Muscletime Videos No. 3 & 4


Review of Muscletime No. 3: The Pro World I
Released by Muscletime.com in 2005
120 minutes in length
Coverage of GNC Show of Strength for 2004
Available at http://www.muscletime.com

Many companies try to make unique products so that you the customer will be willing to part with some of your cash. In the bodybuilding DVD market, there are many such companies.  Presently there are so many personal training/lifestyle DVDs out there, the consumer comes away as “seen one you’ve seen them all.”  There are also many companies producing contest videos. The problem is, even if you like one or two of the athletes, you have to watch through many you don’t like, just to see them.

And now along comes Muscletime. Anyone with a computer should know who or what Muscletime is: the Internet bodybuilding newsmagazine, which was the first to immediately cover contests such as the Night of Champions, the Arnold, and the Olympia.  Now they have gotten into the DVD market. Their first was a very simple project in which you caught a glimpse of bodybuilders working out during the contest season. We also got to see the really neat “in the room” stuff a night or two before the big contest.  Their next DVD was an amazing profile of Dennis James training two weeks prior to the Olympia, thus kicking off their Titans series. This DVD was followed up by another overall look at the bodybuilding world, in "Muscletime No. 2." Then we saw the release of Titans 2, 3, and 4, athlete profiles of Dexter Jackson, Victor Martinez, and Troy Alves. These were good, solidly produced DVDs (I particularly like Dexter's).  Now they have released the 3rd installment in their “all around" series.

Muscletime No. 3: The Pro World I is an interesting DVD which shows the viewer contest footage from the GNC Show of Strength contest held in 2004 (yeah, it’s a little late, but better than never). It also features in-the-gym action of Jay Cutler, Pavol Jablonicki, and Mustafa Mohammad (the day before the 2004 Olympia), as well as a Markus Rühl photo shoot (dear god in heaven, can you say big!). We have an arm workout with Heiko Keilbach, and in-the-room action with Victor Martinez before the 2004 Olympia (the detail in his back is awesome).

The DVD is shot well, and for some segments the quality is better than others (the GNC Show of Strength material is very clear).  The Rühl segment is awesome to watch. It’s a photo shoot and heavy weights were not used, but Markus is in such good shape and so big, the viewer will be left speechless.

What I like most about these DVDs is that Muscletime has put them together much like a video monthly magazine. What I mean by that is it's like watching an issue of Flex or Muscular Development.  It’s a neat concept. I enjoy seeing the variety of athletes, at different times of the year. Every DVD they produce gets better and better. Usually they combine DVDs to sell packages at a reasonable price, and shipping is built into the cost, so you know what you're paying for.

Steve Buccilli
December 2005


Review of Muscletime No. 4: The Pro World II
Released by Muscletime.com in 2006
120 minutes in length
Coverage of the IFBB Charlotte Pro Show for 2005
Available at http://www.muscletime.com

This DVD includes highlights from the 2005 Charlotte Pro Show, an interview with Quincy Taylor, along with a posing display and some in-the-gym action with him, George Farah working out (older footage from 2002) and his Charlotte posing routine, and finally a section they call “Old Timers” with some older early '90s FIBO footage.

Okay, now you have an idea of what to look for.  Let me tell you why you will want to add this DVD to your collection.  It starts off with some backstage footage from the 2005 Charlotte Pro, which took place only two short weeks prior to the Olympia in October.  Some athletes used this show as a last chance to qualify for the “O,” while others used it to tune up for the big one.  One of the athletes here to qualify was Dennis James. Since the IFBB ruled that only the top six in the 2004 Olympia would qualify for the 2005 "O," Dennis’s 2004 eighth place didn’t cut it. So you know Dennis took the Charlotte contest very seriously.  The backstage footage starts with Dennis. Let me say that this footage is almost worth the price of the DVD alone. The backstage lighting, combined with Dennis’s mass and condition, reminds me of some of those old classic Arnold photos from the early '70s. Dennis’s arms, delts, chest and back and legs are all huge and ripped. Dennis looks like his muscles are ready to explode.

Highlights from the Charlotte Pro prejudging are next.  In some regards, this is how a pro show should be filmed. Up-close camera angles, clear video quality, showing only the top guys. By that I mean you get to see Dennis James, Branch Warren, Mustafa Mohammad, Quincy Taylor, Fakhri Mubarak, George Farah and Craig Richardson, representing the top seven. You do not have to sit through some pros who didn’t peak properly; only the best are shown. You see the individual mandatories, followed by the comparisons and then the evening posing routines and posedowns. This was obviously a well-run show, with great lighting and great athletes.

Next up is an interesting segment starring Quincy Taylor. You see an in-the-room interview with Quincy the day before the Olympia, as he discusses his career. Then we see his Charlotte performance, followed by a gym workout the day after the Olympia. The in-the-gym workout is interesting mainly because Quincy was not too happy with the Olympia, and says so.

The George Farah segment is interesting too, and very entertaining. I really cannot put my finger on why George is impressive. He is big and ripped, but also has some flaws such as a wide waist and distended belly. But he is grainy and ripped. So it's basically your preference.

The “Old Timers” section is cool. The first segment is Gary Strydom at close to his all-time best--ripped and super thick. I have never seen Gary compete other than on the 1988 Mr. Olympia video. This segment was very cool. The next scene is the famous FIBO posedown between Dorian Yates and Victor Richards. These two were beasts, dwarfing the other pros at FIBO, which included Nasser El Sonbaty, Chris Cormier, Flex Wheeler and Paul Dillett. It’s a shame the two never competed against one another; that would have been a classic showdown.  I would like to thank Muscletime for putting this on DVD. (GMV is the only other company that has this footage.) We also see a back workout with Tommi Thorvildsen, followed by awesome footage of Lee Priest in his room prior to the 2002 Arnold Classic.

A must for anyone’s collection.

Steve Buccilli
February 2006


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