Body building

Icon World Traditional (Athleticon) Invite Necessities Too Strict?

by Matt Weik

Since the Icon World Classic (Athleticon) announcement, many have wondered how they can achieve quality or participate in the competition that will take place in Atlanta, GA in October 2020. Would it be open to anyone with an IFBB Pro card? Or do you have to meet certain criteria to participate in the first Icon World Classic? We don't have to wait any longer.


The IFBB has announced the guidelines for receiving an invitation and I have to say I'm quite shocked – and not exactly in a good way. As in … I'm confused.

Icon World Classic – Let the Games Begin!

If you've followed my content over the past few months, you'll know I've spoken a lot about Icon World Classic (what everyone calls Athleticon). I went back and forth with the show and whether it could be bigger than the Olympics (which I don't think) but also who would show up at Icon World Classic to take part in competitions. Would Phil Heath make Icon World Classic his "comeback" show?

On February 27, 2020, the IFBB Pro League published the details on its Instagram account. The publication was by Robin Chang and said:

With the recent announcement from Athleticon, we had overwhelming requests for the first ICON World Classic.

This event is an invitation, with each division limited to 12 athletes.


To receive an invitation, an IFBB Pro must meet one of the following requirements:

– A current or previous Olympic champion
– Win an IFBB Pro event between June 2019 and August 2020
– Placement in the top 5 at the 2019 Olympics
– Place yourself in the top 3 at Arnold USA 2020

A little strict, don't you think?

Who am I? A nobody. I am not connected to the IFBB, I am simply a bodybuilding fan who expresses my thoughts and opinions. You can agree. You cannot agree. Both are fine in my book. But this is about the requirements of the Icon World Classic.

We already have an Olympia, why do we have to be so strict with Icon World Classic? There are more competitors on the Olympic stage than at the Icon World Classic (the Olympics 2019 had 16 open bodybuilders for men). Why so limited? I don't understand. Let's find out for ourselves that only 12 athletes can compete in each division.

Based on the requirements above, look at the number of people who can participate … Phil Heath, Shawn Rhoden (assuming his legal affairs have been settled by then), Dexter Jackson (if he chooses not to retire after the Olympics and Icon World wants to give Classic a shot), Brandon Curry, William Bonac, Hadi Choopan and Roelly Winklaar.

The people I just mentioned are either previous Olympic winners or those who reached the top 5 at the 2019 Olympics. A number of heads give us seven. Figure Big Ramy will make eight in the lineup. So we have four competitors who make it to the Icon World Classic. If someone who has not been mentioned sneaks into the top 3 of the Arnold this year, it is even less of a chance for others to get in. Not to mention that you qualify if you win or have won a show from June 2019 to August 2020. ”

Haven't we already noticed those who receive an invitation, and we still have six-month shows where competitors can qualify? Am I the only person who is confused here?

Cedric will probably win something this year, Patrick Moore will probably win something this year … so we have to rely on invitations again. And what if Kai jumps on a show to qualify? Ok ok … who am I kidding? We will never see Kai again. Everything he does teases us with a hint of a comeback and then never shows up in his posing suitcases.

It's still going to be an incredible show

I don't want it to turn out that I am not enthusiastic about Icon World Classic. I mean, the best of the best will be there and the fact that the top bodybuilders will be on the same stage again this year is absolutely something to look forward to. In my opinion the lineup will be like Olympia 2.0 – which most should be pumped over.

The fact that there is an Arnold Sports Festival vibe makes this show extremely opportunistic for brands that target the masses and don't want to be as close by just targeting the bodybuilding community with their supplement booth. This is a great experience for those who visit the fair and want to try out some great products and patterns.

When it comes down to it, I said it once and I'll say it again in this content – the Icon World Classic (Athleticon) will be a great success. With The Rock and Danny behind the show, it's safe to say they'll make it big. And they are better because their names are related to it.

Are you planning to go to Icon World Classic (Athleticon)? How do you see the requirements to receive an invitation? Let us know in the comments section below.

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