How Chad Nicholls saw the Arnold (Top 6)


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Here's a quick breakdown of my opinion of the Top 6 (Men) and where I thought everyone should have placed:

1) Jay Cutler: The one positive thing Jay had was that he was VERY DRY! His conditioning was good - meaning he definitely had very low body fat, but he was so overdieted and flat that when he hit a shot, nothing happened. My take is that he was chasing Dexter, trying to play Dexter's game (conditioning) - and that's not Jay's game - what put Jay on the map was the size game - that's what got him in the hunt with Ronnie in 2001 - and that's where he needs to stay. Obviously, he needs to be in shape - but with his structure, he has to be big - or the structure flaws are more outstanding.

I only spoke with one person the entire weekend who thought Jay should've won - and that was our very own MadMax - and I respect that as Jay and he are very good friends and he stuck behind his friend. However, in my opinion, this is the worst Jay Cutler I have seen in the last 3-4 years.

It's funny that a lot of people wanted to deny that the right leg was smaller, but at the show, that was a big buzz. I think it is definitely something that can be corrected - and looks to be a problem stemming from a back injury - as I have seen this before in other athletes - but he needs to take care of it.

Overall, the best Jay should've done at the Arnold was 3rd.

2) Chris Cormier: Chris is obviously my athlete - but whether he would've been my athlete or not - I still feel he should've won the show. He had everything - conditioning, incredible symmetry and size. He actually beat Jay pose for pose and looked tremendously larger in every pose - as you can see in the galleries.

I spoke with several of the main judges and everyone of them said they felt Chris should've won - so what was the problem? I think where Chris lost the show was in the muscularity round - and not due to his physique - but he came out on stage late and with virtually no oil on - the judges look to this as being disrespectful and for him not caring enough to take care of these minor details - I truly feel this is what lost the show for him - as it was only 1 point.

I will admit that when you don't have oil on - you can sometimes appear to be flatter or your muscle won't jump out as much - however, Cormier was truly the better athlete that day and should've gotten the nod. One thing we know now is that Chris is back and ready to roll for the Olympia. He has already vowed to be better at the Olympia. If he takes a small break after his last show (I believe Melbourne) and continues to train - and shake this loss off - he will redeem himself for the Olympia. At this show, however, Chris was my obvious pick for 1st!

3) Dexter Jackson: Dexter, I thought looked great. I wasn't at the Ironman, but I had people tell me he was a little sharper at the Ironman, which may have hurt him here. However, I feel Dexter's main issues at this point are focused around two things - 1) Overall back size and thickness and 2)Leg separation and sharpness - next to Chris and Jay, the front of his quads gave up a great deal of the separation they both possess. However, I will say that in several poses - on the stage that day, Dexter actually appeared larger than Jay - especially from the side. It's just from the back that he gave up too much size and thickness.

4) Gunter Schlierkamp: This is a much improved Gunter Schlierkamp. He came in much bigger and fuller than at the '03 Olympia and GNC -and his conditioning was pretty good - however, he is still chasing the 2002 conditioning that everyone wants to see. Overall I thought Gunter looked really good. I will say it was very close among 4th, 5th or 6th - I feel the placements could've been flip flopped any which way - but overall this was a great placement for Gunter.

5) Markus Ruhl: An absolute FREAK! The biggest travesty of the night was Jay Cutler receiving the most muscular award over Markus! You would have to be blind to think Jay is more muscular than Markus! Markus' conditioning was actually very good - he is usually soft from the back - and his conditioning in this area was pretty damn good.

I feel he definitely could've placed a spot higher. I think what really holds him back is still conditioning - he has all the muscle in the world - just needs to take it to the next level to achieve the grainy look of say - Dorian - when he competed. When Markus does this, the sky is the limit.

6) Craig Titus: This was the first time I have helped Craig from start to finish and the Arnold was the first show in which I was there to help him with the final few days of prep before the show. I thought Craig was spot on. When I looked at everything from the Ironman, there were a few things we needed to change and re-evaluate - one of them being to make certain he didn't fade during the pre judging as well as making sure he was very dry especially in the upper back region. We were able to accomplish this and more!

Craig's legs were deeply separated from every angle and we were also able to keep his waist small and flat - and he was full from beginning to end - not just during pre judging - but all the way through the finals. Overall I was excited with Craig's placement and my prediction is that he will nab one of the Olympia qualifiers in Melbourne!

I mentioned that I felt Markus Ruhl should've won the Most Muscular award. Let me explain what the problem is with that award and why he didn't win it. The award is actually presented to the person who actually wins the muscularity round of the competition - in this case, Jay Cutler. However, I feel it should be presented to the most muscular athlete on stage - which is obviously Markus Ruhl. A perfect example is that Chris Cormier won the posing round, yet King Kamali won the posing award. There's a lot of factors that go into what constitutes a phyisque that wins a muscularity round - it's not just size. However, the most muscular award, I feel, should be based strictly on size - so when you are speaking in these terms Markus Ruhl should win.

So there's how I saw the top 6.
Interesting take on things..Of course chad is a master at disecting an athletes body..really makes you wonder what the hell the judges look at!!!:40oz: