While the Mr. Olympia title itself is still the main title in the sport of bodybuilding, longtime fans and former competitors longed to see physiques that reminded them of what is known as the “Golden Era” of bodybuilding. Competitors like Schwarzenegger, Ferrigno, Frank Zane, and Bill Pearl come to mind when it comes to the look that they yearned for.
In 2016, the IFBB Pro League launched the “Classic Physique” division and it grew instantly. Athletes who fit that look jumped right in. Athletes from other divisions like Men’s Physique and even bodybuilders from the Open who may be past their prime but still wanted to be onstage joined them. Even though there are a lot of men who compete in this division, it’s still only the best of the best who get to move on to the Olympia every September.
Thirty eight athletes will be onstage in Las Vegas vying for the title. The entire list of qualified competitors are below but here are a few that are considered the favorites.
Ansley is the two-time and reigning champion going into this year. His physique isn’t the largest but his symmetry, shape, conditioning, and presentation captivates the audience and impressed the judges enough that they marked him in first place for the last two years. He is confident that he will three-peat this year.
Bumstead has been the second place finisher in each of the last two years but he is arguably the most popular athlete in the division. Early on in his career, many in the sport felt that he would be the man to beat for years to come. He is actually bigger than Ansley but hasn’t been as conditioned and hasn’t quite perfected his posing. He has faced medical issues since his last appearance in 2018 but has recovered and has been in full prep mode for several weeks now.
“Da Bull” is the 2019 Arnold Classic Physique champion and placed 3rd at the Olympia in 2018. He has made great improvements in the last couple years and fully expects to be compared to Ansley by the end of the weekend in Las Vegas. The New York native packs a lot of muscle on his frame but has shape like the current champion.
The 2019 New York Pro winner isn’t on everyone’s favorites list but don’t sleep on him. If any of the gentlemen above miss their mark or come in off, he will pass them up and leave the show with some extra prize money. He is one of the shorter competitors but his waist is small with round shoulders up top. His front double bicep pose is quite impressive against anyone.
Another New Yorker who has a loyal fanbase, Rahbar has always been in the mix at the top shows. His physique reminds older fans of former Mr. Olympia Samir Bannout because of the lines he has and the detail he presents. So far he hasn’t achieved victory at the Olympia but like Pearson, he will take advantage and move up if one of the other contenders are not on their “A” game.
Athletes / Country
|Stan de Longeaux||USA|
|Grego Suewendley Francisca||Netherlands|
|Seonghwan Kim||South Korea|
|Giuseppe Christian Zagarella||Italy|
Featured image: @mrolympiallc on Instagram