Sport

Dickinson eyes podium finish in Vegas

  • Hard yards: Kamel Dickinson sculpts his muscles during a training session at Positive Results gym as he prepares for the Las Vegas Amateur Olympia

(Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Only a top-three finish at the prestigious Las Vegas Amateur Olympia will suffice for Kamel Dickinson, as he aims to continue his meteoric rise in bodybuilding.

Having only taken up bodybuilding a little more than a year ago, Dickinson has enjoyed an immediate impact in the sport, first claiming second place in the menís physique at the Night of Champions at the Fairmont Southampton last summer, before going on to impress at the Arnold Classic in Columbus, Ohio, finishing third in February.

Dickinson, who was part of the World Wrestling Entertainment until recurring concussions dashed his burgeoning career in 2015, now hopes to move up to a higher step of the podium at the Amateur Olympia in Nevada, United States, which started yesterday.

ďIím feeling pretty good; Iíve put in a lot of work and put on a lot of size,Ē Dickinson, 32, said. ďIím feeling fuller in my shoulders and chest and Iím in all-round better shape than I was at the Arnold Classic.

ďIím always looking to do better. The goal is to keep progressing and improving on my last outing and so top three will be the minimum goal.

ďThis will be on a par with the Arnold Classic and itís another huge event to go into relatively soon into my bodybuilding career.

ďThe good thing for me is that there will be some of the same judges from the last event and so I have a better idea of exactly what theyíre looking for in terms of shape and conditioning.

ďIf Iím not doing better, Iím doing worse, so I have to move forward and improve.Ē

As well as receiving the accolades of the judging panel last time out, Dickinson believes the biggest positive from the experience was the invaluable insight into big events, and more importantly, the measure of competition that he faces from overseas.

ďAfter coming third at the Arnold Classic itís given me huge confidence, but itís also helped me in knowing what to expect. Iím better prepared mentally as well.

ďI had never done a competition of that scale and it was a massive culture shock seeing so many competitors and there was a lot of strong competition.

ďHowever, just like the Arnold Classic, the scale of this competition doesnít faze me. After wrestling for the biggest wrestling company in the world, the WWE, I wonít be affected by these sort of events.

ďWhat it did show me was just how much I needed to improve and for that was the most valuable part of the experience. Now heading into Olympia, I have a greater understanding of how I should look and exactly what I need to do.

ďIím definitely more prepared now than Iíve ever been, thatís for sure. My poses have improved tremendously and across all aspects Iíve grown.

ďIíve watched back videos of myself and I thought I looked awful, so Iíve definitely improved and made strides forward.Ē

Dickinsonís preparations have been aided by a greatly less strenuous schedule, broken down over 16 weeks, in stark contrast to the six he and his coach, Carmichael Bryan, had to try and perfect his physique ahead of the Arnold Classic.

ďHaving had a 16-week preparation has made a big difference, Dickinson added. ďThis process has been a lot easier than before the Arnold Classic. Cutting out certain food types has been a lot more gradual and so it hasnít been as strenuous.

ďHowever, saying that, Iíve still been suffering so hopefully it all pays off.Ē

Any success at the Amateur Olympia would also further vindicate Dickinsonís decision to pursue a career in bodybuilding further, with the personal trainer conceding the point he has reached in his new pursuit would not have possible without earlier failings.

ďIíve always felt quite comfortable within bodybuilding, because but having finished third at the Arnold Classic, I definitely feel more part of it,Ē said Dickinson, who works under the company name Cut2Fit.

ďI faced rejection and discouragement in the past, particularly within the WWE and it used to affect me but it happens and as much as it hurt, you have to move on and improve next time.

ďThatís all I focus on, that improvement; Iíve learnt more from the struggles and low periods, having those times have been invaluable to allow me to get where I am now.Ē