Coming out of retirement in 2020, Johnnie Jackson returned to the Arnold Classics stage with the help of coach George Farah. Unfortunately for Jackson, he missed his target and didn't look the way he wanted to on stage in Columbus. He told Dennis James on the April 28 episode of The Menace podcast that he had relied too much on doing what his coach said and it hadn't worked in his favor."
"It didn't turn out the way it should have. I didn't come out like I should have come out," Jackson admitted. He bounced back by going solo for the Chicago Pro later that year, and the difference was day and night. Although he didn't win the competition, he felt he could walk off the stage with his head held high.
“I was definitely super proud of how I came in. Yes, I was so disappointed in Arnold. I thought, 'I'm not going to be remembered like that. That's how I'll be remembered when I'm in this state.'”
Johnnie Jackson was torn from head to toe at this competition, and James expressed that you don't see the kind of conditioning Jackson displayed at his last competition. He responded by urging other men's open competitors to focus on improvement, as in his eyes conditioning is more associated with 212 division.
"A lot of open guys drop the ball and don't show up and don't condition like those 212 guys," he told James. He even went so far as to suggest that the 212 boys should do more Open shows to put pressure on Open competitors. Most notably, he wants 2020 Olympic 212 champion Shaun Clarida to compete in the Men's Open at the 2022 Olympics, having qualified by winning the 2021 Legion Sports Fest.
"I think it would be good for the open guys who have to go up against guys like, you know, these 212 guys need to stop, you know, thinking they're not big enough."
Jackson and James also discuss other topics like Jackson selling his gym, how he didn't want to get back into training for quite a while and why he's still training as hard as he did in his 50s. Visit the Muscle & Fitness YouTube channel to see this and all of DJ's interviews each week on TMP. Also follow @bigdjames and @themenacepodcast on Instagram.