Bodybuilding is a tough sport, but a handful of people have excelled to the level of brilliance in the sport. From Arnold Schwarzenegger to the Incredible Hulk, here is our list of 15 of the strongest bodybuilders of all time.
15: Shawn Ray
Starting off our list, Shawn Ray is definitely worth a mention, as throughout his career he was able to maintain a good positioning in the Mr Olympia competitions.
In over 30 major bodybuilding competitions, Ray only failed to place in the top five once, which is astounding to behold. He is also an acclaimed author now, through writing books about his experiences bodybuilding, and how others can follow his path to success.
14. Kevin Levrone:
Kevin Mark Levrone competed in 68 International Federation of Body Building contests over his very long career. He has won 23 pro shows, which until 2004 was an all time record. He tells that he first got into the gym after seeing his cousin come home from the military.
Levrone has competed in 13 Mr Olympia challenges, but never actually won one, earning him the name ‘The Uncrowned King of Mr Olympia’. He attended the 2016 competition through special invite, and was actually able to prepare for the competition in an amazing 5 months.
He has acted in several films and is also a musician.
13. Lou Ferrigno:
Many know this bodybuilder as the original Hulk on the popular TV series in the 1978. He has won a Mr America title, and two consecutive Mr Universe titles. He trained with the famous Arnold Schwarzenegger and appeared in bodybuilding documentary Pumping Iron. In the film he attempts to surpass Schwarzenegger in a body building competition. The film is what gave Lou his acting career.
Though Lou doesn’t have the absolutely ultimate bodybuilding record, he needs to be recognised purely for the popularity he achieved through bodybuilding.
12. Johnie O Jackson:
Johnnie Otis Jackson is a professional bodybuilder that still maintains an incredibly successful career, starting back in 1998. In the year of 2009 Johnnie Jackson benched 523 pounds and deadlifted 815 pounds to win the Mr Olympia title. Johnnie is often referred to as the strongest bodybuilder of all time due to his unreal strength.
He is also one of the few competitors that has taken part in the Mr Olympia contest for 13 years in a row. And is always mentioned when we speak about the greatest bodybuilders of all time. His sheer strength is enough to earn him a place on our list!
11. Flex Wheeler:
This man was described by Arnold Schwarzneggar himself, as one of the greatest bodybuilders to enter professional competitions, and Ronnie Coleman a bodybuilder we’ll meet much later on in this list, is quoted in saying that Flex is one of the best bodybuilders he has come up against. He won the Arnold classic an astounding 4 times.
He was born in Fresno California, and didn’t grow up in the best financial circumstances.
At an early age he experienced child abuse and often thought about suicide. He also struggled in school, but found a guiding light in the art of martial arts, which eventually lead him to the sport of bodybuilding, though he still labels himself as ‘a martial artist first, and a bodybuilder second’.
He is a 5-time ironman pro winner and despite a near-fatal car accident in 1994, has recently made a comeback, competing in the Mr Olympia championships and coming in 15th.
The sheer struggle this man has been through is enough to make others through in the towel, but his tenacity places him on our list.
10. Roelly Winklar:
Nicknamed ‘the dutch beast’ for obvious reasons, Roelly has a competition weight of 230 pounds. He first came to the fore in the Arnold amateur championships, which he won, displaying a great combination of shredded appearance, and brute strength.
In terms of other victories under Roelly’s belt, he came first in the New York Pro shortly after his aforementioned victory, and in 2013, won the Chicago pro. He has a really impressive history in competitions, and is a name thrown around with the greatest in the sport, even today.
9. Phillip Heath:
This guy has won the Mr Olympia competition seven times in a row. So we can easily see, just from that, he belongs on our list. He played basketball in high school to an average standard, but it was this sport playing that got him interested in general fitness. He entered bodybuilding in 2002. He had a rocky start to completing in the Mr Olympia competitions, coming 5th, 2nd and then missing one due to a stomach virus.
But his run started shortly after this in 2011, every year since then up until 2017 he has won the Mr Olympia title, which takes a massive amount of skill that must be praised. His current places him in a tie with Arnold Schwarzenegger just behind Lee Haney and Ronnie Coleman.
8. Kai Greene:
Kai Greene didn’t have a great start in life, he was in and out of foster care and residential treatment centres. Due to this rocky..