Top 10 Bodybuilders of All-Time
Who are the top bodybuilders of all-time? Every generation has big names with amazing physiques and massive amounts of muscle. With so many to choose from who will make the cut?
#1 – Arnold Schwarzenegger
It’s hard not to place Arnold Schwarzenegger at number one on the list. With 7 Mr. Olympia titles (1970-1975, 1980) and success in every career endeavor from bodybuilding, movies, and politics, Arnie is the stick by which every bodybuilder is measured.
With his charismatic attitude and never say die mentality, Arnold schwarznegger successfully changed bodybuilding for generations, overcoming all odds. A little known fact about Arnold is that he also competed and won several powerlifting contests throughout his career.
#2 – Ronnie Coleman
Ronnie Coleman was not only one of the most massive bodybuilders of all-time (300 pounds stage weight) but also one of the strongest. With an 800+ pound squat and deadlift it’s scary to think that to this day Ronnie claims he didn’t train as hard as he could have.
With a record tying 8 straight Mr. Olympia wins (1998-2005) Ronnie was successfully able to maintain a full-time job as a police officer while still being the top bodybuilder in the world. It’s difficult to find a bodybuilder as massive, strong, and cut as Ronnie Coleman.
#3 – Lee Haney
With a record tying 8 Mr. Olympia titles (1984-1991) Haney was successfully able to retire at the extremely young age of 31 and foster a career outside of bodybuilding.
To this day Haney works in the fields of sports training and nutrition training athletes in the NBA, MLB, and professional boxing. Today, at the age of 55, Lee Haney still maintains a physique that would make younger bodybuilders envious.
#4 – Dorian Yates
What makes Dorian Yates one of the top bodybuilders of all-time is not only his 6 Mr. Olympia titles (1992-1997) but also his unique style of training. While several professional bodybuilders train six days a week, Dorian was known for his development of “High Intensity Training” which achieved maximum muscle stimulation with shorter intense workouts four days per week.
In addition he was also known for bringing his shredded glutes and hamstrings to the stage before anyone else.
#5 – Phil Heath
Better known as “the Gift,” Phil Heath is the current reigning 5 time Mr. Olympia (2011-2015). With a career that does not appear to be ending in the near future, Phil may very well climb to the top of these rankings over the next several years.
The combination of his natural genetics and never say die mentality allows Phil Heath to set the bar high above all others currently getting on the stage. Though his portrayal in the film Generation Iron is somewhat controversial, Phil is passionate about maintaining a strong relationship with his fans and constantly growing his supplement business.
#6 – Frank Zane
When most people think of aesthetic symmetrical physiques the first name that comes to the mind of most people is Frank Zane. With 3 Mr. Olympia titles (1977-1979) and a vacuum that sets the standard to this day, Zane has the body that every single bodybuilder hopes to one day emulate.
Unlike several of the other bodybuilders on this list, Zane is the lightest of them all stepping in at a lighter 185 pounds on stage. Zane represented an era based on aesthetics with wide shoulders and an extremely shaped v-taper waist.
#7 – Jay Cutler
Not to be confused with the professional NFL player with the same name, Jay Cutler is a 4 Time Mr. Olympia champion (2006, 2007, 2009, 2010). Representing one of the modern day mass builders Cutler weighed in at a strong 275 pounds on stage.
With his massive chest and quads Cutler is known to this day as having one of the most massive yet aesthetically pleasing physiques of the modern era.
#8 – Franco Columbu
Known by some as Arnold’s smaller lighter training partner, Columbu was known for both his aesthetics and pushing Arnold to his absolute limits. With 2 overall Mr. Olympia titles (1976 and 1981) Columbu was known for his aesthetic and symmetrical physique.
Not only was Columbu Arnold’s favorite training partner but was also a world champion powerlifter, World’s Strongest Man competitor, and actor. A little known fact about Columbu was that he played a brief role in the original Terminator movie that made Arnold famous.
#9 – Dexter Jackson
Epitomizing the symbol of father time, Dexter Jackson never seems to age. Former Mr. Olympia champ of 2008, most recently Jackson placed 2nd overall in the 2015 Mr. Olympia contest at the seasoned age of nearly 46 years old.
Nicknamed “The Blade” Dexter is known for his low-body fat percentage and seemingly timeless physique. Having competed in every single Mr. Olympia contest since 1999, Jackson has graced the cover of countless bodybuilding magazines and articles.
Jackson has also won the Arnold classic a record setting 5 times establishing his presence as one of the top bodybuilders of this generation.
#10 – Flex Wheeler
Though he is the only professional bodybuilder on our list to never win the Mr. Olympia title, that does not diminish his overall career success. Having won the Arnold classic 4 times there is no denying his presence among the list of the greatest.
Furthermore, Flex Wheeler has been described by both Arnold and Ronnie as one of the greatest bodybuilders of all-time. Known for his symmetrical aesthetics he is commonly known as the Sultan of Symmetry. Contrary to popular belief the nickname “Flex” comes from his remarkable flexibility not flexion of his muscles.
Who is in Your Top 10?
Every generation has had it’s fair share of great bodybuilders with amazing physiques. Focus has shifted from mass to aesthetics and back to mass. However, the one consistent factor over time has been the lean, aesthetic physiques and constant striving for improvement of the human body.
Feel free to give your own opinion of the top 10 bodybuilders of all-time!
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