Arnold Schwarzenegger Announces Arnold Classic First Place Prize Money To Be $500,000 In 2025

Arnold Schwarzenegger prize money increase

The 2025 Arnold Classic to raise first place prize money to $500k, in response to Mr. Olympia’s increase to $400k

In a monumental surprise, Arnold Schwarzenegger has announced that the 2025 Arnold Classic prize money for first place will rise up to $500,000. The news was announced immediately after Hadi Choopan won the 2024 Arnold Classic.

The Arnold Classic is a prestige moment and one of the biggest shows of the year for the world of bodybuilding, next to the Mr. Olympia of course. But the 2024 Arnold Classic may perhaps get even more attention than usual due to the surprising announcement made by Arnold Schwarzenegger at the tail-end of the competition broadcast.

After Hadi Choopan reclaimed his glory with an epic first place victory at the 2024 Arnold Classic, Schwarzenegger took a moment to address the audience about what is to come for the future of the event.

Arnold Schwarzenegger acknowledged that the 2024 Mr. Olympia made history by raising the first place prize money to $400,000. In what seems to be a direct response to that record-breaking increase, Schwarzenegger claimed that would be raising the Arnold Classic prize money for first place to $500,000 next year.

The moment was a showstopper, as an audible reaction could be heard on the broadcast from the audience and even the competitors on stage looked shocked. Hadi Choopan, moments after winning, joked that he would definitely, “be back,” in both acknowledgment to the gobsmacking prize money amount and a reference to Schwarzenegger’s famous catch phrase.

“And I have more good news and that is, this year the winning prize is $300,000 dollars… but next year, as you know the winning prize for the Olympia is $400,000 and I don’t feel obliged anymore for the rules so we are a going to go up to $500,000 for next year for the Arnold Classic.”

The announces acknowledge how unprecedented this announcement was, with Fouad Abiad noting that this is a statement to say that Arnold Schwarzenegger wants the Arnold Classic to be the best event in bodybuilding.

It will be interesting to see if the Mr. Olympia makes an announcement at the 2024 Mr. Olympia competition later this year acknowledging Arnold Schwarzenegger’s increase in prize money. Perhaps we shall see a prize money war going into 2025. This, of course, will only benefit the athletes – and is a welcome growth for the sport as a whole. That is Arnold’s ultimate goal.

Schwarzenegger went into more detail during a seminar on Sunday following the original announcement on Saturday night during the finals. Arnold shared that he did not raise his prizes in the past as a promise to Joe and Ben Weider. Now, he has decided to raise them in order to add more competition.

“For years, we kept the money below because that’s what I promised Joe and Ben Weider. That I would not compete with the Olympia but now, they have passed on and I know Joe and Ben are smiling down from heaven to see how successful we are. And they would want me to go and put a little bit of pressure on the Olympia and say ‘Okay, we’re gonna give $500k so maybe you go to $600k.’”

Arnold Schwarzenegger is hoping that the Olympia views this as an opportunity for more competition and a push to raise their prizes as well.

“The idea is to really build competition, not for us to be number one but just to move on and pressure the Olympia to pressure the Olympia. Hopefully they listen to that and will do that.”

Arnold Classic 2024 Coverage

Generation Iron Fitness Network will provide full coverage of the Arnold Classic event including pre-judging reports, analysis, and results updates. Stay tuned to Generation Iron and visit out official 2024 Arnold Classic coverage hub right here!

Derek Dufour
Derek Dufour has been managing all digital operations on the Generation Iron Network for over six years. He currently manages a team of editors, writers, and designers to provide up-to-date content across the GI Network.