by Matt Weik
All sports seem to be developing – everything from soccer to baseball and tennis to the world of fitness and bodybuilding. I remember the introduction of new departments in the NPC and IFBB like Bikini and Men’s Physique. Both departments had amazing conditioning, but the builds really weren't large. Fast forward to today and things have changed drastically and the physique has become bigger and more difficult. The "beach body" look came and went. During development and transition, we saw the rise and fall of four-time Olympia's Men's Physique champion Jeremy Buendia.
After losing his title in 2018, Jeremy Buendia made it clear that he would withdraw from the competition. As a fan, I took that as "I'm retiring". Like many other fans. But I'm not sure if we ever heard these words from his mouth (at least I don't remember hearing them, but I could be wrong).
There have been a few conversations where Jeremy could step up and compete in Classic as he said he always felt that his roots as a bodybuilder and that his body wanted to grow. An Instagram post says Jeremy is coming back now, but stays in Men's Physique to try and get number five at the Las Vegas Olympics.
Coming out of the shadows or just staying calm?
There Jeremy Buendia stayed in the spotlight for a while after his “retirement” – and not for the right reasons. There have been many allegations that I will not go into in this article. In addition, as he said, Jeremy has some anger management issues to look after and get help for. Videos emerged of Jeremy Buendia fighting, as well as some very disturbing Instagram stories he is certainly not proud to look back on.
Does Jeremy Buendia come out of the shadows or just stay silent? I actually think of both. Jeremy controlled his temper (as far as I can tell) and at the same time tries to reinvent himself in sport by changing coaches.
Jeremy has worked with "The Pro Creator" Hany Rambod (who works with Phil Heath) for years, but has decided to bring his talents to South Beach. Ok, that's not right, but it worked for Lebron James. Jeremy travels overseas to work with The Camel Crew in Kuwait and train under the watchful eye of Abdullah at the Oxygen Gym (the same trainer that Brandon Curry worked with to take his first Mr. Olympia title home ).
At the time of writing of this article (late January 2020) Jeremy Buendia does not appear to be in Kuwait yet. On social media, it looks like he's still training in the U.S. It will be interesting to see what he looks like before traveling to Kuwait and what he looks like when he returns.
The camel crew are not kidding
If you look at the talent from Kuwait, it's not a joke. In fact, every single bodybuilder who trained in the Oxygen Gym in their off-season has made drastic improvements. Everyone from Nathan De Asha to Brandon Curry, Victor Martinez, Roelly Winklaar, Big Ramy, Regan Grimes and soon Jeremy Buendia.
Will Abdullah be able to maintain the shape needed to compete in the male body, or will Jeremy grow too tall? Only time will tell, but I'm excited to see what he can bring to the stage at the Olympics.
Can Jeremy Buendia win number 5?
That seems to be the million dollar question. Can he win or has his time in the division passed and maybe it's time to move up to Classic? Personally, I think if Jeremy can return to his old stamina, he will definitely be in the top 5 mix. However, I'm not sure if number five (as in his fifth title) is for him. I think you can call him the outsider, which is a position he is sure to agree with because it makes the trip back to the stage so much sweeter if you try to prove the opposite to everyone and keep the doubters silent bring.
Back to the development of sport: The boys who compete in men's construction are by no means small. Sure, if you put them next to a 212 or open bodybuilder, they're small, but they make everyone look small. The men's physique has changed a lot and the competition is much bigger than it was years ago. Jeremy Buendia can assert himself in the size department, but can his lines flow as well on his return as people like Brandon Hendrickson, Andre Ferguson and Raymont Edmonds?
Jeremy throwing his hat back in the ring will mess things up and many of the current rivals should be concerned. Buendia had THE LOOK for many years and depending on what he brings to Vegas, it could again be what the judges are looking for. But you can also prepare for a lot of shit starting when we get closer to the Olympics.
Olympia 2020 takes place from September 9th to 13th and will be here before you know it. What do you think about Jeremy Buendia coming back on stage? Is it a good move or a bad move for him? And what are the chances that he will actually win his fifth Olympic title? Let us know in the comments!