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ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER

THE GREATES T BO DYBUILDER O F


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No bodybuilder was as renowned as


Arnold for his huge arms and massive
delts. And no bodybuilder trained as
hard. Here's a peek at how Arnold's
high-volume, high-frequency approach
made him the world's greatest
bodybuilder. Part 4 of a 4-part series.

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BodySpace Activity
by David Robson And Bill Geiger
Last updated: Oct 31, 2014

PART 1 | PART 2 | PART 3 | PART 4


Few bodybuilders are made in the mold of Arnold Schwarzenegger anymore. Sure, everyone wants to
be the next Arnold, but who could conceivably duplicate the mind-numbing training volume and
frequency he achieved? He didn't just train shoulders and arms for 60-plus setshe did it three times
a week with incredible intensity!
That's one reason "The Oak" stood out among his peers. Where others would call it quits, Arnold
took pleasure in his own pain. The barometer of a good workout was quite simply how much it hurt.
The more, the better.

Barrypurdon updated
his weight from 201.7
Lbs. to 203.3 Lbs., a
gain of 1.5 Lbs. in 5
days.
Indigoelite updated his
motivation level from
8/10 to 5/10.
kikiclark tracked the
workout: Les Mills
BodyPump.

View All

ARNOLD DIDN'T JUST TRAIN SHOULDERS AND ARMS FOR


60-PLUS SETSHE DID IT THREE TIMES A WEEK WITH
INCREDIBLE INTENSITY!

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While this kind of volume can't be sustained long-term, it certainly can flip your personal anabolic
switchprovided you can learn to love a bone-crushing delt-and-arms workout.
Here's a blueprint of how Arnold trained these body parts!

ARNOLD'S SHOULDER WORKOUT


Arnold trained shoulders with the same high-volume approach he employed with other body parts,
ensuring that each deltoid head was targeted from different angles. Because multijoint presses from
the front of the neck recruited the anterior (front) delts to a greater degree than behind-neck presses,
he typically included both in his shoulder workout for maximal development.
"There's no one exercise that will work all three areas of the deltoids," Arnold once said. "Therefore,
when you're planning your shoulder routine, you have to include the right variety of movements, so
that you get full shoulder development."

ARNOLD TRAINED SHOULDERS WITH THE SAME HIGH-VOLUME


APPROACH HE EMPLOYED WITH OTHER BODY PARTS,
ENSURING THAT EACH DELTOID HEAD WAS TARGETED FROM
DIFFERENT ANGLES.
His full-throttle approach occasionally meant that he did 50 or more sets in a single workout!
Remember, too, that Arnold trained shoulders with arms three times per weekan impossibly
challenging combination of volume and frequency that helped build the biggest delts the world had
ever seen at the time.
In addition to the multijoint presses, he added single-joint moves to better isolate the front, middle
and rear delts.
Here are some of the basic principles Arnold followed when training shoulders:
Arnold went heavy with presses and
upright rows, especially early in his
workouts when his energy levels were
highest. Multijoint movements like
these are the best mass builders, as they
engage the greatest degree of
musculature in the deltoid region.
He sought out alternative exercises
that worked the target area from
different angles. When doing
dumbbells rather than the barbell on
overhead presses, for example, he
lowered the weights several inches
below the bottom position of the barbell
movement, and he brought them

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together at the top to elongate the range


of motion.
His focus on introducing variation
into his training was instrumental in
popularizing the Arnold press. The
Arnold press is an overhead press that
begins with your hands facing your body
in the bottom position.
You turn your wrists as you raise the
weights, a movement that puts more
emphasis on the front delts than the
standard overhead dumbbell press does.
Arnold used single-joint movements
to complement overhead presses and
isolate each delt head. Here, too, he sought subtle differences that would build better
overall size. For example, the cable lateral raise in front of the body has a different feel than
when the cable runs behind you.
For upper traps, Arnold included a number of movements, including power pulls, cleans,
upright rows, and shrugs. He favored shrugs for building meaty upper traps, but was keen to
back off the weight in favor of being able to fully shrug his shoulders as high as possible.
Arnold's basic approach followed a pyramid format: He'd add weight on successive sets
for fewer reps. He still kept the weight in the muscle-building zone, rarely doing fewer than
eight reps.

Arnold's Shoulder Workout


Seated Barbell Military Press
5 sets of 15, 12, 10, 8, 8 reps

Note: First set is a warm-up set.


Side Lateral Raise
4 sets of 12, 12, 10, 8 reps
Seated Smith Machine Shoulder Press
4 sets of 12, 10, 10, 8 reps
Bent-Over Rear Delt Raise
4 sets of 12, 12, 10, 8 reps
Upright Barbell Row
4 sets of 12, 10, 10, 8 reps

Printable Page

PDF Document

ARNOLD'S ARM WORKOUT


Arnold's guns were his calling cards, and his mental visualization of his biceps as mountain peaks
reflected his larger-than-life approach. Arnold frequently did up to 20 sets for biceps, split evenly
between mass-builders and those he did for definition.
He commonly supersetted biceps and triceps movements, which served to flush his arms with blood.
Combined with his high-volume approach, his shirt-sleeve-busting routine included movements that
sought to isolate the three triceps heads, which he achieved by manipulating arm position.

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ARNOLD'S GUNS WERE HIS CALLING CARDS, AND HIS MENTAL


VISUALIZATION OF HIS BICEPS AS MOUNTAIN PEAKS
REFLECTED HIS LARGER-THAN-LIFE APPROACH.
Here are some of Arnold's best arm-training tips, culled from the many articles he wrote and
interviews he gave over the years.
Arnold ranked the standing barbell curl as the top mass builder, but often did the incline
bench dumbbell curl as well, which emphasizes the long head a bit better. For Arnold, a
mass-building movement meant three things: He could push heavy weights; he'd ensure the
movement was taken from full extension to full contraction; and he'd use a weight at which
he could barely do 6-8 good reps.
Definition-building movements, on the other hand, were done with lighter weights for
sets of 8-12 reps. Here the focus was on squeezing and contracting the muscle, and holding
the peak contraction for a long count. Concentration curls, preacher curls, and alternating
dumbbell curls were among his favorites here.
Arnold wrote that he always included at least one dumbbell movement in his routine.
Supinating his hand (turning it upward as he curled) created a greater peaking effect because
the brachialis was recruited into the motion.
While "The Oak" took his curls to failure, he didn't stop there. Once he reached a sticking
point, he'd use just enough momentum to keep the set going. Such cheat curls allowed him to
complete an extra couple of reps.

Arnold's approach to triceps was a bit different. Because his chest was always a strong
point, his triceps were already at an advantage. More often than with biceps, he allowed his
rep range to drift up to 20 per set in an effort to hyperpump the muscle.
Arnold once suggested a tip he learned from legendary trainer Vince Gironda: To

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determine which area a particular exercise targets, do 20 sets of that movementand nothing
else for that body part. See where the soreness is the following day. "It's silly doing a triceps
movement and not knowing which part of the triceps you're hitting," he wrote.
With triceps, Arnold's advanced technique of choice was partial reps. After doing a set of
full-range push-downs, for example, he'd extend the set with 5-6 partials, over either the top
or bottom half of the movement.
Arnold frequently supersetted biceps and triceps movements, which meant that an
enormous amount of blood was flooding the muscle. Blood carries oxygen and nutrients
critical for growth, and enabled him to achieve his ultimate training goal: the pump. And
you've no doubt heard about Arnold's insatiable thirst for a good training pump.

Arnold's Arm Workout


SUPERSET
Barbell Curl
4 sets of 10-12 reps
Lying Triceps Press
4 sets of 10-12 reps

SUPERSET
Dumbbell Alternate Bicep Curl
4 sets of 10-12 reps
Triceps Pushdown
4 sets of 10-12 reps

SUPERSET
Incline Dumbbell Curl
4 sets of 10-12 reps
Cable Rope Overhead Triceps Extension
4 sets of 10-12 reps

SUPERSET
Concentration Curls
4 sets of 10-12 reps
Dumbbell One-Arm Triceps Extension
4 sets of 10-12 reps

Bench Dips
1 dropset of 10 reps

Note: Arnold began with three 45-lb. plates across his lap. Each time he hit muscle
failure, a plate was lifted off until he was using just his body weight.
Printable Page

PDF Document

REFERENCES
1. Schwarzenegger, A. (1997, July 1). Arnold Talks Training. Muscle and Fitness.
2. Schwarzenegger, A. & Dobbins, B. (1999). The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding.
Simon and Shuster: USA.

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RECOMMENDED FOR YOU


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workoutthen repeating it three times every week. That's how
Arnold brought up his legs, which were once considered his
biggest weakness. Part 3 of a 4-part series.

ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER'S
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WORKOUT
Basic exercises, heavy weights, high volume, and high
frequency are the techniques Arnold Schwarzenegger
used to build his massive chest and back. Try the
workout!

ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER'S 8
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his bodybuilding success.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


David Robson
As an active martial artist, bodybuilder and accredited personal
trainer, David employs the latest cutting edge research to
enhance his own progress.

View All Articles By This Author

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11/3/2014 1:15 PM

Bodybuilding.com - Arnold's Blueprint For Mammoth Shoulders And Arms

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chef525

Rep Power: 0

Coincidently
Doing week 7 shoulders/arms nice article to get me excited
Thank you
And Hail King Arnold!

Body Stats
ht: 5'8"
wt: 178 lbs
bf: 11.0%

Oct 30, 2014 7:03pm | report

tonyburnscanada
Can't wait to start his blueprint 8)

Body Stats

Oct 30, 2014 7:38pm | report

ht: 5'8"
wt: 156 lbs
bf: 11.0%

Rep Power: 0

EctoNai
soooo Arnold did admit to using Steroids..... right?

Body Stats

Oct 31, 2014 8:42am | report

ht: 6'2"
wt: 185 lbs
bf: 7.0%

Rep Power: 0

rick72000
Yeah, it came up a few times when he was running for
Governor of California... His response was "Yes I did.
Next question."
Rep Power: 0

Body Stats
ht: 6'0"
wt: 285 lbs
bf: 28.5%

Oct 31, 2014 11:01am | report

Medic2442
unfortunately. But dont let that stop you.

Body Stats

Oct 31, 2014 12:56pm | report

ht: 5'5"
wt: 158.5 lbs
bf: 8.5%

Rep Power: 0

Medic2442
unfortunately. But dont let that stop you.

Body Stats

Oct 31, 2014 12:57pm | report

ht: 5'5"
wt: 158.5 lbs
bf: 8.5%

Rep Power: 0

Medic2442
unfortunately. But dont let that stop you.

Body Stats

Oct 31, 2014 12:57pm | report

ht: 5'5"
wt: 158.5 lbs
bf: 8.5%

Rep Power: 0

Medic2442
unfortunately. But dont let that stop you.

Body Stats

Oct 31, 2014 12:57pm | report

ht: 5'5"
wt: 158.5 lbs
bf: 8.5%

Rep Power: 0

Case10
Yes, but he said he only used them 8 weeks before
competition. He didn't use them throughout the whole

Body Stats
ht: 5'11"
wt: 150 lbs
bf: 11.0%

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Rep Power: 0

http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/how-arnold-built-his-shoulders-and-ar...

year. The huge Mr. Olympias we see now use them


throughout the whole year. That is why they are so
much bulkier than the Mr. Olympias during Arnold's era.
Nov 1, 2014 9:37pm | report

plambeck

Rep Power: 0

Good lord people it can be assumed that all


bodybuilders use anabolic steroids and they should. All
athletes should take them too. Finding out your favorite
athelete takes anabolic steroids takes nothing away
from what they accomplished. It's not like anyone can
start using and become Mr. Olympia which is what I
hear all the time. Arnold was cut in the same mold of
other G.O.A.T.s such as Michael Jordan or Tony Hawk
(although Christian Hosoi was better). They should be
reverered for their greatness

Body Stats
ht: 6'1"
wt: 179 lbs
bf: 10.0%

Nov 2, 2014 10:32am | report

deshankennedy1
I love reading articles on Arnold's workouts. Its always great to
read what the best of the best did during their workouts to
continue to improve my own workouts. Growth and
development in yourself and knowledge is the best.

Body Stats
ht: 6'4"
wt: 282.2 lbs
bf: 23.6%

Rep Power: 0

Oct 31, 2014 9:23am | report

Dallas68
Would be very cool to get an actual workout that shows the
50-60 sets for shoulders & arms, 21 sets is not quite at Arnold's
level!
Rep Power: 0

Body Stats
ht: 5'7"
wt: 233 lbs
bf: 75.0%

Nov 1, 2014 12:36am | report

shotgunHD
Agreed it'd be cool but bb.com isn't trying to get
amateurs hurt.
Nov 1, 2014 10:14am | report

Body Stats
ht: 5'7"
wt: 186 lbs
bf: 21.0%

Rep Power: 0

ajbodger
BB.com did provide the actual workout here: 21
shoulder sets 33 arm sets = 54 total sets. Dallas68 you
just have to read the entire article :p
Rep Power: 0

Body Stats
ht: 6'1"
wt: 175 lbs
bf: 11.3%

Nov 1, 2014 11:14am | report

robwein83
"Supinating his hand (turning it upward as he curled) created a
greater peaking effect because the brachialis was recruited
into the motion."
Rep Power: 0

Body Stats
ht: 5'10"
wt: 173 lbs
bf: 11.0%

Arnold did do this, but it was in effort to isolate the short head
(inner) of the biceps. This also helps to reversely decrease
brachialis activation. Further, gaining bicep peak is done by
focusing on the long head of the bicep.
This article needs to be edited.
Nov 1, 2014 4:38pm | report

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Case10
At the end of the article it should say:

Body Stats

This is not for beginners!

ht: 5'11"
wt: 150 lbs
bf: 11.0%

Nov 1, 2014 9:44pm | report


Rep Power: 0

Showing 1 - 16 of 16 Comments

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