by Matt Weik
Bodybuilding is deeply rooted in Sergio Oliva Jr.'s veins. What his father achieved in this sport was astonishing. The fact that Sergio has decided to follow in his father's footsteps is honestly a brave step. So many athletes have tried to imitate their father and failed miserably. That being said, I think the way Sergio has made progress and changed his body over the years could make his father incredibly proud.
If you followed my content a few years ago, I wrote an article about whether Sergio Oliva Jr. and Hunter Labrada could ever meet their father's expectations of a bodybuilding phase. And although we haven't seen much of Hunter yet, Sergio is on the way to paving his own way.
The victory pose
In my opinion, the Arnold Classic 2020 in Columbus, Ohio was a coming-out party for Sergio Oliva Jr. While I mentioned in my prediction article that it is a wildcard regarding someone knocking on the door to To break that top 5, I didn't think he would get on the show as well as he did.
There was some beef going on between him and Patrick Moore, and everyone made Patrick be a major competitor. Unfortunately for Patrick, he didn't do his best physique on stage in Columbus. So I can safely say that Sergio Oliva Jr. had the last laugh.
During the Saturday night show at the Arnold Classic, Sergio Oliva Jr. was awarded the "Best Poser" award. He got a nice check and a trophy for his efforts. During his interview, he made Arnold throw the victory pose made famous by Sergio's father. It was a really cool moment – one that Sergio Oliva Jr. will never forget.
The next question we have to ask is: "Can Sergio Oliva Jr. improve to the point where he is at the front after a win and focuses on the stage to achieve a win pose?" If you asked me this question a few years ago, my answer would be no. At that point, I didn't think Sergio had a winning physique against someone who is currently in the top 5 of a show. Now and how it has improved, I can absolutely see that it is happening.
Sergio Oliva Jr. made HUGE progress in the off-season – he built muscle mass at an astonishing rate. When I saw his photos in front of the Arnold Classic, I was overwhelmed. Apart from that, I have the feeling at this point that Sergio is still a little small along with some other competitors. I think this can be confirmed if you look at the photos of this year's Arnold Classic.
But I don't count him, because it's not always the biggest man on stage who gets away with first place, as if that were the case, Ramy would have placed better in the Arnold. Sergio has great lines and symmetry and if he could add more bulk without losing it he could be incredibly dangerous.
Do I expect major changes in his physique in 2020? No. But as productive as his off-season was, 2021 could be a great year for Sergio. Can you imagine what a low season in Kuwait would mean for Sergio? The guys at Oxygen Gym create some crazy body shapes. If he could add the size needed in the off-season, there is no telling what kind of lineup he will be entering.
It was'nt easy
Sergio Oliva Jr. had some difficult times with a relationship he was in a few years ago. This ultimately led to him becoming slightly depressed and switching off a little – which is understandable if he goes through something like him.
Then he found a new source of motivation and energy that would help him shake it off and go back to what he loved – bodybuilding. I think his story is something a lot of people go through, and while I'm sure it's incredibly difficult to talk about, I wish he would share it with more people so that they know they are not alone how they feel and what they do through. At the same time, I respect his privacy 100% if he doesn't want to go into all the details or share them.
If only I could change one thing
It must be incredibly difficult to follow in his father's footsteps. Meeting the expectations placed on him to surpass his father cannot be easy. And it could be because of this that Sergio can sometimes do "cocky" and "arrogant".
Sergio Oliva Jr. will never change who he is and should be. But in a way, I wish he'd end the gossip and the attitude he sometimes reveals. I really think Sergio is a good person, but sometimes he can turn out negative.
But in a lighter shade, Sergio is funny and a joker. You can't get through an interview with Sergio here and there without a giggle. He seems to have fun with the sport again, which can only bring a good mood. His passion for bodybuilding is contagious and his training shows his commitment to his craft.
I wish Sergio Oliva Jr. the very best and hope to see him one day at the Arnold Classic and possibly even get the Olympic title.