Arash Rahbar: The Thing Fans Get Wrong About Judging Bodybuilding Physiques –

Arash Rahbar goes in-depth about the Classic Physique Olympia 2020 results and the biggest mistake fans make when judging physiques.

The Classic Physique Olympia 2020 was, to many, a shocking outcome. While there was a strong chance Chris Bumstead would win again, no one was expecting Breon Ansley to fall down to third place. There were some who felt that the drop was unfair to Breon. That the judges are favoring a certain “kind” of physique. Arash Rahbar is here to put that thinking to bed. In our latest GI Exclusive interview, Arash Rahbar explains the biggest disconnect between how judges rate physiques vs how fans rate physiques.

Chris Bumstead and Breon Ansley have different looking physiques. That doesn’t mean one is vastly superior to the other. It just means they both have extreme strengths with an overall different aesthetic. Part of that difference is due to Bumstead’s tall height – which is rare in the bodybuilding world. Regardless, the difference in physique aesthetic could pose a problem for judges. How do you compare such talented competitors who look so different?

This has been a discussion that is particularly pointed in the Classic Physique division. Partially because the division is still young and partially by the very nature of the rules in the division. Classic Physique’s focus on weight limits based on height can yield a wider variety of aesthetics and looks on the stage.

Arash Rahbar thinks that Chris Bumstead was miles ahead the winner at the Olympia 2020. He thinks it was no contest and that Breon Ansley deserved the place he received. But many fans think that it was closer than that. Some believe that Breon should have at the very least gotten second.

Watch our latest GI Exclusive segment with Arash Rahbar above!

During our conversation with Arash, we asked him how judges can overcome the challenges of judging such vastly different aesthetics on the stage. Arash Rahbar points out that it’s not really that complicated. The only reason it seems complicated is due to a fundamental misunderstanding on how many fans look at competitions.

As fans, we are sucked into the entire spectacle of a bodybuilding competition. Fans choose sides. They not only chose favorite physiques – but when they do the bodybuilder’s personality comes into play. Over time, when a person becomes a fan of a bodybuilder, they become a fan of their whole package. Their physique and their lifestyle and their personality.

So when people tune into a live stream or look up photos from a competition – fans often still see the whole package. While it’s important for a bodybuilder to have a perfect physique from top to bottom – the mandatory poses present a very specific purpose.

Arash Rahbar discusses how each mandatory pose is to judge that single specific comparison of muscle. So when bodybuilders do, let’s say, a front double bicep in a comparison round – judges essentially blank out the face of each bodybuilder. They ignore the whole package and focus on how good that pose looks next to the other person.

Arash Rahbar recounts many times that he would think one bodybuilder was looking “weak” on stage overall. But when he started seeing the side by side comparisons of each pose – he changed his tune. Suddenly that bodybuilder is he clear winner. It’s clear because he presented his physique superiorly in each shot of each pose.

Arash Rahbar thinks fans often miss that level of detail. That they still take into account, consciously or subconsciously, the whole physique and even the personality into consideration. We are constantly blinded by our own personal bias.

You can watch Arash Rahbar explain this in more detail by watching our latest GI Exclusive interview segment above!