Will Victor Martinez Fulfill His Potential At The Arnold Classic?
The "best-ever" Victor Martinez is how the 2007 Arnold Classic champion describes the look he will present at the 2011 version of this event. One week out from the annual Arnold Classic open men's bodybuilding showdown and Martinez, with his new training team and renewed sense of optimism, is expecting no less than a convincing victory at this most prestigious of contests.
The man who many--including the legendary Ronnie Coleman--feel has the goods to win any professional bodybuilding event on offer is hoping to resume his winning ways after placing eighth at his last contest, the 2010 Mr. Olympia.
That was a massive fall from grace for one who three years earlier had all but won this event, controversially placing second to an off-form Jay Cutler. Martinez, champion that he is, didn't dwell on the outcome. Rather, he hired a new trainer--one of the best in Oscar Ardon--and promptly sunk all of his energies into redeeming himself at the 2011 Arnold Classic. So far he appears on course to fulfilling this objective.
Beginning his professional career in 2001 with an eighth place finish at the IFBB Night of Champions, Martinez had the shape for greatness. But he lacked the mass needed to beat the crop of monsters dominating the sport back then. It didn't take too long for Martinez to gain the size needed to elevate his game. In 2003 he walked away winner of the Night of Champions and, in doing so, firmly established himself as a genuine threat within the pro ranks.
With his true breakthrough year coming in 2007--with his Arnold Classic win and runner up Mr. Olympia placement--Martinez finally capitalized on his vast potential to become the next likely candidate to win bodybuilding's biggest title. From 2008 to 2011 the champ had mixed success. Still possessing the shape and size needed to beat anyone he nevertheless could not recapture his previous form (undergoing knee surgery in 2008 to correct an acute patellar tendon rupture didn't help).
Today Martinez says he is 100 percent back to his best which, considering his renowned proportionality and size coupled with the ultra lean conditioning he is capable of achieving, means trouble for his fellow 2011 Arnold Classic contenders.
With a new approach to training, a generous supply of Maximum Human Performance (MHP) supplements, and a winning mindset, there appears to be little that can stop him from claiming one of the biggest victories of his pro career. In the following interview, Martinez discusses what it takes to be a champion and why 2011 will be his year to shine.
Victor Martinez: It's been going great and I'm ready. Right now we are making couple of last-minute changes, mentally and physically.
A: Nothing that will make a big difference. Everything has already been done. Now I'm just doing a lot of posing, and more posing. I'm training a little bit harder while staying in shape. I am continuing to train heavy while maintaining my current level of conditioning. I'll continue to train this way until a couple of days out from the contest.
A: I can and I will, and you will see it. A lot of people will see it; it will definitely be something to write about because, as you know, I placed eighth at the  Olympia so it [the Arnold Classic outcome] will be a great way for me to improve on the Olympia result. It will be great.
A: Competition is always going to be competition, but as they improve, I too will improve. This gives me the confidence to say that I will definitely do well at the  Arnold Classic.
A: Always Branch [Warren]; I always look at Branch as being the toughest. But you have to remember that we have been against one another before. So I feel Branch will do well. But you can never overlook any of the other competitors because there are always sleepers who come out of nowhere, as you will have seen when Dexter Jackson placed below Evan Centopani at the Flex Pro.
So you always have to keep your eyes open for anybody who can sneak up on you. That goes for the newer guys along with the veterans who have always been there.
A: He always brings the size and the conditioning. If your conditioning is slightly off, you could get beaten by Branch.
A: Yes, Dexter Jackson too, you never know. He has two more weeks since that last show to really get his conditioning spot on. So he is always someone you really have to watch out for. Again, in bodybuilding you can never take anything for granted; you have to watch out for everyone.
A: None at all [laughter].
A: He looks great, but I haven't been in any of the shows he has won [laughter].
A: Well, I have always had the shape. The thing that is going be the key to me winning it [the 2011 Arnold Classic] is my conditioning. My shape has always been good enough and is the obvious advantage I have, but it has never been enough to take the whole thing. Conditioning, as I have seen in many shows, along with size and quality are the main factors [in winning a show].
A: Yes, I have; I have been training with Oscar Ardon and we have definitely been working hard every week. As far as changes, we went back to the basics. It is the hunger that he instills; this is the same hunger that I have had for many years so we work well together. We also changed my dietitian.
Victor Martinez's 2011 Arnold Classic Training Schedule
- Day One: Deltoids
- Day Two: Quads And Hamstrings
- Day Three: Cardio (45 minutes on the stepmill) Morning and night
- Day Four: Back
- Day Five: Chest
- Day Six: Arms, Abs, And Calves
- Day Seven: Cardio (45 minutes on the step mill) Morning and night
A: Getting fired up has never been an issue for me [laughter]. This is something I could do in my sleep. I have always trained very hard. But yes, now I am training harder than ever, harder than I have at any other time in my life, only because of my last placing at the Mr. Olympia [eighth]. I want to reconcile this placing on that [Arnold] stage.
A: I worked with another dietitian and we didn't get to know my body too well and basically nothing worked out. Everything worked against us, not for us. So the best thing I could have done is to make a change and that has been to work with my new team.
A: There were a lot of aspects to it. There was the mental aspect: not leaving New York [to prepare] and being close to home. Between me and my trainer that is something very important that always helps and makes a big difference.
A: I have gone with higher reps and have stayed heavy the whole time. We aim for about 15 to 20 reps per set. Other than this we have just focused on increasing the training intensity. The biggest and most effective change has been changing my trainer and dietitian.
A: It has, and it has worked out great and everyone will see it at the 2011 Arnold Classic.
A: Conditioning and of course, as you mentioned before, my shape [laughter].
A: Mass is definitely not going to be the key to winning this show [the 2011 Arnold Classic]. And I will tell you time and time again: Mass will not be the winner at this show. Shape and conditioning will be the look to beat.
A: No, just overall size; I don't focus on particular body parts because I have never lagged behind on any body part.
A: It's all in the dieting [laughing]. I was basically eating more this time around and doing more cardio.
Victor Martinez's 2011 Arnold Classic Nutrition Schedule
- Meal One: 13 egg whites, 2 yolks, 2 cups oatmeal
- Meal Two: 1 pound of steak, 1 cup veggies
- Meal Three: 1 pound of turkey, 1 cup rice
- Meal Four: 1 pound of tilapia, 1 cup rice
- Meal Five: 1 pound of turkey, 1 cup veggies
- Meal Six: 1 pound of tilapia
Note: Victor also consumes 2 to 3 gallons of water throughout the day.
A: Usually 12 weeks. I started dieting for the Arnold right after Thanksgiving.
A: To get in shape I use A-Bomb, L-Glutamine three times a day, T-Bomb, which I use all the way up until a week out from the show, I use DREN before cardio [as a fat burner], Dark Rage, which is especially good on those days when I am too tired. This product definitely gets me off the floor.
MHP has been instrumental in my success over the years, and their products are a major part of my Arnold Classic preparation. I drink DREN before cardio [as a fat burner], IsoFast 50 protein first thing in the morning to refuel my muscles quickly to start the day. I will also down a Dark Rage shake pre-workout with NO-Bomb for a tremendous pump and incredible strength, and then drink Dark Matter immediately after every training session to refuel my glycogen stores and pump up my muscles.
About an hour before bedtime, I drink a Probolic-SR protein shake to keep my body anabolic all night. Then right before I hit the sack, I take Cyclin-GF to help release testosterone and growth hormone while I sleep so I keep growing and fully recuperating.
A: I have been with MHP since 2005 so all of the improvements I have made--top two at the Mr. Olympia, top three at the Mr. Olympia, Arnold Classic winner--have been made while using MHP products. They have given me the edge to make improvements in my size and in my contest placements. I actually began using MHP before I signed with them.
A: In the off-season I use Up Your Mass along with Dark Matter for putting on size.
A: That definitely goes day by day. I cannot say what I will do next week because every day changes and with these changes I need to find a new solution to deal with how my physique looks at that point. Dropping the water usually happens three days out, but it could be two days out.
There is no set method for drying out, but one thing I will tell you is that mental stability is number one when it comes to this process. You need the right frame of mind to dry out properly.
A: Yes, and you must think about number one. I just keep thinking about Arnold giving me that trophy. The thought of winning that title is everything during the final week.
A: Being number one; there is nothing else. The only thing that gets you off that floor, out of bed and into the cardio, into the process of training to achieve first place, to be number one, is thinking about winning that trophy, thinking about that placing.
I also get energy just thinking about my mother and this drives me on. [Victor's mother passed away shortly before the 2007 Mr. Olympia, a contest Martinez, who placed second at this event, came extremely close to winning]. And thinking about my sister. [Victor's sister was murdered in July 2009].
There are a number of things that drive me, but ultimately it comes down to being on that stage and Arnold Schwarzenegger handing me that trophy.
A: It is the only way you will get through, the only way you will make it. If you try to fill your mind too much with things your focus will become scattered and you will be less likely to make it.
A: One cannot be successful without the other. If your training is great but your nutrition is not good you can forget about it [becoming successful in bodybuilding]. If your nutrition is great and your training is not you can forget about it.
A: You can forget about it [laughter].
A: Well the Olympia is always great, but the winning the Arnold again will give me my redemption [in light of placing eighth at the 2010 Mr. Olympia].
A: Well, agreeing with it and it actually happening are two different things [laughter].
A: Let's just wait until after the Arnold. After I win the Arnold, you can ask me that question again.
A: Yes, you will. You most definitely will.
A: That's what I said, and that is what you will see.
A: I am not thinking about this until the day after the Arnold. My thinking about all future shows for this year will not start until after I win the Arnold.
A: Yes, I have always been this way, right from when I first began sports as a kid. There is no other way for me.
A: Well, my trainer is the only one who has seen me; I won't let anybody else see me until the show. So far all feedback has been very good. That is the only way I can sit here and tell you I am going to win; because I have been getting good feedback.
A: Thank you for supporting me and seeing me through as I have come from the bottom to the top and back to the bottom. And now you are going to see me at the top again. And whoever comes along to support me, thank you very much. I love you all and I can't wait for you guys to get a load of the new Victor Martinez on that stage.