To make sure you never miss out on your favourite NEW stories, we're happy to send you some reminders

Click 'OK' then 'Allow' to enable notifications

Arnold Schwarzenegger reveals how much of his bodybuilding progress was down to steroids

Arnold Schwarzenegger reveals how much of his bodybuilding progress was down to steroids

We find out about his early bodybuilding days in a new Netflix documentary

Arnold Schwarzenegger has revealed how much of his bodybuilding progress was down to steroids, having spoken out about his rise to the top in a new Netflix documentary.

Schwarzenegger, 75, may have had many strings to his bow over the years, from actor and filmmaker to politician, but in the early days it was all about pumping iron.

After starting lifting weights as a teenager, he won the Mr Universe competition for the first time when he was just 20, going on to land the title a further seven times.

In a new three-part documentary, Arnold, we find out how Schwarzenegger got into bodybuilding all those years ago, and how it became the springboard for a lengthy career in the spotlight.

A synopsis from Netflix says: “This three part documentary series chronicles never before seen footage & stories of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s journey from rural Austria to the highest echelons of the American dream. In the series, there’s unprecedented access to the most candid interviews from Schwarzenegger, his friends, foes, co-stars and observers.

“We see many talk about his days pumping iron to his triumphs in Hollywood, all the way to his time governing the state of California. The joys and the turbulence of his family life are unveiled in a tale that matches his larger-than-life persona."

Schwarzenegger has opened up about his early career in a new documentary.

In the docu-series, Schwarzenegger explains how he was inspired to get into bodybuilding after seeing 1961 film Hercules in the Haunted World starring Reg Park, which became a ‘blueprint’ of where he wanted to go in life.

In 1967, he moved to Los Angeles to take things further, admitting things felt ‘quite different’.

“The gyms where I went to were the gyms where the best bodybuilders worked out,” he says.

Schwarzenegger was told by Vince Gironda – owner of Vince’s Gym – that he had ‘potential’, but that he had to get rid of ‘a lot of fat’ on his body, before going to Gold’s Gym, where Joe Gold referred to him as the ‘Balloon Belly’.

“I realised why it was so important to come to America, because they just have a whole different understanding of what it means being in shape,” Schwarzenegger says.

“I alone cannot accomplish anything. I need help.”


He invited bodybuilders Frank Zane and Franco Colombu to come out to California to train with him at Gold’s Gym in Venice Beach.

“And from then, everything really picked up,” he says.

Schwarzenegger explains that working out alone wouldn’t quite cut it if he wanted to make it to the big time, so it wasn't long before he turned to steroids.

He goes on: “I was never a fanatic about diet. It was Frank Zane and Franco Colombu who put my vitamins together.

“And then we would experiment with steroids.”

He hit the LA gyms to get even bigger.

A flashback clip then shows a young Schwarzenegger telling the camera: “Everybody in the bodybuilding field who is up there on the top is taking steroids.

“Maybe five percent of my progress is from the steroids.”

Schwarzenegger continues: “I had doctors’ supervision. You stayed with a very strict rule of doing it four months a year before a competition, and then lay off.

“So I changed my eating habits and everything, I got really tanned.

“If your whole personality is to show off, you can’t wait to show people what you have.

“There were hundreds of people watching guys working out. I felt like I was living in the middle of a circus.

“So you were getting it all times – the satisfaction of people watching you and saying, ‘Wow, he looks incredible’.”

Watch Arnold on Netflix from Wednesday 7 June.

Featured Image Credit: Netflix/Alamy/TCD/Prod.DB

Topics: Film and TV, Celebrity, Documentaries, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Fitness, Sport