On Jun. 8, 2023, the International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness Professional (IFBB) League announced major changes to the Men’s Physique Pro division. The IFBB will institute “height and weight limits for…Men’s Physique Pros” following the 2023 Olympia, scheduled for Nov. 2-5, 2023, in Orlando, FL.
NPC and IFBB Pro League Vice President Tyler Manion explained the rationale behind the decision in the announcement video published on the IFBB YouTube channel. Check it out below:
The IFBB Pro League recorded the heights and weights of the Men’s Physique athletes in the recent competitions leading up to this announcement. The compilation of that data will help constitute the new height and weight divisions.
The IFBB Pro League will announce the new Men’s Physique height and weight limits two months before the 2023 Olympia. They will take effect from the first pro show after the 2023 Olympia onward. These new height and weight limits will apply only to pro bodybuilders, not amateurs.
Why New Rules?
“We’ve had great success with our heights and weights in Classic Physique so far,” said Manion. “We want to make sure our Men’s Physique athletes are not getting too big.”
According to the IFBB Pro League, there were contentions about the Men’s Physique competitors ditching the “beach look” for more bodybuilding aesthetics. The height and weight limits will help differentiate Men’s Physique competitors from appearing too close to the desired aesthetics of the Classic Physique division.
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The height and weight limits for the Men’s Physique division will be under the height and weight limits for the Classic Physique division. Until the new rules are released, Manion advised Men’s Physique pros to use the Classic Physique division limits as a marker for necessary weight adjustments.
Reactions From The Community
Shortly after the announcement, concerns arose about the comparison to the Classic Physique division. Men’s Physique competitor Ramses Rams suggested athletes’ physiques in the division will become more disproportionate, as the new height and weight limits incentivize Men’s Physique competitors to not train legs. Regarding weight restriction, more upper-body muscle mass can be offset by having less muscle mass in the legs.
Several bodybuilders shared that sentiment. Manion took stock of the situation and provided further clarification, stating, “The first thing we thought of was everyone’s minds going to ‘I just won’t train legs.’ This won’t be possible with the criteria that will come out when the official weights are announced.” Manion made clear that “completely disproportionate bodies will NOT be rewarded.”
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The New Men’s Physique Standard
Manion mentioned Men’s Physique competitors that should be considered the division’s standard. The physiques of Emmanuel Hunter, Ryan Terry, and Corey Morris may be the likeliest to contend with reigning Men’s Physique Olympia champ Erin Banks and three-time Men’s Physique Olympia champion Brandon Hendrickson.
Featured image: @ryanjterry on Instagram