PUTNAM PASSING ON USAS

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Peter Putnam will focus on the 2008 NPC Nationals

by Allan Donnelly

May 22, 2008

FLEXONLINE.COM

It's not so much a prediction as much as it is a fact: Peter Putnam will not duplicate his performance from last year's NPC USA Bodybuilding, Fitness and Figure Championships in Las Vegas, Nevada, where he won the light heavyweight class. But history will not fail to repeat itself because there will be a better bodybuilder standing in his way. Putnam will not be repeating his winning performance because he won't be competing, instead choosing to focus his efforts on winning the light heavyweight class, and an elusive pro card, at the 2008 NPC Nationals in Atlanta, Georgia.

"I was very pleased with my outing last year," Putnam said. "I felt like going in there and taking the class solidified my status as a top amateur. Even though I didn’t get the pro card I walked away with a sense of it being more about the timing. I just just wasn’t my time."

Unfortunately for Putnam, it wasn't his time at the Nationals either, where he finished as the runner-up to Charles Dixon in the light heavyweight class in an extremely close decision.

"Winning my class at the USAs was a very proud moment in my career," Putnam said. "Now since the only thing that I’ve not done is take my class at the Nationals ... I feel kind of like I did in 2006 when I was the runner up at the USAS, then came back in '07 and sealed the deal. I would like to do same at the Nationals."

Putnam is in the midst of what he says has been a productive offseason in which he plans to get up to around 240 pounds, 15 more than he was a year ago. Putnam barely made weight at last year's Nationals, when he had to weigh in twice to make the light heavyweight class limit of 198 1/4 pounds.

"Making weight is going to be a big challenge," Putnam said. "This offseason has been about improving upon my existing package. A big eeciding factor was the amount of time to have an offseason. If I was to have done this year's USAs, I would have been basically replicating the same package that I brought to the Nationals. I want to take the time to further my physique and come in fuller, rounder and harder with more detail. I want to walk out on stage and as soon as the judges see me have them say, It's his class tonight. But I’m not going there just for the class win. I’m going there to try to take the overall."

According to Putnam, the fact that the Nationals will be held in Atlanta, Georgia, was extra motivation.

"It's a big deal being back in my hometown of Atlanta, the first place i ever competed," Putnam said. "That's where I first stood on stage and that's where I'm hoping to earn my pro card."

Since he won't be competing, who does Putnam see as the favorites to earn pro cards at the USAs?

"You never know who could show up," Putnam said. "When Phil Heath won the overall in 2005 there was a guy by the name of Fakri Mubari who knocked out everyone and took them all by surprise, so you never know. Deshaun Grimez went from 12th or 13th to winning his class the next year. But with the names I know entering the show, if Brandon Curry is in shape, Brandon Curry gets one of the two cards. I don’t want to put my money on anyone else because going to be a fight. The Superheavies for me is a big unknown. I think you wil see some new names emerge in the light heavies. As far as I’m concerned, the light heavyweight class is wide open."

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