If you are like me, you have almost zero ideas about the difference between men’s physique, classic physique, 212 physiques and the open weight bodybuilding. So I thought it would be fun to have a sort of “beginners guide to Mr. Olympia divisions” article. Just to shed some light on the differences and/or similarities between the categories.
This category is all about the knee-high surfer shorts, wide shoulders and tiny waist. The main difference between this category and open weight bodybuilding is pretty obvious-the mass. Open weight category is da freakshow, huge ass dudes with biceps the size of small children and backs wider than a regular hallway. Not to say the surfer shorts category guys aren’t huge, quite the contrary. They are huge…it’s just that the open weight guys are, well…huge-er. For a good example of the men’s physique contestant, look no further than the division’s reigning 4x champ- Jeremy Buendia.
Despite what you may deduct upon first reading, this category has nothing to do with the 2011 Azealia Banks’ breakthrough club banger of the same name. Nor does the division contain a karaoke contest of the said song.
Putting things in very derogatory internet terms, this is a manlet division. Competitors can’t be over 5’5”(166 cm) tall and must weigh up to or under 212 lbs (96,6 kg). It’s for short guys who want to compete in bodybuilding but have zero chance in any category due to a massive size disadvantage. The ruling, posing, and clothing is the same as it is in the open weight category. The division is currently being ruled over by the six-time champion Flex Lewis.
Though I must admit, the very idea that a group of short bodybuilders are having a weirdly specific and unusually themed lip syncing/karaoke battle as a way of determining who is the best bodybuilder sounds incredibly hilarious and awesome at the same time.
This is the newest and potentially the most interesting one to the casual observer. It’s a division more or less created to the criticism that the bodybuilders of today are chemically enhanced inhumans. The same critics point out that guys like Phil Heath, Kai Greene and Big Ramy are just too bubble gutted and waay too freaky looking. As a response to the accusation came the birth of the Classic Physique. It’s a return to the look of an era that is often regarded as the “golden age” of bodybuilding. Of course, I am talking about the “Pumping Iron” era, the era of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Franco Columbu, Frank Zane and the rest of the Gold’s gym/Venice beach crew.
There’s a lot of top quality talent in the division. Guys going up a division(Sadik Hadjovic), guys going down a division(Breon Ansley) as well as an influx of guys who are new to the division.
For a modern take on an old classic, check out last years winner-Breon Ansley.
Open Weight Bodybuilding
Aw yeah, now we are in familiar waters. Ronnie Coleman, Dorian Yates, Phil Heath and the rest of the monster squad. There’s not much to say here, really. Everything has been said already in the paragraphs above and common knowledge is pretty damn good when it comes to this division. If you even want to think about participating on the biggest stage in the bodybuilding industry you better be packing some serious size. These guys don’t play around, they are the biggest, the most shredded guys on the entire planet! Phil Heath has been dominating this division for seven years now and he’s showing no signs of stopping.