The 2022 EVLS Prague Pro IFBB Pro League show took place this Saturday, Oct. 29 in Prague, Czech Republic. Normally this show is a very low- profile affair contested by B-tier professional bodybuilders, but this year’s edition saw much more hype and attention than in years gone by. This was because newly certified IFBB Pro League bodybuilder Michal Krizo was competing in his first professional show within the federation after years of dominating in its sister federation, the IFBB Elite Pro. He dominated that federation for multiple years leading up to his decision to make the switch in 2022. Krizo has won the Arnold Classic Europe Elite Pro (the equivalent to the Mr. Olympia show in the IFBB Elite Pro federation) in 2020 and 2021, as well as the Siberia Power Show (also a noteworthy show) on two occasions as well. This unrivaled success, in combination with some very public spats with current IFBB Pro League bodybuilders, led Krizo to decide to earn his pro card in the Pro League in order to compete against the best of the best and try to win the biggest prizes in bodybuilding. After winning his pro card earlier this month at the Olympia Amateur show in Italy, Krizo then decided to try to follow that win with a win at the Prague Pro in late December, which would qualify him for the Mr. Olympia show in December.
And he did just that, placing first in Prague to take his place among the world of bodybuilding’s elite at the first attempt. Quite the heartwarming story indeed.
Except that that isn’t quite the entire truth of the matter. You see, by his own immensely high standards, Krizo looked like garbage. That may seem like a harsh critique, especially for a top- level fitness athlete who makes a living off of his aesthetic appearances on stage, but it’s the truth. Though unconfirmed, there are credible rumors that Krizo showed up late to the show, and went on stage without even pumping up backstage. Whether this is true or not, he still looked incredibly flat on stage at both prejudging and finals. He also looked to be struggling horribly with how long he was being asked to hold poses for. Krizo began to lose control of his midsection as a result of his inability to keep his heaving breaths under control. As a result, it ended up looking very distended, and he seemed to lack any and all definition in his abdominals. On top of this, he was sweating profusely, which caused his instant tan (all bodybuilders wear what is essentially instant bronzer on stage to give their physiques a bit more shine under the stage lights, because I suppose this is meant to make the physiques look more attractive? Personally, I have never understood it) to begin to run and drip down his chest. All the while, he was fading badly and had sub-par conditioning, so by the end of both prejudging and finals, he looked soft and flat in comparison to his competitors.
Krizo’s only saving grace was the weakness of his competitors. The Prague Pro is not known for attracting bodybuilding’s best, and with the exception of Krizo, that was still the case this year. The most well-known name in the lineup outside of Krizo was Enrico Hoffman, who incidentally beat Krizo back in 2017 when both were battling for a pro card. However, even Hoffman was only able to take 6th on the day, as he also came in quite off. Second place went to Jan Turek, who admittedly did look very impressive on show day. The issue for Turek was size, as he was significantly smaller than Krizo. Indeed, I have no doubt that Krizo only won the show on the merit of the sheer volume of muscle he brought to it, rather than his presentation of it. Turek was indeed shredded, but given the unanimous decision by the judges that he should place second to Krizo, it evidently didn’t count for much.
This is something I take major issue with. Bodybuilding ought to be more than simply muscle mass; anyone can put on mass with the proper training regimen, diet, and anabolic steroid use. What separates bodybuilders from what I’ll call mass builders is the art of sculpting the body to such a degree as to put Michelangelo’s David to shame. The package Turek brought was far closer to that than what Krizo did. Turek was peeled to the bone, balanced, symmetrical, and also very full, whereas Krizo was just very large and very full. If he didn’t have such a good structure, I would be tempted to call cheating on either Krizo or the IFBB Pro League’s part, but perhaps that would be a stretch. One thing is for certain though: if Krizo wants to have any chance at the Olympia in under two months’ time, he had better step it up.