Arnold Schwarzenegger's Height Comparison with 12 Big and Small People

Arnold Schwarzenegger is surely one of the most famous actors and certainly the most famous bodybuilder of all time.

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 person as Arnold 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 one is quite sure of this.

There are some great existential questions that are best left unanswered and this question seems like one of them -- like the meaning of 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 you better understand that 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 feet 2 inches tall. Where did this number come from? Well, he was described as tall many times in his career -- like in the 1985 movie Commando. Did he look 6'2" tall in his prime -- well more than less.

In a 1969 interview With Dick Tyler, Arnold Schwarzenegger said that when he started bodybuilding he weighed only 150 lb (68 kg). When Dick Tyler asked:

At the same height?

Arnold Replied:

Yes, 6-foot, 1 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?

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 6 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.

Here is what Vince Basile later said about this:

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.

People do lose some height in the course of the day, as the water in the discs of the spine gets compressed due to gravity causing up to an inch of temporary height loss. Arnold might very well have been 6 feet 2 inches tall 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.

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 later 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.

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 3-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 were 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 measured with the tape measure and they said 'You're 6-1. You're only 6-1! You told us you were 6-1 and 3-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 said 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 -- 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" as he was measured up when he was only 15 years old. It is not unimaginable that a 15-year-old boy gets a growth spurt and grows another inch. In fact, most teenage boys 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" to round up things. But you did see that in the interview with Phil Bronstein where Arnold claimed to be 6-1 and 3-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 70s, he has lost a lot of height. He is clearly below the 6-foot mark now. But hey, who cares about that -- he is still the one and only Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The height of Arnold Schwarzenegger in his prime was

6 ft 1½ in (187 cm)

His present height is

5 ft 11 in (180 cm)

Here is how Arnold in his youth compared with a few big and small people.

Flavio Baccianini

Arnold Schwarzenegger height comparison with Flavio Baccianini
Arnold Schwarzenegger with Flavio Baccianini who is 4'10"

Flavio Baccianini is one of the shortest bodybuilders of all time. Still, his competition weight is a hefty 150 lb (68 kg). Muscle is denser than fat after all.

Lee Priest

Arnold Schwarzenegger height comparison with Lee Priest
Arnold Schwarzenegger with Lee Priest who is around 5'4½"

At just 5 feet 4½ inches, Lee Priest is one of the most amazing bodybuilders of all time -- even at that height, his competition weight was up to 225 lb (102 kg).

Barbie Ferriera

Arnold Schwarzenegger height comparison with Barbie Ferriera
Arnold Schwarzenegger with Barbie Ferriera who is 5'6½"

See how a young Arnold Schwarzenegger looks next to a normal-bodied human being. Though at 5 feet 6½ inches, Barbie is slightly taller than the average woman.

Sylvester Stallone

Arnold Schwarzenegger height comparison with Sylvester Stallone
Arnold Schwarzenegger with Sylvester Stallone who was around 5'9" in his youth and may be 5'8" now close to his 70s

Arnold Schwarzenegger's old rival and friend Sylvester Stallone in his youth was only 5 feet 9 inches tall. Arnie was a lot taller and bulkier, but no one can deny Sly too had a rock-hard body.

Ronnie Coleman

Arnold Schwarzenegger height comparison with Ronnie Coleman
Arnold Schwarzenegger with Ronnie Coleman who is around 5'10"

Arnold Schwarzenegger may be the most accomplished bodybuilder of all time. But Ronnie Coleman may just be the greatest bodybuilder of all time as far as sheer muscularity is concerned. At just 5'10", Ronnie's peak competition weight was an incredible 300 lb (136 kg), while his offseason weight came up to 330 lb (150 kg).

Mike Tyson

Arnold Schwarzenegger height comparison with Mike Tyson
Arnold Schwarzenegger with Iron Mike Tyson who is 5'10"

Iron Mike Tyson is just 5 feet 10 inches tall. But look how incredibly he is built (his 20-inch neck!). At one time, he was certainly the baddest man in the world.

Becca Swanson

Arnold Schwarzenegger height comparison with Becca Swanson
Arnold Schwarzenegger with Becca Swanson who is 5'10"

Becca Swanson is one of the strongest women in the world. At her lowest she weighed 185 lb (84 kg), and at her highest an incredible 258 lb (117 kg), which is more than Arnold Schwarzenegger's offseason weight of 250 lb (113 kg). Arnold's competition weight was around 236 lb (107 kg).

Vin Diesel

Arnold Schwarzenegger height comparison with Vin Diesel
Arnold Schwarzenegger with Vin Diesel who is 5'11½"

Modern movie tough guy, Vin Diesel is not 6'4", he is not 6'1" he is not even 6 feet. A young Arnold Schwarzenegger would be around 2 inches taller than Vin.

Maria Wattel

Arnold Schwarzenegger height comparison with Maria Wattel
Arnold Schwarzenegger with Maria Wattel who is 6 feet tall

Maria Wattel is one of the tallest female bodybuilders in the world. A young Arnold manages to overtop her by 1.5 inches.

John Cena

Arnold Schwarzenegger height comparison with John Cena
Arnold Schwarzenegger with John Cena who is 6'½"

John Cena is just not normally built. He may only be 6 feet half an inch tall, but the size of his hands and fingers is something out of the world. John is incredibly strong as well.

Kerri Walsh Jennings

Arnold Schwarzenegger height comparison with Kerri Walsh Jennings
Arnold Schwarzenegger with Kerri Walsh Jennings who is 6'2"

Volleyball player Kerri Walsh Jennings may be slimmer than Arnold was in his youth, but at 6 feet 2 inches, her frame is just as large.

Lou Ferrigno

Arnold Schwarzenegger height comparison with Lou Ferrigno
Arnold Schwarzenegger with Lou Ferrigno who was 6'4"

Arnold's old pal Lou Ferrigno at 6 feet 4 inches was a huge man in his youth. That's the reason he was cast as The Incredible Hulk in a TV series. That and his looking like... well, Hulk.

Arnold Schwarzenegger

Arnold Schwarzenegger height comparison with old Arnold Schwarzenegger
Young Arnold Schwarzenegger with old Arnold Schwarzenegger (around 5'11")

Now in his mid-70s (as of writing this), Arnold Schwarzenegger is shorter than he used to be. People get shorter with age -- mostly because of the compression and dehydration taking place between the spinal discs.