212 Bodybuilder Keone Pearson Announces Move Back to Classic Physique in 2022

Pearson will return to the division he started his career in.

IFBB Pro League 212 bodybuilder Keone Pearson has announced that he will switch from the 212 division to Classic Physique, where he rose to prominence. The announcement comes one month after Pearson placed 14th at the 2021 Olympia 212 contest in Orlando, FL. Pearson announced the news in an Instagram post on Nov. 7, 2021.

“Let’s run it back. This has been on my mind for some time and I had talks about it and this is honestly the best decision for me,” Pearson wrote. “Going back to classic and bringing the best and healthiest version of myself ever! Call me crazy but watch me make it happen. For everyone that supports me and rocks with me truly, appreciate you all.”


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A post shared by Keone (@keone_prodigy)

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Pearson also referenced a YouTube video that would feature him going into deeper detail on his decision. As of this writing, the video had yet to be published.

Pearson’s Career Thus Far

According to NPC News Online, Pearson turned pro at the 2017 NPC Junior USA Championships in the Classic Physique division. His first onstage appearance as a professional was at the 2018 Tampa Pro, where he placed second to winner Henri Pierre Ano.

2019 was by far his most successful season. Pearson started with a fourth-place effort at the Arnold Classic Physique in Columbus, Ohio. In May of 2019, he won his first title, the New York Pro. A win at the NY Pro earned him a qualification to the Olympia, where Pearson surprised many people by finishing fourth in that contest, which was won by three-time Classic Physique O Winner Chris Bumstead.

Switch to 212

Before the start of the 2020 season, Pearson announced that he would be switching from Classic Physique to the 212 division. Despite the season being adjusted due to the pandemic, Pearson won his first 212 title at the Chicago Pro. Even though he qualified for the Olympia, he opted not to compete due to personal reasons.


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Pearson returned to the stage in 2021 and, once again, won the Chicago Pro 212 title. This time, Pearson did go to the Olympia on Oct. 7, 2021. However, his 14th place finish was much lower than he and many people anticipated. Derek Lunsford won that contest. Pearson hasn’t competed since the Olympia. Nonetheless, being in the Olympia for two different divisions is a noteworthy achievement for the Georgia native.

As of this writing, Pearson has not announced his first competition in his return to the Classic Physique division.

Featured Image: @keone_prodigy on Instagram