This time we will talk about 10 bodybuilders who have had a great impact on this sport, each with different characteristics and qualities but, at the same time, all have contributed greatly to bodybuilding.
10. Larry Scott
Born in Idaho , United States , October 12 , 1938 , at the age of 16, when he saw a bodybuilding magazine, he became interested in this sport, using a tractor axle he began to train, at first he used weights as a means to obtain respect. He moved to California where he studied Electronics at the California Air College . In 1959 he won the Mr. Idaho. In 1960 he won the Mr. California and in 1961 the Mr. Pacific Coast. A year later he meets Joe Wider who proposes him to compete in the IFBB, winning the Mr. America that same year. In 1963 he won the Mr. Universe. In 1965 he managed to win the first edition of Mr. Olympia, repeating the feat in 1966. He was trained with Vince Gironda, another well-known bodybuilder from the golden age. Scott stood out for the development of his arms and his unusually long biceps. In his later years he lived in Salt Lake City, Utah, where he ran his own personal training business, and manufactured and sold gym and health equipment and sports supplements. He was inducted into the IFBB Hall of Fame in 1999.
- First Mr. Olympia in history.
- 2 times Mr. Olympia.
- Great muscular development in shoulders and arms.
- Known in bodybuilding as “The Legend”
- First bodybuilder to link his name to a muscle group, preacher bench, later called Scott bench
- He popularized bodybuilding.
- The golden age of bodybuilding began.
9. Mike Mentzer
Born on November 15, 1951, a bodybuilder, writer and businessman, developed the bodybuilding concepts of Arthur Jones and perfected them. Through years of study, observation, and knowledge of the physiology of stress , as well as through careful use of his reasoning skills, Mike Mentzer was able to develop and put into practice a bodybuilding theory. At the age of 12 he started reading bodybuilding magazines, during the next 3 years he gained more than 30kg in weight. Later he decides to enlist in the air forces. At 18 he debuted in his first competition. In 1971 he participated in the Mr. America, a shoulder injury kept him away from competitions for 4 years. In 1976 he managed to win the Mr. America and was second in the Mr. Universe. The following year he wins the Mr. Universe and becomes a professional bodybuilder. 1979 makes his debut in the Mr. Olympia winning in his category with a perfect score but losing the absolute to Frank Zane. At this time he turned to amphetamines saying that they were an energy aid for his life. He participated in the 1980 Mr. Olympia, remaining in 5th place, at 29 he decided to withdraw from the competition arguing that everything was fixed. Mike Mentzer passed away in June of 2001 . He was found in his apartment by his younger brother and fellow bodybuilder Ray Mentzer. The cause of death was “heart complications.”
- 1979 Mr Olympia of his category.
- Some people think he must have won the 1980 Mr. Olympia.
- He was known as “the Philosopher”
- I only trained 2 or 3 days a week.
- He said that bodybuilding and philosophy were the same.
- Creator of Heavy Duty.
- It is said that at just 15 years old he could lift 165kg on the bench press.
- He perfected Arthur Jones’ training methods.
8. Dorian Yates
He was born on April 19, 1962 in Sutton Coldfield England into a lower class family. In adolescence he used to get into trouble, he was sentenced to 6 months in a juvenile center. He participated in an athletics competition but failed to succeed. His path in bodybuilding began at age 21, getting good results in his physique quickly. In 1985 he participated in the World Games as an Amateur, being his first competition and obtaining 7th place. It would be until 1990 when he would compete again, being 2nd in the Night of Champions, a competition that a year later he would win, as well as the English Grand Prix and being 2nd in the 1991 Mr. Olympia. In 1992 he would obtain the title of Mr. Olympia and would repeat 1st place from that year to 1997. In 1998 he joined Kerry Kayes to work at a bodybuilding supplement company called “Chemical Nutrition”, which he left in 2006 to found “Dorian Yates Ultimate Formulas”
- 6 times Mr. Olympia.
- Possessor of the best back in history.
- He was the idol of the working class.
- 1994 was the most successful year of his career, winning the Grand Prix of Spain, Germany and England, as well as Mr. Olympia.
- He used the Heavy Duty method with some adaptations for his physiology.
- In 1997 despite tearing his biceps and triceps a week before Mr. Olympia, he managed to win this event.
- In 1993 Yates published an autobiography entitled Blood and Guts.
7. Lee Haney
He was born in Spartanburg , South Carolina on November 11, 1959 into a middle-class family, he practiced various sports, at 12 years old he started in the world of bodybuilding with only a pair of dumbbells that he received at Christmas, he practiced American football, and at 16 years old Mr. South Carolina Teen wins his first competition, he decides to be a bodybuilder and leaves American football. In 1982 he won the nationals and the amateur world championship where he obtained his professional license. He was inspired by bodybuilders such as Robby Robinson and Tom Platz. He made his professional debut at the Grand Prix of England in 1983, that same year he won a Grand Prix event and the Night of Champions as well as being third in the Mr. Olympia. It was in 1984 when he would win his first Mr. Olympia and keep the title until 1991, managing to surpass Arnold’s record and set a new record. It was in this year that he beat Dorian Yates, who would be his successor.
- 8 consecutive times Mr. Olympia.
- Despite having won the Mr. Olympia so many times, he does not have the same popularity as other bodybuilders.
- He is in the IFBB Hall of Fame.
- Bill Clinton appointed him Chairman of the Presidential Council on Physical Education and Sports.
- He won the 1986 Mr. Olympia which is considered the best Mr. Olympia of all.
- Before Mr Olympia in 1983 he declared “I am going to beat Arnold’s record”
- She has a degree in Child Psychology.
- I used to train 3 days in a row and rest 1. Weeks before the competition I trained 6 in a row by 1 rest.
- I trained calves and abs daily.
- I didn’t believe in overly heavy training methods.
6. Phil Heath
Born on December 18, 1979, in Seattle, Washington, into a middle-class family, he managed to be a good basketball player despite being only 1.75m inspired by Michael Jordan. He studied Business Administration at the University of Denver, it would be here when he began in the world of weights seeking to improve his physical qualities for basketball. In 2002, due to his height, he decided to leave basketball and focus on weights, he developed a great passion for bodybuilding, he went from 72 kg to 84 in just a few months, inspired by Dorian Yates and his idol Flex Wheeler. In 2003 he won his first competition with 87 kg thanks to his incredible genetics, right there he was given the nickname “The Gift”. He won the nationals in 2005 and obtained his professional license. In his first year as a professional he won the Colorado Pro Championship and the New York Championship. In 2008 he won the Iron Man and came second at the Arnold Classic. In that same year he made his debut at Mr. Olympia, remaining in 3rd position. It would be until 2011 where he would finally get the title of Mr. Olympia, a title that he would continue to retain until 2017. In 2018 he underwent two hernias in the abdominal area, he could not reach Mr. Olympia in his best form and gets second place.
- 7 times Mr. Olympia.
- Possessor of incredible genetics.
- 2010 came second at Mr. Olympia to Jay Cutler.
- 2012 defeat Kai Green at Mr. Olympia, generating one of the great rivalries of bodybuilding.
- I was eating about 9,300 calories a day.
- Thirteenth bodybuilder to win the Mr. Olympia.
5. Jay Cutler
Jason Isaac Cutler was born in Worcester, Massachusetts , on August 3 of 1973 , being the youngest of 7 siblings. At the age of 12 he began reading bodybuilding magazines although he showed more interest in American football, later he attends the University of Quinsigamond where he studies criminal justice. It would be here where Jay discovered his passion for bodybuilding, at the age of 18 he joined a gym in his city to start training. Inspired since his teens by the bodybuilder Chris Dickerson and was guided from the beginning by the famous nutritionist and bodybuilding guru Chris Aceto. His debut was in 1992 at the Gold Gym Worcester Bodybuilding Championships obtaining 2nd place. In 1996 he won the National NPC where he obtained his IFBB Pro card. In 1997 Joe Wider convinced Jay Cutler to sign with his company. In 1999 he made his debut at Mr. Olympia, finishing in 14th place.In 2000 he managed to improve his position by obtaining 8th place and signing an advertising contract with ISS Research, he fell twice to Ronnie Coleman in the following Mr. Olympia, it would be until 2006 when he managed to obtain his first Mr. Olympia title, which he would repeat a year later, but would lose in 2008, however he would return in 2009 and 2010 to obtain two more titles from Mr. Olympia. His last presentation at the Mr. Olympia was in 2013, where he was in 6th place.
- 4 times Mr. Olympia
- 3 times winner of the Arnold Classic consecutively: 2003, 2004 and 2005.
- He ended Ronnie Coleman’s streak at the Mr. Olympia.
- It is one of the greatest exponents of muscular hypertrophy.
- Jay Cutler is the only bodybuilder in history to recover the Mr. Olympia title immediately the year after losing it and participating as a finalist in the event.
- He underwent personal trainer Hany Rambod’s intense FST-7 training program.
- Recognized by his legs and back.
4. Sergio Oliva
Also known as “El Mito”, Sergio Oliva was born on July 4, 1941 in Pinar del Río, Cuba, in a lower-class family, which forced him to work in the sugarcane fields at the age of 12. He began training weights at the Atlas gym in his hometown, he was a member of the Cuban National Weightlifting Team. At the time of the Revolution in Cuba and he being already a National promise, he was sent to the Soviet Union in 1961, when he returned to Cuba he ranked 2nd place in the National of Cuba. In 1961, instead of participating in the weightlifting championship of the Central American games held in Jamaica, Sergio Oliva decided to request Asylum at the United States embassy, shortly after he would reside in Miami working on television repair, a year later he would move to Chicago where he would work in a steel factory, in this same city he began to compete, obtaining 1st place in the Mr. Chicagoland, in 1963. Oliva began to compete in the Union of Amateur athletes where he would win 5 titles. In 1966 he began to process his entry to the IFBB where a few months after being accepted, he won the Mr. World IFBB, he also won the Mr. Universe IFBB in 1967 and I was already looking for the Mr. Olympia who at that time was dominated by Larry Scott. He won the Mr. Olympia in the 1967, 1968 and 1969 editions, losing the title in 1970. For the following year measuring 1.78m he raised his weight to 255 lbs but was prevented from competing in the 1971 Olympia because he had participated that same year in the Mr Universo of NABBA. In 1972 he presented Mr. Olympia with 250 lbs and extremely defined showing his best form, however, he lost to Arnold in a very close decision. Not agreeing with the decision to declare Arnold the winner in the last Mr. Olympia, he decides to continue competing in other federations where he continues to be successful.In 1984 and at the age of 43 he decides to participate again in the Mr. Olympia obtaining an 8th place, The same would happen the following year, for which he decides to retire permanently. In 1999 he was inducted into the Weider Hall of Fame. He died on November 12, 2012 in Chicago, United States, due to kidney failure.
- Mr. Olympia on 3 consecutive occasions ( 1967, 1968 and 1969)
- He was the only one to beat Arnold in a Mr. Olympia, specifically in 1969.
- In 1970 Mr. Olympia would lose to Arnold himself, in one of the closer decisions where Joe Weider changed the judges in the final round, which led Sergio Oliva to declare that he had been stolen from Mr. Olympia.
- In 1972 he participated in the most controversial Mr. Olympia in history, since it is said that Joe Weider manipulated the judges in favor of Arnold, when most people saw Sergio Oliva as the winner.
- Considered by many to be the best genetics in history.
- He had the narrowest waist in the history of the Mr. Olympia.
- His thighs were longer than his waist.
- For many bodybuilding experts he was the best bodybuilder of the golden age of bodybuilding.
3. Frank Zane
Born in Kingston , Pennsylvania , June 28 1942. At the age of 14 he became interested in bodybuilding, bought a set of dumbbells and began training in the school gymnasium, noticing rapid progress he felt motivated. By the time he finished school, he had already won several championships and received a scholarship from Wilkes University for his excellent grades. He graduated as a professor of Sciences at Wilkes University in 1964. In 1968 he won the Mr. America and the Mr. Universe with only 26 years. In 1974 he participated for the first time in the Mr. Olympia, competing in the lightweight category and obtaining second place. In 1977 he managed to win the Mr. Olympia with only 85 kgs and repeating the title for the next two years. In 1977 he graduated in Psychology from the University of California, with a Master in 1990. In 1980 he again sought Mr. Olympia before Arnold, however he was in 3rd place. In 1982 he was second, and in 1983 he decided to retire. Upon retirement, he began working as a personal trainer and opened his own gym.
- 3 times Mr. Olympia
- Considered by many to be the ideal of bodybuilding.
- He is one of the 3 bodybuilders in history who has beaten Arnold.
- The abdominal vacuum, his personal characteristic.
- The lightest Mr. Olympia at only 85kg
- 1999 is awarded entering the Weider Hall of Fame.
- He was a man of considerable culture.
- He was one of the best posing bodybuilders.
- He didn’t fit the classic bodybuilder stereotype.
- He wrote 8 books on health, fitness and training, based on the body-mind relationship.
- Professor of chemistry and mathematics.
2. Ronnie Coleman
Ronald Dean Coleman was born in Bastrop, Louisiana , on May 13 of 1964 , being the eldest of 4 children, from a young age he showed a fondness for sports, especially American football. Coleman graduated from Grambling State University in 1989 in Accounting, obtaining the qualification cum laude . In search of better job opportunities, he moved to Dallas, where he worked as a pizza delivery man, to later join the police force, where he would meet a friend who would invite him to train, thus starting his path in bodybuilding. In 1990 he won his first competition, the Mr. Texas. In 1991 he won the Mr. Universe and Mr. Mundo Amateur. In 1995 he won his first professional competition, the Canada Pro Cup, also winning it in its 1996 edition. In 1998 he managed to win his first Mr. Olympia, a feat that he would repeat 7 more consecutive times, the last being in 2005. He lost the 2006 edition of Mr. Olympia, being in 2nd place and 4th in the 2007 edition, this being his last participation. Since his retirement to this day, Coleman has dedicated himself to giving exhibitions and seminars around the world. In 2010 he began marketing his own supplement brand, “Ronnie Coleman Signature Series”
- Recognized as the Best Bodybuilder of all time.
- 8 times Mr. Olympia tying the record with Lee Haney
- 26 Titles on the IFBB Professional Circuit.
- Renowned for the intensity of his workouts.
- At Mr. Olympia in 1999 he managed to beat Flex Wheeler who was considered one of the most symmetrical bodybuilders.
- Mr Olympia of the year 2000 defeats Kevin Lebrone.
- Mr Olympia 2001 beats Jay Cutler.
- In the Mr Olympia 2003, 2004 and 2005 he faces Jay Cutler, his greatest rival, in the final, whom he manages to beat in all the mentioned editions.
- 2006 failed to get his ninth Mr. Olympia title losing to Jay Cutler.
- His first competition was won with only 4 months of having started his training.
- He was the first in his family to have a college degree.
1. Arnold Schwarzenegger
The man we most unconsciously associate when thinking about bodybuilding. He was born in Thal , a small town near Graz , Austria on July 30, 1947 into a family middle class catholic. From an early age he showed a passion for sports, practicing soccer, boxing and athletics. At age 14 he told his parents “I want to be the strongest man in the world.” At the age of 15, he started his path in bodybuilding lifting weights. In 1961 he met Kurt Marnul who would be a key person in his life, Reg Park and Steve Reeves were the inspiration for Arnold. In 1965 he carried out his military service, but he resigned to compete and win the Mr. Europa Junior with only 16 years of age. In 1966 he traveled to London to compete in the NABBA Mr. Universe in which he was in 2nd place, at this time he would meet Franco Columbu who would be one of his best friends. In 1967 he won the NABBA Mr. Universe. After winning his second Mr. Universe from the Nabba Joe Weider invites him to compete in the Mr. Universe from the IFBB, although he lost to Frank Zane, Arnold was invited to spend a year in America participating in Weider magazine. In 1969 Arnold traveled to Chicago, where he would train with Mr Olympia Sergio Oliva. That same year the Mr. Universo IFBB won but the Mr. Olympia lost to Sergio Oliva. In 1970 he won the Mr. Olympia, thus starting a streak that would last until the 1975 edition, the 1972 one being the most controversial, because many saw Sergio Oliva as the winner, who also presented himself with an impressive physique. In 1980 he returned from retirement to once again win the Mr. Olympia, in a very controversial decision. Later he devoted himself to film and politics, becoming the governor of California.
- 7 times Mr Olympia, 6 of them consecutively. 1970-1975 and 1980.
- 1980 wins Mr. Olympia against Frank Zane and Mike Mentzer in one of the most controversial Mr. Olympia in history.
- I trained 2 times a day, for 2 hours, 6 days a week.
- At 19 his fame was growing, rumors spread that there was an “Austrian Giant” who had the largest arms in Europe.
- At age 20 he became the youngest Mr. Universe of all time.
- He met and trained for a time with Reg Park, one of his idols, whom he became friends with.
- She took ballet classes at the University of California, Los Angeles to perfect her poses.
- He participated in 3 competitions in less than 15 days (Mr. Universo, Mr. Mundo and Mr. Olympia).
- He established himself as a Hollywood star by starring in various films such as Conan or Terminator.