William Bonac Steps Back From Bodybuilding for the Rest of 2023, Eyes Return at the 2024 Arnold Classic

“The Conqueror” tells fans he will see them all again in Columbus next year.

William Bonac has been a staple of the bodybuilding scene for the better part of a decade now, finishing in the top five at the Mr. Olympia from 2016 to 2020. In that time, he also won the Arnold Classic in 2018 and 2020 and was the runner-up in 2019.

But on March 7, just days after placing seventh at the 2023 Arnold Classic, Bonac went on Instagram to announce that he’s taking a step back from the sport for the rest of the year. He might not be gone for long, though: The plan right now is to return at the 2024 Arnold. 

“Time to focus on family & other business aside from bodybuilding,” Bonac wrote in his caption. “Will see you all next year in Columbus Ohio [sic]. I’ll be back!!”

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William Bonac Steps Aside for 2023

To illustrate how packed the past few years have been for Bonac, he wrote that he has competed at every Arnold Classic since 2018, other than the 2021 edition, due to travel issues. He’s also qualified for, and competed at, the Mr. Olympia annually since 2014. After all the training and dieting Bonac has endured for the past seven-plus years, he’s decided to turn his attention to other aspects of his life for the rest of 2023.

Since Bonac finished ninth at the 2022 Mr. Olympia, he wouldn’t have automatically qualified for the 2023 show. And his career-low Arnold finish also precluded him from an Olympia spot.

Bonac’s Recent Competition History

The 2022 bodybuilding season was all about gaining size for Bonac. He went on record saying he was looking to be heavier than ever to compete with the likes of Mamdouh “Big Ramy” Elssbiay and bounce back from a sixth-place finish in 2021.

​​”We hit a point [where] we can’t go further, so we have to do something different in order to get a different result,” Bonac said during his Olympia prep. “So that’s what we’re doing now. [We’re] trying to gain more muscle to be as heavy as possible on stage.”

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Even though he eventually tipped the scales at 264 pounds during training, Bonac earned ninth place at the Olympia, his lowest finish at the show since his debut in 2014.

2023 Arnold Classic Results | Men’s Open

Here’s how the full top 10 shook out at the 2023 Arnold Classic:

  1. ​​Samson Dauda
  2. Nick Walker
  3. Andrew Jacked
  4. Mamdouh “Big Ramy” Elssbiay
  5. Shaun Clarida
  6. Akim Williams
  7. William Bonac
  8. Justin Rodriguez
  9. Kamal Elgargni
  10. Patrick Moore

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Featured Image: Courtesy of the Arnold Sports Festival