Jeremy Buendia is feeling optimistic following his eighth-place comeback on the 2023 Men’s Physique Olympia stage. In a recent YouTube video, Buendia revealed he will compete at events other than the Olympia in 2024 and discussed his hunger to win back the coveted title.
“An Olympia win would have been great you guys, of course, it would have been the cherry on top. But if I didn’t have the preparation that I had and gone through things I had, the learning lessons I had and still won… I don’t know if I’d be as grateful,” explains Buendia.
As a former four-time Men’s Physique Olympia, Buendia has already established himself as an icon of the category. After teasing his return for a few years, Buendia made good on his promises earlier this month when he proved himself against 46 of the world’s most talented Men’s Physique competitors.
While Buendia was unable to recapture the crown, he left with his head held high in eighth place. Meanwhile, Ryan Terry unseated Erin Banks to win his first gold trophy whereas former three-time champ, Brandon Hendrickson settled for runner-up. Given the massive shake-up, Buendia assessed where he stands in the division and also provided details about his next contest appearances.
Jeremy Buendia Explains What Went Wrong at 2023 Mr. Olympia, Details Stress and Dieting Challenges
Buendia shared that his carb-loading process may have compromised his peak.
“Going into peak week before leaving to Orlando, I was just full of confidence. I had done everything I needed in my power to bring the best version of Jeremy Buendia to the stage,” shared Buendia.
“Figuring out how to bring my physique 100% at its all-time best and that’s called peaking – trying to peak the physique correctly. There’s a very small window for that. That’s why we put in some work in the weeks leading up, trying to test different foods and different carb loading strategies to try and figure out what made my physique look the best.”
During his 2023 Olympia preparations, Buendia mentioned one of his biggest concerns was carrying enough size to stand against top-tier talent of the division.
“One of the things I’ve been concerned with this whole prep was my size and that’s something that’s been a question ever since I announced my comeback, it was – was I going to be big enough? I wanted to make sure that we came in full the biggest my physique can be so this is what we did.
Leading up a few weeks out, we would carb load we would hit a heavy carb load like 600-800 grams of carbs and my body would still not be as full as it needed to. So we hit a second carb load day and usually after the second carb load day my body would be as full as it needed to be but I would hold a little bit of water.”
“I also woke up that morning not being able to go to the bathroom. I had eaten a ton of food. I woke up Friday morning I felt it in my stomach a little bit. I checked in with my coach and made some adjustments backed up off food a little bit to help it digest.”
In addition to problems with nutrition, Buendia said he struggled with nerves and stress backstage before performing.
“I wanted you guys to see all the hard work be fruitful on stage and display it to the world how great I really am. I didn’t feel the way I needed to feel.
It caused a lot of stress. I was running around backstage like a chicken with its head cut off. I couldn’t sit still, super ancy. As a champion, you walk out last, so you don’t got to worry about pumping up until the very end. This time around I was in the first group.”
Buendia was grateful for the challenges he endured throughout prep and was unsure why he looked better during the finals.
“No trophy could ever replaced what I’ve gained from this prep.”
“Maybe it was the burger after prejudging or the shot of tequila, but I woke up and looked way better. Maybe it was the nerves, maybe it was the tequila, maybe it was the burger, maybe it was nap, but I still hadn’t pooped yet.”
According to Buendia, his eighth-place finish was evidence that he still has the tools necessary to win back the Men’s Physique Olympia title.
“Despite my placing I handled myself well. This prep and competing it’s giving me a lot of optimism going into 2024 because I know I still belong. Placing eighth place out of the 46 best guys in the world not at my best shows I still have what it takes.
Me at 100% I believe I can win again. I’m hungry for it. I’m very grateful for my place because there were guys that placed below me that were a lot better conditioned or peaked better than I did and I still managed to beat those guys,” explains Buendia.
Buendia Teases Next Bodybuilding Contests
As for the future, Buendia plans to compete at contests other than the Olympia despite holding a lifetime qualification for the event.
“We are going to be hitting some shows outside of the Olympia. I am qualified for life you guys. I don’t need to compete in any other shows but Olympia, they did announce that the top three are the only ones that are automatically qualify and I wouldn’t feel right getting back on the Olympia stage next year if I don’t earn my place up there. I will be making a run at some shows outside of the Olympia, they are undecided yet.”
Jeremy Buendia will face a few obstacles next year as he eyes the Men’s Physique Olympia title. Most notably, the IFBB Pro League announced new height and weight restriction rules, courtesy of Vice President Tyler Manion. The organization justified the changes, stressing that Men’s Physique athletes were beginning to rival the size of Classic Physique talent.
Having matured in front of the fans’ eyes, Jeremy Buendia hopes to make a massive impact on the division in 2024. While he’s yet to nail down which events he will participate in, the bodybuilding community would love to see Buendia compete at the upcoming Arnold Classic.