Victor Martinez explains why he believes a Men’s Wellness bodybuilding division is a step too far and moving the sport into the wrong direction

In the latest episode of the Generation Iron Podcast, hosts Victor Martinez, Ehsan Farahi, Edwin Mejia Jr., and Vlad Yudin discuss the controversy caused by the regional Men’s Wellness bodybuilding competition that went viral this past week. Victor gives his honest reaction to the division and whether or not it deserves to expand in a serious way. Other topics discuss includes the recent increase in Men’s Open prize money, Samson Dauda’s rise, and the unexpected reality of penis enlargement surgery.

The past week was a rollercoaster in the world of bodybuilding. Most notably due to a viral video showcasing a Brazilian regional bodybuilding show that debuted a Men’s Wellness division. The competition had no affiliation with the NPC or IFBB Pro – and the league made a statement confirming that they have no interest in expanding to such a division.

However, the competition drew a lot of attention from bodybuilding fans, experts, and athletes alike. Victor Martinez drills down into the division and what he thinks this means for the future of bodybuilding. Is this just a marketing gimmick? Or the start of some new movement?

This and many other topics are discussed in-depth on this week’s podcast. So let’s dive into it.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Generation Iron (@generationiron)

Debate Over the Men’s Wellness Division

One of the podcast’s most contentious topics revolved around the introduction of the Men’s Wellness division in a regional bodybuilding competition in Brazil. While some viewed this as a progressive step towards inclusivity, others, including Martinez, expressed reservations about the further proliferation of divisions within the sport.

It should be noted that the NPC and IFBB Pro have already made a direct statement about the division. They noted that the competition had no affiliation with their leagues and that there was no plan to include a Men’s Wellness division.

Despite this, much controversy and discourse made it’s way online – with the Men’s Wellness division, and the video and images that came out of it, becoming the biggest headline in the sport over the past week.

Victor Martinez argued that an overabundance of divisions could dilute the competitive landscape and undermine the integrity of bodybuilding as a whole. Instead, he advocated for revisiting past divisions like Men’s Fitness, which combined aesthetic physique with fitness routines—a concept that garnered mixed responses during its brief tenure.

While Victor finds a wider variety of physique aesthetics via multiple divisions a noble endeavor – he also thinks there needs to be a limit. If every single type of niche body type becomes a division, you water down the integrity of the league and the sport as a whole.

In addition to affecting the integrity of the sport, Victor Martinez also points out that the many of the current divisions pay very low prize money – even at the Olympia. Adding more divisions means more production and less money to spread around to champion athletes. So unless something like Men’s Wellness can explode in popularity like the recent Classic Physique division, it’s inclusion may simply hurt champion athletes rather than help.

Recovery Techniques for Natural Athletes

When addressing a fan question about natural muscle recovery, Victor Martinez emphasized the efficacy of deep tissue massages—a simple yet effective method for alleviating muscle tightness and soreness.

Additionally, Martinez highlighted several benefits of supplements, many of which include:

Many of these supplements have been proven to aid in muscle repair and recovery. Ehsan Farahi echoed Martinez’s sentiments, recommending epsom salt baths—a traditional remedy that has stood the test of time in the fitness community.

Victor Martinez also notes that there are other “pharmaceutical grade” substances that you can take to help improve muscle recovery. However, since the fan question was asking specifically for natural methods – he does not discuss those options in detail.

RELATED: Ice Bath Benefits and Health Secrets Explained

Prize Money Increases in Men’s Open IFBB Pro Divisions

The podcast also delved into the recent announcement of increased prize money in Men’s Open IFBB Pro divisions—a development hailed by many as a positive step towards recognizing the athletes’ contributions to the sport.

However, Victor Martinez, known for his candid commentary, expressed skepticism about the adequacy of the prize money boost. Citing the substantial profits generated by supplement companies sponsoring bodybuilding competitions, Martinez questioned why athletes’ earnings remained disproportionately low.

He called for greater transparency and equitable distribution of resources within the industry, advocating for a more significant investment in athletes’ welfare and financial security. He finds this especially important when considering that pro athletes only earn money for winning a competition, have no athlete union, receive no health care of pensions. They essentially compete out of pocket until they can win a substantial competition or get sponsored for their successes.

More specifically, Victor Martinez emphasizes that increased prize money, no matter the amount, is a good direction for the sport to go towards. But he also finds it frustrating when he knows that supplement companies that sponsor the sport make millions of dollars in revenue. With that in mind, a $10,000 prize money increase per Men’s Open competition seems insultingly low.

Ultimately, Victor hopes that this is simply a baby step in the right direction. It shows that the league is taking action to try and bring in more sponsors and bigger investment into prize money. Victor only hopes that this leads to larger increases in the future.

Controversy Surrounding Penis Enlargement Surgery

In a departure from traditional bodybuilding topics, the podcast tackled the controversial subject of penis enlargement surgery, spurred by rumors surrounding celebrities like rapper Drake.

Vlad Yudin points out that, as ridiculous as it may sound, penis enlargement surgery is very real and actually gaining popularity in the United States in recent years. 15,000 enlargement surgeries were performed in 2023 – more than any other year previously. The cost for this sort of surgery in the US ranges from $10,000-$30,000.

While acknowledging the growing popularity of such procedures, Martinez dismissed them as ineffective and misguided, emphasizing the importance of confidence and mental well-being in sexual satisfaction. However, Farahi presented a nuanced perspective, suggesting that for some individuals, cosmetic enhancements could potentially boost self-esteem and quality of life, albeit at considerable expense and risk.

Assessment of Rising Star: Samson Dauda

The hosts turned their attention to emerging talent in the bodybuilding world, focusing on Samson Dauda—a promising athlete whose rapid rise has captured the attention of enthusiasts and experts alike. Martinez and Farahi expressed confidence in Dauda’s potential to become a dominant force in the sport, citing his impressive genetics and unwavering dedication to his craft.

With notable victories, including the Arnold Classic, Samson Dauda is poised to challenge established champions and carve out his legacy in the competitive arena. Ehsan specifically points out just how fast he has been improving within such a short amount of time. If that level of improvement continues at such a pace – he will be not only in the running to become Mr. Olympia champion but perhaps start a dynasty as the next long-running Olympia title-holder.

Wrap Up

As evidenced by the diverse array of topics discussed on the Generation Iron Podcast, the world of bodybuilding and fitness is as multifaceted as it is dynamic. From recovery strategies and competition dynamics to ethical debates and emerging talent, each episode offers a comprehensive exploration of the issues shaping the industry.

By providing a platform for candid discussions and expert insights, the podcast continues to inform, inspire, and entertain audiences worldwide, fostering a deeper appreciation for the dedication, discipline, and passion that define the bodybuilding community.

You can watch the full episode above. And don’t forget to check back every week for new episodes only on the Generation Iron Fitness Network or wherever podcasts are downloaded.

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.