Victor Martinez reveals how long he stayed natural before using PEDs in competitive bodybuilding

In the latest episode of the Generation Iron Podcast, hosts Victor Martinez, Ehsan Farahi, Edwin Mejia Jr., and Vlad Yudin delved into the intricacies of natural muscle growth, optimal nutrition, and debated if vomiting was the sign of a fruitful workout. Among the highlights of the discussion was Victor Martinez’s personal journey, providing a blueprint for aspiring bodybuilders on building a solid foundation before considering performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs).

This week’s podcast focuses on a wide variety of different topics covering different facets of competitive bodybuilding. The bodybuilding lifestyle requires individuals to go above and beyond what a normal person may find reasonable. This is true for diet, training intensity, and for some, use of powerful performance enhancing drugs such as steroids.

These are the three aspects of competitive bodybuilding that Victor Martinez and the GI crew dive into detail about. First, by discussing how long a person should stay natural before turning to PEDs in competitive bodybuilding. Then they touch upon diet and whether or not bodybuilding means need to be bland and monotonous in order to succeed.

Lastly, the hosts discuss training in the gym to the point of feeling sick. Is this a sign of a good workout? And if so does this mean you aren’t training hard enough if you aren’t pushing to the point of nausea?

We break it all down in this week’s episode – let’s dive in.


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Building Blocks of Natural Muscle Development

The podcast kicked off with a submitted fan question asking Victor Martinez what his max weight was in competitive bodybuilding while remaining natural. To put it another way, how far was Victor able to push his body before turning to steroids?

Victor Martinez’s journey from a modest 145lbs in high school to a formidable 190lbs during his early competitive years serves as a testament to the importance of laying a solid foundation before venturing into the realm of PEDs. Martinez emphasized the significance of honing one’s physique naturally, advocating for patience and discipline in the pursuit of excellence. He cautioned against viewing steroids as shortcuts, stressing the need to understand one’s body and develop sustainable habits before incorporating PEDs into the equation.

Martinez’s approach underscores the essence of building blocks in natural muscle development. By gradually increasing muscle mass through rigorous training and proper nutrition, athletes can optimize their genetic potential before considering external enhancements.

The case of legendary bodybuilder Robby Robinson, who maintains an enviable physique at nearly 80 years old, further reinforces Martinez’s philosophy. Robinson’s enduring muscularity serves as a testament to the benefits of cultivating a robust foundation, enabling sustained success and longevity in the sport.

Victor Martinez points out that many athletes who turn to PEDs too soon, often burn out by their 30s or 40s. This is likely both due to the massive amount of steroids used at an early age – but also due to the lack of experience gained by training natural for as long as possible without turning to PEDs. If there was one single piece of advice Victor finds most important – it’s to push your body as far as possible naturally before turning to steroids or other PEDs.

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Nutritional Strategies for Optimal Performance

In the pursuit of a chiseled physique, nutrition plays a pivotal role in supporting muscle growth and recovery. The hosts delved into the dichotomy of eating for function versus taste, echoing sentiments expressed by Sylvester Stallone and former Mr. Olympia Jay Cutler.

Victor, renowned for his disciplined approach to nutrition, revealed his preference for lean, unseasoned foods to support his training goals. While he admitted to occasional indulgences, such as pizza, Victor emphasized the importance of prioritizing nutritional value over pleasure.

Ehsan Farahi highlighted the role of genetics in dictating dietary requirements, acknowledging the existence of individuals blessed with enviable metabolisms. However, he underscored the necessity of clean bulking for the majority, advocating for a balanced approach to fueling muscle growth without excessive fat gain. By adhering to a diet rich in lean proteins, complex carbohydrates, and essential nutrients, athletes can optimize their performance and physique, laying the groundwork for sustainable success in bodybuilding.

Deciphering Workout Intensity: Signs of Productive Training

The discussion culminated in an exploration of workout intensity and its associated sensations of soreness and nausea. Victor Martinez injected humor into the conversation, jesting that feeling sick after a workout might stem from excessive pre-workout consumption, illness, or a hangover rather than productivity. However, he acknowledged that pushing the body to its limits can induce nausea, albeit not necessarily indicating a successful session.

Victor Martinez highlighted the role of training alongside individuals of superior skill levels, noting that the heightened intensity often leads to incidents where a bodybuilder may feel sick or nauseous. While soreness and discomfort may be indicative of a challenging workout, Victor cautioned against equating these sensations with productivity. Instead, he emphasized the importance of listening to one’s body, progressively increasing intensity over time, and prioritizing proper form and technique to minimize the risk of injury.

Wrap Up

The Generation Iron Podcast episode provided a comprehensive overview of the intricacies of natural muscle development, optimal nutrition, and workout intensity. Victor Martinez’s journey served as a guiding light for aspiring bodybuilders, emphasizing the importance of patience, discipline, and perseverance in the pursuit of excellence.

By building a solid foundation, prioritizing nutritional value, and listening to their bodies, athletes can navigate the path to bodybuilding greatness with confidence and resilience. Aspiring athletes and fitness enthusiasts alike stand to benefit from the wealth of knowledge shared on the podcast, gaining invaluable insights into the multifaceted world of bodybuilding.

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.