While Other Bodybuilders Didn’t Even Make $50,000, Arnold Schwarzenegger Turned Down $200,000 for a Valid Reason in 1974

After enjoying everything that the sport of bodybuilding had to offer, seven-time Mr. Olympia Arnold Schwarzenegger decided to enter the realm of acting. Over the years, Schwarzenegger tried his luck in countless ventures and luckily succeeded in all of them. However, it wasn’t just luck that helped him. It was also his wise thinking and his decision-making that helped him become a household name.

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Schwarzenegger knew exactly what to do and when. In his recent book, ‘Be Useful: Seven Tools for Life,’ Schwarzenegger talks about his learnings and experiences. Amidst many other things, he also openly talks about the time when he rejected a whopping $200,000 deal just because he had other plans.

Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jack LaLanne’s exciting offer


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Growing up in a small village in Austria, ‘The Austrian Oak’ always dreamed of becoming a Hollywood star. Decades later, he did his first movie in 1970, the same year when he won his first Mr. Olympia title. In the same year, he got a call from the ‘godfather of fitness,’ Jack LaLanne, who wanted Schwarzenegger to be “a fitness ambassador of sorts, doing promotional tours and some advertisements.” Lalanne wanted Arnold to promote his gym chain.

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“They offered to pay me $200,000 a year. That was a lot of money in 1974. It’s still a lot of money. Back then, the best bodybuilders in the world made $50,000 a year at most. It was a fantastic offer,” Schwarzenegger revealed. However, he turned the offer down.

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Watch This Story: From Ronnie Coleman to Jay Cutler: Bodybuilding Legends Show Up at Arnold Classic 2022 in Absence of Arnold Schwarzenegger

But what was the reason behind turning down an offer so good that most bodybuilders could never even imagine receiving it? Let’s take a look.

Schwarzenegger explains the reason behind denying the offer


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Schwarzenegger was insanely in love with the thought of becoming a movie star. His initial intention behind leaving Austria was to become an actor only. And now that he had that chance, he did not want to use that time for anything else. “The problem was that accepting his offer would prevent me from doing movies, which is where my vision was taking me by this point in my bodybuilding career,” Arnold admitted.

Continuing further, he wrote, “Knowing that made saying no very easy. I was comfortable with the idea of turning down all that money and the different type of fame the job would bring. I was calm, knowing that I’d just sidestepped something that was an amazing opportunity but also a big distraction.”


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It was certainly his right decision-making that helped Arnold Schwarzenegger become a legend. What are your thoughts on Arnold rejecting Jack LaLanne’s offer? Let us know in the comments.

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Author: ZeroToHero

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