💪 10 Most Shocking Upsets in Bodybuilding History

For one week and one week only, we'll accept Cadbury Creme Eggs as a viable pre-workout option. With that out of the way, let's get to the sweet, gooey center of today's best bodybuilding stories.

Bodybuilding shows don’t always play out how the experts predict — and these 10 upset victories are among the most shocking in the sport’s history.

The shoulder press is one of the best exercises for building pure upper-body power. But if you’re bored of the same ol’ thing, these 10 variations will add a much-needed wrinkle to your workouts. ​​

The legendary Lee Haney won eight straight Olympia titles and walked away from the game without ever losing his crown. He recently opened up on why he left the sport at just 31 years old.


Biggest Bodybuilding Swerves

Image: @mrolympia08 on Instagram

Like with any sport, no one can truly predict a bodybuilding show. Right when fans think one competitor is a sure bet to take home the top prize, the judges can throw a curveball into the mix and crown an unexpected winner that no one saw coming.

Over the years, we’ve seen David beat Goliath and young upstarts take down longtime champs on the biggest stages. From Arnold Schwazrenegger’s double upset over Sergio Oliva back in 1970 to Natalia Abraham Coelho toppling Sarah Villegas at the 2022 Women’s Physique Olympia, we’re reliving 10 of the biggest upsets in bodybuilding history below.


Alternative Press

Image: antoniodiaz/Shutterstock

The shoulder press is devilishly simple — you drive a barbell overhead and lower it back to your upper chest. It’s a movement that increases strength in the torso, adds mass to the shoulders and triceps, and strengthens the end range of your mobility overhead.

And by simply shifting your body’s angle, the tools you use, and your lifting tempo, you can manipulate the standard shoulder press to hone in on various goals.

Below, you’ll find 10 shoulder press variations that can (and should) be used by strength, power, and fitness athletes looking to build serious upper-body strength and muscle mass. You’ll also learn how to integrate these shoulder press variations into your program and how to warm up your shoulders for maximum pressing strength.


Lee Haney Talks Retirement

GIF: Posing Room via YouTube

No bodybuilder could touch Lee Haney in the ‘80s. The man won eight Mr. Olympia titles from 1984 to 1991 — the only other competitor to reach that mark was Ronnie Coleman in the late ‘90s and early 2000s.

But when Haney retired from the sport in 1991 at the age of 31, he didn’t do so because he lost a step. If anything, Haney looked about as good as ever during his final Mr. Olympia show. So why walk away?

In a recent appearance on retired bodybuilder Lee Labrada’s podcast, Haney talked about his decision to hang up the posing trunks.

“When we’re on top, there’s nowhere else to go but down,” Haney said. “So, the pressure of how do I stay here? What can I do different to bring a better package? All those things run through your mind and, if you don’t keep it together, that can really create a lot of stress.”


Olympia Bound

Image: @emnual_31 and @deejs_fitnation on Instagram

  • The Tri-City Classic Pro bodybuilding show took place this weekend, with both the Men’s Physique and Figure winners securing an Olympia qualification.

  • Bodybuilder Eric Brown also won this past weekend’s 2023 Fitworld Pro Classic Physique show, earning him a spot at the 2023 Olympia.

  • Your pecs are a muscle like any other: They’re prone to imbalances and may require a more precise touch if you want them to grow. Learn how the single-arm chest flye can get you there. ​​​​


Can Anyone Beat Haney?

Image: @lee_haney_official on Instagram

Will anyone ever beat Lee Haney and Ronnie Coleman's record of eight Mr. Olympia titles? Pick one below to vote:

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Walker's Chances

Image: @nick_walker39 on Instagram

In the March 28, 2023, edition of The Ripped Report, we asked you how many Mr. Olympia titles Nick Walker will win during his career. Here's how you voted:

  1. Two to Three (36.17%)

  2. Zero (30.85%)

  3. One (18.09%)

  4. Four to Five (9.57%)

  5. Eight (5.32%)

  6. Six to Seven (0%)