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Entries in #Arnold Sports Festival (2)


The Arnold Classic Continuing Coverage: Victor Martinez

Even on the eve of the most highly-anticipated Mr. Olympia contest in many years, I'm reminded the next Arnold Sports Festival is coming up in March. Going forward I'll be spotlighting people, products and events from the 2016 Arnold Classic, counting down to the 2017 celebration of all things fitness and nutrition. In my opinion, as someone who's been attending the Arnold since it's inception, there remains no question the Arnold Sports Festival is the biggest, best and most important gathering in the field, in the world.

I spent a bit of time with Victor Martinez at the MHP Nutrition booth at the Expo. Victor is a good example of a working professional bodybuilder, someone who has spent several years working his way back from a serious knee injury. At the time of his knee, many wrote him off as a contendor and assumed his career had ended. Talking to him at the show, Victor was a bit upset that in 2016 anyone still wondered if he was able to compete at the highest level. I like that attitude.

Only a few months later, in July, Martinez won the IFBB Pro Baltimore, hopefully putting to rest any surprise that he's back, in a big way. I look forward to seeing him continue to compete.

The opportunity to talk with Victor Martinez and spend a few minutes is a great example of what can, and does, continually happen at the Arnold Classic.



King Kong Backpack Does the Arnold Classic

The new King Kong backpack lived up to it's name last week during the intense, crowded Arnold Classic. For a few weeks I've hauled a selection of Progenex products back and forth to my CrossFit box, day in and day out, in the backpack. In my other hand always is my dependable, two-year-old King Kong gym bag. The Arnold Sports Festival, encompassing bodybuilding, CrossFit, Strongman, Olympic Weightlifting, Powerlifting, and the crowded Expo, was a great proving ground for this piece.

It's no exaggeration to say that at times last Saturday, in the Expo, the crowd was packed thickly enough that foot traffic was at a standstill. Shoulders were jamming into each other on all sides. The King Kong backpack stood up to the crush, even when packed full of supplement giveaways and purchases. At times I know I was putting as much pressure on the zippers as they could take, perhaps more than they were set up for, but they held. No seams split, no stitching unraveled. 

Other than a wilderness backpacking excursion, I can't come up with a better proving ground for a backpack. During the course of long hours in the Expo, and at various events, it was on and off my back dozens of times daily. I wore my King Kong on one shoulder for periods of time, and traditionally strapped onto both shoulders for long periods. As it filled and grew in weight, the strap system more and more proved it's worth. I was always comfortable, wearing the backpack over a t-shirt.

I'm also pleased with the sheer capacity of this equipment; the walk from the Expo to the car is long and slow. Massive crowds means at times I'm nearly using it as a battering ram. Being able to handle the load comfortably for a long time is critical to my needs.

Everything in this photo fit easily into the backpack.

The King Kong backpack is a welcome addition to my fitness arsenal.