The Man Who Inspired Arnold (yes, that Arnold!)

Roy “Reg” Park, (7 June 1928 – 22 November 2007) was an English bodybuilder who is widely known as the man who inspired Arnold Schwarzenegger to become a bodybuilder. Reg was 6’1 and weighed around 220 in competition and 250 out of competition. Basically Arnold was about the same size. Arnold narrowly beat him in a controversial Mr. Universe in 1970. This man inspired many famous bodybuilders to enter the sport.

As a bodybuilder, his competitive career lasted twenty seven years winning the Mr. Universe every seven years for over 21 years! He was strong for a bodybuilder, especially for his time. He was one of the first, if not the first, bodybuilder to bench press 500 pounds!

Reg was one of the first “big” bodybuilders and his massive size and acting talent was not lost on action film producers who signed him to appear in several films from 1963 through 1965, four of these being the Hercules movies for which his powerful physique was perfectly suited. He had that classic Hercules physique. Loved his movies!

Moving to South Africa to escape the harsh British climate, Reg was inducted into the South Africa Sports Hall of Fame. He was also presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award by Arnold at the Arnold Classic in 2007.

He was also a “good guy.” He was married for 55 years and was a loving, doting Father to two children. His son, Jon Park is the owner of the Legacy Gym, a popular gymnasium in West Los Angeles and his daughter, Jeunesse, founded Food & Trees for Africa, a non-profit organization.

He was a winner – just look at his wins:

·        1946 Mr Britain 4th

·        1949 Mr Britain 1st

·        1950 Best Developed Athlete in America – IFBB, Tall, 1st

·        1950 Best Developed Athlete in America – IFBB, Overall Winner Mr Europe

·        1950 Overall Winner Mr Universe – NABBA, Tall, 2nd

·        1951 Mr Universe – NABBA, Tall, 1st

·        1951 Mr Universe – NABBA, Overall Winner

·        1958 Mr Universe – Pro – NABBA, Tall, 1st

·        1958 Mr Universe – Pro – NABBA, Overall Winner

·        1965 Mr Universe – Pro – NABBA, Tall, 1st

·        1965 Mr Universe – Pro – NABBA, Overall Winner

·        1970 Mr Universe – Pro – NABBA, Tall, 2nd

·        1971 Mr Universe – Pro – NABBA, Tall, 3rd

·        1973 Mr Universe – Pro – NABBA, Tall, 2nd