“Where’s the Dream to Go West”: Jay Cutler Laments Modern Bodybuilders’ Lack of Fire and Passion; Blames Social Media

Published 05/15/2024, 9:16 AM EDT

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The four-time Mr. Olympia Jay Cutler recently voiced his concerns about the current state of bodybuilding. He attributed a decline in passion and drive among modern bodybuilders to the influence of social media.

In a candid discussion during the latest episode of JayWalking, Cutler emphasized the transformative power of personal connections within the bodybuilding community. He expressed his perspective during his prime, saying, “I love meeting the people… you just never know the friendship, the opportunities, the memories, the motivation every single week.”

Reflecting on his own journey to success, Cutler reminisced about the pivotal year of 2006, recalling, “That was like your gloating time because you were finally able to say…Jay’s going to win this year.” His words resonate with a sense of triumph over adversity, underscoring the resilience required to overcome skepticism and achieve greatness.


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Furthermore, by comparing his prime time with the current landscape of bodybuilding, he claimed that modern bodybuilders lack the same sense of aspiration and ambition as the generation before them. “Maybe that’s what bodybuilding today I feel like it lacks, the aura of like what I can become. Maybe some guys it’s like that. But like where’s the dream to go west and the necessary requirements other than to just get on your phone and film at your gym or your house,” Cutler asserted. He felt that some people today focus more on showcasing themselves on social media rather than truly striving to achieve their potential by leaving their homes to go chase after a dream in another city.


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The 50-year-old suggested that the ease of gaining popularity through online platforms may detract from the immersive experiences that once defined the sport’s allure. He further lamented the potential loss of iconic locales like Gold’s Gym in Venice. Noting, “They’re missing that experience to walk in Gold’s Venice when it’s like it’s the hottest gym,” which used to be a big part of the bodybuilding culture. Similar to Cutler’s opinion, the former Mr. Olympia also shared his sentiment on the differences between the current and older generations.

Samir Bannout recalled the intensity of the sport

During the Muscle Maturity Podcast on YouTube, veteran bodybuilders Samir Bannout and John Hansen discussed “Phil Heath’s rivalry with Kai Greene, dangerous rebounds, intensity not heavy weights.” While reminiscing about such fierce fights between these icons, he lamented that in today’s competitive landscape, such passion for victory is hard to find. The passion these two brought was spectacular. Bannout, shared that once he witnessed the intensity between the two.


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Bannout noted a significant rivalry between Phil Heath and Kai Greene. Apart from rivalry, he highlighted their distinct physiques and fierce clashes on stage. He hinted at moments where Greene seemed to have an edge due to his quality, but ultimately praised Heath’s consistency and overall physique, which led to his consecutive victories.

According to Bannout, Heath’s resilience and unwavering performance secured him the top spot in multiple contests. Greene’s journey included placing third in the Olympia in 2011, followed by three consecutive years of securing second place. Throughout these battles, Heath’s mindset while competing against Greene remained resolute and focused on maintaining his dominance. Do you also think, the current competitive landscape lacks the passion and intensity that defined the previous generations of bodybuilding?


Written by

Arpita Shrivastava

One Take at a Time
Arpita Shrivastava is a Bodybuilding writer at EssentiallySports. Marching towards the 1000 articles mark, she specializes in covering the off-court developments of the sport and the Bodybuilding stars. With a Master’s degree in Mass Communication, Arpita has been putting to use her knowledge of content creation to produce engaging content for her readers.
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Edited by

Gokul Pillai