In a surprising turn of events, two-time Men’s Classic Physique Mr. Olympia Breon Ansley has hinted at a possible comeback to the division he once dominated.
This comes after IFBB Vice President Tyler Manion announced an increase in weight limits across all heights in the Classic Physique division earlier this week.
With the new weight allowances giving shorter competitors like Breon Ansley an additional 7 pounds to work with, the former champ is reconsidering his recent move to 212 bodybuilding.
Could we see Breon Ansley reclaim his crown in Classic Physique?
Breon Ansley’s Dominant Run as Mr. Olympia
With his stunning physique boasting perhaps the best back in bodybuilding, Breon Ansley immediately emerged as a rising star in the brand-new IFBB division.
The following year in 2017, Breon Ansley fulfilled his destiny by winning his first Classic Physique Olympia title, proving he had the ideal balance of muscular size, proportions, and aesthetics.
He defended his crown successfully by winning again in 2018, establishing himself as the dominant force in Classic Physique.
Losing the Throne to Chris Bumstead
However, in 2019 Breon Ansley finally met his match in the emerging new phenom Chris Bumstead. ‘Cbum’ narrowly dethroned Breon Ansley at that year’s Olympia in what many considered a controversial decision.
But once again, he fell just short of toppling the defending champ, settling for 4th place in his final Classic Physique Olympia.
Frustrations With the Weight Cap
Over the years, Breon Ansley expressed frustration that the weight limit prevented him from matching the bigger Cbum physique-wise.
This led him to announce he would be moving up to the Men’s 212 bodybuilding division, where he could compete at a heavier weight.
But now, with the surprise weight increase for shorter Classic Physique athletes up to 170 pounds, Breon Ansley is reconsidering his decision. The extra 7 pounds could be game-changing for Ansley.
How Much Will 7 Pounds Help?
In his post reacting to the weight cap increase, Breon Ansley broke down what impact those 7 extra pounds could have:
“It does get interesting! The increase in the weight cap would put me at 187 lbs, guys; however, I might not have to cut the water so heavy so I could weigh in at 192 lbs because I wouldn’t lose as much height!”
Breon Ansley said weighing in the 190s would allow him to maintain more size through less aggressive water-cutting and peaking tactics. This could result in a vastly improved look on stage.
The new 193-pound limit will give Breon Ansley more room to match the bigger Cbum’s level of muscular development. The question is – could it be enough to defeat Bumstead next year finally?
A Different Look
Along with increased mass, Breon Ansley pointed out the 7 extra pounds would afford him “an entirely different look on stage.”
With less pressure to strip every ounce of body fat and water to make weight, Breon Ansley can focus on becoming fuller and more complex. The new weight limit plays perfectly to his strengths as an athlete.
Rather than a depleted look from excessive dieting, Breon Ansley can showcase his trademark round, dense muscle bellies and crisp conditioning if he returns to Classic Physique.
Weighing his Options
Despite the apparent benefits, Breon Ansley says he must carefully weigh his options and “discuss with his team” before deciding whether to abandon his 212 bodybuilding plans.
After committing months to adding quality size to compete in the 212 division, completely changing course is not a decision Breon Ansley will take lightly.
However, reclaiming the Olympia title he once dominated is an enticing opportunity for Breon Ansley. With better odds of matching Cbum’s size, could Ansley’s comeback story end in redemption?
Classic Physique vs 212 Bodybuilding
If he does opt to return to Classic Physique, what might Breon Ansley sacrifice to pursue the 212 division?
Here is a quick breakdown of the key differences between the divisions:
- Weight cap of 170 pounds (increased from 165 pounds)
- Emphasis on the smaller waist and aesthetic proportions
- Requires routine posing and transitions
- Rewarding shape and lines is key
- Olympic-style drug testing
- Weight limit up to 212 pounds
- Enables the most enormous, freakiest physiques
- Pure mass, conditioning, and muscle size prioritized
- Fewer demands on posing, transitions, etc.
- Polygraph drug testing
The new 7-pound weight allowance makes Classic Physique more physically appealing for Breon Ansley. However, politics and judges favoring particular looks may still frustrate him.
212 bodybuilding allows him to push his limits size-wise without limits or aesthetics factored into judging. Yet giving up the posing he excels at could be difficult. Indeed a lot for him to debate internally.
What This Means for Chris Bumstead
On the one hand, the increased weight limit could motivate Cbum to take his physique to the next level. He may need to add density to his taller frame to fend off Breon Ansley.
However, Chris Bumstead has hinted he prefers staying lighter and having room to grow. Adding too much size could cost him the aesthetic factor he relies on to win.
The Battle for the Throne
Their contrasting physiques and strengths would clash in a potentially epic contest for the crown. Could Breon Ansley solve the Chris Bumstead puzzle with his new weight allowance? Or will the defending champ flex his dominance again?
One thing is sure – IFBB VP Tyler Manion increasing the weight limit has opened the door for the showdown of the decade. Let’s hope the bodybuilding gods will it into existence.
Breon Ansley’s decision about possibly returning to Classic Physique will have enormous implications for the future of the sport. All eyes are on whether the former champ will make a run at reclaiming his throne.
But to cement his legacy by taking down Chris Bumstead, he must unleash the best version of himself. We hope to see these juggernauts match physiques again for the sport’s glory.