He won title of Mr Universe at age 20 and went on to claim victory in the Mr Olympia bodybuilding competition a staggering seven times - long before going on to become one of Hollywood’s most celebrated action heroes.
But for all of those accomplishments and medals weighing down his mantle, Arnold Schwarzenegger claims none have fulfilled him more than his turn to politics.
The Austrian-born muscle man said today being 38th Governor of California is the achievement of which he is most proud.
Schwarzenegger was Governor of California from 2003 until 2011, a role which earned him the nickname ‘Governator’.
Reflecting on his role in an interview with entertainment industry website The Wrap, he said: ‘Even though it was the most difficult period, it was to me the most satisfying period and the period I’m most proud of.’
Though Schwarzenegger had some successes as governor on social issues, it is widely agreed that he failed to fix the main issue which he campaigned on: California’s massive fiscal problems.
He left the governor’s office with a similarly large budget deficit as when he started - and much more debt.
The Terminator actor, who turned 65 on Monday, was speaking at a Television Critics Association panel in Los Angeles.
The bodybuilder-turned-actor-turned politician was speaking from the TCA event to promote a new ESPN short film called Arnold’s Blueprint.
The 10-minute film from director Jeff Zimbalist, who sat next to Schwarznegger
on the panel, focuses on the future Hollywood star and governor’s early years as a bodybuilder, during the time Schwarzenegger served in the Austrian army.
The short will make its debut on September 26 on the ESPN website Grantland.com.
Arnold has made a return to movies since exiting politics last year, beginning with roles in the Sylvester Stallone-directed Expendable franchise opposite Bruce Willis, Liam Hemsworth and Stallone himself.
But the actor has kept largely out of the public eye since his split with former wife Maria Shriver in May last year, after 25 years of marriage.
It emerged a week later that Schwarzenegger had fathered a lovechild with an employee in the couple’s household 14 years earlier.
Arnold and 56-year-old Maria have four children together: Katherine, 22, Christina, 21, Patrick, 18, and Christopher, 14.