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The Battle for the Olympia 2006 DVD Review Bodybuilding Video & DVD Reviews Reviews of Bodybuilding DVDs Produced by MOC Video The Battle for the Olympia 2006 DVD Review

Battle for the Olympia 2006 XI (DVD) Mitsuru Okabe produces one of the most powerful and hard core bodybuilding videos since 1996. "The battle for the Olympia" is most well-known, but many other individual videos, too. BUY IT NOW Battle for the Olympia 2006 XI (DVD)




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The DVD started off with some footage of the DVD to come. All of the pros in question were impressive and were training for what appeared like it would be a very tough Mr. Olympia contest. Victor Martinez was looking to display a great overall package and the Vince Taylor was looking amazing for any age - let alone for a 50 year old! Branch Warren's thickness was scary.

Ronnie Coleman
September 4th, 2006
Monday 3:05PM

Metroflex Gym
2921 S. Cooper #110
Arlington, TX 76015

Ronnie started out by wrapping his elbows and picking up some 70 pound dumbbells for some easy reps on the flat bench. He had his training partner hand him the 100 pounders for another set, where he pumped on some more easy reps on the flat bench. He next picked up the 120 pounders and did 14 reps which looked pretty easy for him too. He did the 140s next for 14 reps. After that he did the 155s for 12 reps. Interestingly, in "The Unbelievable" DVD, Ronnie did the 200 pound dumbbells for 12 reps with better form (deeper reps).

Ronnie Coleman - The Unbelievable Ronnie Coleman - The Unbelievable (DVD)
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Although Ronnie was still a beast, his strength appeared to be down so far in the DVD. That was Ronnie's heaviest set in his chest workout, and he reduced the weight and went down for an additional set before hitting the incline dumbbell press exercise. He did 13 reps with 120 pounds on that exercise. Ronnie then did the 150s for 12 reps which I felt was his most impressive set so far in the DVD because it was on the incline for the same number of reps he did the 155s for on the flat bench. Next Ronnie moved on to the decline press. His first set was for 14 reps using 120 pounds. Next he did 13 reps using 140 pounds. Ronnie went back to the 150 pounders for 11 reps.

What did you notice so far about the description of Ronnie's workout? Simple - all hard, heavy, and basic. No fancy machines, just hard and heavy free weights.

Ronnie hit a set of skullcrushers for triceps next which he superset with close grip bench presses using the same weight. This is a simple superset and can be performed using the same cambered bar. After the skullcrushers are complete, simply perform close grip bench presses until you reach failure - a great way to compound two usefull triceps exercises. After doing a couple more of these supersets, Ronnie moved on to performed some triceps overhead pullovers on the cable machine. After he was finished with the cables, Ronnie performed triceps kickbacks and then flat bench crunches, performing them one side at a time. Ronnie then performed a type of stretch for his triceps where he lay on the flat bench and held a 45 pound plate behind his head for about a minute. After his stretch was complete, he performed cable crunches with a rope. Ronnie went back on the flat bench and performed more crunches alternating to each side and then doing complete crunches (both sides at once). After doing some more of this series of exercises, he went to perform hanging leg raises.

After Ronnie's workout was complete, he stripped down to his posing briefs to hit some poses. He hit the following poses:

  • Front Relaxed
  • Front Double Biceps
  • Front Lat Spread
  • Right Side Chest
  • Rear Double Biceps
  • Rear Lat Spread
  • Left Side Triceps
  • Abs and Thigh
  • Crab Most Muscular
  • Hands Clasped Most Muscular
  • Hands on Hips Most Muscular

Ronnie hit a few of the same poses for a second time. Ronnie said his current weight was 302 pounds and said he would be ready to hit the stage in four weeks (and of course, there were four weeks to go). He said he was small at the 2005 Mr. Olympia contest and would be bigger in 2006.

Ronnie Coleman Battle for the Olympia 2006 DVD

Ronnie Coleman Battle for the Olympia 2006 DVD

Johnnie O. Jackson
Hurst Texas
September 7th, 2006
Thursday, 3:03PM

416 W. Bedford-Euless Road
Hurst, TX 76053
1-817-268-FITT (3488)

Johnnie introduced Kirk Stroud and his Wife Sam who owned the gym he was training at. He went into the gym and introduced a weight belt he got in Japan on a guest pose. He said that he was proud to be wearing the belt.

Johnnie started off his shoulders workout with seated machine presses (no Smith machine variety). Johnnie said that his goal weight at the 2006 Mr. Olympia was around 250 pounds. Johnnie's height is around 5'7, so he is very thick for his height, and for that matter, very thick for any height. He has one of the thickest chests in the business and even in the entire history of bodybuilding. His traps are also crazy big. Johnnie continued with pressing motions for his delts workout and moved on to seated presses with dumbbells. Johnnie hit a most muscular pose in his tank top after one of his sets. Mitsuru asked Johnnie a series of questions during his segment, and Johnnie answered the questions very well. Johnnie talked in detail about his nutrition for shows an in between shows as well. Johnnie performed standing lateral raises for delts next. Johnnie has gone up to 100 pounds on this exercise before and with decent form too, although he did not go that heavy during this DVD. Johnnie performed upright rows and also used cables to work his shoulders in his workout. Johnnie continued with his upright rows and I think his workout techniques were a lot the same as those exhibited by the bodybuilding legend Sergio Oliva - hard and fast reps all the time. Johnnie moved back to the cables and then hit some poses - the front relaxed pose and crab most muscular pose. He performed triceps pushdowns with a very thick wide bar and was looking very good - on track to be ready for the show and with tremensdous chest thickness. Johnnie moved on to performed skullcrushers using the olympic bar with 135 pounds total. His range of motion was limited but he was using a lot of weight and has always had good triceps. Johnnie then performed kickbacks for his triceps. Johnnie's wife Rebecca showed up in the DVD next and she reacted a lot the same way that Troy Alves' wife did when she appeared in the 2003 Battle for the Olympia DVD. She was a little embarassed but also supportive of her husband's activities. Johnnie finished his workout which was a total of 38 minutes long.

Next Johnnie posed in the changing room, hitting the following poses:

  • Front Relaxed
  • Front Double Biceps
  • Front Lat Spread
  • Left Side Triceps
  • Rear Double Biceps
  • Rear Lat Spread
  • Left Side Triceps
  • Left Side Serratus
  • Abs and Thigh
  • Crab Most Muscular
  • Hands clasped Most Muscular

Johnnie O. Jackson Seated Dumbbell Press Battle for the Olympia 2006 DVD

Johnnie O. Jackson Hands Clasped Most Muscular Battle for the Olympia 2006 DVD

September 9th, 2006
Saturday Morning
Less than three weeks before the 2006 Mr. Olympia (Friday prejudging)

Branch Warren's Maximum Fitness
630 E. Southlake Blvd.; Suite 200
Southlake, TX 76092

Branch Warren's mother Lea introduced Branch's gym and Branch started his workout at 10:26 AM. After a brief warmup using light dumbbells, Branch hit cable curls for his biceps and his training partner Jay Moore followed suit. Within no time, Branch was performing the exercise with the full weight stack. After some more heavy sets on that exercise, Branch took off his shirt and started to work out in his tank top. He moved to standing alternate dumbbell curls for biceps. David Jacobs worked in with Branch and Jay next, also performing standing alternate dumbbell curls. David was looking thick and grainy and displaying good vascularity. His thickness was obvious not on Branch's level, but he look inredible by himself. Obviously, it's hard for anyone to look thick standing next to Branch. Branch went up to some very heavy dumbbells during this section of the DVD then went on to perform seated machine preacher curls, an excellent biceps exercises which keeps the tension on the biceps throughout the entire range of motion much like cable machines do.

After his biceps workout was complete, Branch moved on to hit triceps, making his whole workout an arms day. Within no time, Branch was using the entire stack on the pushdown machine. His next exercise for triceps was the triceps curl machine which I use sometimes during my triceps workout but which I do not like very much. At this point in the review, I should point out how INCREDIBLY THICK Branch was and really make an effort to emphasize that. His thickness was crazy. All bodybuilders who make it to the Mr. Olympia level are thick no doubt, but Branch was the thickest so far in the DVD - even thicker than Ronnie. It was crazy. Pound for pound, he had more muscle popping off his frame than any other pro competing. His chest was as thick as a phonebook. His shoulders were popping off his frame and his arms were about as big as I imagine they will ever get.

Branch's next exercise for triceps was rope pushdowns for triceps. After his workout was complete, Branch hit the following poses:

  • Front Double Biceps
  • Left Side Chest
  • Left Side Triceps
  • Rear Double Biceps
  • Crab Most Muscular Pose
  • Hands Clasped Most Muscular Pose
  • Hands on Hips Most Muscular Pose

Branch Warren Standing Alternate Dumbbell Curls Battle for the Olympia 2006 DVD

Branch Warren Machine Preacher Curls Battle for the Olympia 2006 DVD

Branch Warren Hands Clasped Most Muscular Pose Battle for the Olympia 2006 DVD



September 10th, 2006
Sunday Morning
New York
19 days to go

Bev Francis Powerhouse Gym
235-C Robbins Lane
Syosset, NY 11791

Steve Weinberger introduced his gym and was present with his wife, former female bodybuilding legend Bev Francis, and their children, Haley and Tara. Victor talked about his mother who had just passed away five days before the day of Victor's training on the DVD. In the 2002 Battle for the Olympia, Darrem Charles' mother had just been murdered the day before his training was filmed. Both horrible events, and both no doubt affected the contest prep of both bodybuilders.

Victor started his workout with long bar lat pulldowns to the front. Armando Pena came to work in with Victor. Victor has one of the biggest backs in the business. Victor's next exercise was dumbbell rows on the incline bench performing the exercise with two dumbbells at a time. I generally perform this exercise on the flat bench and with one dumbbell at a time. Victor hit some poses and moved on to some additional back work on other exercises. Victor plugged his sponsor, MHP, and then moved on to perform t-bar rows on the t-bar rowing machine. Victor took off his tank top briefly and hit some poses. He was looking very good. The first thing that crossed my mind was that his chest was looking a little flat, but that is difficult to definitively say. He was training back, so no doubt, other muscles would not have a pump. His back and also his biceps would have one of course. Victor moved on to perform deadlifts which is one of my favourite exercises for back. I personally love this exercise, but dislike it unless I can use chalk. A belt helps too, but chalk is essential to me and is much better than wearing straps. Chalk will bind your palms to the bar whereas straps will only grip your wrists. Victor was using straps and a belt as he performed the exercise and quickly moved up to 315 pound deadlifts for reps after a brief warmup. He started the exercise at the top of the range of motion by removing the loaded olympic bar off the rack. Ideally, this exercise should be started from the floor because it is a "dead lift" after all - an exercise to see how much dead weight you can lift off the ground. However, I would argue that bodybuilders will benefit from lifting the weight off the rack since their goal is to build muscle and not strength. A bodybuilder should not be concerning about the difficulty of lifting the weight off the floor for the first rep - powerlifting is another story of course. Victor moved on to perform deadlifts using 365 pounds for reps. His triceps were looking very large and defined. Victor did some cable work for his back and then started training without his tank top. Victor hit a few poses and then went back to his normal workout.

  • Front Relaxed
  • Left Side Relaxed
  • Rear Relaxed
  • Right Side Relaxed
  • Front Double Biceps
  • Front Lat Spread
  • Left Side Chest
  • Left Side Triceps
  • Rear Double Biceps
  • Rear Lat Spread
  • One Hand on Hip Most Muscular Pose
  • Abs and Thigh
  • Hands Clasped Most Muscular Pose
  • Hands on Hips Most Muscular Pose

Victor repeated some of the same poses and looked awesome - his skin was very thin and his muscles were popping out of it. Another DVD that Victor looked just as good in would be his "Mass Attack" DVD - his thin skin and vascularity were present throughout:

Victor Martinez - Mass Attack Series Vol. 1 (DVD) Victor Martinez - Mass Attack Series Vol. 1 (DVD)
Retail Price: $39.95 Our Price: $27.99



Victor Martinez Left Side Chest Battle for the Olympia 2006 DVD

Victor Martinez Hands Clasped Most Muscular Pose Battle for the Olympia 2006 DVD

September 12th, 2006
Heading to Southern Florida

3210 Oakwood Blvd.
Hollywood, FL 33020

Bill Wilmore entered the gym wearing a Vyotech t-shirt - the same company that bodybuilding legend Shawn Ray works for. Bill started off his chest training on the Smith machine on an incline bench. He quickly moved up to 315 pounds and then to 365, and followed up his incline machine work with a strip set. He took off his shirt and started training in a tank top next and did seated machine presses with two plates per side. Hany Rambod is Bill's trainer and Hany pens an article entitled "Pro Creator" in Muscular Development magazine. Bill moved on to perform the seated machine presses with three plates per side which equates to 270 pounds plus the weight of the sled. Bill's next exercise was flat dumbbell flyes. Tom Richardson appeared in the DVD to spot Bill on this exercise. Bill performed cable flyes next. He was training with intensity and you could hear it. While I wouldn't say the weights Bill was lifting were very heavy, his subjective intensity level was certainly high. Shawn Ray and Bill Wilmore are both sponsored by Vyotech Nutritionals.

Vyotech Nutritionals

Vyotech Nutritionals

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Bill hit the following poses at the close of his segment:

  • Front Relaxed
  • Front Double Biceps
  • Front Lat Spread
  • Left Side Chest
  • Left Side Triceps
  • Rear Lat Spread
  • Rear Double Biceps
  • Abs and Thigh
  • Hands Clasped Most Muscular
  • Crab Most Muscular

Bill Wilmore Standing Relaxed in the Gym Battle for the Olympia 2006 DVD

Bill Wilmore Traditional Crab Most Muscular Pose Battle for the Olympia 2006 DVD

September 13th, 2006 Wednesday Morning 16 days to go

Fitness 21
15451 SW 13 Lane
Sunrise, FL 33326

Vince Taylor appeared walking into the gym and his contest history was shown scrolling down the screen - talk about a long and impressive list! The following blurb was shown on the DVD:

17X IFBB PRO Contest winner
5X Masters Olympia Winner
Born in 1956, 50 years young
Vince Taylor

Vince started off by strapping on a waist belt and going to perform some stretching activities on a Nautilus lat pulldown machine - the time was 8:53 AM. He started to do some pulldowns on the plate loaded machine started off with 45 pounds and performing each side individually. It looked like he was stretching his muscles before his workout was beginning - I had never seen anyone perform a stretch like this before, but whatever Vince does obviously works. Vince added some more plates and after a few minutes passed, I realized that Vince was not warming up, but that what he was doing was his actual workout - I had honestly never seen anything like it before and even in his 1990 training video produced by GMV, he did not train like that.

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I was very surprised, but like I said - it obviously works for him. Vince moved on to perform other back exercises in exactly the same way as he performed his first one. I can't even say what he was doing because the exercises he was doing had no names - they were his own creation and while clearly working the lats, I have no clue how they could possibly be better than conventional back exercises. He said the exercises were "old school" and "you can't try this at home" and that he was a paid professional. Uh - say what? Vince's entire workout seriously looked like a warmup. Although he was sweating and seemingly getting the job done. Vince said that his style was old school but with new technique and that his style was totally unique. He then plugged his training DVD and said "gotta buy it" - allow me to say one thing: don't kid yourself into thinking that Vince's workout is the magic bullet or anything. Vince trains, eats, and takes supplements, and grows as his genetics allow. Do you own thing, and don't think for a second only one technique will give you gains. You will see that you can grow in a variety of different ways if you train hard, eat right, and get adequate rest.

After Vince's back workout was complete, he hit calves. He started by saying "time to wake up some 50 year old calves" - Vince's calves are awesome. What is worth noting is that black bodybuilders are generally known for their trim waists, but also for their lack of calf development relative to white bodybuilders (who generally have larger waists). Vince's calf workout seemed a lot more conventional than his back workout and even then it was a bit unorthodox. He explained the importance of stretching the calves, but this is more of Vince's "old school" nonsense. As far as I'm concerned, a kitten could get through his workout. Vince will go down in history as one of the greatest bodybuilders of all time with perhaps the greatest longevity EVER in the history of bodybuilding, but his workout techniques were nothing special.

After Vince's calf workout was complete he drove to another location for some posing:

Planet Fitness
9057 Taft Street
Pembroke Pines, FL 33024

Vince hit some poses and displayed his excellent posing ability. Like bodybuilding, I feel that posing too comes naturally to Vince. Not to disrespect his work ethic, but he strikes me more and more as a genetic phenomenon every time I see him train, watch him pose, or hear about his diet. It seems like he does everything in unorthodox and dare I say LAZY ways but still does it very well. He works out in a way which does not look intense (despite his sweat), he eats what seems like an unregimented diet, and he poses almost naturally...effortless...yet is still among the best bodybuilders in the world, going on 51 years of age!

Vince Taylor Working Out Back Battle for the Olympia 2006 DVD

Vince Taylor's Calves Battle for the Olympia 2006 DVD

September 14th, 2006
Heading to Northern Florida

Dexter pulled up to the driveway in his car with the license plate

"BLADE". He introduced his 2006 Rangerover and headed to the gym.

World Gym
Fitness Centers
14255 Beach Blvd.
Jacksonville, FL 32250

Dexter started off with flat barbell presses using 135 pounds and then went to 225 pounds. Dexter said that he wasn't feeling it that day and was feeling tired and drained but would have to suck it up. He repped out the 225 pretty easily and went to 315 which he did for 10 fairly easy reps. He then did 10 harder reps with 365 which was proof to me he had a bit more in him with the 315. Dexter's next exercise for chest was flat dumbbell flyes. Dexter said that his current weight was 237. Joe McNeil is Dexter's nutritionist. Dexter has been one of the most consistent bodybuilders in the history of bodybuilding. His condition has been incredible at just about every show he has ever entered. After finishing his dumbbell flyes, Dexter moved to the Smith machine to do some incline presses. He did 315 for eight reps. After his workout was complete, Dexter hit some poses. In addition to being near contest condition, he was very full. Dexter is one of the most consistent bodybuilders in the history of bodybuilder as far as conditioning is concerned. He is comparable to Shawn Ray and Rich Gaspari as far as this is concerned. Check out the review of Dexter's DVD to see his conditioning and strength and how it compares to his performance in this workout on the road to the Olympia:

dexter-jackson-t2-tn.jpg Titans Vol. II, III, IV (DVD)
Retail Price: $99.99 Our Price: $69.99



Dexter Jackson Training Chest Battle for the Olympia 2006 DVD

Dexter Jackson Abs and Serratus Pose Battle for the Olympia 2006 DVD

September 15th, 2006
Friday Morning
2 Weeks Out
Visiting Arizona

4925 West Bell Road, #C-7
Glendale, AZ 85308

Troy started his back workout with long bar lat pulldowns. Troy spoke about how he put on quality size but without sacrificing his conditioning or aesthetics. Frankly there is no other way - if you need to sacrifice either of the two aforementioned items in the pursuit of muscular bulk, it is not worth it - then again, the way bodybuilding contests are judged these days a lot of people do exactly that and still place better than they did when they were smaller and more aesthetic and/or conditioned. Troy hit deadlifts next, performing them on the Smith machine and going up to four plates (405 pounds) for reps. Troy hit shrugs on the Smith machine next, and performed them behind the back. Lee Haney said that is a great way to perform them for the logical reason being that the traps are situated on the back, and therefore should be stimulated from behind. Troy's form was not that great, as he bent his elbows too much. After his shrugs were complete, Troy performed triangle bar lat pulldowns for his back. This is one of my favourite back exercises, as it feels great and you can really tell the muscle is being worked. Troy introduced Frank Nezdoba and A.J. Jarrell who were both with him during his workout. Next Troy hit some poses. Troy has a very elegant physique. As I've said many times before, his physique is straight out of the seventies. He has been known to lack conditioning in his glutes, but I honestly think he has been judged too harshly in this area. His physique is one of a greek god. He seriously appears to be carved from stone, and not a lot of pros these days have Troy's set of qualities - he is still able to compete in a very competitive professional era while having such a sculpted and classic physique. Troy's classic physique was also displayed in his "Titans" DVD produced by MuscleTime:

dexter-jackson-t2-tn.jpg Titans Vol. II, III, IV (DVD)
Retail Price: $99.99 Our Price: $69.99



Troy Alves Front Double Biceps Battle for the Olympia 2006 DVD

Troy Alves in a Classic Pose Battle for the Olympia 2006 DVD

September 16th, 2006
Saturday Morning
Visiting Las Vegas, Nevada

Gold's Gym
4720 W. Sahara
Las Vegas, NV 89102

Jay started his workout at 1:29PM. He started off his workout with lat pulldowns to the front with a reverse (underhand) grip with straps. Jay used the entire stack and threw a small plate on for good measure. Jay moved on to deadlifts next, starting with 225 pounds, and then going to 315, and 405. He did both the 315 and the 405 for six reps. He did the 405 for another set of six. Jay's next back exercise was dumbbell rows which he performed by holdong on to the dumbbell rack for support. I sometimes perform dumbbell rows in this manner as well. Jay quickly moved up to the 165 pounders which he did for reps. He did the 180s next and did 10 reps. Although Jay was wearing a tank top, his back thickness was very apparent. For his next exercise, Jay did t-bar rows, and performed them by using an olympic bar at the corner of the room. He did eight plates (360 pounds) for 13 reps on his second set. After doing another set, Jay did barbell rows for his lats, using two plates (225 pounds) and then three plates (315 pounds). Next Jay hit cable rows for his back where he did the entire stack plus a plate for reps. You might say that Jay's back workout was basic, but it was not just basic - it was everything! His back workout consisted of almost every back exercise I can think of lol. It was some serious volume. He used the long bar for this exercise. Jay then took off his tank top to hit another cable exercise for back. His back thickness was crazy and you should all know by now how wide Jay's back is - if you don't know by now, check out the pictures for yourself. Jay's back is crazy and currently the best in the world!

Next, Jay thanked his sponsor, Muscletech. Muscletech is a very big supplement name in the bodybuilding world right now and while I haven't used their products since 2004, I was a big fan during my early years started out.


MuscleTech Supplements

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Some people say that pro bodybuilders have no use for supplements when steroids and other drugs are more effective - but you have to think about it like this: if Jay Cutler gets as many MuscleTech products as he wants free of charge, what would it hurt to use them?

Jay finished his back workout at 2:27PM, which meant that he bombed it for an hour straight - hard and heavy. Jay took off his clothes and hit some poses. At 290 he was SHREDDED. He was the most muscular so far in the DVD - even bigger than Ronnie if you can believe it. He was full and dare I say - his waist was small. At least, small relative to his mass. His taper was pretty good, and this is not because Jay does have a small waist (it is fairly large in fact), but because his muscles are so damn big, it makes it look almost small. Jay spoke a little about his diet and was eating white basmati rice and fish at the time. His wife Kerry was with him at the gym - she has always been a great supporter of what Jay does.

Jay Cutler Traditional Crab Most Muscular Calves Battle for the Olympia 2006 DVD

Jay Cutler Rear Lat Spread Battle for the Olympia 2006 DVD

September 18th, 2006
Tucson, Arizona
11 days to go

5851 E. Speedway Blvd.
Tucson, AZ 85712

David Henry started out by showing his log book and saying that he keeps track of his progress in it and sets goals to be stronger every workout - quite impressive during a diet. David Henry's biceps workout started out at 4:37PM with seated alternate dumbbell curls. David went up to some fairly heavy dumbbells for the seated curls and moved on to perform some work with the cambered (EZ) bar.

David started his back workout and performed lat pulldowns, but not on the standard cable machine. David's girlfriend Nicki Jamrog showed up in the DVD to assist David. David pretty well loaded up the machine with 45 pound plates and cranked out reps. His back is a strong part, both visually, and in terms of sheer physical strength. David explained that he does not do a lot of exercises for a given body part - that he limits his exercises and basically does what he feels is most effective.

After David's workout is complete, he hit some poses. He was looking very dense and full and on track to have a good showing two weeks later at the Mr. Olympia. I don't think David weighed any more than 200 pounds for that show.

David Henry - Monster Muscle Workout (DVD) David Henry - Monster Muscle Workout (DVD)
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David Henry Seated Alternate Dumbbell Curls Battle for the Olympia 2006 DVD

David Henry Hands Clasped Most Muscular Pose Battle for the Olympia 2006 DVD

September 21st, 2006
Thursday Morning
8 days out
Atlanta, Georgia

Forum Athletic Club
6000 Medlock Bridge Parkway
Alpharetta, GA 30022

Toney started his back workout with some dumbbell work. He hit dumbbell rows and followed it up with lat pulldowns. Toney has filled out his 6'2 frame nicely, but still has more room on his frame for muscle mass, which sounds crazy since he competes over 280 and shredded. Jay Hammett showed up during Toney's segment. Toney went on to perform cable rows for back next. Toney next performed t-bar rows. He hit some poses in his tank top and he was looking good, and in fact was very close (in every way) to what Gunter looked like at about the same time out from the Mr. Olympia. Toney's tiny waist was apparent which made for a dramatic taper. Toney performed lat pulldowns with the short handlebars. Toney was eight days away from the Mr. Olympia at the time of the workout, and I think if he dropped a little water and brought out some extra fullness, he would do very well. Toney performed shrugs on the Smith machine. Just like Troy Alves, he performed them from behind, and just like Troy Alves, he performed them by bending his elbows too much. After performing them from the rear, he quickly moved into a set performing them from the front.

Toney moved from back to shoulders, started with barbell overhead press performing the movement both from the front and from the rear. He then did a superset with upright rows. Toney said he was applying the Weider muscle confusion principle. He also did standing lateral raises, and went very slowly and held the dumbbells at the top of the range of motion. Toney then moved on to perform the exercise on a flat bench, also holding the dumbbells at the top of the range of motion. It appeared to me that Toney's diet (likely carb restricted at this point) was preventing him from getting a pump during his workout. Not to say he didn't look very muscular, but his muscles were not as tight and pushing against the skin as they could be. I have seen pro bodybuilders appear flatter despite very hard workouts, and so Toney wasn't too bad, but I know he had been fuller before. Toney hit some poses in his shorts and in the commentary, Toney urged fans to come to shows rather than just relying on the internet and magazines for results. Toney thanked his sponsors including GPX.

Toney Freeman Battle for the Olympia 2006 DVD

Toney Freeman Battle for the Olympia 2006 DVD

September 23rd, 2006
Saturday Morning
6 days left
Fullerton, California

Dennis "The Menace" James started off with some commentary discussing his life as it related to general bodybuilding topics. Dennis started off his chest workout with flat dumbbell press, going up to 120 pound dumbbells for 12 reps, and then moving to incline bench presses on the Smith machine. Dennis said that his weight was in the 270s (Dennis is 5'8). He quickly moved up to 315 pounds which he handled fairly easily. Dennis then started performing reps one at a time with a distinct pause between each rep and with a restricted range of motion (not going all the way down). At this point, Dennis was woking out in a tank top. Dennis moved on to a plate loaded machine for flyes which he performed on a flat bench. Next Dennis performed cable crossovers and it was during this set that his form became very apparent. This exercise displayed his structure, his size, and his conditioning all at once. He was shredded, full, and had very thin skin. His muscles were popping out of his skin and not flat - take a mental note of what Toney looked like during his segment and compare it to what Dennis looks like during his. You will see what I mean about fullness versus being flat. Dennis hit some relaxed poses in his tank top briefly and his muscles were popping off of him. His muscles were grainy and hard and I don't know what Dennis did for contest preparation, but whatever it was, it appeared to be working. Dennis has been known for always looking great going into a contest, but coming in flat or over spilled. That being said, I think that is partially a self fulfilling prophecy. I think in some way, Dennis tells himself that he will always peak too early for a contest, and that becomes reality. That is just a thought though. Dennis hit some flyes on the pec deck machine next. Dennis went to the change room next to hit some poses wearing his tank top next. I don't know why he left his tank top on, but presumably he felt that his abs were washed out at this point in his contest prep, or that he was otherwise smooth in an area that his tank top covered. Frankly, I don't see how that is possible because when he hit a traditional crab most muscular pose, even his traps appeared to be striated. Mitsuru included the following in the DVD:

"We called DJ many times during the Olympia weekend. But because he was so sick, DJ needed to conserve his enegery for the actual contest. As a result, he was unable to pose for us."

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Dennis James Traditional Crab Most Muscular Pose Battle for the Olympia 2006 DVD

Dennis James Incline Barbell Bench Press on the Smith Machine Battle for the Olympia 2006 DVD

September 24th, 2006
5 days out
Venice, California

Gold's Gym
Venice, CA 90291

Gunter started his workout with incline bench presses on the Smith machine. Charles Glass was training him as he has been doing since at least 2002. Gunter hit some poses in between his sets and was looking good. His DVD "Star Power" produced by MuscleTime highlighted his training as he prepared for the 2006 Mr. Olympia contest. Gunter performed flyes for his chest using the same machine exercise that Dennis James used in the previous segment. Gunter also performed this plate loaded exercise on the flat bench. Gunter hit a most muscular pose and was looking tight and full. His skin was (and always has been) thin and had a very good natural tone, although not dark enough for a bodybuilding stage. Gunter hit some poses and was looking very well. Gunter performed lateral raises for his shoulders. His massive size, combined with his stature, makes him a very dominant bodybuilder. He also performed front raises using a 45 pound plate - "plate presses" which is a great exercise that I sometimes include in my shoulder workout also. Mitsuru really lucked out by filming Gunter during his best day leading up to the Mr. Olympia. As I mentioned in the review of the DVD, Gunter was at his best during his shoulder workout. The other days he looked good also, but his shoulders day was definitely the best, and he looked better that day than he did during the actual Mr. Olympia contest, where he placed 10th, down from his usual top five position where he has been since 2002. Gunter talked about improving over his condition from 2005, but honestly that was not necessary. I think it's great that bodybuilders focus on improving, but sometimes they should simply focus on replication - why mess with a winning formula? Gunter hit some upright rows, and he was displaying the fullness that Dennis James had in his segment, and the condition that Toney Freeman lacked (and that Gunter himself lacked by the time of the Mr. Olympia competition). Gunter then went on to perform flyes on the reverse pec deck machine for his rear deltoids. Gunter took off his tank top and hit some poses. He was looking exactly as I wish he had at the 2006 Mr. Olympia - all he needed was a tan and a few coats of oil. His size was there, his conditioning was there, and his fullness was there - everything was exactly as a bodybuilder would want it to be for the most part. Gunter hit the mandatory poses, and he looks good in most of them - he looks great in the front lat spread where his taper is very wide and dramatic - however, in his abs and thigh pose, it does not look very dramatic. Gunter is definitely one huge bodybuilder.

Retail Price:$49.95 Our Price: $39.95



Gunter Schlierkamp Traditional Crab Most Muscular Pose Battle for the Olympia 2006 DVD

Gunter Schlierkamp Upright Rows Battle for the Olympia 2006 DVD

September 28th, 2006
Thursday Morning
A day before Olympia
Heading to Las Vegas, Nevada

7501 W. Lake Mead
Las Vegas, NV 89128

Ronny Rockel started off with seated machine presses on the plate loaded machine first for his chest. Raymond Cassar from was there to take pictures of Ronny. Ronny hit some poses in between his sets and while his conditioning was good, I didn't notice the muscle bursting out of his skin to the degree Gunter's was - yet his fullness was a little better than Toney Freeman's from what I could tell. The difference between being full and being flat is visually subtle, but at the same time, very easy to notice. I think Ronny was somewhere in between. Ronny hit some poses briefly and moved on to perform cable rows for his back. He was training in his shorts at this point with no tank top on. Ronny hit some more poses in between sets and was still looking a little flat - not too much, but just a little. Ronny went on to perform lat pulldowns on a plate loaded machine. Ronny is only around 5'5 and I think that is what will keep him down in the pro ranks. I think with a little more height he would have the stature necessary to do very well as a bodybuilder. I can see him doing well at his height, but not as well as a similar physique on a man of 5'10 would do. Ronny moved on to perform t-bar rows for his back.

Ronny Rockel Seated Incline Machine Presses for Chest Battle for the Olympia 2006 DVD

Ronny Rockel Front Double Biceps Battle for the Olympia 2006 DVD

After Ronny's section was complete, the results of the Mr. Olympia were shown:

16 - Francisco "Paco" Bautista, Spain
16 - Dennis Wolf, Germany
16 - Rodney St. Cloud, USA
16 - Ronny Rockel, Germany
16 - Mustafa Mohammad, Austria
16 - David Henry, USA
16 - Bill Wilmore, USA
15 - Troy Alves, USA
14 - Darrem Charles, Trinidad
13 - Johnnie Jackson, USA
12 - Branch Warren, USA
11 - Vince Taylor, USA
10 - Gunter Schlierkamp, Germany
9 - Dennis "The Menace" James, USA/Germany
8 - Markus Ruhl, Germany
7 - Toney Freeman, USA
6 - Gustavo Badell, Puerto Rico
5 - Melvin Anthony, USA
4 - Dexter Jackson, USA
3 - Victor Martinez, Dominican Republic
2 - Ronnie Coleman, USA
1 - Jay Cutler, USA - 2006 Mr. Olympia Champion!

October 1st, 2006
Sunday Morning
A day after Olympia

7501 W. Lake Mead
Las Vegas, NV 89128

Dennis Wolf was shown training after the Mr. Olympia contest was complete. Dennis spoke a little about himself and his bodybuilding history in the commentary. Dennis started off with some machines for his back and went on to perform dumbbell rows using the dumbbell rack for support. He said his height was 181CM = 5'11 and 1/4. He said that he looks taller than he is and I would agree. He does look very tall. Raymond Casser of was there in the gym as Dennis was training. Dennis started training at this point without a shirt on and moved on to perform barbell rows for his back with 225 pounds. He hit a rear lat spread and a rear double biceps after his first set. Dennis went on to perform cable rows with the triangle bar and talked a little more in the commentary, which he had been doing throughout his segment. Dennis went on to perform triceps pushdowns using the long bar. Going back to what Dennis said about looking taller than he is, I think this is because he has long arms and legs and a trim waist which creates a dramatic taper. Hisd body is structured so that visually you follow it up - up as his taper goes up. He looks about 6'1 to me. Dennis moved from triceps pushdowns using the long bar to triceps pushdowns using rope. Dennis then hit the following poses:

  • Front Double Biceps
  • Front Lat Spread
  • Right Side Chest
  • Right Side Triceps
  • Right Biceps Pose
  • Hands Clasped Most Muscular Pose
  • Crab Most Muscular Pose
  • Rear Double Biceps
  • Rear Lat Spread

Dennis Wolf Rear Lat Spread Battle for the Olympia 2006 DVD

Dennis Wolf Front Double Biceps Battle for the Olympia 2006 DVD

Bonus Disc

The sections below were featured in the bonus disc:
  • Another Angel
  • Stop 4 What?
  • Battle Olympia or Animal Planet??
  • Need some help...
  • Not today...
  • Big STEVE'S opinion
  • Big man's new ride
  • Show up from nowhere
  • Pants off or shoes off?
  • Sneak peak of Dexter's dungeon
  • And some more toys
  • Training has done...that means..we gotta eat!!
  • Can I borrow??
  • Why Share? 'Cause it's special
  • Menace Talks...
  • What do you want to eat??
  • Need an underwear...part one
  • Need an underwear...part two

The bonus section was interesting and featured some good parts - my favourite parts would be when IFBB judge Steve Weinberger was being asked his thoughts on the upcoming Mr. Olympia and when Dexter's house was shown. Dexter showed a meal replacement by MET-RX and well as a protein powder and he said both were the best ever made.

Milos and Hide

September 28th, 2006
Thursday Night

Gold's Gym
3705 E. Flamingo Road
Las Vegas, NV 89121

Milos Sarcev and Hidetada Yamagishi were in the gym doing some stretches when Mitsuru began filming. Immediately, it was obvious that Milos was still close to competition level size. It looks to me like it would not be that far out there to think that Milos could be on a pro stage in 2007 or beyond. Milos was looking very well at 43 years old and being retired from professional bodybuilding. He had suffered some burns some time back but looked to have healed quite nicely. Milos has a very extensive bodybuilding career and has competed as a professional since 1991 and has entered over 70 professional contests! He currently runs a successful gym in Fullerton, California - KOLOSEUM GYM. He is currently working as a nutritionist and trainer for various professional bodybuilders - at the 2006 Mr. Olympia contest, he worked with Gustavo Badell, Dennis James, and Troy Alves. In 2005, he brought Gustavo Badell to the Mr. Olympia in his lifetime best conditioning and size! Milos also trains Hide (Hee-Day) who is currently the only active Japanese professional bodybuilder. Hide was born in Hokkaido (Northern Japan) in 1973. Hide won the 80kg/176.25 lbs class in the Asian Games at Korea in 2001. Hide started competing as a professional in 2005 at the Ironman Pro.

Milos started off his shoulders workout with dumbbell raises while he was positioned on an incline. His workout appeared to consist of supersets, and he went from performing raises with dumbbells, to raises with barbells, to lateral raises and Hide followed suit. Milos and Hide worked quickly, going from one exercise to the other with virtually no rest in between exercises other than the time required to move from one station to another (in true superset fashion). It looked intense, not due to the amount of weight used, but due to the sheer volume and pace of these supersets. I personally could not handle this type of workout for shoulders due to problems that I have with lactic acid buildup in my shoulders when I work out. I find that for me, heavy presses in the 6-12 rep range followed by more heavy presses after a 1-3 minute rest works best. I have problems with lactic acid which prevent me from using supersets on shoulders, although I do sometimes. Today for example, I performed supersets with seated machine presses, followed by plate presses using a 45 pound plate, and finished with barbell military presses. The lactic acid was killing me, but I felt it was a productive workout and the pump I got was excellent! Ronnie Coleman said in his first DVD that he thinks we all have a muscle that grows like wild no matter how we train it and for him it was arms. For me, my shoulders have always responded best with my chest and back being weak points. I think I will try a superset routine similar to the one Milos used in this DVD for my back during my next workout. I hope to review Milos' "Secrets of the Pros" DVD very soon:

Milos Sarcev - Secrets of the Pros Vol 1 (DVD)
Retail Price: $44.95 Our Price: $34.95



Milos and Hide continued training with more supersets. While the weight was not heavy, there was no time in the workout where it looked easy. The pace and intensity would make this type of workout harder than most heavy workouts. I would not be able to handle it, not due to the intensity, but due to lactic acid problems I have as I mentioned above. One thing that I will point out is that it is my firm belief that time under tension is the most important factor as far as training is concerned. This type of workout would be useful because of that. I think I would make very good gains on such a workout. Another thing I will also point out is that hard work does not automatically equate to productive work. Just because you go to the gym and beat yourself up does not mean that you are necessarily stimulating the muscle in an optimal fashion. Muscle building is also a uniquely individual experience, and I think it is basically impossible to find a workout which will work for everyone. The most important factor is consistency and it is also useful to constantly vary things in your workout, both to keep your body guessing, and to understand your body to begin with! After time and observation you will find what works for you and what does not. Don't be surprised if something that works for you is very distinct from what works for somebody else.I also advise you to always think critically and with an open mind. Don't let any guru fool you into believing that he has all the secrets to how to gain muscle in the most efficient way possible - muscle building is not an exact science and no one has the tools to uncover those secrets in such a generalized way! However, some gurus (like Milos) are better than others and are perceptive and observant in recognizing a person's individual needs and formulating a workout program which suits their needs very well.

At the end of the workout, Hide took off his shirt to pose. His delts were very pumped and it looked like the workout served him well. This workout would act as some serious blood volume training. Hide hit the following poses without his tank top on:

  • Hands on Hips Most Muscular
  • Front Double Biceps
  • Right Side Chest
  • Front Lat Spread
  • Rear Double Biceps
  • Rear Lat Spread

Let's Meet Chris Cormier

September 10th, 2006
Sunday Morning

Mitsuru went to visit Chris Cormier and a half nude gentleman arrived at the door and pointed out to Mitsuru where Chris was. Chris talked a little bit about a recent back injury he sustained and his future contest plans. He said he wanted to compete at the Arnold Classic and the Ironman Pro in 2007, but this did not become a reality. Chris Cormier said that when he sustained his injury he was in so much pain that he couldn't take it any more. Chris said that when he entered the hospital, he was 290, but he left at 240, if that. After talking a little more, Chris introduced Lenyn Nez, who was the gentleman who appeared at the door. At this point, he had a tank top on - a "bacon and eggs" white wifebeater - the kind you would see covered in bacon and egg stains being worn by a man with a a receding hairline and a beer gut lol.

Chris Cormier - Real Deal (DVD) Chris Cormier - Real Deal (DVD)
Retail Price: $39.95 Our Price: $29.95



Mitsuru's Battle for "The Battle for the Olympia"

In this section, Mitsuru showed us a meal that he was cooking and he ate it. It looked like a great bodybuilding meal and consisted of steak, broccoli, and rice. His second and third meals were very similar to this first one. More footage of Mitsuru's travels were shown. While this segment of the DVD was boring, it gave me a great sense of appreciation of the time and effort Mitsuru puts forth in creating these Battle for the Olympia DVDs.

Overall Review:

Wow! This was without question the longest DVD that I have ever reviewed - both in terms of actual physical length of the DVD and in terms of how long it took for me to completely review it, get pictures taken from the DVD, watermark them, and upload the entire formatted and finished product onto the It must have taken me around 20 hours to completely finish everything - crazy. But that being said, this DVD is definitely well worth the price. You get HOURS of training footage from all the top pros in a nice 3-disc set. The bonus footage is extensive and features champion bodybuilder and expert trainer and nutrition Milos Sarcev, who is still close to pro size and appears to need only to diet to enter a pro stage at 43 years young. Highlights from the DVD are too extensive to comprehensively list here. I was very impressed with Branch Warren's incredible thickness. He was the closest to replicating that look originated by greats like Rich Gaspari in terms of sheer dense and hard muscle just jumping off his body. Vince Taylor's size and conditioning at 50 years old was amazing, although his training was not. Jay Cutler is now the holder of the biggest back on planet earth, and David Henry's conditioning is likely the best in the world for someone who does no cardio. Dennis James and Gunter Schlierkamp both looked incredibly dense and full in their sections and in fact, Gunter Schlierkamp would have placed better at the show if he entered the contest looking as he did in this DVD - similar to Ronnie Coleman in the 2002 Battle for the Olympia DVD. He was 275 pounds and shredded and hard as a rock there. He would have looked much better had the contest been held that day. All in all, this is one huge DVD and one great bargain - it comes highly recommended since it is a great value for your dollar. If you are looking to get great value and a lot of quantity in addition to quality, this may well be the DVD for you.

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Battle for the Olympia 2006 XI (DVD) Battle for the Olympia 2006 XI (DVD)
Retail Price: $49.95 Our Price: $39.95

Take care,

Matt Canning

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