Arnold Schwarzenegger Wants Classic Physique to Be as Big as Open Bodybuilding

Seven-time Mr. Olympia champion Arnold Schwarzenegger and Open bodybuilder Cedric MacMillan provide a commentary during the Judging Division of the Classic Physique at the 2021 Arnold Classic on Saturday, September 25, 2021, in Columbus, Ohio. They discussed the “beauty” of the classic fitness department, with Schwarzenegger introducing the analog “It’s Like Watching Statues” due to competitors’ similar aesthetics to carved marble.

Schwarzenegger suggested to Macmillan more resources and financial support (such as sponsorships and portfolio awards) It should be invested in Classic Physique to make it as big as the open section:

This is the direction we must go. We really have to build this part of the bodybuilding world on par with open competition.

Hear Schwarzenegger and Macmillan’s full conversation in the video below, courtesy of Volt FitnessYoutube channel of:

McMillan is one of the most famous bodybuilders in the sport. However, he admitted to Schwarzenegger – his co-host of the night alongside bodybuilders Dennis James and Amanda Kuklow – that when he started competing, the physique seen in the classic fitness department was what he aspired to:

I’m somewhat jealous that I wanted to get this look; I wanted to have these routines.

This high-quality look and visual appeal of the fitness classic – which debuted in 2016 – isn’t the only draw for Schwarzenegger and Macmillan. The former California governor also says the Classic Fitness Division offers a supposedly healthier and more sustainable lifestyle than the Open Men’s Program. The requirements for large size are less important in Classic Physique – which has weight limits tied to specific height categories – than the requirements of open bodybuilding to reach the top of the sport.

[Related: Mike Mentzer Was a Bodybuilding Maverick Who Changed the Game]

Macmillan said, “They don’t have to worry about them being huge, they just make sure they make their bodies beautiful.” Schwarzenegger touched on what he believes an open bodybuilder needs to get additional substances to gain the mass needed to be competitive:

Let’s not forget, they don’t have to take all of this stuff… to be bigger. This is where the danger lies.

Schwarzenegger went on to compare the relatively high death rate of open bodybuilders to mixed martial arts (MMA). In the past decade, he says, four mixed martial arts fighters have died compared to the 14 bodybuilders who died in the same time period (he didn’t name either sport). Presumably he meant that the deaths were related to their respective sports.

Since 2017, deaths** in the bodybuilding community include Dallas McCarver, 26, Luke Sandow, 30, Alexander Serduk (35 years old), Alina Hatvani (46 years old), Rich Piana (46 years old), John Meadows (49 years old), Andy Hamann (54 years old), Josep Wilcos (71 years old), Rick Drasin (74 years old), Franco Colombo (78 years old), Chet Yurton (81 years old).

*Editor’s note: These allegations have not been verified and should not be considered facts.

**Note: These deaths were not necessarily related to the use of any particular substance(s).

Shows you how dangerous it is to take some of these medications and substances. I suspect…[Classic Physique]…is the workplace.

Classic Physique is the section that rewards bodies similar to those in the “old days of bodybuilding,” similar to what Schwarzenegger looked like when he won seven Mr. Olympia titles in the 1970s and the last in 1980. Schwarzenegger called Logan Franklin and Terence Ruffin as Arnold Classic 2021 as an outstanding individual representative. Macmillan and Schwarzenegger appreciated the vacuum setting, which occurs when a competitor absorbs abdominal muscles, in particular.

Although Schwarzenegger and Macmillan are interested in Classic Physique to reach the fame that currently open bodybuilding craves, Macmillan still appreciates that “every body type has a place to go. There is a place for the huge guys. There is a place for more aesthetic men.”

To Olympia 2021

The 2021 Olympia is scheduled to take place October 7-10, 2021 in Orlando, Florida. Professional divisions will compete October 8-9, 2021, and the prize pool will total $1.6 million (it has not yet been announced how this portfolio will be divided for each division). Chris Bumstead is set to return to try three peats in the Classic Physique division.

Mamdouh, “Big Ramy Al-Subaie will return to defend the Mr. Olympia title. Seven-time Mr Olympia champion Phil Heath will not compete in the 2021 Olympia after finishing third in 2020 behind 2019 Mr Olympia Brandon Curry, who finished second. Nick Walker will make his first appearance on Mr. Olympia is in the 2021 competition and has momentum from his recent victories in the 2021 Arnold Classic and 2021 NY Pro. Hunter Labrada, Ian Valier, Achim Williams and Royle Winklar are also on the list for 2021.

As for the Olympia, 2020 defending champion Andrea Shaw recently won the 2021 Rising Phoenix and will be the bodybuilder to defeat in Orlando. Hailey Trevino is the most likely contender to challenge her for the crown as she won the Rising Phoenix competition in 2017 and 2018, and was runner-up to Shaw in 2021. We’ll see which bodybuilders reach the top at the perfect moment to snatch Sandow the swag.

Featured Image: @cedriccmillan on Instagram

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