Victor Martinez Will Compete in the 2012 Olympia! Exclusive Interview
"I'm doing the Olympia!"
Victor Martinez makes a surprising announcement
Exclusive Muscular Development interview by Ron Harris
Nobody thought he would actually do it. Victor Martinez had been dropping hints and saying he was taking things week by week as far as his decision to compete in this year's Mr. Olympia contest, but it seemed highly unlikely. The man had been locked up for seven months without access to decent food, weights, or any supplements. He dropped down to 220 pounds, the lightest he had been since he was a teenager. Meanwhile, the other top contenders for the O like Phil, Kai, Branch, Wolf, and Evan were putting away mountains of steaks, chicken breasts, and blasting away at the weights. Phil and Kai took the whole year off competing and used all that time and more to build even more insane, dense muscle mass. Branch, Wolf, and Evan all managed to squeeze in an off-season and a diet for the Arnold, then another brief off-season before launching into Olympia prep. Victor is in a completely different situation from any other man entering this year's big show.
Today, at 15 1/2 weeks out from the Mr. Olympia, he is still re-gaining the muscle that he lost while in jail until April 27 of this year. Every other man is coming down from his off-season bodyweight, while Victor is still gaining. It's crazy, but that's how the old-school men like Arnold did it almost 40 years ago. But beating the odds is kind of Victor's thing, isn't it? The day it was announced that he was throwing his hat in the ring for the 2012 Mr. Olympia, I had to get him on the line and find out how this decision was made and why.
MD: Victor, exactly when did you decide you would go for it, and what were the main factors that influenced your decision?
VM: The decision was more like a process that's been going on in my head almost from the day I got out at the end of April. What it really came down to was that I just wouldn't feel right skipping the Olympia even if the odds are against me. I've never let that stop me from doing anything before and I didn't want to start now.
MD: Just so people know, when was the deadline for qualified competitors to sign the Olympia contract?
VM: It was a couple weeks ago and I won't lie - I was reluctant to sign it and make that commitment. My main concern isn't gaining the muscle back in time, it's the quality of the muscle. You got Phil, Kai, Branch, Wolf; these are all tough competitors and I don't underestimate them or what they're going to bring.
MD: What is your current weight and how lean are you? Are you still putting size on, and do you feel like due to the extended break you had, you might actually be making new gains in mass over the next few weeks?
VM: I'm 262, so that means I've put on 42 pounds in the seven weeks since I got out. Do the math! Six pounds of muscle a week on average. Can I get bigger than ever before? I don't know. If I wasn't going to be dieting hard for the Olympia I think that would be possible. But for me to say I'm going to be in condition and bigger than ever before, especially under the circumstances - no, I wouldn't make some crazy prediction like that.
MD: The old-school guys like Arnold used to stay lighter in the off-season and 'eat up' to shows, gaining weight over the prep and getting leaner. Most guys obviously get as huge and heavy as possible these days and then diet down. You would be the first pro I know since Levrone retired to even attempt the old-school way. Have you talked to Kevin at all, or anyone about this? It has to be your first time prepping this way, right?
VM: I haven't talked to anyone. It's all trial and error. But I'm feeling great and I have more energy than I've had in a long time too. I'm really not dieting exactly. I'm eating clean and gaining.
MD: Do you think you'll keep gaining for a few more weeks? Like maybe, until you are 8-10 weeks out?
VM: Sure, it's possible. I need to keep gaining, because I look in the mirror and I still don't see the thickness and fullness in the muscles that I want yet, never mind the detail and quality. I have my work cut out for me these next 15 weeks for sure.
MD: Are you worried about what it would do to your reputation if you placed any lower than last year, which was fourth? Or do you feel like no one even expects you to do that well anyway, given the circumstances?
VM: I would never have signed that contract if I didn't think I was capable of doing at least as good as I did last year if not better. But like you said, I know a lot of people will be writing off my chances this time and that's cool. I love proving people wrong. It's fun for me.
MD: I assume you will also be returning to Madrid to defend your Arnold Classic Europe title. Will you also be going to India again for the Sheru Classic?
VM: Not sure about that. It's a really long trip there and back and it's in between the Olympia and the Arnold Europe. I did it last year, but it was tough. We'll see, but right now the only two shows I am planning on are the Olympia and the Arnold Europe.
MD: You've never prepared for a show after having so much complete rest before. How do you feel mentally and physically now at just over 15 weeks out as compared to how you would normally feel?
VM: I do feel good like I said, but I'm still playing catch-up. Normally right now I would be about 275. But I would also be starting to diet too. This is a totally different scenario than I've ever tried before and I'm really just taking it one day at a time, training my ass off and eating a lot of good food. Stay tuned!
Learn more about the Dominican Dominator in the "Trials of Victor Martinez" only in the next issue of Muscular Development Magazine!