THE COMPLETE EVOLUTION OF ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER



On Oct. 12, 1974, Arnold swaggered onto the stage at New York City’s Felt Forum to meet Lou Ferrigno. Though the man who would be Hulk was four years younger and 20 pounds heavier, Arnold’s smirk grew wider as he hit his first few poses. At 240-plus pounds, yet with a waistline that still measured just 34 inches, Arnold had brought his best-ever body to the Olympia dais—and he knew it. He’d decided months earlier that he’d retire from bodybuilding after that night, and wanted to punctuate his reign over the sport by leaving no doubt that he was the greatest bodybuilder ever.
His blend of mass, symmetry, and definition was absolutely perfect. His arms were thick, his already legendary biceps fully peaked. Even Ferrigno, at 6'5", couldn’t outmuscle him.
At the same time, Arnold hadn’t sacrificed any of the definition he’d shown the year before. When he hit his chest poses, lines etched across his pecs as if being chiseled in right before your eyes. His abs and thighs, though never his strong suit, were sharp and fully formed.
He had no weak points. He was the best bodybuilder in the world.
In general, throughout Arnold’s prime filmmaking years, he used lighter training loads and incorporated more circuit work, sometimes doing a set each of up to six exercises in a row without rest. The intense pace kept his heart rate up, allowing him to burn more calories and stay lean while keeping every muscle group pumped. It also allowed him to accomplish workouts in well under an hour, which made his travel and shooting schedules more manageable.
Arnold was renowned for having a massive trailer delivered to the sets of his movies, so that he could train between shooting scenes. He even allowed his co-stars to work out in it, including ex-wrestlers (and fellow future governor) Jesse Ventura, which he used while making Predator in the Mexican jungle.
In 1997, Arnold underwent open heart surgery to repair a defective valve, and doctors cautioned him to reduce the intensity of his training going forward. In 2003, he needed shoulder surgery after an accident on the set of Terminator 3—the shoulder was operated on again in 2012.



As governor of California from 2003–2011, Arnold relied more on cardio, for heart health and to burn off fat. Though age and injuries have tempered his weight training in recent years, as his latest movies and paparazzi photos show, he’s still in incredible shape—and shockingly muscular for a man of 67 years. He still performs many of his own stunts, and commits to performing some physical activity daily.
“My dream now is to live forever,” he told us. “But I doubt it.” Then he let out a big laugh.