The Classic Physique Olympia will likely be one of the most exciting contests at the 2023 Joe Weider’s Olympia Fitness & Performance Weekend, scheduled for Nov. 2-5 in Orlando, FL. The IFBB Pro League introduced new weight rules for the Classic Physique division in August 2023, allowing each bodybuilder a little extra headroom to bring bigger physiques to the grandest stage of bodybuilding.
Before the intervention, the taller athletes had a weight advantage over their shorter counterparts; the new rules will likely level the playing field. Since the new weight caps went into effect three months before the Super Bowl of Bodybuilding, it gave bodybuilders enough time to max out their physiques.
Thirty-nine Classic Physique bodybuilders are expected to compete at the 2023 Olympia to earn the bragging rights to be called the best bodybuilder in the world.
2023 Classic Physique Olympia Predictions
These are our picks for the top five at the 2023 Olympia:
5. Mike Sommerfeld
German bodybuilder Mike Sommerfeld has steadily been climbing the Classic Physique division ranks. He placed seventh at his Olympia debut in 2021 and secured fifth place the following year.
Sommerfeld used the off-season to add more muscle tissue to his frame and is dieting hard in the cutting phase to improve his muscle conditioning and definition. Although we have Sommerfeld placing fifth at the 2023 Olympia, he can rank higher and upset the top four if he comes in tighter and more conditioned.
While Sommerfeld has muscle size and density, he is shorter than Kalecinski, Queiroz, and Bumstead, which puts him at a disadvantage. Sommerfeld must focus on his balance, symmetry, and muscle separation to wow the judges. We won’t be surprised if Sommerfeld, at his 100%, overpowers Ansley and Ruffin in Orlando.
4. Terrence Ruffin
The 2022 Olympia was not what Ruffin or his fans would have expected. The two-time Classic Physique Olympia runner-up and Arnold Classic winner finished sixth at the 2022 Olympia. The reigning Arnold Classic Physique champion didn’t defend his title at the 2023 AC and took time off to plug the gaps in his physique.
Ruffin has hit the nail on its head in the 2023 season; he punched his ticket to the Olympia by winning the 2023 Dubai Pro Show amongst a stacked lineup. Two weeks later, he emerged victorious at the 2023 Legion Sports Fest Pro.
“Ruff Diesel” is considered one of the best posers of this era and draws eyeballs every time he steps on stage. Ruffin has momentum behind him going into the 2023 Olympia and can prove lethal to the podium finishers if they leave the door open for him.
3. Urs Kalecinski
Kalecinski qualified for the 2023 Olympia by placing third at the 2022 Olympia. “The Miracle Bear” is among the most active bodybuilders in the industry; he attends bodybuilding shows around the world (as a competitor and spectator) and trains with fellow elite pro bodybuilders to sharpen his edge. Kalecinski keeps his fans updated with his latest expeditions through social media.
In the offseason, Kalecinski added monster size to his physique to challenge the reigning Classic Physique Olympia champion, Chris Bumstead. In June 2023, Kalecinski revealed that he needed to lose 26 pounds of muscle to make weight for the 2023 Olympia. However, the new IFBB Pro League rules came to his rescue, and he will bring a much bigger package to the Olympia in Orlando.
Besides gaining size, Kalecinski has significantly improved his muscle conditioning and definition. The rivalry between Kalecinski, Queiroz, and Bumstead has been brewing since 2021, and the fans anticipate intense competition among the trio at the 2023 Olympia.
2. Ramon Rocha Queiroz
Kalecinski and Queiroz took the bodybuilding world by storm by finishing fourth and fifth, respectively, at their Olympia debut in 2021. However, Queiroz jumped from fifth in 2021 to second the following year.
The Brazilian bodybuilder has some of the best arms in the business. His incredibly tiny waist accentuates his V-taper and makes him stand out on the stage. Queiroz is considered the biggest challenger to Bumstead’s Olympia throne.
The threat intensified after Queiroz emerged victorious at the 2023 Arnold Classic, the biggest bodybuilding contest after the Olympia. Queiroz is immensely popular among bodybuilding fans, and his fans get behind him every time he steps on stage.
Queiroz has been on Bumstead’s tail for a couple of years. If the four-time Classic Physique Olympia champion slips, Queiroz won’t hesitate to seize the throne from beneath him.
1. Chris Bumstead
Chris Bumstead has a vice-like grip on the Classic Physique Olympia throne and is the favorite to defend his title at the 2023 Olympia.
The Classic Physique Olympia is arguably the second most popular division at the Olympia Weekend, primarily because of just one bodybuilder — Chris Bumstead. Bumstead has done for the Classic Physique division what Arnold Schwarzenegger did for bodybuilding.
Rumors had it that Bumstead would retire after the 2022 Olympia; however, Bumstead put all the speculations to rest in his Olympia winning speech. Bumstead is here to create a legacy and has no plans to retire anytime soon.
“CBum” brings an improved physique to the Olympia stage every year, which has helped him win the Classic Physique Olympia title for four consecutive years. Bumstead is in no mood to rest on his laurels and will look to extend his lead with a five-peat at the 2023 Olympia.
Notable Mention — Breon Ansley
The two-time Classic Physique Olympia champion, Breon Ansley, is known for his symmetry, balance, and conditioning. After finishing fourth at the 2022 Olympia, Ansley announced that he would transition to the 212 division as he found the Classic Physique weight caps restricting.
However, Ansley decided against making the division swap in September 2023 after the IFBB Pro League announced an increase in the weight caps for the Classic Physique division. Since Ansley had been training to add size for the 212 division, he is in a great spot to challenge the podium finishers at the 2023 Classic Physique Olympia.
That said, it is incredibly difficult for a former Olympia champion to win back the throne after losing it. Ansley will have to pull off a blinder at the 2023 Olympia to stop Bumstead from picking his fifth consecutive title. If Ansley succeeds in upsetting Bumstead, he will create history by becoming the first bodybuilder to reclaim the Classic Physique Olympia throne.
How We Picked — 2023 Classic Physique Olympia Winner Prediction Criteria
Here are the metrics we used for our Classic Physique Olympia top five predictions:
Most Classic Physique bodybuilders are liberal with posting physique updates on social media. We have been tracking all the Olympia-qualified bodybuilders since the beginning of the competitive season and constantly compare them to determine how they stack up against their peers.
Bodybuilding shows are much like mutual funds, wherein past performance is not indicative of future results. However, it doesn’t mean that you cannot use an athlete’s (or mutual funds’) past performance to predict how they will perform in the future. A top-tier bodybuilder might miss their peak in a show or two, but they bounce back quickly. The top five at the Olympia are usually the most consistent bodybuilders.
Bodybuilding fans have an incredibly good knack for picking and backing winners. The wisdom of crowds applies to the sport of bodybuilding as well. Since most athletes share their progress updates on social media, fans and gurus have a good idea of who will be fighting for the podium at a show.
2023 Classic Physique Olympia Qualified Contestants
Sixty-nine bodybuilders qualified for the 2022 Classic Physique Olympia contest. The stage was so cramped with athletes that half of the bodybuilders had to line up behind their peers, putting them at a disadvantage.
In a welcome move by the Olympia promoters and the IFBB Pro League, new qualification rules were introduced for the 2023 Olympia. As a result, the number of qualified bodybuilders is down to 39. Here is a list of all the qualified bodybuilders in the order they qualified:
- Woilid Baatout (France)
- Chris Bumstead (Canada)
- Ramon Rocha Queiroz (Brazil)
- Urs Kalecinski (Germany)
- Mike Sommerfeld (Germany)
- Eric Brown (USA)
- Daniil Famponte (USA)
- Andrei Kozhokar (Russia)
- Michael Daboul (United Kingdom)
- German Pastor (Spain)
- Eric Wildberger Lisboa (Brazil)
- Samuel Paquin (Canada)
- Damien Patrick (USA)
- Damian Kuffel (Poland)
- Vahid Badpei (Iran)
- Laszlo Kiraly (Hungary)
- Antoine Loth (Spain)
- Carlos Dommar (USA)
- Fabio Junio Ramos Vale (Brazil)
- John Le (Canada)
- Marcus Perry (USA)
- Diego Alejandro Galindo (Brazil)
- Matthew Greggo (USA)
- Stephane Matala (France)
- Jared Thompson (USA)
- Jae Hun Park (South Korea)
- Alejandro Cambronero (Costa Rica)
- Eduardo Oliveira (Brazil)
- Shicheng Jin (China)
- Shi Tian Wang (China)
- Wesley Vissers (Netherlands)
- Christopher Ziller (Germany)
- Gabriel Zancanelli (Brazil)
- Courage Opara (USA)
- Terrence Ruffin (ISA)
- Maxime Yedess (France)
- Breon Ansley (USA)
- Hasan Alibrahim (Netherlands)
- Junior Javorski (Brazil)
2023 Classic Physique Olympia Schedule & How To Watch
Catch the Classic Physique Olympia action on the following dates and times:
November 4, 2023 — Saturday
- 9:30 a.m.* — Classic Physique Pre-Judging [Location: Orange County Convention Center (West Halls A & B)]
- 7 p.m.* — Classic Physique Finals [Location: Orange County Convention Center (West Hall A)]
*All times are in EDT (Eastern Daylight Time)
Fans who cannot be in Orlando, FL, in the first week of November can watch the live action on the Olympia Productions website by ordering the pay-per-view. Alternatively, you can stay in the know about the 2023 Olympia by tuning into Fitness Volt’s live event coverage.
Read more: How to Watch 2023 Mr. Olympia Online
All Classic Physique Olympia Winners
Here is a list of all Olympia winners since 2016:
|2022||Chris Bumstead||Las Vegas, NV|
|2021||Chris Bumstead||Orlando, FL|
|2020||Chris Bumstead||Orlando, FL|
|2019||Chris Bumstead||Las Vegas, NV|
|2018||Breon Ansley||Las Vegas, NV|
|2017||Breon Ansley||Las Vegas, NV|
|2016||Danny Hester||Las Vegas, NV|
[Explore the comprehensive year-by-year history of the Classic Physique Olympia here.]
Thirty-nine elite bodybuilders will go head-to-head for the Classic Physique Olympia title at the 2023 Olympia. Chris Bumstead is the favorite to defend his title when the Super Bowl of Bodybuilding returns to the Sunshine State in November.
Ramon Rocha, Urs Kalecinski, Terrence Ruffin, Mike Sommerfeld, and former Olympia champion Breon Ansley will likely be Bumstead’s most formidable competitors as he strives to create history by clinching his fifth-consecutive Olympia trophy.