The Men’s Physique category will undergo major changes in 2023. In a recent NPC News Online YouTube video, NPC & IFBB Professional League Vice-President Tyler Manion announced a new height and weight cap restriction for Men’s Physique, effective at the first contest following the 2023 Mr. Olympia. It should be noted that this rule only applies to Pro Men’s Physique competitors, not amateurs.
The Men’s Physique category has been around for approximately 10 years, and in that time, plenty of stars, icons, and talent have come through the category. Since the division’s competitors wear board shorts, their upper bodies are exclusively evaluated.
In 2013, Mark Anthony Wingson made history after becoming the inaugural Men’s Physique Olympia champion. Following the outcome, fellow competitors had a much clearer idea of what the judges were looking for physique-wise.
The division has never been more compelling. Former four-time Men’s Physique Olympia Jeremy Buendia laid out his firm comeback plan a few months ago. He held the title from 2014-2017. Brandon Hendrickson is a three-time winner and remains the only bodybuilder in his class to have regained the title after losing it.
The category is ultra-competitive and fans realized that in the aftermath of 2022 Mr. Olympia. In the end, Erin Banks upset Hendrickson for gold and became the first competitor from his division to win the Olympia and Arnold Classic in the same year.
Tyler Manion Institutes Height/Weight Cap in Men’s Physique: ‘We Want to Make Sure Athletes Aren’t Getting Too Big’
Tyler’s statement left out details pertaining to the exact height and weight limitations. However, he said that information will be made public two months before 2023 Mr. Olympia in September.
“The reason for this video is because we want to give a heads up to all of our athletes and our coaches that after the Olympia this year, we will be instituting heights and weight limits for our Men’s Physique pros, not amateurs, just the pros. This will go into effect for the first show after the Olympia this year.”
“Why would we do this? We’ve had great success with our heights and weights in Classic Physique so far, we want to make sure our Men’s Physique athletes are not getting too big. This is very important because that’s almost like the go-to saying for a lot of people online that just see the pictures of the shows, really not seeing them in person, but seeing the pictures of the shows and saying a lot of the Men’s Physique athletes are getting too big.”
Given the current crop of talent, Tyler believes most athletes at the top will meet the new height/weight restriction. He shared that officials are recording height and weights at every contest to ensure the new rule is implemented properly.
“I don’t think that’s the case, I think a lot of guys that have been doing well recently are not getting too big but having height and weight limits on these guys will help us control that size. And just so you guys know, the weight limits for your height will be under obviously, the Classic Physique weight limits. So, these next couple of months if you guys are over, or a lot over, or just a little over the Classic Physique weight limits, you should be keeping track of your weight and if you need to, start to downsize a little because while the weights aren’t set yet, they will be lower than the Classic weights.”
“That’s why we are going to continue to height and weight the Men’s Physique pros at most of the shows this year to get data, to help us set the final weights. Giving heights and weights to these athletes is a solution but not the perfect solution because someone can be the same height and the same weight but carry their weight a lot differently.”
“Another important part of this is adhering to our judging criteria and our standards for Men’s Physique which so far this year, I think we’ve done a really good job of. I want to highlight a lot of the athletes who have competed this year that these are what you should be looking for when you look at Men’s Physique pros and what we want to see. It’s also to show you that even though these guys are some of the best guys in the league, they still all have little points of feedback that differ depending on their physiques.”
Manion Names Top Men’s Physique Athletes Who Represent The Look Wanted for Men’s Physique
According to Tyler Manion, the physiques of Emmanuel Hunter, Corey Morris, Ryan Terry, Benquil Marigny, and Sidy Pouye represent the direction in which the division is headed.
The first name Manion mentioned was 2023 Memphis Pro winner Emmanuel Hunter.
“One guy that competed earlier this year that I want to highlight for getting into a couple of different shows that just happened the last few weeks is Emmanuel (Emmanuel Hunter) won the show in Tennesee. Probably the best he’s ever looked but he has a great Men’s Physique look. His arms and shoulders flow well with his torso. He has a great back. His upper chest could come up a little bit to match the rest of his chest to give him more symmetry, basically, he has to nail his conditioning. He needs to work on that but a great guy to look for for a Men’s Physique look. A very dangerous guy heading into the Olympia later this year.”
Morris recently took gold in the Men’s Physique class at Jim Manion’s 2023 Pittsburgh Pro.
“Corey Morris. Corey has improved a ton I think on his look over the last few years. Nothing on his torso needs to change. He has a small waist, great chest, full chest, his back has come up considerably, but his feedback that he’s gotten for a while now, and it’s still his feedback, his arms, and shoulders, he needs to work on bringing them down a little bit more for Men’s Physique.”
“Just to touch on mostly everybody I’m talking about from taking heights and weights the last few weeks… these guys would make the new weights that I’m considering right now for Men’s Physique. That’s the other reason I’m highlighting them. Not only do they look the part but they would all make the weight or very close to it.”
In addition, Tyler named Ryan Terry who took second in Pittsburgh but first at the New York Pro.
“He [Ryan Terry] has always had a great Men’s Physique look, very balanced physique, exactly what we’re looking for. He still needs a little bit more thickness in his back to really make his back pop the same way as his front. Obviously, he knows from the Olympia till now, he knows the posing has gotten way better. He still needs to nail his posing and work on his posing, especially his back pose. When he gets to the Olympia and to be a threat to obviously Erin and Brandon, just like a lot of these guys, these three guys right here, Emmanuel, Corey, and Ryan brought great looks so far, but it’s not just them.”
Marigny won the 2023 St. Louis Pro and was another physique Tyler highlighted.
“In Pittsburgh, Benquil has competed a lot this year, he won a show he’s qualified. He brings a great look for Men’s Physique too. He still needs a little bit more to his chest and more pop to his back but I thin that will come when he brings his conditioning more.”
Sidy Pouye’s look was highly favored as well. He’s been consistent this year, having earned fourth in Pittsburgh and third at the New York Pro.
“Sidy. Once again, a guy that brought a great look for Men’s Physique with great conditioning, the main factor on him that he needs to fix is posing. He poses himself out of how good he can look. I know because after New York I got the chance to talk to him and work with him. I think he’s going to bringing a look later this year, an even better look for Men’s Physique when he’s posing correctly.”
“All these guys that I just mentioned would most likely make the new weights for Men’s physique. They have a good Men’s Physique look,” added Tyler Manion.
Given Jeremy Buendia’s focus on size for the comeback, it will be interesting to see how the judges evaluate his physique. Buendia aims to dethrone Erin Banks and shocked fans recently with a 4,000-calorie diet he’s using to bulk up.
Rivals Banks and Buendia teased fans of their impending showdown with a special Olympia TV appearance a few months ago. Buendia isn’t taking his nemesis lightly. In a recent appearance in Straight Outta the Lair with seven-time 212 Olympia Flex Lewis, Buendia said he’d have to bring a flawless package to 2023 Olympia if he wanted any chance at taking out Banks.
With the division’s rapid growth and popularity, it’s quickly become one of the main attractions at the annual Mr. Olympia show. As the new rules seemingly favor a leaner look in Men’s Physique, it appears the category is moving away from mass in the future.