Chris Bumstead Talks Competing In Open Show After Olympia: “I Definitely Thought About It”

Men's Open
Chris Bumstead Instagram (@cbum)

Chris Bumstead has yet to take on the challenge of a Men’s Open Bodybuilding show but the idea has floated around.

Chris Bumstead is working on winning his fifth-consecutive Classic Physique Olympia title. He has spent his entire career in this division but admitted the thought of competing in Men’s Open has crossed his mind. While Bumstead might not make the jump completely, he has thought about competing in one show.

Bumstead has won four-consecutive Olympia titles in Classic Physique after taking the crown for the first time in 2019. Since then, he has competed once a year during this show. Bumstead’s full prep goes into the biggest show of the year. If he were to do Men’s Open, he would look for a big show shortly after the Olympia.

During an interview with Chris Williamson, Bumstead detailed this possibility of competing in the Men’s Open Bodybuilding Division, along with how he would change his prep.

“I definitely thought about it, yeah. But there’s no Open shows after the Olympia. I’d want to do a decent show.”


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Bumstead continued to discuss how his competition prep would change for Open bodybuilding. With Classic Physique, he is able to take more time off since he does not have to hold weight. That would not be the case for Men’s Open. Also, Bumstead admits that he would keep his training the same but would have to change his diet plan.

“If I really wanted to do the Open, I’d have to take a week off to rest and get right back to work. Hold all that weight and start growing. I don’t push food hard right now. If I start to get too fat, I’ll pull it back down. I would have to just lean into the fat. I wouldn’t be like fat, fat but I like being lean consistently. Lean enough so I feel good.

My training would be the exact same. A little more PEDs, of course. Maybe dabble around that but I think I could do it with just food.”

Chris Bumstead Talks Arnold Schwarzenegger, Golden Era

Arnold Schwarzenegger made a name for himself immediately and remains one of the best of all-time. He competed in the Golden Era of bodybuilding where the look of competitors was much different.

“Back in the Arnold days, it was bigger upper bodies. Legs weren’t massive, you weren’t shredded, it was more about being full and round and just aesthetic. That is what Classic Physique was brought in for. Even to contrast Classic Physique versus the Arnold era, it’s way leaner now. It’s getting just as lean as the Open bodybuilders. Like shredded glutes, feathered quads. You just look like you have no body fat on you,” Bumstead said.

Back then, Schwarzenegger, and other competitors, were taking the stage around the same weight Chris Bumstead does now for Classic Physique. Despite being the same weight, Bumstead carries far less body fat than bodybuilders back in the day.

When asked about how Schwarzenegger would fair in today’s game, Bumstead could not answer accurately but said he would want to see him with today’s progression. In all sports, there is natural progression with different equipment, supplements, etc. If Schwarzenegger had access to all there is today, he would look much different.


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Bumstead believes that this is the best division he could be in because of the look it requires.

“I truly love Classic Physique and how it pushes and inspires people to be. When I was younger, I was going to quit bodybuilding bad in 2016. When I turned pro, I said I either have to get to 300 pounds or go to Men’s Physique. And I wasn’t wearing board shorts and I wasn’t getting to 300 pounds so I was going to retire. Literally that year Classic Physique came out and it seemed perfect for me so I ran with it.”

As Chris Bumstead continues to prepare for the 2023 Olympia in November, his mindset remains how it always has been. He is happy where he is and does not feel the need to make a full-time change.

“I’ve never really thought of that, honestly. I really think that this era is perfectly where I’m meant to be. It’s worked out pretty fu**ing great so far so I don’t tempt fate with that. I’m just really grateful for where I am.”

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Greg Patuto
Greg has covered the four major sports for six years and has been featured on sites such as Sports Illustrated, Fox Sports, SB Nation,, and FanSided. Now, he is transitioning into the world of bodybuilding and strength sports.