Chris Bumstead is the proud owner of four Classic Physique Olympia titles and touts one of the biggest fan followings in the sport of bodybuilding. But with so much success comes the inevitable comparisons to competitors from past generations — more specifically, to the legendary Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Bumstead stands around 6’1″ and weighs approximately 240 pounds when on stage; impressively, those measurables are nearly identical to Schwarzenegger when he competed throughout the ‘70s. That’s led to countless debates among fans — and right here on BarBend — about who would win a pose-off between these two.
In an interview on The Full Send Podcast, posted on March 30, 2023, Bumstead weighed in on who the judges would pick if the two went head-to-head. Check out the YouTube video below for the entire interview:
Bumstead Thinks He Could Beat Schwarzenegger in His Prime
During the interview, fitness influencer Bradley Martyn asked Bumstead what would happen if he competed against Arnold during his peak back in the ’70s.
“If I went back [to Arnold’s time] looking how I look, I’d be the leanest person they’ve ever seen,” Bumstead said. “So I don’t even know if [the judges] would even want that. So maybe he would win because of that.”
“If he were to come today and compete against me last year at the Olympia, I think I would beat him because he’s not in shape enough,” Bumstead said.
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“Back in the day, ’90s NBA players used to drink beer at halftime,” Bumstead said. “Now they’re like having […] IVs put in them and [getting] B [vitamin] shots […] just to perform at the highest level. Times change, you know?”
Who’s the GOAT?
Bumstead then talked about his relationship with Schwarzenegger today and if he sees “The Austrian Oak” as a mentor.
“I never see him or talk to him at all,” Bumstead said, revealing that he’s only ever spoken to Schwarzenegger once. But he does confess that it’s an honor to be compared to such an icon and that he still recognizes Schwarzenegger as the GOAT of bodybuilding.
“I don’t think I would ever replace him as the GOAT in bodybuilding — because some people have talked about that — because I don’t think you can compare the impact he’s had on the sport,” Bumstead said. “He went out and went into Hollywood, […] and made bodybuilding mainstream for a while purely because of who he was. He made bodybuilding in the ’90s […] That’s greatness.”
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Featured Image: Image: T.J. Darr (Bumstead) // WikiMedia Commons, Public Domain (Arnold Schwarzenegger)