Jay Cutler is one of the most successful bodybuilders in modern history, winning 4 Mr Olympia titles (with 6 seconds places as well), and 3 Arnold Classics.
He is one of the first bodybuilders to truly embrace social media and the internet, and has become very famous for his supplement company.
Jay Cutler was born in Worcester, Massachusetts on the 3rd August 1973. He grew up in a small town called Sterling, and was the youngest of 7 children.
He had three brothers and three sisters, and says that due to both parents working he was part raised by his older sisters and brothers.
From the age of 11 years old, Jay was working in the family business (a concrete company). Jay claims that carrying around big bags of cement was where he initially built his strength.
During his high school years he was initially drawn to American Football, where his strength and speed were a huge asset. But it was in muscle building where his true passion lay.
At age 18 he signed up to Gold’s Gym and quickly went on a quest to become a bodybuilder.
At 20 years old he graduated from College with a degree in Criminal Justice, and also won his first bodybuilding competitions.
Winning his Pro Card
In 1993 he actually won two events, the NPC Iron Bodies Invitational (Teenage & Men’s Middleweight), and the NPC Teen Nationals (Middleweight).
Around this time he caught the attention of bodybuilding legend Chris Aceto, a personal trainer who had worked with Mike Francois, and Paul DeMayo.
With Chris in his corner he won the 1995 NPC U.S. Tournament of Champions, and in 1996 earned his Pro Card by coming first in the NPC Nationals.
Not much happened between 1996 and 1999, Jay competed in some tournaments, but mostly concentrated on building his business. Participating in seminars and increasing his profile.
In 1999 Jay participated in his first Mr Olympia, placing 15th. After this he and his new wife (Kerry) moved to California, the Mecca of Bodybuilders. He competed at the 2000 Mr Olympia and improved on his previous result with an 8th place finish.
Competing for Mr Olympia
The 2001 Mr Olympia is the one that put Jay Cutler on the map, he may not have won it (he came second), but many people think that he was the best physique on show.
What you need to understand about Mr Olympia is that historically it is very difficult to out a current champion. Which is why there have been so many long runs in the competition’s history (Arnold won 6 in a row, Dorian Yates won 6 in a row etc).
In 2002 he decided to skip the Mr Olympia competition and instead focused on the Arnold Classic which he won. He won it again in 2003, and managed another 2nd place finish in Mr Olympia.
In 2004 he had the same result, 1st place in the Arnold Classic and 2nd place to Ronnie Coleman in Mr Olympia. He skipped the Arnold in 2005 and again came second in the Mr Olympia competition.
Finally in 2006 Jay Cutler managed to beat Ronnie Coleman at the Mr Olympia competition.
He won it again the following year and looked set to create a long winning streak of his own. But in 2008 Dexter Jackson shook the bodybuilding world by ousting Jay as champion, his streak had only lasted two years.
It is very rare for a bodybuilder to win the Mr O again after losing their title. While Arnold came back and won in 1980 (controversially), and Franco Columbu did the same in 1981, both had retired as champions rather than losing their titles.
In 2009 Jay Cutler became the first bodybuilder to win back his title after losing beating Branch Warren (Dexter Jackson came third).
To win in 2009 Jay brought in Harry Rambod as a nutritional advisor, and relied on coaching from Brian Glynn and Ryan Chastian. This approach of having many different coaches advising him, is a big step away from Arnold and Franco training together (with no coaching experience), or Dorian Yates training alone.
Jay won his final Mr Olympia in 2010, beating up and coming bodybuilder Phil Heath into second place. Heath would have his revenge in 2011, beating Jay and dominating the competition ever since.
Jay is a believer in twice per day training, which sets him apart from Dorian Yates (who trained 40-50 minutes per day max).
When he started out as a teenager, Jay would train each muscle once per week with lots of sets, and hitting muscles at different angles.
He enjoyed mixing up both free weight exercises and machines, but he never obsessed about lifting heavy in the same way that Franco or Ronnie did.
This may have kept his injury list down, though he still had to retire due to a double bicep tear which he got during a photo shoot.
Jay was a big believer in eating meals every two or three hours, which added up to six meals per day.
He would consume around 5,000 calories per day when at his peak. He would eat his biggest meal post workout, and it would be high in carbohydrates. His protein target was 1.25g per lb of body weight.
Jay Cutler’s Legacy
As a bodybuilder Jay was incredible, he won Mr Olympia on four occasions and the Arnold Classic three times.
Perhaps if he had been competing with anyone other than Ronnie Coleman at the time we would be looking at a 6,7, or even 8 time winner. But Jay’s real legacy would be the business success he has managed.
He took bodybuilding seriously from the get go, hiring coaches and nutritional advisors. He also took time off to concentrate on the business side of things on more than one occasion.
Purists might not enjoy this, but it was an incredibly business savvy decision. His property empire, supplement range, and DVD sales have ensured that he is set for life. If you are an up and coming bodybuilder, the Jay Cutler model of competitive and financial success should be the one you follow!