Arnold Schwarzenegger's Workout Routine

Schwarzenegger Workout Routine

Arnold Schwarzenegger's 1980 Mr. Olympia Workout routine.

Monday / Wednesday / Friday

Chest Workout

  • Barbell bench press: 4 sets of 10, 8, 6, and 4 reps
  • Barbell incline bench press: 4 sets of 10, 8, 6, and 4 reps
  • Dumbbell flys: 3 sets of 10, 8, and 6 reps
  • Parallel bar dips: 3 sets of 15, 10 and 8 reps
  • Pullovers: 3 sets of 15 reps each

Back Workout

  • Chin-ups: 4 sets of 10 reps minimum each side
  • Close-grip chins: 4 sets of 10 reps
  • T-bar rows: 4 sets of 15, 12, 8, and 6 reps
  • Bent-over barbell rows: 4 sets of 8-12 reps

Thighs Workout

  • Squat: 5 sets of 10, 8, 6, and 4 reps with a 20 rep warm-up set
  • Front squats: 4 sets of 10, 8, 8, and 6 reps
  • Hack squats: 3 sets of 10 reps each
  • Leg curls: 4 sets of 20, 10, 8, and 6 reps
  • Standing leg curls: 4 sets of 10 reps each
  • Straight-leg dead lifts: 3 sets of 10 reps each

Calves Workout

  • Donkey calf raises: 4 sets of 10 reps each
  • Standing calf raises: 4 sets of 15, 10, 8, and 8 reps

Abs Workout Routine

  • Crunches: 3 sets of 25 reps
  • Bent-over twists: 100 reps each side
  • Machine crunches: 3 sets of 25 reps
  • Crunches: 50 reps

Tuesday / Thursday / Saturday

Shoulders Workout Routine

  • Behind-the-neck-barbell press: 5 sets of 10, 8, 8, and 6 reps with a 15-set warm-up
  • Lateral raises: 4 sets of 8 reps each
  • Bent-over dumbbell laterals: 4 sets of 8 reps each
  • Dumbbell shrugs: 3 sets of 10 reps each

Biceps Workout Routine

  • Standing barbell curls: 5 sets of 15, 10, 8, 6, and 4 reps
  • Incline dumbbell curls: 4 sets of 8 reps each
  • Concentration curls: 3 sets of 8 reps each

Triceps Workout Routine

  • One-arm triceps extensions: 3 sets of 10 reps each

Forearms Workout Routine

  • Barbell wrist curls: 4 sets of 10 reps each
  • Reverse wrist curls: 3 sets of 10 reps each

Calves Workout Routine

  • Seated calf raises: 4 sets of 10 reps each

Abdominals Workout Routine

  • Reverse crunches: 4 sets of 25 reps
  • Seated twists: 100 reps each side
  • Vertical bench crunches: 4 sets of 25 reps

Sunday (Day Off)

Workout References: Schwarzenegger, Arnold. The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding. New York City: Simon & Schuster Paperbacks, 1998.

Schwarzenegger Training Biceps

Schwarzenegger Training Biceps

Schwarzenegger Training Back

Schwarzenegger Training Back

Schwarzenegger Training Chest

Schwarzenegger Training Chest

Schwarzenegger Training Triceps

Schwarzenegger Training Triceps

To look like Arnold

To get muscles like Arnold, it's going to take much more than just training. It requires a very scientific formula that's specific to your body. Don't expect to follow Arnold's workout routine and end up looking like him. It won't happen.

Like most bodybuilders, Arnold had a very intense diet where he consumed a ton of calories, lots of protein and carbs. He also did steroids, which were legal at the time when he was competing, and that alone puts him at an advantage that most people can't come close to without some form of enhancer.

Regardless, Arnold is an inspiration to all of us. He set goals, created a plan of action, and he accomplished them. That is what you need to do if you want to be successful at bodybuilding or working out. Create a strict muscle building program for yourself, and follow it. Eat properly, train according to your body type, let your muscles heal - rinse and repeat. You will get bigger if you do it properly. It's just simple science.

Now, go get swole!