Sergio Oliva, previous Mr. Olympia winner and creator of the iconic “Victory” pose was known as Arnold Schwarzenegger’s rival back in the golden era. He was one of the first bodybuilders to develop that thick, round muscle mass and also kept a very small waist in the process. His son, seen on stage as a baby in the picture below, has grown to follow in his fathers footsteps and become a respectable IFBB pro bodybuilder himself. Many critics claimed he would only be riding off his fathers fame, but that has prooved to be far from the truth. Let’s examine who exactly is the better bodybuilder, Sergio Oliva Jr., or his father Sergio Oliva Sr.?
Potential – this is a strange category to rank because it is an imaginary battle based on two completely different eras, judging criteria, advancements in science, etc. On on hand, you could say the overall development of Sergio Oliva Jr. is better, but is that due to a modern day standard that has been set with access to higher quality foods, training procotols, supplement usage, etc? When you say potential, it’s hard to say one would have more potential than someone that has won the Olympia 3 times, but you also have to consider the playing field when those contests were won. It could go either way in a “batman vs. superman” styled debate, so since the genetics are obviously from the same pool, we’ll just say they have about as equal of an opportunity in either era.
This goes to the son, Jr, mostly due to modern day standards set by bodybuilders over years and years. Bodybuilders need to be near mass monsters, and Sergio Oliva Jr. is not getting any smaller with great conditioning to boot. His father might have him on arms and the V-taper, but the son has the overall mass needed.
This goes to the father, Sergio Oliva Sr. The victory pose is very similar when done on Jr., but some of the pop is missing due to the waist to lat ratio not being quite as drastic. Part of this ratio is, of course, due to the requirements needed to maintain the extra muscle mass with good conditioning to compete in today’s league.
As with most other bodybuilders, today we see conditioning that wasn’t even close to being achieved back in the 60’s, 70’s, and even 80’s. As seen at the NY Pro, Sergio Oliva Jr had crisp conditioning and deep striated glutes, sharp hamstrings, and much more overall detail than his father ever had – along with a size increase. Conditioning definitely goes to Sergio Jr.
A few poses from Jr. need a little more polishing for them to be on par with his father. Obviously this will come with time and the more time that is spent posing on stage and conducting routines. Both father and son graced the stage with powerful routines, especially when they hit the victory pose.
Bodypart – by – Bodypart
Winner: Sergio Oliva Jr.
This brings us back to the overall mass and conditioning of Sergio Jr. taking him into the lead. It’s hard to say whether or not his father, in the current era, would be better or not than his son. His son is still starting his bodybuilding career so it’s fair to say they would probably be close regardless based on the same gene pool.