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  • Jack Wilson

Arnold Schwarzenegger Said He Was Too Ripped to Play Conan the Barbarian

Arnold Schwarzenegger doesn’t stop to surprise us. From becoming one of the greatest bodybuilders in the world, to officially recommending you eat less meat to lower meat consumption by 50%, Schwarzenegger still has many impressive things to show and tell about.

One of the most shocking and recent ones appeared on Reddit. There, one user noted that Schwarzenegger was too muscular for the primary role in the 1982 fantasy film called Conan the Barbarian.

As the Reddit user mentioned, Schwarzenegger was so muscular that he couldn’t wield a sword properly, which was a needed skill for this role. Yet, the primary problem Schwarzenegger faced was different.

As Schwarzenegger, who is an occasional Reddit user, wanted to make it clear to his fans about what was wrong with the role, he left the comment in which there is every detail about what he had to do to transform into Conan.

The primary thing our star was asked for was to get more body fat because he looked way too ripped and too similar to a bodybuilder rather than a barbarian. It was quite a surprise to Schwarzenegger, who was accustomed to being lean and with perfectly looking muscles.

So, Schwarzenegger didn’t have another choice but had to listen to his director and co-writer John Milius, who asked him to increase his body fat up to 12%. While 12% is enough to look more than good and stay healthy year around, Schwarzenegger rarely went to having so much fat.

Continued below…

The problem with being too ripped was even more visible as Schwarzenegger had won Mr. Olympia two years prior, and so maintained very little amount of fat. As he didn’t want to become weaker, Schwarzenegger continued to train at the same intensity, but as Milius asked him, started to eat normally and not diet at all.

After Schwarzenegger had made the changes to his diet, he transformed from a bodybuilder to a barbarian (who still looked more ripped than most people).

While the conundrum about being too muscular to use a sword wasn’t a problem to Schwarzenegger. As he goes deeper in his comment, he mentions that he had been training with Sensei Yamazaki for three years before they started the film.

It’s true that Schwarzenegger didn’t become the greatest swordsman in the world, but learned a lot and became good enough to at least play as a barbarian in the film.

Another interesting fact he provided that has been exciting among fans for a long time was that he really bites into a dead vulture in the movie. Of course, the vulture was soaked in alcohol and dried out to kill bacteria as Schwarzenegger didn’t want to become sick.

This decision was made because in 1982, there was no other way they could think about how to make a realistically looking vulture without using a dead one.

Find Schwarzenegger’s motivational speech on the next page…


One more time Schwarzenegger proved us that he was and still is a legend which will do everything that is needed to get what he wants. It doesn’t matter whether he needs to put on more body fat, eat dead vultures, or become a terminator, he’ll do it and get what he deserves.

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