💪 Hidetada Yamagishi is Officially Retired

Good afternoon, swole patrol. The unofficial theme of today's newsletter: Looking ahead. 

Professional bodybuilder and the first Japanese man to compete at the Olympia, Hidetada Yamagishi, confirmed that he's officially retired. Nick Walker revealed his new coach, and the Arnold Classic is down another competitor (yes, for real) — Cedric McMillan.

Keep reading for our Arnold Classic predictions, advice on selecting a bodybuilding coach, and a look at Chris Bumstead's bulking diet. 


And...That's a Wrap

Japanese bodybuilder Hidetada Yamagishi confirmed his retirement on an episode of The Menace Podcast, hosted by Dennis James. 

Yamagishi's last contest was the 2020 212 Olympia, where he placed 14th. His retirement caps a 16-year career in both the Men's Open and 212 categories. In 2016, Yamagishi won the Arnold Classic 212 contest, the most notable win of his career, and then placed sixth at the Olympia that same year. 

Over the last decade, Yamagishi has established himself as the most well-known Japanese competitor in the IFBB Pro League. In total, he's won five professional shows and appeared in the Olympia 10 times. In 2007, Yamagishi became the first Japanese bodybuilder to compete in the Olympia.

He resides in Las Vegas, NV, and co-owns his Powerhouse Gym with 10-time Ms. Olympia winner Iris Kyle. 


And Then There Were Nine

We've run out of witty ways to deliver bad news about the Arnold Classic. Cedric McMillan is out of the show. The Arnold Sports Festival confirmed the news to BarBend on Feb. 25, 2022. Days after the announcement, McMillan revealed on Instagram that stomach issues forced him to withdraw.

McMillan was a favorite to podium (and even win) the AC. He won the show in 2017, but has since competed sporadically due to injuries. This marks the second year in a row that McMillan has withdrawn from the Arnold Classic

Now, there are just nine men vying for one of bodybuilding's most prestigious titles:

  • William Bonac (Netherlands)

  • Maxx Charles (USA)

  • Brandon Curry (USA)

  • Samson Dauda (United Kingdom)

  • Regan Grimes (Canada)

  • Steve Kuclo (USA)

  • Fabio Giga Rezende (Brasil)

  • Justin Rodriguez (USA)

  • Brett Wilkin (USA)


A New Era

In hindsight, probably no one is shocked that Nick Walker picked the bodybuilding coach with the nickname "Super Sliced."

Last week, Walker revealed that he's now working with Dominick Mutascio, a bodybuilding prep coach with nine contests under his belt and a host of amateur and pro clients. 

In January 2022, Walker and his former coach Matt Jansen officially parted ways. Jansen is an industry legend with a list of high-profile clients, including 212 Olympia champ Shaun Clarida, Brett Wilkin, and Justin Shier. With Jansen at the helm, Walker had what could be considered the most impressive rookie season ever in pro bodybuilding. He won the 2021 New York Pro, the 2021 Arnold Classic, and placed fifth at his Olympia debut. 

"We know exactly what needs to get done for [Nick Walker] to be a front runner to win an Olympia title," Mutascio wrote in an Instagram post. "I can promise you I will do whatever is necessary on my end to ensure that his hard work pays off as much as possible, we exceed our expectations, and turn his dreams into a reality."


Who Will Win the 2022 Arnold Classic?

Despite five withdrawals from the 2022 Arnold Classic, the Men's Open division is still a who's-who of former champs, veterans, and up-and-comers.

First things first: 2019 Arnold Classic Winner Brandon Curry should get the nod as the favorite. Curry won the 2019 Olympia and placed second the last two years. William Bonac will be hot on his tail, however. Bonac is a two-time Arnold Classic winner (2018 and 2020), and has placed within the top five at five Mr. Olympias. Having dropped to sixth place at the 2021 Olympia, Bonac is no doubt hungry for a comeback. 

Veteran competitor Steve Kuclo should never be counted out, although he's never won an Olympia or Arnold Classic. Regan Grimes is working with a new coach, Milos Sarcev, and he's racked up a win at the 2021 KO Pro, signaling a possible rise in his career. 

And then there's Brett Wilkin, a former Classic Physique competitor who sized up in 2019 to 212 and then now to the Men's Open division. He's aesthetic and lean (see above), but unproven at this level of competition.


Your Coach Questionnaire 

So you've decided to invest in a bodybuilding coach. Maybe you want to compete at a National level, or just locally. Maybe your ultimate goal is to be featured in this very newsletter (we support you). Whatever your motivation, you want to ensure that you're working with the right coach. 

When looking for a coach, you want to consider their communication style, coaching structure, their expectations, and, of course, their rates. Click on the article below for a more in-depth guide of all the considerations to have before pulling the trigger. 


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Image courtesy of @cbum on Instagram