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charles-atlasCharles Atlas

Charles Atlas, born as Angelo Siciliano, was the developer of a bodybuilding method and best known for a landmark advertising campaign that featured his name and likeness.

He tried different forms of exercises initially and used pulley-style resistance, weights, and gymnastic-style calisthenics. Charles was also an inspiration and a model for later bodybuilders and fitness gurus, including Arnold Schwarzenegger. Bernarr MacFadden, publisher of the magazine Physical Culture, in 1921 dubbed Siciliano "The World's Most Perfectly Developed Man" in a contest held in Madison Square Garden.

steve reevesSteve Reeves

American bodybuilder and actor Stephen L. Reeves was one of the most eminent names in the world of bodybuilding for many. He moved to California at age 10 with his mother Goldie Reeves after the death of his father in a farming accident and soon developed an interest in bodybuilding during his high school days and trained at Ed Yarick's gym in Oakland.

Steve had developed a Herculean physique by the time he was 17 and then he was enlisted in the Army during World War II, and served in the Philippines. He approached for an acting career after his military service and winning the 1947 AAU Mr. America. In 1950, Steve Reeves became Mr. Universe.

lou ferrignoLou Ferrigno

Louis Jude "Lou" Ferrigno won an IFBB Mr. America title and two consecutive IFBB Mr. Universe titles as a bodybuilder and appeared in the bodybuilding documentary Pumping Iron. He is best known as an actor for portraying the titular role in the CBS television series The Incredible Hulk and has vocally reprised the role in subsequent animated and computer-generated incarnations.

He started weight training at the age of 13 and cited body builder and Hercules star Steve Reeves as one of his role models. Lou Ferrigno won his first major titles, IFBB Mr. America and IFBB Mr. Universe after graduating from high school in 1969 and trained with Arnold Schwarzenegger early in his career and his attempt to beat Arnold was the subject of the 1975 documentary Pumping Iron. In the early 1990s, Ferrigno returned to bodybuilding after a brief stint as a defensive lineman for the Toronto Argonauts in the Canadian Football League and his attempt to beat Robbie Robinson and Boyer Coe was the subject of the 1996 documentary Stand Tall.

arnold schwarzeneggerArnold Schwarzenegger

Arnold Alois Schwarzenegger is one of the biggest names for many in the world of professional bodybuilding. Born on July 30, 1947, he is an Austrian and American former professional bodybuilder, actor, producer, director, businessman, investor, and politician.

At the age of 15, he started weight training and won the Mr. Universe title at age 20 and went on to win the Mr. Olympia contest seven times. Schwarzenegger has written many books and articles on the sport and gained worldwide fame as a Hollywood action film icon. Nicknamed the "Austrian Oak" and the "Styrian Oak" in his bodybuilding days, Arnold Schwarzenegger was born in Thal, Austria, a small village bordering the Styrian capital Graz. He took to visiting a gym in Graz to see bodybuilding idols such as Reg Park, Steve Reeves, and Johnny Weissmuller on the big screen.

Schwarzenegger in 1961 met former Mr. Austria Kurt Marnul, who invited him to train at the gym in Graz. He served in the Austrian Army in 1965 to fulfill the one year of service required at the time of all 18-year-old Austrian males and won the Junior Mr. Europe contest during his army service. One of the judges at the 1966 NABBA Mr. Universe competition in London, was impressed by Arnold Schwarzenegger and offered to coach him. In 1967, Arnold won the title for the first time, becoming the youngest ever Mr. Universe at the age of 20 and returned in 1968 to London to win his next Mr. Universe title. He captured his first Mr. Olympia title at the age of 23 in 1970 in New York, and would go on to win the title a total of seven times. He rose to fame in 1977 with his autobiography/weight-training guide Arnold: The Education of a Bodybuilder and his legacy is commemorated in the Arnold Classic annual bodybuilding competition.

Filmmakers George Butler and Robert Fiore persuaded Schwarzenegger to compete in order to film his training in the bodybuilding documentary called Pumping Iron months before the 1975 Mr. Olympia contest .. In the year 1977, he admitted to using performance-enhancing anabolic steroids while they were legal and said "steroids were helpful to me in maintaining muscle size while on a strict diet in preparation for a contest. I did not use them for muscle growth, but rather for muscle maintenance when cutting up."

phil heathPhil Heath

American IFBB professional bodybuilder and current 2x Mr. Olympia, Phillip "Phil" Jerrod Heath, attended the University of Denver on a full athletic scholarship. In 2002, he pursued bodybuilding and started to compete in events. Phil won the overall title at the NPC (National Physique Committee) USA Championships in 2005 to earn the right to compete as an IFBB Pro. He decided not to compete in the 2007 Mr. Olympia contest and ended up winning the 2008 Iron Man show and placed second to Dexter Jackson at the 2008 Arnold Classic. In his Mr. Olympia debut in 2008, he became the first rookie to place in the top three since Flex Wheeler in 1993.

Phil Heath became Mr. Olympia when he defeated Jay Cutler in 2011 and defended his Mr. Olympia title defeating Kai Greene. He has released four bodybuilding DVDs: "The Gift", "The Gift Unwrapped", "Journey to the Olympia" and “Becoming Number 13”.

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Written by
Albert Wolfgang is a professional medical writer with over 20 years of experience. He hold multiple personal training certifications, including the coveted NASM and AFAA certificates. He graduated with honors with a B.S. and M.S. in biochemistry with a minor in physical studies. Albert and his team have trained over 100 IFBB professional bodybuilders, including Hollywood stars and many up and coming fitness stars.

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