How Much Does A Bodybuilder Make? Is It Worth it?

  • By: Dave Moffat
  • Date: December 15, 2023
How Much Does A Bodybuilder Make?

A lot of people wonder how much money a bodybuilder can make. It’s interesting to learn about the money side of this tough and super competitive sport.

Things like how big the competition is, deals with sponsors, and how a bodybuilder brands themselves can really affect how much they earn.

How much a bodybuilder makes can be very different from one person to another. Understanding where the money comes from and what affects it can give us a better idea of what a bodybuilder might earn. This helps us see what they might earn while working hard to build their muscles.

In this article, we’ll look at the different things that add to a bodybuilder’s earnings. This will help us understand the possible money they can make and the challenges they might face in this special job.

Competitions

Competitions are one of the main ways professional bodybuilders make money.

How much they make from these events can change a lot. It depends on things like how big and important the competition is, how well the athlete does, and what categories they compete in.

For example, the top competition is the Mr. Olympia contest. The person who won in 2021, Mamdouh Elssbiay (Big Ramy), got $400,000!

But remember, only a few bodybuilders get to this high level. The money from smaller competitions is a lot less.

Competitions at the regional and national level might give prizes from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars for the best competitors.

Amateur bodybuilders who aren’t professionals yet usually compete for trophies and recognition, not for money. They also compete for recognition.

Top professional bodybuilders can make a lot of money from winning competitions. However, most people in the sport make less from these events.

Sponsorships

Sponsorship deals are a big help for bodybuilding athletes to make more money. In return for promoting a company’s products or services, these companies give them financial support.

Companies usually want to sponsor athletes who win a lot, have a lot of fans, and have an image that fits with their brand.

Sponsorships can give athletes anything from free stuff and clothes to a lot of money. This depends on how good the athlete is and the company that sponsors them.

Some famous bodybuilders have good sponsorship deals. For example, Phil Heath is sponsored by Ultimate Nutrition, Kai Greene by Dynamik Muscle, and Ronnie Coleman by Ronnie Coleman Signature Series.

How much money they make from sponsorships can be very different. Some athletes might make as little as $10,000 per year, while the best professionals can make deals worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.

For example, it has been said that Kai Greene makes about $1 million per year from his sponsorships and endorsements.

Getting sponsorships can be hard for many bodybuilding athletes. There’s a lot of competition, and companies are picky about who they want to represent their brand.

Things like being a man or a woman, where you’re from, and your personal brand can affect how much money you can make from sponsorships.

For instance, female bodybuilders might have a harder time getting sponsorships because there aren’t as many companies targeting women. Also, women’s bodybuilding competitions aren’t as popular.

Bodybuilding athletes might make a few thousand dollars a year from sponsorships if they’re just starting out. If they’re really experienced, they might make several hundred thousand dollars.

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To have the best chance of getting sponsorships, athletes should work on building their personal brand. They should stay active on social media and make connections in the industry.

Modeling

Bodybuilders can earn a good amount of money from modeling. How much they make can depend on things like their experience, deals with companies, competition success, and personal brand.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, models made about $17.81 per hour in 2020 on average, with the top 10% making more than $30.00 per hour. But remember, this includes all types of models, not just bodybuilding models.

For bodybuilders, how much they make from modeling can change a lot. It depends on things like how much experience they have and how big the clients they work with are.

For example, a bodybuilder who is just starting to model might make around $200–$500 for each photoshoot. But bodybuilders who have more experience and have been more successful could make more than $2,000 for each photoshoot.

Deals with companies and sponsorships can add even more to a bodybuilder’s income from modeling. The best athletes might make deals worth hundreds of thousands of dollars with big brands.

Doing well in competitions can also affect how much a bodybuilder makes from modeling. Winning important titles can make them more popular and increase demand for their services.

For instance, winning the Mr. Olympia or Arnold Classic titles can really improve a bodybuilder’s reputation. This can lead to better opportunities for modeling and deals with companies.

Personal Training

I know a lot about fitness. I can tell you that personal training sessions are a great way for professional bodybuilders to use their skills to make money.

Usually, personal trainers in the United States charge between $40 and $100 per hour. Trainers with more experience can charge more. Where they’re located, who they’re training, and what kind of services they offer can change how much a bodybuilder who becomes a personal trainer can make.

In addition to regular face-to-face training sessions, many bodybuilders also look into other options. These include online coaching or making and selling fitness programs. These platforms let them reach more people and might let them earn money even when they’re not actively working. This can add to the money they make from one-on-one sessions.

To be a good personal trainer, bodybuilders need to have the right qualifications. This includes certification from a respected organization, such as the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) or the American Council on Exercise (ACE). It also requires real-world experience and good skills.

By using their competition experience and knowledge about the industry, bodybuilders can become experts in the fitness world. This can lead to more people wanting their services and the chance to make more money.

Some stories suggest that successful bodybuilder personal trainers can make incomes in the six figures. This is especially true when they have multiple ways of making money. For example, online coaching, fitness programs, and deals with companies.

These amounts are at the high end. They show how much money bodybuilders can make if they move successfully into the personal training market.

FAQ

Who is the highest paid bodybuilder ever?

Arnold Schwarzenegger is often considered the highest-paid bodybuilder of all time.

His earnings from bodybuilding competitions alone may not have been the highest. Overall, his financial success, including his acting career, business ventures, and endorsements, has made him the wealthiest individual associated with the sport.

Arnold’s net worth is estimated to be around $400 million. He is the most financially successful bodybuilder in history.

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How much money does a bodybuilder win from winning Mr. Olympia?

The prize money awarded to the winner of the Mr. Olympia competition has increased over the years. As of 2021, the winner of the Mr. Olympia contest, Mamdouh Elssbiay (Big Ramy), took home a prize of $400,000.

However, prize money can change from year to year. Factors such as event sponsorship and the competition’s overall budget can cause these changes.

How do bodybuilders make their money?

Bodybuilders can make money through various channels. They can leverage their skills, knowledge, and reputation within the fitness industry. Some common income sources for bodybuilders include:

  1. Competition winnings: Prize money from winning bodybuilding competitions, such as Mr. Olympia, Arnold Classic, and other regional or national contests, can contribute to a bodybuilder’s income.
  2. Sponsorships and endorsements: Many bodybuilders sign deals with supplement companies, fitness brands, or other businesses, promoting their products in exchange for financial support, free products, or gear.
  3. Personal training: Bodybuilders often provide personal training services, coaching clients on exercise techniques, nutrition, and other aspects of fitness, either in-person or online.
  4. Fitness programs and online coaching: Many bodybuilders create and sell custom workout programs, meal plans, or offer online coaching services to clients looking to achieve specific fitness goals.
  5. Modeling: Bodybuilders can earn money by modeling for fitness magazines, advertising campaigns, or stock photography, showcasing their physiques for commercial purposes.
  6. Social media and influencer marketing: With a strong social media presence, bodybuilders can earn income through sponsored posts, paid partnerships, or by promoting their own products and services to followers.
  7. Merchandise: Some bodybuilders create their own line of apparel, supplements, or fitness equipment, selling these products to fans and customers.
  8. Public speaking and seminars: Experienced bodybuilders may be invited to speak at fitness events, conferences, or workshops, sharing their knowledge and expertise with audiences.
  9. Writing and content creation: Bodybuilders with a talent for writing or content creation may contribute articles to fitness publications, create instructional videos, or even write books on various aspects of bodybuilding and fitness.

The actual income generated from each of these sources will vary. It depends on factors such as the bodybuilder’s reputation, competitive success, and personal brand. Some bodybuilders may earn a modest income from these activities. Others can achieve significant financial success through multiple revenue streams.

Dave Moffat

Hi, I'm Dave Moffat the founder and Chief Editor of steroidsourcetalk.com and certified International Personal Trainer and Certified Nutritionist. My passion has always been bodybuilding but with 15 years' experience in weight loss programs too, it's hard not to mention all that when you're working at your fitness level fullest (I hope). When Im not in the gym or spending time away from my family i often think about what advice would help others achieve theirs goals just like these inspired mine.