King of the Classics?
Arash Rahbar is Gunning for the 2017 Classic Physique Olympia Title!
A Little Late to the Party, But No Matter
Prior to 2014, few people outside of Bev Francis Powerhouse Gym in Long Island had heard of Arash Rahbar, because at 34 years old, he had yet to compete. The ironic thing was that since his late teens, when he had finally moved away from studying martial arts like judo, aikido, Taekwondo and Tang Soo Do like his Persian immigrant father, Arash had been living the bodybuilding lifestyle with 100 percent dedication. He’d started lifting in his basement with just an EZ bar and a cooler for a bench after being inspired by the physiques of Arnold, Stallone, Bruce Lee and Hulk Hogan, then graduated to the East Coast Mecca of Bev’s in his late teens. Since then, he’s hardly ever missed a tough workout or a single scheduled meal. “I knew I didn’t have the mass necessary to do well at the pro level of bodybuilding, so I just trained for my own goals and satisfaction,” he says. By 2012, the new Men’s Physique division was exploding in participation and popularity, and one of the top MPD pros, Sadik Hadzovic, trained at Bev’s. “It seemed like it was the best option for me to finally get up onstage.” Though he was never comfortable with having to slightly downsize for MPD, Arash nonetheless experienced immediate success. Just three months after his first contest, he earned his IFBB pro card. He only competed for one season as an MPD pro, with 10th, fifth and second-place scores. Still, he felt unfulfilled and knew something was missing.
Classic Physique Dawns, and Arash Finds His Purpose
In early 2016, a video was released with NPC and IFBB Pro League President Jim Manion announcing a new division called Classic Physique, which would embody the ideals of shape, proportion, aesthetics and presentation. “Immediately, I knew 100 percent that was what I wanted to do,” he tells us. “For men’s open, at my height, I would have needed to be at least 260 onstage to get looked at, but with the weight limits on Classic, I would be able to finally showcase the totality of what I had been working on all those years.” Arash and the new division were a perfect match, as evidenced by his record in its first season: wins at both the New York Pro and Pittsburgh Pro shows, leading up to a stunning runner-up finish at the Olympia.
Gunning for Number One: The Classic Physique Olympia Title
Arash nearly won the premiere edition of the Classic Physique Olympia last year, and since that weekend almost a year ago, he’s been focused on claiming that title as his own. “I know where I can be better, I knew where I needed to improve,” he says. “I didn’t get too many critiques from the judges. They all liked the way I looked. I’ve made the improvements that I knew needed to be made since last year.” He fully recognizes that with another year of the division and a crop of new pros swelling its ranks, the 2016 rendition will be markedly more competitive than the first time around. “It will be head and shoulders more competitive,” Rahbar states. “Besides the established guys like Hester, myself, Breon and the others, you have so many genetic freaks coming out of nowhere now and turning pro in Classic. It’s going to be a whole different animal this time.” That doesn’t mean Arash doubts himself or his destiny in this exciting new division. “I want to be Mr. Olympia,” he begins. “I want to win the Olympia, and I want to hold that title not only because I love bodybuilding, not only because I want to make history in the sport, not only because I’m competitive— but because as a champion, you have a voice. People hear you. And I have a lot to say that I think can be of benefit to the young kids coming up.” Arash has already been a restaurant owner, a stockbroker and currently makes his living in real estate, but now it seems he may very well be adding another title to his résumé— that of Classic Physique Mr. Olympia. With the support of his sponsor, Dymatize, and the crew at Bev Francis Powerhouse Gym, along with his intense drive and work ethic, Arash Rahbar is going to be one tough man to beat next month in Las Vegas.
Follow Arash as he trains to win the Classic Physique Olympia title at @arash_rahbar!
Arash’s Olympia Stack
Before fasted cardio: 2 caps Dyma-Burn Extreme
1 scoop Glutamine Micronized
1 scoop Amino Pro
1 cap L-Carnitine Extreme
With meal 1: 2 caps Super Multi Vitamin
Before training: 1 scoop PREW.O.
After training: 2 scoops ISO 100 Hydrolyzed Whey Protein
Before bed: 3 caps Z-Force (ZMA)