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Kevin Levrone's Remarkable Bodybuilding Career

How the Maryland Muscle Machine became a legend.

Ronnie Coleman, Flex Wheeler, Chris Cormier, Paul DeMayo, and Matt Mendenhall—that’s just a partial list of heavyweight legends in the 1991 NPC Nationals, the greatest amateur bodybuilding class of all time. When Kevin Levrone, a nearly unknown from Baltimore, won, it was only the first time he shocked the bodybuilding world. He did it again a year later when, as a rookie, he nearly seized the Sandow. And he kept surprising us until 2003 when he retired without really retiring. On Sept. 16–17 on the Olympia stage, where he has contended for the title 12 out of 12 times before, he aims to do it again.


In 1992, Levrone launched one of the all-time greatest pro careers by winning a show a week after his debut and placing a stunning second in the Mr. Olympia. It was a precursor to the dominance that followed. He went on to win more open pro shows (19) in the 1990s than any other competitor. Competing in 62 IFBB contests from 1992–2003, he won 20 (32%). He was in the top two 37 times (60%), and 48 times he made the top three (77%). His placing percentage is 2.41. (Coleman’s is 3.59.) Only once did he miss the posedown. No one who has competed as much as the Maryland Muscle Machine has compiled a greater record of consistent excellence—and he racked up most of his gold, silver, and bronze finishes during the 1990s against the deepest bodybuilding lineups of all time.


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