Who Will Claim the 2013 Arnold Classic Title?

Team AMI/Weider experts Dennis James, Chad Nicholls, and Fakhri Mubarak give us their take on whom to watch and who might surprise us all before the night is over at the 2013 Arnold Classic.
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Hidetada YamagishiARNOLD CLASSIC HISTORY 2007, 13th; 2010, 8th

JAMES: Two years ago, he wasn’t as conditioned as he was this past year, but he placed better. Last year, he was one of the hardest guys onstage but he didn’t get any love. At the Arnold, it is gonna be very hard for him to crack the top six because everybody is bigger than him.

MUBARAK: Hide has been top 10 in the world and has placed top two a few times with one win in 2010. When he’s on he looks freaky. He poses to his advantage and knows how to hide any flaws, not that there are many anyway. He’s not a huge bodybuilder, but he holds his own on that stage next to the bigger guys. Hide’s main thing are his glutes. When his glutes are striated, he can stand up there with anyone.

NICHOLLS: Hide is a great athlete, but knowing exactly where he will fi t in could be tough as there are quite a few tall and thickly muscled guys in the lineup who could give him problems. Even when Hide is spot on, he has a tendency to get overlooked because he doesn’t display the type of freaky muscle size and thickness of others in the lineup. For him to move up to the top six or seven spots, he’s really going to need to step over some guys with incredible conditioning. This lineup contains athletes who have “missed it” in the past, and if they miss it here, it could pave the way for several others to move up. Hide usually comes into shows in very good shape. He’s consistent, but I see him needing to show us something really spectacular to overcome some of the bigger andtaller athletes.

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