3x Men’s Physique Natural Olympia champ William Long explains why he’s shifting divisions.
The 3x Professional Natural Bodybuilding Association (PNBA) Men’s Physique Natural Olympia champ William Long is pivoting from the Men’s Physique category to the Classic Physique class.
William Long is known as “The OG” after becoming the first PNBA Men’s Physique Natural Olympia champ. In addition, Long was the first natural athlete to sign a multi-media contract with INBA PNBA, Generation Iron, and Iron Man Magazine.
Although he won’t compete in the Men’s Physique class this year, he’s the reigning champion. After getting in touch with William Long, he told us why he’s changing divisions. Long stated:
“I FEEL THAT I’VE ACCOMPLISHED A LOT AND MADE MY MARK IN THE MEN’S PHYSIQUE DIVISION AND THAT IT’S TIME FOR A NEW CHALLENGE. I BECAME THE FIRST NATURAL OLYMPIA CHAMPION OF THAT DIVISION AND WILL END AS A CHAMPION, HAVING WON IT 3X.
I ALSO BELIEVE MY PHYSIQUE HAS PROGRESSED PAST THE STANDARDS OF THE DIVISION. I LOVE THE OVERALL LOOK AND REPRESENTATION OF CLASSIC PHYSIQUE. I LOVE THE ARTFUL DISPLAY OF THE POSING.
I BELIEVE I CAN BE COMPETITIVE IN THE CLASSIC DIVISION. MY TRAINING HASN’T CHANGED. I STILL TRAIN HARD AND WITH INTENSITY. MY MAIN FOCUS THOUGH IS MY OVERALL LEG DEVELOPMENT. THERE’S NO HIDING THEM IN BOARDSHORTS WITH THE CLASSIC PHYSIQUE DIVISION.”
William Long says he’s taking this year off to focus on sculpting his physique for the Classic Physique category. He plans to make his debut early next summer. Right now, Long is hovering around 185-190 lbs, which he says is 25-30 lbs over his stage weight.
Here’s a recent Instagram post from William Long showing off his triceps gains:
Classic Physique Vs. Men’s Physique
As Long mentioned, leg development in the Classic Physique division is much more critical than in the Men’s Physique class. That’s because competitors wear board shorts in the Men’s Physique division. Also another noticeable difference between the two divisions is the size. Although muscularity and size, muscle shape and fullness, and muscle density are essential for judging for both bodybuilding categories, Classic Physique athletes are bigger and follow a different posing regimen.
William Long dominated the Men’s Physique category, and the Classic Physique will bring new challenges. For example, he’ll have to increase his leg hypertrophy and overall size. Plus, he’ll be competing against the reigning Classic Physique Natural Olympia champ Derek Joe and 3x Classic Physique Natural Olympia champion Brandon Lirio.
It’ll be interesting to see who is crowned victorious in the Classic Physique category at next year’s Natural Olympia since it’s filled with many champs. And another intriguing obscurity will be who takes over the Men’s Physique division. But after suffering a deadlifting injury, PNBA Men’s Physique competitor Danairo Moore says he has more motivation to place in the top five and even two at this year’s Natural Olympia.