As the final quarter of 2023 takes its turn, Open bodybuilder Sergio Oliva Jr. is embracing new changes in his life. In a recent RX Muscle YouTube video published on October 9, 2023, Oliva Jr. discussed leaving Chris Aceto for his new coach Neil Hill, and training with bodybuilding legend Dorian Yates for the 2024 Arnold Classic.
Oliva Jr. has followed in the footsteps of his late father “The Myth” — Sergio Oliva, who carved out one of the most accomplished bodybuilding careers of all time, having claimed three Mr. Olympia titles while defeating legends of the sport such as Arnold Schwarzenegger and Frank Zane.
Even though Oliva Jr. hasn’t reached the peak of the Mr. Olympia mountain doesn’t mean he hasn’t enjoyed success. As a Men’s Open Pro, Oliva Jr. has conquered prestigious events like the New York Pro and even pushed Mamdouh “Big Ramy” Elssbiay, Dexter Jackson, and William Bonac during his fifth-place appearance at the 2020 Arnold Classic.
In March, Oliva Jr.’s bodybuilding comeback was put on hold after he was involved in a traffic collision that resulted in the loss of a man’s life. Spending time in jail under poor conditions, Oliva Jr. described it as the “worst experience” of his life. Cleared of any wrongdoing, Oliva Jr. made a splash at the 2023 Musclecontest California Pro in third but now has much bigger ambitions on the horizon.
Sergio Oliva Jr. Reveals Dorian Yates Will Train Him In Preparation for 2024 Arnold Classic
First, Oliva Jr. explained how he and Dorian Yates came to the conclusion to work together for next year’s 2024 Arnold Classic.
“As for the bodybuilding news of what you’re speaking of is Dorian Yates will be training me. I don’t even know what to say. It’s kind of like a thing that happened on accident and now it’s the most exciting thing I think I’ve ever had happen.”
“Neither [of us approached each other] we have a mutual friend someone I knew who was living in Venice then I moved to Dubai and he was here, which it’s a small small world. I was telling him how I want to get on my Spanish it’s very important to me and I want to prep for my next show outside of Dubai.
Unfortunately because of the case I had the traffic accident, it’s just put a bad vibe on me being here. I cannot think about prepping for another show here. No matter what i was going to leave. Running into this guy who is friends with Dorian, who is like, ‘Oh you should train at this guy, it’s the gym he trains at.’ Next thing I know me and Dorian are hanging out and talking about training me for the Arnold Classic. It’s just one of those things, this is how life is supposed to happen I guess.”
Given the knowledge Chris Cormier took from training with Yates, Oliva Jr. is motivated to learn not just bodybuilding techniques, but how to overcome obstacles in a tranquil manner, something the former six-time Olympia titleholder mastered during his epic tenure.
“After Cormier was competing in the Olympias for years he then went out and stayed with Dorian. And Dorian was the first person who taught him how to properly train. If you talk to Cormier today, he’ll tell you how upset he is that it took so long for him to go out there and learn this type of training — it completely changes the whole difference of having good genetics and looking good and actually just transforming your body completely to your full potential.”
“I can’t imagine how it’ll be from the actual Miyagi himself. But for the life aspect of it… it’s one really good thing that I got from Aceto. If anything, he probably taught me more about life and being a good person.”
“Just talking to Dorian, this new him where you can turn it on and see him and he’ll even say himself that sometimes he has to calm himself down because he’ll injure himself. He’s still got that dog in him. But his philosophical way of looking at life and handling problems is definitely something that I will learn from and I need to learn from,” said Sergio Oliva Jr.
Oliva Jr. Discusses Leaving Chris Aceto for New Coach Neil Hill
Oliva Jr. made it clear that personal growth was the reason for his coaching change, and stressed that Chris Aceto “is the best person I’ve met in my life.”
“I think that’s something a lot of people don’t talk about and they don’t realize themselves when you go to a new coach that new coach can sometimes do a lot better because you did the trial and error with the past guy for so long now Neil my new coach can ask me a question, ‘Does this work and does this work?’ And I have those answers, rather than me and Aceto, me being 20-something years old weighing 100 pounds less figuring it out as we go. I think it’s good I’ve learned so much from him and now I kind of want to take that into the next level and really the mystery of going into a show not knowing what’s going to happen that’s exciting again.”
“Chris is the best person I’ve met in my life but of course easily in this industry. I was just talking to him this morning. I just got back from Spain last night and I was sending him some pictures from there, so it’s never going to be anything like that.”
“How many people with Chris have bad-mouthed Chris? Yeah, there’s a lot of coaches, sometimes it’s the athletes, sometimes it’s the coaches, but Chris has coached everybody. Who has ever been like ‘Oh, Chris screwed me over’. He doesn’t. He kills himself for his clients. I’ve seen this guy take care of his clients better than himself. There’s no way someone could have a problem with him.”
Despite having yet to reach the marquee Olympia stage, veterans have backed Sergio Oliva Jr. as a notable threat. In April, former 1983 Mr. Olympia Samir Bannout predicted Oliva Jr. had the potential to win the sport’s biggest contest with a ‘mentality change.’
With plans of moving to a different country and training under the watchful eye of “The Shadow,” fans look forward to seeing what Sergio Oliva Jr. can bring to the 2024 Arnold Classic, which is expected to take place in the first week of March.