Brandon Hendrickson talks the time his hunger to win waned and the toughest battle he ever faced on stage.

Brandon Hendrickson is looking towards the Olympia 2020 as his chance to reclaim his glory. After placing first place at the Olympia 2018, he was unable to protect his title a year later – landing fourth place at the Olympia 2019. Now as we look towards the final weeks before the Mr. Olympia weekend (now in Orlando, Florida), Hendrickson has renewed hunger to prove himself the best. With only a few weeks before the big competition, we look back with Brandon Hendrickson to his past competitions, how he lost his hunger temporarily, and the toughest battle he ever faced in his pro bodybuilding career. Check it all out in our latest GI Exclusive interview.

Brandon Hendrickson previously stated in our past interview segment that he was embarrassed of his showing at the Olympia 2019. Looking back, he feels like he not only let himself down but also his fans. This was due to a lack of hunger going into the competition. Perhaps this was slightly due to complacency having already won the title the year before. He also makes note that he did additional bodybuilding shows that wore him down. He now sees how that was a mistake.

But overall, Brandon Hendrickson doesn’t feel as if he lost because that was his toughest battle. In fact, in his journey towards eventually winning the Mr. Olympia in 2018, he saw each placing as an improvement. These were mini victories showcasing that he was beating himself and heading towards something greater.

So what was his toughest pro bodybuilding battle on stage? Who was the one competitor that made him work the hardest and face the most stress? We asked Brandon Hendrickson that very question during our video conversation. His answer – Jeremy Buendia.

This, of course, makes sense. Buendia is one of the most decorated Men’s Physique pro bodybuilders in the entire devision. He has won four Mr. Olympia titles throughout his career.

It’s this pedigree that put Brandon Hendrickson to the test. He admits that walking into a competition knowing you are going to face a competitor with multiple Olympia titles under his belt is a challenging mental game to overcome.

“I’d have to say going up against Jeremy [Buendia],” Brandon Hendrickson noted in our interview. He continued:

“You know, he was going for a fifth title. I haven’t competed against anyone who was going for a fourth of fifth title. So I feel like he was the most competition, you know, the most competitive for me at the time.”

This of course, is a direct reference to the Olympia 2018. This is the competition that Hendrickson ultimately won his first Olympia title. While Jeremy Buendia had already achieved four Olympia titles previously, he ultimately came in fourth place that year.

So not only was this Brandon Hendrickson’s toughest battle in his mind – but it was the battle that ultimately won him the Men’s Physique Olympia title. That kind of validation, to defeat someone who was the ultimate Men’s Physique competitor in your mind, would certainly stick in your memory.

Perhaps in 2020, Raymont Edmonds or Andre Ferguson will be his new greatest challenges. And perhaps that same intensity and hunger will bring Brandon Hendrickson to the next level to reclaim his thrown. We’ll find out soon enough in just under a month.

You can watch Brandon Hendrickson’s full comments on his toughest battle and his drive to win in our latest GI Exclusive interview segment above.

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Derek Dufour
Derek Dufour has been managing all digital operations on the Generation Iron Network for over six years. He currently manages a team of editors, writers, and designers to provide up-to-date content across the GI Network.