How Has Men’s Physique Evolved Over the Years?
IFBB Pro and Men’s Physique Olympia Champion, Brandon Hendrickson, takes us down memory lane with some insight as to where Men’s Physique started and where it is today.
In the Beginning…
Men’s Physique is a division in bodybuilding that started in 2012 and is the first men’s divisions to step outside of the open (and 212) bodybuilding division realm. The average Men’s Physique competitor, from the beginning compared to now, is black and white in regards to how much the standard physique changed. Being one of the few to start competing at the beginning of bodybuilding and now being the current “standard” of the division, I’ve had a close eye on how much the physique division has changed every year.
Back in 2012, judges didn’t quite know what to look for or what they think the standard should be. It was fairly easy at the time to compete and be successful in the division because they didn’t really know what the standard should be so a lot of different types of physiques were competing at a high level. When I look back at my physique, I laugh because if I were to bring my winning physique back in the day to current times, I have no doubts I’d be placing last.
Current Day Men’s Physique
The physique has completely changed as far as size, shape, and symmetry. When the division started, the standard look was very small compared to where it is now. There was no hardness in the muscle, the v-taper wasn’t as strong either, and the posing wasn’t very structured. I mean, guys would just stand there and not even pose and that was ok back then. Today, the bodies on these Men’s Physique competitors are more sculpted, has harder muscle with more condition, and the v-taper is much more pronounced now. The posing has changed completely too – we now have posing routines and mandatory poses. The division has come a long way in only seven years.
The Future of the Division
I see the division only growing in 5-10 years, especially with what we’ve done the last 5-10 years. I don’t see the standard changing very much though. Being the current champion, they don’t even want ME to get any bigger. So, now the focus is more detail in the muscle while keeping a stronger v-taper and tiny waist.
I see the division finally making it to the mainstream in that time as well since the Men’s Physique division is so attainable to the average person and not as scary to the average eye. The division still has a lot of growth in comparison to “Godfather” divisions like open bodybuilding, but I see Men’s Physique being one of the top divisions in the IFBB/NPC if not now, but in a few years to come.