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How Jay Cutler’s “Quad Stomp” Pose Turned the Most Iconic Photograph in Mr. Olympia Historical past


Poses outline bodybuilding lore. Sergio Oliva had the victory pose, Arnold Schwarzenegger the three-quarter flip, Frank Zane the vacuum, and so forth. Few poses come, nonetheless, with the emotional gravitas of Jay Cutler’s quad stomp pose on the 2009 Mr. Olympia.

On the time, Cutler was a two-time Mr. Olympia winner who was coming off a devastating loss the 12 months prior. Although he cemented his place on the prime of the game within the mid-2000s by besting perennial Mr. O Ronnie Coleman, Cutler was thought-about a competitor on a downward trajectory, a former champ together with his again towards the ropes.

[Related: 12 of the Biggest Male Bodybuilders of All Time]

After a convincing loss in 2008 to Dexter Jackson, Cutler returned in 2009 with a vengeance and have become the topic of one of many sport’s most iconic and emblematic images ever. 

To grasp the gravitas of the quad stomp, although, it’s a must to perceive how he received there within the first place.  

Changing into Jay Cutler

Born in Worcester, Massachusetts, in 1973, Cutler got here from a powerful household. His dad and mom had been farmers and his older brother was a development employee who later inspired his youthful sibling to work alongside him for some bodily exercise. (2

As a young person, Cutler briefly flirted with soccer each as a passion and as a possible profession. He started coaching within the gymnasium as a senior in highschool however quickly dropped soccer in favor of strict weight lifting. 

Whereas learning legal justice in faculty, Cutler met private coach Marcos Rodriguez who, sensing potential, inspired him to compete in bodybuilding. Cutler’s first contest was a second-place end in a Worcester Bodybuilding Championship held at an area Gold’s Fitness center. (2)

Working as a corrections officer after faculty, Cutler subsequent competed in his second bodybuilding present, the NPC Iron Our bodies Invitational present the place he received each the teenager division and the boys’s heavyweight division. (3) Even at the moment, it was clear that the younger man oozed potential. Rumblings started a couple of potential professional card.

[Related: Watch Chris Bumstead Dominate a High-Volume Leg Workout]

Reflecting on his early profession in bodybuilding, Cutler says:

“I all the time skilled every physique half as soon as per week. Chris Aceto and Laura Creavalle took me below their wing and taught me so much about coaching and diet. I did a whole lot of units. Being youthful, I might get better a lot faster. There was a whole lot of variation and angles. I labored for the pump versus pushing heavy weight on a regular basis.” (3)

As Cutler’s experience developed, so did his physique. He got here in leaner and larger with each present. In 1996, Cutler received his professional card when the received the Heavyweight Division on the Nationwide Physique Committee (NPC) Nationals. (3)

The promising newbie had turn out to be knowledgeable bodybuilder at simply 23 years previous.

Climbing the Ranks

Cutler got here to skilled bodybuilding at a time when the game was dominated by Dorian Yates. From 1992 to 1997, Yates received six consecutive Mr. Olympia titles. When he retired after 1997, a possibility opened up for a brand new star to emerge. On the time, many believed Flex Wheeler would take up the mantle. As an alternative, Ronnie Coleman took the game by storm.

The identical 12 months that Cutler completed twelfth in his skilled debut on the Worldwide Federation of Bodybuilding & Health (IFBB) Night time of Champions, Coleman positioned first. (4) The hole between the 2 males was massive however, in time, Cutler would posture himself as a reputable challenger. 

In 1999, Cutler completed fourth on the Arnold Basic and third on the Ironman Professional. Crucially, he additionally competed on the Olympia, the place he completed fifteenth out of 16 rivals.

Undeterred, the subsequent 12 months Cutler completed eighth on the Olympia and even received his first professional title with a victory within the 2000 IFBB Night time of Champions. (2)

[Related: How Terrence Ruffin Trains His Clients to Compete in Bodybuilding]

In 2001, simply three years after his skilled debut, Cutler completed second on the Olympia behind Coleman — with many believing Cutler ought to’ve received the competition outright. (5

Furthering Cutler’s disappointment that night time was the information that he had been disqualified on account of a failed drug check for diuretics. He disputed this declare, even threatening to sue. The check was finally rescinded. (6) Regardless, his defeat at Coleman’s arms coupled with a subsequent drug scandal left a foul style in his mouth.

Cutler sat out the 2002 Mr. Olympia, preferring as an alternative to solely give attention to that 12 months’s Arnold Basic (which he received). On reflection, it might have been an error, as 2002 was arguably Coleman’s worst Olympia displaying. 

[Related: The 10 Commandments of Biceps Training]

Nonetheless, Coleman and Cutler alike took to the Olympia stage in 2003 a lot improved from the 12 months(s) prior. Coleman, weighing practically 300 kilos and boasting striated glutes, dwarfed Cutler and everybody else who stood subsequent to him below the lights. (7)

The next two years spun an analogous story — Cutler had robust showings, however couldn’t eke out Coleman. Though he was solely in his early 30s, it was plain to Cutler that his time was working out. He wanted to win all of it, and shortly. 

Triumphs (and Tragedies)

In 2006, Cutler boldly declared that he would defeat Ronnie Coleman that 12 months. In truth, he claimed that if he didn’t win the Olympia, he would shave his head. (8) Towards all odds, Cutler willed a victory into existence and defeated Coleman by a 16-point margin within the playing cards. (8) Though Coleman did comment that the competitors might have been mounted towards him, a brand new king had been topped. (9)

A 12 months later in 2007, although, Cutler’s longevity was in query. He was neck-and-neck with challenger Victor Martínez, however did bag himself one other Olympia win. 

Bodybuilding journalist Peter McGough later defined that whereas Martínez was tied with Cutler after the primary day, Cutler undoubtedly received the second day of the Olympia by returning to the stage with a volumized, utterly filled-out body. (1)

However in his push for an increasing number of muscle mass, Cutler had begun to lose management of his midline. Cutler would earn the unlucky moniker of “the Fridge” as his waist ballooned. (10)

A bulbous waist contributed to Cutler’s loss to The Blade, Dexter Jackson, in 2008, who was using momentum from an Arnold Basic victory earlier that 12 months. Nonetheless, it was a shock to see Jackson overthrow Cutler seemingly out of nowhere. 

Cutler’s defeat by the hands of The Blade raised questions on his place within the sport. Whereas he had received two Olympia titles — defeating Coleman within the course of — he hadn’t been bringing his finest to the stage, and was even on a perceived decline as a competitor. 

The Quad Stomp

No winner of the Mr. Olympia bodybuilding contest had ever regained the title after shedding it. That development, coupled with open criticism of his midsection and presentation, made for a stacked deck towards Cutler in 2009.

In a second of sporting triumph, Cutler rose to the problem at that 12 months’s Mr. Olympia. It was a kind of uncommon moments in skilled sports activities the place all the things simply appears to come back collectively.

In contrast to in years previous, when Cutler might have taken the stage a bit comfortable, or missing in conditioning, or bloated, Cutler introduced a near-impeccable physique. He was lean, muscular, and centered

[Related: Seven-Time Mr. Olympia Phil Heath Is Still Freakishly Big]

Cutler’s quadriceps had all the time been an asset to his physique — however in 2009, they had been his rallying name. Crucially, Cutler was positioned adjoining to Jackson, who had snatched his title the 12 months earlier than. 

Rattling his thigh, Cutler planted his foot and tensed himself from head to toe. It wasn’t a brand new pose essentially, however Cutler displayed mastery and possession over his physique that nobody — not the followers in attendance nor the judges themselves — might ignore. In a single second, he highlighted his muscularity, leanness, and want to win.

Reporting on the occasion for Flex journal, journalist Dave Lee wrote:  

“Massive, exhausting, and dry with the sickest entrance quads within the present, Cutler introduced his finest physique since profitable the Olympia in 2006 (perhaps even surpassing his 2001 Olympia type, the place he completed runner-up to Ronnie Coleman) with superior measurement and crisp element from each angle…” (11)

Cutler’s quad stomp helped him etch his title into bodybuilding historical past. No different athlete had been in a position to end in first place on the Olympia after sliding down the ranks. Although Jackson and fellow competitor Department Warren gave him a run for his cash, Cutler received with that stomp. 

Bodybuilding Historical past

The next 12 months, Cutler received the Mr. Olympia present one closing time earlier than giving solution to Phil Heath — who would start his personal seven-win dynasty in 2011. Nonetheless, Cutler’s achievements in bodybuilding are made all of the extra spectacular when you think about the context.

Regardless of having one of many finest physiques within the trendy historical past of bodybuilding, Cutler was thought-about one thing of an underdog as he needed to cope with legends like Ronnie Coleman. Even when he did defeat Coleman onstage, his dedication and longevity had been questioned. A loss in 2008 solely added to these issues. 

Cutler used his quad stomp pose to place to relaxation all doubt of his place in bodybuilding. There are many iconic poses in bodybuilding that spotlight an athlete’s proportions or silhouette, however Cutler’s quad stomp despatched a message like no different. A declaration to the world that he be seen and remembered.

References 

  1. Peter McGough, ‘The 2007 Mr. Olympia – Did Victor Martinez Beat Cutler?’, Muscular Growth, 15 August 2014.
  2. Greg Merritt, ‘Olympia Legend: Jay Cutler,’ Muscle and Health. Accessed 14 August 2022. 
  3. Tony Monchinsku, ‘The Evolution of Jay Cutler’s Coaching,’ Muscle and Health, Accessed 12 August, 2022. 
  4. ‘Ronnie Coleman: Skilled Bodybuilder, Entrepreneur,’ Biggest Physiques, Accessed 7 August, 2022. 
  5. Flex Workers, ‘Epic Olympia Showdown: Coleman vs. Cutler,’ 2001,’ Muscle and Health, Accessed 4 August 2022. 
  6. Lonie Teper, ‘Jay Cutler Opens Up,’ Iron Man Journal, 1 November 2002. 
  7. ‘Mr Olympia – Unique Report & Images,’ LA Muscle, 18 January 2009. 
  8. ‘Jay Cutler is Mr. Olympia 2006 – Ronnie Coleman is Defeated,’ Gymrat’s Weblog, Accessed 11 August 2022. 
  9. Derek Corridor, ‘Ronnie Coleman Says He Was Set As much as Lose 2006 Olympia,’ Health Volt, 9 January 2020. 
  10. John Hansen, ‘John Hansen’s 2008 Mr. Olympia Assessment,’ Bodybuilding.com, 23 January 2019. 
  11. ‘2009 Mr Olympia Finals,’ Muscle and Health, Accessed 5 August 2022. 

Featured Picture: @jaycutler on Instagram



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