Franco Columbu was born in Ollolai, Sardinia, Italy on August 7 1941. He was always a gifted sportsman despite his height of only 5'5". He started out as a boxer and then later discovered powerlifting where he competed internationally and also competed in the world's strongest man.
Franco and Arnold were training buddies when they first came to California and there are stories of how they would walk into a gym and ask for a free workout if they beat anyone in the gym with any movement. Franco was the best man at his wedding to Maria Shriver.
Franco started with weightlifting and dominated the sport for three years winning the best lifts in Germany, Italy and then the European championships which he also won the same year. When Franco turned his hand to bodybuilding he decided to dominate that sport too.
That is exactly what Franco did by winning the Mr.Olympia title 4 times often competing against his training partner in the final pose-down. Arnold and Franco did a lot together as Franco played a cameo role in most of Arnold’s movies like Terminator and Conan.
Franco first came to America with a world-wide reputation as being one of the world’s strongest men. His decision to start bodybuilding was also motivated by Arnold and his success. Good eating and hard training were showing results and they decided to start a building business together.
Franco was also very well known on the Venice beach or muscle beach to be blowing up hit water bottles or lifting cars off the ground or deadlift over 700 lbs, which was something very unusual. Together with a successful movie career Franco was just getting better.
Franco was a practicing chiropractor which he himself explains that learning about kinesiology taught him about form and how and why it is so important to do an exercise correctly. Franco wrote and published a workout for men 1988 which started his interest in sharing his knowledge.
Franco has a determination and a will to compete that awarded him 4 different Mr.Olympia first place wins. The first time was in 1974 when he won the Mr. Olympia lightweight division and did the exact same thing two years after that. He then rested from an injury and made movies only to come back and win Mr.Olympia again in 1981.
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