Thursday, December 18, 2008

UFC fighter Justin Levens found dead.

Apparent murder/suicide...

[From the Los Angeles Times via]
Authorities today are investigating the deaths of mixed martial arts fighter Justin Levens and his wife -- discovered shot in bed in their Laguna Niguel condominium -- as a possible murder-suicide, with Levens as the potential the shooter.

Justin Levens, 28, and Sara McLean-Levens, 25, were discovered about 2:30 p.m. Wednesday by McLean-Levens' mother, who had not heard from her daughter in five days, said Orange County Sheriff's Department Spokesman Jim Amormino. The bodies had apparently been in the home for at least a few days.

Autopsies are being performed this morning, in addition to ballistics and residue testing, Amormino said. No suicide note was found, but investigators recovered a handgun at the scene.

"Nothing has been ruled out," Amormino said of the case.

The article goes on to say that Levens was convicted of spousal injury in 2003. Eerily, his last UFC fight was to Evan Tanner, who recently died of exposure in the Nevada desert.

Condolances to his friends and family.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Going Dark

I'm going to be travelling to London and Paris for the remainder of November. During that time I don't forsee that the blog will be updated or comments monitored.

During my time away I'm going to enable comment moderation to prevent "those people" (comment spammers and trolls) from making a mess of the place. Comments made during the period of time between Friday, Nov 21st and Saturday, Nov 29th WILL NOT APPEAR on this blog (comments on Thurs, Nov 20th will still post however). If the comments are relevent, I will approve them upon my return.

Everyone have a Happy Thanksgiving, (especially my dozen (or so) daily readers) eat too much Turkey and fall asleep on the couch.

Here's a little "mood music" to get you through...

or...(If Adam Sandler is not your style)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Adidas/Houston News

This is cool...

[Allison Wollam, Houston Business Journal]
Adidas will open its first Sports Performance Store in Texas on Nov. 22 in The Galleria.

The 8,000-square-foot store will offer a full-range of Sports Performance and Originals product lines, making it home to the most extensive selection of Adidas products in Texas.

Sports fans will also be able to shop for MLS Champion Houston Dynamo gear and official Houston Rockets NBA apparel.

The sports-inspired store design includes hanging bars that resemble weight-lifting bars and shoes displayed on running starter blocks instead of traditional shoe racks.

The Houston store is Portland, Ore.-based Adidas’ ninth Sports Performance Store in the United States.

Olympic Gold Medalist Jeremy Wariner and Olympic sprinter Doc Patton will participate in a ribbon-cutting ceremony while Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder and Houston native Adam Dunn will sign autographs and greet fans from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Unfortunately, I'll be in London during the opening, but I'll be sure to check it out in the near future.

Friday, October 03, 2008

The newest player in the supplement industry is...

That's right, the on-line supercenter has decided to dive straight into the nutritional supplement market. Word is they even had a booth at the 2008 Mr. Olympia.

Previously Europa Distributors sold supplements through Amazon so this is either a re-branding of the pre-existing agreement, or a full changing of the guard from Amazon in respects to the nutritional supplement industry. Regardless of the inner workings, infusions of cash from large players in retail are a good sign for an industry that's been struggling due to increased pressure from Government regulators. While its too early to say what, if any, impact Amazon's entrance into the market will have for the fitness industry as a whole, its certainly a welcome sight to see such a mainstream interest show interest in the marketplace.

Whether or not promoters and bodybuilders can leverage this interest into sponsorships remains to be seen.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Dexter Jackson Wins the Olympia.

In case you haven't heard, Dexter Jackson won the Mr. Olympia title and there was a stunned hush throughout the land.

Followed by wild applause.

The stunning news was that Jay Cutler (the defending champion) showed up to his second Mr. Olympia in a row in less than stellar shape, leaving some to wonder if his best days of competing are behind him. His soft appearance at the Friday pre-judging left the judges with no choice but to select Jackson as a winner, lest they risk losing all credibility with the fan base.

In the end however the judges got it right, an oddity for the show, and there's a remarkably small amount of carping about the results in opposition to prior years.

If, like me, you are looking forward to next years' competitive season with anticipation instead of dread it could be because there's been a glimmer of hope in the judging this year, where the best physique has been rewarded with placings instead of the usual political decisions.

Good job to AMI and the IFBB for putting on a good show.

Other winners:

Ms. Olympia - Iris Kyle: After her Ms. International debacle (7th place after almost being disqualified for "boils" on her glutes) Iris needed a good showing here. When she's on she's the best in the land. She was on.

Fitness Olympia - Jenn Henderschott: I thought she retired? Guess not.

Figure Olympia - Jennifer Gates: Um...ok. Congrats. It's figure.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Does the Mr. Olympia still matter to the Health and Fitness Industry?

This weekend, juiced up, oiled up, sexed up, pumped up bodybuilders will descend on Las Vegas for the 2008 Olympia Weekend as the 800lb Gorilla of bodybuilding organizations, The International Federation of Bodybuilders settles in to name its pre-determined champions in all of its contested divisions.

Maybe the worst kept secret in the industry is that bodybuilding is not now, nor has it been for some time, a legitimite competition. So rigged is the judging that Vegas won't even run betting lines on a competition being held in its own back yard. The casino's roll up their carpets (for fear of getting them stained) and only the Spearmint Rhino does any gussying up for the penultament event on the bodybuilding calendar. Absent any drama in the competition, the bodybuilding industry tries to invent drama by creating controversy that doesn't exist or by making one's selves a spectacle.

Yes, the bodybuilding industry is bereft of many of the principles that made it relevent in the past, creating the physical culture, comraderie, adherance to a healthful lifestyle. Those tenets are gone only to be replaced with false "gangsta" bravado, disposable female models willing to shoot nude (and have sex) at the drop of a hat to 'further their career', a chemical lifestyle, and a 'bunker down' mentality that places their thought processes outside of normal society. In short, its full of insecure men and pathetic women convincing themselves that they are somehow 'pretty' or 'manly' because of their ability to drop trou or their isolation. Bodybuilding men have convinced themselves that they really are modern-day equivilents of the gladiators of old. Bodybuilding women have convinced themselves that they are Amazons placed somewhere higher than males.

The sad thing is, they HAVE to convince themselves of this fact in order to make up for the fact that none of it really matters any longer.

At one time, bodybuilding training techniques were the most advanced in the industry. Football players and other athletes could use these cutting-age techniques and apply them to their sport. Today's bodybuilder is a luddite in the world of high-tech training. Yes, lifting weights is still the foundation, but the anciliary workouts that bodybuilders often ignore have progressed leaps and bounds past the archaic relics that bodybuilders adhere to. Nutrition and supplementation have progressed as well, leaving bodybuilding and its practionioners sucking the dust of an industry that's moving past the marketing of flavored powdered sugar, and into the realm of fresh whole organic foods supplemented with a few basic necessities for muscle growth and good health.

If you're still training and eating like a bodybuilder, you're at least 5-10 years behind the times.

Las Vegas is going to play host to a dinosaur's convention this weekend, sadly all of the attendees will be too self-absorbed to realize they are obsolete.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Don't miss this blowout sale.

Received this via e-mail today:

In case you're wondering:

5lb: $3.04 off of $39.99 is 7.60%

10lb: $2.04 off of $76.99 is 2.65%

Be sure to run out and snap up these fine deals while they last!!!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

News Flash: Governor likes strawberries!!!

File this under stupid press releases...

(from PR-net)
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Ben Weider met at the Arnold Schwarzenegger Bodybuilding Classic in Columbus, OH, where the Governor held up a copy of Weider's newly published book, The Wars Against Napoleon: Debunking the Myth of the Napoleonic Wars, by authors General Michel Franceschi and Ben Weider and published by Savas Beatie LLC.

Governor Schwarzenegger organizes yearly the Arnold Schwarzenegger Bodybuilding Classic ( Every year he selects an outstanding individual and honors him for his contribution to health, fitness, and bodybuilding.

This year, Governor Schwarzenegger selected Ben Weider, who is the Founder and Honorary Lifetime President of the International Federation of Bodybuilding & Fitness ( Ben Weider is also the president of The International Napoleonic Society (

Governor Schwarzenegger presented Weider with The Lifetime Achievement Award in front of 5,000 cheering fans. When asked about his opinion of Governor Schwarzenegger, Ben Weider replied, "Arnold Schwarzenegger is indeed one of the most intelligent people I have ever met. His perseverance, charming personality, and ability to solve problems and achieve results are what make him an outstanding individual."

Governor Schwarzenegger is also interested in history and was pleased when Ben Weider, a Napoleonic historian, signed a copy of his new book entitled The Wars Against Napoleon: Debunking the Myth of the Napoleonic Wars (

"I have read The Wars Against Napoleon, and I liked it," announced Governor Schwarzenegger.

Popular and scholarly history presents a one-dimensional image of Napoleon as an inveterate instigator of war who repeatedly sought large scale military conquests. General Franceschi and Weider dismantle this false conclusion in The Wars Against Napoleon. Publishers Weekly called the book "Provocative . . . revisionist . . . and controversial." According to Library Journal, "The authors argue strongly, persuasively, and intellectually for what is, essentially, the other side of the usual story. They will surely provoke debate within the historical community wherever there is interest in this period. Recommended for all libraries adding to their Napoleonic collections."

Weider explains that his and Franceschi's long persuasive essay turns our understanding of the French emperor on its head. "Napoleon's desire to spread 'liberty, fraternity and equality' to all citizens of France, and then to all citizens of countries that were occupied by the French Army, is what gained my respect and interest in Napoleon and the period in which he lived," explained Weider.


NOTE: I did not alter this in any manner. The press release was reproduced as written.

NFL Star sues supplement company

It was bound to happen...

(From Brent Schrotenboer of the San Diego Union-Tribune)
Athletes who fail drug tests these days often give the same excuse:
“It wasn't my fault. I didn't know my vitamins were tainted with steroids.”

To skeptics, it sounds like a schoolboy claiming that his dog ate his homework.

But recently many athletes have been taking their arguments to court to prove they mean it – often with successful results.

The latest attempt came Friday in San Diego Superior Court, where former San Diego State and NFL running back Femi Ayanbadejo filed suit against a Nevada supplement company and local distributor. Ayanbadejo tested positive for a steroidal substance last year, leading to a four-game suspension and his release by the Arizona Cardinals and Chicago Bears.

“I took a supplement that had a banned substance in it that was not listed on the bottle,” Ayanbadejo said yesterday. “I know a lot of guys have been using that excuse. But I said from the beginning that I was going to sue the company and make sure that whoever was responsible would face the music.”

If his claims are true then I hope he wins the suit and the company in question is fined severely. The fight to keep supplements legal is going to involve holding company's feet to the fire regarding accurate label claims.