Arnold Schwarzenegger Bodybuilding 2023

By / April 6, 2023

Arnold Schwarzenegger is known for more than just bodybuilding today, but he still has an important place in Mr. Olympia’s history after all these years. 

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. 

Some of his successes, however, came with controversy. Ahead of the 2022 Mr. Olympia competition, let’s take a closer look at the Mr. Olympia career of Arnold Schwarzenegger.

How Many Times Did Arnold Schwarzenegger Win Mr. Olympia?

arnold schwarzenegger mr olympia
via arnold schwarzengger instagram

Arnold Schwarzenegger is the most well-known bodybuilder in Mr. Olympia’s history and ranks among the most successful. 

Arnold 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. Arnold 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 Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2017 with his seventh title.

Arnold 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?

Arnold Schwarzenegger lost only one Mr. Olympia competition, his very first one. Three-time champion Sergio Oliva defeated Arnold Schwarzenegger and the rest of the field in 1969 when Arnold Schwarzenegger was 22. 

Arnold 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

arnold schwarzenegger age
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Arnold Schwarzenegger was 22 when he won his first Mr. Olympia title in 1970. He retired after his sixth consecutive Mr. Olympia win 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. 

Arnold 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

arnold schwarzenegger vs ronnie coleman
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Arnold Schwarzenegger and Lou Ferrigno had a rivalry well before their acting careers took off, but the rivalry was lopsided at the Mr Olympia competition. Lou Ferrigno, who trained with Arnold Schwarzenegger at the beginning of his bodybuilding career, won Mr. Universe in 1973. 

He made a run at Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Mr. Olympia title in 1974 but finished in second. Ferrigno attempted to knock off an older Arnold Schwarzenegger again in 1975 but came up short. 

His attempt, which had some credibility given he was more significant than Arnold 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

arnold schwarzenegger mr olympia 1980
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Arnold Schwarzenegger’s only finish outside of first place came in his first Mr. Olympia competition.

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