Henry, Lewis prepare for the 202 Showdown on Olympia Weekend

by Julian Schmidt

September 16, 2008


Muscle compressed into its most intense state will be heating up the Mr. Olympia molecules this year, when the 202-pound class asserts itself at the 202 Showdown. With the mass monsters wiped clean from the skyline, these potent pros stand out as muscle stars in their own right. You’ll see how they earned their reputation as dangerous Davids fully capable of slaying an army of Goliaths.

Making the 202 Showdown even more interesting is the fact that we’ve had a different champion at each of the four contests this season. Kevin English (New York Pro), Ray Arde (Houston Pro), David Henry (Tampa Pro Bodybuilding Weekly Championships) and James “Flex” Lewis have each stood in the winners circle at a 202 show this year. Will one of those four confirm his status as the best of the 202s at the Olympia? Or will another put it all together and be the surprise of the show? Find out on Saturday, September 27 at the 202 Showdown at the Olympia.

WHAT: 202 Showdown
WHEN: Saturday, September 27 at 10:30 am
WHERE: Las Vegas Convention Center, South Hall


Monday – 2008 Olympia Odds and Analysis
Today – 202 Showdown Preview and Figure Olympia Preview

Ray Arde
Jason Arntz
Curtis Bryant
Eric Castagnet
Charles Dixon
Kevin English
George Farah
David Henry
Jaroslav Horvath
Richard Jackson
James “Flex” Lewis
Jeffrey Long
Roc Shabazz
Nathan Wosley


Flex Lewis (Europa Super Show) and David Henry (Tampa Pro Bodybuilding Weekly Championships) have each won a 202 contest this year


FLEX: Who will be your biggest concerns in this show?
Lewis: David Henry is one. He beat me in the Tampa show. But David is beatable—Kevin English beat him in the New York Pro show earlier in the year. Another name that can be thrown in there as a threat is Ray Arde, but as of yet, I haven’t seen him in condition.
Henry: Those who I think have the best chance of coming after me would be Kevin English and Flex Lewis. Roc Shabazz is coming up really good, Ray Arde could be a factor in all this, as well.

FLEX: What are their strong points?
Lewis: David Henry would beat me with his back, but I would beat him from the waist down.
Henry: I haven’t studied them, so I have no concerns about what strong points they might have. I just intend to do the best I can and see that everybody else is behind me.

FLEX: What are your strong points?
Lewis: If David is off, that will be my main ticket to take it. My track record is consistently good conditioning, as long as I don’t do anything stupid the last week before the show. I’ve never missed a peak, so conditioning is my forte.
Henry: My back and my chest; and my overall shape is a great selling point. Some people also say my presentation has become superb.

FLEX: Will experience be a factor?
Lewis: Yes, it will. I was told that I had a case of the nerves in my first show, in Tampa, so I tried to put a different face on my confidence at the Europa by being a little more aggressive in the callouts. Kevin English is a pro and has been doing this for years, so he’s recognizable on stage, instead of being just a number. The same with David Henry; he’s a top-10 finisher in the Mr. Olympia, so, yes, that counts, as well. But on-stage experience? Yes, they outnumber me by many years, but if my homework has been done, I’ll be stress free, and that should help.
Henry: Yes, experience makes a difference. I’m becoming more confident on stage and am trying to showcase my physique as much as I can. I also know now how these shows are judged, I know how to present my physique to the best of my ability, and I think I’ve added muscle maturity.

FLEX: What improvements have you made in the past year?
Lewis: My upper body, definitely. I didn’t train my legs at all, last year, leaving me more time to concentrate on my upper body. I knew I was going to be standing on stage against the likes of these guys, so I trained all year with that mind-set. I was expecting Lee Priest to be in this class, too so that was added motivation.
Henry: I have more overall size, and I’ve added to my thighs. My partner and I have trained together and worked on a new diet. It’s now where it should be. The New York and Tampa shows were the first events to showcase my new strategy, so that should say something.