Believe to Achieve: A
Journey Into Bodybuilding
With IFBB Pro John Hodgson
a review by
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
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!