Bodybuilder Mike O’Hearn Judges Trainers by Their Actions, Not Their Words

O'Hearn trusts the experience of coaches who are strong into their middle age and beyond.

Episode seven of The Mike O’Hearn show was published to Generation Iron‘s YouTube channel on July 15, 2022. For the first time in the series, a returning counterpart joined O’Hearn: Vlad Yudin, who also appeared in episode two.

O’Hearn kicks the show off by discussing the impacts of social media, “proper passion,” and divulging that he respects the trainers who implement their advice into their lives over the long term. O’Hearn judges someone by what they do, not what they say:

It’s the actions of the individual, not the words.

Check out episode seven in its entirety in the video below:

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O’Hearn is currently part of six film projects. One of those projects tells the story of a young bodybuilder. The role is played by an actor in their 20s, not a pro bodybuilder, which raised the question: will that actor look the part of portraying a competitive bodybuilder? The answer in O’Hearn’s view is yes, stating that their physique would have held up competing on the Olympia stage, though he did not specify which division.

The topic of the actor’s physique came up to drive home the point that results come not just from staying consistent over time but from doing the right things consistently over time. One can train for decades consistently, but if their form, nutrition, or recovery is subpar or off the mark, the results will remain out of reach. O’Hearn attributes his success in film and his shredded physique at age 53 to his consistency in doing the right things since his late teens.

I don’t care that you’re consistent for 22 years, I care that you’re doing it right.

O’Hearn’s advice to those looking to overhaul their physique should select a role model who’s “been through the trenches,” meaning they have noticeably progressed over time, to emulate. Yudin speculates that a good trainer doesn’t necessarily have to have a competitively viable physique. One of the most renowned trainers in bodybuilding, Hany Rambod, who trained the likes of seven-time Mr. Olympia Phil Heath and four-time Men’s Physique Olympia champion Jeremy Buendia, isn’t going to compete in the Olympia himself anytime soon, but still has the experience and knowledge to teach his FST-7 methodology to great success.


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O’Hearn is on the other side of the line in the discussion. He isn’t digging through social media looking for a coach in their 20s or a coach who isn’t in aesthetically good shape. Partly because someone being in shape in their 20s isn’t impressive to him, and he has no time for someone who is out of shape.

If you’re not in great shape when you’re 20, you’re just lazy. I can’t have a 300-pound guy say [they’re] my heart doctor.

The trick for a viable coach, in O’Hearn’s view, is maintaining a formidable physique into their 30s and beyond. If someone was ripped in their 20s but lost it in their 30s, he presumes there is a lack of knowledge or understanding for maintaining a physique.

There’s got to be the education, then there’s got to the experience. The experience beats all.

O’Hearn would not hire a coach who doesn’t have a vision for O’Hearn’s health beyond the contest he was training for. While winning a show is great, O’Hearn prioritizes staying healthy for longevity.

Featured image: @mikeohearn on Instagram