The bodybuilder Sergio Oliva Jr portrays the United States. His father, Sergio Oliva, was a three-time Mr. Olympia and was also recognized as The Myth. Sergio Jr was not especially excited about bodybuilding when he was growing up. Sergio Jr.’s pop urged him not to supersede in his father’s footsteps; alternatively, he encouraged him to proceed with other sports and disciplines, principally athletics.
As time went by, Sergio Jr became fascinated with the bodybuilding lifestyle. As a consequence, he determined to go against his father’s advice and become a bodybuilder instead. Since determining to devote his life to bodybuilding, Sergio Jr. hasn’t glanced back. It didn’t take a prolonged time for him to become household fame in the bodybuilding world after obtaining diverse amateur and professional competitions.
“In the end we only regret the chances we didn’t take. Life’s too short to worry about the stupid little things. I’m done with pointless drama in my life. Any one of us could be gone tomorrow and we’ll look back at how much time we wasted on bullshit.”
We will explain Sergio Oliva Jr and his fitness routine in these sections. In addition to his rehearsal schedule, he also has a diet plan that he is distinguished for on social media. It comprises the exact fitness schedule that he observes throughout the week. Stay tuned to unearth out all about this. The succeeding segment will present some information concerning his physique.
Sergio Oliva Jr Body Statistics
- Birth Year: 1984
- Birth Date: October 20
- Height: 6′ (183cm)
- Weight: 255 – 265lbs (115.7 – 120.2kg)
- Arms: 22.5”
- Chest: 59”
- Waist: 28”
- Thighs: 32”
- Calves: 20”
Sergio Oliva Jr Awards and Achievements
- 2006 Southern USA Middleweight 3rd place
- 2007 Southern USA Lightheavy 4th place
- 2007 Panhandle showdown light-heavy 1st place
- 2008 Mr. Northwest Florida Heavyweight 1st place and overall
- 2008 Southern USA Heavyweight 2nd place
- 2009 Jr Nationals Heavyweight 5th place
- 2010 Southern USA Superheavy 1st place & overall
- 2012 Midwest Ironman Heavyweight 1st place & Overall
- 2014 Jr Nationals Superheavy 3rd place
- 2015 NPC USA Championships Superheavy 2nd place
- 2015 NPC Nationals Superheavy 1st place & Overall
- 2016 Pittsburgh Pro, Men’s Physique, Guest Posing
- 2017 New York Pro, IFBB Pro Open, 1st place
Sergio Oliva Jr Workout Routine
Bodybuilding in the Family
Sergio Oliva Jr. grew up in Chicago and was acquainted with bodybuilding as a child. As he played on the stage, his father, the legendary 3x Mr. Olympia Sergio Oliva, retained him in his arms.
The mother of Sergio Jr. was also an expert bodybuilder. In accession to her three female bodybuilding world claims, she also acquired the title Mrs. America.
Sergio Jr. did not ensue in his parents’ footsteps from the inception. During his father’s continuance, he was not permitted to raise weights nor fight in bodybuilding.
“Not only did he not want me to compete, but he didn’t even want me to start working out, lifting weights, none of it. He felt I should focus on other things instead,” Sergio Jr stated. It’s for that purpose that he principally focused on athletics and additional games during his education years.
Innate Passion for Weightlifting
Sergio Jr. was quite thriving in his athletic career, but he also acquired an enthusiasm for bodybuilding. Over the years, it has become more powerful and stronger.
Sergeo Jr. eventually decided to follow his inspiration and become a bodybuilder rather than following his father’s guidance. As Sergio Jr. told; “I was pretty set that this was what I wanted to do with my life though, so I did it anyway.”
Sergio Jr. was 20 years old and hefted 140 pounds when he started exercising. He appended an unimaginable 30 pounds of muscle to his structure just three months following.
Sergio was remarkably enthusiastic about bodybuilding, and his father attended as a priceless instructor for him. He improved much immediately in the gym because of this. In his terms; “When I set my mind to doing something, I’m going to find a way to do it so there was no stopping me.”
Sergio Jr competed in his first bodybuilding show just one year after commencing. It was the 2006 Southern USA competition where Sergio Jr placed 3rd in the middleweight division.
The first time he obtained was at the Panhandle Showdown in 2007, when he won the light-heavy division.
In the ensuing eight years, Sergio encountered the same number of shows. Amongst his best outcomes, he won the Mr. Northwest Florida match in 2008, the Southern USA Championships in 2010, and the Midwest Ironman show in 2012.
Sergio took around a year off after his concluding show in 2014 to equip for the final challenge – fitting for his Pro Card.
In the coming year, he came back with his best translation, winning the 2015 NPC Nationals and obtaining his professional rank.
Sergio Jr’s Pro Career
After attaining success at the amateur NPC, Sergio supported that up with a win at the professional IFBB. It was Sergio who once again established himself at the 2017 New York Pro.
The achievement of Sergio Jr in bodybuilding was notified. After winning the New York Pro, Sergio Jr went on to win numerous other competitions.
In reply to Sergio Jr.’s participation in the elite Arnold Classic competition, the Austrian Oak welcomed Sergio Jr.
Leaving a Legacy
In spite of already having a long list of accomplishments under his belt, Sergio Jr continues to surpass in bodybuilding.
Similar to his father, Sergio Oliva’s “The Myth”, he wishes to leave his impression in the sport of bodybuilding.
“Bodybuilders today have too many ‘Yes Men’ in their lives. Go get you a person who tells you the truth and what you need to hear and not what you want to hear. Then you can truly be a champion. ‘Heroes get remembered, but legends never die.’”
Mixing Training Up
Like most professional bodybuilders, Sergio Jr usually mixes up his training methods. His favorite routine is pyramid training. He favors heavyweights and heavy volume.
The initial training day of Sergio’s week normally consists of him training his preferred part of the body. He normally manages on his legs and back. He performs this just like he does with everything else throughout his practice. Sergio Jr. may exchange this from time to time, and discipline other body parts on this day as well.
The passion of Sergio’s training is something that hardly changes. The majority of the time, Sergio Jr practices to the point of breakdown, and sometimes even beyond it – using extra sets, drop sets, and forced repetitions to enhance the strength.
In between sets, he pauses for no more than 60 seconds, sometimes even less.
Sergio Oliva Jr Workout Routine
- Incline Db press 5 sets 8-12 reps
- Flat Bb 5 sets 10-12 reps
- Incline smith machine 3 sets 10-15 reps
- Decline Bb 4 sets 8-12 reps
- Weighted dips 3 sets till failure
- Incline Db flyes 4 sets 10-15 reps
- Cable Flyes 3 sets till failure
Tuesday – Quads
- Leg extensions (toes up) 4 sets 10-15 reps
- Squats 5 sets 8-12 reps
- Leg press 5 sets 8-15 reps
- Hack squats 3 sets 10-15 reps
- Leg ext. (toes down) 3 sets till burnout finish with a drop set.
- Walking lunges (length of gym)
- Leg ext. (toes down) 3 sets till burnout finish with a drop set.
Wednesday – Back
- Pull-ups 4sets 8-12 reps
- Deadlifts 5sets 8-12 reps
- BB rows 4 sets 8-12 reps
- T-Bar rows 3 sets 10-12 reps
- Seated cable row 3 sets 10-12 reps
- Lat pulldown 4 sets 10-12 reps
- Straight arm pushdowns 3 sets till failure
Thursday – Abs, and Hamstrings
- Seated leg curls 4 sets 10-15 reps
- Stiff legged deadlifts 5 sets 8-12 reps
- Lying leg curl 3 sets 10-15 reps
- One leg curl 3 sets 10-15 reps
- Crunches and Hanging Leg Raises for Abs
Friday – Shoulders
- Military press 5sets 8-12 reps
- Seated Db press 4 sets 10-12 reps
- Hammer strength machine 3 sets 10-12 reps
- Db side raises 3 sets 10-15 reps, U
- Upright row on smith machine 3 sets 10-15 reps
- Db rear delt on incline bench 3 sets 10-15 reps
- Reverse chest machine rear delt 3 sets till failure
Saturday – Biceps, and Triceps
- Preacher curls 4 sets 10-12 reps
- Seated Db curl 3 sets 10-12 reps
- Standing Bb curl 3 sets 10-12 reps
- Hammer curls 3 sets 10-12 reps
- Machine curls till failure
- Skullcrushers 4 sets 10-12 reps
- Hammer strength dip press 4 sets 10-12 reps
- Overhead rope ext. 3 sets 10-15 reps
- Db kickbacks 3 sets 10-15 reps
- Cable pushdowns 3 sets till failure
- Complete Body Recovery
Favorite Body Parts and Exercises
The legs and back of Sergio Jr. are his chosen body parts. The exercises he chooses the most are deadlifts, squats, and T-bar rows.
The first time Sergio started training, his back was tough to develop. The back ‘exploded’ into fullness after incorporating aggregate free-weight applications like deadlifts and weighted pull-ups.
“Being a IFBB Pro means dealing with outside shit and not letting it effect your prep. But Being an IFBB Pro ALSO means being a master of manipulating your body to the timing where your on stage. Only if you compete do you know the dreadful saying ‘Man I looked better the day before/after my show’.”
In the succeeding section, we will read about the tips that Sergio Oliva Jr practiced so that he could adhere to his tough workout routine. He makes certain that he is steady and so he would regard some tips to check injuries and have a constant workout routine too. Take a look at the next segment.
Sergio Oliva Jr Workout Tips and Tricks
Sergio Zulak’s freelance writer Greg Zulak has inscribed broadly about the bodybuilding industry and perceived him at the gym for decades. Sergio confessed to himself that he didn’t calculate his sets. Training partner Ron Hagen validated this as well.
Sergio knew intuitively what it would take to develop a muscle accurately and then stop, so he designed each set respectively. Here’s what Greg had to respond after seeing Sergio’s gym method:
“Sergio trained in a manner I had never seen or read about before. On all upper body exercises, Sergio used very short, fast, partial, non-stop, or continuous motion repetitions (no pause at the top or bottom of the range of motion), while legs he trained for full reps in the more traditional manner.”
In April 1984, Sergio was a bulky 265 pounds and preparing to battle in the Mr. Olympia competition. The normal number of sets per muscle group in a Zulak workout was 20-30, for a sum of 60 sets. This is what Sergio performed frequently in the gym, never striking failure like so many of his companions.
Here are a few hints Greg acquired from Sergio Oliva that day in the gym:
- Light warm-ups are prescribed
- Per muscle group, do great repetitions and sets
- Use Joe Weider’s policy of relaxation
- To get the best results, support constant muscle tension at all times
- Blend exercises or do supersets
- Your muscles need to be worked from all aspects to attain their full potential
- Don’t be affected with weight numbers, but practice with moderate heavyweights
Those are a few wise messages from The Myth himself. Here are some samples of what he affected in his private life both during and after his bodybuilding profession.
The workout routine Sergio Oliva Jr followed to accomplish his buff and chiseled structure can be discovered here. It is actually mattering to him that he has a harmonious routine and he thus sees it religiously. As we continue, we will review his diet plan and what he consumes in general to fuel himself.
Sergio Oliva Jr Diet Plan
Learning About Correct Nutrition
Being supported by parents who were highly committed to bodybuilding. Sergio Jr inherited a lot of nutritional education from his parents. To build muscle and lose fat, he had to eat a lot of protein and healthy fats, as well as check the consumption of mere carbohydrates. To obtain the best outcomes on the stage, Sergio consolidates the use of protein shakes and supplements with a clean diet.
Sergio Jr. also supplies himself with supplements such as BCAA, carbohydrate supplement, protein powder, pre-workouts, glutamine, arginine, and creatine on top of consuming nutritious and protein-rich meals.
Sergio Oliva Jr Meal and Supplementation Plan
Sample diet #1
- 1st Meal – 10 eggs, 7 white, and 3 whole
- 2nd Meal – protein shake with carb supplement, creatine, glutamine, and BCAAs
- 3rd Meal – 8 oz chicken breast, 2 cups brown rice, and 1 cup spinach
- 4th Meal (Pre-workout) – Pre-workout, carb supplement, BCAAs
- 5th Meal (Post-workout) – Whey Protein, Glutamine, Creatine, BCAAs, Carb supplement
- 6th Meal – 3 tilapia fillets, sweet potato, and asparagus
- 7th Meal – 10 eggs, 7 white, and 3 whole
- 8th Meal – Whey Protein Shake
Sample Diet #2
8 egg whites, 3 whole, and 1/2 cup oats
- 52 g of protein
- 18g fat
- 27g carbs
- 497 calories
2 cups of rice (when practicing big muscle groups), 9 oz chicken, asparagus. He employs some sugar and fat-free BBQ sauce of which he cuts out 2 weeks from a show.
- 82g protein
- 3g fat
- 91g carbs
- 736 calories
He’ll then exercise after these two meals.
10 oz Cod, 1 cup of rice, and some spinach
- 41g protein
- 8g fat
- 46g carbs
- 410 calories
12 oz steak and asparagus, and 1/4 cup rice
- 69g protein
- 33g fat
- 14g carbs
- 664 calories
12 oz Cod and asparagus w/ sugar-free ketchup
- 44g protein
- 9g fat
- 3g carbs
- 256 calories
For his last meal of the day, he’ll have 12 egg whites.
- 43g protein
- 1g fat
- 3g carbs
- 206 calories
“Life moves fast—if you don’t stop every once in a while to look around, it’s gone before you know it.”
What Worked for Sergio…
Sergio was the only bodybuilder in the Golden Era who could absorb food this way. He could easily eat a dozen scrambled eggs in one convening and then finish them off with a box of delicacies. Whenever Sergio felt like it, he would satisfy with sweets whenever he desired.
Jim Alexander, Sergio’s old boss from the meatpacking plant, was resolved to find out what made him so huge. One day, he determined to sneakily observe what Sergio ate for lunch and was driven away by what he noticed.
A large man was sitting in the lunchroom eating a box of Twinkies and soaking it down with Mountain Dew! The same things Sergio bought from Walgreens the day before were remembered by Sergio’s friend Al Jakich.
Verify out Iron Man Magazine’s tribute sheet for more concerning stories about Sergio.
Sergio again expressed his uniqueness in the gym by drinking beer during his training rather than water. Preferably, he drank hot coffee to keep his muscles melting and his energy flowing during the lengthy exercise. As soon as he had performed his workout, he gulped cold water to aid cool down his muscles.
And One Thing that Didn’t
During his rehearsal for his comeback to the 1984 Mr. Olympia, Sergio only adhered to a diet. To lose weight, his wife supported him to settle the Frank Zane diet, which essentially consisted of fish and salads.
The Zane approach of eating does usually involve a lot of vegetables, but Sergio is always craving to eat it. Zane was only 185 pounds when associated with Sergio, who weighed well over 220 pounds. He only positioned eighth in that year’s competition.
Dieting, in Sergio’s opinion, was a huge mistake, and he disregarded his body’s signals. By then, he was already accustomed to his metabolism and conceived of himself as his physician. It is obvious from Sergio’s career that he was wise to listen to himself and stay in harmony with his body.
That is all the diet plan that Sergio Oliva Jr observes in his daily life. He follows quite a constant diet plan with a few cheat meals here and there to disrupt the monotony. However, he is still a notable regular. In the following section, we would notice a fitness interview that he recently did which will further embellish the nitty-gritty of his diet chart.
Sergio Oliva Interview
In Dialogue with Sergio Oliva, By Brian D. Johnston
BDJ: How did you meet Arthur Jones; what lead to your involvement with him?
SO: Jones initially contacted me from Deland, Florida. He wanted me to fly to Daytona Beach to check out what he was doing and to give an opinion of his machines. So, I flew down and tested them, and I found them to be quite different from other, regular machines. He then asked if I wanted to go through one of his routines while under his supervision. And I said, “yes.” It was very intensive… very powerful… and very different from other routines.
BDJ: Provide an example of a routine you did at that time.
SO: Jones would put you in a routine starting with legs. The exercises were carried to the point where you could not possibly do any more reps — to the point of not being able to move the weight. A routine, for instance, would have you start with a squat to muscular failure. Then when you were finished, he would put you in the Nautilus squat machine and that combination would beat the hell out of you. By the time you finished, you would not have the energy to do anything. Then he has you immediately doing the regular free weight bench press, followed by a Nautilus chest machine… then more exercises for the remainder of the body.
BDJ: So, Jones had you alternate between free weights and machines?
SO: He would only recommend the machines, but I wanted to use free weights also. But when we started to get close to the competition, there was no way I could do both… no way. The machines alone would do it for me. If you don’t use the machines the way we did, then it’s a piece of cake and you can easily include other exercises in between. But with Jones’s method, there is no way… you keep going until you can no longer move. And when you think you’re going to rest, he has you going to another machine! By the time you get to the other machine, you feel like you’re going to die, pushing yourself to the maximum again. When finished, all you can do is lay down on the floor.
BDJ: Did Jones train in your presence, and if so, did he train that hard?
SO: He had his routine and method of using those machines. I saw other people use the machines, but it was not the same way that Jones used them. He had a machine for each muscle, and the way he used them and instructed people to use them, it felt like you were going to throw up. Sometimes he would get people to use machine after machine, and when you thought you were finished, he would get you to do a squat! It was unbelievable.
BDJ: A legendary workout had you train immediately after Casey Viator, performing a full-body workout. Reports indicate that you could not complete the workout very well and were reduced to using relatively light weights to complete it. Is that account very accurate?
SO: Yes. That was my very first workout when I went down to Florida. Casey already lived there with Jones and was used to the workouts. I wanted to also work out, and I thought, “Jesus Christ!” I believed that I could not do it, having trained so hard for so long. That’s when he put me through all the machines. By the time I got to the last one, I thought I was going to throw up on the floor. But as you continue going every day, your power, endurance, determination increases so much that you can handle that kind of routine. It was the way that he did it that was different. Too many people used them like they were using free weights pumping and resting.
BDJ: I believe you may be the only person to officially develop a muscular arm with a height (from the top of the biceps to the bottom of the triceps) greater than the height of one’s head. Did this phenomenon occur while training with Jones?
SO: This occurred with Jones, around the time of the 1972 Mr. Olympia in Essen, Germany. You see, Jones tricked everybody. He would invite them down and pay for the trip to test his machines. Everyone went down… Columbus, Arnold, Zane… everybody. And as soon as you arrived he would start measuring your arms cold, then he would tell you how much you can increase in a couple of days, and nobody would believe it. All those Weider magazines claiming 21-22″ arms would have everyone coming down to 18-19″… and the only 20.5″ cold was my arm. After going through his workouts, my arm was almost an inch bigger, and that happened for everybody. Arnold’s arm was 19.75″, and Weider had him in the magazines with 22.5″. It was ridiculous — all their measurements came down when Jones measured them. It was during that time that Jones measured my arms and my head, and I couldn’t believe that my arms were bigger than my head… I didn’t pay attention up to that point.
BDJ: I believe your initial meeting with Jones was around the same time that Arnold beat you during that very controversial Mr. Olympia in Essen, Germany?
SO: Yes, it was around then that we started training together, but was actually about a year before when I started training with Arthur to prepare for the Mr. Universe in London.
BDJ: The one picture I remember of you from Essen, Germany was when you held your arms up over your head — it was very striking. You’re also, perhaps, one of the few who can hold that pose and look good?
SO: Ah, yes, the Victory Pose. A lot of bodybuilders try to do it, but the problem with the Victory Pose is that you have to have so much muscle. Your lats have to be tremendous, and the waist very tiny. Plus the lats have to be linked to tremendous triceps and the chest has to be huge; otherwise, you look flat from the front when you raise the arms. And when you work your way up, the forearms have to be huge, otherwise, they look small connected to the triceps. And that pose came out of nowhere; I did it, but don’t know how or why. I was posing in a country in the 1960s, I lifted my arms, and everybody went bananas! From that day on everybody started calling me the Myth, and named it the Victory Pose. And after that, if I didn’t hold that pose they wouldn’t let me off the stage (laughter).
BDJ: Judging from past photos, I believe you were your biggest while training with Jones.
SO: No question about it. And it’s too bad… I should have stayed with him. When I went to London in 1970 for the Mr. Universe, everyone knew I beat those guys, including Bill Pearl… I was given second place. From there I was to go to the 1971 Mr. Olympia, in Paris. I spoke to Serge Nubret who asked that I go to Mr. Olympia since Joe Weider wouldn’t be there to fix the contest. I then flew to Paris, and while there Joe found out I was going to compete. And he refused… he would not let me compete. He said I was suspended for a year because I competed in the non-IFBB sanctioned Mr. Universe in London the year before. He used any kind of trick. He allowed me to do a posing exhibition, but not compete. In 1972, the Mr. Olympia promoter called everyone to go, and everyone did. But Joe didn’t want Arnold to go, but Arnold wanted to compete. (I have nothing against Arnold, he has done very well; many people used him in the beginning, then he used them.) Arnold competed in Essen. By that time, the training I had with Jones allowed me to win the contest by miles. People are still talking about Essen ’72. Even Arnold himself said that he didn’t win, that it was nothing but politics… it was nothing but politics, but they gave it to him. After that contest, Weider put the promoter out of the promotion business. Serge Nubret used to be the big man when it came to running contests. Weider also put him out of the business because Serge did not want to run the contests the way Weider wanted to run them his way with the placings predetermined.
BDJ: After you left Jones’s instruction and went your way, did you continue training with a HIT approach, or did you return to volume training?
SO: Well, I went back to free weights because I did not have access to his machines. I was more powerful after the experience and was lifting more on the free weights than ever before. I did maintain the same intensity afterward, however.
BDJ: The reason I brought that up is that previous issues of muscle magazines, and throughout various Weider encyclopedias and books, it suggested that you performed a much higher volume of training, up to 15-20 sets per muscle group.
SO: I did not do that many sets, but don’t forget I didn’t have the machines, which were much more intense — requiring less volume in comparison to free weights. So I had to make up for the reduction in quality. It’s politics, the Weider bullshit magazines. But they control everything. If you try and fight it they will do everything to get you out of the way. They control all the contests, equipment, and bodybuilders. And bodybuilders have to go with Weider because where else are they going to compete? They have to bend and go with them. But for me, I did not care. When I went to Weider I was already Sergio Oliva, so he could not say that he ‘made me. People already knew me from before and that I was with the AAU before going for the IFBB. He could not use me, perhaps to the point where he could claim that he took me out of my mamma’s belly.
BDJ: Well, Weider claims to be Trainer of Champions.
SO: When he took Arnold under his wing, Arnold was already competing in London, England for Mr. Universe. He only trained a few people, but that’s the propaganda. They also call him the ‘Master’, but I don’t know the master of what… maybe the master of breaking your back and your brains. A lot of politics, and it’s too bad. For the younger bodybuilders, they have no choice. If you use the drugs, have the physique, and want to make money, then you have to go with him. Otherwise, don’t use drugs because you won’t have any other place to go. It’s all Weider: Mr. Olympia, Mr. Universe, Night of Champions. They have everybody back and front.
BDJ: What opinion do you have of Arthur Jones?
SO: Anything I have to say about Jones is good. He is the only honest man I met in bodybuilding. If he says “I’m going to pay you so much”, he does. If he says that he’s going to train you a particular way, and next year you’re going to look a certain way, then you will look that way. He’s the type of person you like to be around; the type of person you like to deal with since he won’t screw you or use you. Different from those other assholes. And everyone who went down to Florida knows that. And it’s too bad… if Jones was the one running all the competitions, there would have been a lot of changes. He should have been the one to run Mr. Olympia and other contests.
BDJ: What is your opinion on the competitors of today, compared to your competition days?
SO: When I see what they are going through, and what they have to take to be what they are… I wouldn’t want it. You can even see how differently the muscle develops on bodybuilders of today versus those of the sixties. The amount of steroids that they use is way over the limit. And that’s why you see those physiques… they’re tremendous.
BDJ: I find most of the physiques today look like one another; almost clone-like. Competitors of the sixties and seventies each had a special unique look or style.
SO: Yes, they all look the same. And if they have a little bit of shape, they all have the same kind of shape! They all have the same look. And it’s hard to differentiate one from the other.
BDJ: What are your thoughts on some of the past Mr. Olympias, in regards to political tampering? How about the 1979 Mr. Olympia between Zane and Mentzer?
SO: Mentzer all the way. There is no doubt about it. But don’t forget, Mike came from the outside; Zane was with Weider. Don’t let anybody fool you. Zane, Arnold, Columbia, Haney… all those guys were under contract. Now, Lee Haney is my friend and I have a lot of respect for him, but there is no way in the old days that Lee Haney would have won Mr. Olympia. His physique is unproportional — a man with a back, but no arms or calves. Then there’s Dorian Yates. He has a belly like a cow and no arms. That is not a complete physique. That is not proportional or symmetrical. But being under contract…. Now, if they put Zane and Mentzer together in a contest that was not Weider-dominated then Mike would have won. Zane knows that, and Zane is my personal friend.
BDJ: Do you think Haney deserved any of Mr. Olympia’s wins?
SO: He may have deserved some Mr. Olympias, but not all… not the guys he competed against. But, he knows. Everybody knows.
BDJ: Could you relay your own experience with drug use?
SO: This is an area of great interest for people. I don’t care who wants to take steroids, because that’s a personal choice… that’s his life. Now, today, everybody has access to them. I even saw in one of the big magazines that Arnold denies having used them, but Arnold was one of the first to bring steroids over to America. And everybody in the old days used them: Zane, Columbu, myself, Arnold, Larry Scott, Harold Poole, Dave Draper, and even Steve Reeves. There’s no way to deny it. It wasn’t much, nothing like today. But the development of drugs is much different. I used decca and dianabol, and that was something really big at the time, and decca was not considered that bad. It was even prescribed by doctors to help make your bones strong. Today you have guys weighing 200 pounds, and six months later they weigh 250-300 pounds! So you know these guys are taking something unbelievable. When they say they haven’t taken anything, you know that it’s phony.
BDJ: I could only imagine what you would look like if you have access to the drugs of today.
SO: Geez… I wouldn’t even want to think about it. My God… (laughter). We used to talk about the big deal of taking Decca and Dianabol. Now the talk is about growth hormone. I see what they are using… the way they look… I tell you, it’s scary… I would pass on that. Anybody can go work out and get a physique without steroids, and that is what I recommend. The drugs today is not worth the money or the way it makes you look. The consequences later are going to be big.
BDJ: I notice a lot of people take steroids because they are too lazy to train hard mostly teenage boys.
SO: Yes that’s what it is. But they’re making a double mistake. When you take steroids you have to train even harder… otherwise the excess weight later turns into fat. If you train hard, eat well with quality protein, and take good vitamins and minerals, then you can achieve a good physique. And a good physique comes from about 45% of your genes, whereas the rest is from training. So, if you’re going to be something, then you’re going to be something. If you’re not, then you’re not. But with all those steroids, you’re going to be one of the group… you’re not going to be different. I wouldn’t recommend them to anyone… to my friends or any of my family.
BDJ: You’re still training to this day. Tell us about it.
SO: I’m 60 years old and I go to the gym five days a week. I enjoy going to the gym very much. When I competed I trained 5 days a week, year-round. I’m not like some of the competitors who only trained for six months for a contest then laid back.
BDJ: Physique-wise, who do you consider to be the best bodybuilder?
SO: There are a few. One of the best right now is Flex Wheeler. I also like Shawn Ray and Ron Coleman. I compare myself to Flex Wheeler, a little bit. He reminds me of myself, with a tiny waist. My back was much bigger, though. He is the only one with a complete physique.
BDJ: Your last year of competition was 1985. I’ve heard from some spectators that they did not care whether you won the contest; it was worth attending just to see the legendary Oliva. Tell us about that.
SO: I could have entered that contest much better, and much bigger… that night was not the same physique that I always carried. I felt sick, like a Zombie. I followed my wife’s suggestion in changing my diet. I’ve always had a problem with my diet. Thank God I had good genes to be able to eat what I want. So it seemed everything that I ate, I turned it into muscle. Anyway, she wanted me to follow the diet that Frank Zane followed. But she made a mistake. The diet was all right for Frank Zane’s metabolism, but for me, it was not doing the job. I had no power to train and I felt too weak to workout… it was a disaster. If I did it my way, I would have looked unbelievable. The second thing is, and I found this out, that even if I looked like King Kong and cut, they would have given me the same placing. Weider indicated no other placing for me but eighth.
BDJ: A similar thing happened to Mentzer in Sydney, Australia, in 1980 when they gave him fifth place.
SO: That’s right, and believe it my friend. And I could not do any better than eighth place because all those guys on the stage are the same ones endorsing his vitamins, proteins, magazines, equipment… I didn’t do anything for him, because he didn’t do anything for me. He took away from me. But I decided to come back for that contest. And who picks the judges? Weider. So, how can you win?
BDJ: What projects and plans do you have for the immediate future?
SO: I regularly do seminars and guest appearances. And I do my seminars differently from everyone else. I tell it like it is and allow the audience to ask me questions. Other bodybuilders only talk about the good things. I talk about the good and the bad. People don’t always want to hear about the blue and the red, but the black and the white. That is why I’m asked to do seminars all over the world, and people enjoy them. I’m also working with someone on a book about my life story and competition days. I was supposed to do this book before, but I like to say things the way they are and it was difficult to get interested writers willing to put it all on the line. I don’t push or drink protein powders and I won’t endorse things I don’t believe in. So, in a business sense, I was bad for the business. And this also affected some of the contests in which I competed. The book will discuss these things, but also my Olympic lifting days before bodybuilding, when I prepared for the Pan American games, when I prepared in Russia, all the sports I did in Cuba to escape… basketball, volleyball, boxing, running… I was doing everything, but the competition was too high. I did so much in life that it is not necessary to add or take away from my stories, but it is hard to find someone willing to print the truth. I will tell you about the politics and the contests Joe fixed. A lot of people will be against it, and a lot of people are going to know a lot that they don’t already know. also, I’m still working on the police force with about 6-7 years to go