This all started when I made a comment on one of the Sam’s Fitness videos about many of the IFBB pros competing only once a year but still can’t come in at their best. Bob Cicherillo, who works for Muscular Development magazine (which I did, as well), is the athlete’s rep and the emcee for a number of competitions, apparently took exception to my observation about the 2015 Arnold Classic with, “Lee says these guys have a whole year to prepare and can’t do it. Yep, so did he. Why wasn’t he one hundred percent at every show? Lee isn’t exactly the voice of reason now, is he?”
He is obviously referring to the 2003 Mr. Olympia, a show that I freely admit my conditioning was not where it should have been. I placed 15th that year after making the top six at the previous O. But this (2003) was a show that I initially did not plan on doing and was eating shit like McDonald’s during that offseason.
But when I posted that I was not going to compete, the fans went mad and wanted to see me on stage in Las Vegas that September. So against better judgement, I decided to enter and had to begin my prep later than usual. But I just wasn’t into it mentally since I really did not want to do that show.
But even there, I didn’t have the distended stomach like these guys had. And every other show that I ever did, I was always in shape. So for him to make that comment is just plain stupid and not true.
Someone posted that video on MD’s “No Bull” forum thread and Cicherillo must have felt compelled to answer some of the other people posting on there that stood up for me.
“Only once (out of shape at a contest) according to HIM…no surprise there,” he posted. “The real point is that he’s throwing stones while living in a glass house.”
OK, Bob. What other show did I enter where I was not in shape? Please show me the pictures where I was really off with a bloated gut and all. I competed in the IFBB for over 15 years and hit the stage many times a year. He is pointing to one 12-month period in between shows, which was out of the ordinary for me. Usually, I would do three or four shows in a calendar year, like the Iron Man, Arnold, San Francisco and then the Olympia.
So until he can come up with a picture or a video of me in a show out of shape other than that one I own up to, he’s a liar.
Another interesting topic that came up recently is why a lot of the pros have these wide midsections and once again Bob is in the spotlight. There was a video on MD with him, Peter McGough and another guy that I suppose works with them that was shot the weekend of the Europa in Orlando. They were discussing why the big guts are so common nowadays and ever the company man, Cicherillo’s ‘Bob-servation’ was that it was the amount of food – and not drugs – being the culprit. Even his co-worker Shawn Ray couldn’t hold back and posted on the forum:
“Did Bob just say, “It’s got (sic) nuthin’ to do with drugs?” Hello? It’s (sic) got everything to do with drugs and then you can mention food. I’ve seen bodybuilders with very little quality muscle, yet a protruding GUT just short of a full term pregnancy.”
Taking to the boards, Bob said that he respectfully disagreed with Ray and added, “Drugs have been around since the beginning of modern bodybuilding; not much has changed there. The much and often celebrated 90s had pretty much the same stuff as today with the exception of one thing – insulin, which I’ve gone on record many times as being a contributing factor to the distended midsection.”
But isn’t that kind of what Ray said, Bob? And why didn’t you point this out during that video? You could have saved yourself a lot of criticism in the form of the other forum members bashing you and come out of it looking like an honest and respectful reporter.
But instead, he said “it has nothing to do with drugs” and blamed it on the amount of food consumed (especially during the carbing up process) and “lack of practice. I don’t see the guys posing like they did years ago. We spent hours working on the posing and presentation and you had to hold shots.”
Be consistent, Bob.
When you have someone who works for the same company – and especially someone with the track record of Shawn Ray – openly questioning your theory on a public forum, you are a tool.
Bob has a point about insulin being the likely source of the big guts. Guys have used GH for years and years and kept small waists and the stupid ones ate real big. But now they are using too much insulin and God knows whatever else. Hany Rambod would know about this, and you can ask Seth Feroce how that worked out for him when the two were hooked up.
When you see me in the Sam’s Fitness videos talking about Cicherillo, I really just shrug it off as ‘Bob being Bob.’ He claims that there is no hatchet to bury with me, but it appears that he does hold some sort of grudge. But what else can you expect since he works for the IFBB and they handed me a lifetime ban?
Be sure to read Lee Priest’s column every month online and in each quarterly print issue of MuscleSport Magazine.