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Those Athletes Are “The Best Arnold Classic Champions of All Time”, According To The Sports Analyst

Sports Analysts named after the most famous and arguably the greatest bodybuilder of all-time, the Arnold Classic was an instant hit when it debuted in 1989. Legendary bodybuilder, actor, and politician Arnold Schwarzenegger partnered up with Jim Lorimer for what would be some of the sport’s most unforgettable moments—and physiques. 

Now in its 33rd years, the Arnold Classic remains bigger and better than ever.  Many legendary bodybuilders such as Ronnie Coleman, Jay Cutler, and Dexter Jackson has graced the Arnold Classic stage and earned the title of Arnold Classic Champions made the bodybuilding competition what it is today, and made bodybuilding history.

But before we honor this year’s winner, we decided to celebrate the past Arnold Classic Champions of a contest, like any classic, that has stood the test of time.

 These seven men may just be the greatest competitors to grace the Arnold Classic stage ever

Rich Gaspari: 1989

Rich Gaspari won the inaugural Classic in 1989 and
cemented his status as
one of the best bodybuilders of the mid-to-late 1980s. With shredded glutes, grainy-hard condition, and eye-popping vascularity, he redefined the word ripped. Bodybuilding would never be the same after The Dragon Slayer.

Jay Cutler: 2002, 2003, 2004

Dubbed the uncrowned Mr. Olympia after his second-place finish to Ronnie Coleman in 2001, the following year Jay Cutler walked through the competition to secure his first Arnold. With the size that was second only to Coleman and a back that was improving every year, Jay Cutler’s win in March was nearly a foregone conclusion.

Kevin Levrone: 1994, 1996

The Maryland Muscle Machine was one of the sport’s original hybrids, combining stellar shape and symmetry with the size and thickness to rival the mass monsters of the day. His delts, traps, and triceps were in a league
of their own, and his tiny waist supported deeply separated and flaring quads. Levrone practically owned the hands-in-front most-muscular pose.

Dexter Jackson: 2005, 2006, 2013, 2015

Though never the biggest man onstage, Jackson defeated all comers with a level of detail that has yet to be surpassed. His 5’6″, 235-pound frame was a mass of striated muscle. Delts, pecs, arms, lats, spinal erectors, glutes, hams, and perhaps the sharpest midsection of the modern era helped The Blade slice through the competition.

Kai Greene: 2009, 2010, 2016

One of the sport’s most colorful personalities, Greene took his physique—and his career—to the next level with his first win in 2009. Full, sweeping quads and hams, a barn door back, and posing brilliance second to none helped him defend his title the following year. The former underdog is now counted among the top three bodybuilders in the world.

Ronnie Coleman: 2001

It was the first time it had ever happened: a Mr. Olympia competing in the Arnold prior to defending his title later the same year. When all was said and done, 247-pound Coleman, in what may have been the best condition of his career, had added the one contest his résumé lacked. But the toll of peaking twice almost cost him the Sandow, and it was the last time (thus far) that a reigning Mr. Olympia has thrown his hat into the Arnold ring.

Flex Wheeler: 1993, 1997, 1998, 2000

The Sultan of Shape holds the record for most Classic wins. Many consider his physique in the 1993 rendition—with its unparalleled shape, crisp muscularity, and flawless proportion—one of the greatest of all time. Though he would collect 14 more pro titles in the years to come, Wheeler was never able to match that magical combination. The 2000 Arnold marked his last appearance and win on the Columbus stage.

The Entire List Of Arnold Classic Champions of All Time

  • 1989: Rich Gaspari
  • 1990: Mike Ashley
  • 1991: Shawn Ray
  • 1992: Vince Taylor
  • 1993: Flex Wheeler
  • 1994: Kevin Levrone
  • 1995: Michael Francois
  • 1996: Kevin Levrone
  • 1997: Flex Wheeler
  • 1998: Flex Wheeler
  • 1999: Nasser El Sonbaty
  • 2000: Flex Wheeler
  • 2001: Ronnie Coleman
  • 2002: Jay Cutler
  • 2003: Jay Cutler
  • 2004: Jay Cutler
  • 2005: Dexter Jackson
  • 2006: Dexter Jackson
  • 2007: Victor Martinez
  • 2008: Dexter Jackson
  • 2009: Kai Greene
  • 2010: Kai Greene
  • 2011: Branch Warren
  • 2012: Branch Warren
  • 2013: Dexter Jackson
  • 2014: Dennis Wolf
  • 2015: Dexter Jackson
  • 2016: Kai Greene
  • 2017: Cedric McMillan
  • 2018: William Bonac
  • 2019: Brandon Curry
  • 2020: William Bonac
  • 2021: Nick Walker
  • 2022: Brandon Curry

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