Renowned IFBB Pro League athletes’ representative Bob Cicherillo has recently expressed his strong opposition against the proposal to end the Men’s 212 division. The Men’s 212 class, which was first introduced as the 210-pound division in 2008, has undergone several changes in terms of weight caps before settling on the 212-pound mark in 2011. Since then, it has become an increasingly popular category in the sport of bodybuilding.
Some people have been calling for the elimination of the 212 division, questioning its validity in light of the success some contenders have found in the Open division. Bodybuilding veteran Lee Priest suggested that the league remove the category from the Olympia event and add the prize money to the Open section. On the other hand, former 212 Olympia champ Derek Lunsford argued that the 212 division needed to stay as it provides opportunities for athletes who are working their way up.
Cicherillo, in a recent YouTube video, fiercely defended the 212 division and criticized those who want to get rid of it. According to him, only idiots would want to eliminate a division that has been so successful and has provided opportunities for bodybuilders to turn professional and compete on an even level playing field against others within 10 pounds of their weight.
He cited examples of bodybuilders who have made their mark in the 212 division, such as Joses, Felix Lewis, and Hadi Choopan, who transitioned to the Open division and won. He also mentioned the success of former Olympia king Kamal Elgargni and former 212 Olympia champ Derek Lunsford, who switched to the Open division and scored silver at the Olympia.
Cicherillo believes that the 212 division has given careers to many bodybuilders and has provided a platform for them to go from one division to another as they outgrow it. He also emphasized that the 212 division has provided contracts, guest postings, starting businesses, and representing supplement companies to many athletes.
Bob Cicherillo is known for his often hot takes and has faced heat for his criticism of former two-time Mr. Olympia Mamdouh ‘Big Ramy’ Elssbiay two months ago. However, he remained steadfast in his suggestions to the Egyptian to move on from professional competition and doubled down on it following the conclusion of the 2023 Arnold Classic. The pair made peace weeks later as Ramy indicated no plans to hang up his posing trunks just yet.
Cicherillo believes that Ramy would compete at the upcoming 2023 Mr. Olympia and backed Choopan to defeat fellow Open sensation Nick Walker at the event. However, he favored Samson Dauda to triumph over all after his Arnold Classic win. He also extended his support for Kamal Elgargni to add the 2023 Masters Olympia title under his belt last month, as he is confident that the former 212 champ has what it takes to come out on top of the show without adding size.
The 212 division has enabled many contenders to make a name for themselves in bodybuilding, and it’s hard to imagine what the sport would look like without it given its immense success. It has provided a platform for athletes to showcase their skills and has given them opportunities to turn professional and compete on an even level playing field.
In conclusion, the 212 division has been a crucial part of the sport of bodybuilding, and it has provided a level of competition that has allowed athletes to showcase their skills and make their mark in the industry. While some may question its validity, it is clear that the 212 division has been a tremendous success, and it should continue to provide opportunities for aspiring bodybuilders to turn professional and compete at the highest level.