 IFBB Tampa Pro Classic!