Canada’s Chris Bumstead continues to dominate at the top of Classic Physique, having recently laid claim to a fifth title at the 2023 Olympia show. With time to digest the outcome, bodybuilding veterans Shawn Ray and Jay Cutler opened up about Bumstead’s future.
For some time, Bumstead has led a successful career under the bright lights and captured his first Classic Physique crown from Breon Ansley in 2019. He has defended the title successfully since, but his efforts haven’t been without sacrifice, pain, and adversity.
Last year, Bumstead defied the odds and won his fourth Olympia trophy with a torn bicep. Moments after earning his fifth title less than two weeks ago, he revealed that a lat tear nearly prevented him from making it to the stage. Pulling through and overcoming obstacles has become a regular part of Bumstead’s preps, yet they haven’t stopped him from achieving his potential as a bodybuilder.
Considering Bumstead’s dominance, veterans of the sport have urged him to try his luck in the Men’s Open. Even Bumstead has flirted with the idea publicly, admitting that he’d commit to the Open Arnold Classic if it were two weeks post-Olympia. Following the 2023 Olympia results, Shawn Ray is back with Cutler to discuss why it would be best for ‘Cbum’ to switch divisions.
Shawn Ray Says Chris Bumstead Needs a Real Challenge ‘To Get Him Out of Bed’
Ray believes Chris Bumstead will cement himself as “the king of the world” if he becomes the first man to win Classic Physique and Mr. Olympia gold.
“He becomes the king of the world [if he wins the Open Mr. Olympia]. I’m going to walk it back. On Olympia TV I said we probably saw the last of Chris Bumstead and that’s a shot across the bowel. He’s not going to like that I said that but I think we’ve seen the last of Chris Bumstead. If he doesn’t have a challenge, it’s going to be an injury.”
“He’s going to be trying to train for something that’s not really realistic. He needs something to get him out of bed to make real history to go to the next level because right now he’s living comfortably, ‘I don’t do it for the money.’ I get it, I get it, but you have to do it for the history then.”
“100% [the history is in the Open]. When people say Mr. Olympia, they’re going to say which one, no they’re not going to do that.”
“With respect to Chris Bumstead, he stands next to these guys the way he looked on Saturday night, he’s Mr. Olympia. Bar none, Hadi is not beating Chris Bumstead. Derek is not beating Chris Bumstead. And Samson in that show his peak was off, he would not have beaten Chris Bumstead.”
Ray specified that Bumstead wouldn’t need to add unnecessary size and advised him to enter an Open Mr. Olympia with the same physique he brought to his last title defense.
“He wouldn’t hardly have to put on any [weight]. Listen, for all intents and purposes, Ramon Dino was good but to me he was second.”
“Chris’ structure, the posing, the charisma,” added Cutler.
“Don’t change the physique. Don’t try to be a bodybuilder, be you. We’re all artists, we’re all going to display different types of art.”
“That’s the reason he has 20 million followers because they like that look. If he changes that look trying to be a bodybuilder, he’s no longer Chris Bumstead. Don’t get bigger,” said Ray.
In addition to rumors about Bumstead trying out the Open division, the Classic Physique star has also teased his retirement. In the past, Bumstead mentioned that he assesses his bodybuilding career and passion for the sport yearly.
With Bumstead’s reign as ironclad as it has ever been, fans look forward to seeing him grace the stage once again. He’s made no concrete plans but all signs point to Bumstead making his awaited return to the 2024 Mr. Olympia next October.