There is far too much information to tell you about the Olympia 2022 in these pages. However, we can educate you as much as possible and in the simplest way possible, which is why we have chosen this format – the ABCs of the 2022 Joe Weider Olympia Fitness and Performance Weekend, presented by Wings of Strength and Trifecta.
A is for Arnold
Arnold Schwarzenegger won six consecutive Mr. Olympias from 1970 to 1975. He then came out of retirement to win his seventh in 1980. He is arguably the most famous champion in history.
B is for Bench Press
The bench press was the go-to for 1976 O winner Franco Columbu, who was also a renowned weightlifter: “If I wasn’t doing any other chest exercises, I’d still be doing the bench press. Nothing better for the thickness of the chest.
It’s for Controversial
The controversies and subjective judgment of a sport, especially its showpiece event, can be fertile ground for controversial decisions. And Olympus is the most fertile of these fertile grounds. A few of the big headaches over the years have been:
- 1980 Mr. OLYMPIA. After five years in retirement, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s sudden and unannounced appearance at the Sydney Opera House – bringing much less muscle and definition than usual – came as a shock to many. Amid thunderous boos after announcing him the winner, Chris Dickerson jumped off the stage shouting, “I can’t believe it! Frank Zane threw his trophy against the backstage wall; and Mike Mentzer, the only Mr. Universe to date to score a perfect 300, walked away and never competed again.
- 1991MS. OLYMPIA: Filmed live on ABC’s Wide World of Sports, Bev Francis led Lenda Murray ahead of the evening finale. A large dashboard showed the current rankings for all to see. Somehow, at the end of the evening, a slightly smaller and less defined Lenda Murray was announced as the winner. The ensuing rash in the audience was led by Bev’s husband, Steve Weinberger, standing on his feet and yelling at the judges. Weinberger would later become the IFBB’s top judge. Other less dramatic, but no less controversial decisions include:
- 2002 Mr. O: Ronnie wins his fourth consecutive Olympia against a phenomenal – some say the best of his career – Jay Cutler.
- 2007: It was Cutler’s turn, this time as the defending O champion, to be the guy who shouldn’t have defeated an extremely conditioned Victor Martinez. 2014: It was supposed to be Kai Greene’s turn to finally make then-four-time Phil Heath Mr. Olympia his bridesmaid. Unfortunately, the judges didn’t see it that way.
D is for Dimensions
While Arnold and Sergio Oliva were definitely big guys, they were the exception, not the rule. Once Dorian Yates crossed the 250-pound line, the mass race began. Ronnie Coleman and Jay Cutler eventually brought even more mass, competing in the 270-290 pound range. Then came Big Ramy, all 300+ pounds of him. This year it is even bigger! Women too have brought more and more size to the game, not only in bodybuilding, but also in body shape and female physique. Even the girls in bikinis have more muscle now than when the split started. Everyone is growing!
E is for Exhibition
The Olympia Expo has vendors and activities for all genders, ages, and fitness levels. The exhibition is also the place where prejudice takes place.
F is for First legend
Bias initial comparison series. It almost always consists of the presumed best finishers. The first caption is important, but you want to make sure you’re in the last caption as well.
G is for Granular
This is when the skin looks very dry and you can almost see the individual muscle fibers underneath. If a bodybuilder is gritty, expect them to rank very high. Examples of gritty legends were six-time Mr. Olympia Dorian Yates and 2009 Mr. Olympia finalist Branch Warren.
H is for Hollywood
In this case, we’re talking about Planet Hollywood. Previously, the Olympia was held at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, but the 2022 edition will take place on the famous Vegas Strip at Planet Hollywood. Bodybuilding’s biggest stars will be showcased on one of Sin City’s biggest stages.
I am for IFBB Pro League
The International Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation is the governing body that sanctions all Olympia competitions. Amateurs participate in the NPC (National Physique Committee) to earn an IFBB Pro League pro card. From there, it’s all about competing in Olympia qualifying events in hopes of reaching the biggest milestone in the industry: Olympia Weekend.
I is for Joe Weider
Olympia Weekend’s namesake, the late great Joe Weider is affectionately known as the father of bodybuilding. Weider was a publisher, entrepreneur, bodybuilder, and strength and fitness enthusiast before his death at age 93.
K is for Kinesiology
Bodybuilding can be all about posing, but the movement and transition from one pose to another is key to showcasing all aspects of a competitor’s physique. Fitness athletes will also perform very challenging routines that are sure to entertain the crowd. It’s not just about muscle, it’s also about movement.
L is for Legends
As in legendary competitors throughout the Olympia weekend, including Mr. O Arnold Schwarzenegger winner Ronnie Coleman, who has eight Sandow trophies; 10 times Ms. Olympia Iris Kyle; and eight-time Fitness Olympia champion Adela Garcia. There are several more who will walk the aisles and watch today’s champions from the audience.
M is for Mr. and Mrs. Olympia.
The first Mr. Olympia contest was held in New York City at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in 1965. Mrs. Olympia saw its triumphant return in 2020 after going on hiatus in 2014.
N is for Nicknames
Some of the best nicknames for Mr. O winners include: Arnold “The Oak” Schwarzenegger, Dorian “the Shadow” Yates, Phil “The Gift” Heath, Frank “The Chemist” Zane, Ronnie “The King” Coleman.
O is for one man show
The 1968 and 1971 Mr. Olympia contests featured only one contestant – Sergio Oliva and Arnold Schwarzenegger, respectively. Uh, they won.
P is for pose down
This is the time when top competitors pose with each other in an unrated, free-for-all format.
Q is for To qualify
Become eligible to compete at the Olympia. IFBB professionals should take one of these routes:
- Finish in the top four at the previous Olympia, top three in this year’s Arnold Classic/International, or top two in the New York Pro.
- Win an IFBB pro competition after the previous Olympia.
- Accumulate enough points by placing high in IFBB pro competitions. Top five scores each season qualify for the O
R is for Routines
‘Cause what’s the point of having all that muscle if you can’t show it? The posing routine has become the signature with which each competitor signs his presentation. No two are the same and some are much better than others. While the scene has been acquainted with excellent posers over the years, there are some such as six-time master Mr. Olympia Vince Taylor, four-time Ms. Fitness Olympia Oksana Grishina, and the Almighty King of the pose, Kai Greene, which are a sight on their own.
S is for Symmetry
Bringing a symmetrical physique – balanced and proportionate – has helped former Mr. O winner Frank Zane, Samir Bannout and three-time Classic Physique O winner Chris Bumstead stand out among other legends on the scene.
T is for Sun tanning
Olympia competitors will all need to ensure their tan is correct so that they look their best under the lights and in front of the judges. That’s why you’ll see (and probably smell) a lot of suntan oil on athletes before they hit the stage. It helps them look their best to show off the work they’ve spent weeks doing.
U is for Upper back
A common expression in sports is that shows are won from behind. If the upper back is wide and thick with lots of separation between the muscles, it will show when the judges call the rear double biceps pose. Confident contestants will adopt this pose quickly when called upon.
V is for Venetian
The official hotel for Olympia 2022 is The Venetian Hotel in downtown Las Vegas, NV. The Expo will also be held there, and this one is expected to be the biggest and best yet. Book your room, then go get some swag and samples.
W is for the wellness center
This new division debuted in Orlando in 2021 and will be part of the main stage festivities in 2022. Francielle Mattos is the defending champion for this year’s competition.
X is for X frame
Whether you’re male or female, competing for size or shape, having broad shoulders and struts that lead to a small waist followed by thick, defined legs make up the X-Frame. If the athlete’s physique is described with this term, it is a good thing.
There is for Youtube
Subscribe to Olympia TV on YouTube so you can keep up to date with all the news and developments leading up to the big weekend in Las Vegas. You will then be able to follow what happens after the Olympia leading up to 2023.
Z is for Zappos Theater
The place where all the action will take place the weekend of December 15-18 in Las Vegas, Nevada. This will be Olympia’s first time in Vegas since 2019, and you won’t want to miss a second of the excitement this year. Go to mrolympia.com for more information.