Opinion: Like It Or Not, Classic Physique Is More Exciting Than Open Weight Bodybuilding

Classic Physique could take over.

Competition. It’s what makes sporting events so engaging and enjoyable. Competition is what drives everything in modern society from business to technological innovation. Without competition things become stagnant, predictable, pretty much a complete bore fest. The introduction of the Classic Physique division has injected some new life into bodybuilding competition because there are so many competitors are neck and neck. That level of competition makes things interesting. Unfortunately the same can’t be said for the Open Weight division.

Go ahead and shout blasphemy. Say that it’s absolutely ludicrous. Yell that Generation Iron is crazy, dumb, ridiculous. You’re entitled to your opinion of course so we don’t begrudge you. But ask yourself this question. Did you all know that Phil Heath would win the Olympia each and every year he showed up? A great majority most likely are thinking yes. Even in light of his recent loss and the shake ups in Men’s Open, it has been very common for the Men’s Open champion to repeat victories many years in a row. That in itself proves one thing: Open Weight bodybuilding is becoming a bit boring.

“But it’s not Phil Heath’s fault that he’s was so much better than everybody!” We understand that Heath has been the best of the best, but that simply doesn’t make for an exciting showcase. That’s not to say seeing mass monsters get up on stage isn’t a true wonder of what the human body is capable of when put under extreme training and supplementation. But the idea of competition is that you’re supposed to be completely in the dark of what the final result will be. If you can guess the winners every single time, you should be placing bets. Really, you could make a great living if you have that kind of foresight.

Add on top of this that the past two years of the Men’s Open division has seen some shake ups. Many top competitors couldn’t compete in 2019 leaving for criticism of current Olympia champion Brandon Curry. The Classic Physique division itself was created due to an outcry of fans thinking that Men’s Open has lost its way. All this adds up to a new division that is both exciting due to it’s young age and perhaps promising in how big of a division it will be in the future.

The Classic Physique division seems to be far more interesting than the Open Weight division because the category is still wide open. Arash Rahbar and Danny Hester were at the top of the pack at the 2016 Olympia only to be bumped down several notches in 2017. Now Breon Ansley and Chris Bumstead are the talk of the town. But that doesn’t mean things will remain that way in 2020. Someone else could come around and completely destroy both Ansley and Bumstead to take the Olympia crown. And that’s what makes the division so exciting. We have no clue what will happen next and that makes things intriguing. It also means that you’ll be more likely to tune in and see who has prepared best. There’s no bias, there’s no front runners. Anyone can be a champion at any given event which makes things interesting.

While the Open Weight is still the marquee of most any event, if there’s to be continued interest in the division there needs to be a major shake up to build even more interest or the Classic Physique category could end up stealing the show.

Which division to you find more exciting, Open Weight or Classic Physique? Let us know in the comments below. Also, be sure to follow Generation Iron on Facebook and Twitter.




  1. Of course it is. Those men look human. They’re also not about to die from abusing insulin or whatever, so it is a much better image for bodybuilding than the whole “mass monster” junky thing.

  2. it will never be as exciting as open bodybuilding these guys have pretty bodies they look like jacked gymrats or somebody you can see on the local beach, you will never see a gymrat or a dude on the beach as big and freakly as big ramy and roelly, when you see guys like ramy flex you say holy shit what a freak, that is what bodybuilding is all about.

  3. They look better, far better.. They look like the old school & they have competition, its anyone’s game. That makes it exciting. The bubble gut, which people in the industry defend by saying zthe layman doesn’t understand bodybuilding, doesn’t exist in the classic or physique.

  4. This SHIT isn’t an athlete he’s a DRUG ADDICT pretending to an athlete and the IFBB is complicit. ONLY FELLOW DRUG ADDICTS LIKE THIS STUPID FREAKY SHIT
    90% of the fans HATE IT and know how dumb it looks

  5. The open DID look similar to that 30-40 years ago but as competitors tried to top one another each year they kept getting bigger and started using more and different things and it’s evolved to what it is now. Don’t believe me? Look at woman’s bodybuilding from Gladys Portugues to Kim Chizevsky. Lol. Or, look at the difference between the mens open in the 70s and 90s and the 90s to now or the phisyque women they went from DLB to basically bodybuilders. Different strokes different folks.

  6. Always knew it would be more appealing to the average person.. but at least Open Bodybuilding will never die because it’s interesting to see something that almost look fake / fantasy.


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