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The decade of the 70s was a huge one in terms of the popularity of bodybuilding as a sport. Many stars were born on the stage of Mr. Olympia in that decade. Some succeeded in winning the title, some didn’t. Nonetheless, everybody got their fair share of success. Other than that, documentaries like ‘Pumping Iron’ were also released in the same decade. Talking about bodybuilding in the 70s, it’s nearly impossible to miss out on the name of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Lou Ferrigno.


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The rivalry between these two legends is considered one of the greatest in the sport. However, Ferrigno never managed to win against Arnold. The “Pumping Iron” director, George Butler, once described the different styles of workout of these legends.


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The top rival of Arnold Schwarzenegger had a very distinct way of training 

The 1977 documentary, Pumping Iron, was a great diversion for Lou Ferrigno. After that, he got cast in ‘The Incredible Hulk’ and the rest is history. However, the documentary reflected the tension between the two incredible rivals of bodybuilding. Although the owners of the incredulous physiques, Arnold and Lou had poles apart ways of training. 

The director of the documentary once revealed their respective ways in an interview. He said“Louie would work out in these tiny little rooms with one person around him and his father, and Arnold would work out in a gym in California that had its doors open, was wide open, right on the beach. And it was light and airy, and Louie’s was dark. Louie was dark and brooding…” 

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Everyone has their own way of doing things. Similarly, both of them had their ways but wanted the same result from the competition. 

The exceptional rivalry between the Terminator and the Hulk


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At that time, Lou Ferrigno was a rising bodybuilder, whereas Arnold was already an established one. Ferrigno debuted in Teen competitions in 1971, and in 1973, he arrived at adult competitions. In the same year, he won two major titles, Mr. America and Mr. Universe, which made him a big and worthy challenger of Arnold in Mr. Olympia.

Just as expected, he was a close competitor to the Terminator. In his first Mr. Olympia in 1974, he ranked second, whereas Arnold became the champion. And in the following year, he stood 2nd runner-up, whereas Arnold once again won the competition. And the next year, both the neck-to-neck competitors didn’t participate in the competition. 


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Both of them had a different choice of place or atmosphere to train. However, other than the differences, a similarity these legends shared was that they made a comeback after retiring from the sport. Arnold came back in 1980, whereas Ferrigno came back in the early 90s. However, the result remained the same where Arnold won another Olympia and Ferrigno stayed out of contention.

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