|Markus Ruhl Quick Info
|5 ft 10 in
|Date of Birth
|February 22, 1972
Markus Ruhl is a retired German IFBB Pro bodybuilder and entrepreneur, best known for winning 5th place at 2004 Mr. Olympia, which was his highest placement in the top bodybuilding competition. He began bodybuilding around 1990, and after winning The Bachgau Cup, he later won his Pro card. This allowed him to compete at the 1999 Mr. Olympia, but he ended up being disqualified with other competitors. That year was known as one of the worst for bodybuilding because it was the 1st and only drug-tested Mr. Olympia contest. Many people such as Markus were disqualified for using diuretics, which removed fluid from the body forcefully, allowing competitors to look even drier and more ripped. The same year, he also won 4th place at Night of Champions, and 7th at Joe Weider’s Pro World, and Grand Prix England.
After he won Toronto Pro in 2000, he was placed 2nd and 5th at the Night of Champions and Grand Prix England, respectively. Markus was also placed 7th at the 2001 Mr. Olympia and 14th at the 2001 Mr. Olympia. Markus won 2002 Night of Champions and was also placed at #8 at the Mr. Olympia competition the same year. After he was placed at #5 at the 2004 Mr. Olympia, he never reached such a high placement, as in 2005 he ended up being 15th, in 2006 he was 8th, and in 2009, he was 15th again. After 2010 IFBB Europa Super Show where he won 7th place, Markus decided to retire and focus on entrepreneurship. He owns a gym named Rule the Gym, and also started his own supplement company in 2018, named Rühls Bestes. Markus also began sharing his knowledge, coaching others, and holding regular bodybuilding seminars across Germany.
Markus Ruehl, The German Nightmare, The German Freak
Darmstadt, Hessen, Germany
Retired IFBB Pro Bodybuilder, Entrepreneur
- Father – Ernst Rühl
- Mother – Erika Rühl
Markus Ruhl self-manages his career.
5 ft 10 in or 178 cm
- 128 kg or 282 lbs (Contest)
- 148 kg or 326 lbs (Off-Season)
Girlfriend / Spouse
Markus Ruhl has dated –
- Simone – He was married to a woman named Simone in the past.
- Alicja Krafczyk (2015-Present) – After the two got engaged back in 2015, on August 31, 2017, Markus announced that he got married to Polish fitness model Alicja Krafczyk. They also have a daughter together who was born in 2016.
Race / Ethnicity
He is of German descent.
- Bodybuilder physique
- Tall height
- Arm Size: 24 in or 61 cm (Off-Season)
- Leg Size: 31 to 33 in or 79 cm to 84 cm (Contest)
- Waist Size: 38 in or 96.5 cm
- Chest size: 60 in or 152.5 cm
Markus Ruhl has endorsed brands such as –
- Ultimate Nutrition
- Rühls Bestes
Best Known For
- Being one of the most recognized and praised German bodybuilders
- Having an overdeveloped chest and shoulders and being one of the biggest bodybuilders to grace the stage during his active career
- Winning 5th place at 2004 Mr. Olympia, his highest placement in the top competition
- His social media fanbase with more than 300k followers on Instagram, more than 300k subscribers on YouTube, and more than 200k followers on Facebook
Markus was a football player, but after he got injured at the age of 18, his doctor recommended him to start working out. He weighed around 120 lbs or 54.5 kg at that point, and after he began putting on size, he reached a weight of nearly 100 kg or 220.5 lbs. At that point, he fell in love with the sport and planned on competing. Markus began working 6 days a week and began competing on a professional level around 1995.
During this time period, he continued working as a car salesman to support his supplements, gym membership, and other amenities required for bodybuilding, as he had no sponsors or financial support. Markus always listened to what his body told him, as he got injured in 1994, which postponed his bodybuilding debut until 1995. During his years in professional bodybuilding, he adopted a few rules to keep him on track such as –
- No talking in the gym
- Always do the full range of motion. If that’s impossible, lower the weight.
- Control the weight, don’t let it control you. If you’re shaking and compromising form just to brag about your records, you’ll get injured or get just a partial result.
- Keep your body guessing. Don’t fall into the same routine every single week. Switch the number of reps, add supersets, reduce or increase the number of sets, omit certain exercises if you don’t feel ready on that particular day.
- Never think you know it all. Keep learning and researching.
- Impatience is not a virtue. Don’t rush into things, all things take time, aim for consistent progress.
Typical Body Training Split
Markus had a separate day for shoulders only, which is typically combined with chest/triceps. This, in addition to superior genetics that can’t be influenced, was possibly the reason his shoulders were considered one of the best and biggest in the competition.
- Dumbell Shoulder Press – Warm-Up including 30 reps, 6 sets of slowly reducing reps and increasing weight, between 16 reps, in the beginning, 4 reps on the last set
- Upright Rows – 3 sets of 10 to 8 reps
- Standing Lateral Raise – 5 sets of 15 to 12 reps
- Bent-Over Lateral Raise – 4 sets of 12 to 8 reps
- Alternating Front Dumbbell Shoulder Raises – 4 sets of 12 to 8 reps
- Dumbbell Shrugs – 5 sets of 12 to 6 reps
- Barbell Curls – 6 sets of 4 to 30 reps
- Preacher Curls – 4 sets of 4 to 20 reps
- Cable Curls – 4 sets of 4 to 20 reps
- Seated Barbell Curls – 4 sets of 6 to 30 reps
- Dumbbell Curls – 6 sets of 6 to 20 reps
Markus goes for the maximum burn in his muscles, hence the higher number of repetitions and sets. However, he never compromises his form just to get the repetition in, which means – no swinging, and no helping hand from friends to lift the weight for you. Furthermore, he typically interchanges between a free weight (dumbbell/barbell) exercise, and one on the machine or using cables. It provides the maximum tension and breaks down muscle fiber so that they can repair and grow bigger and without inconsistencies in different parts of the muscle.
Another thing Markus does that’s unique is combining his traps (trapezius) muscle workout with his shoulders, while most of the bodybuilders combine them with their back workout. Some of his favorite exercises for traps include deadlifts, upright rows, dumbbell/barbell shrugs, and even squats, as the traps hold the weight on the way down, and assist you on the way up.
As for his diet, during the peak of his career, he ate around 7k calories in the off-season to feed his bodybuilder physique, as he weighed around 148 kg or 326 lbs. He didn’t each cheat meals such as hamburgers, chocolate, and fast food to hit the goal number.
He almost exclusively ate ‘clean’ food such as rice, beef, chicken, sweet potatoes, oatmeal, cornflour, fish, and other sources of quality nutrients. His macros included around 400 grams of protein and around 800 grams of complex carbohydrates per day at the peak of his bodybuilding career. Furthermore, Markus created his website and a YouTube channel where he both blogs his advice and shows the proper form for every exercise in his arsenal on video.
Markus Ruhl Facts
- During his peak years, he battled Ronnie Coleman and Jay Cutler for the title of Mr. Olympia.
- Towards the end of his career, his signature body part, chest, began splitting in the middle. It wasn’t a common condition and a physician suggested that the loss of nerves after an injury or hardcore training for years in that part of the chest caused the muscle fibers to go down with it.
- In the early 2010s, following the rise in popularity of YouTube, Markus was perhaps best known for the video compilations of him farting and burping in the gym. He admitted that he feels relaxed and doesn’t want to hold things in while training, as he’s “all business” during a workout, and doesn’t mind if others do the same.
- Visit his official website @ markus-ruhl.com.
- Follow him on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
Featured Image by Markus Ruhl / Instagram