Arnold Schwarzenegger and Lou Ferrigno posing for the camera at Pumping Iron's 25th Anniversary
Source: Getty | Arnaldo Magnani

Lou Ferrigno Once Revealed What Gave Arnold Arch Rival Schwarzenegger An Advantage Over Him


Oct. 28 2022, Published 4:54 p.m. ET

Lou Ferrigno and Arnold Schwarzenegger are two renowned names in the bodybuilding industry. While "The Oak" brought bodybuilding on the radar as a sport, Ferrigno contributed to uplifting and moving the industry forward.

Unfortunately, not everyone has the same career highs. In Schwarzenegger and Ferrigno's rivalry, it was Schwarzenegger who experienced more success in bodybuilding than Lou Ferrigno.

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Lou Ferrigno Reveals What Made Arnold Schwarzenegger A Success

In the 1975 Mr. Olympia, Arnold Schwarzenegger defeated Lou Ferrigno. However, Ferrigno narrowed it down to more than efforts to credit Schwarzenegger for the victory.

The bodybuilder-turned-actor revealed that Arnold Schwarzenegger's age gave him an edge over Ferrigno. Considering he was 4.5 years older, had more experience, and knew more about bodybuilding than he did because of the difference in age.

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“I was like a diamond in the rough. He was a selection diamond and I was raw, so if I had more time to train, it would have been completely different.”

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Arnold Schwarzenegger Had High Hopes From Lou Ferrigno

After suffering a defeat in 1975, Lou Ferrigno did not turn up for Mr. Olympia the following year. Nevertheless, Schwarzenegger believed that had Ferrigno shown up, he would have secured the gold!

"The Austrian Oak" opened up about his opinion of Lou Ferrigno during Stand Tall (a documentary).

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He should not have finished in 1975. He was to continue training for the next year. If he stayed in the weight category from Mr. Olympia and he trained and trained and trained four hours a day, in 1976 and 1977 he would have beaten anybody.

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The Bodybuilding Legends Turned Rivalry To Friendship

Lou Ferrigno and Arnold Schwarzenegger are bodybuilders first, rivals second. Staying true to a bodybuilder's nature, Ferrigno and Schwarzenegger left their rivalry behind on-stage.

The duo continue to be good friends to this day and are workout partners as well!

What Happened To Lou Ferrigno's Bodybuilding Career?

Lou Ferrigno stopped training for Mr. Olympia properly after his defeat in 1975. In fact, after suffering a defeat in 1975, Ferrigno burned a hole in his pocket. His finances were in trouble, and he resorted to sleeping on benches for a week until Joe Weider extended a helping hand.

To support himself, Ferrigno found himself manual work as a tinsmith, but he quit after a couple of years. But, the bodybuilder had to find his calling, leading him to Hollywood.

Owing to his physique, Ferrigno bagged the role of The Hulk in the 1977 The Incredible Hulk series. Ideally, he was supposed to be a part of only the pilot episode and then make his way back to bodybuilding.

Considering the success of the pilot, it turned into a series and Ferrigno was showered with offers.

Not only did Lou Ferrigno play the role of The Incredible Hulk, but he also played the role of the main character in Hercules (1983) and The Adventures of Hercules II (1985). On the other hand, Arnold Schwarzenegger took a similar route and paved his way to Hollywood as well!

To conclude, you can say that both Arnold Schwarzenegger and Lou Ferrigno had their own obstacles to overcome, but both of them followed their calling and are now renowned names in the industries!


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