Lou Ferrigno, “Magnificent Lou”, is a name inscribed in the history of bodybuilding in gold letters. The history of this unusually talented and purposeful bodybuilder began on November 9, 1951 in Brooklyn (New York). It seemed that from the very beginning fate prepared for Lou some tests. Even in his early childhood, the boy had a severe form of otitis, which led to partial deafness. Children are often cruel to mutilated peers, and school years, Lou passed among constant mockeries and ridicule. The desire to stand up for himself and, what the hell is not joking, repay his offenders led the boy to the gym. However, the coach said that the high, physically undeveloped Lou is unlikely to succeed. The purposeful teenager did not give up and began to train independently in the basement of his own house. Persistence overpowered genetics, and soon Lou saw in the mirror of a real athlete weighing over 90 kilograms. At the age of 16, Lou realized that he had outgrown his basement and started training at the club. Two years later, he already won first place in the competition “Mr. America”, and four years later received the well-deserved title “Mr. Universe” (becoming the youngest winner of these competitions in the history of bodybuilding). Soon, Ferrigno turned into the youngest and dangerous rival of Arnold Schwarzenegger.
However, according to the athlete himself, even if his childhood was cloudless, he would still start doing bodybuilding. Lou, literally, raved about tournaments and titles, voluntarily “imprisoned” himself in the gym, as in prison. Now he himself admits that he deprived himself of much in his youth and rejoices that the children did not follow in his footsteps.
Despite all the forecasts, Schwarzenegger managed to maintain his leadership in 1974 and 1975. When Arnold left the competition, it seemed that nothing would prevent Ferrino “take his place” in bodybuilding, but fate decreed otherwise. Lou decided to try his hand at professional football, was injured by the shin and was forced to leave the sport for a long time.
The most significant events in his life, Lou calls a meeting with his wife (Carla) and shooting in the movie series about Hulk, based on the comic book “The Hulk”, which the athlete was reading as a child. Then the boy dreamed of being in the place of the main character, and now, the dream came true – in 1977 the first series appeared on TV screens, which had an extraordinary success. Lou’s character became so popular that it was filmed another 5 films about “The Incredible Hulk”, the last one – in 1990. Of course, there were no problems. Almost completely deaf (by 80%), Lou almost did not hear the replicas of other actors. The director had to hire a specialist who taught Ferrigno to read the speech on the lips. Later, with the advent of microscopic hearing aids, the problem of poor hearing finally ceased to worry Lou. In total, the athlete starred in more than 20 films.
In 1980, Lou married. About his wife, he responds like a bright, strong woman, a real “eternal engine”, completely changed his life. Carla led a family budget, was a manager with her husband, participated in the conclusion of contracts. And at the same time she always remained a beautiful wife and a loving mother. He has three children – Sean, Lou Jr. and Brent (spouses always wanted to have many children). Thanks to the fact that the children always accompanied their parents to work and travel on holidays, family relations developed with warm and understanding. This is exactly what Lou calls “real family values.” Ferrigno juniors do a lot of sports, but, according to Lou, their interests are much more versatile than that of their father.
The peak of the form of this bodybuilder is called 1977. Many were convinced that Lou could still get the title “Mr. Olympia”, but shortly before the competition, he accepted an offer to film and, to the surprise and regret of the fans, he left the competition for a long time.
Lou again returned to the podium in 1992, taking part in the “Mr. Olympia” competitions. All this time the athlete kept himself in shape, did not leave training and observed a diet. And when Joe Weider announced the tournament for the veterans, Lou realized that he could not fail to try his luck. The decision of the athlete was supported by the whole family, but he resolutely rejected any help and even prepared food by himself, not wanting to shift the worries about preparing for competitions on shoulders of his loved ones. Later, Lou admitted that the last weeks before going to the podium were a real torture for him.
And yet the most important thing in the life of Ferrigno was his family. According to the athlete, if a man finds a woman he loves, he should immediately marry her, and “fuck bodybuilding.” “Growing a healthy, educated and kind child for a man is a much more worthy task than pumping yourself a healthy bicep,” Ferrigno said in an interview.
The last time he took part in “Mr. Olympia” was in 1994, Lou again left the podium, but to finally leave bodybuilding he could not, and started coaching. He equipped a personal gym behind his own house.
Among Lou‘s clients were Mickey Rourke, Michael Jackson, Chuck Norris and many other Hollywood stars. Lou became one of the highest paid coaches in the US.