Every Winner Of The Arnold Classic Bodybuilding Show

Arnold Classic
Photo via @officialflexwheeler Instagram, @ronniecoleman8 Instagram, and @brandon_curry Instagram

All the Arnold Classic winners until now!

Bodybuilding legend Arnold Schwarzenegger hasn’t stopped his support of the sport that he saw so much success with. The seven-time Mr. Olympia winner wanted to continue to support and promote the sport and the Arnold Sports Festival has now taken over, including bodybuilding shows, strongman events, and other great competitions that give athletes a chance to show off their skills. The Arnold Classic Bodybuilding Show has become one of those events in the community that everyone looks forward to each year.

Each year the winners of the show qualify for the Olympia, and that being said, these shows are full of talent. The competitors bring their best to the stage in an attempt to take home the trophy, a cash prize, and a chance for the Mr. Olympia.

Check out this Exclusive Interview with Arnold Schwarzenegger at the Arnold Classic

Held in Columbus, Ohio, some of the best bodybuilders have crossed the stage and held the trophy high as they have taken home the top prize. With a long history and stacked list of winners, every year contenders flock to this event to compete at a high level and hoist that trophy overhead. This year, there is quite the lineup of competitors that will be attending the show.

We put together a list of all the past winners of the Arnold Classic so you can see all of the bodybuilding giants to take that top podium spot. With a long history in the books, fans are excited every year to see which new legend will take the top prize.

Arnold Classic Winners

  • Rich Gaspari – 1989
  • Mike Ashley – 1990
  • Shawn Ray – 1991
  • Vince Taylor – 1992
  • Flex Wheeler – 1993, 1997, 1998, 2000
  • Kevin Levrone – 1994, 1996
  • Mike Francois – 1995
  • Nasser El Sonbaty – 1999
  • Ronnie Coleman – 2001
  • Jay Cutler – 2002, 2003, 2004
  • Dexter Jackson – 2005, 2006, 2008, 2013, 2015
  • Victor Martinez – 2007
  • Kai Greene – 2009, 2010, 2016
  • Branch Warren – 2011, 2012
  • Dennis Wolf – 2014
  • Cedric McMillan – 2017
  • William Bonac – 2018, 2020
  • Brandon Curry – 2019, 2022
  • Nick Walker – 2021
  • Samson Dauda – 2023
  • Hadi Choopan – 2024

Rich Gaspari – 1989


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Rich Gaspari made his pro debut in 1985 and was constantly praised for his conditioning and definition. He was a runner-up at Mr. Olympia three times but this win at the Arnold Classic was another big title to add to his impressive resume. He now runs his nutritional supplement company called Gaspari Nutrition.

Mike Ashley – 1990

Mike Ashley turned pro in 1986 and had a number of appearances at big competitions, including a top ten finish at Mr. Olympia. At this Arnold Classic event, he came out looking absolutely shredded and took home the top prize, leaving this impressive notch in his bodybuilding resume.

Shawn Ray – 1991


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Shawn Ray consistently placed high in bodybuilding shows, mostly in the top five, which led to a long career of wins, including this win at the Arnold Classic in 1991. After he retired, he appeared in a umber of magazines and hosted contests for ESPN while staying as involved as he could with the sport.

Vince Taylor – 1992

Vince Taylor turned pro in 1988 and this Arnold Classic win came shortly after. For a while he had a record of 22 wins until it was broken by Ronnie Coleman, however, Taylor is still remembered highly in the bodybuilding community.

Flex Wheeler – 1993, 1997, 1998, 2000

Many legends say that Flex Wheeler was one of, if not, the best bodybuilders they have faced. This four-time Arnold Classic winner came close to a Mr. Olympia title in 1993 but has won plenty of other top events making him one of those incredibly memorable athletes.

Flex Wheeler & Kai Greene Interview Arnold Schwarzenegger

Kevin Levrone – 1994, 1996


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Kevin Levrone narrowly missed an Oympia title four times, falling short to both Dorian Yates and Ronnie Coleman, and many named him the “Uncrowned Mr. Olympia”. With a great career, these two wins at the Arnold Classic have still put him on the map as a top contender in the bodybuilding circuit when he was competing.

Mike Francois – 1995

Mike Francois took home the Arnold Classic title in 1995 and had a good career until starting his training business. During his career he won other events like the Chicago Pro and San Jose Pro, among others.

Nasser El Sonbaty – 1999


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This win at the Arnold Classic was the best win out of his 53 pro shows for Nasser El Sonbaty. He did place second at Mr. Olympia in 1997 and those round glasses he always wore saw plenty of action throughout his career.

Ronnie Coleman – 2001


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Ronnie Coleman is one of those names everyone knows and this mass monster started training for a free membership at a local gym. This Arnold Classic win was among plenty of amazing wins, including an 8-year run at Mr. Olympia.

Jay Cutler – 2002, 2003, 2004


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Jay Cutler is another big name in the bodybuilding community and this three-time Arnold Classic winner was also a four-time Olympia winner. He now runs Cutler Nutrition and seeks to spread his knowledge of bodybuilding onto others and was given the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2024 Arnold Classic for his contributions to the sport.

Dexter Jackson – 2005, 2006, 2008, 2013, 2015

Dexter Jackson was an absolute force with 5 wins at the Arnold Classic and a win at the 2008 Olympia competition. Known as “The Blade”, he is also the only bodybuilder to win the overall title at Mr. Olympia and Masters Olympia. These wins at the Arnold Classic are among the many memorable wins for this dedicated bodybuilder.

Victor Martinez – 2007


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Victor Martinez came onto the scene in 2001 and started off competing in big events, although his finishes were rather far down the list. However, with continued work, he took first at the Arnold Classic here in 2007 and finished in a close second second to Jay Cutler at Olympia in the same year.

Kai Greene – 2009, 2010, 2016


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Kai Greene hit the pro circuit in 2004 and had great success in his bodybuilding career. Taking first in three Arnold Classic events, he also placed second in 2012, 2013, and 2014. His final Arnold Classic win came in 2016 which was a great year for Greene as he also won titles at the Arnold Classic South America and Arnold Classic Australia.

Flex Exclusive Kai Greene Interview after 2016 Arnold Classic Win

Branch Warren – 2011, 2012


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Branch Warren placed in the top three at a number of Olympia shows, however these two wins at the Arnold Classic put him great contention on the pro circuit. His dominant career saw great success and he was always a worthy opponent to face off against.

Dennis Wolf – 2014


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Dennis Wolf finished first at a number of events throughout his career, but this 2014 Arnold Classic win is very notable. His focus on bodybuilding came at an early age and his small waist was notable in the sport since he turned pro in 2005.

Cedric McMillan – 2017

Cedric McMillan was praised for his physique and the idea of bringing back the golden era physique bodybuilding fans missed. Since earning his pro card in 2009, he was a dominant force on the pro circuit and this win at the Arnold Classic was just one example of why.

Exclusive Cedric McMillan Interview After 2017 Arnold Classic Win

William Bonac – 2018, 2020


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William Bonac began to climb the ranks in the bodybuilding community and competed in many shows, taking two Arnold Classic first place finishes and other top finishes at events like Mr. Olympia. He continues to push other competitors to be the best they can be.

Exclusive William Bonac Interview After His Arnold Classic 2018 Win

Brandon Curry – 2019, 2022


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Brandon Curry put himself on the map with his 2019 Mr. Olympia win, but these two Arnold Classic wins do not go unnoticed. He is a force on the pro circuit and shows no signs of slowing down.

Nick Walker – 2021

Nick Walker turned pro in 2020 and has already made noise in the community, coming in the top 3 at the 2022 Olympia. He also took this Arnold Classic title the same year he won the New York Pro event and rounded out the year with a fifth-place finish at Mr. Olympia.

Samson Dauda – 2023


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Samson Dauda is proof that the new age of bodybuilding is taking over. His 2023 Arnold Classic win led him to getting pretty close to the 2023 Mr. Olympia. He towers over the competition, and still has an incredible amount of muscle mass, with good symmetry and crazy conditioning. That being said, he is indeed a force to be reckoned with.

Hadi Choopan – 2023


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Hadi Choopan, also known as the “Persian Wolf” was the 2022 Olympia victor and came in second to Derek Lunsford at the 2023 Olympia. Just a few months later at the 2024 Arnold Classic, Hadi showed up with an improved physique and quite the stage presence, immediately presenting a serious challenge to the defending champ, Samson Dauda despite the massive height difference. In a show that had viewers and attendees glued to their seats, Hadi Choopan won the 2024 Arnold Classic.

Wrap Up

The Arnold Classic is a great event and one where many great competitors take the stage in efforts to win that top prize. As a celebrated event in the bodybuilding community, every year fans wait to see who will come out on top and take home the top prize and title of Arnold Classic champion.

Let us know what you think in the comments below. Also, be sure to follow Generation Iron on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. 

*Images courtesy of Flex Wheeler Instagram, Ronnie Coleman Instagram, and Brandon Curry Instagram

Austin Letorney
Austin Letorney is a writer, actor, and fitness enthusiast. As a former rower, he has shifted his focus to sharing his knowledge of the fitness world and strength sports with others.