Franco Columbu, an accomplished bodybuilder

Franco Columbu is surely one of the most famous bodybuilders on the planet.

Even if some people do not know his name, they have nevertheless been able to appreciate his monumental physique in blockbuster movies such as Conan the Barbarian, Terminator ou Running Man.

Faithful friend,Arnold Schwarzenegger, Franco Columbu has also made a name for himself in several sports: boxing, powerlifting, Olympic weightlifting and bodybuilding.

A man with multiple sports:

Franco Columbu is a person bursting with energy, who likes to give his all in everything he does. Born in Italy, in Sardinia, on August 7, 1941, Franco Columbu entered the sport by practicing boxing. Regular training, Franco Columbu ends up obtaining the title of Amateur Boxing Champion of Italy.

In 1965, his path crossed that of the young Arnold Schwarzenegger, in Munich during the first international competition, the Austrian Jr. Weightlifting Championship. From this meeting will be born a strong friendship between the two men, who will even find themselves competing together, thereafter, on the same competitions. In order to preserve their friendship and not to alter the challenge of the competitions, Franco and Arnold will never train together.

In 1969, the two friends were asked to join the famous father of Bodybuilding, Joe Weider, to join him in California. Everyone therefore leaves their respective country to turn to the American continent. Arrived in America, Joe Weider will sponsor the two young men, giving them a bonus of 80 dollars per week. This bonus being too fair to live in, Franco and Arnold decided to create their first brickyard company called European Brick Works.

America also represents the entry of Franco Columbu into powerlifting, Olympic weightlifting and bodybuilding where he will excel in each discipline.

He will participate in many weightlifting competitions.

Since 1969, at the level of powerlifting, Franco Columbu is considered the strongest man in the world, due to his exceptional performance during his participation in the "strongest man" competitions. We see him lifting various vehicles.

In Bodybuilding, he won many titles.

His record :

  • 4th M. Europe IFBB 1966
  • 2 nd M. Univers NABBA 1968, small size category, and 1st prize for the most muscular
  • 1st M. Europe IFBB 1969
  • 2nd M. World IFBB 1969, small size category
  • 1st M. Univers NABBA 1969, small size category and any category,
    and price of the most muscular
  • 1st M. Univers IFBB 1969, small size category and any category
  • 1st M. Europe IFBB 1970, small size category and all category
  • 2nd M. Univers NABBA 1970, small size category
  • 1 st M. Univers IFBB 1970, small size category and any category
  • 1st M. World AUU 1970, small size category and any category
  • 1st M. World IFBB 1970, small size category and any category
  • 1st M. World IFBB 1971
  • 5ème Mr. Olympia 1972,
  • 1st Mr. Olympia 1973, in light weight and 2nd in the grand classification
  • 1st Mr. Olympia 1975, in light weight
  • 1st Mr. Olympia 1976, in light weight and any category
  • 1st Mr. Olympia 1981, in light weight and any category

His physique at the service of cinema:

Outside of competitions and training, Franco Columbu gladly lends his physique to well-defined muscles for the big screen. Franco Columbu then took shape a real career in cinema. We can especially see it in the following films:

  • 1976 Stay Hungry
  • 1977 Pumping Iron
  • 1980 The Hustler of Muscle Beach
  • 1980 The Comeback
  • 1982 Conan The Barbarian
  • 1984 The Terminator Future

  • 1984 Getting Physical
  • 1986 Don Rickles: Rickles on the Loose
  • 1987 The Running Man
  • 1987 Last Man Standing
  • 1988 Big Top Pee-wee
  • 1993 Il ritmo del silenzio
  • 1994 Beretta's Island Franco Armando Beretta
  • 1995 Taken Alive
  • 1997 Double cross on Costa's Island
  • 1998 Hollywood Salutes Arnold Schwarzenegger: A Cinematheque Tribute
  • 2002 Raw Iron: The Making of Pumping Iron
  • 2003 Ancient Warriors
  • 2008 Why we Train
  • 2010 Muscle Beach then and Now
  • 2011 Dreamland La Terra dei Sogni

Franco Columbu also shot numerous advertisements.

A busy life, after his career as a bodybuilder:

After being a boxer and bodybuilder, screenwriter, actor and writer, Columbu continues to fill his life with projects. Today, he is a qualified chiropractor, giving training advice on its official website or directly by phone. He designs various training concepts to help the average American lose his love handles or reduce the size of his stomach.

Franco Columbu was small compared to his opponents in Bodybuilding. He was only 1m65 tall. But by transferring his boxing skills to Bodybuilding, he managed to establish himself and become one of the unavoidable bodybuilders of the 1970s, entering the legend of the discipline.


  1. It was thanks to the film Conan the barbarian that I started to love bodybuilding. Now my sons have a passion for bodybuilding. And one of them lives on it. Thank you Franc and Arnold !!!!

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