Top Ten Badasses of All Time

Posted: December 8, 2014 by TRU in Motivation, Random
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This week I’ve decided to take a break from health and fitness research and simply pay homage to some of the best in the business. Why? Directly or Indirectly, these individuals have inspired many a couch potato to get off their arses and head straight for self-improvement, whether that be in a gym, a dojo, or a jar of pomade. And while research can be terrific, sometimes we just need a little good old fashion inspiration.

Compiling this list wasn’t easy. Each figure below epitomizes more than just one aspect of badassery, making each somewhat of a Da Vinci in their own way. I’ve also listed a close runner-up who possesses similar qualities, but ultimately fell short of the win. So put your sunglasses on and get ready to countdown the Top Ten Badasses of All Time.

      10.  Mr. T (Laurence Tureaud)


First name Mr, middle name ‘period’, last name T! – Mr. T

If you were outnumbered in a street fight and could phone only one person for help, you’d be a crazy fool not to call WWE Hall of Famer, Mr. T…and you better use your head and dial 1-800-COLLECT! From his early days winning America’s Toughest Bouncer to having his own cereal, Mr. T certainly stands over a heavyweight resume. Mr. T also has an incomparable sense of style, the greatest hair in the world (scientifically proven per himself), street smarts, and at least as many words of wisdom as Confucius. How he has managed to accomplish all this in such a short time must be due to the fact that he ain’t got time for no jibba-jabba!

-Tough as stylish runner-up: “The Macho Man” Randy Savage

  1. Jon Pall Sigmarsson

Jon Pall Sigmarsson

There is no point to be alive if you can’t do deadlift – Jon Pall Sigmarsson

Arguably the greatest all around strong man of all time, Jon Pall – The Icelandic Viking, was every bit as athletic as he was strong. While not quite as brutally strong as his nemesis Bill Kazmaier, Jon Pall’s combination of speed, strength, and endurance were second to none. And unlike other strongmen of both past and present, his brilliance didn’t end with his physical abilities. Jon Pall was every bit a showman as much as he was a strongman, and brought a level of charisma to his feats of strength that World’s Strongest Man(WSM) had yet to see. Sadly, he had been the first person to win WSM 4 times before his life prematurely ended at the age of 32.

-Greatest strongman runner-up: Bill Kazmaier

  1. Carl Weathers


It’s all in the hips…it’s all in the hips – Carl Weathers (Happy Gilmore)

Perhaps one of the lesser known figures in this list, Carl Weathers is no stranger to badassery. From playing professional football to his roles as Apollo Creed in Rocky I-IV, Major George Dillon in Predator, and Chubbs Peterson in Happy Gilmore, Weathers has certainly walked the walk. But what really sets Weathers apart is his ability to simultaneously personify someone who is both tough and tender in a way that is so effortless…so effortless, it’s just badass. If you can find someone who does this better than Weathers, they’re probably not human. To top all that off, Weathers is also a terrific singer.

Note: Weather’s was also one half of the epic handshake from Predator that was apparently so masculine it impregnated every woman within a 50 mile radius (according to someone on Youtube).

-Tough but tender runner-up: Niam Leeson

  1. Sean Connery


The name’s Bond…James Bond – Sean Connery

And now onto a figure who hardly needs an introduction. What many do not realize about the debonair persona we’ve come to know as (the original) James Bond, is that he had an early stint in bodybuilding. Interestingly enough, the Bond role was originally given to the aesthetic marvel, Steve Reeves, a role which he turned down. While Connery’s physique was of no comparison to Reeves, Connery’s nonchalant sophistication is unmatched. Hence, Connery steals the win at spot #7 and will ultimately remain an elegant badass in the minds of most anyone who utters the name, Bond…James Bond.

-Bodybuilder and ultimate protagonist runner-up: Steve Reeves

  1. John Grimek

John Grimek

It isn’t hard to see why Grimek was dubbed, The Monarch of Muscledom.

While not classically considered to be the true Father of Bodybuilding (a moniker usually given to Eugene Sandow), Grimek was essentially the first “modern” bodybuilder to come on the scene, and was so dominant and ahead of his time that the rules had to be changed just to hinder his reign.  In addition to bodybuilding, Grimek also represented the U.S. in weightlifting and excelled in both. What is perhaps most admirable about Grimek however was his dedication to training; something he continued well after his retirement. It has been said that Grimek was able to squat over 400lbs for reps up into his late 60s. That’s definitely badass in my book!

-Early bodybuilder and strongman runner-up: Eugene Sandow

  1. Clint Eastwood


Do ya’ feel lucky, punk?― Clint Eastwood

Who could be more badass than the unapologetic symbol of masculinity better known as Clint Eastwood? With wits nearly as sharp as his gaze, Eastwood always leads by example, having prompted generations of boys and males alike to cross the much coveted threshold into manhood. In addition to Eastwood’s iconic displays of manliness on the big screen he is also a talented filmmaker, singer/musician, and has been a proponent of fitness and healthy eating most of his life. Case in point, if you think you know of a more certifiable badass than Clint…go ahead, make my day.

-King of cool runner-up: Steve McQueen

  1. Bruce Lee


Be happy, but never satisfied.― Bruce Lee

While often regarded as one of the best martial artists of all time, Bruce Lee was a dedicated student and master of a pursuit even greater than martial arts. From an early age, Lee had an unyielding devotion to the mind and body, and he possibly came as close to mastering their relationship as anyone.  From the dojo to the big screen, Lee was also filled with a passion for teaching and sharing his knowledge and talents. Bruce Lee was very much a man ahead of his time and it is truly remarkable how widespread his influence remains today in spite of his premature demise over 40 years ago; showing life after death just might be a reality.

-Martial artist and actor runner-up: Bolo Yeung

  1. Arnold Schwarzenegger


Everybody pities the weak; jealousy you have to earn. ― Arnold Schwarzenegger

If anyone can be said to have influenced the bodybuilding and physical culture of our present day, that person would be none other than Arnold Schwarzenegger.  After a dominating career in bodybuilding, Arnold continued his reign in Hollywood as well as government, a life story far more serious than his cheerful and charismatic personality.  Ahnuld, has become a favorite household name, and he has proven countless times whether he’s pumping up backstage or recounting a love affair, he always knows how to laugh at himself and have a good time. Thus, it should come as no surprise that Arnold has muscled his way to the top of this list.

-Bodybuilder and actor runner-up: Sylvester Stallone

  1. Noriyuki “Pat” Morita aka Mr. Miyagi


Man who catch fly with chopsticks accomplish anything. –Mr. Miyagi

The name Mr. Miyagi is simply synonymous with the word badass. Whether he’s keeping his cool in the face of adversity or offering sage advice for virtually any dilemma, you would certainly want Miyagi by your side whether you had to grow a bonsai tree or save the planet. To the surprise of many, Miyagi also showed us that old age doesn’t have to kick your ass, but rather, ass can still be kicked at an old age. Perhaps the only skill he had not quite mastered was the art of catching a fly with his chopsticks, but I’m sure he could have easily managed this off camera.

-Surprisingly tough runner-up: Toshiyuki “Harold” Sakata aka Oddjob

  1. Chuck Norris


The flu has to get a Chuck Norris shot once a year –Anonymous

Were you really expecting anyone other than Chuck Norris for the win? Legend has it that he’s never been beaten at anything, even winning Karate tournaments before he was born. They also say that Norris won on American Idol using only sign language…how can anyone compete with that? Critics (aka haters) have often dubbed Norris’s acting as being wooden and dimensionless, but what they fail to realize is that it only appears that way since Norris lives in a higher dimension. Now if that isn’t badass, I don’t know what is.

-Chuck Norris runner-up: N/A. Chuck Norris is obviously in a class of his own.


Ok, so maybe I embellished a bit on the last two, but how could you actually expect me to rank this extraordinary group of badasses? My real motive was only to motivate you to learn a bit more about a few individuals who have helped shape and inspire the definition of badass, which has undoubtedly had an impact on the current state of the fitness industry. I hope you have also learned that while each of these individuals is categorically a patent badass, no two are exactly alike, with each standing out in their own way. So with that being said, you too can be a badass…in YOUR own way.

If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants – Sir Isaac Newton,


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