The 2023 Arnold Classic is scheduled between Mar. 2-5, 2023, in the Battelle Grand room of the Greater Columbus Convention Center in Columbus, OH.
Although Mr. Olympia is considered the most coveted bodybuilding contest, the Arnold Sports Festival is a much bigger and more epic show. The 35th edition of bodybuilding’s second-most prominent competition will host 50-plus sports and events and see 10,000 athletes from 80 nations compete for the top prize in their divisions.
While attending the festival in person in Ohio is the best way to experience the sporting extravaganza, the show promoters don’t want the people who can’t participate in the show at the Greater Columbus Convention Center to feel left out.
Watch the 2023 Arnold Classic Live Stream on Fanmio
The 2023 Arnold Classic USA will stream live as a pay-per-view event on Fanmio. The show is being offered in two packages:
- Arnold Classic PPV Ticket: $59.99
- Arnold Classic PPV Ticket + Arnold Official Shirt: $89.99
Both Fanmio packages offer access to the pre-judging and final rounds of seven Pro bodybuilding and six Amateur divisions. They also give you a chance to win one of 20 signed photographs from Arnold Schwarzenegger. You, however, will have to be really lucky to win one of these twenty autographed photos, considering the number of people that will be buying the pay-per-view.
Furthermore, the more pricey package will include the Arnold Classic 2023 official t-shirt on top of everything the basic bundle offers. You can access the Fanmio app on your phone, tablet, desktop, or TV.
Bodybuilding Divisions at the 2023 Arnold Classic
Here is a list of each division:
2023 Arnold Classic Pro Divisions:
- Arnold Classic Men’s Open
- Arnold Classic Physique
- Arnold Men’s Physique
- Fitness International
- Bikini International
- Wellness International
- Pro Wheelchair
2023 Arnold Classic Amateur Divisions:
- Arnold Amateur Bodybuilding
- Arnold Amateur Fitness
- Arnold Amateur Figure
- Arnold Amateur Bikini
- Arnold Amateur Physique
- Arnold Amateur Wellness
2023 Arnold Classic Schedule
This is what the 2023 Arnold Classic Schedule looks like:
- 12:30 pm-2:00 pm: Prejudging (Classic Physique, Fitness International, and Wellness International)
- 7:00 pm-9:30 pm: Finals (Classic Physique, Fitness International, and Wellness International)
- 7:00 pm-9:30 pm: Prejudging (Arnold Classic Men’s Open)
- Arnold Amateur: 8:00 am-4:00 pm
- 11:00 am-12:00 pm: Prejudging (Arnold Men’s Physique and Bikini International)
- 7:00 pm-10:00 pm: Finals (Arnold Men’s Physique, Bikini International, and Arnold Classic Men’s Open)
- Pro Wheelchair – Prejudging & Finals: 10:00 am-11:00 am
* Times are in Eastern Standard Time (EST)
Every contest will be held at the Columbus Convention Center, Battelle Grand, on the Arnold Expo Stage.
The 2023 Arnold Classic will follow the same format as Mr. Olympia. The AC Men’s Open division will be held over two days. The prejudging will occur on Mar. 3 between 7 pm and 9:30 pm (EST), whereas the winner will be crowned on Mar. 4 between 7 pm and 10 pm.
All others divisions will be concluded on the same day. The prejudging for the Arnold Classic Physique, Men’s Physique, Fitness International, Bikini International, Wellness International, and Pro Wheelchair will happen in the morning. The winner will be announced after the final round later in the evening.
A Primer on the 2023 Arnold Classic
Here is a brief outline of each division before we head into the second-most prestigious bodybuilding show. It will help you get up to speed with the contestants and give you an idea of what to expect at the show.
2023 Arnold Classic Men’s Open
The Men’s Open division is the most exciting contest in a bodybuilding show. Ten elite bodybuilders will lock horns for the bragging right to call themselves the 2023 Arnold Classic Champ.
2023 AC Men’s Open Roster
- William Bonac
- Shaun Clarida
- Samson Dauda
- Kamal Elgargni
- Mamdouh “Big Ramy” Elssbiay
- Chinedu Andrew Obiekea
- Patrick Moore
- Justin Rodriguez
- Nick Walker
- Akim Williams
Arnold Classic promoters raised the winner’s cheque from $200,000 to $300,000, making the show considerably more lucrative. For comparison, the 2022 Mr. Olympia winner, Hadi Choopan, received $400,000 for winning the apex bodybuilding competition. 2021 AC champ Nick Walker, two-time Mr. O champ Big Ramy, and Andrew Jacked threw their hats in the ring after the AC promoters raised the prize money.
Walker, Big Ramy, Jacked, and Samson Dauda are the frontrunners to win the show. However, the two-time Arnold Classic champ William Bonac and two-time 212 Olympia champ Shaun Clarida will be looking for chinks in the armors of the four favorites.
Since the 2022 AC champ, Brandon Curry, is taking time off to improve his physique for the 2023 Olympia, the 2023 Arnold Classic throne is anyone’s for the taking. If Walker wins at the 2023 AC, he will be the fifth bodybuilder to win the title twice. On the other hand, if Bonac wins, he will be the third bodybuilder besides Jay Cutler and Kai Greene to win the AC title thrice.
The two-time Mr. Olympia champ Big Ramy has never won an Arnold Classic title. It will be Andrew Jacked’s rookie year at the Arnold Classic USA. He will be the first bodybuilder to win the Arnold Classic and Arnold Amateur titles if he hoists the cup on Mar. 4.
Arnold Classic Physique
The Arnold Classic awards $60,000 to the Arnold Classic Physique champ, a whopping twenty percent more than the $50,000 paycheck the Classic Physique Olympia champ receives.
The 2022 AC champ Terrence Ruffin will not be defending his title this year, making Ramon Rocha, Urs Kalecinski, and Mike Sommerfeld the favorites to win the show. The 2020 Arnold Classic Physique champ Alex Cambronero will be waiting for the favorites to slip for a place on the podium.
2023 Arnold Classic Physique Line-Up
- Jason Brown
- Alex Cambronero
- Junior Javorski
- Urs Kalecinski
- Courage Opara
- Ramon Rocha Queiroz
- Mike Sommerfeld
Arnold Men’s Physique
The IFBB Pro League Men’s Physique division is one of the most competitive in the sport. The competition is cut-throat, and the contestants are ruthless, making the show more interesting for the fans.
Erin Banks is reigning and defending 2022 Men’s Physique Olympia and Arnold Classic champ. Banks turned pro in 2021 and has been a dominant athlete since his first show. He, however, established a vice-like grip on the Men’s Physique division after winning the highest honors at the 2022 Mr. O. Diogo Montenegro and Edvan Palmeira will be the biggest threats to Bank’s AC throne.
2023 AC Men’s Physique Line-Up
- Erin Banks
- Vitor Chaves
- Carlos DeOliveira
- Youcef Djoudi
- Edvan Ferreira Palmeira
- Myron Griffin
- Juan Manuel Gomez
- Emanual Hunter
- Diogo Montenegro
- Antoine Weatherspoon
The IFBB Pro League Fitness division is one of the most exciting contests in the sport. It consists of a posing round and a high-flying dance-style Fitness routine that should include push-ups, high kicks, straddle holds, and side splits. The show adds a lot of entertainment value to a bodybuilding show.
The 2022 Fitness International champ Ariel Khadr is the top horse going into the 2023 AC. She will, however, face tough competition from Jaclyn Baker, who beat her at the 2022 Mr. O to win second place behind Missy Truscott. Michelle Freda-Mensah and Tamara Vahn could be the dark horses in the 2023 AC and upset the frontrunners if they show up with flawless physiques and grabbing Fitness dance routines.
2023 AC Fitness International Roster
- Jaclyn Baker
- Tiffany Chandler
- Michelle Freda-Mensah
- Ariel Khadr
- Allison Kramer
- Minna Pajulahti
- Terra Plum
- Kristin Pope
- Tamara Vahn
The 2023 Bikini Internation will be one of the most hotly contested battles at the Arnold Classic. Lauralie Chapados is the reigning Bikini International champ and will be looking to pick up her second title at the 35th edition of the AC USA. It, however, won’t be a walk in the park for Chapados. The 2022 Ms. Bikini Olympia champ, Maureen Blanquisco, also the runner-up at the 2022 AC, will be looking to win her maiden Bikini International title. Chapados had finished in a disappointing fifth place at the 2022 Olympia.
Jennifer Dorie and Ashley Kaltwasser are the other two former Bikini International and Ms. Bikini Olympia champs on the roster. Dorie and Kaltwasser finished at the second, and the third spot behind Blanquisco at the 2022 Mr. O. Kaltwasser also won a bronze medal at the 2022 AC.
2023 AC Bikini International Roster
- Romina Basualdo
- Maureen Blanquisco
- Lauralie Chapados
- Jennifer Dorie
- Ivanna Escandar
- Alessia Fachin
- Eli Fernandez
- Phoebe Hagan
- Ashley Kaltwasser
- Ukachi Onyejiaka
The 2022 Arnold Classic USA hosted the inaugural edition of the Wellness International division. It is undoubtedly one of the fastest-growing divisions in the IFBB Pro League.
The 2023 AC Wellness International will be a thrilling contest as the defending AC champ and the 2022 Olympia runner-up, Isabelle Nunes, pulled out of the show a few weeks before stepping on the stage due to health reasons.
Nunes’s withdrawal makes Angela Borges and Kassandra Gillis the favorites to become the second Wellness International champ in the division’s history. Borges and Gillis had finished at the third and the fourth spot at the 2022 Olympia, behind Francielle Mattos and Nunes.
2023 AC Wellness International Roster
- Alexis Adams
- Marissa Andrews
- Sunny Andrews
- Angela Borges
- Amanda Burnett
- Rayane Fogal
- Kassandra Gillis
- Andrea Hrenko
The Arnold Classic Pro Wheelchair division was introduced in 2016 and was since dominated by Harold “King Kong” Kelley until Gabriele Andriulli dealt him an upset at the 2022 AC. Andriulli is not competing at the 2023 AC, making the five-time Men’s Wheelchair Olympia champion Kelley the favorite to win the show.
The competition at the 2022 AC was shallow, as the contest only saw four participants. The 2023 AC turns up the heat with ten contestants in the lineup. Fans should keep an eye out on Woody Belfort and Antoni Khadraoui as they could be the dark horses at the 35th edition of the Arnold Classic.
2023 AC Pro Wheelchair Roster
- Anand Arnold
- Woody Belfort
- James Berger
- Bradley Betts
- Tim Caldwell
- Dillon Depiazza
- Tory Jones
- Harold Kelley
- Antoni Khadraoui
- Bryan Williams
The Arnold Classic is an invite-only competition, which ensures that only the cream of the crop makes it to Columbus, OH. You should pick up the Fanmio pay-per-view if you cannot make it to Columbus, OH, on the first weekend of Mar. 2023.
Alternatively, stay tuned to the Fitness Volt for the latest and greatest 2023 Arnold Sports Festival updates.