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50 All-Time Favorite Sergio Oliva Quotes

Zisilia Alvsa



50 All-Time Favorite Sergio Oliva Quotes

Which are your favorite Sergio Oliva quotes?

Sergio Oliva was a Cuban bodybuilder. He is best known as ‘The Myth’. Oliva is the only bodybuilder to ever defeat Arnold Schwarzenegger at Olympia. Throughout his career, he has won 20 first place bodybuilding titles. He is one of the greatest bodybuilders of all time.

Here’s a collection of the best Sergio Oliva quotes:


50 All-Time Favorite Sergio Oliva Quotes

1. “I traveled all over the world doing seminars and exhibitions.” – Sergio Oliva

2. “I never expected to do bodybuilding because my country was a communist country and in a communist country back then, bodybuilding was not allowed.” – Sergio Oliva

3. “Not the money that they are making today but back in those days it was still pretty good money. And this is how I started my road into bodybuilding.” – Sergio Oliva

4. “Nobody made me, only my God and my heart and the fact I worked so hard.” – Sergio Oliva

5. “Nobody else made me. I made myself, my own routines – everything on my own. And it was dynamite.” – Sergio Oliva

6. “We could not do anything. We were under the protection of the FBI because we were making a big, big impact of the Cuban Revolution. I was supposed to bring the gold medals back but defected the day before, and I didn’t compete.” – Sergio Oliva

7. “I started playing with weights that people in the gym spent years trying to move but could not.” – Sergio Oliva

8. “So at that time I didn’t speak one word of English, but I always used my head, and thank you to God for giving me the ability to use my head.” – Sergio Oliva

9. “When I was finished working in the foundry I would go to the Duncan YMCA and do my workout for another brutal three hours. Then I would go and spend one or two hours in English classes at night. By the time I got home, I just eat and drop-dead until the next day.” – Sergio Oliva


10th of 50 Sergio Oliva Quotes 

10. “Nobody made me except my Lord. I made myself and I put everything together myself.” – Sergio Oliva


11. “I was the only one to win the Professional Mr. America uncontested.” – Sergio Oliva

12. “I was the only one who had a cold 20-and-a-half inch arm, pumped 22-and-a-half inches. Nobody else had that.” – Sergio Oliva

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13. “When I started doing bodybuilding I was competing as an amateur.” – Sergio Oliva

14. “I think I have been blessed over in Cuba and even when I came over here (to America) and got into bodybuilding. I have been blessed.” – Sergio Oliva

15. “I started getting so powerful. Well of course now I have a little money and now I eat three meals a day besides that. He gave me all the protein and vitamins I needed for my training.” – Sergio Oliva

16. “Back in those days, there was no Vegas, no Reno, no casinos. Everything was in Cuba. It had the best nightclubs.” – Sergio Oliva

17. “If you work then you deserve it.” – Sergio Oliva

18. “It was hard work and being blessed by the Lord. There was no other way.” – Sergio Oliva

19. “I started weightlifting back at home (in Cuba) when I was not quite 18 and it was an accident.” – Sergio Oliva


20th of 50 Sergio Oliva Quotes 

20. “When Batista was in Government, everybody got everything. We have such a beautiful island and people were coming from all over the world.” – Sergio Oliva


21. “I wanted to come to the United States, but several of my friends wanted to come in on the boat, and to tell you the truth I never liked this idea. I’m not such a great champion that I would fight the sharks. I am scared of death. I don’t care; call me chicken if you want. I don’t deal with that.” – Sergio Oliva

22. “In Cuba, they didn’t have bodybuilding competitions. Now any other sport, and weightlifting yes, but not bodybuilding. So this how I managed to get out of Cuba, on the weightlifting team, and when I came to the United States I continued competing in weightlifting and won everything. But always I have had my favorite, which was bodybuilding.” – Sergio Oliva

23. “It was like I looked after myself. I don’t smoke, don’t drink or do any of the other stuff.” – Sergio Oliva

24. “When I was standing in front of the mirror when I was pumped and putting the baby oil on and everything (prior to going on stage in a bodybuilding contest) that was the only time I saw myself. And it was, Oh my God, you really did it.” – Sergio Oliva

25. “I trained brutal all my life. It was like an explosion and I was growing like a balloon. Boom, boom, boom like crazy.” – Sergio Oliva

26. “You had to work hard all day.” – Sergio Oliva

27. “It was so intensive that in every contest, from the first one to the last one in ’84, I only dieted three weeks out from the show. I didn’t need to diet; I was eating everything.” – Sergio Oliva

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28. “I was training with a very dear friend, Bob Gajda, who was helping me with many things including helping me to learn English.” – Sergio Oliva

29. “Number one for me: John Grimek. And the second one: Steve Reeves. I liked both but I always liked John Grimek more because I liked bodybuilders to be strong.” – Sergio Oliva


30th of 50 Sergio Olivar Quotes 

30. “So one time they got a small little boat and we were planning to leave Cuba to go to Miami (to defect) and there was supposed to be just three guys. When I got there to escape there was like eight guys! And they did not even fit in the boat. So that means you have to have three with their legs outside the boat and I said, no way Jose.” – Sergio Oliva


31. “I always ate a lot of salads and vegetables. But I am a big eater. I have always been a big eater.” – Sergio Oliva

32. “I would drink a gallon of milk every day, and I would drink two gallons of water a day.” – Sergio Oliva

33. “I would just work, do my sport and go dancing on Saturday night, then Sunday I would go to a movie then go home, then go to work. That was my life.” – Sergio Oliva

34. “You see what happened is: I always worked hard.” – Sergio Oliva

35. “My arms were so crazy and the only one who measured them was Arthur Jones. God bless him in heaven because he was real good to me and he was a very honest guy.” – Sergio Oliva

36. “When everybody was laying down on the beach and getting paid by Joe Weider I was working in the foundry.” – Sergio Oliva

37. “Shoulder training is very tough and you have to coordinate the kinds of exercises you are going to do. You cannot (after injury) push your shoulders all the way to the back to do, for instance, a press behind the neck.” – Sergio Oliva

38. “I was the only one that came from a poor family.” – Sergio Oliva

39. “I was competing over here in the United States in weightlifting. And you know I had enough medals (from weightlifting).” – Sergio Oliva


40th of 50 Sergio Olivar Quotes 

40. “I always had the fans with me. No matter if they took it away from me or not there is no better judge than your eyes and people all over the world know that I never lost against anybody.” – Sergio Oliva


41. “I don’t want to be like a balloon and not even deal with 300 pounds. Now I like Steve Reeves but he was not as strong as Grimek, but he had the perfect physique.” – Sergio Oliva

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42. “To tell you the truth I have never in my life been an aggressive person. I always kept a low profile because the size of my physique was enough.” – Sergio Oliva

43. “I never dieted. I didn’t need it because I had always worked. Because then I began to study and analyze my body, so I knew what kind of metabolism I had – I knew whether it was fast or slow. I became my own doctor and that is why I set up everything my own way.” – Sergio Oliva

44. “My arms were so big that they were bigger than my head. I was the only one, cold.” – Sergio Oliva

45. “I bought the magazines and got from the magazines the posing routines that John (Grimek) and Steve Reeves were doing and put a little combination of both (of their routines) and a little combination of mine and that is how I started doing bodybuilding.” – Sergio Oliva

46. “I had always been, not really skinny, but good and strong because I had always worked very hard in my life, always. And I had always been very strong. But I had no knowledge of weightlifting or bodybuilding. I was not doing any sport because we were too poor.” – Sergio Oliva

47. “You don’t make money because they would tell you it is a profession (if you did). But for the photo studio shots, they were entitled to pay you and you could continue to be an amateur.” – Sergio Oliva

48. “When you prepare for the Mr. Olympia you feel you are at such a high level that you feel like dynamite and I always felt good.” – Sergio Oliva

49. “People from Florida were going to Cuba for the beach. The water was so clear. Cuba was connected with every single country in the world. We had no problem. So the big change came especially for the people who had money. I never had anything.” – Sergio Oliva

50. “I wanted to work and I always had my mind straight up. I wanted to work and have the good things that the American people had and I wanted to work for it and I wanted to get it.” – Sergio Oliva



Thanks for checking out this collection of quotes from Sergio Oliva! Don’t forget to share them on social media with your friends and family.

Which are your favorite Sergio Oliva quotes? Leave a comment below.

Zisilia Alvsa is a writer for Wealthy Gorilla. Friends often call her Zii. She is a girl from Jakarta, Indonesia who currently lives in Bali. Zii loves photography and travelling.

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