Chest Training with Victor Martinez

One of the most popular bodybuilders is older, wiser, and still a force in the pro ranks.


There was a time when Victor Martinez was considered the heir apparent to Ronnie Coleman’s eight-time Olympia reign, and rightfully so. He had the symmetry and proportion of a Dexter Jackson, yet with enough mass to compete with the likes of Coleman and Jay Cutler. His physique was a wonder, and 2007 was the year it all came together.

First, he roared to victory at the Arnold Classic in the spring, setting up a showdown at the Olympia against Cutler—who had dethroned Coleman the prior year—and the rest of a particularly loaded lineup, a who’s who of the era’s best. Yet, on that fateful night of Sept. 29, it was not to be, as Cutler edged him in a controversial decision by four points, all told. Victor would never come that close again.

Yet, for those who figured Martinez was finished as a force on the pro circuit, the Dominican Dominator had a surprise for the doubters. Facing down some intense, soul-crushing personal dramas—including the horrific murder of his sister in 2009, a seven-month immigration-related jail stint in 2011 in which his fate hung in the balance as to whether he could remain in the U.S., and the ongoing challenges of raising two autistic children—he continued to do the one thing he could control: He lifted.

After falling all the way to eighth at the 2010 O, he roared back to third at the 2011 Arnold Classic. He also earned his first win since ’07 by taking the Arnold Classic Europe and finished fourth at the Olympia. In 2013, he added a Toronto Pro championship, and in 2014, the Tampa Pro title.

In 2015 and 2016, he entered nine contests, and he shows no signs of slowing past his 43rd birthday as he looks ahead to 2017, with eyes on shoring up his legs and shoulders for his pursuit of his seventh career pro title.

On this day, chest training is on the agenda, and he’s at it with the intensity of a man still very much hungry for success.


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