4-Time Men’s Physique Olympia Champion Jeremy Buendia Is Planning an Ambitious Comeback in 2023
Buendia says he’ll be increasing his mass as he pushes for a fifth Sandow Trophy in 2023.
Jeremy Buendia was a dominant bodybuilding force through most of the 2010s. Thanks to a rare combination of mass and strength, the athlete won four consecutive Men’s Physique Olympia titles (2014-2017). But after falling short in fourth place at the 2018 Mr. Olympia and an initial comeback attempt that never quite materialized in 2020, it’s been a little while since Buendia posed competitively. That reality could change soon.
On Sept. 6, 2022, in a video on his YouTube channel, Buendia revealed he’s aiming to make another comeback to bodybuilding stages in the near future. What’s more, he’s bulking up in an attempt to compete at 220 pounds — roughly 37 pounds above his body weight from his championships heyday.
Editor’s Note: This article has been updated to include information about accusations made against Buendia in 2019.
Buendia’s career post-Olympia hasn’t been without controversy. After his 2018 Olympia appearance, he was publicly accused of domestic violence in 2019 by an ex-girlfriend. Several YouTubers published content about the incident, and Buendia was dropped by his then-sponsor, Steel Supplements.
Buendia subsequently filed for a lawsuit against the content creators, according to Generation Iron. In July of 2019, Buendia issued a “public apology” wherein he discussed his anger issues but denied ever hitting his former partner. There’s been no public news about the incident since.
To address his current situation, Buendia clarifies that he will soon begin his formal off-season of training. The bodybuilder says his body weight at the time of the video is 192.4 pounds. He notes that this weight is a starting point for his goals as he embarks on another comeback attempt.
“Next week [September 12-18, 2022), I officially start my off-season, my bulk in preparation for my next competition,” Buendia says. “You guys, it’s been a long time since I’ve been on stage, since 2018. I took a lot of time off. I’m ready mentally, physically. I’m ready to get back after it. I’m eager to get back on stage and show you guys what I’m capable of doing.”
Note: There is no weight limit for this division, only height. Buendia stands at 5-foot-8 and may qualify under Class B in a typical Men’s Physique competition.
“I’m excited because I haven’t pushed my body this way in a long time,” Buendia says. ” … My body is healthy. I’m feeling really optimistic that I’m going to get to my biggest and best ever, preparing myself for battle in 2023.”
Aside from returning to the flow of competition, part of the motivation behind Buendia’s new comeback attempt appears to be related to reflection. As he alludes, the bodybuilder has noticed that the Men’s Physique Division, specifically, has improved dramatically since he was last a fixture. For example, even with Buendia’s own dynamic chest and arms makeup, recent winners like Brandon Hendrickson (2018, 2020-2021) and Raymont Edmonds (2019) could be seen as improved physical athletic specimens to some.
“The competition has gotten so much better since I was last on stage,” Buendia notes. “I’m excited to see these guys battle because it’s going to give me an idea of where I need to be next year to beat these guys.”
Understandably, as he works his way back to bodybuilding, Buendia wants to compare himself and see where he stands with his elite peers. More than anything, it seems he just wants another meaningful shot to go out on his own terms.
“After my loss in 2018, a lot of things hit the fan for me,” Buendia says. “Honestly, I felt that all my accomplishments, all four titles previously, lost their weight. I didn’t feel like I walked away from the stage the way I wanted to walk away from the stage.”
Featured image: @jeremy_buendia on YouTube