What is the Difference Between Classic and Open Bodybuilding?

What is the Difference Between Classic and Open Bodybuilding?

What is the Difference Between Classic and Open Bodybuild...

Photo by Kevin Lava

Bodybuilding is an interesting sport that has many different divisions, each with a different set of rules, goals, and aesthetics.

Classic physique and open bodybuilding are the two important divisions in bodybuilding.

Each of these divisions approaches aesthetics, muscle development, posing, and philosophies very differently.

Being a complete guide on an elaborate topic, we will be addressing the details and differentiating factors between classic and open bodybuilding with in-depth comparison and clarity.

Classic Physique: Reliving the Golden Era of Aesthetics

Classic Physique is a bodybuilding division that seeks to bring back the aesthetic, symmetrical, and pleasing physiques that remind us of the 1970s and very early 1980s, when legends like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Frank Zane, or Steve Reeves dominated.

Competitors are judged on stage presence but also overall muscular development as compared to a more dynamic funnel-shaped outline in which there is an emphasis on the narrow waist with a v-taper body.

Criteria and Regulations

Classic Physique has a list of specific height and weight guidelines to adhere to in order to create a more "classic" look.

For example, in the IFBB Pro League, it is compulsory for competitors to meet certain height-to-weight ratios.

Classic Physique competitions show more skin as competitors can wear swim shorts during their posing, as opposed to the posing briefs worn in open bodybuilding.

Posing Styles

Posing routines typically include poses like the vacuum pose and mantis pose, which showcase the contestants' ability to give a balanced and aesthetically pleasing presentation of the physique.

It's an attractive category for both competitors and fans alike, as it aspires to an ideal that is attainable and aesthetically pleasing, reminiscent of bodybuilding's golden era.

Ideal Competitor

Classic Physique is best suited for a competitor who desires a well-proportioned, structured physique with visible muscularity but does not want to focus on the extreme building of immense muscle mass and conditioning.

 

Open Bodybuilding: Developing the Biggest Muscles with the Least Conditioning

Open bodybuilding, however, maximizes muscle mass, size, and willpower when it comes to conditioning.

In this category, the objective is to build a body that not only demonstrates symmetry and balance but also significant mass and shape.

In open bodybuilding, competitors are not confined to weight or height limits; they can put on as much muscle as they want to.

It also adds more mandatory poses, emphasizing extreme muscle mass and definition in the posing style.

Criteria and Regulations

The rules under this pose category vary from other muscular loss categories and are generally less restrictive than female and classic bodybuilding. Competitors can put on as much muscle as possible, as long as their height and weight ratio fit.

In this part, competitors posing trunks facing judges in a series of required poses are performed in the following order from left to right and top to bottom: front double biceps, back double biceps, side chest, most muscular.

These poses exist to showcase the maximum amount of muscle mass, definition, symmetry, and stage presence from the athlete.

Posing Styles

Open bodybuilding contains more mandatory poses that emphasize ludicrous muscle mass and definition. This category arguably pushes the human physique as far as possible both in size and conditioning, demonstrating the upper limits to muscle development.

Ideal Competitor

Open Bodybuilding is for an aspiring muscle beast who wants to create the largest, most freaky monster of a physique that demands the most insane levels of muscle mass and conditioning on a human scale.

It's great for people who have genetic potential and personal tendencies that allow full potential muscle mass and being super lean.

Contrasts and Considerations

Classic and open bodybuilding are clearly distinguished by their common knowledge core, the philosophy of operation, the principles of judgment, and the vision of the aesthetic that they support.

The Classic Physique division was created to make bodybuilding more aesthetic, reminiscent of the Golden Era of bodybuilding and a balance of size, conditioning, symmetry, and muscularity.

Open bodybuilding, on the other hand, is all about gaining maximum muscle mass, bone dry conditioning, and leanness—basically whatever it takes to push the human physique to its absolute size, definition, and postural perfection.

On the whole

Classic and open bodybuilding both have their own advantages and disadvantages.

They appeal to different ambitions and test the will of athletes. Newcomers must understand the differences among these categories to better assess which path aligns best with their aspirations.

When deciding between these two disparate perspectives on bodybuilding, up-and-coming bodybuilders would be wise to consider the extent of their bodybuilding ambitions, their genetic potential, and their proclivities in appearance and lifestyle.

So obtaining a more clear understanding of the nuances and differences between classic and open bodybuilding is a must for anyone thinking of competing in the world of bodybuilding.


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