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Dexter 'The Blade' Jackson

Dexter ‘The Blade’ Jackson

Cutting through all the opposition

Although small in stature (1.68m), the 46-year-old veteran Dexter Jackson has solidified himself as one of the best bodybuilders in the world and proved that you don’t have to be biggest man on stage to hang with the big boys – you only need to be the hardest and the most detailed.

The man they call ‘The Blade’ and ‘Action Jackson’ is still a force in bodybuilding with his otherworldly conditioning and muscularity – qualities that earned him a Sandow in 2008 when he dethroned his longtime nemesis Jay Cutler.

The Marathon Man

Jackson calls himself ‘The Marathon Man’ and is known for being one of the most consistent bodybuilders in terms of coming into a show in top notch condition and staying injury-free. He has competed in more Pro contests (76) than any other competitor and shares the accomplishment of winning a Sandow once with Chris Dickerson (1982) and Samir Bannout (1983).

He also won the 2012 Masters Olympia placing him alongside Chris Dickerson as the only bodybuilders to win titles in both the Mr. Olympia and Masters Olympia contests.

Apart from winning the O in 2008 Jackson also bagged top spots at the Arnold Classic, Australian Pro Grand Prix VIII, New Zealand Grand Prix and the Russian Grand Prix.

As of 2015 he made a record number of 16 appearances at the Mr. Olympia and has won the prestigious Arnold Classic five times (2005, 2006, 2008, 2013, 2015) – more than any other bodybuilder. The Arnold Classic is the second biggest Pro bodybuilding contest, second only to the Mr. Olympia. Jackson is set to compete at the inaugural Arnold Classic Africa held in Johannesburg at the end of May.

Fiercely competitive

Jackson comes from a close-knit family who all excelled in sports. He has always been fiercely competitive, playing football and baseball and participating in martial arts and gymnastics. His friends persuaded him into entering his first bodybuilding show when he was 21. Jackson trained and dieted for 3 weeks, eating mostly tuna and rice and by the time he got to the show he was totally shredded. Needless to say, he won his division and the Overall. Jackson continued to lift weights and entered the light-heavyweight class at the NPC USA Championships in 1995. He won his division and decided to take bodybuilding more seriously. Although he was living in a two-bedroom apartment with no furniture at the time his perseverance paid off and he turned Pro with a superb victory at the North American Championships in 1998.

Although Jackson started as a lightweight in the sport he managed to add over 45 kilograms of quality muscle to his frame. He used heavy compound moves such as deadlifts, squats, bench presses, rows and military presses to gain extra muscle but eventually switched to machine and dumbbell training to remain injury-free and to keep his joints healthy.

Jackson has become famous for using his flawless proportions and shape to defeat others on stage who outweighed him by more than 20 to 40 kilograms.

According to Jackson he would be happy to retire with one Mr. Olympia title, five Arnold Classic titles and the most Pro victories of all time.

* Catch The Blade in person at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg in our first Arnold Classic Africa scheduled to take place between 27 to 29 May. Go to www.arnoldclassicafrica.com for further details.

The Blade’s stats:

Full name: Dexter Tyrone Jackson

Date of birth: 25 November 1969

Place of birth: Jacksonville, Florida


Contest weight:98-100kg

Coach:Charles Glass

Example of The Blade's training split (Click to open)

Example of The Blade's training split (Click to open)

  • Day 1: Chest and biceps
  • Day 2: Quads and calves
  • Day 3: Off
  • Day 4: Shoulders, triceps and calves
  • Day 5: Back and hamstrings
  • Day 6 & 7: Off


The Blade’s strengths: Biceps, chest and abs

The Blade’s weaknesses: Calves and quad sweep

The Blade’s best pose: Front double biceps

The Blade’s worst pose: Rear lat spread

Dexter Jackson's contest history (Click to open)

Dexter Jackson's contest history (Click to open)

  • 1992 NPC Southern States, Lightweight, 3rd
  • 1995 NPC USA Championships, Light-Heavyweight, 1st
  • 1996 NPC Nationals, Light-Heavyweight, 6th
  • 1998 North American Championships, Light-HeavyWeight, 1st and Overall
  • 1999 Arnold Classic, 7th
  • 1999 Grand Prix England, 4th
  • 1999 Night of Champions, 3rd
  • 1999 Mr. Olympia, 9th
  • 1999 World Pro Championships, 4th
  • 2000 Arnold Classic, 5th
  • 2000 Grand Prix Hungary, 2nd
  • 2000 Ironman Pro Invitational, 3rd
  • 2000 Night of Champions, 8th
  • 2000 Mr. Olympia, 9th
  • 2000 Toronto Pro Invitational, 2nd
  • 2001 Arnold Classic, 5th
  • 2001 Grand Prix Australia, 3rd
  • 2001 Grand Prix England, 4th
  • 2001 Grand Prix Hungary, 3rd
  • 2001 Night of Champions, 2nd
  • 2001 Mr. Olympia, 8th
  • 2001 Toronto Pro Invitational, 2nd
  • 2002 Arnold Classic, 3rd
  • 2002 Grand Prix Australia, 2nd
  • 2002 Grand Prix Austria, 2nd
  • 2002 Grand Prix England, 1st
  • 2002 Grand Prix Holland, 3rd
  • 2002 Mr. Olympia, 4th
  • 2002 San Francisco Pro Invitational, 3rd
  • 2002 Show of Strength Pro Championship, 6th
  • 2003 Arnold Classic, 4th
  • 2003 Maximum Pro Invitational, 3rd
  • 2003 Mr. Olympia, 3rd
  • 2003 San Francisco Pro Invitational, 3rd
  • 2003 Show of Strength Pro Championship, 1st
  • 2004 Arnold Classic, 3rd
  • 2004 Grand Prix Australia, 1st
  • 2004 Ironman Pro Invitational, 1st
  • 2004 Mr. Olympia, 4th
  • 2004 San Francisco Pro Invitational, 1st
  • 2005 Arnold Classic, 1st
  • 2005 San Francisco Pro Invitational, 2nd
  • 2006 Arnold Classic, 1st
  • 2006 Mr. Olympia, 4th
  • 2007 Arnold Classic, 2nd
  • 2007 Mr. Olympia, 3rd
  • 2008 Arnold Classic, 1st
  • 2008 IFBB Australian Pro Grand Prix VIII, 1st
  • 2008 IFBB New Zealand Grand Prix, 1st
  • 2008 IFBB Russian Grand Prix, 1st
  • 2008 Mr. Olympia, 1st
  • 2009 Mr. Olympia, 3rd
  • 2010 Arnold Classic, 4th
  • 2010 IFBB Australian Pro Grand Prix, 2nd
  • 2010 Mr. Olympia, 4th
  • 2011 Flex Pro, 2nd
  • 2011 Mr. Olympia, 6th
  • 2011 FIBO Pro, 1st
  • 2011 Pro Masters World Champion, 1st
  • 2012 Arnold Classic, 5th
  • 2012 Mr. Olympia, 4th
  • 2012 IFBB Masters Olympia, 1st
  • 2013 Arnold Classic, 1st
  • 2013 IFBB Australian Pro Grand Prix, 1st
  • 2013 Mr. Olympia, 5th
  • 2013 EVLS Prague Pro, 2nd
  • 2013 Tijuana Pro, 1st
  • 2014 Mr. Olympia, 5th
  • 2014 Arnold Classic Europe, 3rd
  • 2014 Dubai Pro, 1st
  • 2014 Prague Pro, 2nd
  • 2015 Arnold Classic, 1st
  • 2015 Arnold Classic Australia, 1st
  • 2015 Arnold Classic Europe, 1st
  • 2015 Mr. Olympia, 2nd
  • 2015 Prague Pro, 1st


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