Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Old School Bodybuilding Workout

Want to learn more about Arnold Schwarzenegger's old school bodybuilding workout routine? See the complete time table of his workout schedule below. Start lifting now!

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

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.

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

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

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

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

½ hour of a variety of nonspecific abdominal exercises, done virtually nonstop.

Tues, Thurs, Sat

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

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

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


via Truly Huge