Dennis James coaches Big Ramy during barbell curls, Nov. 27, 2022.

With just under three weeks to go before the Mr. Olympia, Big Ramy is in the USA. He’s here preparing to establish his dynasty by winning his third straight Mr. Olympia in Las Vegas on December 16-17. Traveling from Egypt with his best friend, Radwan Kwatihi, Ramy arrived in Phoenix, Arizona, on Saturday, November 26, to be trained by his coach, bodybuilding legend Dennis James. Like last year, he is staying in James’ home for these final weeks of Olympia prep. This is Olympia training camp #2. In September, James traveled to Dubai to train Ramy at training camp #1.

Meanwhile, Hadi Choopan (third place last year) and rookie sensation Andrew Jacked have also arrived in America. Like last year, Iranian Choopan is in California, training with his coach, Hany Rambod. Dubai resident Andrew Jacked is in Las Vegas, training at the Dragon’s Lair Gym. Nick Walker (fifth place last year) is also in Vegas, having recently moved there. Meanwhile, American Brandon Curry (2019 Mr. Olympia, second place last year) has essentially switched places around the globe with Jacked. Curry is again in Kuwait, training at Oxygen Gym.

At 5:50 A.M. on Sunday, November 28, Dennis James captured Big Ramy stepping on the Stairmaster in James’ Phoenix home. Training camp #2 had begun.

Big Ramy said: “Back on track with Mr. Dennis James. Hard time but I love this time. First day. First cardio.”

Later on Sunday, at the gym, Dennis James coached Big Ramy through an arm workout, which like all of Ramy’s pre-Olympia workouts featured a barrage of drop sets. D.J. continuously encouraged Ramy to eke out more reps only to strip off weight and encourage him to eke out still more reps.

Big Ramy 2022 Mr Olympia
There were plates attached to both sides of the stack when this set of pushdowns started, but both were stripped off by the end.
2022 Olympia Big Ramy
Dennis James to Big Ramy: “Three more reps, champ, three more!”
Big Ramy 2022 Olympia
“Let’s go. Sixteen, champ, sixteen.”

On sets of both pushdowns and biceps curls, Dennis James had Ramy do sets of 16 reps. After the pushdowns, Dennis said to the iPhone camera with a smile: “He does 16 because he’s Mr. Olympia number 16.” Big Ramy is the sixteenth Mr. Olympia in the contest’s 57 years.

Will there be a seventeenth champ next month at the 58th Mr. Olympia? Will Brandon Curry (#15), who pushed Ramy to the limit last year, win his second? Or will Mr. O #16 win his third and remain atop the bodybuilding world for at least another year? What happens at training camp in Phoenix between then and now as Big Ramy refines his physique under the watchful eye of trainer Dennis James, and, via constant updates, nutritionist Chad Nichols, will likely determine who wins the 2022 Mr. Olympia.

All photos: screen captures of Instagram story videos at bigdjames