Never one to shy away from controversy, former IFBB Pro bodybuilder Lee Priest recently predicted that Classic Physique will surpass the Open Bodybuilding division.
Priest, who finished 6th at the Mr. Olympia in 2002, shared his opinion on Instagram: “Out on a limb here but I think the Mr. Olympia will be done after this year the Men’s Open will probably be gone like the Women’s and more will be put on the Classic Physiques and the other divisions to make the sport more mainstream.”
Priest has always been outspoken on the state of affairs in the sport and made some controversial statements over the years that sparked feuds with a number of figures in the industry. At one stage Australia’s most famous bodybuilder was banned from competing in any IFBB competition. His criticism of the sport’s politics and off-the-cuff honesty about drug use further alienated him from officials. “When I used to use testosterone back in the day they used to give me 200 to 300 millilitres a week. These young kids now are going through 2000 to 3000 millilitres a week,” Priest told a reporter when he was crowned NABBA’s Mr. Universe in 2013 after seven years in retirement.
With the 2018 Mr. Olympia around the corner and the recent announcement that fans would be allowed to select “A People’s Champion” at this year’s showdown, it is no wonder that it has become a hot topic on social media. Priest’s comment follows a statement made by reigning Men’s Physique Mr. Olympia Jeremy Buendia about the decline of Bodybuilding and the rise of the Physique, Bikini and Classic Physique classes at competitions. Buendia was touring the Philippines when he made the statement that Open Bodybuilding was dying and needed the other divisions to survive.
Do you agree with Priest and Buendia? Will Open Bodybuilding be surpassed by Classic Physique?