The current Mr. Olympia champion, Big Ramy, shares his experience competing in bodybuilding for the first time.

In December 2020, Big Ramy finally achieved what fans had been hoping for the past decade – he won the Mr. Olympia. Earlier in 2017 during the filming of Generation Iron 2, we sat down for an hour long interview with Big Ramy going through his origins through to the present of his bodybuilding career. Majority of this was not able to make it into the final film. That’s why to celebrate Ramy’s big Olympia victory, we are releasing uncut segments of never before seen footage. In our latest GI Exclusive Vault interview, Big Ramy details the first time he ever competed in a bodybuilding competition.

Everyone has to start somewhere – even Mr. Olympia champions. Big Ramy is a bodybuilder who has had hype behind his name for quite a few years now. But his story goes even further back into the early 2000s. In the extended clip above, Big Ramy details his origins from the son of fishermen through to his first ever bodybuilding competition.

When we interviewed him for Generation Iron 2, it was just before his epic display at the Olympia 2017. This is the year he placed second just behind Phil Heath. He was on top of the world and ready to prove his massive size can be matched with equally matched conditioning. While he fell short – he eventually made good on his promise last year with his big win.

But his experience starting out in bodybuilding was very different than the mammoth athlete we know today. He threw himself into the sport as an opportunity to find bigger success. While training and building muscle is a great first step – you learn a lot from actually stepping on stage and seeing the competition.

Big Ramy was ready to become a pro bodybuilder but he realized that he had a lot of improvements to do after standing beside other competitors. Specifically, he was embarrassed by his thin legs.

Instead of discouraging him, it drove him to try harder. He saw a real future in going pro and making bodybuilding his main career. Of course, his path towards learning and success would require a roller coaster path of twists and turns. Discovering Kuwait and Oxygen Gym provided him with basically a bodybuilding bootcamp.

While this help provide a foundation and extreme growth over his career, he ultimately moved on to try other coaches and other gurus in perfecting what works best for his body. Adapting and reacting is key towards improving and moving up amongst the top athletes in bodybuilding. That’s exactly what Big Ramy did and it paid off in full.

With all of that in mind, watching Big Ramy reflect on his first every bodybuilding competition just reminds us how far he’s come. How nothing is guaranteed. How only a select few through incredible hard work (and a little bit of luck) become the legends we see today.

Some believed that Big Ramy was too inconsistent to ever really win the Mr. Olympia. Others thought it was inevitable for him to reign as Olympia champion. If Ramy decided to play it safe and stick with being a fisherman, we wouldn’t even be having this conversation.

You can watch Big Ramy reflect back on his early years and his first ever bodybuilding competition in our GI Exclusive Vault interview segment above. You can also watch Generation Iron 2 on digital today. Click here or the banner below to stream or download!

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