Dennis James does a lot of good with “The Menace Podcast.” The platform allows him to bring on guests to share their stories and introduce a new generation of fans to the legends that helped make bodybuilding what it is today.
One of those legends is Tony Pearson, who joined James as well as fellow panel members Chris Cormier and Milos Sarcev. Pearson competed in the IFBB Pro League from 1981 to 1994. His roots to the sport go even further back—all the way to Arnold Schwarzenegger as a matter of fact.
“Arnold discovered me on the beach. He came over and said, ‘I have been watching you for months,’” Pearson recalled. “He then said, ‘let’s go through the workout.’ We did chest and triceps.”
Pearson felt Schwarzenegger served as a mentor to him, and the seven-time Mr. Olympia even introduced Pearson to Joe Weider. They would go on to work together during Pearson’s career. That would be the kickoff of a career and life that he is very proud of. While Pearson’s last IFBB contest was in the ’90s, he did do other shows. His last show was in 2020, almost five decades after his first.
“I was 63, and that was it, I retired after that,” he told James. “I had been competing from 1976 to 2020.”
Pearson may have hung up his posing trunks, but he is still very active in the fitness industry as a trainer. He also keeps up with the sport today, even though he calls it “a different world.” He admired Derek Lunsford, who came in second at the 2022 Mr. Olympia in Las Vegas, NV.
“I like his physique. The guy has nice lines, is really conditioned, and knows how to present it very well.”
To see more of Pearson’s appearance on TMP, subscribe to the Muscle & Fitness YouTube channel so you can see the full episode and catch future episodes when they air every Sunday.