by Christian Duque
As many of us believed based on the numerous updates we were privy to on social media over the course of the last few days, former IFBB Elite Pro turned IFBB Pro League superstar Michael Krizo went to Alicante, Spain, and cleaned house!!
There’s something to be said about social media updates and the importance they have in keeping the fans, the press, and even the judges up to date. If you don’t think the judges are looking at Instagram and YouTube you have another thing coming! They look at it all – just like the rest of us. Does that factor into their scoring? More than likely not, but I’m sure they respect hard work and consistency like any other bodybuilding fan.
When you have a competitor like Michael Krizo posting progress shot after progress shot and really getting into his prep that creates tremendous buzz. In his case people were doing more than noticing. I had him winning the contest but I wanted to wait until he accomplished this huge feat. I didn’t want to jinx him.
And it was a huge feat as this wasn’t some weak group of guys. This lineup had real promise and while Krizo dominated, there were some battles for spots 2-5. No one in their right mind had anyone but the Slovakian sensation taking the win but that’s not to say there weren’t other quality guys. I think that 2023 will be a defining year for the crossover star. In fact, I think he may break into the 2023 Olympia Top 10 and may make many forget about 2022. Here’s why.
2022 was a rushed year. I said this here at Iron Magazine ad nauseam. I never said he couldn’t earn his pro card in the IFBB Pro League. I also had no doubt he could win an IFBB Pro League show. If I’m lyin, I’m dying. Go look at the old articles and you’ll see I’m saying it like it is. The problem with 2022 was simple. Michael got his card, then he won a pro show, and then a few months later he was on the Olympia stage. That was a shotgun prep that saw him compete in three consecutive contests. And each contest got harder and each contest represented higher stakes. That’s extremely taxing on the body. And what was also psychologically testing was the fact he was trying to give different levels of quality at each show.
The burnout factor was always present. It was always there. So to mitigate it I’d imagine Krizo gave maybe 70% of his best to turn pro, maybe 75% to win his first pro show (which many said was all but guaranteed given the promoter/location/other factors), and then as close to 100% as he could for the Olympia. Again, this is just a numbers breakdown to illustrate my point, but we saw three different looks in a six month period. In fact Krizo didn’t look all that impressive for his pro debut – even though he won – and for the Olympia he failed to crack the Top 10. Mind you, when he was in the Elite Pro, he was heralded as a guy who could beat the reigning IFBB Pro League Mr. Olympia. Why did he rush? No clue. Now he’s actively trying to recreate himself and he’s well on his way.
Bodybuilding is for the most part a short man’s sport; however, there are tall guys who if properly filled out can be successful. We’ve seen this with guys like Toney Freeman and Dennis Wolf and a few others. I think Krizo’s huge arms, tight waist, and his massive amount of muscle could make him very dangerous. In fact from the front he brings back memories of Gary Strydom. From the back, I say he still has considerable work to be done. Nonetheless, he was posting shots with striated hams and glutes days out from the show. He clearly did his homework and unlike reigning Mr. Olympia Hadi Choopan who’s accused of posting old photos, Krizo wanted the world to see where he was just days and even hours from hitting the stage. That level of self-confidence can only mean one thing – that a competitor is ready to go! And we saw that confidence play out in how Krizo hit all the mandatory poses and interacted with his fellow competitors.
I think everyone there knew Michael was the winner. You could tell that what he brought to Alicante was a physique that saw dramatic improvements from the 2022 Olympia. While he was able to maintain that tremendous size on a frame that’s taller and wider than most, he came in with tremendous condition. He was dry and vascular when he needed to be and as a result he was able to win both the pre-judging and the finals. He left no stone unturned and made sure to present his physique in such a way that all the judges were able to see him. This is another pro move that a lot pro’s simply don’t think of. You don’t just pose for the head judge. You have to work the stage and you have to show off your hard work. This is where all the hours and hours of posing in the mirror come into play.
With regards to the Olympia, I’d hope that the Empro would be it for Krizo. If he wants to guest pose around the world – I say do it! If he wants to do in-store appearance or hit the expo circuit, I say go for it. But if he plans on doing any more contests, I would point to 2022.
What’s the point?
The top priority now should be to take a brief rest of maybe 1-2 weeks, nothing crazy, and then start preparing for the Olympia prep. It’s still way too early to get into full prep mode, but he can certainly start shifting towards that direction. The more prepared he is, the less he’ll have to crash diet and train like a maniac. I mean he should train like a maniac – but reasonably speaking.
Right now he’s Olympia qualified and he qualified in such a way where it wasn’t a close win or political. He dominated the stage he hit and that’s going to give him a lot of buzz which he can capitalize on in the coming months. It’s also a European victory so that should be a green light to guest pose all over the continent. He could appear in the UK, France, Germany, and even his home country of Slovakia. Europe is a hotbed of bodybuilding and it’s a place that Krizo should be visiting every chance he gets. He should also go to the low countries, the Baltic region, and hit up periphery destinations like Turkey and northern Africa. The sky’s the limit.
I truly think we may see Michael crack the Top 10 at the 2023 Mr. Olympia. I’d like to send him huge congratulations for his big win in Spain. Where do you see the big man placing at the Superbowl of Bodybuilding this November in Orlando, FL?