“If You Do Weight Training, You Die Soon”: Arnold Schwarzenegger Recollects Outlandish Misconceptions About Bodybuilding From His Prime

Arnold Schwarzenegger‘s bodybuilding physique ignited the aspirations of youngsters to lift weights for a ripped physique. Starting weight training at 15, the Austrian Oak performed heavy-weight duties at the gym to build a title-winning body. However, in the 1970s, not many were aware of the sport, and misconceptions dominated people’s perspective on bodybuilding.

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The 76-year-old came across his old rival a few months back through a viral video. Schwarzenegger chatted with his 1960s competitor on FaceTime and strolled down memory lane to reflect on the older bodybuilding days.

Arnie recounts the days when there were misconceptions about bodybuilding


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The Austrian Oak’s athletic journey was impeccable. Apart from winning multiple trophies, the 7x Mr. Olympia was actively involved in bringing the sport to the limelight in the 1970s. These were the times when false impressions about the sport were common among the masses.  

Arnie recently recounted one such misconception while reuniting with his former competitor and friend, Vic Downs. Schwarzenegger came across a viral video that depicted a fit 94-year-old who works out daily. Intrigued, the Governator dug deeper, and when he learned the man’s name to be Vic Downs, Arnie immediately recognized him as his former rival. The Terminator icon chatted with Downs on FaceTime and revealed how he happened to come across the latter’s viral video.

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I pressed this thing that says, well, that’s an interesting story of an old fellow, 94 years old, because, in our days when we were competing, they were saying if you do weight training, you die soon.” So, the story of a 94-year-old “still working out with weights,” impressed Arnie who realized the man in the video was Vic Downs. “Vic Downs, was a guy I was competing with. He was this really handsome-looking guy,” Arnie narrated. So, when did Arnold Schwarzenegger and Vic Downs compete?

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Vic Downs competed with the Austrian Oak in NABBA Mr. Universe, 1966

The Pumping Iron icon started lifting weights at 15 and claimed the Mr. Universe title at 20. So, a young Arnie was already competing and defeating much older bodybuilders in the 1960s. Schwarzenegger competed with Vic Downs in the NABBA Mr. Universe bodybuilding contest in 1966. 

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While Chester Yorton lifted the trophy that year, Schwarzenegger ensured to defeat all other competitors and secured second place. Vic Downs was third in line, winning the bronze medal. Despite the misconceptions and illusions surrounding the sport in the olden days, modern bodybuilding now garners a huge fan following worldwide. And some of the credit for helping the sport amass such popularity has to be given to Arnold Schwarzenegger. Do you agree with this? Let us know in the comments below.

Author: ZeroToHero

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