“I WOKE UP EVERY MORNING TO THE SOUND OF WEIGHTS CLANGING TOGETHER,” RECALLS JEREMY BUENDIA OF HIS CHILDHOOD.
The noise emanating from the basement of the Buendia residence in San Jose, CA, was Jeremy’s father, Louie, a dedicated lifter in his own right who passed the love of iron on to his son. “I watched my dad weight train ever since I could remember,” Buendia says. “He raised me to be an athlete, and he started training me at the age of 6 doing various speed drills, pushups, and other calisthenics-type exercises. My dad introduced weights to me at 10 or 11 years old, and it became a part of my everyday life.” By age 24, Buendia was the Olympia Men’s Physique Showdown winner, and with his successful title defense last September, he is the division’s first repeat champion. Here are the training strategies of the two-time Olympia Men’s Physique Showdown champ.
The advantages of having experienced guidance from the beginning fast-tracked Buendia’s success in transforming his physique. “I always did a bodybuilding-style split—that’s what I saw my dad do, so that was my initial knowledge,” he says. But as an all-league linebacker at Whitney High School, he also worked hard at improving his athleticism. “I did sports-specific training where I focused on speed and explosiveness, but that never held me back from going to the gym for a second time during the day and hitting the weights the way I liked to.” Bulging spinal disks in his neck and lower back essentially ended his gridiron pursuits, but he simply channeled his competitive energy to a new aim: bodybuilding contests. His first show was the 2010 NPC Contra Costa Championships in California, where he won the teen overall crown. It was the victory that would fuel all the others to come. “That’s when I realized this was my calling,” he says.
After a few more bodybuilding contests, he jumped to the new physique division, which perfectly matched his desire for sculpting classic aesthetics over brute-force mass. Buendia quickly built an unrelenting head of steam, earning his pro card at the 2013 NPC Junior USA Championships, then going on to win his first pro contest, the 2013 Greater Gulf States Pro, before taking second at the inaugural 2013 Olympia Men’s Physique Showdown. And the rest you know.
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