Presented by Generation Iron, the bodybuilding, strength sports, and fitness world is filled with a whose who of talented athletes, businessmen, and personalities, all of them leaving their own impact on the health and wellness industry. Generation Iron’s Power 30 honors thirty unique and important individuals who have left their mark on the bodybuilding, fitness, and strength sports industry this year.
The Power 30 is our annual attempt to create a ranking, through in depth discussions amongst our editorial staff, of the 30 athletes, CEOs, and personalities that have made an impact on bodybuilding this year.
After spending years on the scene looking to pick up a dominant victory, Janet Layug got her chance to shine at the 2020 Olympia. A long time competitor with a beautiful physique, Layug was able to rise to the occasion and win the Ms. Bikini Olympia title. She blew the competition out of the water and made good on her incredible potential. While she won’t be defending her title in 2021, her 2020 victory will stand as a truly memorable one to say the least.
One of the greatest trainers in bodybuilding today, George Farah has been a great influence on the modern game. Training athletes like Kai Greene, Farah clearly has a ton of knowledge on how to build an impressive physique. With a recent health scare and his acquired knowledge, Farah has shifted his focus to the health and wellness of bodybuilders. He’s been using his supplement company and extensive knowledge to create a healthy space for bodybuilders to become the best versions of themselves.
28Edwin Mejia Jr.
Edwin Mejia Jr. has become a very influential figure in the industry. Over the past 10 years, he has helped the careers of some of the top fitness pros and bodybuilders in the industry such Kai Greene, Calum von Moger, Zac Perna and Zac Aynsley. Mejia has also been responsible for producing and managing the distribution of an extensive content slate which includes the award winning film, “Generation Iron,” the ‘Generation Iron’ series installments, ‘Ronnie Coleman The King’ (Netflix), ‘CT Fletcher My Magnificent Obsession’, Calum von Moger Unbroken’ and the ‘Dorian Yates Mass Monster’ life story biopic. Most recently he executive produced #1 debut releases such as Generation Iron: Natty 4 Life and Strength Wars: The Movie.
One of the young guns in modern bodybuilding, Nick Walker has cemented himself as one to watch on the scene. Already being touted as the second coming of Dorian Yates, Walker has the kind of size, development and potential that could see him become a future Olympia champion. His big win at the New York Pro 2021 seems to have cemented him as the most hyped pro bodybuilder rising in the sport. It will be exciting to see what he brings later this year at the Mr. Olympia.
Joey Swoll is one of the most popular Instagram fitness celebrities. With an impressive physique and a unique personality, Joey Swoll has become one of the most recognized figures in the fitness and bodybuilding space. Recently releasing his own brand of low-calorie sauces, Joey Swoll continues to make waves as a budding entrepreneur. Beyond these many accomplishments, Swoll also struggled with pain killer addiction during the pandemic lockdowns. He has since recovered and made his experience public to help reach out to struggling individuals and athletes. With a goal to let those with addictions know they are never alone – he has further expanded his goals and endeavors in the fitness world.
Shaun Clarida made good on his potential as a top bodybuilding competitor this past December 2020. Clarida became the new 212 Olympia champion by bringing a truly impressive, chiseled, and well muscled frame. His physique has been called a “once and a career achievement” by many fellow athletes. Beyond division – his physique has been touted as one of the best of the past year… and might be the start of a Men’s 212 Olympia reign for years to come.
After failing to defend his Men’s Physique Olympia title back in 2019, Brandon Hendrickson was able to make a strong comeback in 2020. Motivating himself to overcome his weaknesses and improve upon them, Hendrickson was able to push himself to once again reclaim his title and do so in impressive and dominant fashion. He has now proved that this 2018 victory was no fluke and will perhaps be the dominant Men’s Physique champion for the foreseeable future.
Powerlifter, gym owner, former professional wrestler, Mark Bell has worn many different hats throughout his career. With his highly regarded Sling Shot brand helping lifters around the world, Mark Bell is an entrepreneur who has fully embraced the strength lifestyle. His popularity only continues to grow and he remains one of the most inspiring figures in the industry today.
One of the strongest humans on the planet, Julius Maddox has yet again proven why he’s the king of the bench press. On a mission to conquer the 800lbs bench press, Maddox has once again broken the world record, breaking his previous record with a 782lbs lift. With another contender hot on his heels ready to contend for the world record, you can bet Julius Maddox will be in the gym doing what he does best.
The 2019 Olympia champion acquitted himself well in 2020. While he was upset by Big Ramy, Brandon Curry was able to defeat the once dominant Olympia champion Phil Heath. His incredible physique can’t be denied and we could easily see him reclaiming his title in 2021 with just a few tweaks. Since his 2019 Olympia victory – he has become one of the key faces and voices of the IFBB.
Acquiring the Olympia brand back in 2019, Jake Wood was forced to undergo the impossible task of putting on the 2020 show amidst a pandemic. While it seemed like a truly impossible situation to overcome, Wood and his staff were able to deliver a truly impressive show. With less restrictions handicapping him and his team this year, Wood is likely to put on quite the show in 2021.
After failing to defend his title Phil Heath took time away from competing. In 2020 he made a triumphant return taking third at the Olympia after years away from being on stage. He cemented that despite becoming more advanced in age that he still has plenty left in the tank. After placing 3rd at the Olympia 2020, he has released a series of photo physique updates in 2021 with what seems like a further improved physique. With his recent improvements to his physique there’s still a possibility we could see Phil Heath bring an incredible package to the stage in the near future. And the buzz around his updates still prove he is one of the more powerful athletes in the sport.
A former bikini competitor, Michelle Lewin has seen it all in the fitness and bodybuilding industry. She has risen to become one of the most recognizable faces in the world with her over thirteen million Instagram followers and continues to grow her fan base with well constructed social media posts. Michelle showed great poise and heroism as she stood by her husband’s side through sickness. Even in their toughest hour, she was still able to stay strong and continue to keep her brand flourishing.
One of the most influential fitness personalities on the web, Mike Rashid has proven to be a multifaceted talent. Not only has he ventured into professional boxing, Mike Rashid has also runs a successful supplement brand, Ambrosia, and continues to diversify his resume with a budding new podcast. It’s clear that he is one of the most charismatic and motivating figures in the fitness and bodybuilding industry.
While many have questioned the legitimacy of his natural status, there’s no question that Mike O’Hearn is one of the hardest working bodybuilders in the business. His recent appearance in Generation Iron: Natty 4 Life offered an in-depth perspective on the life long bodybuilder and demonstrated just how much passion and energy he puts into being an ambassador for fitness and bodybuilding.
One of the most influential bodybuilders of all time, Dorian Yates has completely reinvented himself in recent years. Dorian Yates: The Original Mass Monster captured the legendary champion in his days of yore. Since his reign as Olympia champion, Yates has gone on to be an advocate for psychedelics, yoga, and has even gone back to his bodybuilding roots with his own online training program. With a curious and entrepreneurial spirit, Dorian Yates continues to get better with age.
One of the most powerful figures in the IFBB, Steve Weinberger continues to be the example of the premiere bodybuilding judge. With the responsibility of deciding who will be Mr. Olympia, Weinberger is the one person with the most extensive knowledge of what a top champion should look like on stage. A powerful figure with a ton of influence.
The top judge in the IFBB Pro League, Steve Weinberger has cemented himself as one of the most powerful individuals in the industry. Working with high level talent on a daily basis, Steve Weinberger continues to push athletes to the next level with his intricate insight into building the human body into something only few can achieve. He is also the owner of the Bev Francis Powerhouse Gym – also known as the East Coast Mecca. A gym that remains to this day one of the most famous and historic bodybuilding gyms int he world.
One of the most loved and respected bodybuilders in the history of the game, Ronnie Coleman took bodybuilding to heights never seen before. Always in high spirits despite the injuries he’s suffered throughout his career, Ronnie Coleman is a vision of determination and embodiment of never giving in no matter the difficulties faced.
Potential can only get you so far in the competitive strength space. After awhile, execution is necessary to standout. Tom Stoltman finally made good on his potential by dominating at the 2021 World’s Strongest Man. As champion, Stoltman has proven that he’s the real deal and now has the opportunity to build an even greater legacy for himself in the strongman space.
While many try to write off Kai Greene it’s still abundantly clear that he’s a powerhouse in the industry. The rumors of his return to action, variety show launch, numerous acting and business ventures show just how impressive, powerful, and influential Kai Greene is in the business. Since selling Dynamik Muscle and joining RedCon1, Kai Greene shows that he still has plenty of pull in the industry.
One of the hardest working people in the business, Kai Greene has proven himself to be a man of many talents. While he may not have stepped onto a competitive bodybuilding stage in quite some time, Kai Greene has remained relevant with his entertaining content and recent appearance in Generation Iron: Natty 4 Life.
A budding entrepreneur who got his start on the competitive scene, Bradley Martyn has turned his passion for bodybuilding into a multifaceted fitness empire. From opening up his own gym, Zoo Culture, to launching apparel lines, a supplement brand, and a podcast, Bradley Martyn has certainly become the picture of success in the bodybuilding and fitness industry. Keep your eye on this man as he continues to grow in the world of fitness!
A pro athlete trainer and popular YouTuber, Jeff Cavaliere has established himself as a powerhouse in the fitness industry. With his comprehensive knowledge on training and athletic performance, Cavaliere has and continues to make waves in the fitness space.
One of the most successful businessmen in the bodybuilding and fitness industry, Jay Cutler has translated his impressive dedication for building muscle to building his supplement company and other ventures. The four-time Olympia champion looks to continue to thrive in his post pro bodybuilding career, and from the looks of things, Cutler will only continue to have tremendous success.
7Calum Von Moger
Calum von Moger went through some harrowing experiences in his career. The injuries he suffered would have stopped many in their tracks. Instead, Calum battled through the odds and was able to successfully attain his IFBB pro status back in November 2020. Building his Staunch brand into a powerhouse and now a certified pro, the future continues to look bright for the Generation Iron athlete.
One of the top fitness influencers in the world, Calum von Moger has been a great motivation for many facing adversity. While being a major force in the fitness and bodybuilding community in the online sphere, Calum has also made waves in spaces outside of the industry. Calum has appeared in a massive Gucci campaign, has continued to grow both his Staunch Nation Nutrition line and his training program, as well as starring as a young Arnold in the movie Bigger alongside Tyler Hoechlin and Julliane Hough. The documentary Calum von Moger: Unbroken showcased the kind of will, determination, and incredible mental fortitude the talented bodybuilder possesses – turning what could have been a career-ender for many into new challenge overcome with an even brighter future ahead of him.
While he may not be going to battle with Eddie Hall this fall, Hafthor Bjornsson has accomplished a great deal in the calendar year. With his world record breaking 501kg deadlift and his consistent boxing competitions, Hafthor has cemented himself as one of the most adventurous strength athletes in the game today.
The 2018 World’s Strongest Man, Hafthor Bjornsson has proven himself to be a force in the strength community. The Game of Thrones actor proved he’s still one of the strongest humans on the planet after crushing the deadlift record with 501 kg lift. With strongman competitions now in his rear view, Hafthor Bjornsson has put all his focus on preparing for his battle against rival Eddie Hall in 2021.
A strength athlete who has his hands in many ventures, Larry Wheels is not only an entrepreneur, but a man with a sense of adventure. His appearance in Strength Wars: The Movie further cemented the athlete as a man willing to take on any challenge in the strength field.
A man who constantly looks to better himself one lift at a time, Larry Wheels has come to be known as Mr. Personal Record. With hopes to compete in strongman events in the future, Larry Wheels is becoming one of the most influential and recognized figures in the strength community. He’s done powerlifting, he’s done bodybuilding. Can he make a name for himself in strongman?
Chris Bumstead showcased just how dominant of a champion he is with his victory at the 2020 Olympia. After a close victory in 2019, Bumstead would bring one of the most stellar physiques to ever step onto a bodybuilding stage. What we saw could be the beginning of a truly impressive reign as Classic Physique Olympia champion.
Undoubtedly one of the most powerful individuals in bodybuilding, Jim Manion continues to be a major influence in the industry. His sharp mind, business savvy, and leadership has taken the IFBB Pro League to all new heights. The mastermind behind all the machinations in the IFBB Pro League, Jim Manion has proven to be the glue that keeps the bodybuilding world together.
The Godfather of bodybuilding, Arnold Schwarzenegger continues to be an inspiration to most anyone who’s stepped onto a bodybuilding stage. Recent controversial statements withstanding, Arnold has been an advocate for not only strength sports, but other sporting endeavors as well. When faced with the harrowing circumstances of the last two years, Arnold has risen to the occasion. He was still able to put on one of the best bodybuilding shows in 2020, the Arnold Classic acting as a template for other shows to follow for over a year and a half now.
Considered by many to be the GOAT, Arnold Schwarzenegger is a not simply just an icon in bodybuilding, fitness, and entertainment, he’s a force of nature. Throughout 2020 Schwarzenegger has been a source of positive motivation and continues to encourage his followers despite the dark times we find ourselves in.
With his unexpected win at the 2020 Olympia, Mamdouh “Big Ramy” Elssbiay tops the list of this year’s Power 30 list. Big Ramy impressed with not only his incredible size that the bodybuilding world has come to know well. Big Ramy was able to maximize his potential by getting in some otherworldly condition. If he is able to come in the same great shape in 2021, this could be the beginning of a truly impressive reign as champion. After claiming the long sought after victory – he was signed on as the key sponsored athlete for Enhanced Labs. Big Ramy started from the bottom and has now risen to the top of bodybuilding. So too does he deserve to be at the top of this list.