5 best and most successful bodybuilders ever, do you know them all?
Who was behind the bring fame to bodybuilding at all?
The first of them is Eugen Sandow, a German bodybuilder and showman, who is today referred to primarily as the "father of modern bodybuilding". It can be said that he was the first to focus on the development of strength, as well as the development of individual muscle parts. His goal was to achieve a perfect and harmonious figure. He was a pioneer of bodybuilding, and in his memory, he is on the trophy from the Mr. Olympia, a statuette with just its appearance. Eugen Sandow was the first person to develop strength and muscle.
Another important name is Steve Reeves. He was the first big star of bodybuilding. Thanks to his perfect figure, he became the ideal of male beauty. He gained a huge number of fans around the world and became famous for bodybuilding in all possible ways. He held the titles of Mr. Universe or Mr. America and in addition to bodybuilding, he also acted. Steeve Reeves was the first star of bodybuilding.
The latter must be none other than Joe Weider. He was a publisher of bodybuilding magazines, a manufacturer of supplements and gym equipment. Above all, however, it was the man who was behind the birth of the entire IFBB federation, and he is also the founder of the prestigious Mr. Olympia. He significantly influenced the development of bodybuilding and helped with the development of the entire fitness industry. Joe Weider created IFBB federation and the Mr. Olympia.
And now to the individual personalities of this sport, who are the best and most successful bodybuilders of all time.
1. Sergio Oliva
The first on this list is, of course, the legendary three-time champion Mr. Olympia Sergio Oliva, also known as "The Myth".
Sergio was born in Cuba and fled to America as a young man for a better life. Here he was finally able to start his bodybuilding career. We can consider him the first bodybuilder to introduce unprecedented volumes and amounts of muscle mass. He had an amazing genetics and body structure. His greatest strengths were huge arms, a massive chest, broad backs, and most importantly a very narrow waist. The pose with arms raised above each other is still legendary and completely unrivaled in its performance.
In 1967, he won his first title, Mr. Olympia. A year later, he even raced here alone, simply because no one could match him. Thanks to that, he got the nickname "The Myth". In 1969 he won his third and last title Mr. Olympia when he defeated the equally legendary Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Sergio is one of only three bodybuilders who have ever been able to beat Arnold. However, Arnold returned the loss a year later and the took the title of Mr. Olympia from him. Sergio's bodybuilding career was then largely influenced by politics and disagreements with Joe Weider, the founder of the IFBB. These disagreements even resulted in Sergio ceasing to compete in competitions under the IFBB for some time, including the Mr. Olympia.
In other federations, he did not stop competing and won where he could. In addition to the titles of Mr. Olympia can also be proud of titles such as Mr. Universe, Mr. Galaxy, Mr. America or Mr. Olympus. In 1984 and 1985, after a break of more than ten years, Sergio returned to the podium of the Mr. Olympia to fight for his fourth title for the last time. In both cases it was the eighth place. His comeback on the podium of this competition was absolutely amazing for all bodybuilding spectators, and Sergio looked famous even at the age of 44.
Sergio didn't live just from the bodybuilding. Once he moved to America, he worked in a steel mill. In Chicago, he became a police officer for almost 30 years.
There is no doubt that Sergio Oliva was a legendary bodybuilder and personality. He left an indelible legacy in the sport and will forever be remembered as a legend and one of the best bodybuilders of all time.
INTERESTING -> Sergio allegedly never had to diet for more than three weeks before the competition. His menu then looked like he was simply eating what he wanted, whether it was hot dogs or burgers.
2. Arnold Schwarzenegger
Sergio Oliva's successor was no one else than Arnold Schwarzenegger, nicknamed the "Austrian oak". I would say that no one has such a huge share in the popularization of bodybuilding as Arnold. Holder of seven titles Olympia and five titles Mr. To this day, the universe is one of the greatest personalities bodybuilding has ever had.
Already at the age of 18 he managed to win the bodybuilding competition Mr. Europe. Two years later, he became the youngest winner of the competition.
Arnold always had a huge chest and great biceps tops. With his perfect pose, he was able to captivate and perfectly highlight his strengths. Among his iconic poses was, for example, a chest pose from the side.
In 1970 he won his first title Mr. Olympia, when he defeated the current champion Sergio Oliva and repaid his defeat from the year before. For the next five years, he remained undefeated and won a total of six Mr. titles. Olympia in a row.
Then Arnold decided to end his bodybuilding career and try to break into the film industry. After a few average shots came the lead roles in the films Barbar Conan and Terminator. Both of these films were a huge success, and Arnold became a movie star. In 1980, he returned to bodybuilding and controversially won his seventh title, Mr. Olympia.
Among other things, Arnold was interested in politics and in 2003-2011 he was even governor of California. He has also published several of his biographies, the most famous of which is probably the book "Total Recall", which is based on the film of the same name, in which Arnold played the lead role.
Even today, he is still very active in terms of bodybuilding, politics, social networks and movies. His Arnold Classic bodybuilding competition has even become, over time, the second most prestigious bodybuilding competition, after Mr. Olympia. I dare say that it is he who makes bodybuilding so popular nowadays. For many people around the world, he is still the best and most successful bodybuilder of all time.
INTERESTING -> Arnold's first film was Hercules in New York, in which his voice was re-cast due to an Austrian accent, and in the final subtitles, Arnold was then named Arnold Strong.
3. Frank Zane
Another bodybuilder is still considered by many to be the so-called "King of Aesthetics". He is, of course, the legendary Frank Zane, a three-time holder of the title of Mr. Olympia also known as "The Chemist".
The beginnings of his bodybuilding career certainly did not indicate that he should become a legend of the sport in the future. In his first race, 1961, he even finished last. He gradually improved and in 1965 he managed to win the competition Mr. Sunshine State. In the following years he was able to win the competitions of Mr. World or Mr. Universe, making him one of the imaginary world leaders. In 1969 at the Mr. Universe even defeated Arnold Schwarzenegger himself, becoming, along with Sergio Oliva, one of the three bodybuilders who ever did it.
In 1977, after several unsuccessful attempts, he finally managed to win the title of Mr. Olympia. For the next two years he defended his title again and thus became a three-time holder of the title of Mr. Olympia, as well as the previously mentioned Sergio Oliva.
His victory was of great importance for the future of bodybuilding, as it made it clear that perfect readiness and aesthetics can often play a more important role than muscle mass and volume. By comparison, such an Arnold weighed approximately 25 kg more than Frank. What made Frank so unique was his aesthetics. He had an incredibly aesthetic figure, he was always perfectly prepared and he could pose famously. Above all, his vacuum pose was, in a word, phenomenal. Thanks to all these aspects, he was able to defeat much larger and heavier opponents.
Unfortunately, in 1980, when Mr. Olympia competed as a three-time champion he ended up third. He had serious injuries then and was far from being in good shape as in previous years. In addition, Arnold returned to this competition after a five-year hiatus, who, although very controversially, won here and thus won his seventh title, Mr. Olympia. Frank then failed to win his fourth title and ended his career after several unsuccessful years.
Many people would be surprised at how educated Frank really is. He has two bachelor's degrees in science and a master's degree in experimental psychology. He even taught mathematics and chemistry in high school for 13 years.
Today, like Arnold, he is still very active in the world of bodybuilding. He has also published several very popular books on training and diet. For many fans and bodybuilders, he is still considered the "King of Aesthetics" and his uniqueness has definitely contributed to the development of this sport.
INTERESTING -> Frank is also great at archery. He even organized archery courses for students at the university.
4. Ronnie Coleman
Next in line is the absolute legend and icon of this sport, without which this list would make absolutely no sense. He is an eight-time holder of the title of Mr. Olympia, Ronnie Coleman. Ronnie is considered by many, to be the best bodybuilder ever.
In addition, he is also the strongest holder of the title of Mr. Olympia, and even one of the strongest bodybuilders of all time. Ronnie, unlike most of the bodybuilders mentioned above, started his bodybuilding career relatively late, at the age of 26. His potential was then noticed by Metroflex gym owner Brian Dobson, who offered to train him for free in his gym. Under Brian's supervision, Ronnie won the amateur competition in 1990. Texas and a year later, thanks to winning the World Amateur Championships, he became a professional. Surprisingly, he did not succeed in his first few years among professionals.
In 1992, at the Night of Champions competition, he finished fourteenth and in the same year, at Mr. Olympia, he didn't even got any award. He did not win for the first time until 1995. Canada Pro Cup. In 1997, at the Mr. Olympia, then finished in a decent ninth place. This year was also the first time that he became more widely known to the public and other competitors. A year later, quite unexpectedly, he won his first title, Mr. Olympia, who then defended seven more times in a row. Ronnie won a total of eight titles Mr. Olympia in a row.
Although Ronnie was a multiple champion, Mr. Olympia, until 2000 he constantly worked as a police officer. Ronnie is also the first bodybuilder who in the same year, more precisely in 2001, managed to win the Mr. Olympia and Arnold Classic. For some time, he also held the record for the number of professional competitions won, when he managed to win a total of 26 professional competitions during his career.
I dare say that with his incredible figure he has moved bodybuilding a little further than his predecessor Dorian Yates. Ronnie had incredible muscle volume, but he also lacked sharpness and readiness. Especially in the back postures, he literally fought his opponent. It was unbelievable how much matter he could get. Its uniqueness is also confirmed by the fact that it competed in a time full of legendary bodybuilders. So he regularly defeated legends such as Flex Wheeler, Kevin Levrone, Shawn Ray, Lee Priest, Jay Cutler and many others. It was Jay who finally managed to dethrone Ronnie in 2006.
A year later, Ronnie placed fourth in this competition and decided to end his rich, and above all, long bodybuilding career. Ronnie currently owns his own brand of supplements. There have also been countless documentaries about him, of which I can definitely recommend a documentary called "Ronnie Coleman: The King" from 2018. Rapper Quan even composed a song for him called "Flexin on Them".
Videos from his brutal workouts are now legendary, as are the "Yeah buddy!" Or "Light weight baby!" However, Ronnie's incredible strength training took its toll. He currently has countless spine surgeries, and even walking alone causes him great difficulty. However, he does not regret anything. He sacrificed his whole life, including health, and dedicated himself to bodybuilding. He did it all because he loved it and did things that no one can ever overcome again. Ronnie will forever be an absolute icon of this sport. He is still considered by many to be the best bodybuilder of all time.
INTERESTING -> Many people have no idea that Ronnie graduated from college and was very good at accounting. After school, they required practice everywhere, so he could not find any work in this field. Before he finally became a police officer, he worked in a pizzeria for a while. When he was young, he was also a very passionate fishing enthusiast.
5. Jay Cutler
The four-time title holder Olympia Jay Cutler is still an extraordinary figure in the world of bodybuilding. It was also he who managed to dethrone the legendary Ronnie Coleman.
Jay started working out in the gym on his 18th birthday. In 1993, after only a year of training, he managed to win the amateur bodybuilding competition Teen Nationals for the first time. This victory motivated him a lot and he started training even harder than before. Thanks to hard training and great genetics, he improved very quickly. In 1996, he finally managed to become a professional, thanks to winning the NPC Nationals competition.
From the very beginning, his professional career was full of ups and downs. At his first professional competition in 1998, he finished 11th. In 1999, however, he celebrated success when he won a great fourth place at the prestigious Arnold Classic. In the same year, he also competed for the first time in the Mr. Olympia, where he burned down and finished in fourteenth place. A year later, he managed to improve significantly in this competition, finishing in eighth place.
In 2001, he finished second for the first time, just behind the legendary Ronnie Coleman. This year, basically, the biggest and most famous rivalry in the history of bodybuilding began. Jay finished second three more times in the Mr. Olympia, just behind Ronnie.
However, 2003 was an absolutely fantastic year for Jay, when he won five professional competitions, including the Arnold Classic, which he eventually managed to win a total of three times. In 2006, he finally managed to defeat Ronnie, and thus became the holder of the title of Mr. Olympia, which he was able to defend a year later. In 2008 he lost this title when Dexter Jackson, then perfectly prepared, took it from him. But Jay didn't give up and trained harder than ever.
In 2009, he returned to the podium of the Mr. Olympia in its best form and was able to win this title back. Jay is the only holder of the title of Mr. Olympia, who lost him and then managed to get him again. In 2010, he won his fourth and last title Mr. Olympia. Jay is still very successful and active in the world of bodybuilding. He has his own brand of accessories and clothes, is active on social networks and often travels around the world, just to meet his fans at various trade fairs and seminars. He is constantly trying to promote bodybuilding and even in his 46 years he keeps in great shape.
Jay is definitely one of the best and most successful bodybuilders of all time.
INTERESTING -> In 2006, when Jay won his first Mr. Olympia, it is possible to see on the recording of the competition that Ronnie is saying something to him before the announcement of the results. Ronnie told him, "well you beat me, you won". Jay was said to be feeling absolutely awful at the time. He knew he was in better shape that day and that he had won. In addition, it deprived Ronnie of the chance to become a nine-time title holder. Olympia.