Bodybuilding has been a popular sport for decades, with countless athletes pushing their limits to achieve the ultimate physique.
In this blog, we will take a look at the greatest Mr. Olympia winners of all time, from Larry Scott to Hadi Choopan.
So sit back, grab a protein shake, and let’s explore the world of bodybuilding and the legendary athletes who have made history in Mr. Olympia competitions.
What is Mr. Olympia?
Mr. Olympia is an annual bodybuilding competition that has been held since 1965 and is considered one of the most prestigious titles in the sport. The competition features the world’s top professional bodybuilders who compete for the title of Mr. Olympia, which is awarded based on their muscularity, symmetry, and overall conditioning.
Over the years, Mr. Olympia has produced some of the greatest bodybuilders of all time. Jay Cutler and Ronnie Coleman are among the most successful Mr. Olympia winners, having won a total of 8 and 8 consecutive titles respectively. These iconic bodybuilders have become household names in the fitness industry due to their impressive physiques and unbeatable dedication to their craft.
Mr. Olympia Winners
The Mr. Olympia competition is the ultimate bodybuilding contest, and only the best of the best can win it. Some of the greatest winners of this prestigious contest include:
- Larry Scott (1965-1966)
- Sergio Oliva (1967-1969)
- Arnold Schwarzenegger (1970-1975, 1980)
- Franco Columbu (1976, 1981)
- Frank Zane (1977-1979)
- Chris Dickerson (1982)
- Samir Bannout (1983)
- Lee Haney (1984-1991)
- Ronnie Coleman (1998-2005)
- Jay Cutler (2006-07, 2009-2010)
- Dexter Jackson (2008)
- Phil Heath (2011-2017)
- Shawn Rhoden (2018)
- Brandon Curry (2019)
- Mamdouh Elssbiay (2020-2021)
- Hadi Choopan (2022)
Larry Scott (1965-1966)
Larry Scott is widely regarded as one of the greatest Mr. Olympia winners of all time. He was the first-ever winner of the competition, taking home the title in 1965 and successfully defending it in 1966. Scott earned himself a legendary status due to his impressive arm development, which earned him the nickname “The Legend.”
After winning two consecutive Mr. Olympia competitions, Larry Scott retired from competitive bodybuilding but continued to stay involved in the fitness industry as a trainer and mentor. His legacy in bodybuilding still resonates today, as he played a crucial role in establishing the sport as we know it today. It’s safe to say that Larry Scott paved the way for many bodybuilders who came after him, making him one of the most important figures in the history of this sport.
Sergio Oliva (1967-1969)
Sergio Oliva, a three-time winner of the Mr. Olympia title from 1967 to 1969, is considered by many to be one of the greatest bodybuilders in history. He was known for his impressive physique and incredible strength, often lifting weights that were beyond what his competitors could manage. Due to his seemingly impossible muscle mass and definition, Oliva was nicknamed “The Myth.” His extraordinary legacy in the bodybuilding world continues to inspire generations of athletes, making him a true legend in the sport.
Arnold Schwarzenegger (1970-1975, 1980)
One of the most famous and successful bodybuilders in history, Arnold Schwarzenegger won Mr. Olympia a total of seven times. He is widely recognized for his impressive chest development, perfectly defined abs, and overall aesthetic physique. In addition to his bodybuilding career, Arnold went on to achieve immense success as an actor and politician.
Arnold’s dedication to training and nutrition has been an inspiration to countless individuals who are in pursuit of their own fitness goals. His iconic status as a Mr. Olympia winner has cemented his legacy in the world of bodybuilding as one of the greatest champions of all time.
Franco Columbu (1976, 1981)
One of the notable Mr. Olympia winners is Franco Columbu, who was born in Italy and started bodybuilding at a young age. He won the title twice, first in 1976 and then again in 1981. What made him stand out was his impressive strength, which he demonstrated through feats like lifting cars and carrying refrigerators.
Apart from his successful bodybuilding career, Columbu also had an accomplished career outside of it. He worked as a chiropractor and even did some acting. However, tragedy struck in 2019 when Columbu passed away at the age of 78. His legacy as one of the greatest Mr. Olympia winners of all time lives on, and he continues to be an inspiration to many aspiring bodybuilders.
Frank Zane (1977-1979)
Frank Zane is one of the most celebrated Mr. Olympia winners, having won the title three times in a row from 1977 to 1979. He was known for his aesthetic physique and precise posing, which set him apart from other bodybuilders of his time. In addition to his impressive physique, Zane was also a master of nutrition and training techniques, as evidenced by the several books he authored on these topics.
His legacy continues to inspire modern-day bodybuilders who strive to achieve the perfect balance of size, symmetry, and definition. Frank Zane’s contribution to the sport of bodybuilding has earned him a well-deserved place among the greatest Mr. Olympia winners of all time.
Chris Dickerson (1982)
Among the many impressive Mr. Olympia winners, Chris Dickerson stands out for a number of reasons. In 1982, at the age of 43, he became the oldest bodybuilder to win the title. Dickerson was known for his aesthetic physique and graceful posing style, which helped him stand out from other competitors.
Aside from winning Mr. Olympia, Dickerson had a long and successful career in bodybuilding, winning numerous other titles during his time in the sport. He was also an accomplished actor and appeared in several movies, including “The Incredible Hulk” and “Pumping Iron.”
Despite facing discrimination due to his race and sexuality, Dickerson persevered and became a trailblazer in the sport of bodybuilding. His success serves as an inspiration to aspiring bodybuilders everywhere.
Samir Bannout (1983)
The Mr. Olympia competition has seen many impressive winners over the years, including Samir Bannout who won the title in 1983. Bannout made history as the first Lebanese bodybuilder to win the prestigious competition.
Bannout was known for his impressive back development and his ability to pose with great fluidity and grace. Although he retired from competitive bodybuilding after suffering a knee injury, he continued to promote physical fitness and healthy living.
Bannout’s victory in 1983 is still remembered as one of the most inspiring moments in Mr. Olympia history. It serves as a testament to the power of hard work and dedication, both of which were clearly demonstrated by Bannout throughout his career.
Lee Haney (1984-1991)
Lee Haney was one of the most successful bodybuilders in history, having won the Mr. Olympia title eight times in a row from 1984 to 1991. During his career, he also won various other titles, such as the Arnold Classic and the Night of Champions.
Haney was renowned for his impressive size and symmetry, which were a result of his dedication to training and nutrition. Although he retired from professional bodybuilding in 1991, Haney continued to promote health and fitness through his personal training business and charitable work.
His legacy as one of the greatest Mr. Olympia bodybuilding winners of all time lives on, inspiring generations of bodybuilders to strive for greatness.
Ronnie Coleman (1998-2005)
Ronnie Coleman is widely regarded as one of the greatest bodybuilders of all time. He won Mr. Olympia a record-breaking eight times in a row from 1998 to 2005, cementing his place in bodybuilding history. Coleman’s massive size and strength were legendary, and he was known for his iconic catchphrase “Yeah buddy!”.
To achieve his impressive physique, Coleman followed an intense training regimen that involved heavy lifting and high volume workouts. This allowed him to build the massive muscle mass that he became famous for.
Despite retiring from competition in 2007, Coleman continues to inspire aspiring bodybuilders around the world with his dedication and perseverance. His legacy as one of the greatest Mr. Olympia bodybuilding winners of all time is secure, and his contributions to the sport will continue to be felt for years to come.
Jay Cutler (2006-07, 2009-2010)
One of the most popular and successful Mr. Olympia winners is Jay Cutler, who won the competition four times in 2006, 2007, 2009, and 2010. Cutler was a professional bodybuilder for over 17 years and was known for his impressive size and symmetry.
To achieve his success in bodybuilding, Cutler followed a strict training regimen that included heavy lifting and compound movements like squats and deadlifts. He also placed a strong emphasis on proper nutrition and recovery to maximize his muscle growth and overall performance.
Jay Cutler’s dedication to bodybuilding has made him one of the most celebrated bodybuilders in history. His commitment to both training and nutrition has allowed him to achieve great success in the sport, making him an inspiration to many aspiring bodybuilders around the world.
Dexter Jackson (2008)
One of the Mr. Olympia bodybuilding winners that stands out is Dexter Jackson, also known as “The Blade”. In 2008, he won the Mr. Olympia title after placing in the top five consistently in prior competitions. His chiseled physique and sharp muscle definition are a testament to his dedication to training and diet.
Jackson’s ability to maintain his conditioning throughout the year was a major factor in his success. Even in his 50s, he continues to compete at a high level, showing that age is not a barrier when it comes to bodybuilding. Dexter Jackson serves as an inspiration for aspiring bodybuilders who aspire to achieve greatness through discipline and hard work.
Phil Heath (2011-2017)
One of the most successful Mr. Olympia bodybuilding winners in recent history is Phil Heath, who has won the competition seven times. This achievement ties him with Arnold Schwarzenegger and puts him second only to Ronnie Coleman in terms of total wins. Heath first claimed the title of Mr. Olympia in 2011 and continued to dominate the competition for several years. He was known for his remarkable size, symmetry, and conditioning, as well as his impressive posing routines.
Although Heath faced some controversy during his reign as Mr. Olympia, he remains one of the most accomplished bodybuilders of all time. His success is a testament to his hard work, dedication, and commitment to the sport of bodybuilding.
Shawn Rhoden (2018)
The 2018 Mr. Olympia winner was Shawn Rhoden, who made history by becoming the first Jamaican to win the title. Rhoden defeated seven-time champion Phil Heath to claim the title. Known for his aesthetic physique and dedication to training and nutrition, Rhoden’s victory was well-deserved.
However, his win was marred by controversy due to allegations of sexual assault that led to his suspension from the sport. Despite this, Rhoden’s achievement remains a significant moment in bodybuilding history and he continues to be remembered as one of the best Mr. Olympia winners of all time.
Brandon Curry (2019)
The Mr. Olympia competition has a long history of winners, with each champion having their own unique strengths and accomplishments. In 2019, Brandon Curry won the coveted title, making him the current reigning champion. After competing for over a decade, Curry’s dedication to training and nutrition paid off in a significant way.
One of the reasons why Curry is such an impressive bodybuilder is his size and symmetry. He has worked hard to develop his physique over many years, and it shows in his success on stage. His win in 2019 was a significant moment not just for him, but for the sport of bodybuilding as well.
Many fans are excited to see what Brandon Curry will accomplish in future competitions. With his impressive track record and dedication to his craft, he is sure to be a major force to reckon with in the world of professional bodybuilding.
Mamdouh Elssbiay (2020-2021)
One of the most recent Mr. Olympia bodybuilding winners is Mamdouh Elssbiay, also known as Big Ramy, who won the title in 2020 and defended it in 2021. He is an Egyptian bodybuilder who is known for his massive size and impressive physique. Despite competing in the Mr. Olympia competition since 2013, Big Ramy finally won the title in 2020 thanks to his unique training style that emphasizes heavy lifting and high-volume workouts.
His victory in 2020 was considered a significant upset as many experts had predicted that seven-time winner Phil Heath would win again. However, Big Ramy’s dedication to his training paid off, and he proved to be a worthy champion. Overall, Big Ramy’s success serves as an inspiration to aspiring bodybuilders everywhere who hope to achieve greatness through hard work and dedication.
Hadi Choopan (2022)
The 2022 Mr. Olympia competition was won by Hadi Choopan, an Iranian bodybuilder known for his impressive physique and overall symmetry. Choopan has been competing in bodybuilding competitions since 2010 and has won numerous awards throughout his career. His victory at the 2022 Mr. Olympia marks a significant achievement for him and for the sport of bodybuilding.
Choopan’s well-developed legs are particularly noteworthy, as they stand out even among other top bodybuilders. He joins the ranks of other legendary Mr. Olympia winners such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Ronnie Coleman, and Lee Haney who have set the standard for excellence in the world of bodybuilding.
Let’s Sum Up
The Mr. Olympia competition has been the pinnacle of bodybuilding for over five decades. The names of winners like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Ronnie Coleman, and Jay Cutler have become synonymous with the sport itself. But what sets these athletes apart from the rest?
The greatest Mr. Olympia winners were determined based on several criteria such as their overall physique, muscle symmetry, conditioning, and posing abilities. We’ve covered all the legendary champions in this blog, from Larry Scott to Hadi Choopan.
If you want to learn more about the greatest Mr. Olympia winners of all time and how they achieved their iconic physiques, read our comprehensive guide now!