Workout

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Secrets For Building Mind-Blowing Arms

Putting It All Together : The Arnold Arm Workouts

Arnold’s Basic Arm Workout:

Basic arm routine based on Arnold’s arm training methods and recommended exercises (to be completed on its own)

The following basic routine is not as complex or extensive as Arnold’s superset routine (to follow). It is intended to lay the foundation for the additional separation and refining (and further mass building) targeted in his advanced routine.

Training Frequency

  • Once a week for non-drug assisted
  • Every five days for drug assisted

Workout Duration

  • Around 30 minutes

Training Objectives

  • To build muscle mass and address weak points (to address weak points follow guidelines set out in Arnold’s training principals section).
  • Barbell cheat-curls – 2 sets, 8 to 12 reps
  • Incline dumbbell curls – 3 sets of 8 to 12 reps
  • Concentration curls – 2 sets of 8 to 12 reps
  • Close-grip barbell presses – 3 sets of 8 to 12 reps
  • Weighted dips – 3 sets of 8 to 10
  • Regular cable press-downs – 3 sets of 8 to 10 reps
  • Barbell reverse curls – 3 sets of 8 to 12 reps
  • Barbell wrist curls – 3 sets of 8 to 12

Arnold’s Advanced Arm Workout (For Experienced Lifters)

The following workout is one that Arnold actually used during his peak years (early to mid-’70s). As mentioned earlier it is comprised primarily of supersets for maximum stimulation.

Due to its intensity it will need to be completed by itself – as part of a training-split (first or second session of a daily split) or on a separate day by itself. Arnold’s superset-routine encourages the ultimate in muscle separation while further building mass and enhancing shape. The basic routine targets the achievement of separation to a lesser extent while emphasizing mass development.

Training Frequency

  • Once a week for non-drug assisted.
  • Every five days for drug assisted and/or professional bodybuilder.

Workout Duration

  • Around 30 minutes (depending on training tempo used and/or rest between sets duration)

Training Objectives

  • Further build mass while refining shape and targeting muscle separation.

This workout is prescribed on the assumption that forearm training is done, as Arnold suggests, on a separate training day to prioritize this stubborn grouping.

If you so wish, forearms can be scheduled after this workout but due to its intense nature, not before. If they are trained on arms day, they must be attacked with an equal level of ferocity. If energy reserves are inadequate they can be trained on leg day (before legs), abs day or in their own separate workout. Forearm program to be used follows:

Advanced Arnold Forearm Workout:

  • Barbell wrist curls – 4 sets of 8 to 12 reps
  • Barbell reverse curls – 4 sets of 8 to 12 reps
  • Behind the back wrist curls – 4 sets of 8 to 12 reps

Advanced Arnold Biceps And Triceps Workout 2

  • Superset one: Barbell curls superset with lying triceps extensions
  • 4 sets of 10 to 12 reps for each superset (combination of two exercises) without rest, or at the very least, minimal rest
  • Superset two: Alternate dumbbell curls superset with pushdowns (either variety)
    4 sets of 10 to 12 reps for each superset
  • Superset three: Seated incline curls superset with kneeling extensions
    4 sets of 10 to 12 reps for each superset
  • Superset four: Concentration curls superset with one-arm triceps extensions
    4 sets of 10 to 12 reps for each superset
  • Bench Dips – 2 sets of 26 reps

Five Thumbs Rules of Arnold

  • Variety Switch around using barbells, dumbbells and cables.
  • Isolation Don’t get help from the delts, lower back or other bodyparts when training biceps. Don’t swing the weight (except during chest curls).
  • Full range of motion As this implies, move the weight in a controlled but complete fashion, unless you’re using an intensity movement for a shock session.
  • Find the groove Locate the natural line of motion for each movement.
  • Total concentration Don’t let your mind wander. Always fixate on the movement and the feeling in the muscle.

References:

  1. Schwarzenegger, A., & Dobbins B. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s New Encyclopaedia of Modern Bodybuilding: Fireside. New York.
  2. Perine, S. The Summer of Arnold. Flex Magazine: May/June 2007

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