Significant changes are coming to the IFBB Men’s Classic Physique division. IFBB Pro League Vice President Tyler Manion recently announced significant increases to the weight allowances for all height classes in the division.
This long-awaited move aims to level the playing field for shorter Classic Physique competitors who have struggled to match the muscular size of taller athletes under the previous weight restrictions.
In an Instagram video, Manion detailed the new weight allowances that will benefit shorter and middle-height Classic Physique athletes:
The tallest competitors over 6’1″ up to 6’2″ will now be permitted to compete at up to 230 pounds, an increase of 10 pounds.
Those in the middle height classes from 5’10” to 6’0″ will see an increase of 7-8 pounds in their weight cap.
The shortest competitors under 5’7″ will now be allowed to compete at up to 170 pounds, a 5-pound increase.
Impact on Olympia Frontrunners
These changes give a considerable advantage to shorter competitors like Terrence Ruffin, Urs Kalecinski, and Ramon Rocha Queiroz, who have previously competed at the upper limits of their height brackets.
The various increases are strategically designed to allow competitors of all heights in the Classic Physique room to build an impressive, aesthetic physique. No one height range appears favored.
Why Changes Were Needed
In his Instagram video, Manion explained the reasoning behind opening up the weight allowances across all height classes in Men’s Classic Physique:
“We looked and realized that one height grouping had a little advantage over other height groups. This height grouping is over 6’1″ and up to and including 6’2″.”
Many fans and analysts of the sport have voiced similar sentiments, noting that the tallest competitors, like Chris Bumstead, enjoyed a disproportionate size advantage under the old weight caps.
Shorter athletes struggled to match their taller opponents’ mass and fullness. These new weight rules seek to balance the scales and even the playing field.
A Boon for Shorter Competitors
While the increased weight allowances are positive for competitors across all heights, shorter athletes benefit the most.
Previously, competitors like 5’5″ Ramon Rocha Queiroz and 5’6″ Urs Kalecinski pushed close to the former 172-pound cap just to hold their own against bigger opponents. The 5-pound increase to 170 pounds gives them more room.
The shorter competitors are the biggest beneficiaries of these new weight standards. Expect to see them take full advantage.
What This Means for the Future
How will these rule changes impact the future of the Men’s Classic Physique division? Here are some implications:
- More competitive balance between shorter and taller athletes
- Shorter competitors will likely experience renewed success
- We may see a new champion from the shorter ranks
- Height will become less of an outright advantage
- Chris Bumstead will need to add quality size to retain his title
- The evolution of the mass and conditioning required to win
One thing is sure – the playing field is now much more level for contenders of ALL heights following this long-overdue rule amendment.
The 2022 Olympia may have been the last hurrah for height dominating the Open class. In the future, Men’s Classic Physique will be one of the most wide-open and competitive divisions.
We can expect high-caliber physiques in all height ranges, bringing balance back to the division. The future is bright.
How Other Competitors Are Reacting
Shortly after Manion’s announcement, Classic Physique athletes began sounding off with their thoughts on the new weight allowances:
“It opens up the playing field for us shorter guys with a smaller bone structure who were hitting the weight cap every show,” said Olympia contender Terrence Ruffin.
“This allows me to work on my weak points and come in fuller. I’m excited to bring an improved package,” noted Urs Kalecinski.
“Time to eat!! This helps level out the division,” commented rising star Ramon Rocha Queiroz.
The reactions are overwhelmingly positive from shorter and mid-range competitors who will now enjoy a more equitable playing field to showcase their talents.
The new weight allowances open the future in Men’s Classic Physique. With more room to grow, we can expect the division to continue evolving. Buckle up for an exciting year of incredible physiques and renewed parity!