by Matt Weik
When it comes to bodybuilding 212 there are some names that will go down in division history forever. They have names like Flex Lewis, who had a string of Olympic victories that I’m not sure will ever be broken. Then there are guys like Guy Cisternino who grab a microphone and make people laugh on the floor. Then there is Jose Raymond – “The Boston Mass”.
In his early 40s, Jose Raymond decided to hang up his posing trunks after suffering from injuries, surgery, and unfortunate setbacks. I’m not sure there is a single soul out there with bad things to say about the man. Jose Raymond was one of the 212 toughest working competitors and had a long and successful career. After announcing that he would be retiring a few years ago before the Olympics, it was hard to imagine that he would never be in a 212 lineup again. Or would he?
Jose Raymond – Nothing is holding him back
I enjoy hearing people’s stories and backgrounds, and Jose Raymond has a fascinating background that I don’t think many people are aware of. For starters, Jose Raymond is the youngest of eight siblings.
As a teenager, he and his siblings were kidnapped by the state. Unfortunately fast forward a little and the siblings would be split up. Both Jose and his brother (Tito) were taken in and legally adopted by the Raymond family – they separated them from their other siblings.
Jose was active as a child, but it wasn’t until his social worker introduced him to weight training that he discovered a new passion.
It has been said that at 15 he already weighed 150 pounds and was solid for his age. Hell, some 30 year old men don’t even weigh 150 pounds. Interestingly, a teacher actually had Jose Raymond take a drug test to see if he was taking steroids as he quickly became the strongest kid in school.
From this point on one could arguably say, “The rest is history”. But now, back to your regular program without going on a tangent.
Don’t call it a comeback
After recovering from his last surgery that resulted in Jose Raymond’s retirement, it seems like his battered body has been enjoying “time out” from bodybuilding prep. After his last surgery, he mentioned that he had lost significant weight – not to mention muscle mass.
However, without basically focusing on year-round preparation for shows and not having a real off-season, Jose Raymond mentioned that his body adapts to lighter weights and more volume and feels ready to grace the stage again.
Well, let’s not twist things. When Jose Raymond says “light weights,” he’s still pushing some serious weight. He just doesn’t go crazy with his workouts like it used to and allows his body to adapt to different workout modalities by implementing more drop sets to completely exhaust and break down the muscle fibers.
Between the exercise and nutrition plan, Jose mentioned that he is seeing significant improvements in his size and muscles. Some extra carbohydrates while on a “pre-competition diet” seems to work well as his weight has steadily gained and his size is coming back.
The fact is, Jose Raymond is not a spring chicken. I would never call him old (he’d rip my head off and stick in my ass), but at 46, a lot of the younger competitors might be joking around asking when he’ll sign up for his AARP card. But seriously, I’m not sure if there is a single competitor who doesn’t respect Jose Raymond. I got to meet him once and I can say that he is one of the nicest guys I have ever met.
One question that has remained unanswered is WHEN will we actually be able to see Jose Raymond on stage again? And while we’re taking what he said at face value, we really don’t know if Jose will ever be an active bodybuilder again. As far as I know, it is not “official” for him to come back. It seems like he’s talking about a comeback, but until he talks about a show he trains for, nothing is set in stone.
What’s his next show when he comes back?
While bodybuilders just love to compete, it’s hard to believe that none of them think about the Olympics and work their asses off to get on the Olympic stage. Jose Raymond is no exception. I really don’t think Jose would spend the time and effort just doing a few smaller shows without his eyes on the bigger prize – going to the Olympics. While he could collect a paycheck for a few smaller shows year-round, it wouldn’t be the same if he didn’t attend the Olympics this year.
Will we see Jose Raymond on stage in 2021? Bodybuilding fans are yet to discover that, but Jose seems to be pointing to a comeback in 2021. What show will he jump into? That is hard to say. It’s strange to think that Jose isn’t jumping into a series of shows this year as he always seemed weeks away from getting back on stage. This goes back to his comment that he never really had an “off-season” as he was constantly exercising and working on his conditioning for his next gig.
Regardless of the show he throws his hat back into the ring on, Jose is always a threat when he takes the stage. What will his body look like if he goes on a diet after a few years off? Who knows? Will he get back all the size we are used to seeing him carry around? That is still to be seen. But all in all, I’d rather see Jose Raymond on a bodybuilding stage again sooner than later.