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Larry Wheels Will Compete in Classic Physique Division in 2023

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Over the years, Larry “Wheels” Williams has done it all in strength sports. He’s shined as a powerlifter. He’s moonlighted as a strongman. On occasion, he’s even shown off commitment to a strict diet and training plan to partake in bodybuilding. It’s this latter niche that Wheels will be placing a particular focus on for the foreseeable future.

On Mar. 9, 2023, Wheels was interviewed by RxMuscle about his upcoming athletic endeavors. In a planned return to bodybuilding, the former Men’s Open participant revealed he would be preparing to compete in the Classic Physique division sometime in 2023. A recent Instagram post on his own page would verify these plans, where Wheels wrote that he’s “starting prep” for the competitive category.

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Per NPC News Online, Wheels last competed as a bodybuilder during a Men’s Open first-place performance at the 2021 National Physique Committee (NPC) Mid-Florida Classic.

Beyond trying his hand at bodybuilding again, Wheels’ rationale for featuring in the Classic Physique category seemed logical. After recent health developments like transitioning from steroid use to Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT), a back injury that knocked him out of competition in the summer of 2022, and some exciting developments in his personal life, Wheels appears ready to place more of a premium on his health.

None of this planned shift means Wheels won’t push full steam ahead anymore, but it does appear to suggest he’ll be more practical. Transitioning to the Classic Physique division is a part of that mission.

“Where I’m at with my journey right now is taking a healthier approach to achieving my goals,” Wheels said. “I’m recently engaged. I intend on having a family.”

At a height of 6-foot-1, on par with four-time Classic Physique Olympia champion Chris Bumstead, Wheels maintained a realistic perspective. He doesn’t think vying for Men’s Open victories is worth it based on his physical dimensions, due to the larger-sized physiques typically rewarded in the Open division. The same sentiment holds true to any of his strongman or powerlifting pursuits in the sense that Wheels doesn’t have to push his body to the limit as much.

That’s because sheer mass isn’t the primary aim of the Classic Physique division, and it presents Wheels a potentially more sustainable path to success.

“Doing Classic [Physique], I’m already as big as I need to be,” Wheels said. “If not, I have to gain a few more pounds and then cut down to the cutoff at 220 or 230 [pounds]. I think I look great and could actually be competitive, and arguably unhealthy but not to the extent to the extreme if I were to do Open bodybuilding, World’s Strongest Man events, or try and achieve another powerlifting World Record. I think I can have more longevity in Classic Physique.”

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Moving up and down divisions in bodybuilding can be challenging. It asks the athlete to change their approach to nutrition and the gym. However, if anyone has proven they have the requisite versatility, it’s Wheels — a bona fide strength sport jack-of-all-trades.

Featured image: @teampersonalrecord on Instagram

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