A blog featuring the competitive achievements of athletes from the Next Level and the PhysiQademy. It's our alumni, coaches and resource partners putting hteir experiences with our program into action and performing at their best.

STRONGMAN: Nick Cambi places fourth in the Arnold World StrongMan Competition

Master of the "Donkey Kick Circus Dumbell." 

Very little needs to be said other than congratulations and holy crap.  After years of dedicated hard work, Next Level alumni Nick Cambi (Wolfpack) places fourth among heavyweight competitors at the 2015 Arnold Sports Festival's World Strongman competition.

One of the most prestigious names in physique & strength sports competition, we are doubly proud and impressed because Nick accomplished this feat without the use of drug assistance.  He represents what staying the course and committing with passion can bring to a person.

One of the things we love the most about Nick is his sense of humor, which always prevents him from getting too mired and bogged down while he forges ahead.  And the video he compiled of his competitive highlights shows that love of laughing right alongside his love of lifting achievement.

Congratulations, Nick.  We're so glad "we knew ya when."  And were excited to see where you head next!

STRONGMAN: Congrats to Next Level Alumni competing in the StrongMan Nationals tomorrow!

We often remark: "the best results will not come for athletes while on a Next Level team, but afterward." While so many of our alumni athletes embody this look-to-what's-possible-next philosophy, some really shine in their accomplishments.

And this year we are wishing best of luck and godspeed to three such high-achievers who we're humbly flattered to have been connected with "way back when." Seems our alumni will be competing on the national stage at the StrongMan Nationals tomorrow (as of the time of this post).

Gina Melnik (The Drive(n), 2008), Ryan Aruck (The Beast, 2011), and Nick Cambi (Wolfpack, 2012) are all out in Reno, Nevada and prepping for their big day tomorrow.

Guys, the ranks of The Next Level — indeed, of the whole PhysiQulture Collaborative — are ecstatic for you! Just being there is an accomplishment in different ways for each of you (even though you perpetually make it seem easy!). We're humbled, honored and flattered to have been on any part of your remarkable paths!

Now go tear shit up! We're looking forward to hearing the highlights!

(Oh, and equal congrats and luck sent to some of our closer allies who will be there as well! (We're looking at you, Gina and Dawn, as well as a handful of other friends!) We know you'll smash it up!!!)


BODYBUILDING: Alireza Rouhani earns Pro Card; Coach XN returns to competition!


Proud coach.  Thrilled athlete.  Big-ass sword.  It was a day of remarkable effort all around.

"I can't tell you if you have a shot at winning because we don't know your odds until you get to the contest," Coach Christian Matyi, aka "XN," told Ali days before the 2014 OCB Yankee Classic Bodybuilding Competition.  "But I can say this: your body is of the quality that wins shows.  You are going in with at least that caliber."

The words, while avoiding predictive claims, nonetheless held a nugget of prognostication because Alireza not only won the Overall Prize in the event but also earned his Pro Card for the IFPA, entitling him to compete as a professional bodybuilder.

Both Ali (Atlas, Spring '14) and his coach XN competed in the competition.  And not only that: in the same class.  The class' official name was "Class C," which is essentially the same as saying "Men's Tall."

This was only Ali's second contest, which show how dedicated to his craft he was this past 8 months.  While he is planning on competing again in the near future, he will probably wait a little while before turning pro in order to get more practice under his belt.  Pro card or not, he is still new to the game, and few advantages secure success like a bank of experience.  

It was not an easy walk to the end.  While bodybuilding symbolizes great power, it was an inner strength that was required this day to maintain a positive focus on what can be learned rather than just on what can be conquered.

It was not an easy walk to the end.  While bodybuilding symbolizes great power, it was an inner strength that was required this day to maintain a positive focus on what can be learned rather than just on what can be conquered.

The thrill and pride for Ali was through the roof.  He is one of the few Iranian men to turn pro in the IFPA, which is a huge boon for the bodybuilder.  His country's pros tend to be primarily non-drug-tested champions, so being one of the few from his homeland with a drug-free distinction is a particular point of extra pride!

Meanwhile, Coach XN is back after over two years of hiatus.  He lost his father, Philip John Matyi to Pancreatic Cancer in 2013, and had taken time away during the illness and after the passing to mourn.  But coach XN often remarks: "I came to learn what to give me, but I stay to learn what to give them," so while he was a far cry from his "best," he nonetheless held his own.  In the end XN was awarded the prize he typically most seeks anyway: the Best Poser prize, for a routine that is posted below,


Ali & XN side-by-side 

Ali in the Men's Open Class C


Christian Matyi, aka, "XN"'s Posing Routine



Ali in the Overall Free Posing

Ali Wins the Overall Prize and is awarded his pro card!


BODYBUILDING PRO Jesse Wilson earns ANOTHER pro card

After being with him at his second pro-card win ink it is impossible to express the profundity of gratitude our program has for Jesse's continued participation, support and motivation of our athletes.  We would not be who we are were we not blessed to have this remarkable man among our midst.  

Read More