As we all know, the NPC Nationals just went on this past weekend. One of the heavyweight favorites was Species Athlete and Dave Palumbo client Juan Morel. Dave Palumbo made it very public that Juan was his favorite to win the class, and that he was working with him for this show...
Juan ended up in second place to a very deserving Freddie Smalls, but this thread isn't to start a battle on who looked better, or who should have won.
What bothered me was reading an MD article written by Shawn Ray "2010 NPC National Written Review". For the heavyweight class, Shawn Ray wrote this about Juan Morel.."In 2nd place was a disappointing Juan Morel who structurally had a chance at victory prior to the show but missed his peak by a mile. Soft and Flat Juan may have peaked in September at the North America's and will have to fight his way back and definitely Carb load to fill out!!"
Ok first off, I don't think Juan's showing was disappointing at all. I thought he looked awesome. I realize the heavyweight class wasn't absolutely stacked with the best competitors, but to get 2nd place at Nationals and be called a disappointment? The guy was placing out of the top 15 3 years ago, and now hes in the top 2!! Last year in the Junior Nationals he got 7th place. I'd say the guy is a rising star. Freddie Smalls has many years on him (I think like 8?) and to lose to such a veteran is nothing short of very respectable.
Secondly, I don't think he was "soft and flat". Could he have filled out a little more? Maybe. Could he have been drier? His conditioning over the years has been consistently competitive. Is he bone dry, ripped to shreds? No. But has he ever been? No. So why expect him to be some kind of conditioned freak now? His conditioning was the same if not better then all his other showings.
You guys can be the judges for my second statement..http://pics.musculardevelopment.com/...de=1425&page=2
Finally, this may be pure speculation, but does anyone else think that Shawn threw in the "Carb up" because Juan is working with Dave Palumbo? A stab at Dave, Rxmuscle, and the Keto diet? I think so.
I respect Shawn for doing so much for the sport, but he bothers me a bit. His focus on bodybuilding being a busines has definitely made him a success. However, I feel like his allegience to MD, Steve Blechman, and their athletes has made his bodybuilding judging eye a bit unbiast.
Being unbiast is ok when your just some bodybuilding fan writing on a message board. It stops being ok when you're writing for arguably the biggest bodybuilding magazine and website in the world.
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