Dedication and love for yourself and your body is important for a healthy and fulfilled life. Wikipedia describes bodybuilding as “the use of progressive resistance exercise to control and develop one’s musculature”. Some have loved it so much that it became a part of their life, while this girl decided to transform herself back to normal after she had a bodybuilder’s body.
The most dedicated men in bodybuilding are professionals who compete at a contest at Joe Weider’s Olympia Fitness & Performance Weekend, competing for the Mr. Olympia award. The annual competition has seen many stars, but only a few have reached the pinnacle of the sport and were the winners. Here are the first 5 Mr.Olympia winners then and now.
1. Sergio Oliva
Known as ‘The Myth’ and a 3-time Mr.Olympia winner, he was a Cuban native, but left the country when he was young. He wom in 1967, 1968 and 1969 where he beat the famous Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Oliva got his nickname because of his unbelievable physique and the jaw-dropping response he would usually receive when he stripped down. His wide back, broad shoulders and the tiny waist (the thinnest in Olympia history) are the most desired treat of other professionals.
Oliva should have won another Mr.Olympia title in 1972. He was 270 pounds in the off season and standing at only 5’10 (compared to Arnold who was much taller), whereas his competition weight was 240 pounds with striations and cuts everywhere. In a controversial interview, Oliva said that Arnold himself told him “I don’t deserve to win this.”
Sadly, Oliva died on November 12, 2012 at the age of 71 due to kidney failure. His son, Sergio Oliva Jr. and daughter Julia carry his name.
2. Arnold Schwarzenegger
He is probably the most famous of them all. He is nicknamed as ‘Austrian Oak’ for his oak barrel of a chest. Also, he is an actor, producer, businessman, philanthropist, author and politician just to name a few of his side jobs.
He’s got as many as 7 Mr.Olympia titles under his belt, and he currently hosts the second biggest bodybuilding competition in the world, the Arnold Classic.
Interestingly, he criticised a host of current professional bodybuilders who were seen on stage with big guts and bloated bellies. He called for the Golden Era of men with flat stomachs, striated chests, and ripped abs to return.
He currently hosts The Apprentice with his longtime workout partner, Franco Columbu. Also, you can see him visiting other bodybuilding shows occasionally.
3. Larry Dee Scott
He was the first and second Mr.Olympia winner. Larry got nicknamed ‘The Legend’ and ‘The Golden Boy’ for his impressive physique and his good looks. He retired after his second Olympia win at the age of 28. Later, however, he attempted a brief comeback in 1979 before finally retiring once and for all.
His path was not always smooth. He had to work to build up his shoulders and back to create the illusion of width and the v-taper. He began training and learning under the tutelage of Vince Gironda, a well-known bodybuilder.
Then, he got his unusually large and long biceps. The preacher curls exercise (invented by Gironda) was eventually named after him: the Scott curls.
As you can see by these pictures, Scott possessed some impressive biceps even up to 60 and 70 years old. He passed away on March 8, 2014 due to complications with Alzheimer’s.
4. Franco Columbu
This is probably the smallest bodybuilder, standing at only 5’4’’ in height. The Italian came in fifth in the inaugural World’s Strongest Man Competition. He got injured during the refrigerator race and got $1 million as compensation for his injuries.
He is a long time training partner and friend of Arnold, as they regularly trained together, besides competing against each other on stage. When Arnold won in 1980, Franco won the following year in 1981.
His nickname was ‘The Giant Killer’ of his time because he took out a lot of bodybuilders, who has a greater height and weight than him!
Franco was Arnold’s best man in his marriage to Maria Shriver. True friendship, indeed!
5. Frank Zane
Franks is a 3-time Mr.Olympia winner and people call him ‘Father of Aesthetics.’
He got the nickname ‘The Chemist’ due to his Bachelor of Science degree and his abundant use of ‘supplements and amino acids.’
Interestingly, Zane was doing everything he could to look smaller all the while appearing much larger. He focused on light weights instead of heavy weights.
Frank Zane is truly a bodybuilding legend.