Life As An American Gladiator
Life As An American Gladiator
Michael O'Hearn (American Gladiator) gives expert video advice on: How did you become an American Gladiator?; What kind of skills does it take to be a professional gladiator?; How did you turn bodybuilding into a career? and more...
How did you become an American Gladiator?
During the character segment I establish myself as a leader and dominate the field the comments were you are cool, we need a dork, that is good.
What kind of skills does it take to be a professional gladiator?
In order to be a professional gladiator you need to be fully rounded. You can't be just one thing. You can't be just a football player. My background isn't just one sport. I didn't just -- I know I'm known for being Mr. Universe four times, but I actually played middle linebacker, All American, California Judo Champ, and West Coast Strongman, and four-time California Power Lifting Champ. So it's the martial arts, the power lifting, and then I'd create a physique from that, and that seems to help me be a professional gladiator. And then, some of the other guys are also martial artist football players, mixed. So it's got to be a combination of a few things. I don't think anybody on the show this year isn't more than a one-sport athlete. There's not just one guy that played basketball and that's all he did. Everybody did some types of martial arts, football, basketball, wrestling.
How did you turn bodybuilding into a career?
I turned bodybuilding into a career early on, when I was about 19. When I was nineteen I met at Mr. Olympia , which is like the biggest show there is, a guy named Joe Weider. Joe Weider, you might know, brought Arnold Swartzanegger over from Austria. When I met him at 19 years old he said, "Son, you got to come to California, come to Gold's Venice and train and I'll put you in the magazines. I'll endorse you." I said, "Wow, that sounds like fun. Give me some time. I waited a while, then I went off and played some football and got a lot of pressure to take steroids. I said, "This just isn't me." That pressure at that time, I guess I was a bit selfish too. I wasn't a team player and I said, "The pressure of taking steroids and doing this isn't what I want." My heart dropped and went with what Arnold did. I said, "Okay." I called up Joe and told him I was coming down. I came down to California and started endorsing his products, being in the magazine and modeling. That's how I turned it into a business.
What does it take to be a great American Gladiator?
I would have to say that would be a carefree attitude, being willing to wear spandex - that's a big part of it, and then if you see my outfit I'm wearing a battle bra, that's nice huh? Put me in a bra on TV, that's great. Good stuff. You know, just bigger than life. Bigger than life when you're out there. You've got to turn the switch on. First of all, you're going to fighting somebody so you've got to amp up, but you've also got to understand that it's a show. So you've got to entertain. So you can't just beat the guy, you've got to beat him in style. You've got to put a little something else on it.
What's your advice to someone who wants to be an American Gladiator?
Consistency. Eat right. Even starting at a young age, eat right. Start working out. Do the sports, but also study. You've got to be smart when you're out there. You got to be witty, quick witted. And just keep training, training hard, and keep watching the show. And then when there's a try-out, go out for it, no matter what anybody else says. They say "You're too small," "too heavy," whichever, doesn't matter. Just try out for it. Keep going. Live your dream.
What's the best part about being an American Gladiator?
The best part about being an American Gladiator Is that you know the team captain, Titan, American Gladiators, all that. There's so much, it's hard to pick one thing. I think the main thing though for me would be to continue living my dream. Doing what I like to do. I mean, this is fun. It's really just a lot of fun. Yes, it is a competition, yes you're out there fighting. But I'm living in the moment and enjoying it. Being able to do that show, and then travel around and teach people what I know. And get my word out there, what I believe about, healthy living, training, and then just having fun. That's the best thing about being an American Gladiator.
What's the worst part about being an American Gladiator?
I think the worst part about it is knowing that you are replaceable and that keeps you in check. Do not get carried away with your ego. Just understand that you are replaceable and there is somebody fighting for your position. You know there is only six guys. The entire nation. And they are bringing guys up from Europe to try out who are trying to take your spot. So stay on my game. Nobody is going to take my spot. Keep grounded. That is the worst thing about it you know. They will talk to you. the producers will talk to you. you are doing a great job. But no, you could be replaced next season.