Eighteen of the top IFBB MP Pros are poised and ready to hit the stage this weekend in Vegas. There has been a lot of talk about who’s going to come out on top and walk away with the 2014 title. So who's it going to be? I have put together a complete breakdown of the competitors so you will know what to expect from each of these men as they take the stage in hopes of doing just that and making their mark in the Men’s Physique history book.
Right on the heels of the IFBB Pittsburgh Pro Masters show this past weekend was the longtime running and very popular North American Championships. The North Americans is one of the last chances each year for NPC competitors to earn their IFBB Pro card. This is of course a main driving factor causing competitors to flock to Pittsburgh for this particular show. Additionally, show promoter Gary Udit always puts on a great show that leaves the majority of competitors walking away from the stage satisfied with their experience. To top it off, Pittsburgh is a town full of character that is a lot of fun to visit. When you mix all of these factors together you can quickly see why the North American Championships are growing in attendance year after year.
This past Thursday marked the first ever IFBB Pittsburgh Pro Masters show. All divisions were represented at this particular contest despite a $200.00 fee charged for entry to the competitors. An entry fee for Pro’s is atypical for IFBB Pro contests which is most likely the reason that the MP Pro turnout was smaller than usual. It is our understanding that this entry fee is just part of getting the ball rolling as interest in the Masters division continues to grow nationwide. The Masters Pro show was run on Thursday just prior to and at the same venue as the North Americans which of course has been around for years and scheduled for the prime days of Friday and Saturday.
A total of 18 IFBB Men’s Physique Pro’s took to the stage in Dallas this weekend. A broad mix of veterans and new faces across the division made the trip to the Lonestar stage hoping to walk away with the win. In the end, taking home the first place and automatic Olympia qualification was longtime MP competitor Steve Cook. Also finishing in the top 5 was the first ever MP Pro Matt Christianer. Following are the final standings for the MP division in this hard fought battle.
Tampa was home to the latest Men’s Physique Pro show. A total of 30 IFBB MP Pro’s took to the stage at the Wings of Strength Tampa Pro Show this Friday. In the end familiar name Sadik Hadzovic took home the first place finish. PHYSIQUE STAR RADIO regular guest Anton Antipov locked down second place. While Tristan Murray, Emmanuel Banks and Michael Ferguson took third through fifth place respectively. Per usual first place locks down a spot on the Olympia stage if the competitor is not already qualified. Places 2nd-5th earn points in the point’s race towards that same goal. As the Olympia is only weeks away, the guys are trying their best to earn one of the few remaining tickets to “The O” so it’s no big surprise that the level of competition from top to bottom of the roster was stacked.
This weekend marked yet again one of the largest turnouts in NPC history for the 3.5 year old Men’s Physique Division. Over 170 men took to the stage in the MP Division with hopes of walking away with their very own IFBB Pro card. Of the 170+ men that travelled to Vegas to make this dream a reality, 12 were awarded IFBB pro status.
The Men’s Physique Division has stirred up tremendous interest and a decent amount of controversy within the IFBB and NPC, with a plethora of fans as well as a camp of haters. Perhaps the most exciting thing about the inception of this division was the door of opportunity which opened for men who were interested in competing on a bodybuilding stage but who did not want to sign up for the rigors of a competitive bodybuilder’s regimen. As expected, the floodgates opened and the Men’s Physique Division became wildly popular, not just among competitors within the division, but also among its ever-growing fan base worldwide. Sadly, there have been naysayers who have popped up with scathing criticism of the division which echoes the main misconceptions about the division.
A record number of competitors attended the Team Universe show this year in New Jersey. This is in no small part due to the massive influx of Men’s Physique Competitors flooding the stage as the division continues to pick up steam. As cross-overs are taken into account, over 160 men put on the boardshorts in the open classes in Teaneck spread across six height classes. In the 35+ master’s class, a total of 35 men hit their quarter turns in four height classes in hopes of earning their pro card. Finally in the 40+ master’s class 14 more MP men represented the division proudly divided into two height classes.
Pro cards were awarded across all height and age classes. Congrats to the 18 new IFBB Pro’s as well as the rest of the 160+ men that made all of us Men’s Physique competitors proud!