Ask Jay Cutler: A Q&A Session with the Four-time Mr. Olympia

There are few men more influential to the world of bodybuilding than Jay Cutler.

We gave fans around the world the opportunity to ask the four-time Mr. Olympia winner their questions in a series of videos called, "Ask Jay." Below are a few of his responses:

Jonathan Stewart: Who do you consider pioneers in the world of bodybuilding?
Cutler: This is a very easy answer. Besides myself, I think a lot of the things that I've done as far as the endorsement deals and really establishing the whole branding thing, I think Arnold Schwarzenegger was a great pioneer. I mean he brought bodybuilding forward and he moved [to the] big screen [with] Pumping Iron.

I think Lou Ferrigno was a huge asset to bodybuilding as [far as] being a pioneer for doing that mainstream crossover. Lee Haney was a great role model for a lot of people. I mean he did a lot of things with ESPN. A lot of things [he did] embodied [bodybuilding] like holding the type of the records with Ronnie Coleman. Dorian Yates set the standard [but] Ronnie Coleman brought it to a whole new level. These guys continue to give back to bodybuilding.

Guys like Lee Haney are still actively involved. Arnold is still actively involved. Lou Ferrigno is still actively involved. Although they have an acting side to them, you know, they're still out there promoting and really just working to promote health and fitness, not just bodybuilding. I always use the vast term of health and fitness because we [as bodybuilders] try to promote and we continue to promote the positive effects of bodybuilding. I consider myself a bodybuilder. anyone [who is] in the gym, whether male or female, [and] kind of perfecting their body, whether it's for competitive reasons or just in general, [to] feel a little better, is bodybuilding. So Jonathan Stewart, thank you for your question.

Tom Watson: Who are the mentors that helped you accomplish your goals in the bodybuilding world?
Cutler: I had a lot of great mentors. I'm going to start with my family, [specifically] my brothers who basically raised me working in the concrete business. My dad who was a huge, huge inspiration to me. He taught me the work ethic. Although at the time when I was a teenager I had a lot of anger towards my father because I was working after school, before school, weekends, school vacations, and he was always forcing me to do work around the house [for] the family business. [My father taught me] a hard work ethic that really built my foundation for my bodybuilding career. I want to thank my brothers, of course my sisters, too, because they were a big influence on me. My brothers and my dad were definitely the male role models for me. Of course I was a fan of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, and Jean-Claude Van Damme. These are guys that inspired me with their physiques to actually get started in weight training. They taught me to become more fit in my lifestyle. They were a big, positive influence in my life but it all started from family upbringing.

Jack McCall: How much of an influence were your parents in your bodybuilding career?
Cutler: I can honestly tell you that my parents were very supportive. In the beginning, they were a little skeptical. But it wasn't until they were introduced to this contest and saw why I was putting so much time in the gym [that they began to understand]. And I was going to college at the time so [their support] was a big, big backbone. They knew I was going to school and trying to better myself, so they were really very supportive. My mom would help me with all my food. My dad, he was very supportive even though his understanding [of the fitness world was limited]. My mom did travel to the contests with me. She was there for the teenage nationals. My parents came to all my major events and brought the rest of my family [including] my brothers and sisters. My parents, especially my dad with his hard upbringing, definitely gave me the background and the work ethic. I hate to say hard [when it comes to my dad] but he really pushed me to earn the dollar and teach me the value of working hard. I was able to use the work ethic that my father taught me to influence my bodybuilding career. He was supportive and my mom just understood how much it took [in terms of] dedication and commitment [for] training and nutrition value. She was able to give me cheaper food [because she worked] for a military base. She gave me the opportunity to eat what I needed to be my absolute best. They were a huge backbone in that sense and still supportive to this day. They are my biggest fans and I want to thank them very much.