Written by Steve Blechman
21 February 2021

 March 2021 Slider



Editor’s Letter

By Steve Blechman


All Hail a New King: Big Ramy



The bodybuilding world was thrilled when Mamdouh “Big Ramy” Elssbiay became the 16th man in history to win the sport’s ultimate title, Mr. Olympia. Everyone knew that if Ramy nailed his condition, with his huge structure of wide shoulders, narrow waist and massive, sweeping quads, he would win the Mr. Olympia title.In this month’s MD, Ron Harris details the journey of Ramy from being “discovered” by Oxygen Gym owner Bader Boodai, to his dominant professional debut at the 2013 New York Pro, all the way to more recent struggles with injury and even being forced to withdraw from a contest due to a positive COVID-19 test. In fact, he only made it to the 2020 Mr. Olympia thanks to a special invitation, which has never resulted in a win for anyone since the event’s inception in 1965.


Ramy’s legions of loyal fans around the world had been waiting to see this mass monster with pleasing shape make that next leap in condition that would finally catapult him into the winner’s spot at the Olympia where so many felt he belonged. Read about how he achieved that elusive goal in “Big Ramy: His Long Road to Becoming Mr. Olympia.”


It’s only fitting that Muscular Development features the new Mr. Olympia on the cover this month. Ramy’s win last December was historic for another reason: it was the first time a man over 250 pounds had held the Mr. Olympia title in over a decade. At 290 pounds, we hadn’t seen such a mass monster rule the sport since the days of Ronnie and Jay. Ronnie Coleman remains the heaviest man to ever win the Mr. Olympia at a bodyweight of 296 in 2004. Comparisons between the two colossal men, Ramy and Ronnie, soon sprung up everywhere online and in social media. Who is the king of all freaks? To answer that, we sought out the best qualified men to answer that question: Giles Thomas, Ronnie Coleman himself, and the only man to coach both champions to Mr. Olympia wins, Chad Nicholls. Read more in “Who Is the King of all Freaks – Ronnie or Ramy?           


Every few years in bodybuilding we see anomalies, huge competitors who seem to smash the previously held limits of size and muscularity – Ronnie Coleman, Dorian Yates and Big Ramy come to mind. This month, Giles Thomas introduces us to 24-year-old Big Vlad Suhoruchko from the Ukraine. In five years of continual hard work and endless effort of moving forward and progressing every day, Vlad could be in the first callout at the Mr. Olympia – not even at 30 years old. Learn more in “Vlad the Impaler.”


If you’re a bodybuilder using PEDs, you may have either used insulin along with AAS, or you’ve thought about trying it. To get some perspective on whether insulin is something that bodybuilders should be using, Ron Harris spoke with Redcon1 athlete James Hollingshead, winner of the 2020 IFBB Europa Pro and British Grand Prix, a rising star known for his dense, round musculature. In “Stay the f*ck away from insulin!”Hollingshead explains why he’s against it.


For those who felt Janet Layug is the epitome of the Bikini division ideals, the last two contest seasons have been a solid confirmation. The Florida resident now holds the two most prestigious titles in our sport: the Bikini International at the Arnold Sports Festival Ohio and most recently, the Bikini Olympia. Congratulations, Janet! Ace physique photographer J.M. Manion’s photos are the perfect showcase for Janet’s captivating beauty and a body that is both incredibly fit and shapely in “Janet Layug: 2020 Bikini Olympia Winner.”


This month we remember Peter McGough, the legendary bodybuilding journalist and historian who died in December 2020. Peter was the best in the business, and I was very proud to have him as part of the MD team. I considered him the best bodybuilding writer of all time. Kevin Levrone and Ron Harris remember Peter in this month’s “How I See It,” and Giles Thomas and I offer our tributes in“Peter the Great.”


Muscular Development is your number one source for building muscle, and for the latest research and best science to enable you to train smart and effectively. Our team of physicians, industry experts and research scientists has these reports on improving performance this month:


Leucine: the Best Muscle Growth Activator Supplement Performance

Clenbuterol: Fat Loss and AnabolicFat Attack

Protein: The Right Dose for Maximum Muscle GrowthNutrition Performance

New Research: Blood Flow Restriction (BFR) Training and Betaine for Enhanced Muscle GrowthMuscle Growth Update

Beyond Human: the Genetic Shift in BodybuildingTestosterone

“The Best Anabolic Steroids for Boosting Muscle Power, Strength and Hypertrophy” Bodybuilding Science


The rest of the book is packed to the binder as usual – making MD your one-stop, most authoritative source for optimizing muscular development with the latest cutting-edge research on training, nutrition, fat loss, performance-enhancing drugs, muscle growth and bodybuilding science – and exclusive information from the industry experts, insiders and bodybuilding legends who make it all happen. See you next month!


March 2021 Big Ramy