Mr. Olympia 2015 and some history

October 17, 2015

It doesn’t matter whether your passion is CrossFit, bodybuilding or general fitness, you were probably influenced in some way by Joe Weider, his fitness magazines and the creation of the first Mr. Olympia contest. Weider himself was the first to make weightlifting and physical improvement mainstream and more; 50 years later it’s still going strong.

Muscle Builder magazine

It all started in 1953 when Joe Weider started his first bodybuilding magazine called Muscle Builder which the average kid who wanted to build a strong and muscular body could read and learn new exercises, training programs and fitness tips from the leading experts in the field. The magazine was printed from his parents’ basement but later grew into supplements, weightlifting equipment and scientific research that advanced and promoted the fitness lifestyle. This caused a surge of interest in weightlifting through the ’70s that has continued to grow to this very day. Since the creation of Weider’s first publication, countless magazines and fitness resources are now available, but they were all influenced in some way by his early work.

Emergence of the Olympia

As the muscle magazines grew in popularity, Joe Weider wanted to bring bodybuilding to the national stage by creating an event for the best bodybuilders in the world to compete and determine a champion. This event was considered the Super Bowl of bodybuilding and became known as the Mr. Olympia contest. The first man to win the coveted Olympia title was an American named Larry Scott, and over time the contest created household names like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Steve Reeves, Lou Ferrigno and Franco Columbo. Images of a stronger, more muscular male bled into American culture through books, magazines, and movies, and of course the annual Mr. Olympia contest influencing the average guy to work out and get in shape.

Mr. Olympia 2015

A lot has changed since the early days of bodybuilding, but the concept is still the same and competitors strive to take their bodies to the limit, but there are some significant changes. Female bodybuilding is no longer part of the event and is being phased out, and new categories like men’s and women’s physique offer a softer, more mainstream approach that focuses on conditioning rather than huge muscle-bound bodybuilders. However, the main event is still centered on men’s bodybuilding, women’s figure and the ever-popular women’s bikini contest. The contest was held Sept. 19 In Las Vegas and the winners displayed some inspirational results. In the women’s figure, Latorya Watts upset defending champ Nicole Wilkins for first place. Ashley Kaltwasser won her third title in the women’s bikini division, and Phil Heath won his fifth Mr. Olympia title with Dexter Jackson placing second and Shawn Rhoden third.

Chris Antonio is a personal trainer and former world-class weightlifter. He has been lifting for more than 20 years and has trained a wide variety of clients. To send a question, email Chris at or check out for training tips, news and inspirational stories.


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