Imagine being second best, over and over and over again. Tantalized but denied year after year, you’re going to almost, but not quite, fulfill your dream.
Let’s look at it another way. In the 25 Arnold Classics prior to this year, 16 men finished second. Of those, four did so multiple times. Three were runner-up twice, but two of those subsequently won the title, and the third is Phil Heath, who takes great consolation in his Sandow collection. Cormier is the odd man out. Not only is he the only person to be second more than twice and the only person to be second more than twice who never won, but he was also second a ludicrous six times. All in a row.
For six straight years from 2000 to 2005, he fended off all challengers—except one. For him, it was torturous. But, with time, we can place his achievement in perspective. Competitive bodybuilding is, first and foremost, about victories, but judging panels rank entrants from best to worst, and the Arnold trails only the Olympia for lineup quality. So let’s give only congratulations to Cormier and no condolences. A half-dozen consecutive runner-up finishes in bodybuilding’s No. 2 contest is a string of consistent excellence worthy of celebration. To honor it, we present the six training tenets that made Chris Cormier almost but not quite unbeatable for six straight Arnold Classics.
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