We have been obsessed over how our body looks for a long time. Not all of us take it to the level of a bodybuilder and make our body’s things to be marveled and admired. Sure a lot of us have good abs, nice arms and some killer calf muscles but we do not do the intense training and a ton of protein that have made men and women through the years the bronzed Adonis of dreams and many late night fantasies. Here are our Top 10 Most Popular Bodybuilders Ever:
10. Charles Atlas
Known for one of the longest running and most memorable Ad campaigns ever, he created his body building method with the goal of changing the “97 pound weakling” into a “real man” though his body did not size up to the modern bodybuilders for his time. Charles was one of the most famous strong men in the world. His company that was founded in 1929 still markets his iconic fitness program to this day. His legacy will still live on for generations to come. Because of his achievements and his furthering of the sport, he is considered one of the most popular bodybuilders ever.
9. Frank Zane
One of the few people to ever beat Arnold in a bodybuilding competition, Frank is a 3 time Mr. Olympia winner. He was best known for his small waist and broad shoulders giving him a very defined V-shaped body. Frank has held the titles Mr. Olympia, Mr. America, Mr. Universe and Mr. World in his illustrious 20 year career. He now owns and runs his own gym in California. To this day, though low on the list, is one of the most popular bodybuilders ever.
8. Franco Columbu
Though one of the shortest bodybuilders, only 5’5, Franco Columbu were not held back by it. He boasts 13 titles including Mr. Olympia four different times. He has been in over 20 different films and a long term friend of our number one most popular bodybuilder ever. He proves big things can come in small packages!
7. Reg Park
The mentor to the great Arnold Schwarzenegger, Reg Park made headway for all bodybuilders to come. He is credited as being the first bodybuilder to make it to the silver screen playing on five different occasions as Hercules. A three time Mr Universe winner, Reg was a forerunner for modern bodybuilders who is 6’1” height and weighs 250 pounds.
6. Dorian Yates
A true powerhouse and obviously one of the most popular bodybuilders ever, Dorian holds thirteen 1st place prizes including a six time Mr. Olympia. During his last Mr. Olympia competition in 1997, Dorian won even though he had torn triceps, a serious injury that would’ve made a lesser man retire right away. It is no wonder the man earned his nickname of “Diesel” and is considered one of the most powerful and thick bodybuilders of all time.
5. Ronnie Coleman
Besides being a dual record holder for most Mr. Olympia consecutive wins, tied with Lee Haney, Big Ron holds a 26 IFBB win record beating out the previous record holder Vince Taylor at 22 wins. Being one of the most decorated body builders in history we could not leave out this 290+ pounds of muscle from our Most Popular Bodybuilders ever list, he has set a high standard for body builders to come and it seems his records are not going to be broken soon.
4. Lee Haney
Lee is initially the man who set most Mr. Olympia wins records with 8 total wins. He holds 21 titles in all from different competitions. He was the chairman of President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. Lee hosts “Totalee Fit With Lee Haney” On the TrinityBroadcasting Network where he teaches how to grow the body and spirit. Lee’s Mr Olympia win record was matched by Ronnie Coleman in 2005. But seeing as he set the record, he sits higher on our Most Popular Bodybuilders Ever list.
3. Eugen Sandow
If this was a list of the most Iconic and well respected builders in the profession, then Eugen Sandow would be on top. He can be credited as the man who started it all and the first professional bodybuilder, forming his body from the Grecian ideals. He amazed the crowds in the late 19th century with well sculpted body and to this day his likeness and name is given to the most coveted body building trophy called “The Sandow.”
2. Lou Ferrigno
You may be wondering why Lou Ferrigno is so high up on the Most Popular Bodybuilders Ever list. He is simply one of the most recognized men in bodybuilding. Ferrigno is The Incredible Hulk in the hit TV series “The Incredible Hulk” how much more do you need. His job, after all, was to HULK SMASH . With his stardom from the show Lou helped bring bodybuilding into the limelight and helped make it a bigger sport than it once was. If you are a comic buff in your mid 40’s or into bodybuilding, I am sure you would recognize this icon.
1. Arnold Schwarzenegger
As this is about the most popular bodybuilders ever, it is only fair to have the most recognizable face in the sport at the top. Though we may not like his politics or some of his movies… the man did bring bodybuilding to the masses. His big muscles not only won him titles in body building, along side his foreign accent and good looks, they made him a major action star. Earning him a few award along the way and his popularity even won him an election to be the past governor of California. He was also a past chairman of The President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports a position held by other great bodybuilders and sportsmen through history. So in this popularity contest Arnold sits at number one in all his glory and spectacle.