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The Most Important Arnold-Approved Tips for Bodybuilders

Learn What Made The ‘Austrian Oak’ The Bodybuilding Legend He Is Today!

Posted by ThomasM - June 30th, 2018

Probably more than any other bodybuilder of his generation, Arnold Schwarzenegger has gone down in history for being a true one of a kind. His career took him from bodybuilder, to massive action movie star, to governor of California. But few people know that, back in his youth, he actually penned regular bodybuilding tips for a sports magazine. We’re going to take a look at a few of his greatest tips, so that you can emulate some of the success of this great Austrian inspiration.

How Arnold Typically Trained

A focus on growth can allow you to really push your body further. Arnold said that such a focus is not as necessary for beginner or intermediate bodybuilders. However, for those looking to take things to the next level, it can make a huge amount of difference. He pointed out a number of different exercises that can really help you achieve your goals. Bench press, power clean and overhead press are all exercises that can help you to focus on a large amount of upper body growth.

Arnold was a major fan of using heavier weights for lower reps. His logic was that it was a good way of ensuring your body benefitted to its fullest extent from the weight. He would never go for reps lower than six, and hesitated at anything over 12. The approach seemed to work well for him, and was one of his all-time best tips. He would apply it to pretty much any and all exercises, including those for his calves.

The idea of changing up a routine appealed heavily to Arnold. He was of the opinion that sticking to the same old routine for an extended period of time was time wasted. He was a big believer in the ‘shocking’ principle, where you bring in a new stimulus to a specific body part in order to keep it growing, and one of his great tips was to find multiple ways to carry out the same movement.

For example, Arnold adapted machine squats to create his own version, tension squats. By reducing the distance for each rep, he was able to put a massive burn on the quads without having to be over concerned with weight. Another example is when using dumbbells for overhead presses, Arnold would bring them in front of his body, rather than out to the side, leading to an increase in range of motion (ROM), and therefore more muscle breakdown. This is how the exercise the ARNOLD PRESS was born. By regularly changing your routine, and shocking the muscles, you can ensure that you get balanced results which will set you apart from the competition.

Arnold Understood The Inner Details Of Bodybuilding

You may not think it to look at him, but Arnold was not one for overtraining. He understood the potential dangers that such activity can bring about, and was more about carrying things out in a sensible and effective way. Overtraining can have adverse effects on your body, another reason why it’s wise to ensure you keep mixing things up.

Arnold believed that bodybuilders need to really understand what they’re doing if they want the greatest returns on their efforts. He’s not a believer in simply going into the gym and throwing weight around without a purpose – he always focused on a strong mind-muscle connection. For this reason, he recommends understanding the effects of your exercise, and understanding how to properly engage your muscles with every single rep.


A standard Schwarzenegger routine would cover training every body part multiple times (2-3 days) per week. He would train in the morning and the evening to allow him to achieve this frequency of training while also including a lot of volume. He was always a big believer in sticking to the basic compound movements, and some of his favorites were…

  • Chest – A combination of flat-barbell bench presses and barbell incline bench presses, with dumbbell flyes and pull-overs.
  • Back – Wide-grip chin ups, barbell rows and dumbbell rows.
  • Shoulders – Standing dumbbell press, front dumbbell raise, lateral raise.
  • Biceps – HEAVY barbell bicep curls.
  • Triceps – Barbell skullcrushers and dumbbell one-arm triceps-extensions.


With a little more knowledge about how Arnold Schwarzenegger really trained, you can take some of these tips and implement them into your own training. Arnold was a big believer in hard, hard work, and that nothing worth having comes easy. So if you want to be like Arnold, you’ll have to train like you’ve never trained before!

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posted by ThomasM
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Hello, everyone. I'm Thomas Nemel, businessman and a writer from NYC, US. Writing is my hobby, though I take it seriously and put my mind into pieces I compose. If you are interested in what I do feel free to visit my personal website. Hope you will enjoy my publications!


Long way to go...but good stuff