FLEX NEWS & GOSSIP REPORT for June 20, 2006

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ERNIE EXITS? England’s Ernie Taylor has retired from competitive bodybuilding. After receiving the once-over from the ever objective eyes of Dorian Yates and close friend Kerry Kaye, it was decided that the pec tear that Taylor endured a couple of years ago was too serious and noticeable to continue at the level of competition he had become accustomed to.
“I’m going to use my muscles in another sport,” the 36-year-old said. “I’m taking up (mixed martial arts) fighting, and I’m aiming towards competing in the K1 in the very near future.”
Taylor last competed in 2004, where he finished 10th at the Arnold Classic. His best pro showing was in 2003, where he earned runner-up honors to Jay Cutler at the English Grand Prix and the Grand Prix of Holland.

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CHANGE IS BAD For those who argue you need to frequently change your workouts for results, we give you Exhibit A: Jay Cutler. “My workouts (this week) pretty much mirror the ones that I did the week prior, and to the ones the week before that,” he said, doing his best impression of Bill Murray’s character in Groundhog Day. “As you can see I have had a lot of success. My way of thinking is, if it’s not broken, why try to fix it?” Of course, he has friends who question his methods. “My buddy Dave Bourlet (owner of Max Muscle in Venice) keeps asking me if I get bored with this monotony, but my response is that I’m not here to entertain my brain but to become the best bodybuilder in the world.”
One thing Cutler has promised to change is the final results this year at the Mr. Olympia, where he aims to finally overtake Ronnie Coleman and win his first Sandow trophy. On September 29-30, we’ll see if change is indeed in the air in Las Vegas.

http://web.flexonline.com/images/fl/208866/2265.jpg TEMPLE TACTICS Before Dorian Yates dominated the bodybuilding world, The Shadow had his sights set on another goal: Gym ownership. In May 1987, Yates purchased Temple Gym in Birmingham, England, which has been in existence since 1962. Since then, he has learned about the things that work and the things that don’t work in the fitness industry.
The old Birmingham brickwork building seems to have a special atmosphere conducive to super-intense training. Perhaps it is the sweat and effort of over 30 years of workouts ingrained in the brickwork, or the subterranean dungeon vibe that provides physical isolation from the rest of the world to allow for pure concentration. But in bringing his formula and knowledge to the franchising market, the mighty Brit isn’t looking to sell a one-size-fits-all approach.
“Unlike other gym franchises, we have no minimum floor space requirements and also have various plan options, whether you would prefer it to be a more hardcore facility like my own, a female orientated gym, or more corporate,” Yates explains. “Temple Gym can already be found in the UK, Lanzorote and the U.S.”
Yates has joined forces with International Athletic Associations’ team of fitness professionals, and together they have built a superior franchising package. If you are interested in opening a gym with special oversight and assistance from a six-time Mr. Olympia, you can contact Yates through www.templegym.com.

STRYDOM STRIDES IN, THEN OUT After a 10-year hibernation, Gary Strydom emerged at the Colorado Pro this past May, re-solidified himself as a bodybuilder to be reckoned with in taking seventh place, but then, disappointingly, decided to skip the New York Pro the following week. So was that it?
“No way, bro,” says Strydom in answer to that question. “I just wanted to get my feet wet before I swam the big bodybuilding pool. I knew from the feedback I received that there were a few things I need to work on.”
One of those things is a bit of therapy for his back. “I’m having a little nerve damage that prevented me from spreading my lats in required poses massaged out of my back,” he explains. “The New York show was too close to get that rectified, so I decided to focus more attention launching my new supplement line and filming my new DVD before preparing for the Europa Super Show in Texas August 26. That’s where I’ll get my return ticket to the Olympia stage.” Strydom last competed at the O in 1988, where he came in fifth. Meanwhile, you’ll soon be able to order his DVD, recorded in the several days following his Colorado Pro comeback competition, through www.muscletime.com.

MUSCLE BEACH POSEDOWN If you would like to hit a side chest or maybe a rear double biceps in front of an excited and supportive crowd while placing a foot onto an historic platform, then I encourage you to make your way down to Muscle Beach in Venice.
“It gives guys and girls getting ready for a contest a venue where they can get some stage experience,” says organizer Bee Smith of the stage set up at Muscle Beach this summer. “We also found that it is a great avenue to educate the public and get the community involved to breathe some life into the sport.” Smith has stepped up to the posing dais herself, and said she received a lot of positive feedback. “Many commented it was their first experience of seeing a female bodybuilder.”
Smith and co-organizer Joel Wheatly have received sponsorship backing from bodybuilding.com, CB Suit Designs (a posing suit clothing label Smith owns with world-famous personal trainer Charles Glass), and Gold’s Gym. “With their continued support, we hope to carry on this tradition to spread the good word of bodybuilding,” she adds.
The posing events are held the first Sunday of every month between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. through the month of October.

GET BELTED Tired of your worn out lifting belt, the one that has seen better days . . . perhaps back in 1976? Then check out a new company called Krossbelts. They offer solidly-contructed belts — with a personal touch. “We can inscribe a belt with your own signature, a symbol or picture, and we can even put your recent placings on there, which is what we did for three-time Arnold Classic Champion Jay Cutler,” says company owner Chris Abasta. Learn more at www.krossbelts.com.

LEGENDS GIVEN THEIR DUE Bill Grant and Bill Pearl were honored in front of a massive crowd at the third annual Muscle Beach bodybuilding show July 4. “When I think of Muscle Beach, I think of camaraderie, sunshine, Gold’s and, of course, my brothers in iron,” said Grant after the ceremony. “We bodybuilders used to do everything together. We trained at Gold’s, we would go to eat, relax on the beach and then go hang out. For us, competition was just a small part of what we did; if your training partner beat you in a contest, you would promise him you would beat him next time, which would fire our training sessions that much more. Kris, I wish I could take you and all your readers back in a time machine to show you how great it really was. That was the golden era for me.”

AMATEUR HOUR The 2007 Arnold Fitness Weekend in Columbus, Ohio, will include a brand new NPC bodybuilding show. The Arnold Classic Amateur will be a National qualifier and all competitors with a current NPC card that have placed in the top five of other national qualifying events will be eligible to compete. Categories include men’s bodybuilding, women’s bodybuilding, fitness and figure. Prejudging will take place on Friday March 2, with the finals on Saturday, March 3. Watch www.arnoldclassic.com for more details.

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