Generation Iron Flex Lewis Lightweight physique

Surpassing the legacies of Zane and Columbu… in a way.

With the tumultuous nature of this year’s Olympia event, it’s easy to forget the moments that made this year’s Olympia event so epic and monumental. Some of the other events were shrouded in shadow when placed in comparison to the Open Weight Division simply because of all the contention sparked by Kai Greene being unable to compete at this year’s event. It was admittedly strange not to see Kai up on stage taking on Phil Heath once more, but alas it wasn’t meant to be this year. The show went on and as it did records were being broken, records that many fans, onlookers and competitors probably hadn’t considered.

For the fourth year in a row, James “Flex” Lewis took first place in the 212 division. With impressive size, great conditioning, and some great definition, Lewis proved why he’s the number one man in the world in the division. In reality the 212 division is essentially the lightweight division of professional bodybuilding. Throughout the history of the sport, bodybuilding divisions have changed names, changed rules, and changed structure. But if you are comparing the 212 division of today to the lightweight class of old – you can see some similarities. Sure it’s not exactly the same but whether you call it lightweight or 212, the division sports some of the most impressive physiques in the IFBB.


Now many people may like the size factor of the open weight class specifically because seeing athletes weigh over 250 lbs is just plain shocking. But that’s no disrespect to the lightweight division. In fact, some of the best bodybuilders in history competed in the lightweight division in the IFBB, namely Frank Zane and Franco Columbu, both men multiple time Mr. Olympia overall champions with a multitude of victories to their name.

But after this year’s big win, Flex Lewis has set himself apart. He is now the first man with the most “lightweight” Olympia wins of all time, breaking Zane and Columbu’s three wins with his fourth title this year. With such an impressive resume it no doubt brings to mind the old days where the lightweight and heavyweight winners had to contend against each other to see who was truly the best bodybuilder at the show. Size didn’t play as big a role at that point and aesthetics were given more weight. Who knows, maybe some time soon we’ll get to see Flex Lewis and Phil Heath compete against each other to decide who the best champion is.

What do you think of Flex Lewis’ record setting win? Let us know in the comments and forums. Also, be sure to follow Generation Iron on Facebook and Twitter.

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