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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Toney Freeman

ARNOLD CLASSIC HISTORY 2005, 10th; 2006, 9th; 2007, 3rd; 2008, 7th; 2009, 4th; 2010, 5th; 2011, 9th

JAMES: He means business because he’s finally realized that he really has what it takes. Everything is there for Toney, he just needs to nail his condition and, this is very important, he needs to stay full. He’s a tall man with a wide frame, so if he flattens out, he loses all that impact. One thing that’s been lacking in his career are striated glutes and that’s what he needs to bring to really put himself over the top. This is what the judges want to see, that you’re showing them something more than before and there’s not much more he can improve on because he already has a great physique. So it’s all about the fine points now, like greater detail, and in his case, that means striated glutes. He’s definitely top three, but to be totally honest, I have Toney and Cedric McMillan fighting for one and two.

MUBARAK: The X–Man is always a threat. He has great symmetry and a small waist. When Toney is in the mid-270s to low-280s and conditioned, he can stand next to anyone in the world. A Toney Freeman with glutes will be a hard-to-beat competitor. I could see Toney finishing top three if he’s on. He’s beaten everyone in this lineup pretty much at one point or another. Toney had a very good 2012, but then again, he is one of the best in the world.

NICHOLLS: Freeman has great overall structure that shows well onstage with his height, and he carries a lot of muscle. His consistent downfall is lack of conditioning from the back. He continues to hang in there, but in order to crack one of the top spots, he really needs to show us his best conditioning in years—especially from the back. I see him placing anywhere between fourth through sixth at his best.

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