As I sit here to write this article I’m getting ready to go to Jim Manion’s Pittsburgh Championship (IFBB and NPC show) and cover it for Flex Magazine and Flexonline.com. Everyone knows Jim Manion is the President of the NPC as well as the President of the IFBB Pro League. The Pittsburgh show is one of the best shows in the country every year. Along with the NPC classes it has pro figure, pro bikini and pro men’s physique. These 3 categories have really added to the NPC and IFBB over the last few years. Figure being the first and then followed by bikini and men’s physique. They have given more athletes a chance to call themselves pro and along the way have increased our sports total audience. I like the fact that the NPC and IFBB are now more attractive to everyone and not to a smaller audience of just bodybuilders. This benefits all of us in the industry, great job to the NPC, IFBB and of course Jim Manion for foreseeing this advancement to the general public.
On May 25th in NY Steve Weinberger will be promoting the NY Pro. This show is going to be stacked this year (as it is every year). Being from New York this show is always special for me. This year I’m fortunate enough to coach and work with 7 pros doing this show. That’s a lot of pros in one show but we have been on top of everyone’s prep. You guys will read this after the NY Pro on May 25th and already know the results but I want to share with you a little bit of everyone getting ready for this show. Here’s our team’s list:
Alfonso Del Rio – I nicknamed him “The Spanish Beast” a couple of years ago. He has gotten as big as 360lbs in the off season, that’s big! Alfonso hasn’t competed since the Arnold Europe in 2011. He took a little time off to recover from nagging injuries and opened up another gym in Spain along with his wife the beautiful Fernanda. This prep we started around 325lbs. Right now being 3 weeks out he’s around 300lbs still. He’s harder than he was on stage around 276lbs in 2011. We are looking to get him on stage around 290lbs ish. He will live up to his nickname the Spanish Beast when he hits the stage in 3 weeks.
Aaron Clark – Aaron turned pro at the 2012 USA’s by winning the heavyweight division at only 203lbs and 24 years old. Aaron is a freak of nature. He walks around all year long lean and in great shape. This offseason he got up to 230 – 235 lbs. 3 weeks out he is 220 lbs and has been shredded for a couple of weeks. He was still having cheat meals till last week, lucky him :). I see Aaron doing very well at this show and launching his career as a pro. He will have a great pro career and will win pro shows along the way. He has great potential and I’m excited for him at his pro debut!
Clarence de Vis – Clarence is 5’3 and got up to 252lbs this offseason. Right now 3 weeks out he’s in the mid to high 220’s and is already in his best shape ever. Clarence reminds many people of a mini Kai Greene. Clarence has those small joints and round muscle bellies. He has always had the potential to be very good but never really nailed it on stage. As soon as we started discussing working together I made it clear to him that this prep will be no mercy and he needs to work twice as hard as he has in the past. So far he has and I’m proud of him. A peeled Clarence will be hard to beat even at 5’3 220 lbs on stage!
Manuel Manchado – He is also from Spain and trains occasionally with Alfonso. Manny is a hard working pro. We have worked together for about a year. So far this has been his best prep. He never complains and just puts in work. Manny might slip into the 212 class. He has good size for that class and brings a hard vascular look with dense muscle to the stage. Manny will bring it with his toughness!
Marco Rivera – Marco is my good friend. He’s one of the best people I have ever met because he is a real person, friend, father and IFBB Pro! He’s a man’s man. Marco in 2012 was the leading point getter for the 212 Championship in Vegas. In his first 3 pro shows he finished second twice and fourth at a very tough 2012 NY Pro. This year Marco is bigger than last year and will bring a better package on stage. Nobody works harder then Marco. The man is intense and serious about being an IFBB Pro. Marco will be in the 212 class. Let’s bring it hard to our home town Marco!
Jillian Reville Kelly – I have known Jillian since 2007. I always knew her as a hard worker and someone with strong determination. She started in figure and turned pro in women’s physique. Jillian is known for her great stage presence which a lot of competitors lack. We started working together in late 2012. She has revamped her physique completely. She is fuller, harder and with better lines. NY Pro will be a great showing for her because she can stand in there with any girl in her division. Let’s kill it Jill!
Teresita Morales – Teri is a beast in everything she does. She’s a lawyer and an IFBB Pro, not sure who else can claim that. Both are extremely hard professions. Teri does both very well. The lawyer part speaks for itself in court and her track record, the athlete speaks for her on stage. Teri finished second last year at the NY Pro in woman’s physique. This year like Jill, Teri is bringing a whole different physique to the stage. We listened to the judges and made the necessary changes. She’ll be about 10 to 12 lbs bigger than last year and much better conditioned. Let’s get it Teri!
I of course wish the best to all my clients and I hope each one could win their class even though they are competing against each other. Being 3 weeks out every one of them is better than they have been in the past 3 weeks out. This sport is a subjective judge sport so the best we can do is work our butts off and go into each show knowing that we left no stones unturned. I’m proud of all of them. Remember in this sport your competition is yourself. You have to better yourself everyday to become the best you can be. I’m about to catch a plane to Pittsburgh in a few hours and I still need to pack so let me finish this off by saying thank you to the NPC and the IFBB for giving us a platform to do what we were meant to do, being athletes and champions!