Bodybuilding comebacks make for exciting storylines in the sport as they often capture the imagination of fans, such as Jay Cutler‘s iconic 2009 Mr. Olympia-winning triumph. In a recent Prime Time Muscle episode on October 12, 2023, Chris Cormier and Olympia judge Terrick El Guindy gave their opinions on older bodybuilders keen on returning to the stage.
Late last year, the bodybuilding world turned its focus to Jay Cutler, who challenged himself with a physique transformation. Initially, fans hoped to see him take on a contest, but “The Comeback Kid” put an end to those speculations quickly. Instead, Cutler transformed his body as part of a fitness challenge before turning 50.
And while Phil Heath is only 43, there is also considerable demand to see “The Gift” back on stage. Heath has not only teased a comeback for $1 million but he mentioned he could return for a show outside of the Mr. Olympia. With bodybuilding returns a hot topic, El Guindy and Cormier laid out why it’s not always the best idea.
Terrick El Guindy Says Phil Heath Shouldn’t Return to a Competition: “Promote the Sport”
El Guindy doesn’t want to see Cutler or Heath back on a competitive stage, however, he would like to see them both continue to promote the sport.
“Here’s the deal, Phil Heath shouldn’t come back, Jay Cutler shouldn’t come back because they are already doing great stuff like Jay did at the Fit Expo and at the Masters Olympia it was awesome, he was on stage, people loved him the fans were on fire. That’s what they need to do. They have the ability to open a new avenue to promote the sport.
I don’t like the comebacks. I don’t. I’m going to be honest: I don’t like it. I think you have a period of time where you played the game you give it your best — even some of the greatest of all times, Muhammad Ali… his comeback was not good. Michael Jordan, I mean he played well for the Wizards but come on! That’s not the Michael Jordan from the Bulls from the 90s. Jay Cutler, man awesome what he’s doing. Phil, follow the same path,” said Olympia judge El Guindy.
According to El Guindy, retired bodybuilders like Heath and Cutler can do more for athletes if they don’t compete.
“Let’s have these guys open a new avenue so that competitors when Nick Walker, when Derek Lunsford, when they get old they go hey man I don’t need to do comebacks, I don’t need to, I can do the Masters Olympia, I can look a little bit more downsized or I can be Jay Cutler and promote the sport and promote anti-aging rejuvenation, that’s what I’m talking about,” added Olympia judge El Guindy.
Chris Cormier also acknowledged that bodybuilding is a “young man’s sport.”
“It is a young man’s sport. The skin tone, everything that goes into competition. Plus when you get to the golden age as we are, I just feel like it’s something for someone of age to make it happen like that. You’re not going to get the best version of ‘The Real Deal’ at this age. So I won’t put you guys through it,” said Chris Cormier.
Coincidentally, the 2023 Masters Olympia just returned following an 11-year hiatus. At the event, two men 50 or older — Kamal Elgargni and Hidetada “Hide” Yamagishi claimed gold in the Men’s Open and Men’s 212 Bodybuilding divisions, in a show of longevity.
There’s no denying a good comeback story. As for Chris Cormier and Terrick El Guindy, they would prefer to see legends of the sport navigate retirement in the same way Jay Cutler has.