Classic Physique is a highly anticipated division that throws back to the fluidity of lean physiques with wide v-tapered backs, rounded, three-dimensional shoulders, and ridged abs that could shelf quarters. Arnold Schwarzenegger is a huge fan of the division, and it’s become increasingly popular among fans. This year, the potential competitor list is long, and there’s a lot of talent vying for the title. Below, you’ll find the list of qualified athletes long with notable competitors to watch out for.
2021 Olympia | Classic Physique — Qualified Bodybuilders
Note: the following list is of athletes thus far qualified, not a finalized competitor list.
- Zeek Andrews (USA)
- Breon Ansley (USA)
- Jose Maria Mete Bueriberi (Spain)
- Chris Bumstead (Canada)
- Alex Cambronero (Costa Rica)
- Tommy Clark (USA)
- German Pastor Cueto (Spain)
- Neil Currey (UK)
- Sabur Favors (USA)
- Bryan Jones (USA)
- Urs Kalecinski (Germany)
- George Kawalawu (USA)
- Seonghwan Kim (South Korea)
- Brady King (USA)
- Laszlo Kiraly (Hungary)
- Gabriel Zancanelli Machado (Brazil)
- Fabian Mayr (Austria)
- Peter Molnar (Hungary)
- Courage Opara (USA)
- Ramon Rocha Querioz (Brazil)
- Terrence Ruffin (USA)
- Abtin Shekarabi (USA)
- Mike Sommerfeld (Germany)
- Tony Taveras (USA)
- Robert Timms (USA)
- Darwin Andres Uribe (Colombia)
- Wesley Vissers (Netherlands)
- Divine Wilson (USA)
- In Seong You (South Korea)
- Dani Younan (USA)
For the Classic Physique at the 2021 Olympia, all eyes are sure to be on returning two-time Olympia champion Chris Bumstead of Canada. However, adding another Sandow to his trophy case will be far from a cakewalk.
Competing against him in 2021 are former two-time Classic Physique Olympia champion Breon Ansley with a larger, more mass-focused physique and 2020 Classic Physique Olympia runner-up Terrence Ruffin and his expert posing game. Additionally, Alex Cambronero will return after making the final callout in 2020. Robert Timms will show off his colossal upper body, and Bryan Jones’ statuesque structure will attempt to improve on his debut fifth-place finish in 2020.
View this post on Instagram
[Related: Bodybuilders Maria Wattel, Olivier Richters & Pratik Mohite Are in the 2022 Guinness Book of World Records]
If one were to place a bet on the likeliest winner of the 2021 Classic Physique Olympia, the safest odds are on Bumstead scoring a three-peat. Both Bumstead and his main rival in the division over the past four years, Ansley, have shared photos of themselves on their respective Instagram pages a few weeks out from the 2021 Olympia. They’re sporting physiques that feature much more mass than in years past. However, this was not an unforeseeable trajectory.
Arguably the most significant difference Bumstead made to his physique year-over-year from his first Olympia win in 2019 was adding thickness to his back — particularly his lower lats — and his triceps. If a physique with denser mass is what judges are looking for, it will likely be another head-to-head battle between the two two-time Classic Physique champions.
Ansley is the only other athlete other than Bumstead on the 2021 Olympia Classic Physique roster to hold two Olympia wins in the division. In 2019, he lost his throne to Bumstead. In 2020, he dropped another rank to third place after the ongoing posing battles with Bumstead as they stood side-by-side. Ansley’s conditioning is of an elite caliber, and even though he is in his early 40s, he still brings tight packages to the stage.
In 2021, Ansley indeed bulked up. The decision to widen his back and add more mass to his shoulders could help him not appear not as small standing next to Bumstead, who has a six-inch height advantage. If Ansley recaptures the thrown after falling two ranks since 2018, that would be a remarkable comeback.
Ansley’s YouTube posts with only a few weeks before the 2021 Olympia highlight his goal of “the thickest, most dense back possible” and a “point of emphasis to get BIGGER” chest and triceps.
The fluidity of Ruffin’s physique has set him apart from the field and enabled his rise in the division. His runner-up finish at the 2020 Olympia seemed to be as surprising to him as it was to everyone watching. However, it should not have been. With a physique as tight as Ruffin’s combined with his finesse for posing, he remains a legitimate threat to the podium in any contest he enters.
Ruffin’s results leading up to the 2021 Olympia are stellar. He won the 2021 Arnold Classic, besting Cambronero by one spot and Jones by four ranks. Standing at the height of five feet, five inches, Ruffin is one of the shorter athletes on the Olympia roster, and that might make it more difficult to beat out the naturally larger competitors. Thus far, though, he has proven to be a contender for the Olympia title. If he can carry his momentum from the 2021 Arnold Classic and peak at the Olympia, perhaps he could walk away with the crown.
Cambronero is a consistent performer who always seems to hover at the top of the division. Although he lost the 2021 Arnold Classic to Ruffin, he won it in 2020 and scored a fourth-place finish at the 2020 Olympia — an improvement of two ranks from the 2019 Olympia. Since 2016, Combronero has competed in over a dozen contests and failed to make the top six in just two of them.
In an interview with Muscular Development, Cambronero admits that he didn’t bring his A-game to the 2020 Olympia. He “wasn’t as full or cut at the Olympia” due to “some mistakes the day before the show.” If he learned from those mistakes and avoids them in Orlando in 2021, maybe his rise to the top of the division is not out of reach.
Over the past five years, Timms has posted excellent results at various pro shows, including his most recent win at the 2021 IFBB Texas Pro. However, his results on the Olympia stage have been rather lackluster by comparison in the past few years. Despite ranking sixth at the Olympia in 2016, his performances in 2017 saw him drop to 14th position and then down to 15th in 2018.
The difference heading into the 2021 Olympia is just how colossal Timms’ upper body is. The man’s torso looks like he stretched skin over battle armor and is akin to the muscle mass gains that have been the focus of Bumstead and Ansley. Again, if the denser look appeals to the judges in Orlando, then Timms could skyrocket up the scorecard.
Since winning the 2016 NPC Europa Phoenix, Jones’ resume consists of impressive result after impressive result after impressive result. At the 2021 Arnold Classic, he ranked fifth — the same rank as the 2020 Olympia. According to NPC News Online, of the 10 competitions he’s appeared in since 2016, he’s only finished outside the top five once — a seventh-place rank at the 2016 NPC National Championships. Jones also won the prestigious Chicago Pro in 2020.
[Related: Arnold Schwarzenegger Wants Classic Physique to Be as Big as Open Bodybuilding]
At a height five feet, 11 inches tall, Jones is one of the few competitors on the Olympia roster who Bumstead doesn’t dwarf. His massive arms and broad shoulders paired with his narrow waist make for an aesthetically appealing visual.
On to Orlando
If anyone can take the top spot from Bumstead, it will be one of the biggest stories coming out of the Olympia weekend. It seems like Bumstead’s stature and year-over-year improvements on his already winning physique will be hard to top. However, the roster is stacked well beyond the six athletes highlighted in this article.
Considering Ruffin’s rise to second overall at the 2020 Olympia, bodybuilding’s biggest show can have unexpected results. Can Ansley reclaim the throne? Can anyone else on the roster achieve their first Classic Physique Olympia win? Or are we witnessing the dynasty of Chris Bumstead?
Olympia Weekend takes place in Orlando, FL, from Oct. 7-10, 2021. There’s $1.6 million on the line for athletes in the 2021 Olympia. Last year, Bumstead pocketed $30,000 for his win. The specific prize-money breakdown isn’t yet available. For those who can’t make it to Orlando, there’s a PPV available for $49.95 at olympiaproductions.com.
Featured image: @cbum on Instagram