Bodybuilders are no less than famous actors and actresses in terms of fan following. Top bodybuilders in the world enjoy millions of fan following and are treated no less than popular Hollywood celebrities. Some of the bodybuilders have even taken the sports of bodybuilding to next level and have inspired thousands of amateur bodybuilders to fulfill their dream of qualifying for big tournaments like Olympia and posing in some of the biggest tournaments like Arnold Classic and other IFBB Pro contests.
Over a while, many bodybuilders ruled the stage and were very famous at their peak. Some bodybuilders even went on to star in many Hollywood movies and were quite successful also. Though bodybuilding is not the richest sport despite it is quite remarkable how most bodybuilders dedicate the whole of their life for one of the toughest sports. The pain and suffering one has to go through in bodybuilding sports is something only the best can withstand.
Today we will be discussing the 10 most famous bodybuilders who completely changed the context of the sports. But instead of naming the current famous bodybuilders based on their social media fan following we would try to keep the balance right by including the current as well as the past bodybuilders who have inspired the present generation of bodybuilders.
- Phil Heath: If you have to name somebody who certainly has taken the legacy of Ronnie Coleman forward then its Phil Heath. He was on the verge of equaling the feat of Ronnie Coleman and Lee Haney of winning 8 Mr. Olympia titles in a row but lost to Shawn Rhoden in 2018. After entering the sports in 2002 Phil has won numerous championships. He is one of the most popular bodybuilders of the present era.
- Kai Green: At age 44 Kai not just looks amazing but he is the most sought after bodybuilder of modern times. Though he never won Mr. Olympia he is still regarded as one of the best bodybuilders who can beat anybody at any time. He is quite famous for his little fight on stage with Phil Heath when they both were competing for the Mr. Olympia title.
- Jay Cutler: Who can forget the fearsome combat between Ronnie Coleman and Jay Cutler on Mr. Olympia stage as both battled hard to take the trophy home? Though Ronnie was better in most of the fights Jay never backed down. He won Mr. Olympia 4 times and is the proud winner of so many trophies in his astounding career.
- Dexter Jackson: If you have to name one bodybuilder who is unstoppable then you cannot overlook Dexter Jackson. Having won Mr. Olympia 1 time he has 28 bodybuilding titles from the IFBB. At age 50 he is still in great shape and ready to compete in Mr. Olympia this year.
- Shawn Rhoden: If age is the factor to win Mr. Olympia’s title then you must read about Shawn Rhoden. He is the oldest bodybuilder to win Mr. Olympia trophy at age 43 years. Over a long career, Shawn has won numerous championships.
- Ronnie Coleman: Not just Ronnie was huge and unbelievable at his peak, he was also the most successful bodybuilders of all time. Having won Mr. Olympia for straight 8 consecutive years the career of Ronnie as a bodybuilder is remarkable.
- Dorian Yates: At the peak of his career Dorian Yates was indestructible. He won the Mr. Olympia title for six consecutive years. He was huge, his body was well defined and his posing was brutal. His wide and thick back was something the spectators won’t believe as real. He was the “mass monster” of his time.
- Flex Wheeler: He is one of those bodybuilders who despite not winning the Mr. Olympia title once is the most highly respected bodybuilders of all time. Even Arnold Schwarzenegger once said that “he is the best bodybuilder he had ever seen”. Flex won 17 championships at the professional level. His mass, definition, symmetry, and proportion was impeccable.
- Lee Haney: He is the one who took Mr. Olympia tournament to a whole new level. Having won Mr. Olympia for 8 consecutive years he was the bodybuilder who dominated bodybuilding sports in the 1980s. He is one of the best bodybuilders the game has ever produced. He had all that it takes to be the best in bodybuilding sports.
- Arnold Schwarzenegger: Undeniably the best bodybuilder the sports of bodybuilding has ever seen to date. Not only Arnold won Mr. Olympia 7 times but he excelled in his stint in Hollywood also. He is often regarded as the bodybuilder with the smallest waist. His posing skills and stage presence were amazing.
There are so many other great bodybuilders like Lou Ferrigno, Kevin Levrone, Franco Columbu, Frank Zane, and present-day bodybuilders like Roelly Winklaar, Brandon Curry, William Bonac, etc. who did not find a place in this list but are an inspiration to many budding bodybuilders around the world.