Since becoming a professional bodybuilder, Jay Cutler has always caught the eye of the media, the public and other professional bodybuilders alike….and for good reason. In this article we’re going to take a look and the emergence of Jay Cutler and how he rose to fame and eventually took the crown of the ultimate bodybuilding competition in the world – the much coveted Mr. Olympia title.
Before adopting the life of a professional bodybuilder, Jay Cutler had his sights set on becoming a corrections officers in a maximum security prison after he graduated from Quinsigamond Community College in the spring of 1993 with a criminal justice degree.
Always being a big guy and working out regularly, the transition from amateur to professional bodybuilding was easy for Jay and in 1992 he he well and truly put his name on the map by taking second place at the Golds Gym Worcester Bodybuilding Championship. This would prove to be the beginning of what would turn out to be a very successful career,
During the early years of his professional bodybuilding career, Jay competed in the middleweight class, however with a height of 5 ft 10 in, he has a very wide frame so could have easily been seen as a heavyweight – the class he would eventually compete in.
From 1992 through to 2006, Jay won an array of titles, like –
2006 would prove to be an extremely important year for Jay Cutler as this is the year where he not only won 3 individual Grand Prix’s in Austria, Romania and The Netherlands; but it would also be the year where he’d pick up his first of 4 Mr. Olympia titles. 2006 would arguably one of the biggest years in his professional bodybuilding career.
A lesser known statistic from the Mr. Olympia championships is the runner-up. Could you name any 3 runner’s up from any of the championships that have taken place…?
Jay Cutler or “Big Jay” as he’s been known to have been nicknamed, has 4 well deserved Mr. Olympia titles to his name and to demonstrate how influential he’s been within the bodybuilder arena, he has also secured 6 runner-up trophies and has entered and competed in the championship no less than 13 different occasions.
He is also one of very few professional bodybuilders to win the much worshipped title in non-consecutive years – losing the title in 2008, then winning it back in 2009.
In what’s seen as the “modern age” of bodybuilding, although Big Jay had a small mid-section in terms of the thickness of his abs, he seems to have no real weaknesses and muscle mass size in abundance that could and did go toe-to-toe with any competitor willing to chance their luck. Jay Cutler is famously the only bodybuilder to ever challenge or worry the title hopes of the 8 time Mr. Olympia winner Ronnie Coleman during his most dominant period.
After placing 15th at the 1999 Mr. Olympia I wouldn’t be surprised if you or anyone else for that matter would remember his performance, there is also an argument that for the physique Jay Cutler was promoting, his placing was much lower than where he should have finished. In 2000, jay came back bigger and stronger and moved up a further six places and finished the competition in 9th place. Again, this was a much lower position than he deserved, given the strong physique he was sporting. Even competitors like Kevin Levrone, were known to have commented on the surprising low placing for such a conditioned physique.
Known as many things, but the one that seems to stand out is “Mr consistency”, Jay would stay in great shape for most of his professional career which is why he was able to be competitive at any or all of the major competitions he was invited to compete at.
You have to ask if the legend himself, Ronnie Coleman had succeeded in NFL rather than becoming one of the greatest bodybuilders to walk this planet, then Jay Cutler would have many more titles to his name and trophies on display at home. The competitive rivalry between Ronnie Coleman and Jay Cutler is one that will be remember by time, and is the reason why Jay will also be known for picking up the Mr. Olympia runner’s up medal more times that he’d probably like to remember.
At the 2001 Mr. Olympia competition, following the results, it was reviewed that Jay Cutler tested positive for banned diuretics and had his 2nd place medal and purse stripped. However Jay Cutler is a natural businessman and new something wasn’t quite right, he followed the rules and prepared to sue the IFBB – following this, his 2nd place medal and purse were reinstated and the history prove he successfully secured the 2nd spot.
In several interviews following the announcement of the drug test, Jay has been very open about the testing procedures not being followed and how he was seemingly treated differently to other competitors all vying for the same trophy and honours.
Jay Cutler chose not to compete at the 2002 Mr. Olympia competition, which many fans would argue was a huge mistake as this could have been the year his won his first Sandow trophy. However in an interview leading up to the competition, he stated his decision not to compete was purely a business decision as he was extremely busy with guest posing, and as a business man he needed to focus on his career as well as the big competitions.
Despite not winning the number one spot at the Mr. Olympia competition as many times as perhaps he should have, you can’t take away Jay Cutlers outstanding competitive record – he is literally in a class of his own, when it comes down to purely the total competitive finishes (top 3), in all competitions.
You may say that if Ronnie Coleman had not been a bodybuilder, Jay Cutler might now be the record holder for the most Mr. Olympia titles with what could be nine Sandow trophies. However this wasn’t to be.
For me, Jay Cutler is the perfect combination of bodybuilder and business man. He’s also a fighter and his record show’s us today, that he never quit and never backed down – he came back year after year, looking bigger, leaner, more defined and in the best shape he could be to put himself in the running. That type of performance takes serious dedication to the sport and to yourself and for a person to be able to achieve that, they need a serious amount of self control and commitment. How many other professional competitors can you truthfully go toe-to-toe with that level of competitiveness?
When I say Jay Cutler is a businessman, look at the brand he has built around him, and he did this during his time as a professional athlete. This wasn’t an after thought when he retired from competing, but this was being built when he was in his prime. The 2002 Mr. Olympia competition is a true example of this, where he decided not to compete as his calendar was too busy and he knew he would earn a bigger purse by showing at guest posing events rather than put all of his efforts into one competition. For an athlete his their prime to have the strength of mind to do that as they’re arguably entering their peak, is a true sign of greatness.
So, I take my hat of to Jay Cutler – the man who took the most Mr. Olympia prizes, but never settled for second place and came back to win the title four times. He’s also one of the few competitors to lose the title then win it back.
A great professional, the ultimate competitor – a legend!