by Matt Weik
The sport of bodybuilding runs deep in the veins of Sergio Oliva Jr. What his dad has accomplished in the sport has been nothing short of amazing. The fact that Sergio decided to follow in his dad’s footsteps is quite honestly a bold move. So many athletes have tried to emulate their father and failed miserably. That being said, I think the way Sergio has been progressing and transforming his physique over the years could make his father incredibly proud.
If you’ve followed my content, a few years ago, I wrote a piece about whether Sergio Oliva Jr. and Hunter Labrada could ever live up to the expectations set by their fathers on a bodybuilding stage. And while we haven’t seen much of Hunter to this point, Sergio is on his way to paving his own way.
The Victory Pose
In my opinion, the 2020 Arnold Classic in Columbus, Ohio was a coming-out party for Sergio Oliva Jr. While in my prediction article I mentioned he was a wildcard in terms of someone on the outside who is knocking at the door of breaking the top five, I didn’t think he would come into the show looking as good as he did.
There was some beef going on between him and Patrick Moore and everyone was hyping up Patrick to be a major contender. Unfortunately for Patrick, he didn’t bring his best physique to the stage in Columbus. So, I guess it’s safe to say that Sergio Oliva Jr. had the last laugh.
During the Saturday night show at the Arnold Classic, Sergio Oliva Jr. was handed the “Best Poser” award. He got a nice check and trophy for his efforts. During his interview, he actually got Arnold to throw up the Victory Pose made famous by Sergio’s father. It was a really cool moment – one I think Sergio Oliva Jr. will never forget.
The next question we need to ask is, “Can Sergio Oliva Jr. improve enough to stand front and center on stage hitting a Victory Pose following a win?” If you asked me this question a few years ago, my answer would be no. At that point, I didn’t believe Sergio had a winning physique against anyone currently placing within the top five of any show. Now, and the way he’s been improving, I can absolutely see it happen.
Sergio Oliva Jr. has made HUGE strides in the off-season – putting on mounds of muscle at an astonishing pace. When I saw his photos leading up to the Arnold Classic, I was blown away. That being said, at this point, I do feel as if Sergio is still a little small standing next to some of the other competitors. I guess this can be validated when looking at the photos from this year’s Arnold Classic.
But I’m not counting him out as it’s not always the biggest guy on stage that walks away with the first-place trophy as if that were the case, Ramy would have placed better at the Arnold. Sergio has great lines and symmetry and if he can add on some more mass without losing that, he could be incredibly dangerous.
Do I expect to see huge changes in 2020 to his physique? No. But with as productive as his off-seasons have been, 2021 could be a great year for Sergio. While it may be wishful thinking, can you imagine what an off-season in Kuwait would do for Sergio? The guys over at Oxygen Gym create some crazy physiques. If he could add the size needed in the off-season, there’s no telling what would be in store for any lineup he steps into.
It Hasn’t Been Easy
Sergio Oliva Jr. had some rough times a couple of years ago with a relationship he was in. It ultimately caused him to go into a slight depression and he seemed to shut down a bit – which is understandable when going through something like he was.
He then found a new source of motivation and energy that helped him shake it off and get back to what he loved – bodybuilding. I think his story is something many people go through and while I’m sure it’s incredibly tough to talk about, I wish he would share it with more people so they know they aren’t alone in how they are feeling and what they are going through. But at the same time, I 100% respect his privacy if he doesn’t want to go into all the details or share it.
If I Could Change Just One Thing
Walking in the footsteps of his father must be incredibly difficult. Living up to the expectations people put on him to outdo his father cannot be easy. And it could be for that reason that Sergio at times can come off “cocky” and “arrogant.”
Sergio Oliva Jr. will never change who he is and shouldn’t need to. But in a way, I wish he would stop the smack talk and attitude he gives out at times. I truly believe Sergio is a good person but at times, he can come off as being negative.
But on a brighter note, Sergio is hilarious and a jokester. You can’t get through an interview with Sergio without a chuckle here and there. He seems to be having fun with the sport again which can only bring good vibes. His passion for the sport of bodybuilding is contagious and his training shows his dedication to his craft.
I wish Sergio Oliva Jr. nothing but the best and hope to see him one day take the Arnold Classic and even potentially have a run at the Olympia title.