One of my biggest influences in life has been Arnold Schwarzenegger. To most people he is an actor and former Governor of California. Arnold Schwarzenegger is one of the most successful people of the 20th and 21st centuries. Born in Austria in 1947, Arnold grew up with his family believing he was destined for greatness. He was influenced by Steve Reeves and Reg Park, who were the most famous Bodybuilders of their era, both of who went on to star as Hercules. Arnold began bodybuilding in the 1960’s and at aged 18 he won the 1965 Junior Mr Europe after going AWOL from the Austrian Army. During this time, he was serving his National Service and could not get the time off to compete in the show, however Arnold being Arnold he decided he was going to compete anyway.
In 1968 Arnold Schwarzenegger moved to California and began training at the original Golds Gym. At that time Golds was a small gym by the beach. Now it is one of the biggest franchises in the world. During this time Arnold was weight training for five hours a day, six days a week, going to University, working on construction sites and having acting lessons. Arnold wanted to follow in the footsteps of his Idol Reg Park who like Arnold used his success in bodybuilding to become an actor.
Below you will find Arnold Schwarzenegger’s competitive history:
1965 Junior Mr Europe, Germany 1st
1966 Best Built Man in Europe, Germany 1st
1966 Mr Europe, Germany 1st
1966 International Powerlifting Competition, Germany 1st
1966 NABBA Mr Universe, Amateur, London 2nd Winner Chet Yorton
1967 NABBA Mr Universe, Amateur, London 1st
1968 NABBA Mr Universe, Professional, London 1st
1968 German Powerlifting Championship, Germany 1st
1968 IFBB Mr International, Mexico 1st
1968 IFBB Mr Universe, Florida 2nd Winner Frank Zane
1969 IFBB Mr Universe, Amateur, New York 1st
1969 NABBA Mr Universe, Professional, London 1st
1969 IFBB Mr Olympia, New York 2nd Winner Sergio Oliva
1970 NABBA Mr Universe, Professional, London 1st defeated his idol Reg Park
1970 AAU Mr World, Columbus Ohio 1st first win over Sergio Oliva
1970 IFBB Mr Olympia, New York 1st
1971 IFBB Mr Olympia, Paris 1st
1972 IFBB Mr Olympia, Essen Germany 1st
1973 IFBB Mr Olympia, New York 1st
1974 IFBB Mr Olympia, New York 1st
1975 IFBB Mr Olympia, Pretoria South Africa 1st Pumping Iron was filmed
1980 IFBB Mr Olympia, Sydney Australia 1st
Arnold Schwarzenegger retired from competitive bodybuilding for the first time in 1975 after his sixth Mr Olympia win and filming of Pumping Iron was completed. By this time, he had won all the competitions in the IFBB at the time and had won them more times then anybody else. He had already made some movies such as Hercules in New York, which was made in 1970. The film was a disaster; however, Arnold would persist and in 1982 came his first hit movie, Conan the Barbarian.
His next big hit was in 1984 where he starred in the role, he is most famous for, Terminator. What I find the most interesting about this is that according to Arnold his agent wanted him to audition for Kyle Rhys. The original concept for the Terminator was an infiltration unit who would blend in to the crowd, make the hit then disappear back into the crowd. This was something a six foot two- inch tall man weighing eighteen stone/ 245 pounds would not be able to do. The more of the script he read, the more Arnold felt like the Terminator would be a better role for him. Director James Cameron has said in interviews that the story stayed the same, it was just the visual presence of the Terminator changed. As we all know, Terminator was a huge success, in 1992 Terminator 2 Judgement Day was released and, in this film, Arnold was still the Terminator, his role in the film changed from the villain to the protector. Arnold would go on to make many more movies, some flopped, however most were successful and made him the highest paid actor in the 1980’s and 1990’s.
In 2003 Arnold ran for Governor of California. Just like with his bodybuilding career he felt that he had done everything there was to do in the movies and he wanted a new challenge. Arnold was successful and won two terms as Governor of California.
Throughout his bodybuilding and acting careers Arnold Schwarzenegger new that people were exploiting him for their own personal gain, however he also used them to help him achieve all his goals in life. I like to think of him as the Mohamed Ali of bodybuilding. He new how good he was, he new that there were others who were genetically better then him, however it was his incredible drive for success that made him the success he was. Like Mohamed Ali he was a natural born salesman, using his charisma to not just promote his sport but his own brand, e.g. himself.
What I admire most about Arnold Schwarzenegger is not his bodybuilding or acting careers, it is his ability to see the bigger picture and to know when it is time to move on. His drive and determination are qualities I try my best to emulate. Unlike Arnold I am a natural introvert, however this does not stop me from doing everything I can to achieve my own goals in life. Always remember that only one person can be the best at something, this however should not stop you from doing your best.