Top 10 Greatest Bodybuilders in the World of All Time

Top 10 Greatest Bodybuilders in the World of All Time
Top 10 Greatest Bodybuilders in the World of All Time

Top 10 greatest bodybuilders in the world: Bodybuilding is the pursuit of using weights and resistance training to contract and shape an impressive physique. It is a sport almost solely dedicated to lifting iron. Bodybuilding is not for the faint of heart and it’s much more than just going to the gym and doing some pull-ups.

Bodybuilders dedicate their lives to their careers, and never really stop working. They’re training maybe six times per week if not more, eating the right food groups, and counting all their calories and macronutrients. The sport of bodybuilding took off during the 1960s and the 1970s and has changed significantly over the years as it has grown in popularity.

However there have been a few bodybuilders in particular who are among the best, so let’s look at a list of the top ten bodybuilding legends: the all-time greats.

What is Bodybuilding?


Bodybuilding is a sport and fitness activity that involves the use of progressive resistance training to develop muscle mass, strength, and definition. It typically involves performing a variety of exercises using weights, resistance bands, or body weight to target different muscle groups, with the goal of increasing muscle size and improving overall physical appearance.

Bodybuilding competitions are divided into categories based on height, weight, and age, and are judged on muscle mass, definition, symmetry, and overall physical appearance. The most prestigious bodybuilding competition is Mr. Olympia, which has been held annually since 1965.

Bodybuilding is considered a sport and is governed by various organizations such as the International Federation of BodyBuilding & Fitness (IFBB) and the National Physique Committee (NPC) in the United States. These organizations establish rules and regulations for competitions and provide oversight for the sport.

Bodybuilding can be beneficial for overall health and fitness, as it can improve cardiovascular health, increase strength and endurance, and reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. However, it’s important to follow a proper training and nutrition program and to avoid overtraining or using performance-enhancing drugs which can cause serious health problems.

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10. Eugen Sandow

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Eugen Sandow (born Friedrich Wilhelm Müller; 2 April 1867 – 14 October 1925) was a Prussian-German bodybuilder, strongman, and showman. He is generally considered to be the father of modern bodybuilding. He was born in Königsberg, Prussia (now Kaliningrad, Russia), and emigrated to the United Kingdom in 1890, where he became a successful performer and promoter of physical culture. He developed the first bodybuilding contest, the “Great Competition”, which was held in London in 1901. Sandow’s image and likeness continue to be used to promote physical culture and bodybuilding to this day.

9. Sergio Oliva

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Sergio Oliva (July 4, 1941 – November 12, 2012) was a Cuban-American professional bodybuilder. He is widely considered to be one of the greatest bodybuilders of all time, having won the Mr. Olympia contest three times in a row (1967–1969) and widely regarded as one of the strongest and most symmetrical bodybuilders of his era. He was known as “The Myth” due to his exceptional muscle size and definition, and his intense training regimen. He immigrated to the United States in 1962, where he competed in bodybuilding contests and eventually became a citizen. Oliva was inducted into the International Federation of BodyBuilding & Fitness Hall of Fame in 2011, a year before his death from liver failure.

8. Lee Haney

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Lee Haney (born November 11, 1959) is an American retired professional bodybuilder. He won the Mr. Olympia title eight consecutive times from 1984 to 1991. He is considered one of the greatest bodybuilders of all time and is known for his massive size and symmetry.

Haney began weightlifting in high school and quickly made a name for himself in the amateur ranks. He won his first major title, the Teenage Mr. America, in 1977. He turned professional in 1982 and won his first Mr. Olympia title in 1984. He went on to win the title eight consecutive times, breaking the previous record of seven held by Arnold Schwarzenegger.

After his professional career, Haney became a personal trainer, television host, and motivational speaker. He is also the co-owner of a nutrition and supplement company and has written several books on bodybuilding and fitness. He was inducted into the International Federation of BodyBuilding & Fitness Hall of Fame in 2011.

7. Jay Cutler

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Jay Cutler (born August 3, 1973) is an American retired professional bodybuilder. He is a four-time Mr. Olympia winner (2006, 2007, 2009, and 2010).

Cutler began weightlifting at the age of 18 and quickly made a name for himself in the amateur ranks. He turned professional in 1996 and began competing in the International Federation of BodyBuilding & Fitness (IFBB) circuit. He won his first major title, the Arnold Classic, in 2002. He went on to win the Mr. Olympia title four times (2006, 2007, 2009, and 2010) and had several runner-up finishes.

After his professional career, Cutler became a personal trainer, television host, and motivational speaker. He is also the owner of a supplement company and has written several books on bodybuilding and fitness. He was inducted into the IFBB Hall of Fame in 2015.

6. Franco Columbu 

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Franco Columbu (August 7, 1941 – August 30, 2019) was an Italian-American professional bodybuilder, actor, and powerlifter. He was a two-time Mr. Olympia winner (1976, 1981) and a close friend of Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Columbu began competing in weightlifting and powerlifting in the 1960s and quickly made a name for himself in the amateur ranks. He turned professional in 1970 and began competing in the International Federation of BodyBuilding & Fitness (IFBB) circuit. He won his first major title, the Mr. Europe contest in 1971. He went on to win the Mr. Olympia title twice (1976, 1981) and had several other top finishes.

After his professional career, Columbu became a personal trainer, television host, and motivational speaker. He is also the co-owner of a supplement company and wrote several books on bodybuilding and fitness. He was inducted into the IFBB Hall of Fame in 1999. He passed away in 2019 due to injuries suffered in a drowning accident.

5. Dorian Yates

Top 10 Greatest Bodybuilders
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Dorian Yates (born April 19, 1962) is an English retired professional bodybuilder. He is a six-time Mr. Olympia winner (1992-1997).

Yates began weightlifting in the early 1980s and quickly made a name for himself in the amateur ranks. He turned professional in 1984 and began competing in the International Federation of BodyBuilding & Fitness (IFBB) circuit. He won his first major title, the Night of Champions, in 1991. He went on to win the Mr. Olympia title six consecutive times (1992-1997) and was known for his impressive muscle mass and conditioning.

After his professional career, Yates became a personal trainer, television host, and motivational speaker. He is also the owner of a supplement company and has written several books on bodybuilding and fitness. He was inducted into the IFBB Hall of Fame in 2010.

4. Frank Zane

Top 10 Greatest Bodybuilders
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Frank Zane (born June 28, 1942) is an American retired professional bodybuilder and author. He is a three-time Mr. Olympia winner (1977-1979).

Zane began weightlifting in the 1960s and quickly made a name for himself in the amateur ranks. He turned professional in 1967 and began competing in the International Federation of BodyBuilding & Fitness (IFBB) circuit. He won his first major title, the Mr. Universe, in 1967. He went on to win the Mr. Olympia title three consecutive times (1977-1979) and was known for his impressive symmetry and muscle definition.

After his professional career, Zane became a personal trainer, television host, and motivational speaker. He is also the author of several books on bodybuilding and fitness, including “The Zane Way to a Beautiful Body” and “Super Bodies in 12 Weeks”. He was inducted into the IFBB Hall of Fame in 1999.

3. Phil Heath

Top 10 Greatest Bodybuilders
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Phil Heath (born December 18, 1979) is an American retired professional bodybuilder. He is a seven-time Mr. Olympia winner (2011-2017).

Heath began weightlifting in college and quickly made a name for himself in the amateur ranks. He turned professional in 2005 and began competing in the International Federation of BodyBuilding & Fitness (IFBB) circuit. He won his first major title, the Arnold Classic, in 2008. He went on to win the Mr. Olympia title seven consecutive times (2011-2017) and was known for his impressive muscle mass and symmetry.

After his professional career, Heath became a personal trainer, television host, and motivational speaker. He is also the owner of a supplement company and has written several books on bodybuilding and fitness. He was inducted into the IFBB Hall of Fame in 2020.

2. Ronnie Coleman

Top 10 Greatest Bodybuilders
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Ronnie Coleman (born May 13, 1964) is an American retired professional bodybuilder. He is an eight-time Mr. Olympia winner (1998-2005).

Coleman began weightlifting in the early 1980s and quickly made a name for himself in the amateur ranks. He turned professional in 1990 and began competing in the International Federation of BodyBuilding & Fitness (IFBB) circuit. He won his first major title, the Canada Pro Cup, in 1995. He went on to win the Mr. Olympia title eight consecutive times (1998-2005) and was known for his impressive muscle mass and symmetry.

After his professional career, Coleman became a personal trainer, television host, and motivational speaker. He is also the owner of a supplement company and has written several books on bodybuilding and fitness. He was inducted into the IFBB Hall of Fame in 2011. He has undergone multiple surgeries due to injuries from his bodybuilding career.

1. Arnold Schwarzenegger

Top 10 Greatest Bodybuilders
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Arnold Schwarzenegger (born July 30, 1947) is an Austrian-American retired professional bodybuilder, actor, and politician. He is a seven-time Mr. Olympia winner (1970-1975, 1980) and is considered one of the greatest bodybuilders of all time.

Schwarzenegger began weightlifting in the 1960s in Austria and quickly made a name for himself in the amateur ranks. He turned professional in 1968 and began competing in the International Federation of BodyBuilding & Fitness (IFBB) circuit. He won his first major title, the Mr. Universe, in 1968. He went on to win the Mr. Olympia title seven times (1970-1975, 1980) and was known for his impressive muscle mass, symmetry, and charismatic stage presence.

After his professional career, Schwarzenegger became a successful actor, starring in films such as the “Terminator” series, “Predator”, “Twins” and “Total Recall” among others. He also served as the 38th Governor of California from 2003 to 2011. He was inducted into the IFBB Hall of Fame in 1980 and the WWE Hall of Fame in 2015. He is also the author of several books on bodybuilding, fitness, and autobiography.

Conclusion:

Bodybuilding is a sport in which individuals perform various exercises to develop and display muscle mass and definition. It has a long history dating back to ancient Greece and has evolved over time to become a competitive sport with various professional organizations such as the International Federation of BodyBuilding & Fitness (IFBB) that host competitions. Some of the most notable bodybuilders in history include Arnold Schwarzenegger, Ronnie Coleman, Phil Heath, Frank Zane, Dorian Yates, Franco Columbu, Jay Cutler, Lee Haney, Sergio Oliva, and Eugen Sandow. Most of them have become successful personal trainers, television hosts, motivational speakers, and authors after their professional careers. Many of them also have been inducted into the IFBB Hall of Fame.

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