Raymont Edmonds explains how three years in state prison helped him discover his love of weightlifting and develop the discipline needed to become a champion.

Raymont Edmonds is a top tier Men’s Physique bodybuilder and former Olympia champion. He has consistently placed in the top 5 of every competition since 2017. To many, he is the pinnacle of what a Men’s Physique competitor should look like. But nearly a decade ago Edmonds was a very different man. He was in state prison due to selling cocaine. In our latest GI Exclusive interview, Raymont Edmonds details how going to state prison helped him discover bodybuilding and gave him the tools to become a champion.

There’s an old expression – make lemons into lemonade. Sometimes bad things happen. Sometimes those bad things are due to our own fault. Whatever the reason – transformation can occur if we try to make the best out of a bad situation. That’s exactly what Raymont Edmonds did upon being incarcerated.

Before going into state prison, Raymont Edmonds was a senior in college and only weighed 145 pounds. He was a skinny person being thrown into a scary situation. In part for survival and in part to simply find a way to pass the time – Edmonds started lifting weights.

His goal was to no longer be a skinny kid who can get kicked around (to better protect himself in prison). But mostly, it was also a way to make time go by faster. Edmonds was sentenced to four to eight years. He ultimately got out in three. But at the start, not knowing exactly when he would get out of prison, he focused as much as possible on training.

It was his one constant to accelerating time. On top of that, it was transforming his body. He fell in love with seeing the progress and results of his actions and became addicted to lifting weights.

There has been a lot of discussion over the years about bodybuilding and training in Kuwait. It’s become a new mecca of sorts for bodybuilding due to the fact that there is literally nothing to due in Kuwait for a bodybuilder. They can only train, eat, and sleep. It turns them into a bodybuilding machine.

The same can be said in some respects to prison. With nothing to do, Raymont Edmonds found discipline in training every single day. In trying to make the most of his prison meals to create the right diet for his physique.

After being released from prison into a halfway house. He used that discipline to ensure he stayed on track in his personal life. He hadn’t discovered his desire to compete in bodybuilding – but he made sure to stick to the same training schedule.

Raymont Edmonds was eventually noticed by a coach who suggested he compete in bodybuilding. There was a new division, Men’s Physique, that would allow him to build muscle but not become a mass monster. This interested Edmonds and he gave it a shot.

Upon competing on stage for the first time, he realized that despite his love of training, his physique was way off compared to what wins Men’s Physique competitions. Suddenly everything clicked. Raymont Edmonds wanted to look like the best Men’s Physique bodybuilders. He buckled down further and used his hard learned discipline from prison to further transform his lifestyle.

Fast forward to today and Raymont Edmonds is a star Men’s Physique athlete. He won the Olympia 2019 and landed second this year falling just short to Brandon Hendrickson. Edmonds’ own actions may have placed him in state prison but it was also his own actions after prison that brought him to his new life on the level.

You can watch Raymont Edmonds’ full comments about going from prison to Olympia champion 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.