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2016 Arnold Sports Festival March Madness Preview

In 2015, Dexter Jackson entered the record books with his fifth win. Jackson is skipping it this year, making this a wide-open race for the prestigious Arnold Classic.

The Arnold Classic has come a long way since the 15-man bodybuilding contest debuted in 1989 in Columbus, OH. Rich Gaspari won that show, and since then, there have been 14 champions to hold the title, including Flex Wheeler, Kevin Levrone, Jay Cutler, Ronnie Coleman, Dexter Jackson, and other legends. Growing with the expanding bodybuilding and fitness industry, the Arnold has now morphed into the biggest weekend of the early season. The Fitness International was added in 1994, the Figure International in 2003, the Bikini International in 2011, the Arnold Classic 212 in 2012, and Men’s and Women’s Physique Internationals in 2015. Two-time Fitness International champ Oksana Grishina and Figure International champ Camala Rodriguez-McClure will attempt to defend their crowns. All told, more than 100 IFBB pro athletes will be competing for the prestigious Arnold Classic titles. 

In addition to all the IFBB events, the weekend plays host to the world-famous Arnold Fitness Expo, the largest of its kind, with more than 900 booths displaying the hottest innovations in sports equipment, nutrition, and apparel. Also, thousands of athletes will be on hand to compete in exciting events such as the Arnold Strongman Classic, USA Powerlifting, arm wrestling, CrossFit, cheerleading and dance, model searches, pole fitness, and even Olympic sports like archery, soccer, fencing, gymnastics, equestrian, swimming, and much more. Plus, there’s the Arnold Sportsworld, an expo with sports and activities for kids and teens.

Finally, the weekend concludes with the ever-popular Arnold Sunday Showcase, featuring the winners of the IFBB pro division titles and the man himself, Arnold, covering a wide range of topics and fielding questions from the audience. It all happens March 3 to 6 in Columbus. Go to arnoldsportsfestival.com for the complete schedule. Follow our complete coverage at FLEXonline.com!

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