Sergio Oliva Bodybuilder


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Sergio Oliva known as "The Myth" was born on July 4, 1941 in Cuba and when he was just still a child Fidel Castro’s opposition movement finally managed to overthrew Cuba’s Batista government and that was in 1959. Sergio suddenly found that his homeland was no longer a safe place where personal freedom was enjoyed and he planned his escape using state sponsored sport.

It was already at the age of 20 that he had becomes Cuba’s top lifter and managed to secure his place in the 198-pound class in order to compete at the 1961 Pan American Games which were held in Kingston, Jamaica. It was during those games just after he has received his Gold medal that Sergio ran to the American Embassy to seek asylum.

After the processing took place Sergio found himself at the Chicago’s Duncan YMCA where he was first introduced to bodybuilding. His first year of training his muscles grew to the point of looking like a real serious bodybuilder and it was only his first year.

The first time he stood on stage he won the Mr. Young Chicagoland. But Sergio had just started and within four years of starting to compete as a bodybuilder he had his Pro-card and had won the 1966 Mr. World and 1967 Mr. Universe titles and a year later he won the coveted 1967 Mr. Olympia title.

It was this unprecedented rise to the top ranks of professional bodybuilding that people began to call him "The Myth". It took Arnold two years before he could take the crown from the Myth and be declared the best built professional bodybuilder.

That loss and taking second place to Arnold at the 1972 Mr. Olympia held in Germany was what stopped Sergio until we finally saw him only reappear on stage in 1984. He was now a Chicago police officer, 43 years old and a father. He placed 8th competing against men who has idolized him and some he was the reason they started pumping iron in the first place.

Sergio Oliva Workout

Like any good bodybuilder knows one needs to constantly vary your workouts in order to keep growing and not get stuck on a plateau. His training routines included things like high volume, 5×5 work, often training with supersets and always training antagonistic body-parts together.

Sergio believed strongly in volume training and he would do sets with 20 reps in them for exercises like squats and deadlift, which is strange at the time. He believed that a muscle should be hit twice a week if you are eating correctly and resting enough.

Below is the split training for Sergio whereas mentioned above he would always work the antagonist muscle groups together.

Monday and Thursday = Chest, Back and Shoulders.
Tuesday and Friday = Biceps and Triceps.
Wednesday and Saturday = Legs and Abdominals.
Sunday = Rest.

Note: For information on volume training for natural bodybuilders checkout Muscle Express Training.



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