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Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Old School Bodybuilding Workout

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Old School Bodybuilding Workout

Arnold is probably the most famous bodybuilder of all time, he won Mr. Olympia
seven times (1970-1975, 1980) and brought bodybuilding into the national spotlight
in the movie “Pumpin Iron”.

Arnold’s Top Form Measurements

Arms 22 inches
Chest 57 inches
Waist 34 inches
Thighes 28.5 inches
Calves 20 inches
Weight 235 pounds
Height 6’2″

Arnold was from the old “No Pain No Gain” school of bodybuilding and his
routines consisted of high sets and reps, mostly not to failure. He trained
each muscle group three times each week (except calves, forearms & abs
which he trained every day), using a six day split routine.

There was very little rest between sets, and he usually increased weight each
and every set. Although he experimented with high reps at times, he usually
preferred a rep range of about 6 to 10.

The following is a typical Arnold routine, but be aware that Arnold’s routine
changed constantly. At times he trained twice a day, while at other times
once a day was enough. There were periods when he did lots supersets
and giant sets. Arnold tried every thing, and picked what worked best for
him at that particular time. By mixing things up he challenged his strength
and endurance and the training variety helped keep him fresh and motivated!

Remember this is a very advanced bodybuilding routine and should not be used
by beginners or intermediates, and even advanced bodybuilder’s should only
take what they think will work best for them and adapt it to their own
bodybuilding philosophy.

Arnold’s Workout Routine

Mon, Wed, Fri

Chest:
Bench press 5 x 6-10
Flat bench flyes 5 x 6-10
Incline bench press 6 x 6-10
Cable crossovers 6 x 10-12
Dips (body weight) 5 x failure
Dumbell pullovers 5 x 10-12.

Back:
Wide-grip chins (to front) 6 x failure
T-bar rows 5 x 6-10
Seated pulley rows 6 x 6-10
One-arm dumbell rows 5 x 6-10
Straight-leg deadlifts 6 x 15

Legs:
Squats 6 x 8-12
Leg press 6 x 8-12
Leg extensions 6 x 12-15
Leg curls 6 x 10-12
Barbell lunges 5 x 15

Calves:
Standing calf raises 10 x 10
Seated calf raises 8 x 15
Oneplegged calf raises (holding dumbells) 6×12

Forearms:
Wrist curls (forearms on knees) – 4 sets, 10 reps
Reverse barbell curls – 4 sets, 8 reps
Wright roller machine – to failure

Abs:
1/2 hour of a variety of nonspecific abdominal exercises, done virtually nonstop.

Tues, Thurs, Sat

Biceps:
Barbell curls 6 x 6-10
Seated dumbell curls 6 x 6-10
Dumbell concentration curls 6 x 6-10

Triceps:
Close-grip bench presses 6 x 6-10
Pushdowns 6 x 6-10
French press (barbell) 6 x 6-10
One-arm triceps extensions (dumbell) 6 x 6-10

Shoulders:
Seated barbell presses 6 x 6-10
Lateral raises (standing) 6 x 6-10
Rear-delt lateral raises 5 x 6-10
Cable lateral raises 5 x 10-12

Calves , Forearms & Abs:
Same as Monday, Wednesday, Friday workout

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Arnold Schwarzenegger training full body split

Heavy movements stimulate the deep-lying muscle fibers that lighter movements never reach. The objective is to use fewer exercises, employ heavier weights and train your whole body in one workout. I gained most of my weight and massiveness on a program of 10 exercises that I performed three times a week. After I reached a satisfactory bodyweight, I changed over to the more advanced split system and began training six days a week.”

“If you need to put on 20 pounds or more, the following program is for you.”

Gain-Weight Routine

Books by Arnold

Squats 5 x 8,8,6,6,6

Bench Presses 5 x 8,8,6,6,6

Incline Presses 5 x 8,8,6,6,6

Wide-Grip Chins 5 x 8-10

Bent-Over Rows 5 x 8,8,6,6,6

Behind-the-Neck-Presses 5 x 8,8,6,6,6

Barbell Curls 5 x 8,8,6,6,6

Lying Triceps Extensions 5 x 8,8,6,6,6

Deadlifts 5 x 3-5 (building up to one max set)

Machine Calf Raises 5 x 10-15

“The above program will build tremendous size and power, but it’s too rugged for the beginning bodybuilder. Here’s a more appropriate version for the novice.”

Beginner Routine

Bent-knee Situps 1 x 15-25
Squats 3 x 10
Bench Presses 3 x 8-10
Bent-Over Rows 3 x 8-10
Military Presses 3 x 8-10
Barbell Curls 3 x 8-10
Deadlifts 2 x 10
Machine Calf Raises 3 x 15-20
Bent-leg Leg Raises 1 x 15-25

“During the first week of training do only one set of each exercise and rest for two to three minutes between exercises. Do two sets for the second week and increase to three sets for the fourth week. If the reps are easy when you hit the top number in the listed range, add weight to the bar – five to 10 pounds is sufficient. Increase the weight whenever possible, but use correct form at all times without straining. Beginners can make continuous progress for at least three months on this program.”

“If you’re a bodybuilder who works long hours or has limited time to train for some other reason, try the following routine.”

Abbreviated Mass Routine
Squats 5 x 6-8

Bench Presses 5 x 6-8
Wide-Grip Chins
or Pulldowns 5 x 8-10
Behind-the-Neck-Presses 5 x 6-8
Barbell Curls 5 x 6-8
Lying Triceps Extensions 5 x 6-8
Deadlifts 5 x 3-5 (building up to one max set)

“Although this version is somewhat shorter, some people gain faster on fewer exercises – probably because they’re able to recuperate better and they don’t become exhausted from their training.”

- “Rest for two minutes between sets of squats and deadlifts, but for most other exercises keep your rest to no more than 1 1/2 minutes.”

- “Use these programs three days a week with at least a day of rest between workouts. For example, train on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.”

Of course there was more to the article than that, but that sums it up.