The Mr. Olympia competition has showcased the pinnacle of bodybuilding since its inception in 1965. Throughout the years, numerous remarkable athletes have claimed the prestigious title, with several displaying exceptional strength alongside their aesthetic physiques.
Here we will explore and highlight some of the strongest Mr. Olympia winners in the sport’s History, including legends like Ronnie Coleman, Franco Columbu, Jay Cutler, Sergio Oliva, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Frank Zane, Brandon Curry, Mamdouh “Big Ramy” Elssbiay, Lee Haney, and Larry Scott.
Regarded as one of the greatest bodybuilders of all time, Ronnie Coleman, Eight Time Oympia winner, is also known for his incredible strength. Coleman’s training exploits and powerlifting records have become legendary in the fitness community.
He holds the highest powerlifting total among Mr. Olympia’s winners, including an awe-inspiring 800-pound squat, an 800-pound deadlift for two reps, and a 495-pound bench press for five reps.
Franco Columbu, often called the “Sardinian Samson,” was a remarkable bodybuilder and an incredibly strong athlete.
In addition to his bodybuilding career, Columbu participated in powerlifting and the World’s Strongest Man contest, solidifying his reputation for pure power. He achieved a 655-pound squat, a 525-pound bench press, and an astonishing 750-pound deadlift.
Jay Cutler, a four-time Mr. Olympia champion, displayed remarkable strength throughout his career. Although his focus was primarily on muscle quality, Cutler’s training routines included impressive numbers.
He claimed a 700-pound squat, a 585-pound deadlift for three reps, and a 550-pound bench press for two reps.
As a weightlifter, he boasted a 1,000-pound total for the Cuban weightlifting team. Known for his intense and high-volume workouts, Oliva demonstrated remarkable strength with a reported ability to squat 500 pounds for 10 reps and bench press 225 pounds for an astonishing 50 reps.
Arnold Schwarzenegger, a seven-time Mr. Olympia winner, is renowned for his extraordinary achievements in bodybuilding. Before focusing solely on bodybuilding, Schwarzenegger dabbled in powerlifting and Olympic weightlifting.
Despite his shift in focus, he maintained his strength pursuits, including a 550-pound squat, a 710-pound deadlift, and a 525-pound bench press.
Frank Zane, known for his symmetrical physique, had early experimentation with powerlifting alongside his bodybuilding career.
Zane showcased strength with a 425-pound deadlift, a 300-pound bench press for 10 reps, and a 405-pound squat for 10 reps. His dedication to developing a balanced and aesthetic physique did not diminish his strength capabilities.
Notable displays of strength include pressing 275 pounds for 12 reps using a Swiss bar and squatting 505 pounds for reps after pre-exhausting his quads with leg presses and leg extensions.
While primarily training with moderate weights and high reps, he has demonstrated significant strength with a 365-pound bench press for 10 reps and squatting 565 pounds for reps. His training style emphasizes volume and controlled intensity.
Although specific strength numbers are not widely documented, Haney incorporated compound movements like squats, deadlifts, and bench presses to build his impressive physique, suggesting considerable strength capabilities.
Larry Scott, the inaugural Mr. Olympia winner in 1965 and 1966, possessed a well-rounded physique and demonstrated significant strength for his time.
While specific strength records are not readily available, Scott’s training regimen included heavy compound movements contributing to his impressive muscular development.
In the history of Mr. Olympia champions, several outstanding athletes have displayed exceptional strength alongside their aesthetic physiques.
Jay Cutler, Sergio Oliva, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Frank Zane, Brandon Curry, Mamdouh “Big Ramy” Elssbiay, Lee Haney, and Larry Scott also deserve recognition for their significant strength contributions as Mr. Olympia winners.
Their combined accomplishments further illustrate the undeniable connection between strength and building a world-class physique in professional bodybuilding.