The seven-time Mr. Olympia winner held the record for most Mr. Olympia titles for over a decade and became the world’s most famous bodybuilder during an incredible stretch of success in the 1970s.
How Many Times Did Arnold Schwarzenegger Win Mr. Olympia?
Arnold Schwarzenegger is the most well-known bodybuilder in Mr. Olympia’s history and ranks among the most successful.
Schwarzenegger won seven Mr. Olympia competitions in his esteemed career, including six consecutive titles from 1970-1975.
After retiring, he would win a controversial seventh Mr. Olympia in 1980, padding his record. Schwarzenegger’s record was tied by Lee Haney in 1990 and broken the following year. Ronnie Coleman would later surpass Schwarzenegger’s mark and tie Haney, while Phil Heath tied Schwarzenegger in 2017 with his seventh title.
Schwarzenegger is now known globally for his acting career, which later became a political career as the governor of California. Still, he remains involved in bodybuilding as the sponsor and namesake of the annual Arnold Sports Festival.
Did Arnold Schwarzenegger Ever Lose a Mr. Olympia?
Schwarzenegger lost only one Mr. Olympia competition, his very first one. Three-time champion Sergio Oliva defeated Schwarzenegger and the rest of the field in 1969 when Schwarzenegger was 22.
Schwarzenegger would rattle off six consecutive wins beginning in 1970, and he won a seventh Mr. Olympia after retiring in 1980.
Arnold Schwarzenegger Mr. Olympia Age
Schwarzenegger was 22 when he won his first Mr. Olympia title in 1970. He retired after his sixth consecutive Mr. Olympia won in 1975 when he was 27 years old, but he returned at age 32 to win Mr. Olympia again in 1980 after a last-minute decision.
Schwarzenegger’s win in 1980 sparked controversy, as many competitors believed he had lost muscle mass and didn’t deserve the title. One competitor, Mike Mentzler, retired from competitive bodybuilding altogether because he felt cheated out of a win.
Arnold Schwarzenegger vs Lou Ferrigno
Schwarzenegger and Lou Ferrigno had a rivalry well before their acting careers took off, but the rivalry was lopsided at the Mr Olympia competition. Ferrigno, who trained with Schwarzenegger at the beginning of his bodybuilding career, won Mr. Universe in 1973.
He made a run at Schwarzenegger’s Mr. Olympia title in 1974 but finished in second. Ferrigno attempted to knock off an older Schwarzenegger again in 1975 but came up short.
His attempt, which had some credibility given he was more significant than Schwarzenegger, was famously chronicled in the 1977 documentary “Pumping Iron.” Ferrigno ultimately never won a Mr. Olympia competition.
Arnold Schwarzenegger Mr. Olympia Results by Year
Schwarzenegger’s only finish outside of first place came in his first Mr. Olympia competition. (1)