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Health & Fitness Is Not Magic, But Science!

Lou Ferrigno – The First Incredible Hulk Was a Bodybuilder

Lou Ferrigno, a bodybuilder, earned recognition in bodybuilding. Also, we know him for some roles he played on tv as an actor.

However, since he picked up a barbell for the first time at 12, he made his mark by building an impressive body. As a result, Ferrigno became the hero of many action films.

Lou Ferrigno retired from bodybuilding in 1995. However, his persistence is still a significant source of inspiration worldwide.

People admired how he appeared in the film industry after winning millions of hearts in bodybuilding. Thus, his fans admire the work behind his success and want to know his secret.


Lou Ferrigno, the Original Incredible Hulk

Matt Ferrigno, a police lieutenant, and Victoria had a child, Louis Jude Ferrigno, on November 9, 1951. Lou’s parents both have Italian ancestry. However, Ferrigno had an unpleasant childhood because of a persistent ear infection.

As a result, he had a significant affliction of 70-80% hearing loss at three. Ferrigno believed he would not be successful if he did not have his hearing disability. Instead, his disability caused him to work harder.

Early Life –

Ferrigno faced the challenges that came with a hearing disability early in life. Thus, he lived a life of seclusion because he always had problems communicating and creating friendships. His classmates bullied him by calling him ‘deaf Louis, deaf-mute’ and made fun of him for being deaf.

As a child, Lou was too skinny to stand up against the bullies. Also, this bothered him greatly. From then on out, Lou always dreamed of getting stronger and developing muscles.

Ferrigno completed his education at St. Athanasius Grammar School and Brooklyn Technical High School. In 1969, he took training in metalwork while in school. Since childhood, Steve Reeves, the actor, was an inspiration for Lou. Also, the Hulk and Spider-Man were his childhood favorite heroes.

At 13, Lou created weights because he could not afford them. So Lou Ferrigno started weightlifting. It sounds crazy, but he filled the pails with cement and connected them to a broomstick.

Family Life –

  • Matty Ferrigno, Lou’s father, was the significant driving force behind Ferrigno’s remarkable bodybuilding career. Also, Matty played a minor role in ‘The Incredible Hulk.’
  • His mother, Victoria Ferrigno, encouraged him throughout his bodybuilding journey.
  • In 1978, Lou Ferrigno first married Susan Groff. Unfortunately, this marriage did not last long. Thus, they got divorced a year after their marriage.
  • In 1980, he married another woman, Carla Green. Carla was a successful psychotherapist. Later, she became Lou’s manager.
  • Lou Ferrigno and Carla have three children: daughter Shanna, born in 1981; son Louis, born in 1984; and Brent Ferrigno, born in 1990.
  • Shanna played the role of a nurse in the television program ‘Days of Our Lives.’ Also, she recurred in the ‘Windfall’ NBC series, the film ‘Within,’ and E! Reality Television series, Filthy Rich: Cattle Drive.
  • His son, Louis, served as a linebacker on the University of Southern California football team. Plus, he played a leading role in the tv series S.W.A. T, on-air on CBS, How I Met Your Mother, Dicky and Dawn, and Teen Wolf.
  • He has one sibling, a younger brother, Andrew Ferrigno.

Career –

Lou’s bodybuilding career takes off as he displays his remarkable talent. Lou is the only person to win Mr. Universe twice. Also, he was the tallest (6 ft. 6 in.) and the youngest man (21 years). Thus, it was a remarkable achievement. Winning the award was a cornerstone of Ferrigno’s life.

In 1969, Ferrigno began his bodybuilding career after graduating from high school. Lou worked meticulously for years to achieve his desired physique. Finally, Lou was muscular enough to beat his rivals. Thus, he won the crown of Mr. America and Mr. Universe in the same year through persistence. After that, he became one of the elite bodybuilders.

His determination did not stop there; he started focusing on his debut at Mr. Olympia. Also, he was among the youngest (23 years old) participants in the Mr. Olympia contest. In 1974, he took training from his senior coach and was finally ready for his debut at Mr. Olympia.

Although he did not get first place, he amazed everyone by getting second place. Afterward, his documentary on Pumping Iron beat Arnold Schwarzenegger’s records. Thus, it was a significant factor in Ferrigno’s fame. But unfortunately, this fame was not enough to help him win the Mr. Olympia contest.

Also, in the contest of World’s Strongest Man 1977, he ended up fourth among eight. However, that was not a great disappointment.

Also, it inspired him to keep going and work with more zest. Lou continued his struggle at the 1992 Mr. Olympia and earned 12th position. Later, he worked harder and reappeared in the master’s Olympia in 1994 with a renewed sense of commitment.

Acting Career –

Lou did not limit his career to bodybuilding; instead, he also became a film star. Also, he tried to become an international fitness trainer to help others achieve fitness success. But Lou flourished in the film industry because of his physique.

His first tv series was ‘The Incredible Hulk,’ which earned him great fame. Because of his size, Lou could play the original ‘Hulk’ to perfection.

Also, Ferrigno amazed the audience with his appearance in the Battle of the Network Stars. He also had a role in ‘Trauma Center’ and played other roles in various movies.

A fantastic fact about Ferrigno is that he was Michael Jackson’s trainer in the early 1990s. Also, he helped Michael shape his body in 2009 for the London concerts. But unfortunately, Michael never appeared in those concerts because of his accidental death.

Some films Lou starred in include:

  • Hercules–1983
  • The Adventures of Hercules–1985
  • Desert Warrior–1988
  • And God Spoke–1993
  • The Godson–1998
  • I Love You Man–2009
  • The Avengers–2012
  • Avengers Grimm–2015
  • Instant Death–2016
  • Thor: Ragnarok–2017

Lou Ferrigno earned great fame as a bodybuilder and had a sound career as an actor. Thus, Ferrigno’s efforts took him to the next level and helped him become an urban legend.

Magazine Covers –

Lou gained fame after many films and TV shows. Also, his fans could not wait to see him in the magazines. Impressed by his massive physique, companies offered him cover photos in their magazines.

Some of the popular magazines include:

  • Muscle Builder
  • Strength and Health
  • Natural Bodybuilding
  • Iron Man
  • Bodybuilding Lifestyle
  • Muscular Development
  • Muscle Mag International
Gym Life Workout Compound Exercise

Lou Ferrigno Training and Diet

Lou Ferrigno has turned 69 and is as strong as ever. The reason behind his remarkable strength is his strict workout routine. Ferrigno had a great bodybuilding career–which dictated the rest of his life.

Workout –

Lou’s training was 80 minutes a day and six days a week. He always performed 40 minutes of cardio and 30 minutes of resistance training.

Also, he usually did powerlifting with machines, and the other 25% with free weights. Lou believed he got the best outcome by performing each exercise in 3-5 sets of 6 reps. In addition, he trained a muscle group a day. Sunday was his rest day.

Lou focused on working weaker muscles first. At 69, the only change in his workout routine is that he is lifting lighter weights. However, Lou has the same passion for his fitness.

Protein Diet

Diet –

Lou Ferrigno never compromised on his low-calorie diet. Also, when filming ‘Celebrity Apprentice,’ he could not do his workout routine. So instead, Ferrigno sustained his 250-pound body by following his diet. “Everyone else felt guilty watching me eat,” says the champion.

His diet included eggs, fish, fruits, vegetables, beef, chicken, and various nutritional supplements. The stable of most bodybuilders’ diets is chicken breast, brown rice, and broccoli. Overall, he ate 3500 calories per day. Ferrigno’s diet was enough for his muscular maintenance.

However, he never compromised on his supplements before and after workouts. And that is the secret behind his 315 lb off-season weight.

What is Lou Ferrigno Doing These Days?

Ferrigno’s life is quite versatile. First, a child turned into one of the most famous bodybuilders. Then the bodybuilder became an actor. Finally, the actor became a real-life hero.

Thus, he is best known for his role in ‘The Incredible Hulk.’ But, he has started his new profession as a sheriff’s deputy. Now he is a real-life hero. So, his roles in various movies inspired him to become a police officer like his father. Also, Lou believes in his ability and says he will become the incredible hulk for victims in society.

Ferrigno started a new job at Socorro County Sherriff’s Department of New Mexico. In his recent interview, Lou revealed he had played the role of sheriff in many films.

But now, he wants to be a deputy for the rest of his life. Ferrigno has a real knack for police work. Also, he is proud of it. Lou loves protecting people and property.

So, his fans love and appreciate his transformation from an on-screen hero to a real-life hero. Adding a little to it, this was not Lou’s first experience working as a deputy.

Ferrigno volunteered 20 hours a week at the sheriff’s office in San Luis Obispo. Lou was also a member of the Arizona Sheriff’s Volunteer in 2016. In addition, Lou Ferrigno is the owner of a Fitness Equipment Company.

The Last Word on Lou Ferrigno, Bodybuilder, and First Incredible Hulk

Positivity strengthens one’s mind and body. However, negativity ruins it. Lou Ferrigno had a secluded childhood because of his deafness, but he never let a negative thought defeat him.

Also, he believed that his deafness was the motivation that led him to reach for the stars. When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.

Lou Ferrigno, the bodybuilder, shows us how the problem is only the beginning of a solution. By taking your fitness problems head-on, you can use them to create the workout and diet you need.

It is not how you start but how you finish that matters. Winners don’t quit, and quitters don’t win. Lou shows us how to use discipline, determination, and a desire to get results in the gym and in life.

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