No other bodybuilder in the history of the sport has made the same impact. Indeed, Arnold Schwarzenegger remains the greatest, and most influential, bodybuilder of all time in the eyes of many.
In many ways, Arnold helped to change public attitudes toward a sport regarded as deviant and on the margins of what was acceptable social practice at the time.
Indeed, prior to the 1970's, the period in which Arnold made his mark as the greatest bodybuilder of all time, bodybuilding and its adherents were together seen as a strange and somewhat insular subculture of social deviants.
These attitudes still prevail in some sectors, but due in large part to Arnold's popularization of the sport, bodybuilding has become not only accepted as a legitimate sporting choice, but as a way of life for many.
Appointed chairman of the inner City Games and the Presidents Council on Physical Fitness, in addition to stanch advocate and mover and shaker of the Special Olympics Movement, Arnold has always been a big supporter of sport and active living as life changing pursuits.
Arnold has also shown that bodybuilders, to belie [define] their often narcissistic and insular reputation, can be multi-dimensional, and succeed in all facets of life, while helping others in the process.
By 1983, Arnold had achieved the American dream; had become a successful actor, one of the worlds greatest athletes, and a wealthy businessman. Still, he never lost touch with the foundational element of his success: the bodybuilding lifestyle.
Wherever possible, Arnold would promote bodybuilding and, practicing what he preached, kept himself in great shape - the kind of shape that could be seen in the many films he acted in.
In 1989, Arnold's dream of promoting his own show came to fruition, and The Arnold Schwarzenegger Classic (The ASC) was born. The many great bodybuilders who have competed in the ASC over subsequent years have been granted the opportunity to realize their dreams through the efforts of the man who started it all, a man who will remain the backbone of the sport.
Arnold has become an icon, a symbol of a cultural movement, one who has defined, and re-defined, what it means to become one of the few - a bodybuilder, proud of ones healthy physique and the concomitant benefits. We at Bodybuilding.com salute Arnold and his contribution to bodybuilding and hope he will continued to be respected as a great bodybuilder, and, more importantly, a great human being.
LIfe and TImes of the Worlds greatest bodybuilder
In 1947, in the small Austrian village of Thal, just outside of Graz, born to parents Gustav and Aurelia, Arnold Schwarzenegger made his way into the world. He would go on to become a household name and revolutionise the fitness industry.
Arnold's desire to become a great athlete emerged early when in 1953, at the age of six, his father took him to Graz to see Olympic swimming champion Johnny Weissmuller [More Info].
Arnold was impressed by the physical prowess of Weissmuller and decided to emulate his example. Indeed, Arnold went on to become a multitalented athlete, running, swimming, boxing, throwing shot-put and javelin, but excelling in Soccer.
It was during his soccer playing days, at age 13, that Arnold first began his quest for physical supremacy. In 1960, Arnold's soccer coach took Arnold along with the rest of his team to a local gym, to gain strength for future games.
Arnold picked up a barbell for the first time and, as they say, the rest is history. Arnold said at the time, "it was something. I suddenly just seemed to reach out and find, as if I had been crossing a suspended bridge and finally stepped onto solid ground".
Arnold found his body morphing into something quite spectacular. "I was six-feet-tall and slender weighing 150lbs, but I did have a good athletic physique and my muscles responded surprisingly quickly with weight-training" More importantly, at the time, girls began to notice his results.
Around this time, Arnold decided that his new goal was to become the "most pumped up guy in the world". Fascinated by the physiques of cinematic heroes Reg Park and Steve Reeves, Arnold made it his overarching goal to become the most phenomenally built man in the world and conquer the film industry in the process - he knew exactly where he was going at such a young age.
In 1961, Arnold began a friendship with professional bodybuilder and former Mr. Austria, Kurt Marnul, who invited Arnold to train with him at the Athletic Union in Graz. Under Marnuls guidance Arnold's physique blossomed.
Bodybuilding formed a major part of Arnold's life in the early sixties, so much so, his father, Gustav, imposed a limit on the frequency of Arnold's gym training sessions. Gustav became concerned with Arnold's "obsessional" interest in "Austria's least favorite sport" and limited Arnold to three-sessions-per-week. To negate this training shortfall, Arnold built a gym at home and continued to train with a vengeance.
In 1965 Arnold, very muscular and strong for his age, won the Austrian Junior Weightlifting championships. After this win, Arnold enlisted in the Austrian army, at 18, for mandatory service, only to go A.W.O.L to win the Junior Mr. Europe bodybuilding championships.
He would serve 7-days in the big house for this 'aberration' but interestingly enough, following this time inside, Arnold would resume his military training with the added status of bodybuilding hero, and receive commensurate treatment - extra time off to train for his next big show.
A year later Arnold took his, by this stage, massive physique, to the Mr. Europe competition, and won. A week after this win, Arnold would go on to win Europe's best built man.
The same year, Arnold competed in the amateur Mr. Universe, finishing second. However, the following year Arnold was to become the youngest man ever, at 20, to win the NABBA Mr. universe. Winning was some thing Arnold would become accustomed to over subsequent years.
People often questioned Arnold in light of his involvement in what was at the time considered a strange sport. Arnold, however, had already planned his life over a long-term and knew exactly what he was doing.
The year 1968 is a definite milestone in Arnold's quest for greatness, for it is the year he arrived in America. He arrives with $20 and can barely speak English. However, this was not to stop him from achieving the American dream. During 1968 Arnold would win the IFBB Mr. international, start a mail-order business and gain sponsorship from Joe Weider.
Poignantly, Arnold would suffer a defeat at the American Mr. Universe, at the hands of the ripped and symmetrical Frank Zane - a defeat that would help to propel Arnold to bodybuilding immortality. "I'm going to pay them back. I will show them who is really the best" said Arnold at the time.
Arnold's words would prove prophetic as he came back, the following year, to win both the IFBB and NABBA Mr. universes in one weekend. Arnold, again won the Mr. Universe in 1970, defeating his boyhood idol Reg Park in the process.
Arnold's bodybuilding and entertainment careers were advanced during this year, as he won both the Mr. Olympia and the main role in the low-budget film "Hercules in New York".
Arnold would go on to win a further six Olympia's and star in some of the best action films of the 80's and 90's - indeed he would become a household name the world over.
1974 would prove to be monumental year for Arnold, both in entertainment and bodybuilding terms: cast as a good-guy in the film Stay Hungry, as himself in the highly successful cult-classic Pumping Iron, and to top it off, the winner of a fifth Olympia, beating the popular Franco Columbu and massive Lou Ferrigno.
In 1976 Arnold officially retired from bodybuilding, opting to focus more on the promotional side of the sport - prize money would exceed $100,000 due, in part, to Arnold's efforts as a promoter.
Life was not any less hectic for Arnold following his retirement; in 77 he writes bestseller "The Education of a Bodybuilder", poses nude for Cosmopolitan Magazine, wins a Golden Globe for Stay Hungry, begins an involvement with the Special Olympics and meets future wife Maria Shriver.
Arnold achieves his academic goal and graduates from the University of Wisconsin Superior with a B.A. in Business and International Economics in 1979.
The same year he inauspiciously appears in the movie The Villain - regarded by some reviewers as the worst film of the seventies. However, Arnold would redeem himself with arguably two of his best films, Conan the Barbarian and The Terminator, in 80 and 81 respectively.
By 1983 Arnold had achieved what many thought to be the impossible: status as a successful actor, the greatest bodybuilder of all time, and one of the most astute businessmen in America. Arnold becomes an American citizen.
In 1984, Arnold treats his Conan fans to a follow-up: Conan the Destroyer. The same year, the Terminator is released to rave reviews.
In 85 the successfulness of Arnold's acting career is cemented when he receives the National Association of Theatre Owners International Star of the Year Award.
Another of Arnold's classic films opens in 1986: Commando. Also in 86, Arnold marries the woman he proposed to the previous year, Maria Shriver.
The Hollywood Walk of Fame star (Arnold's was the 1847th star) is a fitting testimony to a wonderful acting career. Read Heat and Twins open the following year. 1989 is a busy year in a business sense for Arnold, as, along with Sylvester Stallone and Bruce Willis, he opens the first planet Hollywood.
Around this time, Arnold's first child, Katherine, is born, and, most importantly for bodybuilding fans, the first Arnold Schwarzenegger Classic in Columbus Ohio (the richest bodybuilding tournament to date) showcases some of the greats of the modern era.
In 1990, Arnold is appointed as both the chairman of the Inner-City games and the Chairman of the Presidents Council on Physical Fitness. This is also the year Arnold makes his debut on the other side of the camera, directing Tales From the Crypt. On the acting front, Total Recall and Kindergarten Cop open.
Arnold's second child, Christina, is born in 1991, the year the most expensive film ever made up until that time opens: Terminator 2.
In 92, Arnold opens his restaurant Shatzi on Main and appears again in the directors chair for Christmas in Connecticut. Between 93 and 00 Arnold appears in many films including, The Last Action Hero, True Lies, Junior, Eraser, Terminator 2: 3D, Jingle All The Way, Batman and Robin, End of Days and The 6th Day.
In 2001, Arnold is awarded with a lifetime achievement award (presented by Muhammad Ali) at the World sports Awards in London and is honoured as the AFMA World Box Office Champ for his contribution to film. The year is capped off with Arnold leading a delegation of statesmen, celebrities and Special Olympics athletes to South Africa to further the Special Olympics cause.
Arnold assumes his well entrenched role as an action hero in Collateral Damage in 2002. He also receives and honorary degree (a Doctor of Humane Letters) from Chapman University - the second such degree he has received, the first given by Arnold's alma mater, the University of Wisconsin Superior, in 1996.
Prop 49, the After School Safety and Recreational Act, was passed in the California election in 02. Arnold considered this a victory for the whole state of California.
In 2003 Terminator 3 opens and Arnold the action hero is back. Arnold is also back as a major political force: the newly elected Governor of California. On October 8 2003, Arnold's political yearnings came to fruition as, at the age of 56, he becomes the chief executive of Americas most populus state, and the worlds fifth largest economy.
Looking back on Arnold's life it is inspiring to see how one man, having begun with so little, could achieve so much. Sport in general, and bodybuilding in particular, have undoubtedly helped to elevate Arnold to the amazing heights he reached.
Indeed, bodybuilding and the fitness movement still factor heavily into Arnold's life: he promotes his successful Arnold Classic bodybuilding contest annually, supports numerous sporting events including the Special Olympics and maintains a fit and healthy body and mind as he approaches age 60.
Truly a life worth aspiring to.
The Arnold Schwarzenegger Classic
- 1965 Mr. Europe - Junior (Germany)
- 1966 Best Built Man of Europe (Germany)
- 1966 Mr. Europe (Germany)
- 1966 International Powerlifting Championship (Germany)
- 1967 NABBA Mr. Universe - Amateur (England)
- 1968 NABBA Mr. Universe - Professional (England)
- 1968 German Powerlifting Championship (Germany)
- 1968 IFBB Mr. International (Mexico)
- 1969 IFBB Mr. Universe - Amateur (USA)
- 1969 NABBA Mr. Universe - Professional (England)
- 1970 NABBA Mr. Universe - Professional (England)
- 1970 Mr. World (USA)
- 1970 IFBB Mr. Olympia (USA)
- 1971 IFBB Mr. Olympia (France)
- 1972 IFBB Mr. Olympia (Germany)
- 1973 IFBB Mr. Olympia (USA)
- 1974 IFBB Mr. Olympia (USA)
- 1975 IFBB Mr. Olympia (South Africa)
- 1980 IFBB Mr. Olympia (Australia)
As a promoter, Arnold tried to make bodybuilding accessible to the public, while creating a spectacular event that everyone could enjoy. The Arnold Schwarzenegger Classic (ASC), established in 1989, is a prime example of Arnold's ability to showcase professional bodybuilders in the best possible light and provide the paying audience with much more than your average bodybuilding show.
From 1976, following his official retirement from bodybuilding, Arnold, teamed with current promotional partner Jim Lorimer, and began promoting the Mr. Olympia, Mr. World and Mr. Universe. Arnold eventually wanted to establish a contest, of his own, with the title bearing his name.
In 1989, his wish came true and the Arnold Schwarzenegger Classic became reality. Since this time, thousands have gathered in Columbus Ohio, to watch not only the best professional male and female bodybuilders battle it out, but enjoy a three-day fitness weekend which includes woman's fitness and figure competitions, a martial arts festival, strength events, a major fitness expo and Arnold training seminar. New this year will be an archery challenge, youth dance-sport classic, fencing, table-tennis and yoga.
However, the biggest event remains the men's bodybuilding and this year it proves to be anything but a foregone conclusion. The first ASC was won by Rich Gaspari.
Subsequent years have seen the emergence of spectacular athletes such as Vince Taylor, Flex Wheeler, and Mike Francois.
The reigning champion is Jay Cutler, who has won this show for the past three years. This year it is wide open. The top three are touted to be, in no particular order, Lee Priest, Gustavo Badell, and Dexter Jackson. However, Chris Cormier, Melvin Anthony and Victor Martinez are all expected to present a strong challenge.
Past & Current Champions Salute Arnold
When Arnold made his mark on the world of bodybuilding in the 60's and 70's, a whole new generation of bodybuilders were watching and waiting to make a similar impression, inspired by the example Arnold had set.
Today it would be hard to find a single bodybuilder who doesn't credit their success to Arnold in some way. Champions, past and present, commend and respect Arnold as being the one who opened the door for them to pursue their bodybuilding goals.
Arnold's phenomenal success as a bodybuilder, coupled with his contribution to the sport both as a promoter and spokesman, cement his position as the greatest bodybuilding identity of all time. Hear what bodybuilding's champions have to say:
"Arnold opened the door for the Bodybuilders to be seen outside of the gyms. He paved the way for the Pro athletes to be recognized by the masses by way of his cross over into Hollywood.
After winning his Arnold Classic Contest in 1990 & 1991, my credibility went higher as a top notch Pro. Definitely a man's man who stayed true to the sport in spite of his successes away from it. Truly a credit to the game".
"As far as Arnold is concerned. I have nothing but respect for him. He was and still is a great inspiration for me.
Bodybuilding lucked out because we have the greatest ambassador representing our sport.
God bless Arnold and family, and I wish him nothing but the best for his future. His good friend Danny Padilla."
"I first met Arnold in 1970, in Florida. I could see right away why Joe Weider crowned him as king of bodybuilding. He had the type of personality, that I knew would carry him far, in any endeavour he attacked. For instance, I've seen him at parties, and the party always seemed to evolve around him. If he moved from one room to the other, the whole party would move with him. He has that type on magnetism that everyone cannot resist, this is why he is now the Gov. of CA. There's no telling what goal he will win next.
He's a one of a kind standout, and I feel no other bodybuilder will ever be able to match him, in his success."
"Arnold arrived in town when I was packing up my gear, heading out the gym door and leaving the competition scene. Give me the barbells and dumbbells -- you guys can have the posing trunks and baby oil. 1968.
Bodybuilding was heating up, the fuse was lit, but the explosion had not yet taken place. Arnold, with his largeness in all ways, accelerated the process. He was the perfect double-extra-large extrovert to carry the load on his back.
Putting aside the incredible physique, the man was at once serious, funny, without luggage, issues and hang-ups, non-American, yet fast to become one, naive (not really) and hip, a child and an adult beyond his age. Arnold also had and has secret antennae and x-ray vision."
"I liked Arnold then and now cuz he's honest around people who don't worship him. Bodybuilders who have slept with the weights share a brotherhood unlike most other areas of identification -- something about iron and pain and solitude and bull-doggedness. I was impressed with his total absence of shyness and abundance of confidence... he had pretty good arms, too. At Joe Gold's gym in Venice during the late sixties and early seventies we all in someway groomed Arnold and watched him transform."
"Remember, as I was making these observations, so were the muscle-magazine magnets who reported the bodybuilding gossip in a fantastic (Arnie's favorite adjective), larger-than-life style, pumped up with inflatable imaginations and exaggerated grandeur. Every little bit helps."
Along comes Pumping Iron, Conan, lovely Maria, The Terminator and so on and so forth. Today, the Governor; tomorrow, who knows?
"There are many exceptional things I could say about Arnold. What makes him such an icon to me is his passion and God given determination to never ending self-improvement. Due to his leadership, I too follow a similar path in life from family values to business.
If it was not for Arnold's dream and success in bodybuilding I may have never known or had the opportunity to live my bodybuilding dream and work within this industry as I do today. Thank you Arnold."
"Arnold has had an enormous influence on the sport and to me as a businessman. I studied how Arnold used his success and his own money to repackage the sport. He started the Arnold Classic which is now the bench mark for how a show should look, increase the prize money for men and women, started drug testing for the IFBB Pro's and so much more.
Can you imagine where the sport would be if Arnold Schwarzenegger never became a bodybuilder? I'm just glad we don't have too."
"Arnold is like Bruce lee was in the martial arts sport. He is the living legend. He will always be remembered like the most known bodybuilder in the world and one of the best.
Arnold had a big impact in my career. I was always inspired by his early photos in magazines and even more i was inspired when I saw him in his movies. I liked his charismatic personality and his sense of humour.
I think that Arnold is so respected mostly of his personality. We have a lot of muscular guys, but that is not enough. It is the charisma, the feelings, the way of talking, etc....that is what makes you a big person. Arnold make incredible thing in his live. Coming to America with nothing, becoming number one in the sport, then becoming an actor, then becoming the world known actor and in the end becoming the governor of California. And he always stayed involved with bodybuilding. My favorite quote is: make your dreams come true. and Arnold do just that. What else can I say. Arnold is Arnold. Only one. best wishes."
"It is obvious what Arnold has done for the sport of bodybuilding, but what amazes me is what he has done outside of bodybuilding.
I admire the man he has become and all of the accomplishments he has made.
I hope to pattern myself after him!"
"Arnold made the public aware that bodybuilders are normal people, not necessarily narcissistic creeps and bums. His articulate defence of the sport coupled with his fascinating personality changed the whole attitude toward the sport. He's smart, ambitious, and successful. He hasn't forgotten his friends and where he came from. He proudly proclaims his love of this country and the opportunities it offers everyone who has ambition and the drive to succeed. In addition, he has a zest for life that lifts everyone around him.
Arnold doesn't see problems, he sees challenges and opportunities. He made it an acceptable sport. He continues to prove that just because one chooses to be a bodybuilder does not mean one isn't smart enough to succeed in other areas of life."
"Arnold was instrumental in bringing bodybuilding to the "mainstream". Once Arnold arrived on the scene, bodybuilding became a quintessential sport and, as a result, attracted multitudes of dedicated, committed and tenacious athletes.
His candor, confidence, and obvious commitment to success demands the respect of anyone who understands what he has managed to achieve (so far!).
What is also interesting is how Arnold seems to be like a "normal" person. Many people can relate to his struggles and/or success. Without Arnold, bodybuilding would have never flourished in the way it has. His existence has given me the opportunity to "compete" as a bodybuilder. Without question, Arnold has opened the doors for many men and women to enjoy the bodybuilding experience." Read the latest Delbert Hickman Articles here.
The Fans Salute Arnold
As well as many professional athletes, Arnold has opened the door for countless bodybuilding enthusiasts. Here the fans express what Arnold has meant to them:
"Arnold Schwarzenegger is the most successful bodybuilder of the modern era and the first to become well known among the general public since Steve Reeves. Arnold was a first rate competitor but, even more than that, had great instincts when it came to publicizing and promoting both himself and the sport of bodybuilding. Joe Weider brought Arnold to the United States in the late 1960's and the combination of Joe and Arnold working together created a synergy that lead to the remarkable popularity of bodybuilding beginning in the 1970's.
Joe publicized Arnold and Arnold, in turn, promoted Joe's magazines and the whole "Weider Empire" and the entire sport. Arnold has always had an ability to determine what he wants to achieve as well as to understand the best means of achieve his goals. He has combined the "authority of size" given him by his physique with a charismatic personality and a keen understanding of human nature. He understands how the world works and how people think and this has allowed him to move from physique competitor to movie star to successful politician.
It is rare to find an individual possessing such a blend of different skills and abilities. Certainly, a number of great generals, politicians and businessmen have been blessed with comparable gifts and talents. But nobody like Arnold has ever been seen in bodybuilding, and it isn't likely the sport will ever see his like again."
"Arnold IS bodybuilding, he has made it what it is today. The man is a legend and an icon in the sport. He has charisma - plain and simple his attitude has made him who he is today.
Arnold is the guy you look up to as a kid and always want to become him, emulating his posing, his training - he has a significant impact on it."
"Arnold has blessed the bodybuilding industry with his unyielding desire to stay close to the sport.
The true purpose of life is to reach our genetic potential.
Arnold's passion for bodybuilding has inspired countless young athletes to challenge themselves to reach their potential in the gym and in life."
"There is no question that Arnold opened the world's eyes to bodybuilding. He has never forgotten his roots and in turn has given back a thousand times over to the sport that gave him opportunity.
Arnold is very down to earth and yet strangely charismatic. He epitomizes what we all see as the American Dream. He gives a sense that anyone can achieve great successes in life no matter how many challenges or obstacles they may Face.
I remember looking at my father's copy of Pumping Iron the book, and seeing Arnold for what I believe was the first time. I marvelled at how much he resembled the comic book heroes I wanted to be. As I grew older and understood more about what Arnold was to bodybuilding, I began to want to model my upper body after his in his prime. To this day I still believe that "look" is the crowning example of perfect shape and symmetry."
"Arnold put bodybuilding on the map in the eyes of the public. His mass-appeal attracted more and more people's attention to the sport, and eventually helped bodybuilding, sports nutrition and related industries to grow big-time. His 100% life-long dedication to bodybuilding is what I find most inspiring about Arnold. Reading about Arnold starting back in 1969 turned me on to bodybuilding for health and athletic performance reasons. This inspiration, along with the Weiders', eventually lead me to pursue a career in the sports nutrition industry.
Arnold's extreme commitment to be #1 in anything he puts his mind to is an important lesson we all can learn from to help achieve our goals. I can state without hesitation that Arnold is indeed one of my HERO'S."
"The most prominent contribution that comes to mind is how popular Arnold has made bodybuilding. His name is synonymous with the sport. Although there are dozens of truly amazing legends that have contributed to the sport, Arnold's star power, intelligence and charm has led both the American public and the world to embrace this culture.
Arnold has worked to convey to the general public that bodybuilding is no longer the freaky strongman side show from the turn of the century.
He has helped to make it a legitimate and respected sport. Being able to build and manipulate the body is a science and an art. The supplement industry and gym attendance is booming in part to the increased popularity of bodybuilding. Arnold has the uncanny ability to adapt to any role he sets his mind to.
From setting bodybuilding title records to starring in blockbuster films, he is one of the most recognized faces in the world. He has used his popularity from the beginning of his career for the good of the public. In the eighties and early nineties, he was the man in charge of the Presidential Fitness Tests. (I remember them very well in grade school!) He's been involved with countless charities and worthwhile organizations. The roles he has chosen in film are always bigger than life, even as a "Kindergarten Cop".
Most notably, Arnold is the epitome of the American Dream. He came to this country, speaking little English and no money, worked his tail off and became this amazing entity. He also practices what preaches to this day - he looks amazing. Growing up in a neighbourhood of 7 boys, I watched movies like "Conan the Barbarian". I was captivated by this hulking man from the first moment, instantly becoming a huge fan.
A little over two years ago, my husband bought me Arnold's "Encyclopaedia of Bodybuilding" and I've nearly worn it out. Learning about his drive, workout techniques, mind games with the other competitors and most importantly his work ethic made me want to compete. I often find myself quoting from the book when I teach a strength training class my local fitness club. I look forward to many more years of wisdom and motivation from this amazing legend."
"Arnold is the example of the American dream come true. He has helped shape bodybuilding into a professional sport and helped bodybuilders see the sport as an opportunity to catapult them into other professional carriers. Relentless commitments to turn his weaknesses into strengths and an insatiable appetite to be the best. Arnold has been a powerful figure in my mind. He has long been a strong example for me physically, as a business man and as both a husband and father."
"What hasn't he contributed? He was the catalyst in bodybuilding achieving such mass appeal. He was the poster child all through the 70's and by the end of his reign, you saw bodybuilding reaching it's height which continued to increase through the 80's. He brought physical fitness for children to the forefront of the public eye in the 90's under the first President Bush. Still to this day, he takes care of his own. With the mass prize pool of the Arnold Classic and his new endeavour of editor in chief of the two biggest bodybuilding/fitness magazines, Arnold has never left his roots.
Arnold is, for one, the perfect example of the American Dream. He left his world, tormented under a communist regime, when he was a young man. He reached the pinnacle of both bodybuilding and movie success, and now he is serving in the public arena as governor. Arnold is the ultimate in setting goals, working hard, and achievement. Any look into Arnold's mindset and one has to take note of how special he is. We can all learn from Arnold...not just bodybuilders. Still to this day, Arnold's physique is what I personally strive for. Although, genetically, my build is much different. I enjoy the look of the bodybuilders of yesteryear. The Franco Columbo's, the Mike Mentzer's, the Arnold's, even the Lee Labrada's and Lee Haney's. A time before drugs got out of control. I am not preaching from my soapbox. What other's want to do is fine. I just personally feel the physiques of the past were more appealing and achievable."
"Arnold Schwarzenegger is the reason I continue to pursue bodybuilding and constantly look for ways to "think outside the box" regarding muscle growth and overall health/fitness. Yes, Arnold used steroids. They were not illegal when he was using them. I'm sure if I had been put in the same position, I would have done the same. I now pursue natural muscle--lifetime natural muscle. Arnold's advice has helped me stay the course in this area. Arnold's life story is the most inspirational I have ever heard.
It is because of Arnold that bodybuilding is what it is today, and whether you're natural in the sport or not, Arnold is one of the most influential bodybuilders of all time.
Arnold had a dream, and never gave up. It is his mental fortitude that gives him the revered status he has today. It is because of his die-hard attitude that his dreams were accomplished. Arnold came, Arnold saw...and Arnold conquered.
Arnold and his achievements are the reason I refuse to give up until I reach my goals. Not only in bodybuilding, but in life. He is the reason I was encouraged to perform squats for 5 hours, just for example. I train because I know it can be done. I know because Arnold did it. If this crazy Austrian can do it, then an all-natural American boy can do it too. Maybe not in the same way, but in my own self-chosen arena."
"Up until Arnold the bodybuilding world was more localized in the USA and UK, Arnold took it to the Global level. Superb Mkt. plans, a phenomenal mind and body.
Most people forget, that the mind creates the body, all that arises, arises from our thoughts, with our thoughts we make the World, both personal and Global. So Arnold, knew how to use his mind to make his dreams come true.
Another profound contribution, was the ability to concentrate, To focus his attention to the internal workings of the muscle, to where the concentration became a form of meditation, and the results are obvious. To be single minded in your goals and reaching them in timely sequences, with the patience of endurance, to see it through, to start something and finish it! What Bruce Lee did for Martial Art forms, Arnold did for Bodybuilding, brought it to an Art Form, where time and eternity stands still, for one more breath taking pose.
Arnold like myself, we are immigrants from another land, with older principles, and Historical understandings. Growing up in Austria gave him many tools, that would serve him well, throughout his life. To gain freedom with hard work, success through failure is the way of the lifter, and very Austrian format, study the history, you'll see the House of Hapsburg, the Kaiser.
100% class, a self made Man who found freedom in his work. It's not only an American dream, but Man's dream of freedom, freedom to express himself, in order to help others. Unselfish, generous dedication to Mankind, Yes to heal the public, Yes to share the wealth of health.
That's why he is so revered, he does what he says he is going to do. Arnold, if he was born in England he would be Knighted, if he was born in Arabia, he be a King, But He lives in the USA, a citizen, let's be grateful."
"Arnold has contributed style, class, and meaning to the sport of bodybuilding. He brought bodybuilding into the mainstream during a period in our recent history when it was seen as a sub-culture of knuckleheads without personalities.
Through his appearances in competitions, television, and the big screen he has shown that bodybuilders can also be charismatic, intelligent, and, more importantly, real people.
In his interviews he answers questions succinctly and with knowledge of all sorts of topics not limited to bodybuilding. He has created bodybuilding to be a mainstream and accepted way of life for thousands of people across the globe. He has always been well-dressed, articulate, and polite to those who ask him questions regarding the sport. He has brought it to life and continues to give it life to this day.
He is a revered figure because of many of the reasons above. But he also demonstrated to the world that a young immigrant boy with large goals and dedication to obtaining those goals can be successful in the United States. He is revered because he has been successful in all ventures he has taken.
Whether it be starring in a multi-million dollar movie, creating a professional competition, or running for governor he has obtained his goals. Not only has he obtained them, he has set a higher standard for all those who will follow in his footsteps one day. He is revered because of his intellect and his ability to cross all boundaries set up in our culture. He is the ultimate success story!! Because of seeing his movies, reading articles about him and by him, I ventured into the sport of bodybuilding.
I know that I will never reach the level of success he has because only one in one hundred billion people have his genetics, but that doesn't cause me to waver in my endeavours. His movie Pumping Iron was a staple for me as I was deciding whether or not to compete. It served as motivation for me. It served as a staple to my everyday activities. Every time I see his picture on my wall I think "If I work hard enough perhaps one day I will achieve 1/10 the success he has". He is the ultimate motivational factor."
- Schwarzenegger. (1981). The Education of a Bodybuilder. Simon and Schuster: USA.
- Schwarzenegger.com. (2005). The Official website of Arnold Schwarzenegger.