“I was shocked… depressed… alone”: Arnold Schwarzenegger Still Licking the Wounds after Bodybuilding Legend Crushed Him in Mr. Universe

An unexpected defeat at the hands of Frank Zane in the Mr. Universe competition made Arnold Schwarzenegger come crashing down to earth.

"I was shocked... depressed... alone": Arnold Schwarzenegger Still Licking the Wounds after Bodybuilding Legend Crushed Him in Mr. Universe


  • In his newsletter, Arnold Schwarzenegger recalled a shocking Mr. Universe defeat that he suffered in the hands of bodybuilder Frank Zane.
  • The loss left the Terminator star extremely depressed and made him question his future in the field.
  • Schwarzenegger though, used this failure as a positive sign and trained even harder to win many more titles.
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Without any doubt, Arnold Schwarzenegger can be called the Messiah of bodybuilding. The multiple Mr. Universe winner and one of Hollywood’s greatest action stars has been a pioneering role model for aspiring athletes all over the world to emulate and build a sculpted and muscled physique like his own. Now, at the age of 76, Schwarzenegger is continuing to inspire generations of people to make fitness and health a priority.

Arnold Schwarzenegger
Arnold Schwarzenegger in Terminator

In his newsletter titled Arnold’s Pump Club, the Terminator star has made it his primary focus to share tips on bodybuilding, health, and fitness. Along with these aspects, Schwarzenegger has also rendered valuable lessons on how failure can become a stepping stone to success through his own experience of facing a crushing defeat against a better contender in the Mr. Universe competitions.

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Arnold Schwarzenegger Has Haunting Memories Of Mr. Universe Defeat

When it comes to building one’s physique, it is impossible to look beyond the expertise of Arnold Schwarzenegger. The seemingly invincible star who has been an inspiration to people in the field of health and fitness over decades, has also had his share of crippling failures during the course of his bodybuilding career.

Arnold Schwarzenegger
Arnold Schwarzenegger lost to Frank Zane in the Mr. Universe competition

In a blog featured in his newsletter titled Arnold’s Pump Club, Schwarzenegger spoke about conquering failure and using it as a foundation to become successful. The Commando actor recalled shockingly losing the Mr. Universe title to bodybuilder Frank Zane in his first outing in the USA.

Having been invited to America by Joe Wider at age 21, Schwarzenegger was excited at the prospect of winning his third title in his inaugural competition in the country. As things turned out, he lost to the accomplished competitor and legend Frank Zane, which then made him question his abilities as a bodybuilder and his future in the field. Schwarzenegger elaborated in Arnold’s Pump Club,


Frank Zane beat me. I was shocked, I was depressed, and I was all alone. I had just left everyone I knew and everything I had in Europe for this.

But like all great competitors, Schwarzenegger took the defeat in his stride and was gracious enough to admit that Zane was the better contender on the day. The True Lies actor also used the failure as a positive sign and began training with Zane with whom he went on to develop a close friendship. His perseverance led him to win many more titles.

Also Read: Arnold Schwarzenegger Will Never Forget the Humiliation 1 Movie Gave Him Just 2 Years after Terminator 2 Broke Records: “It hurts you”

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Tips On How To Combat Failure

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s newsletter is a mine of information on various topics related to health and fitness. It also is a valuable source of guidance that helps viewers navigate failure and success through external and internal introspection. In the newsletter titled Arnold’s Pump Club, Schwarzenegger gives important tips on how to surmount failure and reach one’s goals.


“First of all, the biggest reason people fail is that they aren’t keeping their program in front of them and checking their goals off every day. So, if you haven’t been keeping track, start NOW. I always had my program written on the wall in the gym, and I knew I did it every day when I marked it off.”

Arnold Schwarzenegger
Arnold Schwarzenegger in a scene from the Netflix documentary, Arnold

The Austrian Oak also urged his readers to stop being excessively hard on themselves when they failed. He advised them to embrace their mistakes, take failure in their stride, and continue to move forward toward progress without being discouraged.


Written by Sharanya Sankar

Articles Published: 1174

Sharanya Sankar, Writer for Fandomwire
Having completed her Masters degree in Journalism and Mass Communication, Sharanya has a solid foundation in writing which is also one of her passions. She has worked previously with Book My show for a couple of years where she gained experience reviewing films and writing feature articles. Sharanya’s articles on film and pop culture have also been published on Film Companion, a popular film-based website. Apart from movies and pop culture, her interests include music and sports. She has contributed over 650 articles to Fandomwire so far.