Samir Bannout, who secured an Olympia title in 1983, has developed a keen eye for the Men’s Open division. In a recent Old School Labs podcast, Bannout explored social media’s influence on bodybuilding shows and reasoned why Chris Bumstead would lose to Arnold Schwarzenegger if they competed against each other.
Following March’s Arnold Classic, which saw Samson Dauda emerge victorious, fans and veterans of the sport have been focused on judging. While Dauda’s shape and completeness prevailed in Columbus, Ohio, many believe Nick Walker’s conditioning deserved the judge’s nod. With online discussions heating up about the outcome, Walker urged anyone talking about the matter to comment respectfully.
IFBB Pro League athletes rep Bob Cicherillo serves as the announcer of the annual Arnold Classic and Mr. Olympia contests. He recently laid out criteria on how to judge a bodybuilding competition. Moreover, he explained in detail the reasons why ‘The Mutant’ was unable to stop Dauda last month.
Samir Bannout has appeared on multiple episodes of the Old School Labs podcast calling out judges and criticizing Dauda’s perfect scorecard from the 2023 Arnold Classic. In his latest undertaking, Bannout discussed cheating in bodybuilding and a hypothetical comparison featuring Schwarzenegger and Bumstead.
Samir Bannout Takes Shot at Inconsistent Judging: ‘You Can Still Feel Cheating Going On’
According to Bannout, social media influences judges at bodybuilding contests, especially during two-day competitions.
“But a good judge who is sitting 10 yards away… he should make a proper decision and not alter his decision later because Joe Blow said something and Fred said something, just stick with your plans. Your eyes told you first second third. You go back to the room and start looking at the social media and you see a lot of people a lot of kids talking bullshit – that should not change the way you voted. So yeah, that does [happen] nowadays, unfortunately. This is what I call it when judges are not capable enough. When you make a decision, stick to it.”
Calling for added transparency, Samir Bannout believes judges should justify their callouts. He added they would ‘score it clean’ if their names were made public as well.
“Every judge should be asked for what he picked for a call out. Every single judge should do the same,” Bannout suggested. “It’s a good idea. Everyone [should] be on the record. Nobody could cheat this way, everybody would say, ‘they’re going to see who I am,’ so they score it clean.”
Bannout relived his drop from Mr. Olympia to sixth place from 1983 to 1984. He specified that he can “still feel cheating going on right now too.”
“They did a good job on me in ’84. I went from first to sixth – and they did it intentionally and cheated me. Okay, so. There’s still some cheating anyhow. You can still feel cheating going on right now too, so. It’s not like whatever reigning Mr. Olympia will win. I saw a couple of times when Haney or Dorian could have lost and they didn’t,” Bannout shared.
Arnold Scharzenegger vs Chris Bumstead Showdown?
In a recent appearance on the Full Send Podcast, four-time Classic Physique Olympia Chris Bumstead engaged in a casual conversation about facing Arnold Schwarzenegger in a hypothetical match-up. He argued that his conditioning would overtake Schwarzenegger in contemporary times. However, Bannout isn’t subscribing to what Bumstead suggested.
“You could see my comment. Obviously, it was supported by a lot of people, I could see about 135 likes on what I said. So, look, I mean come on… I’m not going to be biased. I really don’t care. At one time, when it was 1980 Mr. Olympia I said Arnold shouldn’t have won. It’s not like I am Arnold fan and I’m biased. I’m being honest here. I mean come on.”
“Chris Bumstead’s best to Arnold’s best. It’s honestly – no. No way,” Bannout explained. “Look, I mentioned here, it’s a whole package. Look, Arnold had great arms, okay, Chris Bum has a great back, but it doesn’t matter, it’s about the whole body.”
Bannout contends that Bumstead wouldn’t stand a chance in 1971 and 1972 when Schwarzenegger was fresh on the scene given the legend’s three-dimensional look and freaky front double biceps pose.
“And Arnold had more of a 3D look, when he hit this pose, he looked volume and round and fullness – when he hit a front double biceps you could see everything is freaky but I don’t know… he had that look. Arnold looked amazing. So ’71, ’72, there’s no way in hell even Chris Bum would come close to that, I’m sorry Chris. You’re great, you deserve every title you’ve won, but when you go back to saying better than Arnold, I think I have to tell you I don’t agree with you on that. Not yet at least.”
This isn’t the first time that Samir Bannout has taken a closer look at Arnold Schwarzenegger’s legacy. He considers Schwarzenegger’s career even more significant when factoring in that he didn’t have access to common bodybuilding peptides used today like growth hormones. With that in mind, Samir Bannout regards Schwarzenegger as the greatest of all time.
Drawing from his recent discussion, Bannout would like to see a more transparent judging system, where officials provide explanations and their names to the public following contests.