The IFBB Pro League’s Classic Physique division has emerged as one of the most popular divisions in bodybuilding. These athletes have a look that resembles the physiques of Golden-Era bodybuilders such as Mike Mentzer, Frank Zane, and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Speaking of Arnold, the 2022 edition of his namesake show, the Arnold Classic, is scheduled to occur on the weekend of Mar. 4-5, 2022 in Columbus, OH. And the Classic Physique division is stacked with top talent, including two-time Olympia winner Breon Ansley.
The winner of the Classic Physique division will earn an automatic Olympia qualification (if they’re not qualified already) and be considered the number one contender to reigning O champion Chris Bumstead.
The lineup of the nine athletes competing at this contest is below alphabetical order.
- Breon Ansley (USA)
- Michael Daboul (United Kingdom)
- Urs Kalecinski (Germany)
- Peter Molnar (Hungary)
- Terrence Ruffin (USA)
- Ramon Rocha Queiroz (Brasil)
- Darwin Uribe (USA)
- Lenny Wicks (USA)
- Divine Wilson (USA)
Athletes to Watch
The five athletes below are considered strong frontrunners to take the Arnold Classic title. This year’s lineup is incredibly competitive, featuring Olympia competitors, an Olympia champion, and two Arnold Classic champions.
Breon Ansley is the most decorated athlete in the lineup. Aside from being the inaugural winner of this contest in 2018, he’s a two-time Olympia Classic Physique champion, having won the big show in 2017 and 2018. Ansley is the only Classic Physique athlete to have won both the Arnold and Olympia in the same year.
In recent years, there’s been a push for Ansley to move on to the 212 division. Ansley recently shared that he planned on doing more leg workouts to help with his look. If he is at his all-time best at this show, he could curtail Ruffin’s efforts and become the first two-time Arnold champ himself.
Ruffin enters the contest as the defending Arnold Classic Physique champion and the two-time Olympia runner-up to Chris Bumstead. He’s considered a master poser, important in any division but especially prized in Classic Physique.
At 5’5”, Ruffin is usually one of the shorter men in the lineup, but his symmetry and shredded conditioning carry him to the top of the pack. He rarely misses his peak. There’s never been a two-time champion in this division since the division’s Arnold Classic debut in 2018. As long as Ruffin looks the same or better than he did at the 2021 Olympia, he’ll likely be the first in his division to go back-to-back.
Urs Kalecinski is the new kid on the block that could disrupt the whole division. The German competitor garnered the attention of the masses at the Olympia, where he placed fourth. Still, people that follow the division saw him coming after his victory at the 2021 Tampa Pro.
His upper body is tremendous from both the back. A little more size on his arms could serve him very well. “The Miracle Bear” will have a lot of support from the fans in Columbus. He hopes that he could sway the judges in his favor as well.
Ramon Rocha Queiroz
Queiroz was the fifth-place finisher at the 2021 Olympia. He was also second at the 2021 Europa Pro, finishing behind winner Fabian Mayr. The separation in his abs is deep, and the way he performs some poses help him stand out.
The big pose to watch from Queiroz is the back double biceps pose. His upper back to waist ratio is freaky. He will be in the first callout, and if any of the other favorites are off, he can take that spot away from them real quick.
Dark Horse: Divine Wilson
Wilson is coming off a 12th place finish at the 2021 Olympia, but don’t let that finish fool you. He won the 2021 Pittsburgh Pro in dominating fashion. He was also the 2020 Savannah Pro winner. He’s familiar with being in the top spot, and he’s been in the division since turning pro at the 2016 NPC Nationals. He will make his presence known on that stage, and it would not be a surprise to see him in the final callout at the Finals.