Kenny Waller
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Who Is Ken Waller?

A former American professional bodybuilder named Kenny “Ken” Waller. In his three-decade career, he has won many competitions, including the 1975 IFBB Universe, 1969 AAU Mr. USA, and the 1976 Mr. Olympia Over 200lbs.

Short Career Of Ken Waller

Ken Waller’s distinctive red curly hair, freckles, and self-assured posing style made him stand out in the world of professional bodybuilding throughout the 1970s.

Ken Waller is particularly well-known for his roles in the films Stay Hungry and Pumping Iron, which starred some of the most well-known bodybuilding figures of all time, including Franco Columbu, Frank Zane, and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Body Measurements of Kenny Waller

Full Name: Kenny Waller
ERA: 1960, 1970, 1980
PROFESSION: Professional Bodybuilder, Actor
HEIGHT: 6′ (183cm) 
WEIGHT: 225-235 pounds (102.1- 106.6kg)

Kenny Waller



  • 1968 AAU Mr. Olympia, 4th
  • 1968 AAU Mr. USA, 4th
  • 1969 AAU Junior Mr. USA, 1st
  • 1969 AAU Junior Mr. USA Most Muscular, 1st
  • 1969 AAU Mr. America, 3rd
  • 1969 AAU Mr. USA, 1st
  • 1969 AAU Mr. USA Most Muscular, 1st
  • 1970 AAU Junior Mr. America, 2nd
  • 1970 AAU Junior Mr. America Most Muscular, 2nd
  • 1970 AAU Mr. America, 2nd
  • 1970 AAU Mr. America Most Muscular, 2nd
  • 1970 AAU Mr. World Tall & Overall, 1st
  • 1971 IFBB Mr. America Tall & Overall, 1st
  • 1971 IFBB Mr. International Tall, 1st
  • 1971 NABBA Mr. Universe Tall & Overall, 1st
  • 1971 WBBG Pro Mr. World, 2nd
  • 1972 IFBB Mr. International Tall & Overall, 1st
  • 1972 IFBB Mr. World Tall & Overall, 1st
  • 1972 IFBB Universe Tall, 2nd
  • 1973 NABBA World Championships, 1st
  • 1974 IFBB Universe Tall, 2nd
  • 1975 IFBB Universe Tall & Overall, 1st
  • 1976 Mr. Olympia Over 200 lbs, 1st
  • 1977 Mr. Olympia Overall, 5th
  • 1977 Mr. Olympia Over 200 lbs, 2nd
  • 1979 IFBB Night of Champions, 6th
  • 1980 IFBB Grand Prix California, 7th
  • 1980 Mr. Olympia, 16th
  • 1981 Mr. Olympia, 16th

Biography Of Ken Waller

Wesleyan University in Kentucky

Ken Waller, who was born on March 20th, 1942, was raised in Jeffersonville, Indiana. When he entered at Western Kentucky University and joined their undefeated football team, his excitement for athletics began to emerge.

Ken was one of the best people on the team, which was known as the “Tangerine Bowl.” Ken became so well-known thanks to his squad that the school framed a picture of him in the locker room.

After completing his education, Ken joined the US Marine Corps and then started teaching high school in Louisville.

He then returned to his previous career, playing professional football. His bodybuilding career used this as a stepping stone.

Getting into bodybuilding

It was just a matter of time before Ken turned to bodybuilding given his powerful, athletic build of 6 feet and 230 pounds. Early in his football career, he began lifting weights, but it wasn’t until 1968 that he decided to pursue a career in bodybuilding.

He participated in his first ever competition that year, the AAU Mr. Olympia, where he placed fourth. He participated in the 1968 AAU Mr. America competition a few months later and finished fourth this time.

The following year, in 1969 AAU Junior Mr. USA, overcame the nation’s top Junior physiques to claim his maiden victory.

Deputy Mr. USA

Ken Waller was able to compete at the senior level thanks to his victory at the AAU Junior Mr. USA competition.

By the end of 1969, he had taken part in three additional contests, placing first in the AAU Mr. America, Mr. USA, and AAU Mr. USA Most Muscular categories.

Ken felt certain he could succeed in bodybuilding and turn pro at this point. He soon started preparing for the AAU Mr. World contest that will take place in 1970. After winning, Ken would join the professional circuit and battle against the best of the best.

Becoming a Bodybuilder

Ken competed in four more competitions before the Mr. World Competition: the AAU Junior Mr. America, AAU Junior Mr. America Most Muscular, AAU Mr. America, and AAU Mr. America Most Muscular winning second place in each.

Ken Waller hoped he would finally win after finishing second four times in a row. Ken won the award at the 1970 AAU Mr. World competition in both his division and overall, proving that the wait was worthwhile.

In addition, the victory elevated him to the ranks of the finest bodybuilders in the world, enabling him to participate in the IFBB’s professional league.

Ten Years of Domination

Kenny Waller was successful in achieving an astounding 9 victories in the 1970s. He established himself in the world of bodybuilding thanks to this record.

The most prominent of these was Ken’s triumph at the 1975 Mr. Universe, where he beat Roger Walker, Paul Grant, and his fellow countryman Mike Katz. However, there were many other achievements that Ken did that helped to make him the icon that he is today.

Other notable triumphs included those at the 1973 NABBA World Championships, the 1972 IFBB Mr. World, and 1976, Mr. Olympia.


The victory at the 1976 Mr. Olympia marked Ken’s final professional bodybuilding triumph. He proceeded to compete at the highest level for the next five years, finishing in respectable positions.

He participated in several competitions during that time, including the 1980 Mr. Olympia, the 1979 IFBB Grand Prix California, and the 1979 IFBB Night of Champions, where he finished sixth.

Before formally leaving the sport, he participated in his final competition at the 1981 Mr. Olympia a year later.

Pumping Iron Outward Show

Ken appeared in the photo-essay book Pumping Iron and was in the renowned documentary from 1977. He played an adversary and Mike Katz’s primary rival in the film, who was portrayed in a more favorable light.

One of the most infamous scenes in the entire film saw Ken playing a crafty and dishonest character who attempted to distract Mike Katz by stealing his fortunate T-shirt.

As a result of this performance, Ken frequently received jeers from onlookers who were unaware that the entire sequence had been manufactured to heighten the tension in the film. In truth, Ken and Mike were close pals.

However, Ken acknowledged in an interview that his reputation as the villain preceded him even off-screen: “I would go to contests and get booed, after that!”

Various Appearances

In addition to Pumping Iron, Ken also acted as Dougie Stewart in the film Stay Hungry.

Bodybuilder Joe Santo, who was represented by Arnold Schwarzenegger, had Dougie as his main foe. Chracles Gaines, a co-author of Pumping Iron, wrote Stay Hungry.

Kenny Waller also had an appearance in the films Kill The Golden Goose and King of the Beach. He appeared in an episode of The Incredible Hulk in 1981.

Kenny Waller

Training Of Ken Waller

Ken was a typical example of the straightforward yet “brutal” approach to weightlifting that the bodybuilders of the golden age were known for.

This indicates that big weight was the first emphasis, and compound movements like the bench press, squats, and t-bar rows were the foundation of any great bodybuilder’s training.

When it came to workouts, machines, and equipment in general, there wasn’t a lot of variety, so Ken had to make do with what he had.

But for him and other bodybuilders, this turned out to be a blessing in disguise because it showed to be a fantastic technique for developing strong muscular mass.

Dumbbells, which lack cables and other modern apparatus, are an excellent way to isolate the muscle, according to Ken. He would do side lateral rises, bicep curls, and bent-over lateral raises as some of the isolation workouts.

Ken’s Workout Routine

  • Monday and Thursday: Legs, Chest, Back
  • Tuesday and Friday: Abs, Shoulders, Arms


Since supplements were practically nonexistent in the 1970s, bodybuilders like Ken Waller had to concentrate on boosting their protein intake from whole food sources while reducing their carbohydrate intake.

In addition, fat was a significant component of Ken’s diet because it occasionally served as his main source of energy. Occasionally, he would replace it with carbohydrates, depending on whether he was training or competing.

From Ken Waller, What Can We Infer?

Successful bodybuilder Ken Waller competed against legends like Mike Katz, Frank Zane, and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

He undoubtedly cemented his spot as one of the best bodybuilders to have ever lived thanks to his appearances in Pumping Iron and his success on stage, particularly in the 1970s.