Written by Ron Harris
08 March 2017


7 Reasons Cedric McMillan is Great for Bodybuilding


The 2017 Arnold Classic is over, and the new champion is South Carolina’s Cedric McMillan. I can say that even though I have been a fan of this guy’s physique since I first saw him at the 2009 NPC Nationals, now I think he’s the best representative we have for our sport today. Yes, even better than the reigning 6-Time Mr. Olympia, Phil Heath. Why do I believe he’s so great for bodybuilding?


1. Aesthetics

When was the last time we saw a man carrying almost 290 pounds of muscle with a waist as small and tight as Cedric’s? How about, never? Not even Big Ramy has such narrow hips and a flat midsection, and he certainly doesn’t have the flowing lines and breathtaking shape that McMillan does. Cedric’s physique harkens back to legends of the classic era like Reeves, Arnold, and Haney, but with modern mass. Old timers have griped that the Pro’s today all look the same. Not in this case! Nobody looks quite like Cedric. Most bodybuilders simply hit the same few basic poses over and over again in their routines, but McMillan treats us to a wide variety of unique, classic shots that highlight and showcase his spellbinding shape and symmetry. It would seem ridiculous to use the word ‘aesthetic’ to describe one of the heaviest men to ever compete in pro bodybuilding, but there is no other way to put it. The man is put together like classic Greek sculpture.


2. Personality

Another knock on the bodybuilders of today is that they are boring, with the personality of wet dishrags. Not Cedric! The speech he gave after winning the Arnold Classic was hands down, the most entertaining and interesting one I’ve ever heard in over 25 years of covering pro bodybuilding. He managed to be both hilarious and uplifting, and had the crowd mesmerized. Many times, the audience is filing out the second the winner takes the podium and starts droning on, but I can tell you that no one left their seats until Cedric was finished. This is a guy who could do very well in TV, commercials, and film if he really wanted to. He’s got personality and charisma to spare.


3. Mainstream appeal

It’s no secret that ours is a cult sport that mainly appeals to ‘our own,’ meaning those of us who live the bodybuilding lifestyle. You can see how that would limit its growth. We all complain that the mainstream public should be more interested in our sport, since the athletes work so hard and the physiques are so inhuman. But show a few pictures of the top stars to the average person, and they typically register disgust at the images before them. There is very little that is appealing. That wasn’t the case with Arnold, and it isn’t the case with Cedric. In his victory seminar on Sunday, he talked about how fans would say that their mothers and grandmothers loved him! He’s got a look that still looks athletic and functional, despite his immense size. He also spoke about a time not so long ago when ‘regular people’ would attend bodybuilding contests, the same way they might take in a concert or an art show, and expressed a desire to see that happen again. In those days, some of the spectators would be inspired to start training themselves, to improve their health and appearance. That’s what our sport is really supposed to be about!


4. He is humble and real

Some bodybuilders can certainly come across as being arrogant and pretentious. Whether it’s true or not, a lot of fans seem to have that perception about our reigning six-time Mr. Olympia, Phil Heath. Cedric is the polar opposite. Even though he has one of the greatest physiques ever built, he never makes anyone feel lesser or inferior. Again, in his speech and seminar, he made a point in saying that he appreciates all other bodybuilders, and never considers himself better than anyone else. Most telling, he keeps his bodybuilding career in perspective. “Before you can be a good bodybuilder, you need to be a good man,” he said.


5. Military service

Staff Sergeant Cedric McMillan put in a full 20 years of service to the US Army, and was a Warrior Leader Course Instructor for the final few years of his service stationed at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. He was full-time active duty up until fairly recently, which means he managed to prepare and compete for nearly a decade while putting in very long days and nights, often out in the field. We should respect and appreciate the service all the fine men and women of our armed forces give to the USA, which is why Cedric deserves extra credit for his bodybuilding achievements. Rarely did he have the luxury of eating whenever he needed to, or training whenever and for however long he desired. Yet with all his Army duties, he somehow managed to build a truly exceptional physique. That’s beyond admirable.


6. Family man

It’s tough for a lot of fans out there with families to relate to pro bodybuilders that lead what can only be called a ‘selfish’ lifestyle that revolves around their own training, eating, and sleeping. Cedric is married with three children, so he knows all about putting your family first before your own needs. It’s always refreshing to see a champion athlete who also happens to be a good husband and father, because it speaks to their values and priorities.


7. He is The People’s Champion

Cedric has yet to break the top five at the Mr. Olympia. Even though he is being spoken of in terms of possibly beating Phil Heath this year, the odds of that actually happening are quite remote. Phil has exactly what the judges want to see, whereas they demand a level of extreme conditioning from Cedric that he has yet to display in his 7 seasons as a pro. Without insanely striated glutes and hams, you are simply not beating Phil Heath. But aside from a relatively small group of hardcore fans, who really cares if he does or not? Cedric doesn’t need the Mr. Olympia title. If he isn’t as popular as Heath yet, my hunch is that he soon will be. He has a physique that more people can relate to and admire, and the type of easygoing, humorous personality that makes him seem like your best buddy at the gym rather than some aloof, spoiled star athlete constantly posting pictures of his latest luxury car, limited edition Air Jordans, or $50,000 watch. Cedric McMillian is The People’s Champion, a breath of fresh air who is the best thing to happen to this sport in a very long time.












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