Arnold Schwarzenegger vs. Chris Bumstead: Breaking Down a Fantasy Bodybuilding Matchup

Each sport has its justifiable share of fantasy matchups to debate. Would you are taking Lebron James or Michael Jordan? Mike Trout or Mickey Mantle? Tom Brady at 42 or Tom Brady at 32?

That’s true, too, for bodybuilding. And one of many fantasy matchups that all the time stirs up impassioned opinions is Chris Bumstead vs. Arnold Schwarzenegger. They’re two of the preferred opponents of their respective generations and, at their peaks, shared loads of similarities that transcend merely trying nice in a 3/4 back pose.

Whereas followers won’t ever see a bodybuilding contest between these two greats, we right here at BarBend are breaking down their physiques and accomplishments to see how each males evaluate to one another.

Arnold Schwarzenegger vs. Chris Bumstead
Picture: @arnold_schwarzenegger_old_pics on Instagram (Schwarzenegger) // T.J. Darr (Bumstead)

[Related: The 16 Best Ab Exercises for Strength and Definition]

Bodybuilding Accomplishments

Each Schwarzenegger and Bumstead dominated over their respective divisions for years. Right here’s what every man completed on the bodybuilding stage. 

Bumstead’s Accomplishments

The present Mr. Olympia is often the face of bodybuilding, however Chris Bumstead — a.ok.a. CBum — has turned that notion on its head in recent times. Regardless of competing completely within the Classic Physique division, the Ottawa, Canada, native has racked up tens of tens of millions of followers on social media, far outshining the extra muscular opponents in Males’s Open.

However a bodybuilder isn’t going to achieve that kind of fanbase with out the {hardware} to again it up. And right here’s what the 28-year-old has completed thus far in his younger profession: (1)

  • Canadian Championship Winner – CBBF (2015)
  • IFBB North American Bodybuilding Championships Winner (2016)
  • Toronto Pro Winner (2017)
  • Classic Physique Olympia Winner (2019-2022)

Bumstead’s most up-to-date Traditional Physique title got here at 27 years previous, which he gained with a torn biceps. To place this victory in perspective, the division has seen seven Olympia titles since its debut in 2016. Bumstead gained 4 of them — and he’s already speaking about win quantity 5.

[Related: 9 Underrated Golden Era Bodybuilders You Should Know About]

Arnold’s Accomplishments

Schwarzenegger, however, took his first step towards bodybuilding immortality in 1970 when he gained his first Mr. Olympia on the age of twenty-two. And by 1975, at 28 years previous, he grabbed his sixth consecutive win on the O, which occurred in Pretoria, South Africa. Right here’s how Arnold’s career breaks down: (2)

  • Mr. Europe (1966)
  • Universe Title – NABBA (1967-1970)
  • Mr. Worldwide (1969)
  • Mr. Europe – IFBB (1969)
  • Mr. Universe – IFBB (1969)
  • Mr. World – AAU (1970)
  • Mr. Olympia Title (1970-1975, 1980)

[Related: 11 Retired Bodybuilders Who Are Still Absolutely Jacked]

The 1975 Olympia is probably Schwarzenegger’s most well-known victory, because it was the identical contest that was documented within the 1977 movie Pumping Iron. To win all of it, he needed to take care of the likes of Serge Nubret, Lou Ferrigno, and Franco Columbu, which was as stacked a lineup because the present has ever seen. Like Bumstead, Schwarzenegger caught solely to the Olympia as soon as it grew to become clear he was the dominant pressure within the sport.

Coaching Model

Numerous gym-goers have been influenced by the coaching routines employed by Schwarzenegger throughout his prime. And right this moment, Bumstead’s exercise movies on YouTube often entice tens of millions of viewers hoping to get ideas from the undisputed king of Traditional Physique. Right here’s how their coaching kinds evaluate. 

Bumstead’s Coaching Model

Primarily based on what Bumstead has shared in previous movies and interviews, he’s been a bodybuilder for so long as he’s been coaching, which fits again to highschool. He spent a lot of his early profession working below the tutelage of his brother-in-law, Iain Valliere, earlier than switching to teach Hany Rambod for the 2022 and 2023 Olympia. Rambod’s previous purchasers embody Mr. Olympia winners like Phil Heath and Jay Cutler, so CBum clearly has his sights on persevering with his championship-winning methods.

[Related: 10 Facts About the Mr. Olympia Bodybuilding Competition]

Total, Bumstead follows what might be thought-about a high-volume method, performing extra units and workout routines versus a high-intensity style of coaching that requires much less total workload. He sometimes appears to coach one or typically two physique elements a day, and works to keep up a stage weight between 225 and 235, since he has a 240-pound weight cap for his division. 

It’s additionally essential to notice that Bumstead adheres to Rambod’s FST-7 training style. This stands for “Fascial Stretch Coaching,” and the ‘7’ refers back to the variety of finisher units on the finish of the exercise. It’s principally a high-rep, high-intensity model with brief rests and a seven-set finisher to cap off the exercises. Right here’s a take a look at the workout routines Bumstead performs on a typical arm day whereas prepping for the Olympia:

Arnold’s Coaching Model

Schwarzenegger’s coaching model resembles extra of a standard bodybuilding routine. He took a lot of his inspiration from bodybuilding icon Reg Park when he began coaching within the Nineteen Sixties, however he additionally competed in Olympic-style weightlifting and powerlifting whereas rising within the bodybuilding ranks.

As soon as he locked into his health self-discipline of alternative, he skilled one half a day within the low season. When it got here time to organize for a contest, he employed a really high-volume method, coaching twice a day with two-hour exercises six days every week. He skilled each muscle group both twice or 3 times every week with intensity-boosting strategies corresponding to supersets, trisets, and drop units.

Right here’s a pattern arm exercise that Schwarzenegger employed throughout his contest prep: 


Every competitor was on the high of the bodybuilding world at their peak. And it’s not nearly championships — each Bumstead and Schwarzenegger employed an unparalleled stage of charisma and enterprise savvy to actually stand out from the remainder of the game.

Bumstead’s Influence

Past the competitors outcomes, which communicate for themselves, Bumstead has made large strikes within the enterprise of bodybuilding. He’s a component proprietor of supplement firm Uncooked Diet and has a clothes line referred to as CBUM. He additionally occurs to have one of many largest social media followings of anybody within the sport.

[Related: The 16 Best Biceps Exercises for Greater Growth]

As of February 2023, Bumstead has greater than 14 million followers on Instagram, 4 million on TikTok, and virtually 3 million subscribers on YouTube, the place he often shares his workout and diet tips with followers. These social media numbers eclipse current Mr. Olympia winners like Mamdouh “Big Ramy” Elssbiay and Hadi Choopan, together with legends within the sport like Heath, Cutler, and Ronnie Coleman.

Bumstead ought to get credit score for capturing the eye of a youthful era of followers who could be extra considering fitness influencers than in a 300-pound Men’s Open bodybuilder on the Olympia.

Arnold’s Influence

Schwarzenegger clearly didn’t have entry to social media or the web when he was in his late 20s like Bumstead does now, however he was nonetheless a star in his personal proper. He was a mainstay on fitness magazine covers and was starting to make his approach into Hollywood with early appearances in motion pictures like 1976’s Keep Hungry. And after Pumping Iron premiered in 1977, Schwarzenegger started to transcend the game and attain a stage of recognition no competitor has come near since.

[Related: Best Pre-Workout Supplements for Muscle Gain, Weight Loss, and More]

In case you had been to ask the typical one who involves thoughts after listening to the phrase bodybuilding right this moment, they’d in all probability nonetheless say Schwarzenegger. Whereas the pop-culture icon and former Governor of California is now an envoy to health and an activist for a lot of different causes, he’s additionally remembered as a pioneer who introduced bodybuilding to the big screen and impressed future generations of weightlifting fans.


Very first thing’s first: There’s no evaluating Bumstead and Schwarzenegger by way of affect on bodybuilding or popular culture. Schwarzenegger is a once-in-a-lifetime competitor who thrust the game into the mainstream. Even when evaluating each males of their late 20s, Schwarzenegger was transferring right into a trajectory that no different bodybuilder has ever dreamed of.

Chris Bumstead vs. Arnold Schwarzenegger
Picture: T.J. Darr (Bumstead) // WikiMedia Commons, Public Area (Arnold Schwarzenegger)

[Related: Best Back Exercises for Muscle Gain]

But when a posedown had been to occur between these two of their prime — Bumstead in his present 2022/2023 form and Schwarzenegger in 1975 — then issues can be rather a lot nearer. Each males are comparable in peak and weight, and every one has their very own strengths. Schwarzenegger’s voluminous chest, bulging arms, and small waist could give him a bonus, whereas Bumstead’s lower body and world-class conditioning can be laborious to beat.

As for who would in the end come out on high — properly, that’s as much as every fan to resolve on their very own. What can’t be argued, although, is every man’s affect on the game and the way each outlined what it means to be a champion. 

Extra Bodybuilding Content material 

Sustain with the world of bodybuilding by testing these tales from BarBend:


  1. Muscle Reminiscence, Chris Bumstead,,+Christopher
  2. Muscle Reminiscence, Arnold Schwarzenegger,,+Arnold

Featured Picture: T.J. Darr (Bumstead) // Jack O’Quinn, Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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