November 8, 2008
Coming off of a lightweight class win at the WNBF World Championships in 2007, my goal for 2008 was to make improvements to my physique and to successfully defend my title. On the flight home from the show in 2007, I put together a list of areas that I felt needed to improve, and the workout / diet regime that I planned to use to get me there. I only made plans to compete in one show during 2008 - the World Championships - once again giving me a solid 6 month off-season and then 6 months to diet back down.
37 pro men bodybuilders from 8 countries competed in the 2008 World Championships. The classes were split to ensure an even number of competitors in each class, and as luck would have it, I weighed in as the heaviest lightweight (163 lbs) - giving me the opportunity to attempt to defend my class title. I knew I would be a little heavier this year (mostly due to several months spent deadlifting 500+ pounds) and so I made sure to weigh in early on the day prior to the competition. I knew it would be a tough task to repeat my class win from the year before, as the 2nd and 3rd place finishers from 2007, Shaun Clarida and Luis Santiago, were there seeking victories of their own; and there were also several new pros on the scene, including Clement Yearwood, whose physique had always impressed me when he was competing as an amateur.
I was fortunate to again have my friend and fellow WNBF pro Kurt Weidner attend the contest and apply my tan. I was also happy to see that my sponsor Scivation had a booth at the show - complete with president Marc Lobliner and Rob Moran - providing a few more friendly voices from the audience. I felt that my conditioning was just as good as the year prior, and I was hopeful that the added size I worked so hard for during the year would be noticeable to the judges.
Prejudging was brutal as they put us through the symmetry round and mandatories as one large class, instead of doing callouts as they had in 2007. I shared the middle of the stage with Clement Yearwood during most of the round and could tell it was a tight battle between us. Shaun and Luis were right there as well, pushing us hard.
I was anxious to watch the middleweight class as they typically have the best bodybuilders in the contest. This year was no exception, with defending World Overall champion Jim Cordova facing numerous other WNBF pro winners, such as Clarence McGill, Brandon Greenwood, and Shevon Cunningham. From the beginning it was obvious Cordova did not look to be the same dominant bodybuilder that he was the year before - he looked a bit flat and his color was off. I was most impressed with Brandon Greenwood from England, with solid symmetry and undoubtedly the best condition in the class; and Shevon Cunningham, with a TON of muscle on his frame. Clarence did not look to be as sharp as he had been in some of his prior contests, but still displayed an incredible physique that easily challenged for the top 3. The heavyweights looked solid, but not quite as impressive as in years past. Last year's champ Rodney Helaire undboutedly pushed for the top spot with his massive arms and chest, while Roy Perry displayed an impressive X-frame. Martin Daniels was unquestionably the biggest and most symmetrical guy in the show but was lacking a bit of conditioning, and Steve Subcleff came in as the leanest guy in the class but his structure prevented him from challenging for a top spot.
As the results were called out at the night show, I was hopeful I could achieve my goal of repeating my class win but knew it would be a close call. 5th place went to Joe LoRusso, who improved on his 2007 showing with good symmetry and solid conditioning. Luis Santiago claimed 4th with full muscle bellies, and last year's runner up Shaun Clarida took 3rd with improvements to his already impressive back and arms. Finally, Clement Yearwood's name was called for 2nd, which meant that I had come away with a class win and had successfully defended my title. Clement's personality and physique impressed me greatly - his symmetry is borderline unbeatable and his legs are fantastic - and I congratulated him on a well-fought battle on the stage.
In the middleweights, Shevon Cunningham was relegated to 3rd which drew some boos from the crowd, and Jim Cordova fell to 2nd, giving Brandon a well-deserved class win. The giant Martin Daniels took 3rd in the heavies, with Roy Perry taking 2nd and Rodney Helaire again winning the class.
So, for the 2nd year in a row I went through the symmetry and muscularity rounds at the night show of the WNBF World Championships in an effort to come away with a World Overall Title. In the end, Brandon Greenwood's combination of size, condition, and symmetry proved too much for me to overcome and he headed back to England with an overall trophy in hand. I am a big fan of Brandon's physique and he is a very nice guy as well, so while I pushed him as hard as I could while we were onstage, I was happy to see him get the victory.