A Tribute to the king of bodybuilding: The ‘Austrian Oak’ Arnold Schwarzenegger

A Tribute to the king of bodybuilding: The ‘Austrian Oak’ Arnold Schwarzenegger

The Beginning

Arnold Schwarzenegger is one of Hollywood’s biggest and most famous stars who has proven that with hard work and perseverance anyone can make their dreams come true. Also known as “the Oak” Arnold’s birth date was July 30, 1947 in a small town called Thal in Austria, his home was a second-floor 300 year old house located at Thal-Linak. Arnold and his brother Meinhard were brought-up by parents, Gustav and Aurelia Schwarzenegger. The home they occupied was given to them as a benefit of his father’s police commandant job. In the house they had  no amenities, neither modern nor old, Arnold grew up without a refrigerator and had no, plumbing, central heating, phone and the dwelling also lacked many other amenities. It was so bad that Arnold and his brother had to get water from a far away well for use in the house.

The Road to Mr.Olympia

Arnold’s career began in Graz, Austria; he had one intention and that was to gain the title of Mr. Universe. The membership cost for the gym was too expensive so he made a home gym in his parent’s basement. Arnold got to know Kurt Marnul, who was formerly Mr. Austria, Kurt got Arnold to do his training in Graz’s Athletic Union because of the admiration he felt for Arnold’s physique, this is exactly what Arnold needed.

Arnold signed up for the Army in Austria in 1965 and performed the duties of a tanker driver with the Graz Panzer Battalion. This lasted from the beginning of October 1965 to September 30th 1966, Arnold wanted to compete in the Mr. Universe competition in Stuttgart so badly that he went AWOL so that he could compete. Upon his return from the Mr.Universe competition Arnold was put in jail for going AWOL, this didn’t bother Arnold though because he had won the Mr. Jr Europe title.

By the time Arnold had reached twenty, he had earned the title of Mr. Europe and was also recognized as the youngest man to have won Mr. Universe up to that point in time. Climbing up the bodybuilding ladder, Arnold had won several other awards and titles, after which he made a decision to venture out into other areas. Armed with his title of Mr. Universe, he found his way to Hollywood and in 1968 Arnold landed in America! He worked initially in Santa Monica, California as a worker on the road and competed against bodybuilder Reg Park who was one of his idols. In 1970 he won his first and most prestigious title ‘Mr.Olympia’. A year later and he was the winner of Mr. Olympia for a second year running. In that same year, his brother Meinard was killed in a motor vehicle accident, approximately two years after that, Arnold’s father Gustav also died.

With no real competition, Arnold continued his steady climb to bodybuilding excellence by going on to win his sixth title of Mr. Olympia in 1975. He decided to retire from bodybuilding there after and in 1977 he reaped great success from writing a bestseller called ‘The Education of a Bodybuilder’ as well as a Golden Globe award stemming from the role he played in the movie “stay Hungry”. The Special Olympics International also named him an honorary weightlifting coach and he is currently still occupying that post. He later emerged from retirement to again win his final Mr. Olympic title in 1980.

Pumping Iron

In 1977 Arnold starred in the bodybuilding documentary ‘Pumping Iron’ which followed him through his training for the 1975 Mr.Olympia in South Africa where he competed against Lou Ferrigno.  The documentary is a great insight into Arnold style of training & personality, he often uses mind games to intimidate his competitors.

Competition History

  • 1963 Contest in Graz, Austria, at Steirer Hof Hotel – 2nd place
  • 1965 Junior Mr. Europe in Stoccarda, Germany – 1st place
  • 1966 Mr. Europe – 1st amatorial
  • 1966 Best Built Man in Europe – 1st place
  • 1966 NABBA Mr. Universe in London – 2nd, tall class amatorial
  • 1967 NABBA Mr. Universe in London – 1st, tall class amatorial and abs.
  • 1968 NABBA Mr. Universe in London – 1st, tall class pro and absolute
  • 1968 IFBB Mr. Universe in Miami, Florida – 1st place, tall class
  • 1968 IFBB Mr. International in Tijuana, Mexico – 1st place, tall class & abs.)
  • 1969 IFBB Mr. Universe in New York City – 1st place
  • 1969 IFBB Mr. Olympia in New York City – 2nd place
  • 1969 NABBA Mr. Universe in London – 1st place, tall class pro and absolute)
  • 1969 Mr. Europe ad Essen, Germany – 1st place, tall class pro and absolute)
  • 1970 NABBA Mr. Universe in London – 1st place, tall class pro and absolute)
  • 1970 AAU Pro Mr. World in Columbus, Ohio – 1st place
  • 1970 IFBB Mr. Olympia in New York City – 1st place
  • 1971 IFBB Mr. Olympia in Parigi – 1st place
  • 1972 IFBB Mr. Olympia in Essen – 1st place
  • 1973 IFBB Mr. Olympia in New York City – 1st place
  • 1974 IFBB Mr. Olympia in New York City – 1st place
  • 1975 IFBB Mr. Olympia in Pretoria, South Africa – 1st place
  • 1980 IFBB Mr. Olympia in Sidney, Australia – 1st place

Arnold’s Top Measurements

  • Arms: 22 inches
  • Chest: 57 inches
  • Waist: 34 inches
  • Thighs: 28.5 inches
  • Calves: 20 inches
  • Weight: 235 pounds
  • Height: 6 feet 2 inches

Arnold’s 6 Rules to Success


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Arnold Schwarzenegger Bodybuilding Articles

Interesting Facts

  • Arnold had a one year old other brother, Meinhard, who died in a car accident when he was in his twenties.
  • His father Gustav was a former military officer who later became a police officer.
  • The name Schwarzenegger means black plowman/ploughman.
  • Won the Munich Stone-Lifting contest in 1967 – Lifted a 254kg Stone.

Bonus Video

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