After the disappointing result last fall, which thoroughly dragged me down, I was conscious that it would be inevitable to go back to my normal training habits in order to regain the fullness and size I am usually known for. I did my cardio in the morning upon waking on an empty stomach and trained hard and heavy. In addition to that I chose a very balanced nutrition and although this preparation also engulfed a lot of perseverance, everything went according to plan and fortunately without any injury, but nevertheless not totally doubtless because on contrast to earlier preparations I didn't decrease my bodyweight continuously this time but gave precedence to the man in the mirror and did not devote myself to the scale like in the earlier days. A few days out of the show I was still weighing 287 lbs and then after carb loading my competition weight was 280 lbs, not to mention that I felt bigger and fuller than ever before what resulted in total self-confidence throughout the entire competition.
Due to my awesome shape, which undoubtedly was my all time best, the audience was going like crazy, when I was doing the compulsary poses in common with Paul Dillet and Bob Cicherillo. Throughout the entire show I fought like a hungry lion and even during the line-up there were no weaknesses visible. Therefore the judges didn' t find anything to complain about. Later after the show fans as well as fellow bodybuilders acknowledged, that the German Beast's supremacy and superiority were visible from the first moment I entered stage.
As a matter of fact I had reached the final and after a short line-up and posedown I was confident, that I ought be either first or second. After Francisco Bautista was called out for third place, only Chic and me were remaining. While we were waiting for the announcement of the winner, which was imminent, thousands of thoughts were going through my mind......
When Chic's second place was announced, I couldn't believe it, the judges declared me the unanimous winner of the NOC 2002. It also amazed me that the judges judged me correctly for the very first time in my five year professional career, something they had never done before. The crowd at Beacon was going really crazy, while shouting " RUHL, RUHL, RUHL !!!" ,louder and louder.
An indescribable feeling of good fortune came over me and I fell down on my knees
On this day I received the rewards for all the great sacrifices that have made through all these years, on this day I reaped the benifits of the seeds that I have sown. Due to this accomplishment I attained the Hall Of Fame, something I have always been craving since I started working out. This victory enabled me to get to the next level in professional bodybuilding. Now I can pursue and try to accomplish my ultimate goal, to place in the top three at the Olympia.
One week later I participated in the Toronto Pro International. I depleted carbs again but due to perished oatmeal I got digestion problems, which made carb loading more difficult. As a result from that I diminished in size and definition. Weighing 12 lbs less than at the NOC, I had to be satisfied with 2nd place. Even though it was pretty close, Art Atwood really deserved his victory.
The very same night my training partner Marc Arnold and myself were celebrating my fabulous victory at the NOC as well as the 2nd place in Toronto. As for everyone pictured here, I don't look so fit anymore as distinct from him.
Finally, I want to thank all those, who were concerned about me and supported me throughout the preparation. I very much appreciate your support and more importantly I couldn't have done it without you !!!