by Matt Weik
For starters, while there are rumors that Chris Bumstead has his eye on the Men’s Open division, at this point they are just that – rumors. But let’s have some fun and put it on the table whether or not Chris could actually shake things up a little in the division.
In recent interviews (upon request), Chris Bumstead said his focus is on winning more Olympic titles in Classic Physique. However, he’s been thinking about what it might be like to jump to a different department. And let’s face it, it wouldn’t be the first time a Classic Physique competition has moved to a different category, and it wouldn’t be the last either.
One thing to keep in mind is “what it takes” to stand next to the big boys at the Men’s Open. I’m not naive to think that Chris Bumstead is natural, but advancing to the Men’s Open is a whole new beast. I’m not saying he couldn’t – I just think out loud and ask, “Is it worth it?”
Chris Bumstead: Don’t fix it if it’s not broken!
You have probably heard the saying more times than you want to remember, but this is the case with Chris Bumstead (in my opinion). Chris is on a different level than his colleagues on the Classic Physique stage. While things were “tight” in previous years, Chris Bumstead proved to everyone on this stage at the 2020 Mr. Olympia that he is not there to play.
While people were busy fixing all of Chris’s flaws with his physique in 2019 and 2020, Bumstead got dialed in and focused on improving his flaws until he ran out of them. Of course, his competitors mocked him, but in the end Chris got the last laugh at Olympia with a perfect score – essentially silencing everyone once and for all.
Chris Bumstead struggled with some health issues a few years ago which he now seems to be under control, and from his off-season looks, it seems like everything is going on for him. Last year (as well as now) Chris suffered from a ruptured labrum, an injury he sustained last year that has never been repaired. The year before, Chris had a torn hamstring.
Overall, apart from a few issues Bumstead is currently pushing through, there really is nothing to fix on his body. Every month he seems to be showing improvement and looking absolutely insane. So again, if his physique is the current gold standard for Classic Physique, why should he change something that ain’t broken when he gets on stage like that, doing a few poses, smiling, and bringing the hardware and a nice check with him Can take home? Unless he’s lost his love of the division or has had weight gain issues, there really is no good reason for him to get into the Men’s Open. He’d probably make more money doing Classic Physique too, so it couldn’t be argued that the decision would be a financial one.
Bigger than some open competitors
Well let’s have some fun. Let’s think for a minute about what things would be like if Chris Bumstead decided to get into the Men’s Open. At the time of this writing, Chris is around the 264 pound mark and is the tallest he has ever been. But that too is his off-season weight.
It seems like Chris Bumstead makes some dramatic improvements to his body every off-season. In fact, I’ve never seen Chris so well in the off-season as he prepared to defend his Olympic title later that year and pursue his third Olympic title. Not only is Bumstead BIGGER than he was last offseason, but he is also leaner, which should put anyone in the Classic Physique Division off.
But could he do well with his current situation at the Men’s Open?
I’m sure there are a lot of people out there who think I’m absolutely crazy, but I think Chris Bumstead could do well in the Men’s Open. Do I think he’s a contender for the Sandow? Well no But in my opinion he has a better physique than many guys in Men’s Open as well as 212.
His size, stamina, symmetry, proportions, he’s got it all and has an ideal physique to shake things up at the Men’s Open and maybe even shift the division into a more conditioned and toned down look. Or maybe that’s just wishful thinking due to the bloated and weak stamina we’ve seen in some competitors over the past few years.
Chris Bumstead and Big Ramy did a photo shoot after the 2020 Mr. Olympia where they jokingly posed together. I’m not saying Chris is short, but besides Big Ramy there was a drastic difference. Between Big Ramy, Phil Heath, William Bonac, Brandon Curry, Roelly Winklaar, Hadi Choopan and frankly the list goes on, Bumstead would have to grow even more because of his size to look like he belongs on the same stage as this one Guys (and that’s not a gunshot or diss at Bumstead, it’s just the reality).
The biggest problem I see is what Chris Bumstead looks like when he’s dieting for a show. Chris looks absolutely crazy in the off-season. So much so that it looks like it could jump onto an open stage. However, when he diets and is exhausted, he shrinks. While it’s big enough to overshadow many of the Classic Physique competitors, I don’t see that happen to the Men’s Open.
But what do you mean If Chris Bumstead decided to give the Men’s Open a try, does he have any chance of winning any shows or even placing them high enough for the jump to make sense? Let us know in the comments below.