S.M. Douglas

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Dwayne Johnson “The Rock” vs. Lou Ferrigno/Arnold Schwarzenegger as Biggest Hercules Ever

For you fantasy fans you probably know the movie “Hercules” is being released next week (July 25th). Dwayne Johnson is playing the titular character, and I for one am quite pleased.


No offense to Kevin Sorbo (who stood a respectable six feet three inches but weighed a somewhat lean 235 pounds)….

Kevin Sorbo as Herculesjpg

….but Dwayne Johnson’s six foot five inch 260 pound frame is the most imposing to play Hercules in quite some time.

D Johnson as Hercules

In spite of Johnson’s freakish size the great Lou Ferrigno (at an equally imposing six foot five inch height but a weight of anywhere between 275 and 325 pounds during his competitive bodybuilding career and a weight of around 275 plus pounds when he played Hercules in the 1983 film) is still the biggest baddest dude to ever play the Greek hero.

Ferrigno Hercules

Now, as fit as Johnson is at this time  compare him to Ferrigno (perhaps the biggest bodybuilder ever and quite likely a man who would have won multiple Mr. Olympia’s had not Hollywood beckoned in 1976).


You can also compare Johnson to Schwarzenegger….

Schwarzennegger Hercules 2

….(who might have been the greatest bodybuilder ever and packed 240 pounds of pure muscle on his six foot two inch frame) when Arnold played Hercules in 1969.

Schwarzenegger Hercules

For that matter 1950’s bodybuilder Steve Reeves was no slouch either (at 215 pounds on a six foot one inch frame) when he played Hercules….

Steve Reeves as Hercules

….but as the smallest of the most famous Hercules stars we have to give the edge to Johnson here over Reeves.

In addition, we can’t forget Reg Park (at six foot one inch and 220 to 250 pounds) who would also give Johnson a run for his money….

reg park hercules 2

So as you look over the accompanying images you decide: does Johnson meet the standard created by Reeves, Park, Schwarzenegger and Ferrigno?


  1. For my money, it’s a tie for first place between Reg Park and Lou Ferrigno. Steve Reeves does/did a respectable job at portraying Hercules, but both Park and Ferrigno have more the complexion of Hercules. (I’m just saying).

    • Stephanie M. Douglas

      January 13, 2015 at 9:05 pm

      I agree that physically both Park and Ferrigno are very tough to beat. I mean Ferrigno was just a beast. Too bad he went to Television after the 1975 Olympia as I believe he could have dominated the late ’70s and early ’80s – perhaps even catching Arnold’s record given the competition in that post-Arnold/pre-Lee Haney era.

  2. Dwayne did a great job and looked the part although he doesn’t have the round, bulbous muscles like Lou and Arnold. I am almost positive the photo
    of Reg Park is photoshopped. From a bodybuilding physique point Lou has the best physique as far as the movie goes. Lou could have possibly won the Olympia from 1976-1982 beating Arnold’s 7 Olympia wins BUT Franco was very good in 1976 and also Arnold’s best friend; so politics may have came into play that year. I think Lou’s physique in the Herc movie is even better than
    when he made his comeback in 1991-1992.

    • Stephanie M. Douglas

      March 11, 2015 at 6:03 pm

      Great comments, but I have to disagree on one thing. Reg Park was over six feet tall and 250 pounds in peak shape. Plus he was very strong. He is claimed to be the second man ever to have benched 500lbs (Canadian strongman Doug Hepburn was the first). And that is a “raw” bench number – no straps, special clothes, or anything. As such, I think the picture is accurate.

      As for Lou having the best physique I’m not so sure I would argue with you. As for his conditioning, he looked great in the Herc movie but in his comeback his contest weight was 315 pounds or roughly 30 pounds bigger than in the early ’80s. That said, (and as mentioned in another comment) I can’t figure out why he didn’t piggyback on his Hercules role’s of 1980 and 1983 and enter any of the 81-84 Olympia’s (much like Arnold – who leveraged his training for his role in Conan to enter and win the 1980 Olympia in albeit controversial fashion). He could have easily bested those year’s champs (with the possible exception of Lee Haney in 1984).

  3. keith pearson

    May 3, 2015 at 5:35 pm

    Lou all the way open your eyes everyone he has been held him back cause of a little stutter! ! He is the man you want your childto have as a role model!! I’m 37 and hope to ne him in 20 years!! Your my hero lou

  4. I haven’t seen the show in ages, but I watched it all the time when it first aired. It was a good show at the time. I think that nogsiltaa (as unreliable as that is) is what has kept me from going to the theater. I like that they had Lou playing Hulk and having a CG character really dampens that experience for me oh well, I’ll probably end up watching the movie at some point since it has Roth and Norton in it and Downey makes his cameo.

  5. Dwayne Johnson isn’t 6’5″. He’s 6’4″ at the most.

  6. The hercules of mythology was an incredibly ruthless killer. He commanded armies and sacked cities. He was also known to brutally torture his enemies. The vast majority of the American people know nothing about the hercules of legend. The character has been turned into a major joke .

  7. Would have liked to see Andre the giant play the role

  8. Ronald Roselli

    June 3, 2017 at 4:39 am

    Reeves was and is the best Hercule. That’s a natural 215 no steroids, strong and best looking.

  9. comparing these beasts being all so tall is a very hard thing to do and to look so jacked. lou is the biggest jacked yes . and its the appearance of such that makes the legend. the rock may be more better at acting but still all three (arnold lou and rock are amazing )

  10. You can only call arnie one thing the god father of bodybuilding the legendary figure of the sport who caused the a cult of followers globally to bodybuilding . P.P 1961.

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