Flex Lewis to Enter 2014 Arnold 212
Fresh off the wire- the 2014 Arnold Classic in Columbus, Ohio will be bringing the 212lb class to the stage at its 26th year anniversary!
Thinking of our team, this is exciting news! It is especially exciting because I would love to see Flex bring home this title. It will be the first ever 212lb show to be staged at the Arnold which would be great history in the making for Flex. Not only that, but Flex would be following in his mentor footsteps. Rich Gaspari won that show 25 years ago, made his own history, and became an icon in the industry! Only 3 months ago Rich was awarded with the Arnold Lifetime achievement award by none other than Arnold Schwarzenegger
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On a personal note, I feel the addition of the 212 class to the Arnold Classic line up is one of the best things ever to happen for the sport of bodybuilding. Think about this for a minute, how many athletes compete each year? It won't take you long to realize that about 70-75% of all competitive athletes are 212lbs or lighter. Now ask yourself who motivates YOU to compete or excel in the gym. When I first started in the sport it was Lee Labrada. His professional approach, appearance, stage presence, shape, symmetry and compete physique were all things I admired. Also because I saw a little of me in him- we were the same height, similar shape and structure, and because he didn't need to be a mass monster to impress the judges or fans. His pretty physique and crazy conditioning wowed the crowd and judges. Lee knew he was never going to out muscle anyone on stage, so he did it with showing how great his lines were or how well conditioned he was. These days its size, size, size, however Lee Labrada proved to be and still is one of the most successful pro's of all time. My other piece of the puzzle when I was coming up was the physique of Rich Gaspari. The first time I saw Rich on stage his physique blew me away. I remember having images of his crazy glute-hamstring tie-ins and rock hard conditioning burned into my head. Between Lee Labrada and Rich Gaspari I had a clear picture of what I wanted to look like. Pieces from both athletes molded into one imbedded into my mental mind set every time I picked up a weight, looked in the mirror, ate a meal or rested on rest days. I know one thing was for sure - we all possesed the same kind of positive self enthusiam topped off with loads of intensity!
After reading the above, think again how heavy was Lee Labrada and Rich Gaspari at there best stage weights???? Lee was 187-190lbs, and Rich was 202-206lbs!!! That's right both below the 212lb Class.
Trends have changed and new athletes or new breeds of athletes set the stage for us fans! Yes, to compete in the open class to be competitive you need to carry enough muscle on your frame. A current IFBB open athlete needs to weigh in the 220's which closes the door on 70-75% of all competing athletes. The 212lb Class is by far the future of our very sport. Of course the open class is the bread and butter of the sport when it comes to mass and that freakish look. We will always be amazed with the open class because of the sheer size and shape of those guys. But the 212lb class is where you see the real consistent condition, shape, and appeal for the larger numbers of athletes and fans.
Now that this amazing announcement has been made its become very personal. I will do everything in my power to help Flex Lewis and Team Gaspari win the very first 212lb Arnold Classic title. It's personal, it's a goal, it's achievable, it's needed and wanted, and it's going to be a huge driving stone on the journey for Flex Lewis and his Team. Before we get too excited, though, the game plan has already started to win that 212lb Mr. Olympia title for which is just 16 weeks away. That's our only motivation at this present time- to regain the biggest and baddest bodybuilding event in the world. We aren't going to try and run when we need to walk, one step at at time, each step gaining further ground towards the goal. We want to dominate the stage in every show we enter. You may be saying Neil your a little deep or personal- well life is deep and personal because you only get one shot at it!! No matter what you think you only have one life buddy so you better make it personal!
My last few words on this blog are, don't look back wishing- make it happen. My Nan used to say these very words to me when I was a little boy. I used to say Nan I wish I had this or that and she would return by saying "boy you wish in one hand and you shit in the other and see which hand gets filled first". My Nan...she had a way with words huh!
After that I never wished again. I just worked my ass off and made things happen. You are in control of your life and your destiny- it's you that holds your future.
I want to say a very sincere thank you to the IFBB Pro League and all the the people who have allowed and made the 212lb class happen for our sport. It's truly an amazing addition to our great sport. Much respect gentlemen -your all doing great things for our sport.
Take it easy Guys, have a great day :)