by Craig Titus
Just because you qualify to compete in the Mr. Olympia doesn’t necessarily mean you should compete and it surly doesn’t mean you’re ready for the Olympia stage…. That’s if you plan on placing in the money. Truth is, the greatest bodybuilding show on earth isn’t the Mr. Olympia, and it’s the show you win! I’m pretty sure I speak for most bodybuilders when I say ‘it’s far more rewarding to win bodybuilding competitions then to just compete in the Olympia and not place in the top ten.” As a professional bodybuilder nothing is more disappointing then not hearing you’re named called out amongst the ten best bodybuilders in the world. Besides the empty and dishearten feeling that consumes you when your name isn’t announced, you’re now placed into the class of bodybuilders considered to be not elite.
Whether it’s true or not, you’re no longer A-list. When you don’t place with the elite, within the top ten bodybuilders on the face of the earth, your stock or worth is significantly damaged until you redeem yourself. Redemption is achieved with a victory! Redemption is regained when you’re finally ready to place top ten at the Mr. Olympia and you actually do so! Sure, winning a Pro show certainly puts you in a “worthy” category, but it doesn’t suddenly give you the physique to place top ten in the Mr. Olympia. For example, Justin Compton earned his Mr. Olympia invitation by winning the IFBB Orlando Pro Show. He’s achieved what many Pro Bodybuilders have never accomplished; he actually won becoming an elite professional. Justin’s guest posing fees are now first rate and more than likely been offered several endorsement contracts. But it still doesn’t represent him having the ability to place in the Mr. Olympia. Truth is, simply competing in the Olympia or just participating in the Olympia festivities isn’t enough. Who really wants to be recognized as one of the subpar bodybuilders who didn’t place in the top ten? Yet Bob Cicherello believes it’s an easy decision his opinion is it’s a no brainer. Cicherello thinks the Orlando Pro Show Champion should now jump head first with the “big dogs” and compete in the Mr. Olympia even though he’s not sure. I suppose that’s fairly good advice coming from a retired scrub bodybuilder likes of Bob Cicherello. I say be sure Justin or any other pro who’s qualified for the Olympia. Don’t get caught up in all the Mr. Olympia hype, the last thing you want is 10,000 plus fans witnessing you departure from the elite status, the status you recently secured by winning a Pro show only to have your champion status stripped by NOT placing!! Not to mention the financial aspects of competing, more specifically the 7-10,000 dollars or more you’ve spent on preparing for the Olympia. That’s a significant sum of money to invest in you and not place when only the top ten get paid. It doesn’t help your career in anyway by not placing in the Mr. Olympia. You don’t increase your fan base, you don’t create business opportunities and you cannot build an elite brand by becoming one of the scrubs who didn’t stand in the top ten! Continue winning pro shows; keep making gain and when you’re 100% certain you’re a top ten Olympian competes! Now because I’m such an avid fan of Shawn Ray and we’ve been such tremendously close friends over the years (LOL) I’ve decided to watch the new reality television show on lifetime called “Raising Asia.” Against my better judgment and my sheer disdain for reality shows, I made the commitment to watch at least a few episodes which are based upon Shawn’s daughter Asia. I told myself I must watch this show with a totally objective attitude and stay clear of forming any opinions based on my true feelings for Shawn Ray. It’s no secret I can’t stand Shawn or any thing he’s involved in. At the same time, having no love lost between us, I found myself utterly compelled to watch this show. That said, Shawn’s daughter is an absolutely phenomenal dancer! No one can deny Asia is something special being extremely intelligent and truly wise far beyond her actual age. I have to say again, Asia is extraordinary, she’s a dance marvel and the kid can dance like no other child I’ve ever seen. Thing is, the operative word here is child. Asia is eight years old!! She’s not 25 who have had adult experiences or adult relationships, yet she’s allowed to dance as though she’s an adult. Evan more disturbing is that Asia is encouraged by her parents to perform like an adult! I’m watching “raising Asia” for no other reason except it’s based on Shawn Ray’s family. I’m watching the show thinking good for Shawn, it’s pretty damn cool he has a reality show on network television and I have to admire and respect his business savvy. Then Anthony Burnell appears. He’s the adult choreographer that composes Asia’s adult routines that are 100% absolutely inappropriate… INAPPROPRIATE!! I’m watching this eight year old dance phenom perform with four adult male dancers while she’s carrying a whip. She’s eight!!! Eight, not twenty! Really Shawn? Really Kristie? Seriously, are they really allowing their eight year old to perform adult themed routines? Then I thought for a moment, stop it, quit hating and appreciate and admire Shawn Ray’s success. That was until the dance committee at World Dance agreed with me and deemed Asia’s routine as inappropriate for her age group. So it’s not just me. The way in which Asia is permitted by her parents to dance is inappropriate, uncomfortable and frankly embarrassing to watch. Then you have Shawn’s wife Kristie. I thought he was married to one of the high maintence, severely pretentious Kardashian sisters but soon realized not. One thing’s for certain, she’s the boss. The show is hysterical and I think I speak for anyone who knows Shawn Ray in that his marriage is exactly what he deserves. (LMAO) Thank you Shawn, thank you Kristie and thank you lifetime for putting a much needed smile on my face. I read in MD magazine the NPC is setting record weekends with their regional contests attracting 700 plus contestants. That’s amazing but keep in mind the majority of the contestants are bikini competitors. Is that really something to celebrate? Aren’t scantily clad women on stage in the very same event as bodybuilders more of something to laugh at? Keep in mind I totally understand the financial rewards for 265 bikini competitors in the NPC and at one show. That’s 265 entry fees, and 265 NPC cards which took place at the Phil Heath Classic. Believe me, I see the numbers! But, wouldn’t it be better to separate the NPC / IFBB bikini competitors from the actual athletes? Seriously, why not hold bikini model search contest to take place on the expo floor as the case of the 2014 Flex Bikini Model Search. BPI sports are the official sponsor of the 2014 Bikini Model Search to be held at the Weider’s Fitness Performance weekend in Las Vegas. That’s perfect! The NPC and IFBB still maintain al the financial benefits of the bikini division while eliminating the offense taken by professional bodybuilders by having the step on the same stage. Kudos to BPI! Bikini competitors should never be in relation to the bodybuilding competition and only take place at the expo in a separate event. Lastly, I’d like to talk about a totally unrelated subject… more specifically shark week on the discovery channel. I’d like to point out that the majority of scientist or biologist or oceanographers believe people are not on the sharks menu. They believe during a predation, sharks mistake humans for seals, turtles or even fish. I say bullshit. The ocean is the sharks home, it’s their environment, humans are trespassing, we’re the intruders and yet another source of food. You best believe a Great White certainly knows the difference between a person floating on a surf board or paddle board and a freaking seal. Great White’s positively can identify a human in a shark cages a possible food source and damn well knows it’s not an elephant seal or sea turtle! Yet that shark will attack and literally eat both! Biologist and oceanographers think that sharks are somehow vilified and turned into villains if they admit sharks will purposely and knowingly eat humans. I vehemently disagree. Bottom line is this, if you enter the ocean, knowing sharks live there, and get attacked by a shark, it’s your fault. Remember, the ocean is their home…. Not ours!!
Conditioning will be his deciding factor, here are my 2014 Mr. Olympia predictions:
1st- Phil Heath
2nd- Mamdough Elssbiay
3rd- Kai Greene
4th- Dennis Wolf
5th- Dexter Jackson
6th- Shawn Rhoden
7th- Victor Martinez
I believe 7th thru 10th place is a crap shoot with Martinez, Juan Morel, Steve Kuclo, and Johnnie Jackson.
If you have a question for Craig Titus please send an email via our contact form.
Craig Michael Titus was born in Wyandotte, Michigan on Jan 14, 1967. The eldest of Michael and Sandra Titus’ three children. In high school, Craig wrestled for his school team at 132lbs. After graduation, decided to put on some muscle via weight training. When Craig graduated from high school he was 5’6″ and 140lbs. By the age of 21, he was 5’9″ and 185lbs. Once he started weight training and seeing results, he was hooked. Craig’s first bodybuilding show was the 1988 Houston Bodybuilding Championships in which he won the Men’s Open middleweight class and the overall title.
2002 Mr. Olympia – 11th
2002 Night of Champions XIV – 5th
2002 Southwest Pro – 7th
2001 British Grand Prix – 9th
2001 Mr. Olympia – 12th
2001 Arnold Classic – 6th
2001 SAN FRANCISCO GRAND PRIX – 2nd
2001 IRONMAN PRO INVITATIONAL – 5th
2000 Toronto Pro – 1st
2000 Arnold Classic – 10th
2000 Night of Champions – 11th
2000 Ironman Pro Invitational – 8th
1996 NPC USA Championships — 1st Heavyweight and Overall
1995 NPC USA Championships — 2nd Heavyweight
1994 NPC National Championships — 2nd Heavyweight
1994 NPC USA Championships — 2nd Heavyweight
1993 NPC USA Championships — 4th Heavyweight
1991 NPC Ironman/Ironmaiden — Overall
1990 NPC Tournament of Champions — 3rd Heavyweight
1990 NPC Western Cup — Overall
1989 NPC Houston Bodybuilding Championships — Overall