Michal Križo Will Forgo 2023 Arnold Classic, Aims for September Return

A name to watch in the Men’s Open division, Križo’s main updates will come from training for a little while.

When Michal “Križo” Križanek became a member of the International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness (IFBB) Pro League in the Fall of 2022, he was still a relative unknown in the major bodybuilding scene. The pro competitor parlayed that ambiguity into ambitions of competing in the 2022 Mr. Olympia. The contest was his debut on an Olympia stage and acted as a means of showcasing him unique mass and physique. In the end, a 12th-place result was a solid debut, but the athlete does not appear satisfied.

On Jan. 10, 2023, Križo posted a video to his YouTube channel where he dives into some of his plans for the 2023 calendar year. One of the more notable revelations is that the athlete will skip the 2023 Arnold Classic in Columbus, OH, this March in the interest of refining perceived gaps in his overall training.

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As a competitor without an automatic berth in the 2023 Mr. Olympia this November, Križo will have to earn his keep by winning an IFBB Pro League show following the organization’s changes to its qualification system. Before that happens, though, he asserted his body needs proper rest if he’s to build upon his initial Olympia performance.

It’s a conditioning factor that apparently was an issue in a whirlwind 2022 for the competitor.

“I will have to pick.” [my next IFBB Pro League show] smart,” Križo said. “I wasn’t happy with my conditioning at the time [2022] Olympia because I know I can come in more conditioned than that. I was already too tired.”

Križo didn’t offer too many specifics about when he’ll compete again after turning down his Arnold Classic invitation. He offered up a few options, perhaps most notably the Arnold Classic UK contest, to be held in September 2023 during the recently renamed Experience With Sports Festival UK (formerly the Arnold Sports Festival UK). He also speculated about what comes next in his bodybuilding journey.

“I don’t know yet,” said Križo of his plans. “I’d like to do the Arnold Classic UK. I’ll definitely do the [2023] EVLS Prague Pro, but this time it’s only after the Olympia, two weeks after. [The Arnold Classic UK] is usually in September. The [2023] Olympia will be in November, I think. That [Arnold Classic UK] should be at the end of September. I will have to choose at least two to three shows. There is no guarantee that I would win the very first one.”

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With Hadi Choopan now the defending Mr. Olympia, any number of competitors will set their sights on toppling the first-time winner. Križo has chosen his path towards such an ideal personal outcome, and only time will tell whether the strategy succeeds.

Featured image: @ifbb_pro_michalkrizokrizanek on Instagram

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