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You Don't Know Arnold


60 Arnold Facts and Trivia That May Surprise You.

DID YOU KNOW? When Arnold was a young bodybuilder in Austria, he confesses that he worked his biceps much harder than his triceps. As a result, his triceps always tended to lag behind for the rest of his career. What he would do is target his triceps before a contest and pump them up to acceptable levels. Between contests, and even today, his biceps stay huge all the time, but his triceps tend to shrink. Arnold is a great believer in being confident, but also in being critical of your own weaknesses and working to compensate for them.

DID YOU KNOW? Arnold admits to being intimidated by another bodybuilder only once. He was competing against Sergio Oliva, who always pumped up backstage wearing a white butcher’s coat (Sergio worked as a butcher). When the call came for the competitors to go out onstage, Sergio was walking in front of Arnold. He slowly took off his coat. First he flared out one side of his immense lats, then the other. To Arnold, it looked as if Sergio’s back was totally blocking out the light. Arnold says he lost the contest right there and then—but made up his mind never to let that happen again.

DID YOU KNOW? Arnold had “tall man” proportions, and although his thighs were massive, they didn’t flare out when seen from the front to the same degree as those of Sergio Oliva and some of his other competitors. But Arnold’s upper legs were fantastic from the side, with the quads and hamstrings forming a huge pair of parentheses: ( ). So Arnold loved poses that took advantage of this strength, such as the side chest, his forearm pose, and the twisting back pose.

DID YOU KNOW? In 1968, Joe Weider flew Arnold to Miami to compete in the IFBB Mr. Universe. Arnold was big and smooth and was defeated by the much smaller Frank Zane (“a chicken with 17-inch arms”). Arnold at that point knew nothing about diet. He subsequently moved to Los Angeles and eventually acquired a roommate: Frank Zane. Soon after, now able to get ripped and defined, Arnold began his string of Mr. Olympia victories.

DID YOU KNOW? In the first gym Arnold trained in, there was no incline bench. What was available instead was a standing incline bench. So to do incline barbell presses, he says, he would first have to clean the bar and hold it at shoulder level, then fall back against the bench in order to do the exercise. This evidently worked, because Arnold was later noted for being able to balance a glass on his upper pecs while doing a side chest pose.

DID YOU KNOW? Schwarzenegger underwent a genioplasty, a procedure in which his jaw was moved back so that it no longer juts out.

DID YOU KNOW? Arnold is one smart cookie. It has been estimated that his IQ is 135.

DID YOU KNOW? In competition, Schwarzenegger’s formidable arms measured 22". Other physique measurements of the Oak: Chest: 57", Waist: 34", Thighs: 28.5", Calves: 20"

DID YOU KNOW? Arnold is best friends with Italian bodybuilder Franco Columbu (Mr. Olympia, 1981), whom he worked with as a bricklayer when he first came to America. Columbu would later stand as Arnold’s best man when he married Maria Shriver  in 1986.

DID YOU KNOW? Schwarzenegger  came from very humble beginnings. Born in the small village of Thal, Austria, money was a real problem in his family. Arnold has said that one of the highlights of his childhood was when the family bought a refrigerator.

DID YOU KNOW? Once Arnold discovered bodybuilding as a teenager, he threw himself wholeheartedly into his workouts. He recalls that he trained so hard at one point that the next day he was so sore he ended up falling off his bicycle. Arnold says he was so pleased to have pushed himself so far that he lay there on the grass laughing.

DID YOU KNOW? When Arnold was 18 years old, he was sent to an Austrian prison for going AWOL. According to Austrian law, men had to serve one year of compulsory service in the military, but Arnold was so eager to attend the Junior Mr. Europe competition in Germany, that he deserted his military post.

DID YOU KNOW? Everyone knows Arnold’s father Gustav was a police officer, but he was also a European ice curling champion.

DID YOU KNOW? Arnold’s obsession with success drove him to break a couple of laws here and there; Arnold admitted that he would break into his gym (if it was closed on the weekend) in order to maintain his routine.

DID YOU KNOW? Competing in his first Mr. Universe contest in London in 1966, Arnold was somewhat overwhelmed by the experience. He saw a bodybuilder backstage drinking wine and smoking a cigar. Arnold thought that if this famous champion was using this strategy to get ready to go onstage, so would he. As a result, he explains, he got very sick—and lost the contest.

DID YOU KNOW? Nowadays, bodybuilders rarely shoot photos before a contest, and it’s often difficult to get them to show up at photo sessions after the competition is over. Arnold would do a number of photo shoots the week before a show. In fact, he would call up photographers and arrange to shoot with them. To Arnold, this was part of his contest-prep strategy. Hours of posing and flexing prior to going onstage, he believed, helped him get hard and defined and increased his ability to hit and hold poses without becoming too tired.

DID YOU KNOW? In the late 1960s, one of the important gyms in Los Angeles was owned by Vince Gironda, a man known for his outspoken views. When Arnold first walked into the gym and announced proudly who he was, Vince took a look at him and said, “You look like a fat fuck to me.”

DID YOU KNOW? One day Arnold was walking along the Venice Beach boardwalk on his way to get some sun at the “weight pit” (now Muscle Beach). A couple saw him walking by, and the woman said, “Look at that guy with the muscles. Is he famous for something?” “Yes,” said the man. “Muscles.”

DID YOU KNOW? Arnold was the first civilian to own a High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle, also known as a Hummer. He got it in 1992, but prior to this, the vehicle was strictly a military vehicle owned by the government.

DID YOU KNOW? Arnold owns a military tank. During his time in the Austrian army, Arnold drove the American-produced M47 Patton. He liked it so much that years later, when he could finally afford it, he decided to buy one.

DID YOU KNOW? In 1967, Arnold won the Mr. Universe bodybuilding competition, making him the youngest competitor (at 20 years old) to ever claim the title. In 1970, he won the Mr. Olympia at age 23, and broke the record again for youngest Mr. O champion … a record he still holds to this day.

DID YOU KNOW? In 1973, Arnold appeared on The Dating Game and managed to make all three female contestants blush with this charm and charisma. In the end, he picked bachelorette number two.

DID YOU KNOW? Arnold had a brother named Meinhard; ironically enough, this name is derived from the Germanic elements magan, meaning “strength” and hard, meaning “brave, hardy.” Meinhard was killed in a car accident in 1971.

DID YOU KNOW? Arnold’s ex-wife, Maria Shriver, was the daughter of Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the sister of U.S. President John F. Kennedy.

DID YOU KNOW? While on vacation in Hawaii in 2004, Schwarzenegger jumped into the ocean and rescued a man from drowning.

DID YOU KNOW? Arnold Schwarzenegger received an honorary doctorate from his alma mater, the University of Wisconsin-Superior, in recognition of his charitable works.

DID YOU KNOW? In 2003 Schwarzenegger announced his plan to run for governor of California during his visit on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. TV Guide selected this as the greatest TV moment of 2003.

DID YOU KNOW? Schwarzenegger was inducted into the National Fitness Hall of Fame in 2005 as a charter member, because of his achievements in bodybuilding and his lifelong devotion to physical fitness.

DID YOU KNOW? Arnold moved to the US in 1968, and became an American citizen in 1983.

DID YOU KNOW? There’s a ski slope named after him at Sun Valley Resort in Idaho.

DID YOU KNOW? There’s an Arnold Schwarzengger museum in his hometown in Austria which features memorabilia from his bodybuilding and film careers.

DID YOU KNOW? As governor of California, he refused a salary ($175,000 annually) and even used his own private jet.

DID YOU KNOW? His childhood friends say he had three goals: move to America, become an actor, and marry a Kennedy. He did them all in that order.

DID YOU KNOW? In 2003, Schwarzenegger, a moderate Republican, won with 48.6 percent of the vote, becoming the state’s 38th governor; he became the second actor to be elected governor—Ronald Reagan was the first, and went on to become President. Not being a natural-born citizen, Arnold is ineligible to run for the position of president.

DID YOU KNOW? Schwarzenegger acts as a global ambassador for Special Olympics, a program championed by his late former mother-in-law, Eunice Kennedy Shriver.

DID YOU KNOW? The website therichest.com pegs Arnold’s net worth at $300 million. His Brentwood estate is estimated to be valued at $23,000,000. Schwarzenegger spent $38 million for the purchase of his elite Gulfstream III private jet.

DID YOU KNOW? Arnold has always been a shrewd businessman. A millionaire before the age of 22 (long before he began his film career), Schwarzenegger invested his contest winnings into real estate and a mail-order bodybuilding equipment.

DID YOU KNOW? He was the original choice to play The Incredible Hulk on television. However, despite his 6'2" stature (although that “official” height has been a subject of debate over the years), he was deemed too short for the role, which ended up going to the 6'5" Lou Ferrigno.

DID YOU KNOW? There is a heavy metal band called Austrian Death Machine that pays tribute to Arnold’s films. Among their song  titles are “Get to the Choppa,” “Who Is Your Daddy, and What Does He Do?,” “If It Bleeds, We Can Kill It,” “It’s Not a Tumor,” and “I Need Your Clothes, Your Boots, and Your Motorcycle,” just to name a few. Lead singer Tim Lambesis calls the band “an outlet of pure testosterone and stupidity.” Austrian Death Machine is not the only Schwarzenegger-inspired band. Before ADM came along, there was the San Francisco-based band ArnoCorps, who described their music as “Action Adventure Hardcore Rock and Roll.”

DID YOU KNOW? According to a commencement speech he gave at the University of Southern California in 2009, he stated that agents once told him, “No one ever became a star with an accent like that, especially not with a German accent.”

DID YOU KNOW? Arnold was born with a bicuspid aortic valve, an aortic valve with only two leaflets (a normal aortic valve has three). In 1997 Schwarzenegger went under the knife for a replacement heart valve made from his own transplanted tissue. Apparently Arnold decided against a mechanical valve because it would have restricted his ability to exercise and limited his physical activity.

DID YOU KNOW? The Arnold Classic is held every year in Columbus, Ohio, because Jim Lorimer called Arnold one day in 1970, and asked him to come to Ohio to compete in the Mr. World, the day after he competed in the Mr. Universe in London, England.

DID YOU KNOW? The Guinness Book of Records called Schwarzenegger “the most perfectly developed man in the history of the world.”

DID YOU KNOW? Only three men have bested Arnold in competition—Chet Yorton, Frank Zane, and Sergio Oliva.


1. His first film appearance was in Hercules in New York (aka Hercules Goes Bananas). He was credited as Arnold Strong. His voice in that movie was dubbed because his English wasn’t great. It was later released on DVD with Arnold’s voice put back in.

2. Arnold was paid $12,000 for starring in Hercules in New York. He would go on to make $30,000,000 to star in Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines—earning a whopping $4,000 per second of screen time.

3. It has been said that Arnold’s biggest payday came from the film Twins. Arnold suggested that he, Danny DeVito and director Ivan Reitman take no upfront salary and instead be paid in backend points, basically owning 45 percent of the film. Twins (which was budgeted at $15 million) went on to make $216 million at the box office, and it is theorized that Arnold walked away with $35 to $40 million for his efforts.

4. Arnold’s most iconic character is one that he wasn’t originally cast for! James Cameron, director of the Terminator films, wanted to cast Arnold in the role of Kyle Reese, but Arnold requested that he play the part of the Machine. And shockingly it was O.J. Simpson whom producers originally considered for the role of the Terminator, but Cameron believed his image was “too nice” to be taken seriously as a killing machine.

5. His famous line “I’ll be back” from 1984’s The Terminator was originally written as “I’ll come back.” Schwarzenneger went on to say his famous “I’ll be back” catchphrase (or variations of it) in several of his movies including all the Terminator films, The Running Man, Commando, Raw Deal, Red Heat, Twins, Total Recall, Jingle All the Way, Last Action Hero, and Expendables 2.

6. In all of his movies, Arnold only dies once when he is playing a human, and that was in End of Days. All other movie deaths came while playing the Terminator … but he always managed to come back.

7. Bring on the body bags! While he may have been the Terminator, the film where Arnold stacked up the biggest body count was in Commando. As John Matrix he brought in a death toll of 81. In The Terminator he only took out 21 people in the original film.

8. He won a Golden Globe (Best Acting Debut in a Motion Picture) in 1976 for his role in Stay Hungry in which he starred alongside Jeff Bridges and Sally Field.

9. The character Rainier Wolfcastle in The Simpsons is a tongue-in-cheek parody to Arnold. And in The Simpsons Movie, Arnold Schwarzenegger was the president of the US.

10. Demolition Man had a prophecy about Arnold’s ascent in government. The 1993 film saw Sandra Bullock’s character mention the Arnold Schwarzenegger Presidential Library. In the movie, a constitutional amendment allowed him (and all foreigners) to run for President of the United States.

11. Arnold Schwarzenegger once played another real-life bodybuilder-turned-actor when he portrayed Mickey Hargitay in the TV movie The Jayne Mansfield Story.

12.  Arnold was the first choice for Bruce Willis’ character in Die Hard, but he turned down the role of the police officer in the 1988 film to star in the movies Red Heat and Twins.

13. Schwarzenegger was almost RoboCop.  But trouble with the costume fitting his hulking frame lead producers to recast the part. But Arnold did love the film and wanted to work with director Paul Verhoeven. The two would later team up on Total Recall.

14. Arnold was also considered for the role of the giant Fezzik in The Princess Bride when the book was originally optioned to be made into a film. The role would more suitingly go to Andre the Giant.

15. His movies have grossed over 4.7 billion dollars worldwide.


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