Bodybuilding has been around since September 14, 1901, when the very first contest was held at Royal Albert Hall in London. And we have been introduced to some of the top influencers of this never ending and evergreen sport, including the legendary Arnold Schwarzenegger.
That being said, we have compiled a list of some of the most loyal participants of bodybuilding, including Arnold Schwarzenegger and their lifetime achievements which prove that the legends can never be replaced nor be dominated.
Bodybuilders From the Golden Era of Bodybuilding
1. Larry Scott
Larry Scott is also known as “The Legend” and he won the first edition of Mr. Olympia back in 1965 along with winning two straight Olympia titles. He soon retired after winning his two Olympia titles and then came back again after 13 years in 1979. However, he passed away at the age of 75 in 2014.
Nonetheless, he had a distinction to be the first IFBB professional with 20-inch arms, the first bodybuilding to win Mr. America, Mr. Universe, and Mr. Olympia. Not to mention that the “Scott Curl” or the Preacher Curl was designed by him.
2. Sergio Oliva
Sergio Oliva, also known as “The Myth” left us in 2012 due to kidney failure but he was also known as the “Just Unbelievable”. Oliva won three consecutive Mr. Olympia titles from 1967-1969, which was a tremendous achievement — and one of the few bodybuilders to defeat Arnold.
Back in 1968, he also defended IFBB title, in 1969 he defeated the legendary Arnold Schwarzenegger and has the smallest waist measurement of just 28 inches with his thighs measuring larger than his waist.
3. Franco Columbu
Meet the IFBB Mr. Olympia in 1976 and 1981 and standing at just 5’4 feet, he is a champion bodybuilder, boxer, author, actor in more than 15 movies and World’s Strongest Man competitor.
With a bodyweight of just 84kg, his highest achievement was 525-pound bench press, 654-pound squat and 750-pound deadlift which is a tremendous achievement. He was also known as “The Sardinian Strongman”.
4. Frank Zane
Frank Zane is one of those bodybuilders who won the Mr. Olympia for three consecutive years, 1977, ’78 and ’79. Despite not being physically massive, he still had a killer physique that highlighted his aesthetics and definition quite well.
However, his not-so-massive physique didn’t hold him back from defeating his opponents who were quite bulky like Schwarzenegger and Sergio Oliva. Zane has a big name in influencing people to shift from mass to aesthetics.
He used to train with light weights and he is one of the few Mr. Olympia winners under 200 pounds and had the second smallest waist. While being an inspiring bodybuilder, Zane also taught mathematics and chemistry at high school level and was also named as “The Chemist”.
5. Lee Haney
Last but not least, is the record holder for most Mr. Olympia titles — a whopping eight! To his credit, winning eight consecutive titles from 1983-1991. Haney’s training mantra was: “train to stimulate, not annihilate.”
He always advised to set small goals and build on them. Lee Haney is also the Chairman of an American government organization, The President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition and one of the most physically active bodybuilding among Americans of all age groups. Lee had some tremendous achievements during his career and we surely admire them.