There was a time when International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness (IFBB) Pro League member Johnnie Jackson was a fixture on the competition circuit. In the 2010s alone, the 52-year-old appeared in nearly 20 sanctioned IFBB competitions. In total, in almost two decades long career, Jackson can boast almost 60 appearances in bodybuilding competitions. His profile stretches back to today, he can boast of squaring off against various legends of Mr. Olympia like Ronnie Coleman, Jay Cutler, and Phil Heath. However, after 2017, while he has not formally retired, Jackson stopped appearing on stage – except for a brief comeback with two competitions in 2020.
However, the winner of the title “2009 World’s Strongest Professional Bodybuilder” has since moved from posing to focus primarily on strength training – as a look at his Instagram will explain. That may change soon. On January 30, 2023, Jackson appeared on a podcast episode with Muscular Development, where he discussed future plans. In the course of the appearance, the seasoned pro explains the creation a potential return to the 2023 Masters Olympia on August 26-27, 2023, in Cluj-Napoca, Romania.
One of the main reasons Jackson said he’s considering a comeback at age 52 is that he misses the thrill of competition. After spending much of his life around high-level bodybuilding, walking straight wasn’t easy for Jackson.
As for following through on any potential plans, Jackson maintained that he has not made any formal inquiries about competing in the 2023 Masters Olympia. Right now, the idea of going back is more than just on the tip of his tongue – although he’s considering all the possibilities.
“There is no one [the Masters Olympia organizers] it came to me, and I haven’t applied yet,” Jackson clarified. “I thought about it. It is still being worked on. I totally thought about it. I mean, I miss competing like you don’t miss your left hand when it’s no longer attached to your body … Honestly, I’m not one of those guys who’s like, ‘yeah, I’m happy to retire .’”
Judging by Jackson’s tenor and candor within all these conversations, it will become harder to keep him off the stage as time goes on.
Sometimes an athlete needs to scratch their competition.
” … I have to say, because they announced it [the 2023 Masters Olympia], every day I think about it more and more,” Jackson said. I think in the middle of February, I’ll be in or out. In the middle of February, I had to say yes or no. More and more every day I believe yes. “
An important decision in Jackson’s bodybuilding career awaited him.
He can choose to come back and use the competitive energy he knows he’s missing. He didn’t seem to have much to lose. At the same time, when he entered the thick of his 50 years, it may not be too fast to change his life for a penny again. Whatever lies ahead, he certainly has the current look of someone who wants to show off an elite body.
Featured image: @johnnieojackson on Instagram
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