A look at the upcoming 2014 NPC nationals

NPC National Bodybuilding Championships.jpg

Bodybuilding is now, without a shadow of a doubt, one of the most popular sports in the world, and it is seemingly growing in popularity day by day. Bodybuilders were once viewed as nothing more than brain dead freak shows, hulking great grunting masses of testosterone and not much else. As time went by however, and bodybuilding became more and more mainstream, people began realizing that not only was bodybuilding popular and beneficial, but that it was also a science, crushing the myth that all bodybuilders were slow and dumb. Bodybuilding is about so much more than simply lifting weights. It is a lifestyle choice, that requires constant attention pretty much 24/7. If that sounds extreme and a bit far-fetched to some of you, just ask any competitive bodybuilder prepping for a show about just how much care and attention is required. Many competitors have to wake up throughout the night just to eat and consume a protein shake to prevent their muscles from atrophying, meaning that they literally eat, sleep, and breathe this fantastic sport. People think of the IFBB pros and mainstream shows such as the Olympia or the Arnold Classic, but in fact, true fans will attest to the fact that some of the less mainstream shows can actually provide the most entertainment and competitiveness. The NPC nationals for instance, are coming up shortly, and this year’s show looks set to be one of the closest and most competitive shows in recent history, and for that reason we’ll now be taking a more in-depth look.

What is the NPC? – The NPC stands for the National Physique committee and it is the largest and most competitive amateur bodybuilding organization on the face of the earth. It is a place where amateur bodybuilders from all over the world compete in various shows all with the same goals and targets in mind, to dominate the competition and be the absolute best that they can be. The NPC nationals is arguably the biggest show in the NPC Calendar, with some people referring to it as the Mr Olympia of amateur bodybuilding. Many amateur bodybuilders dedicate their training to this one event, for one reason...

Why are the nationals so popular and competitive? – The main reason why the NPC nationals are so hugely popular and competitive is because there is so much at stake and so much on the line. The winner of the NPC nationals earns his or her pro card, which then means they make the leap from amateur bodybuilder, to IFBB professional bodybuilder. Once they earn their pro cards, they’re really in the big leagues as they get the opportunity to compete in some of the most coveted pro bodybuilding competitions in the world, against some of the best bodybuilders in the world. They even have the chance of qualifying for the greatest bodybuilding contest in the world, the Mr Olympia, so it’s no wonder why so many amateur bodybuilders take this contest so seriously, and why so many fans turn out to watch the live finals.

What kind of caliber are NPC National champions? – Just to give you an idea about how good you must be to win the nationals, when you take a look at some of the names of past national champions winners, you can’t help but be hugely impressed. The NPC nationals are now over three decades old, and have seen some huge, huge names in bodybuilding dominate the competition and go on to achieve further greatness once earning their pro cards. In 1982, a young up and comer named Lee Haney, won the very first NPC national championships. You may have heard of Lee Haney since, because one year later, Lee placed third in the Mr Olympia competition, and first the following year. Two years after winning the nationals, the relatively unknown former amateur bodybuilder Lee Haney, was crowned the greatest bodybuilder in the world. He won a further seven straight times, leaving him and Ronnie Coleman joint holders of the most Mr Olympia titles with 8 titles in total. Other former NPC Nationals champions include Kevin Levrone, Shawn Ray, Bob Paris, Vince Taylor, and more recently we’ve seen Kevin Jordan win the title last year, and Evan “Ox” Centopani, Toney Freeman, Victor Martinez, and Cedric McMillan all come from the NPC nationals.

Who is our money on for this year? – This is a tricky one because nobody is actually sure about who exactly is competing, and therefore without knowing who is competing, we can’t possibly gauge how well they may or may not do by taking a look at their physique. Two names that we do know are competing however, and the two names that we believe will be battling it out for the number 1 spot in the super heavyweights list are 32 year old Matt Evans, and former NPC Junior Nationals champion Adam Reich. Evans and Reich have both recently been featured in several high profile bodybuilding magazines and publications, and both look to be extremely dialed in and focused on the contest. At first glance you would have to give it to Evans as he is holding a great deal of mass and looks to have the mass and size advantage over Reich. His shoulders and arms look incredibly detailed and he looks to have packed on several pounds of lean muscle since his last showing at the nationals last year, in which he placed 3rd. Many are predicting Evans to be a future IFBB pro and consider it only a matter of time before he earns his pro card. This does not bode well for the smaller Adam Reich, however, Reich is looking insanely conditioned and vascular, and is still holding enough size to more than hold his own against the bigger Evans. Many are predicting, and this includes us however, that if Evans is able to nail his condition on the day, then coupled with his size and mass, it will unfortunately be all that she wrote. If Evans isn’t quite on point however, and Reich is (which from judging by the way he looked one week ago, is a real possibility) the judges may rule in favor of Reich. We’re still sticking with our guns however, and are tipping Matt Evans to earn his pro card, although with some late entries, who knows?

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