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2011 Arnold Classic Judging Branch’s day has come at last! Report by Ron Harris

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  • 2011 Arnold Classic Judging Branch’s day has come at last! Report by Ron Harris

    <style>@font-face { font-family: "Times New Roman"; }p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal { margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; }table.MsoNormalTable { font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; }div.Section1 { page: Section1; }ol { margin-bottom: 0in; }ul { margin-bottom: 0in; }</style> 2011 Arnold Classic Judging
    Branch’s day has come at last!
    Report by Ron Harris

    As someone who has gotten to know Branch Warren over the last few years and watched him continue to work harder and harder to win one of the two big titles in the sport, I am very happy to say that at long last, Branch’s time has come. This is not a case of ‘will he or won’t he?’ Based on what I witnessed today at the Veteran’s Memorial Auditorium in Columbus, Ohio this afternoon, Branch Warren totally dominated this year’s Arnold Classic. Victor Martinez looked the best he has in years, and first-time Arnold competitors Evan Centopani and Dennis Wolf both also made big impressions, but I am going on record right now as saying that after several close calls at both the Arnold Classic and the Mr. Olympia, I am confident that Branch will be the man standing on stage being congratulated by Arnold Schwarzenegger himself in a few short hours.

    Here were my impressions of the fourteen men who competed today.

    1. Ronny Rockel

    No wonder they call this German ‘The Rock.’ He was the hardest man on stage, with deeply carved striations and separations everywhere you looked. Even his glutes and hams seemed to be etched out of granite. A knock on Ronny in the past has been his lack of back thickness, but he seems to be improving on that at each contest.

    1. Roelly Winklaar

    What happened to Roelly? Photos his trainer Sibil posted as recently as five weeks ago showed incredible size and fullness, but it looked like he crash-dieted it all away toward the end. Roelly actually seemed smaller than last year when he made his debut here and went on to win the New York Pro in May. The only freaky things he had going on still were his arms and his crab most-muscular pose. Aside from that, he looked flat and narrow. Not a great showing for Roelly, and hopefully it will kick his ass to come back much better next time.

    1. Johnnie Jackson

    Johnnie nailed his peak, which just about everybody today did. And his upper body is fantastic, too. But with his lagging legs and particularly the total lack of quad sweep, he has a very hard time comparing with the other guys who are more balanced. The crowd still went ballistic for his rear lat spread, because his back is among the very best in the sport.

    1. Sergey Shelestov

    I have nothing personal against Sergey at all, and he’s probably a nice guy – but how the hell does he keep getting invited to this contest every year? Honestly, he is not in the same league as the rest of the lineup. His arms in particular are hardly even pro-caliber, and he has very little of the round, full look to the muscles you expect from a top pro. I wonder if his being Russian gets him invited simply to give the show more of an international flavor?
    1. Ben Pakulski

    Ben made a very honorably Arnold Classic debut, looking huge and ripped at 270 pounds. After Branch, Pak-man owned the freakiest quads and calves in the show. His shoulders are also phenomenal. As such, both his ab and thigh and most muscular poses got big crowd reactions. Ben still needs a lot more arm mass, especially in his triceps, and his back has to get thicker.

    1. Evan Centopani

    Talk about a crowd favorite! The only man who got more cheers when he came out was Branch. Coming off his win at the Flex Pro two weeks ago, Evan was able to hold on to his peak perfectly. I was really impressed at how much he has brought his legs up from just a couple years ago and turned them into a strong point. His arms and shoulders are also amazing. As the judging went on and he was compared to guys like Branch and Dennis Wolf, it became clear that his back needs to be wider and thicker before he become a threat to win a show of this level. But I have no doubt in my mind that he will do it. Based on the callouts, he could be as high as second and no lower than fourth.

    1. Robert Pietrkowicz

    Like Sergey, I get the feeling Robert got invited again just because he’s from Poland. My knock on him last year was that he wasn’t big enough to hang with the top guys. Though he’s added some quality mass since then, I still don’t see him as being any threat for the top five until he gets even bigger. His triceps in particular need a lot of improvement. Overall shape and symmetry is very good.

    1. Branch Warren

    The crowd went ballistic when Branch came out, quietly radiating total confidence. As he should have, because the man looked unbeatable. The only men alive right now who could have beaten him today were Jay, Kai, and Phil Heath at their best – and none of them were here. Branch’s arms were improved, but the most notable change was to the detail in his back. For years people have been ripping on his lack of back detail, but today it looked like the freaking Rocky Mountains back there. Thick, nasty, and with that elusive combination of mass and grainy conditioning, the hardest-working man in the sport took care of business today.

    1. Dexter Jackson

    When Evan beat Dexter two weeks ago, most of us assumed Dexter was saving his peak for the big payday here in Columbus. Now I’m not so sure. The Blade looked flat and downsized today, lacking the usual fullness and ‘pop’ to his muscles that’s served him so well for years. Is age catching up to the 41-year-old? Was he sick? I have no idea, but I know he was never in contention today to win this title for a fourth time to tie Flex Wheeler’s record.

    1. Dennis Wolf

    Wolf’s two best shots were his front double biceps and his front lat spread, two poses where his insane X-frame was exaggerated. Dennis was sharper than he had been at the Flex Pro two weeks ago, and also managed to avoid his usual pitfall of flattening out like a pancake at the very end. Even his back looked better than ever. Very strong showing for Wolf, who might end up as high as second place tonight.

    1. Fouad Abiad

    Canada’s ‘Hoss’ carried a lot of quality mass, especially in the shoulders and back. He still needs more leg size, and more triceps mass too. I know he was dealing with knee injuries last year, but until those wheels and tri’s come up, Fouad won’t be giving the top guys anything to worry about.

    1. Victor Martinez

    Teaming up with Oscar Ardon turned out to be a great move for Victor, as this was the best he’s looked since the 2007 Mr. Olympia. His condition was right on point, and his upper body size and shape was unmatched here today. But his legs continue to be a liability. I’ll even say that with better legs, he could have beaten Branch. But for now, their mass and sweep isn’t what it needs to be, and I don’t see any cuts in the upper quads where they insert into the hips. Vic could be as high as second place tonight.

    1. Toney Freeman

    The X-Man looked smaller to me today than I remember him being in years. With a frame as big as his, you have to be big and full or else, and he was not. When Toney is at his best he’s dangerous, but that wasn’t the case today.

    1. Essa Obaid

    Last but not least was Essa Obaid, last year’s Arnold Amateur winner from Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. Essa won his pro debut late last summer at the Europa show in Dallas, but that lineup was nowhere near the depth and quality of today’s. Essa has tons of thick, rugged mass in the shoulders, chest, and arms, but he really needs more leg size to match. Also, when he wasn’t being compared, he had the bad habit of totally relaxing rather than staying tight. It gave the impression that he had given up and accepted his fate of being an ‘also-ran’ here. It was only his second pro show, so I’m sure his best is yet to come.

    If I had to make my best guess as to how the top five will end up, here’s how it would go:

    1. Branch
    2. Victor
    3. Wolf
    4. Evan
    5. Dexter



    Callouts:

    1. Branch Warren, Evan Centopani, Dennis Wolf


    1. Ronny Rockel, Victor Martinez, Dexter Jackson, Evan Centopani


    1. Ronny Rockel, Johnnie Jackson, Toney Freeman, Roelly Winklaar


    1. Sergey Shelestov, Ben Pakulski, Robert Pietrkowicz, Fouad Abiad, Essa Obaid


    1. Branch, Wolf, Victor, Evan


    1. Rockel, Johnnie, Roelly, Dexter


    1. Sergey, Ben, Robert, Toney, Fouad, Essa

  • #2
    unfortunately i must agree... Branch s got this in the bag this year
    I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes to the Father, but by Me.
    JESUS THE CHRIST

    Comment


    • #3
      good stuff ron

      Comment


      • #4
        it'd be a damn shame if he won
        http://forums.musculardevelopment.co...pictureid=9381

        Comment


        • #5
          How is it that Ronny doesn't get into 4th or 5th?

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Julienne_Salad View Post
            How is it that Ronny doesn't get into 4th or 5th?
            Don't rule it out just yet -
            Muscular Development Online Editor
            FB: Ron Harris IG: RonHarrisMuscle Author "EvilX10: 10 Tales of Extreme Darkness"

            Comment


            • #7
              Vic looks the best i have ever seen, HES GOT THIS IM SOO SUREE

              Comment


              • #8
                nonsense

                [QUOTE=Robbie Durand;2486070]<STYLE>@font-face { font-family: "Times New Roman"; }p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal { margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; }table.MsoNormalTable { font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; }div.Section1 { page: Section1; }ol { margin-bottom: 0in; }ul { margin-bottom: 0in; }</STYLE> 2011 Arnold Classic Judging
                Branch’s day has come at last!
                Report by Ron Harris[*]Sergey Shelestov[/LIST]I have nothing personal against Sergey at all, and he’s probably a nice guy – but how the hell does he keep getting invited to this contest every year? Honestly, he is not in the same league as the rest of the lineup. His arms in particular are hardly even pro-caliber, and he has very little of the round, full look to the muscles you expect from a top pro. I wonder if his being Russian gets him invited simply to give the show more of an international flavor?
                1. Branch Warren
                The crowd went ballistic when Branch came out, quietly radiating total confidence. As he should have, because the man looked unbeatable. The only men alive right now who could have beaten him today were Jay, Kai, and Phil Heath at their best – and none of them were here. Branch’s arms were improved, but the most notable change was to the detail in his back. For years people have been ripping on his lack of back detail, but today it looked like the freaking Rocky Mountains back there. Thick, nasty, and with that elusive combination of mass and grainy conditioning, the hardest-working man in the sport took care of business today.-END QUOTE

                Branch Warren has terrible arms (in comparison to other pros), no forearms, and next to dennis wolf in a front double bicep pose- no way branch wins.
                The Branch Warren bandwagon on this site is BS- he has been bought and paid for by MD, so mods like you are propping him up. If he werent and MD athlete he wouldnt get the ass kissing over his ugly physique.
                Case in point- in the Branch arm training video he poses with an assault rifle. And points out in the interview how he hunts with a knife (boar). I posted asking if he was in a militia and criticising the image. The post is nowhere to be found.
                This site is becoming like steroidology- where a moron guru with one dbol cycle under his belt named Nelson Montana became the site guru (and no doubt his book sales contributed financially to the site) and any criticism of Nelson was wiped out and offenders banned.
                Branch's physique is gross. If Bautista were an MD athlete, he'd be placing ahead of Branch.
                BTW- did you listen to the VPX radio programs?
                Last edited by Victorian guy; March 5th, 2011, 06:54 PM. Reason: put brackets

                Comment


                • #9
                  When are the final results posted please?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by ace nesheiwat View Post
                    Vic looks the best i have ever seen, HES GOT THIS IM SOO SUREE
                    You're on crack
                    Yes, that's me in my Avatar.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      ...To me Branch is super muscular..but his thighs are too big for his arms...his thighs are so big he has to basically stand in a wide stance deadlift stance just to do mandatories. His arms are good...but not great...he has fantastic shoulders but they look weird with his back.....he just is not symmetrical to me...a great bodybuilder no doubt..but to win ?...I don't know bro..if he does win...it sets a knew PRECEDENCE in men's bodybuiding.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Is there a Finals Play by play thread?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Branch got owned standing next to Wolf.... He looked tiny standing next to him. His arms looked super small.
                          Instagram: jtswole

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            lmaO, X2[QUOTE=Victorian guy;2486211]
                            Originally posted by Robbie Durand View Post
                            <STYLE>@font-face { font-family: "Times New Roman"; }p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal { margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; }table.MsoNormalTable { font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; }div.Section1 { page: Section1; }ol { margin-bottom: 0in; }ul { margin-bottom: 0in; }</STYLE> 2011 Arnold Classic Judging
                            Branch’s day has come at last!
                            Report by Ron Harris[*]Sergey Shelestov[/LIST]I have nothing personal against Sergey at all, and he’s probably a nice guy – but how the hell does he keep getting invited to this contest every year? Honestly, he is not in the same league as the rest of the lineup. His arms in particular are hardly even pro-caliber, and he has very little of the round, full look to the muscles you expect from a top pro. I wonder if his being Russian gets him invited simply to give the show more of an international flavor?
                            1. Branch Warren
                            The crowd went ballistic when Branch came out, quietly radiating total confidence. As he should have, because the man looked unbeatable. The only men alive right now who could have beaten him today were Jay, Kai, and Phil Heath at their best – and none of them were here. Branch’s arms were improved, but the most notable change was to the detail in his back. For years people have been ripping on his lack of back detail, but today it looked like the freaking Rocky Mountains back there. Thick, nasty, and with that elusive combination of mass and grainy conditioning, the hardest-working man in the sport took care of business today.-END QUOTE

                            Branch Warren has terrible arms (in comparison to other pros), no forearms, and next to dennis wolf in a front double bicep pose- no way branch wins.
                            The Branch Warren bandwagon on this site is BS- he has been bought and paid for by MD, so mods like you are propping him up. If he werent and MD athlete he wouldnt get the ass kissing over his ugly physique.
                            Case in point- in the Branch arm training video he poses with an assault rifle. And points out in the interview how he hunts with a knife (boar). I posted asking if he was in a militia and criticising the image. The post is nowhere to be found.
                            This site is becoming like steroidology- where a moron guru with one dbol cycle under his belt named Nelson Montana became the site guru (and no doubt his book sales contributed financially to the site) and any criticism of Nelson was wiped out and offenders banned.
                            Branch's physique is gross. If Bautista were an MD athlete, he'd be placing ahead of Branch.
                            BTW- did you listen to the VPX radio programs?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              First off no one in this show looks in great condition, its truly shoes Jay, Phil and Kai are the top of the sport, Dexter and Freeman look old and over the hill, I thik Branch seems like a cool guy but his back(rear bicep and spread) are awful as well as his arms and this is not his best conditioning, Wolf looks much improved, Victor will never be the same after the knee injury and his gut is huge, I agree with the above post about Branch i just can't take him winning, Why not Essa Obiad higher? or Evan he is the most complete maybe except bad color?

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