Hunter Labrada (7th), Raphael Brandao (10th), Michal Krizo (12th) at the 2022 Mr. Olympia / YouTube

The IFBB Pro League released new Olympia qualification rules today.

This is the official notice:

The IFBB Professional League, along with Joe Weider’s Olympia Fitness & Performance Weekend, is pleased to announce the 2023 Olympia Qualification System rules (“OQS”).

The 2023 OQS qualifies athletes for the 2023 Olympia. The qualification period starts on November 21, 2022 and ends on October 9, 2023.

The following competitors qualify for the 2023 Olympia:

  • Top 5 from the 2022 Mr. Olympia and 2022 Wheelchair Olympia;
  • Top 3 from all other 2022 Olympia divisions; and
  • Winner of each contest held during the qualification period.


It had simply become too easy to qualify for the Olympia. The 2022 Olympia sported the largest lineups ever in 11 divisions, and this wasn’t a good thing. The Friday and Saturday shows droned on too long with diluted quality. There were 77 men’s physique competitors, 56 men’s classic physique competitors, and on and on! Furthermore, the promoter pays (international) travel and hotel expenses for all athletes—a major expense that could better be applied to prize money and production improvements than the last, say, 57 finishers in men’s physique.

So, the point system has been dropped. You now need to have placed high in the 2022 Olympia (as before) or win a pro contest in 2023. Previously, contests were ranked into four tiers of points in a needlessly complicated system. Now, all non-Olympia pro shows are equally important in regards to Olympia qualification. Win one and you’re in.

The new rules also make no reference to all past Olympia winners being qualified for life. This too is probably necessary with 11 divisions. However, the promoter can still extend special invitations (as was done to Derek Lunsford this year), and, if 7-time Mr. Olympia Phil Heath or 7-time 212 Mr. Olympia Flex Lewis chose to un-retire, they would surely get an invite without having to win another pro show.

With 16 open IFBB Pro League contests currently scheduled before the 2023 Olympia and the top five finishers from the 2022 Mr. Olympia already qualified, a maximum of 21 men will qualify for the 2023 Mr. Olympia. That’s a far cry from the record 34 who qualified this year and the record 28 who competed. Good. Keep the quality high at the Olympia, and keep it high at other pro contests, as well, with a dozen or so big names vying for wins in 16 contests in order to earn a ticket to the big show. Quality over quantity.