El Matador stops by Weider Headquarters
by Allan Donnelly
Bahrain photos courtesy of Khalifa Shaheen Digital Images
April 17, 2008
Silvio Samuel stopped by Weider Headquarters today in Woodland Hills. El Matador had just returned from a month-long trip overseas, spending three weeks in Bahrain and a little over a week in Essen, Germany, for FIBO. The always-conditioned Samuel looked no worse for the wear, though, and was quite pleased to see his back training article in the 25th Anniversary of FLEX. We hadnÂt seen Samuel since his fifth-place finish at the Arnold Classic, so we sat down to catch up and see what else he had planned for 2008.
To see Silvio Samuel's back training article and the rest of the 25th Anniversary issue, pick up the May issue of FLEX, on newsstands now!
FLEX: What have you been up to since the Arnold Classic?
Silvio Samuel: I took a break and went to Bahrain, where I was invited by my good friend Sasha just to have a little rest. I took time there to record some of my third DVD, because I found myself in pretty good condition. So I kept on training and recording for the period I was there. That was three weeks. And I just got back from Essen, Gertmany, where we had the FIBO festival which ended last weekend. It was interesting because lot of people were there, more than last year.
FLEX: Who else did you see over there?
SS: From over here, I met with Phil Heath. Unfortunately his flight was delayed for a day, so he was stuck in London. Also Flex Wheeler and Chris Cormier. We hung out for the whole period we were around. And Dennis Wolf, who took me to his place where he is living. Nice place.
FLEX: Did you and Dennis talk about the upcoming Olympia?
SS: Yes, we focused mostly on the Olympia because that is where our minds met for preparation and focus. He is thinking he is up to the top contender, which is between the top three. I had to tell him I still have some time to make some improvements, but I want to see myself landing in the top five spot.
FLEX: Do you think Dennis will be able to crack the top three this year?
SS: Well, with the absence of Victor, it all depends on what Phil brings in. LetÂs say we can see Dennis between third and fourth place, because it depends on how conditioned Phil is and whoever else is gonna be there.
FLEX: What about you Â when are you competing next?
SS: IÂm not focusing on doing any contests, my main object is going into the Olympia. I really have started my preparation. IÂm focusing mostly on pulling out and bringing out bigger thickness and parts that I need to. I donÂt want to break off any of my training by dieting or preparing for anything before then. IÂm just concentrating on going straight to the Olympia.
FLEX: That will be six months from the last time you competed at the Arnold. When was the last time you took that long of a break from competing?
SS: Since I stared my career as a bodybuilder, since 2001 IÂve never taken any break. IÂve been competing and traveling. So this is the first time for eight years that IÂve taken a break like this. ThatÂs why the improvements IÂm having on my body, the building of the muscle, the new tissue coming up is really impressive, mostly on my back. I look forward on making a big impact and bringing something new to the stage.
FLEX: WeÂve talked about Phil Heath and Dennis Wolf, two of the newer guys who are nearing the top of the game. What do you have to do to be able to compete with those two guys and eventually challenge for the top spot at the Olympia?
SS: IÂm not really in a hurry to come up and be at the top spot at this moment. My body still has more room to improve, I donÂt really see myself at this moment fighting for the top spot. I need the quality to fight with these guys. I am saying top five [for this year] because that is where my body condition could land me. So by , with the improvements I can make, that could help me move into the fourth place or top place. Then I could talk about fighting with these guys when my body really has the qualities to be with these guys fighting for the top spot. So let me say two years.