Bodybuilding Legends – Robby Robinson

With a new documentary film “Robby Robinson’s Blueprint” due for release this year, this American bodybuilder makes for the latest addition to our ‘Bodybuilding Legends‘ series. Keen bodybuilding fans will know that Robby is still going strong -he trains passionately and has a physique beyond belief for a man in his mid-seventies. 

In these modern times of fast-moving technology “The Black Prince” has kept a consistent presence online, inspiring thousands of his social media followers and keeping his fans up to date with his own progress. 

When Robby Robinson first began lifting weights way back in his teens, fitness pioneer Jack LaLanne was a huge inspiration for him. Being responsive to weight training and making quick gains, it was only natural that Robby would begin competing in bodybuilding shows. 

He trained with intensity and discipline to build a solid, muscular physique with all the classic lines ready for the bodybuilding stage. Clearly a character with the drive to succeed, Robby Robinson went on to compete in over 300 amateur competitions. Robby’s professional bodybuilding career began in 1975 when he was invited to California by the bodybuilder and entrepreneur Joe Weider. 

This year was hugely successful for him; he won Mr. World, Mr. America, and Mr. Universe. Robby earned victories in the 1977 and 1978 Mr. Olympia, taking first position in the “Over 200lbs” class.

He made numerous Mr. Olympia appearances during the 1980’s, notably placing in the top five in 1987. Later highlights of his illustrious competition career were winning the first ever Masters Mr. Olympia in 1994 and placing above Lou Ferrigno who was favourite to win the show. In 1997 and 2000, Robby took first place in the over 50 division at the Masters Mr. Olympia.

To be at the top of your game requires commitment, dedication, and tons of hard work. Robby clearly lacked none of these qualities. In his training, he favoured free weights to machines, focusing on result-producing basics like deadlifts, rows, and bench presses. 

His muscles were every bit as strong as they looked; some of his impressive lifts included dumbbell bench presses for reps with 150lbs (68kg) in each hand, and sets of 10-12 reps with 1300lbs (590kg) on the leg press. Even in his sixties, “The Black Prince” maintained his magnificent 20-inch guns hewn from hard training.

Robby has achieved what most other bodybuilders could only ever dream of. He’s stood on the stage with the best of the best, published books, coached high profile bodybuilders, and he’s been a star in bodybuilding’s most famous movie, “Pumping Iron“. 

Even in his eighth decade of life, he works hard and shows huge commitment to the art of bodybuilding. Robby sums it up perfectly when he says, “Age is just a number”. 

What are your impressions of “The Black Prince” Robby Robinson as a veteran bodybuilder – where does he rank among the greats in your opinion? Let us know in the comments below!

Alan Riseborough

Alan is a strength and physique enthusiast and has 28 years' of training experience behind him. He has competed in powerlifting, arm wrestling, bodybuilding and grip strength competitions. He also includes rigorous bodyweight, sprinting and kettlebell training regularly in his routines. He believes in the transformative power of the squat which is (believe it or not) his favourite exercise!

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