Zane Watson: I Can’t Be Perfect At Men’s 212 Weight

Zane Watson looks to the future of his career and potentially moving up to the Men’s Open division.

One very interesting thing about Zane Watson is how completely candid and honest he is about his own bodybuilding physique and progress. He’s not a blunt controversial talker – but he will plainly talk about his own deficiencies vs his successes. For example, in our previous segment he was very open about life being more than just bodybuilding 24/7 – despite his desire to be a champion competitor. That’s rare for athletes looking to be the best.

So when it comes to his career in Men’s 212 – he is once again directly honest about his current situation. He is on the edge between divisions – unsure if he wants to go all in on Men’s Open or continue with Men’s 212. It all comes down to his weight. In our latest GI Exclusive interview, Zane Watson explains how dropping down to 212 pounds hurts his physique – and his thoughts on moving up to Men’s Open.


As Zane Watson has aged, he’s found it harder to come in naturally under 212 pounds. This is required in order for him to compete in the Men’s 212 division. It’s natural for athletes in this category to bulk up and then cut down to make weight. But Watson is coming to the realization that he physically can’t bring his weight down without sacrificing the quality of his physique. On the other hand, he ideally would sit right at 225 pounds to pull of his perfect physique. This is also on the lighter side for Men’s Open – where athletes typically land around 250 pounds or higher.

“I’m in a really weird spot,” Zane Watson stats plainly in our interview. He continues:

“I don’t think I have more to accomplish in 212 just because I can’t be perfect at that weight. I’m 222 pounds with 5% body fat. And for me to pull 12 pounds from that, 10 pounds from that, it hurts my look.”

Ultimately, this strange spot doesn’t concern Zane Watson much. He’s looking ahead at the possibility of competing in Men’s Open. He’s applied for the Arnold Classic this year. This competition doesn’t hold the Men’s 212 event, so he would have to go Open regardless. For him, this can be a test to see how he holds up.


He knows at first he won’t place first. Again, he’s bluntly honest about this with himself. But he will still train like he can be a champion. Somehow he’s able to keep those two thoughts in his head at once. Not only that – but he’s also not too worried about being on the light side for Men’s Open.

Zane Watson thinks that if Men’s Open was only a weight contest, bodybuilders would simply step on a scale and the highest number wins. He looks to athletes like Dexter Jackson as examples of what can be accomplished regardless of trending size in the division.

Vlad Yudin counters by mentioning Shaun Clarida, a bodybuilder who for years struggled to find champion status in the Men’s 212 division. Finally, after never giving up, Clarida won the Men’s 212 Olympia in 2020. Perhaps there is still a future in Men’s 212 for Zane Watson as well.

Watson agrees that persistence can pay off. But he knows his body well. He’s convinced that his ideal weight hovers around 225 pounds rather than 212. Genetically, he simply can’t bring his best package below 212 pounds. He would rather bring a perfect physique at 225 pounds, despite being lighter on stage than most competitors, than go onto stage knowing his physique could be better.

You can watch Zane Watson go into full detail about Men’s 212 vs Men’s Open in our latest GI Exclusive interview segment above!