Few body parts garner the attention and admiration of bodybuilding fans like an enormous, hulking set of arms. And while there have been some enormous biceps and triceps over the years, bodybuilding Hall of Famer and analyst Shawn Ray gave us his rundown of the 10 best sets of arms to ever grace the Olympia stage.
1 of 10
Vince Taylor earned his pro card in 1988 and went on to hold a spot in the Guinness World Records for the bodybuilder with the most IFBB Pro wins (22), including five Masters Olympia victories, until he was surpassed by Ronnie Coleman (who earned 26). Taylor, who was known as “the Quiet Storm,” had perfectly balanced arms to thank in part for his success.
2 of 10
Guys in the ’60s had to look no further than Larry Scott when trying to imagine their ideal physique. He was the total package of size and symmetry in those early days, but it was his arms that played an integral role in his becoming a two-time Mr. Olympia (1965-66). To this day, his biceps workouts are a solid blueprint for anyone looking to get stage-worthy arms of their own.
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The majority of Lee Priest’s photo shoots during the ’90s and ’00s focused on his freakish bi’s and tri’s, inspiring plenty of people to start building their own pair of sleeve-busters. Despite standing at only a mere 5’5″, he possessed a physique that could outshine his taller competition. And it’d be remiss of us to talk about his arms without mentioning those freaky forearms.
4 of 10
While not the most genetically gifted, Mike Matarazzo brought the “freak factor” to the Mr. Olympia stage with the sheer size of his arms. Though he never placed in the Olympia top five, for fans of the sport in the ’90s, it’s hard to forget that physique.
5 of 10
Three-time Mr. Olympia legend Sergio Oliva had proportions that were on a different level compared with his contemporaries. His biceps, in particular, looked much larger than the tape measurers even suggested. While he lacked the “peak” or detail of some of the others on this list, he had a level of mass that people hadn’t seen before—and that separated him from the pack.
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Although Albert Beckles never held the coveted Mr. Olympia title, he competed in more than 100 shows throughout his career, and his arms can be credited for a slew of victories spanning four decades. More impressive than those bulging biceps is the fact that Beckles took second place at the 1985 Mr. Olympia—at the age of 55.
7 of 10
Phil Heath’s level of completeness and symmetry in his bi’s and tri’s separates him from most of the others on this list. Those powerfully built, perfectly balanced arms helped him earn seven consecutive Mr. Olympia titles, tying him with Arnold Schwarzenegger in his number of Sandows.
8 of 10
Robby Robinson, otherwise known as “the Black Prince,” rose to fame for his impressive front double biceps pose. The overall girth of his arms was something that people could only guess at, as Robinson had a unique way of hitting poses that made his arms seem to grow in front of your eyes. In his prime, Robinson had a physique that could drop your jaw—and he still looks impressive in his 70s.
9 of 10
Eight-time Mr. Olympia Ronnie Coleman was all about the mass—and that went double for his arms. Weighing in at a whopping 287 pounds, Coleman had a victory pose that put his enormous peaks on full display. When he hit a front double biceps pose, it was simply lights-out for anyone standing next to him.
10 of 10
Seven-time Mr. O Arnold Schwarzenegger possessed huge, billowing, mountainous biceps peaks that separated him from everyone else, and his most memorable poses put his famous guns on full display. While his arms could be considered a tad “too heavy” in the biceps department, they were so superior that not many people cared whether he had equally developed triceps.