Austrian Alps: The incredible secret of Arnold Schwarzenegger's training program revealed

In the 70s, there was no need to consult gray-haired climbers or leaf through the frayed pages of National Geographic magazines in your dentist's office to find the most incredible mountain peak in the world.

The regulars of any local gym knew that the most impressive mountain is in Venice, California, where a mountain man from Austria lives and trains, bearing a very famous surname. Even today, many agree that when it comes to the development of biceps, no one has yet succeeded in surpassing Arnold Schwarzenegger. Possessing a pair of powerful guns, whose girth of biceps is claimed to be more than 22 inches, this Austrian Oak managed to destroy previous standards and create a completely new role model that every generation of bodybuilders aspires to.


  • 1 Open question
  • 2 Mighty Oaks Grow From Tiny Seeds
  • 3 Watch your biceps, be biceps
  • 4 Follow the prize
  • 5 Shock approach
  • 6 Fine-tuning
  • 7 Off-season program
  • 8 That's enough
  • 9 Pre-competition program
  • 10 Do as I say, not as I do
  • 11 Goodbye!
  • 12 Arnold Offseason Biceps Workout Program
  • 13 Pre-competitive training program
  • 14 Reach the alpine peaks!
  • 15 Using the Arnold program

Open question

But after 30 years, we still wonder: How did he manage to do this; how he formed the Matterhorn from the muscles located between his rotational cuffs of the shoulder and the elbows "> Mighty oaks grow from tiny seeds

It is important (and necessary) to note that Schwarzenegger did not have similar muscles at a young age. In fact, his first bodybuilding training took place in 1962 at the age of 15, when the future Mighty Oak was a young tree, 6 feet tall and 150 pounds in weight. But he pointed out the following: “When I was 10 years old, I already trained my hands every day. By the time I started bodybuilding when I was 15 years old, biceps were already the most remarkable muscle group in my body. Thanks to the development of these muscles, I learned to fully control them. ”

“Then this ability helped me in bodybuilding when I started training with weights. When I did the flexion exercises, I felt in a special way, because I instantly felt the flow of blood to the muscles. "

Watch your biceps, be your biceps

Many of us are aware of the intellectual games that Schwarzenegger used to try to intimidate his opponents during competitions (as shown in the movie "Pumping Iron"). However, he did not use similar tactics for Lou Ferrigno, Franco Colombo or Sergio Oliva. In fact, the main person to whom he applied the most intense psychological tricks was himself.

“Throughout my bodybuilding career, ” says Schwarzenegger, “I have been constantly working on my thinking. It is for this reason that I began to look at my biceps as mountains, and not body parts of flesh and blood. This type of thinking made my muscles grow faster and increase significantly in volume. ”

“When you think of your biceps as simple muscles, you subconsciously set yourself a limit in their volume, which is approximately 20 or 21 inches. When you limit yourself to these numbers, it becomes difficult for you to reach this level, not to mention exceeding it. But when you think about mountains, the growth limit of your biceps disappears, so you have a chance to overcome ordinary mental barriers. "

However, Schwarzenegger indicates how important it is to temper our zeal with a healthy portion of pragmatism. “Enthusiasm is extremely important at all levels of bodybuilding. However, a beginner should learn to enjoy even a small increase in muscle. You should not tell him that great success is easy, and that he can become a giant if he trains like a champion. ”

"His progress should be a series of small successes, and he should look forward to every increase in the mass."

Follow the prize

“Whether it’s muscle or money, you must constantly think about it, ” recalls Oak. “I once asked a guy whose training he had been watching for four years, if he ever wanted to win the title of Mr. Universe. And he said: "No, I never thought so." And it is right. With such an attitude, he would never have made significant progress. ” Are you ready to accept this ">

Shock approach

Applying this principle to every aspect of his life, Arnold Schwarzenegger analyzed in detail what steps need to be taken in order to create the largest biceps in the world. Although his early workouts consisted mainly of lifting weights and twisting with dumbbells, when they started writing about him in American bodybuilding magazines, he began to do new exercises, such as isolated bending of his arms. By the age of 19, Schwarzenegger had already formed a training method for biceps, which was different from many others and helped build his developing muscles. “A typical training program includes bending the arms with a barbell, twisting with dumbbells (sitting or standing), isolated bending on the bench and twisting with concentration. However, keep in mind that my way of training has changed many times, as I have always tried to shock my muscles, ”says Schwarzenegger.

“I remember the days when my training partners and I did 20 extremely difficult approaches, working on the biceps, using four to five repetitions in each of them. On other days or two days later, we could do 10 sets, 15 repetitions each, using lighter weight. ”

“This shock method was of great importance for my preparation. Your muscles tend to resist growth if you constantly do the same exercises. But if you try to use different types of training, exercises, weights, combinations of approaches and pace, you can keep them in balance. They kind of say to themselves: “Wow, something new has appeared. He did 10 sets of 20 reps, and in the next workout he would make 20 sets of 5 reps. We will never get used to it. We will not be able to resist training, so we will only have to grow. "

“And his hands did just that. Their girth has grown to 17 inches when he was 17 years old, to 18 at 18 years old and reached 19 inches when he was 19 years old. "

In fact, Schwarzenegger used this seemingly unsystematic, but actually carefully planned shock system for his biceps in order to achieve a volume of 20 inches. The interesting thing is that, despite the great success that he achieved thanks to this program, he instinctively knew that he could form much more voluminous biceps, having slightly changed his training methodology.

Fine tuning

As a perfectionist, Oak decided to change his training program to biceps, which brought him success. If before his only concern was to increase endurance, now having become professionally competitive, he realized that he would have to become more discriminating in how to achieve this. To this end, he decided to divide the training of biceps into two programs: the off-season, the period after the competition Mr. Olympia, which lasted nine months, and the pre-training season three months before the competition.

The offseason program was aimed at creating quality mass, and during pre-workouts, he concentrated on the relief of his massive muscles.

Offseason program

Gaining mass, Schwarzenegger adhered to a six-day split, working on his hands twice a week. This is unbelievable, but each training session could take up to two hours: 45 minutes for triceps, 45 minutes for biceps and 30 minutes for forearms in that order. “Strict adherence to the absolute maximum during each exercise of this super-program requires a break of three to four days between hand workouts, during which there is a full recovery and maximum growth, " says Schwarzenegger.

Dividing the twists into two main categories for building and isolating the mass, Schwarzenegger chooses two exercises from each group in order to ensure that he will gain a really high-quality mass.

Exercise 1: Barbell Lifts

“Modified bar lifts are important for weight gain. I start the movement by holding the bar at hips, holding the grip shoulder-width apart, and set it in motion with a slight push. This gives me enough momentum to overcome any obstacles while I continue to concentrate. I bend the biceps completely and then return the barbell to its original position. "

"When the palms are pointing up, I take advantage of supination, which reaches a peak in the external head of the biceps during full flexion and develops the central part of the muscle."

Exercise 2: Lifting Dumbbells In A Slant

“I lay down on a bench, which is located at an angle of 45 degrees. I prefer a low slope, as it helps to fully deploy the biceps at the bottom and maintain this tension for a long time. One of the rules of muscle kinetics is that the stronger the initial tension in the muscles, the more muscle tissue is included in the work during flexion. ”

“When all the fibers of muscle tissue are included in the work, you gain mass. I strive to perform movements as efficiently as possible. ”

“At that moment, when the blood supply in the hands increases, Schwarzenegger begins to perform isolated movements.”

Exercise 3: Concentrating on bending one arm

"This exercise is performed while standing, the second hand is used for support."

The position of the body during flexion with concentration is very important. Even the most experienced bodybuilders can over-pull the elbow to the chest during this movement. The elbow should not move while twisting. The shoulder should remain upright, the dumbbell should be pulled to the shoulder. Although this movement may seem uncomfortable, it is very useful for the development of biceps. "

Finally, when his hands are already begging for mercy, Schwarzenegger returns to the bar with dumbbells to complete the final exercise.

Exercise 4: Lifting Dumbbell Standing

“During the exercise, the little finger of the arm should, as it were, try to touch the bicep head at the peak of flexion.”
With this exercise, you will get that small relief at the peak of the biceps head, which gives the final touch to any muscle. Therefore, you must remember that movements must be performed evenly. Biceps acts as a powerful arch support for your arm, including during bending. This slight movement helps me develop the shoulders and the thickness of the lower biceps.

It's enough

Four exercises, 20-26 approaches, 45 minutes of training for huge biceps that suit everyone. For Schwarzenegger, this was quite enough. “If I completed them correctly, I don’t need more, ” he says.

“There are additional exercises that I perform between sets, such as stretching the biceps muscle. "I feel the blood vessels being released, which contribute to the flow of blood that performs its functions."

Pre-Competition Program

“Three months before the competition, I’m completely changing my training program, ” says Arnie. “Now my goal is to improve the terrain and shape. I am reducing the number of approaches and trying to maximize my muscles during training. ” During this period, Schwarzenegger needed to accelerate and train each arm as intensively as possible with virtually no rest between sets. He started a six-day double split (two workouts a day, six days a week), loading his muscles with a grueling program three times a week. After all, you thought that his program of gaining mass was different! But that's not all.

“When I was going to participate in large competitions, I stood in front of the mirror, watching for biceps and flexing my arms, holding a static position for two or even three minutes. I did this because the competition program was complicated. The presence of muscle mass is one thing, and the ability to control it is another. ”

Although he warns: "This system was perfect for me, but such a grueling training program is not recommended for beginners." So, who but the Austrian giant can successfully use one of these programs ">

Do as I say, not as I do

The Great Boyer Coe once said: “Heavy duty is the only way to train, only if you are Mike or Ray Mentzer.” Steve Michalik exhausted himself faster than many of his partners in order to keep up with his “intense” or rather “crazy” approach to training. It can be argued that Arnold Schwarzenegger is no less, if not more, physiologically gifted than any professional of all. Its recovery capabilities are almost unique, as is the legendary pain threshold. The desire to imitate one of these two programs can be impossible even for the most experienced bodybuilder. But regardless of his abilities, Schwarzenegger can be called a bodybuilder with the strongest willpower. He has not performed any random or unsystematic actions throughout his career, which means that his program can become a proven template for achieving your own success in bodybuilding, regardless of your experience or parameters.

“For beginners, I would recommend doing five sets of barbell and dumbbell sets, for a total of 10 sets of 8 to 12 reps, ” says Schwarzenegger. “Focus on your movements and try to increase your stamina. Experiment with different types of movements until you find the ones that give maximum resistance to your biceps. ”

After training for about a year, the bodybuilder goes to the middle level, for this period Schwarzenegger recommends the following: “Look at your biceps and identify weaknesses. Then you can develop an individual program that will help you work through these areas. ”

“If you are short on biceps, ” he continues, “pay attention to lifting dumbbells. If you lack relief, dumbbells can also help. Do more flexions with concentration and exercises with dumbbells lying on a bench, following the example of Reg Park. ” Schwarzenegger says 12 common approaches should be the norm for a mid-level bodybuilder.

Finally, he gives additional advice to those who train at an advanced level: “The biggest mistake experienced bodybuilders make is burning biceps. It is based on a small muscle group, which you can influence only with the help of intensive training, ”the Terminator gives instructions. So, what is overtraining ">


Schwarzenegger shared tips with readers on how to form massive biceps, and now it's your turn to use them. Postpone reading, go to the gym and start training! Before you do this, listen to another tip from Arnie, an axiom about muscle growth, which has contributed to his success with every workout: “This is the case when thinking prevails over material. If you direct all the power of thought to achieve your goal, then you will get what you want! ”

Arnold Offseason Biceps Training Program

An exercise

Lifting the bar for biceps with cheating: 5-8 sets of 8-12 reps

Lifting dumbbells in an inclined position: 5-8 sets of 8-12 reps

Flexion of the arm with a dumbbell to the opposite shoulder: 5 sets of 10 reps

Alternating bending arms with dumbbells in a standing position: 5 sets of 10 reps

Pre-competitive training program

Super Approach 1

Bending the arms with dumbbells on an inclined bench: 4 sets of 8-10 reps

Extending arms on the upper block while standing: 4 sets of 8-10 reps

Super Approach 2

Lifting dumbbells standing with twists: 4 sets of 8-10 reps

Extending the arm from behind the head with a dumbbell : 4 sets of 8-10 reps

Super Approach 3

Scott's Bench Arm Curl: 4 sets of 8-10 reps

French bench press: 4 sets of 8-10 reps

Super Approach 4

Back push-ups: 4 sets of 8-10 reps

Bending the arm with a dumbbell to the opposite shoulder: 4 sets of 8-10 reps

Super Approach 5

Scott's Bench Curl Reverse Grip: 5 sets of 10-12 reps

Arm curls with barbells: 5 sets of 10-12 reps

Reach the alpine peaks!

Five rules for biceps by Arnold Schwazenegger

  • Variety . Use barbells, dumbbells and cables.
  • Isolation. Do not include deltas, lower back and other parts of the body when training biceps. Не раскачивайте снаряды (за исключением упражнений на сгибание).
  • Полный диапазон движений . Вам необходимо контролировать вес, если вы не применяете интенсивные движения во время шоковой тренировки.
  • Выберите темп . Разработайте темп для каждого движения.
  • Общая концентрация . Не позволяйте себе отвлекаться. Всегда концентрируйтесь на движениях и ощущениях в мышцах.

Использование программы Арнольда

Мы хотим напомнить всем читателям о том, что Арнольд Шварценеггер является поистине уникальным человеком, «одним из миллиона», а также исключительным явлением. «Шутки в сторону», скажете вы. «Зачем говорить нам о том, что мы и так знаем с тех пор как начали тренироваться». Мы надеемся донести до вас тот факт, что одаренный спортсмен Арнольд был способен выполнять такие вещи в тренажерном зале, которые будут не под силу простым смертным. Даже у продвинутых спортсменов могут возникнуть симптомы перетренированности, включая хроническую усталость и травмы, если они будут копировать тренировки Арнольда. Мы полагаем, что многие бодибилдеры независимо от их возраста и уровня профессионализма смогут извлечь выгоду из принципов Арнольда, которые представлены в этой статье.

Бодибилдинг весьма индивидуальный вид спорта, в любом случае вы должны адаптировать каждую программу тренировок к ваших личным особенностям и целям.

Если вы не находитесь на продвинутом уровне, мы не советуем вам пытаться копировать объем работы Арнольда, направленный на бицепсы.

Если вы новичок либо относитесь к среднему уровню, выполняйте по два или три подхода для каждого упражнения из его межсезонной программы и посмотрите, как она будет влиять на вас. Если вы продвинутый конкурентоспособной бодибилдер, рекомендуем вам ограничиться тремя из пяти подходов, входящих в предконкурсную программу.

Во время структурирования нагрузки помните, что одним из величайших ключей к успеху в бодибилдинге по мнению Арнольда является следующий принцип: Понять свое тело.