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Chris Bumstead Opens Up PBD Podcast

  • 7 min read

by Christian Duque

In an interview that has made the rounds all throughout social media Classic Mr. Olympia Chris Bumstead sat down for a tell-all interview with Valutainment’s Patrick Bet David. The PBD Podcast is the type of setting where guests have the ability to speak at length about a variety of topics. The show has stellar pre and post production ensuring a finished product unlike anything else in the industry.

This was a very telling interview because it talked about how the Olympia prize money really doesn’t have any impact on the champion’s finances. The fact that he makes $50,000 as compared to what open bodybuilding makes is something that we always knew was not tantamount to any kind of an impact on his annual earnings. it also doesn’t really do very much for response. Chris would be equally served by appearing at an expo or perhaps doing a social media campaign. The fact of the matter is that he has won so many Olympias that winning one more really doesn’t do anything.

Also there isn’t any real rivalry in the sport like there was when he was going head-to-head with
Breon Ansley. Right now it’s just Chris and a lot of other competitors that are really battling for second place to last. Nobody is really giving the champ a run for his money and that is also part of why it does not really do anything for him in terms of his career. This podcast was the first time the champion spoke about the prize money. That was huge!

For a long time we have been talking about the disproportionate amount of winnings when it comes to the biggest show in bodybuilding. This has always been a topic of lively discussion as far back as the introduction of bikini, men’s physique, and now of course classic physique.

Interestingly, classic physique draws bigger numbers than open bodybuilding but that does not account for anything in terms of prize money. In reality all of the other divisions make pretty much the same – with open bodybuilding making as much as seven times more. It’s pretty lopsided when you think about it especially given the fact that social media numbers don’t add up.

I have often made the case when speaking about my appearance at the Natural Vitamins block party in Ozone Park, New York. This event, which is known all around the world and is planned by the staff of the supplement store, has its finger on the sport’s pulse. When I was there in 2021, I saw lines in excess of six blocks long. And while there were many celebrities there like Nick Walker, Brandon Curry, Evan Centopani and others, practically 95% of the people waiting in that cold New York City weather were there for Chris Bumstead. They didn’t care about who else was there and they didn’t want to meet anyone else there. They simply waited patiently in line, sometimes for upwards of two or three hours, simply to shake hands with the classic physique Mr. Olympia.

This was not by any means an isolated instance. This is the case wherever Chris goes, whether it’s an expo, an in-store appearance, or a bodybuilding show. The fans are there for C-Bum.

In fact Arnold Schwarzenegger, himself, has said that classic physique is what bodybuilding should look like. Now l, Arnold is not a judge and he is not the president of the Federation, but as the most popular bodybuilder in the world and the namesake of the second biggest bodybuilding show on the pro circuit, his opinion should matter. The keyword here is should. In reality his opinion doesn’t really matter more than yours or mine but perhaps this is why the sport continues to be in the niche category as opposed to the mainstream one.

The reality of the matter is bodybuilding is the flagship division. That is not going to change now or ever. It is also not going to change for Chris Bumstead or any other competitor. Bodybuilding is the headliner and if you want to make headliner money you must compete in it. That in and of itself sounds pretty nonsensical but again don’t kill the messenger.

In addition to the lackluster prize money Chris also opened up to Patrick about his wanting to start a family and his disinterest in winning seven, eight, or ten Olympias. Not only is there no financial incentive, why should he put starting a family on hold just to put more hardware on his mantle? It doesn’t make any sense and unlike other bodybuilders that are willing to sacrifice personal relationships to do that – he is not.

C-Bum has already more than made his mark on the division and he has helped grow the sport across the boards. Therefore, I think his legacy is pretty much secure if he were to quit today. Now we all know he’s not going to quit today and he will probably do another Olympia or two, but retirement is in the cards. The question is how many more will it be until he calls it quits?

Another concern is one that we have written about right here at Iron Magazine and that is health. This man knows that the longer he competes and subjects his body to the rigorous contest prep conditions that he may be shortening his life. Again we are talking about competing at the elite level and being the absolute best athlete in the world. Even though they have given the competitors a little bit more breathing room in terms of additional weight, that still doesn’t take away the fact that he is taking exogenous/synthetic hormones, diuretics, and subjecting his body to all sorts of stresses that every day men do not experience. Plus he’s getting older and with that, his body may start to give out.

This is a competitor that does not have any major injuries and probably doesn’t want them. Nobody wakes up in the morning saying “gee I would love to get a pec tear or a hernia,” but it happens. And the more he competes and the older he gets, the more susceptible to injury he gets. Maybe that’s ageist of me, but so be it.

I will tell you I’m pretty sure his sponsors were probably not ecstatic that he did this interview, but then again maybe it’s not really a secret that he is eyeing retirement. Even though he may want to win the open Olympia one day, I think that would go against everything he is trying to accomplish in terms of starting a family and preserving his health. If he were to go to the new division he would have to gain a tremendous amount of weight and literally start from scratch. It may make for good conversation and it might be a good way to hype the show, but I highly doubt Chris will ever do open bodybuilding. Why would he? He is the best of all time, the GOAT if you ask me of classic physique. Why start at the bottom in open bodybuilding to arguably get into the top three or not. it doesn’t make any sens. At least that’s what I got from the podcast.

As always Patrick did a stellar job and his staff should be commended for putting together a truly impressive production that could stand against anything from ESPN or Fox Sports. Very, very good job, and a podcast you definitely don’t want to miss!