Ok so Day 1 was a real treat. Finishing on a high, Day 2 had some big shoes to fill. The big boys and girls would be coming out to play. So without any further ado let’s get to it.

 

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Masters Bodybuilding Over 40yrs
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Masters Bodybuilding Over 40yrs

1st Ahmad Al-Jaafeen – 31
Ahmad had an all-round package I felt. He was full and pretty tight from all angles and also carried good muscle density. He also had a tight and well-controlled waist and good width in his back. So, as I said as, a great overall package and I felt he was pretty strong in the line-up

2nd Carlos Nunes – 38
Mr Nunes, Mr Nunes, Mr Nunes! I’m so glad to see you back in decent shape. It has been a while since I have seen you that tight and looking as good as you did. I know that it has been a very long road for you but I want you to know that as a fan that watched you for my formative year on the SA bodybuilding scene it really warmed my heart to see you return to form. It almost pained me to watch you in previous comps, knowing what your physique was just a short while ago, to the constantly missed condition on show days I had been seeing.

3rd Gerhard Nel – 42
I love the graininess that Gerhard is able to get into his physique. He seems to be able to repeatedly step on stage and be really sharp. Having seen him at Millenium, where he and Hansie were undoubtedly the best-conditioned athletes on stage, I was glad to see he had carried condition through to the Arnolds.
It’s really awesome to be able to watch guys like this because they show you what a bodybuilder should look like. In an age where everyone seems to be coming in smooth it makes my heart happy. A Few crits on Gerhard’s physique; structurally he does have a bit of a wider waist so when you compare to the top 2 in this line up the more aesthetically pleasing guys would have won out.

 


Masters Bodybuilding Over 50yrs

1st Mohammed Aboelez – 12
2nd Jabulani Buthelezi – 18
3rd Marius Wessels – 32

 


Masters Bodybuilding Overall

Ahmed Al-Jaafeen

 


Women’s Fitness

1st Claire McGrath – 21
Claire was a pleasure to watch. It was awesome to see the difference between the international standard fitness competitors and what our local athletes present. A lot of control and expression of strength was displayed in her routine.

2nd Camille du Plessis
Taking into consideration as to what I said about Claire I feel as though Camille is not far off. From her performance at last year’s nationals to the Arnolds there was a marked difference and I feel like she had done her homework and really brought an excellent routine.
There is a bit of a way to go for her though to truly be on an international standard. When I say this I am referring directly to artistry and what I would say is telling a little more of a story through her routine and costume. I could tell she has a strong gymnastics background, which serves her well. I will get into what I feel makes the difference in a fitness athlete from amateur to Pro divisions in an upcoming article.

3rd Gladys Tladi
As with Camille, Gladys seems to have a strong gymnastics background which shone through in her routine. She has a very powerful physique, which was a pleasure to watch in action. I feel like a little more work on choreography compared to the top 2 would help to make things flow a bit more and raise her chances. Nevertheless she was also great to watch.

 


Men’s Fitness
Peter Lekoma


Women’s Physique up to 163cm

1st Margita Zamalova – 15
Margita’s physique for me represented the criteria the best. A great V-taper. Good balance from upper to lower as well as symmetrical and carrying the right level of condition as well as femininity.

2nd Nadine Myron – 35
Though Nadine’s condition was excellent, I felt she lacked the shape and balance of Margitas physique to challenge for first. For me this was clearly indicated in the points placings.

3rd Sharon Stanley – 51
Sharon could improve on her lower body to help build a bit more balance in her physique as well as widening herself up top. As with Nadine, condition was good but shape was lacking compared to Margita and this also reflected in the points.

 


Women’s Physique over 163cm
1st Lani Butler – 30
In future, I would like to see a bit more width being showed on Lani’s back poses. I feel like she has a well-balanced body but showing her width versus some of the other girls is where she lacked. I don’t think it’s a muscle mass issue simply better posing is perhaps required to enhance and show her taper a bit more.
That being said, in this line-up Lani had the overall best condition particularly in the legs. She really killed the rest of the line-up in the back shots with way better separated and shapely legs.

2nd Louise Scholtz – 34
Though the points difference between Lani and Louise was only 4 points there are marked differences in physique. Louise has stunning legs with regard to shape and fullness but I felt that she lost out due to their condition. I do definitely feel that she can do a lot better in terms of placings in the future. She has great density in her back but it seems to me like there is a bit more room for some width.
She has a smaller structure than a lot of the other girls but for me she is very Dana Linn Bailey-ish. So in my opinion with a bit of planning and more targeted prep she could be an easy winner to pick in a lot of future line-ups.
PS. Louise you have a great smile, please bring more of it to the stage and make sure we see you enjoying yourself up there. You have a good stage presence but it could be a beautiful one with a bit more smiling.

3rd Tersia Benson – 49
Tersia has a very powerful presence. I have watched all of the top 3 in various competitions over the past year or so; and I can say that I have seen better from Tersia. She has a very upper-body dominant physique when I look at her. So I would like to see more focus brought to balance and ratios and tighter legs on the rear shots particularly.

 


Women’s Physique Overall

Margita Zamalova
Margita here was the obvious choice for me. All the aforementioned scoring and shape benefits made her the natural winner.

 


Body Fitness up to 158cm

1st Patricia Martinez Marquina – 7
Patricia dominated the line-up for me from start to finish. Overall she had the best package on stage on the day and was a clear winner for me. A beautiful structure, which included wider shoulders tapered to a lovely waist flowing into well-developed and balanced legs, also showing great symmetry and stage presence got her the win.

2nd Alethea Borman – 10
Alethea presented well but wasn’t stand out enough to challenge for the top spot in this line-up. A slightly wider waist when compared to Margita and less shoulder width didn’t give us the same lines that Margita showed.

3rd Karen de Beer – 15
After Karen went to Worlds last year I was perplexed to be honest. I kept trying to examine pics and look for reason as to why she didn’t place as high as I had expected. I mean she was our overall winner last year at SAs. But seeing her in this line-up and having a chance to compare her to Margita I understood. So my crit is thus…
I would like to see more width built into Karen up top to help give her the shape that Patricia showed. Karen’s legs are always on point for me so no crit there with regard to shape. A slightly fuller look would also help her to challenge for number 1.

 


Body Fitness up to 163cm

1st Odette de Winnaar – 7
Once again this was a game of shape, balance and symmetry. I may sound like I’m repeating myself but, in my opinion, that’s a good thing because if I’m harping on about the same thing it means that I am noticing patterns in judging and conveying those to you. Too often do I hear girls and coaches saying “Yeah we’re going to build a booty!” and at the end it seems to me like they forget to keep everything else in proportion.
Odette as with Margita presented good proportions and balance in her physique and this is what ultimately, even against Margita, gave her the win in the overall line-up. PS. Both Margita and Odette had better conditioning than those that placed lower than they did, so it seems the mandate should be prep hard pose soft.

2nd Michelle Alberts – 9
Where Michelle Alberts had the condition I felt she lacked the shape that Odette has. My eye was always naturally drawn to Odette in this line-up.

3rd Michelle Guest – 14
I always enjoy watching Michelle. She has good lines to her physique as well as the aforementioned balance and symmetry, but I felt that what really could have made a difference for her here was to be more conditioned. The outcome of the line-up might have been different if she had been.

 


Body Fitness up to 168cm

1st Sonia van Heerden – 9
Sonia was a pleasure to watch on stage. Lovely flowing lines and shape as well as a beautiful smile contributing to a great stage presence helped her win this line-up.

2nd Annelize Dohne – 9
I was intrigued when I saw the score on this one as to how we arrived at this point. I have been watching Annelize over multiple competitions for a bit now and she generally is very consistent in her package that she presents. She has a bit of a shyness about her that seems to work for her on stage and is a pleasure to watch.
As a result, I spent a lot of time trying to look and compare images of the placings in this line-up. When it’s this close between competitors I have found that it actually comes down to something structural. Between Sonia and Annelize the difference for me was clavicle width. This results in a smaller presentation at the top, which hides the taper to the waist and width a little more than Sonia was able to show. Hence Sonia seems to fit that thing I have been harping on about. In the end a very, very tight line-up.
3rd Nicola Murphy – 18
Though Nicola did bring a great package. A slightly less shapely look with a wider waist cost her in the scoring. This is clearly indicated by the scoring difference.

 


Body Fitness over 168cm

1st Marcelle Collison – 5
Let me just say first up, I have been watching Marcelle for a number of years now and I always have this thought in my mind of “If only…” But I can categorically state that I had the thought in my mind this time of “Finally!”
Yes, yes you’re all wondering what I am referring to. Let me explain. When you look at Marcelle on stage you see good width in her shoulders, then you see a lovely small tapered waist, and this previously was flowing into hips that were too wide for the waist. This put off the flow of her physique for me. Now yes I hear you saying this is a structural and genetic issue BUT… this is what bodybuilding is all about. Marcelle cut down her hips and legs really well for the Arnolds I felt compared to past performances. This resulted in a stunning package on stage. Hence… “Finally!”
That being said – you guys might say to me “Are you never happy Dubs?” after this comment – Marcelle I feel like you could tighten up just ever so slightly more in the lower body region. Your body for me is finally coming into its own and I think now that you have established your new beautiful baseline this will be easier to achieve. But I mean look at your score girl!!!

2nd Bernadette Meyer – 14
Though Bernadette presented well. Standing next to the package that Marcelle brought at Arnolds was going to be very difficult. Phrases like shoulder to waist ratio pop into mind when I think of the differences between Marcelle and Bernadette.

3rd Verushka van Jaarsveld – 17
I always like to keep track of people on FB and it’s no different with Verushka. She actually has great structural advantages but for me, I felt as though compared with Marcelle she needed to be leaner and tighter to be able to compete. As I said she does have great shape, structure and even balance but those can’t be relied upon at this level. Once again prep hard, pose soft!

 


Body Fitness Overall
Odette de Winnaar

 


Bikini Fitness up to 160cm

1st Roxy Barker – 9
Since watching Roxy at the King Shaka Classic in KZN this year I have to say I was shocked. I will be the first to admit when I was wrong and let me tell you why. I have been watching Roxy live pretty much in every show she has done since her novice show and I have never rated her too highly. Yes she places a lot in the top 6, even the top 3 or 2 sometimes. Whereas she always presents a great upper body genetically her hips, in proportion to her waist was always a bit out for me.
That being said, I can confidently say that what she presented at the KSC was a completely new Roxy Barker. In the past where she used to hide the width in her hips through her posing – yes Roxy I could see it :p – in her stage appearances this year the work put in enhanced the shape she brought. Beautiful curves and lines displayed a toned and confident curvy woman not afraid to strut it!
Very well done Roxy in showing all of us that you don’t have to take defeat lying down and using the experience to actually grow yourself as a competitor. The changes in your body are a testament to a great work ethic and also coach with the vision to know what to do to make you that much better.

2nd Lizelle Horn – 13
Now I have to admit I have watched Lizelle from afar (namely from the audience) for many many years. She is like one of my all-time favourite bikini girls and I always enjoy watching her on stage. Lizelle’s body is really well-balanced and everything about her package is aesthetically pleasing, even down to her stage presence and smile.
Had she come in leaner I think Roxy would have been in trouble. I can’t really crit anything else besides that.

3rd Naadiya Rawat – 16
As with Lizelle, I love watching Naadiya. Over the years I have seen changes in Naadiya is one of those girls that has had to work on her “Indian genetics” to really be able to conform to the criteria more. That being, said I feel like the place she is in right now is a good one with just a few tweaks needed here and there for her to kill her line-ups.


Bikini Fitness up to 163cm

1st Elsa Pema – 6
Elsa was head and shoulders above the rest in this line-up for me. Near perfect physique, presence, presentation and posing gave her the win.

2nd Kim Guitierrez – 9
As with Elsa, Kim was on point with regard to her on stage package but structurally Elsa seemed to have her. I think she could benefit from a bit more size in the legs and lower body condition as well which Elsa seemed to have.

3rd Tiana Pereira – 18
Tiana is a beautiful woman with a lot of positives to her package. But standing next to Elsa and Kim was going to be difficult. I would say a little more overall lean mass and leaner package on stage to help her to the next level.

 


Bikini Fitness up to 166cm

1st Tshiamiso Skosana – 8
OK! To the people and to Tshiamiso! I am so proud of this outcome. For me Tshia (If I may call her that) and her win represents something larger than herself for SA bodybuilding and to me. For so long I have thought looking at our black female athletes “Wow if only they prepped a bit harder!” I say this because when you look at the structure of our local black female athletes a lot of them can do pretty well. They have small upper body structures with small waists and curvy waists and glutes.
On so many occasions I see girls get the upper body right and the lower is forgotten. Now yes you might tell me that we have a culture in this country where black women are actually encouraged to keep body fat around the lower body and thus the look is different for what is preferred. BUT Tshia has showed that you can still be curvy, black and beautiful and not to mention healthy looking. I hope that many many more young black SA women can look at her and see the potential their bodies have for this sport and we will see the numbers growing drastically in the coming years, as in my opinion this is sorely lacking in our sport.

2nd Barbara Joubert – 9
Such a close line-up!!! Having also watched Barbara for a number of competitions I can say I am happy with her progression. She has made great changes in her physique since starting out. Her posing though I feel hides a little of what she has to show. She does need to develop a little more in terms of width in her shoulders and to learn to open up her back more to accentuate

3rd Herisha Ramdhin

I feel that the line-up was thin here and in a deeper line-up Herisha would not have placed in 3rd. Herisha is good at presenting a similar package a lot of the times she competes. In fact I don’t think I have seen a different package presented since SAs. I would like her to develop her lower body more. Some lean muscle mass would really go a long way on her physique. At the end of the day bodybuilding is about bettering your last show so I would like to see Herisha step out of what I think has become her comfort zone.

 


Bikini Fitness up to 169cm

1st Frida Paulsen Stern – 5
Near perfect showing from Frida coupled with amazing stage presence and condition made her a standout in this line-up. She was a clear winner when my eye passed over the first time the line-up came out.

2nd Marina Krause
I found Marina’s package really impressive. She has great structure and balance. The difference in her and Frida was definitely condition though with Frida really bringing a bit more on the day.

3rd Caroline Deveaux
Again with the top 3 having similar body types, balance and proportion this line-up for me was a choice of the condition that was presented. It was actually a great line-up to watch since all the top 3 brought stand out packages and the subtleties were what counted.

 


Bikini Fitness up to 172cm

1st Kirsten Allnut – 8
Kirst’s performance for me proved to be ALMOST spot on. I’ll explain in a moment. Kirsten is blessed with great structure and a stage an energetic stage presence, which she definitely works to her advantage.
Structurally, as I mentioned, she is blessed and being able to see her in the overall line-up against fitness bikini girls from overseas makes you realise that she has the ability to compete well at an international level. As with most of our local girls though, they tend to come in a bit softer so she suffered in this regard when standing in the overall line-up.
That being said the thing about bodybuilding is that you as an athlete along with your coach should be able to manipulate your body to achieve the looks required when prepping for different shows. Not that Kirsten or her coach missed the mark. BUT I do think there was room for her at this level to be leaner and tighter.
PS. Kirsten your balance and proportions are pretty much there in my opinion at the moment for me. So don’t get any bigger bro :p

2nd Corrie Bosch – 11 and 3rd Wourine Brink – 14
Though Wourine and Corrie both look great on stage, looking for the pattern in the judging at the Arnolds, one could tell that they lacked the shoulder width and lower body mass to challenge in this situation. Points to work on from this performance would be exactly those two notes while maintaining their waistline so as to build a bit more of a curvy kind of look.

 


Bikini Fitness over 172cm

1st Chanel Erwee – 8
Once again, a game of structure is what won out in this height class. Though I do think this can only take Chanel so far. A bit more development would have been required as well as being leaner to challenge in the overall line-up.

2nd Courtney Chapman – 11
Firm, toned and well-balanced sums up Courtneys package in this line-up. To be honest I had her in first in this line-up when I compared the winners of the line-ups leading to this one. I think I will have to improve my eye a little more on this one.

3rd Angela Howden – 16
Once again Angela placing amongst the top 3. I think she is possibly one of the most consistent athletes we have in the country and I don’t think in the past year I have seen her outside the top 6 in any show she has done. I stand to be corrected though.

 


Bikini Fitness Overall
Frida Paulsen Stern

 


Bodybuilding up to and including 65kgs

This line-up didn’t impress me at all. The physiques in it were soft and not in a condition I would expect to see at this level especially when we have guys like Mohseen and Vuyo that fight it out.

1st Naser Ali Alsairafi – 15
2nd Dumisani Dlodlo – 36
3rd Newsane Kolla – 57

 


Bodybuilding up to and including 70kgs
1st Julian Ramdhari – 21
Julian absolutely killed this line-up. His condition had definitely improved from King Shaka where he set the tone. Andrew Hudson dialed him in to perfection.
I am really glad these 2 have paired up. I had been watching Julian for far too many performances come in as smooth as a baby’s bottom over the years. If it had not been for his genetic and structural advantages I think he would have placed really badly in past comps. Well done, very well done to both coach and athlete, there is definitely a winning combo here.

2nd Mohammed Fathy Abdelgawad – 46 and 3rd Abdelwahab Ahmed Akber – 59
The 2nd and 3rd place guys in this line up weren’t too badly conditioned. But to be honest they never stood a chance against Julian. They don’t have the structural blessings and inserts he does as well as the fullness of his muscle bellies. When the first back pose came in this line up all myself and the guys sitting with said was “Game Over, Julian’s got this one!”.

 


Bodybuilding up to and including 75kgs

1st Mohammed Mostafa Mohammed – 18
Clear differences in the top 3 here meant that once again choosing the winner in Mohammed wasn’t too difficult a task. A wider back and really clear v-taper and fuller legs helped Mohammed to take top spot.

2nd Lwazi Buso – 43
Conditioning wise Lwazi and Yassir were on par for me with the 1st place Mohammed. But the differences came with the aesthetic that was presented by Mohammed. A little more balance from upper to lower and within the leg development were the defining difference for me between 1st and 2nd.

3rd Yassir Mohamade Al Haj – 47
As I said conditioning-wise, the top 3 were on par for me. Yassir’s disadvantage was the balance he had. He needs a bit more work in the upper body to balance his really strong legs. A bit more density would really go a long way in making him a contender for 1st.

 


Bodybuilding up to and including 80kgs
1st Fabian Campher – 15
I hadn’t seen Fabian compete before since I don’t get out to the Western Cape too often, but he most certainly impressed me a lot a on the day. He was the clear winner for me in the line-up. He presented well and was tight all round. As a package in this line-up there wasn’t really anyone close to him

2nd William Osei Kankam – 49 and 3rd Afolabi Michael Tunde – 52

 


Bodybuilding up to and including 85kgs

1st Michael Adonis – 21
This line-up would have been one of the most dramatic of the day had a certain Mr Lucas made an appearance. Unfortunately it was not to be. Michael’s structure is a clear advantage in almost any line up he stands in. And it was no different in this line-up. But I feel he missed the mark on the day of Arnold’s. I’ll get into this in the overall line-up crit as I would like to compare him against guys that I feel are at the same level.

2nd Bongani Myaka – 43
Little differences made for the big points difference here. Bongani’s package is not a bad one. But Michael’s tighter waist and fuller legs make it hard for anyone standing next to him. It’s much a case like that of standing with Julian. Some more width in the delts could perhaps help Bongani to create more the illusion to compete here.

3rd Cyrille Kofi Adja – 52
Once again a good package but lower body dominant in my opinion. A bit more upper body development by Cyrille will definitely help him in producing better performances.

 


Bodybuilding up to and including 90kgs

1st Dylan Ridley – 33
It was great to see Dylan carrying his condition over from the King Shaka and I would say actually he improved on it. Once again Dylan is an athlete I have not seen properly hard for a few years. So I’m really glad to see him return to form. Conditioning wise there were none that could touch him on the day. Most people will tell you a line-up is won from the back, but for me the moment Dylan hit the side chest pose I knew. In that moment he made everyone else in the top 3 look soft and that despite 3rd place Samir Troudi’s crazy density.
One thing I have to note. I have never considered Dylan’s waist to be to his advantage. But the shape he brought and tightness he showed during posing in his midsection was really impressive. This was definitely the best I have ever seen him.

2nd Mansour A Alnaser – 52
3rd Samir Troudi – 60

 


Bodybuilding up to and including 95kgs

1st Mohammad Shaban – 20, 2nd Darren Smit – 32 and 3rd Ziad Mekdachi – 54
Ok so I will before I get into this that I am a Louis fan. So I was perplexed when Louis placed 4th in this line-up. From the angle I was sitting, which wasn’t the best, I had him in the top 3. By the same token I didn’t feel that Louis was the best I have seen him.
These were my thoughts as the line-up came out:

“Ok Ok, we are getting into the big boys now. Who’s the contender? Louis for sure, Gerhard is looking really hard as he is walking out that’s good. Darren looking full and round as always. Oooooh this Egyptian is looking dangerous. Oh Ziad – big fan of Ziad’s physique! This is going to be good!”
As I watched something became evident to me. Something was off about Louis but from where I was sitting I couldn’t tell. Trying to find a better vantage point I snuck in behind the judges. That’s when I saw what I had been looking for. It was really simple in the end. He had just missed the mark perhaps water wise. He seemed a bit smooth compared to the guys that placed above him in the top 3. The glutes and hammies just weren’t there for me.

So let’s get into the top 3. I had seen a pic of Mohammad before the Arnolds and was waiting for him come out. When he did, he did not disappoint. A really well-rounded physique, with great inserts and fullness. He showed more width in the back poses than Darren and Ziad and overall condition was also better for me.
Darren always comes in really full and I love watching him compete, but in this instance I felt like when comparing him to Mohammad there were some weak points that needed some work.

I became a fan of Ziad’s physique when I saw him for the first time at the Amateur Olympia Africa. But as with Louis he could have been a lot tighter for me. His structural advantages gave him the edge over Louis with the 2 point difference telling the story.

 


Bodybuilding up to and including 100kgs

1st Earl Abrahams – 17
I will get into Earl in the Overall Line-up as with Michael and Julian. I will just say for me and for the judges this was a clear category for me. Easy 1st place and it was just a matter of looking for 2nd and 3rd.

2nd Patrick Muller – 41
3rd Mohammed Abdallatif Hassan – 47

 


Bodybuilding over 100kgs

1st Salaiman Abdullah Al Tarkait – 18, 2nd Werlou van Tonder – 45 and 3rd Femi Adesoye – 53
This line-up was a bit contentious for me. As always I wrack my mind as to why. I had seen Salaiman at the weigh in and thought to myself, I feel sorry for anyone competing against this monster. From the time he walked on stage, he commanded your attention.
So why do I say this line-up was contentious? Well when 2nd place Werlou came out I thought to myself well this guy is the best conditioned guy in this line-up, but that was the 2nd time that the line-up was brought out. i.e. the Top 10 after the elimination.
I can tell that my opinion was evident in the scoring since I didn’t really notice Werlou the first time round. He hardened on stage but it was his first round score that cost him. The line-up would have been closer had he perhaps made more of an impression in the first round. By the time the second round happened he had drastically changed to the point where I had to take notice of him. I guess against such a physically dominant presence such as Salaiman it was always going to be hard to get noticed. But I suppose that’s the cost of a first impression and that’s bodybuilding.

 


Bodybuilding Overall

Alrighty the final show down we had all been waiting for! There were so many physiques I was a fan of in this line-up. The boys were brought out. The air was filled with anticipation. Who would walk away from this on top with a Pro Card! Every physique on stage that day was amazing in its own right. There were times I couldn’t bear to watch to be honest. Trying to take notes and remain objective was really difficult for me at this point. I was searching to look for weaknesses on each athletes. Pushing in to get a better vantage point.

Salaiman was bloody dominating purely on his colossal stature but in this line-up he was soft, as he was in his weight category. I tore my eyes away from him. ‘Iron Mike’ Michael Adonis was sadly smooth and despite all his genetic blessings he had missed the mark with his dryness and condition. I thought to myself that his off-season weight fluctuation was too much which is costing him now.

Dylan Ridley was rock hard but in this line-up there were some points he could have improved on. Fabian looked impressive condition wise but somehow something was missing from his presentation. Then my eye fell to Julian. Simply put he was shredded to the bone. Sunken, Skeletor cheeks and crazy posing, activating every last muscle with a tonne of attitude made him a contender in my mind.

Lastly I came to Earl. Yes, I did look at him last. It’s a trick I have learned over the years when a favorite of mine is on stage I look at the rest of the line-up to look for strong points rather than directly comparing straight off the bat in an effort to be more objective. Taper was there, legs were on, attitude was “All business!” BUT I was still uncertain. Would it be Skeletor? Would it be the Colossus? Or would the Beast do what beasts do and consume the competition. All these thoughts were going through my mind that the line-up came out and did a few front poses.

Then they turned around and my answer came from two guys sitting close by to me. A gentleman from Jordan from the Kabs team who had been picking winners with me all day pointed at Earl and Joe leaned over to me and said “No contest, Earls got this.” I thought ok that’s pretty unanimous. Then I saw what they saw. As always Earls back was detailed and his shredded glutes, hams and dramatic taper in the back double-bi pose settled my mind. I still didn’t want to make a decision though and decided to wait for the announcement of the overall winner.

In the end Earl was called out and handed the overall win to which I jumped up screaming, my emotions getting the best of me. The long road all the way from World Championships had finally come to fruition. The sheer willing into being all his desire, the near 10 months of an actual prep diet. It seemed taking the opportunity to not get too out of shape in the off-season paid off, and it paid off big time. I was watching the making of a Pro for the first time in my life. Immediately I knew things were going to change. The level of competition just jumped to a new level. My mind already started working as to where the improvements need to be made to stand against competition like Phil Heath, Kai Greene, Dexter Jackson and Andrew Hudson to mention a few.

I would have loved to see him stand in the Pro line-up to be honest. It would have been amazing to see it. In the end I guess we will have to wait for that till his debut. It was a stunning way to close of a great weekend of Amateur bodybuilding for me. I hope I have conveyed the competition honestly and clearly to you all. This was the most notes I had taken in a weekend and I still have the pro show to release to you!

For now I’ll sign out and tell you this was one of the most memorable weekends of bodybuilding I had ever attended in SA. The only question now is what will the standard be at SAs and provincials this year since you all managed to get into such great shape for Arnolds already this year?

 

 

Your Brother in Iron
TheLayman

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