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Instead of using his offseason to relax, the two-title holding IFBB physique pro is gunning for September.

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Eyes on the "O"

“I woke up every morning to the sound of weights clanging together,” recalls Jeremy Buendia of his childhood. The noise emanating from the basement of the Buendia residence in San Jose, CA, was Jeremy’s father, Louie, a dedicated lifter in his own right who passed the love of iron on to his son. “I watched my dad weight train ever since I could remember,” Buendia says. “He raised me to be an athlete, and he started training me at the age of 6 doing various speed drills, pushups, and other calisthenics-type exercises. My dad introduced weights to me at 10 or 11 years old, and it became a part of my everyday life.”

By age 24, Buendia was the Olympia Men’s Physique Showdown winner, and with his successful title defense last September, he is the division’s first repeat champion. That’s why, despite it being May which is technically his off-season, the 25-year-old refuses to take a break.

“People have been asking me if this Olympia will be a little more relaxed now that I’ve won two in a row,” he says. “That’s not the case. Every year the competition is still there. And every year I want it more and more. I’m just as hungry as ever. If anything, I’m already at a pace to outwork myself from last year. I don’t plan on letting off the gas. I won’t let off the gas. Ever. Even if I win a third one, then what’s next? Win four? Switch to the classic bodybuilding? I don’t know, but my work’s never done.”

During our conversation, Buendia elaborated on a range of other topics, including his off-season training, how he’s planning to bring up perceived weak points, the Arnold Classic Physique competitors, and the state of bodybuilding. Oh yeah, and we also got our hands on a handful of his workouts!

SEE ALSO: 16 Greatest Physiques of All Time

M&F: Since it’s your off-season is approaching, are you planning to let loose just a little?
JB: I promised myself at the beginning of the year that I wasn’t going to be doing any partying or going out to clubs. This year is very important to me. If I get this third Olympia win, it’s gonna be very hard for someone to mimic that for many years to come. I want to make sure that I’m 100% dialed in all year without any mistakes. I want to know when I get on stage that I didn’t mess up all year long.

What does your off-season training consist of?

I stick with [fitness coach] Hany Rambod’s FST-7* training program. Hany wants me to incorporate more rest-pause motions to develop more density in my muscle, and I’ve been training almost every day. I’m doing quads twice a week and hamstrings once. I feel the need to improve my legs because I know a lot of guys I competed against last year have transitioned [to the classic physique class], and for my own mental state and peace of mind I’m still as good if not better than they are.

What were your thoughts on Brandon Hendrickson winning the Arnold Classic Physique?

I have a lot of respect for Brandon. I told him I’ll see him in September and that he better bring it ‘cause I don’t plan on letting off the gas. Ever. But [second-place finisher] George Brown was the competitor I felt made the biggest change. He looked amazing. I had him winning the show. I felt if [Jason] Poston would’ve been able to get his back to open, he could’ve taken the show, but Hendrickson caught those guys sleeping; he brought his A game.

What’s your overall assessment of the physique division?

Any guy who’s going to come in and beat me this year needs to make improvements upon his physique from last year. And I didn’t see any drastic improvements from anybody at the Arnold. They all looked about the same to me.

SEE ALSO: Train Like a Mr. Olympia Champ

How about the overall state of the bodybuilding industry?

It’s become more mainstream for athletes to get on stage. Before, shows had maybe 100 people. We’re now getting 300.

I know The Rock [Dwayne Johnson] is getting involved [with bodybuilding] and anything he puts his hands on turns to gold. That being said, everything he gets involved with he puts 100% effort into building up. That’s a huge step in the right direction for us in the industry.

What’s going on outside of the gym?

I’ve been putting time and money and hours into developing a bunch of different products with my team. I hired friends for Team Buendia to start helping with promotions; they’ve been working on a website for the past year. They’re with me in SoCal and travel everywhere with me. It helps a lot, emotionally, to know that I have those guys to fall back on for whatever I may need. They’re there for me no matter what. I’ve also done a few seminars—gyms are calling and asking me to come out.

More online exposure opens you up to dealing with haters who troll social media. How do you deal with that?

If I could say what I wanted to say, I wouldn’t be where I’m at right now [laughs]. When I first started getting my name out I was dealing with a lot of it. For example, I posted a video of me hitting the 125s on inclines the other day for reps, and there are guys saying, “Oh, you’re not doing complete reps,” or, “Your technique is wrong.” Stupid stuff, usually, but some start to take personal attacks. You have to take a step back and approach the situations differently. Before, I could get away with [a retort] and nobody would know, but the moment I say something now a screenshot gets posted on a forum and then I’m the biggest jerk on the planet [laughs]. I usually just let it go.

The 411 On FST-7

FST stands for “fascia stretch training,” while the “7” refers to the seven sets you do for the final exercise of a given body part.

The FST-7 Routine The FST-7 training system was created by Buendia’s trainer Hany Rambod, aka "the Pro Creator," in 2007; what follows are Rambod's FST-7 blueprints.

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