Breaking down the numbers with Silvio Samuel heading into the Houston Pro

July 1, 2008

by Allan Donnelly


The IFBB season resumes this weekend at the Houston Pro where, once again, Silvio Samuel enters a summer show in Texas hoping to claim a victory and gain momentum heading into the 2008 Olympia. The plan worked to perfection a year ago, when Samuel won the Europa Super Show in mid-August, using that momentum to catapult himself to a seventh-place finish in his first Olympia appearance. Below, we break down the numbers as El Matador heads to Houston.

WHAT: Houston Pro Bodybuilding, Fitness and Figure Championships
WHERE: Stafford Convention Center, Stafford TX
WHO: Mens Bodybuilding, Men's 202 and under, Fitness and Figure
PREJUDGING: Friday, July 4 at 5:30 pm EST and Saturday, July 5th at 8 am EST
FINALS: Saturday, July 5 at 4:30 pm EST

Fouad Abiad
Ray Arde
Eric Castagnet
Gianluca Catapano
Darrem Charles
Aimin Faour
Leo Ingram
Pavol Jablonicky
Ken Jones
Jeffrey Long
Evgeny Mishin
Craig Richardson
Daniele Seccarecci
Silvio Samuel
Heinz Senior
Bill Wilmore
Nathan Wonsley

Breaking down the numbers with ... Silvio Samuel

8 … contests Darrem Charles, listed by many as the “other” favorite entering the Houston Pro, has won during his 17-year professional career. “First of all much respect to Darrem because he really does well in most of the shows,” Samuel says. “He is a very strong and good competitor with regard to the size and symmetry, he knows how to hold his symmetry and stand with the big guys.”

3 … times Samuel has competed against Charles since the beginning of 2007. Samuel has placed better two out of those three times, at the 2007 Keystone Pro (Samuel 5th, Charles 6th) and at the 2007 Olympia (Samuel 7th, Charles 12th). Charles placed ahead of Samuel at the 2007 Colorado Pro, placing second to Samuel’s third. “I think he is looking forward to beating me,” Samuel says. I think he might have that impression. He believes in what he can bring. He might see himself tot be the winner but, to me, I know what I have to do, pose by pose [to beat him].”

(Darrem Charles, Ronny Rockel and Silvio Samuel at the 2007 Colorado Pro)

44 … pounds, the amount of weight Samuel (206 pounds) gave up to Bill Wilmore (250 pounds) at last year’s Europa Super Show. Wilmore finished third, behind Samuel and runner-up Will Harris in that contest. “He’s a big guy, but I’ve increased a lot of my size and muscle quality,” Samuel says of Wilmore. “There are a lot of things that I’ve worked on that are going to prove much different this year.”

225 … pounds, Samuel’s weight on Monday night, four days before the Houston Pro. “This is the highest I have gone,” Samuel says of his weight. “Before that, my highest was 220 for the [2007] Olympia, and 218 for the [2008] Arnold Classic. Every show I am moving up with quality muscle while trying to keep my symmetry and balance. I know what I have that they don’t have.”

12 … weeks until the Olympia after the Houston Pro, which Samuel believes is enough time to improve in order to match, or better, his 7th place finish at the 2007 Olympia. “This show was on my calendar as one I needed to do,” Samuel says. “The Europa really didn’t give me much time to really make the improvements that I will need to be there among the really big guys at the Olympia.”

9 … contests Samuel competed in in 2007. “I have been competing since 2001, so I am used to this kind of system,” Samuel says. “I thought, Let me do it that way and put my name up there. I had a lot to prove to a lot of people. It was something I really needed to do to really put myself up there as a pro."

3 … contests Samuel has competed in this year. “Last year I was dieting a lot, every two months, so that made me lose a lot of muscle,” Samuel says. “My plan this year was to get in some of the earlier shows and then take a break. Now, the quality is better because I feel fresher.”

(Samuel at the 2008 Ironman Pro)

5 … as in Top 5, where Samuel is hoping to place at the 2008 Olympia, two spots higher than his seventh-place finish a year ago. “Really to me, I am an underdog in all of the shows,” Samuel says. “When they predict the names of the top five, my name is never mentioned. But I have confidence in what I am doing. This year, I am focused on top five. I train to put myself in that spot. I look at the top five and know that if there is the slightest mistake from anybody, if you’re not prepared … my aim is to be there if somebody makes a mistake. But nothing less than seventh.”

10 … to one, the odds which Samuel would have had himself in the Olympia Pre Preview on last week. “I would put them there,” he says.

1 … win, the number Samuel has on his professional resume. He is hoping to double that number this weekend. “This would mean a lot to me,” Samuel says. “It would mean my hard work and total dedication is paying off. It will prove that I am on the right track. It’s very important to my career, really. This is the best I’ve been.”