The Arnold after party had an atmosphere like no other. There was a mix of models and huge strongman athletes in a club type atmosphere. Even professional fighters like Dan Puder were there. The after party was a lot of fun from start to finish.
People often say to me, "Ben, I don't want to go to the Arnold because it is just in OHIO, why can't it be in Vegas?!" As someone who has been to both, I find that it is easier to find people who you want to see during the Arnold weekend. Also, if you don't want to party, there is so much to do, such as going to the UFC Live, the bodybuilding contest and all types of athletic events. During Arnold weekend there is something for everyone both during the days and at nights.
Look at how big the World's Strongest man competitors are:
UFC 96 Live
I got to go to the UFC LIVE! I had great seats with a perfect view. The fights were fun. I think the question people might ask is, "How is watching the UFC live the same or different from watching the UFC on payperview?" The LIVE show has a concert like atmosphere. When the fighters come to the Octagon or after a fighter wins, they play the fighters' music for awhile with high volume. Watching the UFC live was very cool and packed with attitude. I personally love the UFC as you get to see, some of the toughest athletes in the planet going at it, and it is completely unpredictable. The knockouts are exciting. When there isn't a knockout it is always fun to see a good technical bout. The UFC was a blast.
Most of the fights were exciting first round knockouts. The main event was Keith Chardine who faced Rampage Jackson. It was a hard fought battle that went past all 3 rounds with Jackson getting the decision.
The Strength Events
In the USAPL, Brad Gillingham performed a 881 deadlift yelling the whole way up! Also, one of Critical Benches very own Jen Thompson did an ultra sick, flat back, super long arm, cotton t-shirt 286 paused bench @132lbs
For the Animal Cage-- Nick Winters bench pressed 700lbs for 2 raw.
In the MHP cage-- Jeremy Hoornstra showed the world he was back with a 625 closegrip bench and then he did 405x20!
In the MHP cage-- There was also a show down, Jay Fry vs Joe Mazza the strongest 165lbs bencher in the world and the strongest 181 pound bencher in the world. Joe Mazza bench pressed 700lbs and Jay Fry upped his 710lbs bench from last year to 750lbs!
Nick Winters 800+ deadlift
Nick Winters, 700 raw bench for 2..
The stone record was broken 3 times!!
Stone Load Video
WWE Champ & UFC Champ Brock Lesner
This year the big fighter attraction was none other than former WWE champion and current UFC champion (first and possibly only person who will ever do both,) Brock Lesnar. In person he was enormous. He was only about 3 inches taller than I am, but his head was 3 times thicker and everything else probably was too! He is a physical animal, a phenomenon from another time living in today! It was pretty cool getting to meet him.