The Arnold Classic Africa is an event that has become one of the biggest and most successful events on the fitness calendar in South Africa, and this has only been the second year. The Arnold Classic originated in Ohio in the United States of America, and is held every year. Aside from Mr Olympia, it is considered the most intense spectacle of bodybuilders.

However, Arnold himself wanted to leave behind a greater legacy than just his bodybuilding. Here is our experience of the Arnold Classic Africa 2017.


The Arnold Classic Africa is a place to showcase some of best local talent in South Africa. It is a chance for many athletes to gain recognition as serious, professional athletes. The events include archery, CrossFit, ping pong, strongmen, and so on. Even though each code is separate, they all share the passion for fitness. This is also what the Arnold Classic in general stands for. Mutual people coming together for their love of fitness.

It is also a place for companies to represent themselves during The Exhibition. Stands upon stands of supplement brands, fitness clothing brands, wellness stores, and even Harley Davidson showed their presence. Surrounding these stands was an arena of sorts, with teams competing in various sports. Shouts and screams could be heard from one side of the Sandton Convention Centre to the other, fans cheering on their teams, players motivating their teammates, and a vibe that could only be described as passionate and hungry filled the entire room.

Down below stood the strongmen, looking to dominate the weights. Grunts and groans coming from an area that looked similar to a military training are, or perhaps a gladiator stage. We only witnessed a few males attempting to tackle clean snatches that would see most of crumbing like sand that drawn dry. The sounds they emanated were part human, but mostly animalistic, as they lifted what appeared to nothing for them, straight above their heads.


We were fortunate enough to be invited to a press conference with former Mr Olympia and Governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger. To see him on TV, and on stage is one thing, but to see him in person was almost surreal. An unforgettable experience.

Arnold was asked a series of questions based on his bodybuilding career, his experiences on TV, being Governor of the state of California, and his legacy and impact on renewable energy. The most interesting discussion was his viewpoint on climate change and renewable energy. Despite being a hardy Republican, he believes that climate change is the biggest threat we are currently facing, and has setup multiple programmes to combat it, most notably the R20 project.


In closing, 2016 saw the inaugural Arnold Classic Africa happening in Johannesburg, and was one of the most successful events, especially for the first time, in the fitness calendar with an almost sold out Sandton Convention Centre. 2017 saw this success explode even greater, rapidly becoming the most immersive and interactive sporting events in South Africa.

If you still haven’t been to Arnold Classic Africa, we recommend you start saving now, and mark your calendars!

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