Mr. Olympia 2016 Top 10 Predictions: Part I
Top 10: Predictions and Predications – Part I
It’s tough to envision exactly how this year’s competition will play out. While we can never be truly sure who will place where, 2016 presents a thoroughly unique situation. We have an all-time great making a comeback, two former champions, multiple runner-ups looking to finally claim the crown, and a virtually unrivaled of crop of fresh talent. Based on what we know so far, here’s how I see things playing out:
- Phil Heath
“The Gift” simply has it all at this point. His arms are by far the most impressive in the game. Roelly Winklaar is the only one who even comes close. Heath’s back is virtually flawless, and his physique is extremely well rounded. No one muscle group overpowers another, and the “bubbly” roundness of his muscle bellies are something special.
The only two areas which leave him vulnerable are his lack of clavicle width, which he’s managed to overcome by growing his deltoids, and his recent development of stomach distension. As far as the “gut” goes, Heath seems to have gotten his abdomen under better control, but these things can change quickly from show to show.
It will be interesting to see if Phil Heath’s streak will continue for 8 or more years. He has hinted at this as his ultimate goal.
- Kai Greene
(Greene gets Second in my book, but it seems he is not competing this year.)
Unfortunately, Greene was unable to compete last year, and this year looks to be more of the same. Whether it’s a result of a dispute between he and professionals within the industry, or some other reason, it’s a true shame. Kai Greene is one of the best bodybuilders in the world, and without him the competitive landscape really changes.
While many fans of Greene debated his last loss to Heath, there really wasn’t much of a case to be made. Heath is extremely strong in areas where Greene is extremely weak. Kai simply doesn’t have the large upper-traps, well formed arms, and dominant most-muscular poses that are expected of a Mr. Olympia winner. He gets destroyed in abs and thighs poses, most-muscular, lat spread and anything involving triceps against Heath.
With that being said, Greene has a fantastic physique. He’s taken his genetic potential to the absolute limit of what the human body capable of, and if he’s been able to improve significantly from last year, who knows what could happen. Phil Heath seems to be on a slight decline. Regardless the Mr. O will always be a tough road to victory. At 41 years old, Kai Greene isn’t getting any younger, but clearly he still has a lot left in the tank.
- Dexter Jackson
Is it possible that Dexter Jackson has found the fountain of youth? He’s 46 years young and doesn’t seem to be slowing down even in the slightest. The former Mr. Olympia Champion has 7-Arnold Classic titles to his name, and could add a couple more in the future. Jackson has only competed twice this year, which should do his body good. After taking some time off, he looks rested, refreshed and better than ever.
Given his age we should expect some signs of decline from Dexter, but we’ll have to wait and see. This may not be the year for that. You can always count on him for crisp conditioning, full muscle bellies and a well-rounded physique.
- Shawn Rhoden
Rhoden has an incredible blend of symmetry and balance. His conditioning when correct is a real asset, and there are no glaring flaws in his physique. While he’s not a true threat to Phil Heath or Kai Greene his genetics are nothing to overlook. When compared to “Big Ramy”, Rhoden is comparatively small – though you could say that about practically anyone.
Rhoden’s unique blend of aesthetic symmetry offers something almost no one else has. His physique is more classical in nature which should keep him high in the standings. Arms and back are probably his biggest weakness, while legs and a trim abdomen would be his biggest pluses. Something to keep in mind – Rhoden is 41 years old. It is possible we notice a decline sometime soon, that is, unless Dexter Jackson has shared his secret to the fountain of youth.
- Mamdouh “Big Ramy” Elssbiay
It’s only a matter of time before “Big Ramy” makes his way to the top. There are certainly no guarantees in the bodybuilding arena, but Elssbiay is perhaps the most physically gifted competitor in this years competition. Every year he makes obvious improvements, and this year looks to be more of the same. The biggest things to watch are muscle maturity and conditioning when it comes to Elssbiay. If he can bring the right combination of size and graininess it’s game over. Shockingly, for all his mass, “Big Ramy” has still maintained a small waist and aesthetic overall look.
As his career progresses it will be interesting to see how Ramy’s musculature develops. He’s quite young for a competitor at this level, and he still has much room for growth. Muscle separation is still not a real strength for him. This could be do to the sheer size of his body, but likely will continue to develop with maturation.
Check here for last year’s results: