Jose Raymond Answers: Who Will Be The Next Big Thing In Men’s 212 Bodybuilding?

Jose Raymond highlights the most promising new school Men’s 212 bodybuilders rising in the ranks.

The Men’s 212 division is in a bit of a transition at the moment. Ever since Flex Lewis retired from the division, there has been a wide open spot for the next reigning Men’s 212 Olympia champion. So far there has not been a consistent champion since Lewis has stepped down. Who will be the next reigning titan to stand tall multiple years in a row? In our latest GI Exclusive interview, Jose Raymond highlights the Men’s 212 bodybuilders who can be the “next big thing” in the division.

Flex Lewis held his Men’s 212 Olympia title for seven years before eventually retiring from the division. That means for nearly the past decade, there was no shift in champion or power dynamic for the division. Ever since his retirement, we’ve had two new champions – Kamal Elgargni and Shaun Clarida. Much like the Men’s Open division – we are in the middle of a transition before the dust settles in on a new repeat champion.

Now perhaps Shaun Clarida will be the next multi-year reigning champion. His physique at the Olympia 2020 was near perfect. He aims to improve even further in 2021. So we might be on the early heels of a new reigning champion. We’ll have to wait and see what the Olympia 2021 brings.

In the meantime, we asked Jose Raymond who he thought would be the next dominant era of Men’s 212 bodybuilders. There are quite a few new school competitors rising in the ranks with incredible physiques. Some rise and fade – but a few will maintain and become superstars. But which ones?

Watch our GI Exclusive interview segment with Jose Raymond above!

Jose Raymond pointed out a very small handful of bodybuilders that he thinks will become the new superstars of the Men’s 212 division. First and foremost, he mentions George Peterson. A man who just a few years ago was fighting for the top spot in Classic Physique, he has since moved to Men’s 212 to better fit his genetic build. Jose sees one important quality in Peterson – he is consistent. That consistency will build and grow as he adjusts and evolves in the next few years.


If George Peterson can nail the formula that works for his physique – that consistency will lend itself to a potential reigning Olympia Men’s 212 champion. It’s the kind of consistency you’ve seen in the likes of Flex Lewis and Phil Heath during their prime years. It’s a quality that is extremely important – making Peterson a safe bet for future champion titles.

Another bodybuilder that stands out to Jose Raymond is Keone Pearson. Keone simply has incredible genetics and has displayed a fantastic physique. It’s the kind of physique that simply wows Jose. With a little more time and muscle maturity on his side – he can do some serious damage. Perhaps enough to stand tall as a Men’s 212 Olympia champion.

Ultimately, Jose Raymond believes that Men’s 212 is finally in a place to bring the division into a Golden Era. Competitors like Jose, Flex Lewis, and others came into the beginning of the division’s existence. They set the standard, helped it become popular, and now it’s a staple of the sport. That makes more young guys hungry and passionate to succeed in that division specifically.


What we are seeing now is a new generation of bodybuilders who grew up their entire lives with Men’s 212 always in existence. They are the fist generation to have heroes in Men’s 212 to look up to from childhood to now. This, Jose Raymond believes, is bringing in an amazing crop of bodybuilders. These guys know exactly what the division wants, it sets a goal for them, and they are passionately hungry to succeed. It’s an exciting time in Men’s 212.

This might be a transitionary period between longtime reigning champions – but it’s simply a settling period before an even more impressive generation of Men’s 212 bodybuilders rise up and solidify their names. Jose Raymond couldn’t be any more excited or proud of what is to come.

You can watch Jose Raymond break down his picks for the most promising new school Men’s 212 bodybuilders in our latest GI Exclusive interview segment above.