August 5, 2011 Posted by Andrew Merrifield in Mezza

Andrew Merrifield is The Ultimate Predator

In the annals of muscledom, there are few bodybuilders who will literally raise the roof when performing on stage; fewer still who when guest posing appear in contest shape and pose and perform at such a high level that they will always be acknowledged as one of the finest masters of the art of 'How to Pose'. I have seen a number of great bodybuilders who are consummate artists on stage, from world famous greats such Frank Zane and Vince Taylor, to Natural Bodybuilding stars like Ian Duckett and Mark Oakes; all of them command their stage and effortlessly take hold of the audience who acknowledge their talents with thunderous applause.

Andrew Merrifield can comfortably take his place at the side of the aforementioned stars, particularly after his guest posing performances at the NPA Yorkshire Championships and NPA North West Championships in June this year. He brought the house down, with his brand new 'Predator' routine - its not enough that Andrew just walks on-stage and poses, he puts so much effort and preparation into his presentation, that he actually makes a show of it in itself. He structures and choreographs his routine down to a 'T' - he's a perfectionist so what else would he do?!

But lets just go back a couple of years to Andrew's year of unprecedented success, a year which cemented his name as one of Natural Bodybuilding's Greats. He won six competitions in 2006, including the Under 70kg class in Italy at the UIBBN World Championships; he also won a record fourth NPA / ANB Overall Yorkshire title, in the sort of shape which shocked people there, as he really went 'to the wall' with his prep; he added the NPA Overall Britain title to his collection, and he also won the UK Musclemania title which saw him travel to the US of A to finally fulfill a lifetime ambition of competing in America. Andrew had made his name, he had nothing left to prove, but one thing he had always wanted to do was to produce his own DvD. This finally happened this year, and to promote this special event he wanted to do some guest posing at a few competitions...

Spending nearly a year on his labour of love, at times his frustration nearly got the better of him, as the perfectionist in him wasn't happy if just one take in the DvD wasn't the way he wanted it. He was filmed in the gym at a bodyweight of around 13 stones, looking harder at that weight than a lot of competitors do on-stage, and when Andrew and myself agreed that he would be appearing at the NPA Yorkshire Championships, we also agreed that he would be opening the show, and what an opening it was! Due to the success of the Yorkshire Championships in 2007 at Holmfirth, where people were turned away due to the venue being a sell out, I took the decision to move to The Frontier nightclub in Batley, a great venue complete with world class lighting and sound system, and even two huge cine-screens at either side of the stage - this venue would be perfect for The Predator! Prior to the judging, part of Andrew's new DvD was shown on the cine-screens too, so people had some great entertainment even before the judging! Appearing for his guest spot with his specially-imported-from-the-USA Predator head on, he stunned the audience not only with his routine but with the incredible condition he was in too! I remember saying to him a few weeks before that I would happy if he's in decent shape, but I really didn't want him to get into contest shape - but Andrew really wanted to make a statement, he really wanted to promote himself and his DvD in the best possible way - and he did it!

Such was the impact he made at the Yorkshire Championships, he was then booked by Mark Hesketh for the NPA North West a week later, and the accompanying photographs taken by Alex McKenna were taken at the North West - the pictures tell the story! I have tried with the photos to put them on the NPA site in the order Andrew did his routine, and while nothing can ever beat 'being there' I hope you enjoy them. I have also put a couple of pics on of myself and Andrew - these are from the North West, as we both did a quick-fire Question & Answer session for about 20/25 minutes. Andrew spoke very well indeed, covered a number of topics, kept it witty and light hearted, and concluded that being a new Dad to young Levi is the best thing that has ever happened to him and he recommends it for all!

To conclude Andrew is very happy that his 'Mezza - The Ultimate Natural' DvD has been well received, and its going very well indeed. At nearly 5 hours long, there's 3 discs and a lot more than you might get on any other DvD, with training, nutrition, competitions, and a whole lot more covered by Mezza. Find out more by checking out Andrew's web-site at www.ultimate-natural.com you won't be disappointed! And if you ever get chance to see Andrew on-stage, take that chance, and watch and learn from one of bodybuilding's consummate artists.

Michael Phillips - June 2008

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