Top 20 Bodybuilders of All Time (2023 Updated List)

Bodybuilders of All Time
Photo: Collected

Who among men does not fantasize about becoming ripped? It makes you look imposing. It gets you, girls. You are the envy of all the other men, who covet your muscular physique. The process of becoming a bodybuilder requires patience and self-control. The first several years will be spent training and adhering to a regimented diet. From then, you start a phase during which you gain mass and strength. Obviously, to become the biggest bodybuilder, you need rare traits, such as height and a natural build, which cannot be improved by weight training. Who are the greatest bodybuilders of all time? Here are the leading ten!

1. Greg Kovacs

During competitions, Kovacs stood 6’4″ and weighed 330 lbs., making him the largest competitor. His off-season weight was 420 pounds, making him by far the heaviest bodybuilder ever. He could effortlessly bench press 700 pounds. Due to his size, he died of heart failure in 2013.

2. Lou Ferrigno

If Schwarzenegger is the world’s most famous bodybuilder, Ferrigno is a close second. In the early 1980s, he portrayed the Incredible Hulk on television, and for good cause. During competitions, he stood at a towering 6’4 and weighed a monstrous 315 pounds. He attended the gym six days per week as part of his exercise regimen. Now 71 years old, he continues to act and work as a personal trainer.

3. Paul Dillett

The Canadian-born Dillett is 6’2 and competed while weighing 285 pounds. Subsequently, he competed in almost 40 contests, with a top finish of fourth at the 1994 Mr. Olympia competition. He was renowned for his intense workouts in which he targeted all of the essential muscles in his body, giving him the appearance of being carved from stone. He is a successful businessman, having formed World Beauty Fitness and Fashion Inc. before his retirement.

4. Arnold Schwarzenegger

Obviously, Terminator would be included on this list. Arnold Schwarzenegger was the most famous bodybuilder of all time, he stood 6’2 and weighed 253 pounds during his competition days. He won Mr. Olympia seven times and was one of Hollywood’s most successful performers of the 1980s and 1990s. He also served two terms as California’s governor. Now in his mid-seventies, he is still in excellent form.

5. Gunter Schlierkamp

Due to his attitude and enormous girth, Schlierkamp is known as the Gentle Giant. He is 6’1 tall and weighs 330 pounds! At the age of 20, he began his career in competitive bodybuilding in 1990. He retired at age 46 and is currently an entrepreneur.

6. Nasser el Sonbaty

Born in West Germany in 1965 to an Egyptian father and Bosnian mother, El Sonbaty earned the nickname “Professor” due to his fluency in multiple languages and his habit of wearing spectacles throughout training and games. At the Mr. Olympia competition in 1994, he made his professional debut after beginning bodybuilding at age 18. In 1997, he would place second, and in 1999, he would win the IFBB Arnold Classic. In 2014, he passed away peacefully due to kidney failure. At his best, he was 5’11 and weighed 320 pounds.

7. Ronald Corcoran

Coleman is among the most accomplished bodybuilders in the world. He held the Mr. Olympia title from 2000 through 2007, a record he shares with the previously mentioned Lee Haney. During competitions, he’s measured 5’11 with a 60″ chest and weighed as much as 300 lbs. In addition to his accomplishments as a bodybuilder, he earned a Bachelor of Science in accounting from Grambling State University in 1984.

8. Fux, Jean Pierre

This Swiss-born professional bodybuilder weighs 260 pounds during the bodybuilding season and more than 300 pounds during the off-season. He began training at the age of 16 in 1984 and entered his first big competition at the age of 25, placing fourth at the 1993 IFBB World Amateur Championships. Currently, he works as a personal trainer and is committed to aiding abused and abandoned cats.

9. Dennis Wolf

Born in the former Soviet state of Kyrgyzstan to ethnic German parents, he has received the moniker “The Big Bad Wolf.” And with good cause! He carries 275 pounds on his 5’11” body. Prior to 2005, he practiced martial arts before opting to begin bodybuilding. Subsequently, he won the Arnold Classic in 2014 and placed fourth in Mr. Olympia the following year.

10. Lee Haney

Although Haney is just a few years away from qualifying for social security, he has not let his age prohibit him from competing with bodybuilders younger than his son. Although he is a little under 6 feet tall, he weighs 250 pounds of pure muscle. He holds the same number of Mr. Olympia championships as the famous Ronnie Coleman: eight. He is the inventor of the Lee Haney Games, a male and female bodybuilding competition judged on a range of factors, including physique, fitness, and overall health.

11. Dennis James

Dennis James was a force to be reckoned with when he competed at 260 pounds. James was born on May 31, 1996, in Heidelberg. He started bodybuilding when he was 18.In 1985, he won his first contest, and in 2000, he took part in Mr. Olympia for the first time. James’ best finish at Mr. Olympia, the largest bodybuilding competition in the world, was 4th in 2003. James was known to weigh around 300 pounds during the off-season, but he lost weight to compete at 260 pounds.

12. Jay Cutler

Jay Cutler, who has won Mr. Olympia four times, was born on August 3, 1973. He had, without a doubt, one of the best bodies in the history of bodybuilding. He started training when he was 18 and went pro when he was 23. Jay won the Olympia in 2006, 2007, 2009, and 2010. He beat some of the biggest bodybuilders in the game, including Ronnie Coleman, who had won the Mr. O title eight times. The American IFBB PRO bulked up to about 300 pounds during the off-season and then lost weight to fight at 260 pounds.

13. Dorian Yates

Everyone knows who this man is. He was the first “mass monster.” His back was one of the biggest in bodybuilding, and he won Mr. Olympia six times. Dorian Yates, also known as “The Shadow,” was born in the United Kingdom on April 19, 1962. He started lifting weights in 1983, and in 1991, at the Newcastle Pro, he became a pro. Yates was known for showing up at big bodybuilding competitions and destroying the other competitors. So, people started calling him “The Shadow.”During the off-season, Yates gained weight and got up to about 310 pounds.

14. Roelly Winklaar

Roelly Winklaar is a professional bodybuilder from the Netherlands who was born on June 22, 1977. Winklaar is known as “The Dutch Beast” because he bulks up to a huge 320 pounds during the off-season and slims down to 265 pounds for competitions. Roelly has one of the best bodies in bodybuilding, and his huge arms are what people know him for. Some of his best wins are first place at the Australian Arnold Classic and fifth place at the 2019 Mr. Olympia. He won the “people’s champion” title in 2018, Mr. Olympia. Since then, his huge size and great genes have helped him gain a huge fan base.

15. Zack Kahn

Zack “King” Kahn is one of the best bodybuilders out there, but he doesn’t get enough credit for it.

People usually think of Dorian Yates, Paul Dillet, and Ronnie Coleman when they think of mass monsters. But even though King Kahn is less well-known, he looks just as weird. Zack became an IFBB Pro in 2009, but he didn’t start working as a pro until 2013 because he hurt himself. Unfortunately, that was the first of a series of injuries for Kahn, and we haven’t seen much of him on the Pro circuit since then. Still, he is the eighth-best bodybuilder of all time and has no trouble being on this list.

16. Markus Ruhl 

Markus Ruhl started training when he was 18. A doctor told him to do so after he hurt his knee while playing football. After only five years of training, he took part in his first professional show and became known as one of the biggest mass monsters in the history of the sport. Ruhl took part in several Mr. Olympia competitions over the course of his career. His best result was coming in fifth place in 2004. He also won the Night of Champions in 2002 and finished third at the Arnold Classic in 2003.

17. Ronnie Coleman

Eight-time Mr. Olympia, Ronnie Coleman, is a retired professional bodybuilder from Monroe, Louisiana, who used to compete in the IFBB.Big Ron is thought to be one of, if not the best bodybuilder of all time. He got into the sport because he got a free gym membership. Coleman took bodybuilding to a new level after Dorian Yates and dominated the sport with his size and mass. Coleman had one of the biggest backs and legs are ever seen in the sport of bodybuilding. When he stopped doing the sport in 2009, he had won 26 IFBB titles, which was the most of any professional.

18. Big Ramy

Mamdouh Elssbiay, also known as “Big Ramy,” is the second-best bodybuilder of all time. Big Ramy, an Egyptian bodybuilder who was born on September 16, 1984, got his pro card at the Amateur Olympia in Kuwait City in 2012, only three years after he started training. In 2013, he made his first show as a pro at the New York Pro, which he won. Since then, Ramy has always taken part in the Olympia and Arnold Classic, the top two bodybuilding competitions. In 2017, he won the Arnold Classic Europe and came in second at Mr. Olympia. He’s not called “Big Ramy” for nothing, as he’s one of the few bodybuilders to ever fight while weighing more than 300 pounds.

19. Phil Heath

Mr. Olympia, Phil, and Kai Greene have been fighting it out for the top spot. Conditioning and his stomach lately (because of an injury) have hurt his reputation, but “The Gift” is still young and can still jump up to the number one spot if he can get over his injuries.

20. Samir Bannout

Samir was known as the “Lion of Lebanon” and won the Olympia in 1983. He was classy and honest about using anabolic steroids at a time when many others weren’t. His lower back was grainy and detailed.