Published Monday, Sept. 28, 2009 | 6 a.m.
Updated Monday, Sept. 28, 2009 | 12:58 a.m.
Check out this story with accompanying photos at VegasDeLuxe.com.
Congratulations to Las Vegas bodybuilder Jay Cutler on his third victory as Mr. Olympia, the highest accolade in professional bodybuilding. Jay joins the ranks of only six men who have won Mr. Olympia three or more times, including Calif. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who took the title seven times, and Lee Haney, who won an unprecedented eight consecutive times.
Branch Warren placed second in the competition at The Orleans over the weekend, and last year’s Mr. Olympia, Dexter Jackson, finished third in a bit of a surprise. Last year’s third-place finisher, Phil Heath, placed fifth this year and was replaced by Kai Greene in the No. 3 position.
Click HERE for our Senior Editor John Katsilometes’ story on Jay ahead of the weekend contest, and click HERE or on Vegas DeLuxe’s Video Vault page for videographer Voja Radosavljevic’s amazing video of Jay in training.
Jay celebrated his win, his third in four years, with an after-party at Prive in Planet Hollywood, and the magnificent mountain of a muscleman stuck to Fiji water. Now that’s dedication!
When I last interviewed Jay, before the 2008 Mr. Olympia last year, my first reaction was just how large he was because I literally became lost in his larger-than-life shadow!
Robin Leach: Just how big are you?
Jay Cutler: I am 5’9” and I weigh about 280.
RL: As Mr. Olympia, can you give me your stats?
JC: My arms are 22 1/2, my thighs are 31 inches. Waist is 35; neck is about 20.
RL: When people start on this process of building their bodies, that is a growing process. Are you still growing? Will you get even bigger?
JC: I like to think so. It is the name of the game, Robin. This competition is the best in the world. You always get new guys and new breeds of people who are better athletes and bigger and stronger, so I am trying to keep up.
RL: So it is not just a case of maintaining what you have already, but it is a case of improvement?
JC: You have to improve because the competition is getting stiffer all the time.
RL: How do you get bigger? Is it a case of both eating and working out more?
JC: There are a lot of variables that come into bodybuilding. For me, as big as I am, size is easy for me. I was bigger as a teenager. I turned professional at 23, which is a very young age to do that, so for me, my regimen includes so many things. I moved to Vegas to further my career from the East Coast. I train in the best facilities. I am always trying different things, training more frequently, less frequently, Pilates, kettle bells, deep tissue massage a few times per week to open up and let the muscle grow further, new diet techniques. It is always about mealtime, too. It is getting in the calories right after you train, getting the best benefit from working out. Also, sleep is a huge part of what we do.
RL: How many hours do you sleep?
JC: I sleep at least eight at night, and then I try to nap at least one to two hours during the day.
RL: How many calories must you intake?
JC: Anywhere from 4,000 to 7,000 per day. Eating fish is a major part of that. I eat six pounds of fish per day. It is expensive, and I am single-handedly supporting Costco. I have an extra-large fridge filled with eggs and fish. I eat eggs, turkey breast and steak once a day, and I eat eight times a day right now, every two hours.
RL: How many hours a day of working out?
JC: Four hours of training. I love every moment of it, especially come this week when I win my third consecutive title.
RL: Jay, I don’t know these things, but if you didn’t keep this up, would the muscles collapse?
JC: They would shrink; the muscle is 70 percent water. So I drink three gallons of water a day -- that’s about 24 bottles of water, at least two cases a day! With all the calories, protein holds on to muscle, carbs give the muscle energy, and it builds glycogen, which gives the illusion of looking really muscular, really full. It would shrink down, but not to fat unless I ate pizza and burgers and 7,000 calories a day. I will tone down one day like Arnold Schwarzenegger did. He is still toned, but he lost a lot of his mass.
RL: Is there an age when you pack this in?
JC: I am 36. The body is best between 34 to 36, which Arnold never saw because he chose to go into the movies. He retired at 31. They say the body is fully matured at 35. I am coming to the end of my career; I am not fresh into it. I have been Mr. Olympia twice before -- the third time is really the icing on the cake.
RL: If you win again, the third, is that when you think of retirement?
JC: I will. I may compete in ’09, but that would be my last.
RL: Would you then consider a career a la Arnold of movies and politics?
JC: I would consider it if someone called me and asked, but I am not going to play a muscle head in a phone booth on Venice Beach. I am not going to stay 280 pounds. I am going to shrink down, and I am going to throw the fish out the window because I can’t stand it. My neighbors are dying because I am cooking the fish outside, and it is flying over the fence.
RL: In retirement, where would your ideal weight drop down to?
JC: To 220 to 230, around there, more of an athletic physique. I am always going to weight train, not to the extreme I am now, and I am not going to eat crazy food like I am now.
RL: Do bodybuilders of your physique get to date bodybuilding ladies? Is that a buddy base?
JC: Maybe in the years past, but nowadays, it is not as popular. Like the men, pushing and pushing limitations, the women’s championship has lost that femininity. I am not into that. I like a chick who is in shape, but I don’t want to be fighting over my chicken and fish with some girl.
RL: Do girls go crazy over your physique?
JC: Some do, when I do guest appearances overseas. I am not the normal guy; it is a little outrageous. They like it when they realize I am a pretty nice guy. Bodybuilders have a reputation of being egotistical, and that is not the case with me.
RL: How many guys in bars get drunk and say that they want to show you they’re stronger in a fight?
JC: Not very many because I am well respected. Everyone knows who I am. It happened before when I was younger.
RL: Clint Eastwood told me that was the biggest problems with the roles he had.
JC: Chuck Norris would, too. There is always that question of who is the toughest guy. Bodybuilders aren’t like UFC fighters. We don’t fight, and we are performers.
RL: Other than the fish and someone wanting to pick a fight, what is the worst advantage and the best advantage of being Mr. Olympia?
JC: Well it is hard because we can’t hide what we have. With me, you can’t run from the physique. For me to go out in public in shorts and a T-shirt, it draws a lot of attention, and even though I look great, people just look at it as odd. Sometimes you don’t want the stares and the questions. The best is having the dream to be the best at something, and it came true. I wanted to be a bodybuilder. I am a role model; I get hundreds of emails each day from people who are influenced by my articles or something they read. That gives me a lot of drive. It is all driven by the fans and how you get recognized as a person and respected as a leader.
RL: How do you feel living in Vegas? Is this the best place on Earth for you?
JC: I love Vegas. When I want to go out and let loose and be somewhat normal, where else is better? It is a 24-hour city. I can eat 24 hours, I can work out 24 hours, and I can fly out 24 hours. It is ideal.
RL: If retirement does loom, do you think of what you would do after?
JC: I have thought about that. I have been thinking that for years. Bodybuilding is not guaranteed. If you get hurt, that is it. I have invested in real estate. I have contracts and sponsors that I continue with even after I retire. I will still promote bodybuilding to the best of my ability. I want to promote health and fitness, and I grew up in the construction field and I still work with that.
RL: I am older than you, and one of the most painful things is when I get a Charlie horse when I am sleeping, and I have to jump up out of bed and stand on it till it goes away. Do you ever get those?
JC: Once in a while, but I have a beautiful wife next to me who will massage it. A lot of it is dehydration. You get cramps when they are dehydrated, but I get six hours of massage per week. I did two hours this morning. A lot of it is keeping the toxins out and to stay hydrated. Thus, the cases of water each day. You can join me for a glass of champagne after this week. After the contest, it is Miller time.
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground. Read more of Robin's stories at VegasDeLuxe.com.
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