Samir Bannout Gallery

Built Report Samir Bannout
Samir was known as The Lion of Lebanon

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Samir Bannout, known as “the Lion of Lebanon,” is a prominent figure in the world of bodybuilding and fitness. His journey from his native Lebanon to becoming the 1983 Mr. Olympia titleholder is a remarkable tale of dedication, achievement, and resilience.

Born on November 7, 1955, in Lebanon, Samir Bannout’s early years were marked by his passion for bodybuilding. He earned his nickname “the Lion of Lebanon” for the strength and determination he displayed throughout his career. Bannout’s remarkable achievements and sculpted physique earned him a well-deserved place on the covers of numerous fitness and bodybuilding publications, including Strength and Health, MuscleMag International, Flex, and many more.

Samir’s transition to America was a pivotal moment in his life. He initially settled in Detroit, Michigan, where he embarked on his journey as a competitive bodybuilder. Starting at the amateur level, he worked his way up the ranks, displaying an unwavering commitment to his craft. His ascent in the bodybuilding world was rapid, culminating in his achievement of IFBB pro status when he secured victory in the light-heavyweight class at the 1979 IFBB World Amateur Championships.

By this time, Samir had moved to Santa Monica, California, known as a hub for bodybuilding and fitness enthusiasts. In 1982, he took fourth place at the prestigious Mr. Olympia contest, a significant achievement in itself. However, his defining moment came in 1983 when he secured victory at the Mr. Olympia, which was held in Munich, Germany. This win earned him the coveted title of Mr. Olympia 1983 and marked the end of the “aesthetics” era in the contest.

Samir Bannout’s win at the 1983 Mr. Olympia was a momentous occasion, as it was the last time a Mr. Olympia winner weighed under 200 pounds (91 kg). His physique was celebrated for the extreme muscular definition, particularly in his lower back, which led to the term “Lebanon Cedar” when referring to the distinct shape he showcased during his back poses.

Despite his illustrious victory, Bannout faced challenges. In 1984, he placed sixth at the Olympia, but the IFBB suspended him for three years as a consequence of his participation in the World Championship competition of a rival federation, the WABBA. This suspension marked a challenging period in his career.

Throughout his career, Samir Bannout’s honesty and transparency about his past use of anabolic steroids set him apart. He openly acknowledged their use and cited their role in countering catabolic effects. Bannout also criticized the IFBB for what he perceived as political undertones in selecting winners at the Mr. Olympia contests.

In 1990, Bannout achieved another milestone by winning his second IFBB pro show, the IFBB Pittsburgh Pro Invitational, showcasing his enduring competitive spirit. His professional career spanned an impressive 17 years, making him a respected and enduring figure in the sport of bodybuilding.

Today, Samir Bannout resides in Los Angeles, California, with his wife, Randa, and their three children. His legacy in the world of bodybuilding has been cemented by his induction into the IFBB Hall of Fame in 2002. Bannout’s journey reflects the dedication, resilience, and unwavering pursuit of excellence that define the world of professional bodybuilding.

Samir Bannout Bodybuilding Competition History


Universe – IFBB, Medium, 7th


Universe – IFBB, MiddleWeight, 12th


Mr International – IFBB, MiddleWeight, 2nd


Mr International – IFBB, MiddleWeight, 2nd
Mr Michigan – AAU, Overall Winner


Best in the World – IFBB, Amateur, 1st
Canada Pro Cup – IFBB, Did not place
World Amateur Championships – IFBB, Light-HeavyWeight, 1st


Grand Prix California – IFBB, 4th
Grand Prix Pennsylvania – IFBB, 7th
Night of Champions – IFBB, 10th
Olympia – IFBB, 15th
Pittsburgh Pro Invitational – IFBB, Did not place


Grand Prix California – IFBB, 7th
Grand Prix New England – IFBB, 6th
Night of Champions – IFBB, 10th
Olympia – IFBB, 9th


Grand Prix Sweden – IFBB, 2nd
Olympia – IFBB, 4th


Olympia – IFBB, Winner


Canada Pro Cup – IFBB, 5th
Olympia – IFBB, 6th
World Grand Prix – IFBB, 5th


World Championships – WABBA, Professional, 1st


Grand Prix England – IFBB, 10th
Grand Prix Italy – IFBB, 9th
Olympia – IFBB, 8th


Arnold Classic – IFBB, 4th
Grand Prix Finland – IFBB, 6th
Grand Prix France – IFBB, 8th
Grand Prix Germany – IFBB, 5th
Grand Prix Holland – IFBB, 5th
Grand Prix Spain (2) – IFBB, 5th
Grand Prix Spain – IFBB, 5th
Grand Prix Sweden – IFBB, 3rd
Olympia – IFBB, 9th


Arnold Classic – IFBB, Disqualified
Grand Prix England – IFBB, 6th
Grand Prix Finland – IFBB, 5th
Grand Prix Italy – IFBB, 6th
Houston Pro Championships – IFBB, 3rd
Olympia – IFBB, 8th
Pittsburgh Pro Invitational – IFBB, Winner
World Championships – NABBA, Professional, 2nd


Olympia – IFBB, Did not place


Arnold Classic – IFBB, Did not place
Grand Prix Germany – IFBB, 11th
Olympia – IFBB, Did not place


Arnold Classic – IFBB, 13th
Ironman Pro Invitational – IFBB, 15th
San Jose Pro Invitational – IFBB, 10th


Grand Prix England – IFBB, 14th
Grand Prix Germany – IFBB, 13th
Grand Prix Italy – IFBB, 12th
Grand Prix Spain – IFBB, 12th
Olympia – IFBB, Did not place


Olympia – Masters – IFBB, 6th


Masters Pro World – IFBB, 11th

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