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Sergio Oliva "The Myth" Workout - Rare Gem


BodybuildingPro.com Bodybuilding Video & DVD Reviews Sergio Oliva "The Myth" Workout - Rare Gem



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REVIEW OF THE DVD
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Sergio Oliva
"The Myth"


The DVD started off with some past photos of Sergio from his 1980s comeback. He was still huge and shredded, at 5'10 and around 240 pounds. His most muscular was out of sight with his long thick biceps. His famous "myth pose" was the best ever! Nobody has come close to that despite some good attempts by current pro bodybuilders like Lee Priest, Frank McGrath, and Gustavo Badell. No one else has had the genetics to pull off that pose the way Sergio does. Sergio was a genetic freak though, and no matter how hard he may have worked in the gym, he had a lot going for him on the DNA side of things. How many pros can say that their delts and arms dwarf their heads? Not many! He looked amazing. If not for his relative lack of conditioning, he would have been undefeated.

Sergio was shown walking the beat for the Chicago police force. A lot of people who were interviewed in the DVD briefly all said that a cop should be a big guy - and Sergio definitely fit that bill. A bit of footage of Sergio was also shown with his son.



Sergio Oliva Walking the Beat


Next Sergio hit the gym and he was repping hard with weights including 135 pounds on the barbell curl with an olympic bar! Keep in mind this guy was 42, going on 43 at the time this video was shot (1984). Wow...



Sergio Oliva Standing Barbell Curls


The first exercise demonstrated by Sergio was the bench press, starting with 135 pounds on the flat bench. It showed a different angle which highlighted the thickness in his chest. Not bad for almost 43 years old!



Sergio Oliva Chest Thickness


The incline and decline bench presses were performed next, as well as the pec deck. Sergio demonstrated bar dips next, moving all the way down, but not all the way up to maintain pressure on the muscles being worked.

Next up were incline flyes using dumbbells. Despite somewhat poor video quality, Sergio's conditioning was apparent.

Sergio hit behind the neck lat pulldowns next. Wow! How many pros out there can claim that their shoulders and delts dwarf their head?! I can think of a few like Orville Burke for example - Sergio looked amazing.



Sergio Oliva Lat Pulldowns






Sergio went on to do close grip pulldowns using the v-bar next (one of my favourite exercises). He took his tanktop off at this point and you could see his huge flaring lats in every rep.



Sergio Oliva Narrow Grip Pulldowns


Moving on to more machine work, Sergio moved on to the rowing machine, a machine entirely for the back. I was sort of surprised to see how many machines Sergio used, given that his back was so amazing I would have suspected he built it using barbell rows, dumbbell rows, t-bar rows, chinups, and deadlifts, almost exclusively. I guess it isn't always about using the strict basic movements to build mass. I think people underestimate how far genetics go in terms of bodybuilding gains and the reality is that ANYONE with Sergio's genetics would look damn good. If I had Sergio's genetics I would probably be the biggest guy around. A person could be a koala bear in the gym and make great gains with his genetics. This is no knock on Sergio, because he appeared to be working quite hard. I'm just saying that if you do happen to have genetics like this, you have a lot more leeway in the gym and in other areas. He quite possibly had the best genetics for a bodybuilder ever.

The video was being narrated by a female and at times you could hear a male voice in the background prompt her with what to say, lol. As such, the video was very instructional in nature. It is a great DVD to check out if you are interested in learning the ins and outs of bodybuilding, and is also great for those just wishing to see Sergio train. As for more advanced trainees, it is still a great feature. A classic gem.

Sergio went on to doing the standing barbell curl next with 135 pounds and as mentioned previously, he was repping hard! You would think that with age, the chance of obtaining an injury from reps like this would be sky-high, but Sergio was seemingly ok throughout it. He was working both biceps and triceps during this portion of the video, and was extremely intense - like I said, perhaps a bit too intense! I guess on top of being a genetic freak in terms of gaining muscle, he was a freak in terms of the strength in his tendons and joints which is why he was never injured.



Sergio Oliva Cable Shoulder Raises


One thing to point out is that Sergio had some funky elbows during his comeback era in the 1980s. I don' know what exactly causes this, but my guess would be that it was the buildup of scar tissue due to years of minor injuries to that area. His left elbow looked exactly the same as Ronnie's left elbow has recently (late 2005 / early 2006). Ronnie hurt his elbow during the victory pose at the 2005 Mr. Olympia Contest - he fell to the ground during this pose and developed bursitis, or so it seemed. In any case, his elbow looked identical to Sergio's (both on the left arm). I don't think Ronnie's elbow will prevent him from getting his ninth Mr. Olympia win, but for crying out loud, hopefully this teaches him to be a little more graceful during his victories, LOL.

Back to the video, Sergio was doing seated alternate dumbbell curls and was repping hard as always. You could tell that Sergio had a strong mind-muscle connection. While a lot of bodybuilding is definitely physical, you can only ever be your best if you have that mental edge - Sergio obviously had it. Sergio moved on to perform sitting curls with a straight bar. He also performed preacher curls with a close grip using a straight bar. Despite getting a bad rap for conditioning, Sergio appeared to be pretty cut during this video.

Sergio did reverse curls and as you probably know if you know anything about Sergio, his forearms were some of the biggest ever in the history of bodybuilding. His biceps/triceps/forearm combination was excellent. People complain about Sergio having no biceps peak, but I think that's a load of BS. Forget about his peaks - have you ever seen another bodybuilder with biceps as full and long as Sergio's? I would take his arms with or without peak! They were some of the most impressive ever. Dare I say, more impressive than Arnold's?

Sergio was performing the reverse curls again, and you could hear the guy in the backgroud tell the female narrator "Watch as Sergio performs this exercise one more time", and she repeated it. LOL. She was prompted a few times in the video, but most would probably not notice it (at least at first).

Sergio kept repping hard during his workouts. I have to repeat again, that this guy trained like a kid. He didn't seem to have any regard at all to injury prevention and he didn't seem to get tired at all! He was without question more intense than I am and I would like to consider myself pretty intense, at 24 years of age and feeling to be near the prime of my life. Sergio found the fountain of youth, and I would love to know his secret.

For legs, Sergio performed squats. Due to the angle that this segment was shot at, it was difficult to see what weight he was using. The guy in the background informed the female narrator what to say again LOL. Sergio had an incredible physique in my opinion. I'm a bit biased, but I think that 5'10 is pretty well the perfect height for a male, and he had stacked so much hard shredded muscle on his 5'10 frame that he looked ridiculous. Maybe even too big, but it would probably be a trip to be that big and strong, that's for sure.

Sergio hit the leg press for his legs using a VERY steep incline. Not as steep as the leg presses Jeff King performed, but fairly steep. After the leg presses, Sergio went on to perform reverse curls for his leg biceps (hamstrings). I have to say, the conditioning of his hamstrings did catch my eye. They had hard lines and looked to be spot on. I don't recall him highlighting this strength at the 1984 Mr. Olympia, but sometimes that is hard to do with the traditional poses. Joe Meeko had his famous "moon pose" which highlighted this strength of his very well. I'm not 100% sure, but it's possible Joe got this pose banned (for being too sexual). That is just something I heard, and haven't had it verified yet.



Sergio Oliva Hamstrings Definition


Sergio continued to the leg extension machine and looked like he had some good separation in his thighs. While not in contest shape at the time of the video, he was still cut and looking great.

Sergio went on to perform standing calf raises. His calves were pretty good. It is well known in the bodybuilding community that while black male competitors have the genetics to have tight waists, tiny joints, and wide flaring tapers, they sometimes pay the price for this with more difficulty in developing their calves. Sergio didn't appear to have a weakness in this area - no moreso than Ronnie Coleman anyway. Ronnie's Coleman's could probably stand to be a little bigger (or in my opinion, a little more separated and diamond shaped), but they are by no means a weak point. My calves are 15.5 inches and in good condition and I don't imagine I've trained calves more than once or twice in my life. I don't doubt I could obtain 20 inch calves in my lifetime if I did train them. But this is no more than genetic. Just as I have a weak chest naturally, I have strong calves naturally. If I had 15.5" biceps before picking up a weight, could you imagine how relatively simple it would be to bring them up to 18-20"?

Sergio performed situps next. Working hard as usual, he put in another good set. I was very impressed, as always. Sergio performed the "leg riser" next to develop the bottom of his stomach.

And with that, the training portion of the video came to a close. Some pictures of Sergio from his 1980s comeback were shown and he looked incredible - possibly not as good as he did in his prime, but still very good! I was definitely impressed. He had some weaknesses, but his strengths were damn good.

The End



Sergio Oliva 1980s Comeback Picture




Sergio Oliva 1980s Comeback Picture




Sergio Oliva 1980s Comeback Picture


Overall Review:

What a classic gem this was! I'm happy that I have been able to get my hands on so many rare features such as this one because it is a peak into bodybuilding's past. The video quality was not that great for this video (6 to 7.5 out of 10), but overall you could still get an idea of Sergio's training and that is the main reason why I wanted to see it. For more details on the video quality, check out the screencaps I put in this review. I'm happy to make Sergio's workout a part of my collection.

PICTURES FROM THE VIDEO
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Matt Canning
webmaster@bodybuildingpro.com

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