07-24-2016, 06:26 PM #1
- Join Date
- Apr 2014
- M-Chem Coin = $1
- Rep Power
Bodybuilding Legends Discuss the Classic Physique Division
Do you agree with these legends? Some very valid points.
Itís OK by me! Why wouldnít the two federations try to offer up a solution for supply and demand, where athletes simply want a platform to display their varying degrees of physical development? Iím definitely not one to criticize the new divisions being added, when athletesí only options would be to limit their options. It comes down to having a shot at winning and losing for each athlete, which keeps them in the gym and evolving!
Classic Physique will bridge the gap between the bodybuilders and physique competitors as it relates to the athletesí individual growth and competitive desires. The number of athletes will grow even more, because they are not forced to compete in divisions they are not built for or desire to compete in.
The Classic Physique division will separate the idea that you have to either be huge, or hold back the muscle-building process to remain streamlined for the Menís Physique division. These athletes can either grow, or come down to a comfortable weight that will allow the audience to bring back adjectives like classical, beautiful, artistic, aesthetic and symmetrical. These kinds of adjectives used to be reserved for bodybuilders when I was coming up. They were inclusive of the entire physique, whereas the shortcoming of the Physique division is the athletes covering up their legs and the lack of poses they display onstage.
The Classic Physique division will take us to a place where hopefully, we can revisit the likes of a 190-pound Frank Zane or a 180-pound Lee Labrada, and reminisce about the beauty they brought to the stage and the pageantry of a complete package. For all the reasons Iíve mentioned, we look forward to see where this division will go and who will emerge as the leader of the pack.
The Classic Physique division may appeal to just about everyone who loves art and beauty, two words that were bantered about when I came into the game in 1983, with references back to the likes of Steve Reeves, Mohamed Makkawy and Bob Paris. For the last 15 years or so, fans around the globe have been deprived of admiring and following those types of bodies that were glamorized in the magazines and worshipped by both men and women.
This new Classic division is the bridge between Physique and bodybuilding, that I feel will have more mainstream traction as it relates to promotions and marketing. The desired look is not only achievable for both existing divisions, but it may even become oversaturated with athletes due to the Physique guys, whoíve been holding backó and would like to actually pose, and display their bodies with movement and action. Conversely, there are many bodybuilders who are not happy with the pressure of pushing the envelope on the size factor. They have been training exclusively to get big in order to win, to the exclusion of focusing on refinement and detail. Now they can drop down into a place of comfort and level the playing field, knowing this division is not size-based but classically judged.
While some may think we have too many divisions, I see the industry adapting and adjusting to the athletes and fans, as well as the sponsors, in a manner that is more inclusive and inviting. Looking at this new division would make a guy like Joe Weider very pleased, as well as our photographers capturing the moments along the way!
Itís a good time to be representing the number-one bodybuilding magazine in the world, and have a front-row seat to witness the arrival of Classic Physique to our sport!
Follow me on Social Media
Obviously, there must be a need for this new division, or it wouldnít have been created. The fact is that pro bodybuilding has gone to an extreme that many find unacceptable. The level of dissatisfaction with it isnít quite as severe as what happened with womenís bodybuilding over the last decade or so, but itís definitely lost a large part of its former appeal. Itís become mainly about size, and good shape and aesthetic appeal has fallen away. There are a lot of guys getting into the sport today who simply donít admire the current look and donít aspire to it, either. Back in the 1980s and even throughout the Ď90s, that wasnít the case. Those entering the sport did aspire to look like the champions of those eras, and found them inspiring.
Menís Physique came along a few years ago because a lot of guys wanted to be muscular, but they had no interest in weighing 250-300 pounds, or having thick, bloated midsections as many of the top pro bodybuilders were starting to. MPD was a viable option that allowed them to be muscular, yet retain a nice V-taper and a small waist. Yet, many of these guys are still bodybuilders at heart. This new Classic Physique division gives them a chance to display the whole physique, and to hit poses.
Classic Physique and MPD are more attainable to the masses. Iím sure the interest level is there among the athletes, which means more money for the organizations and the promoters. Itís evolution, which I have nothing against. That being said, I have no interest in these new physique divisions. My background was hardcore bodybuilding, which was in vogue when I was growing up. Back in the 1980s, we had movie stars like Stallone in the ďRamboĒmovies and of course Arnold. Guys started training with the idea of getting as big as they could. But times have changed. Now, the young guys are more interested in a V-taper and abs. I personally donít see it as very challenging or much of an achievement, but thatís why we have different divisions. Bodybuilding is much harder and takes a lot longer to be competitive at.
Perhaps bodybuildingís time as the most popular division is coming to an end in the near future. If thatís whatís meant to be and if thatís what people want, then so be it. I feel there will always be a special place and a special level of respect for bodybuilding. As for the new division, I wish it well.
I confess I was a little confused when I first heard about this. What exactly was Classic Physique? From what I understood, Menís Physique was created in 2012 for those who didnít want to go for the bodybuilder look. If that were the case, why would there be any need to create another division for guys who werenít interested in being bodybuilders? I mean, whatís the difference? But once I looked into it a little, it started to make sense.
There are plenty of men out there who love to train hard and love to build their physiques, but who have neither the genetics nor the interest in pushing their mass to extremes. For every guy out there who thinks Phil Heath and Kai Greene are the ideal physique, there are probably 10 who think that freak look is totally unappealing. To them, bodybuilding was at its pinnacle when men like Steve Reeves, Arnold and Frank Zane ruled the sport. Those physiques were all about structure, aesthetics, a rugged yet decidedly athletic look, and class. They could have been carved out of marble in Ancient Greece. I took a look at the various weight limits, and they pretty much fall in line with that look. For example, a man of 6í2Ē in the new Classic Physique division canít weigh more than 232 pounds. That was Arnold in his prime. At 5í9Ē, the weight limit is 192 pounds. Frank Zane won three Mr. Olympia titles between 1977 and 1979 with almost that exact bodyweight, ranging between 185-192.
If you havenít noticed, Menís Physique classes at the amateur level have been getting more and more crowded. You will often see 30-50 men in a class at a regional show, and far more at a national event. A lot of those men would love to do bodybuilding if it wasnít about freakish size, often at the expense of aesthetics and a small waist. I guarantee a ton of them will eagerly flock to this new division. It will allow them to really show off their hard work in the gym in a way that MPD didnít provide, especially when it comes to displaying the legs.
Bodybuilding wonít be going anywhere. There will always be a certain group of men who will want to get as huge as they possibly can. To many of them, sacrificing nice shape and a dramatic V-taper is a concession they are willing to make if it means being able to step onstage at 5í9Ē and 250 pounds ripped, with 22-inch arms and 32-inch thighs. But there are also a lot of bodybuilders out there who donít want to look like that, or wonít do what must be done to achieve that look. Classic Physique is going to give them an outlet. As for the weight limits, those might wind up being a little higher for the IFBB pros once that aspect of it is introduced. Obviously, there is still quite a bit about Classic Physique to be determined in the near future. Iím interested to watch it develop.