Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Physique Champion Mark Olson Speaks!

Mark with his Overall Medal.

Christian Duque: Mark, tell us about yourself. Full name, age, ht, wt. and contest wt. And also, where's your hometown.

Mark Olson: My name is Mark Olson I am 24 years old. My height is 6'1. My contest weight is about 195 and my off season weight is around 220. I currently live in Wichita Kansas, but call St. Louis my true home.

Christian Duque: Please share with us when and why you first started training - and what inspires you today.

Mark Olson: I started training after a college football injury cut my career short, I needed something to fill the void that I could challenge myself with on a daily basis. Alot of my inspiration actually comes from my clients. Witnessing all that many of them have overcome and their passion to progress, as well as their support, keeps me going.

Mark flanked by family.

Christian Duque: Speaking directly to the Midwest Open, what were your impressions with the depth of the lineup and how did you find the show to be run? Good attendance? Organized production? Good advertising?

Mark Olson: I loved competing at the Midwest open. Being from St. Louis I had attended the show as a spectator before- and I always wanted to return as a competitor. Jack and Ann Titone did a great job. As far as the lineup goes, I competed in the Tall class, and not to take anything away from any of the competitors but I was extremely impressed by the short class. Just sharing the same stage as guys like Kyle Krshka and Sean Harley, and posing down in the finals with Peter Ray, was all an overwhelming honor.

Christian Duque: Talk to us about your contest prep. Did anyone help you with your diet, training, posing? Please give kudos to all those that deserve them.

Mark Olson: So many people have helped me along the way I doubt I can give credit to all of them with out leaving some out. First and foremost though I have to thank MY trainer Alex Azarian. A true professional that I am looking forward to working with more and more. I also have a great crew that supports me on the home front as well, my girlfriend Lacey Kerbs, David Hogan from Stackerbottle.com, and the guys that keep my head on straight everyday- Scott Hogan, Barry Johnson, Seville Ko, and Jeremiah Rogers. And I can't thank my own clients and family enough either for all their continued support! While it's a competiton for individuals, this is very much a team sport. My success is credited to everyone listed above, and probably a few more.

Christian Duque: Where do you train at, and how supportive is the gym staff and fellow members when it comes to your competitive goals? Will you showing your trophy at their front counter?

Mark Olson: I train (as well as make a living) at Genesis Health Clubs in Wichita Kansas. The atmosphere in my club is phenomenol! The gym floor is shared by lots of competitors, and even ex-competitors. Theres a great enviroment for motivation an progress here.

Christian Duque: What do you hope to accomplish through Physique competition and what are some of your goals for the future?

Mark Olson: I started competing so that I could be an example of what can be accomplished. I hope to inspire my clients and anyone else that watches me train and witnesses my lifestyle that theres alot of living that can be had even when your making sacrafices. I promote health and longevity on a daily basis so its only right that I practice what I preach!

Christian Duque: Where can folks go to keep in touch with you? Thanks for taking the time to speak to us.

Mark Olson: Thanks for having me! While theres a website in the works for now anyone can feel free to contact me on facebook, or email me at molson@genesishealthclubs.com

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Silver for the Winner!

Wolf's Curse

I like the fact that the judges have a sense of humor, but how is it that they can rob Dennis Wolf two years in a row. Branch Warren is a freak - there's no question - but where's the symmetry? He's not as bad as Mr. Refridgerator (Jay Cutler), but there's not much proportion to Warren. He's basically one giant block of muscle resting upon two great wheels. Dennis Wolf on the other hand, seems to be cursed by the judges. He's got their respect - and he's definitely got their attention - but there's just something about his look that's just not what they're looking for.

Keeping Up Appearances

Historically, the Olympia has been the place where the mass monsters rule supreme - and it was was always the Arnold, that gave the best looking (symmetrical and aesthetically-pleasing) bodybuilders the chance to get some much needed recognition. This theory resonated every time Branch would get the Most Muscular Award but lose the title to Dexter Jackson, Victor Martinez and most recently Kai Greene. But when you take runner-up at the Olympia (like Branch did in 2009 [a placing that was really Dexter Jackson's]), you can no longer go back to Columbus and get dogged. If Warren would have taken 2nd at the O, only to get robbed for 1st at the ASC in 2010 - that would only have reinforced his fluke runner-up placing at the 2009 Olympia. And it was a fluke - the guy was wedged between the defending Mr. O and the fmr. Mr. O - it was 1980 all over again.

Jay's Future

This win in Columbus will also force the political card for the Olympia. Jay was toppled in 2011 - earning (or perhaps being given) 2nd place to Phil Heath. Ronnie should have known going into 2006 he couldn't win with his injuries (but my guess is, he was banking on pulling a Dorian Yates 1997 Miracle sandow). Ronnie was given 2nd place to Cutler in 2006 - though arguably could have been placed lower. Ronnie didn't read between the lines (like a Lee Haney would have) and tried to come back in 2007 - taking 4th before retiring. Jay may also have difficulty taking notice -- room at the Top Inn may not have vacancy for him in Vegas. Jay cannot defeat Heath - it's not a question of conditioning - it's a question of genetics. Cutler & Warren are in the same boat, with their mass monster freak look - but Warren will be arriving in Vegas as the reigning (and 2x) Arnold champion. If the ASC really is 2nd only to the O and its champion plays second fiddle to the Olympia runner-up, that might lower the prestige and the weight of winning in Columbus. The ASC runner-up (Dennis Wolf) and 3rd Place phenom (Evan Centopani) will also be battling for the Top 5 at the O. Also, don't forget last years Olympia 3rd place winner Victor Martinez (who in all honesty defeated Cutler for the 2007 Olympia, and who is also genetically-superior to Cutler). I think this will be Jay's last Olympia. The Top Inn may not honor Cutler reservations anymore.


Wolf won this show, but politically speaking, Warren poses no threat to Heath - and he's a popular champion that will ensure ticket sales. The fans would love a Heath/Warren battle w/ a Cutler wildcard, but the only guy to win between those three - the Gift! Heath could hold Warren down for years to come, while Centopani & Wolf, Greene and Martinez, could battle for places 3rd and down in the Top 6. Warren's victory in Columbus let's him be wedged between Heath & Cutler in Vegas  - like he was used to wedge between Cutler & Jackson - only this time, Warren will claim his legitimate place between two Mr. Olympias - as the ASC Champion - the 2x ASC Champion. Can you anyone say, legitimacy? Warren's 2nd in 2009 was a joke, but today, it's only logical.

Wolf could beat Cutler, he could definitely beat Warren (in his sleep), and he could potentially beat Heath. But a German champion may not be what the powers that be want. They didn't want Wolf, they didn't want Gunter. The only German-speaking Mr. O was Arnold - damn skippy! LoL.

Talk about Wolf's hamstrings, Heath's narrow clavicles, Dexter's calves, rationalize it however you want using whatever canned argument you can piece together. Wolf won - and that's based on photos and some video I've seen. I'm sure in person, it was all the more blatant. Key thing is... the only guy more popular in bodybuilding than Branch Warren, is Jesus Christ. The guy is a fan favorite, a people's champion. He's the perfect fix to an IFBB without Ronnie or Jay. Congrats nonetheless, he's the champ!