The theory of Darwinian Evolution, and the process of natural selection, dictate that in order for an organism to survive it must evolve. But you don’t need to be an evolutionary biologist to take a look at current state of the Men’s and Classic Physique division’s to see that not only is the sport evolving, it seems like the process of natural selection has been accelerating faster on both professional and amateur stages across the country then anyone could’ve ever anticipated.
It seems like overnight we’ve seen the smaller, softer competitors get picked off like easy prey over and over again by bigger, harder competitors who appear to be more than happy to play the role of predator, naturally selecting and weeding out their weaker competition. With Arnold Classic champion Brandon Hendrickson leading the charge in Men’s Physique, and a newly revitalized Darrem Charles blazing a trail in Classic Physique as head into this year’s Olympia as the clear front runner, it doesn’t look like the winds of change will be pushing the sport in another direction anytime soon.
We’ve seen a foundational shift occur at every level now, and the reverberations of that shift can be felt all the way up the ladder to the Masters divisions.
And with the 2016 Masters Pittsburgh Pro right around the corner, if we expect this trend to hold serve, one competitor to keep an eye on will be former bodybuilder turned Classic Physique Pro Rick Canamar.
When asked about why he decided to make the transition into the Classic Physique division Canamar said:
“First, the idea behind the transition from Bodybuilding to Classic Physique was to keep same shape , symmetry, and overall conditioning but come in about fifteen pounds lighter for the look the judges have been looking for, which I did. But my plan for the transition from when I won my pro card in Men's Physique at the North American to making my pro debut in Classic Physique was to steam line the waist in more than ever before, enhancing my lines and increasing my flow, but also bringing an even tighter, drier package because of the progression to where I believe the sport is headed. I like I’m one of the athletes that can successfully pull off this transformation from Bodybuilding to Men's Physique, to Classic, and that will give me an edge because of the muscle maturity I have built over twenty-six years of training that I feel most competitors won't have.”
If you believe the theory of Darwinian Evolution to be true, and that there are no mistakes in the process of natural selection, then at this weekend’s Pittsburgh Masters Pro it might be a feeding ground for bigger competitors like the Rick Canamar’s of the world to move in and eliminate their smaller, weaker prey from contention. And if this trend continues to hold true to form, it’ll be interesting to see which big sharks are left floating in the tank when all it’s said and done.