Toney Freeman discusses peaking and talks seeing Olympia 2007 Victor Martinez backstage: “He won.”
One of the most controversial Mr. Olympia competitions came in the form of Jay Cutler vs Victor Martinez in 2007. Cutler ultimately won the contest but man fans disagreed with the call. There was an overwhelming opinion that Martinez was the obvious winner by a long shot. That it was night and day. That Martinez was robbed. It seems like Toney Freeman might be one of those people who agree with that sentiment. He discusses the concept of peaking for a competition, how it feels, and how Victor nailed it in 2007. In our latest GI Exclusive, Toney Freeman describes the shocking moment he first saw Victor Martinez backstage at the Olympia 2007.
During our conversation with Toney Freeman we got on the topic of peaking for a pro bodybuilding show. Peaking is when a competitor lands their conditioning and size just right – timed perfectly for their appearance on stage. It’s an extremely hard thing to accomplish – as the difference between an hour can change the way your entire body looks. When an athlete competes at the pro level, every single small detail matters. If your conditioning even gets a little flat, or retains the slightest amount of water, it can be enough to drop you down a placing.
According to Toney Freeman, very few bodybuilders actually attain perfect peak when they step on stage. Ultimately, the best physique will win the day – but that doesn’t mean the winner was looking his perfect best. Perhaps the winner looked better an hour earlier. That’s just how delicate the process can be.
Victor Martinez’s posing routine at the Olympia 2007 (above).
One athlete that Toney Freeman saw peak perfectly on the stage is Victor Martinez at the Mr. Olympia 2007. Ultimately, Jay Cutler beat out Victor for the win. It was an extremely controversial decision that many will debate over even to this day. When you hear Toney Freeman describe seeing Martinez backstage – you can understand why so many fans were shocked that he ultimately lost.
“Victor peaked at the 07 Olympia. I saw it myself. I mean – wow, it was insane,” Toney Freeman states in our interview. He continues:
“I was there so… I’m coming down the hallway at the Orleans [hotel] and Victor is number one so he was there early… And Chad was putting his oil on [Victor]. He’s standing in the hallway. Literally. I was walking closer and I was like ‘Damn, who the fuck is that?’ I got closer and I saw Victor. As I got closer and closer, I as like ‘he won.'”
Putting it in words is one thing but when you watch Toney Freeman describe it – you can hear in his tone how shocking the experience was. Even after all of these years, Freeman speaks in awe of what he saw in Victor Martinez’s physique that day.
At the end of the day, the judges make the call. Fans and athletes can agree all they want – but you can’t change the past. Regardless of who won – it’s important to remember the oral stories of Victor Martinez’s physique. He may not have won the Mr. Olympia, but he will always be remembered as an athlete who came in with a near perfect physique. If there’s one thing for sure, it’s that Toney Freeman certainly remembers it.
You can watch Toney Freeman talk about peaking and Victor Martinez in our latest GI Exclusive interview segment above.