The year 2011 was an interesting on in bodybuilding circles. To start things off, most notably, Phil Heath toppled Jay Cutler at the 2011 Mr. Olympia contest. Jay had won his share of titles, but now the torch seems to have been passed. Phil isn’t the prototypical bodybuilder, due to his slender build and narrow frame, but he’s packing as much mass as anyone else in the world right now, including former Arnold Classic winner Kai Greene. Yes, 2011 was a down year for Kai, as he missed out on the Olympia title again after having put everything into that show. He vows to return in 2012 better than ever, and his combination of size and shredded conditioning is almost unbeatable. Almost. Phil Heath is the odds-on favorite to win it all again.
Who won’t be on the stage in 2012? The boards are abuzz, as of January 2012, that Jay Cutler might not be making the competitive stage this year. He’s noticeably smaller in recent pictures, and is very vague about his future competition plans. Of course, no athlete announces this early that he won’t be in the Olympia, as it would impact marketing efforts by the show and his supplement company. But early indicators show a smaller Jay Cutler than we ever see in January!
Victor Martinez, perennial top finisher at the top shows, has met some legal issues and may never compete again. Gustavo Badell is coming back in 2012, but pics have him looking nothing like his winning form from 5 years ago. What about those Tier 2 athletes like Ronny Rockell and up and comers like Roelly Winklaar? They always show potential and look amazing in photo shoots, but when the time comes and they have to stand next to a Phil Heath, everything goes out the window!
Branch Warren may be the wild card in 2012 that nobody is talking about. He’s coming back from a serious injury that kept him out of 2011 Olympia competition. Silvio Samuel is out. Zack Khan isn’t ready yet. Is Dexter Jackson finished? Dennis Wolf looked great at the end of 2011, but can he do it again? Who will be the bodybuilder that breaks out in 2012? Will Phil Heath repeat easily in 2012 without Jay Cutler in the line-up, if he does indeed sit out? Time will tell. Whatever the outcome, given the new Mr. O Phil Heath and a crop of hungry bodybuilders anxious to topple him, 2012 will be a very exciting year in competitive bodybuilding!