American bodybuilder Ross Flanigan made headlines after turning in a spectacular performance at the 2023 California State Pro, held May 27 in Anaheim, CA. In a recent interview with Muscular Development, Flanigan shared the story of how his prep for the 2022 Indy Pro got ruined and his ambitions in the game next.
Ross Flanigan started his career as an amateur bodybuilder under the NPCC in 2015. His potential was evident from the start as he took home the top prize in his division and the overall in his debut at the 2015 Shawn Ray Classic. He took to the sidelines for the next year and came back in 2017 with a dominant win at the Phil Heath Classic. He finished the season with a top-ten placing at the USA Championships.
Flanigan continued to work his way up the ranks. In 2018, he narrowly missed out on the gold at the North American Championships. He handily dispatched the competition in his next showing at the 2019 San Antonio Classic and followed up with a solid third-place finish at the 2019 National Championships. He added the 2020 Adela Garcia Classic title under his belt in Oct. 2020 and took runner-up at the 2020 National Championships a month later.
After taking 2021 off, Flanigan decided to turn Pro and joined the IFBB Pro League in 2022. He signed up for the 2022 Indy Pro for his maiden appearance. Although he was brimming with confidence going into the contest, he missed the mark on stage and settled for a ninth-place finish.
Ross Flanigan was last seen in action at the 2023 Musclecontest California Pro last weekend. The competition gained a ton of attention after Sergio Oliva Jr., son of three-time Mr. Olympia Sergio Oliva, joined the roster to make his long-awaited comeback just days out from the show. In the end, Flanigan managed to ward off the threats and came out on top of the contest with Oliva Jr. taking bronze and Tonio Burton in second place.
While he did not get the win, Oliva Jr. assured the fans he would continue to compete and stay active. As for Flanigan, the win secured him an invite to the upcoming 2023 Mr. Olympia competition, widely regarded as the most prestigious fitness showcase in the world, for the first time.
Ross Flanigan reveals how vodka & edibles ruined contest prep
In a recent YouTube video, Ross Flanigan revealed the reasons for his lackluster appearance at the 2022 Indy Pro. He explained he was in a good spot going into the show but a night of drinking vodka and ingesting cannabis-infused edibles derailed his progress.
“We were ready. I had shredded glutes five weeks out coasting in we didn’t have to manipulate water, didn’t have to do any diuretics,” said Flanigan. “All we were going to do and ironically, we have a video doing this, me and Dom toasting to such a successful pro debut. So, we take a shot of vodka and for some reason I am inclined to take an edible. And something happens with the combination of alcohol, the edible, my low body fat, dehydration maybe. I lose my f**king mind. I blackout.
“I don’t sleep. My cortisol goes crazy, I have this crazy panic attack and I end up gaining 20 pounds overnight of water. I just go from skeletor face to fat overnight.”
Flanigan shared two crucial tips for those in prep to help make the process a bit easier to handle.
“I have two tips for anyone that is in prep or prepping. Always stay physically active so track your steps. The more you move, the more you’re going to want to keep moving. Body in motion stays in motion. The same thing applies to your mind. Most people sit on the couch and just veg out but me, I’m literally always working, always moving. Preps are super easy and they’re super fulfilling because I get so much done.”
Flanigan is targeting an Arnold Classic title next & wants to improve his package with experience
Ross Flanigan expressed contentment with his recent performance. He wants to come in better next time and identified a need to level up his mid-back, chest, and triceps for Mr. Olympia later this year.
“Happiest, like I said I just wanted to show up on stage with my potential. I think I did that and we can’t wait to get on Toronto stage too because there’s a lot of things we can improve upon especially with posing that’ll make me a little bigger, want to come in a little drier and fuller for the prejudging for Toronto. But for the Olympia, I’m going to have a massive rebound. Definitely bring up my mid-back, chest, and triceps. I think that’ll make me much more complete but I’m not looking to put a placing goal. I just want to get better.”
While he doesn’t believe he would win the Sandow trophy just yet, he’d prefer to get as much experience as he can to improve his chances.
“I want to compete. I want to get in front of the judges more. I want more feedback. I know I’m not going to win the Olympia this year but if I keep progressing maybe three years, five years, the more stage time the more chances I have to showcase my bodybuilding, it’s going to be more beneficial than doing less shows.”
His ambition is to win an Arnold Classic title in the next two years or so.
“An Arnold Classic championship would be the top goal. I’m 32, only been bodybuilding seriously for the last 3-4 years and an Arnold Classic title by 35 would be realistic.”
Ross Flanigan is set to compete at the upcoming 2023 Toronto Pro Supershow, scheduled for Jun. 3-4 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He will likely face a tough challenge from the likes of Men’s Open standout Iain Valliere, Jason Lowe, and Hassan Mostafa.
Based on his latest update, Flanigan looks focused on scoring back-to-back wins with another stellar performance this weekend. Although he’s already qualified for the Olympia, it will certainly boost his confidence further.