Image of Arnold courtesy of I have made the trek to Columbus, Ohio many times.

First as teenager looking for muscle enhancing inspiration at the Arnold Bodybuilding Classic. It was there that Arnold himself bumped in to me as my youthful exuberance had me leaning in too close to a commercial shoot.

Later in my twenties as I graduated from dreams of big biceps to big bench presses, I followed the powerlifting scene to Columbus on Arnold Classic weekend to witness front row centre the first 800 lbs bench press. Thank you Anthony Clark, it was for lack of a better word, cool to shake your hand right after such a feat.

And now, just as I enjoy a good cigar, a nice scotch, and time to myself I look forward to the trip to Columbus for the spectacle that tops them all – mixed martial arts and specifically the UFC.

The Arnold Classic weekend in Columbus is a combination of bodybuilding, powerlifting, mixed martial arts, fitness expo… well, just about anything you can think of that relates to physical fitness. If you haven’t attended, you should.

Aside from the main events, here are some tips from a veteran of far too many trips to Columbus:

1. Go to the Fitness Expo. It will cost some nominal amount ($10?) and you can make the rounds grabbing as much free stuff as your arms can hold. It is the equivalent of a kid in a candy shop but it is a sports nut in a free supplements store. You will try so many different lotions, potions and concoctions that your head will be spinning by the time you find your way to the exit.

2. There will be really really big guys in attendance and some smaller guys. Don’t think that the smaller guys are the ones to push around – they know mixed martial arts. Your best bet is to avoid accidentally bumping into anyone at the bars that weekend.

3. Arnold will be there. Don’t ask him how things are going in California (hint : the state is on the verge of bankruptcy).

4. Lou Ferrigno will be there. He wants $20 for any photo you take of him or anyone basically near him. Find me. I’ll bring some green face paint and we’ll call the picture “Me and The Hulk for $nil”

5. Check out the powerlifting and bodybuilding. Freaks of nature in both venues.

Your final tip – find the team. They know how to take on a town for the weekend… see you there!