Bodybuilding standout John Jewett plans to give the Men’s Open a try. Despite his track record of success in the 212 category, Jewett believes his full potential may lie at a heavier weight. In a recent Instagram post, Jewett shared a ripped update, announcing his intention to enter the upcoming 2023 Legion Sports Fest Pro, which takes place October 7-8.
In 2016, Jewett earned his IFBB Pro card at the NPC USA Championships and hasn’t looked back. Over the next few years, Jewett battled at Pro shows but struggled to pick up a victory. However, that all changed in 2019 when Jewett claimed the 212 title at the Tampa Pro. This win qualified him for his first Mr. Olympia contest, an opportunity he embraced wholeheartedly with a fourth-place finish.
Jewett attempted the 2020 Olympia, but he dropped to 13th place. His perseverance saw him push through a busy season in 2021 with his best showing at the New York Pro in second place to winner, Nathan Epler.
This year, Jewett has been eager to get his name out there. Just a few weeks ago, he won the 212 title at the 2023 Lenda Murray Atlanta Pro. And while this guaranteed him a 212 qualification to Olympia in November, Jewett wasn’t satisfied. He revealed his plans to try out the Men’s Open in October and given the trend of 212 Bodybuilders switching divisions, he feels now is the right time.
“Pulling Down to 212 I Feel Does Hurt My Look,” John Jewett Announces Next Show Will Be In Open
In addition to bringing his best to a division without restrictions, John Jewett believes the debut will give him more exposure to bodybuilding fans around the world.
Jewett is currently tipping the scales at 225 pounds ahead of his Open debut in ten weeks. He shared that the Legion Sports Fest Pro is an ideal show for him as it’s four weeks before this year’s Olympia contest. Overall, Jewett feels cutting weight to make the 212-pound weight limit might be hurting his look.
“@legionsportsfest Open Debut 2023
I really had to think on this, if it was the right call
The ultimate goal is to bring my best to stage and also make the largest impact in physique education
Pulling down to 212 I feel does hurt my look and I want to see out what it would be if I did not and just went to the open.
The open shows also just get more attention than 212, so I gives a greater reach to teach others how to bodybuild
Legion is a good timeline for me as it is 4 weeks prior to the Olympia and will serve as delaod diet break which should not takeaway from the O prep.
Then it also gives me a barometer for where I stand and if this is really my last year as a 212 or not if the look is that much better in the Open.
So, here it is, 10 weeks out from my Open Debut and I am on fire to do this show! Sitting at 225lbs.” John Jewett shared.
Should Jewett make it to the Legion Sports Fest Pro show, he’ll have taken a page from reigning 212 Olympia Shaun Clarida‘s book. Clarida, a 212 powerhouse, has also tested the waters as an Open athlete. It was Shaun’s performance at the 2021 Legion Sports Fest show that earned him the nickname ‘The Giant Killer.’ At the event, Clarida managed to defeat Regan Grimes and Sergio Oliva Jr. despite his shorter stature and size. Clarida’s last Open appearance saw him enter the 2023 Arnold Classic where he pushed Mamdouh ‘Big Ramy’ Elssbiay en route to earning fifth place.
Clarida isn’t the only 212 star to shake up the Men’s Open division. Former 2021 212 Olympia Derek Lunsford proved he could stand next to bigger foes last year while guest posing at the Pittsburgh Pro. This prompted Olympia officials to offer him a special invite to compete at the Open Mr. Olympia. Lunsford capitalized on the opportunity and took second place to Hadi Choopan, an Open bodybuilder who also started in the 212 category earlier on in his career.
In addition, Tonio Burton, another 212 Bodybuilder, decided to test out the Open at the 2021 Legion Sports Fest Pro in fourth place. He went on the following year to win the 2022 Legion Sports Fest title in the Open class. Burton has continued to find success. He recently laid claim to the 2023 New York Pro title and took runner-up at the California State Pro.
With 212 athletes flooding the Open class, many fans have begun to question how the trend will affect the way in which judges score contests. Meanwhile, stars of the sport such as Lee Priest and Iain Valliere have suggested getting rid of the 212 category altogether. They believe the most skilled competitors of the 212 would still rise to the top of the Open. As for John Jewett, he hopes to establish himself as a bigger name while pushing himself in a new division.