06/26/2007 CHRIS CORMIER’S RETURN TO BODYBUILDING

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Chris Cormier hasn't competed in a bodybuilding contest since the 2005 Olympia. Of course, Cormier has had good reason.

That year, Cormier won the San Francisco Invitational and finished second at the Arnold Classic, behind Dexter Jackson. But in 2006, Cormier suffered a severe back injury that put his bodybuilding career in jeopardy. That injury left Cormier unable to walk and in the hospital for nearly two months. Cormier got back on the comeback trail in early 2007, and began to seriously consider a return to stage after this year's Arnold Classic.

When we spoke with Cormier the other day, the Real Deal told us he was weighing in at 285 pounds, at seven percent bodyfat as he prepares for his return to competition at the Montreal Pro on September 8.

"I'm looking to be in my best condition to date," said Cormier, who will also compete in the Atlantic City Pro on September 15. "Because I started preparing a lot earlier than I ever had a chance to before. I have a lot of my heart that's going into this show. I get a chance to show people what I'm really made of.

Cormier's got a lot of people in his corner, including reigning Mr. Olympia Jay Cutler. Cutler, who was in Los Angeles for a guest posing appearance last weekend, stopped by Gold's Venice to train and to help Cormier assess his progress.

"He looks good," Cutler said. "No one's really giving him any credit. His starting point is very, very good because he's lean and he has good shape. He's not overly large, but Chris Cormier has never been overly large. It doesn't matter if his condition is there."

For more on Cormier, go to http://boards.flexonline.com/ib/ikonboard.cgi?s=c01ae05e4712009c40a0d7b97508700f;act=ST;f=1;t=12044. And be sure to check out Hard Times in the September issue of FLEX.

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