Kevin Grech of evolutionofbodybuilding.net interviews IFBB Pro bodybuilder and professional trainer Milos ‘The Mind’ Sarcev
What made you turn to a career in bodybuilding after having a University education in Nutritional Technology?
I am an athlete in heart…Since I was a kid I practiced all kinds of sports: soccer, basketball, karate, judo, aikido, swimming…and through those sports I was introduced to weight lifting and strength training, fall in love with it and decided to pursue as my career.
Besides, nutrition and bodybuilding are closely related and, as you know, now I actually use my nutritional education and knowledge to coach many people around the world.
Obviously a move from Serbia to the USA was a big event in your life, how did it affect you?
It was a huge deal – leaving my family and friends to start my life alone and pursue my dreams thousands of miles away in another continent without money, right connections, friends or knowledge of the language.
However, it was my clearly defined goal – and it was really only up to me to accept that challenge. Needless to say – I am glad I did.
Back in the 80’s it was harder to win a Pro card than it is today, how do you see this affecting the sport of bodybuilding?
I do think back in 80′s and 90′s (my Era) it was better as Pro division was much harder to get into and selection of the new pros was very limited.
Competitors and thus competitions were on much higher level back then…
Who did you look up to as a young bodybuilder?
Steve Reeves, Frank Zane and certainly – Arnold. However, I had another World Class competitor who actually influenced me the most – my Countryman Slobodan Bobo Blagojevic.
He was my first and only idol…He actually opened doors for me and showed me that truly – everything is possible if you put your heart and soul in it. He was runner up in World Championships back in 1985 and after I saw him almost winning the World title I realised so can I…and for that matter: everyone else.
You are one of the most elegant posers, did this come from watching some of the greats of your era or a person like Ed Corney?
I studied many champions posing routines and picked something from everyone: Ed Corney, Mohamad Makkawy, Frank Zane, Lee Labrada, Bob Paris, John Brown…and I must mention another great champion that not everyone is familiar with – phenomenal German competitor (multiple IFBB World Champion) Thomas Sheu. He influenced me the most.
You are one of the best trainers in the modern era, you trained some of the best IFBB Pro’s to ever walk the stage, was this a great challenge?
Absolutely. Trying to make a difference in seasoned pros who basically tried everything is quite challenging – but that is exact beauty of this job.
Especially when you consider that this is EXTREME sport and everything has to be maximised in order to succeed, yet keeping general health in check.
Who was the toughest to train?
Flex Wheeler. I believe he is THE most gifted bodybuilder I have ever met and definitely my favourite…However, it was just impossible to train him at the level of others as he just never wanted to push to the limits, so it was very frustrating…
But, in all honesty – he was getting absolutely great results with even average effort that was impossible to be mad at him…
Everyone knew that when you walked into Koloseum Gym Fullerton to train with me – it will be absolute fight for survival…and I managed to accomplish that with all the guys…except Flex.
Who had the greatest potential?
Again – Flex Wheeler and definitely Dennis Wolf. I was delighted to train him in 2007 and see him shock the World…and I am happy to see him now when he is just about to reach his full potential (and hopefully win Olympia title)…
Who did you get along with the most?
Hidetada Yamagishi, who was absolutely the hardest worker I ever worked with and one with the most heart. Samurai spirit all the way.
Also, I got along great with Joel Stubbs, Gustavo Badell, Dennis Wolf, Dennis James, Johnnie Jackson, Armin Scholz and many others…
Who would you train today if you had the chance?
Kai Green, Shawn Rhoden, Cedric Mcmillan…
How do you test a client mentally so you know they are ready to go through your regime?
On the Gym floor. It is very simple – I’ll take you through a workout and you just do what I told you or at least die trying…
No excuses, no compromises… Many pros can tell you that I actually kick them out of my Gym, in the middle of their training when they were slacking…
I would tell them to come back when they are ready to train.
For the best results I need their maximal efforts, nothing less…
Do you see Phil Heath breaking the record Coleman and Haney hold?
Yes, it is quite possible. He is outstanding…and still young so there is definitely possible that he can break the record, but then again – there are many great bodybuilders aiming for that title so it will be interesting to see.
Who do you see giving Phil Heath a hard time in 2014? Do you think Kai Greene is taking the wrong path as ‘bigger is better’ ?
Kai Green, Dennis Wolf and Shawn Rhoden are definitely first contenders, but there are many more.
As far as Kai’s path to overpower the competition I really think it can work to his favour as good big guy will always beat the good small guy, if you know what I mean. Look back in history and you’ll understand what I am saying. Kai just needs to come in crazy condition that he is certainly capable of.
Tons of super separated and striated muscle with his trademark posing can be simply overwhelming…
This is how Lee Haney, Dorian Yates, Ronnie Coleman and Jay Cutler all won their titles…so it is a quite logical path to take if you are one of those genetically gifted guys, like Kai certainly is.
The size of a bodybuilder, is it becoming too much in the modern era?
As you can imagine I always appreciated more aesthetics, symmetry, shape, balance, conditioning and presentation…but as a bodybuilder I can also appreciate the size, especially if it is well put together.
Still, if you ask me to mention my favourite physiques of all time it would have to be: Frank Zane, Bob Paris, Flex Wheeler and Serge Nubret…
The bodybuilder today, do you think their contest condition is not as sharp as the 80’s and 90’s?
Certainly. It is easy to see if you go through photo archives or video footages from that era.
An IFBB amateur like Mahmut Irmak, who has won numerous European and World titles, how can a bodybuilder with such a great physique penetrate the Pro ranks even though he competes at 70-75kg?
Mahmut is obviously spectacular bodybuilder. One of the very best, regardless that he is still competing as an amateur.
It would only be his personal decision to take a pro card and accept the challenge for all of us to see how he would measure up in the pro ranks. I believe he would be an overnight sensation if he does.
Do you plan on getting involved in the Pro circuit again as a trainer?
I was away for awhile, but I am certainly back.
I am doing ONLINE COACHING and contest preparation programs for numerous competitors around the World.
As you mentioned before – it is a great challenge and I am definitely up for it.You have competed in over 70 bodybuilding contests with a top ten placing most of the time. This is a record only a few have accomplished. The secret to such a long run?
I have entered 110 shows in my life, 72 of which were IFBB professional competitions.
As Peter Mc Gough recently confirmed – I hold a record, together with Chris Cormier, who managed to catch up with me after I finished competing.
Secret? I was a bodybuilder 24/7, 365 days a year… Bodybuilding was my profession and every competition was new opportunity so I didn’t want to miss any…Many times (1991, 1992, 1997, 1999) I competed in every organised show throughout a year.
Possibly my approach that the best time to make real gains is immediately after competition kept me in shape all year around…I really never had off-season…
Your best moment as a Pro bodybuilder?
Qualifying for the Mr. Olympia 1991 by placing third at my pro debut in San Jose Pro Invitational.
What do you regret the most in your bodybuilding career?
That is easy. Certainly it is use of synthol, which almost killed me back in 2000. I highly regret that.
How did you get along with the Weider brothers? Where they influential in your career?
Yes, I got along with both: Joe and Ben. Joe signed me back in 1992 and I was proud to be Weider athlete for many years.
A bit about yourself, you have go on to open up Fitmania back in your home country? What made you do this?
Recently, I got engaged with the most beautiful woman on Earth, Maja Krstic and moved back to Serbia where we opened FITMANIA personal training studio.
It is just one of the projects we are working on. It is good to be back in my home country after almost 30 years.
Do you have any other future projects?
Last year I started with my International Line of Sports Supplements [Milos Sarcev's Signature Line] and we are definitely focusing on that project at the moment and looking for interested distributors around the World.
My supplements are already in Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Finland, Switzerland, Russia, Belorussia and Kazakhstan and we plan to expend it much more.
Also, I have been doing numerous training camps this year and I plan to continue with it.
Can you explain in brief about your style of training? What makes it different than other training principles?
My style of training is truly MAXIMAL STIMULATION of maximal amount of muscle fibers every time you step in the gym. It is combination of Heavy Duty style and Giant sets and I believe I brought that to completely new level.
I use wide variety of different training techniques in the single workout, changing type of muscular contraction, range of motion, tempo, angles, grips, stances…etc. If goal is to maximally stimulate muscle fibers then we must be honest and truly push it to the max, which can never be accomplished in conventional training.
I have also pioneered intake of specific pre-during-post nutritional sport supplements, based on HYPEREMIA ADVANTAGE PRINCIPLE (increased blood flow to the working muscles during the training) – to further maximise effects of my type of training.
The biggest difference is: with my style of training athletes become ANABOLIC during the training avoiding nutrient depletion and highly catabolic state that always occur during intense weight training session.
Milos, would you like to send a message to all your fans?
I love my fans and I always make myself available to them. Best way to find me is:
Email for consulting : firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact directly Milos Sarcev at email@example.com
Milos Sarcev IFBB Professional Champion