10 Heaviest Golden Era Bodybuilders

1. Lou Ferrigno

Bio: Lou Ferrigno, born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1951, is an iconic bodybuilder and actor. Known for his towering height of 6’5″ (196 cm) and massive competition weight of 270-280 lbs (122-127 kg), Ferrigno overcame a childhood hearing impairment to become a major force in bodybuilding. He is best known for his role as The Incredible Hulk on the 1970s TV series, as well as for his rivalry with Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Biggest Achievements: Two-time Mr. Universe (1973 and 1974) and one-time IFBB Mr. America (1973).

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2. Arnold Schwarzenegger

Bio: Born in Austria in 1947, Arnold Schwarzenegger is arguably the most famous bodybuilder of all time. He rose to prominence during the Golden Era with his incredible physique, charisma, and competitive drive. Standing at 6’2″ (188 cm) and weighing between 235-250 lbs (107-113 kg) during his prime, Schwarzenegger went on to have a successful acting career and served as the Governor of California.

Biggest Achievements: Seven-time Mr. Olympia (1970-1975, 1980) and five-time Mr. Universe (1968-1969 NABBA, 1969-1970 IFBB).

3. Dave Draper

Bio: Born in 1942, Dave Draper, also known as the “Blond Bomber,” was a prominent bodybuilder during the Golden Era. With his classic good looks, height of 6’0″ (183 cm), and competition weight of 235-245 lbs (107-111 kg), Draper became a popular figure in the bodybuilding scene, earning several titles and appearing in various films and television shows.

Biggest Achievements: IFBB Mr. America (1965), IFBB Mr. Universe (1966), and AAU Mr. California (1963).

4. Bill Pearl

Bio: Born in Oregon in 1930, Bill Pearl was a legendary bodybuilder who competed before and during the Golden Era. At 5’10” (178 cm) tall and weighing between 230-240 lbs (104-109 kg) during competition, Pearl was known for his impressive muscularity and dedication to the sport.

Biggest Achievements: Four-time NABBA Mr. Universe (1956, 1961, 1967, 1971) and 1953 AAU Mr. America.

5. Sergio Oliva

Bio: Born in Cuba in 1941, Sergio Oliva, also known as “The Myth,” was a legendary bodybuilder known for his incredible V-taper and tiny waist. At 5’10” (178 cm) and a competition weight of 225-240 lbs (102-109 kg), Oliva was a dominant force in bodybuilding during the Golden Era, with an unmatched combination of mass and aesthetics.

Biggest Achievements: Three-time Mr. Olympia (1967-1969) and IFBB Mr. Universe (1967).

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6. Mike Mentzer

Bio: Born in Pennsylvania in 1951, Mike Mentzer was a prominent bodybuilder and advocate of high-intensity training (HIT) during the Golden Era. With a height of 5’8″ (173 cm) and competition weight of 225 lbs (102 kg), Mentzer was known for his dense musculature and precise approach to training.

Biggest Achievements: 1979 Mr. Olympia Heavyweight Champion and 1976 IFBB Mr. Universe.

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7. Reg Park

Bio: Born in England in 1928, Reg Park was a trailblazer in the world of bodybuilding and a major influence on Arnold Schwarzenegger. Standing at 6’1″ (185 cm) and weighing 215-225 lbs (98-102 kg) during competition, Park was known for his powerful and aesthetic physique.

Biggest Achievements: Three-time NABBA Mr. Universe (1951, 1958, 1965) and 1949 Mr. Britain.

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8. Robby Robinson

Bio: Robby Robinson, also known as “The Black Prince,” was born in Florida in 1946. With a height of 5’7″ (170 cm) and competition weight of 200-215 lbs (91-98 kg), Robinson was known for his outstanding muscular development and impressive competitive record during the Golden Era.

Biggest Achievements: 1975 IFBB Mr. Universe, 1975 IFBB Mr. World, and 1977 IFBB Mr. International.

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9. Franco Columbu

Bio: Franco Columbu, born in Sardinia, Italy, in 1941, was a close friend and training partner of Arnold Schwarzenegger. Despite his shorter stature of 5’5″ (165 cm), Columbu boasted a dense and powerful physique, weighing around 185-195 lbs (84-88 kg) during competition. He was also a successful powerlifter and strongman competitor.

Biggest Achievements: Two-time Mr. Olympia (1976, 1981) and IFBB Mr. Universe (1970).

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10. Frank Zane

Bio: Frank Zane, born in 1942 in Pennsylvania, was known for his incredibly aesthetic and symmetrical physique. Standing at 5’9″ (175 cm) and weighing 185-195 lbs (84-88 kg) during competition, Zane was a master of presentation and conditioning, earning him the nickname “The Chemist.”

Biggest Achievements: Three-time Mr. Olympia (1977-1979) and three-time Mr. Universe (1968 NABBA, 1970-1971 IFBB).

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