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by Chad Nicholls
Here's my assessment of the 2012 NPC USA Men's Prejudging. I've always enjoyed the USAs due to the high quality of competitors and this year did not dissapoint.
This battle was between size and conditioning and two competitors really stood out:
#22 Lewis Moreno – The biggest competitor in the class and displayed a ton of muscle for a lightweight – decent structure and solid conditioning from the front, but watery from the back
#23 Patrick Hurrington – The hardest/best conditioned competitor in the class – super conditioning, very dry, deep separation – but seemed just a bit thin compared to Moreno – could easily win the class on conditioning but needs more overall size.
Looks like a very close call among 3 competitors – all had solid overall muscle and all were very close in conditioning:
#35 John Dewey – Had great overall size and appears much larger than a welter on stage. He was freaky dry with great conditioning;
#38 Victor DelCampo – Another competitor showing superior size for a welter – thick from every angle – great conditioning – possibly the 2nd hardest guy in the class;
#40 – Brandon Williams – Another heavily muscled guy in this class – good thickness from front to back – good conditioning but not as dry as Dewey or DelCampo – overall not as conditioned as the rest, but still a solid contender.
This class is going to be a really close battle and contains a lot of great competitors. Overall in terms of conditioning and size, everyone seems to be evenly matched to the point that no one person really outshines another
#68 Scott Turner –Definitely the biggest guy in the class – looks like a light-heavy in the middles – thickly muscled back, great overall quad sweep – conditioning is good, but could have been harder;
#73 Reko Roberson – Good muscle – beautiful structure and balance but was a bit flat which didn’t make his conditioning pop like it should, but still definitely solid enough conditioning to put him in the mix;
#55 Robert Wichman – Good muscle – great overall structural balance – conditioning is good, but he could still be drier, especially from the back
#59 Adam Reich – Was in decent shape, solid overall size, but just didn’t have the “polish” needed to put him in the top spot;
#52 Jose Rivera – Size and conditioning are both good – decent hardness from the front, but needed more conditioning from the back and more overall thickness – still right in the mix though.
In reality – all of these guys needed to be harder from the back – but overall conditioning is pretty even across the board. In my opinion Scott Turner just outmuscled everyone and is my pick for the class
This class is dominated by and will be won by size:
#77 Darren Glenn – Absolutely the thickest and most muscled competitor in this class – just a crazy amount of muscle – good overall structure – conditioning from the waist up is good – but a bit soft in the legs – really lacks dryness to give him the wow factor – but should win the class on size;
Second place will be a battle between #95 Cory Matthews and #88 Arthur Reed:
#95 Cory Matthews – Has a ton of muscle and good overall structure – but is a bit soft and a bit too full – his muscle really popped when he posed – but really needs to be drier to make to take the class;
#88 – Arthur Reed – Holds a good amount of muscle – structurally not as good as Matthews but the hardest guy in this Light-heavy lineup. That said, he still needs to be harder – as no one really “brought it” to the stage in terms of conditioning in this class. He should pull off 2nd based on his conditioning compared to everyone else in the class.
Overall I’m a little disappointed in the conditioning of the light-heavies as a whole –the class will be won on size and dominated by Darren Glenn.
This was one of the biggest classes of the show and was probably the largest group of “in shape” athletes, though no one was a real standout.
The two best conditioned competitors in this class were #110 Rick Figoni and #131 Raphael Jarmillo. Rick had nice hardness, but was a bit thin in the legs and didn’t have the overall front to back thickness to really overpower the class. He still needs more of everything overall. However, his conditioning was hard and he did have a finished/polished look to his physique.
#131 Raphael Jarmillo – Displayed a very grainy, hard and dry look – a bit thin in the back, but just needs a bit more overall size.
#121 Aaron Clark – Definitely one of the surprises in this class. Not the hardest guy in the show and not the biggest in this class, but had a very “complete” look to his physique. Based off his overall balance of size and conditioning, he could very easily win the class.
#124 Robert Youells – Another athlete with big pre show hype coming in this year. Displayed good overall size, but lacked detail and separation in his legs – which really cost him in this lineup.
Overall the Heavies were a good class, but no one really stepped up to the plate to dominate. It will come down to a preference of size or conditioning. If the class goes the way of conditioning it will go to Figoni or Jarmillo, but if it comes down to size, Clark will probably get the nod – but it could very well go to Youells.
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This was an interesting class. Initially Max Charles’ overall conditioning and dryness was a stand out during his individual compulsories, but once the group comparisons began it became much closer among Max Charles, Nick Trigili and Stephen Frazer.
#150 Max Charles – Was the most conditioned of the group. Known for his freaky size and roundness, this time he was a bit flat so he didn’t project in the way we are used to seeing from him. This opened the door for Trigili and Frazer;
#148 Nick Trigili – Very wide shoulders and nice overall thickness. When he first walked out he appeared a bit watery, but as he posed, he came to life and it appeared the judges felt the same way – as he climbed up to the top of the group with each pose. From the back he tightened up and detail through the glutes and lower back came up. He seemed to lose ground a bit when he relaxed and transitioned, but then really started to shine when he hit his shots.
#161 Stephen Frazer – More of a middle of the road between Charles and Trigili. Displayed good overall size – good structure, but as a taller athlete he seemed a bit thin in this lineup. Good conditioning though not as hard as Charles, but possibly the best structural competitor in the top 3.
My initial reaction was that the class would go to Charles but Trigili may have squeaked this one out – it will be close.