Why Arnold Schwarzenegger Had Training Partners

Arnold Schwarzenegger might be the most influential bodybuilders of all times and also an accomplished powerlifter with his 710lb Deadlift, but he didn’t get there alone. Arnold had a key long-term training partner: powerlifting champion Franco Columbo – 655lb Squatter, 750lb Deadlifter and later 3x Mr Olympia.

Arnold Schwarzenegger and his long-term training partner Franco Columbo
Arnold Schwarzenegger and his long-term training partner Franco Columbo

In his autobiography The Education of a Bodybuilder,” which I highly recommend you to read, Arnold revealed the exact reason why he decided to train with Franco Columbo after he met him in Munich in 1965. Quote:

I did it because of something I’d seen in Franco, which was his incredible willpower. [..] I knew he could go all the way. I knew too that he was the training partner who could weather the ferocious workouts necessary in the coming year. [..] It was important for me to be with Franco during a time when I wanted to adhere to a grueling workout schedule. – Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Arnold Schwarzenegger obviously believed he would be more successful with a training partner pushing him to train hard. In fact, Arnold trained without Franco the first year after he arrived in California. But because he felt something was missing, he convinced Joe Weider to bring Franco to the USA in 1969.

(By the way, Arnold and Franco also became very good friends outside the gym. They started a successful bricklayer business together, and Franco even served as the best man at Schwarzenegger’s wedding with Maria Shriver in 1986).

Keep in mind that Arnold also trained with several other guys over the years like Dave Draper, Ric Drasin and his life-long mentor Reg Park (3x Mr Universe, 2nd guy to Bench Press 500lb, and first guy to publish the 5×5 training method).

Which brings us to this important question: if Arnold Schwarzenegger, one of the greatest lifters of all times, became successful using training partners, then why the heck are you trying to get strong and ripped all by yourself?

Think about it.