The bodybuilding DVD market is
saturated. Every month two or three new DVDs are
released, each vying for our hard-earned dollars.
Over the years, many athletes' videos have made their
mark in the industry. Dorian Yates with Blood and
Guts, Mitsuru Okabe with the Battle for the
Olympia series, and others -- Markus Ruhl, Jay
Cutler, Dennis James, and Ronnie Coleman among them
-- have put out DVDs, each with a unique spin on pro
bodybuilders' training and lifestyle.
Many of these DVDs are good,
provided youre a fan of that specific athlete.
Some entertain; others educate. Recent DVDs sometimes
de-emphasize training in favor of lifestyle. So why
should you buy Mark Dugdales new DVD? Ill
It would be a crime to call this
just a DVD. Why? Because it's more of a film.
Its done so well that it looks like a
documentary you might see on cable TV -- even a
feature documentary given theatrical release. If it
were slightly re-edited to reduce some of the
training routines, this film could easily be shown on
TV or at film festivals. Viewers unfamiliar with the
sport would better understand and appreciate what
bodybuilders go through, gaining them much-needed
respect from the general public.
The film is broken down into
various segments: lifestyle, relationships, family,
business, eating and nutrition, contest footage, and
training. I'll cover each part individually.
Hardcore fans will love these scenes. Although I was
initially disappointed that no quad routine was
shown, my feeling quickly dissipated when I saw how
heavily Mark trains in the other routines shown. He
always uses good form and high intensity. While he's
not as big as Dorian, his workouts are still
Dorianesque. Highlights include heavy dumbbell
presses, heavy incline presses, strict back workouts,
and an awesome delt workout. In one scene, Mark is
doing stiff-legged deadlifts for hamstrings. He uses
four or five 35-lb. plates per side. I thought to
myself, why use 35s? Why not 45s? Then I saw why. You
can lower the bar further down and get a better
stretch. The banter between Mark and his wife, and
between him and his training partners, is funny and
Contest footage. In this
film, we see footage from the 2006 Ironman Pro show.
The contest begins with the weigh-in, tanning,
Christina oiling Mark up, his mandatories as well as
his posing routine. During his routine, Mark
hits some of the same poses Bob Paris made famous --
and he's the only current pro who can pull off the
kneeling, twisting, one-arm-behind-the head shot. He
looks like a statue Michelangelo himself sculpted. In
the gym posing footage, you seehow big and ripped
Mark has become.
Businessman. Mark has a
full-time job as a fresh food supplier, specializing
in vegetables. His two factories are huge. In this
segment, which is somewhat short, the viewer comes to
appreciate what it takes to be successful in business
while juggling the discipline of a bodybuilding
Nutrition, shopping, and
eating. There's some humor in a segment in which
Mark gets all his supplements ready for the day. It
looked like there had to be at least a 100 different
pills (Im exaggerating). On his trip to the
store Mark buys chicken breasts, oatmeal, and orange
roughy. During one dinner, we see Mark eat fish while
his family eats spaghetti. It's refreshing to see a
family having dinner together.
Lifestyle, religion, family,
and love story. This is my favorite segment.
Marks faith is important to him, yet he never
once comes across as holier than thou."
His beliefs are ingrained in every aspect of life,
from raising his three daughters to his relationship
with his wife Christina. Both talk about how they met
and fell in love. There's also footage of Mark
helping out around the house, reading to his girls,
and putting them to bed. We also see the family going
out to eat and going to church.
This film is unique. I have
never seen anything like it, and I love it. I could
watch this over and over again. It's truly a love
story: not just about Marks love of
bodybuilding, but his love for his family and his
faith. Mark represents everything good about our
sport, and can remind us about what is important in
life. You don't get that in many other
Thanks, Mark and Christina.