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Bodybuilders That Retired Too Early

I was thinking about the bodybuilders that disappeared from the scene too early for various reasons. These 6 names come to my mind. Do you remember others?

Tom Prince
Mike Francois
Orville Burke
Richard Jones
Chris Cook
Phil Hill

Bruce Randall

Lou Ferrigno
With the retirement of Arnold and a bit more time dedicated to the craft I’m sure he could’ve snagged an O title.

Shanique Grant
She’s retiring at 25?!?

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I definitely agree with your Lou statement

Its amazing the names that we can cover,. I think it’s also important to note that a lot of those who retire “early” do so for good reasons.

Francious had some serious medical problems, so did Tom Prince. I always recall that interview Paul Dillet did with Flex magazine where he listed his “long term bodybuilding goal” as being “to retire with my health still intact” :confused:

Mike Mentzer IMO was the biggest disappointment to the sport with his refusal to continue. I’m certainly not saying I don’t understand his rationale, and to be honest, it’s likely easier in many ways to make $ from the sport without actually putting yourself through the rigors of continual contest prep once your name is decently known.

Grant retiring at 25 is probably a smart move if she’s got plans lined up already while she’s healthy.


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Lee Priest

I thought Priest was banned from competing

I was thinking about the bodybuilders that disappeared from the scene too early for various reasons.

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This is actually a great decision. This industry gives the ladies so little in return for so much sacrifice on their part.

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IFBB only.

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I always thought this was interesting. Priest competed in a non-IFBB sanctioned show, which earned him their ire… which is something that ironically goes against the original story of Joe and Ben Weider’s attempt to hold their own shows, hoping the bodybuilding community at the time would allow competitors to compete in shows from multiple federations.

Guess its a different story when you’re the new guy vs when you’re the top dog.


The Weider’s were some of the biggest hucksters and hypocrites of the 20thC. If there was a class action lawsuit against their estates for false advertising, and general dishonesty, I’d join in a heartbeat.