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By Sammi Michaels When you look at brand new I.F.B.B. pro Troy Alves, the first thing that jumps out at you is, well, nothing. Like many of the top shorter pros who came before him, see Lee Labrada, Shawn Ray and Dexter Jackson, Troy’s body looks good from every angle. Three-dimensional symmetry is the only way that this group of superior short men can compete with the monsters. And make no mistake about it, Alves has it. “Smart” Symmetry Through Visualization and Feel Troy is a bodybuilder who is very realistic about

By Sammi Michaels As bodybuilding moves deeper into the new millennium, top competitors continue to push the boundaries of extreme muscularity. Eye-popping, skin-stretching slabs of muscle seem to expand at an incredible rate. Great news, right? Isn’t that what being a top bodybuilder is all about? Not so fast, my friend. The cost of all that additional muscle has, for many, resulted in the loss of something far more important…a tapered physique. Whether it’s the all too common distended stomachs that are becoming the norm on amateur and pro stages everywhere

“My biceps always grew pretty easily, but my triceps were a different story altogether. There was a time when I did as many as seventeen sets to get them to match my biceps. It took a lot to wear them out. I actually feel like I had to overtrain them to get them to grow. Now that they are in line with my biceps, I maintain the balance between the two bodyparts by giving my triceps 9-10 sets, whereas I only do six sets for biceps. The tris do make

When you first look at super symmetrical rising star Mark Dugdale’s physique, nothing jumps out at you. Not because nothing is impressive, but because everything is full, balanced and equally conditioned. When you take a closer look, however, you realize that Mark does have a standout bodypart that merits some extra attention, his legs. From the front, Mark has shredded, separated sweeping quads that only add to the easy flow of his physique. When he turns to the side and hits a side chest or side tricep, the detail and

By  Sammi Michaels Scene 1: 2001 N.P.C. USA Bodybuilding Championships July 28, 2001, Las Vegas, Nevada The toughest night in the budding bodybuilding career of front-runner Troy Alves, as he is announced second, again. Troy is full of disappointment, uncertainty and acceptance. After all, how would you feel if you just took your third consecutive runner-up finish in your quest for a pro card? So close, yet so far. Scene 2: 2002 N.P.C. USA Bodybuilding Championships July 27, 2002, Las Vegas, Nevada The best night in Troy’s bodybuilding life, as he unanimously trounces the