Arnold Schwarzenegger bodybuilding history
Arnold Alois Schwarzenegger (born July 30, 1947) is an Austrian and American former professional bodybuilder, actor, businessman, investor, and politician. Schwarzenegger served two terms as the 38th Governor of California from 2003 until 2011.
Schwarzenegger began weight training at the age of 15. He won the Mr. Universe title at age 20 and went on to win the Mr. Olympia contest seven times. Schwarzenegger has remained a prominent presence in bodybuilding and has written many books and articles on the sport. Schwarzenegger gained worldwide fame as a Hollywood action film icon. He was nicknamed the “Austrian Oak” and the “Styrian Oak” in his bodybuilding days, “Arnie” during his acting career and more recently “The Governator” (a portmanteau of “Governor” and “The Terminator” – one of his best-known movie roles).
As a Republican, he was first elected on October 7, 2003, in a special recall election to replace then-Governor Gray Davis. Arnold was sworn in on November 17, 2003, to serve the remainder of Davis’s term. Schwarzenegger was then re-elected on November 7, 2006, in California’s 2006 gubernatorial election, to serve a full term as governor, defeating Democrat Phil Angelides, who was California State Treasurer at the time. Schwarzenegger was sworn in for his second term on January 5, 2007. In 2011, Schwarzenegger completed his second term as governor, and it was announced that he had separated from Maria Shriver, his wife for the last 25 years, and a member of the influential Kennedy family, as a niece of the late Democrat US President John F. Kennedy.
Arnold Schwarzenegger bodybuilding history
Schwarzenegger is considered among the most important figures in the history of bodybuilding, and his legacy is commemorated in the Arnold Classic annual bodybuilding competition. Schwarzenegger has remained a prominent face in the bodybuilding sport long after his retirement, in part because of his ownership of gyms and fitness magazines. He has presided over numerous contests and awards shows.
For many years, he wrote a monthly column for the bodybuilding magazines Muscle & Fitness and Flex. Shortly after being elected Governor, he was appointed executive editor of both magazines, in a largely symbolic capacity. The magazines agreed to donate $250,000 a year to the Governor’s various physical fitness initiatives. The magazine Muscle Mag International has a monthly two-page article on him, and refers to him as “The King”.
One of the first competitions he won was the Junior Mr. Europe contest in 1965. He won Mr. Europe the following year, at age 19. He would go on to compete in, and win, many bodybuilding contests. His bodybulding victories included five Mr. Universe (4 –NABBA [England], 1 – IFBB [USA]) wins, and seven Mr. Olympia wins, a record which would stand until Lee Haney won his eighth consecutive Mr. Olympia title in 1991.
Schwarzenegger official height of 6’2″ (1.88 m) has been brought into question by several articles. In his bodybuilding days in the late 1960s, he was measured to be 6’1.5″ (1.87 m), a height confirmed by his fellow bodybuilders. However, in 1988 both the Daily Mail and Time Out magazine mentioned that Schwarzenegger appeared noticeably shorter. Prior to running for Governor, Schwarzenegger’s height was once again questioned in an article by the Chicago Reader.
As Governor, Schwarzenegger engaged in a light-hearted exchange with Assemblyman Herb Wesson over their heights. At one point Wesson made an unsuccessful attempt to, in his own words, “[s]ettle this once and for all and find out how tall he is” by using a tailor’s tape measure on the Governor. Schwarzenegger retaliated by placing a pillow stitched with the words “Need a lift?” on the five-foot-five inch (165 cm) Wesson’s chair before a negotiating session in his office. Bob Mulholland also claimed Arnold was 5’10” (1.78 m) and that he wore risers in his boots. The debate on Schwarzenegger’s height has spawned a website solely dedicated to the issue, and his page remains one of the most active on CelebHeights.com, a website which discusses the heights of celebrities. Men’s Health magazine has estimated his height at 5’10”.
- Competition Weight: 235 lb (107 kg) (top 250 lb (113 kg))
- Off Season Weight: 255 lb (116 kg) (top 260 lb (118 kg))
During Arnold’s early years in bodybuilding, he also competed in several Olympic weightlifting and powerlifting contests. Arnold won two weightlifting contests in 1964 and 1965, as well as two powerlifting contests in 1966 and 1968.
In 1967, Schwarzenegger competed in and won the Munich stone-lifting contest, in which a stone weighing 508 German pounds (254 kg/560 lbs.) is lifted between the legs while standing on two foot rests.
Schwarzenegger’s goal was to become the greatest bodybuilder in the world, which meant becoming Mr. Olympia. His first attempt was in 1969, when he lost to three-time champion Sergio Oliva. However, Schwarzenegger came back in 1970 and won the competition, making him the youngest ever Mr. Olympia at the age of 23, a record he still holds to this day.
He continued his winning streak in the 1971–74 competitions. In 1975, Schwarzenegger was once again in top form, and won the title for the sixth consecutive time, beating Franco Columbu. After the 1975 Mr. Olympia contest, Schwarzenegger announced his retirement from professional bodybuilding.
Months before the 1975 Mr. Olympia contest, filmmakers George Butler and Robert Fiore persuaded Schwarzenegger to compete, in order to film his training in the bodybuilding documentary called Pumping Iron. Schwarzenegger had only three months to prepare for the competition, after losing significant weight to appear in the film Stay Hungry with Jeff Bridges. Lou Ferrigno proved not to be a threat, and a lighter-than-usual Schwarzenegger convincingly won the 1975 Mr. Olympia.
Schwarzenegger came out of retirement, however, to compete in the 1980 Mr. Olympia. Schwarzenegger was training for his role in Conan, and he got into such good shape because of the running, horseback riding and sword training, that he decided he wanted to win the Mr. Olympia contest one last time. He kept this plan a secret, in the event that a training accident would prevent his entry and cause him to lose face. Schwarzenegger had been hired to provide color commentary for network television. He announced at the eleventh hour that while he was there: “Why not compete?” Schwarzenegger ended up winning the event with only seven weeks of preparation. After being declared Mr. Olympia for a seventh time, Schwarzenegger then officially retired from competition.
Schwarzenegger has admitted to using performance-enhancing anabolic steroids while they were legal, writing in 1977 that “steroids were helpful to me in maintaining muscle size while on a strict diet in preparation for a contest. I did not use them for muscle growth, but rather for muscle maintenance when cutting up.” He has called the drugs “tissue building.”
In 1999, Schwarzenegger sued Dr. Willi Heepe, a German doctor who publicly predicted his early death on the basis of a link between his steroid use and his later heart problems. As the doctor had never examined him personally, Schwarzenegger collected a US$10,000 libel judgment against him in a German court. In 1999, Schwarzenegger also sued and settled with The Globe, a U.S. tabloid which had made similar predictions about the bodybuilder’s future health.