The World Natural Bodybuilding Federation (WNBF) demands that all athletes steer clear of performance-enhancing drugs, making nutrition, training, and recovery even more important to a bodybuilder’s success. Last weekend on September 23, Malcolm Cooper delivered one of the best performances of his career and took gold at the 2023 WNBF Pro Universe.
In the federation, the Mr. Universe event is held in high regard not only for its long-lasting prestige but also because the competition honors Classic Bodybuilding with physiques reminiscent of what was displayed in the 1940s, where health and aesthetics are favored over sheer muscularity and sharp conditioning.
The prestigious show was birthed in 1990 with several champions being crowned the title of “Mr. Universe.” This year’s honor belongs to Malcolm Cooper, who commanded the stage at a weight of 174 pounds. His road to success with filled with adversity, as Cooper weighed over 260 pounds at one point before his amateur debut back in 2016.
Malcolm Cooper Wins 2023 Mr. Universe, Lays Out Plan for Future: “Maintain Mass At All Costs”
Owing to work, sacrifice, intent, and focus, Cooper issued a statement off the back of his recent victory.
“PRIDE…. not in an outcome…. But pride in the income…. The work. The sacrifice. The intent. The focus. The fire. The tears. The study…. This weekend was cumulative in many ways….
But we are not. Done. Yet.
The plan: lose a few more lbs. Maintain mass at all costs. Continue improving relationships and communication. Prep isn’t a reason to stop improving in other aspects of life.
And of course… be a GOT DAMN PROBLEM on stage…
This fall is going to be one for the ages. Stay tuned family and THANK YOU for all the well wishes and congratulations. It means more than you know” Malcolm Cooper wrote.
But Cooper is more than just a top-tier natural bodybuilder, he’s also a powerlifter, boasting impressive strength. At 37 years old, Cooper can deadlift three times his weight. He recently showed as much with a 525-pound deadlift, a feat he accomplished mere days after claiming the Mr. Universe title.
In light of his major victory at the 2023 Mr. Universe contest, Cooper clinched his qualification for the ultimate WNBF competition on the calendar: the World Championships, which is slated to take place November 18-19 in Seattle, Washington.
Cooper’s last World Championships finish was in fifth place back in 2021 but if his quad development and separation remain potent weapons, many believe he has a shot at taking home the most prestigious title in natural bodybuilding in seven weeks.