The latest installment of “The Menace Podcast” had a fitting guest — four-time Men’s Physique Olympia Champion Jeremy Buendia, who was the face of his division for several years.

Buendia may have appeared as if he had an attitude and a chip on his shoulder when he was climbing the summit of his division. That was because he knew the competition he was facing such as Sadik Hadzovic, Steve Cook, Andre Ferguson, and others were elite athletes. That meant he had to mentally commit himself to the greatness he wanted to achieve.

“It was a little intimidating going in there at 23 years old and competing against these guys. You know, I did my best to keep a chip on my shoulder and have some sort of attitude to hide my insecurities a little bit and you know, rise up to the occasion. I had to do that is some sort of way to hold my ground against them.”

Buendia may have also felt that way because of the company he was around. While he was working with his coach, Hany Rambod, he found himself around legends of bodybuilding. While his success may have felt like destiny, the California native also wanted to know he belonged in his position.

“I was sitting around a table with guys like Jay Cutler and Phil Heath. It was really motivating for me to be sitting at a table with those guys early on. I feel like I had some shoes to fill, and I felt like I was already sitting at the table with these guys that had all those titles. It was destined for me to have it. I just wanted to work hard and get there. When I was with Hany (Rambod), I worked my ass off, and I felt like I had a lot to prove.”

Buendia also shared with James that even though he believed he had to prove it, there was always this unexplainable confidence that he would was always make it there.

“I was hungry for it, but I felt like it was mine already. I was so confident that I was going to be the champion at one point in time. I really don’t know how to explain it, Dennis. It gave me a certain energy.”

The conversation also shifts to the possibility of returning to the stage, other career plans, and more. The interview was candid and a must-listen. Catch this episode as well as all episodes of TMP every Sunday at 6 p.m. EST on the Muscle & Fitness YouTube channel. Audio versions of each episode are also available on Spotify.

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