Bobybuilder Breon Ansley shook the bodybuilding community with his March 19, 2022 announcement on his Instagram page that 2022 will be his last year competing in the Classic Physique division. He went public with his decision to move on from the Classic Physique two weeks after competing at the 2022 Arnold Classic (AC), where he finished fourth.
My placings have been slipping — from second to third at the Olympia and now fourth at the Arnold.
The two-time Classic Physique Olympia champion shared further insights into his decision in a candid YouTube video. He revealed the weight cap in Classic Physique is the main reason behind moving on from the division. Per IFBB Pro rules, Ansley’s weight cap at a height of 5’7″ is 185 pounds. Check out the full video below:
[Related: Watch Bodybuilder Nick Walker Train Hamstrings During His Offseason]
The 2022 AC was the first time Ansley did not place in the top three since making his debut in the Classic Physique division at the 2016 Arnold Classic, where he finished fourth.
We will see what the next year  and the next chapter in competing brings us. I do feel like I have a lot left in the tank.
This will not be the first time Ansley switches divisions in his career. Before the Classic Physique division was established in 2016, he competed in his first pro show — 2014 New York Pro — in the 212 division, placing outside the top 16. After finishing 15th at the 2014 Europa Phoenix Pro, Ansley took a year off in 2015. He made a comeback at the 2016 Prestige Crystal Cup as a Classic Physique competitor and took home the gold.
I did not bring my best to the stage [2022 AC] and I know I could be a thousand times better.
According to Ansley, his physique is at its best when he has more muscle mass than what he can currently support competing in Classic Physique. His inability to put on muscle mass due to the weight restriction is the main reason behind his decision to move on from division.
Ansley believes the mid-190-pound range is where his body shines. Notably, he weighed 206 pounds on March 19, 2022 — the day he made the announcement about leaving Classic Physique. He further elaborated that slimming down to the low 180-pound range to meet his Classic Physique class weight cap makes him look over-dieted, deflated, and tired.
Classic Physique athletes are at liberty to put on weight after pre-contest weigh-ins. However, per Ansley, that’s a give-or-take-48-hour window between making weight and stepping on stage. It isn’t enough time to sufficiently fill back up without compromising on muscle conditioning, separation, and density.
Ansley makes weight via intense cardio and eating a low-calorie diet 12-15 weeks out from a show. That leaves him looking flat and deflated come competition day. He explained he would look stronger if he added to his diet instead of trimming it down aggressively leading up to showtime. Essentially, he is at a positional disadvantage against the athletes in the division who are under their weight cap. Those athletes can put on the muscle mass they want and support it with more food leading up to a contest. If he was allowed to pack on more mass past his weight cap, he would stay in Classic Physique.
View this post on Instagram
[Related: Watch Flex Lewis and Rafael Brandão Train Chest Together at the Dragon’s Lair Gym]
Breon Ansley’s Game Plan Going Forward
In his YouTube video, Ansley revealed that he would compete in a show (and potentially more than one) before the 2022 Olympia. Without divulging into details, he stated he is 20 weeks out from his next contest. But this time around, instead of waiting until the last week, Ansley intends on making weight while he is six to seven weeks out of the contest. This technique is likely to help him bring a lean, sharp, and diced physique to the stage.
It will not be easy — we know that we’re aware of that, and we’re ready for that.
The 2022 Olympia will be Ansley’s last contest as a Classic Physique competitor. The 43-year-old will compete against the reigning and defending three-time Classic Physique Olympia champ Chris Bumstead, the two-time AC Classic Physique winner Terrence Ruffin, and 2022 Kuwait Pro and Boston Pro winner Urs Kalecinski, among others. The 2022 Olympia weekend is scheduled for Dec. 16-18 in Las Vegas, NV.
Featured image: @breonma_ on Instagram—