For some that may already know good for you, but to others who need a refresher on who paved the way for our current generation of bodybuilders we made a list for you. Keeping it short to only 5 even though there are plenty of bodybuilders that could’ve been on this list. We want to just give some insight on the ones who definitely left a mark and that most people might be able to recognize just by their name alone.
Topping the list is Arnold Schwarzenegger. He had professionally began his career in 1968 at the NABBA Mr. Universe contest. Winning three in a row he moved onto Mr. Olympia and then won 6 consecutive times between 1970 till 1975. He had taken a short lived break from competing and had come back in 1980 to win it one last time before officially retiring after the contest. In many of the documentaries and interviews we see of Arnold today we can tell of the intensity he trained with and the hunger he had for success. Sharing many techniques and strategies he used for bodybuilding/competitions you’re still able to take those and learn from them to amplify your training today. A legend who really brought the sport into the mainstream.
One of only two people to ever win the Mr. Olympia contests more than Arnold. From 1983 till 1991 Lee had ownership of that title. Famously quoted for “stimulate, don’t annihilate” we can get more of an understanding for how he trained with lighter weight than he could’ve been able to reach. Only to train up to the point in which you can recover and not to over do it with excessive reps and weights. There’s benefits in the way he trained and it shows. He retired from competing after his last win in 1991, but still coaches and has programs you are still able to take advantage of today.
Now we have someone who really represented the shift from mass to aesthetics at the time. His waistline was the second thinnest of all the Mr. Olympias. He possessed a very distinctive v-tapered look because of this pairing with his wide shoulders. Frank had won three consecutive Mr. Olympias from 1977 till 1979 and was one of only three men to have beaten Arnold in a bodybuilding contest. Along with that he was one of the very few Mr. Olympia winners to be under 200 pounds. Nicknaming him The Chemist because of his Bachelor of Science degree and how he took a lot of supplements and tons of amino acids which was uncommon at the time. Over his entire career he had won Mr. America, Mr. Universe, Mr. World, and Mr. Olympia.
One of Arnold’s lifelong friends and great competitors we have Franco. Winning two Mr. Olympias (1976, 1981) and a Mr. Universe in 1970 he was a legend to the sport. Never will you see someone with a physique like his again at just 5-foot-5. He had prided himself on being “the world’s strongest bodybuilder” which at the time were considered to be equal components of the perfect body. Throughout the Golden Era the strongest and most impressively developed bodybuilder would be training at Gold’s Gym, but none could outlift Franco. Through trials and tribulations he had faced with injury and size he always found a way to overcome them. He will always be remembered for his impact on the bodybuilding culture forever.
Dubbed “The Original Mass Monster” we have Dorian. During his professional career Dorain had 15 major contests wins and two second place finishes. Between the years of 1992 to his retirement in 1997 he won every single contest he entered. Widely considered to be the first of the mass monsters in bodybuilding, he combined his enormous muscle mass along with peak conditioning to obtain his physique. He had been an advocate for HIT style of bodybuilding, which is suggested that maximum muscle stimulation can be reached through short and intense training instead of long and slow ones. Training is still practiced like this till day for bodybuilders all over the world.