Franco Columbu Bodybuilder

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Franco Columbu Tribute Page

Franco Columbu Picture

Franco Columbu was born in Ollolai, Sardinia Italy in 1941 and he started his athletic career as a boxer and later progressed to Olympic Weightlifting, Powerlifting and then bodybuilding. He did that very successfully and won Mr. Olympia once in 1976 and again in 1981.

Franco is a little powerhouse at only 5'5" he has lifted heavier weights than men twice his size. When he first arrived at Venice beach he and Arnold did not have money to train at a gym and they would walk into any gym and Franco would say that he would beat anyone at any movement if they can train for free.

The first World's Strongest Man competition was held in 1977 which he won and more remarkable considering the difference in weight between himself and his competitors. Franco has made many movies as well including the famous Pumping Iron with Arnold with whom he also was in The Terminator and Conan the Barbarian and a few others.

Height = Five Foot Five Inches Tall
Weight = One Hundred and Ninety Pounds

Bodybuilding titles won:
1969: IFBB Mr. Europe
1969: NABBA Mr. Universe
1969: NABBA Mr. Universe
1969: IFBB Mr. Universe
1970: IFBB Mr. Europe
1970: AAU Mr. World
1970: IFBB Mr. World
1970: IFBB Mr. Universe
1971: IFBB Mr. Universe
1971: IFBB Mr. World
1976 IFBB Mr. Olympia
1981 IFBB Mr. Olympia

Franco Columbu Workout

Franco himself will tell you how important intensity is when training. He says that the only way to get results is to push past failure twice a week using both high and low reps. Combining these two techniques in one workout is the best way to get overall development of the muscle he says.

Here is a brief sample of the type of training routine Franco used before he competed for the 1981 Mr. Olympia which he won. He would create a two week split routine training back in the morning and legs in the afternoon. His other split would be a day for chest and shoulders leaving a full day for training arms.

Here is an example of his chest routine:

EXERCISE                      SETS          REPS
Barbell bench presses         3 *        15, 10, 4
   superset with
   Cable crossovers           3 *             20
Flat-bench dumbbell flyes     3 *      20, 15, 6
   superset with
   Cable crossovers           3 *              20
Barbell incline presses    3 X              15
Barbell pullovers              3 X              15
Parallel-bar dips                3             to failure
Cable crossovers               3 X              25
* For the first two supersets, Columbu pyramided up in weight (and down in reps) for bench presses and flyes, but he kept the weight the same for cable crossovers. Columbu performed these as a giant set, which is related to a superset, but with four exercises instead of two. Columbu used the same weight for all three sets of each movement.

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