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Lightbulb Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Old School Bodybuilding Workout
by Narkissos 12-31-2010, 10:47 AM

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 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:
½ 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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  #2  
Old 12-31-2010
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i wonder if he ever experimented with less sets reps ect as for his height he coulda packed much more onto his frame,
just wonder wether all that workload he was overtraining somewhat?
i know back in the day apart from the odd bodybuilder(Mentzer ect) it was the norm to train like that.........
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Old 12-31-2010
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If I ever get the urge to train like a bodybuilder again I will pic a routine out of Arnies encyclopedia and run with it. I think the point most people miss it what is mention in this article

"mostly not to failure"
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yes ""mostly not to faliure""
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Old 01-14-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johan View Post
If I ever get the urge to train like a bodybuilder again I will pic a routine out of Arnies encyclopedia and run with it. I think the point most people miss it what is mention in this article

"mostly not to failure"
I love the card...should post this in every bitch ass gym
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Old 01-14-2011
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I remember reading once what Dorian Yates said. To paraphrase: "The more advanced a BB you become the less volume and time you spend at the gym. The less frequently you work the muscles."
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Old 01-17-2011
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^^ That approach has only worked for a select few top level bodybuilders though.
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Old 01-17-2011
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I am a top level BB.

So would you say that since it works for a "select few" then for the "select majority" you would need to do more and more as you progress, the same, less?

BTW: Im not a fan of the Mentzer school of thought.
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Old 01-17-2011
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Well I think even in Dorians case the volume he was doing was vastly underestimated. If one looks at blood and guts its pretty clear many of the "warm up" sets are heavy enough to be non failure work sets. Doesn't seem to be all that different from what Arnie did really. Lots of compound movements and taking a few of those sets to failure.

Recovery capacity can be improved just like anything else, I see no reason to believe why building muscle would be the only quality that needs less and less volume when everything else requires more and more volume the more advanced one get.

Imagine telling Phelps that he should cut his swimming in half to improve, or Tiger that he should play golf 4 hours a week instead of 6 hours a day to stay at the top.

Never seen a powerlifter, strongman or weightlifter that got anywhere by doing less and less and the marathon sessions of most top bodybuilders are well known(Coleman, Arnold, all the 80's bodybuilders etc etc).

So imo the better you get the more you need to work to improve further(one can't do to much to soon though).
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Old 01-17-2011
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I believe his arguments was along the lines that even though you have more muscular development as time progresses, well your CNS does not. Therefore you are more susceptible to overtrain. Therefore you do less volume and train less frequently. I dont know that what extent. I remember him saying that people think the more you are developed and advanced, the more you need to train in terms of volume and frequency.
His argument may be plausible.Im not sure your Phelps and Tiger arguments are valid ones, they aren't trying to develop muscles. At a certain point Phelps can burn out his CNS if he trains intesely and "heavy" as well. Tiger..............we he's not even an athlete IMO.

Unless I misinterpreted Doria's argument, I guess what he was trying to say was that the sheer weight you move when you are advanced is so tremendous that you cant recover as fast as an amateur or newb. I'm not saying he is right but I would probably agree with his CNS argument.
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