Jeremy Buendia wasn’t born in the weight room, but it may seem that way considering how early he started down that path.
My father was a non-competitive bodybuilder, so I always grew up in the weight room as a child,” Jeremy says. “His discipline and love for the weights becaue a part of my life at a very young age.”
That love stayed with Jeremy through high school, where he became a standout linebacker at Whitney High and earned an all-league honors despite playing his senior season with a bulging disc in his neck and lower back. A handful of colleges came calling, but the injury and a desire to focus on getting an education meant the end of Jeremy’s playing days.
One thing that didn’t end was Jeremy’s competiveness. It’s what drew him to the bodybuilding stage at the age of 17, where he won the Overall title in the Teen division at the 2010 Contra Costa Championships.
“That’s when I realized this was my calling, Jeremy says. “There was no better feeling than achieving something that you pour your heart and soul into day after day, week after week, month after month, and year after year.”
After three years as a bodybuilder, Jeremy decided to make the transition to the relatively new Men’s Physique division for the 2012 season. There, he was able to take his career to an entirely new level by running off four straight Overall wins – capped with a victory at the NPC Junior USA Championships, where he gained entry into the IFBB Professional League.
His success didn’t stop there. One month later, Jeremy made it five wins in a row by claiming top honors in his first-ever professional competition at the Greater Gulf States. In the process, he qualified to stand toe-to-toe with the best in the world at the Men’s Physique Showdown at Joe Weider’s Olympia Weekend.
“I set out eight months ago—when I crossed over to physique—with intentions of competing in the first Men’s Physique Olympia Showdown, and now that it is finally happening leaves me in astonishment of my personal ability to achieve whatever I set my mind to,” Buendia says. “The only person that can stop me is myself – and that’s not going to happen, at least not for a very long time.”
Q. When did you start working out?
A. I had always grown up in a weight room as a child as my father was a non-competitive bodybuilder thru the 70’s and 80’s. His discipline and love for the weights became apart of my life at a very young age. My father was always my idol and I knew that I wanted “muscles” like his one day, little did I know that it would turn into something that I could end up doing professionally. I started training consistently after my senior varsity football season. I dropped my football weight class (which was primarily sports specific/plyometric training) and took the extra period off to hit the weight room at the local gym.
Q. How did you get interested in competing?
A. My interest in competition began when I was 17, when I began training with IFBB pro Valerie Gangi and her ex-husband Jimmy Lee. They both motivated and encouraged me to get on stage for the first time. Once I hit the stage, I was hooked. I knew I had found my calling, my passion, and my love.”
Q. You were a bodybuilder, but eventually switched over to the Men’s Physique Division. Why did you make that change?
A. “I feel Men’s Physique is the perfect division for me. I feel I bring a solid package of what the industry is looking for when it comes to the prototype of men’s physique. Small waist, tight abs and obliques, full chest, and most of all a well-balanced and aesthetic physique.”
Q. What do you do for a living?
A. I am the co-owner and coach of Team FitBody Fusion.
Q. What are your long-term goals in the sport of Men’s Physique?
A. Winning the Olympia Men’s Physique Showdown.
Q. What are your favorite exercises?
A. Bench Press and lateral shoulder raises.
Q. What is your favorite body part?
A. Shoulders and biceps.
Q. What was the first equipment you trained on?
A. An old-school dip and pull up machine.
Q. When did you realize competing was your passion?
A. The moment I won my first overall as a teenage bodybuilder at the NPC Contra Costa. There was no better feeling than achieving something that you pour your heart and soul into day after day, week after week, month after month, and year after year.
Q. What do you do to prepare for a show?
A. I isolate myself from temptations. I stay away from certain people that may have a negative influence on my training, I only buy the food on my diet and I seclude myself from any outside distractions.
Q. How do you take advantage of the offseason?
A. What’s an offseason? I’m six weeks out all the time!
Q. Who is your inspiration in this sport?
A. I am inspired by my friends in this sport. I have such a great support system up here in the bay area. IFBB Pro Johnny Sebastian has been by my side since the beginning and he is always there to motivate me. We both started physique around the same time and we both got our pro cards within a month of each other and we also competed in our pro debut together.
Q. How has competing enhanced your life and how do you/will you use it to improve the life of others?
A. Competing has opened up so many doors for me. It has given me a very comfortable living and has given me a successful business. It has taught me about dedication, discipline, and commitment. I have seen many of my clients’ lives change right before my eyes. This sport brings confidence to an individual and helps people learn a lot about themselves as a person. Every time I have a competitor tell me I have changed their life for the better, it just reminds me why I love what I do.
Q. What advice would you give to others that want to break into competing?
A. Be prepared to challenge yourself in every possible way – physically, mentally, and emotionally. It’s not easy and there is a lot of sacrifice, but in the end it’s always worth it.
Jeremy Buendia's Training Split (Contest Prep)
|1||Shoulders and Heavy Abs|
|2||Back and Obliques|
|3||Biceps and Abs|
|5||Chest and Shoulders|
Jeremy Buendia's Cardio (Contest Prep)
|Day||Type of Cardio||Duration (minutes)|
|1||HIIT stairs||20 minutes|
|2||Steady state||25 minutes|
|5||HIIT stairs||20 minutes|
|6||HIIT stairs||20 minutes|
Birthdate: October 26, 1990
Weight: 165 pounds (contest); 185 pounds (off-season)
Birthplace: San Jose, California
Current residence: Roseville, California
2012: NPC Sacramento Championships 1st Class B and Overall; Excalibur 1st Class B and Overall; 2013: NPC Grand Prix 1st Class B and Overall; NPC Junior USA Championships 1st Class B and Overall; IFBB Greater Gulf States, 1st