Now, be under no illusion, when you see the bodybuilders at the Olympia and at the expos, wearing expensive Rolex watches, driving around stunning sports cars, and being signed to multi-million-dollar supplement sponsorship contracts, that in general does not reflect bodybuilding.
Today we’re looking at several of the richest bodybuilders in the world, but first, we need to be clear that to get to that stage will take a hell of a lot of work.
For most people, bodybuilding is an expensive hobby.
Amateur bodybuilders are not sponsored and so they have to pay for their own supplements, as well as copious amounts of food, gym memberships, and other expenses relating to the sport.
If you’re able to crack the world of bodybuilding, though, the world is your oyster.
Oh, and just to be clear, this is in no particular order and the bodybuilders on our list aren’t necessarily IFBB pro bodybuilders.
The Richest Bodybuilders In The World
1. Dorian Yates
Dorian ‘The Shadow’ Yates is considered by many to be the bodybuilder responsible for the huge ‘mass monsters’ that we see on stage at the Olympia every year.
Whereas before Yates, judges seemed to prefer smaller, more aesthetic physiques, Dorian Yates changed all that as he brought insane conditioning to the stage, along with freakish size.
This English bodybuilder has won the Olympia 6 times consecutively and has a net worth of over $4 Million as of this writing.
Since retiring from bodybuilding he stayed relevant by hosting training seminars, creating his own supplement line, and opening his own gym in Birmingham, UK.
2. Kai Greene
Kai Greene was believed by many to be the next in line to claim the Olympia title when he was competing. After a falling out with the IFBB however, Kai no longer competed as a bodybuilder.
He stopped competing, but he certainly didn’t stop training.
Kai ‘The Predator’ Greene instead set his sights on Hollywood and made a surprise appearance in the hit Netflix series ‘Stranger Things’ appearing in season 2.
This former Arnold Classic winner is currently worth a little over $1.6 Million.
Not bad for somebody that no longer competes, huh?
3. Stan Efferding
Stan ‘White Rhino’ Efferding was formerly known as the world’s strongest bodybuilder.
Stan was a bodybuilder who would also compete as a powerlifter.
Sometimes he would literally jump from one to the next.
Stan’s videos on YouTube went viral when he would dumbbell incline press 215lb dumbbells for reps, yet in bodybuilding terms, he didn’t make much of an impact on stage.
With the money he did make from bodybuilding, Stan invested in Real Estate, and he made a small fortune.
He is also the mastermind behind the Vertical Diet, which many pro athletes, bodybuilders, and strongmen are now following.
Stan’s net worth is currently estimated to be around $1 Million.
4. Dexter Jackson
Dexter Jackson is a bodybuilder that seems to defy the laws of time.
The man doesn’t age.
If anything, he looks younger each year, and his physique seems to improve. Dexter Jackson has never been out of shape.
Known as ‘The Blade’ Dex is a former Mr. Olympia and Arnold Classic winner.
One of the main reasons why Dexter is on our list is because of the fact that he’s been competing for so long.
Having been a pro for decades, Dexter has been sponsored by some of the best supplement companies in the world.
He has also appeared in Flex Magazine and Muscle and Fitness magazine multiple times, not to mention making the front cover several times.
All of this, along with the prize money from his many wins on stage from his more than 85 pro contests, has helped to give Dexter a net worth of $7 Million.
5. Jay Cutler
Jay Cutler is the bodybuilder that Dexter Jackson defeated in 2008 to become Mr. Olympia.
After that, people were convinced that he was done.
Jay went back to basics, changed his hair and his physique, and came back in 09 to reclaim his title by bringing what many consider to be his best physique ever.
Jay is on our list for a reason.
Jay Cutler has won the Olympia 4 times, as well as other contests including the Arnold Classic.
He was considered to be a great ambassador for the sport of bodybuilding, so supplement companies, athletic apparel companies, and the mainstream media were willing to pay big bucks for him to make various appearances and to endorse their products.
After retiring, he created his own supplement company and his own line of gym wear, which did very well. Jay is currently believed to be one of the top richest people in the industry in the world, with a net worth of $30 Million.
6. Gary Strydom
Gary Strydom is a US IFBB pro bodybuilder who competed for nearly three decades.
He made his name in the 1980s and 90s, picking up many wins and countless sponsorship deals and magazine covers and photoshoots.
He briefly took a break from bodybuilding before making a comeback before retiring in 2006.
Strydom’s net worth is currently estimated to be around $8 Million.
7. Mike O’Hearn
Mike O’Hearn is another bodybuilder that appears to be immortal.
Seriously, the guy does not age one little bit.
He is a former bodybuilder, actor, model, personal trainer, and entrepreneur.
When he wasn’t competing on stage, Mike was appearing on American Gladiators as the Gladiator Titan, as well as appearing in Battledome as athlete Michael O’Dell.
Mike has won the Mr. Universe title 4 times, has appeared in countless TV shows and daytime TV talk shows, and has even created his own training program called Power Bodybuilding.
Currently, his net worth is estimated to be around $2.5 Million.
8. Ronnie Coleman
Yeah, Buddy! Next, up on our list, we have Ronnie Coleman.
Ronnie Coleman is regarded by many as one of the greatest Mr. Olympias to ever grace the stage. He is a joint-record holder of the title, having won the O an impressive 8 times.
During his time as a competitive bodybuilder, Ronnie was everywhere in the fitness world. Bodybuilding magazines such as Flex, Muscle and Fitness, etc, couldn’t get enough of Ronnie.
Neither could the supplement companies.
In the mid-2000s, Ronnie was signed to BSN on a multi-million-dollar contract sponsorship deal.
This, along with the prize money from his wins, as well as personal appearances, etc, mean that Ronnie Coleman is now worth around $10 Million.
9. Lou Ferrigno
Big Louie Ferrigno may be better known to some of you as the original Incredible Hulk, but before he was painted green, he made a name for himself as a pro bodybuilder.
Lou was put on the map in the 70s hit ‘mockumentary’ Pumping Iron, in which he was portrayed as the young naïve newcomer underdog, looking to upset the king of the mountain Arnold Schwarzenegger and win the Olympia.
Lou Ferrigno competed as a bodybuilder until the 90s and went on to appear in numerous TV shows, including The King of Queens in which he portrayed himself.
He also took up personal training and currently is thought to be worth around $6 Million.
10. Phil Heath
Phil ‘The Gift’ Heath is a bodybuilder considered to be fairly polarizing.
In the recent Generation Iron movie, Phil was portrayed as a high rolling baller bodybuilder, relishing the good things in life, driving fast cars, wearing expensive clothing, and so on.
Whilst this was an overexaggerated version of Phil for the cameras, he is still all about that life, and he has the bank account to match.
Phil has won multiple Olympia titles, as well as other prestigious awards, and has been sponsored by some of the richest supplement companies on the planet, including Muscle-Tech.
Because of this, Phil currently has a net worth of $5 Million.
11. Triple H
Controversial maybe, but we did say that the bodybuilders on our list today don’t need to be pros.
Triple H is a WWE wrestler and executive with the company.
He is also a former Teen Mr. New Hampshire and has competed in several other bodybuilding contests when he was younger.
He has also appeared on the cover of Muscle and Fitness and Flex magazine and has been sponsored by some of the most well-known supplement companies in the business, including Weider, and BSN.
In fact, he was signed to BSN at the same time as Ronnie Coleman in the mid-2000s.
Triple H stands at 6ft 4 and currently weighs in at around 250 pounds of solid muscle, so he still trains his butt off.
His net worth is estimated to be around $40 Million.
12. Calum Von Moger
Calum Von Moger is one of those bodybuilders that people either love or loathe.
He is still relatively young, yet many would argue that he acts much younger and that he doesn’t take his training seriously.
Calum is currently rehabbing from a knee injury sustained for an Instagram video in which he was abseiling off a cliff.
Before that, he tore his biceps when he was trying to curl 405 pounds, assisted, again for an Instagram video.
Calum was dubbed the new Arnold as he bears a striking resemblance to the Austrian Oak and has the physique to match. Calum is a former Mr. Universe winner and even has his own documentary on Netflix.
His net worth is estimated to be around $2 Million.
13. Rich Gaspari
Rich by name, and rich by nature.
Rich Gaspari is a bodybuilder that didn’t actually make a name for himself whilst he was competing.
Sure, he did okay and appeared in magazines and various sponsorship deals and ads, etc.
It was when he retired from bodybuilding that Rich made his fortune, however.
Rich Gaspari created his own line of supplements ‘Gaspari Nutrition’ which took off straight away and did incredibly well.
He is currently estimated to have a net worth of close to $100 Million.
14. Steve Cook
Steve Cook is a US IFBB pro bodybuilder and fitness model who competes in the physique division at the Olympia.
He is renowned for his aesthetically pleasing physique, his insane condition, and his work ethic in the gym.
Steve has picked up numerous wins over the last 7 years and as a result, he is currently worth around $1.9 Million.
15. Lazar Angelov
Lazar Angelov is the guy you’ve inevitably seen on Instagram, who has a physique so impressive that it simply does not look real.
Lazar is a workhorse in the gym, and he personifies what hard work can get you if you set your mind to something.
Even his name is cool.
This Bulgarian bodybuilder, fitness model, personal trainer, and social media sensation has a set of abs so defined that you could grate cheese on them.
He has amassed millions of followers on social media and is currently worth $2 Million.
16. Mike Chang
If you haven’t heard of Mike Chang, you’ll probably have heard of his ‘Six Pack Shortcuts’ training program.
Mike made a name for himself on YouTube, and, despite being the victim of trolls, his physique speaks for itself.
As does his bank balance.
Mike is currently estimated to have a net worth of $2 Million.
17. Lee Haney
Lee Haney is very respected in the world of bodybuilding.
Both he and Ronnie Coleman share the record for most consecutive Olympia wins.
He is in the bodybuilding hall of fame and has a net worth of just over $5.5 Million.
18. Arnold Schwarzenegger
And last, but certainly not least, we have the bodybuilder whom many consider being the greatest of all time.
Yes, we’re talking about the Austrian Oak, Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Arnold Schwarzenegger set his sights on dominating the sport of bodybuilding.
In fact, he won the Olympia 7 times.
He then set his sights on Hollywood and became the biggest action hero of the late 80s and 90s.
Then came 2 runs as Governor of California.
Yep, Arnold did it all and is still one of the most recognized names and faces in the world today.
He is worth more than $300 Million.
So, there you have just 18 of the richest bodybuilders in the world. It goes to show that bodybuilding can sometimes pay the bills after all.