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Was The 2024 Arnold Classic… A Classic?

Was The 2024 Arnold Classic… A Classic?

While the bodybuilding world agrees that the Mr. Olympia is the “Super Bowl” of physique sports - there’s no doubt that the Arnold Classic comes in at a close second. The Arnold Classic never disappoints - and this year was no different. Who were the big winners? Who were the surprises? Let’s find out…

Do you smell that? 

It’s not just the aroma of fake tan and baby oil - it’s the sweet sweet smell of competition. 

That’s right, folks…

The second biggest bodybuilding event of the year just happened - The Arnold Classic. 

The show, which is held in Columbus, OH annually, was founded by and named after the biggest name that the bodybuilding world has ever known - Arnold Scwartzenegger - and it seems to get bigger and bigger every year. 

And no, we’re not just talking about the show… 

The fitness expo that accompanies the Arnold Classic has become an industry event all on its own. 

This thing is massive…

And I have it on good authority that blew the 2023 Olympia expo out of the water. 

If you’ve never been to one of these - it’s incredible…

You get to rub elbows with some of the biggest names in sports and fitness. 

You turn your head one way - and you’re staring Lou Ferrigno or Lee Priest in the face…

Or, you might be walking through the booths and accidentally bump shoulders with a Super Bowl or UFC champion.

But we’re not here to talk about the expo…

We’re here to talk about the show - and the weekend’s biggest winners. 

The Big Show: Men’s Open Class

The Open Class…

Otherwise known as the Land of Giants - The Open Class is where the Big Boys play. 

This year, there were twelve competitors - fighting for not just the Arnold trophy - but a whopping $300,000 in prize money. 

The spotlight was definitely on Hadi Choopan, the Persian Wolf. 

This guy is a former Mr. Olympia - and this was his first Arnold Classic. 

Talk about making an entrance! 

When you take into account that last year’s champ - Samson Dauda was in the mix - it made this year's event all the more exciting. 

In the end, The Wolf ate - taking home the title - with Samson Dauda and Rafael Brandao following in second and third places.

From the opinions of some people at the show - it was a real nail-biter - and any of the top three could have taken home the trophy. 

Is Classic Physique Taking Over? 

Over the past decade - there’s been a weird shift in the direction of bodybuilding. 

Where the late-90’s and early-00’s - mass monsters were king…

Over the last 10 years or so - Classic Physique has really started to come up. 

Maybe it’s because while still big, muscular and shredded - these physiques don’t seem as unattainable as some of the bigger Open Class competitors. 

A huge part of this has been the incredible physique that Chris Bumstead has been able to put on display year after year…

In fact, there are some that he rivals even that of Arnold himself. 

While time will tell if that’s true or not - what we know right now is - the Classic Physique class was just as exciting and competitive as the Open Class.  

In the end - it came down to two - division staple, Ramon Rocha Queiroz and Wesley Vissers. 

Ramon has been the proverbial bridesmaid to Bumstead’s bride at the Olympia - but as last year’s winner of the Arnold Classic - he was seen as one of the favorites.
After a close battle - Vissers, who was a bit of an underdog - surprised everyone and won first place…

Taking home $60,000 and the title. 

Fitness International: The Battle of Columbus

The men weren’t the only ones fighting it out on the Arnold stage…

As the face-off between Ariel Khadr and Jaclyn Baker was a highlight of the entire weekend. 

Khadr, the two-time reigning champion - returned with a vengeance - having only narrowly defeated Baker in Columbus the previous year.

The energy between these two athletes was charged, to say the least... 

Both showcased their strengths and artistic creativity - proving why they are top contenders in the fitness world.

In the end, Khadr triumphed, securing her third consecutive Arnold Classic title, brining home the title and $25,000 in prize money - and redeeming her 3rd place finish to Baker’s 2nd place finish at the 2023 Olympia.  

The Weekend’s Other Standouts

Also taking home championships this year:

  • Men’s Physique: Diogo Montenegro
  • Bikini: Lauralie Chapados
  • Wellness: Francielle Mattos
  • Pro Wheelchair: Rajesh John

And then there were the individual honors… 

Such as Samson Dauda being given the Ed Corney Best Poser Award. If you’ve ever seen Samson’s routine - you’ll understand why…the guy’s got style. 

Open Class champion, Hadi Choopan, took home more than just the Open title - as he also won the Franco Columbu Most Muscular Award.

Which shouldn’t surprise anybody - as Hadi is an absolute BEAST! 

Wrapping It Up

Overall, the 2024 Arnold Classic was more than just a competition… 

It was a showcase of determination, skill, style and the artistic side of bodybuilding. 

Everyone, from the champs to the contenders - were amazing. 

Our own VP, Chris Waldrum was in attendance - and he couldn’t stop talking about the experience. 

If you can - try to make plans to go next year - it’s completely worth it. 

I know we can't wait for the next one!

“The wolf on the hill is not as hungry as the wolf climbing the hill.” - Arnold Schwarzenegger

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