2019 Olympia Bodybuilding: Classic Physique Competitors and Preview

This throwback division is as competitive as it gets.

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.

Breon Ansley

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.

Chris Bumstead

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.

George Peterson

“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.

Keone Pearson

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.

Arash Rahbar

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

Ahmad AhmadIraq
Abdulla Al-SairafiKuwait
Dancovea AndersonGermany
Henri-Pierre AnoCanada
Breon AnsleyUSA
Woilid BaatoutFrance
Piotr BoreckiPoland
Chris BumsteadCanada
Alex CambroneroUSA
Khaled ChikhaouiCanada
Marvin CornejoUSA
Stan de LongeauxUSA
Grego Suewendley FranciscaNetherlands
Jonathan HambrickUSA
Antwane HamlettCanada
Danny HesterUSA
David HoffmanGermany
Chen KangChina
Kirill KhudaievUkraine
Seonghwan KimSouth Korea
Steve LaureusUSA
Abner LoganUSA
Fabio LopesPortugal
Jason LoweUSA
Rylon McDuell-BatisteUSA
Stan McQuayUSA
Ro’Vonte MoodyUSA
Courage OparaUSA


Keone PearsonUSA
George PetersonUSA
Panexce PierreUSA
Jordan PlantikoUSA
Arash RahbarUSA
Damion RickettsUSA
Hany SaeedEgypt
Christopher WhiteCanada
Dani YounanUSA
Giuseppe Christian ZagarellaItaly

Featured image: @mrolympiallc on Instagram

Roger Lockridge

Roger Lockridge

Roger "Rock" Lockridge has been writing professionally for 10 years and has been training for 20. His work in the fitness industry has been seen in numerous outlets and has been a part of coverage for several events including the Mr. Olympia, Arnold Classic, the CrossFit Games, and the Olympics. He's also shared his own personal success story in several interviews and articles. Lockridge lives in West Virginia with his wife and son.

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