Arnold Schwarzenegger‘s overall impact on bodybuilding is tough to measure given his accolades, but Olympia judge Terrick El Guindy gave it his best shot. In a recent Olympia TV YouTube video, El Guindy recapped Arnold Schwarzenegger’s career, evaluated his physique, and named him the most iconic bodybuilder of all time.
No one can deny that Arnold Schwarzenegger is the most famous and recognizable figure in bodybuilding today. But he didn’t achieve that status overnight. He had to work diligently, stay disciplined, and maintain consistency in his pursuits both on and off the stage.
In the 1970s and 1980s, Schwarzenegger dominated the sport with his unique and impressive physique highlighted by his massive biceps and full chest. These features set him apart from the rest of the IFBB Pro League competitors at the time.
En route to winning seven Sandow trophies, Schwarzenegger faced some cutthroat opponents during his tenure, such as Frank Zane and Sergio Oliva, who both won the Mr. Olympia title three times. He also had a close call with Mike Mentzer, who many think should have beaten Schwarzenegger in the controversial 1980 Mr. Olympia comeback, like Samir Bannout. Looking back on his career, Schwarzenegger mentioned that Oliva was his toughest opponent by far.
Aside from bodybuilding, Schwarzenegger has enjoyed great success as an actor, philanthropist, and politician. He continues to take part in TV shows and films, many of which have gained considerable traction over the last few months. To honor one of the greatest talents of this generation, bodybuilding judge Terrick El Guindy took a closer look at Schwarzenegger’s career and accomplishments.
Terrick El Guindy Reviews Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Documentary, Physique, and Legacy
El Guindy named Schwarzenegger the greatest icon in bodybuilding.
“I loved this documentary. Arnold Schwarzenegger is the greatest icon in bodybuilding and for many of us, the greatest icon in the acting world. Who doesn’t love his movies? Arnold Schwarzenegger is a legacy and will be a legacy forever.”
Then, El Guindy shared his thoughts on Arnold’s physique before he went on to become a dominant champion.
“This guy has very very large clavicle bones, huge structure, he’s massive. But he needed to be more conditioned to overcome the winner Frank Zane. Now, Arnold is a younger competitor he has all the potential but in order for him to beat some of these smaller more experienced bodybuilders, he’s going to have to work on his conditioning.”
El Guindy said Arnold’s initial goal was to be like his idol Reg Parks.
“His hero was Reg Park. Yes. Hercules. He was always always thinking about him. He wanted to be like him. He saw him in the movies, he saw him in the magazines, and eventually, he met him in London. He was the Arnold for Arnold Schwarzenegger. And yes, Reg Park is one of the greatest bodybuilders of all times and he was Arnold’s hero. Like everyone else, Arnold always, and like us, had a hero.”
El Guindy took a closer look at the physique Schwarzenegger brought to 1968 Mr. Olympia where he lost in second to Frank Zane.
“He came to America to compete in 1968 against Frank Zane. He thought – he was convinced – that he was going to win that competition. He was the big shot in Europe. Everybody knew him and he did not win. He came in second. He was huge but he wasn’t conditioned. He lost to Frank Zane who eventually became a great friend along with Franco Columbu and helped him become more conditioned for the future. Frank Zane and Franco Columbu are the two bodybuilders that truly helped Arnold become better,” said Terrick El Guindy.
Lastly, El Guindy underlined Arnold’s courage and said he continues to ‘carry the legacy of bodybuilding for all of us.’
“Arnold was very courageous in this documentary, opening up to all his great victories but also some of the mistakes that he has made in life. He has succeeded after all. He has managed to have a great career and a great family life. And I commend Arnold because all of us make mistakes and Arnold just like any other human, has made mistakes but he has survived. He has survived from the beginning to the end to become this icon of modern times. Arnold Schwarzenegger lost many friends like Franco Columbu, he lost his hero Reg Park, but he continues to carry the legacy of bodybuilding for all of us.”
Schwarzenegger recently looked back on the struggles he encountered during his acting career. In an honest interview with Academy Museum, ‘The Austrian Oak’ talked about an ‘unbelievable turnaround’ in acting despite some in the industry suggesting that his muscles and accent would get in the way of procuring movie roles.
Bodybuilding hasn’t always been as mainstream or accepted as it is nowadays. Schwarzenegger has discussed this at length before. However, he believes the turning point for the sport’s popularity came following his role in the popular docudrama Pumping Iron in 1977.
Having built his name with seven Mr. Olympia titles, acting projects, politics, and philanthropy, Schwarzenegger’s story shows what is possible from someone who started from very humble beginnings.