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Arnold Expo Product Review and Contest Coverage

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  • Arnold Expo Product Review and Contest Coverage

    DAY 1


    As I do every year I made the journey to the Arnold Expo and Arnold Bodybuilding Show. Instead of making the journey alone I was flanked by the workout partner, our own Calos "Pastor Pump" Rodriquez, and his Client Joe. We all started off the day with some breakfast at Doberman HQ, and then forged ahead. Fortunately I'm only 15 minutes away from all the craziness.

    Once there we were greeted, as I am every year, with a sea of humanity. Yes, the Expo is insanity incarnate. The first day we checked out the layout and met up with some people. Some things that caught my eye were a specialized curl bar, a scooper, a storage device for protein and pills, and a beef jerky company. I decided to investigate these things on the last day of the expo since the first two days were a little hectic (More on that later).

    Below are some insights, observations, and tips:

    Observations

    1. It's just as crowded as every year
    2. They are doing less of the stupid "throw the shirt in a crowd" or as I call it "Throwing Chum to the Sharks".
    3. They have increased the lines. This is always a pet peeve of mine. If you really wanted to investigate a supplement you don't talk with anyone. You instead wait in line like a trick or treater on Halloween. You then may bet anywhere between 1-2 samples on the low end to 3-4 with a shirt. For a 20-30 minute line this means you've spent 1/2 an hour for 3-15 bucks of freebees. Although I like free stuff just as much as the next guy I can't pull myself to stand in a line like this. I guess I'm over it. I instead prefer to go to the smaller new name booths and talk with the owners of the company and find out what they up to. By doing this I ended up beign offered the companies entire line to test.

    Insights
    1. This may go without saying, but the expo is in a catagory of crazy all it's own. I've mentioned this before, but it has lost the communication and the connection with the customer it once had. In the Expo the sides of the building have Gymnastics, Martial Arts, and Strong Man. I would recommend that they move at least one of these to another building and sell more booths. I don't know if the money would be there, but I know they sell out their booth space every year.

    2. There are a lot of legit companies that do not go to the Expo. TrueNutrition, and Beverly come to mind. I'm not speaking for them, but from what I can see the problem, as I mentioned earlier, is that they don't see the value because they can not connect with the customer. I think the above recommendation would help with this, but I also think better crowd control or having companies stick to the rules. For instance, it says in the rules to not throw things in the aisles and to not have people out in the aisles. This all leads to problems.

    Tips

    1. Be ready. You may have to park away from the expo...who am I kidding, you will have to park away from the expo. Columbus weather in March can be dicey. I'd bring a pull string bag and a hooded sweatshirt. I try not to go for a coat. Hauling that around is a pain in the butt, but if you bring a hoodie you can take it off, and shove it in the bag when you get in. You can also use the bag for samples.

    2. Try to relax and take your time. If you don't the crowds will drive you crazy. Go through once at a relaxed pace and if there are samples that you want that are redily available get them, but I wouldn't stand in line for anything longer than 10 people. If there is a long line where you really want something make note of it and come back. It probably won't be smaller, but at least then you will have the benefit of seeing everything first.

    3. Again be patient, and be polite. If your some supplement grabbing creep then you probably will be treated that way. If you treat the company you are walking by with respect they will most likely treat you in kind and if you are serious about this sport you may even find someone that you could work with later.

    4. Wear a gas mask. Bodybuilder and Powerlifters....let's admit it, we are some stinky bastards. Add free protein and protein bar samples and you have a potential WMD catastrophy on your hand.

    Next Up Day 2
    1994 Ohio Gran Prix 4th place
    2010 Kentucky State Championships 1st place
    2011 Northern Kentucky 4th place
    2012 Kentucky Grand Prix 1st place
    2014 Francois Classic 3rd place
    2015 Francois Classic 2nd Place

    Truenutrition.com
    Use Discount Code AMJ

  • #2
    Day Two

    We hit the expo early. First we walked through the expo. This time we spoke with an aquaintance of Carlos' Shawn "Flexitron" Rhoden. I have to say, he's a heck of a guy. He talks with each fan like a regular guy. With the way an expo is, expecially the Arnold, having this kind of patience is something to be commended. Here is a great example of an ambassador of the sport.

    After that we watched the Mighty Mitts Grip Contest. A friend of ours J.L. Holdsworth, owner of "The Spot" training complex competed with a torn bicep. Insane? Yes, but as a West Side Barbell alumni it's just what they do. The man actually completed some of the events in strong fashion. Unfortunately after he was done you could see some extreme pain in his face. Here was his application video:


    [YOUTUBE]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YZuFNR96x6M[/YOUTUBE]

    Next up Arnold Pre Judging...
    Doberman
    Advertising Manager / Intense Muscle Competitor
    Last edited by Doberman; 03-23-2013, 11:19 AM.
    1994 Ohio Gran Prix 4th place
    2010 Kentucky State Championships 1st place
    2011 Northern Kentucky 4th place
    2012 Kentucky Grand Prix 1st place
    2014 Francois Classic 3rd place
    2015 Francois Classic 2nd Place

    Truenutrition.com
    Use Discount Code AMJ

    Comment


    • #3
      Pre Judging

      After the expo we grabbed the shuttle and ran over to Vet's Memorial. We got to the show a couple minutes late. Fortunately we were able to see the comparisons. Two things were obvious; Dexter was on, and Cedric's coloring was off. Dexter was sharp, and tight. I wouldn't say he was in the same condition as the Masters Olympia, but he was close. Cedric is amazing and I think he's definately got potential for top placing at the Olympia or eventually winning a Sandow, but something seemed off. His definition seemed blurred and he didn't seem as sharp. After watching for a bit more we figured out that it appeared that his coloring was blurring his definition. I'd comment on the other guys, but hey we know how it turned out and I don't want to bore you anymore than I already may have.


      After watching we went back stage. We basically just sat back and kept out of the way, but a couple fo the guys talked with us. Cedric is a stand up guy and looked impressive in person. Again, at this point it appeared his color was the culprit. Dexter was rediculous, and Johnny Jackson caught my eye as being much improved. Up to this point his legs, and he will admit this, have been a weak point. They still were not an evenly matched to his dense upper body, but they are getting much closer.

      We left and then watched some powerlifting. After throwing down some food and chilling for a bit we got ready and went to the night show.

      Finals

      Finals were interesting. On the way in we stopped and spoke with Shawn Rhoden (Carlos knows him). I've said it before, but he really is a good representative for the sport. He's going to be the one to watch in the next few years if not this year.

      Anyhow, at the show it was apparent that Dexter had it. I was very surprised Ben Pulkulski got 2nd. Although he's amazing from the front his back seems below the rest of the line up. The most intersting thing was the improvement we saw in Cedric. If he had looked like this at prejudging I think there might have been an argument for him taking the show. It was apparent that his coloring was fixed, unfortunately too late.

      NEXT PRODUCT REVIEWS and SUNDAY at the EXPO....
      1994 Ohio Gran Prix 4th place
      2010 Kentucky State Championships 1st place
      2011 Northern Kentucky 4th place
      2012 Kentucky Grand Prix 1st place
      2014 Francois Classic 3rd place
      2015 Francois Classic 2nd Place

      Truenutrition.com
      Use Discount Code AMJ

      Comment


      • #4
        SUNDAY AT THE EXPO-PRODUCT REVIEWS

        I'm not going to bore you with every step I took. Instead I'm going to just get to the products.

        1. Slayer Barbell-

        Right from the get go this thing looked cool. I tried it and found that you could do a ton of exercises with it. Not only was it versitle, but I felt the movements in a completely different manner. I ended up buying one and have tested it with myself and multiple others. I'll have some videos up soon. I love this thing. So just like with other products, if I like it I go after them as a sponsor. I love the fact that I can stand behind the products the support our page. Look for the Slayer Advertising Banner soon.

        http://slayerbarbell.com/

        2. Grip Pads Glove thingies

        Ok, that isn't the real name of these things, but I don't want to say the real name. To be honest, I don't even remember it. These were a plastic rubber kind of thing that slides onto your palm. This isn't like the one that you've probably seen. Let's just put it this way I disliked it so much that I doubt you will see it anywhere either.

        3. Products Covered Before

        Sling Shot- Still a great product that I tested a year ago.
        Versa Grips- The only wrist strap that I'll ever use.

        4. Shoot n Shake-

        This may not initially seem like a ground breaking product, but the Shoot n Shake is bascially a scooper that has a trap door in the bottom. You scoop, put your scooper around whatever bottle you have, and open to poor you powder inside. I didn't think much about it until we were back at my house and Carlos was pouring a powder into a water bottle with surgical procision. This product makes it a breeze. It's also nice for pouring your coffee in single serve coffee k-cup for the Keurig so that your wife doesn't yell at you for leaving cofee grounds...not that has happened to me.



        5. Stacker Bottle

        This didn't seem like much of a big deal at the time either, but I didn't have one the other day and I wished I did. I had three different products I was bringing to the gym. A pre workout, an intra workout, and creatine. So I had two bottles and a little container for the creatine. Dragging my other gym stuff, my son, and these containers is a little bit of a pain. That's without even mentioning getting the creatine powder all over me and looking like I just left a Rick James party. With this product I could have one container where I sip my preworkout out of, and then the Stacker Bottle with my intraworkout, and creatine in seperate containers that pour out without a mess. Also the lids have storage for any pills you might need.



        I'm hopeful that some of these companies sign on with us (not the weird glove people). Like I mentioned Slayer Barbell has signed up. Please visit their facebook page and let them know where you heard about them. We have a few more sponsors in the works. Stay tuned. Our goal is to not only support this page, but have honest companies with great products that we believe it and that will benefit you the member.
        1994 Ohio Gran Prix 4th place
        2010 Kentucky State Championships 1st place
        2011 Northern Kentucky 4th place
        2012 Kentucky Grand Prix 1st place
        2014 Francois Classic 3rd place
        2015 Francois Classic 2nd Place

        Truenutrition.com
        Use Discount Code AMJ

        Comment

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