Two-time Classic Physique Olympia champion Breon Ansley left the Classic Physique division after a fourth-place finish at the 2022 Olympia, announcing a move to the 212 division. However, the IFBB Pro League increased the weight caps for each height class of the Classic Physique division on Aug. 2, 2023, putting Ansley in a unique spot.
Ansley has been training to transition to the 212 division, as he felt that the weight cap for his height (5’7) in the Classic Physique division was limiting his physique. Previously it seemed clear that Ansley would compete to qualify for the 212 Olympia. However, with the weight cap adjustment, Ansley will reveal if he’s staying in the Classic Physique division or switching to 212 by the first week of September 2023.
Breon Ansley’s 2023 Olympia Back Workout
Here is a snapshot of Ansley’s back workout:
Pull-Ups & Reverse-Grip Lat Pull-Down
Ansley feels pull-ups are one of the most challenging exercises, but he never skips them in his back training since they are excellent for building a V-taper. “Always and forever incorporate [pull-ups] in your regimen,” said Ansley. Several sets were shown of Ansley not moving through his full range of motion, displaying the value of partial reps with the bodyweight movement.
Ansley used a short bar attachment on the lat pulldown machine with an underhand grip. A shoulder-wide supinated grip allows a greater range of motion for a deeper stretch of the lats. Ansley kept his elbows tight to his torso and pulled them to his midline.
Machine Low Row
Ansley performed unilateral machine low rows with an underhand grip to target the lower lats, which can help improve the aesthetic of his lat spread. Training each side of the back individually allows for identifying and fixing strength imbalances.
After three unilateral sets of machine low rows, Ansley did three bilateral sets. He exploded through concentrics, paused at the top, and employed slow eccentrics, establishing a mind-muscle connection that allowed him to focus the load on the target muscle group.
Dumbbell Pullover & Seated Machine Row
The dumbbell pullover helps build the upper back and serratus, improving the V-taper. Ansley maintained a slight bend in his elbows and paused at the bottom of the range of motion to increase the lat’s time under tension.
In the seated machine row, Ansley started with his hands in a narrow neutral position. He rotated his wrists on concentrics to flare his elbows, biasing the upper back musculature, including the traps, rhomboids, and rear deltoids.
Ansley wrapped his workout with three sets of 13 pull-ups with a restricted range of motion to keep constant tension on his lats. He avoided full elbow extension at the bottom. His upper arms were almost parallel to the floor at the top of the ROM.
After his training session, Ansley gave his fans a sneak peek of his bigger physique by hitting the back double biceps and rear lat spread poses.
Road to the 2023 Olympia
Since Ansley is a former two-time Classic Physique Olympia champ, he is qualified for life to compete at the Olympia in the division. Ansley is consistently in the mix of first call-outs in Classic Physique.
However, the size of the top of the division, particularly reigning champion Chris Bumstead could compel Ansley to compete for qualification to the 212 Olympia to attempt to dethrone that division’s titleholder, Shaun Clarida. The 2023 Olympia is scheduled for Nov. 2-5 in Orlando, FL.
Featured image: @breonma_ on Instagram