The annual Arnold Sports Festival will kick off a week from today as bodybuilders compete for the sport’s second-most coveted title. In a recent Prime Time Muscle episode, Chad Nicholls shared details about Mamdouh ‘Big Ramy’ Elssbiay‘s prep and said his quad holes ‘are completely gone.’
“I thought it would be good to get back up on stage. So, that’s exactly what we did. We went back and kind of dug deep, went in and kind of looked at what he needed to work on,” Chad Nicholls said.
The bodybuilding world was turned upside down last December following the dramatic conclusion of the 2022 Mr. Olympia contest. Despite being a heavy favorite, Big Ramy appeared to enter the competition off, as noted by IFBB head judge Steve Weinberger. In fact, Weinberger suggested the package Ramy brought a few months ago, ‘wasn’t the real Ramy we know.’ While dissecting the former champion’s performance, Weinberger suspected Elssbiay was suffering from injuries.
Just days after losing his title, Big Ramy vowed to make a comeback for redemption. The Arnold Sports promoters raised the prize money to $300,000 for the Men’s Open winner, which prompted Elssbiay to declare a surprise entry. In preparation for his second show in less than four months, Ramy underwent an intravenous stem cell treatment. This measure was taken to revitalize his physique and aid potential nerve damage.
With the 2023 Arnold Classic approaching, coach Chad Nicholls cleared the air on Ramy’s fifth-place Olympia performance. In addition, he updated fans on Ramy’s physique and progress before stepping on another competition stage.
Chad Nicholls Says Big Ramy’s Physique Has Improved Drastically, Talks About His Decision to Enter 2023 AC
During the interview, Nicholls revealed the decision-making process Ramy went through before entering the Arnold Classic next month.
“When we were thinking about the Arnold, I was talking with him and we were kind of going back and forth, and we were like, ‘listen, we weren’t able to get done what we needed to at the Olympia,’ he said, ‘What do you think about the Arnold, I said, ‘you listen, I think that it would be good for you to get back up on stage. Obviously, we got some things we need to correct; we need to work on. We need to kind of go back to the drawing board on a few things,” says Chad Nicholls.
According to Nicholls, Ramy had issues with his leg, back, and triceps, which they are working to correct.
“A lot of the things everybody knows, the leg issues, the back issues, the triceps issues – and also again, we had to revamp all of his posing, change things around and stuff. It was kind of one of those things where it regenerated excitement for both of us.”
Following stem cell therapy, Nicholls mentioned that Ramy’s back looked to have improved by 20%. However, he underlined the biggest difference right now is Ramy’s legs. Chad confirmed that the dents/holes/divots on the Egyptian’s quads are ‘completely gone.’
“Where he’s at right now – everyone has obviously seen that he’s had the stem cell work. He’s had the stem cells done. Obviously, that’s not going to be something that’s going to be 100% by the Arnold. But there will be some key areas that it’s noticeable in. I think the back has improved maybe 20%. I think it’s back to where it was in 2020. Triceps – about the same. I think those things are a little improved from last year at Olympia.
The big difference will be the legs. Everybody saw he had the little divots and indentions in the legs, those are completely gone. Those are completely gone. The lines are completely deep and lineup all the way to the hip. So, that will be a big noticeable change in how he looks,” says Chad Nicholls.
310-Lb Big Ramy ‘Bigger Than He’s Been’ 1 Week Before 2023 Arnold Classic
Looking ahead to March, Nicholls hinted that Ramy will be ‘bigger than he’s been,’ and revealed the former two-time champ is weighing around 310 pounds.
“It looks so much better, I mean he has crazy quad sweeps to begin with but he looks tremendously better. The big thing also, he’s going to look better. After cardio, this is yesterday, after cardio yesterday, he was 310 pounds. So, that was after fasted cardio, 310 pounds, fluctuating four or five pounds throughout the day. He will without a doubt be bigger than he’s been since I’ve been training him and he looks better. Actually, his waist is the same size as it was, but everything else is more exaggerated.”
Nicholls suggested that Ramy is highly confident heading into the show. He went as far to say that ‘we will potentially see a better Ramy than in 2020.’
“He realizes that his final outcome of what’s going to be – is based off of what these stem cells are going to do for the next six to eight months. It’s not like he can rush to get that redemption in the mind, where he wants to. So, I think he’s confident where he’s at right now coming into the Arnold. He’s 100% confident that he can show up and do damage and show the world that he’s still a definite threat to the Olympia title. I think we’re going to progress the next six months.
Will he be back to where he was at the beginning of his career? No, because he’s older now. But I think we will see potentially a better Ramy than in 2020 if everything goes the path that it’s going right now, this year at the Olympia,” Chad Nicholls shared.
In addition to Nicholls, bodybuilding guru Chris Aceto, who once trained Ramy, gave his thoughts on the upcoming contest. Aceto echoed that Big Ramy ‘could win,’ but will have to go through Nick Walker. ‘The Mutant’ is the on-paper favorite heading into the show as he recently placed third at the 2022 Mr. Olympia competition.
Chad Nicholls will also oversee William Bonac‘s preparations for the nearing Arnold Classic. If Big Ramy redeems himself with a victory in Ohio, he’ll start his 2023 Olympia campaign with some much-needed momentum.