Karl Kainrath, the former Mr. Universe and training partner of Arnold Schwarzenegger, died on July 26. His death was described as “sudden.” Kainrath was 77 years old.
Schwarzenegger paid tribute to Kainrath in a tweet that read, “Karl Kainrath welded some of my first weightlifting equipment, he was a fantastic training partner, and he supported me during my first victory at Stuttgart for Junior Mr. Europe. People like him are the reason I don’t call myself a self-made man. My thoughts are with his family.” According to Kainrath’s IMDb page, he appeared in three documentaries about the former governor of California, the most recent coming in 1994.
Kainrath was a native of the Austrian city of Graz. He was named Mr. Universe in 1970 and 1989. Kainrath was active in bodybuilding between 1967-2008. He was 66 years old when he retired. On his Instagram page, Kainrath wrote that he had “53 years of experience in fitness and BB.” Posts on Kainrath’s Facebook page from as recent as June 2020 show him actively training in the gym. In May 2020, Kainrath uploaded a video to YouTube showing training techniques that a person could do in their home during the coronavirus quarantine.
Kainrath said in a 2015 interview that he first became interested in bodybuilding at the age of 25 during the 1960s. Kainrath said that he first met Arnold Schwarzenegger while the pair were members of the same weightlifting club in their homeland. Kainrath mentioned in the interview that he met his wife in 1987 when he was 44 and she was 23. The couple has a daughter together.
Kainrath was asked in the interview if he still felt as fit as he looked at 72. Kainrath responded, “I do. I train 5 times a week.” Kainrath said that he was still working as a fitness trainer and that he found the job “fun.” Kainrath added, “I want to grow old with sport. I want to do fitness training for as long as possible.”