by Matt Weik
As I do every year, I’m chiming in with my thoughts on this year’s Arnold Classic in Columbus, Ohio. Truth be told, this year is going to be one of the hardest Arnold’s in history to predict. Why? Because the lineup at the 2020 Arnold Classic is absolutely stacked. I honestly don’t know where everyone will fall. Previous years were a little easier to predict, but this year you might as well just pick the names out of a hat. We have some of the top bodybuilders in the world stepping on the Arnold Classic stage this year – all wanting to claim the title. So, without further ado, here is my prediction for the top five.
But first, let’s show you the full lineup:
- Lionel Beyeke
- William Bonac
- Maxx Charles
- Big Ramy
- Dexter Jackson
- Johnnie Jackson
- Steve Kuclo
- Josh Lenartowicz
- Victor Martinez
- Cedric McMillan
- Patrick Moore
- Sergio Oliva Jr.
- Akim Williams
- Nathan De Asha
Winner: Big Ramy
I’ve been following Big Ramy’s prep for the 2020 Arnold Classic and even at a few weeks out, he has the “death face” of someone who is already depleted and who has dieted down. We saw some images of him already showing great separation and this could be the year Ramy brings it to the stage and finally nails his conditioning which has been the one thing he has been lacking for years.
If the last few weeks of his prep stay on track, Ramy could be hard to beat which is why I think he’s going to win the show.
2nd Place: William Bonac
Bonac is someone who, like Dexter, is always consistent. However, standing next to Ramy, I feel he’s going to look small. And that’s not to say that he’s small, it’s just a matter of Ramy being taller and standing at nearly 300 pounds on stage is always one of the biggest in any lineup. That being said, I think Bonac is going to come in looking sharp and take 2nd place in this 2020 Arnold Classic lineup.
3rd Place: Dexter Jackson
There’s no one on the planet more consistent over the years than Dexter Jackson. Dexter not only is the winningest bodybuilder of all time but at 50 there is no slowing this man. Everyone likes to joke that he’s a vampire and they may very well be right. Any show that Dexter steps into, he’s a threat to anyone for a top-five placing. While I think Dexter is going to look great, I don’t think he’s going to be able to edge out Bonac and Ramy – two guys who have beaten him in the past.
4th Place: Josh Lenartowicz
This Australian is not to be taken lightly. When Josh nails his conditioning, he has an absolutely freaky physique. However, conditioning is not his specialty and when he steps on stage it has been hit or miss when it comes to how he’s going to look. I hope to see him bring it this year as this would be a great comeback from the brain surgery he had last year that sidelined him for some time. I’m excited to see what Josh brings to the stage at the 2020 Arnold Classic.
5th Place: Steve Kuclo
I could have easily slid Steve into 4th place but I feel that Josh is going to look great and edge out Steve in the placings. Steve is another guy who has the size and if he nails his conditioning can beat many of the top guys on the Arnold stage. However, with his track record, I don’t think this is the year he’ll place any better than 5th in this stacked lineup. I’m a big fan of Steve, as I feel he’s one of the best guys out there for the sport of bodybuilding. He’s very well-spoken and a great ambassador for the sport of bodybuilding.
Wildcard: Cedric McMillan/Patrick Moore/Sergio Oliva Jr.
This is the tricky part of the 2020 Arnold Classic. In fact, I’m probably cheating by having this section but it’s my article, so I’m going to keep it (haha). But these three bodybuilders are, in my opinion, wildcards. Each of them can easily slip into the top five if any of the guys I mentioned don’t bring the conditioning.
Cedric McMillian has won the Arnold Classic before and it’s no secret that Arnold, himself, really likes Cedric’s look – which I would tend to agree with him. He has great lines and finesse to him that many competitors are lacking. Cedric is one of the best ambassadors for the sport and can easily slip into the top five depending on what the judges are looking for this year and the conditioning he brings. He needs to look much better than his showing at the Olympia in 2019.
Patrick Moore is going to be a fantastic bodybuilder. I feel as if he’s going to be one of the names we talk about year after year as he keeps improving his physique. When I look at Patrick, I can’t help but think of Cedric. He has great lines, a small waste, and everything on his physique just flows. If you watched the 2019 Olympia, Cedric gave Patrick a ton of compliments. We don’t know what sentiments were shared between the two, but I feel as if what Cedric said was a lot of praise for the physique Patrick has built. Like Cedric, both of these men could slide into the top five at the 2020 Arnold Classic depending on what the judges are looking for (size or conditioning).
Lastly is Sergio Oliva, Jr. Sergio has never really been on my radar, but he has put on quite a bit of muscle in the off-season which I feel will help him on stage standing next to guys who were much bigger than him in years past. The only question I have would be can he bring the conditioning needed to have a total package on stage? While I think he made some drastic improvements, I just don’t feel he’s going to crack the top five this year.
Overall, I already stocked up on my popcorn and can’t wait until March to see how the 2020 Arnold Classic plays out. This could be a show for the ages and I highly recommend you don’t miss it.