Franco Columbu

franco columbu

Anthropometric Data

  • Height: 166 cm
  • Weight: 84 kg
  • Bicep Size: 47 cm
  • Chest Circumference: 134 cm
  • Calf Size: 44 cm
  • Bench Press: 238 kg
  • Squat: 297 kg
  • Deadlift: 341 kg
  • Total: 876 kg


franco columbu biography

Franco Columbu was born on the island of Sardinia on August 7, 1941, in Italy. He was raised in a responsible family, which helped him develop a strong and confident character. He always had goals in life and achieved them. Franco’s parents taught him everything, and he successfully mastered the professions of a shepherd and farmer. Unfortunately, Franco was not destined to become a full-time farmer. His qualities of patience and perseverance helped him reach significant sports heights. Columbu initially took up boxing seriously and, after some time, became an amateur champion. Then, he became seriously interested in weightlifting and eventually dedicated himself to bodybuilding.

Due to Franco Columbu’s short stature, many experts believed he would not achieve significant success in bodybuilding. However, he proved that height is not an obstacle in this sport by winning two prestigious “Mr. Olympia” titles. In 1977, he participated in the “World’s Strongest Man” competition. Unfortunately, he only managed to secure fifth place due to a severe leg injury, which otherwise would have surely secured him the first place with a considerable lead over his competitors. Despite finishing fifth, he was awarded $1 million in compensation. He was taken to the hospital during the tournament, where doctors gave a rather grim prognosis. Due to the severity of his injury, doctors predicted he would be disabled and unable to walk for the rest of his life. However, Franco Columbu proved them wrong: not only did he get back on his feet and start walking, but he also began serious training. As a result, in 1981, he secured first place in the “Mr. Olympia” international tournament.

Arnold Schwarzenegger and Franco Columbu can be considered great friends since meeting at a bodybuilding competition in Munich in 1965. At the “Mr. Olympia” tournaments, they did not compete against each other, as they were in different weight categories, but they almost always trained together.

Training and Nutrition Tips from Franco Columbu

training and nutrition tips from franco columbu

  1. Stick to Familiar Weights: Avoid using excessively heavy weights; always work with familiar weights. When working with maximum weights, focus on maintaining proper technique. Never train without warming up the muscle groups, as this can lead to injuries and long breaks from training.
  2. Heavy Compound Exercises: These exercises load multiple muscle groups simultaneously. Concentrating on these muscle groups helps distribute the load optimally and prevents injuries.
  3. Carbohydrates Before Training: Avoid simple carbohydrates before training due to their rapid absorption, which won’t provide the necessary energy for the workout. Opt for complex carbohydrates to supply the muscles with the required energy. Do not train on an empty stomach, but avoid overeating as well.
  4. Optimal Training Time: According to Franco, the best time for effective training is between 2:30 PM and 4:30 PM. If this is not possible, eat an hour before training and proceed with your workout.
  5. Follow Your Biorhythm: Each athlete should consider their biorhythm and train during their energy peaks, not lows. This allows for training with maximum weights.
  6. Keep Muscles Warm: Muscles should always feel warm. Avoid wearing tight sports outfits to show off results. The training suit should keep the muscles warm, enabling work with various weights.
  7. Listen to Your Inner Voice: Always listen to your inner voice, which will guide you on the right path.
  8. Maintain a Routine: A regimen is crucial for achieving high results. Allocate time for sleep, meals, and training. It’s best to train at the same time consistently, and remember that muscles grow during rest periods, not during training.
  9. Post-Training Rest and Nutrition: After training, rest first, then eat well, consuming sufficient amounts of proteins and carbohydrates.
  10. Fresh Air Breaks: It’s acceptable to leave the gym to get some fresh air during workouts, especially after heavy sets with maximum weights. Afterward, return to the gym and continue training.

Leg Workout

franco columbu leg workout

This program is designed for experienced athletes, not beginners. It focuses on specialization with fundamental and challenging exercises.

  1. Squats:
    • Perform seven sets with decreasing repetitions.
    • Start with 20 reps, then do 15, 10, 8, 6, 4, and 2 reps.
  2. Leg Press:
    • Perform four sets.
    • Do 50 reps in the first set, 25 in the second, then 18, and finally 8 reps.
  3. Leg Extensions on Machine:
    • Perform 6-7 sets.
    • Each set consists of up to 20 repetitions.
  4. Barbell or Dumbbell Lunges:
    • Perform 2-3 sets.
    • Each set consists of up to 15 repetitions per movement.
  5. Deadlifts:
    • Perform six sets.
    • Start with 3 sets of 5 reps each, then do sets of 3 reps, 1 rep, and 1 rep.