Arnold Schwarzenegger's real Height

"The mind is incredible. Once you've gained mastery over it, channeling its powers positively for your purposes, you can do anything. I mean anything. The secret is to make your mind work for you not against you. This means constantly being positive. Constantly setting up challenges you can meet either today, next week, or next month. "I can't..." should be permanently stricken from your vocabulary, especially the vocabulary of your thoughts. You must see yourself always growing and improving."

~ Arnold Schwarzenegger

Arnold Schwarzenegger is surely the most famous actor and bodybuilder of all time, and besides that, he was also California's governor and a good businessman in his own right. Some of the memorable movies of this charismatic actor are the Terminator series, Predator, True Lies, Total Recall, Conan the Barbarian series, and many more. Such a man as Arnold surely comes once in a while.

About Arnold Schwarzenegger's Real Height

How tall is Arnold Schwarzenegger? That's the million-dollar question and Truth be told no is quite sure. There are some great existential questions that are best left unanswered and this question seems like one of them -- just like the meaning of the life itself. Of course, there is going to be our official guess at the end of this article, but let's first walk through the story of Arnold Schwarzenegger's real height -- to help better understand that as yet unknown number. Therefore please tighten your seatbelts ladies and gentlemen, the journey is about to begin.

Our first clue in this long saga comes from the generally agreed fact that Arnold Schwarzenegger is 6'2" tall. Where did this number come from? Well, he was described as tall many times -- like in the 1985 movie Commando. Did he look 6'2" tall in his prime -- well more or less.

In a 1969 interview With Dick Tyler, Arnold Schwarzenegger said that when he started bodybuilding he weighed only 150 lb. When Dick Tyler asked: "At the same height?" Arnold Replied, "Yes, six-foot, one inch." Arnold was only 15 when he started an intensive weight program but was 17 when he officially started his competitive career. He must surely have grown at least an inch after that?

Though our most important clue about Arnold Schwarzenegger's real height comes from a fellow bodybuilder named Vince Basile -- the 1970 Mr.Canada, who is one of the few people on record who have measured Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Vince's story first came to light in an internet bodybuilding forum, when, after learning that so many people were claiming Arnold to be significantly under six feet, he decided to step in to tell everyone what he knew. Here is how his story went:

In February of 1969, several bodybuilders including Arnold and Vince decided to measure themselves against the scale in Mit's gym in Honolulu, Hawaii.

"Several of the guys there claimed certain heights and everyone was at least half an inch shorter on Mit's scale. Arnold claimed 6'2" but measured 6'1½" that evening. I did say that he might be 6'2" in the morning."

~ Vince Basile

People do lose some height in the course of the day, as the water in the disks of the spine gets compressed due to gravity causing up to an inch of temporary height loss. Arnold might very well have been 6'2" first thing in the morning but that cannot exactly be called an accurate measurement as his afternoon height might have been a bit different.

Concerning the height measuring scale, Vince makes his opinions clear:

"The only thing left to check is if that scale in Mit's was accurate. I have no idea but the other fellows who we measured for height all lost half an inch. My opinion is that the height gauge was accurate... We never checked to see if the height gauge on Mits' scale was correct but no one, including Arnold, complained about the results."

~ Vince Basile

Measuring height is not an easy thing, especially measuring them accurately. People for some reason almost always measure themselves taller than they really are, so a latter more accurate measurement result can always shock them.

In December 1999, Arnold Schwarzenegger gave an apparently direct response to a question on his height on his official website:

"I'm 6'2". I've heard rumors that I'm really much shorter in real life - like 5'6" or something like that - which is ridiculous. I can assure you this is not the case. People look up to me, and not just because I do a lot of work in the community. I mean, most people really LOOK UP to me."

~ Arnold Schwarzenegger

In 2008, San Francisco Chronicle posted an interview between Editor Phil Bronstein and Governor Schwarzenegger on its website. The question and answer season went something like this:

Bronstein: every time you come in this building, there's a debate after you leave. It's not the budget, it's not about anything else. It's like, ok, how tall is he? So how tall are you?

Arnold: I used to be 6-1 and three quarters. And I think now I'm 6'1". I shrank.

Bronstein: What happened?

Arnold: I dunno. I dunno what happened. And the reason why I know it is not because I'm measuring myself. But we have a wall, in my closet. That we have always used, when kids came in, as they grew up. I would write their initials down and the date, and I would put you know a book or something on their head and I would make a little line with a sharpie. And so we'd know this is where you were when you're three years old. And so it goes up and up and up.

And so of course, every so often, especially lately since my daughters are almost my height, they said let me measure you. And so I stood against the wall and they put a book on my head and drew the line. and the next thing they measure with the tape measure and they said 'you're 6-1. You're only 6-1! You told us you were 6-1 and three quarter.'

I said 'Do it again, this is crazy'. So I stood again and I made myself really tall and I stretched my neck and I did the whole thing and really was against the wall and I straightened out my back and the chest out. and she came in and she says now instead it's one-eighth of an inch more. But you're still 6'1".

Bronstein: Kids are tough.

After that Bronstein made the governor stand up and compared their heights. Arnold asked how tall he was, to which he replied "6 foot." Bronstein did appear to be slightly shorter than Arnold Schwarzenegger therefore Arnold seemed to be really around 6'1" tall in the year 2008. 

In short, Phil Bronstein did the world a great service, as reports, he did everything he could to get Schwarzenegger's real height, just shy of demanding to see the insides of his shoes for elevation aids.

And now comes the last part of the story -- our guesswork

It could very well be that Arnold hadn't measured his height in a long time since he came to the United States, therefore he believed that he was still 6'1" tall as he was measured up when he was only 15 years old. It is not unimaginable that a 15-year-old boy getting a growth spurt and growing another inch. In fact, most teenagers grow many inches after the age of 15.

After some time Arnold must have realized that he was closer to 6'2" than 6'1", therefore he started claiming to be 6'2" tall to round up things. But you did see that in the interview with Phil Bronstein that Arnold claimed to be 6-1 and three quarters in his prime. After carefully looking him up and comparing his height to a great number of other celebrities, we think that's how tall he used to be in his prime -- or just a bit shorter than that.

But for some reason, Arnold Schwarzenegger started losing height before his time and now in his seventies, we think that he is below the 6 feet mark. But hey, who cares about that -- he is still the one and only Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The height of Arnold Schwarzenegger is

5'11" or 182 cm

Height in his prime was 6'1½" or 187 cm

Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, The Rock height comparison
The action superstars who have lost stature: Sylvester Stallone (5'9" to 5'8"), Arnold Schwarzenegger (6'1¾" to 5'11"), and The Rock (6'3" to 6'2½")

For reference, here is the average human height around the world.

Country Male Female
Indonesia 5'4" 4'11"
India 5'5½" 5'½"
Mexico 5'6½" 5'1½"
China 5'6½" 5'1½"
Japan 5'7½" 5'2½"
Brazil 5'8" 5'3"
Russia 5'9" 5'3¾"
France 5'9" 5'3¾"
United States 5'9¼" 5'4"
United Kingdom 5'9½" 5'4¼"
Canada 5'10" 5'4½"
Australia 5'10" 5'4½"
Germany 5'10½" 5'5"
Netherlands 5'11½" 5'6"
Dinka people of South Sudan 6" 5'7"

Data collected more or less from Wikipedia and some other sources. Expect a slight discrepancy from real life. A more detailed chart can be found here.

"When your vision is powerful enough, everything else falls into place: how you live your life, your workouts, what friends you choose to hang out with, how you eat, what you do for fun. Vision is the purpose, and when your purpose is clear, so are your life choices. Vision creates faith and faith creates willpower. With faith, there is no anxiety, no doubt - just absolute confidence."

~ Arnold Schwarzenegger