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Have you ever heard of the Arnold Sports Festival (also called the Arnold Classic)? Simply one of the most iconic events in the world of bodybuilding and fitness, it promotes a healthy lifestyle and inspires a global community of fitness enthusiasts. Find out everything about the Arnold Classic, from the history to the rules.

Named after the legendary Arnold Schwarzenegger, the annual event attracts athletes from all over the world to compete in various categories, from traditional bodybuilding to fitness and strength disciplines.

In addition to the competitions, the Arnold Classic also serves as a platform for innovations in the fitness industry and as a space for interaction between professionals, enthusiasts and internationally renowned brands.

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Everything about the Arnold Classic: history

The Arnold Classic began in 1989 as the Arnold Schwarzenegger Classic, and has grown to become one of the most prestigious competitions in the world of bodybuilding and fitness. It is held annually in various locations around the world, including the United States and other countries such as Brazil, Australia and South Africa.

The Arnold Classic is not only limited to bodybuilding competitions, but also includes fitness competitions, weightlifting, wrestling and a convention that attracts athletes, enthusiasts and fans from all over the world.

It was Arnold Schwarzenegger himself, one of the most iconic bodybuilders in history (although he is obviously also known for his successful career as an actor), who decided to create an event that would celebrate the sport of bodybuilding and promote a healthy lifestyle and fitness.

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The first Arnold Classic was held in Columbus, Ohio, in the United States. Since then, the event has grown significantly in size and prestige, becoming one of the most important and eagerly awaited competitions in the world of bodybuilding and fitness.

All about the Arnold Classic: evolution over the years

Over the years, the Arnold Classic has expanded to include a variety of other fitness-related competitions and events, such as aerobics, weightlifting, strongman, wrestling and even pole dancing.

In addition to the competitions, the Arnold Classic has also become a major exhibition event and fitness convention. The exhibition fair allows participants to try out new products, services and technologies related to fitness, as well as offering the opportunity to interact with well-known athletes and personalities.

Everything about the Arnold Classic: categories

The categories of the Arnold Classic can be found in the different events around the world:

Men’s Bodybuilding

This is the main category where male competitors are judged on criteria such as muscle size, symmetry, definition and proportion.

Female Bodybuilding

Similar to the men’s category, but focused on female competitors, with an emphasis on proper muscle development, symmetry and definition.


This category combines elements of choreography, gymnastics, dance and bodybuilding. Competitors are judged not only on their physical shape, but also on their athletic presentation and performance skills.


In this category, the focus is on the symmetry, muscle definition and proportion of the competitors. The emphasis is on an athletic and feminine appearance, with less emphasis on the extreme muscle size seen in bodybuilding.


A category that values a toned physique, with defined but less developed muscles compared to traditional bodybuilding. Competitors are also judged on their overall appearance, including facial beauty, stage presence and confidence.

Men’s Physique

Aimed at men, this category emphasizes an athletic physique with an emphasis on broad shoulders, a narrow waist and a moderate level of muscle definition.

Women’s Physique

Similar to the men’s category, but adapted for female competitors, with a focus on an athletic, defined and proportional physique.


A type of competition that involves tests of extreme strength, such as lifting stones, carrying heavy objects, and other challenges of physical strength.


Competition focused on the three main lifts: squat, bench press and deadlift. Competitors are judged on the total amount of weight lifted in these three disciplines.

All about the Arnold Classic: rules

The rules of the Arnold Classic help to make the competition fair for everyone. Competitors are judged on criteria such as size, symmetry, muscle definition, proportion and overall presentation. Each category can have its own specific criteria.

Competitors are ranked according to their overall performance, and prizes are awarded to the top finishers in each category.

As with many elite sporting competitions, the Arnold Classic carries out anti-doping tests to ensure that all competitors are following the guidelines of fair play and sporting integrity.

There are specific guidelines on how competitors should present themselves during the pre-judging phases and in the finals, including mandatory poses and choreography for the fitness categories.

There may be penalties or disqualifications for competitors who violate the established rules.


The use of prohibited drugs or substances to enhance performance is strictly prohibited. This includes anabolic steroids and other substances that may affect the fairness of the competition.

Inappropriate, disrespectful behavior both on and off stage may result in penalties or disqualifications.

Competitors must follow the guidelines on any equipment or accessories that may be used during the competition. The use of unauthorized equipment may result in penalties.

It is important that competitors and participants are familiar with the specific rules of the Arnold Classic for the category in which they are competing, as these may vary slightly from event to event and according to the rules established by the local and international organizers.

When and where the Arnold Classic 2025 takes place

The Arnold Classic 2025 (Arnold Sports Festival) takes place from February 28th to March 2nd in Columbus (Ohio), USA. Tickets range from 87 dollars (equivalent to R$ 480) to 849 dollars (R$ 4687).

The Arnold Classic is a symbol of dedication, perseverance and physical excellence. Over the years, the event has expanded beyond the competition stage, becoming a global phenomenon. Now that you know all about the Arnold Classic, follow our other content to stay on top of bodybuilding:

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