I'll admit it: Even though I suspected there was an amateur division at the Arnold, I'd never really given it much thought. And that's a shame, because even though it's only in its 13th year, the 2019 Arnold Amateur NPC Championships had more than 600 top competitors from 62 countries all vying for their chance to finally turn pro. As Bob Lorimer, the event's co-producer, explains, "the Arnold Amateur is one of the biggest international events of its kind."
As a pro qualifier, this event gives talented amateur competitors the chance to vie head to head with their peers from around the world for the coveted overall title. Overall winners receive professional status to compete in the IFBB Pro League, as well as automatic invites to compete in IFBB Pro League events at the 2020 Arnold Sports Festival—not to mention a chance to take a photo with Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Ready to see the next batch of IFBB pros? Let's take a look!
2019 Arnold Amateur Overall Winners
Men's Bodybuilding: Morgan Aste (France)
Classic Physique: Abtin Shekarabi (Iran)
Men's Physique: Eric Lisboa (United States)
Women's Physique: Katherine McLaurin (United States)
Fitness: Haley Lisenba (United States)
Figure: Yahda Daniels (United States)
Masters Figure: Cisse Jalloh (United States)
Bikini: Cristal Medina (Dominican Republic)
Masters Bikini: Paula Eline (Brazil)
Second-place overall finishers Akiem Collier and Charisse Briguera also received pro status for men's physique and bikini, respectively.
Note: Full results are available for review.
Previous Arnold Amateur winners who have competed as professionals include: Sonia Lewis, Mikhail Volinkin, Kate Errington, Cong Mou, Priscila Cavilha, Lukas Wyler, Giorgia Fiorini, Janaina Ferreira da Silva, Matthias Botthof, Essa Obaid, Roelly Winklaar, Tarek Ellsetorhi, Diana Monteiro, Elena Shportun, Marie Garmen Gomez, Sylvia Tremblay, and Noemi Olah.
Think you're ready to step on the Arnold Amateur stage? If you haven't already tested your limits with Evan Centopani's world-class Iron Intelligence bodybuilding program, now's the time to give it a shot. And if you're new to competing, make sure you know the answers to the 3 questions every competitor must ask before you decide to compete.