“That Was My Dream”: Overwhelmed to See Big Celebrities, Jay Cutler Spent 7 Hours on His First Day at the Gold’s Gym

Published 04/23/2023, 1:11 PM EDT

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Ever since 2019 when he stopped making his monstrous appearances in the competitive, four-time Mr. Olympia Jay Cutler has managed to remain a voice in the bodybuilding industry. In a podcast episode uploaded on his channel, Cutler and his manager Matt revealed his experience when he first came to California. As overwhelming as it was for Cutler to see the likes of Hollywood superstar Keanu Reeves and IFBB pro Chris Cormier, the bustling city of Los Angeles soon became the city of his dreams!

Hailed as The Mecca of Bodybuilding, Gold’s Gym Venice (est. 1965) was the first gym in line for the franchise which later turned to become the biggest gym chain globally. This is where legends were made – Arnold Schwarzenegger, Lou Ferrigno, Dave Draper, and Franco Columbu to name a few. Hence, it is safe to assume to see Cutler super stoked at the mention of the gym isn’t really misplaced.

Cutler shares his first experience in California


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Cutler revealed that during his first visit to the Gold’s Gym Venice in 1993, he witnessed a lot of star-studded celebrities working out. Gawking at the sight of such pronounced stars, Cutler was in awe. He shared, “I remember walking and I spent six or seven hours in Gold’s Gym that day. I watched the who’s who walk in there.

“I saw Flex Wheeler, and I saw Cormier (…) it was like Keanu Reeves was training there at the time…it was just like…this is California.” The city of LA was no less than magic for Cutler. His words outpoured the excitement, “Coming from where you guys are, you’re both from Wisconsin. Dreams are made on the West in California.” 


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Continuing the discussion, Cutler revealed his intention behind pursuing a degree in criminal justice. “I don’t know if I was encouraged to pursue a degree in criminal justice because of chips, I always thought, ‘Okay! I’m going to end up in California and ride a motorcycle.’ That was my dream.”

Cutler later revealed that he really wanted to be a police officer which seemed to be somewhat influenced by the city. And you will be surprised to know, it would have been the one common thing between him and his rival Ronnie Coleman

If not bodybuilding, what would Cutler do?


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Cutler and Coleman had a fierce rivalry on the bodybuilding stage during the early 2000s. While Coleman served as a police officer from 1989 to 2003, Cutler never had a chance to fulfill his desire to become a police officer. 

“I really wanted to be a police officer. So I think, when I started training, that was an excuse…okay to get a little bigger and I always didn’t…I never thought I’d become Mr. Olympia,” said Cutler. He concluded by telling that it was after the visit to Gold’s as well as his victory at the National Teens that he decided that he really wanted to continue bodybuilding.

via Getty

Cutler’s decision to choose bodybuilding did prove to be a good one. Training in the same gym as bodybuilding legends like Flex Wheeler are surely motivating for anyone. And the quadstomper has been associated with the gym ever since his first visit. 


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Written by:

Sarthak Khanna


One take at a time

Introducing Sarthak Khanna, a sports writer at EssentiallySports who specializes in Bodybuilding and other American sports. Sarthak found his calling in bodybuilding both as a writer as well as a practitioner of the sport. Gawking at the sight of some of the most aesthetic physiques, the experience was similar to what Mentzer once acknowledged as an “immediate emotional recognition.
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Edited by:

Jahnabi Choudhury