By Frank Hoffmann
Every year, like clockwork, the instant the Arnold Classic champion gets his hand raised in victory, the Mr. Olympia talks begin and the predictions come pouring in. Can Phil Heath fend off the hungry Evan Centopani to defend his title? Could a massive Jay Cutler finish in the top three after tearing his biceps? Will Kai Greene be judged fairly and challenge for the coveted title despite his haunted past? I’m just as excited about this year’s Olympia as the next guy, and I already have my top five locked up, but come on! It’s still five-months away! I’ve got my sights set on the New York Pro, which is only a short nine weeks away and I’m amp’d about two bodybuilders in particular: Mandouh Elssbiay (aka Big Ramy) and Antoine Vaillant.
Vaillant is one of my favorite up-and-coming young stars with a phenomenally aesthetic physique and he’s Canadian to boot. Big Ramy, on the other hand, is just big! Rumors have it that Big Ramy is 320 lbs of lean, solid muscle. If this is even remotely true, it will be a battle between David and Goliath or, more fittingly, Big Goliath vs. Little Goliath. At 260 lbs, Vaillant ain’t no slouch. But can he stand next to the Dennis James protégé who has already qualified for the 2013 Mr. Olympia by virtue of his victory at last year’s IFBB Amateur Olympia in Kuwait? I don’t know, but it’ll be interesting to say the least. All I know is that I’ll be hitting the refresh button on my browser on May 25th to see the comparison shots, and when the results of the New York Pro are confirmed, then I’ll start to think about the Olympia again.
Frank Hoffmann is a former NCAA and Professional CFL football player from Toronto, whose passion for health and fitness stems from his years as a personal trainer. Frank works as a freelance fitness and lifestyle writer while holding down a nine to five job and believes having a full-time job is no excuse to not be fit. Check out his fitness blog at Nine2Fit.tumblr.com and follow him on Twitter at @Nine2Fit.