IFBB PRO Products Pages

Top 10 Bodybuilders

Submitted by IFBB Pro League Staff
The incredible Steve Reeves does it again,
a runaway first place in the top ten popularity poll.

The TOP 10
in 1971

*Reprinted from the July 1971 issue of MUSCLE BUILDER/POWER

Once again, Steve Reeves wins a bodybuilder’s popularity poll.  But some top names move on down the list.  Surprises and more surprises.

For months, we were puzzled by the reaction to our Top Ten Bodybuilder’s Contest advertisement.  Only those pictured in the articles received any votes.  Then we received a few letters from readers claiming we were unfair to some of the greatest bodybuilders in the world since we had not included their names in the ad.

Of course, we had not meant to mislead our readers.  For obvious reasons, we could not very well have pictures of every top bodybuilder.  But we got the point.  Our ad might well have been misleading.

So, determined to run an honest contest, we started all over again, this time pointing out clearly that readers were to vote for their own choice ten whether or not they were mentioned in our advertisement.  And immediately, a whole new set of names started coming in.  We also noted that one or two who had previously accumulated many votes were now falling by the wayside.

Almost unknown in the United States two
years ago, Arnold Schwarzenegger has risen
to the top of the bodybuilding tree. Only the magic of Reeves kept him from making
first place in the popularity stakes!

Even from the start, however, Steve Reeves seemed to dominate the scene.  We received returns from Germany, England and France and were pleasantly surprised to find their choice of physiques and their favorite bodybuilders were also very popular in America.  Only a few years ago, the bodybuilders of Europe went for the leaner type of physique.  But judging by the way they voted in this contest, things have changed.  Arnold Schwarzenegger seemed to be the favorite star of the Europeans, with Steve Reeves a close second.

American bodybuilders were torn between Sergio Oliva, Steve Reeves, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Frank Zane.  The votes came in from all over the world and gradually it became obvious who would be the top man.  None other than Steve Reeves.  But a real battle was taking place between Sergio, Arnold and Frank Zane.  Many wrote that Sergio’s physique was exaggerated, that he was in a class of his own.  But not the kind of physique they would like to see at the top of the tree!  Others wrote that while Zane had beautiful lines, he lacked real muscular mass.  And still more figured Arnold Schwarzenegger needed more work on his legs.

As the months rolled by, Harold Poole and Bill Pearl, who started off very well, began to slip lower and lower down the lists.  Now Larry Scott was receiving an abundance of votes.  At the end of August our returns showed Steve Reeves in first place with 26,500 votes, Larry Scott in second place with 25, 806 and Sergio Oliva third with 25, 515.  Franco Columbu was coming up fast and we thought he might unseat Zane for fourth place.

By mid-September, Sergio Oliva had overtaken Larry Scott with 25,902 votes.  Steve Reeves had moved even further up with another 300 votes.  But Arnold Schwarzenegger was beginning to show his pace.  He registered 25,902 to click an amazing tie with the incredible Sergio.

It’s been a rough year for Sergio, three
defeats at the hands of Arnold Schwarzenegger. He made third place.

Then the big day.  Showtime.  We spent three days sorting out the results of the top ten contest.  The fans had had a chance to see the greatest and now many who had been reluctant to send in their votes did so now.  What a time we had adding up figures, making new listings and placing the stars.

Finally we were ready.  Incredibly, Steve Reeves retained his position with 30,000 votes.  Arnold Schwarzenegger zoomed past Oliva into second place with an astounding 27,516 and The Myth settled into third position with a total of 27,207.  That was that.  Poole dropped out of the first ten and Rick Wayne came in with a total of 25,116 just behind Columbu.

Below, we have listed the top ten bodybuilders of all time, as chosen by you the readers of MUSCLE BUILDER.  Our last count was taken on October 30th.

1. STEVE REEVES   30,008
2. Arnold Schwarzenegger   27,516
3. Sergio Oliva   27,207
4. Larry Scott   25,300
5. Frank Zane   25,222
6. Franco Columbu   25,118
7. Rick Wayne   25,116
8. Bill Pearl   25,000
9. Dave Draper   24,815
10.Chuck Sipes   24,812

And so, once again bodybuilders of the world have chosen Steve Reeves to top their popularity poll.  It is an incredible situation when one considers the fact that Steve last competed in a physique contest some twenty years ago.  Perhaps his movies have had a lot to do with the result of the contest; then again, it might be he possessed the kind of physique that appeals to the greater majority of bodybuilders.  Who knows?

Larry Scott started off well but
gradually fell back to fourth position.
Fifth place went to Mr. Universe &
Mr. World Frank Zane.
Franco Columbu makes the top ten
for the first time.

Only two votes separated Franco and
the amazing Rick Wayne.
Would show appearances have helped Bill Pearl earn a higher rating? Dave Draper came out of retirement to win the Mr. World title and a ninth
place in the polls.

Could Chuck Sipes’ absence from competitions have accounted for
his placing?



Sorry, comments for this entry are closed at this time.

Related Articles


2015 Pro Contest Schedule

Mr. Olympia

AMI Logo


© 1946-2015 IFBB Professional League, All Rights Reserved