Retro Athlete: Bob Cicherillo

The long career of the 2000 USA champ and Olympia emcee.

Today, he is best-known as the emcee of the Mr. Olympia and many other contests. But long before his baritone reverberated in auditoriums, Bob Cicherillo was just another struggling amateur trying to go pro. After winning the 1987 Jr. Nationals at 21, this native of Rochester, NY, seemed like a shoo-in for the next step. But pro cards were hard to come by then. It took him 15 pro qualifiers over 14 years before he eventually won the 2000 USA Championships at age 34.

Subsequently, his six-year, 12-contest pro career was capped off in 2006 by his only victory—his final show. From his first contest at age 14 to his last at 40, Cicherillo’s shoulders always took up a lot of space. Blessed with wide clavicles, he capped them off with capacious delts and traps. “Shoulders, more than anything else, are what make a bodybuilder look like a bodybuilder,” Cicherillo said. Thirty-seven years after his first contest and 10 years after his last, the emcee will still be one of the widest guys at the Olympia this September.


Cicherillo has acted in such movies and TV shows as Dodgeball, Malcolm in the Middle, and See Arnold Run.


  • “Use your chin as a guide. I begin and end my overhead presses at my chin and bring my upright rows to just beneath my chin.”
  • “I begin each rep of side laterals with the dumbbells at my sides instead of in front of me. This eliminates cheating.”
  • “I give shoulders their own workouts instead of grouping them with arms or chest, etc.”


Dumbbell Shoulder Press | SETS: 4, REPS: 12–15

Dumbbell Lateral Raise SETS: 4, REPS:12–15

Machine Rear Lateral SETS: 4 REPS: 12–15

EZ-bar Upright Row SETS: 3, REPS: 12–15

Machine Shrug SETS: 3, REPS: 12–15



Subscribe to Flexonline

Give a Gift
Customer Service