Dexter Jackson is an IFBB Professional Open division Bodybuilder/ former Mr. Olympia (2008). He’s the winningest bodybuilder in history, an icon of the sport, and still a top competitor in Open bodybuilding. This is his life story, competition history, diet, training routine, and more.
(IFBB Pro Bodybuilder, trainer)
|Full Name: Dexter Jackson (Bodybuilder)|
|215 lb (98 kg) (Contest)
235 lb (107 kg) (Off-Season)
|5’6” (168 cm)||53 years years|
|Date of Birth||Era||Nationality|
|November 25, 1969||1990, 2000, 2010||American|
Dexter Jackson was born and raised in Jacksonville, Fl. He was one of the six children. Jackson played football in high school and was an exceptional athlete. In addition, he participated in baseball, ran track, gymnastics, and martial arts earning several levels of a black belt.
After his high school years, Jackson learned that he was going to be a father which made him decide that he’d get a job as a cook rather than attending college.
But it was during these years that Jackson discovered his love for training, obviously realizing that he was blessed hence why he was suggested to compete by friends. Shortly after, he competed in some local shows, winning his first-ever competition at age 20 and with only a few weeks to prepare for it.
Jackson went on to become a huge name in the industry, gracing the cover of major fitness magazines such as Flex, Muscular Development, MuscleMag, and more.
Competition and Career
Dexter Jackson earned the nickname, ‘The Blade’ due to his sharp look.
His first NPC (National Physique Committee) competition was the 1992 NPC Southern States of which he placed 3rd in the lightweight category. Jackson earned his Pro card several years later at the 1998 North American Championships after winning the light-heavyweight and overall. He competed at the Arnold Classic the very next year and placed 7th.
Dexter Jackson has won more bodybuilding shows than anyone in the history of the sport with 29 victories to his name. He won the Arnold Classic (Ohio) a record five times (2005, 2006, 2008, 2013, 2015), and defeated the reigning champion Jay Cutler in 2008 to win the Mr. Olympia title.
This win made him one of only 15 men on the planet to win the title.
Not to mention, he took the title at the Masters Olympia in 2012 at age 43 after having placed fourth at that year’s Olympia.
What’s also very impressive about Jackson’s career is that he finished in the top five at the Mr. Olympia competition from 2002-2018 although he didn’t participate in the 2005 contest. He also holds the record for most Olympia appearances with 20.
Earlier this year, Jackson announced that the 2020 Olympia will be his last competition. However, he recently explained in an interview that due to the current health situation, he may consider competing for another year to be able to compete in shows that he wanted too. He noted that he’d like to add the Arnold Classic Brazil to his resume as he hasn’t won that show yet.
Either way, Dexter Jackson has nothing else to prove and is one of the greatest bodybuilding of all time.
His incredible genetics and work ethic have allowed him to be where he is today with accomplishments that no man ever has ever achieved.
- 1992 NPC Southern States, Lightweight – 3rd
- 1995 NPC USA Championships, Light-Heavyweight – 1st
- 1996 NPC Nationals, Light-Heavyweight – 6th
- 1998 North American Championships, Light-HeavyWeight – 1st and Overall (Pro card)
- 1999 Arnold Classic – 7th
- 1999 Grand Prix England – 4th
- 1999 Night of Champions – 3rd
- 1999 Mr. Olympia – 9th
- 1999 World Pro Championships – 4th
- 2000 Arnold Classic – 5th
- 2000 Grand Prix Hungary – 2nd
- 2000 Ironman Pro Invitational – 3rd
- 2000 Night of Champions – 8th
- 2000 Mr. Olympia – 9th
- 2000 Toronto Pro Invitational – 2nd
- 2001 Arnold Classic – 5th
- 2001 Grand Prix Australia – 3rd
- 2001 Grand Prix England – 4th
- 2001 Grand Prix Hungary – 3rd
- 2001 Night of Champions – 2nd
- 2001 Mr. Olympia – 8th
- 2001 Toronto Pro Invitational – 2nd
- 2002 Arnold Classic – 3rd
- 2002 Grand Prix Australia – 2nd
- 2002 Grand Prix Austria – 2nd
- 2002 Grand Prix England – 1st
- 2002 Grand Prix Holland – 3rd
- 2002 Mr. Olympia – 4th
- 2002 San Francisco Pro Invitational – 3rd
- 2002 Show of Strength Pro Championship – 6th
- 2003 Arnold Classic – 4th
- 2003 Maximum Pro Invitational – 3rd
- 2003 Mr. Olympia – 3rd
- 2003 San Francisco Pro Invitational – 3rd
- 2003 Show of Strength Pro Championship – 1st
- 2004 Arnold Classic – 3rd
- 2004 Grand Prix Australia – 1st
- 2004 Ironman Pro Invitational – 1st
- 2004 Mr. Olympia – 4th
- 2004 San Francisco Pro Invitational – 1st
- 2005 Arnold Classic – 1st
- 2005 San Francisco Pro Invitational – 2nd
- 2006 Arnold Classic – 1st
- 2006 Mr. Olympia – 4th
- 2007 Arnold Classic – 2nd
- 2007 IFBB Australian Pro Grand Prix – 1st
- 2007 Mr. Olympia – 3rd
- 2008 Arnold Classic – 1st
- 2008 IFBB Australian Pro Grand Prix VIII – 1st
- 2008 IFBB New Zealand Grand Prix – 1st
- 2008 IFBB Russian Grand Prix – 1st
- 2008 Mr. Olympia – 1st
- 2009 Mr. Olympia – 3rd
- 2010 Arnold Classic – 4th
- 2010 IFBB Australian Pro Grand Prix – 2nd
- 2010 Mr. Olympia – 4th
- 2011 Flex Pro – 2nd
- 2011 Mr. Olympia – 6th
- 2011 FIBO Pro – 1st
- 2011 Pro Masters World Champion – 1st
- 2012 Arnold Classic – 5th
- 2012 Mr. Olympia – 4th
- 2012 IFBB Masters Olympia – 1st
- 2013 Arnold Classic – 1st
- 2013 IFBB Australian Pro Grand Prix – 1st
- 2013 Mr. Olympia – 5th
- 2013 EVLS Prague Pro – 2nd
- 2013 Tijuana Pro – 1st
- 2014 Mr. Olympia – 5th
- 2014 Arnold Classic Europe – 3rd
- 2014 Dubai Pro – 1st
- 2014 Prague Pro – 2nd
- 2015 Arnold Classic – 1st
- 2015 Arnold Classic Australia – 1st
- 2015 Arnold Classic Europe – 1st
- 2015 Mr. Olympia – 2nd
- 2015 Prague Pro – 1st
- 2016 New York Pro – 1st
- 2016 Arnold Classic South Africa – 1st
- 2016 Mr. Olympia – 3rd
- 2016 Arnold Classic Europe – 1st
- 2016 Prague Pro – 3rd
- 2016 Mr. Olympia Europe – 1st
- 2017 Mr. Olympia – 4th
- 2017 Prague Pro – 3rd
- 2018 Arnold Classic – 2nd
- 2018 IFBB Arnold Classic Australia – 3rd
- 2018 Mr. Olympia – 7th
- 2019 Tampa Pro – 1st
- 2019 Mr. Olympia – 4th
- 2020 Arnold Classic – 2nd
Dexter Jackson Training Regime
There are many great videos of Dexter Jackson’s training videos on the internet. So, we chose a few sessions that he did before months out from competing in the 2019 Olympia and 2020 Arnold Classic. He uses a good variety f machines which he has explained is safer for him.
Although, he’ll definitely do free weights as well.
- Dumbbell side lateral raises
- Dumbbell upright rows
- Barbell reverse-grip front delt raise
- Rear delt fly
- Machine shoulder press
- Machine preacher curls
- Barbell curls
- Spider curls
- Straight-bar tricep pushdowns
- Prone tricep extensions superset w/ machine dips
- Incline EZ bar overhead tricep extension superset w/ rope tricep pushdowns
The following is a quad-focused workout that Dexter Jackson did 5 weeks out from the 2020 Arnold Classic. He was connected to a Neubie machine while being monitored; which is an electrostimulation device by NeuFit that helps with muscular re-education, recovery, preventing injuries, etc.
He has noted that training with this device allowed him to get his legs back and he feels no pain in his knees. As a result, he can go pretty heavy with his leg exercises.
- Leg extensions
- Angled leg press
- Machine V squat
- Leg press variation
‘The Blade’ did the following hamstring-focused workout prior to last year’s Olympia.
- Seated hamstring curl – 5 sets
- Standing single-leg hamstring curl machine – 4 sets
- Lying hamstring curl – 4 sets
- Reverse hack squat/deadlift – 4 sets
Diet and Nutrition
Amid the current health crisis, Dexter Jackson posted a video showing what he eats to stay lean and in good shape. He also eats this exact, low-carb meal even when he’s dieting down for a big show such as the Arnold Classic and Olympia.
Jackson made it a point to mention that he does not cut sodium as it helps to keep the full look. So, he doesn’t hold back much with the seasonings. He explained that he only eats a few times per day and in the offseason, he’ll usually eat 4 healthier meals and 2 meals where he’s a little more lenient with his choices.
Meal option 1
- Pan-fried chicken breast chunks w/ BBQ sauce
- Pan-fried organic Basmati rice w/ soy sauce
Shortly after, Jackson posted another video where he showed what he eats up to two, three weeks before a show.
Meal option 2
- 1 1/2 cups (70 grams of carbs) of organic, wheat and gluten-free brown rice pasta w/ 6-7 ounces of beef ground beef (you can use any meat or seafood of your choice though), and some organic pasta sauce.
Jackson filmed a documentary, Dexter Jackson: Unbreakable that was filmed by Alex Ardenti of Ardenti Films and made available in 2009.
He’s also a coach that conducts lessons for people looking to improve their physiques and has his own NPC bodybuilding show, the Dexter Jackson Classic that’s held annually in his hometown of Jacksonville, Fl.
‘The Blade’ Dexter Jackson is a bodybuilder to cherish if you’ve been fortunate enough to witness his greatness. At 50 years old, he still continues to place very high at major bodybuilding competitions and although he planned for one more show, he may extend his participation for an additional year.
And hopefully, he’ll snag a few more wins to add to his unparalleled resume.