by Christian Duque
When the news hit that legendary Men’s Physique Pro Jeremy Potvin had made the decision to move up to Classic Physique, many had flashbacks to the not-so-distant past, when Sadik tried a similar stunt. Back then, Hadzovic was on top of the world, dominating MPD; however, when he met 3x Mr. Olympia Frank Zane, the compliments went to his head. When The Chemist goes on record as saying that a current competitor looked like him, exemplified his training ethic, and posed like the guys from The Golden Era of Bodybuilding, that was enough of a push to get anyone re-thinking their game.
Sadik moved fast, stating he’d go on to dominate the next division up. Although he placed well, he wasn’t the overnight sensation he thought he would be, and ultimately had to return to Men’s Physique. Jeremy has a different outlook and it seems that his move up is one based on careful thought. In fact, Potvin doesn’t believe he has room within the parameters of MPD to grow his physique any longer. He also prefers the Classic Physique look, from good legs to perfect proportions, and wants to emulate the greats like Lee Labrada, Bob Paris, and contemporary champions like C-Bum. Jeremy also has a realistic timeframe for how long it will take him to evolve into Classic, be competitive, and ultimately get on stage. There’s no rush. Unlike Sadik who set himself up to fail, by trying to do everything in a hurry, Potvin will be taking his time. Another positive aspect to Jeremy’s way of thinking, is that he’s not looking to dominate the new division, initially; he simply wants to be competitive. Overall, I like what Jeremy is doing, but will this be the beginning of a wave of MPD guys wanting to move up?
Jeremy Potvin is no stranger to being among the best of the best. He’s been earning top placings at the Olympia for years, going back to 2016. Whenever his name is seen on competitor lists, the media can’t help but handicap him either winning or placing in the Top 5. He’s a competitor who may very well have outgrown the division he competes in.
Although, many often joke around about MPD guys and legs, many actually have pretty decent wheels, train legs hard, but get zero credit for their efforts. If a guy wants to have teardrops, quad sweeps, shredded hams and striated glutes, then they need to look at Classic Physique or Bodybuilding. Men’s Physique isn’t about big muscles, ultra conditioning, or possessing the freak factor. While it’s safe to say that the Division has moved away from the days when Mark Anthony ruled and even when Jeremy Buendia was on top, it’s still not a bodybuilding division. While some of the most accomplished MPD pro’s have put on considerable size, only the upper body will get scored. This raises many of the concerns highlighted by Potvin. Many of the guys who move up to Classic or Open Bodybuilding, do so, because they want to build and present a complete physique. They want to have big shoulders, tiny waist, and huge wheels. They want to be bodybuilders.
A lot of people are dismissive of a wave of crossovers, but Jeremy, much like Sadik, could very well cause that reaction. Just bear in mind that at the 2020 Men’s Physique Olympia, Potvin finished 4th. That’s a hell of a place!! Top 4 at the Superbowl of Physique based sports, is a springboard to winning the title, not leaving the division. Very few media outlets have really touched this story, largely because Potvin has set a Spring 2022 date for when he plans on hitting the stage. Some pundits and writers might rather take a wait-and-see approach. Could Potvin simply be thinking out loud? Maybe he needs to recharge, take some time off, or yes, maybe he’s serious.
The fitness industry has become so skeptical, that even if an athlete makes his case and makes his intention crystal clear, the media drags its feet. It’s almost as if media outlets rather speculate, incorrectly, and run with stories they later (embarrassingly) have to publicly retract, than reporting on actual news – such as this. That’s ok, though, the beauty of writing for Iron Magazine, is that we can do whatever we want. I’m happy to cover real news, whenever I can!! With regards to the mass exodus out of MPD, I doubt that will ever be the case. While Classic has grown like wildfire and Bodybuilding is stabilizing itself after years of stagnation, MPD continues to hold strong. It’s the most attainable look, it’s the best bet to do well in mainstream circles, and packs the house at the local and regional levels. Those are the contests that truly pay the bills!!
So how do I think Jeremy will do? Well, I don’t think he’ll be winning the Classic Physique Olympia anytime soon, and that’s ok! He’s not saying he’s going to build a winning physique in a year’s time. I think what he wants to do is ensure he has enough time to put together a competitive look, come in humble, and start from the ground up. With a game plan like that, you know he will be successful. He’s shown great respect to the division where he started and he’s moving very gradually into the Division where he, ultimately, wants to test his mettle. I think that as long as he grows smart, keeps his midsection tight, and really brings up his lower body, there’s no reason he won’t rise to the top in Classic, as well. The beauty of the move up, is that the MPD champion is going into a division that has rigid parameters that work with height and weight. While Pro’s get a little bit more weight than amateurs, there’s practically zero risk that Potvin, or anyone else, will blow up in size. That’s always a fear when guys move up from Classic to Bodybuilding. We’ve seen guys literally get big, puffy, and lose all their lines – in a single prep!! That’s not going to happen here, but the growth needs to be carefully charted, just the same. I’d imagine that if Jeremy hits his legs hard, he’s going to grow FAST!!
Is this the right move for the top MPD Olympian? Do you think Jeremy will find his home in Classic?