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Athlete Insider

Domenic Mauro B.A., IFBB Press Commission

Having worked the health and fitness industry for well over 25 years, Domenic is known by many for signing and working with some of the top athletes, celebrities and models in the health and fitness industry. He’s worked with well over 300 athletes including major league professionals, IFBB Pros, Mr./Ms. Olympias, Celebrity Trainers, Actors, WWE Stars, Professional MMA Fighters and some of the industry’s top name brand companies. In addition to working with the top supplement companies in the world, he has had the privilege of working on the sales and marketing of world class events as the Super Bowl, Pro Bowl, the PGA Tour and CTV Olympic Games Broadcast.

In 2011, Domenic was appointed to the IFBB Press Commission to overlook media operations in North America. A few years later in 2014, he was honored with the distinguished IFBB Silver Medal of Achievement for outstanding contributions towards the promotion of Sport, Fitness and a Healthy Lifestyle. In 2015, the IFBB bestowed an Honorary Master’s Degree in Bodybuilding and Fitness Methods. And in 2019, the industry honored Domenic with the Lifetime Achievement Award. Reserved for industry leaders and accomplished athletes, this honor recognizes an individual(s) whose career and leadership has greatly impacted and contributed to the growth, advancement and promotion of the health and fitness industry.

Domenic studied Kinesiology and Health Sciences while attending York University in Toronto and graduated with a degree in Human Psychology.

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A Bodybuilders guide to the Arnold Sports Festival

A Bodybuilders guide to the Arnold Sports Festival

Get your ass to columbus! 

The 2014 Arnold Sports Festival is set for February 27 through March 2, in Columbus, Ohio, and in case you’re new to the industry, be advised: The ASF is, outside of the Olympics, the largest multi-sport event in North America, if not the world. The Arnold, as it’s known, began as a one-day bodybuilding competition and has grown into a three-day extravaganza that adds fans, events, and exhibitors every year. It attracts more than 18,000 athletes, competing in 45-plus events, including 12 Olympic sports, and almost 180,000 fi tness enthusiasts each year. The Arnold Fitness Expo, with more than 700 booths, features the biggest names in health and fitness presenting the latest trends in sports apparel, supplements, and equipment. Celebrity sightings of athletes from the IFBB, the NFL, and Major League Baseball as well as fi lm stars and the weekend’s namesake, Arnold Schwarzenegger, are part of the fun—and let’s not forget the MUSCLE INSIDER crew, who’ll be bringing you the most up-todate coverage! If you’re headed to Columbus, here are a few things to keep in mind as you prep for an intense weekend full of muscle, wall-to-wall T&A and unlimited opportunities for high jinks and mayhem!


WHERE TO STAY. Make sure you book your hotel at least six months ahead. If you don’t, you’re pretty much SOL, so if you’re just now deciding that you want to go this year, you’d better start hitting the travel websites as soon as you finish reading this.

HOW TO GET AROUND. First come, first served goes for parking as well as hotels. If you can buy a parking pass ahead of time at one of the lots, do it. By midmorning, you may as well leave your car at the hotel. The complimentary Arnold Shuttles carry visitors from the major hotels in to the Greater Columbus Convention Center and the Veterans Memorial Auditorium, the major scenes of action, and there are shuttles from the parking lots as well. Find more on this at ArnoldSportsFestival.com. As for cabs, unless they’re on the spot when you need them, you could be looking at a 20-plus-minute wait.

WHO TO BRING. Bring your buddies—don’t bring your significant other! If you do, you’ll wind up sleeping on a bench at the gym when you get home. There are too many hardbodies and freaks showing off their hard work in the gym in very little clothing to distract you. Your head will be on a swivel the entire weekend.

WHAT TO BRING. Bring a backpack. Aside from having a place to put all the supplement samples and swag you’ll collect at the expo, you’ll need some essentials. At the top of the list is water. At the Convention Center, as well as the Vets Auditorium, a 500 mL bottle could cost you more than $5! Also bring food, especially if you’re dieting for a show. Yeah, there are plenty of samples at the expo, but it all starts to taste the same after a while. One more essential: pack your camera. There are so many celebrities— and so much hot ass—walking around that you’re going to want to take some pics, if only so your friends will believe your stories.

WHAT TO WEAR. Dress comfortably, whatever that is for you—we’ve seen everything from leather butt huggers and chaps to feather boas and even the Arm Blaster on Arnold-goers—and wear comfortable shoes. You’re going to spend hours on your feet at the expo, and there’s almost nowhere to sit.


The ASF actually starts on Thursday with the Arnold Amateur men’s classic and masters bodybuilding prejudging and finals at the Veterans
Memorial. Also on the bill: prejudging for the amateur fitness, figure, and bikini classes. Here you’ll see the future stars of the industry— some 600 competitors from around 60 countries. After that, you’ll want to head into the Meet & Greet with IFBB Pros, where you can rub shoulders with the world’s best physique athletes, who’ll be competing over the weekend. Also on Thursday night, a new event is being introduced at Columbus’s Lifestyle Communities Pavilion: the Pole Fitness National Championship. Pole fitness is a performance art that combines dance and acrobatics and involves a vertical pole. If you’re thinking it’s the same type of show you can catch at your local rippers, you may want to check it out. We make no promises. Now, if you want to meet some key industry influencers, you’ll want to hit the bar at the Hyatt Regency, where many a deal has been made. Other movers and shakers can be found in the bar at the Hilton, where the pro athletes stay.

Friday is the first day of the Arnold Fitness Expo, so get ready for an experience you’ll never forget. By midmorning, the crowd at the Convention Center will be on its way to epic proportions. The pounding music and roaring crowd will be deafening. The aisles will be jammed with people storming the booths for a chance to meet their industry idols and the hundreds of fitness models, as well as to collect samples of the newest supplements. The IFBB pros hit the stage at the expo with the Arnold Classic 212, Fitness International, and Figure International prejudging. If you want a seat, make sure to get there early. Another showstopper is the Arnold Strongman Classic, where the world’s strongest men take the stage to shatter records through sheer power and strength. Meanwhile over at the Veterans Memorial, more of the Arnold Amateur prejudging takes place, along with the finals of the masters figure classes. Later, back at the Convention Center, the amateur physique competitions go down. On Friday night, the action shifts back to the Vets, where the winners of the Arnold Classic 212, Fitness International and Figure International will be crowned. This will be a great night to go wild on the town. A fine place to grab a bite is Max & Erma’s, with its casual dining and reasonable prices, “guilt-free” menu, and locally brewed beer— but you can’t stop there. It’s now time for the real animals to come out to play. You’ll want to hit one of Columbus’s premiere gentlemen’s clubs— Kahoots. This is an upscale establishment with one of the city’s biggest wine and beer selections, a mouthwatering menu, and more than 150 of the hottest performers in the Midwest. Proper attire is required— leave the gym clothes at the hotel—and remember, you must be at least 21 years of age.


After a Friday night with a storyline reminiscent of The Hangover, you’ll be ready to do it all over again. This time, though, you’ve got some experience under your belt, not to mention a massive headache, but no matter. You’re ready to face the even bigger crowds, more events, and more yogapants- wearing dream girls offering free samples and swag that are the ASF expo, day two. Bodybuilding-wise, you’ve got the Amateur Arnold finals for men’s bodybuilding, fitness, figure, and bikini in the morning at the expo and the pro Arnold Classic and Bikini International judging at the Vets in the afternoon. As evening falls, you’ll make your way back to Vets for the pro finals. The Arnold Classic is the premiere event of the Arnold Sport Festival, featuring the world’s leading pro bodybuilders. The crowning of the new champ will be followed immediately by the heart-stopping final round of the Arnold Strongman Classic— right on the Vets stage. At this point you’ll be starving, and for that there’s nothing better than the best steak in town. Mitchell’s Steakhouse, near the Convention Center, is an award-winning restaurant that raises the bar for beef, seafood, and wine in Columbus. Stuffed full of food, it’s time to party. The Party with the Pros at the Hollywood Casino Columbus is the official after-party of the Arnold Classic and promises a night of fun, food, drinks, dancing, music, star-gazing, and world-class entertainment experience, not to mention an appearance by Arnold. You’ll also want to make your way to the underground mega-event hosted by Jason Dhir Productions at Bluestone. In previous years, we’ve seen everything from “little people” tossing and wrestling to full-out fire shows.

Sunday gives you another day to catch any booths you missed

at the expo. It’s also a good time to rehydrate, make sense of the night before, and offer any necessary apologies. It’s also a great day to get in a workout. Metro Fitness Downtown boasts 16,000 square feet of space. It’s where most of the IFBB pros hang out and the scene of many postcompetition photo shoots. You get to train where the pros train, but remember to be respectful. No one wants to be interrupted in the middle of a set. With your workout done, a post-workout meal is in order. One option is the local Cheesecake Factory. The menu at this beloved-by-bodybuilders chain features more than 200 selections, and the staff will gladly make changes to meet your dietary needs. Be warned, however: The place is famous for its generous portions, and, well, it’s not called the Cheesecake Factory for nothing! If you’re looking for a challenge, you’ll want to hit the Thurman Cafe in Columbus’s German Village district and order The Thurmanator burger—two 12-ounce patties, mayo, lettuce, tomato, pickle, banana peppers, bacon, ham, sautéed mushrooms and onions, and three types of cheese on a bun plus fries. As mammoth as it was, it didn’t stand a chance when set in front of MUSCLE INISDER’S Domenic Mauro and Scott Welch in 2012.

So there you have it—the 411 on the ASF. 
For more information on all things Arnold, head to ArnoldSportsFestival.com