2016 Olympia One on One Interview with Matt Pattison

1on1_matt patison olympia interview

Classic Physique Standout on Target for Top Tier Success

By achieving his personal goal of making top five in the inaugural Olympia Classic Physique showdown, former Men’s Physique competitor Matt Pattison will have fast established himself as a top contender in the IFBB’s newest division. The year has been good to Pattison. Having won his Classic Physique debut – the Vancouver Pro, his first pro event – to qualify for the Olympia on his first try, the former NFL lineman has positioned himself well in the already-competitive Classic Physique field.

matt-pattison1A long-time stickler for heavy Olympic lifting – which he’ll do both in the off-season and pre-contest – Pattison, an ALLMAX Nutrition athlete, wasted no time in becoming as physically imposing a Men’s Physique competitor as he is streamlined and symmetrical. In fact, at 6’ 2” and holding over 250lbs of quality mass in the off-season, it soon became apparent that his physique was closer in size and shape to that of a pro bodybuilder than a physique champ.

Pattison’s impressive muscularity combined with his formidable size and outstanding aesthetics were, upon reflection, better suited to Classic Physique – a division that honors the classic physical ideals upon which modern-day bodybuilding was founded. It was only natural that Pattison would make the switch to Classic Physique. Officially launched early in 2016, Classic Physique is a division Pattison believes he can excel in.

According to NPC/IFBB Pro League president Jim Manion, who co-founded the division, Classic Physique is for competitors who “want to take their muscularity and size beyond the limits of Men’s Physique, but not quite to the extremes of bodybuilding.” Indeed, Classic Physique is the perfect solution for competitors such as Pattison who, though muscular, wish to retain their proportions, symmetry, pleasing lines and smaller waistline.

Known for his massive delts, chest and back

Pattison has of late succeeded in bringing up his arms (difficult for someone of his height and structure) and adding more sweep to his quads. With these improvements he has further enhanced the aesthetic advantage he has enjoyed over many of his larger co-competitors dating back to 2012, when he first began competing.

The same height as and within five pounds of seven-time Mr. Olympia winner Arnold Schwarzenegger’s best shape (Pattison competes at around 230lbs), a man many feel to best represents the classic physique ideal, Pattison will surely impress in his Olympia debut. He will not be hard to find: just look for the big guy with lines that are in harmony with great conditioning and muscularity. A classic physique.

Q: You’ve just come off a big win at the Vancouver Pro. How do you rate your chances of making the Classic Physique top six at this year’s Olympia? What is your personal goal for this event?

I rate my chances pretty high due to the unique look of my physique. My personal goal is to make the top 5.


Q:  What changes have you made to your physique since your last contest, in preparing for this year’s Olympia?

I have brought out the vastus lateralis in my quads to create more of a sweep. I have also focused on bringing up my arm thickness due to the fact that I have longer limbs than most of my co-competitors.

Q: As a first-time Olympia competitor, do you feel any pressure to make a big impact at this year’s O? How have you dealt with the pressure associated with wanting to succeed on the world’s biggest Classic Physique stage?

Of course I feel some sort of pressure but it’s all geared towards motivation. The way I’ve dealt with the pressure is to just keep doing what I’ve done, working hard and controlling the things I can control.

Q: Has transitioning from Men’s Physique to Classic Physique required you to train specifically for a certain look? Or are you naturally suited to developing a more aesthetic, streamlined appearance regardless of the way you train?

My training has not changed much. I’ve always trained for the look that I’ve wanted. Unfortunately, Men’s Physique did not fit my body type.

Classic Physique is where I belong

I do believe I am naturally suited to developing a more aesthetic, streamlined appearance. I’ve been blessed with great genetics.

Q: What do you like most about competing in the Classic Physique division compared to the Men’s Physique ranks?

Flexing! The creativity you get to use in your routine and the way you nail your poses. And you get to show off your legs.

Q: How does it feel to be among the first ever line-up of IFBB Classic Physique athletes? Do you believe this category will grow the way Men’s Physique has in recent years?

It feels amazing and it is an honor. I do believe this category will grow the way Men’s Physique has.


Q: How would you describe your physique as compared to those displayed by Olympia-level bodybuilders?

Aesthetic, symmetrical, athletic, and streamlined

Q: What training techniques have you always implemented in both the pre-contest and off-season periods? Why do you feel these techniques are so effective?

I’ve always used the Olympic lifts. Strength training has always been the base of my program.

These techniques are very effective because you’re recruiting multiple muscles in one movement.

Q: What do you enjoy doing outside of training, to take your mind off the gym and to mentally re-charge?

I enjoy snowboarding, wake surfing, boating, playing basketball, and hanging out with family and friends.


Q: What are your competitive strengths and what areas do you feel you need to improve on?

My competitive strengths are my genetics and definition. I feel like I can improve on these attributes and gain a little more size overall – around 4-6 lean pounds.

Q: You appear to be one of the larger Classic Physique athletes. Do you believe this additional size will increase your chances of someday winning a major title such as the Olympia?

I do believe my additional size will increase my chances.  I have a large frame at 6’2″. And I’m within five pounds at the same height as Arnold who in my opinion has had the best classic look to date.

Q: Do you have any training superstitions, for example a certain item of clothing you wear to the gym, or a specific phrase you repeat to yourself before a heavy set? Something that you feel enhances your performance.

I do a lot of meditation and praying; not necessarily superstitions, but habits. I channel my energy for the task ahead.

image7The Essentials

Age: 33

Height: 6’2″

Off-season weight: 252 lbs

Pre-contest weight: 223-228

Favorite exercise: Every exercise!

Favorite protein supplement: ALLMAX Nutrition ISOFLEX Cookies and Cream

Favorite ‘cheat’ foods: Pizza, FroYo and French toast

Best competitive moment

The 2016 Vancouver pro. Here I won my first pro competition and Classic Physique debut to qualify for the Olympia.

Olympian Supplement Strategies – Pre-contest supplement stack

The following ALLMAX Nutrition products:

Top supplement tips

  • Take each supplement consistently
  • Use the recommended dosage
  • Use each product for its specific purpose

2016 Olympia prediction Matt Pattison


The newly established IFBB Classic Physique division has fast-attracted a number of top-class performers. From established former pro bodybuilders with standout aesthetics to physique contenders with greater muscularity the inaugural Olympia Classic Physique event promises to be stacked. Though it will be his first time competing against such high-level competition as Darrem Charles, Danny Hester and Sadik Hadzovic, Matt Pattison will make the final standings, placing at least sixth, possibly a little higher depending on who arrives in superior shape.

Verdict: sixth place          

David Robson

A respected health and fitness writer, David has been published in industry publications such as Status Fitness Magazine, Muscle & Fitness and Bodybuilding.com. With 20 years in the personal training trenches, the insights he has gained through practical experience, alongside degrees in psychology and sports science, have enabled him to go beyond the surface to provide educational articles that have informed thousands of health and fitness devotees the world over. Contact David at: davidrobson19@hotmail.co.nz and at davidrobsonelite.com

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