A sport that is rarely seen as a sport. Many sports critics claim that bodybuilding is not a sport but more of a talent show where scantily clothed men display their physiques. This cannot be further from the truth. Do you know bodybuilders dehydrate themselves before a competition?
As a result, every time they are flexing their muscles, they are in pain. Think of the pain that you feel when your leg gets cramped up in the middle of the night. So today, we decided to pay homage to the sport; we bring you a comprehensive list of “best body builder in the world” that you should check out.
The Legends Of The Iron Game
We believe that it is only appropriate to know about the general history of bodybuilding before we look at the top 10 bodybuilders in the world. Eugene Sandow is believed to have been the father of bodybuilding. Even though iron pumping has been prevalent since time immemorial for building power, it was, however, transformed into a sport by Mr. Sandow. Fun fact: the very statue of Mr.Olympia is based on Eugene Sandow. So, No wonder he is thought to be the man who started it all. Now, let us look at some of the top bodybuilders of all time.
Popularly known as Arnie among his bodybuilding brothers, Schwarzenegger is synonymous with bodybuilding. For most of us, this man was the one who popularised the art of bodybuilding. Winning his first Mr.Universe championship in the year 1967, Schwarzenegger set a chain of events.
After winning several accolades in bodybuilding, Arnold moved to America in order to try his hand at Hollywood. And this is where he found true fame as an action hero. Starring in countless films that have earned a cult following. He is easily the no 1 body builder in world during his time.
Winner of 8 Mr. Olympia championships, 11 IFBB professional contests, and countless other accolades, Lee Haney is a strong contender for the top spot on the “best body builder in the world” list. According to Haney, he was greatly inspired by the ‘Austrian Oak’ or better known as Arnold Schwarzenegger. Haney started out in the year 1982, after winning his first championship at NPC National Championships. Following this victory, Haney got his IFBB pro card.
This man has given his whole life to bodybuilding. A winner of whopping 26 IFBB titles and 8 Mr. Olympia trophies, this man is easily the best bodybuilder of all time. Unlike most others on this list, Ronnie started out as a police officer in Arlington, Texas. With no plans of being a bodybuilder, it was one of the fellow officers in Coleman’s squad that advised him to be a bodybuilder.
During his career, he was often termed as the ‘world biggest bodybuilder’ due to his gigantic size and muscle mass. Even though he moved away from public eyes post-retirement in 2007, he is still one of the most revered athletes in his community.
Another athlete who started out as something else but later on ventured into the foray of bodybuilding. Starting out as an amateur boxer, he soon moved to Olympic weightlifting and powerlifting. With a height of only 5 feet 3 inches, Columbu used his height to make his physique look more filled and thick. This worked in favor of this Italian bodybuilder. It is believed that Columbu used to bench around 525 pounds. No wonder he has a place on the “best body builder in the world” list.
Popping onto the scene right after Haney, this English bodybuilder was active from 1992 to 1997. During this time, Yates bagged six Mr. Olympia titles consecutively. Many people believed that Haney was the biggest bodybuilder on the stage and bodybuilders cannot get bigger.
But, as soon as Yates walked onto that stage with 5 feet 10 inches stature and 262 pounds of lean muscle, the argument was just out of the window. Yates built on Haney’s trend of packing muscle mass a step further and became the biggest bodybuilder in the world beating Haney, in the 90s.
He was initially a mathematics and chemistry teacher, Zane is probably the biggest oddball among the bunch. Known to have been the father of the aesthetic bodybuilding movement that focuses more on proportion and beauty of the male physique.
While his colleagues like Arnold and Franco were focused more on packing a huge muscle mass, Frank Zane was more about looking balanced. In fact, not many people know this, but Frank Zane was one of the inspirations for artist Joe Shuster to draw Superman.
Currently, the holder of his fifth Mr. Olympia title, Phil Heath, is an absolute beast with arms that are speculated to be larger than many people’s legs. This guy is currently the world best bodybuilder. Possessing a massive physique, Phil Heath is the reigning champion who has not been defeated since 2011. Quite impressive for athletes in such a physically demanding sport.
Four-time Mr. Olympia winner Cutler is easily the best bodybuilder of his time. Active during the late ’80s and the early ‘90s, he too jumped on Haney’s bandwagon and tried to boast a humongous physique. With 241 pounds of lean muscle mass, Cutler was the spiritual successor of the Haney squad.
Probably the only Asian on this list. Bannout has an illustrious 18-year career in the sport. This Lebanese American athlete started out at a mere 16 years of age. He is popularly lauded as the Lion of Lebanon. He was not just a bodybuilder but a nation’s icon after being the first Lebanese bodybuilder to win an international bodybuilding event. So his influence spans many forays of society, as a result making him a hero.
The Final Thought
So, on a final thought, who do you think is the best body builder in the world? For us here, it is always going to be Arnold Schwarzenegger. It is true that Eugene Sandow is the person who formulated the sport. But it was Schwarzenegger who popularised and made the sport into what it is. His hit documentary Pumping Iron inspired generations of bodybuilders who still swear by Arnold’s expertise and knowledge. For more such content, keep following us.
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