Width usually corresponds to height— but not always. For more than four decades, there was no debate about who was the widest short bodybuilder ever. Franco Columbu held that unofficial title and without much competition. At 5’4″, the 1976 and 1981 Mr. Olympia was seemingly as broad as he was tall. “He could fly with that,” Danny Padilla quipped in Pumping Iron upon seeing Franco’s wings unfurled at the 1975 Olympia. Now, at last, the “Sardinian Strongman” has a challenger in the Kuwaiti sensation, Ahmad Ashkanani. Though shorter than Columbu, the winner of this year’s Arnold Classic 212 appears even wider than the legendary two-time Mr. O. Like Columbu’s, Ashkanani’s legs lag behind his upper half, and yet his side-to-side vastness could eclipse the lat spreads of guys in the Mr. O posedown, including Phil Heath. He is the human hang glider. As Padilla said about “the bat” 42 years ago, “He could fly with that.” 


  • WEIGHT | 212
  • HEIGHT | 5’3″
  • BEST POSE | Rear Lat Spread
  • WORST POSE | Abs and Thigh
  • STRENGTHS | Back, Deltoids
  • WEAKNESSES | Quads, Hamstrings


  • WEIGHT | 195
  • HEIGHT | 5’4″
  • BEST POSE | Rear Lat Spread
  • WORST POSE | Front Double Biceps
  • STRENGTHS | Back, Chest, Abs
  • WEAKNESSES | Quads, Hamstrings