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Roger “Rock” Lockridge
Roger "Rock" Lockridge is Muscle Insider's Senior Writer and has been involved in the fitness industry in multiple roles since 2002, including as a personal trainer and supplement sales associate for multiple locations. He is best-known as a freelance writer whose work has been featured by publications such as Muscle & Fitness, Men's Health, BarBend, Bodybuilding.com, and others. As of 2022, he's had over 2,100 articles published in print and digitally in ten languages on six continents. His personal transformation and story has been featured in a variety of outlets such as Men's Health, Muscle & Fitness, Huffington Post, Deseret News, Muscle & Strength, and Bodybuilding.com. Lockridge has contributed to Muscle Insider since 2021. He lives in West Virginia with his wife and son.
Why You Need to Pay Attention to the 2023 Mens Physique Olympia
By Roger “Rock” Lockridge
The 2023 Olympia weekend is already creating a lot of buzz, but there is one topic of discussion that people are sleeping on – the Men’s Physique division. The 2023 contest taking place in Orlando, FL on the weekend of Nov. 2-5 will be the most competitive since the division debuted in 2013 because it may be the first time that four past champions will compete on the same stage thanks to the possible returns of four-time champion Jeremy Buendia and 2019 winner Raymont Edmonds.
Buendia was the number one man in the division from 2014 to 2017. His victories and rivalries with contenders such as 2013 winner Mark Anthony, Sadik Hadzovic and Andre Ferguson helped establish the class as a brand all its own. He lost the title to Brandon Hendrickson in 2018 and walked away from the sport to focus on business and starting a family. After a four-year absence, he’s committed to returning to the Olympia stage and reclaim what he feels is his.
Buendia may be considered the G.O.A.T. of the division, but the man that beat him was Hendrickson, and he was trying to tie Buendia’s record of four wins in 2022. However, he fell to second place thanks to Erin Banks becoming the new champion. Banks was the Arnold Classic champion in 2022 as well. He started 2023 by defending the Arnold title, and he wants to be the first man to win both contests in the same year twice. To do that, he will have to win the most stacked lineup ever, including the man he defeated for the title, Hendrickson, and the man Hendrickson beat, Buendia.
The fourth man that could make this Olympia very historic is 2019 champion Raymont Edmonds. Edmonds didn’t compete in the 2022 Olympia, and he placed fifth at the 2021 Olympia, which was his last contest to date. Since he didn’t compete this year, many people feel he may be done competing, but no formal retirement has been announced. As an Olympia champion, Edmonds is qualified for the Men’s Physique Olympia for life. So, he could realistically inform the Olympia promoters as close as six weeks out of the show, and they would allow him to enter. The only champion to have reclaimed the Men’s Physique title after losing it was Hendrickson, and he defeated Edmonds to do it. How sweet would the revenge be if Edmonds returned the favor and beat two more past champions in the process?
If Banks, Hendrickson, Edmonds, and Buendia all competed in the 2023 contest, it would represent every championship in the division’s history except Anthony’s in its inaugural year of 2013. Each man has their own version of history riding on the contest. Then there’s the other contenders who are all looking to begin their own reigns as world champion. There are a lot of storylines going into the Olympia this year, but don’t sleep on this one. It may steal all the headlines by the end of the weekend.