Pages Navigation Menu

Arnold Classic Review 2016

Arnold Classic Review 2016

Leading to this year’s Arnold Classic, a question asked around the bodybuilding world was if Kai Greene was capable of bringing the package fans of the sport have been waiting for. While he may not have been at his best, even a great (not perfect, if that’s possible) Kai Greene was able to seal the deal, and win his third Arnold title alongside a sizable prize check to come with it. However, it wasn’t without a challenge, coming in the form of Cedric McMillan.

While the Arnold Classic comes and goes every year, it’s not without controversy. It was just in 2015, Arnold Schwarzenegger famously addressed the issue of ‘guts’ in the professional ranks, publicly encouraging judges to place more emphasis on posing by scoring individual routines. This year the changes and public controversy continued, with the return of fan favorite Kai Greene, whom fans were eager to see compete after notoriously missing the 2015 Olympia as well as pulling out of the Prague Pro.

As prejudging began, we saw what most would consider the best version of Cedric McMillan to date. Cedric was big, full, and separated with a classic waistline; A package that Cedric and his nutritionist Chris Aceto have been trying to achieve for quite some time. Often, Cedric will miss one of these facets, but here it was evident that he was on and in a big way as soon as he walked to the stage. Cedric nailed his classic poses with flawless effort, channeling his inner Arnold with traditional golden era shots.

Screen Shot 2016-03-14 at 1.29.49 AM

As prejudging continued, we saw bodybuilding veterans such as Juan Morel, Johnny Jackson, Toney Freeman, Evan Centopani, and Max Charles all go through the mandatory poses. With all of these men having won professional events, the show lacked no depth. Amongst the seasoned vets, rookie competitor Cody Montgomery was capable of holding his own, though the placings don’t reflect it on paper. Cody may not yet have the size required for an Arnold caliber stage, but continued his tradition of bringing condition. Cody may need a few years to pack on the size necessary to play with the big dogs again, but had a very respectable showing in Colombus none the less. Last but not least, fan favorite Kai Greene was called to the stage. When he entered, it was already apparent that Kai would be battling Cedric for the title. However, we still needed to see the pair in a callout to accurately compare them.

As all of the competitors stood to the side of the stage, head judge Steve Weinberger began calling out some of their names; then Cedric McMillan, Kai Greene, Josh Lenartowicz, and Justin Compton brought to the center stage. As the competitors began going through their mandatory poses, many analysts had Cedric McMillan winning the pre-judging. However, with the new rules at the Arnold Classic, pre-judging only counts for a third of the scoring, while the night show and posing rounds comprise the rest.

2016 Arnold Classic_Pose Down

So began the evening finals, where we saw a much improved Kai Greene from the prejudging. Kai was full, dense, and much drier since he posed at the morning event. During their posing routines, we would see both Kai and Cedric pull off phenomenal displays of their physique. The rounds judging is largely personal preference, but in the words of Arnold would determine the show. Cedric’s routine, classic in style and well executed; Kai’s, bringing a more upbeat dance routine and rhythmic feel.

To conclude the 2016 Arnold Classic, we saw former champion Branch Warren take 5th place, Justin Compton fall to 4th, and Aussie sensation, Josh Lenardowitz take a surprising 3rd. Ultimately, it was the battle between Cedric McMillan and Kai Greene that many anticipated following prejudging. As Arnold stated while he awarded Kai, arguably Cedric had the better physique in the morning; however, his unique style of posing and coming to finals with a tighter look in the evening was enough to win him the show. With that, it’s possible posing determined the show, and Kai relegated McMillan to 2nd place, as Kai won his 3rd Arnold Classic.

Cedric McMillan Kai Greene_Arnold Classic

The question remains if Arnold cost Cedric a victory in Ohio. Having implemented the new criteria to favor physiques of those such as McMillan, it would seem possible so. Now, we can collectively look forward to the 2016 Olympia as Kai has regained the much-needed momentum he needed to challenge Phil Heath, not in a court but rather on a stage of public opinion, at this years Olympia.


My name is Merton Woolard. Follow me on my journey to obtain my IFBB Pro Card through all my social media outlets.

IFBB Bodybuilding News

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This