Tampa, Florida will set the stage for one of the more competitive shows of the year in the IFBB Pro Bodybuilding Weekly Championship. Taking place this weekend, the show put on by promoter Tim Gardner has no shortage of heavy hitters taking the stage.
Brandon Curry: Coming off an eighth place finish in the IFBB Europe Grand Prix, Curry is looking to serve his detractors a slice of humble pie. Curry has one of the best structures in pro bodybuilding today. However he is plagued by not coming in one hundred percent with his conditioning. If he can come in shredded, as nothing else will do, he can come out with a solid placing and even be in the front running to be a potential winner.
Lee Banks: A competitor at this show last year finishing in 14th place, Banks is back to prove he belongs in the upper echelon of professionals in the IFBB. Banks strength is in his shoulder to waist taper, which is illustrated by his tremendous front lat spread. His weakness lies in his lower body, which lacks the thickness and quad sweep of some of the other top pros on the circuit today.
Clarence Devis: The former 202 competitor is looking to make a splash in the open and in a big way. Devis has a very round physique, meaning his muscles have a good shape to them and have a “pop” to them even when he’s in a relaxed position. His problem is that he never shredded. If he comes in one hundred percent he can upset some of the more established pros.
Toney Freeman: The “X-Man” is back and from the looks of the pictures that have been circulating he shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon. After placing second in the IFBB Pro Masters World (Now the Masters Mr.Olympia) he looks to have improved on an already outstanding physique. Freeman is very complete from head to toe with no real weaknesses. He is tall, so that makes him look a little slight when standing next to someone who is shorter than him, but almost the same weight. Freeman hooked up with Flex contributor Fakrhi Mubarak and it seems to be paying off well.
Timmy Gaillard: Last years NPC Masters champion is making his pro debut here and is looking to make an immediate splash. Gaillard sports pretty good condition but may give up quite a bit of size to some of the other gentlemen showing up. However he can make a good impression if he brings in an improved package from what he displayed last year in Pittsburgh.
Jason Huh: Judging from a recent video of his guest posing at a show, Huh is coming in much bigger than last year and looks to be quite a bit grainier. His issue though is separation in his physique, namely his quads and hamstrings. He will make some guys look small and possibly display his best ever physique. It also comes down to his condition and can he hold it together.
Todd Jewell: Last years NPC Nationals Super Heavyweight and overall winner didn’t take a long offseason to jump into the pro action. Jewell is big with pretty decent symmetry and condition. He could stand to be tighter and thicker from the back and bit more width wouldn’t hurt, but that will come with time and more hard training as a pro.
Shawn Rhoden: Rhoden is having a pretty good year from a competitive standpoint with a top five placing at the Flex Pro Championships and a top ten placing at the Arnold. “Flexatron” is another guy with phenomenal shape and can easily hold lots of muscle. With a recent guest posing video circulating online he has made tremendous improvements in size and conditioning in a short amount of time. Look for him to be in the top five.
Keith Williams: Winning the masters division at the Team Universe in June, Williams has finally ascended to the pro ranks and is diving right in. The Minnesota native has never lacked size and sports pretty good condition, but his shape hinders him a bit although he has made improvements to it over the years. He can match up favorably in this line up as well as fellow big man Todd Jewell.
Roelly Winklaar: Roelly has been working hard over the past few months to show that he’s not another flash in the pan pro. After faltering his last few shows, “The Dutch Beast” is back with what appears to be an improved package. Roelly has show that he can hang with the big boys in the muscle department and has pretty decent shape to boot although he could round out his quads a bit more. For him, I think it’s just a matter of which Roelly shows up. The one where he is placing first or at least top five in a show? Or the one where he is the favorite to win, and ends up a bit disappointing?
With a solid lineup of veterans and rookies showing up, Tampa will have no shortage of action. Look for Dennis James and Team Flex to bring you the latest from the Pro Bodybuilding Weekly Championships this weekend!