“I don’t care if I’m Mr. Olympia or number 20, I need to come better” – Big Ramy told Dennis James on The Menace Podcast

Written by Doug Murray

Mamdouh ‘Big Ramy’ Elssbiay looks to be in a good place ahead of his probable comeback to the 2023 Mr. Olympia stage. In a recent The Menace Podcast, Ramy discussed a range of topics including his ambitions to improve, his relationship with fans, and the mentality he’s adopted in the lead-up to November. 

Elssbiay reached the pinnacle of the sport, having claimed back-to-back Mr. Olympia victories in 2020 and 2021. Last year, he put his title on the line against a fierce roster of bodybuilders. Ramy was dethroned by Hadi Choopan, who defeated Derek Lunsford in a close show.

After dropping to fifth at 2022 Olympia, fans, and even some bodybuilders argued that Ramy wasn’t given a fair look on stage. Steve Weinberger, who served as the head judge of the prestigious contest, suspected that Ramy was plagued by injuries as many observed issues with his lats, triceps, and lower back.


The former two-time champ made a quick turnaround at the 2023 Arnold Classic. Given the show’s proximity to December’s Mr. Olympia, many fans were impressed by Ramy’s ability to improve. However, the judges saw him in fourth.

At the end of May, Weinberger joined Dennis James to discuss the Egyptian’s future. He made it clear he thought Big Ramy needed a break from competition. This sentiment was also shared by Bob Cicherillo, who insists Ramy needs time to revitalize the body parts preventing him from placing higher.

Big Ramy Takes Aim at Oppinionated Fans, Talks 2023 Ambitions: ‘I Can’t Take a Year Off’

As of late, Ramy noticed fans online can’t make up their minds about his physique.
“I respect everyone but what’s the meaning of someone is saying something is wrong when they’re talking about something they’ve never [done]. Sometimes they say okay, Ramy is too big, and second day they say Ramy is small. I don’t know what, am I big or am I small?” asks Ramy.
“Every day, someone says Ramy comes too big and second day they say Ramy is too small, not like before. Before when Ramy was big you say he must come small, then when he’s smaller, he must come bigger than before. Be honest guys.”
While he appreciated Steve Weinberger’s criticisms, Ramy doesn’t plan on waiting one year to compete again.
“Yeah, you come from that place, but okay. Dennis knows that because he’s close to me. You know how I respect Steve. First show, him in New York and he’s always nice to me. But the problem, it’s important to give people support to compete. I feel bad when somebody tells me you have to stop. The only thing you can tell someone competing is yeah, you can do it.”
“Maybe that [a break] is the best thing for me. But I’m still finding my head to compete, not today not tomorrow. I can’t wait for one year,” added Ramy.
Before moving on, Sarcev underlined that Ramy should decide his own destiny.
“Ramy, don’t ever let anybody tell you not to compete. You are the only one that chooses if you want. What is your profession? You’re a pro bodybuilder and you’re passionate about this and you want to compete, you’re healthy, your blood results are perfect,” said Milos Sarcev.

Ramy Talks ‘Weak Points, 2023 Mr. Olympia, and Fans Calling for Him to Take a Break


Ramy believes coming in flat has caused some of his body parts like his triceps to appear diminished.

“When you come so flat, you’re weak points, they go up. And when you’re full, you never had that. I will tell you what happened actually between Olympia and the Arnold. I think like two or three weeks off because I needed to think about what I needed to do.”
“Yes we talked about that, with Chad, we scared to get too much flat because we know everyone know when you get smaller, the weak points come. It’s my week, I don’t have all things complete,” said Ramy. “We’ve talked about the triceps, I’ve lost a lot of size from my triceps. But the shape for my body has not changed.”
“In my opinion, and I respect all the competitors but I believe I had some of the best arms on the stage. They’re not small. My side chest is not smaller than my shoulder. It should look nice, maybe it’s not too big, but it’s not small like it’s thinning, no.”
Sarcev called Big Ramy a ‘shapely monster’ and said his lower lat insertions are holding him back on stage.
“When Ramy said, okay, Ramy you said Arnold Classic was your best ever. I think you improved dramatically from the Olympia to the Arnold. I’ve seen you a couple of times when you won Olympia, 2020, 2017, even in 2013 with Dennis when you guys did the New York Pro, ’14, yeeh, that’s formidable. You are one of a kind. You are a shapely monster. You are an x-framed, v-tapered monster.
“At Arnold on stage, I was 307. And when I saw it I was scared, it never happened to me,” added Ramy. “I think 282 [pounds for 2022 Mr. Olympia].”
The only issue that could penalize you is that lower lat insertions and it improved at the Arnold Classic really. Whatever you did, it’s going lower, it’s a big improvement. I don’t know if it’s stem cells,” Milos Sarcev shared.
“If Ramy goes flat, he loses some parts right away,” said Dennis James.
Despite the setbacks, Ramy is treating 2023 Mr. Olympia like his first show, and plans to “give it everything.”

“I’m still the guy, I’m still firing to compete tomorrow, it’s like my first show I need to give it everything,” said Big Ramy.
“Fix the issues, if you can fix the issues, go back and be at your best, says Dennis James.
Ramy said he doesn’t care if he’s in first place or 20th, as long as he shows the world he can make improvements. 
“I will train. He asked me if I will compete in 2023, I said I will train and if I make myself big and grow, I will compete in Olympia. If I’m not, it will be next show, I will need to come have a big improvement. I still feel like I can do that. I need to say one more thing.
I’m 10 years right now in professional [bodybuilding] I competed with a lot of guys, I respect a lot of them all this time. I try to be a good person, nice person. I try. I make a lot of mistakes because I’m a human. I try to make the best for me all the time. I never hate anyone,” said Big Ramy.
“I don’t like to be number one. I came to Arnold and when you asked me Dennis about it, I said I’m happy because I improved. That’s my message. I come to Columbia this year [for stem cells] I’ll try to compete this year and make big improvements. I don’t care if I’m Mr. Olympia or number 20, I need to come better because that’s my message.” 
This wasn’t Big Ramy’s first update regarding the 2023 Mr. Olympia competition. The last time he opened up on the matter, the former champion shared that he was training angry and motivated to make a successful comeback.
Ramy’s plans are still materializing, but he appears fired up to make a return. Despite ongoing talks about him taking a break, he appears energized to prove the naysayers wrong at 2023 Mr. Olympia this November.
RELATED: Bob Cicherillo on 2023 Pittsburgh Pro Guest Posing: ‘Was Big Ramy Better? The Answer Is No.’

You can watch the full podcast from the Muscle and Fitness YouTube channel below: 

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