Bodybuilder Breon Ansley Explains His Decision to Retire From the Classic Physique Division

On March 19, 2022, two-time Classic Physique Olympia champion Breon Ansley shared an update about his future in the division on his Instagram page. While showing off his physique in natural light, the champion bodybuilder wrote that 2022 will be his last year in the Classic Physique Division. He did not immediately discuss his rationale behind the decision.

Natural light is always the most humbling without shadows showing added details and separation. 

Ansley was well-aware he left out some context, further writing that he had “a few exciting details” to share about his plan to capture his third career Classic Physique Olympia title. He last competed in the 2022 Arnold Classic on March 3-6, 2022, where he finished fourth.

On March 24, 2022, Ansley took to his YouTube channel to shed a light on what the rest of 2022 and his Olympia future holds. Check out the video below:

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Why Ansley is Moving On

In the video, Ansley first thanked his fans for “all their support” over the years. He began competing in the Classic Physique Division in 2016 and noted that he appreciated how everyone took to him as he found his groove. Ansley expressed his pride over where the division stands today, pointing out the “wow factor” of the present-day physiques and how the competition is in a great place. 

To address the Classic Physique elephant in the room, Ansley was deliberate. He did not mince his words: It has to do with how Ansley prefers his body to be displayed. More importantly, he says it’s about taking better care of himself.

Ansley made the decision to step away from Classic Physique because he prefers his physique at 190-plus pounds rather than the 180-pound weight cap he’s restricted to. For context, weight caps in Classic Physique scale with an athlete’s height. Per IFBB Pro rules, Ansley’s weight cap at his height of 5-foot-7 is 185 pounds. If he were one inch taller, he would be allotted an additional seven pounds — closer to his stated ideal weight range.

Ansley believes he has enough “shredded” muscle to show off in his peak form at a higher weight. Also, a short turnaround from a usual late-week weigh-in to the formal competition over weekends during the Classic Physique Olympia events does not agree with him. 

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The weight cap of the Classic Physique Olympia and the “wear and tear” it places on his body is something Ansley doesn’t appreciate. This division of bodybuilding can be demanding to prepare for and Ansley is understandably concerned about the toll it’ll take on him over time. Ultimately, he thinks it’s a disadvantage to his dedication, diligence, and all the hard work he’s put in throughout his career.

Now, if my weight cap had a few more pounds on it then we might be having a different conversation. We might be talking about something different and me staying in Classic.

As such, this coming December will be the last occasion we see him on the Classic Physique Olympia stage. To prepare for his Olympia swan song from Dec. 15-18, 2022, Ansley concluded by discussing those mentioned details about a plan:

He will begin his training regimen for the competition around 20 weeks out. That means kicking into gear sometime in late July or early August. That training timeline is in contrast to the usual 10-11 weeks he’s previously followed. At the time this article is published, Ansley has not revealed what his future plans in the sport are beyond 2022.

Ansley’s Bodybuilding Record

Before announcing his leave from the Classic Physique division, Ansley competed in the 2022 Arnold Classic on March 3-6, 2022. He finished fourth overall behind Urs Kalecinski, runner-up Roman Rocha Queiro, and two-time Arnold Classic Physique champion Terrence Ruffin. It was Ansley’s first result off the podium since his Olympia debut in 2016, where he also ranked fourth overall.

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Ansley’s overall resume in bodybuilding remains impressive. It includes six first-place finishes in the Classic Physique Division. His professional bodybuilding resume is below, according to NPC News Online:

Breon Ansley’s Pro Bodybuilding Career Results

  • 2013 NPC USA Championships  Men’s Middleweight  First place
  • 2014 IFBB New York Pro  212  Outside top 16
  • 2014 IFBB Europa Phoenix  212  15th place
  • 2016 IFBB Prestige Crystal Cup Classic Physique First place
  • 2016 IFBB Mr. Olympia Classic Physique Fourth place
  • 2017 IFBB New York Pro Classic Physique First place
  • 2017 IFBB Mr. Olympia Classic Physique First place
  • 2018 Arnold Sports Festival Classic Physique First place
  • 2018 IFBB Mr. Olympia Classic Physique First place
  • 2019 IFBB Yamamoto Cup Pro Classic Physique First place
  • 2020 IFBB Mr. Olympia Classic Physique Third place
  • 2021 IFBB Mr. Olympia Classic Physique Third place
  • 2022 Arnold Classic Classic Physique Fourth place

In what is purely speculation, Ansley might seek a return to the 212 division. Not only would it allow him to accumulate the mass he wants, he has experience in that division as he competed there earlier on in his career. Ansley weighs 206 pounds in the Instagram post above where he alluded to his future away from the Classic Physique Olympia. 

Ansley will be 43-years-old by the time the 2022 Classic Physique Olympia rolls around. He’s managed to compete at an elite level for years against athletes far younger than him. Perhaps Ansley’s new training plan will be the not-so-secret ingredient to put him over the top in this division one last time.  The 2022 Classic Physique Olympia competition begins on Thursday, Dec. 15, 2022, in Las Vegas, NV.



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