Believe to Achieve: A Journey Into Bodybuilding
With IFBB Pro John Hodgson

a review by
Gerry Triano




Believe to Achieve: A Journey Into Bodybuilding
With IFBB Pro John Hodgson
Filmed and Produced by Eric Guy
DVD format on 2 discs. Running Time: 170 minutes combined

This video was filmed in early April 2006, about eight weeks away from the Toronto Pro, which was the competition John Hodgson was targeting. Unfortunately, the event was canceled. Since John was ahead of his contest prep schedule, he decided to compete in the New York Pro in May 2006. This now gave him just six more weeks to prepare.

This film chronicles John's prep through his workout regimen, early morning home cardio sessions, food and supplementation preparations for the day, and posing practice. He did all this while performing his regular job functions as a warehouse manager at CNP. The film is a testament to what dedication, character, and a strong work ethic can accomplish.

John is a genuine, affable, and down-to-earth individual. There is no acting here, and the "what you see is what you get" approach gives the film a nuts and bolts documentary feel. The result is one of the most comprehensive and informative bodybuilding films I've had the pleasure of viewing.

John demonstrates all of his workouts and provides insightful narration on what he does and why. He stresses good form in all his sets. John's workouts consist of free weights and machine work. He pays attention to details, including wrist curls in his arm workout, and performs specific abdominal movements such as leg raises and crunches. John strives for the complete and proportioned package, which is evident in his physical development.

There are interviews with British legends Dorian Yates (six times Mr. Olympia) and Kerry Kayes. Both underscore how John transcends his genetics and works diligently in and out of the gym to achieve what he has. A mutual admiration society can be heard and felt.

Also, John offers posing advice and practices his posing in the gym's studio. He places great importance on presentation and it shows onstage. John drew his inspiration from Dorian, Shawn Ray and Lee Labrada, whom he considers top posers.

The closing features John guest posing in the United Kingdom one week after the New York Pro competition. He is very well received, and in a heartwarming finale brings his adorable daughter Chloe (whom he calls the light of his life) onstage.

This is an outstanding film on all levels, and is highly recommended to anyone who wants to learn about what this sport should be about. Athletes at every level could benefit from watching this video. John demonstrates one of my favorite adages: "less is more, and simple is better." Good show!

Gerry Triano

February 2008