Home Professional Bodybuilders - What You Can Learn From the Best Lou Ferrigno – How this Bodybuilder Became the First Incredible Hulk

Lou Ferrigno – How this Bodybuilder Became the First Incredible Hulk

Lou Ferrigno Bodybuilder

One of the most impressive athletes, Lou Ferrigno, bodybuilder, earned great preeminence in bodybuilding and the film industry. Since he picked up a barbell for the first time at 12, he made his mark to gain a robust physique. Ferrigno becomes the hero of many action films.

Lou Ferrigno, a bodybuilder, retired from the bodybuilding profession in the year 1995. His persistence and diligence are still significant sources of inspiration worldwide. People admired how he reappeared with a muscular physique in the film industry after winning millions of hearts in bodybuilding.

Ferrigno believed that if he did not have a hearing disability, he would not be successful. His disability caused him to work harder.  His fans admire the work behind his success and are yearning to know the secret behind it.

Ferrigno faces the challenges that come with a hearing disability early in life.

Matt Ferrigno, a police lieutenant, and Victoria had a child Louis Jude Ferrigno on November 9, 1951. They had an Italian background. Ferrigno had an unpleasant childhood due to a persistent ear infection. At the age of three, he had to deal with 70-80% of his hearing loss –a significant affliction.

He lived a life of seclusion because he always had problems with communicating and creating friendships. His classmates bullied him by calling him ‘deaf Louis, deaf-mute’ and made fun of him for being deaf. Moreover, he was too skinny when he was a child, and it bothered him a lot. He always dreamed of increasing his weight and developing muscles.

He completed his education at Brooklyn Technical High School and St. Athanasius Grammar School. In 1969, he took training in metalwork while in school. Steve Reeves, a bodybuilder, an actor, was his inspiration since childhood.

At the age of 13, he made his weights because he could not afford to buy them. Lou Ferrigno started training for powerlifting. It sounds crazy, but yes, he filled the pails with cement and joined them with broomsticks. The Hulk and Spider-Man were his childhood favorite heroes.

Lou Ferrigno Bodybuilder

Louis’s bodybuilding career takes off as he displays his remarkable talent.

The only person in the world who has consecutively won Mr. Universe twice was Louis Ferrigno. He was the tallest (6 ft. 6 in.) and the youngest man (21 years) who earned this remarkable achievement. Winning the award was one of the cornerstones of his life.

His determination did not stop there; he started focusing on his debut at Mr. Olympia, his prime focus. He was one of the youngest (23 years old) participants in the Mr. Olympia contest.

In 1969, after completing his high school graduation, Lou Ferrigno was the first crown owner of Mr. America. Subsequently, he owned the title of Mr. Universe due to his genes and hard work.

In 1974, he took training from his senior coach and was finally ready for his remarkable entrance at Mr. Olympia. Although he did not get first place, he amazed everyone by getting second place.

Moreover, his documentary on Pumping Iron was instrumental in beating Arnold Schwarzenegger’s records. No doubt, it was a major contributing factor in Ferrigno’s fame. Unfortunately, this fame was not enough to earn him a contented living.

Louis initially worked in a metal shop at $10 per hour for three good years of his life. He never liked working at such a dangerous place. Ferrigno left this place after cutting his hand, accidentally, one day.

After working on his diet and muscles, a strong muscular man weighing 130 kg and 1.96 m tall was ready for his debut in the competition. In the contest of World’s Strongest Man 1977, he ended up fourth among eight. That was not a great disappointment; it helped him keep going and work more with zest.

He continued his struggle for the 1992 Mr. Olympia and ended up earning 12th position. Later, he worked ever harder and reappeared in the master’s Olympia of 1994 with full strength and courage.

Lou Ferrigno Bodybuilder

 Ferrigno enjoys his first major victory, and boy, was it a big one.

Lou worked meticulously for eight years to achieve his desired physique. When he was 18 years old, in 1969, he was muscular enough to beat his rivals. The gym was his first love, and he loved it.

Lou Ferrigno’s first victory was in the year 1973, when he was only 22. He won the crown of Mr. America and Mr. Universe in the same year through his persistence. He became one of the most athletic people in the world.

The Remodeled Version of Lou Ferrigno –Acting Career

Lou did not limit his career to bodybuilding; instead, he became a renowned film star. He also intended to become an international fitness trainer to spread optimism everywhere. He flourished in his training because of his extraordinary ability.

His first movie was ‘The Incredible Hulk,’ which earned him great fame, and he was the original ‘Hulk.’ Also, Ferrigno amazed the audience with his appearance in Battle of the Network Stars. He also made a medical drama, ‘Trauma Center,’ and not only this, but he also played other roles in various movies.

Moreover, a fantastic fact about Ferrigno is that he was a personal trainer of Michael Jackson in the early 1990s. He helped Michael shape his body in 2009 and build a stout, muscular physique for his London concerts. Unfortunately, Michael never appeared in those concerts due to his accidental death.

Lou Ferrigno Bodybuilder

Some of the 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

It shows that Lou Ferrigno earned great fame as a bodybuilder and had a sound career in the movies. Ferrigno’s efforts took him to the next level and helped him become a legend.

Lou Ferrigno stays on the cover of some of the most popular magazine covers.

Moreover, he gained a lot of fame after his many films and T.V. shows. His fans could not wait to see him in the magazines. Impressed by his tall-lean muscular physique, many companies offered him the cover photos of their magazines.

Some of the popular magazines include:

  • Muscle Builder
  • Strength and Health
  • Natural Bodybuilding
  • Iron Man
  • Bodybuilding Lifestyle
  • Muscular Development
  • Muscle Mag International

The personal and family life of Lou Ferrigno :

  • Matty Ferrigno, Lou’s father, was the significant driving force behind Ferrigno’s remarkable bodybuilding career. He also featured ‘The Incredible Hulk.’
  • Her mother, Victoria Ferrigno, boosted him up throughout his successful journey.
  • In 1978, Lou Ferrigno first married Susan Groff. Unfortunately, this marriage did not last long, and they got divorced a year after their marriage.
  • In 1980, he married another woman, Carla Green, a successful psychotherapist. She became Lou’s manager and continued becoming a personal trainer.
  • 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.’ Moreover, she recurred in the ‘Windfall’ N.B.C. series, the film ‘Within,’ and E! Reality Television series, Filthy Rich: Cattle Drive.
  • His son, Louis, served as a linebacker in the University of Southern California football team. Plus, he played a leading role in various T.V. series S.W.A.T, on-air on C.B.S., How I Met Your Mother, Dicky and Dawn, and Teen Wolf.
  • He has only one sibling, a younger brother, Andrew Ferrigno.

Lou Ferrigno Bodybuilder

The Secret Behind His Fitness –Workout and Nutrition

The Workout Strategy

Lou Ferrigno, a bodybuilder, has turned 69, and he 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.

His workout strategy was 80 minutes a day and six days a week. Louis always made sure to give up 40 minutes to cardio and 30 minutes of resistance training. He usually did powerlifting with machines, while 25% of his training was with free weights.

Louis believed that he got the best outcome by performing each exercise in 3-5 sets of 6 reps. He trained a pair of muscles a day. Sunday was his rest day.

  • On Monday, he used to work on his chest and back. He used to perform five sets of 6-8 reps of Dumbbell Pullovers, Flat Barbell Bench Press, Chest Flyes, Chin-ups, T-Bar Rows, Bent Rows, etc.
  • Tuesday was the day for shoulders and arms in which he did 4-5 sets of 8-18 reps of Dumbbell Overhead Press, Bench Press, Military Press, Barbell Curls, Scott Press, Standing French Press, and many more.
  • On Wednesday, he preferred working on his legs by doing five sets of 10 reps of Leg Curls, Leg Extensions, and Hack Squats.
  • Ferrigno’s secret behind his high strength is his prime focus on chest development. Every Thursday, he worked again on the chest and back.
  • On Friday, he worked on his shoulders and arms by 4-5 sets of 10 reps of Dumbbell Curls, Standing French Press, Scott Press, Concentration Curls, Incline Dumbbell Curls, etc.
  • Saturday was the day of working on his legs.

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

Food high protein-rich

The Nutrition of Lou Ferrigno included a lot of calories and protein.

Lou Ferrigno, a bodybuilder, never compromised on his low-calorie diet. When he was filming ‘Celebrity Apprentice,’ he could not do his workout routine. Ferrigno sustained his 250-pound stature by following his diet.

“Everyone else felt guilty watching me eat,” says the champion.

His diet included eggs, fish, fruits, vegetables, meat, and various nutritional supplements. Overall, he ate 3500 calories per day. Ferrigno’s diet was enough for his muscular growth and metabolism.

Moreover, before and after workouts, he never compromised on his pre-workout stimulants and post-workout supplements. And that is the secret behind his 143-kg off-season weight and a giant muscular physique.

Lou Ferrigno Bodybuilder

What is Lou Ferrigno Doing These Days?

Ferrigno’s life is quite versatile. A keen child turned into one of the most famous bodybuilders, then an actor, and finally into a real-life hero. Thus, he is best known for his role in ‘The Incredible Hulk.’

He has started his new profession as a sheriff’s deputy. Now he is a real-life hero. Also,  his roles in various movies inspired him and showed his power. He believes in his ability and says that he will become the incredible hulk for victims in society.

He started a new job at Socorro County Sherriff’s Department New Mexico, a year before he was 68. In his recent interview, he revealed that he had played the role of sheriff in many films, and now he wants to be a deputy for the rest of his life.

Ferrigno has a real knack for police work, and he is proud of it. He is overly excited to protect people’s lives and properties. Also, his fans love and appreciate his transformation from an on-screen hero to a real-life hero.

Adding a little to it, this is not the first experience for him to work as a deputy. He volunteered 20-hour work in the sheriff’s office in San Luis Obispo. He was also a member of the Arizona Sheriff’s Volunteer Posse in 2016. Moreover, Lou Ferrigno is the owner of a Fitness Equipment Company.

The Bottom Line –What Can We Learn from the Life of Lou Ferrigno Bodybuilder

Positivity and optimism strengthen one’s mind and body. However, negativity ruins it. Lou Ferrigno had a secluded childhood due to his deafness, but he never let a negative thought defeat him. Also, he believed that his deafness was the source of motivation and determination that led him to reach this peak. Lou Ferrigno shows us how to take lemons and make lemonade. A 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 desire to improve a workout and diet.


What do you think?