It’s impressive that so many of the best action movies were made in the eighties. Everything seemed almost magical to us back then; the vehicles, the huge guns, the explosions, and above all, the muscular actors. Their films continue to captivate audiences. They were great actors who were more than willing to do anything to achieve the superhuman size necessary to become big-screen heroes. Until Die Hard changed the movie trend, the public really craved big muscles from action stars. It obviously gave the impression of power, and in the first half of the 80s, life was all about power.

These muscular actors have all grown older, but that certainly does not mean that they have been forgotten. The movies they have starred in continue making them popular and with people in awe of their impressive physiques. Here are some of the most successful muscular actors from the eighties.

Arnold Schwarzenegger
The one and only Arnold Schwarzenegger was the star of many great action movies worldwide. He obviously needs no introduction. He is a goliath from Austria, who also served as the governor of California in the United States and has starred in more iconic movies than you could shake a hand grenade at. He remains active in the gym at the age of 73 at the time of writing, and is, therefore, still strong and muscular compared to most older men.

He was particularly large in the awesome movie Commando, the iconic film The Terminator and obviously the fantastic documentary Pumping Iron.

Sylvester Stallone
This popular actor has not only shown great ability in maintaining his muscles but also in improving them. He is actually fairly small compared to some of the others on this list, but you can see his muscular progression from the first Rocky, and on through the Rambo films. He was especially muscular in Rocky IV, which was released in 1985. Of course, he is still muscular in all his films like Escape Plan 2: Hades, The Expendables, Bullet to the Head, and others. Sly is certainly not slowing down in terms of keeping his body fit.

Jean-Claude Van Damme
Van Damme is not referred to as ‘the Muscles from Brussels’ for nothing. His jump kicks, splits and distinctive accent are some of the things that make him renowned, but looking at his physique, you cannot deny that he is a well-built man, and stood his ground with the other action stars of the era.

We do not think that this star is giving up any time soon when it comes to hitting the gym. He still does workout routines as he used to when starring in films in the eighties.

Dolph Lundgren
This hugely imposing actor from Sweden is well known for movies like Rocky IV, Masters of the Universe and Universal Soldier. He is 6′ 4″, incredibly muscle bound but also highly intelligent, with an IQ reportedly of 160.

It is incredible that he has managed to maintain his fitness from that time to now when he is in his sixties. He still goes to the gym and takes supplements to keep his muscles strong.

Carl Weathers
Weathers did have some leading man roles, such as Action Jackson but he will be most well known for his roles starring with Sylvester Stallone and Arnie in Rocky 1-3 and Predator respectively. He could 100% hold his own next to those guys, with a physique to die for. The beach running scene in Rocky 3 is a classic, but his muscles’ biggest moment in the spotlight is probably during the bicep-flexing handshake in Predator.

All these actors must have put a huge effort into getting their bodies into shape. Obviously a lot of them would have had the luxury of personal trainers and enough time to work on it for movies too. But they are still all inspirational for so many people who want to get themselves in shape. There are lots of different ways to improve your physique. Pure work in the gym, major dietary change, legal steroids, supplements the list goes on. Science and technique has certainly improved since the 80s and there are lots of personal trainers and YouTube channels around these days to help motivate and educate.

Final Word
The world is still producing some muscular actors like Dwayne Johnson and Dave Bautista (both ex-wrestlers) who are as good as the actors above, but in general, muscle-bound heroes are being replaced by more caring, sensitive types. But the old-school muscular actors from the eighties will certainly live on!