Arnold Schwarzenegger 1974 Mr.Olympia and Round Pecs

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Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Pec Development: The Evolution of a Bodybuilding Icon

Arnold Schwarzenegger at the 1974 Mr. Olympia


Arnold Schwarzenegger, one of the most iconic figures in bodybuilding history, is known for his incredible physique transformations throughout his career. This article delves into the distinct changes in Arnold’s chest development and highlights the influence of training methods and bodybuilding trends on his pecs. We will specifically examine his physique at the 1974 Mr. Olympia Contest compared to his 1980 appearance.

The 1974 Mr. Olympia Contest: The Peak of Arnold’s Chest

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s appearance at the 1974 Mr. Olympia Contest, held at New York’s Madison Square Garden, showcased him at his contest-biggest. His chest development was a focal point of his physique during this period. Arnold’s chest in 1974 exhibited a well-rounded, full, and highly developed appearance. The pecs had a more dominant lower section, almost boobish. The term “boobish” is used to describe a well-developed, rounded chest that extends into the lower pecs. In 1974, Arnold’s chest personified this aesthetic, contributing to his victory in that year’s Olympia.

The Evolution in Chest Training: The 1980 Mr. Olympia Contest

By 1980, the bodybuilding landscape had evolved, and new training philosophies were emerging. Frank Zane, a fellow bodybuilding legend who had won the three Mr. Olympia contests leading up to 1980, was known for his focused approach to upper chest development. Zane’s training regimen aimed to make the upper outer pecs stand out prominently while allowing the lower part to fall into shadow under the stage lights. The visual result was a more athletic and less “boobish” chest appearance.

Influence and Adaptation: Arnold’s 1980 Pec Transformation

The shift in bodybuilding trends and the emergence of Zane’s training methods seemed to have influenced Arnold’s chest development in 1980. As evidenced by his physique during that year’s Mr. Olympia Contest, Arnold’s pecs displayed a more distinct focus on the clavicular portion. This shift is evident in the change in the look of his chest, as it appeared less rounded and “boobish” compared to his 1974 peak.

The Athletic Pec Look: Arnold in 1980

A remarkable photograph of Arnold Schwarzenegger around the time of the 1980 Mr. Olympia Contest captures this distinctive change in his chest development. In this image, Arnold’s chest exhibits a more athletic and upper chest-dominant appearance. The transformation reflects his adaptability and commitment to staying at the forefront of bodybuilding trends.


Arnold Schwarzenegger’s pec development journey from the 1974 Mr. Olympia Contest to the 1980 Mr. Olympia Contest highlights the evolution of bodybuilding philosophies and training methods. Arnold’s adaptation to these changes, influenced by contemporaries like Frank Zane, is a testament to his dedication to the sport. His chest’s evolution from the “boobish” look to a more athletic upper chest-dominant appearance serves as a visual representation of the ever-changing landscape of bodybuilding and the enduring influence of bodybuilders on each other’s training methodologies.

Mr Olympia Frank Zane
Arnold Schwarzenegger 1980
1980 Mr. Olympia


Below: Pre 1980

About Yegor Khzokhlachev 820 Articles
Gorilla at Large


  1. Without a doubt, Schwarzenegger was a hyper responder to drugs..made a huge difference in his appearance once on them. My point stands; higher bodyweight affects chest size.

  2. IMO the difference has nothing to do with training. It’s because of the larger differential in body weight in the two shows. Whenever anyone loses weight some areas go down, and in his case his triceps and thighs were two. Chest just lost a lot of volume with the loss in weight.

    • It has to do with his body’s response to the drugs he took. His pecs blew up into balloons, his most dominant body part.

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