IFBB has recently announced a new Men’s Division – the Classic Physique, to start in 2016. The announcement was made by the president himself, Jim Manion. The news was first heard in September 2015, as coming from the National Physique Committee. All the rules and guidelines have already been made public.
This is a new division that is born out of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s statement. The legend commented at the Arnold Classic against the mass monsters and the current obsession with volume. He critiqued the lack of aesthetics and hinted at deformity: “… unless we change the judging procedure … unless we stop picking the guys with the biggest legs, and the biggest muscles but not look as pleasing … the judges need to look at everything … it doesn’t look right anymore.” The former champion openly admitted he would like to change the criteria.
Thus, the main judging criteria for Classic Physique will be:
- Body Condition
Muscle size and symmetry will matter, as well as their balanced proportions. The condition and the definition will be of great importance. As expected, there will be a significant return to the body shape made popular by the classic era bodybuilders – especially Arnold. Like it’s been previously discussed, we are indeed going to see the return of the small waist, as opposed to today’s distended stomach. The mandatory poses will be: Side Chest, Front Double Biceps, Back Double Biceps, Abs and Thighs, as well as the Favorite Classic Pose.
What should we expect?
First of all, this is bound to change the way many competitors train. There has been a too big emphasis on volume – on every trained body part. This has led to very large physiques, which are extremely different from the legends we have since the inception of this sports discipline. At the same time, the Classic Physique is going to feel like the more natural option to bodybuilders. Weight lifters tend to invest too much in their shape and jeopardize their health to achieve the volume that is required. Not many are expected to jump to classic though, but those who will do will no longer have to put so much in their muscle growth in terms of supplements, powders and so on.
Thus, we are going to have the well loved classic muscle lines and no more distended stomachs. The existing divisions have relied too much on a bloated shape and that was only going further and further, relying more on artificial means and dangerous practices. The new competition reduces these risks.
Classic Physique, to be part of the Mr. Olympia show of 2016 and bridge the gaps between the existing divisions, is huge news to the bodybuilding world. It is a refreshing tendency towards the aesthetic. There will be weight and height restrictions but the existing IFBB pros will have enough choices, should they consider moving. The re-actualized approach could lead to a greater shift sometime in future.
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