Victor Martinez reacts to bodybuilding fandom of social media age.

Victor Martinez has always been a pro bodybuilder unafraid to speak his mind in a casual and candid way. So after the past year saw a major backlash against bodybuilding legend Arnold Schwarzenegger due to his “freedom” comments, Martinez was not afraid to speak his mind on not Schwarzenegger’s comments but rather the fan reaction. In fact, Martinez knows all too well what it’s like when fans that supported you suddenly turn on you due to unforeseen circumstances. In our latest GI Exclusive interview, Victor Martinez explains why he thinks bodybuilding fans might be the most disloyal compared to other sports.

Victor Martinez previously commented on Arnold Schwarzenegger’s “freedom” comments back when it was making viral headlines across the internet. But in our latest interview segment he goes into an even deeper reaction beyond the Schwarzenegger situation. Martinez sees these kind of hyper-reactionary fan comments as a sign of something bigger in the bodybuilding community.

While not the exact same situation per se, Victor Martinez is familiar with bodybuilding fans suddenly turning their backs on him. Unlike Schwarzenegger, this was less due to his direct comments and more due to something outside of his control. Martinez was incarcerated for some time right when his bodybuilding career was flourishing. This put a screeching halt on his progress. He lost a massive amount of weight. Upon returning to the free world, he faced massive criticism due to the state of his physique as he tried to return to his prime shape in the sport.

It’s this kind of reactionary commenting that turns Victor Martinez off. He quickly learned to treat it as white noise and ignore the comments. It was the only way he could confidently march forward and focus on his career. He ignored most of the comments – but from what he was told by friends and fellow athletes – he was nearly betrayed by the loyal fanbase he once had.

This this kind of mob reactionary mentality that Victor Martinez sees more and more in bodybuilding fandom. It’s something that he believes has been accelerated by social media (this of course is true beyond sports and has affected culture as a whole). But it’s also something that he thinks is particularly bad in pro bodybuilding. Perhaps because of the emphasis on judging the aesthetic of physiques.

“Maybe other sports do have better fans than bodybuilding,” Victor Martinez stated in our interview. He continued to explain:

“That’s what brings me to the now of Arnold Schwarzenegger. Of how the fans in bodybuilding are the most unloyal [sic] fans, you know? They can be with you today but come war tomorrow, they’re gone. They aren’t the most stick by you die-hard fans.”

Victor Martinez goes on to say that bodybuilding fans are more focused on “how great you are now” and can quickly change “how they are going to treat you later. It’s very subjective to where you are.”

It’s this kind of reactionary in the moment thinking that taught Victor Martinez to stop caring what other people think. Instead he only focused on the comments that mattered – the comments of judges scoring his physique. It might also explain why he’s willing to be so candid during interviews. He doesn’t worry about the backlash that may come.

You can watch Victor Martinez talk in detail about the reactionary core of bodybuilding fandom in our latest GI Exclusive interview segment above.

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.