American bodybuilder Sergio Oliva Jr. had been on the sidelines for an extended period of time until making his way back to the 2023 Musclecontest California State Pro this past weekend. In a recent post made on Instagram, Olivia Jr. issued a motivational message after turning in an impressive third-place performance in his comeback.
Sergio Oliva Jr., son of bodybuilding legend Sergio Oliva, followed in his father’s footsteps to become a Men’s Open bodybuilder. His addition to the sport generated a lot of buzz given he was the son of the three-time Mr. Olympia who defeated fellow icons like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Frank Zane, and Franco Columbu. Oliva Jr. presented a stellar combination of muscle mass, definition, and posing skills. He made his IFBB Pro League debut at the 2016 Pittsburgh Pro and took home the top prize at the 2017 New York Pro.
In 2018, Oliva Jr. scored back-to-back silver at the Chicago Pro and Tampa Pro. Then, at the Olympia competition, he finished 16th. After taking the year off in 2019, Oliva Jr. placed in the top five in his return at the 2020 Arnold Classic. He took another hiatus following a third-place finish at the 2021 Legion Sports Fest Pro and sixth-placing at the 2021 Arnold Classic, where he won the Best Poser Award as well.
Oliva Jr. voiced his disapproval of the lack of emphasis Open athletes give posing after the show. While he doesn’t believe posing can outshine a stronger physique, he argued it could be the deciding factor in close battles. Then, he hit back at former Mr. Olympia Samir Bannout and bodybuilding veteran Robby Robinson for bashing modern Open competitors.
Earlier this year, Oliva Jr. reflected on his father’s decorated career and feud with the Olympian organizers. He admitted he was worried their dispute might spill into his relationship with the organizers and believed he could win the coveted Sandow trophy if he comes at his best. He ignited speculation about his comeback with an insanely shredded physique update displaying striations in his delts two months ago.
Many suspected Oliva Jr. was gearing up for the 2023 Arnold Classic South America but he shut down the rumors while laying out his roadmap to becoming Mr. Olympia last month. He revealed his weight to be a massive 291 pounds and said he was focused on optimizing his peaking process for the best performance. Oliva Jr. announced his plans to compete at the 2023 New York Pro and 2023 Cali Pro a month ago. He fired back at his critics for labeling him an ‘Instagram bodybuilder’ and assured a strong comeback.
Sergio Oliva Jr. is going nowhere after an impressive comeback
In a recent Instagram post, Sergio Oliva Jr. issued a motivational message declaring his plans to stay active and compete in the sport after turning in an impressive performance at the 2023 Musclecontest California State Pro, held on May 27. He had confirmed his entry on short notice just days out from the show.
He expressed gratitude for the opportunity and identified an issue with his conditioning due to traveling. Now that he overcame the mental hurdle of taking to a stage, he’s looking forward to a robust season of competition.
“When I used to see people say ‘I’m just so happy to be on stage’ I was like,” wrote Oliva Jr. “But this time for me it means something different. I Wanted to come for this Win of course but it genuinely was great to be free to do what I want to in my life. I did everything I could for this show (evvverythingand) never in my life worked as hard as I did.
“No excuses tho, guys like @andrewjacked and @hadi_choopan do what I did and travel nail their condition still. No matter what I’m back and never have to worry about being trapped again. No prep will ever be harder after this nightmare. I mostly want to say shout out to the IFBB letting guys condition like @rossflanigan_gainz and @beef_stu_97 get not only seen, but rewarded. These guys came with it and I’m happy to share the stage with them.”
At the event, Sergio Oliva Jr. turned heads with his impressive build in his return and took bronze behind runner-up Tonio Burton and winner Ross Flanigan. While he wasn’t as active as he would’ve liked in the past, his latest performance is a promising sign he’s back on track and will continue to work his way up to Mr. Olympia.