Jay Cutler
January 13, 2003

Jay Cutler, considered one of the top bodybuilders in our sport today, has surprised everyone by not only entering the 2003 Ironman Pro Invitational, but the 2003 Mr. Olympia, setting up an awesome contest between the top bodybuilders for the O. Here are some quick questions with Jay, who is training, dieting and getting ready for the shows, four weeks before the Ironman Pro.

Jay Cutler, interviewed by Ron Avidan.

  • How come you decided to compete in the 2003 Ironman Pro?

      This year I wanted to give something back to the fans, to compete more than just one show a year. Plus, I will be ready early. The extended time off from competing gave my body a much better look. I feel pretty much almost there now. I wanted to give the fans of bodybuilding of California that are not able to travel to the Arnold in Ohio the chance to see me compete.

  • That's great? What other shows will you compete in?

      I intend to compete in the Ironman Pro, the Arnold Classic, the Maximus Pro in Italy, the Mr. Olympia, and the European tour the week after the O. As far as the GNC Show of Strength show, it depends on when their show will be. I will make that decision after the Arnold Classic is over. I also would like to compete at the Arnold in 2004 too. As for the San Francisco Pro show, I won't be able to compete there due to a commitment of a guest appearance during the week on the east coast. As for the Maximum Pro Show, which is a month after the Arnold Classic, I will stay on my diet. I can usually hold my condition for a long time. I don't get real big after a contest. (Note: Two days after the interview, Jay Cutler worked on a way to compete in the San Francisco Pro Show!)

  • You are going to compete at the 2003 Mr. Olympia?

      Yes, I am.

  • That will be a great show. Jay Cutler vs. Ronnie Coleman vs. Gunter Schlierkamp vs. Kevin Levrone vs. Chris Cormier! Let's get it on.

      But currently, my eyes are on the Arnold right now. My main focus. Then later, I will start thinking about the Olympia.

  • So many show? Are you worried you won't be at your best?

      This year, unlike last year, I do not feel any pressure. I am just going to be at my best at all the shows. Between the Ironman and the Arnold there are two weeks. Two weeks is a lot easier than one week in being prepared for the Arnold. You can't run from possibly taking a 2nd or 3rd. There will be a time when I am not going to win a show, and that is part of being a competitive bodybuilder. I am not scared to lose. And I think the guy that beats me when it does happen will not be a chump. It gives a lot more to the fans to see me in different shows around the world. People in California, People in Ohio, People Overseas, then back to Vegas for the title, then overseas again for the European tour.

  • How will you look at the Ironman Pro?

      I plan on landing at the Ironman at 100%. It will allow me to make some adjustments as to whether to go one way or another. At least I will be able to see where I do land, and I will make my best showing. I feel, at this point, that I will be at my best. I will be in better shape than the 2001 Olympia contest. I will be between 265 to 268 pounds for these shows.

      I feel that my condition will also be much better this year. For the 2002 Arnold, I came in bigger than I planned, but I felt it was good enough to win. This diet that I am going through now is the hardest diet I have done in years. It is much more consistent of low carbs, cardio, a lot of fine tuning, fluctuating the calories from day to day, while not staying on a consistent diet scheme, which lets me get a lot tighter than I ever have been. I am currently at 279 - 282 pounds right now.

  • Tell me about your diet for these shows?

      My diet is more extreme this year. In 2002, my prep started eleven weeks out from the Arnold Classic, but my body was somewhat down, because I had dieted already for the Olympia in 2001. For the 2003 Arnold, I started 16 weeks out. I am on a much more lower calorie diet, much more cardio, same weights as last year, same training schedule twice a day, five days a week. Two days on, one day off. I train at Gold's Gym on Sahara & Decatur in Las Vegas. Craig Titus trains at the Gold's Gym at Buffalo & Lake Mead. I do see him from time to time. I have not seen Chris Cormier yet, but my friend told me that Chris is in Vegas building a house. I hear Dennis Newman lives out here too.

      I also work with Chris Aceto in terms of nutrition, but I do a lot on my own. I kind of do it day to day. Sometimes I eat 1,500 calories, sometimes I eat 5,000 calories. I do not have a normal schedule. In a day, I can drop 4 pounds or bring it up. It is all about fine tuning. With experience, I am able to learn and nail it correctly. On this diet, I eat no chicken, no turkey, no red meats. I eat fish (cod, red snapper, tilapia), Pro-M3 powder, and I have egg whites. Salmon is good fat, but it is a little higher in fat for me. I only have about 250 grams of protein a day, with a maximum of 300 grams of protein a day. On a normal day, I only have about 300-400 grams of carbs, but sometimes I go as low as 200 grams of carbs, and sometimes, I eat between 700 - 800 grams of carbs a day. I eat tons of vegetables, a lot of broccoli and asparagus, all the greens. I take a supplement to help maintain my fat.

      Right now my days consist of preparing my food, taking care of my mail order, training twice daily, answering emails, tanning, and cardio. Also, going to the supermarket daily (Albertsons is the closest one to me, as they have a pretty good fish section). Sixteen weeks of stagnant straight dieting.

      During the offseason, I eat oppisite. I won't eat any fish, but I will eat red meats, chicken, and turkey, but I stay on a very good diet offseason. I won't go and eat pizza or burgers. Even offseason, I train twice a day, but not as much cardio.

      I currently have ten meals a day, and eat most of my carbs close to my training times. My last meal at night is usually around 8pm, and I have a shake, and my first meal is about 7am (oatmeal and egg whites). I don't eat during the night, but usually I take glutamine powder.

      I drink three gallons of water a day, and because of this, I get up to use the bathroom at night, and I keep the glutamine by the sink and take 5-10 grams of glutamine when I go. Only ISS Glutamine. That's the best.

  • I am still thinking about the 2003 Olympia. Why did you not compete in 2002 at the O?

      There were various reasons, but one problem was that I moved to Las Vegas, and could not give a 100% commitment to do the show. I have a very strict way of getting ready for a show, and at my house in Vegas, the landscaping took around 4 months to complete. I had people ringing my doorbell at 7am, keeping me distracted, with everything being complete by the beginning of October. When I prepare for a show, I am up at 6am, then do cardio, train twice a day, eat, tan, and get to bed by 8. Besides, I felt my body needed some rest for 2003. I was also booked every weekend doing guest posing too, and I took advantage of that too.

  • How is your house now?

      The house is all together now, looking good. There are a few odds and ends left to do, but I am putting it off until after the shows, which run into the end of March now.

  • How is your sponsor, ISS Research doing for you?

      ISS is doing very well for me. Things are great for me with them. They have a couple of new products in the works, and they will start to come out to the local NPC shows also this year.

  • Thank you very much for your time. See you soon.

      No problem. Right now, I am going to relax in the Jacuzzi, and then get ready for bed.

  • A few days later, Jay decided also to compete at the 2003 IFBB San Francisco Pro after working it into his schedule. Now, the fans in Northern California will get to see the champion compete!