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Mark Pinhasovich’s Whirlwind Arnold Classic Experience

By Mark Pinhasovich, owner of AMPD Fit Camp and at-home winner for Biggest Loser 10.

What did you guys do this past weekend? Did you take it easy? Did you work out hard? Maybe somewhere in between? You know I always push it to the max, so what did I do and where did I go?! Two words: Arnold Classic!!! That’s right, I was able to make it out for the world famous fitness and bodybuilding show started by the Governator himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger!!!

Let me preface this by saying that it is NOT a bunch of “I lift things up and put them down!” type people at this show. There were 48 different sports represented here including such pastimes as fencing and ballroom dancing! There were so many great people there from all walks of life. Estimates put the attendance numbers at over a quarter million people!

As I walked into the hall for the first time, the sheer amount of protein (or more likely the result of that amount of protein) hung in the air like a mist in the jungle. I was there to help out at the Ultimate Flurry Bar booth, which is a ridiculously good tasting high protein/low carb bar. They also had Xtreme Shock, a great Beta-Alanine energy drink, and Protein Ice, a Gatorade-like protein drink. Joining me at the show were Amanda Arlauskas, finalist from season 8 of Biggest Loser, and Coleen Skeabeck from season 6.

The first day went by in a blur. I was not expecting this amount of people! All day we were talking to great people with great stories and took tons of pictures! We were pretty wiped out by the end of day one. What did we get ourselves into?

Day two was expected to be the craziest. And it lived up to those lofty expectations! The mass amount of people was insane! We were at the booth for a while talking to people and posing for pics again, which I love doing by the way, but after about five hours of that we felt we needed a  little respite. We walked around and stopped by the Oxygen booth where, lo and behold, Kim Lyons, former Biggest Loser trainer, was hanging out with her husband, professional bodybuilder/actor, Gunter Schlierkamp! They are both so awesome and it was a pleasure hanging out with them for a few minutes.

When we got back to the booth, we ran into Demitrius “Oaktree” Edwards, the man who broke Tyson’s ribs in a fight! After that, Michael O’Hearn, of American Gladiator fame, stopped by! We kept meeting awesome people with great stories. There were tons of competitions going on as well. We were able to catch a little bit of Crossfit, weightlifting, and Strongman (my favorite) activities going on in various parts of the convention center. As day two came to a close, I thought I was done. How the heck was I going to make it through three days of this?!

Waking up for the third day was not in the least bit easy, but chugging a couple Xtreme shock at least helped me wake up, if not recharge my sore muscles. Sunday was supposed to be when the convention was winding down and would be a slow day. Well that was a big ole farce! I think there were as many people as the day before, and again, the protein consumption may have been a bit much, because I did not trust anyone enough to stand behind them, if you catch my drift. At least this day was a little shorter than the previous day, so we broke off from the booth a little early and began to “scavenge” the convention for all the left over goodies that the dealers did not want to take home with them. We hung out with some great Marines at their booth for a little bit and left with so much swag that it was spilling out of our bags.

I was in such a daze from the whole event. Totally and absolutely wiped out. I barely remember flying home. It was three solid days of nonstop insanity. I met a ton of great people and heard a ton of great stories. But would I do it all again? You betcha! In a heartbeat.

March 8th, 2012

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