Bodybuilding Articles

19 Amazing Before & After Bodybuilding Transformations

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It can sometimes feel like some bodybuilders landed on this earth as ready made Goliaths, and there’s no chance they could have been a skinny kid struggling to lift their first dumbbell at one point. Well, amazingly, we have evidence that some of the biggest names in bodybuilding were in fact mortals…even if it was a long time ago!

In this article we’ll be taking a look at 19 amazing before and after transformations in bodybuilding.

Arnold Schwarzenegger – Before & After


The most famous bodybuilder of all time, Arnold “The Oak” Schwarzenegger, created one of the most incredible and iconic physiques in history. It is even more impressive when you see the physique he had as a teenager. Sure, it’s still a decent frame. But look at the improvements he made in just a few years!

Phil Heath – Before & After


Phil Heath started life as a college basketball player, and had the athletic physique to match. You can see that he had the building blocks for a killer frame, but his transformation to elite bodybuilder has been remarkable.

Lee Priest – Before & After


Bodybuilding’s most outspoken star, Lee Priest, started bodybuilding at a very young age, which explains the before picture. Perhaps one of the most impressive transformations in bodybuilding.

Jay Cutler – Before & After


Sometimes it really is all about genetics. Jay Cutler’s transformation is impressive, but you can see that bodybuilding must have come naturally to Jay, as JC was already a beast at 18.

Ronnie Coleman – Before & After


A great transformation, but Ronnie looks like he could walk into most bodybuilding competitions in his “before” photo!


Dorian Yates – Before & After


Move aside Lee Priest, we’ve found an even more insane transformation! Dorian Yates, Britain’s best bodybuilder, was clearly not genetically designed for bodybuilding. It took a lot of spite, hard work, and training to become one of the most successful Mr Olympia’s of all time.

Dennis Wolf – Before & After


Look at the change in traps! Absolutely massive.


Lou Ferrigno – Before & After


One of the most aesthetically pleasing bodybuilders of all time started life as just a regular kid. Who’d have suspected? A contention for the best transformation on this list.

Kai Greene – Before & After


An interesting before and after because different people will prefer each physique!

Branch Warren – Before & After


The best part of this transformation is the addition of shorts. Great call Branch.

He was clearly already gifted genetically, especially in the lats region.

Tom Platz – Before & After


Look at the legs! What a change. This before and after picture gives some evidence that Tom Platz’s mammoth-sized legs were the result of incredibly hard training – rather than being genetically gifted.


Franco Columbu – Before & After


Just two photos of the coolest bodybuilder of the 70s (with Arnold of course).

Shawn Rhoden – Before & After


He always had massive legs, the biggest change appears to be the pecs (and the hair)


Flex Wheeler – Before & After


Flex is probably thankful that the first photo is so blurry!

Steve Reeves – Before & After


Before and after Steve learned how to pose and the importance of tanning!

Dexter Jackson – Before & After


Two incredible physiques, one truly incredible haircut. What a legend.

Kevin Levrone – Before & After


Kevin Levrone probably has more mass in his bicep in the “after” photo than he does in his whole body in the “before”.

Jeff Seid – Before & After


This could also be a before and after photo of Jeff learning about hair gel

Evan Centopani – Before & After


Before and after Evan’s shirts started to fall apart! Just kidding, what a fantastic transformation.

Steve Shaw

Steve Shaw is the founder of Muscle and Brawn, and a powerlifter with 30+ years of experience. Steve's recorded a 600lb squat, 672lb deadlift and a 382lb bench press.
Steve Shaw

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  • Personal trainer Jul 30,2017 at 9:19 am

    All are very impressive.

  • Renato Mar 6,2016 at 6:36 am

    All of them except maybe for a very few looked better before they started to use chemical assistance .It’s like with the women with the plastic boobs or injected lips.They want to look more attractive, but in doing so , they end up being less attractive.

  • Mark Mar 30,2015 at 1:11 pm

    At least with the old school, i.e Arnie and Lou, they knew what the word ‘proportion’ meant. These freakazoids that pump their legs beyond normality just look ridiculous, and they are NOT strong, just pumped full of steroids.

  • alexander Kragulj Dec 15,2014 at 6:27 am

    Could someone tell me when the two Arnold Schwarzenegger pictures were taken. It’s really important, so if someone would be so kind. thanks!

    • Pete Feb 21,2015 at 12:08 am

      Those pics were copied from his book “The Education of A BodyBuilder”. You can find the answer by reading the book.

    • champ Apr 24,2015 at 7:09 pm

      The first pic of Arnold is 17-18yr im sure about that. and the next is prob early twenty about 22

  • Bob Nov 14,2014 at 5:11 pm

    Before and after they took steroids?

  • SyKness Oct 27,2014 at 7:20 am

    the important of workout to change your life is
    “do not compare on you with other just do the things that is your own”

  • MsDelkaLiz Sep 29,2014 at 11:54 pm

    The best body is Lou Ferrigno’s Well defined, plus one does not see all the veins popping out.. yuck

  • Alex Wolstencroft Sep 27,2014 at 12:41 am

    Most respect to Tom Platz, the most developed legs in history. Quadzilla squatting 500 for high reps (20+) like a monster and even the great Kaz was mirin.

  • joaquin13 Aug 1,2014 at 4:51 pm

    :O … missing someone: the god of aesthetics : ZYZZ …
    R.I.P .. Aziz Sergeyevich Shavershian <3 … 😛

  • eric Jul 28,2014 at 11:26 pm

    I love in the comments when some ditsy chick says eww gross they looked better before as if the motivation for bodybuilding and strength training is getting a girlfriend lol the last thing on the minds of these men is how “sexy” they look to some unmotivated dumb fucking bitch. stay strong.

    • Not Eric Nov 24,2014 at 2:37 pm

      It’s not polite to talk to or about women in that way. You should apologize. Also, try doing some research on the long-term effects that steroid abuse has on a body. I know you probably don’t care about what I’m telling you but that doesn’t change the fact that you have a big mouth that would be better off sealed-up tight with a pneumatic finish nailer that I have in my garage. Just saying. Have a good one and try practicing some self-discipline.

      • joesantos Dec 22,2015 at 9:29 pm

        I expect that ERIC was commenting on this earlier post (scroll down to see it) by Audi:
        “audi May 24,2014 at 12:25 am
        That’s gross… women like men with some muscles and a great tone to their body. But I have to say alot of the before pictures looked better. A couple after pictures look great but most of the were just nasty.”

        NOT ERIC, do you not equally feel that AUDI was disrespectful for describibng bodybuilders as ” gross…nasty”?

    • sam Dec 30,2014 at 6:07 pm

      You sound angry. Dudes (inc most male bodybuilders) look at female roided out bodybuilders in the same way (ie grotesque and unattractive), so don’t know why you’re so offended. BB today is freak obsessed, aesthetics are a thing of the past unfortunately.

  • audi May 24,2014 at 12:25 am

    That’s gross… women like men with some muscles and a great tone to their body. But I have to say alot of the before pictures looked better. A couple after pictures look great but most of the were just nasty.

    • audi May 24,2014 at 12:29 am

      *most of them ( for all you grammar Nazis)

    • LinLin Jul 1,2014 at 8:13 am

      Well I like muscles on a guy but they all look better in the before pics to me, perhaps with the exception of Lou F. Did they post the wrong before pic of Kai Green? That’s 2 AFTER pics there I think.

  • audi May 24,2014 at 12:22 am


  • David Hobdell May 20,2014 at 12:38 am

    Wow Dorian Yates & Evan Centopani both i have been reading their blogs must say their befor and aftrt pics are simply awesome.Must say they devoted their lives to this,they simply Love what they Do..

  • edu Feb 9,2014 at 7:28 am

    Forget the God os Asthetichs Zyzz or Aziz Shavershian

  • Gert Louw Jan 16,2014 at 1:39 am

    All superior and awesome…but Lou Ferrigno is the man!

    Here is my humble transformation (age 49):

    Keep growing all.
    Gert Louw

  • Lee Rock Oct 8,2013 at 2:52 am

    No doubt this guys have worked so hard for years and decades to attain that kind of body.

    But this is definitely whats true and certain, I can relate to those guys above.


    No way you can be ripped, big and strong as they are without Steroids.

    I used Synthol and Winstrol and my gains suddenly jumped up tremendously.

    Also KEVIN LEVRONE is the most shocking transformation, from skinny to scary massive. awesome!

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