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Blockbuster Interviews with 3 Successful Bodybuilders




             It was not until half a century ago that bodybuilding came to be recognized as an international sport. However, most people don’t know that it was pioneered by some people who dared to venture into something new. The sport has gradually grown in popularity and is now found in virtually every corner of the globe. In this article, we will highlight interviews with the three most successful bodybuilders in the fitness world. We hope you will get inspiration from their sentiments to take your fitness career to a new level.

Arnold Schwarzenegger

             Sometimes considered the most successful and greatest bodybuilder of all time, the former governor of California is a household name. Arnold Schwarzenegger immigrated to the united states to look for a better life. After a few years of trying to figure out what to do with his life, the former heavyweight champion finally found a place in fitness. Arnold has been interviewed numerous times, but we will highlight one interview by David Greene of NPR. This particular interview was very objective as it highlighted many aspects of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s career and life.

Interview Highlights

            We may not be able to cover every detail of the interview,, but we shall highlight the most relevant parts to bodybuilding.

On What Motivated Him to Venture Into Bodybuilding

            Like most successful sportspeople, Arnold's bodybuilding career started by taking a rough path. Everyone has an idol, and he is Reg Park. In his own words, he stated.

  • “I saw this magazine that had my idol on the cover, Reg Park, who became Mr. Universe three times and won, and then ended up in the Hercules movie in the 60s. And so he became my idol. And then I started cutting out pictures of these bodybuilding and weightlifting magazines and put them on the wall above my bed to remind me every day that this is what I ought to look like, train every day, and one day, I will be like that. So it was a kind of motor vehicle for me.”

            From his sentiments, we can see that he started looking up to someone he considered mightier, but look who he became. His was a matter of having a goal, in the form of his hero, and working hard to accomplish it.

On Handling Challenges to His Career

             People are hardly noticed in the early years of their careers. At this stage, they get to enjoy a little bit of privacy. Once their star starts shining, they will be subjected to scrutiny. It was not any different for Arnold Schwarzenegger. As his star began growing, so did the opposition, from within and outside. Here is what he had to say about his mother.

  • “But my mother looked at it differently… I took her into the bedroom, and I said look how I decorated my bed above the wall. She shook her head and, you know, didn’t say much. And I was concerned about why she didn’t say something or didn’t compliment me on how well I decorated the wall. The next thing I knew, she flagged down the doctor, who came with his little Fiat every Wednesday by our house. And she asked him to come to the house and look at my bedroom wall. And so… he came to the bedroom and looked at the wall, and she said: ‘Look at this. I mean, my son has all these naked pictures of men …’ “

Despite all the opposition from his mother, he still proved her wrong by becoming the best.

Source: Talk of the Nation, via

Frank Zane

              Frank Zane is another successful bodybuilder who won Mr. Olympia three times. Also considered one of the greatest of all time, this moving mass can only be compared to the legends of Hercules, Zeus, and Poseidon. With an incredible physique that drove women crazy, Zane was some demigod between 1977 and 1979. During this period, he consecutively won the three Mr. Olympia titles. Fran,k Zane was interviewed by FLEX, and he had to say about his life and career.

Interview Highlights

            It is essential to know that Zane’s career spanned almost 40 years, but he was most active in the 70s and early 80s.

On How He Formulated His First Training Routine

  • “It was all by people I’d met, things I’d read, and trial and error. When I first started, I was about 18 younger. I was about 16 or 17 when I got serious. I worked out every other day after school, doing upper body one day, and legs the next. I kept that routine for a while, and it worked well for me. Then, in the mid-late 60s, when I was living in Florida, I increased the number of workouts to train six days a week, but it was still upper body one day, legs the next.”

When Asked About His Preferred Ab Exercises

  • “Usually crunches and/or Roman-chair situps for upper abs. Leg raises or hanging knee-ups for upper abs, seated twists for obliques.”

His Response to Why the Current Generation of Bodybuilders Don’t Give Much Time to ab Training

  • “Worked for me. I just followed the example of those who had been training at Gold’s Gym in Venice when I arrived. In the late 60s, Zabo Koszewski was there, and he had the best abs, and I figured, well, I’ll try it. He would do 500 Roman chair situps in the morning and 500 leg raises in the afternoon, so I did that. I figured you'd look even better if you had great abs and everything else, and it worked.”

How Diet Played a Role in his Conditioning

My diet was always perfect, but volume training conditions you. You'll grow, too, if you go heavy, but volume training works you down to your core. To this day, I still practice volume, except now I will train three days a week or so.”

Comparing His Training Today and 30 Years Ago

“On the whole, it is, with lighter weights and less volume. I have to say that I rely heavily on muscle memory these days, and it is a pretty amazing thing. I don’t have to train that much anymore to stay in decent shape, which is good because my joints can’t handle a lot of this work now. But there comes the point in your 60s when you hit a kind of age barrier, the gains come slower, and the accumulated stress you put on your body all those years adds up. It’s a bit of a balancing act – knowing how much to train to elicit results without aggravating old injuries.”

Source: Flex Magazine 2008

 3. Flex Wheeler

              We couldn’t leave the Sultan of Symmetry out of our best three for obvious reasons. Bodybuilding legend Kevin Levrone interviewed Flex Wheeler. This was an individual interview because it was just two legends chatting and digging into the past. There are a few points we can pick from the chat. Here is how the interview went down.

Interview Highlights

When Asked Who Was the Most dreadful Competitor, He Ever Faced

              On this, Wheeler did not hesitate to mention Ronnie Coleman and Dorian Yates. He also stated that he could have easily defeated Ronnie Coleman in the 1999 contest but admitted that Ronnie was a great Mr. Olympia.

Related Article:: 6 Famous Mr. Olympia of All Time

About Back-to-Back Weekly Competitions

                  Like most bodybuilders of his time, Flex Wheeler didn't find it challenging to compete every week. He had to wait for weekly training in anticipation of the next contest. When bodybuilding was picking momentum, there was motivation all around.

The Hardest Training Partner Flex Ever Had

                 A training partner plays a crucial role in shaping and influencing one’s mindset. He/she instills the spirit of competition, which goes a long way in preparing you for significant contests. Flex Wheeler revealed that Chris Cormier was the most complicated person he had ever trained with. Being one of the most muscular bodybuilders then, Cormier pushed Flex to his limits, thus turning him into a beast.



              As you may have noticed, the three interviews have valuable lessons any bodybuilder can use to make an extra stride in their career. We have tackled unique aspects of bodybuilding in each, from personal struggles to training routines. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Frank Zane, and Flex Wheeler all looked up to someone and worked their way up to reach that level. And in most cases, the prodigy goes ahead and becomes better than their idol. That is a hell of a motivation for any bodybuilder who wants to put their name on the world map. You can follow up on the full interviews from the sources indicated.

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