Philip Ricardo Jr: Why It’s A Big Deal Mr. America Is Being Televised

Pro Natural Bodybuilder Philip Ricardo Jr. talks competing in the Mr. America and why it’s a big deal that CBS Sports will televise it.

This weekend holds the Mr. America 2021, the return of a historic bodybuilding event whose history goes all the way back to 1939. Before the Mr. Universe and before the Mr. Olympia – there was the Mr. America. Natural bodybuilding Olympia champion Philip Ricardo Jr. is set to compete in a last minute surprise. Not only that but the Mr. America will be televised by CBS Sport at a later date. In our latest GI Exclusive interview, Philip Ricardo Jr. explains why the Mr. America’s continued return and it being televised is such a big deal for bodybuilding as a whole.

The last time we spoke with Philip Ricardo Jr. – it was during our promotional run for Generation Iron: Natty 4 Life. Our cameras went behind the scenes of the PNBA/INBA natural bodybuilding league to uncover the reality of this openly natural league of bodybuilding. Ricardo Jr. ended up defeating the returning natural bodybuilding Olympia champion – Rob Terry. It was an epic moment that capped off an in-depth exploration of an often misunderstood sport.

Now the new Natural Olympia champion, it seems Philip Ricardo Jr. has another accolade in his sights. The Mr. America 2021. As we stated above, it’s a long running competition (on and off) that is now coming back in full force. In fact, it’s going to be televised on CBS Sports this year.

We spoke to Philip Ricardo Jr. about the Mr. America, his prep, and why it’s so important that the competition will be televised. Despite the IFBB and Mr. Olympia being a massive PPV event – it has been quite some time since the show was broadcast on mainstream television. The Mr. America’s broadcast will be the first time in a very long time that any form of bodybuilding will be on TV.

This may, in part, be due to the Mr. America being completely natural with proven WADA drug testing before the event. While that might put off some bodybuilding fans – Philip Ricardo Jr. believes this is an important distinction. He thinks this is proof that natural bodybuilding can become larger – it can become mainstream and beloved by millions around the globe.


“No only is it drug free and drug tested but it’s televised,” Philip Ricardo Jr. states in our interview. He continues:

“So it’s showing a new movement that it’s becoming mainstream… it’s really showcasing what anyone can really attain to or aspire to if they want to get some notoriety or noticed for being athletic or in good shape.”

Philip Ricardo Jr. is being somewhat modest with his words. It must be noted that it’s been decades since pro bodybuilding in any form has been available to watch on mainstream television. To be connected with such a history competition as the Mr. America is a match made in heaven.

The return of the Mr. America is happening this weekend in Atlantic City, NJ October 8-10. Generation Iron will be reporting on the events and results as they become available. So don’t miss it!

You can also watch Philip Ricardo Jr.’s full comments, including his Mr. America prep, in our latest GI Exclusive interview segment above!

Derek Dufour
Derek Dufour has been managing all digital operations on the Generation Iron Network for over six years. He currently manages a team of editors, writers, and designers to provide up-to-date content across the GI Network.